Grace Gershuny wrote:
> Loren introduces some good insights in her response, although I'm not sure
> I understand some of her allusions--particularly why some people would
> think this is an inappropriate forum for discussion of organic standards.
Only because it has happened before that somebody feels compelled to
state that organic ag. isn't the only sustainable thing around....
Since most of the folks subscribed here never post anything, I have no
way of knowing whether it makes eveybody mad to discuss "organic" on the
sustainable list and that I should take my thoughts to the "organic"
list or whether it seems like exactly the correct forum to most of the
> Actually, the agency at USDA responsible for regulating GMO's (APHIS)
> strenuously objected to any intimation that they be considered
Of course. This was a big part of the problem with the first draft.
The public DOES find the "synthetic/natural" idea quite useful, simple
to understand, and reflective of its wishes. The public has never heard
of APHIS and doesn't care what they want and cannot imagine why they
even get a voice. So the NOP staff was in a terrible position to begin
with, and there was nothing they could do about that.
> IMHO, the division of materials into "synthetic" and "natural" is not only
> NOT useful, but is the root cause of most of the insanity that has dragged
> the organic discussion down the drain of debating materials lists as
> opposed to concentrating on assessing a holistic management system.
I agree, up to a point, but this wasn't a problem in 1970 or 1980 or
1985. It only became a "problem" for those who wanted to codify the
whole system. And nobody asked the public, despite claims that the
public demanded the whole rule including the Act of 1989. The truth is
that nobody who was not working in the organic sector in some way ever
even heard of the rulemaking process until 1997. If I ever meet one
single exception to this I'll make an announcement. I am not saying it
is a bad idea, just that the organic food buying public did NOT know a
thing about it in a timely fashion.
> Everyone has their pet exceptions, and there is probably a long list of
> enzymes and such similar to chymosin that at this time are important to
> many cherished food products and unavailable except as GMO products.
There probably are plenty of other fermentation products that I
personally have no objection to, I only mentioned that because I just
don't know of any except for that one. And I cannot say I have noticed
cheese being less expensive since it came to be used, so I cannot say
that I have seen any consumer benefit from its use. So if it is ruled
out, I don't care. But the vegetarians care so I can care for their
> I'm afraid I didn't follow the remaining points about people being allowed
> to want what they want, or something like that.
I'm just saying that I wouldn't want to be the one to tell the public
"you can't have what you want because you don't have scientifically
valid reasons for wanting what you want," because the public has never
agreed to having its reasoning scrutinized, whether correctly or not.
And I think that a lot of the anger which was directed at draft #1 was
really directed at the very idea that voluntary consumer purchases were
subject to explaining and justifying ones reasoning.
> The only comment I have is
> that people are often convinced that they want something based on clever
Sure, look at the delightful "cereals" we hear are part of complete
90% of the shelf space in any supermarket is laden with edibles that I
don't even consider food. But I don't try to force my opinions on
anybody, however well grounded they may be. So you can still go and buy
"honey frosted sugar bombs" of several different trademarks. If they
were made with all organic ingredients they would still be a ridiculous
and unhealthy dietary choice. But we let people make their stupid
choices anyway, in fact we have a long history of doing so.
> this is all a propos of both the
> "bill of goods" sold to consumers by the organic marketers about what
> organic products were supposed to represent (i.e., "safer" and "purer"
after all this time, I still have yet to see any marketing which says
any such thing. I have, however, heard plenty of people voice opinions
which I thought were quite uninformed. But this is certainly not
confined to the realm of organic foods. I don't seem to like the
organic marketing organizations any better than I like any other
marketing organization. Marketing is marketing. So I don't consider
anything they say to be the gospel.
Looking forward to your book
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Apr 05 2000 - 20:00:27 EDT