Stanford Study on Organics: Manipulating Consumers into Buying GMO Products

www.mypicshares.com
This last week news reports have flooded the print, online, and on-air worlds from various outlets about the recent study conducted at Stanford University on the nutritional content of organic versus conventional food.

The study was “an extensive examination of four decades of research” comparing organic and conventional foods which found that on average, fruits and vegetables from organic sources were no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts.

In other words, they weren’t uncovering any new information. It was simply a review of past research.

Yes, these studies have been done before. And, these findings have been more than adequately countered before by various sources.

So before you decide that organic food is just an over-priced product that you shouldn’t bother wasting your money on, let’s examine why results of this study were inconclusive, too narrow, and left out valuable information that you should be aware of.

Conflicting studies

In a 2011 study, a team led by Dr. Kirsten Brandt of the Human Nutrition Research Center of Newcastle University in the UK looked at much of the same literature as researchers in the Stanford study. These findings were published in Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences and discovered something quite opposite: organic crops yielded an increase of approximately 12 to 16 percent more nutrients than conventional.

Mother Earth News featured an article about this in 2009 about The Organic Center’s reasons for why organic foods is superior nutritionally to conventional food. Here are some of the reasons:

“The FSA [Food Standards Agency] review included studies over a 50-year period: January 1958 through February 2008. The TOC team included studies published since 1980. Most studies published before 1980 were found flawed for purposes of comparing the nutrient content of today’s conventional and organic crops.

Most of the older studies used plant varieties no longer in use, and did not measure or report total phenolics or antioxidant capacity (since these nutrients were just being discovered). The older studies used analytical methods that are now considered inferior, compared to modern methods.”

The Rodale Institute has published some very extensive studies and documentation showing just how organic foods are better for our health, and how sustainable farming is not only a viable way to feed the planet, but is much safer and sustainable.

In a scientific paper, professor of agriculture at Washington State University and former chief scientist at The Organic Center, Charles Benbrook, PhD, reviewed the Stanford study and much of the associate literature, found the results misleading:

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

He also stated that several well-designed previous U.S. studies revealed that organic crops consistently showed higher concentrations of antioxidants and vitamins than conventional. In crops such as strawberries, grapes, apples, tomatoes, milk, grains, and carrots, organic produce has 10 to 30 percent higher levels of various nutrients, including antioxidants, Vitamin C,  and phenolic acids in most studies.

Here are some additional sources talking about why organic food is nutritionally superior:

Tender Grassfed Meat’s Stanley Fishman: When organic tests no better, check the soil, and the bias

Why organic is better (never mind the study), New York Times

Organic food vs. conventional: What the Stanford study missed, Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth

Professor Adam Carey, BSc, MB, BChir, MA, MRCOG, NTCC:

 Why organics are not only about the nutritional content of food:

  • Organic foods do not have chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, which are used in commercial and industrial farming and are linked to causing health issues such as birth defects, cancer, endocrine disruption and neurological disorders for humans and the ecology. Health effects of pesticides and other chemicals are cumulative in the human body, even if the levels of these chemicals falls below what is considered acceptable by the EPA.
  • Organic foods cannot contain hormones or antibiotics used in conventionally-raised animals and birds, which are also linked to health issues such as disease-resistant bacteria and hormonal and endocrine disruption in human beings and animals. The Stanford Study did note that there was an increased risk of consuming antibiotic-resistant bacteria – 33% higher than from organic pork and chicken.
  • Organic foods cannot be produced or grown with GMOs (genetically modified foods), found to cause many health issues.
  • Organic foods are grown in ways that use traditional farming methods that cultivate and enrich the soil, whereas commercial farming methods with chemicals only further erode and deplete minerals and good bacteria from the soil. Soil is the foundation of life. If the soil is dead, so will be the food.

