11/13/2007 -the following are letters written by organic consumers in response to his comments that buying organic and local is dumb. Collin Peterson, chairman




Название11/13/2007 -the following are letters written by organic consumers in response to his comments that buying organic and local is dumb. Collin Peterson, chairman
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21349573/“ -Santa Monica, CA

“Dear Mr. Peterson I find your statement concerning local and organic farming to be naive and uninformed. These systems of agriculture are all about sustaining agriculture and family farms. I would hope you would want to encourage the consumers to support these systems rather than characterizing their choice to support these systems as “dumb” .”

“I find it fascinating that you would be unable to understand the many reasons why a consumer would wish to support their local producers over remote producers. Also it is fascinating that you do not understand why consumers health concerns would lead them to choose organic foods for their family. Anyway sir, congratulations on dumbest comment of the week. Best wishes and more pesticides, herbicides, GMOs in your food and energy waste in transportation to you. And this from a Democrat. I had you pegged as a neocon based on your statements.”

“No wonder the democrats are floundering. Are you really that stupid to call me dumb because I don't want to eat poisoned food that is raised and or harvested in the most unhealthy and immoral fashion? Food raised and harvested by huge corporations that like you are only interested in the bottom line? How much did big agribusiness pay you--contribute to your campaign fund--to come out and actually call your constituents and fellow democrats dumb!! Man I hope you get elected the heck out of office.”

"Dear Mr. Peterson, This letter is in response to your recent comment, “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says 'organic' or 'local'. Far be it from me to understand what that's about, but that's reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Whether that comment was out of sheer ignorance or being funded by chemical companies, here are a few reasons why I choose to buy organic: -Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs. -It’s common sense well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals. -Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us. -The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources. -Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils. -Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas. -Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment. -The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades. -USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops. -Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically ? even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown this way. (Reasons to buy organic provided by the Organic Trade Association.) The point is sir, that I want to be healthy and have a healthy world for future generations to enjoy. A good start is consuming organic products. The government persists on subsidizing farmers that use unhealthy and unsustainable farm practices (largely due to taking unethical bribes from large chemical companies). This is the reason that organic products are 2-3 times more expensive than the regular, unsustainable products. “Far be it from me” to understand why our senators and representatives refuse to listen to the needs of the people they represent. Please support organic farming practices, our future and our health depend on it!”

“If you took the time, I personally, as a Holistic Health Counselor, could give you literally dozens of sound, scientific reasons why organic and local farm products are better for you. In a nutshell, they are not toxic - which is what virtually all factory-farmed meat and produce are.”

“If you can't figure out the benefits of eating food grown without CHEMICALS then really, who is the dumb one? Please, since you obviously have no clue about agriculture or what should be going in human bodies, remove yourself from the agriculture committee.”

“Sir, As indicated in the MSNBC.com Financial Times Oct. 17, 2007 publication, your ignorance as it relates to organic farming is quite alarming. Perhaps you don't mind you and your loved ones eating toxic waste at every meal, but there are a number of folks out there who do especially when there is an alternative. The fact that organic foods cost more is the shameful and “dumb” part. Why should consumers have to pay more for safe food? For instance, why should we be forced to eat strawberries sprayed with a known neurological damaging (among other things) pesticide, when there is an organic alternative. Next time you watch your children or grand children enjoying fresh produce, I hope you consider what it is exactly that they are ingesting and consider perhaps looking into their future with a world filled with horrifying toxins and consider taking a stand against big business and your wallet. It would take guts, but you could do it.”

