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The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has released a new report saying that it has proven that organic foods have no nutritional superiority over conventional foods.

According to the report, Joseph D. Rosen, Ph.D., emeritus professor of food science at Rutgers University and a scientific advisor to ACSH, “analyzed a pro-organic report by Charles Benbrook and colleagues at the Organic Trade Association's Organic Center and found the data had been selectively chosen and presented to ‘prove’ the desired point … In the original pro-organic paper, Benbrook and colleagues had stated that organic produce is 25% ‘more nutritious’ than that produced by conventional agricultural practices. But when Dr. Rosen actually recalculated some of their data, correcting several inaccuracies, he concluded that the conventional products were actually 2% more nutritious than the organic varieties … Dr. Rosen's analysis demonstrates how organic proponents have, once again, used misleading and inappropriately-evaluated data to support their agenda.”

KC's View:
On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be any mention in the ACSH materials that I read that this organization reportedly receives between 50 and 75 percent of its funding from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Which would certainly seem to give it a rooting interest in how the numbers turn out.

For most of us who are neither scientists nor nutrition experts, these kinds of issues really come down to common sense. Organic foods – if they truly are organic – are purer in they way they are developed…and people who are concerned about such things should be able to have confidence that they are getting what they pay for.

It seems entirely reasonable to me that organic foods are more nutritious than conventional foods…though I concede that there are plenty of people making arguments on both sides of the issue.

This ends up being like global warming. Sure, there are people who suggest that global warming isn’t a problem, doesn’t exist, or isn’t a manmade phenomenon. But common sense suggests to me that they are wrong…even though I don't have the background knowledge to be able to argue every point.

And I always remember this. There were plenty of so-called scientists who said that tobacco didn’t cause cancer. We know who underwrote their research, and we know that they were lying because they had their own agenda – to sell more cigarettes and addict more people.

So when I hear a scientist arguing against a position that I think makes sense, I tend to be a little skeptical and to question their motives and judgment.