Organic milk vs. Conventional milk: Why nutrition expert is ditching organic

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Milk, and especially conventional milk, has been under the microscope, led in part by a confusing campaign by Consumer Reports. Last year, in a bizarre report, “Milk Alternatives: Should You Sip or Skip,” (NOTE: since removed from CR site, but a small picture of the since removed infographic is below) the magazine had issues with milk alternatives, including soy, coconut milk, soy milk and almond milk, claiming they all had trace trace amounts of heavy metals.

Heavy metals are a new obsession on the green left, particularly on alternative product sites that try to scare people into buying ‘natural’ products that are often untested, useless or worse. Every major science agency around the world has determined that the kind of levels noted by CR are biologically meaningless, bconsumerreports-1ut that hasn’t stopped the increasingly science-light magazine from issuing scare-o-grams.That’s the direction CR has been heading in in recent years.

But the magazine’s most egregious move was its dissing of GMO soy milk. Consumer Reports has been on a multi-year campaign raising doubts about the safety of GM foods in defiance of the findings of mainstream science. Upwards of 94% of the US soy crop is GMO so it’s no surprise that your favorite edamame or your morning glass of soy milk is made from soy beans designed to be grown with fewer insecticides (Bt soy) or less toxic herbicides (herbicide resistant soy). In its “Cons” section, CR encourages consumers to “Look for brands with the USDA organic seal or the non-GMO verified label.”cr-soy-milk-gmo1-768x1024

In the report, CR offered a backdoor endorsement of organic and non-GMO verified brands—again, without any evidence to back it up. But you can no longer read this CR report; sometime over the last few months, it pulled it–apparently embarrassed by the furious pushback by science sites such as the article by Jon Entine on the Genetic Literacy Project and on Biofortified, where University of Florida’s Kevin Folta eviscerated the once venerable agency, calling its analysis “unscientific.”

Clicking on the old link to the now retracted CR advisory takes you to a new version, “Choosing the right milk for you: How almond, coconut, hemp, rice, and soy milks compare with dairy,” which takes out all the gibberish about heavy metals but still takes a gratuitous swipe at GMO milk and generally urges consumers to stick exclusively with organic milk or milk labeled “non GMO”.

Is that good advice? It’s the kind of guidance that you often find on on non science sites, particularly those dominated by moms and natural food promoters. Organic supporters have even taken to trying to shame mothers who do not buy organic milk and other products, as farmer mom and food activist Sarah Schultz outlined in a Genetic Literacy Project post, I feed my kids genetically modified foods and not organics–and that doesn’t make me a ‘bad mom’. Conventional milk has taken even more heat because much of it is linked to “Monsanto’s rBGH.

So  let’s put organic and conventional milk under the microscope today. Is organic milk better than conventional milk? Is it really worth the hype? Most people believe that organic milk is better than conventional because:

  • Supposedly conventional has antibiotics while organic doesn’t (source: Food Babe)
    “Can you believe that almost all of the antibiotics in the U.S. (about 80 percent) are fed to farm animals? And, this isn’t because the animals are sick. Many conventional farmers feed their animals constant low levels of antibiotics just to fatten them up.”
  • Conventional has dangerous growth hormone while organic doesn’t (source: Food Babe)
    “Some big conventional dairies in the U.S. are still injecting their cows with synthetic growth hormones (invented by Monsanto) to increase milk production, despite evidence that it may lead to higher levels of the cancer-causing hormone IGF-1 in our bodies.”
  • It is coming from cows who are treated better than the ones in conventional farms (source: Organic Consumers)
    Organic milk sales account for only 4 percent of the market. The best way to shift those percentages is for consumers to boycott the industrial milk machine, and force the market to produce more alternatives. […] The organic milk with the highest level of animal welfare comes from Animal Welfare Approved farms. Unfortunately, few farms are certified to this standard.
  • It may have higher nutritional value than conventional milk (source: Food Babe)
    “You are what you eat, and most conventional cows aren’t fed diets that produce the healthiest milk. A diet of excessive amounts of corn leads to an unhealthy amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which carries over into their milk. It’s important to have a the proper balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and most processed diets contain mostly omega-6 fatty acids throwing this ratio way off. “

Let’s address these common concerns one by one.

