Fwd: Re: fox guarding the hen house
Sun, 22 Mar 1998 08:54:18 -0800
> From: sal
> Subject: Fwd: Re: fox guarding the hen house
>> Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 08:49:15 -0800
>> To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
>> From: sal
>> Subject: Re: fox guarding the hen house
>> WE must stop Non funded federal and state mandates that take money out of
>> the organic movement! The state of Ca. have already taken hundred of
>> thousands of dollars from us in Ca. and we don't need more of the same.
>> only thing I disagree with is the sliding fees as I feel there should be no
>> fees. .No sliding fees no flat fees no fees at all if you truly are organic
>> you owe no one .we owe you. lets get it right . I don't want my handler
>> poor Jim to have to pay a handling fee ether because he is my friend and I
>> know he has 2 kids and a wife to support and he has to send those kids to
>> school and If I am certifier I don't see why he should have to pay just for
>> taking my boxes and sending them to his customers.the handler fee must go.
>> and I don't want the my certifier to be forced to pay a fee as they will
>> just pass it down to me. (I don't feel my processor should have to pay one
>> cent because he wants to use only organic ingredients not one cent and I
>> don't want my customers to have to pay one cent just because they chose to
>> buy organic . Not one cent. Down with NON FUNDED federal and state
>> If I want to volunteer to pay a certifier and an inspector that is
>> I should be free to join . I say no forced fees to sell organic if they
>> want to inspect a grower they must have just cause and pay for it . I
>> should not have to be forced to pay one cent extra because I chose to grow
>> food organic and sell food it as such. This is what is backwards. The
>> polluters get a free ride and we pay who are not doing anything wrong. No
>> non funded laws that make the farmer pay to prove he is honest year after
>> year Not one cent ! Forced. Join what you want to join but this force
>> fees by the government and state is wrong and because the farmer pays
>> they just keep adding test and inspections on top of tests and inspection.
>> The customers and the farmer are not as dumb as the USDA take them to be
>> is the organic movement as confused as much as the USDA seems to be about
>> what is organic. We don't need all these extra fees to keep us honest.
>> organic farmer is like anyone other business if your caught lying the
>> buying from you will not do business with you. If I ever lost my certifier
>> because I lied or did something wrong I suffer greatly now and adding all
>> these fees and paper work does nothing compared to my reputation loss with
>> my customers. let business take care of business. Sliding fee or flat fee
>> are both wrong as I feel that there should be no fees. NO Fees NO Tax no
>> sir charge Not one cent extra just because I am organic . The certifiers
>> were doing great working things out with each other. Those that ship can
>> use IFOAM and other international certifiers . What we are doing now is
>> working great and my customers are not confused in the least. If people
>> don't know what organic is then how is the state of Ca. getting away with
>> taking my money every year and inspecting my land and my books and telling
>> me yes Sal you are organic. And how come CCOF has been taking my money and
>> their inspectors have been taking my money for 10years and every year they
>> say Sal you are organic . Some one must know what organic is and it is
>> the USDA or the Ca. state ag people. Free the word organic and give it
>> to the people . No non funded federal mandates that require organic
>> to come with money out of pocket year after year because they are
>> should be it must be stop. No non funded state programs that force those
>> that have to follow the law to pay for it even if they are doing nothing
>> wrong. There are fraud charges on the books now. Let us talk about forced
>> fees for those growing and selling organic. Has anyone got any idea what
>> the heck this is going to cost every organic grower selling 5001 or more
>> dollars of organic food. There is the certifier every one will now be
>> forced to join,the inspector ,the state here in Ca.for the same dam
>> pay the inspector and the certifier for . the USDA for the same thing we
>> pay the certifier,inspector,state for and the residue tester who also gets
>> paid by the grower for the same thing the certifier does the inspector
>> does the state does the USDA and who know what who else .All these folks
>> doing the same thing asking me the same questions. I got inspected
>> one week last year. This is getting nuts there are so many people with
>> their hands out that they are running into each other. How many pencil
>> pushing bureaucrats do organic farmer have to pay off and why. when I
>> started growing years ago I never thought I would be penalized because I
>> chose to be organic. this idea that we cannot do business without paying
>> all these folks is a Mafia idea called protection money . who is
>> me from all these folks that are asking protection money. An to all those
>> good folks that are volunteers in the organic movement please don't
>> volunteer for me by telling these government folks not to worry the farmer
>> will pay for it . This is getting real old.
>> IAt 06:43 AM 3/22/98 -0500, S. Moore wrote:
>> >Here is the text of my remarks to NOSB. Oral presentations were
>> >three minutes, so my spoken comments were much condensed.
>> >Steve Moore, Carpinteria, CA
>> >You are welcome to post these remarks to the bd-list if they do not
>> >any bandwidth rules you have in place.
>> >Oral Presentation to NOSB
>> >Stephen F. Moore, Ph.D.
