Is There a Coordinated, “Republican-Style” Campaign Against Organics Underway?

-Guelph, ON

Not one to give over to conspiracy theories of any kind, I can’t help but notice the incredible wave of anti-organic, pro-chemical/ pro-GMO press occurring these days. First there were two “new” studies- Stanford and the AMA- concluding (despite a lack of corresponding evidence) that organic food isn’t “healthier”. Then there was a rash of what are essentially opinion pieces- from the Frontier Center piece by Popoff and Moore (a Frontier Foundation advisor once famously compared organic to Hezzbollah) to the most recent attack from none other than former ally Dr. Oz!

I smell PR firms talking around the water cooler…

Dr. Oz wrote a recent Time article claiming organic food is for the 1% and that there is no difference between frozen bricks of vegetables and the fresh, organic fare he previously encouraged his viewers to eat. Here is a video link with a very different Dr. Oz than the Time remake. We are curious what has transpired for Dr. Oz between airing this episode (and more recent ones critical of GMO experimentation on children!) and the Time article “revelations”.

The PR machine that was put in place to counter Prop 37 has bigger goals than to simply stop Californians (and by default the rest of N.A.) from having GMO foods labeled as such. Those same companies are threatened by a consumer base increasingly aware of the pitfalls of our current food system- from pesticide exposure to soil degradation to GMO exposure. Our approach as a sector to date has been to not give these attacks the dignity of a response, the thinking being we validate the arguments when we engage with them.  We think another approach is needed in the face of this PR machine. OCO has been working collectively with COTA, COG, OVCRT and regional organizations to improve our effectiveness in not just countering these ridiculous claims but framing the conversation ourselves.

At the end of the day, which side are we on?  Are we making things better or making them worse? Eating organic supports an approach to agriculture that doesn’t add to the problem of pesticides, run off and toxic exposure of farm workers. That alone is a good thing.

For the original Time article, click here.

Here are two succinct responses to this bizarre opinion piece:

Mother Jones response

Organic Trade Association response

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