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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:17 am 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
The problem is that too many believe natural is healthy or better for you and that is not the case.


I suppose poisonous plants are natural too O:)

Chemicals are natural, agreed - but I think our bodies are designed to eat what we would if we lived 'wild'. Fresh fruit, fresh veg, fresh meat... so okay yes, probably some dirt at times, but not preservatives or artificial colouring!


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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:34 pm 
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The study relied on a statistical technique called meta-analysis. Over 200 plus scientific journal articles were combined as the data set for the study. The article co-author with recognized expertise in meta-analysis, Ingram Olkin, applied for a grant from Council of Tobacco Research (CTR) in 1976.

http://current.com/technology/93897548_ ... n-1976.htm

Columbia University professor Andrew Gelman cited Olkin’s work in his September article in the journal Statistics and Ethics, which discusses the ethical challenges of statisticians when working for big business.


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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:11 pm 
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EstellePage wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
The problem is that too many believe natural is healthy or better for you and that is not the case.


I suppose poisonous plants are natural too O:)


Yes, they are.

Quote:
Chemicals are natural, agreed - but I think our bodies are designed to eat what we would if we lived 'wild'. Fresh fruit, fresh veg, fresh meat... so okay yes, probably some dirt at times, but not preservatives or artificial colouring!


but we moved from living wild as a hunter gatherer to raising domestic animals and farming and all of the adjustments included in that process.

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:18 pm 
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animal-friendly wrote:
The study relied on a statistical technique called meta-analysis. Over 200 plus scientific journal articles were combined as the data set for the study. The article co-author with recognized expertise in meta-analysis, Ingram Olkin, applied for a grant from Council of Tobacco Research (CTR) in 1976.

http://current.com/technology/93897548_ ... n-1976.htm

Columbia University professor Andrew Gelman cited Olkin’s work in his September article in the journal Statistics and Ethics, which discusses the ethical challenges of statisticians when working for big business.


Was this study funded by a big business? The connectin to a similar type of study for tobacco which evidently was not used as it could not be found is what is known as an ad hominem fallacy.

http://www.skepdic.com/adhominem.html

ad hominem fallacy

Ad hominem is Latin for "to the man." The ad hominem fallacy occurs when one asserts that somebody's claim is wrong because of something about the person making the claim. The ad hominem fallacy is often confused with the legitimate provision of evidence that a person is not to be trusted. Calling into question the reliability of a witness is relevant when the issue is whether to trust the witness. It is irrelevant, however, to call into question the reliability or morality or anything else about a person when the issue is whether that person's reasons for making a claim are good enough reasons to support the claim.

Good refutations of arguments try to undermine the accuracy, relevance, fairness, completeness, and sufficiency of reasons given to support a conclusion. One of the more common tactics of those who can't provide a good refutation of an argument is to divert attention away from the argument by calling attention to something about the person who made the argument. Rather than criticize a person’s premises or reasoning, one asserts something about the person’s character, associations, occupation, hobbies, motives, mental health, likes or dislikes.

The fallacy in the ad hominem is due to the irrelevant nature of the appeal made, not to its falsity. If what is said about the person is false, in addition to being irrelevant, two fallacies are committed, false premise and irrelevant premise.

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:25 pm 
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Hmmmm ..... No listed primary funding source and 10 authors listed before the tobacco tainted researcher from almost 40 years ago. Not really anything to base such a critical review other than wishful thinking.

http://current.com/1macgkc

Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review

Crystal Smith-Spangler, MD, MS; Margaret L. Brandeau, PhD; Grace E. Hunter, BA; J. Clay Bavinger, BA; Maren Pearson, BS; Paul J. Eschbach; Vandana Sundaram, MPH; Hau Liu, MD, MS, MBA, MPH; Patricia Schirmer, MD; Christopher Stave, MLS; Ingram Olkin, PhD; and Dena M. Bravata, MD, MS

Primary Funding Source: None

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:54 pm 
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The criticism is levelled at the statistical technique used by Olkin to try to debunk the effects of smoking on heart disease. As for the Satnford study on organics ......

"The basic statistical indicators used by the Stanford team to compare the nutritional quality and safety of organic versus conventional food consistently understate the magnitude of the differences reported in high-quality, contemporary peer-reviewed studies. In the case of pesticides and antibiotics, the indicator used—the percent of samples of organic food with a trait minus the percent of conventional samples affected—is not a valid indicator of human health risk."

http://organicfarms.wsu.edu/blog/devil-in-the-details/

And ....

