We serve a diverse audience of readers engaged
in regenerative, organic and sustainable agriculture
at many levels for many reasons. We want to hear
from you about the issues that are important to
your life and work, and your vision for agriculture
that builds a strong future.
We run selected comments from readers in this
space. Please tell us who you are, with name,
address and phone number for verification. Sending
correspondence to us conveys a right to us to
publish it as is, or in a form edited for length
and/or style. Opinions expressed in this space
do not necessarily represent the perspective of
The New Farm® or The Rodale Institute®.
If you have something important to say about
agriculture in a sustainable global food system,
please -- speak
suit article does not even scratch the surface of the
misleading framing by the likes of [Organic Valley CEO] George
Siemon. The changes mandated by the appeals court would not
eliminate any products, only the way in which they must be
labeled “organic” or “made from organic.”
This was wisely adopted in the law to avoid the debate now
going on about synthetics as ingredients in food products
labeled “organic.” The OFPA [Organic Food Production
Act] clearly avoided the argument by prohibiting or exempting
synthetic ingredients, depending on how a product is labeled.
Since it is permitted to disclose a “percentage organic”
on the main display panel, it is clearly not a burden to manufacturers
to not be able to call every one of their products “organic”
and leaves properly the decision of whether to buy with the
individual consumer, who can read the label, not be deceived
(even if in a hurry) and avoids the quagmire—for the
NOSB [National Organic Standards Board]—of listing synthetics.
This would be the same quagmire for congress if the list were
to be generated in a revised statute! There would be an "oops,
we forgot one" every moment going forward.
Only those who wish to deceive customers would want it any
other way. Congress did not intend, nor should they have intended,
to force the NOSB to revisit the FDA’s G.R.A.S. [Generally
Recognized as Safe] list. So they very wisely wrote the statute
to avoid it. To frame the issue—as the Organic Trade
Association wants to—as "What's wrong with baking
soda?" is fundamentally dishonest and violating the most
basic tenets of the organic community: transparency and precautionary.
With respect to the "new herd clause” (80/20 for
dairy), in framing the issue as crucial for "new organic
farmers” evasion of fundamentals also flows. Since all
milk is pooled, the pool no longer meets the standard, thus
hurting the preexisting organic members of the pool and reducing
the fair price of milk for these farmers—all on the
altar of growth for a mega-processor, whether corporate or
cooperative—and thereby preventing all existing organic
farmers from enjoying the benefits of rising demand. Supporting
growth should not come at the expense of lowered standards
and pool quality but from incentives derived from other programs,
be they government, volunteer or private!