Wednesday, November 03, 1999, 8:46:09 AM, you wrote:
KW> maybe i did not understand correctly:
KW> is he as "organic" farmer OBLIGED by american law to get certified
KW> or is the certification a decision of each farmer for a certain
KW> label ??
OFPA (Organic Foods Production Act) The US federal law, was passed in
1990 but not yet implemented due to controversies involved with the
Organic Rule proposed last year that as far as I know have not been
resolved. (I've been offline of most of the past year).
Additionally, a number of us have opposed the mandatory certification
that OFPA calls for.
Sal is a good example of why intervention by the US Government as a
certifier (or the agency that controls the certifiers) is unwise,
except as an alternative available by free choice. That is, by making
the distinction between organic and certified organic a legal one, so
that the word organic does not become property of a select organic
insider power elite, both within and outside of (but with strong ties
to) the Government.
In California, where Sal is located, certification was optional but I
believe became mandatory. [Others here may care to update this]. To
me, there is a legal issue involved regarding the proper role of
government (not precisely of the people and for the people in the US,
but rather the corporations), as well as a moral one, regarding the
authority of the individual to freely make true claims, until proven
I enjoy your posts and read them (there are many posts I don't read
for lack of time). I am aware that we share many values and
perceptions and think that differences in the European situation and
tradition are responsible for most of any differences that may lie
between us on this issue.
KW> here in europe "organic" growers are an extreme mixture of highly
KW> qualified people with a perfect observation and on the other side
KW> real dumb farmers, who will never be able to compete on a
KW> professional market and they just try their luck by naming their
KW> products "organic". that means nothing (except: a higher price
KW> consumers are willing to pay for the most important claim - no
KW> but: if i came to mexico and tell you: "i'm a golf trainer and
KW> will give you golfing lessons for 50$ each", do you EXPECT me to be
KW> a "trained" trainer or just a guy, who names himself a trainer. and
KW> what, if you find out, that i'm not the slightest part better
KW> at golf than you (it's highly probable, but of us have not the
KW> slightest idea of golf) here in germany this would not be forbidden,
KW> although everyone would expect a certified trainer.... so: how to
KW> proceed, if you feel cheated and i'm not willing to pay back your
KW> 100$ paid meanwhile ?? with fists ??
The justice system is not functioning well in Mexico as yet. Delays
are rampant and corruption still exists. But in any country, a legal
structure is a required condition for procuring justice, where
Governments sets the rules and a forum to hear disputes, but DOESN'T
get into the certification business or force measures that inhibit the
competitiveness of organic farmers and their products in the open food
market, in the case of organic food labeling.
Other effective measures involve public expose of consumer fraud and
any legitimate company will go out of it's way to avoid being publicly
denounced, with the consequent damage to it's image and reputation,
and the effect that this can have on their trade. At the same time, a
company or grower unfairly slandered has recourse to forums to hear
and rectify this too. Governments should provide the laws and forums
and not attempt to change the meaning of words.
Whether a product is organic or not depends on factors that can be
measured and verified because they are inherent in the product and
that is where the meaning comes from. In short, organic refers to a
production and handling system and he who implemented it is best
qualified to state whether or not he used a given set of principles
and practices as his agricultural production system; while certified
organic refers to an outside authority. The distinction is important.
P.S.: After participating in something like the above, I often want to
share it. Any objections to posting it?
(He said no privately and here it is).
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: