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August 22, 2000


Rhetoric, pasteurization


Dear Andrew, et al.,

I do not chastise the exchange of opposing ideas, I only object to the
nonproductive use of emotional rhetoric [how irrational... how exempliary
of the protest groups] such as accusing someone of being "paranoid" for
expressing his beliefs. Without scientific testing, to jump to the
conclusion that he is paranoid based only on a read of his philosophy would
be ... an EMOTIONAL response, would it not?

I think of the biotech debate as a religious/political war. Each side
believes devoutly that it is "right". Each side sifts through evidence and
accepts that which supports its own beliefs. If the new info doesn't fit
what is already believed to be true, the point is rejected as an "outlier."
If the info came from the "other side" it is immediately suspect. Neither
side is amenable to converting to the other religion/political group
through talking its ear off, only by some cataclysmic event will they see
the light shed by the other side's views. (It is important to understand
this goes both ways.)

Sometimes two sets of beliefs are SO incompatible that it is impossible to
argue details. That's why we spend so little time arguing about whether or
not biotech is an affront to God. One side simply decides that the other
is wrong and the discussion ends. The safety angle is different. That we
take time to nit-pik on details indicates hope that there is something in
common between the warring factions on which to nit-pik. We should grasp
that and work with it.

I am putting together a book based on my dissertation, "Politically
Corrected Science: The Early Negotiation of U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology
Policy," which covers the political basis of the warring opponents in the
biotech debate during the Reagan Administration and the impact it had on
agricultural research. When it is ready for review, I will let you know.
Mary Ellen Jones, Ph.D.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0247


Date: Aug 22 2000 12:36:03 EDT
From: Red Porphyry
Subject: The Role of Pasteurization in Organic-associated Lifestyles

several recent contributors to the list have made the claim that the
process of pasteurization is, to one degree or another, frowned upon by
those who practice certain lifestyles known to be associated with the
consumption of organic foods. not having the wherewithal to do a sound,
reliable controlled study of the people who practice organic-associated
lifestyles, but curious nevertheless, i decided to do a quick tour through
the various grocery stores that sell organic foods in my (u.s.) town, to
see if there was any evidence that suggested that organic food processers
either don't pasteurize their products or produce both pasteurized and
unpasteurized products. here's what i found:

organic dairy processors:
horizon--(milk, butter, yogurt, cheese): all pasteurized
organic valley--(milk, butter, cheese): all pasteurized
lifeway--(cultured milk(kefir)): pasteurized
stonyfield farm--(yogurt): pasteurized

organic juice processors:
pavich--(orange juice): pasteurized
after the fall--(fruit juices): all pasteurized
r.w. knudsen family--(fruit juices): all pasteurized
mountain sun--(fruit juices): all pasteurized
lakewood--(fruit and vegetable juices): all pasteurized

organic tofu processors:
nasoya--(tofu): pasteurized

organic canned foods processors:
health valley--(liquid soups): all pasteurized
millini's finest--(tomato sauces and pastes, tomatoes): all pasteurized
muir glen--(tomato sauces and pastes, tomatoes): all pasteurized

the bottom line is that i found no evidence to suggest that u.s. organic
food processors do not pasteurize their products, or even offer the
consumer the opportunity to choose unpasteurized products. this strongly
implies that the process of pasteurization is in no way frowned upon by
those currently practicing organic-associated lifestyles. on the contrary,
the process of pasteurization appears in fact to be an integral part of
such lifestyles.