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EnviroLink Forum • View topic - Organic huh?

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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:17 am 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:18 pm 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:23 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:28 pm 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Organic huh?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:12 am 
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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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