Before going any further, I want to say that I have tremendous respect
for Bart and consider many of his accomplishments to be extremely
important. Having said that, I must state that I seem to share the
"fundamental difference over use of the word "organic" in the
marketplace" that he says he seems to have with Sal; except that in
this instance I share it with Sal. Here's why (we'll continue below):
Tuesday, November 02, 1999, 9:59:19 AM, you wrote:
BA> Sal and I seem to have a fundamental difference over use of the word
BA> "organic" in the marketplace.
BA> He sees it as a *right* to be revoked only in the case of egregious
BA> who-knows what.
It is true that the word "organic" has more than one usage. On the one
hand, it represents a set of philosophic principles that in turn, have
become embodied in specific farm production systems and the products
that emanate from same. On the other hand, it is a word that has
arrived at, through the hard work, perseverance and integrity of many
(not the least of which is Bart Hall), at an important level of public
and specifically, *consumer* recognition. In other words, the word
organic itself has become imbued with it's own market value and can be
considered a valuable commodity, the control of which lends
considerable power and opportunity to whoever holds it.
The meaning of a word is invariably related to it's etymology, or
origins; coupled with the more recent and current common usage the
word has been given, in practice. As things now stand, organic foods
are those that were produced, handled and sometimes processed, using
methods consistent with the organic philosophy and tradition.
Additionally, an industry of third party "objective witnesses" has
also developed, some of which have achieved a fair degree of respect
within certain circles of buyers, be they consumers of intermediaries.
These self proclaimed "objective witnesses", supported by those that
value their "services" proportion a kind of affidavit as to the
products' adherence to organic principles and processes, a
"certification" as it were.
Some state governments, building on their ability to make obligatory
the use of this service from the vantage point of the political power
they wield, have themselves entered into the "certification business".