Aug. 1, 2007
Dear Denver Post Editor:
Organic farming does not use persistent, toxic chemicals that can end up in our groundwater or environment. It reduces greenhouse gasses. And, major American and international health organizations endorse organic animal husbandry practices. But you wouldn't know these facts by reading Jackie Avner's misinformation piece (July 29).
Organic farmers and processors choose to use non-genetically modified seed and animals without transgenic or cloned antecedents to provide organic grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy and meat products for consumers. There are other important features of organic products. Taste and quality are high among them.
Tests by various governments have shown that organic foods carry a tiny fraction of the pesticide residues of their non-organic alternatives. And, organic practices completely ban the use of synthetic growth hormones and antibiotics in animals. Parents consider organic foods very important for young children and developing fetuses. Organic agriculture minimizes children's exposure to toxic and persistent pesticides in the air and water, in the fiber they wear, and in their foods.
Animals raised organically-without antibiotics-are not mistreated. If an animal requires antibiotics, it is treated and is typically sold to a conventional farm. The American Medical Association and the World Health Organization have recommended against the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in agriculture in order to protect human public health from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Organic farming is blossoming impressively. Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming on the same acreage-using existing quantities of organic fertilizers and without adding farmland. A U.N. conference in Rome in May concluded that a large-scale shift to organic agriculture could help fight world hunger and bring environmental improvements.
It also seems important to inform readers that Ms. Avner serves as Vice President of Felix Pets, LLC, a Division of Transgenic Pets, a fact that might have informed readers about the reasons she felt compelled to assail organic agriculture in her piece.
For consumers, farm animals and our environment, organic farming is clearly the future. For facts about organic production, visit http://www.ota.com/.
Organic Trade Association