“It is sad when law makers make a comment as ignorant as this. The problem must be that there isn't enough BIG money in it for the representatives of this country.” Appleton, WI

“Mr. Peterson, I am supposedly one of the dumb ones who is paying a little more for organic and local foods. Yet, the ignorance you are expressing in your interview of October 17, 2007, towards the entire subject of growing locally and organically is simply incredible and outrageous. I am deeply concerned that someone like you, with a seemingly high intelligence, can voice something like that. It shows so clearly how uninformed and ignorant you are! There are plenty of good websites to get informed. Why don't you start with the Organic Consumer Association. Best regards and may God bless you while serving the people of the United States.” -Chantilly, VA

“Write a short paragraph to Collin Peterson here. Mr. Collin Peterson... unfortunately, I had to remove the “dear” , as, you called me “dumb” I will eat only organic products, because the other products are laden with Monsanto’s GMO's and, poisons, and, the truth is, I can NOT trust the FDA nor, the patent office to look out for me if you don't know about that I suggest you visit WWW.YOUTUBE.COM AND, WATCH THE SERIES CALLED THE FUTURE OF FOOD PART 1 - 4 and, tell me how, a company got patents on seeds etc., these are the creation of god ??? surely to god; when these people meet the pearly gates; they will descend straight to hell the truth is, the whole USA is corrupt and, I hope people buy only from local sources, and, only organic and, the other stuff rots on the shelves unless; it's organic; and ; I know who made it; I no longer eat that !!! i'd rather starve to death because, if I am what I eat i'd rather eat wholesome things, that come from wholesome handlers, and, know I will go to heaven, instead of eating the cheaper crap, that, will land me in hell I can TRUST my neighbor... but, surely to GOD I know I can NOT trust other sources for food in these times the sheep people, will no longer be fleeced by the likes of people who make comments like yours ... how very insulting besides -- JUST SEE WHAT THESE DUMB PEOPLE DO A lot of them are DARING Uniting Making good sense ... out of just where the world is heading right NOW with people like you as leaders, we definitely, should NOT choose at this time to follow you or, any of your brilliant suggestions that are NOT founded in real truth comments like this insult us maybe, you will learn something from this outbreak of yours, discover the truth, and, come to stand on the right side, instead of the wrong side of serious issues ... before it is truly too late for you who is helping the farmers, who got sued by Monsanto after, they must of driven trucks with traps; and; scattered their gmo seeds; so; they fell into their fields you truly; do NOT know your ass from a hole in the ground you should for someone who heads up agriculture; be a lot smarter than you appear to me America / and, the rest of the world is getting a lot smarter; than you ever expected us to BE ... I hope you get pelted with emails, just like mine”

“ People are willing to pay more for organic produce because they are SMART- they don't want to dumbly accept poisons and hormones from agribusiness. We care enough about our bodies and our children's bodies to choose better food. That makes us smarter.” -Denver, CO

“Dear Mr. Peterson, Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it has no validity. Please educate yourself about organic and local farming and why your constituents and others are buying it as opposed to other available options before you speak. As chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee it is your duty to know everything you can possibly know about agriculture including organic and local agriculture. Thank you.” -Gallup, NM

“I pay more for organic food because I don't want to eat pesticides and chemical fertilizers, eat genetically-modified foods, drink pus-contaminated milk, eat soy protein contaminated with hexane, cook with oils extracted using hexane, eat animals that are fed antibiotics, growth hormones, chicken feces, and blood; and eat meat that is contaminated with feces because it was slaughtered in a big factory slaughterhouse where feces gets sprayed on meat due to hasty disemboweling.” -Socorro, NM

“I am one of those dumb people who pays more for organic. And I pay more because government continues to subsidize farmers doing damage to the environment and to the health of people. I think it matters if you buy organic or not. I think it matters if you buy local. Instead of calling us dumb, help us change the system so that there is equity in the market. Help us maintain organic standards. Help us diminish water pollution and protect our oceans. Buying organic is important. If someone told you that pesticides are not a problem, you should do your homework and ask yourself who told you it was safe. I hope you join us dumb folk and take care of yourself and the environment by going organic yourself! Thank you for listening.” -New York, NY

“Congratulations for getting the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week”