A team of plant and food scientists carried out a sophisticated meta-analysis of the “organic-versus-conventional food” nutrient-content literature. The team was led by Kirsten Brandt, a scientist at the Human Nutrition Research Center, Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Their analysis was published in Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences in 2011, under the title, “Agroecosystem Management and Nutritional Quality of Plant Foods: The Case of Organic Fruits and Vegetables” (Vol. 30: 177–197).

The Stanford paper cites this analysis but does not mention its findings, remark on the study’s scope and sophisticated methodology, nor acknowledge the major differences in the conclusions reached.


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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:34 pm 
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While the study looked for evidence of direct impacts on the consumers of organic and non-organic food, it didn’t appear to consider the environmental impact of non-organic farming. How might the pervasive use of agrochemicals that remain in soil and might leech into groundwater affect human health? What about the health and safety impacts of pesticides on farm workers?

One of the lead authors of the study acknowledges some of these shortcomings of their "meta-analysis" (the study was a comprehensive review of previous organic food studies). In an interview with public policy website Remapping Debate, Dr. Crystal Smith-Spangler said, “It was beyond the scope of our article to review and be able to really answer" any questions having to do with:

•The environmental effects of non-organic farming.

•The human health effects of agricultural chemicals leeching into groundwater

•The effects of pesticides on farm workers

•The risks of non-organic farms serving as fertile breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria

http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/ ... ional-food


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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:20 pm 
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animal-friendly wrote:
The criticism is levelled at the statistical technique used by Olkin to try to debunk the effects of smoking on heart disease. As for the Satnford study on organics ......


No, the references to the request for a grant from the tobacco group and the quotes listed are not doing anything except trying to paint the study with a very broad brush in order to try to taint it.

Quote:
"The basic statistical indicators used by the Stanford team to compare the nutritional quality and safety of organic versus conventional food consistently understate the magnitude of the differences reported in high-quality, contemporary peer-reviewed studies. In the case of pesticides and antibiotics, the indicator used—the percent of samples of organic food with a trait minus the percent of conventional samples affected—is not a valid indicator of human health risk."

http://organicfarms.wsu.edu/blog/devil-in-the-details/


Nutrition is the determination of health risk in what definition?

nutrition,
n the process of assimilation and use of essential food elements from the diet (e.g., carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, mineral elements).


Quote:
And ....

A team of plant and food scientists carried out a sophisticated meta-analysis of the “organic-versus-conventional food” nutrient-content literature. The team was led by Kirsten Brandt, a scientist at the Human Nutrition Research Center, Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Their analysis was published in Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences in 2011, under the title, “Agroecosystem Management and Nutritional Quality of Plant Foods: The Case of Organic Fruits and Vegetables” (Vol. 30: 177–197).

The Stanford paper cites this analysis but does not mention its findings, remark on the study’s scope and sophisticated methodology, nor acknowledge the major differences in the conclusions reached.


Many published papers do not reference findings of other studies even if they are used as a reference.

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:23 pm 
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animal-friendly wrote:
While the study looked for evidence of direct impacts on the consumers of organic and non-organic food, it didn’t appear to consider the environmental impact of non-organic farming. How might the pervasive use of agrochemicals that remain in soil and might leech into groundwater affect human health? What about the health and safety impacts of pesticides on farm workers?

One of the lead authors of the study acknowledges some of these shortcomings of their "meta-analysis" (the study was a comprehensive review of previous organic food studies). In an interview with public policy website Remapping Debate, Dr. Crystal Smith-Spangler said, “It was beyond the scope of our article to review and be able to really answer" any questions having to do with:

•The environmental effects of non-organic farming.

•The human health effects of agricultural chemicals leeching into groundwater

•The effects of pesticides on farm workers

•The risks of non-organic farms serving as fertile breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria

http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/ ... ional-food


That would probably be due to the study dealing nutritional value rather than environmental impacts of non-organic or even organic productin processes.

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:28 pm 
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animal-friendly wrote:
The study relied on a statistical technique called meta-analysis. Over 200 plus scientific journal articles were combined as the data set for the study. The article co-author with recognized expertise in meta-analysis, Ingram Olkin, applied for a grant from Council of Tobacco Research (CTR) in 1976.

http://current.com/technology/93897548_ ... n-1976.htm

Columbia University professor Andrew Gelman cited Olkin’s work in his September article in the journal Statistics and Ethics, which discusses the ethical challenges of statisticians when working for big business.



animal-friendly wrote:
The criticism is levelled at the statistical technique used by Olkin to try to debunk the effects of smoking on heart disease. As for the Satnford study on organics ......

