From the NOFA/Mass Board of Directors

NOFA/Mass’s response to the content of issue 127, of Section B, of The Natural Farmer, titled “Who Owns Science?”.

Please understand that the statements contained in this issue reflect those of the editor; this material does not represent the views of the NOFA/Mass staff and board.

As background, NOFA/Mass is a part of the NOFA Interstate Council (IC), comprising seven state chapters. The IC runs several projects of collective interest to NOFA chapters, and The Natural Farmer (TNF) is a publication of the IC. Longtime editor of TNF, Jack Kittredge, has given much effort and many years of service to the NOFA community. Jack has been planning to retire after this Winter issue, and we wish him well and thank him for 32 years of service providing excellent and thought-provoking content.

Our concern with the current issue, however, is that the vaccine-related content does not provide the context or a sufficiently broad spectrum of viewpoints to inform our readership on a topic of immediate and national concern. We feel that the only way to cover such a topic would have been to include vigorous comments from a variety of voices in public health with alternative points of view. We deeply regret that this was not done in TNF.

Additionally, some of the articles reprinted in the issue derive from sources that promote racism, xenophobia, and views that are contrary to the work of NOFA/Mass. We find the inclusion of these sources in The Natural Farmer to be incompatible with our values. 

Although TNF is a project of the IC, the focus and content of each issue has been chosen by the editor, without review or approval from the IC or individual NOFA chapters. Going forward, we plan on working with the Interstate Council to develop a process for editorial review to advise and support the incoming editor. A hiring committee has spent the past several weeks interviewing candidates for the editor position, and we will keep our community informed of this process.