Funding for the study

Who is funding these studies done by Stanford?  One source claims that that “no outside funding” was used to avoid the “perception of bias”. I read in various other news reports that the researchers made the same claim.  The Stanford School of Medicine site claims this as well:  ”The authors received no external funding for this study.”

But wording is very important. If you visit the Stanford Center for Health Policy web site, you can see that The Stanford Center for Health Policy has the following statement:

“The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) relies on support from its friends, as well as from national and international foundations and corporations, for the funding of the Institute’s research, teaching and outreach activities.”

The Center for Health Policy is a subsidiary of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI).

So I ask once again, who’s funding this study? Don’t you agree that it would be very educational to learn the identity of these friends, national and international foundations and corporations funding the research of FSI and its subsidiary, the Stanford Center for Health Policy?

Let’s find out. According to FSI’s 2011 Annual Report (page 38, .pdf), you can see the following sponsors:

  • Agricultural giant Cargill
  • British Petroleum (BP)
  • The Bill & Malinda Gates Foundation (heavily invested in both Cargill and big-agri giant Monsanto)
  • The Ford Foundation
  • Google
  • Goldman Sachs
  • The Smith Richardson Foundation
  • Other corporate-financier, Fortune 500, and special interest organizations and corporations

All of these companies and interests are well-known supporters of Big Agricultural interests, biotechnology, and some are well-known opponents to the Proposition 37, GMO labeling initiative going on in CA which will be voted on this November.

So when Stanford claims “no outside funding” was obtained for studies coming out of this branch of their school, that is an outright lie.

The fact is, most universities do not operate independently and are not without outside donators and interests.  Like most other universities, there was actually outside funding, from a large list of sources.

We all know, even science is not without bias and the results of this study were undoubtedly affected by those who donated.

After learning this, do you still hold Stanford Medical School in high esteem?

There has also been leakage that one of the main authors of this study has been found to have ties to the Tobacco Industry: Dr. Ingram Olkin, one of the same researchers who allowed lies to be told to the public that cigarettes were not harmful to human health.

The GMO factor

Stanford also failed to take into account the negative effects of GMOs on the foods we eat when comparing organic to conventional.  Conventional foods are highly contaminated with GMOs – corn, soy, canola oil, cottonseed oil, sugar, a lot of dairy products which contain rBGH bovine growth hormone, and now some zucchini and squash, and papaya.

Organic are now also contaminated due to the issues of cross-pollination from insect, wind, and other natural means of spreading seed.  And yet, Monsanto claims that co-existence of GMO with non-GMO seed is not only possible, but not a problem for anything or anyone.

At the same time, Monsanto has repeatedly engaged in lawsuits against farmers for patent infringement whose crops were cross-pollinated by Monsanto seed that they had no knowledge of and didn’t want. Monsanto has put farmers out of business and ruined their livelihoods over something that, according to them, wasn’t even supposed to be a problem!

Monsanto also maintains that there is no reason to prove the safety of GMOs, and that they are “substantially equivalent” to their non-GMO counterparts. The company doesn’t believe it has a responsibility to prove its product is safe, and refers to its statement of “substantial equivalence” to say that the product is no different than its non-GMO counterpart.

Sounds a lot like the Stanford study results, doesn’t it? There’s no difference between GMO and non-GMO seed, and there’s no difference between conventional and organic food. They must think the consumer public are all complete idiots!

From Monsanto’s web site:

“Substantial equivalence, more technically, means that the range of concentrations for components of the GM crop falls within the typical range for the non-GM counterpart.”

“There is no need to test the safety of DNA introduced into GM crops. DNA (and resulting RNA) is present in almost all foods–the only exceptions being highly refined materials like oil or sugar from which all cell material has been removed. Thus, DNA is non-toxic and the presence of DNA, in and of itself, presents no hazard.

