[quote="Bill Spohn"]I go out of my way to avoid organic ... and Jenise, your poll lacks a category for people like me/us.
A bit of info from a "conventional" farmer -
From Dennis T. Avery in American Outlook, Fall 1998 copyright by the Wall Street Journal ...
"Organic food ? No thanks !
According to recent data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people who eat organic and "natural" foods are eight times as likely as the rest of the population to be attacked by a deadly new strain of E. coli bacteria (O157:H7). This new E. coli is attacking tens of thousands of people per year, all over the world. It is causing permanent liver and kidney damage in may of it's victims.
Consumers of organic foods are also more likely to be attacked by a relatively new, more virulent strain of the infamous salmonella bacteria. Salmonella was America's biggest foodborner death risk until the new E. coli O157 came along.
Organic food is more dangerous than conventionally grown produce because organic farmers use manure as the major source of fertilizer for their food crops. Animal manure is the biggest reservoir of these bacteria that are afflicting and killing so many people.
Organic farmers compound the contamination problem through their reluctance to use antimicrobial preservatives, chemical washes, pasteurization, or even chlorinated water to rid their products of dangerous bacteria. One organic grower summed up the community's attitudes as follows: "Pasteurization has only been around a hundred years or so; what do you think people did before that ?
The answer is simple. They died young."
And from Steven Milloy writing for FoxNews.com in a copywrited 2000 Fox News story ...
" ... The USDA just issued regualtions defining what foods may be labeled 'organic.' The regulations provide that fruits, vegetables and meat and dairy products may not be labeled as 'organic' of they are produced with the use of pesticides, irradiation, genetic engineering, growth hormones, or sewage sludge. Said Secreatry of Agriculture Dan Glickman in announcing the new rules, 'Let me clear about one thing. The organic label is a marketing tool. It is not a statement about food safety. Nor is 'organic' a value judgement about nutrition or quality.'
No data indicates legally applied pesticides have caused even one health problem despite more than 50 years of use on agricultural crops - a fact that has been acknowledged by leading pesticide critic Dr. Phil Landrigan of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
Organic foods cost an average of 57 percent more than conventional foods, according to Consumer Reports."
And in a presentation by Gregory Conko, Director of Food Safety Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute in April 2002 ...
"According to cancer researcher Bruce Ames at the University of California at Berkley, 99.99 percent of all pesticides in the human diet occur naturally in plants. And, ounce for ounce, natural pesticides are a least as potent - if not more so - than synthetic ones.
Interestingly enough, plants that are grown organically tend to have even higher total levels of carcinogenic chemicals than plants grown with synthetic pesticides - because the plants produce more of their own chemicals when they're bitten by insects.
I'm not trying to scare you away from organic food. The point I'm trying to make is that the background rate of chemicals in both organic and conventional produce is so small as to be inconsequential."
Conventional American farmers raise the safest, most abundant food in the entire world. Having set on a Federal Advisory Committee that is overseeing the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, I can tell you that our conventional food supply is the safest in the world. Kathleen and I buy American and ONLY American. No other farmer outside of the U.S. has to jump through the safety hoops that us U.S. farmers do. And we don't buy organic for the same reason - it REALLY is NOT as safe as conventionally grown !
Just my $0.02 ...