Andrew Martin Jon Padgham - White PaperMark Shannon - White PaperCutler Cleveland William Clark - White Paper
Is anyone going to bring up H.R. 875:Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, a bill to establish the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination, and for other purposes?
Lets get beyond defining "sustainability". This academic exercise limits our ability to create solutions.
Anon:Perhaps, but I think it is important to understand the definition. I do not think the way sustainable is being used is truly sustainable. Agriculture, resources, water, etc. can only be sustainable when what we do today can be counted on tomorrow. Does intensive management provide that? does organic?- maybe but I think that is really the definition we need to use and focus on. GM crops, conventional cropping systems, etc can be sustainable as long as the operator is mindful of long term growth of their business.
Brian, I agree completely. We have four generations of our family living on the orchards at Royal Oak Farm. We have wells that we get our drinking water from, ponds with fish and gardens for vegetables. I want to make sure we aren't putting harmful chemicals into our water supply or soil that will impact my 3 grandchildren and their future children in the long term. That is our motivation for sustainability. We want to make sure that our business plan itsef is sustainable so that it can continue to grow for the next generations.
My point was that in general people agree on the basic tenets of sustainability; some derivations of economics, social equity, and environmental soundness. Orchard keeper and Brian, we agree; however, many of the actors have moved past the semantics (e.g., producers and companies) and the academics are still debating. A similar point was made by one of the panelist. That is not to say that "sustainability" as a term is not misused.
Steve and Orchard Keeper,Great points and thank you for comtributing to the overall understanding. I have enjoyed the discussion today on this message board perhaps more than the actual panels we have been viewing.