“Dear Mr. Peterson, There have been no long term studies of BGH's effects on humans. Since 1994, every industrialized country in the world, except for the US, has banned rBGH for use in dairy cattle. This powerful drug produced by Monsanto and injected into dairy cows, forces them to produce 15%-25% more milk. rBGH seriously damages their health and reproductive capacity. A cow's life expectancy on this drug is drastically shortened. I do not wish to ingest dairy or meat products from cows injected with this hormone!” -Albuquerque, NM

"Dear Collin Peterson: I am sorry to hear that you have such a low opinion of your many constituents who buy organic food. I have bought organic food for the past 20 years. One of the many reasons is that I have very serious concerns about feeding my children food that is sprayed with pesticides a.k.a. poisons. I'm surprised that you don't.” -Duluth, MN

“People who have willingly ingested herbicides and pesticides all their lives owing to the fact that they were intellectually challenged in the first place and were therefore unable to comprehend the damage these chemicals caused to their already addled brains are a tragedy. Those people being elected to represent sane, conscientious citizens who have more than two healthy neurons to rub together - now that's DUMB. I was taught to think before I opened my mouth. I'm sorry you were painfully obviously not given that particular advantage either. Even so, you do have a job to do, and you are being paid for it. Whether or not you have any personal sense of duty or honour, it would behoove all of us if you were to at least act like it. Please learn something before you open your mouth and pretend to know anything about anything again.” -Greenfield, WI

“Senator Paterson; I am totally dumbfounded by the following statement you made recently about supporting organically/sustainable farming - “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good. For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says 'organic' or 'local'. Far be it from me to understand what that's about, but that's reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” Congratulations! You win the Organic Consumers Association award for the dumbest quote of the week. I don’t think I can say much more than that for I would not know where to start. You have so much to learn. -New York, NY

“I live in MN and I hope your immediate constituents vote you out next term. I will do all in my power to make sure they hear about your comment. I have never been so insulted. I choose to buy organic because I don't want to ingest all the chemicals used by the factory farms. I resent being force-fed the chemicals and genetically engineered crops used in the name of making more money.”

“collinpeterson.house.gov House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson Washington Office: 2211 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-2307 Sir, you must have some aids who will do a little research for you regarding the benefits of eating organic foods and shopping as close to home as possible. It's not a good time to be embarrassing democrats with thoughtless and unfounded comments and remarks. By the way, most consumers know what is organic and what is not, regardless of what you may believe, and what the FDA may be telling you. Perhaps you could go so far as to check in with the NOSB every now and then to ensure they are doing the best advisory job possible. Maybe even pay attention to their advice and share it with your peers. Hard work I know...” -Tacoma, WA

“The following comment you made is dumb: Collin Peterson, chairman of the House of Representatives agricultural committee, says the farm sector that raises organic produce and grass-fed beef for local consumers needs little federal help. “It is growing, and it has nothing to do with the government, and that is good,” he told the FT. “For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says 'organic' or 'local'. Far be it from me to understand what that's about, but that's reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” You need to be taking care of these farmers not the BIG business corporations. Shame on all of you!” -Spring Hill, TN

“As a lifelong Democrat, I am saddened and embarrassed that you have so little knowledge about the importance of organic food and the serious health risks of pesticides, artificial fertilizers and pharmaceutical drugs in our conventional food supply. I urge you to acquaint yourself with these issues before you issue another such uninformed and flippant remark on this extremely important topic.” -Prospect, KY

“Wow, I'm dumb enough. I'm dumb enough to take lead poison toys away from my kid too! I'm dumb enough to make sure my kid eats organic dairy products and no American beef since I know full well that Republicans in the U.S. could care less if my kid gets her period 4 years early from hormone infused milk or gets mad cow disease. You're an abominable disgrace to this country. I'm disgusted that someone as dumb as you would be voted into office. It does take intelligence to figure out the right thing to do most of the time. And maybe the lack of morality in the Republican Party is really an offshoot of profound ignorance.”

