It’s ridiculous to suggest that small, organic farmers have a food-safety record spotless enough to justify holding them to a lower standard than other food producers (“America needs a sustainable food policy,” Oct. 11).
Scientists traced the 2006 E. coli bacteria outbreak that killed three and made hundreds ill back to a 50-acre organic spinach farm. This year’s massive peanut recall included organic goobers, as well as the conventional kind, and dozens of organic food items were yanked from shelves.
Great Britain’s Central Veterinary Laboratory reports that in 1995, at the height of England’s mad cow disease outbreak, there were 215 confirmed cases of the disease on 36 different organic farms. And Germany’s very first case of mad cow disease was diagnosed in a slaughterhouse that processed only organically raised cattle.
This is not to say micro-farmed or organic food is unsafe to eat. It isn’t. But neither is the conventional produce and meat that 99 percent of Americans eat every day.