Creating organic food and why it really matters
Starting in 1973, states began adopting legislation regulating the organic food and agricultural market. What caused the initial emergence, and what are the consequences for future national food labeling? Dr. Samantha Mosier, assistant professor of political science at Missouri State University, has studied the causes and possible consequences of the labeling system.
Mosier’s upcoming lecture, “Creating Organic: The Role and Impact of U.S. States in Developing Organic Standards,” will address the legislative process that followed the 1980s surge. She will also present three specific case studies, as well as quantitative results from her research. The lecture will be held at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 10 in Strong Hall, Room 200 and is free and open to the public.
“Organic food policy is typically thought of in terms of the national organic program,” said Mosier. “By that, I mean when you go into the grocery store and you see a label or sticker that reads ‘organic’ on a product. This is what most people think of.”
Initially, this regulation was not well received. Few politicians, producers or consumers saw the benefit in regulating and properly labeling foods as organic.
“During the early 1980s, things began to change for several reasons,” said Mosier. “There was the ‘carrot caper’ scandal in California where carrots imported from Mexico were being rebagged and mislabeled as organic. Meryl Streep was also featured on a ‘60 Minutes’ segment where she talked about the dangers of pesticides.”
The National Organic Standards Board was created in 1992, and proposed requirements to be certified organic came out in 1997.