  • Which milk has the highest antibiotics residue?

Organic Milk is produced without antibiotics. Regular Milk is safe from antibiotics as well!

Apparently every tank of raw milk is checked for antibiotics residue before the milk gets processed. If a tanker is found positive then the milk is rejected for human consumption.

In particular, here’s what the FDA states about the process of testing for drug residues:

The PMO requires a milk sample to be collected every time raw milk is picked up at the farm (also known as a “universal sample”). A milk sample is also taken when a truckload or bulk tank of milk arrives at a Grade “A” dairy plant for processing. Each arriving truckload of milk at the plant must be tested for the presence of at least four of six specific Beta-lactam drugs (penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin, cloxacillin, cephapirin, and ceftiofur).

If this bulk milk sample shows concerning results, each farm that supplied milk for that truckload will undergo mandatory testing. Universal samples collected at the farm level are typically only tested if the bulk tank of milk that arrives at the processing plant tests positive for drug residues.

Now every year the FDA produces a report with its finding on drug residues in milk. The most recent one is the one for the year 2014. Want to guess the percentage of drug residue in pasteurized milk and milk products?

0.000 percent

That’s right. Zero milk products were found with residues above the tolerance level.

But here’s the differentiation between organic and regular milk. Organic milk is produced from cows not treated with antibiotics. If a cow is treated with antibiotics, then her milk is not labeled as organic.

Regular milk may contain residue from antibiotics, it’s just that this residue is below the tolerance level.

So let’s get back to the article about natural vs. synthetic food. In this article we covered that it’s all about the dose! Any substance can be good in some doses, bad in some others. Even vitamin C is bad if taken in big quantities.

Same is true for antibiotics, and that’s exactly why there’s a tolerance level. And the news is superb – all 100 percent of pasteurized milk is safe!

Where can I learn more about drug testing of milk?

Organic Milk Vs. Conventional Milk Antibiotics Verdict: Both milks are equally safe.

  • Which milk contains growth hormones?

If you’ve ever watched TV, then you might have learned about the “evil” growth hormones. These are hormones injected in cows in order to make them grow faster and produce more milk. I say “evil” not because they’re evil, but because they are presented as evil.

First, what is a growth hormone? According to the FDA “Growth hormone is a protein hormone produced in the pituitary gland of animals, including humans, and is essential for normal growth, development, and health maintenance.” We’re talking about estrogenic growth hormones that have the potential to increase milk supply usually 10-15 percent.

First, let’s start with how “dangerous” these hormones really are.

I’ll take it directly from Dr Jude Capper, an animal scientist:

An 8-oz steak from a steer given a hormone implant contains more estrogen than a steak from a non-implanted animal. 42 percent more estrogen in fact. That’s undeniable. Yet the amount of estrogen in the steak from the implanted animal is minuscule: 5.1 nanograms. One nanogram (one-billionth of a gram or one-25-billionth of an ounce) is roughly equivalent to one blade of grass on a football field.

By contrast, one birth-control pill, taken daily by over 100 million women worldwide, contains 35,000 nanograms of estrogen. That’s equivalent of eating 3,431 lbs of beef from a hormone-implanted animal, every single day. To put it another way, it’s the annual beef consumption of 59 adults. Doesn’t that put it into perspective?

If birth-control is a sensitive subject, let’s compare it to vegetables: one 8-oz serving of cabbage = 5,411 nanograms of estrogen, over 1,000 times more estrogen than the same serving size of steak from a steer given a hormone implant.

