What is in this article?:
- Consumers must be convinced regulatory process ensures safe food
- Forget the extremists
- California farmers must comply with no fewer than 70 individual laws and regulations before applying pesticides — that is not likely to change.
The Oro Agri contingent at CAPCA, from left: Greg Hallquist, El Grover, Calif.; Scott McKelvie, Templeton, Calif.; Larry Liggett, Bakersfield, Calif.; and Jose Silva, Edinburg, Texas.
Forget the extremists
Forget the extremists on either side of the pesticide use issue. They will not be convinced otherwise, Bedwell says. The message of food safety must go to the middle, those who are reasonable and willing to listen.
Bedwell is a board member of the Alliance for Food and Fiber, which he says is “setting the record straight” about safe fruit and vegetable consumption to the reasonable.
The alliance faces off with the Environmental Working Group and its infamous Dirty Dozen of fruits and vegetables EWG claims are tainted with pesticides
EWG and those of a similar ilk are “scaring people away from eating healthy fruits and vegetables.”
“I get very angry about these single dimensional viewpoints that do not recognize consequences” of steering people away from healthy food.
Bedwell’s anger no doubt boiled over in the wake of the recent announcement from Stanford University that there is no nutritional difference between organically grown and conventional fruits and vegetables.
“Bottom line” from the study was “it doesn’t matter” where fruits and vegetables come from — conventional agriculture or organic — “eat fruits and vegetables because they are healthy for you.”
However, extremists immediately responded to the study by claiming that large corporations had bought out the prestigious university and that coventionally grown fruits and vegetables were grown with pesticides and organics are not.
“Organic does not mean no pesticides,” Bedwell said, adding organic food is not more sustainable than conventionally grown food.
Bedwell believes that this extremist view is detrimental to the nation’s health because not eating healthy fruits and vegetables increases the chances of cancer.
He believes EWG “should be held accountable” for their scaremongering that is endangering the health of a nation.
It is a daunting task to change the perception of the public, but it is a challenge that must be met or the U.S. food supply will be outsourced from offshore, where regulatory food safety oversight is often lax, Bedwell says. This would also threaten the nation’s security by relying on other nations for food.