When a new protein (not normally found in that plant or in other commonly consumed foods) is introduced into a plant, the safety of that protein does need to be addressed. It is standard practice to use animals to test any introduced proteins. Animal testing requires very high doses of the test substance be given. These levels are, by design, many times higher than those which people would actually consume. In GM crops and foods derived from them, introduced proteins are usually present only in minute amounts. Because the levels of protein are so low, it is impossible to test high doses by feeding crops directly to animals. Instead, a purified version of the introduced protein is used in animal studies.”

These statements are ludicrous because even if the “range of concentrations for components of the GMO crop falls within the typical range for the non-GM counterpart” those elements of the GM crop are not the same as what occurs in nature.

Any thinking scientist would disagree with this since GMOs are created with an unnatural process to begin with which extracts foreign DNA and bacteria and inserts it into the seed in a laboratory. If Monsanto is confident their seeds are safe, why don’t they want labels on the products they produce?

GMO seeds are lacking in nutrition and also contain pesticides to eliminate insects on the crop such as corn or soy. This causes the digestive tract of the insect to explode when eaten. If it does this to insects, what is it doing to us?  There are no third-party studies in existence that examine the long term effect of consuming these organisms on human beings.

These statements, studies and other efforts are a way to confuse consumers and get them on the side of conventional, commercial farming and to support an anti-labeling initiative against Prop 37.  Monsanto produces the chemical herbicide Roundup. They also produced DDT and Agent Orange. We were told the last two were safe for many years. The chief funders for the anti-labeling campaign are the same ones who told us these toxic chemicals were safe.  So much for that promise.

By coincidence, the initiative to label GMO foods is coming this fall to the state of CA. Voting yes on Prop 37 would make it mandatory to label GMO foods as it is currently in many European, Asian, and other countries around the world. 

There is great opposition to this initiative. Monsanto and many large corporations are spending millions and millions of dollars to make sure labeling doesn’t happen and that consumers remain in the dark, and don’t understand how their food is produced.

In my local area there is an activist group called GMO-Free Idaho.  Jenny Easley and Leslie Stoddard, founders of the group,  have been very active over the last year doing presentations, organizing potlucks, rallies, and events to raise awareness about the issues of GMOs in our food supply.

This weekend GMO-Free Idaho featured an event to show the film The Future of Food, which highlights the issues both farmers and consumers face as a result of the increasing deregulation of GMOs in our agricultural sector and food supply.  The people involved in the sustainable food community here in my area understand what’s at stake, and we want this initiative to go through.

Voting Yes on Prop 37 means you support labeling on GMO foods which has already been implemented in the U.K. and other European countries, Russia, China, and Japan. We can’t trust big food companies to be truthful about their products. We need labeling to increase consumer awareness.

Videos/interviews:

Future of Food movie trailer, an eye-opening look at what’s really happening with GMO foods, the crooked politics and bad science behind it, and how you can make a difference

Health dangers of genetically modified foodsJeffery Smith, Institute of Responsible Technology

Watch this video of a 12-year old girl pleading with consumers to think twice about GMOs in our food and environment

GMO-Free Idaho – Fighting for our right to know what’s in our food! Interview on Chew on This, Radio Boise

Watch my interview with Kevin Brown on the Liberation Wellness site about the dangers of GMOs and the labeling initiative in CA that will be voted on this November. 

More information about GMOs:

4 ways to avoid GMOs in the foods you buy

Busting Myths about GMOs

Institute for Responsible Technology

Photo credit: Wakeup World

 

 

13 Comments

  • Pingback: Why Organic Food Matters(& How to Find It Close to Home) - Biological Dentist, Houston Texas | Biological Dentist, Houston Texas

  • September 12, 2012 - 12:15 AM | Permalink

    It is so important to understand that this Stanford study, like most studies in the area of food, is bought and paid for by the big food and biotech industry. This massive conflict of interest makes these studies extremely suspect, especially when their findings support the interests of the big food and biotech industries, which they almost always do.

    The the mainstream media, which depends on advertising revenue from the big food and biotech industry, treats these suspect studies as being absolute truth, never pointing out the flaws in the studies.

