GreenYes Digest V98 #9

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GreenYes Digest Wed, 14 Jan 98 Volume 98 : Issue 9

Today's Topics:
Job Opening Announcement
Tyvek Contact at DuPont

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Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 13:05:40 -0600 From: Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The following is an extremely important press release. It affects our family's health, as well as our own as this directly affects the food we eat, regardless of what we eat. For more information, contact the persons below. ...Bunny Snow ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------


12 JANUARY 1998

National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, NCAMP, 701 E Street SE, Washington, DC 20003 Organic Farmers Marketing Association, OFMA, 8364 S SR 39, Clayton, IN 46118




Contacts: Cissy Bowman, Organic Farmers Marketing Association 317-539-4317, email:

Jay Feldman, National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides 202-543-5450, email:

Steve Sprinkel, Texas Organic Growers Association 512-328-7922 email

Washington, DC (January 9, 1998) The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced proposed new standards governing the production and labeling of organic food and fiber. The USDA has been directed by Congress to implement the National Organic Program with Rules that are consistent with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the principals of organic farming and handling. Unfortunately, the USDA's Proposed Organic Rules fall far short of the standards embraced for years by certified organic farmers and accepted by consumers in the marketplace. If implemented as proposed, these new standards would rapidly undermine confidence in the organic label. The rapidly expanding community of organic farmers, consumers has responded with shock at the USDA's Proposed Organic Rules.

The Proposed Organic Rule is filled with contradictions to the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, generally and specifically. The USDA proposes the introduction of synthetic substances in organic farming, processing and handling long rejected by consumers and farmers . The 17 points outlined below illustrate the need for massive consumer and organic farmer and handler public comment to correct the situation. Personal commitment to broad consumer education is needed in order to retain quality standards for organic production and to support the international movement for environmental responsibility, quality farm stewardship, and health and safety for farmers and farm workers.

Implementation of such Proposed Rules would destroy the Organic Foods Production Act, an outstanding Act of Congress, and irredeemably devalue the meaning of "organic" for organic farmers and customers alike. Support for lawful implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 is the greatest opportunity in the near future that we, as a national community, have to institute a labeling choice that will represent pure and unadulterated food. Certified organic farmers, handlers and interested consumers are the guardians of this opportunity. Informed and active public involvement is needed during the Public Comment period to ensure that the Final Rule reject provisions that "contaminate" organic food production. Each of the 17 violations of OFPA listed below need strong public comment.

A Proposed Rule becomes a Final Rule after the Secretary of Agriculture's staff reviews all the comments and responds to the substantial comments.

There are 90-days (until March 16, 1998) for the public to provide email, postal or fax comment. The Proposed Rule was published in the December 16, 1997 Federal Register, found frequently at public libraries. Copies of the Federal Register can be bought by calling 202-512-1800. The Proposed Rule is also available on the National Organic Program=92s Website at <>

The Organic Farmers Marketing Association, Inc. has composed a document, a Side by Side, that compares the language of the USDA's Proposed National

Organic Program Rule with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). The document discusses parts of the "Preamble", or "Supplementary information," the document published by USDA that offers supporting evidence of why they wrote the Proposed Rule as it reads. In the Side by Side there are additional references to the House-Senate Conferee Report, the document published by joint houses of Congress upon final passage of an Act and the Senate Report, a committee report that discusses the legislative objectives concerning the Senate version of what became OFPA.

The OFMA Side-By-Side Comparison was composed to assist the public in making informed and timely comments. The Side-By-Side, prepared on a volunteer basis by certified organic farmers, is available on the Organic Farmers Marketing Association, Inc. homepage at

During the public comment period, there are two kinds or Categories of Comments:

I. DIRECT COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED ORGANIC RULE. In this category, the public should state the docket number, identify the topic being commented on and the section number. . Persons interested in commenting are encouraged to obtain a copy of the Proposed Rule. To facilitate commenting, The Organic Farmers Marketing Association has identified 17 violations worthy of concern. Persons can feel comfortable commenting on these issues with out reading the entire Proposed Rule. The section numbers can be found in the descriptions of the USDA violations. Pointing out that a specific section is in violation to OFPA, or that that section would detrimentally affect consumer support for organic products will make you part of the public comment period and your thoughts heard by USDA.

