>Assuming that all man-made products are harmful is no more biased
>than assuming that all products of nature are benign. Both are
>likely false -- sometimes dangerously so. Better, in my view, is to test
>both categories scientifically, then compare the relative risks before
>making a decision about what is OK and what is not OK.
I don't believe anyone has made that assumption. I specifically mentioned
toxic manmade chemicals. Testing has shown risks are involved--the issue is
whether the risk is worth the profit, and since the risks are not often
assumed by the manufacturer in this corporate world (and boy, do we read
about it when they are!), the risk falls on these folks: the consumer, the
person living near the place of manufacture or use; the person living
downstream (so to speak) from the manufacture or use when the material is
carried by either water or air.
This attitude about risk needs to change. We need to apply the
Precautionary Principle or to mandate that the manufacturer assume all risk.
>I think we are stuck with FDA and USDA vigilance over what the
>economic interests of the corporations push; our collective voices can
>help encourage -- sometimes can force -- these regulators to mandate,
>and stick to, the highest standards of proof before approving these
You mention two issues of grave importance:
* setting the standards
* enforcing the standards
To my mind, the FDA and USDA are seriously compromised and unable to do
>As the USDA gets a better grip on the Organics issue, will we start to
>see similar safety testing of a greater variety of natural products used in
> If faith in the benign nature of nature is justified, this
>approach should not be feared -- after all, it would just confirm what the
>organic movement has been saying all along, ie, that this way is a safer
>way to do things.
Do you not consider tens of thousands of years of agriculture without
manmade toxins to be test enough? Manmade chemical toxins have been used
for the most part since WWII. It's my generation that is now going to
oncologists and our children to ENTs. I see a connection and I don't see
the government protecting us, relieving us, or protecting the future.
Actions you can take are at the same time simple and difficult.
* buy organic (and local whenever possible)
* stop using toxic manmade pesticides in and around your home; encourage
your children's schools to do the same; then work on your city and county
These two paths will make things happen. It is after all, economic.
You can choose whether you want to spend your money on chemically treated
foods and then later on doctors while petrochemical corporations reap
profits or you can spend your money on a proven method that doesn't pollute
your food, your body, or your community--buy organic.
p.s., in my community with about 10% of the farms now organic and more
transitioning every day, and because those farmers are saving money on
purchasing agricultural chemicals, and because people are concerned for
their health and that of their community, organic produce often costs less
than conventional produce.
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