Interesting study, Mfsd2a has also been described as a DHA (omega-3 fatty acid) transporter playing an important role in the blood-brain barrier by Gu and colleagues (Ben-Zvi et al., Nature 2014)(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24828040). DHA have been described also for brain development. It seems that the defect in this gene results in microcephaly.
It is always nice to see when BBB researchers hit mainstream news. Dr. Danica Staminirovic (NRC-Ottawa) apparently have been involved in the recent development of the Biogen-idec antibody targeting Alzheimer’s disease.
Shedding light on the mysteries of brain disease – National Research Council Canada.
Heidi Parviainen (ex-Amberian Dawn) just released her first solo album “Behind the Black Veil” earlier this week. I always liked Heidi’s vocal performance but Amberian Dawn failed to impress me as other Finnish Symphonic Metal band.
I purchased the digital copy of the album on iTunes and gave it my “commuting test”. My thoughts? It is an awesome piece of symphonic metal, almost designed as a soundtrack of a theatrical performance. To give you an idea about what does it mean, you have to get back to Rhapsody of Fire’s “Frozen Tears of Angels” and “From Chaos to Eternity” that have this “Tolkienesque” epic storytelling with the powerful riffs of Power Metal.
For this review I will base it from Dark Sarah’s story and discuss about the tracks accompanying them in italics. The story plot is very important to fully enjoy the acoustic experience.
Dark Sarah´s- debut album “Behind the Black Veil” tells the story of Sarah, a nice young woman, who faces one of the biggest crises in her life when her husband leaves her at the altar and leaves with another woman straight from church. Sarah thinks she’s going to die and after spending some time at home alone, watching the rain outside, she collapses on the floor. After a while there is only silence, only darkness, until she rises, trembling. Scattered mascara has formed the character of Horus around her eye.
With glassy eyes, she writes a letter:
“I used to look at the world with blue eyes, I used to love with an open heart but I was naive, the world needed to show that to me. I got angry for my weakness and angry with the world. In the darkest swirls of my mind I got stronger and meaner and started to change. I worked with my fear and I became DARK SARAH. I’m not bitter; I’m just bittersweet. ” and she signs the letter.
So starts the album with “Save Me” that give the tone for a whole album, directly inspired from a Tim Burton movie and with a Danny Elfmanesque soundtrack.
Here starts the Episode I of her trilogy:
“Save me” is the intro song and tells the story of how a confused Sarah, still wearing her wedding dress, wanders in the woods and at the end meets her husband tied up in a dark forest – in reality or in a dream?
Here we have Heidi’s pristine voice accompanied by a classical arrangement slowly ramping up into something more heavier. Then starts the bass and the metal arrangement. It’s a love at first sight!
The second track is the “Poison Apple” that is carrying a loud atmosphere, foreseeing the darkness awaiting us. “Poison Apple” is a premonition of the future, dream-like illusion, where she plans her revenge.
Here we can start to get into the schizophrenia of Sarah (classical element) and Dark Sarah (underlined by the heavy bass). It is a good track but less impressive for my ears than other tracks. Then comes “Hide and Seek”
“Hide and Seek” is Sarah’s saddest song, in which she says that she cannot be found, because she is no longer here – Dark Sarah has taken her. In the end, still in grief, she meets her fate
It is a wonderful track, with a minimal musical arrangement with the piano and bells “a la Elfman”. I can imagine here Sarah lost in the dark forest, dazed and confused by all the events. Then came the darkness mapped by the synthetic tones, like black clouds darkening the forest. Heidi vocal performance is just great in this track and makes you wish that Tim Burton use her talent in one of his movie.
Following this darkening of the event, comes “Memories Fall” with Manuela Kraller (ex-Haggard; ex-Xandria). This is one milestone track of the album.
