> From: Ronald Nigh <email@example.com>
> Douglas.- My server is not accepting mail right now and SANET will not
> accpet these except from my account so I am sending them directly to you.
> If you feel inclined you might forward them to the list. Thanks,
> Douglas Hinds wrote:
> >I hate to say this but - I tried very hard to sound the alarm regarding this
> >type of thing - that the danger of OFPA goes far beyond the GMO's, the sewage
> >sludge and the irradiation. (I even suspected those were thrown in as a
> >tactical distraction - which is assuming there is method behind the madness -
> >intelligent life out there).
> >ORGANIC CERTIFICATIONS SHOULD NOT BE OBLIGATORY, and arriving at a consensus
> regarding a national standard - and legal definition - does not require
> >Let OFPA / NOP / USDA organic certification stand on it's own merit.
> >INSIST THAT MANDATORY CERTIFICATION FOR ORGANIC PRODUCTS BE REMOVED FROM OFPA.
> >It's not going to be easy - but nothing worthwhile ever is.
> >Douglas Hinds
> I agree. OPFA is the end of organic food.
> I am basically an optimist and believe that positive proposals and good
> example achieve more than complaints and predictions of disaster. It is
> also important to think critically, however. That means, in this case, to
> open our eyes to what is actually happening and not just believe any
> scenario painted for us just because it confirms our optimistic hopes. I
> believe that now is the time for critical thinking about the regulatory
> changes about to take place with organic foods..
Living in Mexico is good for developing a cautious and sceptical attitude toward
letting govt. do it. And I think some of the current members of the govts. top
> For example, Cecilia Bowman of OFMA, commenting on the problem of organic
> meat labelling, exressed the concern:
> >Is it possible that in the
> >haste to open the market that some players ... will end up lowering standards
> >will create a group of stakeholders that will get so used to doing it the
> >easy way that they don't want to change? Is it possible that those
> >stakeholders will then go to USDA after the next Proposed Rule and ask for
> >livestock standards to remain that low?
> I think this kind of rule bending is exactly the situation that is being
> set up, not only for meat products but for all organic products. It is
> time we saw the writing on the wall: after the new rule enters into effect,
> even with all the reforms currently being incorporated, "organic food" will
> cease to have the meaning that it now has for most of us and was originally
> intended to have. The fact is we, growers and consumers, have lost control
> over the organic food concept. The rule leaves a hole big enough to drive a
> refrigerated truck through, and the refrigerated trucks are already lining
> up to cash in on the prestige of the organic label built so carefully and
> with so much hard work by organic fammers over the past 50 years.
> Consider Eric Kindberg's observation on chlorine treatment of produce:
> >For clarity, the Organic Foods Production Act does not supersede any Federal
> >mandate on water use or food content.
> >§2120 VIOLATIONS OF TITLE. (e) EFFECT OF OTHER LAWS. Nothing in this title
> >shall alter the authority of the Secretary under the Federal Meat Inspection
> >Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C.
> >et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031 et seq.)
> >concerning meat, poultry and egg products, nor any of the authorities of the
> >Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Federal Food, Drug and
> >Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C 301 et seq.), nor the authority of the
> Administrator of
> >the Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide
> >and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.).
> >Simiarly, nothing in OFPA supersede those powers granted to States under the
> >OFPA states: "§2111 HANDLING.
> >(a) IN GENERAL. For a handling operation to be certified under this title,
> >each person on such handling operation shall not, with respect to any
> >agricultural product covered by this title
> >(7) use, in such product water that does not meet all Safe Drinking Water Act
> >So, spourt treated as FDA directs qualify as "organically produced",
> Etc., etc...Anything that FDA considers legally safe cannot be denied
> organic certification for that reason..... For example, if the FDA or USDA
> decides someday that for "phytosanitary" or whatever reasons, all produce
> has to be sprayed with malathion, then that pesticide-sprayed produce will
> still quliafy for the "organically produced" label. This would be an
> extreme violation of what organic now means to people, but it shows the
> kind of thing that will be happening as special interests use this loophole
> and pressure the USDA to allow their products to be labelled organic in
> spite what ever chemical and biotechnology or irresponsible practices they
> want to use . As long as they're FDA "safe". I find it hard to believe
> that growers such as Eric Kindberg can still have faith in the OFPA process.
