Desperate Food Industry Tries to Tar Michael Pollan and Organic Produce
By Vanessa Barrington, EcoSalon
Posted on August 24, 2009, Printed on August 25, 2009
What do you get when you cross a grassroots movement with a food industry fearful of losing its influence? Bogus studies, campaigns of misinformation and opinion pieces filled with myth and vitriol.
You may have noticed an uptick this year in news reporting that organic food isn’t really better for you, opinion pieces by conventional farmers saying that they are tired of being demonized by “agri-intellectuals”, and guilt-inducing ads by Monsanto in highbrow publications like the New Yorker touting the company’s ability to feed the world through technology.
Though all of this could be disturbing to those of us committed to sustainable agriculture and food that is fair to eaters, animals, workers and farmers, I’m choosing to see this as a good sign. I think it means we might be winning.
The turning point was when First Lady Michelle Obama planted an organic garden on the White House lawn only to receive a letter from The American CropLife Association telling her that they hoped she recognized the value of conventional agriculture in American life. The letter can be read here. Then, there were false allegations that the garden was contaminated with lead. In the face of all this, the first lady stuck with her commitment to keeping the garden organic.
Why is this happening now? For many years, organic food was a marginal market and the big players were content to let it either exist on the sidelines or hedge their bets and buy into it themselves.
But due to the excellent work by many writers and activists like Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle, Robert Kenner and others too numerous to mention, more of us are starting to pay attention to where our food comes from and how it is produced. This market is now a force for change. And individuals and companies that benefit from the status quo don’t want change.
Let’s take a closer look at the people and ideology behind some of the more recent high profile examples of the attacks against sustainable food......................................................
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