>> >Moore Ranch, Carpinteria, CA
>> >March 16, 1998
>> >Ontario, CA
>> >My name is Steve Moore. I manage my family’s 60-acre farm in Carpinteria,
>> >Ca. My great grandparents originally homesteaded the farm in the 1870’s.
>> >In the early 1980’s my brothers and I began conversion of the farm to
>> >organic and then biodynamic methods. We have been certified organic and
>> >biodynamic since 1985. Our primary crops are lemons, avocados, and other
>> >orchard fruits for wholesale, and mixed vegetables for a 250 member CSA.
>> >addition to my involvement with biodynamics as a farmer, I am also
>> >of the board of directors of the bd association.
>> >Taken as a whole, USDA’s proposed rules for organic are a disaster. It is
>> >hard to imagine they could have done a worse job, given all of the time,
>> >energy, and resources, which have gone into producing these rules.
>> >I never expected anything more. USDA has never been a friend of organic
>> >farming and they did not want the job of setting these standards in the
>> >first place.
>> >I have opposed OFPA since its inception. Time does not permit me to
>> >elaborate all the reasons for my opposition, however, I refer you to the
>> >Demeter Association OFPA position paper (BIODYNAMICS #188, July/August
>> >1993), which was submitted to NOSB several years ago. The proposed
>> >have today simply affirm my reasons for opposing OFPA.
>> >Although we are essentially forced by the rule making process into
>> >commenting on the specifics of the proposed rule, what is needed is to
>> >repeal OFPA. It is a misguided and fatally flawed piece of legislation.
>> >most what is needed from USDA is to facilitate development and
>> >of a national definition of “organic”, which is created and controlled by
>> >the community of organic farmer’s and consumers. Certification and
>> >accreditation should be voluntary and private. We do not need a large,
>> >costly bureaucracy, which is what we will get with OFPA. What we do need
>> >a secure and safe food system built on community based partnerships
>> >farmers and consumers.
>> >The foregoing remarks notwithstanding, I want to comment on three specific
>> >aspects of the proposed rules: 1) USDA’s proposed restrictions on the use
>> >certifying logos to represent higher standards than the NOP (section
>> >205.301); 2) restrictions on eco-labeling (section 205.103); and 3) I want
>> >to propose that NOP differentiate certifying procedures for farmers
>> >local, direct markets and farmers serving larger scale, national and
>> >international markets.
>> >Time restraints prevent me from saying much about the first two issues.
>> >Numerous comments regarding their inappropriateness have already been
>> >submitted. At this point I only want to say that taken together these two
>> >sections of the proposed rule are nothing short of an assault on my rights
>> >as a farmer to inform consumers about my farm practices; and on my rights
>> >a consumer to know how my food is grown. However, I see them as perfectly
>> >consistent with other efforts by USDA and FDA, especially with regard to
>> >genetically engineered foods, to restrict open and free communication
>> >between agricultural producers and consumers.
>> >The issues
>> >Stifles efforts to seek excellence (not presented orally)
>> >The proposed rule would prohibit private organic certifiers from
>> >or labeling products that differentiate "any farming or handling
>> >requirements other than those provided for" under OFPA and USDA’s
>> >regulations (Sec. 205.301). The issue has been widely discussed by many
>> >people, including Fred Kirschenmann. As Fred has already stated, “Such
>> >regulations not only take power and preference away from consumers, and
>> >limit the market opportunities of producers, they restrict commercial free
>> >speech and leave chemically sensitive and allergic people without any
>> >reliable choices in the marketplace that can potentially protect them from
>> >Under such rules, where is the incentive to improve? To raise the
>> >What right does the government have to restrict a certifying group from
>> >exceeding the standards set by USDA and telling the consumer about that?
>> >This is exactly the kind of outrageous proposal we can expect when we
>> >the government to take on the job of regulating organic farming. As
>> >expressed by D.B. Johnson, “is it the USDA's intent to restrict the
>> >certifying agent from evolving their business toward the future and
>> >communicating extraordinary, beyond-compliance ethics, processes, and
>> >products in the marketplace?”
>> >What does this clause mean for Demeter certification and biodynamic farms?
>> >I generally market my produce as organic, but I also label my produce as
>> >Demeter certified biodynamic; and I make a point of telling consumers that
>> >this is a higher standard. Am I to believe that under USDA’s proposed
>> >I can no longer do that?
>> >According to the USDA’s preamble, NOSB “adopted a recommendation as a
>> >matter that was consistent with the provisions” of the proposed section
>> >205.301. Is that true? Does NOSB support section 205.301 as
>> >you agree that certifiers not be allowed to use their seal or logo to
>> >recognize “additional achievements?”
>> >Eco-labeling Issues (not presented orally)
>> >Section 205.103 prohibitions against eco-labeling are another outrageous
>> >flaw in the proposed rules. Unfortunately, the problem is OFPA itself.
>> >Section 2106(a)(1)(B) of OFPA refers to "any terms or phrases that
>> >or indirectly imply that a product has been organically produced".
