$6-a-gallon 'Raw Water' [for the witless overpaid]. — Henry Miller, Hoover Institution (@henryimiller):
Photo: HK 大潭郊野公園 Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station 抽水站 21-Dec-2011
Henry Miller, Hoover Institution, henrymillermd.org & @henryimiller, in re: Hurricane. Science.
Get Real with $6-a-Gallon 'Raw Water' (The trend toward 'authenticity' in food has led consumers to some strange places.)
Science Shows the Way as Hurricane Approaches
'Fakebook Science' and Democracy
Organic Food and Nutritional Placebo Effect
Buying Organic? You're Getting Ripped Off!
False and misleading advertising by the organic agriculture and food industries is out of control and sowing consumer fear, confusion and mistrust. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb acknowledged as much responding within days to my August 6 Wall Street Journal editorial exposing flagrant organic industry lies and deceptive labeling practices. He tweeted that the FDA would soon "put out more detailed information about what different terms mean on food packaging to help consumers best use claims like organic, antibiotic free, etc." That's great rhetoric, because accurate information and transparency are important to help American consumers make informed food choices and are necessary for free markets to work. But the time for hollow promises and dithering by regulators is long past. What we need is aggressive enforcement of existing consumer-protection laws now. To be clear — and Dr. Gottlieb knows this — false and misleading organic labeling isn't new or a case of first impression for the FDA. As the 2014 Academic Review's Organic Marketing Report clearly shows, it's been happening for a long time. It is deception by design and permeates every aspect of organic marketing. That's what you need to do when you're huckstering a high-priced, inferior product The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act "requires that labels on packaged food products in interstate commerce not be false or misleading in any way," and since 1992, FDA has been developing policies that allow it to combat the kind of false and misleading claims made by the organic industry. The agency's 2015 labeling guidance (revised in 2018) states that a "GMO-Free" label is false and misleading if "it suggests or implies that a food or ingredient is safer, more nutritious, or otherwise has different attributes than other comparable foods because the food was not genetically engineered." Information on the website of the food giant Nestlé is a textbook case. The statement, "Ingredients derived from GMOs (genetically modified organisms) differ because the process involves scientists selecting a desirable genetic trait and placing it in a different plant species," is simply wrong. Sometimes a gene is simply deleted; but more to the point, since the 1930s, plant breeders have performed "wide cross" hybridizations, in which genes are moved from one species or genus to another, giving rise to plant varieties that cannot and do not exist in nature. Commercial crops derived from wide crosses include common varieties of tomato, potato, oat, rice, wheat, corn, pumpkin and others. Relying on decades of science and regulatory oversight, the FDA . . .