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FW: Suggested Comment Letter on Proposed National OrganicStandards


Apologies for cross postings

----------
> From: Debbie  Ortman <debbie@organicconsumers.org>
> Reply-To: wfan@iastate.edu
> Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 18:28:45 -0500
> To: wfan@iastate.edu
> Subject: Re: WFAN> Newsletter article from Debbie Ortman
> 
> Organic Consumers Association: Suggested Comment Letter on Proposed
> National Organic Standards
> 
> Must refer to the docket number (TMD-00-02-PR) that is listed in Federal
> Register notice.
> 
> Note: If you wish to let the United States Department of Agriculture - USDA
> know by email what you think of their
> March, 2000 proposed National Organic Standards, please send your comments
> to the Organic Consumers Association at <info@organicconsumers.org> and we
> will forward these on to the USDA. The USDA has chosen to not provide an
> email address for submitting comments, so OCA will provide this service for
> those of you who do not have access to the internet.
> 
> To submit comments via the web site: See www.ams.usda.gov/nop
> http://192.239.92.75/waiscomment.html
> 
> When faxing or mailing comments you must refer to: Docket number:
> TMD-00-02-PR2
> To send comments by fax to the USDA:  703-365-0760
> To send comments by regular mail: Keith Jones, National Organic Program,
> USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP, Room 2945-So., Ag Stop 0275, PO Box 96456, Washington,
> D.C. 20090-6456
> 
> The 90 day comment  period ends on June 12, 2000. Below is our basic
> recommendation for what you should tell the USDA. Further information is
> available in BioDemocracy News #25 posted along with other information on
> our website <http://www.purefood.org>
> 
> SAMPLE LETTER:  NOTE: You must give name and complete address.
> 
> Dear USDA National Organic Program,
> 
> Although the USDA's March, 2000 proposed National Organic Standards are a
> vast improvement over the first proposed rules issued in December, 1997, as
> an organic consumer I am very concerned that the USDA adhere to the
> following principles:
> 
> (1) Do not weaken or dilute any of the proposed organic rules published in
> the USDA's March 2000 document in any manner whatsoever.
> 
> (2) Private (i.e. non-governmental) and state organic certifiers must have
> the legal right to exercise their free speech and certify and label
> products to higher or stricter standards than the minimum "USDA Certified
> Organic" standards and be able to state on their label that this product
> "meets or exceeds" or "exceeds"  USDA organic standards.
> 
> (3) So-called "natural foods" with less than 50% organic ingredients should
> not be allowed to use the word "organic" anywhere on their package or
> product labels--given that the the non-organic ingredients of these
> so-called "natural" products may be genetically engineered, irradiated,
> derived from sewage sludge, or produced with pesticides, growth hormones,
> or antibiotics.
> 
> (4)  Although the proposed regulations on organic animal husbandry require
> "access to outdoors," no clear definition of what constitutes "pasture" are
> offered, nor does the USDA delineate exact space or spacing requirements
> for humane housing and outdoor access for poultry, pigs, cattle, and other
> animals.
> 
> (5) Although the USDA claim they don't intend to impose economic hardships
> on organic certifiers and farmers, the added costs of USDA oversight will
> fall heavily on small certifiers and farmers. The USDA should provide
> accreditation services to organic certifiers free of change as well as
> subsidize 100% of the costs of any farmer who wishes to become certified as
> organic. Beyond this the USDA should allocate funds to pay farmers a
> premium price for their products during their "transition to organic" phase
> as an added incentive for the majority of farmers to begin making the
> transition to sustainable and organic farming practices.
> 
> (6) Although genetic contamination of organic crops by "genetic drift" from
> farms growing genetically engineered crops is one of the most serious
> environmental threats to organic agriculture, no liability provisions nor
> residue limits for genetic contamination are delineated in the USDA's
> proposed federal regulations. The USDA must hold biotechnology patent
> holders and seed companies accountable and financially liable for the
> environmental and economic damage inflicted on organic farmers and
> producers caused by genetic drift.
> 
> Sincerely,
> 
> Your Name and Address
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Debbie Dunbar Ortman
> National Field Organizer
> Organic Consumers Association
> 3547 Haines Rd.
> Duluth, MN 55811
> (218) 726-1443
> (218) 726-1446 Fax
> debbie@organicconsumers.org
> http://www.purefood.org
> 
> Join the Organic Consumers Association in your local area.
> If you want to become a member or a volunteer--or make a donation--call
> (218)726-1443
> 
> Please subscribe to our free electronic newsletter, Organic View,
> via our website or send an email to: info@organicconsumers.org
> with the message: subscribe
> Organic View is devoted to organic food issues and
> the work of the OCA.
> 
> OCA is affiliated with the BioDemocracy Campaign.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------


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