There exists at least one other option, and I would welcome commentary
from everyone involved in buying, selling, marketing, or regulating,
since the concept can be applied much more widely than just to the
"organic" market. This option is basing the regulatory frame, not upon
the dollar amount sold, but on the level of anonymity involved in the
transaction chain, or the number of steps between producer and consumer,
or some kind of measure other than a financial one.
So, if I am buying personally, face to face, from a local farm, and I
know these people and my kids go to school with their kids, and I see
every day how they live their lives and I go past their fields and can
ask them personally about various practices and problems, that is really
very different than if I am making an anonymous purchase through a third
party. Why not make the exemptions based, not on income, but on the
relationship between buyer and seller?
If I am in position where t's physically possible to decide personally
whether I trust that specific producer personally, what is the interest
of the Federal Government, state government, or anybody else in that
transaction? The matter is in the realm of personal affairs between two
This can apply to buying milk, eggs and butchered livestock from my
neighbors as easily as to organic produce. When I am "protected" only
from making my own decisions, who is really served? Who would object to
making the criteria based on relationship?
> There are many other marketing words for which you must earn the
> privilege of use --- kosher being the most obvious one. I may meet all
> the requirements of kosher, but I cannot call my products kosher unless
> I'm certified by one of the half dozen or so major groups offering that
> service. Whether I'm small or not does not, and *should* not matter.
Well, actually, some individuals accept one organization's standards of
kosher and not others. And as long as the consumer knows who is doing
the certifying, who is harmed? It's just like when the different
organic certifiers didn't have to pretend they were all the same, when
in fact they were not. I used to be able to purchase based on who did
the certifying, and those days will be over soon, probably devolving to
the lowest common denominator, but possibly even worse. In the case of
kosher food, the word "kosher" is not the deciding thing, it is the
registered trademark of the certifying organization which carries the
weight. Speaking here from the hub of orthodox Judaism in the USA......
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