> draw some thoughts together because the NOP Proposed Rule will come out
> fall, and the discussion would be a good preparation. For reference, ake
> look at some of the current organic standards, like IFOAM, CODEX, the
> OCIA, FVO. These are on the web, and the AOS may be a good comparative (
> First of all, the law and the federal standard provides a framework that
> based on prohibition rather than prescription. As I recently wrote, there
> few concepts that can be considered "philosophical" in the law, but crop
> rotations is one of them-and what needs to be uncovered is the science
> the prescription.
> That science seems to be saying that confinement and little access to
> will not fit the organic plan. We can rightly infer that one depends on
> invasive often synthetic responses to disease because of confinement-and
> alternative is....rotational grazing, exercise, socialization, unpolluted
> water, and other holistic concepts.
> Another faint glimmer of hope is the occasional language used in the law
> broadly supports the sound tradition....such as the prohbiting the use of
> substances that are "inconsistent with organic farming or handling, and
> purposes of this title."
> Now the title, or the entire law, intends to define organic....but this
> statement tends to provide a broader coverage of expectations that are
> elucidated within the statute...and those expectations I feel are more
> conservative than liberal. In other words, limit and restrict production
> methods that are inconsistent with "the conventional wisdom" ( to borrow
> Galbraith) that is in the eye of the beholder within the system, rather
> accept those outside the system who are looking for loopholes or
> to the common sense approach to creating an organic farm plan.
> with organic farming" can provide us with the means to reflect on our
> You also have to factor in consumer expectation-this is THEIR law, more
> anyone elses. The purposes of the OFPA are
> 1 ) to establish national standards governing the marketing of certain
> agricultural products as organically produced products; (2) to assure
> consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard;
> (3) to facilitate interstate commerce in fresh and processed food that is
> organically produced.
> Number 3 can not subvert the intentions of Number 2. Facilitating trade
> often been taken as a mandate to expand a market with less conservative
> standards, and that is where one encounters questions like parasiticide
> confinement, and interpretations on humane treatment.
> Common sense ( and some experience) will tell you when you are looking at
> organic livestock system....and when you are not. Poultry is a fairly
> sector, for example. Unless we expect organic poultry production to
> something from the 18th century-or a system like Joel Salatin's-birds are
> probably going to be kept in houses, not allowed outside, and will have a
> square feet per bird. They will be fed organic feed, but generally the
> housing will resemble conventional systems. How can standards provide for
> humane treatment, access to nature, and aversion to non-feed inputs? Are
> these concepts consistent with organic farming?
> I have seen some pretty neat systems that are variations on that
> even encountered organic farmers that elect to only produce birds in the
> summer months in order to make a more pleasant system possible. Organic
> pleasant, isn't it? When it is pleasant, one doesn't encounter manure
> management problems, air or water pollution, flock health problems, or
> inhumane circumstances. The federal law and most certification standards
> not allow a system that harms the environment. One encounters
> spreading manure on frozen ground in standards such as OCIA's, for
> If you have a feed lot in South Dakota on limited space, I think this
> you have a problem-not just with OCIA but with the OFPA as well.
> These issues are being addressed on a daily basis. Should we expect an
> absolute at this point? We are in the middle of the game, not at the end.
> Will confined poultry be allowed with beak trimming? Will animal feed
> allowed? Will swine be pastured or or penned on concrete? Some of these
> things can be answered not by comparing them to conventional corporate
> agriculture, but by imposing other requirements, for example, by
> synthetic medications, demanding a strict non-polluting manure management
> program, no synthetic pesticides, no dependence on organic pesticides
> either. Most certification organizations place things like rotenone on
> restricted" list, and also ask the question: " What are you doing to
> eliminate your dependence on the use of this material?"
> If you have a feed lot, you have flies. You have a manure problem. You
> have a consumer/social problem. To address factory farming, more
> are proposed or have been imposed, from EQIP to state laws prohbiting
> corporate ag or county ordinances prohibiting large facilities. These
> more pleasant system, and organic is one definition of those systems.
> should not resemble the vertically integrated confinement, non-land
> factory farm model.
> Steve Sprinkel
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: