11/15/2012 09:38:00 AMTom Karst
Do readers think the USDA testing program is sufficient as published in the final rule?
I was disappointed that this testing will not make any contribution to the comparison of pesticide residues between organic and conventional crops. As you noted there really won't be any transparent summary of the results. Also, I wrote to the contact people at USDA to ask if the testing will include residues of organically approved pesticides. I was particularly interested to know about residues of copper-based fungicides. The answer was that this is just about compliance so there will be no measurement of the most likely things to be found on the crop. It would have been nice to have data about Bt residues on organic to show to the people who are freaked out about Bt in GMO crops. The only real value I can see coming out of this could be for the imports - particularly non-perishable stuff from places like China. However, the fact that it isn't a random testing regime and that it is left to the discretion of the certifier - even that segment may not be meaningfully assessed.