Dr. Oz Flip-Flops on Supporting Organics as High-Profile Attacks Intensify
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What the Stanford study did, thanks to a huge public relations push, was spread the message that organic fruits and vegetables are expensive, and conventional fruits and vegetables are just as good but cheaper. No doubt, the authors hope that consumers will carry over that message from fruits and vegetables, to all things organic.
It’s no surprise that the Stanford study would focus on cost. As it turns out, the study was produced by Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute, which gets millions in funding from agribusiness giant Cargill, the world’s largest agricultural business enterprise, and foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which have deep ties to agricultural chemical and biotechnology corporations like Monsanto. These giant corporations are all part of the same cabal that contributed at least half of the $46 million spent between October 1 and November 6 to defeat Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. Just a coincidence that the Stanford study and the mass media propaganda barrage that accompanied it was released during the election season, when voters were still weighing their options on the high-profile California GMO labeling law that was making national headlines?
The motives behind the Stanford study and the Freeman Spogli Institute are obvious. What caused Dr. Oz to flip-flop is anyone’s guess – and just might make for a good story someday. Informed sources behind the scenes have told us that Dr. Oz is under tremendous pressure from the biotech industry after airing a segment earlier this fall that supported GMO labeling. He’s also getting pressure from Big Pharma and federal regulatory agencies for his previous exposures of industry malpractices.
Consumer demand for organics is rising steadily. Last year, organic foods accounted for $31.4 billion in sales, according to a recent Obama administration report. Compare that with just $3.6 billion in 1997, and it makes sense that multinational junk food companies, like Pepsi, General Mills, Coca-Cola and others, are buying up organic brands. But these companies also know that there’s more money in the $50-billion “natural” foods market, an unregulated market with higher profit margins and lower barriers to entry, than there is in certified organics. That explains why these same multinational companies pitched in the other half of the $46 million to defeat Prop 37. After all, if passed, the initiative would have banned the use of the word “natural” on any product containing genetically modified foods. That would have forced companies to use more expensive, certified organic ingredients in their highly profitable “natural” products.
Estimates are that if Prop 37 had passed, it would have triggered a multi-billion dollar increase in the sales of organic and non-GMO foods, and a corresponding decrease in the sales of so-called “natural” foods. Could it be that Big Ag and Big Pharma, who supply the drugs for non-organic factory farms, are feeling threatened by the fact that the market for organics is growing ten times faster than the market for conventional foods? The bottom line is that the real 1%, America’s giant food processors and supermarket chains, are alarmed by the fact that consumers are wising up -- and rising up -- in greater numbers than ever before to demand transparency in labeling, and greater access to organic, locally-sourced, humanely-produced, nutritious food.
In a struggling economy, the quickest way to grab the attention of consumers is to promise them short-term savings. Messages like the ones transmitted by the Stanford study and Dr. Oz’s recent article grossly oversimplify the issue of organics versus conventional foods, while propping up an unsustainable but highly profitable factory farm and processed food industry. They miss the point, intentionally, that pesticides, drug residues, and filthy factory farms damage public health and raise U.S. medical costs, which are already the highest in the world.