The truth about organic food

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. Rutgers food scientist Joseph D. Rosen asks, "Is organic food healthier than conventional food?" the title of a day-long symposium targeting consumer health and economics he has organized for the 228th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in Philadelphia on Monday, Aug. 23.

"The truth is out there," says Rosen, a professor of food science at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, borrowing from "The X-Files." While many Americans believe that organic food is healthier than conventional fare, the scientific evidence does not necessarily support that belief, Rosen contends.

"Because of genuine concerns about health and the environment, consumers are drawn to the organic food movement and are spending unnecessary dollars on wishful thinking dollars that some might not be able to afford," said Rosen. "Seemingly authoritative sources such as Consumer Reports have encouraged this behavior with erroneous pronouncements that may not be in the best interest of their readers."

Rosen is bringing together a dozen experts from across the nation to critically examine the scientific basis for this growing consumer trend that has spawned an international growth industry. The speakers will address myths and misconceptions about pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals, as well as irradiation, organic farming and nutrition.

The two-part symposium will take place on Monday, Aug. 23 beginning at 8:30 a.m. and, after a lunch break, resuming at 1:30 p.m. in room 104 of the Marriott Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown at 21 Juniper St. In the presentations scientists will offer answers to these questions and others:

  • Are pesticide risks real or imagined?
  • Does food irradiation pose health risks?
  • Is genetically modified food unsafe?
  • Is organic food more nutritious?
  • Are free-range chickens safer?
  • Is organic farming really better

Contact: Joseph Blumberg
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

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