Wish I had time to catalog the experiences at this past weekend's
Upper Midwest Organic Farming Confererence--perhaps on Friday
afternoon. Right now I write with an alert and request for pixels.
Those self-proclaimed Contrarians at the Hudson Institute are at it
again, and rather than my saying more, read the following. It
appeared on the Web site of NewsWatch, an "online media criticism
magazine designed specifically for news consumers." That's their
description of themselves; I'm still skeptical, but look at it from
time to time.
I saw this today, datelined 9 March, 16:11 EST.
The Politics of Poison
Are you scared that the peaches, grapes and apples that you feed your
children are coated with poison? If so, you may have been reading the
March issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which reports on the
effects pesticides on fruits have on people, especially children.
Consumer Reports says the article is aimed at educating parents, but
the Hudson Institute's Michael Fumento says it's "a thinly veiled
attempt to influence the Environmental Protection Agency during a
crucial time for making decisions as to what pesticides will be
Fumento, writing in this morning's Washington Times, quotes Carl
Winter of the Food Safe Program at the University of California at
Davis. The study done by the Consumers Union for Consumer Reports
magazine "all looks very impressive and comprehensive on paper," said
Winters, "but really has no valid scientific precedent." Fumento says
the media failed to question the science behind the study, but quoted
environmentalists who trumped up the results even more.
"UPI paraphrased one [environmentalist], Todd Hettenbach of the
Environmental Working Group, saying that `just a bite or two of an
apple, peach or pear' could `cause dizziness, nausea and blurred
vision' in a child if the fruit had been treated with the commonly
used pesticide methyl parathion," writes Fumento.
Winter and other experts Fumento interviewed say the risks from fresh
fruit are virtually nonexistent. Fumento says the Consumer Union study
was designed to "scare the hell out of parents," and says the study
is to blame for the sensational headlines that appeared in some media
outlets. And, he worries "that it will dissuade parents from feeding
their children fresh produce," all part of a campaign to pressure the
EPA to severely restrict pesticide use.
I could not find the story on the /Washington Times/ on-line version:
I trust it was in yesterday's issue? Anybody got a digital version of
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