Monday, November 01, 1999, 6:52:43 PM, you wrote:
TA> It is interesting to look at this exchange. A number of years ago I
TA> warned those in the organic industry that if they got gov't in the
TA> middle it would be a muddle (hmm, sounds like Dr. Seuss<grin>).
It could have been done right. There IS a proper role for government
in the matter, but that ISN'T the role that OFPA designates.
TA> The [ostensible] rationale was that if the gov't provided the cert
TA> that it would be a seal of uniform approval and a way to keep
TA> interlopers and the greedy out of just labeling something as
TA> organic. The industry was self regulating- once upon a time.
Not quite. That is why third party certification organizations were
created. Undoubtedly some are better than others, but truly interested
and involved parties have or will develop (alone or with help), an
appropriate criteria that gets to the medulla of what organic means
and represents. They'll know who to trust, and falsehoods will be
exposed, just as they are in politics or what have you.
In the end, the products own quality speaks for itself and buyers
already specify which certifying bodies they'll accept, when they
require certification. (There are many instances when it's not needed,
as in many CSA operations). Still, there is a need for an OFPA, but
not the way this one reads at present.
TA> But now you can't unscramble eggs and you get a half baked,
TA> expensive omlet that, like any gov't reg, has enough loopholes
TA> that you can drive a big 4WD right through it.
Not only are there loopholes (that is, there is no guarantee that it
will produce the desired results), OFPA creates abuses and injustices
of it's own. I suspect that it will never be implemented, at least not
as presently written. And if it is, the following morass in the courts
will obviate any benefits it could have brought.
All it needed to do was develop a consistent national standard that is
congruent with organic principles and tradition, and achieves a
consensus with the organic community. But any certification program
that is linked to it will have to be voluntary: i.e., one option among
This is not to say that the above mentioned consistent national
standard wouldn't be backed truth in labeling laws and penalties for
misrepresentation; but as Sal suggested (and he did this in 1997 as
well - I happened to be searching the sanet archives for something
else and ran on to this thread), just as was done with drag racers who
questioned whether their opponents car was "stock" or not (requiring
the the engine be dismantled), the cost of this was born by the party
that was proved right - a cheater was penalized, while he who accused
falsely the other without foundation was also.
In short, we don't need a police state (and another bureaucracy with
links to "friends" in the industry) running the show, we need a valid
legal structure to provide an effective recourse for allowing
consumers, growers and "value added" intermediaries to operate within
defined limits that they themselves have defined and control. If
government eats this, it will bloat, die and go rotten.
TA> sounds like that old Abbott/Costello exchange "Who's on First?"
Except that it's not funny.
TA> tom abeles
nothing new follows below.
TA> Douglas Hinds wrote:
>> Hello Sal & all
>> Sal was very eloquent and is totally right! OFPA is fundamentally
>> wrong in mandating obligatory USDA Organic Certification. Once a
>> decent Organic Rule has been developed and supported by the organic
>> community, those that need it will adhere to it and participate; but
>> USDA Organic Certification is going to have to be either non
>> compulsory or unconstitutional. Let it rest on it's own merit and let
>> the buyer insist on which certification program he, she or it
>> requires, if any.
>> Craig too is correct when he says:
>> > first, the national organic standards legislation mandates that usda
>> > develop a national program of standards setting and certification .
>> > . . if one has disagreements with those two objectives, then one's
>> > disagreements are with the legislation as passed by congress and
>> > signed by the president, not with the usda-ams implementation of the
>> > legislation
>> Having been passed by congress and signed by the president does not
>> make the obligatory aspect of USDA Organic Certification
>> constitutional (much less necessary or fair), and Sal is right again
>> when claiming that the $5000 limit for exemption is a "rip off". In
>> fact, it's ridiculous and offensive.
>> OFPA as written will either be amended or become bogged down in court.
>> If implemented as it now reads, there will be serious liabilities
>> generated that will have attended to at a high cost, in the end.
>> Douglas Hinds
>> Monday, November 01, 1999, 9:21:21 AM, you wrote:
>> S> ----- Original Message -----
>> S> From: Harris, Craig <Craig.Harris@ssc.msu.edu>
>> S> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>; 'Bluestem Associates' <email@example.comTA>
>> S> Sent: Sunday, October 31, 1999 2:08 PM
>> S> Subject: RE: Proposed organic cost share program
>> >> it seems to me that two things are being ignored in this catalogue of
>> >> problems with certification . . . .
