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Scientists turn skeptical on organic food

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PHILADELPHIA, Sep 06, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The world's scientific community is beginning to turn a skeptical eye toward the U.S. organic food industry to see if all its health claims are true.

And so far the results are not particularly flattering, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

At last month's annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, scientists held a symposium that asked the question: Is organic food healthier than conventional food?

"There's certainly not sufficient science to prove that the claims of organic food advocates are true," said Rutgers University Professor Joseph D. Rosen.

The symposium was the second this year to question the benefits of organic food, a $10.2 billion per year industry in the United States.

In March, the First World Congress on Organic Food convened scientists, farmers and consumer analysts to consider the safety and nutritional aspects of organic food.

It, too, found a dearth of evidence to support claims that organic foods are better than their conventional counterparts.

"We don't have a huge wealth of literature here," said Dr. Ewe C.D. Todd, director of Michigan State University's National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, which hosted the gathering.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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