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Is there an attack on organic agriculture?

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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:00 PM
Original message
Is there an attack on organic agriculture?
I cannot help but wonder if Big Ag has declared an all-out assault on organic agricultural production. After waking this morning listening to the news about the latest recall on lettuce containing the E. coli bacteria originating from another organic foods producer, forgive me if my pessimism has gotten the best of me.

In the past three weeks, Bolthouse Farms, Earthbound Farm Organic and President's Choice Organics have all been subject to recalls of products offered to the consumer.

Organic food production is by far one of the largest growing sector of the consumer economy, which certainly limits the amount of agricultural products that Big Ag have pocketed enormous profits from for decades.

In fact earlier in the year, there was a massive attempt by several "organic" food producers in an attempt to relax organic food standards available to consumers. Attached to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations bill, joined by corporate giants Wal-Mart and Kraft, also joined by 'organic' producers Horizon and Aurora organic dairy products to include five national "private label" organic milk brands supplied by Aurora, as well as two leading organic soy products, Silk and White Wave, owned by Horizon's parent company, Dean Foods.

After a strong campaign by the Organic Consumers Association, it was proved to Big Ag and the corporate giants attempting to cash in on the growing trend in organic agriculture, the message was sent that it was clear that the consumers were not going to allow organic standards to be relaxed for corporate profit.

It's clear to me that there is an ongoing attack on organic agriculture as evident in the news over the past three weeks...

Thoughts?
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. i read about this problem with organic growers in claifornia a good
two years ago. there have been warnings and those warnings were not heeded. it appeared for profit reasons. i dont think this is conspiracy here, i think it is once again, corporation not doing right for profit
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splat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. manure?
Chemical fertilizers don't have living, organic cow-pie bacteria.
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Properly composted manure is completely safe organic fertilizer...
Green manure, and manure that has not been properly composted is where issues arise, I agree.

However, it seems that either an issue of increased sabotage or greed for profit at the expense of the entire industry has arisen.

Both?
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. This new recall is due to bacteria detected in water used for irrigation
...so I doubt it would be manure in the form of fertilizer, but who knows what gets in the pipes.
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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. Actually I have thought the same thing.
Drive out these independent companies so big agri can take over and offer "organic" produce that of course will be genetically modified and not organic. :(
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. Me too
...
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
5. There's simply been a huge increase in production to address demand.
The industry has never before operated at this level of organic food production. Duh - chemicals are reliable for mass production, that's why they're used in the first place. So there was a huge rush to expand and corners were cut, and here we are.
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. This new lettuce recall is not organic
It's regular green-leaf lettuce produced under the Foxy label.

I will say though, I have been curious if there has been deliberate sabotage. This is a lot of E. coli warnings in very little time.
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Thank you for the correction... n/t
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. No problem
I work in a grocery store, and we've been joking how it was all McDonald's doing to get people to stop eating healthy.
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I think the same was true for the spinach recall
There were many, many companies listed - someone here on DU posted the complete list.
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. IIRC, it was all traced to the same manufacturers
Selling it under various brand names, but it wasn't an industry-wide problem.

The FDA's latest update indicates it's Growers Express and Natural Selections:

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2006/NEW01486.html
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. Always
in innumerable ways. Now the so-called "organic" operations which use most of the industrial processes are quite different than the small-scale local organic grower. Big Ag and Big Org are really quite similar in principle and practice.

I challenge anyone to show me any cases of E coli. that originates from a small scale scale organic farm and/or any bio-dynamic operation.

But do be aware that many of these large-scale conglomerate operations that have the USDA label "Organic" are anything but that for numerous reasons.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. There was a carrot issue last week
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 09:18 PM by bonito
As well, I can't recall where I read it.
I took a class at our local agricultural department for vegetable gardening, and the fall crop is in my back yard. Cheap, easy, and yes cost effective.

Forgot to mention will be using CS for sanitation control.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. What is CS?
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. Collodial silver, silver ions
easy to make and spray on the crops.
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blues90 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
13. I saw several specials of this sort of thing
tHis was afew years back . Much of the produce comes from areas around the world that use polluted water to wash the produce , some of it was mixed with human waste . Now that nothing seems regulated I suspect we will see much more of this sort of thing . welcome to the global world and the BCF .
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
16. alas, our farmers' market only has two more weekends--then I must
rely on the stores again. . .I am not encouraged these days, although there are a few organic labels I do trust.
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
17. Don't forget all the ecoli and mad cow sitting in our beef products.
We have a food system that is too vulnerable to everything. Maybe the attack is on American food. Those imports have so much chemicals and pesticides, they don't go anything but poison you slowly.
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ellenfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
18. i think it's more a product of de-regulation . . . letting companies
police themselves. right, that works.

ellen fl
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
20. there's certainly an attack on the consumer
Edited on Mon Oct-09-06 10:51 PM by pitohui
as more and more of my local grocery store goes organic, there is less and less i can afford to eat

seriously

i don't really care if your $4 a head lettuce is infected w. e. coli, in fact, i guess i sort of think it's funny, it puts a new spin on eat the rich

do you seriously think real people can afford this? i thought having to choose between food and medicine was something i'd left behind, ha, now i have to choose between food and everything

sorry, i guess i would be more sympathetic if there wasn't so much price gouging but i got no sympathy or pity for gougers, we haven't bought lettuce or spinach for ages, it is simply too costly for the calories provided
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