Oprah Winfrey’s daytime diatribes may not run on network television any longer, but she continues to damage public perception of agriculture with little regard for the scientific evidence against her claims.
Oprah’s power as a media mogul has not diminished since her self-titled program ran its final episode. Instead, her legions of followers now flock to her magazine, website, cable channel and the programs of her protégés, actively seeking out her wisdom on subjects ranging from the best fiction to nutrition advice.
Sadly, sometimes the references she points to on food issues contain enough fallacies that a particularly witty librarian might file them in the fiction section. With an entire section of her website dedicated to Michael Pollan’s “Food 101,” she lends the halo-effect of her considerable influence to works which have many unfounded statements and some which have been disproven by a variety of reputable sources.
Now, Tim Burrack, an Iowa farmer who actively participates in the advancement of his industry through service to the National Corn Growers Association and several other ag-focused groups, has issued a challenge in the form of an invitation. In a letter published on the Truth about Trade and Biotechnology’s website, Burrack invites Winfrey to visit his farm for “a firsthand look at how an Iowa farmer produces healthy food in an economically and environmentally sustainable way.”
Burrack felt the need to act after reading an article in the May issue of O: The Oprah Magazine that asserts no one actually knows the real effect of crops produced using biotechnology. Understanding the impact Oprah’s statements have upon her vast legions of followers, he issued the offer to help better inform the media maven and, in doing so, help provide a deeper, more informed understanding of modern agriculture to someone who wields almost unmatched influence on the American public.
Like Burrack, farmers and their allies know all too well how even a simple uninformed statement can harm public understanding of agriculture for years to come. Given the influence of the source in this case, it is crucial that America’s farmers stand up for the incredible work that they do and products they provide.
Take a stand for farmers and for truth today. Click here to post a comment to the original article calling on Oprah to take Burrack up on his invitation. Then, wield some social media influence by sharing the letter through Twitter or Facebook.
Together, the people who grow food for our country can take on those who would insult or mischaracterize their work while enjoying the variety of safe, affordable choices they produce. Burrack took a stand for what he knows is right. Now, let Oprah know just how many of America’s farmer families and their friends stand behind him.