  1. Apparently, cabbage has more hormones than beef! BAD cabbage! (just kidding, these quantities are extremely small, and yes, safe.)
  2. Second, not every cow in every “regular milk” farm is treated with hormones. In 2007, only 17.2 percent of cows were treated with bST (recombinant bovine growth hormone.) So yes, most cows producing conventional milk have never been treated with growth hormones anyway.
  3. Third, pasteurization destroys most of the bST contained in milk.
  4. Fourth, after ingestion, growth hormone as any other protein in milk “is digested into its constituent amino acids and di- and tripeptides. There is no data to suggest that BST present in milk can survive digestion or produce unique peptide fragments that might have biological effects.”
  5. So yes, even if there are traces left, they are destroyed. So you see, growth hormone poses literally no risk.
  6. Finally, here’s the major reason growth hormone has become controversial: it is insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), as milk from rBGH-treated cows has higher levels of this hormone. This serum has been linked to cancer. So naturally, I researched cancer.org for their take:
  7. “Some studies have shown that adults who drink milk have about 10% higher levels of IGF-1 in their blood than those who drink little or no milk. But this same finding has also been reported in people who drink soy milk. This suggests that the increase in IGF-1 may not be specific to cow’s milk, and may be caused by protein, minerals, or some other factors in milk unrelated to rBGH. There have been no direct comparisons of IGF-1 levels in people who drink ordinary cow’s milk vs. milk stimulated by rBGH.At this time, it is not clear that drinking milk, produced with or without rBGH treatment, increases blood IGF-1 levels into a range that might be of concern regarding cancer risk or other health effects.”

The FDA has been asking these questions about IGF-1 since the 1990s and has concluded that there is no appreciable risk for consumers.

Where can I learn more about growth hormones in milk?

Organic Milk Vs. Conventional Milk Growth Hormones Verdict: I didn’t find any documentable risks from growth hormone in milk. Plus, most regular milk doesn’t have any traces anyway since cows are not treated with it. So I have to call it a tie.

  • Which milk comes from “happier” cows?

Originally I was under the impression that organic milk comes from really happy cows, you know the ones that roam freely in the fields, eating grass and sleeping under the sun.

However, organic certification doesn’t require either full-time pasture access, more space for the animals, or better animal practices. The only requirement is that farmers allow cows and other ruminants to graze for at least 120 days a year. That’s it.

As for conventional milk I couldn’t find any welfare-specific guidelines. I did read that especially in good climates they get a lot of pasture time, however I didn’t find any strict rules.

Unlike the horror stories most of us have heard about animal abuse, animals, esp. cattle, are well-treated and animal welfare standards are high for both organic and conventional dairy farms.

Organic Milk Vs. Conventional Milk Animal Welfare Verdict: The only relevant guideline for organic milk was grazing for a minimum of 120 days a year. I’m not sure what the length is for cows producing regular milk. Hence, I’ll have to give this win to organic milk.

  • Which milk has the highest nutritional value?

What you should know though is that the quality of the milk depends heavily on multiple factors, irrelevant to the organic vs regular farming practices. According to a 2015 review study in the Journal of Dairy Science:

A main complication is that farming practices and their effects differ depending on country, region, year, and season between and within organic and conventional systems. Factors influencing milk composition (e.g., diet, breed, and stage of lactation) have been studied individually, whereas interactions between multiple factors have been largely ignored.”

Now let’s discuss a 2013 PLoS ONE Journal study that found a difference in Fatty Acid profiles. According to the study, “organic milk contained 25 percent less omega-6 fatty acids and 62% more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk.

Now we like omega-3 fats because they help protect against heart disease and may decrease the risk of depression, stroke, cancer and other diseases. So based on this knowledge we should conclude that organic milk is superior, right?

Wrong.

First, we used to think that omega-3 fatty acids are better than omega-6 fats, but that’s no longer supported. “While there is a theory that omega-3 fatty acids are better for our health than omega-6 fatty acids, this is not supported by the latest evidence,” says Dr. Frank Sacks, a professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard.

Second, these quantities are not meaningful. Just to put things in perspective: You’d have to drink 5.5 gallons of full-fat organic milk to equal the omega-3 content of one eight-ounce piece of salmon.

Organic Milk Vs. Conventional Milk Nutritional Value Verdict: There’s no evidence that one type of milk is better than the other.

  • And what about price?

At Trader Joe’s half a gallon of organic milk costs $3.99 while regular milk costs $1.99. So organic milk is $2 or 100 percent more expensive than regular milk. This 100 percent or more price disparity is common. Sure you may be able to afford it. But is that a good reason to buy something that offers no value? Just because you can?

