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Americans are turning to organic food, and for good reason:


Concern over toxic pesticide residues. A Feb 1999 study¹ by Consumer Reports found that organic foods had little or no pesticide residues compared to conventional produce. A 1999 study by the Environmental Working Group found that millions of US children eating non-organic fruits and vegetables were ingesting dangerous amounts of a variety or pesticide neurotoxins and carcinogens.


Concern over drug residues. Organic farming prohibits the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Recent scientific research has confirmed the fact that antibiotics, routinely fed to factory farm animals to make them grow faster, are creating dangerous antibiotic-resistant pathogens which are infecting Americans who eat these animal products.


Concern over food poisoning, deadly e-Coli A 0157:H7, campylobacter, salmonella, listeria, and other food borne diseases. The Centers for Disease Control admit that there are at least 76 million cases of food poisoning every year in the US. Filthy slaughterhouses, contaminated feed, and diseased animals are commonplace industrial agriculture. According to government statistics, most non-organic beef cattle are contaminated with e-Coli 0157:H7; over 90% of chickens are tainted with campylobacter, and 30% of poultry are infected with salmonella. There are no documents cases of organic meat or poultry setting off food poisoning epidemics.


Concern over food irradiation, use of toxic sewage sludge spread on farmland, and genetic engineering. Organic certification prohibits irradiation, sewage sludge, and genetic engineering. A 1997 poll by CBS found 77% of Americans opposed to food irradiation, while a recent survey by the Angus Reid polling group found the majority of US consumers opposed to genetically engineered foods. Consumers are especially incensed that industry and the FDA refuse to require labeling of genetically engineered food. Numerous polls over the past 15 years have found that 80-95% of Americans want labels on gene-altered foods, mainly so that they can avoid buying them.


Concern over the environment. Studies indicate that the industrialization and globalization of agriculture are a leading contributor to greenhouse gases and climate destabilization. Other research shows an increasing percentage of municipal water supplies are contaminated by pesticide residues, chemical fertilizers, and sewage runoff from factory farms and feedlots.


Concern for animals & biodiversity. Factory farms and genetic engineering are nothing less than industrialized forms of cruelty for farm animals. Industrial agriculture poses a mortal threat to wildlife and the entire web of biodiversity.



Feb 1999 78 page study¹ by Consumer Reports - PDF format short June 2000 update to report


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