I’m pissed. I was pissed when I read this bullshit piece from Stanford, then got even MORE pissed when this jackass, Roger Cohen from the New York Times came along and insulted organics, the people who grow them, the people who eat them, the people who sell them. Fuck you, man.
OPEN LETTER TO AN ELITIST HALF-WIT
Regarding your piece, “The Organic Fable,” of September 6, 2012, you were so busy patting yourself on the back for being a “trend”-bucker that you forgot to do any research. Your cynical statement that, “… the organic ideology is an elitist, pseudoscientific indulgence shot through with hype” speaks volumes about the path used to come to the self-serving, dubious conclusions you reach in this hit piece. Namely a path which was not sullied by science or peer-reviewed studies which very clearly demonstrate the hazards of GMOs and the chemicals that love them.
You relied upon the Times’ rehash of a Stanford Systemic Review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Perhaps you thought, “Hey, my employer published it…It must be close enough to true for me.” Little heads-up; it’s not.
“… the study completely fails to account for key factors such as the presence of GMOs, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, mercury (such as that admittedly contained in high-fructose corn syrup), BPA, and much more. It also does not even properly address the two topics it seeks to address concerning the presence [sic] antibiotics and chemical residue. The researchers fail first of all to reveal the difference between the organic food and conventional food pesticides, and then go on to state that organic food actually does have lower pesticide levels.”
Here too is another excellent piece about the junk science used to come to those erroneous conclusions. This is yet another piece blasting the associations between Stanford and BigAgra, namely Cargill.
Your ignorance on this topic is astounding, but I’m going to help you. Here’s the skinny on GMOs:
-Start with this video called “The World According to Monsanto.” It’s two hours long, so you might want to cozy up with some GMO popcorn that you microwave-irradiated in a BPA-laden bag. Bon appétit!
-Perhaps follow that up with reading about the work of Dr. Vandana Shiva, who is trying desperately to save India’s seeds from total obliteration at the hands of Monsanto.
-Maybe then engage in a little light reading about the plight of the Indian farmer, where extraordinarily high suicide rates are being blamed on Monsanto’s Roundup-resistant GMO cotton.
-Here’s a piece regarding how and why Monsanto was named the Worst Company of the Year for 2011. In part, it states:
- An analysis of 19 animal studies revealed that nearly 10 percent of blood, urine, organ and other parameters tested were significantly influenced by GMOs, with the livers and kidneys faring the worst.
- A 2009 Brazilian study discovered that female rats fed GM soy for 15 months showed significant changes in their uterus and reproductive cycle, compared to rats fed organic soy or those raised without soy.
- A study performed by Irina Ermakova with the Russian National Academy of Sciences reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, while the death rate in the non-GM soy group was only 10 percent. Additionally, the babies in the GM group were smaller, and, worst of all, could not reproduce. In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova’s feeding trials were completed, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55 percent.
- Milk treated with the Monsanto-developed genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH) contains higher levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), a hormone linked to breast, prostate and colon cancers in humans.
–A study that finds glyphosate-based herbicide induces necrosis and apoptosis in mature rat testicular cells in vitro, and testosterone decrease at lower levels. (Maybe you can ignore this too. It’s from the NIH…those dummies.)
-A whole mess of peer-reviewed links and studies about the grand genocidal failure that is glyphosate (the key ingredient in Roundup, which is sucked up by your GMO corn, soybeans, cotton, etcetera and then ingested by you. Lucky you!)
You even manage to get it wrong about organic yields versus conventional (ouch). “Yield is not the same as efficiency” and “Producing more grain is not the same as feeding the world.”
To speak to your assertion that (I’m paraphrasing) we’re “affluent narcissists,” know this: Organic farmers like me gladly sell our products to restaurants and grocery stores. We have to make a living, too. The slightly higher prices offset the admittedly higher labor hours needed to not poison ourselves, our customers, and the planet. Spraying Roundup is easy. Mulching and hoeing in the hot Texas sun on this little patch of organic acreage is way freaking harder. But we find it worth the extra work to not develop tumors, disease, genetic defects, or the sense that we’re above it all, out here in the actual dirt…You know, where food comes from.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know either (maybe because to know would have required you read or do research, or even listen to someone who isn’t just hanging out with you at expensive restaurants where you all laugh about the “little people” and how we’re better off eating chemicals and mutated genetic calories):
There’s an important piece of legislation on the table in California called Proposition 37. It’s an initiative that would mandate the labeling of GMOs in food. Information that we “pampered parts of the planet” want, I guess because we’re elitists. If BigFarm, BigAgra, and the chemical consortiums are so proud of their products, it follows that they should slather their names on the grocery store packaging. Yes, please!
Know what the rest of the world does with GMOs? THEY LABEL THEM or ban them outright. Do you even know who the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods is? It’s Michael Taylor, former lobbyist and executive at Monsanto.
Perhaps you can understand my frustration now. Maybe you can comprehend now how maddening it is to back an underdog like the “Just Label It” initiative, who has a relatively tiny budget to pit against $40 million dollars from Big Agra. Know where they could have put that money, while they’re crying, “It would just be too expensive to label!” That’s right: Labeling.
A hit piece like yours based on nothing but your personal bias against something a whole bunch of us are well-educated about and fighting for just makes you look and sound stupid. Please either shut up or wake up.
You’re cordially invited to come down to Texas and meet a real farmer, who can teach you a thing or two thousand about what GMO really means. To you, me, and the planet.