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July/Aug 2005 – Your Calls, My Calls

A miscellany of items for this month’s column:
The May/June issue had only been off the press for days when the emails and letters complaining about two items in our News & Notes section started arriving (one such letter appears on the page opposite). Both our brief review of the anti-organic book, The March of Unreason: Science, Democracy and the New Fundamentalism and an extended reading, taken verbatim from the pest control industry organization, CropLife Canada, signaled some readers that Small Farm Canada was sideslipping into a dangerously pro-chemical, anti-organic camp. I can’t tell you how much I—a genetically hardwired skeptic of all who would wield an agenda—welcome this kind of close scrutiny. I can also assure these critics, and anyone who cares about such matters, that editorial independence is at the core of our values. Our goal remains the same as it was when we launched the magazine; namely, to produce “an independent-minded journal that doesn’t bootlick to any agenda—industrial, organic or institutional—and is free of orthodoxies.” (The full editorial is available at: www. bóng đá trực tuyến (Editorial Archives, May/June, 2004.))

So, did we fail? On the matter of the book review I have to respectfully argue No, we didn’t. Even if, as one caller alleged, Taverne’s book belongs to a genre of “reactionary skuzz,” it is out there and needs to be debated and dealt with. All of us, including proponents of organics, will be better served by open debate than cloistering ourselves with the like-minded.

About the CropLife item I am equally convinced we made a mistake. To publish such a contentious reading without signaling that is was verbatim and not an article was to invite criticism. I had hoped that it would stand (or fall) on its own.

Clearly, I was wrong.