“Mr. Peterson, It is time for you to inform yourself on the issues of our food supply. Organics are our only salvation at this point because our political leaders have done such a poor job of protecting us and looking after anything other than their own interests, especially where their dollars come from. Do yourself a favor and learn the facts. Then you will represent us in a way that can be a positive force for change. Thank you.” -Bothell, WA

“I'm shocked that the chair of the Agriculture Committee doesn't understand the benefits of purchasing local and organic food, at the very least the benefits to reduce Global Warming. And why does big agri need more help from the government than the small farmer? It's time for a change.”

“I'm one of those dumb people who grow and organic garden, as well as purchase meat at high prices that are antibiotic free and hormone free. I also purchase pesticide free organically grown vegetables and fruit when I can get it. Yes, it is obscene to have to pay a higher price for healthy food that is not genetically altered and pesticide free, but that is what our government has created in this country since they have no concern for people's health only what will make them look politically good for supporting corporate agriculture and the Monsanto’s of the world. When your family comes down with cancer caused from pesticides and meat full of hormones, let me know if you are willing to change your eating habits.”

“Dear Representative Collin Peterson: I am stunned that you find people dumb for wanting healthy food that is not tainted with harmful pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics. Your statement indicates a complete ignorance of the health and environmental consequences associated with commercial farming. It is exactly because the American people can't count on their government and legislators like you to protect them from harm that they are willing to spend more on organic food.”

“Unbelievable that you cannot see the benefit of eating wholesome food in it's natural state (as intended)without the use of hormones, antibiotics, growth additives and unsafe fertilizers, etc. Perhaps you are lacking the education regarding the safety of organic and grass fed animals vs. mainstream food. I would encourage you to educate yourself; your life and the lives of your children and grandchildren depend on it.”

“Congratulations on the dumbest statement! Perhaps a little education is in order for an elected official in your capacity. Start with farming and then do a little work on your palate and vocabulary. I thought we could leave these kind of statements to our erudite president.” -New Paltz, NY

“You certainly are no friend of agriculture, but definitely a friend of agri-business, based on your recent statement regarding local grown and organic products. You sound just like an appointee of the Bush administration.” -Cherry Valley, IL

“For whatever reason, people are willing to pay two or three times as much for something that says 'organic' or 'local'. Far be it from me to understand what that's about, but that's reality. And if people are dumb enough to pay that much then hallelujah.” In response the above quotation (by you of course) I just wanted to let you know that I am NOT dumb. I am only 18 years old yet I realize how important it is to buy organic and local food that is not sprayed down with pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. My father, after making the switch to organics, has no more asthma to speak of while I have no more allergies at all. Pesticides contain chemicals that can be very harmful to reproductive health, growing children and unborn fetuses. I support local and organic foods whenever possible. I have gone to the farms where most of my food (including meat, eggs and milk) are produced. These people are not trying to scam me. They genuinely believe that our modern food system needs to go back to simpler ideals. And most of the time it is cheaper to buy organic and local because there are no shipping costs and everything is in season. Maybe you don't really know what organic agriculture is about. It is not a fad or gimmick, it's how people have farmed for thousands of years. We cannot be sure these chemicals we spray on our food are safe if we have only been using them for one century! Huge farms need to use pesticides because of how poorly they treat their land and how inefficient their techniques are. We need to give more money to small farmers who sell to local grocery stores and farmers markets. Only then we will see a decline in obesity and other food related health issues. I am not dumb.”

