Organic Foods Vindicated, But So What?

Last year ABC-TV's John Stossel got caught inventing nonexistent scientific studies so he could pretend that organic foods contain as many pesticides as conventionally-grown produce. Now Consumers Union has done a real scientific study, published in a peer-reviewed journal, which shows (surprise, surprise) that Stossel was dead wrong and organic foods contain substantially fewer pesticide residues. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a long-time apologist for agribusiness, is pooh-poohing the result. "So what?" says ACSH's Gilbert Ross. "The health risks associated with pesticide residues on food are not at all established." The Associated Press put its own bizarre spin on the story, headlining its report, "One-quarter of organic produce contains pesticides". AP's lead paragraph warns, "Think organic fruits and vegetables are free of pesticides? Think again." The story waits until the third paragraph before mentioning that 75 percent of conventionally-grown produce contain pesticide residues, as compared to only 23 percent for organic produce.