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Re: “Debriefer: March 24, 2015

Is there anything you did, once, 40 years ago that you believe still defines who you are now and is used to introduce you? More accurately, did one of your ancestors do something that you'd include on your CV. This is ridiculous; the Light's recent melodramatic history and internecine warfare is far more entertaining. Keep the sideshow going, its worth the small price of admission.

Posted by Lodro Dorje on 03/26/2015 at 4:25 PM

Re: “Crop Circles

Bohemian - I expect a higher standard from journalism than I read in this article. The article claims the USDA’s organic standards are “far below” those used in Marin County. The article later claims there are local organic certifications that are beyond the USDA standards. Marin Organic Certified Agriculture program (MOCA) is accredited by the USDA. Organic certification bodies operating under that label in this country and internationally are certifying to the same standards, it is the law.
I am offended by the implication that the entirety of China as a nation is incapable of upholding a standard. The National Organic Program (NOP) reviewed the performance of Chinese certifiers in 2010. Anyone can dial it up on the WWW and read the assessment on their performance. This is the power and the importance of the USDA Organic Program. We can all observe and steward the process of upholding the organic standards; this is something we don’t get in conventional food systems. The Organic movement asked the federal government to oversee organics. In the Organic Food Production Act of 1990, Congress gave the USDA the responsibility of oversight.
The article references a time when 15 years ago farmers said USDA organic was not good enough. A bigger picture is needed to understand this historical reference. The USDA issued a first draft of organic standards that infuriated the organic community because they included allowances for sewage sludge, GMOs and irradiation. The USDA received a flood of comments from the entire community of organic constituents, insisting on the exclusion of the aforementioned methods. The USDA redrafted the standards. This is the power of organics.
We get to know everything that goes on with organic food from seed to table. The article states that the “organic label certifies the method of farming; it is not a verification of the final product”. I’m totally confused by that statement. When a product is labeled organic, a consumer can understand every input or processing allowed in the farming or manufacturing. A farmer’s organic system plan and a manufacturer’s processing and inputs must comply with the organic system. That’s why we have certifiers. I find the transparency of the organic system far superior to what I cannot know in the conventional food system. When the National Organic Standard Board reviews materials allowed in organic systems, I can make a comment to them directly at the meeting. Organics is self auditing, correcting and interactive with constituents. Which food system do you want to support?

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Posted by mind33ee on 03/26/2015 at 2:15 PM

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