If you buy 1 bottle per week, that would give you 52 bottles in a year. That’s $2×52 = $104 invested annually to organic milk. With those $104, you could:

  • Buy an annual Netflix subscription (and also save $8). Yay for movie nights and House of Cards!
  • Donate to the United Nations Refugee Agency and buy 14 thermal blankets, or else 6 tarps for the families in Nepal. Let’s do some good.
  • Pay a one- or two-month exercise class pack – and exercising for one or two months will definitely bring benefits (unlike organic milk!)

Based on the above my personal decision is to ditch organic for good. Now let me turn this AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKdAAAAJDgyYjRhMDI3LWVmZDUtNDQ5Ni1iYmQ0LTIxOGZmODYyZWMxNAback to you. What milk are you buying? Why? Leave a comment and let me know.

A version of this blog appeared originally at Fitness Reloaded under the title “Organic Milk Vs. Regular Milk: Why I’m Ditching Organic,” part of the What Should We Really Be Eating? series.

Maria Brilaki is a Stanford Engineering grad, a best-selling author, and the founder of Fitness Reloaded, where she helps over 100,000 monthly readers make better, healthier choices. For evidence-based health & fitness advice, plus a dose of humor follow her on Facebook here.

  • mem_somerville

    Yeah, but if organic is too hard they just change the rules anyway. Because of the drought in CA they needed to reduce the 120 days. Last I knew they cut it back to 90 days.

    Organic cows also have to graze on pasture at least 120 days a year, as required by the USDA. With most California pastures crackled dry, the government lessened the grazing requirement to 90 days, but farmers are still struggling to meet that.

    I keep getting told they are more sustainable. I can’t figure out how that is if they can’t stick to their own rules.

    • hyperzombie

      Just like the no antibiotic rule. until they had no other way to fight fire blight, then tetracycline is OK fine.

      • crush davis

        True. The fact that they refuse to use Apogee simply bc of its origins is the true measure of the myopia and downright idiocy of the organic business. Apogee is a very effective, non-toxic tool for managing fire blight that COULD be worked into a comprehensive plan.

        • hyperzombie

          Yes you get crazy assed rules when you farm with ideology, not best practices.

  • terryhallinan

    I must have entered the Twilight Zone when even Stanford engineers are doing good science.

    As a flat earther [digital cartography was my game], I was sorely vexed when my wife came home with a gallon of “organic” milk [not much food is inorganic] one time. Her excuse was that it was on sale and cheaper than the stuff that warms the atmosphere less.

    Please don’t tell anyone.

    Best, Terry

    • Terry, can you explain your comment on Stanford Engineers? Is doing good science as a Stanford engineer weird?

      • terryhallinan

        Would you say a Nobel laureate biochemist who thinks male homosexuality, Twinkies and illicit drugs except his favored LSD cause AIDS rather than the HIV retrovirus is bonkers? When Kary Mullis and fellow Nobel laureatte nutcase Peter Duesberg convinced the President of South Africa of their bizarre theories, they probably were responsible for South Africa having the largest population of AIDS victims in the world of any large couintry. That’s what I consider incomprehensible.

        Kary Mullis says his Nobel prize is very nice to have for the women it attracts. I don’t expect my wife’s sister discussed a lot of scientific theory with her old boyfriend but she is quite proud of his Nobel prize I gather.

        Of course I don’t think an engineer doing good science is weird, odd, whatever but more like notable and praiseworthy.

        I had an excellent math professor who had lost interest in his profession and became a math Ph.D. He spoke one time of a math solution to a vexatious problem but told his class there was no proof the math was valid. “Please don’t tell other professors in the department,” he asked his class.

        Quite simply a profession tends to induce a method of thinking. My observation is that engineers tend to try to design the most elegant solution to a problem. Is there something bad about that?

        OTOH:

        “A mathematician is a man who knows how to solve a problem – but can’t do it.”
        – Unknown

        As for Stanford, this former Oregonian doesn’t appreciate Stanford gorillas destroying our dainty football players. You would never find the like of Harvard or Yale football players being so uncouth.

        I do sincerely regret an unintended insult. I love your article.

        Best, Terry

  • JW

    “Any substance can be good in some doses, bad in some others. Even vitamin C is bad if taken in big quantities.”
    Seriously, “good” and “bad”?! This is not science!

    • terryhallinan

      “Seriously, “good” and “bad”?! This is not science!”

      The author is not a scientist but rather an engineer.

