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‘Organic’ labels for poultry, other foods challenged in recent news reports

Critics of the organic labels for poultry meat and other foods are speaking up, reports the latest edition of Influence Feed.

The pressure to buy organic concerned New York Post contributor Naomi Schaefer Riley in her April 19 piece, “The tyranny of the organic mommy mafia,” in which she posited, “For some of them, feeding their families organic is a status symbol.”

Riley referenced blogger Julie Gunlock’s post in which Gunlock wondered whether other mothers who castigated her for not buying organic had all of the facts.

Gunlock praised Oklahoma State University agriculture economics professor Jayson Lusk for his article on The Huffington Post, “Why You Shouldn’t Buy Organic,” which food blogger Sam Vance applauded. Lusk distilled his thesis to, “The question is whether organic lives up to the hype and whether it’s worth it to pay a hefty premium.”

In addition, Dan Flynn of Food Safety News summarized a 25-year Academics Review report from early April, which concluded, “Our report finds consumers have spent hundreds of billions of dollars purchasing premium-priced organic food products based on false or misleading perceptions about comparative product food safety, nutrition and health attributes.”

A former USDA contract organic inspector, Mischa Popoff, penned an op-ed in AgriMarketing asking: “But in all seriousness, is this really what being organic in America has come to mean? Attacking technologies that you disagree with?”

During the same period, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met in San Antonio, Texas, with a troubled start due to protestors, according to Agri-Pulse. All in all, food studies professor Marion Nestle posted on May 1, “It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the organic front.”

Visit Influence Feed for more industry trends and insights from key opinion leaders.


Posted on June 9, 2014


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Shifting downtime to 2 weeks can significantly reduce S. Heidelberg loads in poultry litter, according to a research microbiologist with the USDA. Adapting litter management could also limit the presence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in the barn.

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