Tag Archives: statistics

How Stanford study sells organics short

From Tom Philpott, in Mother Jones:

“Is organic food little more than a trumped-up marketing scheme, another way for affluent consumers to waste money? A just-released paper by Stanford University researchers—and the reaction to it by the media—suggests as much. (Abstract here; I have a copy of the full study, but can’t upload it for copyright reasons.)

“Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce,”declared a New York Times headline. “Organic food hardly healthier, study suggests,” announced CBS News. “Is organic healthier? Study says not so much, but it’s key reason consumers buy,” the Washington Post grumbled. Continue reading

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Raw milk statistics twisted by politics

From David E. Gumpert, on the Complete Patient blog:

“During the raw milk debate at Harvard Law School last Thursday, I criticized our opponents for their failure to present data, as in real understandable numbers.

I had gone to the trouble of analyzing data from official statistics provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control–supposedly the gold standard of foodborne illness data. (Some of what I presented was CDC data extracted by the MarlerClark firm, certainly no friend of raw milk.)  I found that, over the last decade, between 25 and 175 individuals have been reported ill each year from raw milk. Moreover, I found that the number of illnesses is generally in the vicinity of .5% of the total number of 23,000-25,000 foodborne illnesses reported each year. That’s a very small percentage, given that 3% of the population has been found, by the CDC, to be drinking raw milk. Continue reading


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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

It seems the CDC is getting flack over their assertion of statistics regarding supposed deaths from raw milk. David E. Gumpert has the story, on the Complete Patient blog:

“….There’s another related number that has been around much longer, and it’s this: Between 1998 and 2008, there have been two deaths from raw milk. This number comes up repeatedly in media reporting about raw milk, courtesy of the CDC, even though I have reported that those illnesses appear to have come from queso fresco cheese, a soft fresh cheese that isn’t legal under FDA regulations requiring a minimum 60 day aging period. Continue reading

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Looking deeper into the CDC data on raw milk cheese safety vs pasteurized

From David E. Gumpert at the Complete Patient blog:

“If you’ll remember, the data I had from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control covered 33 years 1973-2005. For subsequent years, I turned to the CDC’s online database, which goes up through 2008, or another three years. (Another, more accessible resource laying out a table of illnesses that includes cheese, and goes through 2007, is available here.)

If one of the FDA’s apologists had taken up my offer, they would have been able to play a little bit of “gotcha,” because there were more illnesses from raw milk cheese during those three years than in the entire 33 years before. Interestingly, there were also a comparable number of illnesses from pasteurized cheese.  Continue reading

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What do 88% of (raw milk drinking) dairy farmers know, that we don’t?

Here’s a recent brief report from Julie Stauffer, via Small Farm magazine July/August 2010 (published in Victoria British Columbia):

THE APPEAL(S) OF RAW MILK — Court decision, survey fuel debate

Recent Court decisions in Ontario and B. C. have done little to resolve the raw milk debate

In January, an Ontario judge dismissed all 19 charges against Michael Schmidt, upholding the legality of his cow-share operation, which provides raw milk to members.  Justice Paul Kowarsky ruled that, because Schmidt isn’t marketing the milk to the general public,  he isn’t contravening the provincial Milk Act or Health Protection and Promotion Act. Continue reading

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