Dear Concerned Citizens,
Please join us in asking for the 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. Ask the Today Show to get the facts right. See the video clip, 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.
How Fresh Is Organic Food?
Viewer Comment Line: 212-664-3499
General Number: 212-664-4249
Email: [email protected]
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.