Your point is clear, like Dale and Grace you feel that organic rulemaking
concentrates too much on material lists and too little on stewardship
components. You seem kind of fatalistic about this. Still, I would like to
know, what approach would you propose to make organic rulemaking better?
Please try to give some specific examples.
Hayo van der Werf
A 20:09 14/03/00, vous avez écrit :
>On Tue, 14 Mar 2000 13:02:37 -0500, 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.
>>>> 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.
>The ultimate endpoint of this whole particular titration will probably,
>and unfortunately, be the disintegration of the organic industry as a
>meaningful participant in the development of 21st century agriculture.
>Consumers will get what they think they want --- for awhile --- during
>which time most of the profits will be garnered by processors and
>distributors, rather than growers. This is especially true for
>cash-crop grain and beans.
>The consumer (and grower) preoccupation with materials, however,
>strikes me as *the* flaw that is both innate and fatal to the industry
>and its promoters. At *best,* it is extremely difficult to inspect for
>materials usage or its absence. Consumers' primary expectation of
>organic food is, therefore, inherently non-verifiable. Extreme
>disillusion is consequently inevitable.
>In the meantime, growers taking proper agronomic care of their land ---
>which is more expensive than simple non-use of taboo materials --- find
>themselves at an increasing disadvantage in the marketplace. The
>materials focus of organic agriculture has meant that most organic
>farmers are now exploiting their systems every bit as much as most
>chemical growers. Over the short to medium term, miners are almost
>invariably at a competitive advantage compared to stewards.
>Sadly, the real stewardship components of organic agronomy --- which
>are generally *easy* to inspect (if you can ever figure out how to
>codify them) --- could provide consumers with both better food and a
>So here organic agriculture sits, concentrating on its *least*
>important, most easily cheated aspect, while it virtually ignores its
>most important, impossible-to-cheat, most easily inspected strength.
>And in the process they are punishing the very growers that should be
>rewarded, and rewarding those who should be forced to do much better
>before they can earn the right to call their products organic.
>Multi-million dollar federal bureaucracies are no more appropriate for
>dealing with the problems of the organic industry than a Rolex watch is
>suitable for keeping you dry in a driving rain.
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Hayo M.G. van der Werf
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Unité Sol et Agronomie Rennes-Quimper
ENSAR - 65, rue de Saint Brieuc
Téléphone +33 2 23 48 57 09
Fax +33 2 23 48 56 30
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