Letter: Organic industry needs mandatory testing of operations

01/22/2010 11:30:00 AM

Tell it to The Packer | Letter to the Editor

Mischa Popoff
Is it Organic?
www.isitorganic.ca
Osoyoos, British Columbia

I guess I’m supposed to feel excited that California Organic Certified Farmers is reporting an 8% increase in the number of operations and acreage they certify (The Packer's coverage).

But please hear me when I say the only thing that will ever get me excited about the organic industry is when it quits relying on an honor-based record-keeping system and starts actually testing farms and processing facilities.

This was the direction the organic industry was headed in back in the late 1990s when the Consumers Union, along with staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, envisioned requiring all organic farms and processing facilities to be tested at least once every five years.

Instead, through a concerted lobbying effort by vested interests in the organic industry, testing was watered down into a suggestion, which, needless to say, no one follows.

There is no field testing in the multibillion dollar organic industry. None.

It’s a deplorable situation that leaves us wide open to attack from those who do not support organics.



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