Dark Sarah has taken her. In the end, still in grief, she meets her fate (Manuela Kraller ex Xandria), who tells her that only after entering into the darkness, she can be born again, and for the first time Dark Sarah appears as real in the “Memories Fall”-duet
Dark Sarah has a videoclip to illustrate this passage:
I love it and found it in the same time disturbing. Both Heidi and Manuela sing in the same vocal range and it becomes very difficult to identify them by their voice. Add it on the video in both Heidi and Manuela looking almost identical. This is an impressive trick as it blurs the separation between the real Sarah and Dark Sarah, reaching the purpose of Heidi. A very nice track and really looking forward that Manuela hit the recording studio once again.
Episode II: As Sarah entered the dark side, so it also the musical tone, we are now entering a more metal tone in the album.
Sarah offers herself to the darkness. At the beginning, Sarah meets the Queen of snakes, the dark tree – the Queen of No Good ” (Inga Scharf – Van Canto), in a duet called “Evil Roots”.
This is where I feel the album was loosing a bit of momentum with “Evil Roots”, the metal part is playing safe and sounds fairly ordinary.
The Queen lures Sarah to go deeper into the darkness. After this, Sarah´s last sane moment is in the beginning of the song “Violent Roses”.
Then we literary fall into a Tim Burton/Danny Elfman and this is what I like about the album. This idea of dark humor that you can experience watching “Beetlejuice” or “Nightmare before Christmas”. Heidi slides from this naive newlywed reminiscent of Burbank into one with a dark plan to poison her husband. Heidi gets this maniac voice typical of a Disney evil Queen, with the switch to metal tones.
She enters into her symbolic garden, where she gardens her roses. She realizes something terrible! Someone has destroyed her roses! Evil flowers are singing in the background. Sarah thinks it is her husband who has destroyed her beloved rose garden- that little snake! (but actually it had been the evil flowers’ plan). Now Dark Sarah wakes up, murderous and fierce and replaces her roses with poisonous plants, which will help her with her vengeance. She comes up with an evil plan, she will make an apple pie of poison apples to her husband!
This is Dark Sarah´s prime time! In her recital “Hunting the dreamer ” she tells how she is going to destroy all of her man’s dreams as he had destroyed Sarah’s dreams.
“Hunting the Dreamer” is another milestone in the album, it is fully metal, heavy and symphonic enough with a sustained tempo giving a dynamic. If it there was a nice metal track of the album, this would be it.
EPISODE II ends in a scene where Sarah comes to her senses again and is shocked by the traces of blood on the floor. She is terrified; what has she done?! She requires Dark Sarah to let her go free, because she can´t recognize herself in the mirror any more. This is the song called “Fortress”.
“Fortress” is heavy and another great track, it just emphasizes the distress in which Sarah found herself, taken by the idea of revenge and folly of her dark side. Heavy, loud and symphonic, maybe one of the heaviest of the whole release.
After realizing what horrible event she had encountered, Sarah is fully awake from the nightmare. In the song called “The Silver Tree”, things start to clear up in her mind, she remembers the tree that she used to go to with her beloved – they even carved their names and hearts on its bark.
“Silver Tree” gave me mixed feelings, as the beginning sounds coming straight from “Wreck-It Ralph” but the rest of the song is fairly loud and heavy and Heidi’s performance is very good in it.
She used to love that silver tree, the most beautiful tree in the forest, she used to play hide and seek there as a child. Then she gets it! Everything is connected to that tree- the tree is evil! She decides to put an end to all the madness and runs into the wintery forest and hides herself from Dark Sarah. Sarah finds the silver tree in the woods and stabs a dagger in the middle of the carved heart. Sarah hears a terrible scream from the tree and the heart starts to bleed on the white snow. The tree shivers and it´s silvery bark cracks and falls down like pieces of a mirror.In the song called “Sun, Moon and Stars” Sarah starts running, she runs and runs into the heart of the forest.
“Sun, Moon & Stars” brings us back to Sarah’s sanity, the song is much brighter in his lyrics and fair in the listening. Maybe this is my own bias, but felt it was fairly basic and not much in risk-taking. Again, Heidi voice matters the most here and she is doing an amazing job so far.
