[permaculture] Organic certification labels

Toshio Kuratomi a.badger at gmail.com
Fri Jun 1 21:51:01 EDT 2007


On Fri, 2007-06-01 at 13:12 -0400, Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
> Sean Maley wrote:
> >  Can someone help answer the following for a neighbor of mine?
> > 
> > Is it just the USDA that allows chemical fertilizers to be used on foods with the designation "organic?" What about other certifying organizations (Oregon Tilth, Quality Assurance International, and OCIA are listed on just a few of the products on my shelf...)?
> 
> As far as I know there are certifying agencies under contract to the USDA that are USDA certified to inspect
> and certify farms as USDA Organic. The abovementioned organizations may/may not be part of that program. They may/may 
> also be independent certifiers with their own standards with certification to offer to growers.
> There's beyondorganic
> certified naturally grown
> locally grown
> sustainably grown
> 
One thing to note here is that nothing can be designated organic without
meeting the USDA regulations.  Saying you have organic produce or an
organic farm and not being USDA certified makes you subject to fines.
You can, of course, pursue a certification besides organic if you don't
agree with the USDA :-)

> and, of course -
> roll your own, and get to know your customers and let them make up their own minds
> that's the best one especially for locally grown
> 
> after all its the farmers and their produce that makes the marketplace, not paper pushers

I'd love that to be true :-)  Unfortunately, not being able to call
something organic is a huge drawback in the eyes of a large percentage
of the population.  The number of people who understand the limitations
of the organic designation are slowly growing but it's not necessarily
going to be able to support farmers before their farms die.

-Toshio




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