Agribusiness Freedom Foundation  
Home arrow Sentinel e-Newsletter arrow September 2006 arrow Letter to the Editor ? New York Times on Spinach
Main Menu
About AFF
Latest Op/Ed Release
Sentinel e-Newsletter
Newsletter Signup
Staff Bios
Make A Contribution
Contact Us
Letter to the Editor ? New York Times on Spinach PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Saturday, 30 September 2006
AFF Sentinel Vol.3 #27

Times op-ed piece regarding the spinach E. coli 0157:H7 case. Below is a copy of a letter-to-the-editor we also sent to the New York Times. Also below is a link to the text of the offending Times article, in case you had not seen the full article.

Very soon, we will also bring you an update on the latest findings of the state and federal investigation into the case.

Last issue we told you about the error-ridden attack on the beef industry in a New York New York Times: Platform For Irresponsible Attacks

Dear Editor:
Is it too much to ask for the activists and their chief ally, the New York Times, to wait for the facts of the spinach investigation to be discovered before they fixed the blame ("Leafy Green Sewage," Nina Planck, Op-Ed, 09/21/06)? And it would be too much to expect accurate facts in explaining what they think the investigators will find.

While activist Planck may be sure that feeding grain to animals is the reason they shed E. coli 0157:H7, the research contradicts her. Alex Avery of the Center for Global Food Issues said USDA researchers have found the bacteria in cattle raised in open pastures at low densities in remote areas, as well as feedlots and dairies.

As additional evidence that modern, advanced grain-fed cattle operations did not hatch this pathogen, Avery notes genetic evidence indicates the 0157:H7 strain arose thousands of years ago.

It is also irresponsible to charge that modern agriculture is carelessly going around contaminating produce fields and groundwater supplies. Advanced manure management and ever increasingly regulated and restricted water quality systems for all feedlots and dairies makes any run off problems rare exceptions to the rule. Cattlemen have spent millions of dollars so that distribution is by plan, not accident. The overwhelming majority of the distribution is on crops not fed to humans.

The Times' willingness to run such an irresponsible, factually inaccurate piece, plus do it before the facts are in is regrettable. The illnesses and death resulting from whatever cause are tragic and our sympathies are with those people and their families. But they deserve to know the truth, not be led on by activists and the Times without the facts of the case or knowledge of the issues.

While no system is perfect, rest assured that America's farmers and ranchers are dedicated to providing healthy and safe food for America's people - their customers and their families' source of livelihood.

Steve Dittmer
Agribusiness Freedom Foundation
Colorado Springs, CO 80908

See text of New York Times op/ed, "Leafy Green Sewage.

Email your comments to the author


Last Updated ( Monday, 30 October 2006 )
Next >
designed by