Then she stops – she feels numb, even the moonlight has turned his light away from her, it is her destiny to carry the burden alone. She wants to be forgotten, left alone with her confused mind. What is real and what is not? She remembers the beautiful things she used to love when she watches the night sky.The last song on the album is a duet called “Light in You”.
Suddenly Sarah sees a light, she falls down in awe of the silvery light in the sky. The moon has come (Tony Kakko- Sonata Arctica)! He tells Sarah that he has come to guide her to a new path in her life and he still sees the light in her. In the white wilderness they fall in love. However there is a shadow upon them – the moon fades away when the day comes. They can only wait for the sunrise.
This brings the end to the album. The last songs feature Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), that brings a very nice duet between Tony and Heidi. A very nice romantic ballad that Sonata Arctica provides on regular basis. You can feel the influence in it. It feels magical like a winter fairy tale and also gives me even more the envy to visit Finland!
I overall really liked the album. I always believed in Heidi’s quality although Amberian Dawn never impressed me as other Finnish bands. With Dark Sarah, Heidi transformed into a beautiful butterfly that nicely blended some symphonic metal music with a story plot and make you wish to see her performing in a Tim Burton movie with Danny Elfman in the composition.
GMOs, genetically modified organisms. If you spell it in reverse it becomes OMG, like the scare it creates when people talk about it on the news. But if I tell you watermelon, peaches, corn, sweet potatoes and other fresh produces are GMOs, even the “all-natural organics”. For 10’000 years now without the fear and the buzz that modern GMOs have. This blog page is with very nice infographics explain to you the real “all-natural organic” that is indeed very far from what we know and what we have designed by random selection and cherry-picking traits.
Are we still treating diseases by making a random infusion of medicinal plants? Hell no, we have extracted and purified the active ingredients, made them more potent and also tested their efficacy and safety.
With GMOs, we are just improving our technique from random shotgun to surgical strike to achieve our goals: increase yields to make it more affordable, make food with added vitamins (Golden Rice to fight blindess due to Vitamin A deficiency) and foremost reduce the use of pesticides (Bt eggplant).
Inspired by the recent Peach infographic, I set out to find the least natural fruit in existence, and decided it was probably the modern watermelon. Take a look below: which one would you rather eat?
The watermelon, delicious as it is, has increased from 50 mm to 660 mm in diameter, which represents a 1680-fold increase in volume. While ancient “wild watermelons” weighed no more than 80 grams, modern watermelons can range from 2 kg to 8 kg in the supermarket, while the Guiness World Record for the heaviest watermelon recorded exceeded 121 kilograms in the year 2000. Thousands of years of human-induced evolution have worked miracles on these fruits. Let’s not forget that they’re completely artificial.
The most famous example of artificial selection is of course the selective breeding of the feeble teosinte plant into juicy, delicious, North American sweetcorn.
In 9000 years, sweetcorn has become 1000 times larger, 3.5 times sweeter, much easier to peel and much…
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After waiting for months, Sirenia latest album “The Seven Life Path” is finally out and downloaded through the iTunes Store. I am sure you want to know about? Does it worth it? Hell Yeah!!!!
Before I talk about it, I would like to bring back where we came from. After splitting from Tristania, Morten Veland founded “Sirenia” and released its first album “At Sixes and Sevens” in 2002 followed by “Elixir for Existence” in 2004. It was two damn good albums in which Morten was leading the growls and the female voices were more as background. They were heavy, metal with a pinch of industrial and very dark.
Then Sirenia entered into troubled water by trying to find its style. First they tried Monica Pedersen, the album was okay but way below the quality experienced in these two albums. It also marked the retreat of Morten from the vocal, having Monica as a front lead of the band. It seems Morten was not convinced enough by Monica and hired Ailyn Gimenez into the group. At this time, Morten finally found the voice to fit the band.
