LABELS: Linking Consumers and Producers Vol. 1, Number 1

  LABELS:  Linking Consumers and Producers - Vol. 1, Number 1    July 08, 1997

                            Table of Contents                           
    - Introducing 'Labels: Linking Consumers and Producers'
    - IPM Label Developed in New York State
    - European Commission Approves Compulsory Labeling of GMO's
    - Legislation Introduced to Retain 'Made in USA' Label Standards
    - Global System of Social Labeling Introduced
    - News Briefs
    - Resources
    - Events




We are pleased to introduce a new publication from the Institute for 
Agriculture and Trade Policy,  Labels:  Linking Consumers and Producers. 
Labels  provides readers with relevant, up-to-date news, events and 
resources related to the labeling of products for environmental, social 
and regional sustainability.  Labeling products with respect to the 
sustainability of their production, processing and transporting is a 
powerful tool for achieving more environmentally sound, economically 
viable, biologically diverse, and socially just communities.  IATP 
encourages information exchange on the development, implementation and 
impact of labeling initiatives.

Labels is distributed electronically via an automated list serve. To 
subscribe, send email to: majordomo@igc.apc.org. Leave the subject line 
blank. In the body of the message say: subscribe label-news. Contact 
Kathryn Clements <kclements@iatp.org> if you need any assistance.

Labels is also available, along with all the IATP news bulletins, via 
our website: http://www.sutain.org/bulletins.

Canned and frozen vegetables labeled with an Integrated Pest Management 
(IPM) logo are on supermarket shelves in New York State after a two-year 
partnership between growers, Wegmans Food Markets, Comstock Michigan 
Fruit, and Cornell University. IPM is a multi-faceted approach to pest 
management where growers utilize prevention, monitoring, biological 
controls, and pest resistant plant varieties which, in turn, reduces 
on-farm use of chemical pesticides.

The IPM label project has resulted in multiple outcomes, including: an 
increased number of growers learning about and implementing IPM; the 
development and documentation of specific elements of IPM for seven 
crops; the development of an IPM logo; and consumer education on IPM and 
the benefits of sustainable agriculture.

Margaret Haining Cowles, "An IPM Label on Supermarket Vegetables: a 
First for the Nation," Cornell University; 
The European Commission approved compulsory labeling of genetically 
modified farm products (GMOs) on June 18, 1997. GMOs and farm products 
which contain a mixture of GMOs and conventional products will need to 
be labeled beginning July 31. The European Union states that the 
intention of the label is that it serve as a source of information, not 
a warning.

United States Secretary of Agriculture, Dan Glickman, said the EU 
proposal to label GMOs unfairly restricts trade. U.S. Trade 
Representative, Charlene Barshefsky, warned that the U.S. will, at the 
minimum, seek a dispute settlement against the EU label at the World 
Trade Organization. Glickman states that biotechnology allows increased 
agricultural production with minimal environmental damage.

There is a small, growing group of people pushing for labels of 
genetically engineered foods in the U.S. A recent survey documented 93% 
of respondents are interested in food labeling.

ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS NETWORK, June 19, 1997; Maggie Urry, "Genetic 
Products Row Worsens," FINANCIAL TIMES, June 20, 1997; NEW YORK TIMES, 
May 21, 1997.

Legislation Introduced to Retain "Made in USA" Label StandardsHouse 
Committee Rule (H.C.R.) 80, a bi-partisan initiative to maintain current 
'Made in the U.S.A.' standards, has been introduced into the U.S. House 
of Representatives by representative Bob Franks, R-NJ and John Dingell, 
D-Michigan. H.C.R. 80 calls for congress to maintain standards which 
ensure that the 'Made in the U.S.A.' label is only used on products with 
all or virtually all of its components produced in the U.S. In addition, 
the H.C.R. 80 urges the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to refrain from 
taking action to lower the standards. The FTC is supporting regulations 
which would change the "Made in the U.S.A." labeling standards by 
decreasing the percent of domestically-produced components in a labeled 

The National Farmers Union (NFU), a group which represents 300,000 U.S. 
farm, ranch and rural families, supports the maintenance of current 
standards. Larry Mitchell, Vice President of Government Relations for 
the NFU, commented that U.S. farmers and ranchers rely heavily on high 
quality consumer goods. "That is why we, as the mega-consumers we are, 
demand as much information as possible about the products we buy. We 
therefore oppose the new FTC rules and commend the leadership and 
initiative of those members of Congress who have introduced this 

Larry Mitchell, "National Farmers Union Supports Effort to Retain 'Made 
in U.S.A.' Standards," June 19, 1997.