      For me that is not a picayune distinction. In my final professional employment, I worked nearly exclusively with engineers and would find it slightly annoying when I was mislabeled an engineer.

      It really can matter as the rather comical rage Albert Einstein exhibited at times for being called a mathematician.

      Scientists need engineers just as, in reverse, Einstein was dependent on the detestable theoretical mathematical frontier.

      My son BTW is an EE. That theoretically means he understands electricity which no normal human being could possibly understand. I am forced to recognize that depth of knowledge even if I still hate engineering. 🙂

      Best, Terry

    • Ok JW, so if you were to rewrite those sentences what would you say?

      • terryhallinan

        Substituting “beneficial” for “good” and “harmful” for “bad” makes it sound more sciency but contributes nothing at all to general understanding.

        Best, Terry

  • Excuse me? You expect Consumer Reports and organic activists like The Food Babe “to put things in perspective”? That’s like expecting Iran and North Korea to negotiate with us in good faith.

  • Your comment is insulting and nothing more than a cheap ad hominem attack. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

  • marie72

    There are aggressive super weeds in GMO fields now.To combat this they are trying to pass a harmful pesticide(2-D Agent Orange)to add to the BT Roundup.If you eat/drink GMOs you have pesticides not only spliced into the plant but sprayed on top.At the moment there is 1 pesticide and in the near future it will be 2 combined.I think because of this now it would be a good thing to label like they do in the UK.
    I enjoy the creamier taste of the organic milk and i like that the cows are eating naturally grown regular feed.It is worth the extra dollar to me.
    If i think back to all the people i know that have died of cancer ect. and not of old age they all consumed factory farmed foods and processed foods.I don’t know of anyone who eats healthy has died of an ailment that i know as of yet.
    I know this is not scientific proof in anyway but this is what i have observed.

    • Biron_1

      Of course it’s unscientific and certainly meaningless. You may have very few friends in which case such a distribution is expected among a population. You may be mistaken, prone to confirmation bias where your classification of healthy eating meets your desired result or you might be an habitual liar. These suggestions are smong several which explain your claim. Organic eating explains nothing.

      I also have no reason to accept your claim about the taste of organic milk. I would need results of blind tests before giving you any credence.

      Suffice to say I put no trust in your post.

      • marie72

        It is like Pepsi or Coke.It would be fun to do that with milk varieties.

      • terryhallinan

        “Would you accept my claim about the better taste of organic milk?”

        The question is whether better taste is so important that one is willing to risk extermination of humans for better taste?

        The health claims, as usual, are unproven and almost surely a crock but harm to the environment is fully proven IMO.

        Best, Terry

    • Good4U

      Marie, 2,4-D is not “Agent Orange”. You are quite confused. Most of your post contains gibberish, probably taken from some equally confused advocacy website. As for “organic” milk having a “creamier taste”, you might want to look into the bacteria that it contains. While they may taste creamy, they can kill you.

      • marie72

        There is another pesticide that is trying to get approval .I have heard about it on the news.
        I don’t know why people get so upset because someone has a different opinion.At the end of the article next to the girls picture she wanted to hear different peoples take on it.

        • marie72

          This is from the EPA.gov website about the super weeds:

          Weeds are becoming increasingly resistant to glyphosate-based herbicides and are posing a serious problem for farmers. This action will provide an additional tool to reduce the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds. We are requiring a stewardship plan to ensure that use of Enlist Duo successfully manages weed resistance problems.

          “When i said Agent Orange i should of said 1 of the herbicides in it-I stand corrected.”

          The EPA also mentioned Agent Orange when describing the pesticide.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “When i said Agent Orange i should of said 1 of the herbicides in it-I stand corrected.”
            No, that would not be a correct way of stating it, either, as you are still giving 2,4-D a negative connotation because of it’s inclusion in a chemical compound created by government order (meaning manufacturers had no choice in synthesizing it) and the health issues associated with exposure to that tainted compound (which had nothing to do with the 2,4-D component).

          • crush davis

            Enlist Duo is a premix of 2,4-D and glyphosate. Combining two active ingredients in one herbicide jug is not nefarious, dangerous, nor unusual. It has been done many times before and is part of the responsible use of the limited measures growers have to manage weeds. “Responsible,” as opposed to what you’re doing with your inaccurate information and outright lies about things you obviously don’t understand.

