New study hyping health benefits of organic food is more marketing than science, biologist argues

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How do you know when a “study” isn’t really a study? When the people who performed it wrote up a brochure hyping its results before actually bothering to publish a scientific paper.

The guilty party is none other than Friends of the Earth. Very excited about the results of their “study”….they got a bit ahead of themselves and published a “report”….and an executive summary. The original scientific paper? Well, that’s not available yet. Sorry, scientists!

friends of the earth sham study

The methodological details that are available prove definitively that this “study” is nothing more than a marketing stunt. Friends of the Earth (FoE) recruited 16 people….to switch from eating conventional food to organic food….[T]here are multiple problems with their methodology.

First….it is important to get independent samples. In other words, you generally don’t want the volunteers to be related to each other or collaborating in some way. But FoE….recruited four families, which means their sample size is really more like 4 instead of 16.

Related article:  Podcast: Epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat explains how junk science gets published—and how to spot it in the headlines

Second….[t]he point was to see if eating organic food, which arbitrarily bans certain pesticides, would cause a person’s urine to contain less of those pesticides. Well, obviously, the answer is yes….It would be like designing a study to determine if refusing to drink coffee or soda causes a person’s urine to contain less caffeine. Of course it will. But that doesn’t teach us anything….

Read full, original article: Sham ‘Study’ On Organic Food And Pesticides In Urine Published By Friends Of The Earth

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