    We have to get over believing things just because they are published in a study. Science itself has been corrupted by those who pay for research and studies.

  • September 12, 2012 - 7:28 AM | Permalink

    Hi Stanley – unfortunately, you are correct that science is highly suspect and corrupted now by corporations, as is our government. As the Future of Food movie showed that I watched last weekend, the revolving door is becoming more and more revolving.

  • Pingback: Is Just Label It Controlled Opposition? | Farm Wars

  • May 12, 2013 - 6:27 AM | Permalink

    I’m very happy to discover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to see new information on your site.

    Can I just say what a comfort to find someone who really understands what they’re talking about on the internet. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people should read this and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you’re not more popular given that you most certainly have the gift.

    Good write-up. I definitely love this website. Stick with it!

    It’s hard to find educated people in this particular subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    You should take part in a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the web. I am going to highly recommend this site!

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should publish more about this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people do not speak about such topics. To the next! Cheers!!

    Hi there! I simply wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you have got here on this post. I will be returning to your blog for more soon.

    When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t disappoint me as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely believed you’d have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe this website needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info!

    You are so cool! I do not think I have read something like this before. So great to discover somebody with genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

    I quite like reading through an article that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

    This is the right blog for anyone who wants to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that’s been discussed for years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

    Aw, this was a very good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a great article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

    I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this during my search for something relating to this.

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am encountering troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot join it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this matter here on your blog.

    After going over a few of the blog posts on your website, I honestly appreciate your technique of blogging. I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my web site as well and let me know what you think.

    This website truly has all of the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    There is definately a great deal to know about this issue. I like all of the points you made.

    You have made some really good points there. I checked on the net for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be interesting to read articles from other writers and use a little something from their sites.

    I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article. Many thanks for providing these details.

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Many thanks for sharing!

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Greetings, I believe your website might be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, great website!

    Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited this website before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

    I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I’ve got you book marked to check out new stuff you post…

    Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it ;) I will revisit once again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

    Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this web site.

    I was able to find good info from your content.

    Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.

    That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!

    Saved as a favorite, I love your site!

    Great post. I’m facing a few of these issues as well..

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and also the rest of the site is extremely good.

    Excellent web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    This is a topic that is near to my heart… Take care! Where are your contact details though?

    I seriously love your website.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own site and would love to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Kudos!

    I like it when folks get together and share ideas. Great blog, stick with it!

    Great info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have book marked it for later!

    This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something which helped me. Thanks!

    Everything is very open with a really clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I’m hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own site now ;)

  • Pingback: Resisting GMOs - Pride Dental

  • February 17, 2014 - 3:28 AM | Permalink

    Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I
    guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any tips for beginner blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

    Feel free to visit my website; Get Free Clash of Clans Gems

  • February 19, 2014 - 7:10 PM | Permalink

    The another thing you should knbow like a PC gamer is the fwct that
    most from the people avdertiising thee “PC gaming is dead” is in fact the
    compitition liike the console or mobile market. It just generally seems to take away in the ooverall gaming experience proided by current games.
    This can mean that games may simply freeze while playing, thaqt is a great way to
    lose to whoever you’re playing on the Internet.

  • March 14, 2014 - 7:16 AM | Permalink

    Ridiculous quest there. What happened after? Thanks!

    Also visit my site: Clash of Clans Cheats (Maryjo)

  • June 1, 2014 - 6:33 AM | Permalink

    This article provides clear idea in support of the new visitors of blogging,
    that actually how to do blogging.

  • June 4, 2014 - 9:46 PM | Permalink

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  • June 16, 2014 - 12:59 AM | Permalink

    I’ve absolutely no expertise in coding but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject however I just wanted to ask. Thanks!

  • June 16, 2014 - 1:37 AM | Permalink

    I always used to read post in news papers but now as I am a user of web thus from now I am using net for articles, thanks to web.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>