The Organic Trade Association took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal Sept. 12. ( Courtesy Organic Trade Association )

The Organic Trade Association took out a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal Sept. 12 pushing back against what the group called misleading and derogatory attacks on organic food.

The association said the ad was in response to an op-ed and a letter to the editor published in The Wall Street Journal that disparaged the organic industry and accused it of “lying” to consumers.

An Aug. 5 opinion piece written by Henry Miller was headlined “The Organic Industry Is Lying to You” and with the subhead “Normally a strict regulator, the FDA gives advertisers a complete pass.”

Miller is associated with Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb followed up on the opinion piece Aug. 7, tweeting that the FDA will soon put out more detailed information on what different terms mean on food packaging, to help consumers best use claims like organic, antibiotic-free and others.

The full page black-and-white ad placed by the Organic Trade Association was titled, “Here’s a long list of chemicals you should never have to read,” and featured a comprehensive detailed list of the hundreds of chemicals prohibited in organic production and processing, with a link for readers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the list of substances allowed and prohibited in organic production, according to the release.

“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,” Laura Batcha, CEO of the OTA, said in the release.

“Consumers deserve to know the truth,” said Batcha. “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.”

Submitted by Steve Sprinkel on Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:38

Don't bother reminding Henry Miller that he's way behind the curve. He's going to get paid to not think anyway. As D Throat once said famously long ago: follow the money. Who is funding these stink tanks where Miller floats? Biotech. Won't name any names here so you won't get a headache even Bayer can't fix.

Submitted by George Nikolich on Mon, 09/17/2018 - 15:23

OTA and it's members don't have an interest in preserving premium prices for organic produce? If they are so transparent, why didn't OTA also publish the list of the hundreds of pesticides that *are* approved for use by USDA Organic standards.

In reply to by Steve Sprinkel (not verified)

Submitted by John on Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:59

Organic= Marketing Tool

Submitted by Ken on Fri, 09/14/2018 - 07:11

Conventional and organic produce are equally safe. Publishing a list of prohibited chemicals does not convey greater product safety. First tenet of toxicology: the dose makes the poison.

Submitted by Stephen Pavich on Fri, 09/14/2018 - 10:55

Being a organic grower most of my life, I'm not surprised that the organic community gets attacked by these naysayers. When you really look at the science behind organic and understand toxicology beyond just numbers you will find that organic is the safest way to eat your food. The status quo will continue to fight organic but eventually the consumer will win out.

Submitted by Dr. Perry on Mon, 09/17/2018 - 15:05

Considering that there have been no deaths attributed to GMO consumption, while organic produce not only has been behind multiple fatalities in Europe and North America (just the 2011 outbreak killed 53 individuals), but also has been subject to more recalls on a per-capita basis than conventional produce (Based on the 2015 data, organic produce accounted for 7% of recalls, but less than 5% of the total food production, a significant over-representation).

As for your comments on toxicology, it would appear that you are the one who needs to spend some time studying, as your position is not shared by the overwhelming majority of toxicologists. As a member of the Society of Toxicology, I, along with my peers updated the official stance of the society last year (formal release was November 2017), to one supporting the use and safety of GMO crops.

So now the fun part, care to cite an OECD-compliant chronic toxicity study (OECD-452 is the most commonly used) that shows adverse health effects at or below the current ADI?

There aren't any. Not a single compliant study in over two decades. Conversely, not one but three studies out of the EU (GRACE, G-TwYST, and GMO90Plus) all wrapped up between 2016-2018. They did not find any causal relationship between GMO consumption and any adverse health effects.

That's what the data shows, and your hypothesis that organic produce is safer is in no way supported by the compliant studies to date.

In reply to by Stephen Pavich (not verified)

Submitted by R Henry on Fri, 09/14/2018 - 11:13

Long ago, I was sales manager for a national Organic produce distributor.

Our internal research indicated our best prospects existed among three distinct target customer groups:

Mothers of infant children
Boomers suffering unexplained chronic illness
Anti-Capitalist hippies/political progressives.

I got out of that business. It felt as though were dialing-in on consumers who we identified as soft in the head, for whatever reason....seeking to profit from their confusion. After all, no study has ever confirmed that food marketed as "organic" is any safer, better tasting, or more nutritious, than conventionally produced food.