By Alex Formuzis, Vice President of Media Relations
April 9, 2012
New online videos from a chemical agribusiness front group show conventional growers straining to convince consumers that it’s just fine to eat bug killers and weed killers.
The Alliance for Food and Farming, or AFF, which has lobbied the U.S. Department of Agriculture to tone down its annual pesticide residue tests on fruits and vegetables, has rolled out short videos in which California farmers answer questions usually reserved for scientists and health experts.
Among AFF’s unsupported claims:
Is organic farming better for the environment than conventional farming?
AFF says: No. Rod Braga, a vegetable farmer from Soledad, Calif., says conventional agriculture is actually “very much easier on the environment.”
Truth: The environmental benefits of organic agriculture far outweigh any offered up by conventional operations. Conventional farmers apply more than one billion pounds of highly toxic manmade pesticides and fungicides each year. These chemicals pollute not only the food supply but also air, drinking water and ultimately people’s bodies. They have been found in the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Chemical fertilizer runoff from Midwest crop operations has introduced so much nitrate into the Mississippi River that the Gulf of Mexico has a Dead Zone the size of New Jersey literally chocking off aquatic life. Mega-farms throughout the country have also played a significant role in greenhouse gas emissions.