This answers the question of What Went Wrong. The inferred response to What
Now, is :write to congress.
1. A call by all of us on our Representatives and Senators for a Congressional
investigatory hearing on how 3 million dollars, 5 years and tens of thousands
of volunteer organic farmer, handler, certifier and consumer hours can be
contributed to bring out a Proposed Organic Rule that is in stark violation of
an Act of Congress. It is time the USDA administration at the top and the NOP
staff faces the music. Answers are needed to prevent a repetition.
2. A call by all of us on our Representatives and Senators to contact USDA/AMS
and demand a new Proposed Organic Rule consistent with OFPA to be submitted
for public examination and comment by October 1, 1998. This is perfectly
doable. Start deleting in a computer the inappropriate sections, explain the
OFPA National List Process and change the fee structure to "be reasonable."
The scenario: make sure that all the agencies, expecially the OMB, leave their
hands off the OFPA implementation process, and that has to be done politically
from the top down.
February 26, 1998,
ACRES,USA: A JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AGRICULTURE
What Went Wrong?
The Unmaking of the Organic Standards
by Francis Thicke, Ph.D.
How could USDA have strayed so far from currently accepted
organic standards in their proposed rule for the Organic Foods Production Act?
What can we do to get the rule back on track? These are the questions being
universally asked by organic producers and consumers. I offer the following
perspective, based on four years inside USDA in Washington, D.C., and from
information from friends still at USDA who observed the rulemaking process.
WHO IS USDA ANYWAY?