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Letter to the Editor (on organic foods and due diligence)

To the Editor;

The other day a friend passed along the August 15 issue of GET. I found it interesting and informative. That is, until I got to page 37 where I found a piece reprinted from the Environmental Magazine on the pros and cons of organic foods and products. The “expert” quoted extensively in the piece, one Henry Miller (Google him), glosses over the well-documented concerns related to the cocktail of pesticide residues present in conventional foods. He does not understand — or care to discuss — the strict restrictions and limits that apply to the use of natural pesticides in organic production, and, says that organic farmers apply “pathogen-laden animal excreta” that raise the risk of foodborne illness in organic consumers. Wrong!

I think GET should continue to discuss sustainable and organic agriculture in future issues. But how about a little due diligence in checking out the facts in the pieces you pick up before you put them out there? Next time you want to do a piece on organic standards, organic food or organic agriculture — how about giving us a call?

Thanks.

David L. Rogers, Policy Advisor, NOFA Vermont, 802-434-4122

 

Mr. Rogers,

Thank you for your letter. We agree about Henry Miller, but we believe the quote gives him away. For example, he argues that pesticides are within safe limits in conventional foods more than 99% of the time, but he seems to fail to see this implies that they might be unsafe nearly 1% of the time.

I think the authors’ point in quoting Henry I. Miller was not to promote his views, but to illustrate how bad science written up in influential magazines could lead people away from organic food.

We apologize for printing a confusing article.

George Harvey, Green Energy Times

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