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The social construction of production externalities in contemporary agriculture: Process versus product standards as the basis for defining “organic”

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  • B. Deaton

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  • John Hoehn

Abstract

The analysis distinguishes two types of standards for defining organic produce; process standards and product standards. Process standards define organic products by the method and means of production. Product standards define organic by the physical quality of the end product. The National Organic Program (NOP) uses process standards as the basis for defining organic. However, the situation is complicated by agricultural production practices, which sometimes result in the migration of NOP prohibited substances from conventional to organic fields. When this interaction alters the value of the product or the costs of production, a production externality is said to exist. Defining organic using process, rather than product standards, influences the burden and character of production externalities. The NOP’s emphasis on process standards reduces the likelihood that production externalities will emerge. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • B. Deaton & John Hoehn, 2005. "The social construction of production externalities in contemporary agriculture: Process versus product standards as the basis for defining “organic”," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 22(1), pages 31-38, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:22:y:2005:i:1:p:31-38
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-004-7228-x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10460-004-7228-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Conner, David S., 2003. "Pesticides and Genetic Drift: Alternative Property Rights Scenarios," Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 18(1), pages 1-4.
    2. Greene, Catherine R., 2001. "U.S. Organic Farming Emerges in the 1990s: Adoption of Certified Systems," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33777, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Cranfield & B. James Deaton & Shreenivas Shellikeri, 2009. "Evaluating Consumer Preferences for Organic Food Production Standards," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(1), pages 99-117, March.
    2. Kristina Hubbard & Neva Hassanein, 2013. "Confronting coexistence in the United States: organic agriculture, genetic engineering, and the case of Roundup Ready ® alfalfa," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 30(3), pages 325-335, September.

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