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An interesting article by former organic food farmer and USDA organic food inspector, Mischa Popoff taught me something new. I never thought about it before, but GMO’s are, or at least can be, considered organic foods. Since, contrary to my wife, I’m not an organic food junkie, indeed, I don’t trust the stuff and certainly have never found it to taste better than conventionally grown foods, I also didn’t realize that much of the organic food sold in today’s stores is from foreign countries, with much laxer food health and safety standards.
Popoff article really opened my eyes. He detailed his early support for and participation in the organic food movement, and how he broke with it over its embrace of big government and its castigation of genetically modified foods. His article is worth reading in full, as are other of his pieces but one portion really caught my eye:
Natural substances were experimented with to replace Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, but all proved ineffective, leaving the roots of weeds to regenerate, or proving more toxic than Roundup, turning an organic field into a moonscape devoid of beneficial insects and microorganisms.
Not a single peer-reviewed article was written admitting to the failure. Organic farmers have been forced to till their land as their grandparents did to kill weeds ever since, a practice that requires at least ten-times more fossil fuel per-acre than spraying. And this created market pressure for retailers to shift to dubious imported certified-organic food as fewer American farmers could justify the astronomical fuel cost of converting to organic.
Rather than listen to the concerns of domestic farmers, urban activists who had never worked a day on a farm simply redoubled their attack against the single most-promising innovation in farming since the discovery of the ammonia-synthesis process in 1917: genetically-modified organisms. GMOs not only facilitate no-till farming, but have also allowed almost all American farmers growing corn, soybean and cotton to quit pulverizing their soil.
Moreover, they have never once been taken to task for the fact that non-GMO, government-approved certified-organic food often does not even come from American fields. [And] a whopping 43 percent of certified-organic food now contains synthetic pesticide residue.
In other words, nearly half the food advertised as organic is not. Something to think about.