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Organic Farming

6 Pages 1528 Words

Increasingly in 1998 and continuing in 1999 these anti-organic special interests--enraged by the mass consumer rejection of the USDA's proposed organic rules and fearful of long-term market trends--have hired PR firms and right-wing think tanks to go on the offensive. Placing numerous articles and opinion pieces in the mass media and influencing others (Knight-Ridder Newspapers, PBS, Farm newspapers, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today online, etc.) they have hardened their propaganda message: not only do they claim that organic is not safer than conventional--now they're saying, through mouthpieces such as Dennis Avery of the corporate funded Hudson Institute, that organic food is actually dangerous. The Hudson Institute's Board includes James H. Dowling from the multinational PR firm Burson-Marsteller, Craig Fuller (who led the PR firm Hill & Knowlton's Gulf War front group Citizens for a Free Kuwait), and Kenneth Duberstein (who runs a top DC lobby firm with a host of corporate clients). Hudson's generous funders include the Archer Daniels Midland Corporation.

"Mad dog" Avery has picked up the industrial agriculture mantle, claiming that "Organic foods have clearly become the deadliest food choice." Avery argues that selfish organic consumers and farmers would rather watch millions of poor people in the Third World starve, or else sit by while desperate peasants destroy the remaining rainforests, rather than admit that genetic engineering and pesticide and chemical use in agriculture are necessary and safe.

Avery is a former government official during the Reagan era and author of the book Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic. An economist by trade, Avery has touted the virtues of global warming (it's better for farmers), staunchly defended factory-style hog farms (they're good for the environment because they save space), and pushed for food irradiation (it preserves the freshness of food while killing bact...

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