1) The USDA's Proposed Rule violates the general prohibition on the use of synthetic substances in organic farming and handling mandated in the Organic Foods Production Act: by proposing the use of toxins derived from genetically modified bacteria sec. 205.22(d), Piperonyl butoxide (a toxic synergist) sec. 205.22(c)(9), amino acids used as growth promoters sec. 205.13(a)(3) and

205.22(c)(5), antibiotics used as pesticides sec. 205.22(c)(6), synthetic animal drugs and other animal health care substances sec. 205.14(b) and (b)(1) and (2), 205.24(d), synthetic and genetically modified sec. 205.26 food additives and processing aids sec. 205.2, 205.17(a) are radical deviations from the Act.

2) Sec. 205.22, 205.24 and 205.26 violate the authority and role of the National Organic Standards Board's responsibilities and powers to limit USDA consideration of allowed and prohibited substances for inclusion on the National List.

3) Sec. 205.22(c)(1) etc. violates OFPA requirements by allowing active synthetic substances in organic farming that can not be considered for use under the National List procedures. The National List procedure only allows for the consideration of active synthetic substances in 10 specific categories. Considerations of such substances are subject to technical and scientific, health and environmental review and evaluation.

4) Sec. 205.20(b)(3)(ii) violates the OFPA requirement to review and evaluate all pesticide product ingredients in botanical pesticides, including undisclosed "inert" but toxic substances. The Proposed Rule allows synthetic inert ingredients to be used on organic farms without review for toxicological concern that includes EPA's List 2, Potentially Toxic Inerts and List 3,

Inerts of Unknown Toxicity.

5) The USDA's Proposed Rule violates the Act by proposing new definitions, criteria and exceptions that would allow wide use of synthetic substances in organic foods. The new terms defined in the Proposed Rule that are meant to circumvent OFPA are: "non-synthetic," rather than "natural" sec. 205.2 defined, 205.3(b)(2), 205.7(c), "incidental additive" sec. 205.2 defined, 205.17(a), "synthetic amino acid additives" sec, 205.13(a)(3), "non-active residue" sec. 205.2 defined, 205.7(b)(4), "non-agricultural ingredient" sec. 205.2 defined, 205.28(a)(4)(i), "non-organic agricultural ingredient or product" sec. 205.2 defined, 205.20(b)(2), 205.16(2)(iii), "active ingredient in any input other than pesticide formulations" sec. 205.2 defined, "inert ingredient in any input other than pesticide formulations" sec.205.2 defined. Other terms only used in the Supplementary Information are "inconsequential additives," "extraneous additives," "unintentional additives." The use of such terms indicates the Department does not support existing organic farming, processing and handling standards.

6) Sec. 205.16 violates the clear prohibition of using synthetic substances in processed organic foods. The proposal creates new illegal categories in the National List to allow synthetic processing aids, food additives, enzymes and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). OFPA and the National List process calls only for consideration of non-synthetic, but not organically produced ingredients in up to 5% of processed foods labeled organically produced.

7) The USDA's Proposed Rule violates the National List procedures by opening for public consideration the use of "ionizing radiation," "biosolids" (sewage sludge) (both only mentioned in the Supplementary Information for public

comment on whether acceptable) and GMOs in organic farming and handling (mentioned for public comment in the "Supplementary information" and also in contradiction to OFPA and the NOSB entered on the National List sec. 205.22(d) and 205.26 chymosin.)

8) Sec. 205.14(b), (b)(1) and (b)(2), 205.24(d) violate the prohibition

against use of synthetic medicines, antibiotics and parasiticides from birth for livestock, poultry and dairy animals whose products are sold as "organically produced," if the synthetic substances are not on the National List.

9) Sec. 205.13(a)(1) and (a)(1)(i) violate the requirement of feeding only organically produced feed to livestock raised for "organically produced" meat, dairy and egg production.

