Row Over Organic Label

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photoOrganic food is big business — $13 billion dollars a year and growing at 20 percent annually. Now, a battle is brewing between big agribusiness and small farmers over the use of the "Organic" label. Which of the two owns it, and what does "Organic" mean?

For farmers, processors and sellers, the organic label means being able to sell a gallon of milk for about twice as much as a regular old gallon. They think that huge size means a kind of farming that shouldn't be called organic and that corporate giants are corrupting the meaning of the word. But organic is going mainstream, and that means big.

Hear a discussion on the battle over the "Organic" label and the future structure of American food production.


Michael Pollan, New York Times Magazine writer and author of "The Botany of Desire"

Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, a research and watchdog organization supporting sustainable agriculture

Joseph Smillie, Senior Vice President of Quality Assurance International and Chair of the Organic Trade Association's International Relations Committee, co-author of "Guidelines for the Organic Foods Industry."

This program aired on June 9, 2005.


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