new organic label (fwd)

Lawrence F. London, Jr. london at
Sun Jan 18 14:40:27 EST 1998

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 09:01:46 -0600
From: "Douglas M. Hinds" <dmhinds at>
To: rnwdixon at
Cc: sanet-mg at, organic-certification at,
    Beth von Gunten <colibri at>, cooperative-bus at,
    srb-list at
Subject: Re: new organic label

Regarding NOT (USDA) ORGANIC, BeyondOrganic etc.; as Beth von Gunten has

> Sorry guys, but this is *exactly* what the new rule is intended to prevent.

> At this point, I guess I'd call anything I grew Ironically Grown.  I don't
> think they can get me on that.  (Yet.)

OFPA itself provides the basis for preventing alternative green labels (by
restricting usage of the word "organic" to it's own terms - the terms of OFPA
itself; that is, UDSA Certified - and certainly not totally uncertified -

The Rule apparently amplifies this by calling for restrictions for even
*related* to organic.  The mentality that underlies this type of measure can
be rightfully considered dictatorial, monolithic and monopolistic.  It is a
measure designed to control & exploit, to stifle diversity, growth and
improvement; in short - to channel what WAS an evolutionary process, into a
retrograde power play that will benefit either big business interests or a few
ethnic organic turncoats (which are now busy fighting one another).

In any case.  If OFPA takes effect as is, it will will illegal to state that
something is even remotely related to organic.  However, like all other True
Believer power trips (and trippers) that have tried to foist their "My Truth
is the Whole and Only Truth" truth on anybody anywhere, WE shall overcome as
surely as the Tree that Stands Beside the Water (but not without casualties,
particularily if there is no coherent effort coming out of our position.  In
that regard, I've finally got a draft of a Definitive Statement that I'm going
to try to type up and post later today, keeping in mind that there are a lot
of ways to say pertinent and true things, as we've all seen coming from many
informed sources).

Even if the law takes effect and it becomes illegal to label a product as
anything even akin to organic, I fail to see how a Declaration to the effect

"MY was product was cultivated and handled in accordance with the concepts and
practices of what has traditonally been considered to be fully organic, before
OFPA.  However, now that OFPA has made it illegal to claim my product is
organic unless I incurr in costs and procedures that make my product less
economical and / or accessible, plus the fact that I do not agree with some of
the practices permitted under OFPA, I will no longer present the buying (or
consuming) public with a product claimed to be organic, even though in my
opinion, my products are more truly organic than many of the products
currently bearing the USDA Organic label."

That statement would be legally defensible (and *could* be called NOT USDA
ORGANIC), but be prepared to go to court to prove it.

Robert Dixon wrote:

> I have spent some time the last couple of days reading the proposed
> organic rules. If we all fail to get major changes in the wording then
> perhaps the simple solution would be to call real organic food NOT
> This would tell consumers that is was not produced with sewage sludge
> or was not irradiated nor were transgenic plants used. That the
> livestock were not given antibiotics and that processed foods
> contained the minimum of non organic materials that were absolutely
> essential.
> ...
> People created this market and have grown it into an expanding global
> culture and the USDA and the large corporations are not going to be
> able to stop it or co-opt it. We need to increase consumer and grower
> contact both face to face and at a distance.
> I really enjoy all the discussion. Locally I will be trying to contact
> our regional certification group and get as much direct farm food as
> we can (just in case the proposed rule becomes final...).

It's best to enjoy going into battle, when it can't be avoided.


Douglas M. Hinds, Director General
Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR)
(Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit)
Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO
Tel. & Fax:  011 523 412 6308 (direct)
e-mail: cedecor at, dmhinds at, dhinds at

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