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Pesticides: fact vs. fantasy.

Pesticides: Fact vs. Fantasy

Given the recent media coverage of the dangers of pesticides in our food, the ad looked curiously out of place.

There, in its full-page glory in The Washington Post, USA Today, and The New York Times, was the banner headline: "OUR FOOD SUPPLY IS SAFE!"

The ads, which were sponsored by the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), went on to "set the record straight" about the credit pesticides deserve for giving us the "safest and most plentiful [food supply] in the world."

Each ad carried the names of 65 Ph.D.'s, M.D.'s, and Sc.D.'s from prestigious institutions like Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. Pretty impressive.

But the one signer we called, Dr. William Toscano, Jr. of the Harvard School of Public Health, told us he hadn't realized the ad was sponsored by a group that is heavily funded by the food and pesticide industries. Toscano also said he hadn't actually seen a copy of the ad (we sent him one).

What did he think about his name being used? "I regret it," he said.

ACSH calls itself a "consumer education agency." A "corporate defender agency" would be more like it.

According to The Wall Street Journal, ACSH receives about ten percent of its funding from pesticide producers like Uniroyal (which makes Alar).

But impartiality has never been one of ACSH's strengths. A look through the table of contents of a recent issue of Priorities, the Council's magazine, reveals the following: "Beef is Good Food" and "Saturated Fats and Cholesterol: Moderate Intake is Really OK." That same issue lists, among dozens of other corporate contributors, Burger King, the American Meat Institute, the National Cattlemen's Association, and Oscar Mayer.

Here is our annotation of ACSH's ad.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Center for Science in the Public Interest
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:pesticide residues in food
Author:Lefferts, Lisa Y.
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Date:Jun 1, 1989
Previous Article:Heart smarts.
Next Article:Frozen fantasies.

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