OFMA and some other issues and opinions (fwd)

Lawrence F. London, Jr. london at sunsite.unc.edu
Thu Jan 15 20:10:01 EST 1998


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 18:50:32 -0600
From: Guy Clark <guyclark at socket.net>
Subject: Re: OFMA and some other issues and opinions                         

Sharon Stevenson wrote: 
> Maybe this is really a silly question from a novice, but why couldn't
> the government just label products Gov't Certified Organic...like USDA
> Prime.  Wouldn't that solve the problem? It means that "organic" meets
> "Gov't Standards" and nothing more and would not exclude the use for
> independent farmers who don't want that label. Then they could just
> educate the public as to the meaning of that standard...and not being so
> crazy as to pre-empt our acceptable English vocabulary.
> --
> Sharon Stevenson
> Tel/fax (51-1) 444-4749
> Lima, Peru
	The USDA is caught in several catch-22's.  I think that your proposal
would be a fine idea if it is possible, but I agree with the comment
regarding "The Emperor's New Clothes".  Like all government agencies
mandated to regulate industries and methods of production, there is always
a conflict of interest between protecting the public and bowing to
pressure, influence, and money exerted by those being nominally regulated. 
Strange bedfellows and all that.  Everyone can see that the Emperor is
running around buck naked.
	If they promulgate a strong standard, they fear they will be condemning
the last 60 years of their and America's agricultural system which they
have spread like a virus worldwide by such notable disasters as the "Green"
revolution, Bhopal, the starvation in Ethiopia, etc. ad nauseum  So the
party line is that there is no difference between organic and chemically
raised agricultural products; and now they have done the best job they can
to make that assertion into fact.
	Namaste',
	Guy Clark



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