"The basic statistical indicators used by the Stanford team to compare the nutritional quality and safety of organic versus conventional food consistently understate the magnitude of the differences reported in high-quality, contemporary peer-reviewed studies. In the case of pesticides and antibiotics, the indicator used—the percent of samples of organic food with a trait minus the percent of conventional samples affected—is not a valid indicator of human health risk."

http://organicfarms.wsu.edu/blog/devil-in-the-details/

And ....

A team of plant and food scientists carried out a sophisticated meta-analysis of the “organic-versus-conventional food” nutrient-content literature. The team was led by Kirsten Brandt, a scientist at the Human Nutrition Research Center, Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Their analysis was published in Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences in 2011, under the title, “Agroecosystem Management and Nutritional Quality of Plant Foods: The Case of Organic Fruits and Vegetables” (Vol. 30: 177–197).

The Stanford paper cites this analysis but does not mention its findings, remark on the study’s scope and sophisticated methodology, nor acknowledge the major differences in the conclusions reached.


Ummm meta-analysis mentioned first is "bad" while meta-analysis mentioned last is not also indicated as being "bad", is that an error or some change in the analysis being acceptable based on the result?

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:37 pm 
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Not a nutritional study but a study based n the assumption secondary metabolites are affected and those metabolites have a health benefit. Not the same thing by any means.

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/afrd/research/publication/168871

Organic and conventional crop management systems differ in terms of the fertilisers and plant protection methods used. Ecological and agronomic research on the effect of fertilization on plant composition shows that increasing availability of plant available nitrogen reduces the accumulation of defense-related secondary metabolites and vitamin C, while the contents of secondary metabolites such as carotenes that are not involved in defense against diseases and pests may increase. In relation to human health, increased intake of fruits and vegetables is linked to reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. This benefit may be primarily due to their content of defense-related secondary metabolites, since most other constituents of fruits and vegetables either are not unique to these foods or have been shown to not provide health benefits when the intake is increased. A meta-analysis of the published comparisons of the content of secondary metabolites and vitamins in organically and conventionally produced fruits and vegetables showed that in organic produce the content of secondary metabolites is 12% higher than in corresponding conventional samples ( P< 0.0001). This overall difference spans a large variation among sub-groups of secondary metabolites, from a 16% higher content for defence-related compounds ( P< 0.0001) to a nonsignificant 2% lower content for carotenoids, while vitamin C showed a 6% higher content ( P= 0.006). Based on the assumption that increasing the content of biologically active compounds in fruits and vegetables by 12% would be equivalent to increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables by the same 12%, a model developed to calculate the health outcome of increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables was then used to tentatively estimate the potential increase in life expectancy that would be achieved by switching from conventional to organic produce without changing the amount consumed per day, to 17 days for women and 25 days for men.

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:22 am 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
animal-friendly wrote:
The criticism is levelled at the statistical technique used by Olkin to try to debunk the effects of smoking on heart disease. As for the Satnford study on organics ......


No, the references to the request for a grant from the tobacco group and the quotes listed are not doing anything except trying to paint the study with a very broad brush in order to try to taint it.

Quote:
"The basic statistical indicators used by the Stanford team to compare the nutritional quality and safety of organic versus conventional food consistently understate the magnitude of the differences reported in high-quality, contemporary peer-reviewed studies. In the case of pesticides and antibiotics, the indicator used—the percent of samples of organic food with a trait minus the percent of conventional samples affected—is not a valid indicator of human health risk."

http://organicfarms.wsu.edu/blog/devil-in-the-details/


Nutrition is the determination of health risk in what definition?

nutrition,
n the process of assimilation and use of essential food elements from the diet (e.g., carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, mineral elements).


Quote:
And ....

A team of plant and food scientists carried out a sophisticated meta-analysis of the “organic-versus-conventional food” nutrient-content literature. The team was led by Kirsten Brandt, a scientist at the Human Nutrition Research Center, Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Their analysis was published in Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences in 2011, under the title, “Agroecosystem Management and Nutritional Quality of Plant Foods: The Case of Organic Fruits and Vegetables” (Vol. 30: 177–197).

The Stanford paper cites this analysis but does not mention its findings, remark on the study’s scope and sophisticated methodology, nor acknowledge the major differences in the conclusions reached.


Many published papers do not reference findings of other studies even if they are used as a reference.


What? The Stanford paper does cite Brandt's analysis but fails to mention it's findings.


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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:12 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
animal-friendly wrote:
The criticism is levelled at the statistical technique used by Olkin to try to debunk the effects of smoking on heart disease. As for the Satnford study on organics ......


No, the references to the request for a grant from the tobacco group and the quotes listed are not doing anything except trying to paint the study with a very broad brush in order to try to taint it.