In most Symphonic Metal bands, the lead singer has already a training or enough experience to have a sublime voice by the beginning. If you listen to Floor, Tarja and Simone, they have since day one. For other, you can notice a slight difference but nothing dramatic. For instance Sharon had already the potential in “Enter” and “The Dance” and fully exploit it. Or Anneke and Amy when they joined the Gathering and Evanescence respectively.
Ailyn is a particular situation I haven’t see much before, because she tried her musical career through the Spanish version of X-Factor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJnbsZRsyL0
What I found amazing with Ailyn is that she worked hard and you can note her vocal improvements over the different releases, from “The 13th Floor” to “The Seventh Life Path” and this is something beautiful in retrospect. Listen to the X Factor footage and her performance on “Tragedienne” in which she reach similar play level than Tarja or Simone.
From “Elixir” to “Peril of the Deep Blue”, Morten was in kind of a soul searching for the band. You can feel that when an album has three tracks that are enjoyable and the rest sounds like more a filler. The tide turned with the “Perils of the Deep Blue” in which several tracks marked me such as “Seven Widows Weep”, “Funeral March” but most importantly “Still Kom Doden” a powerful 11-minutes metallic melancholic ballad that can just remember the harshness and coldness of the Njordland.
With “The Seventh Life Path”, Morten finally found the winning formula for the group. It is heavy, it is aggressive with its bass, sharp and heavy like an iceberg. Way much heavier and reach the same intensity that I was experiencing with “Elixir”. Another remarkable feature is the presence of Morten’s growls in many of the songs. That brings something innovative and different from “the beauty and the beast” duet encountered with other bands. Morten growls are much higher in the frequency range, bringing closer to Ailyn. It gives this “Fire and Ice” duet that I really liked (the cold and sharpness of Morten’s growls blending with the Iberic voice of Ailyn).
The results is also a much more homogenous album that have mostly very good quality tracks with the exception of “Serpent” and a couple of others that sounded like more the “13th Floor”. In contrast you have great dynamic tracks such as “Elixir”, “Sons of The North”, “Once My Light” and the “The Silver Eye”, that are very heavy, in which the band is excelling in this synergy to bring us a very good composition that is navigating between Gothic and Industrial Metal currents.
If there is a track to worth listen is the “Tragedienne” (or “Tragica” for Spanish-speaking folks). It is a very nice romantic and melancholic ballad entirely sung by Ailyn. It is heartbreaking and reminds me about lost love and the pain you experience following a separation. It also show the amazing potential of Ailyn, she is just getting better and better over time and even peak in frequencies rarely heard before.
This album is definitely a milestone in Sirenia discography and I wish that Morten keeps on using this winning formula and give the band an international exposure important enough to see them touring outside Europe.
It has been a long time I did not write anything about retrogaming, but today marked the 20th anniversary of the Sega Saturn launch. I bought mine somewhere back in November 1995 for $200 (it was a huge sum for me) but it was a memorable experience.
For the first time, you were capable to have almost the same quality than existing Arcade Game. I still remember playing Virtua Fighter at home (the first game I bought) as well as the first Demo CDs you could buy with official magazines.
Everybody was eyeing on the Sony Playstation, whereas all the fun was indeed on the Sega Saturn. But it was already too late. The “trendy” stuff was 3D graphics, not 2D graphics anymore. But it meant Saturn games sucked? Hell No, I had way much fun to play on my Sega then I had when I was playing on the PSOne.
I grew with arcade games, the one you put a quarter to play and Sega was the next logical step for it. Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA, Sega Rally Championship were my games but I also enjoyed Street Fighter Zero and Darkstalkers. They were just great and really close from the Arcade version. Some say the programming of the Saturn was a nightmare and rebutted many software development companies.
