Organic Farmers Marketing Association
December 29, 1997
An update: I have completed the first reading and writing of the side by side for all the livestock, crop and handling standards in the Proposed Rule and the "Preamble" which extends into the certification section about 15 pages. I am now going over the entire document once more before I send it complete to the Organic Farmers Marketing Association website http://www.iquest.net/ofma/ for your thoughts, improvements and comments, to whatever extent you want to get into it. The conclusion is: every thing we have indicated as wrong up to now is correct.
A terse, but fairly comprehensive overview of the USDA's illegal Proposed Rule under OFPA:
and a few more that could be mentioned
Now, where to go from here? Without question politiical action and legal action should be taken immediately and continuously against the USDA. They should be sued for incompetance of rule preparation if possible. They should be sued under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, they should be sued for usurping the power granted by Congress to the NOSB. Exactly, the number and severity of their perverting sections in the Proposed Rule for the OFPA should be the talk of the day everyplace. We should stimulate a resounding rejection of all the substantial illegalities Proposed in the Rule. I count 7 general areas as noted above.
However, if the organic community can agree to read and follow OFPA, we have a winner with consumers from now to doomsday. We will finally have really contested the power of the false labelers, the illicit allowance of poisons being used on foods and the sale of non-pure and continually adulturated food products to US citizens.
If there are substantial disagreements about what OFPA says, we must stop arguing and refer the question to an independent, single, legally trained person with the highest of skills for a timely decison. We must agree to abide by the person's decision and go to Congress if we want a change--which ought to keep us out of Congress.
OFPA is excellent for organic farmers, handlers, certifiers and most of all truth and health for consumers. Nothing can stop organic growth following the OFPA quality standards.
But if we are going to repeat the same bickering of the past 6 years seem at the NOSB meetings over issues that are clearly stated in OFPA, or if we are going to rewrite OFPA evertime according to the OCIA, NOFA, CCOF or some other entities viewpoint, forget it.
Organic is deader than "natural" labeling.
So, what do we do?