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Fading organic movement ratchets up fear-based marketing campaign

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

The organic-products industry is running scared. Challenged by progress in modern genetic engineering and state-of-the-art pesticides the organic movement is ratcheting up its rhetoric while trying to expand a consumer base that shows signs of stagnating.

A recent study shows that organic sales “have hit something of a plateau” and that about half of consumers think an organic label is just an excuse to charge more money.

“Let me be clear about one thing, the organic label is a marketing tool,” said then secretary of agriculture Dan Glickman when organic certification was being considered. “It is not a statement about food safety. Nor is ‘organic’ a value judgment about nutrition or quality.”

In spite of its “good vibes,” organic farming is an affront to the environment. Plant pathologist Dr. Steve Savage recently analyzed the data from USDA’s 2014 Organic Survey and compared yields at organic farms to those at conventional farms. Of the 68 crops surveyed, there was a “yield gap” — poorer performance of organic farms — in 59.

These findings are important. As Savage observed: “To have raised all U.S. crops as organic in 2014 would have required farming of 109 million more acres of land. That is an area equivalent to all the parkland and wildland areas in the lower 48 states.” Organic agriculture wastes not only land but water.

Genetic engineering is providing consumer-friendly as well as agronomically important traits including potatoes that produce less of the carcinogen acrylamide when fried, to apples that resist browning, to papayas and oranges that resist disease.

Like the buggy-whip manufacturers who ridiculed and reviled the horseless carriage, the organic industry is on the wrong side of history.

Read full, original post: Organic Farms, Wasting Water and Land for Far Lower Yields

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

11 thoughts on “Fading organic movement ratchets up fear-based marketing campaign”

  1. What the organic marketing people don’t realize, is that there are many of us who appreciate the “organic” and “non-GMO” labels, because it helps us avoid them. Why? Because of the hyped up marketing, the cost, the e.coli contamination (I’ll never ever eat at Chipotle), and the sense of hubris.

  2. Good article. “Organic only” is also on the wrong side of farming. Great for small niche markets, but not so great for growing large acreages of crops. Not so great for the yield, soil, water, or weeds, either. If it was so great, farmers would be all farming organic, right? That should tell us something.

    • This is just what a stupid food system looks like. Farmers are caught up in it. Just running around trying to make a buck like the rest of us chumps.

      Every community is a “niche market”.

      And your assertions about the soil and water are laughable.

  3. From the article…”Organic foods sales exceeded $39 billion in 2015, according to the Organic Trade Association. While that is only about 5 percent of the revenue generated by food sales in general, it’s a growing sector that has supermarket chains fully engaged. As of 2000, reports the USDA, 49 percent of all organic products was sold in conventional supermarkets.” And that command of the market has continued to grow. Retailers like Safeway, Albertsons (co-owned now), Walmart and niche locations like Trader Joe’s now outsell the corner natural food stores, which have, in some cases, become the more expensive go-to places for high-quality, less-mainstream natural and organic products.”

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