The battle lines have been drawn in what could become a lengthy debate over the efficacy of the organic movement, and milk is at the center of it. The Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI) brought its Milk is Milk campaign to Worldwide Food Expo last month, passing out milk cartons containing its message that all milk is safe and wholesome and that milk label claims can be misleading. The group also previewed its new "Earth Friendly/Farm Friendly" Seal of Approval project. It says the farm and environment friendly seal of approval is offered as an "alternative to organic and other production-related niche marketing." CGFI says the seal will assure consumers that products are produced in a manner consistent with the best available scientific, health, environmental and quality standards and technologies.
"Unlike other certification programs that limit and restrict a farmer's choices and significantly increase consumer costs, 'Earth Friendly/Farm Friendly' offers farmers more choices that do not add significant costs for consumers," said Alex Avery, director of research at CGFI. Organic farming techniques use crop rotation, diversity, and natural compounds to protect the environment at and around the place where farming takes place. But organic forbids the use of chemical pesticides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Hudson Institute, created in 1960, calls itself an "optimistic" organization that believes free trade and technology are the keys to improving the welfare of the world. CGFI champions what it refers to as "high yield" farming techniques including specialization, machination and the use of chemicals and GMOs. The group's members claim that such high-yield farming will be meet a growing worldwide demand for food, and that organic farming and restrictions on the use of GMOs will hamper efforts to feed the world.