>> >the crafters of OFPA may not have intended it, this section allows rules
>> >which attempt to extend control beyond the word "organic" to encompass an
>> >entire concept. It is nothing less than attempt at mind control. It is
>> >absolutely unacceptable and probably unconstitutional. Is there any doubt
>> >that it will ultimately be tested in court? Although wording of the
>> >rules might alleviate some questions arising from this section, it is OFPA
>> >itself that must ultimately be amended.
>> >Again I ask, where does this section leave me as a biodynamic farmer?
>> >Unfortunately, biodynamics implies organic, in spite of its historical
>> >precedence and significant different practices. If I choose not to become
>> >certified under OFPA, am I prohibited from claiming to be biodynamic?
>> >is simply another example of the absurdity of OFPA and these rules.
>> >Certification for Direct Market Farms
>> >USDA’s proposed rules and your own recommendations to USDA attempt to
>> >develop a “one size fits all” certification program for organic farms.
>> >diversity of organic farms and markets is ignored in this myopic
>> >bureaucratic mentality. In reality what we have is a proposed rule which
>> >motivated by and intended for industrialized organic agriculture, in which
>> >the farmer and consumer are disconnected and remote from one another. The
>> >heart and soul of the organic community, the typical smaller grower,
>> >farmer’s markets, CSA’s, and roadside stands, is lost in the shuffle. Why
>> >is it necessary or appropriate to apply the same system to local,
>> >direct-to-consumer markets? . Farmer's Markets, roadside stands, CSA's
>> >should be exempt from whatever rules are adopted.
>> >Although farms coming under this heading will be predominantly smaller
>> >farms, I am not talking about a “small farm exemption”. I am talking
>> >the nature of the market, and more importantly the relationship between
>> >farmer and consumer. Isn't fair to assume that when the consumer and
>> >meet in a face-to-face transaction they don't need the federal government
>> >intervene, or even a third-party inspector? When has the USDA demonstrated
>> >it better understood these issues than the typically well-informed
>> >perusing the aisles at the local farmer's market, or the family making
>> >weekly trip to the farm to pickup their CSA share?
>> >Although I have proposed an exemption for such markets, it appears that
>> >prohibits such exemptions. (More nonsense from this ill-conceived
>> >legislation.) If an exemption is prohibited then, I suggest that, if an
>> >is established, it utilize a different certification process for direct to
>> >consumer markets. USDA marketing programs often contain special
>> >for direct to consumer markets.
>> >Direct market farm certification should require minimum paperwork and fees
>> >and be largely based on the ability of consumers to judge for themselves
>> >whether or not the farmer with whom they are dealing is making an
>> >claim of farming organically. Here is an outline of how such a
>> >certification program might look:
>> >? Proposed Certification Elements
>> > ? Paperwork submitted to chosen certifying agent (private or state)
>> > ? Simple farm plan questionnaire (2 pages maximum)
>> > ? Affidavit regarding compliance with OFPA
>> > ? Written policy of accessibility of farm to customers (see below
>> >“on-site inspection”)
>> > ? Maintain records applicable to organic farm
>> >? Fees
>> > ? Sliding scale fee based on gross annual income
>> >? On-site inspection
>> > ? OFPA (§6506(a)(5)) provides for annual on-site inspection. The
>> >premise of this proposal is that in the case of growers serving local
>> >markets, an elaborate and costly inspection is not necessary. The
>> >accessibility of the farm to local consumers supercedes the need for
>> >outside inspection. Therefore, it is proposed herein that as long as the
>> >farm maintains a policy of accessibility to its local customers,
>> >annual site visit by the certifier’s representative is not required.
>> >? Labeling and signage
>> > ? Labeling, brochures, P-O-P materials must indicate that products are
>> >certified organic for local market consumption, i.e., not for sale outside
>> >local farmer’s market, CSA, or roadside stand.
>> >Closing remarks
>> >The needs of small growers have been overlooked since the inception of
>> >I suspect that you will no doubt tinker with your past effort, but not
>> >really address the tough questions presented by the reality that OFPA is
>> >fatally flawed and should be repealed. I have no expectation that USDA’s
>> >second iteration of proposed rules will serve the organic community any
>> >better than the current proposal.
>> >In my opinion, the NOSB will ultimately be populated with persons
>> >sympathetic with the agri-business special interests, which currently
>> >control USDA. None other than Congressman Peter DeFazio himself,
>> >of OFPA, recognizes this problem in relation to the national materials
>> >“The USDA's interpretation of the law threatens the future of the organic
>> >food industry. Even if the current administration has the best intentions
>> >toward the organic industry, future administrations may not.
>> >even this administration has used this authority to add items to the list
>> >that the public has already rejected.”
>> >As far as I can see his remarks are applicable to the entire proposed NOP,
>> >not just the list.
An organic growers homepage check out
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with "unsubscribe sanet-mg".
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command