A producer mistakenly believed that a test done on chicken had
also been done on produce, said an ABC executive who spoke on condition
Stossel did not return a message left on his answering machine
Monday. A staff member said she believed Stossel was on vacation.
(There was speculation that the vacation was paid for by a pesticide
company, who was rewarding Stossel for running the bogus anti-organic
The environmental group also said that chicken was tested for pesticides
at ABC's request, and traces were found on the regular poultry but
not on the organic poultry. This finding favorable to the organic
food proponents was not mentioned on the show, the group said.
ABC had no comment on Monday about any pesticide tests for chicken,
saying it was still reviewing the report.
Kenneth Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said
that he was not satisfied with ABC's statement.
About Stossel, Cook said: "He's not a contrarian, he's a counterfeiter
who'll do anything for ratings. He needs to be fired."
The group said it had complained to ABC about the report's accuracy
after it originally aired in February. Despite this, Stossel repeated
the mistake on July 7 in a comment made to anchorwoman Cynthia McFadden:
"It's logical to worry about pesticide residues, but in our tests,
we found none on either organic or regular produce."
After the environmentalists' original complaints, the network sent
a form letter erroneously claiming that pesticide tests had been
conducted on produce, said Mike Casey, the group's spokesman. "They
absolutely didn't take this seriously," he said.
ABC said it was investigating why the mistake was repeated despite
the outside warnings.
To read more about Stossel's mendacity, read
Organics: The Blurred Vision of ABC's 20/20.
What you can do:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and let them know you want Stossel fired, and that you don't want
your "news stories" bought and paid for by major corporations,
which is chiefly what Stossel brings you.