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The Washington Times Op-Ed Piece Against Organic Food is Severely Misguided

In case you didn’t see it, The Washington Times just ran an op-ed piece calling for a complete moratorium on organic food.

While the subtitle of this op-ed piece is “A less-than-serious look at how old technology could kill us”, there is nothing that indicates that author David Mastio is joking about anything.

If you haven’t read the piece, I strongly suggest that you do. It is alarming.

The fact that an op-ed of a major newspaper can put out such a column about the “danger” of organic food is incredibly scary.

It is bad enough that we have a president in office who is pushing a pro-GMO agenda very, very strongly.

President Obama’s policies and appointments are so threatening to the organic food movement that Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of The Center for Food Safety, has called Obama “worse than Bush” when it comes to organics.

Maybe I am an idealist but I guess I expect some type of intellectual honesty from a major newspaper. In David Mastio’s column in The Washington Times, I found none.

– In the beginning of the piece, he says that organic food was “potentially” the cause of the e.coli breakout and then uses the entire column to blame organic food.

This Washington Times op-ed ran on June 8th. Yet on June 6th, two days earlier, msnbc.com reported that German officials said that initial tests provided no evidence that organic sprouts were the cause of the e.coli.

So, two days after the German government said organic sprouts were not to blame, The Washington Times decides that the organic sprouts are to blame. How does this make any sense?

– David Mastio talks about greed being the reason why organic food is so much more expensive than conventionally-grown food.

The real reason that organic food is more expensive is because conventionally-grown food is subsized by billions and billions of dollars from the federal governmnet while organic food is not. It is simply not a level playing field.

– David Mastio talks about organic advocates as “those who cling to the 1850s feces-based agricultural technology.”

Organic farming does not allow sewage sludge to be used on its fields. Conventional farming does.

Also, organic farming is how plants have been grown for thousands and thousands of years. Organic farming is how nature intended us to grow our food. Nature did not intend for us to grow food with toxic chemicals or through genetic-engineering.

– What David Mastio fails to mention is that factory farms (CAFOs) are the true cause of health scares.

Recent examples:

* the 380 million egg recall in Indiana due to salmonella

* Cargill’s massive meat recall due to e.coli

* Go watch Food, Inc. and learn about the tragic death of the little boy who died because of eating a factory-farmed hamburger.

If you want to see a well-written piece about the e.coli scare in Germany, read what Dr. David Katz, Head of the Yale Prevention Research Center, had to say about it in The Huffington Post. He says we need to blame the meat, not the plants.

It is an absolute tragedy that people have died in Germany yet to blame organic for this mess is misguided, untrue and inaccurate.

Even if this column was intended as a joke, people (myself included) are not reading it as such. Just look at the comments below the article.

And that is what makes this op-ed piece so irresponsible.




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