But look back at Panzer Dragoon, Nights. When there is a will, there is a way. I still remember playing at games like Virtual Hydlide, Myst, Alien Trilogy, Theme Park, Earthworm Jim 2 (the soundtrack was awesome), Space Hulk (this introduced me to the Warhammer 40K franchise), Mystaria. Gun Griffon was certainly one of my favorite surprise, bought it as it was on clearance and it was a love at first sight. Imagine driving a Battlemech on a 3D structure, fighting over Mechas and accomplish missions like defending your base from invasion. I really had fun with mine.
But as surprising as it was, it will be the last time I would have fun with a Sega machine. After a couple of years, I got a PC and now the FPS were ruling (Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Rise of the Triad, Heretic). It was too much too handle for the Saturn, its SH2 processor was not designed for such heavy 3D processing. Also the PC opened you to the ability to connect to the Internet.
Sadly my Saturn was put in rest in my cellar and 10 years after I bought it I sold it as I was newly married, yet trying to tie my ends to take care of essential things in life: rent, bills, grocery.
Ten years later this tragic separation, I am better off, kids are growing and I am seriously trying to build up my SEGA mecca. SEGA gave me so much enjoyment as a kid and teenager. Maybe it is time to have my kids enjoy when SEGA was a great console maker and was making great games. A time were Sonic was SEGA exclusive with amazing games to play with, not the mere shadow it became during these last 10 years. Today SEGA announced removing some of its games from the App Store, decided to focus on Mobile Gaming sector. Maybe it is time to pull the plug to it. Who knew that 20 years ago, SEGA had climaxed and was only getting downhill and disappear?
You may have heard about this “Swedish study” that have followed changes in pesticides detected in urine in a family of five, measured pesticides residues in urine during 1 week of conventional food and 1 week on “organic foods”.
The study was requested by Coop Sverige AB, a grocery chain store operating in Europe but mostly in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The PDF copy can be found here.
Because of course Coop ordered the study, they have to push it on their website (in Swedish): https://www.coop.se/Vart–ansvar/Ekoeffekten/
The study rushed to conclude that eating conventional foods leads to residuals pesticides but eating organics will reduce your amount of pesticides detected in urines. The study appears nice and makes an argument for buying organics. If it was not branded as a scientific study, it would be a nice PR move for the company. But scientifically, this study is simply a scientific fraud as it is filled with experimental flaws and a good dose of scientific dishonesty.
If there is something I hate foremost, is the blatant conflict of interest. First you demonize the target of your attack (in this case conventional farming), induce fearmongering in scientifically illiterate population (having no fundamental knowledge of pharmacology and toxicology to understand the data) and discretely appears as the savior by boasting your products are safe and natural. Does not sound like snake oil tactics?
Lets go through this study and explain what is wrong with that study:
1. A ridiculous sample size. n=1 or when the anecdote becomes law in pseudosciences
This study focuses on a family of five, including two adults and three children. Because drug ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination) is different between sex and age, it can influence the results. Not saying even about population polymorphism in Drug Metabolism/Pharmacokinetic (the variation in the DMPK can be so important that their resulting graphs is usually referred as the “spaghetti-plot”), making conclusion on a single observation by an age-matched, gender-paired observation is anecdotical at best, fallacious at worst. Based on how this study is sold to the general public, those who made conclusions on these anecdotes is simply a scientific fraud.
2. A poor experimental design, in which the authors omitted important controls parameters to make the study scientifically sound
An important criteria when you want to test an hypothesis is to have a proper experimental design. Because research on human beings require a lot of oversight by institutional review boards, as well as a consent forms. One experimental approach used in DMPK studies is to use your volunteers as their own controls, if you have several drugs or doses you want to try, you have to have a “washout” period that will consist in a period in which volunteers will be off their treatment to allow drugs to clear off their body.
In this study, the authors completely ignored such fundamental aspect and did not apply this washout period between switching the diet. They have the volunteers on their conventional food diet for a week, immediately followed by organic diet for a week and then another conventional diet for a week. In this study only urine was used as endpoint, that is fair game and not invasive. Here below is their experimental design, the only thing I can say is it rather confusing.
