I do not believe you can have both, ever, and not just in "organics".
Technolcracy, or rule by technocrats on a "logical, rational, basis", died
shortly after word war II. If the scientific model held, then Consumer Reports
would be the logical place to go to select the best value for appliances, cars,
etc and the differentiation would be what you could afford. In the organic
movement, deep down, the organic folk did want the consumer to buy organic and
the USDA cert was going to be the seal of approval. But then, the organic folk
still believed that this specialty mark would only be available to small
eyes-to-acres operations and they didn't count on agribusiness being able to
certify products, globally.
so we have two strikes- rational, enlightement models die in the post modern
light and the American Gothic vision also is immortalized on the wall of a museum
of the future. This, of course, says nothing about the value of producing and
eating organic but then all we have to do is go to the Natural Foods Expo to
Grace Gershuny wrote:
> Your comments are, as usual perceptive--to a large extent I agree that the
> battle for a rational foundation of organic rulemaking has been lost. It
> is still a damn shame to have to accept that what consumers want in this
> case is at odds with scientific (or philosophic) defensibility. Once upon
> a time we thought we could have both.
> At 09:32 AM 3/14/00 -0600, Wilson, Dale wrote:
> >> 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 think you are underestimating a main driving force behind the movement.
> >Most organic enthusiasts believe that there is a fundamental difference
> >between synthetic substances and "natural" things. IMO this stems from an
> >essentialist (Platonic) and dualistic worldview. I suspect that the
> >committed customer base really is focused on substances and their essential
> >> The point is to establish principles for making distinctions that
> >> have some relationship to the ecological concepts on which organic
> >> was (once upon a time) founded.
> >I don't think we should view this as a scientific issue. There is a divide
> >between the scientific community and committed organics people. The divide
> >reflects deep philosophical differences.
> >> Our goal, perhaps naively, was to develop uniform standards for a
> >> production process, not product quality--this is very compatible with
> >> environmentally minded food buyers.
> >I think most people buy organic food because they believe there is a quality
> >difference. There may not *really* be any difference in quality, but the
> >market behaves like there is. It seems like the USDA was torn between
> >serving the needs of the market, and producing scientifically defensible
> >recommendations. The USDA finally decided to do what the organic farming
> >community desires rather than make scientific pronouncements. I think that
> >was the right decision.
> >PS: Don't panic, buy organic!
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