Organic Consumers Association

Tell New Scientist Magazine: Stop Spreading Lies About Organic Food and Climate Change!

A popular science and technology magazine recently published an article and video aimed at convincing consumers that buying local and organic food is bad for the climate. 

Given what we know—that industrial agriculture is the biggest contributor to global warming, and that organic and regenerative agriculture practices not only reduce emissions, but also draw down carbon from the atmosphere and sequester it in the soil   —it’s hard to fathom how this article got the OK from the editors at New Scientist.

That is, until you find out that Syngenta and Merck are big advertisers.

TAKE ACTION: Tell New Scientist Magazine: Stop Spreading Lies About Organic Food and Climate Change!

After you sign and send the letter, call the magazine to complain (1-888-822-3242). Then tweet Sumit Paul-Choudhury, editor-in-chief (@sumit) and Rowan Hooper, managaing editor @rowhoop and post on the magazine’s facebook page

In his article, “Stop Buying Organic Food if You Really Want to Save the Planet,” Michael Le Page makes a number of arguments that simply aren’t supported by science—or as critic Tom MacMillan, director of innovation at the UK-based Soil Association says, “misreads the evidence.” (You can’t read the article on the New Science website without creating an account. But the article is summed up in this accompanying Facebook video).

One of the bogus claimes LePage makes is that organic farming produces more greenhouse gases than conventional, chemically-dependent agriculture because some organic food is produced in greenhouses heated by electricity, which releases CO2 and in turn contributes to climate change. In fact, no data on how much organic food is grown in greenhouses currently exists—maybe because the numbers would be too small to track? After all, in February 2015, Le Page himself admitted that “indoor farms” are incredibly rare, with just “a few small enterprises” around the world using electricity to grow local produce. 

LePage also claims that organic farms produce lower yields and therefore require more land, which results in deforestation in tropical regions, Not true, according to independent studies which have determined that organic farming produces yields equivalent to conventional, while significantly reducing energy and water usage. 

We could go on, but you get the drift. The editors at New Scientist are taking their direction from the “hands that feed them”—rich corporations whose profits depend on a model of agriculture that has totally failed to live up to its promises, while simultaneously fouling our waters, destroying our soils and heating up the planet.