As one of OFMA's board members (OFMA itself grew out of a govt. funded iniatitive
he headed, the Ozark Valley something or other, which did some of the survey -
town meeting preparation for the NOP), he does more than grow. Also, the close
relationship he and OFMA have had with the process of developing OFPA, plus the
contacts he has in the USDa and the captive status OFPA gives the word organic,
plus the market recognition that word has earned, leave him with the possibility
to do more than grow. The M in OFMA of course stands for marketing. His
statements to me when he was here reenforced that, and of cousrse we couldn't
agree as to how that should be done.
> If FDA food regulation were sufficent to guarantee organically grown food,
> we wouldn't need to certify them in the first place. As it is, FDA, USDA
> and their cozy relatives in the corporate food industry will be deciding
> what gets labelled organic. And those products may not resemble anything
> you or I would call organic.
> I seriously doubt that the independent certifiers will be able to recover
> from the recent blows dealt to them by the prospect of the new law, and the
> infighting among organic farmers themselves, in order to come up with a
> method of identifying which growers are really living up to true organic
> Things are already pretty bad with organics in the US. Consider this
> comment from a self-identified organic farmer
> recently sent to SANET:
> >> I tend to discount
> >>sources that are intentionally polemic. I would take a source like "J.
> >>Pesticide Reform" with a grain of salt, just like I would Monsanto trade
> >Amen. We're an organic farm, but I DO use Roundup in non-production areas
> >(such as the unmowable areas immediately around hydrants and the mailbox)
> >where poison ivy and crownvetch attempt to establish themselves.
> >I chose this product after considerable digging through the literature. I
> >firmly believe that overuse of ANY chemical agricultural aid, be it
> >herbicide, pesticide, or fungicide, will cause problems, and it's only a
> >question of time until those problems evidence themselves. But I also
> >believe that judicious, targeted use of such technology is not only
> >warranted but wise.
> I personally find it sad that someone who thinks of himself as an organic
> grower would spray a dangerous chemical like Roundup around his mailbox and
> water hydrant, where his children and other people go, rather than try any
> number of options feasible for these small areas. It makes me think we
> don't share the same values. I also find it incredible that such a person
> would "doubt intentionally polemic sources such as the Journal of Pesticide
> Reform" yet, apparently happily believe Monsanto's junk science saying
> Roundup is safe. (Junk science is science for pay done to justify the sale
> of corporate junk.)
Maybe he hasn't considered using a sickle or sythe.
> But, as Eric Kindberg points out, the new rule permits this kind of farm to
> be certified organic.
> I don't knock any farmer because he uses chemicals. It's become a way of
> life and many, many things can come up to prevent a farmer from following
> strict organic rules even if he would like to . He should not be penalized
> for that. But it ain't organic, and such a farmer should not be permitted
> to label his food the same way as those who do make considerable sacrifices
> to meet those standards. It is these, truly organic farmers who will have
> to suffer competing with corporations and other food producers who will be
> happy to slip through with a legally accurate definition of organic that
> really means nothing. Consumers, of course, will eventually notice and stop
> paying a quality premium for the organic fraud.
> I believe the first step to doing something positive about this situation
> is te recognize that it is happening.
And help alert others to it.
> Warm regards,
> Ronald Nigh
> Dana, A.C.
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Petronilo Lopez No. 73 (Street Address) Apdo. Postal No. 61 (Mailing Address) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO U.S. Voice Mailbox: 1 630 300 0550 (e-mail linked) U.S. Fax Mailbox: 1 630 300 0555 (e-mail linked) Tel. & Fax: 011 523 412 6308 (direct) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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