The USDA's recent decision to (re)deregulate genetically modified (GM) alfalfa has sent a shock wave of panic through the organic foods industry. Samuel Fromartz explained to Food Channel readers how "the move has been opposed by organic farmers and consumers because of the strong possibility that genetically modified alfalfa will cross-pollinate non-GM alfalfa." In essence, organic growers (who produce between .5 and 1 percent of the nation's alfalfa) could have their product contaminated by gene flow from genetically modified seed and, as a result, have their hard-earned organic designation undermined. Of course, this seems terribly unfair.
On November 7, The New York Times ran a front-page story by Michael Moss exposing what appears to be yet another sinister example of bureaucratic hypocrisy in the tainted world of food regulation. The USDA, according to Moss, has assumed the contradictory role of warning Americans against a high-fat diet while, at the same time, promoting the consumption of heart-clogging cheese products. Worse, as Moss implies, American taxpayers are the ones funding this corporate-friendly doublespeak.
Michael Moss is an ace reporter. His work on the meat industry for the Times has been unmatched. I'm a fan. In the case of this cheese story, though, Moss obscured an important point, one that dampens the outrage you might have felt if you'd received Michael Pollan's tweet that "our...read full post »