Friday, May 15, 2009

Jeff Stier on Jon Stewart

UPDATED June 5, 2009** The video was tagged due to Viacom's copyright. Thanks to Melinda for pointing that out. She also thinks it would be wise for me to clarify that the ACSH is a front group for the industry, if you couldn't tell from the video. Thus, my sarcasm.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Little Crop of Horrors
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorEconomic Crisis

Jeff Stier is the Associate Director of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH). He is responsible for external affairs, including media and government relations, policy, legal affairs and development. ACSH is a not-for-profit, public health, consumer advocacy organization dedicated to promoting sound science in public health.

I think he deserves a round of applause.


Jeff Stier said...

Letter to the editor: June 19, 2009
By: Jeff Stier
June 19, 2009 06:33 AM EST

It is so emblematic of Marian Burros’ “reporting” (“Grapes of Wrath?” June 17) for her to rely for info on a comedy show that’s known for using fancy editing to make things funny — and she didn’t even call me to correct the record.

Burros quotes verbatim off-air what she should know is an already-edited interview, making it sound as if I predict both obesity and starvation will be caused by Michelle Obama’s one tiny White House garden.

The simpler — and more linear — point that both “The Daily Show” and Burros may have missed but which I stated clearly in the full interview is that organic food is more expensive, and consumers (especially the poor) react to prices.

In the unlikely event that humanity tried to eat “entirely” locally grown food, I said, we’d starve. These are, after all, the ancient agricultural methods that kept humanity teetering on the brink of famine for millenniums — and there’s no way to keep 7 billion of us alive that way. By contrast, if we simply switch a huge portion of fruits and vegetables toward organic, their price will rise, driving the poor away from fruits and vegetables toward generally more-fattening alternatives.

I also want to point out that like countless nonprofits, yes, we accept corporate donations but will also happily accept donations from anyone — even Burros — concerned about combating junk science, as long as no strings are attached to our conclusions.

In my nonwork hours, I am a gardener and an avid visitor to pick-your-own farms — which means I appreciate the great benefits of wisely applied chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Don’t let Burros scare you, kids (and parents) — even organic vegetables are made of chemicals.

Jeff Stier is the associate director of the American Council on Science and Health.

© 2009 Capitol News Company, LLC

Ashley Colpaart said...

Mr. Stier,

Thanks for your response. I think most of my readers understand that "The Daily Show" is edited for humorous reasons.

Unfortunately what is lacking in your logic is the ability to see the externalities of cheap food and their effects on the "poor" that you are humbly trying to protect. The inputs (petro) that are needed to grow conventional food are arguably more expensive than a IPM system as well as vulnerable in the wake of disruption.

Your agenda is what it is. I don't expect you to jump ship from the boat that feeds you. I would encourage you to delve into these issues a bit further before acting as a pawn for industry.