Organic: I Don’t Buy It. Should You?
Nate Littlewood

We don’t have to wait for the FDA or the USDA. In fact, we’re better off creating, defining, and trademarking a term privately, and collectively.

In 1990, when Oregon Tilth Standards and California’s Organic produce were beginning to push back against big agriculture’s standard practices, the U.S. Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act, which rewrote the rules as to what could be labeled “organic,” exempting certain fertilizers and pesticides.

Under a trademark system, this would not be permissible. The trademarked term means what it was registered to define. Defining the variety of possibilities you describe (locality, pesticide use, preservation practices, and others) in categories under the trademarked term is one way to understand and, by purchasing the foods you believe in, to guide the food production system.

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