The recent study on organic food from Stanford University researchers has come under great scrutiny in recent days as independent journalists as well as organic and GMO-free food advocates have questioned numerous aspects of the resulting media coverage, as well as the motives of those who produced the study.

Already, one of the study’s co-authors, Dr. Ingram Olkin, has been shown to have a long history of working for Big Tobacco, which of course engaged in many deceptive practices in unsuccessful attempts to deflect that its products are damaging to human health.


Now, it has been learned that another co-author of the Stanford organic study, Paul Eschbach, who’s (likely) the son of Margaret Brandeau, another co-author (attempts to clarify these probable odds not met as of press time), has family ties to the genetically modified/biotechnology crop industry, which is of course mostly run by large chemical corporations such as Monsanto, Dow and DuPont.

Co-author Paul Eschbach’s likely father Joe is married to fellow co-author Margaret Brandeau, and Joe’s father Eugene worked for  Battelle Labs for nearly 50 years according to an article on Washington State University’s website.

One of Battelle’s “key areas of focus” according to its website is Agrifood:

“Battelle leverages integrated scientific and technological capabilities to help agribusiness and food companies expand their product portfolios, reduce risk, focus on core products and accelerate product commercialization.”

The global corporation is also mentioned alongside Monsanto in this 1983 article in the Christian Science Monitor about the emerging trend in agriculture at that time of finding chemicals to “increase yields,” with gene splicing also mentioned as one of the techniques that had been developed.

Battelle has worked closely with the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which is of course another major supporter of the chemical-dominated farming industry that includes GMOs and would therefore have a vested interest in discrediting any benefits of organic crops.

More Stanford organic study GMO industry ties revealed

With a crucial vote (on Proposition 37) looming California over whether or not genetically modified crops should finally be labeled as they are in dozens of other countries (they’re also banned in several more), big food and chemical companies spending over $25 million to fight the initiative, and the long line of questionable ties shown between Stanford and such companies, it’s fair to wonder about the motives of those behind it.

Yet another independent article showed that a Distinguished Fellow at Stanford has strong ties to Monsanto, which donated more than $4 million to fight Prop. 37, further muddying the waters.

Many even say that the study actually showed organic food does have considerable benefits over “conventional” food, but the big media headlines have already ingrained the message that they are not into millions of peoples’ heads in America.

The study showed that there is no significant nutritional difference between organic and “conventional” crops, although many people buy them in large part to avoid pesticides that have been linked to several health defects. Other studies have shown the opposite in the past in terms of nutrition, however, such as one about strawberries and vitamin C that showed organic has an edge.

Those benefits will be debated as more studies come out and the current one is analyzed more in-depth and compared with others that seem to conflict with its findings.

But for now, with so much at stake this November and so much money being thrown around in this era of corporations-as-people in America, there are still many more questions that need to be asked about the motives of those who produced the Stanford organic study and the resulting media frenzy to declare organic foods to be less-than-advertised in terms of the benefits they provide.

Perhaps once the mainstream media starts exploring these questions and stops eating up PR firms’ press releases as news, we’ll finally get the answers we need to make an informed decision.

Nicholas Tomasi is an AP-Award winning sports journalist and author turned health researcher. He currently runs AltHealthWORKS, a website dedicated to alternative medicine, organic food and the GMO-free movement. This article was written thanks to a tip from ThatDamnHippie, a health page on Facebook. 

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