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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
INTRODUCING 'LABELS: LINKING CONSUMERS AND PRODUCERS'
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave the subject line
blank. In the body of the message say: subscribe label-news. Contact
Kathryn Clements <email@example.com> if you need any assistance.
Labels is also available, along with all the IATP news bulletins, via
our website: http://www.sutain.org/bulletins.
IPM LABEL DEVELOPED IN NEW YORK STATE
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;
EUROPEAN COMMISSION APPROVES COMPULSORY LABELING OF GMO'S
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
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 STANDARDS
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.
GLOBAL SYSTEM OF SOCIAL LABELING INTRODUCED
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
"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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. For information about IATP's contract research services, contact Dale Wiehoff at IATP firstname.lastname@example.org