"Agriculture Critic's Appearance Angers University Alumni"

"When officials at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo scheduled a free lecture by bestselling author Michael Pollan, they envisioned a lively talk about sustainable food, along with Pollan's customary critiques of agribusiness.

What they didn't expect was a wave of denunciations from angry farming and ranching alumni who rank Pollan as a force only slightly less damaging to agriculture than the Mediterranean fruit fly.

Threatening to pull his donations, the head of one of California's biggest ranching operations succeeded in turning today's planned lecture into a panel discussion involving Pollan, a meat-science expert, and a major grower of organic lettuce.

Pollan assented but said in an interview that the incident raised troubling questions about academic freedom."

Steve Chawkins reports for the Los Angeles Times October 15, 2009.

 

Thursday, October 15, 2009