They do the sampling during the conventional period, then starts the organic without sampling, leaving a period of no-sampling. This is not a wash-out, this is an experimental flaw. A real wash out would have asked the participant to not eat any fruits and vegetables for one week, then start the organic diet.
The second problem is that the authors never mentioned how they designed the two diets, or simpler the food baskets for the family. A key missing point would have been to design a defined fruits and vegetables diet identical between conventional and organics with exactly the same type and quantity, only the farming techniques differing. Also the authors should have measured the levels of pesticides in the raw, washed or peeled fresh produce to have a better comparison and also assessing the bioavailability of these pesticides.
3. If you want to measure pesticides levels, you have to consider ALL pesticides used, including those used in organic farming: Organic food IS NOT PESTICIDE-FREE.
The EU is probably the most stringent entity in terms of organic food labelling. Its directives are so stringent that even some anti-GMO activists and organic promoters like Jose Bove (he became famous for sacking a McDonalds in France in 1999 and for destroying GMO crops used by academic researchers through the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique) called the need for some relaxing clauses as cited in the Euractiv site (http://www.euractiv.com/sections/agriculture-food/eu-reforms-organic-farming-301321).
Here are his comments, as published on the website:
Excessive regulation fears
Germany, Europe’s largest organic food market, is wary of the proposal. “I would not like to see crushing bureaucratic restrictions imposed on organic farmers”, stated German Minister for Agriculture Christian Schmidt, asking decision makers to “use common sense”.
French agricultural cooperatives share these fears. “Despite a bit of progress, […] many provisions will jeopardise the development of organic agriculture” claims Coop de France.
Farming co-ops denounced the end of export diversity, which “will reduce converstions to organic farming and slow down the boom of agro-ecology”. They also criticise annual testing and the end of exemptions.
José Bové, the French Green MEP, highlights the need to harmonise support to organic farmers in the EU. He fears the cost of new restrictions, making specific reference to tests for the presence of pesticides. Bové highlights the difficulty of producing organic products without the presence of pesticides, especially when neighbouring plots are using them.
“We must take into account how difficult it is to produce organic food, when conventional farmers nearby do not take measures to prevent polluting your plot. The costs of extra testing cannot be borne by organic farmers alone. It makes more sense to apply a “whoever pollutes pays” principal when traces of pesticides are found” explains José Bové.
He continues: “The economic responsibility of unintentional pollution caused by exterior sources can lead to removing products or economic losses to organic farmers. They must be protected and compensated by those at the origin of the damages.”
You cannot grow organics without pesticides because we will not able to ensure appreciable yields. But what was interesting was his concern about the rising costs due to the leglislations about testing the presence of pesticides in organic crops. You cannot exclude that you may have contaminations from nearby conventional crops, but calling your products “pesticides-free” is a clear fallacious statement lead to misinform consumers.
Another problem is the absence of toxicity data on pesticides used in organic farms. As noted in the European Food Safety Agency 2009 report (http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2430.htm)
There was up to that time of report no established EU database that assessed the toxicity (as defined as maximal residue level, an index for pesticide safety in food products) for organic products. In particular this passage is fairly intrguiging: “The following substances were found in organic samples, even if their use was not allowed in organic production: chlormequat, fenbutatin oxide, MCPA and MCPB, mepiquat, methabenzthiazuron and propamocarb. Also residues of CS2 – which is an indicator for the presence of pesticides belonging to the group of the dithiocarbamates – were found. However, since some crops contain natural compounds which also release CS2 during the chemical analysis the results cannot prove beyond doubt that dithiocarbamate pesticides were used.”
The problem is there is not accessible database to know which pesticides are tolerated for use in organic farming, unless you dig in and rely on a 2009 directive that can be downloaded here.
Here is a montage of the Annex II containing the list of pesticides allowed by the EU:
There is a clear difference between NO pesticides and usage of pesticides. Yet the study limited the investigation on pesticides used in conventional crops:
We can argue that several of these “organic farm” pesticides are inorganic compounds that maybe washed off during processing, yet there are several that are complex enough to be analyzed using conventional analytical chemistry.
