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I would rspond in kind but my third grade rants are a little rusty.

Another perspective on "Organic" farming;

Reasons you should buy regular goods
By Jackie Avner
Posted: 07/29/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT

I don't like to buy organic food products, and avoid them at all cost. It is a principled decision reached through careful consideration of effects of organic production practices on animal welfare and the environment. I buy regular food, rather than organic, for the benefit of my family.

I care deeply about food being plentiful, affordable and safe. I grew up on a dairy farm, where my chores included caring for the calves and scrubbing the milking facilities. As a teenager, I was active in Future Farmers of America, and after college I took a job in Washington, D.C., on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee staff.

But America no longer has an agrarian economy, and now it is rare for people to have firsthand experience with agricultural production and regulation. This makes the general public highly susceptible to rumors and myths about food, and vulnerable to misleading marketing tactics designed not to improve the safety of the food supply, but to increase retail profits. Companies marketing organic products, and your local grocery chain, want you to think organic food is safer and healthier, because their profit margins are vastly higher on organic foods.

The USDA Organic label does not mean that there is any difference between organic and regular food products. Organic farms simply employ different methods of food production. For example, organic dairy farms are not permitted to administer antibiotics to their sick or injured cows, and do not give them milk-stimulating hormone supplements (also known as rbGH or rBST). The end product is exactly the same - all milk, regular and organic, is completely antibiotic-free, and all milk, regular and organic, has the same trace amounts of rbGH (since rbGH is a protein naturally present in all cows, including organic herds). Try as they may, proponents of organic foods have not been able to produce evidence that the food produced by conventional farms is anything but safe.

Do organic production practices benefit animals? Dr. Chuck Guard, professor of veterinary medicine at Cornell University, told me that it pains him that many technological advancements in animal medicine are prohibited for use on organic farms. He described how organic farms don't use drugs to control parasites, worms, infections and illness in their herds. "Drugs take away pain and suffering," he said. "Proponents of organic food production have thrown away these medical tools, and the result is unnecessary pain and suffering for the animals."

In order for milk and meat to qualify as USDA Organic, the animals must never be given antibiotics when they are sick or injured. On organic farms, animals with treatable illnesses such as infections and pneumonia are left to suffer, or given ineffective homeopathic treatments, in the hope that they will eventually get better on their own. If recovery without medication seems unlikely, a dairy cow with a simple respiratory infection will be slaughtered for its meat, or sold to a traditional farm where she can get the medicine she needs. I don't buy organic milk because this system is cruel to animals, and I know that every load of regular milk is tested for antibiotics to ensure that it is antibiotic-free.

Organic milk certainly is not fresher than regular milk. Regular milk is pasteurized and has a shelf life of about 20 days. Organic milk is ultrapasteurized, a process that is more forgiving of poor quality milk, and that increases the shelf life of milk to about 90 days. Some of the Horizon organic milk boxes I've seen at Costco have expiration dates in 2008! There is a powerful incentive for retailers to put the ultrapasteurized organic milk on the shelf just before the expiration date, so consumers will think the organic milk is as fresh as the regular milk. After all, consumers are paying twice as much for the organic product.

Do organic production practices benefit the environment? In many cases, they do the opposite. Recently, Starbucks proudly informed their customers that they would no longer be buying milk from farms that use rbGH, the supplemental hormone administered to cows to increase milk production (even though the extra hormones stay in the cow, and the resulting milk is the same). The problem with this policy is that Starbucks will now be buying milk from farms that are far less efficient at making milk. Without the use of the latest technology for making milk, many more cows must be milked to produce the same number of café lattes for Starbucks' customers. More cows being milked means more cows to feed, and therefore more land must be cultivated with fossil-fuel-burning tractors. More cows means many more tons of manure produced, and more methane, a greenhouse gas, released into the atmosphere.

I see Starbucks' policy as environmentally irresponsible. When a farmer gives a cow a shot of rbGH, the only environmental cost is the disposal of the small plastic container it came in. But the environmental benefits of using this technology are enormous.

