THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: The Industrialization of Organics
Keywords:Column, Organic, Industrialization, CAFO, Organic Labeling, Organic Certification, USDA
In my previous Economic Pamphleteer column, Soul of the Local Food Movement, I argued that the modern local food movement was born out of the industrialization of organics, and that if “the local food movement is to fulfill its transformational potential, it must not betray the trust and confidence of its customers and supporters” (Ikerd, 2017, p. 6). This point was reinforced in early November 2017, when Francis Thicke, a long-time organic farmer and advocate of organic farming, gave what I would call a “farewell warning” upon completing his five-year term as a member of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). He wrote, “I learned, over time,…that industry has an outsized and growing influence on USDA—and on the NOSB (including through NOSB appointments)—compared to the influence of organic farmers, who started this organic farming movement” (Thicke, 2017, para. 2). He added, “Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to find that big business is taking over the USDA organic program because the influence of money is corroding all levels of our government” (para. 7)....
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