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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:12 PM
Original message
U.S. accused of weakening organic standards
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apwashington_sto...

WASHINGTON -- New government guidelines allowing limited use of pesticides and antibiotics in organic farming have provoked a backlash from farmers and consumer groups who say they devalue the federal organic label.

<snip>

"We want them to apply the standards consistently," she said. "It's ludicrous to assume that the department said, `The heck with the law, let's change the regulations.'"

That's what some critics think happened.

"They are new interpretations that are contrary to the regulations as written, and they contradict previous policy 100 percent," said Jim Riddle of Winona, Minn., vice chairman of the 15-member National Organic Standards Board, which recommends policy to the Agriculture Department.

Sen. Pat Leahy, a Vermont Democrat who wrote the 1990 Organic Food Productions Act, plans to circulate a letter this week to urge Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman to rescind the new guidelines. Leahy called them "unilateral fiats" that violate the sprit of the law.

...more...
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is SO TRUE!!! The laws have been changed so huge companies
can claim to be organic without having to come even close to the real standards. This is because someone figured out that there was money to be made in this market, but, of course, they have no intention of adhering to the true standards of organics.
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drthais Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. from one organic grower to everyone out there on DU
there was a time when 'organic' meant
no pesticides, no herbicides, no chemical fertilizers
ah, those were the uncomplicated days

then, new 'certified organic' regulations came down

you could use manure as fertilizer
but you had to make sure that the cows (or horses, or whatever)
that produced the manure
had not eaten any tainted grass or feed (!)
these types of rules were meant (I believe)
to make things excrutiating for organic farmers
very diificult to get or maintain organic certification

and now we have this bullshit

it comes down to this>
if the govt. (or the agribusinesses)
can't make it so hard that we cannot meet regulations
then they will alter the regulations
so that you can't tell whats organic and whats not

it's like a Dr Suess book

just ask

go to the farmers market
find an organic grower who is honest
do not trust anything in the supermarket mass-produced
that is labeled 'natural' or 'organic'
because you do not know what this means anymore

I'm so disgusted

but I must say
the new potatoes with rosemary
and the salad
were wonderful this evening

sometimes I'm working in the field
and I think
wow
this is really special
to have this opportunity

I could be out there doing something else
I have a doctorate in piano performance
but I'm growing organic produce and herbs

this wil come in handy
being as we;re facing global warming worries
and everyone out there better know how to take care of themselves in the near future....


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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. blessings on you, drthais
who knows what will will be ( are) eating anymore.... I try to grow and buy only organic & natural...but how do we really know??

I trust agribusiness as much as I trust the pharmaceutacorps...NOT AT ALL!!

I agree...learning how to grow your own food, build your own shelter...makes a lot more sense to me than some other options......who really knows anymore...did we ever know anything??


Peace
DR
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Don't you think there is a law suit
here?

When they tried to change the regs 1 1/2 years ago there was such an uproar from consumers and farmers that they did not do what they wanted. Now, they are just "interpreting" the regs to destroy the organic industry - what they wanted all along.

This sure looks like it would qualify under the RW principle of "government taking without compensation."

Maybe Elliot Spitzer could come up with something - this is just out and out theft.

There are studies showing that children who eat organic food have less pesticides in their fat tissue. Here is the smoking gun for a lawsuit - proof of contamination.
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phoebe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
4. don't mean to hijack your post, hopefully just adding to it...
Reclaim the Commons June 3-9, 2004 San Francisco
http://reclaimthecommons.net /

Dazzle the forces of corporate globalization with streets full of resistance and vision! While the biotechnology industry and its lobbyists meet in San Francisco and the G8 meets in Georgia, join us in San Francisco for a mass mobilization that says NO to corporate profiteering and destruction and YES to the world we want.

from the website..

Initially formed to oppose Bio2004, RECLAIM THE COMMONS has quickly grown from a single mobilization into a movement. Within this movement, we want to teach and demonstrate sustainable, life-affirming alternatives to biotechnology and corporate power in general: organic food, community gardens, water reclamation, urban transformation, a gift economy, and so much more. We do this hoping to inform, enrage, and inspire, as we spread the skills and tools we need to bring our visions to fruition.

RECLAIM THE COMMONS! Traditionally, THE COMMONS was cropland, grazing land, or forest that belonged to the community as a whole and benefited all. Now, THE COMMONS includes everything needed to support life on earth: air, water, shelter, food, energy, biodiversity as well as our multi-cultural heritage. Corporations, aided by the governments they dominate, are seizing control of these basic rights, and privatizing them for the profit of a few. Yet, public control of the commons is essential for true democracy; for racial, economic, and social justice; and for a diverse and sustainable society. WE ARE RECLAIMING THE COMMONS!

RESIST BIOTECH! The biotechnology industry is a prime example of how global corporations are eroding democracy, threatening our health and environment, and concentrating control of our food and resources in the hands of a few profit-driven companies. With almost no public debate, over 100-million acres of genetically engineered (GE) crops are planted each year in the United States. Thats almost 70% of the worlds GE crops. Once released into the environment, these GE life forms cant be recalled, and theres no way to predict their effects on our bodies, eco-systems, and future. Gambling with the future of human and environmental health is gravely affecting FOOD SOVEREIGNTY throughout the world, dramatically increasing the risks of BIOWARFARE and further entrenching the health-for-profit system with the creation of BIOPHARMACEUTICALS that are grown in GE plants and animals. Already these artificial life forms have contaminated seeds and crops that have been cultivated over thousands of years. And while our tax dollars subsidize corporations developing anti-aging drugs and biological weapons, these same companies deny affordable drugs to people in desperate need of medical relief.
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Pachamama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:16 AM
Response to Original message
6. Another Outrageous Attack from the Bush Co. for Corp. America...
When I read the front page article in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper about this I just boiled with anger! Every single f-ing day there is something new....as if its not bad enough trying to digest the daily garbage about what is happening in Iraq etc., there is always something else like this that they slip in and hope goes undetected under the radar while we all try to keep up with our busy schedules raising our children and going to our jobs.

I buy primarily organic when it comes to my fruits and vegetables and am very careful about the meats I buy too. Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck) gets a big chunk of my shopping bill and the farmers market. My family only drinks organic milk too...All because I believe that its best for my family's health and something being labeled "Organic" means just that - Organic. If I buy milk that says "Organic" and not treated with hormones etc. etc. I want it to mean just that - the administration wants to change it to mean where a cow that is "treated" w/ Antibiotics can have its milk qualify after a year and be put into the stock. (currently, this doesn't happen to qualify for organic).

While to some people that might not buy organic this isn't a big deal, it really, really is...its just another example of how corporate america and big business is being allowed to buyout everything in this country and the health of our children and citizens means garbage to them...

:anger:
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mulethree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
7. whats the current pesticide rule?
I thought organic meant no pesticides. The rule change here seems to indicate that pesticides are currently ok if you know exactly whats in them including the inerts?

I don't know about the 12 months antibiotic-free deal. I suppose running a dairy completely without antibiotics must mean really clean dairy's and really close attention to the animals. Thats all good I suppose but I'm mainly concerned about pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in my milk.

Fish meal in cattle feed? I would think organic cattle are all eating grass, clover, hay and stuff. What else can they eat? Why would you feed them fish meal instead of - say soybeans?

Are there any non-govmt organic certifications? Some farmers group that goes along the lines of no anything thats artificial?
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