          • Dimegirl

            Tell the EPA that they are inaccurate.

        • Michael McCarthy

          “There is another pesticide that is trying to get approval .I have heard about it on the news”

          Yes, and that would be 2,4-D, which isn’t Agent Orange.

          “I don’t know why people get so upset because someone has a different opinion.”

          People don’t have a problem with opinion, the problem is the misinformation contained in your post. If you had posted facts, you probably wouldn’t have gotten so many negative replies.

      • crush davis

        Her milk has a “creamier taste” in the same way the water she gets from that $4000 box that supposedly “re-structures” it is “softer” and “energized.”

    • Michael McCarthy

      “I don’t know of anyone who eats healthy has died of an ailment that i know as of yet.”
      What are you talking about? Unless they die from “unnatural” means, such as gunshot wound to the head, everyone dies of an ailment. There is no such thing as “dying of old age”, their death was caused by some other factor.

      • marie72

        It seems like 50 is the new 90 so many people i know are dying from preventable diseases.I believe that is health/diet is related that’s all i meant.

        • Michael McCarthy

          “dying from preventable diseases”
          well, then they must not be doing much to prevent them. Annual checkups and proper screenings are good for that.

          • terryhallinan

            Annual checkups and screenings are not so hot even for detecting disease in progress at times.

            The most notorious of all screens sucked the Oracle of Omaha into radical surgery for prostate cancer that nearly all men of his age have. The inventor of the PSA test decreed it was no more useful for screening than using eye color to determine who should be biopsied.but it made money for surgeons, hospitals and labs and so the fraud continued despite the harm it did.

            Even very useful mammograms do some harm and should not be overused. Far better MRI screenings are reserved for the wealthy beloved of politicians of most all stripes.

            Best, Terry

          • Michael McCarthy

            “sucked the Oracle of Omaha into radical surgery for prostate cancer ”
            he never had surgery, he had radiation treatment. Why his doctors would be administering a PSA test boggles the mind, since it isn’t recommended for patients over 70. You would think with all of his money, he could buy better medical care.

          • terryhallinan

            “[Warren Buffett] never had surgery”

            Yes he did.

            Even the prostate biopsy can have terrible side effects, that includes a rare fatality. A biopsy of the prostate, a spongy mass, requires a a number of incisions and often repetition. Radiation includes surgery normally.

            “Why his doctors would be administering a PSA test boggles the mind”

            Kindly consider unboggling your mind. The PSA test is simply an additional test on blood drawn for any routine purpose with a nominal charge. The astonishing part is that of going beyond a blood draw.

            As I said initially, a man revered for his wisdom played the fool for a medical practice I consider unethical. A hint of cancer terrifies. I did not find a biopsy many years ago for a possible mouth cancer with weeks of waiting for results in a situation where my odds were very poor overly pleasant.

            You even seem to agree that Buffett acted foolishly in the instance but suppress it for whatever reason.

            Best, Terry

          • Michael McCarthy

            “A biopsy of the prostate, a spongy mass, requires a a number of incisions and often repetition”

            Nope, they use a needle. No incisions.

            The PSA test would have been specifically ordered. Even this Harvard MD agrees the test should not have been ordered

            http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/buffetts-prostate-cancer-poor-decisions-201204234621

            “You even seem to agree that Buffett acted foolishly in the instance but suppress it for whatever reason”

            How am I suppressing it? I stated he’s got a lot of money and should be able to get better medical care, hinting that he should have sought a second (or even third) opinion.

          • terryhallinan

            “they use a needle. No incisions”

            Those “needles” puncture and withdraw material rather than repairing torn material.

            Are you again disinforming readers with misleading claims indicating there is no threat of real harm? There is.

            https://www.google.com/search?q=harm+done+by+prostate+biopsies&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

            http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/02/reduce-prostate-biopsy-dangers/index.htm

            etc.

            “How am I suppressing it? I stated he’s got a lot of money and should be able to get better medical care”

            And Oprah Winfrey could have seen that expensive handbag a clerk without a clue wouldn’t let her see. [The Swiss clerk announced to the dark skinned woman the bag was not for her.]

