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"The Organic-Industrial Complex" - NY...

Battling the MSG Myth » Archive » Sharing Media Reports and Letters Related to the Issue » "The Organic-Industrial Complex" - NYTimes Sunday 5/13/01 « Previous Next »

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Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2001 - 11:04 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The 10 Page cover story entitled "The Organic-Industrial Complex" in the magazine section of the Sunday New York Times (tomorrow, 5/13/01) is a MUST READ if you can get it!
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2001 - 12:38 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Maybe it will be on line tomorrow at :
Judy T
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 8:11 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

MEMorrisNJ and Roy: Got it. Thank you.
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 8:48 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is direct link to article: (Thanks Roy!)
Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 10:45 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Terrific! Thanks for the link.
Carol H
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 - 5:04 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That explains why Cascadian Farms food is not safe for those on this board. Bummer, first Hain. Now Cascadian. Talk about selling-out. Pretty soon we will have to grow our own.
Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 3:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A letter from Horizon's President and CEO, Chuck Marcy appeared in the NY Times magazine section today defending his company and ultrapasteurization of milk. It reads as follows: "Horizon Organic is committed to producing safe, flavorful and healthful products. And we are proud that we have helped both small and large dairy farmers convert to organic production. The characterization of ultrapasteurized milk in the article is misleading. One need only read the labels on "pasteurized" and "ultrapasteurized" milk to see that the nutritional labeling is identical. Because of our ability to bring organic food products to mainstream consumers, we have been able to support 125 family farms in New England, upstate New York and elsewhere in the Northeast that supply milk for our brand the Organic Cow of Vermont."

Mr. Marcy appears to ignore the points that Michael Pollan tried to make in his May 13, 2001 article entitled,
"Behind the Organic Industrial Complex" previously posted above. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do. See: ---- you can write to Mr. Marcy at Horizon Organics in Boulder, Colorado.
Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 11:09 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That was interesting to read about Horizon Organics. I've always been suspicious of that fancy, extra-cheerful packaging. It seems that everything is pointing me in the direction of finding food that is locally produced by small farmers. Even companies that begin with good intentions and methods, get spoiled one way or another if they get too big and try to serve too wide a geographic area.

Although I also support the efforts to label packaged food properly, my main concern is to find more connections with small local producers of basic ingredients -- meat, grains, produce. I am more comfortable with a local farm that occasionally uses a small amount of pesticides to save a crop than a large corporation that claims to be selling 100% organic food. And yes, Carol H, I think more of us do need to start "growing our own" (and sharing it with our neighbors!) If we think of food preparation as working with basic ingredients, then the MSG problem will automatically be solved. (As long as we avoid that hideous auxi-gro.)

This all sounds nice in theory, I know. Of course in the meantime we need to eat --something. But every new piece of information I receive about food seems to be pointing me in the same direction -- finding local farmers I can trust and doing most of the food prep myself. Not long ago I would have considered that to be extreme, but now it just sounds like the way to eat real food.
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 10:51 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you can't grow your own, try Community Supported Agriculture. We are getting our organic vegetables this summer by joining a nearby CSA run by a local farmer. (Some continue throughout the entire year with winter vegies too.) For more info and to find one near you, see:
Deb A.
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 12:41 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just received this from Jack:

The following message was sent last night in response to a message sent by : to you and others. Although I sent copies of my reply to
you, for some reason it did not go through. My reply follows:

Thank you very much for passing on the information from Dr. DeGregori
regarding the exemptions for "L-glutamic acid" and "gamma aminobutyric acid

I shall comment briefly.

First, as you may know, AuxiGro WP Metabolic Primer (AuxiGro), the crop spray
that contains 29.2% processed free glutamic acid (MSG) and 29.2% GABA, was
developed and manufactured by the Auxein Corporation, located in Lansing,
Michigan. The EPA notice refers to Emerald BioAgriculture Corporation as the
originator of petitions that led to the EPA regulation sent to me.

On January 8, 2001, Auxein Corporation and Mycotech Corporation merged into
Emerald BioAgriculture Corporation. John L. McIntyre, Ph.D., previously
president of Auxein Corporation, is president of Emerald BioAgriculture
Corporation. The company headquarters remain in Lansing, Michigan.
Manufacturing operations are in Butte, Montana, the original location of
Mycotech Corporation. The new company has a total of 33 employees.

We knew that something was in the works at the EPA.

In 1998, the EPA issued regulations to exempt from the requirement of a
tolerance what they referred to as "L-glutamic acid" and "gamma aminobutyric
acid," providing that they were used as GROWTH ENHANCERS and that good
farming practices were employed. This regulation was put into effect by the
EPA so that they could approve AuxiGro, which they quickly did.

