It was not merely the fact that an Italian bureaucrat decided to import an otherwise banned GM crop from America that was so ironic. In addition to the special exemptions granted on a case-by-case basis to Czech, Spanish, Portuguese and Slovakian farmers, countries throughout Europe, including Italy, have imported GM corn from America in the past under a whole different array of special, case-by-case exemptions granted on a strictly controlled basis by bureaucrats in Brussels. What made Rabboni’s final decision so hypocritical, and frankly absurd, were the sheer quantities involved and the astronomical expense for an already overextended Italian treasury.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits synthetic nitrogen fertilizer in organic production and encourages natural compost. But it does not test for un-composted feces. At least 140 people across eight states have now fallen ill after consuming hepatitis-A-infected certified-organic frozen berries and pomegranate seeds; 61 were still in hospitals in mid-July.
Organic farmers in many developing countries – such as Turkey, the apparent origin of this outbreak – still use raw human sewage to fertilize crops! In many people’s opinion, that practice qualifies as “organic” – whereas using safe modern fertilizers and insecticides does not! Even worse, feces contamination cannot be washed off. It’s embedded in the plant.
How safe are organic foods, especially when compared to conventionally grown varieties? Not as safe as many assume. A recall has just been announced for certified organic berries sold at Costco. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 106 people in eight states have contracted hepatitis A, a debilitating disease that can last for weeks or months, and even be deadly, after eating Townsend Farms frozen berries bought at the box store retailer.