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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac -- April 4, 2007

re reporting development of a test that could help answer that question. Simon D. Kelly and colleagues point out that authentication of organic food products currently is based on enforcement of production standards through certification and inspection a paper trail from farm to fork.

The new test, in contrast, checks for the amount of a certain isotope, or formof nitrogen in the food. Researchers found differences in the nitrogen isotope composition of tomatoes, lettuces and carrots grown organically and conventionally an indication of whether the crop was grown with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. That fertilizer, widely used in conventional agriculture, is forbidden in organic farming, the report notes.

Researchers indicate that such a test could be important in providing evidence on authenticity, helping to protect both consumers and honest organic growers. However, they emphasize that the test is not unequivocal, but may be used to provide supplementary intelligence in an enforcement situation. Consequently, the authors also stress the importance of the existing organic certification and inspection programs.

ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Nitrogen Isotope Composition of Organically and Conventionally Grown Crops"

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CONTACT:
Simon D. Kelly, Ph.D.
Institute of Food Research
Norwich Research Park
NR4 7UA, UK
Phone: +44 (0)1603 251421 or 255000
Fax: +44 (0)1603 507723
Email: simon.kelly@bbsrc.ac.uk


ARTICLE #2FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Contact: Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
9-Apr-2007


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