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The Assault on Organics

For related articles and information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page.

The New York Post loves a good villain, but you'd think it would be hard to cast a bad light on the group of people profiled in an April 19 story: moms who feed their kids organic food.

Naomi Schaefer Riley took on the challenge in "The Tyranny of the Organic Mommy Mafia," and built a case against "the arrogance and class snobbery" of people who buy and eat food that's been grown without artificial chemicals.

"Organic food does not necessarily mean better. It's a term that's been co-opted and manipulated into a billion-dollar industry by some of the biggest food companies in America," Riley wrote. The anti-organic food narrative is a recurring theme in the media of late. What's going on with these stories?

In January, Slate (1/28/14) served up "Organic Schmorganic" by Melinda Wenner Moyer-shared 45,000 times on Facebook. The story concluded that it's not worth feeding your kids organic fruits and vegetables because there is no documented harm from conventional produce treated with chemicals, especially when the residues are below levels deemed safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The story assumes that EPA exposure levels for pesticides are health-protective and ignores ample evidence about the health concerns of long-term exposures and combined effects of pesticides ( Environmental Health Perspectives, 11/12; International Journal of Andrology, 4/08), as well as data that pesticides are building up in children's bodies ( Environmental Health Perspectives, 2/06).      


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