When we featured an excerpt from Scientific American’s blogpost “Exploring the Myths of Organic vs. Conventional”, and linked to the full article, we received a LOT of feedback! Thanks to everyone for their comments.
Blogger Christie Wilcox apparently received a lot of mail about this post as well. So much so, that Wilcox is staunchly defending her position with a more detailed explanation, complete with scientific cites and footnoted references to back up her claims. Whether or now you share Wilcox’s opinion, it’s healthy to engage in this debate (and we remind readers that these articles are not authored by BIO, but by Wilcox, a science writer for Scientific American.)
At BIO, we may not agree with all of Wilcox’s points, but we support her central point: If the future of agriculture is going to provide the food, fuel and fiber for our growing world, we must examine all potential technologies and farming practices, respect farmers to make the choices that are best for their operations, and not disparage against any one system. We believe coexistence is alive and well, and with nine billion people to feed in the near future, we all have a vital role to play.
Read on for Wilcox’s response post and click on the hyperlink to read her full article:
“In the responses to my article on organic myths, I have been called an industrial shill, liar, and an organic hater. People have questioned my motives, saying I am a bioengineer or paid by Monsanto. They have called for my head, or at the very least, the retraction of my article.
“In most of them, my arguments were inflated, twisted, or flat-out re-written. I don’t think GMOs ‘are the only way to feed the world.’ I don’t think organics are ‘trying to take over.’ So, screw the myths. This time around, I’m just going to focus on the facts.”
Among the Facts Wilcox references:
- Fact #1: Organic farming uses pesticides – and yes, organic pesticides are bad for you, too.
- Fact #2: Science has yet to support claims that organic foods are healthier.Fact #3a: Certified organic farms don’t have yields that equal conventional ones.
- Fact #3b: GMOs aren’t evil, and yes, they might even do some good for the world.
- Fact #4: Farming practices of all types should be considered and weighed for their merits independent of labels.
“The central point of my mythbusting article, and of this one, is that the future of agriculture needs to examine all potential methods and determine if they are right for a given area. Landscapes are different – growing crops in Africa isn’t the same as growing crops in the Midwest, and if we universally apply the same methods globally, we are destined to fail both in terms of efficiency and sustainability. It is only through the breakdown of this arbitrary and variable distinction between methodologies and integration of a variety of practices that we will achieve our ultimate goal of a bright future both agriculturally and ecologically.”