10) Sec.205.13(a)(1)(iii) violates the requirement of feeding dairy animals organically produced feed for 12 months prior to producing milk and dairy products labeled as organic.

11) Sec. 205.15(b) violates the organic standards of providing organically raised livestock adequate space for movement and access to the outdoors.

12) Sec. 205.430(a) violates the legislative language and intent by proposing reliance on residue testing for synthetic substances rather than conforming to OFPA, which prohibits any use of synthetic substances, that are not properly placed on the National List.

13) Sec. 205.16 and 205.26 violate the exemption granted when using the term "made with (certain) organic ingredients" for processed food from all requirements of the Act. Small businesses choosing to enter organic processing using only a limited number of organic ingredients are unduly

burdened by such a proposal. Under the Act, products using the label language "made with (certain) organic ingredients" do not have to be processed, packaged or stored by a certified organic handling operation.

14) Sec. 205.201(a) violates the requirement for the certification of all handling operations that contract to process, package and store certified organic products by illegitimately proposing to exempt those handling operations that work for no more than three certified operations.

15) Sec. 205.202(b)(2) and (3) violate the requirement to certify all handling operations, including restaurants and retail establishments, that process products and sell them as "organically produced," by proposing to provide an exemption from certification for these operations. Processing, as defined in OFPA, includes all the normal culinary arts, food manufacturing and packaging.

16) Sec.205.2 definition violates OFPA by creating a new category of certification, the "certified facility." The language and intent of OFPA requires that farms and handling operations can be certified as utilizing a system of organic farming or handling. In the proposed rule, USDA is proposing to accept perpetual and intensive confinement livestock operations as an organic "certified facility." Sec. 205.12(a)(1) through (5), 205.14(b)(2)

17) Sec. 205.421, 205.422 violates the intent and spirit of the Act to encourage and promote organic family farming and small businesses by proposing excessive fees and by promulgating a proposed rule wildly out of conformance with OFPA. The Act describes not just a system of farming and handling, but incorporates progressive concepts providing for the institutionalization of a public/private partnership based on mutual respect. The National Organic Program will receive virtually all its income from organic farmers, handlers and certifiers it serves and will not receive substantial annual operating appropriations from Congress. The NOSB needs to have oversight powers on spending and efficiency in the future.

I. USDA REQUESTS FOR COMMENTS, the second type of comments. USDA requests comments on 44 specific issues. These comments do not include the section number, but do include the docket number and the category of comment topic. To facilitate commenting, the Organic Farmers Marketing Association has compiled a succinct listing of these Requests which are available on the OFMA Website, or can be requested from Ms. Bowman. The Requests for Comment, on the OFMA Website, are set up for anyone to review easily and comment simply.

In each category of comment topics should be selected from the following list: Applicability (section 205.3), Crops, Livestock, Handling, National List, Labeling, Certification, Accreditation, State Programs, Fees, Compliance, Appeals, and Equivalency, General, Proposed Effective Date, Regulatory Impact Assessment, Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, Paperwork Reduction Act, Definitions.

All comments submitted by email, postal mail or faxed should be identified with this docket number [Docket Number: TMD-94-00-2]. Multiple page comments submitted by regular mail should not be stapled or clipped.

Interested persons are invited to submit on or before March 16, 1998.written comments to:

Eileen S. Stommes, Deputy Administrator USDA-AMS-TM-NOP Room 4007-So Ag Stop 0275 P.O. Box 96456, Washington, DC 20090-6456

Comments also may be sent by fax to (202) 690-4632.

Additionally, comments may be sent via the Internet through the National

Organic Program's Website at:

This is an example of the format of a category 1 comment with some additional information.

Docket Number: TMD-94-00-2 Topic: Definitions Section: 205.2

Incidental additive.

