The Produce Industry Responds to Wall Street Journal Pieces Bashing Organics
UNITED STATES -The organic industry is up in arms about a recent series of op-ed pieces that have come out by way of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Two of those recent pieces (found here and here), target the FDA and the organic industry. In response to these latest claims by the WSJ's contributor, industry members have come together to voice their own truths and sentiments, from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) who noted that the articles were “misleading and derogatory attacks,” and published a full-page ad in the Journal refuting those claims with facts about the organic industry, to industry leaders across the board from Vic Smith to Todd Linsky.
Here are some of those industry voices, from those who truly know organic.
Todd Linsky, Principal and Owner, TLC Family of Companies
“Articles like this are akin to yelling fire in a movie theater; they strike panic and fear in the audience. But unlike the movie theatre shenanigans, careless writers cannot be prosecuted for misinformation. This article is so far off base; it’s amazing to me the Journal published it. Mr. Miller, its author, was kicked off Forbes for allowing Monsanto to ghost write under his name according to a New York Times August 2017 post."
Matt Mandel, VP of Operations, SunFed
“Every so often, articles and op-eds emerge that call into question the current paradigm—whether it is with the intention to disrupt or merely to express displeasure, it is up to each individual author. What I CAN say with certainty is that the organic sector of the fresh produce industry operates with the utmost integrity and passion for the fruits of their labor. I would like to add that our government officials at the FDA absolutely have their hands full ensuring our food supply is produced safely for consumers, my family and me being consumers of the same food we offer for sale. I commend them for the tremendous work they perform with the limited resources allocated to them.”
Harold Paivarinta, Director of Sales and Business Development, Red Sun Farms
“The costs of producing an organic crop is significantly higher than a conventional one. Our organization is committed to meet the standards as defined by both the Canadian and U.S. organic regulations.
In Canada and the U.S., all products sold as organic must be certified under their respective organic standards. As part of the organic certification process, our organic certifier not only inspects our cultivation, feeding, pest management, packing, and storage practices, they also review 100 percent of our printed packaging to ensure we adhere to all government regulations.
With the organic certifying body approval of each printed packaging material, for all organic items, it would prevent any organization from making false claims or misrepresenting the organic authenticity of products in the Canadian and the U.S. market place.”
Vic Smith, CEO, JV Smith Companies
“I think the Opinion/Commentary in the Wall Street Journal by Henry Miller, published August 5, 2018, is a deception in and of itself, as it relates to the organic comments. The use of naturally occurring substances in the production of organic crops is the very essence of organic farming. To allude that these products are similar to conventional farming is irresponsible at best.”
The WSJ ad sponsored by OTA was titled: “Here’s a long list of chemicals you should never have to read” and highlighted a comprehensive, detailed list of the hundreds of chemicals prohibited in organic production and processing. We previously featured this list, along with commentary on organics from the FDA, which came out around the same time that the WSJ contributor article hit its viewership.
“It is the mission of the Organic Trade Association to protect and promote organic, and it is our responsibility to get the facts out. It’s critically important to push back against these attacks,” noted Laura Batcha, CEO of the OTA, in a press release. “Consumers deserve to know the truth. Organic’s strength is its transparency, and organic farmers and businesses work hard every day to uphold the standards of organic and to honor the trust that we’ve earned from consumers everywhere. We will not let these charges go unanswered.”
Where will this organic conversation lead to next? We will keep you up-to-date and more, at AndNowUKnow.