Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fightin' the good fight

There are a number of articles hitting the traditional wine media pages lately which are troubling at best.

TIME magazine, Wine & Spirits, and Bloomberg have carried articles just in the past two weeks about Biodynamics. Sadly, each case has presented BioD in a rather benign light, and dismissed or just glossed over the "cosmoculture" and use of arcane rituals. But without those practices, there's really nothing left but organic agriculture - a point again which isn't emphasized in the latest spate of media attention....

The good news is that there are people fighting onward to see that the truth of BioD ag isn't misrepresented. In the last week there have been several letters written to the publishers of these magazines in rebuttal...like the following which was sent to the editors at TIME:

"March 1, 2007

To the Editor:

It is telling that in the week Time Magazine chose to publish an article praising biodynamics (“Virtuous Vino” - Lisa McLaughlin, February 22, 2007) a discussion panel convened by AAAS reports that Americans increasingly believe in pseudoscience (“U.S. Has More Science Smarts - Sort Of” - Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press, February 18, 2007). According to Dr. Carol Losh (Florida State University), "Pseudoscience discussion often is absent from the classroom," so "we have basically left it up to the media." Time magazine apparently is contributing to this dubious honor.

Biodynamic agricultural practices are identified by recourse to astrology, homeopathy and alchemistic or voodoo-like preparations. They are simply pseudoscience in green clothing. To claim that biodynamic is somehow "überorganic" in virtue of these practices does a disservice to valid organic practices, to wine drinkers and to science literacy in the US.

[signed] Linda Chalker-Scott, Ph.D. (Associate Professor and Extension Urban Horticulturist, WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center), Douglass Smith, Ph.D., [and] Lee M. Silver, Ph.D. (Professor of Molecular Biology & Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, Princeton University)."

At least there are people out there - educated people - who are willing to put a little time into rebuttal of such nonsense as BioD.



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