Attention all shoppers: Safeway is adopting the same misdirected policy as Starbucks, judging from the prominent labeling of milk at my local Safeway store: "Milk from cows not treated with rBST." When I'm feeling particularly green, I drive past Safeway and shop at another grocery store in protest.

Consumers assume that organic crops are environmentally friendly. However, organic production methods are far less efficient than the modern methods used by conventional farmers, so organic farmers must consume more natural and man-made resources (such as land and fuel) to produce their crops.

Cornell Professor Guard told me about neighboring wheat farms he observed during a visit to Alberta, Canada: one organic and one conventional. The organic farm consumes six times as much diesel fuel per bushel of wheat produced.

Socially conscious consumers have a right to know that "organic" doesn't mean what it did 20 years ago. According to the Oct. 16, 2006, cover story in Business Week, when you eat Stonyfield Farms yogurt, you are often consuming dried organic milk flown all the way from New Zealand and reconstituted here in the U.S. The apple puree used to sweeten the yogurt sometimes comes from Turkey, and the strawberries from China. Importation of organic products raises troubling questions about food safety, labor standards, and the fossil fuels burned in the transportation of these foods.

Does buying organic really benefit your family? Remember, there is no real difference in the food itself. At my local Safeway store, organic milk is 85 percent more expensive, eggs 138 percent higher, yogurt 50 percent, chicken thighs 80 percent, and broccoli 20 percent. If the only organic product you buy for your family is milk, then you are spending an extra $200 on milk each year. If you buy 5-10 other organic products each week, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, yogurt and meat, then you could easily approach $1,000 in extra food costs per year. Families would receive a more direct health benefit from spending that money on a gym membership, a treadmill, or new bikes.

When I share this information with friends who buy organic, I get one of two responses: they either stop buying it, or they continue to buy organic based on a strong gut feeling that food grown without the assistance of man- made technology has to be healthier.

I don't push it, but I wonder: Why do people apply that logic to agricultural products, but not to every other product we use in our daily lives? There are either no chemicals, or the minutest trace of chemicals in some of our foods. But other everyday products are full of chemical ingredients. Read the label on your artificial sweetener, antiperspirant, sun lotion, toothpaste, household cleaning products, soda, shampoo, and disposable diapers, for example. The medicines we administer to our children when they are sick are man-made substances. Chemicals aren't just used to make these products; they are still in these products in significant amounts. It just doesn't make sense to focus fear of technology on milk and fresh produce.

I say, bypass the expensive organic products in the grocery store. Buy the regular milk, meat and fresh produce. It is the right choice for the family, animal welfare and the environment.

Jackie Avner ( lives in Highlands Ranch."

What I posted was an analysis of the citations you provided, all in my search for the facts. I even mentioned a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences that appears to favor your argument, so I'm clearly not just dismissing information that I may not agree with. I would say that what I posted was quite relevant, but I must be confused as to the meaning of "relevant" in this context. Please enlighten me, Jon, instead of just insulting me.

the use of BGH was discovered and has been used since 1937. In 1994 it was synthesized and the use greww. Before it could be used it was subjected to over 150 studies, as I noted. These are relevant. If you want to see the studies I would suggest you get a freedom of information request and get them.

There is zero evidence that milk from treated and non-treated cows is any different. The substance used is identical to the natural hormone, BGH. No one anywhere denies this. the 1995 study does not mention impacts on humans because there is none.

You want me to provide the 150 studies done before acceptance in 1995 of the rBGH or you discount the studies as unreliable and you will avoid milk from cows treated withrBGH. I don't care. It is an unreasonable fear, but you can live in fear if you choose to. In my opinion and every scientific organization in the world it is unrealistic and unfounded, but your perception is your reality and you have every right to your own peculiar way of looking at things, no matter how wrong and unfounded your assumptions and fears are.

When you get a chance you will find the reference to waste is because each treated cow produces, on average ten pounds more milk a day. the decrease in waste by utilizing less cows would be scalable for any size farm. It seems that in this case as in others you somehow never have time to study things that will enlighten you. You have all the time in the world to argue and no time to put up an arguement and fall back on suggesting I am not convincing you. My position is to state facts according to my understanding and document my positions. If you disagree you should present an arguement against my position. Simply saying you are not convinced is nonsense. If you think I'm wrong, prove it.
After much study and amid some controversy, the FDA approved the use of bST in dairy cows in November 1993. Commercial sales were delayed for 90 days, however, because of a Congressional act (1). FDA based its rulings on findings that (a) bST is species-specific for cows, (b) bST is a protein that is digested in the intestinal tract of human beings and cows, (c) milk contains bST naturally and supplementation does not increase the amount of bST to levels outside the normal ranges, (d) bST supplementation does not change milk composition, and (e) bST has not been found to cause growth-promoting activity in a variety of species

Be sure to read a handful of the comments to Jackie Avner's article. There Great! It seems Ms. Avner is in the biotech business looking to breed allergen free cats using Transgenics. "Transgenic refers to the process of introducing new genetic material into a cell. A transfected cell is a cell with new DNA material in it."

Jon, what I took issue with in my original post is that you presented the manufacturer's own PR as a solid argument in their favor. Since you seem to be a cheerleader for them, I figured you must have something more that could give me an "aha!" moment, so I asked for the gold standard: peer-reviewed, published, primary source materials. You presented some sources as if they were, but they really aren't. That's been my beef (no pun intended) throughout this whole thing- that it is intellectually dishonest to bolster an argument by claiming that your "proof" is stronger than what it really is.

I cannot argue with you and claim that I know of a current study, meeting my criteria, that demonstrates that rBGH is UNsafe. So, I've asked you to provide me an example of a true, scientific study that proves it's safe. If you also cannot do this, it may be that there just isn't enough data to know for certain. Unfortunately, that's an all-to-common result of research: we end up without enough information to consider the study conclusive.

As for your personal attack on me about "not having time to study things that would enlighten me"- the point you make about the PNAS article is right there in it, and I understand how they reached that conclusion. I was simply stating that I found the conclusion interesting, and wanted to ponder the implications a little more. Is that ok, Jon? To read something and consider it food for thought, and maybe plan on talking it over with some folks I know in the field? Or do I need to formulate a hard, fast, inflexible position on something the second it's placed in front of me?

As you should know it takes years of studies and millions and sometimes billions of dollars to get FDA approval. Your suggesting that this is not peer reviewed is nonsensical. I am also quite sure that the claims made by Monsanto of the other approvals would not be published if not true. You have gold-plated studies, could there be some hidden side affects; maybe, anything is possible, although 15 years of studies have not surfaced anything.

If you wanted to study it further and educate yourself some more and question it of others you should not have been so obnoxious and you should never accuse me of being intellectually dishonest as the only person being dishonest is you.

To put it sustincly, I simply stated a well documented fact with a very solid source. You impuned the source simply because it was referenced by the manufacturer. You then accused me of not understanding what you said. You then continued to be biligerent by saying I could have pulled things out of context, with no suggestion as to how you arrived at this conclusion. You make claims that this is something new when it has a 71 year history. When your incorrect assertions are confronted you say you need time to study it and imply I have somehow pressured you into confronting me.

Please study things before you make assertions that are simply not true.



Interesting, is "they're" some relevance to the article?

They're might be. Your the expert at spurious claims and arguments. Let me know.

Just curious, can you spell pompous?

There is no relavence.

Pompous that would be;


As I suspected, no you can’t spell pompous. If you had looked up the meaning of the word that might have helped.

I hope you are not being paid to litter the internet with your knowledge. Your benefactors aren’t getting their money’s worth. Your approach turns off more people than it attracts. A big giant gas bag that causes the level of CO2 in the atmosphere to rise with every breath is a real turn off. The dearth of comments in the posts in which you pontificate other than from those who find you objectionable just might be an indication of your level of success in educating the ignorant masses.