            Your diversion is ludicrous.

            Have a wonderful life of denial and obfuscation.

            “To argue with a man who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
            – Thomas Paine, The American Crisis No. V (1776)

            Best, Terry

          • Michael McCarthy

            “Are you again disinforming readers with misleading claims indicating there is no threat of real harm? ”

            Never said there wasn’t a risk, now did I? I merely refuted your assertion that they make incisions, which they do not, it is done by needle extraction.

            “How am I suppressing it? I stated he’s got a lot of money and should be able to get better medical care”

            And Oprah Winfrey could have seen that expensive handbag a clerk without a clue wouldn’t let her see. [The Swiss clerk announced to the dark skinned woman the bag was not for her.]

            What comparison are you attempting to draw? Buffet should have sought a second, or third, opinion. Pretty common with a cancer diagnosis. My father saw 3 about his colon cancer. I mean, sheesh.

            You are a very bitter sounding person.

          • terryhallinan

            Your problems with all the mean, bitter people you constantly meet can be solved with a simple prescription if you are not a vampire – a mirror.

            “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
            To see oursels as others see us!
            It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
            An’ foolish notion!”

            http://www.litscape.com/author/Robert_Burns/To_A_Louse.html

            You are quite welcome. Your world should quickly right itself.

            Best, Terry

          • Michael McCarthy

            “if you are not a vampire”
            who told you my secret?

      • terryhallinan

        “There is no such thing as ‘dying of old age'”

        Is so.

        You must have heard of telomerase that limits lifespan of organs, the normally protective immune system becoming a raging killer with autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s…….

        Mortality is most assuredly age-related, this running down ancient curmudgeon can testify to.

        Aside from that I fully agree with your general theme.

        Best, Terry.

        • Michael McCarthy

          Ahh, see, but old age is NEVER the cause of death, it is always another factor (cardiac arrest, cancer, influenza, etc).

    • hyperzombie

      There are aggressive super weeds in GMO fields now.

      LOL, they are not aggressive, they dont steal you lunch money. They are just weeds that are resistant to a herbicide. All herbicides have resistant weeds even paraquat, now if a weed can resist paraquat, that is a true super weed.

      GMOs you have pesticides not only spliced into the plant but sprayed on top

      Well that is untrue, many GMOs dont need sprays at all, papaya, Bt crops, and even RR crops may be unsprayed(if there is little weed pressure no need to spray).

      And also remember that there are many non GMOs that are sprayed with herbicides, wheat and barley are sprayed with 2-4-d commonly, all clearfield crops are sprayed with beyond.

      .I think because of this now it would be a good thing to label like they do in the UK.

      You do know that the UK on average uses 2x more pesticides per acre than the USA and almost 4x more per acre than Canada? The Dutch use 8x more per acre than Canadians, but they grow lots of high value crops.

      At the moment there is 1 pesticide and in the near future it will be 2 combined.

      This is nothing new, farmers have been tank mixing herbicides for decades. And very few farmers are going to buy this so called New herbicide. Farmers can just buy the off patent generic herbicides and mix them themselves.

      cows are eating naturally grown regular feed.

      There is no such thing as naturally grow feed. All cattle feed is grown by man, planted by man and harvested by man. Yes even the pasture is planted by man or woman.

      I don’t know of anyone who eats healthy has died of an ailment that i know as of yet.

      Is Gandhi still alive? Hitler was an avid foodie and vegetarian, but I think he died of lead poisoning. Just joking. Anyway the rise of cancer deaths is a good thing, it means that we are kicking the crap out of other things that kill people.

