May 30, 2002 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rebecca Spector, Center for Food Safety, (415) 229-9336
Michael Straus, Straus Communications, (415) 663-8343

New Book Challenges Agribusiness and Industrial Agriculture

Leading ecological thinkers and activists offer vision for new food future

National Organic & Beyond Campaign to promote grassroots and legal actions to ensure safe and sustainable food production

San Francisco, CA -- The Center for Food Safety announced the release of Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, a book that takes an unprecedented look at our nation’s destructive farming practices, and offers positive solutions in support of a new vision of farming. Fatal Harvest shows how thousands of people are working to fundamentally reshape agriculture, to produce food in a way that respects farmers, communities, and the environment. With essays from more than 40 leading environmental thinkers and organic food and farming advocates including Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, David Ehrenfeld, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Vandana Shiva, Alice Waters, and Jim Hightower, and over 250 color photographs, Fatal Harvest illustrates the current state of America’s agricultural crisis.

“This book presents images that are stunning and often shocking, revealing industrial food production as a fatal harvest: fatal to consumers, as pesticide residues and new disease vectors find their way into our food supply; fatal to our landscapes, as chemical runoff poisons our rivers and groundwater; and fatal to our rural communities, which are wiped out by huge corporate farms,” stated Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety.

“Global agriculture is not just a threat to U.S. farmers but is devastating families, communities, farm economies, cultures, the environment, and traditional knowledge systems around the globe,” said internationally renowned activist Dr. Vandana Shiva.

Ultimately, Fatal Harvest offers positive solutions to the model of industrial agriculture, by featuring safe and sustainable food and farming systems. “The choices we make when we buy food are serious choices, and today more and more people understand this,” said famed chef Alice Waters. “We all know that when people choose organic foods and avoid mass-produced and fast foods, they are voting for a sustainable future and against a network of supply and demand that destroys human health, local communities, traditional ways of life, and the environment.”

National “Organic & Beyond” Campaign Launched
Fatal Harvest will be a central organizing tool for a national campaign to promote alternatives to the current industrial agricultural system. The Center for Food Safety’s Organic & Beyond campaign is a broad coalition of environmental and agricultural organizations working to maintain strong organic standards and promote agriculture that is local, family operated, biologically diverse, humane, and socially just. In the coming months, the campaign will be taking direct action to ensure that the nation’s organic standards do not allow loopholes for factory farming, genetic engineering, or other unacceptable agricultural inputs. The campaign will also take legal and policy actions that seek to encourage “beyond organic” farming; educate consumers about these farms and their practices; and build demand in the marketplace for these “beyond organic” products.

“The nation’s current industrial agriculture system does little to protect the small-scale organic farmer,” said Jason McKenney, owner of Purisima Greens farm in Half Moon Bay, CA. “Consumers want and need information that will enable them to identify produce that is grown locally, on a small family farm, or in a way that is safe for wildlife.”

Current Issues Update
Numerous issues raised in Fatal Harvest - including genetic engineering, irradiation, and the national organic standards - are currently in debate and undergoing major changes. Leading attorneys, activists, and experts on these issues will be available to provide news breaking updates on these and other food related issues.

The Center for Food Safety is a public interest and environmental advocacy organization that works to address the impacts of our food production system on human health, animal welfare and the environment. The organization achieves its goals through grassroots campaigns, public education, media outreach, and litigation.

For more information contact:
Center for Food Safety, 660 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20003, 1-800-600-6664, www.organicandbeyond.org.

Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, Edited by Andrew Kimbrell
11 3/4” x 12 1/4” • 396 pages • 250 full-color photos • Index, Resource Guide • June 24, 2002
Cloth: $75.00, ISBN: 1-55963-940-7 • Paper: $45.00, ISBN: 1-55963-941-5
Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology. Distributed by Island Press.