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Organic is organic

June 13, 2007

Re "What is 'organic'? USDA still isn't sure," June 9

The soaring sales of organic products reflect consumers' growing concern about the foods they ingest. Why then is the U.S. Department of Agriculture playing around with what "organic" means? "Organic" is organic: no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or confinement.

Let the marketplace rule and skip the fancy, misleading nomenclature. Allow food manufacturers to use the organic label only if they precede it with the percentage of the product that is organic. If it is 95% organic, I want to know. Then I can vote with my dollars on how pure I want to be. Manufacturers will find a way to source organic ingredients even if that means growing their own.

LINA DAUKAS

Long Beach

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Why all the hysteria about a USDA organic certification? It's obvious the agency can't get its act together to decide what is and isn't organic. Why doesn't a private organization, like the Organic Consumers Assn., establish its own standard for organic products? It can make the standard as stringent as it wants so that consumers can trust its seal of approval. With organic products booming, it shouldn't be too hard to popularize.

Where would restaurants be if we trusted the government instead of Zagat or Michelin? Where would consumer products be without Underwriters Laboratories?

BRIAN DEAN

Van Nuys

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