      • marie72

        Wow a truly entertaining Non-Hostile response you didn’t even use the scientific card.
        This is a true left brain right brain way of thinking…
        Let me ask you this-I am sure you know of the study that they are doing in Russia and the U.K. It is suppose to be the longest most detailed,double blind research study that has been done on Genetic Engineering.It is not funded by either and has fair over-site.
        Is this a credible study to you? Lets say you do think it is a fair and honest study and you trust the science behind it
        Now the study did not go in your favor or how you thought the scientific results would be.
        It seems like every time there is any result that comes out on your side you do not agree then-It wasn’t a blind study,the scientists were not qualified or it was funded by the other side.
        I think it all boils down to not wanting to feel bad about what you eat.Why else would people care so much what the result was.You can eat GMO Corn Syrup and other foods save money and feel that there is no difference or risk to your health.
        I care so much because i make a lot of effort(and spend all that extra money on that Organic Food) in trying to have a healthy diet.I just want to know if i am eating it or not for my piece of mind.That is the concern about labeling.
        On the other hand if the results are exactly what Monsanto has said all along THEN i will concede. I will stop being concerned about my gut flora and to the animals that have to eat it and no label would be needed.

        • hyperzombie

          Let me ask you this-I am sure you know of the study that they are doing in Russia and the U.K. It is suppose to be the longest most detailed,double blind research

          And who is doing this study? And who is funding this study? So far it doesn’t look so impartial. It doesn’t matter because the test has not started yet.

          You can eat GMO Corn Syrup and other foods save money

          GMO corn syrup is exactly the same as non GMO corn syrup, even the most expensive testing equipment cant tell the difference.

          I care so much because i make a lot of effort(and spend all that extra money on that Organic Food) i

          But there is no evidence that it is healthier, so you are just wasting money. Just like people think that fancy cigars and fancy champagne taste better, it is really all in your head.

          That is the concern about labeling.

          just keep buying organic then, you buy it now what is the problem??

          • marie72

            The study:Factor GMO’s preparatory phase started in early 2014. The full experiment will begin in 2015 and will last 2-3 years, with interim results being published at regular intervals during that time. The study will test a herbicide-tolerant GM maize and realistic levels of the glyphosate herbicide it is engineered to be grown with.

            GMO corn syrup: ~Corn syrup free more like it

            Evidence: From Monsanto scientist…mmm

            Healthier:There is evidence when you eat Organic food that you consume 30% less pesticides then if you non-organic.This was from a credible study

            Buying Organic: There is no way possible to eat organic 100% of the time.I am not only concerned about what i eat.

            What would you do different if you are wrong about it?
            Would you still eat it anyway?

          • Nutrition prof

            Citation?30% less pesticide? What units are we talking about? Mg? Micrograms? Nanograms?
            …and yes, I’m still waiting for my shill check

          • Michael McCarthy

            “evidence when you eat Organic food that you consume 30% less pesticides ”
            Nope, only evidence that you consume 30% less synthetic pesticides, they didn’t test at all for organic pesticides.

          • marie72

            It is still good to know that.

          • Michael McCarthy

            Why? If you’re eating 30% less synthetic but an equal amount or more of organic fills the void, you haven’t reduced pesticide consumption at all.

      • crush davis

        Yep. And Jerome Rodale dropped dead of a heart attack after declaring to Dick Cavet he would live to be 100. Most recently, Jerry Brunetti, who supposed “cured” his lymphoma with diet and “natural” methods, died of cancer last year. So once again, marie72 is wrong. And a liar.

    • crush davis

      “2-D Agent Orange”? See, folks…the organic crazy train is at full steam. Goebbels would be proud, marie72. Why are you even suggesting that Agent Orange will be part of any weed management plans going forward? That is an outright lie. Moreover, Agent Orange’s danger was in the dioxins derived from the 2,4,5-T component of Agent Orange…NOT the 2,4-D component. Of course you didn’t know that. So you also couldn’t possible know that 2,4,5,-T is currently neither commercialized, nor legal, for use on crops in the US. So why don’t you get your facts straight, and do your homework before you run your mouth? Idiot.

  • mathsmum

    I don’t buy organic because I think it has no antibiotic residues, unlike non-organic (which you point out, also doesn’t) but because using anti-botics as bovine growth promoter suggested as serious cause of antibiotic resistant bacteria: not addressed in article.

  • Paul

    Maria, so what are conventional dairy farmers doing about antibiotic resistance as we are entering the post antibiotic era? Using less antibiotics?

    • FaunaAndFlora

      All dairy farmers, organic or not, only use antibiotics when it is needed to treat infections. The milk from an animal that is being treated with antibiotics can’t be sold for at least ten days after the last dose was given. Or do you believe animals should never be treated with antibiotics?