ABC News Attacks
Organic Food
From Brasscheck <>

If you can't beat'em, slur'em: ABC attacks organic food
ABC's 20/20 John Stossel, who has raised the art of shilling for big business to a fine art, is now at work educating the public about the *dangers* of organic food.
In Stossel's twisted universe, the market is god, unless of course the market is not buying what his clients want it to buy. Then the market is misguided and needs a multi-million dollar mass media re-education program. ("You will buy crap and like it.")
One "expert" given a huge audience by Stossel's program pointed out that manure has a lot of bacteria in it and therefore crops grown organically are more dangerous than those sprayed with pesticide. Uh huh. Earth to expert: most farmers, regardless of their methods, use manure when they can get it because its cheaper and better than manufactured fertilizer.
The expert, Dennis Avery, is identified simply as a former researcher for the Agriculture Department. No other affiliation is given. I guess the brilliant research team at ABC couldn't find his current day job which is Director of the Hudson Institute's "Center for Global Food Issues."
Call 1-800-222-1556 and you can hire him to give one of his popular speeches "Organic Farming's Threat to People and Wildlife" or "Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic." I kid you not.
Some other achievements his employer the Hudson Institute crows about on its web site include:
* Taking the lead on pushing for the expansion of NATO membership to the countries of Central Europe (I'm sure the people of Yugoslavia appreciate that.)
* Helping transform many aspects of the criminal and law enforcement systems in Indianapolis (Remind me to not go there.)
* Advising dozens (sic) of former communist governments on how to make the transition to democracy and market economies, (Great work guys, especially in Russia) and
* Designing and implementing innovative models of education reform across the country. (Now there's a comforting thought.)
Avery's also been featured in the Wall Street Journal as well. Here's one person's answer to his ravings in that rag:
Another Avery gem from the Stossel slimefest: Avery says "organic farmers waste land and resources because they lose so much of their crop to weeds and insects. Avery says it's today's conventional farmers who have performed an environment-saving miracle by taking nitrogen to make chemical fertilizer, using pesticides and genetically engineered seeds to feed more people, using less land."
Stossel's informed conclusion: organic food isn't safe, it isn't particularly nutritious, and it isn't good for the environment at all.
We can laugh, but when's the last time you saw a coherent rationale for organic farming on a major news program or in a mass circulated periodical?
Avery's doing a good job as this January '99 press release from the Hudson Institute shows:
"Sierra Club Executive Endorses High-Yield Agriculture, Biotech Crops:
Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, has endorsed high-yield agriculture, including bio-engineered crops, because high farm yields will help save wildlife habitat and wild species."
I got that off *Monsanto's* web site by the way:
You don't think companies like Monsanto actually fund the "science" and public policy work of people like Dennis Avery do you? Goodness! What's this world coming to?
There was supposed to be a comment board on the ABC web site for Stossel's story, but it was either never set up or quickly taken down. I wonder why...
Another great "investigation" John. Your Pulitzer is in the mail.
Is it really that wrong to want to see someone hung by his thumbs and horsewhipped?
Just asking.
Brass Check -

From Brasscheck < 2-6-00
More on "safe" pesticides
One of the claims promoted by ABC's John Stossel in his recent "investigative" report on the "dangers" of organic food is that pesticides kill dangerous bacteria making food safer to eat. Organically grown food which does not have the benefit of such treatment is therefore less safe.
This is an argument only Monsanto could love. In fact, the expert Stossel used to put it across, Dennis Avery, is subsidized by Monsanto via his employment at the right wing think tank the Hudson Institute (located, I'm glad to say as a Hudson Valley resident, in Indianapolis.)
But what about Avery's claim? The fact that he is a shill for Monsanto and that ABC did not disclose his affiliation, doesn't automatically disqualify his statement. So then, what exactly is the effect of pesticides on disease-causing microorganisms?
So far, I've not been able to find a lick of science on this dubious proposition, but I have found this:
Dr Mae-Wan Ho, the author of a book currently not available in the United States (we need to save room for Monica's autobiography I guess), states that genetically engineered and genetically modified plants pose a real risk of stimulating the development of mutant bacteria and viruses. She further claims that evidence of such mutations has already been gathered.
The first three chapters of Dr. Mae-Wan Ho's book, GENETIC ENGINEERING: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? The Brave New World of Bad Science and Big Business, are available for download at the publisher's web site at

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