Oct. 12, 2001 The Ketchikan Daily News scoffs at 'organic' logic Again we ask: Can you imagine any food more natural than an Alaska wild-caught salmon?
Apparently the National Organic Standards Board can. They board -- which determines which foodstuffs can be labeled as ''organic'' -- appears close to certifying some farm-raised salmon while denying the label for Alaska wild salmon.
Naturally, this unsavory situation has caught the attention of Alaska's congressional delegation and others.
Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski has signed a letter, along with Sens. Kay Baily Hutchinson, R-Texas, and Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and Reps. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, Walter Jones, R-N.C., and Jo Ann Davis, R-Va., that requests the board to refrain from making a decision until it hears from the fishing and aquaculture industries on the issue.
The letter makes the point that organic labeling should be available for both wild and farmed salmon.
Wild-caught fish should be recognized as being as near '''natural'' or 'organic''' as possible,'' according to the letter. ''Logically, aquaculture species under certain conditions would also approach this ideal and would be eligible as well.''
However, the issue for some NOSB advisers is there's no way to control what a wild salmon might eat, according to information from Murkowski's office.
They're correct that there are no controls outside of the salmon's natural appetite. But perfect control of an animal's intake is nearly impossible outside of the laboratory setting.
And, given the ease with which farmed Atlantic salmon escape their pens, who knows what strange stuff floats into those pens just as easily?
The controlled-intake argument seems a bit off-base, especially when applied to salmon in Alaska's waters. These are naturally born, naturally reared fish living in one of the finest natural environments on earth. What's unorganic about that?
Murkowski said it well.
''The whole 'organic' industry movement started as a way of ensuring that commercially produced food was close to 'natural,''' he said. ''Now you have people in the 'organic' industry that look down their noses at natural food -- and there is nothing more natural than Alaska salmon.''
The National Organic Standards Board should certify Alaska wild-caught salmon as organic.
All Contents ?Copyright 2001, The Peninsula Clarion and Morris Digital Works.
_uacct = "UA-2473069-1";
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.