Sunday, June 04, 2006

It's Organic Because the Government Says It Is

Michael Pollen, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, writing in this morning's New York Times:
"Organic is just a word, after all, and its definition now lies in the hands of the federal government ..."
He provides an example:
"A few years ago a chicken producer in Georgia named Fieldale Farms persuaded its congressman to slip a helpful provision into an appropriations bill that would allow growers of organic chicken to substitute conventional chicken feed if the price of organic feed exceeded a certain level. ... But in what sense is a chicken fed on conventional feed still organic? In no sense but the Orwellian one: because the government says it is."
- Mass Natural, NYTs Magazine, June 4.

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