Attacks on organic farming

delannw delannw at
Mon Jul 17 07:35:30 EDT 2000

Not your imagination.  I didn't go check out the website but this sounds exactly like the charges Dennis Avery and his son level at organics all the time. They are relentless, well funded and focussed.  It isn't even important to them that their assertions go unsupported.  If they can get these claims out in front of the general public often enough they ARE going to damage organic sales and prices.  

I have had customers this summer ask me about the assertions that were made by Avery last winter on the ABC news show 20/20.  The e coli issue was the big bomb that came out of that.  I sell lettuce and lettuce mix.  How nice to have to discuss e coli contamination of lettuce at the market.  

The OCIA has some sort of response on their website and I believe Organic Gardening does too. 

If you are interested I have the CDC data they used to 'support' their claim about the dangers of e coli and organic food.  
We've all seen people screw around with data to say what they want.  Those data indicate that the most likely way to be poisoned by e coli is to be a kid in daycare or an elderly person in a retirement home.  However, in that data set there were some cases of people who got e coli from some lettuce...but I have never been able to track down the grower.  

I have heard that the grower was certified organic (US grower) and lost their certification before the incident.  That seems irrelevant to me.  Who knows why they lost their certification if, indeed, they did?  And, who knows if loss of certification had anything to do with the presence of e coli in the lettuce...which was consumed by people in two different states (one on the east coast and one in the I recall).  

In any case, I emailed Avery and the Hudson Institute several times last winter to get some information about the grower but they didn't respond.  Go to the Hudson Institute's website and look throught the pages on their food program.  Also look at their list of contributors.  It won't surprise you that chemical fertilizer companies and GMO seed companies are funding the people who make these claims.

Del Williams
Farmer in the Del
Clifton IL

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