Although some of the conservative think tanks and their agribusiness patrons might want to paint organic food as “elitist” — and even a “socialist” plot — the facts tell a different story. The organic movement is truly non-partisan.
By Mark A. Kastel
The organic farming movement was initially fueled by a loving collaboration between family farmers dedicated to producing food in consort with nature, shunning toxic agrichemicals and genetic engineering, and a growing subset of committed consumers who want the very best nutrition and safest possible food for their families.
As the organic “community” blossomed and grew into the $30+ billion industry that it is today, a number of conservative think tanks, many with direct funding from Monsanto, DuPont and other interests in agrichemicals and biotechnology, challenged the propriety, and even the safety, of organic food.
For over a decade, the Hudson Institute’s father-and-son team of Dennis and Alex Avery kept up a constant barrage. Hudson listed many agribusiness funders as their donors during these attacks.
Last year some researchers at Stanford University published a study suggesting that organic wasn’t worth the premium price. Their findings contradicted studies by the USDA, Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports magazine), and countless university researchers, internationally, who have found measurable benefits from eating organic rather than conventional foods.
At the time, Stanford (the home of the Hoover Institution, also with a history of attacking organics) firmly stated that the study was funded “internally” rather than by agricultural or biotechnology interests. What they didn’t tell the world was that their internal funders included — you guessed it — agricultural and biotechnology interests. Read Full Article »