“Hon. Peterson, Clearly you need to be a little better versed in how the food system works in the US. Its not just about Monsanto and ADM, who undoubtedly make large contributions to 'dumb' Representatives such as yourselves to help keep the status quo, its about sustainable agriculture and a lessening of our dependence on foreign oil to raise crops. Organic and locally grown do just that. Regards,” -Arvada, CO

“Write a short paragraph to Collin Peterson here Sir, Do you have a clue as to what organic actually means? Obviously not to make a comment as ill-informed as the one you made recently.” -Los Angeles, CA

“Being an active Democrat, and concerned about my health and the health of the country, I was extremely disappointed to hear that you consider organic consumerism a dumb idea. Purchasing and consuming organic and local food is an extremely wise practice. Organic food is superior in quality to foods that have been raised with pesticides and herbicides...and organic food tastes better, too. I encourage you to become informed about the benefits of organic food, the organic food movement and all the positives of buying local, whenever possible. By the way, I'm a former Minnesotan, retired and now living in Bayfield, Wisconsin. We are organic food consumers and support the sustainability movement here in northern Wisconsin.” -Bayfield, WI

“There are too many hidden costs in conventional produce and meats for me to fit in one message, that I know you won't read. Food has gotten cheaper and cheaper, at great expense to our health, our environment, our farmers. Shame on you.” -Olympia, WA

“How dumb is it to not care about what goes into the food you eat? Seems like you support only one part of the constituency you represent. Bravo, sir, bravo.”

“Pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones...these are not things I want to ingest. Organic farming is something you need to do some research on so that you can make statements that reflect your intelligence rather than your ignorance.”

“Collin, Thank you for instructing me and other people that care about localizing the food chain and eating synthetic chemical free and GMO free foods on the virtues of intelligence. You can be sure that come election time I will be doing all I can to elect people in your place that are “dumb” like me- those who care about sustainable farming practices, who worry and not just pay lip service to the problem of pollution that results from industrial scale farming, who keep in mind the importance of animal welfare and its lack in factory scaled farming practices, who consider subsidizing large agro-businesses like Monsanto equivalent irrational and who support small farmers and their families in providing us with safe and nutritious food supplies. The irony is of course is that it is the “dumb” like me that are working to make this a better world for everyone including your own kids. The world is changing Mr. Peterson, and you do not serve the public interest with statements that clearly reveal your ignorance on the issue that you are supposed to be championing- the sustainability of a nutritious food production in a world of ever increasing energy prices and disease prone industrial mass farming processes. I strongly believe that a heartfelt apology is in order, not to me but to the real heroes who work every day to provide thousands of families with locally grown, nutritious and healthy food. I recommend at a minimum considering other perspectives and learning some tolerance. -Falls Church, VA

“That certainly shows your stupidity. Hope you are not in charge of your children’s diet.”

“I am shocked by your transparent backing of the damaging practice of factory farming, and your complete ignorance of the importance of saving if nothing else, the oil that it takes to ship the food around the country -Mendocino, California”

“What's dumb is subsidizing farmers whose only concern is profit- they'll take care of themselves. We should be helping farmers who use sustainable methods that don't harm the environment so that their prices could be more competitive. Your selfish need for bigger donations from bigger businesses impairs your ability to see that encouraging smaller farms catering to a variety of tastes is better than subsidizing huge agribusiness companies cranking out products designed for producability rather than wholesomeness.” -Woodland Hills, CA

“Rep. Peterson, You are supposed to be representing the agricultural community, which includes organic farmers. I suggest you become more educated about both organic farming and buying locally. For instance, the nutritional quality of organic food far exceeds the conventional counterparts. Buying locally means a fresher product, less petrochemicals used and people connecting with people. Please make an effort to educate yourself and your staff. An excellent resource would be Acres, USA magazine.”

“Dear Representative Peterson: I find it irresponsible of you to have decided, it seems, to be ignorant of the value of organic farming and of consumers' motives for buying organic food. Please use your power with discretion and don't work to commit the House Agriculture Committee to the same shortsighted position. There is much reading you could do that might change your mind about the organic movement, but it would probably be best for you simply to talk to some of the organic farmers in your district. I found that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture keeps a list of registered organic farms, arranged by county:
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