Some months ago, the State of California, over the objections of consumers
and in disregard of data submitted to them, approved AuxiGro for use as a
FUNGICIDE. Prior to licensing Auxigro as a fungicide, the EPA advised
California officials that AuxiGro had not been approved as a fungicide, and
that AuxiGro could not be used for that purpose under the EPA regulation.
AuxiGro had only been approved as a growth enhancer.

Emerald BioAgriculture Corporation, new owner of Auxigro, then applied to the
EPA for expanded approval of AuxiGro. Apparently, realizing that AuxiGro has
been marketed as a growth enhancer, as a fertilizer, a fungicide, and who
knows what else, they likely asked that AuxiGro be approved for all uses.

We had heard that the EPA had approved AuxiGro as a fungicide, but had not
seen the actual regulation until you sent it to us.

The use of AuxiGro as a pesticide or fungicide is still under consideration
in California. It is my intent to report on the above and on California in
the next "NOMSG Messenger."

We are actively working on this issue and will keep you informed through the
newsletter and through our Website.

Jack Samuels
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 1:43 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

55 day shelf life!!!! Can you still call that milk? No wonder many of us are reacting to ultrapasteurized milk.

Horizon's representative sent me an email in response to a complaint that I sent in via the Horizon web site. I was told that the complete letter from Horizon's President and CEO, Mr. Marcy, was not printed in the New York Times and he sent me a copy of the unedited version.*

However, I think Horizon was better off that Marcy's entire letter was not printed because it proudly states “In addition to being nutritious, ultra-pasteurized milk provides both consumers and retailers the advantage of a 55-day shelf life.” ---- Imagine 55 days!!!

I thought this was possibly a mistake but it is also mentioned within Horizon’s latest on-line newsletter at: . It reads: “Horizon Organic's milk is most often pasteurized using the high temperature short time (HTST) method, which has been practiced in the dairy industry for decades. During this process, "raw" milk is heated to a minimum of 161*F for 15 seconds, then immediately chilled. This method produces milk with a shelf life of around 15 to 17 days, when unopened and refrigerated. Some Horizon Organic milk is "ultra-pasteurized," meaning it has been heated to a minimum of 280*F for 2 seconds, followed immediately by cooling. Milk that has been pasteurized in this manner typically has a shelf life of up to 60 days, when unopened and refrigerated.”

As far as I am concerned, any milk that lasts beyond one week is not milk regardless of whatever nutritional claims are made.

*The unedited letter does speak of a more gentler handling of the cows which is nice to know. If anyone would like to see the entire letter, just email me.
Carol H
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 4:47 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I actually don't get a bad allergic (milk protein) reaction to those creamers you get for coffee at diners. This is bad news for you guys. That means the ultrapasteurization process is enough to denature some proteins in the milk.
Deb A.
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 10:11 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Posted this a couple days ago and thought it worth posting again for new visitors here:

Adrienne Samuels of Truth In Labeling just called to report the results of their campaign to stop the California Dept. of Pesticide Regulation from registering AuxiGro as a pesticide for organic produce. The CDPR was scheduled to announce their decision yesterday, but due to letters that the Samuels have been requesting people to write, they have decided to delay their decision until they have a full scale review. The Samuels doubt that they will reject the use of AuxiGro because it must be proven that small amounts of it in treated foods will cause symptoms. However, if you have reacted to some produce and want to share your experience with the CDPR, you can send a fax to fax#916/324-5872 to Branch Chief, Barry Cortez. The phone number is 916/445-4377.
Adrienne suggests that you go back to the grocer to find out where the produce came from. When you get a producer's name please e mail it to Adrienne at She is willing to track down further information about the use of AuxiGro and send it on to the right people. Be aware that there are other pesticides/metabolic primers/fertilizers such as organic fish fertilizers and AuxiGro copycats that may be bothering us.
Here are some things Adrienne suggests we can be doing to help the cause:
1. Complain to your grocers that there aren't enough products offered in the store that do not contain MSG, hydrolyzed protein, autolyzed yeast, modified cornstarch, etc. (write,phone or e mail)
2. Call or write your newspaper and ask why they don't do a story about MSG, sharing yours and others' experiences and some facts to pique their interest.
3. Write, e mail, or phone your legislators with the same information. And remember to tell them you want a response to your complaint. Download info on the various sites to send them, too.
Thanks for your time! We need your help...we are not some vast organization. We are just like you and we are in this fight together. And together, if we just make some time for it, we can make some things really happen, just as DJ. did in the July Woman's Day. Just do it!!!!!!!!! PLEASE.

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