This went out over the North Carolina local food listserv today. I'm reprinting it here because I think it is important.
I heard a very disappointing ad sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trust on a major radio station in Charlotte, WBT today.This will sound very harsh but if you know the person who grows your spinach you are *much* less likely to lose a child to E Coli. You are better off growing it yourself. It's really not that hard to grow good spinach. But real food safety isn't about about more regulations. It is about better relationships with local people growing good, healthy food.
The ad urged listeners to call their Senators to support S 510, the food safety bill. The Pew Charitable Trust ad played off the tragic loss of a family of their 2 year old child who died from an E Coli O157:H7 originating in the Spinach contamination outbreak in 2006. The ad urges support of S 510 because the ad states that passage of S 510 would prevent children from dying from food borne illnesses. Apparently, Pew has made a major ad buy in many markets around the country to put this message out.
This ad is disgusting propaganda. The Pew Charitable Trust is no friend of the local food movement or small farmers. If there is someone with connection to the Pew Charitable Trust that is a member of this list, or if a list member has a contact at Pew, I would like to hear someone at Pew defend this ad and explain the logic of this major ad buy.
I'd like to add that the effectiveness of federal and state government is likely to wane in the future due to budgetary constraints. Tying our hopes for a safe food system to the increased regulations of the federal government is akin to donning a millstone necklace.