(* See footnote below)
Three weeks are not nearly enough to comprehend the magnitude of the catastrophes that hit Germany starting May 24.
Yet in addition to the grief and empathy I feel for the German people, I am beginning to develop another emotion, and that is anger. As we anxiously await every bit of news about the developments in Germany, hoping that E coli deaths will be brought to an end, that the risk of further catastrophe will be averted, and that the German people will have one less nightmare to cope with, governments across the world continue to promote further investment in organic food.
There are two dangerous assumptions currently parading themselves as fact in the midst of the ongoing organic crisis. The first is that organic food is safe. The second is that organic food is an essential element of a healthy future, that it is needed to prevent obesity. Both are false.
Organic food production will always be vulnerable to human error, natural disaster, design failure or terrorist attack. What we are seeing in Germany right now are failures of the systems. The sprouts themselves withstood the contamination of E coli, but then people ate them. When the back-up testing systems also failed, the sprouts were eaten, eventually causing the spread of E coli. This is only one example of what can go wrong.
Organic food is inherently unsafe and the list of possible illnesses stemming from exposure to the accompanying E coli is horrifying: fever, stomach cramps, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, low platelet counts, and total breakdown of the kidneys.
While we have all heard of the German organic outbreak, the organic industry would have us believe these are but isolated events in an otherwise unblemished history. Not so. Hundreds of outbreaks of E Coli have occurred, and studies demonstrate that they are more likely to occur as a result of organic farming practices.
Organic food is an expensive and deadly distraction from the real solutions. It is imperative that as citizens of the world we continue to voice our opposition to further investment in organic food. We need a truly clean food revolution now.
* Full acknowledgment for this text goes to Greenpeace from whom most of this text was borrowed. Thanks guys.