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Visions of the middle landscape: Organic farming and the politics of nature

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  • Timothy Vos

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Abstract

The proposed federal regulation oforganic agriculture in the United States raisesquestions both about the nature and character oforganic farming, as well as its relation to theagro-food system at large. The regulatory process hasengendered a public debate about conventional andalternative approaches to agricultural production,which in turn raises issues of environmental politicsand society-nature relations. An analysis oftranscripts from public hearings, organic farmingmovement literature, and interviews with organicpractitioners and advocates reveals the broaderecological, social, and political ramifications. Inexamining the proposed federal rule and its criticalopposition, we encounter two different worldviews; twoconflicting visions of agriculture, rural life, andnature itself. Whether this is a fundamental impasse,or a controversy that can be fruitfully resolved,remains an open question. But organic farming hasarrived at a critical juncture, both fraught withperil, and full of opportunity. The enormous publicresponse to this issue indicates the renewed potentialon the part of civil society to participate ingrassroots environmental social movements in supportof alternative agriculture. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Vos, 2000. "Visions of the middle landscape: Organic farming and the politics of nature," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 17(3), pages 245-256, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:17:y:2000:i:3:p:245-256
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1007623832251
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jessica R. Goldberger, 2018. "2018 AFHVS presidential address," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 35(4), pages 899-904, December.
    2. Seufert, Verena & Ramankutty, Navin & Mayerhofer, Tabea, 2017. "What is this thing called organic? – How organic farming is codified in regulations," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 10-20.
    3. David E. Winickoff & Kendra Klein, 2011. "Food Labels and the Environment: Towards Harmonization of EU and US Organic Standards," Chapters, in: David Vogel & Johan Swinnen (ed.), Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation, chapter 10, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Erin Nelson & Laura Gómez Tovar & Rita Schwentesius Rindermann & Manuel Gómez Cruz, 2010. "Participatory organic certification in Mexico: an alternative approach to maintaining the integrity of the organic label," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 27(2), pages 227-237, June.
    5. Erin Nelson & Steffanie Scott & Judie Cukier & Ángel Galán, 2009. "Institutionalizing agroecology: successes and challenges in Cuba," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 26(3), pages 233-243, September.
    6. D Rigby & S Brown, 2003. "Organic Food and Global Trade: Is the Market Delivering Agricultural Sustainability?," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0326, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    7. Erin Nelson & Laura Gómez Tovar & Elodie Gueguen & Sally Humphries & Karen Landman & Rita Schwentesius Rindermann, 2016. "Participatory guarantee systems and the re-imagining of Mexico’s organic sector," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(2), pages 373-388, June.
    8. Laura DeLind & Philip Howard, 2008. "Safe at any scale? Food scares, food regulation, and scaled alternatives," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(3), pages 301-317, September.
    9. Anna Krzywoszynska, 2015. "Wine is not Coca-Cola: marketization and taste in alternative food networks," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 32(3), pages 491-503, September.
    10. Dustin Mulvaney, 2008. "Identifying vulnerabilities, exploring opportunities: reconfiguring production, conservation, and consumption in California rice," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(2), pages 173-176, June.
    11. E. DuPuis & Sean Gillon, 2009. "Alternative modes of governance: organic as civic engagement," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 26(1), pages 43-56, March.
    12. Carmen Bain & Theresa Selfa, 2017. "Non-GMO vs organic labels: purity or process guarantees in a GMO contaminated landscape," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 34(4), pages 805-818, December.
    13. Daniel Jaffee & Philip Howard, 2010. "Corporate cooptation of organic and fair trade standards," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 27(4), pages 387-399, December.

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