>> >> first, the national organic standards legislation mandates that USDA
>> S> develop a national program of standards setting and certification .
>> S> . . if one has disagreements with those two objectives, then one's
>> S> disagreements are with the legislation as passed by congress and
>> S> signed by the president, not with the USDA-ams implementation of
>> S> the legislation
>> S> calling a small farm $5000 is a rip off
>> S> taking money from folks because they grow organic is a rip off
>> S> set the standards and fine those that break the law not the honest folks
>> S> if you come and inspect me and i am telling the truth u pay for the
>> S> inspection if I am lying I pay and get a fine . easy
>> S> now I pay a certifier, a inspector ,the state of Ca. etc how many pencil
>> S> pushing bureaucrats do I have to pay off just for telling the truth and
>> S> they all require paper work and can all charge me what they want. whats
>> S> with that. no one can tell you what you will have to pay to be organic
>> S> because every one charges what they want and u have to pay. it's a rip off
>> S> there are too many folks NOW with their hands in our pockets now.
>> S> I can't afford to give all these folks money now.
>> S> the organic tax is a rip off.
>> >> second, when the first draft of the proposed implementation was released
>> S> for review last year, one of the major criticisms was that the cost of
>> >> certification would be unduly burdensome for small organic farmers
>> >> . . .
>> S> it seems to me that a cost-share arrangement addresses that
>> S> criticism . . . if one is going to be critical of the cost-sharing
>> S> proposals, i think one has to suggest ways in which they can be
>> S> revised (or alternatives implemented) which at the same time
>> S> mitigate the undue cost burden
>> S> easy take the burden off the backs of the growers. they are paying to much
>> S> now. why do I have to pay a certifier and the state of Ca. both for the same
>> S> thing and why should I pay the USDA for the same thing I am paying everyone
>> S> else for. why do I have to give paper work to the state and be inspected by
>> S> the state and the certifier and pay them both for the same dam thing. its a
>> S> big rip off NOW and the USDA are talking about adding to the burden not
>> S> lifting it. I say let those that are lying pay and those that are telling
>> S> the truth not pay
>> S> this whole thing is a rip off. Mafia protection money . you get a letter
>> S> from the state of Ca. ok your organic now you have to pay us every year and
>> S> kiss up to us and the certifier sends a letter ok your organic now You have
>> S> to pay us every year year after year and the inspector sends us a bill yes
>> S> you are organic now you have to pay me every year year after year for the
>> S> rest of your life . I know I am organic what did i get from all this
>> S> nothing but a stinking little piece of paper more work. more bosses more
>> S> slavemasters now the USDA want to get into the act. ok your organic now
>> S> every year year after year after year you have to pay us. bull shit how
>> S> many pencil pushing bottom feeders do u have to pay off to tell the truth
>> S> organic Gestapo
>> S> extortion
>> S> force labor
>> S> slavery
>> S> the Mafia won they are now the Government and they got the organic grower by
>> S> the cohoniess and all these folks can charge what every they want and we
>> S> have to pay.
>> S> I can go on and on . those that feel it know it.
>> S> I say organic growers should not have to pay one cent more than any other
>> S> grower to grow and sell their crops and if they are organic they should be
>> S> able to tell anyone the truth. if the USDA wants to set a standard let them
>> S> if the USDA wants to regulate certifiers let them but don't tax the organic
>> S> grower for doing the good that he knows.
>> S> Its too much now
>> S> not one more cent
>> S> I need my money go rob someone else.
>> To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
>> "unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
>> "unsubscribe sanet-mg-digest".
>> To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
>> "subscribe sanet-mg-digest".
>> All messages to sanet-mg are archived at:
Douglas Hinds, Dir. Gral. - CeDeCoR, A.C.
Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural, Asociacion Civil
(Center for Rural and Community Development, a non-profit organization)
Cordoba, Veracruz; Cd. Guzman, Jalisco & Reynosa, Tamaulipas Mexico
Apdo. Postal No. 171
Fortin de las Flores, Veracruz 94471 Mexico
Tel: 011 522 713 2888 (Direct at present)
U.S. Voicemail (email linked) 630 300 0550
U.S. Fax Mailbox (email linked) 630 300 0555
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: