This came in my inbox this morning. I saw this segment and It was pretty one sided. I guess this is to be expected as there seems to be yet another attack on organics from the anti-organics crowd that started with the e-coli contaminated spinach this past October that was not organic spinach but early on was thought to be. And of course the organic opponents such as the Hudson institute and the father/son team of Dennis and Alex Avery took the opportunity to build up some negative momentum and it seems the Today Show has been swept up somewhat by this momentum.
There is so much to be said about organics and so few competent people in the news on any level (including almost all agricultural reporters) that rarely good information is reported so it is up to us in the know to set the record straight. Below is all the information you need to send NBC the message that we will not put up with half assed, biased reporting and information.
Take Action: NBC's "Today Show" and organic misinformation
We asking for NBC's "Today Show" to give equal time on organics. The show ran a piece yesterday, which paints organic food as unsafe, leaving the impression that conventional chemically grown food is better. Please join us in asking the Today Show to get the facts right. See video clip below, how to contact the Today Show, and our abbreviated comments (which you can use) below. You can also view our longer letter to the Today Show at http://www.beyondpesticides.org/today_show_organic.pdf.
Viewer Comment Line: 212-664-3499
General Number 212-664-4249
Sample letter/email. Simply cut, copy and paste into your email body or word processing app.=, Change where appropriate, or not
December 5, 2006
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
Re. How Fresh Is Organic Food?
A Call for More Truthful & Accurate Reporting
Dear NBC Today Show Producers:
I appreciate your attention to organic food in your December 4, 2006 segment How Fresh Is Organic Food?, but I am troubled by the serious lack of focus on the hazards of chemical-intensive agriculture and food commodities. The piece glosses over key organic issues and leaves viewers with the impression that chemically-treated food is safer. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a disappointed viewer and concerned consumer, I am writing to ask you to do a follow-up story, giving equal time and consideration to the value of organics. Please take the following into consideration:
1. Your piece does not articulate effectively the hazards of pesticides and the importance of curtailing their use. The key issues for concern are pesticide residues in and on food commodities and agricultural practices that hurt the environment and those working on farms. Pesticides found in and on food are known to cause cancer, birth defects and other serious health effects.
2. Creating a false choice between chemically-treated food with less bacteria and organic. Because of the hazards of pesticides, the Today Show piece created a false choice between what you characterized as safer chemically-grown food and more dangerous organic food. Instead, the choice is to adopt adequate cleaning practices, recognizing the important role that bacteria plays in digestion and the environment.
3. Additionally, no mention was given to other health concerns resulting from conventional agriculture, such as use of antibiotics in animal production. Antibiotic use in animal production has been linked to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
4. Your piece also glosses over a key issue when it comes to the freshness of organic. People increasingly want fresh food, rather than food preserved by chemicals for lengthy periods. Buying organic and local is increasingly an option consumers are turning to, and in turn, are supporting their local economy.
Thank you for your attention to this issue.