ACTION COMMENT: The Department is using this definition to allow the use of synthetic substances in organic farming and handling that are not allowed under the Organic Foods Production Act. Quoting the Department's Preamble to the Proposed Rule: "Incidental additive is defined so that handlers clearly know that the substances included in this category may be used in handling organic products, even though the incidental additive itself may not be included on the National List. " The Department does not stop with defining the term "incidental additives" but uses numerous other terms as found below meaning the same or similar to "incidental additives" to introduce synthetic substances in organic farming and handling that are prohibited under OFPA.

The new words, some defined in the Rule some not proposed by USDA are "non- synthetic," rather than "natural," "incidental additive," "synthetic amino acid additives," "non-active residue," "non-agricultural ingredient," "non- organic agricultural ingredient or product," "active ingredient in any input other than pesticide formulations," "inert ingredient in any input other than pesticide formulations" and some terms only used in the Supplementary Information, "inconsequential additives," "extraneous additives," "unintentional additives."

Simultaneous with the Department defining new categories of allowed synthetic substances that are illegitimate under OFPA, the Department is reclassifying some substances in the 10 categories of active synthetic substances that can be considered for the National List as "incidental additives" or one of its many variations in the Proposed Rule. The Department is using new definitions to eliminate any need to examine synthetic inert ingredients from the OFPA mandatory review and inclusion on the National List. The Department likewise uses new definitions and terms to introduce all manner of synthetic substances in processed organic food.

The Department, contrary to OFPA, is proposing to allow all kinds of synthetic substances that will lead to the imminent demise of trust in the "organic" label. The definition and the rationale leading to acceptance of this concept should be removed from the Proposed Organic Rule.



Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 21:35:37 -0500 From: "Blair Pollock" <> Subject: Job Opening Announcement

> ***WASTE MANAGEMENT ANALYST POSITION***=20 > ***AVAILABLE IN NORTH CARLOLINA*** > >The North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and=20 >Environmental Assistance seeks a Waste Management Analyst for its=20 >Community and Business Assistance Section. The successful candidate=20 >will provides waste reduction technical assistance to business,=20 >industry, and local governments. Applicants must have two years=20 >waste reduction experience and excellent computer skills. Salary=20 >range: $28,000 to $33,890. Interested applicants should immediately=20 >contact Scott Mouw at (919) 715-6512 or =20 >Closing date: January 28. > >


Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 12:20:31 -0600 From: "RecycleWorlds" <> Subject: Tyvek

Dave Biddle writes:

"To those still interested in Tyvek, I just had to get to the bottom of the technical data. This is right straight from the horse's mouth. See for more. The post-consumer content info. is very interesting. I would submit, in all that has been written that these issues are far more complex than we might first think. "DuPont says: 'Tyvek=AE is described as a spunbonded olefin - a unique nonwoven material created by DuPont from 100% high density polyethylene (HDPE). The manufacturing processes of spinning plus heat and pressure bonding creates a balance of unique properties. This uniqueness enables Tyvek=AE to be used in many diverse applications where it provides more value than paper, films, foils, or cloth. Tyvek=AE is manufactured in both Richmond, VA and Luxembourg and is available globally. * * * * * Envelopes made of DuPont Tyvek=AE are tough, durable, lightweight, water resistent and contain 25% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content.' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Rarely does someone get hoisted on their own pitard quite as royally as Dupont and its seeming indifference to balancing the impact on recycling with short term marketing advantage.

Dupont gets its postconsumer HDPE from a long standing Boston reclaimer, EnviroPlastic which buys used clear milk bottles from recycling programs, grinds, washes and dries them and sells the clean flake to Dupont to make Tyvek.

Last November, a major dairy in the Northeast, H.P. Hood, started pigmenting its clear milk bottles white. Hood states that it is doing this to protect the milk from light damage; marketing specialists rejoin that the reason is for marketing reasons to distinguish itself from other dairies.

In any event, the pigmented milk bottles cannot be used to make Tyvek, and Dupont's existing infrastructure to provide postconsumer HDPE is jeopardized.

Maybe we should suggest that Dupont and Hood should get together.

