Watsonville, CA (PRWEB) October 04, 2012
Today, an entertainment daytime talk show can be credited with creating renewed fear among parents about feeding their children healthy and safe fruits and vegetables - the very foods health initiatives like the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign are promoting, according to the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF). However, health experts, scientists, consumer advocates and environmental groups all recommend that consumers eat more conventional and organic produce for better health. “The science and the facts support that both production practices are very safe and consumers can choose either with confidence,” says Marilyn Dolan, Executive Director of the Alliance for Food and Farming. “We strongly encourage people to read, learn, choose, but eat more fruits and veggies for better health – that’s really the message for consumers.”
The Dr. Oz Show made numerous misleading and one-sided claims about the safety of affordable fruits and vegetables, according to the AFF. It should be noted that recent consumer research conducted by the AFF called "Scared Fat" has shown similar misleading safety messages results in 10% of low income consumers stating that they will reduce consumption of fruits and veggies. Further, this type of messaging may move another 10% of low income consumers into a state of buying confusion – they simply don’t know what they should do.
“Unfortunately, shows like Dr. Oz are focused on expanding viewership with sensationalized topics. As an entertainment show, they do not present all the facts,” Dolan says. “This show is yet another example of how misleading information that calls into question the safety of healthy fruits and vegetables are undermining public health efforts to improve the diets of American’s, especially children,” she says.
In an effort to provide science-based information for consumers to learn more about the safety of organic and conventional produce, the Alliance for Food and Farming launched a website, safefruitsandveggies.com, in 2010. This website contains scientific studies, farming information, nutritional information, tips for consumers, and more so that people can make educated buying decisions. “We want people to know that they can choose either conventionally or organically grown fruits and vegetables with confidence. The information from experts on safefruitsandveggies.com will show them why,” explains Dolan.
Viewers of this daytime talk show should be reminded that entertainment shows are not under the same obligation as news outlets to provide balance or the “other side of the story.” “Despite this entertainment focus, many viewers still perceive the information presented by Dr. Oz as credible. Therefore, the Dr. Oz Show should feel some obligation to provide balance for its viewers,” Dolan says.
The only response opportunity the Dr. Oz Show allowed the produce industry was a written statement. “There are literally decades of peer-reviewed nutritional studies and toxicological studies in the area of pesticide residues which were ignored by Dr. Oz and his staff. Further, there was little mention of the governing regulatory agencies (EPA, USDA, FDA), which oversee the use of organic and conventional pesticides,” Dolan says.
Reporters interested in food safety, nutritional benefits of increased consumption, risk perceptions and analysis, toxicology or consumer attitudes toward food safety, can contact the following scientists and experts for information and comment:
The Alliance for Food and Farming is a non-profit organization formed in 1989 which represents organic and conventional farmers and farms of all sizes. Alliance contributors are limited to farmers of fruits and vegetables, companies that sell, market or ship fruits and vegetables or organizations that represent produce farmers. Our mission is to deliver credible information to consumers about the safety of all fruits and vegetables. We do not engage in lobbying nor do we accept any money or support from the pesticide industry. In the interest of transparency, our entire 2011 tax return is posted on safefruitsandveggies.com.