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    Scientist Seeks to Debunk 'Myth' of Organic Nutritional Superiority

    The Rutgers University food scientist claimed a recent pro-organic report from the Organic Trade Association's Organic Center was based on selectively chosen and presented data.

    The latest attempt by proponents of organic agriculture to prove that organically grown crops are nutritionally superior to conventional ones has failed, claimed Joseph D. Rosen, Ph.D., emeritus professor of food science at Rutgers University and a scientific advisor to the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).

    Rosen said he 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.

    Rosen's own report, Claims of Organic Food's Nutritional Superiority: A Critical Review, was published today by ACSH.

    In the original pro-organic paper, Benbrook and colleagues had stated that organic produce is 25 percent "more nutritious" than that produced by conventional agricultural practices. Rosen claimed that after he recalculated some of the original data, correcting what he said were several inaccuracies, he concluded that the conventional products were actually 2 percent more nutritious than the organic varieties.

    Rosen also claimed the organic proponents included data of dubious validity in their review. He said they used data from articles that were not peer-reviewed, and in one case included nutrient content from an analysis of whole kiwi fruits -- both the inedible skin and the edible pulp, though this is not what the consumer would eat.

    More details on Rosen's methods and conclusions may be found at: www.acsh.org/publications/pubID.1714/pub_detail.asp

    The American Council on Science and Health is an independent, non-profit consumer education organization concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment, and health. ACSH is directed and advised by a consortium of over 350 physicians and scientists.

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