You may remember when I invited you to appear in a PBS special, Get Healthy Now, along with other medical panelists, in 1999. We have not spoken since, however, my audience and I are very concerned about the inflammatory comments that you made in a recent issue of TIME Magazine. In effect, you stated that there is no basic difference between non-organic, genetically modified fruits, vegetables and animal proteins and organic varieties and that people are wasting their money buying organic foods. You also suggest that individuals who purchase organic foods are taking part in a “snooty” form of “elitism” and that in effect, it’s the “99%” just trying to act like the “1%”.
This was unexpected as a person with your reputation and resources could easily have found the several hundred to several thousand peer-reviewed articles highlighting the dangers of consuming pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and genetically engineered foods, especially to those people most vulnerable to chemical toxicity or environmentally-induced illnesses, such as children. Also, you could have examined the 40 years of scientific and lay literature on the plight of farm workers who experience the highest incidence of birth defects and other adverse health consequences as a result of working with toxins in the soil as well as the hundreds of studies confirming the damaging effects of modern commercial meat, poultry and fish production on our health and the environment. Additionally, you could have carried out a review of the water and soil conservation literature that shows how the enormous quantities of excess nitrogen released during the production of our commercial, factory farmed foods contribute to massive fish die-offs and dead zones, the largest of which is at the mouth of the Mississippi river and is larger than the state of New Jersey. And finally, you may want to have a conversation with your wife, who recently used our studios at the Progressive Radio Network along with Jeffrey Smith, the leading critic of GMO foods in the US, to narrate a documentary challenging genetic engineering. Certainly your wife, a dedicated, conscientious and highly educated consumer activist, would be a great resource for you.
My hope is that this information will motivate you to have your staff do their due diligence, research the facts and realize that you are supporting the “1%”- Monsanto, your television network and their sponsors- and that may be a position in need of reevaluation. I will remain optimistic that you will be thoughtful enough to set aside your ego and any special interests that have propagandized you, and that you will seek the truth, speak out and write a rebuttal. I look forward to your communication.