Dr. Michel Hansenne, director-general of the International Labour 
Organization (ILO), is proposing a global system of social labeling to 
indicate internationally traded goods which have been produced under 
humane working conditions. The proposal will be debated at this summer's 
ILO conference. The social labels would be voluntary and monitored 
independently through international inspection. Each member state of the 
ILO would decide whether to give an overall social label to all goods 
produced within its territory. Dr. Hansenne maintains that the 
development of a global social labeling system is one means through 
which social progress will be linked with and important to the 
liberalization of world trade. Recent discussions indicate this proposal 
may be dropped after comments from member states.

Robert Taylor, "ILO Chief in Appeal for 'Social Labeling'," FINANCIAL 
TIMES, May 23, 1997.

The Eco-Label Campaign, a consortium made up of the Center for 
International Environmental Law, Green Seal, the Institute for 
Agriculture and Trade Policy, National Wildlife Federation, and Sierra 
Club has hired Chad Dobson to head the campaign and has moved their 
offices to: 1367 Constitutional Ave NW Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 
20036-1824; phone: 202/785-1946; fax: 202/785-8701; e-mail: 

- Sarah Lynch begins as the new Senior Program Officer at the World 
Wildlife Fund on June 23, 1997. She will be working with the Wisconsin 
Potato and Vegetable Growers Association to produce and market 
specially-labeled potatoes produced using bio-intensive pest management 

- The European Commission endorsed a proposal on June 18, 1997 to 
introduce a system of labeling and traceability for all non-UK bovine 
derived products in order to reduce risk from Bovine Spongiform 
Encephalopathies (BSE).MIDDAY EXPRESS, June 18, 1997.

- A group of Pennsylvania farmers recently created a new organic 
certification group, Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO). PCO has 
adopted OCIA standards and has begun to review farmer applications for 
certification.Shannon Varley, RODALE INSTITUTE, June 6, 1997.

- The Draft Proposed Organic Rule was taken to the Office of Management 
and Budget on June 13, 1997 after being signed by USDA Secretary 
Glickman and the USDA Office of General Counsel. Agencies have up to 90 
days to respond to the Draft Proposed Organic Rule; these comments will 
be consolidated and returned to the USDA for another review. The USDA 
will then publish the Proposed Organic Rule for up to 120 days of public 
comment. The USDA Secretaryıs staff will then respond to all comments 
and publish the Final Organic Rule.AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE, June 
13, 1997.

"Certified Organic", a newsletter published by the Organic Growers and 
Buyers Association (OGBA). OGBA is a not-for-profit, third-party, 
worldwide, membership organization providing organic certification 
services and support to producers, processors, warehouses and food 
handlers. For more information, OGBA, 7362 University Avenue S.E. Suite 
208; Fridley, MN; phone: 612/572-1967; fax: 612/572-2527; e-mail: 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosts a seminar, 
"Rewarding IPM Innovation in the Marketplace: Emerging Efforts in Europe 
and the United States" on Friday June 27, 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.  The 
seminar will be held at the USDA South Building; 14th and Independence 
Avenues, S.W.; Washington, D.C.

The National Organic Farming Research Foundation hosts the third U.S. 
business and regulatory leadership conference, "Organic Rules! Are We 
Ready?" August 3-5, 1997 in Oakland, California. For more information, 
contact Erica Walz or Bob Scowcroft at phone: 408/426-6606; fax: 

- The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements hosts 
the 5th Conference on International Trade in Organic Products September 
24-27, 1997. For more information, contact: The IFOAM Conference on 
International Trade in Organic Products; 86 Colston Street; Bristol BS1 
5BB; England; phone: (44) 117 929 0661; fax: (44) 117 925 2504; e-mail: 


Produced by the Institute for  Agriculture and Trade Policy, Mark   Ritchie, President.  Editor: Judith  Brienza, e-mail iatp@iatp.org.  E-mail   versions are available free of charge.  For information about fax or mail  subscriptions or for a  list of other  IATP publications, contact the Institute  for Agriculture  and Trade Policy, 2105  First Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN  55404.  612-870-0453, fax: 612-870-4846,  e-mail iatp@iatp.org.  For  information  about IATP's contract research  services, contact Dale  Wiehoff at IATP  dwiehoff@iatp.org