Friday, February 25, 2005

The fight over the meaning of organic continues

Large industrial farms are finding the profit margins associated with the organic label just too tempting. As a result they are creating split operations--part conventional (pesticide- and antibiotic-laden) agriculture and part organic. Trouble is, they want to run the organic part more or less they way they run the conventional part.

In comes the Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based advocacy group, to complain that some organic dairy farms are not providing pasture for their dairy herds as is required by the national organic standards. While there are no explicit restrictions on the size of an organic operation, some of the regulations make it impossible to run industrial-size farms. Apparently that doesn't bother several unscrupulous operators who are only in it for the money.

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