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April 27, 2000


Comment on USDA's proposed organic rule


- http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com

Hi all,

I have sent comments on the organic proposals that are basically as below
and wanted to share these with the discussion group....

Pollen will move around whatever the genetic content of neighboring crops --
it's always been that way.

However, pests and disease levels tend to be worse when uncontrolled sources
of origin initiate epidemics. There is good evidence that organic crops have
less protection against pests and diseases and therefore are a source of
eggs, spores, and the like, that will move and cause loss on neighboring
fields. I suggest that any producer of organic crops be required to carry
liability for causing loss to other production fields due to harboring and
spreading pests and diseases. Also, there needs to be a monitoring system
that specifically checks for noxious weeds being propagated.

Organic farming is ok if the system accommodates the real costs and
addresses the real issues, and stays within the product-market niche - that
is the basis of our free enterprise system. On the other hand, there needs
to be a halt to this imposition of "organic" on the rest of farming. It is
time to remember where the food comes from that allows people the luxury
time to think about what bad problems they have!

(Credentials: My comments are not just opinion but are based on observation
from growing up on a part organic farm. I left to be educated so that I
could help improve crop production and safety for the next generation - not
shut it down.)

Best regards, Jim McLaren