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Re: more on scary genetic engineering (fwd)

I worry about the .transgenically modified  genes the most.  Keep up the
good work and keep the information coming.  I am thankful we have a
organization like CCOF that is trying to keep the USDA honest and everyone
else honest in this world of word games and loopholes .  I want to be able
to count on the organic label to give me a choice so I feel we should say
on the label if everything but the black pepper is organic >.

>In response to your questions about the 5% non-organic ingredients in
>processed organic foods - that NOSB recommendation for the 5% tolerance has
>some pretty big restrictions on it.  It was  meant to bridge the gap for
>certain agricultural ingredients that were unavailable in organic form -
>largely spices.  An example of this would be black pepper, which is an
>exotic imported product which until very recently, could not be found at
>all as certified organic.  With the global spread of organics and in
>response to the demand - some black pepper supplies are now developing, but
>they are still not enough to match all the demand from organic processors.
>The 5% tolerance does not cover the addition of prohibited materials such
>as synthetic compunds that are not exempted by the NOSB, and it would not
>allow genetically engineered ingredients if the final organic regulation
>follows the NOSB's recommendation on this issue.   There are some other
>issues the 5% can cover such as regulatory requirements to which certain
>categories of foods are subject - the addition of Vitamin D to fluid mil as
>a prime example.  Hope this brings some clarity to the matter. It is still
>encumbant upon us to monitor developments in the USDA and NOSB to ensure
>that the 5% margin is not abused in such a way that organic integrity is
>In response to your previous email - the labeling requirements (or lack
>thereof) for genetically engineered products and their status in organic
>products are interrelated.  Without a requirement for clear and distinct
>labeling of GE products it may be very difficult if not impossible for
>organic certifiers to enforce the ge prohibition across the board for
>organic systems. We are learning about common food production enzymes whose
>formulations decades ago already may have technically been genetically
>engineered according to the NOSB definition
>(although not transgenically modified (gene transfer from one species to
>another, which is the classic definition).  Seed sources are another area
>likely to become very difficult to monitor as more and more generations of
>seeds could be either ge or non-ge sources and those sources can be
>multiple for any one bag of seed. We in the certification world are
>deliberating all these difficult issues. We need an organic regulation that
>we CAN ENFORCE - not just one that makes us all feel good when we read it.
>Diane Bowen
>California Certified Organic Farmers ( CCOF)