“Organic” food and the battle for public opinion |

AActivists have convinced Americans that “organic” food is better – healthier, tastier and life-extending.

As a result, poor parents feel guilty if they cannot afford to pay $7 for organic eggs.

This misinformation is propagated by people like Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Association of Organic Consumers. She says organic food is clearly better: “Nutrition is a huge difference.”

But this is not the case. Studies find little difference.

If you still want to pay more for what is called “organic”, that is your right. But what is outrageous is that this group of science illiterates convinced the government to force us all to pay more.

Congress has decided that GMOs (genetically modified foods) must be labelled. Active people from both parties supported the idea.

Politicians like Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., have said, “It costs nothing more. This idea that…it…will drive up food prices is ridiculous.

It’s McGovern who is ridiculous. The US Department of Agriculture says GMO labeling will cost $598 million to $3.5 billion.

“But the public wants GMOs to be labeled,” say the advocates. “The polls show it.”

Of course they do.

Ask people if DNA in food should be labelled, and most say yes. Yet DNA is in everything.

Polls are a stupid way to do politics.

The idea of ​​altering a plant’s DNA may sound daunting, but people have been crossing plants and animals for years.

“The maize we have today, there’s nothing natural about it,” I tell Baden-Mayer in my new video. “What the natives ate, we would find inedible.”

Baden-Mayer laughs about it.

“You’re saying native corn is somehow inferior because you’ve seen it dried out and has tiny kernels in it?” she asks.

“Yes,” I answer. I tried to eat it.

“That’s another industry myth,” she replies. “People like you believe in it.”

I am on. I also think it’s good that genetic modification allows us to modify nature more precisely, gene by gene. It’s better and safer than the more random crosses that have been practiced for years.

This new precision allows scientists to make plants that save lives.

In poor regions of the world, half a million people go blind each year due to a lack of vitamin A in their diet. Many die.

Scientists have created a new genetically modified rice that contains vitamin A. This “golden rice” could save these people.

“I’ve heard of golden rice,” sneers Baden-Mayer. “It was a project in which all the chemical companies invested.”

I chuckle back.

“Golden Rice didn’t succeed partly because scientifically ignorant fools like you convinced the world that it’s harmful!”

“I knew at some point you would resort to name-calling,” she replies. “But that doesn’t change the science on this.”

Unfortunately, in some countries people listen to defenders like her and believe that the Americans want to poison them. A group of GMO-scared protesters have invaded a golden paddy field in the Philippines, tearing up all the plants.

Thousands of people will die or go blind, needlessly, as the bio-cult spreads misinformation.

At least the educated skeptics now understand that they were wrong about GMOs.

The New York Times points out that many “have quietly dropped their opposition” to GMOs. “The science is clear,” a former opponent told the Wall Street Journal. “They are perfectly safe.”

The Philippines recently approved golden rice.

But die-hard fanatics will never be convinced.

Baden-Mayer claims that GMOs cause cancer.

“We are using more GMOs than ever before,” I point out. “There is less cancer now. The lifespan is constantly increasing.

“Compared to when, 100 years ago? she’s laughing about.

Absolutely yes. We live about 25 years longer than Americans did 100 years ago. Even compared to 10 or 20 years ago, we are living longer.

The National Academy of Sciences calls GMOs safe. The same goes for the World Health Organization, American Medical Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, and USDA.

But no science will convince people like Baden-Mayer. “The issue of GMOs just hasn’t been studied enough,” she says.

Organic proponents get the costs wrong and the science wrong.

Unfortunately, they have won the battle of public opinion.


John Stossel is a nationally syndicated columnist. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author.

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