How Much You Wanna Bet

Commentary, Education, Frontier Centre

Dear Editor,

You've heard all sorts of things over the years: that I don't support organic farming, that I'm trying to line my pockets or get even with the activists I had run-ins with back I was an organic inspector.

But I'm writing to you today to tell you it's not true and to ask for the opportunity to talk with you about the direction the organic industry is taking.

Are you happy with the way things are going? The court cases? The "us" versus "them" approach being taken, or the "all or nothing" attitude of the leaders of the organic movement?

I'll bet you didn't know that the majority of the certified-organic food sold in this country is imported. Brokers in places like China have figured out that all we require is paperwork to "prove" a crop is genuinely organic. And, speaking of China, were you aware that only Chinese inspectors who are active members of The Communist Party of China are allowed to inspect Chinese farms, in spite of the fact that it's USDA and CFIA certification being granted? Who came up with that lame idea?

I'll bet you do know that Miles V. McEvoy, the Obama-appointed Deputy Administrator of the USDA's National Organic Program, has already taken steps to tighten up on the free-flow of cheap "organic" imports from places like China, and that he promises to do more, up-toand-including testing of organic crops to ensure prohibited substances are not being used; precisely what I've been calling for since the day I performed my last paper-based inspection in 2003.

Please ask yourself: Isn't it time to start testing organic crops and livestock? No matter what side of the fence you might find yourself on, please give me a call. Or just write back and let me know what you're thinking. You might be surprised by the response you get.

One way or another, The times they are a' changin', and I look forward to hearing back from you.