____ Peter Anderson RecycleWorlds Consulting 4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15 Madison, WI 53705-4964 Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011


Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 08:32:51 -0600 From: "John Reindl" <> Subject: Tyvek Contact at DuPont

Chuck wrote:

> John: I am sure Tyvek is a problem, but as you have noticed , many > other pop-ups, inserts of all descriptions , etc , find their way > into magazines. One Minnesota hardware chain inserts a brown paper > bag in the Sunday news in the areas they service, thereby screwing > up the ONP quality. When asked to stop they pointed out it had been > their best promotion and they intended to continue to use it. As > processors we have to recognize we are at the mercy of those who > chose to send us their stuff. We can point out to them that quality > counts and we pay accordingly. Low quality =3D low pay, or no pay or > you pay us to take it or take it yourself to the landfill. Just > simply economics. >=20

Chuck -

I understand where you are coming from on this; my local paper=20 recycler is the same way. He bitches and moans about the Tyvek, the=20 Mylar, the little plastic packets of shampoo and skin lotion, the=20 McDonald's record, the UV coatings, on and on. But he won't talk to=20 the people who make these decisions so that the problem won't happen=20 again.

I guess the nub of the issue is that I see that many of the=20 traditional recyclers say ".. we are at the mercy of those who=20 chose to send us their stuff...", while others of us (especially=20 those of us in government) believe that there is a role in=20 establishing (public) policy to redesign products and procedures to=20 facilitate recycling.

My own read of the situation is that the "Design for Recycling"=20 approach -- or broader, Extended Product Responsibility -- is=20 gaining more and more force, not only with recyclers, but also=20 government officials, and industry itself. Witness, for example, the=20 strong stand of industry that served on the President's Council on=20 Sustainable Development, which endorsed Extended Product=20 Responsibility, and which EPA is doing followup.Or the=20 Environment and Plastics Industry Council of Canada, which has=20 recently developed a product stewardship model, including a=20 statement that says "Yet another area that comes under the=20 jurisdiction of the producer is the need to think ahead toward the=20 disposal stage and to apply any expertise (the producer's or others'=20 along the supply chain) to hlep optimize the managment of products=20 and their packaging after use."

In my mind, the hardware store chain should be required to pay for=20 the cost to bring the recyclable product up to grade or to pay you=20 and other paper processors for their loss. The situation that you=20 describe is a blantant example of externalities that I believe=20 should be eliminated as soon as possible. Pigou must be spinning in=20 his grave -- 66 years should have been enough time to address this=20 problem.

John (608)267-1533 - fax (608)267-8815 - phone


Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 10:45:37 -0500 From: "" <> Subject: unsubscribe



Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 21:24:11 -0500 From: "Blair Pollock" <>

At 09:35 AM 12/31/97 -0500,=20 >Ann Morse asked: >Specifically, I'd like to know if people have had success in recovering >food waste from households, short of collecting it at curbside. For >example, are there examples anywhere of decentralized drop-offs that >have been effective? Surely it's happening somewhere! Or instead, does >anyone have any great ideas? =20 A few years ago, I saw a video documenting apartment composting including food waste in Austria and Switzerland (?). Individuals brought their wastes to the compost bins where there was a ready pile of wood chips or similar cover with which to cover each load of household organics placed in the bin. Of course, as we watched the video,each person covered his or her wastes with chips. Those countries' cultures are far less diverse than the US and generally far more orderly and stable (don't move around as much) so it's probably a lot easier. In seven years of trying, we have yet to interest a single apartment complex in our community in trying a collective composting project. I think that promotion of backyard composting and selling good quality bins as cheaply as possible to the public is the best that most of us will do in single family, non-yard waste organics diversion. =20

Our commercial efforts with restaurants and grovery stores involve public payments for daily collection of food waste for hog feed. Even that effort has yielded participation of only 15 restaurants out of the 120 identified in our county (that total # includes fast food). Our threshold is 20 for this project. None of the particpating restaurants, except one private student dormitory with a dish line, have yet put in plate scrapings, only preparation wastes. They say the wait staff and busboy/girls (buswomen?) are too busy and have too much to worry about to scrap plates.


End of GreenYes Digest V98 #9 ******************************