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Letter to the editor

Organic column misses critical facts

March 6, 2008

  In response to the column “Organic food not as strange as it sounds” by Teresa Aviles:

I am appalled by the lack of accuracy behind this column.   

  Organic food prices don’t necessarily reflect the true cost of farming. There are many factors involved in cost and profit.

  Today, conventional farmers are implementing and working towards sustainable, best-management practices: those that are safe for the environment and are economically viable.

  Conventional farmers love and respect the land and work hard to preserve the land that they rely on for their livelihood.

  Also, there is no nutritional difference between conventionally grown and organically grown food. The USDA does not even make claims that it is safer or more nutritious in any way.
   
  Organic farming frequently uses products from natural sources. “Natural” doesn’t always mean it is safe. With the types of fertilizer restrictions on organic practices there are still plenty of potential dangers found in organic types of manure-based fertilizers. Remember the spinach incident in California last year?

  Furthermore, the pesticide content used on a field is as little as possible to get the job done. Any grower is also going to avoid using more than they have to because they care about the environment.
   
  Pesticide regulations restrict the types of products and the time of application to minimize or alleviate possible pesticide residue on crops.

  I am a senior horticulture major and have studied the topic quite thoroughly.  I hope the next time such a controversial topic is written, your writers do their homework. 

  Consumers should base their buying habits on scientifically based facts and not on emotional responses alone.

Jessica Pries,
student