Having such a selective approach on the type of pesticides is not only a experimental flaw, it is academic dishonesty and blatant scientific misconduct.
4. There are some pesticides residues in conventional fruits and vegetables, yet there presence remains marginal and well below the MRL
In this graph they have plotted the ration between the estimated daily intake (EDI) and the acceptable daily intake (ADI). A ratio of 1 means the level of EDI is 100% equal of the ADI, whereas a negative ratio means its amount was below quantifiable levels to make sense and just been detected (there is a difference in analytical chemistry between detection and quantification). With a exception of some outliers like the chlormequat (CC), most of these were not significant and were not enough to be quantified. In other means, the amount of pesticides residues were so low that the risk is near zero.
Again, here we will never know how much of pesticides used in organic crops were indeed bioavailable and biotransformed, as well as any studies relative to their toxicity.
5. Conclusion of the study, a biased conclusion based on weak evidence
Here is the original conclusion:
“The results of this study indicate that exposure to pesticides reduces when we eat organic products instead of conventionally grown food, and clarifies the significance of food as a source of exposure to chemicals. In this study we have been able to determine that the concentrations of selected pesticides decreased by an average of a factor of 9.5 when the family switched to organic food, which probably means that their total chemical load decreases. In relative terms, the children’s load decreased more than the adults’ in the food switch, probably due to their higher food intake relative to their body weight. The same exposure to chemicals results in higher concentrations of chemical residues in the bodies of children than in adults (Swedish Chemicals Agency 2014). Choosing organic foods not only reduces the levels of a number of pesticides that we are exposed to through what we eat, but also reduces the risk of a long-term impact and combination effects. We also help to reduce the spread of chemicals in the environment, and protect those who work in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables. Considering that in our day-to-day lives we are exposed to a considerable number of other chemical substances depending on our choices of food, cleaning products, shampoo, furniture, and other items, it is difficult to make a complete assessment of how much the total chemical load decreased. A more comprehensive study in which exposure to a greater number of chemical substances is examined in a greater number of individuals is required in order to make such an assessment”
The problem with this conclusion? Make a statement on a deeply-flawed study.
This would be a better conclusion that would be more scientifically accurate and in agreement with the data:
In this study, we investigated the presence of pesticides in a unmatched family sample following a conventional and organic diet. We detected the presence of different pesticides in the urine of our participants, yet the origin and the bioavailability remains unknown due to the presence of major experimental flaws. We observed notable different in pesticides metabolite profile between the different volounteers, yet we cannot attribute such changes due to age or sex, as we poorly designed the food comsumption in our samples.
Furthermore, we focused our attention on pesticides used in conventional crops yet we failed to report quantitative analysis of pesticides residues commonly found in organic crops, in particular pesticides approved by the European Commission on organic crops.
We cannot exclude an higher amount of pesticide exposure as organic crops are commonly associated with lower yields, as well as relevant toxicology data on these pesticides. Altought we detected the presence of metabolites following conventional food consumption, its detection levels were below quantification in the majority of the assay and there well below the recommended guidelines by EFSA. There we cannot conclude yet about the beneficial effects of organic consumption in terms of environmental risks due to pesticides exposure.
It is therefore important to re-explore this study with appropriate controls, redesign the experimental plan and analytical approach as well as increase our sampling population to ensure an objective study that can provide a scientific rationale on this question: are organic foods safer than conventional foods?
Conflict of Interests:
This study has been ordered by Coop Sverige AB, a grocery chain store company. Because Coop Sverige policy is focused on the sales of organic foods, we have to disclaim a possible conflict of interest that may impact the statements and conclusions made in this report.
6. A pesticide is a pesticide, doused on conventional foods or organic foods
If you are still skeptical about this blog and organics are still healthier than conventional produce, you may want to read this blog post they dive in further details on pesticides in organic foods.