Doctors’ group: Organic has no health, safety advantage - The Packer

Doctors’ group: Organic has no health, safety advantage

10/25/2012 10:46:00 AM
Andy Nelson

Organic foods are no more nutritious or safer than conventional foods, according to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Published in the Oct. 22 online version of Pediatrics, the academy’s official journal, the study by Joel Forman and Janet Silverstein found that while organic farming is better for the environment than conventional farming, organic foods are no better than conventional foods when it comes to food safety and healthfulness.

“Current evidence does not support any meaningful nutritional benefits or deficits from eating organic compared with conventionally grown foods, and there are no well-powered human studies that directly demonstrate health benefits or disease protection as a result of consuming an organic diet,” according to the report.

The study also found that although organic foods regularly cost more than conventional foods, costs can be competitive and yields comparable to conventionally grown foods.

Forman and Silverstein recommend that pediatricians share the study’s findings with patients and their parents who ask about eating organic vs. conventional.

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William Genitempo    
Dallas, TX  |  October, 26, 2012 at 08:58 AM


salinas  |  October, 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM a group of doctors are educating us on our industry. "yields are comparable to conventional foods"...really??? Hey Doc put on some boots and come test your theory. Who is behind these anti-Organic reports??? Hmmm. It seems like there are a lot of them lately. I'll stick with my organic diet. The American Academy of Pediatrics MUST have something more important to study and educate us on that this.

Fresno  |  October, 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Sounds like you have oodles of money to pay for all this over priced - unnecessary commodity.

California  |  October, 26, 2012 at 10:45 AM

I work for a major seed producer. We supply seed to many commercial growers. We supply the "Stock Seed" to Certified Organic growers who produce seed for us under NOP standards. However, the very same stock seed is used to produce conventional seed crops which are produced under GAP rules. As to the crop yields being comparable, a scientist does not have to "put on Boots" to gather yield data. In California, All commercial growers report planting and yield data to their County Ag department. This data is public and can be accessed by anyone who needs it. What is happening is that Organics have been in existence long enough for scientific data to be gathered. No one is trying to discredit Organic lifestyles or to kill the Organic industry. They are presenting data. Just because the data does not agree with your opinions or feelings does not make it a conspiracy. If you are more comfortable with Organically grown products then by all means, continue to enjoy them.

salinas  |  October, 26, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Very irresponsible report. What a crock. Pesticide residue isn't harmful? Really? So sad that this group chose to pick on Organic Ag.

California  |  October, 26, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Earl - as a farmer that grows both Conventionally and Organically for the past 25 years I can assure you the yields are not the same and the costs are not the same. Growing Organically is more expensive.

Forney, TX  |  October, 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Great news! Eating pesticides is safe! Some questions please: 1) These two: Joel and Janet-[clearly not Doctors or it would say Dr Joel and Dr Janet]....are they environmental scientists? Or students? or experts in any field of study? What exactly are their qualifications? I'm not clear on that. 2) Who paid for this study? 3) Will warning labels disappear from pesticide containers? 4) What does OSHA have to say about the safety of these pesticides; re: field workers? If it's so safe for kids to eat-is it equally safe for workers? Thanks

Dennis Linden    
Friday Harbor, WA  |  October, 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The nutrution issue is a red herring. This report states "while organic farming is better for the environment than conventional farming, organic foods are no better than....". Stop right there. I think the envronment certainly deserves a lot more than a passing "while"! Organic is not less nutritious and IS a better way to take care of rock we all share. Organics doesn't have to be a super food too. As the category grows, reseatch money flows -- that's a fact. So the yields of environmental friendly growing practices will improve -- along will our dirt, rivers and oceans. That's a good thing. So what if organics in not MORE nutritous -- what's their point?

Los Angeles CA  |  October, 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM

They don't want you healthy.....only dependent upon big pharma.....can someone please explain how they can assess the long term effects by only studying the short term?

san luis Obispo Ca  |  October, 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Who are they and how are they preventing you from buying organic produce? I work in the industry, with both organic and conventional growers. There is room for both. By the way, organic growers do use chemicals. The list they can choose from is much smaller and they have to abide by their certifiers program. I can't help but notice that much of these types of discussions are filled with emotion and basic dumbness. No one is stopping people from making a choice about what they eat. Move on people, move on!

October, 26, 2012 at 02:45 PM

What about the pesticides? all of the pesticides residues affect human health, not in a short time frame but on the long run. And for babies this is key. I just do not believe that pediatrician are not worried about this.

Foxboro  |  October, 26, 2012 at 06:40 PM

Aside from the pesticide issue, with certified organics you are guaranteed GMO free and as we all know Genetically modified means a host of problems of which not in the least cancer and immunity disruptions. Furthermore organic still has a way to go. It takes quite a few years to rebuild depleted soils. My bet if this study will be done 10 years from now there will be quite a difference in quality. I question though the accuracy with regards to micro nutrients and trace elements. And then of course there is the issue of soil erosion with the modern approach to agriculture which has become by and large mono cropping with loads and loads of a mishmash of pesticides. The Roundup ready crap has caused a more than doubling of Glyphosate use which all ends up in the soil, where it stays active much longer than Monsanto wants us to believe. But did you expect anything else from the medical establishment? Follow the money, and the goodies, and other spoils of the game they tend to play at your expense

Philippines  |  October, 26, 2012 at 11:42 PM

People should download the full report and read it carefully, before they start criticizing the report. You might be enlightened.

Colorado  |  October, 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

40 years ago I chose to become an organic apple farmer. 100% of my neighbors who stuck with spraying guthion are dead. In 1995 I did a study on guthion residue, we sprayed apples once in May and had them tested at the University of Wyoming in October. They still had residue on them. There have been other studies, not funded or influenced by Big Pharma, that indicate that children's health is affected by Pesticide residues. Emory University concluded that an organic diet given to children provides a "dramatic and immediate protective effect" against exposures to two pesticides that are commonly used in US agricultural products. The US EPA, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Public Health Association have all voiced concerns about the danger that pesticides pose to children. A study conducted in 2010 by researchers based at the University of Montreal and Harvard University found a link between organophosphate pesticides and ADHD. Let's not forget, many of the Big Pharma companies produce the pesticides to spray on our agricultural products and they also produce the chemotherapy and other drugs that people need when they develop problems from those pesticides. Many of these are the same companies and often are funding the studies that are being conducted. The Packer should be more responsible as to how they spin reports and be transparent about who funded the reports. I wouldn't dream of exposing my family, children, grandchildren, farm workers and customers to pesticides. I believe that most people wouldn't either if they had the correct information.

Georgia  |  October, 29, 2012 at 09:10 PM

New York Times Article Report Supports Organic Produce, but Not Milk . By ANDREA PETERSEN When it comes to feeding your children organic food, pediatricians have new advice for parents. Organic produce and meat might be worth the hefty price tag, but you can probably skip the organic milk. Is the Packer article correct?

Raleigh, NC  |  October, 30, 2012 at 02:51 PM

Their point is to let consumers know that if they have been paying a premium for organic produce for these many years thinking that they were getting nutritional benefits from it, that they were mistaken.

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