Quote:
"The basic statistical indicators used by the Stanford team to compare the nutritional quality and safety of organic versus conventional food consistently understate the magnitude of the differences reported in high-quality, contemporary peer-reviewed studies. In the case of pesticides and antibiotics, the indicator used—the percent of samples of organic food with a trait minus the percent of conventional samples affected—is not a valid indicator of human health risk."

http://organicfarms.wsu.edu/blog/devil-in-the-details/


Nutrition is the determination of health risk in what definition?

nutrition,
n the process of assimilation and use of essential food elements from the diet (e.g., carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, mineral elements).


Quote:
And ....

A team of plant and food scientists carried out a sophisticated meta-analysis of the “organic-versus-conventional food” nutrient-content literature. The team was led by Kirsten Brandt, a scientist at the Human Nutrition Research Center, Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Their analysis was published in Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences in 2011, under the title, “Agroecosystem Management and Nutritional Quality of Plant Foods: The Case of Organic Fruits and Vegetables” (Vol. 30: 177–197).

The Stanford paper cites this analysis but does not mention its findings, remark on the study’s scope and sophisticated methodology, nor acknowledge the major differences in the conclusions reached.


Many published papers do not reference findings of other studies even if they are used as a reference.


What? The Stanford paper does cite Brandt's analysis but fails to mention it's findings.


As I said, that is not uncommon, especially if the findings are not relevant to the current paper.

"Many published papers do not reference findings of other studies even if they are used as a reference."

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:32 am 
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Another study on nutrition differences.

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/3/680.full

Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review1,2,3,4
Alan D Dangour,
Sakhi K Dodhia,
Arabella Hayter,
Elizabeth Allen,
Karen Lock, and
Ricardo Uauy

Results: From a total of 52,471 articles, we identified 162 studies (137 crops and 25 livestock products); 55 were of satisfactory quality. In an analysis that included only satisfactory-quality studies, conventionally produced crops had a significantly higher content of nitrogen, and organically produced crops had a significantly higher content of phosphorus and higher titratable acidity. No evidence of a difference was detected for the remaining 8 of 11 crop nutrient categories analyzed. Analysis of the more limited database on livestock products found no evidence of a difference in nutrient content between organically and conventionally produced livestock products.

Conclusions: On the basis of a systematic review of studies of satisfactory quality, there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs. The small differences in nutrient content detected are biologically plausible and mostly relate to differences in production methods.

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:50 am 
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From the paper in question.

Quote:
Background: The health benefits of organic foods are unclear.

Purpose: To review evidence comparing the health effects of organic and conventional foods.

Data Sources: MEDLINE (January 1966 to May 2011), EMBASE, CAB Direct, Agricola, TOXNET, Cochrane Library (January 1966 to May 2009), and bibliographies of retrieved articles.

Study Selection: English-language reports of comparisons of organically and conventionally grown food or of populations consuming these foods.

Data Extraction: 2 independent investigators extracted data on methods, health outcomes, and nutrient and contaminant levels.

Data Synthesis: 17 studies in humans and 223 studies of nutrient and contaminant levels in foods met inclusion criteria. Only 3 of the human studies examined clinical outcomes, finding no significant differences between populations by food type for allergic outcomes (eczema, wheeze, atopic sensitization) or symptomatic Campylobacter infection.


No significant differences.

Quote:
Two studies reported significantly lower urinary pesticide levels among children consuming organic versus conventional diets, but studies of biomarker and nutrient levels in serum, urine, breast milk, and semen in adults did not identify clinically meaningful differences.


A significant difference but not clinically meaningful. Is mentioned in the conclusion, however.

Quote:
All estimates of differences in nutrient and contaminant levels in foods were highly heterogeneous except for the estimate for phosphorus; phosphorus levels were significantly higher than in conventional produce, although this difference is not clinically significant.


One difference which is not clinically significant. This finding is mentioned in the conclusions.

Quote:
The risk for contamination with detectable pesticide residues was lower among organic than conventional produce (risk difference, 30% [CI, −37% to −23%]), but differences in risk for exceeding maximum allowed limits were small.


Again the difference detected is mentioned in the conclusion.

Quote:
Escherichia coli contamination risk did not differ between organic and conventional produce. Bacterial contamination of retail chicken and pork was common but unrelated to farming method. However, the risk for isolating bacteria resistant to 3 or more antibiotics was higher in conventional than in organic chicken and pork (risk difference, 33% [CI, 21% to 45%]).


Again a difference that is in the conclusions.

Quote:
Limitation: Studies were heterogeneous and limited in number, and publication bias may be present.

Conclusion: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


No difference in nutrition, which is a problem with some. The possible reduced exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic resistant bacteria is listed but seems to be ignored because of the nutrition findings.

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