Wow, aggressor to victim in 3.2 seconds. Impressive.

I have no hope of educating you. You are not a thinking person. You exhibit this with your angry responses when you are unable to formulate any logical response.

To recap; I have simply stated facts backed up by hundreds of studies by the FDA, the American Dietetic Association, the UN World Health Orgainization, the European Union, hundreds of other tests by states and countries and none of these tests have shown anything other than the fact that milk from cows treated with the recombinant bovine growth hormone produce milk that is indistinguishable from cows that are not treated. Not one hint of any proof otherwise has been offered.

Having no knowledge of the facts and being incapable of mounting any comeback based on fact your predictable response is to personally attack me. This shows an absolute inability to discuss the subject intelligently. Your supposition is that these personal attacks are a good substitute for your ignorance. It is not.

Let me leave you with my previously submitted and now twice ignored advice;

It is far better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. The Immortal Bard

Here are your sole contributions to the discussion with me:

"Exhibit A of that close minded pathology. Why is it that they can never bother to use a spell check?"

"The comntent becomes rather irrelevant when the tone and style of delivery over powers it. A smarter person would recognize that."

"I like clever Mr. Dog. Maybe you can teach that to some people."

"Be sure to read a handful of the comments to Jackie Avner's article. There Great! It seems Ms. Avner is in the biotech business looking to breed allergen free cats using Transgenics. "Transgenic refers to the process of introducing new genetic material into a cell. A transfected cell is a cell with new DNA material in it."

"They're might be. Your the expert at spurious claims and arguments. Let me know.

Just curious, can you spell pompous?"

"As I suspected, no you can’t spell pompous. If you had looked up the meaning of the word that might have helped."

"I hope you are not being paid to litter the internet with your knowledge. Your benefactors aren’t getting their money’s worth. Your approach turns off more people than it attracts. A big giant gas bag that causes the level of CO2 in the atmosphere to rise with every breath is a real turn off. The dearth of comments in the posts in which you pontificate other than from those who find you objectionable just might be an indication of your level of success in educating the ignorant masses."

Looking over your comments to me there is zero discussion, zero input of information, zero rebuttal with fact to any of the information I supplied. Your "contribution", once again, is a big fat zero. You started with and continued with nothing but lame insults. If you want anyone to respect your opinion (if you have any) you should re-evaluate your methods. A very good start would be to do some research and try to educate yourself before I reach the obvious conclusion you don't know what you are talking about.

I'm no victim. A victim is someone that is told an untruth and doesn't have the intelligence to question.

To recap, as you so accurately pointed out now that you feel it is relevant, I never once entered a discussion with you about milk. You have major problems with reading comprehension. I was discussing YOU and the impression you create. It’s not good.

Are you being paid for this? Who do you work for? If you really want to educate people, why don’t you start your own blog or site with all the facts about what you are so passionate about? Or is that too much to expect from a big giant gASS bag?

So you entered into the discussion about hormones in milk and hybrid seeds and thought that since you know absolutely nothing about this you would personally attack me?

You didn't want to enter the discussion and you somehow just wanted to express your opinion that you think I have problems with reading comprehension?

You didn't want to intellectually engage me after your previous experience where you exhibited the same distasteful habit of resorting to personal attacks when your knowledge of a subject fails you?

You thought that lacking any arguement you felt you would jump in and attempt to cover your shortcomings in intellect by being ignorant and abusive?

This is a stunning admission. I do appreciate your honesty however, it is a refreshing change

"So you entered into the discussion about hormones in milk...."

No you do not understand. I never entered the discussion of milk.

Have you ever considered brevity as a way to enhance your communication? Sometimes the messenger deserves to be shot.

Goodbye Christopher.

At first I enjoyed popping your pompous balloons but alas the continual ease of verbally defeating such an intellectually defenseless person as yourself has become tedious and the degradation you continually and seemingly unashamedly heap upon yourself with comments such as that above is sad, very sad.

You betcha Sparky! Tedious is a very apt description. Adios.

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