Debunking the Debunkers

Boy do we get emails here at the palatial if entirely virtual Grinder HQ, and in among the fertilizer enhancements recently was this subject line: “Scientist Debunks Myth of Organic Nutritional Superiority.”

They’re leading the jury a little, don’t you think?

Let’s step back a bit: In March, the Organic Center announced a new review of 97 published studies comparing the nutritional components of organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. The review, written with scientists at Washington State University, found that organics had more, and often much more, of 8 out of the 11 total nutrients studied.

This week’s aforementioned email is a press release from the American Council on Science and Health. We won’t call ACSH an industry-funded nonprofit, but only because we’d like to spare its president, Elizabeth Whelan, from having to write us the same angry response she just sent to the Dallas Morning News, whose editorial page had called ACSH, well, industry-funded. But we will refer readers to SourceWatch for a fair-minded account of ACSH’s history and perspective. In any case, ACSH wants you to know that according to a new analysis of the Organic Center’s report by a Rutgers professor emeritus and ACSH adviser, conventional fruits and vegetables are actually—you’ll be shocked to discover—more nutritious than their organic counterparts.

Of course, the Organic Center is heavily funded by organic food companies, so it’s got a sheep dog in this pasture, too. But please: What we need, even if utterly unbiased information is impossible to come by, is a little common sense, as Refresh, the blog for the trade publication Supermarket News—hardly a source of anti-industry sentiment—writes. It goes on: “Our ancestors certainly didn’t need pesticides and artificial fertilizers to survive, and to think that the lack of these chemicals would make us any less healthy today is just silly.”

See more articles
Share this article: