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Research presented at experimental biology conference this week in Anaheim, Calif., showed that people who ate cookies labeled as organic believed that their snack contained 40% fewer calories than the same cookies that had no label.

The study s coauthor, Cornell professor Brian Wansink, explains, An organic label gives a food a health halo. It's the same basic reason people tend to overeat any snack food that's labeled as healthy or low fat. They underestimate the calories and over-reward themselves by eating more.

Dr. Whelan recognizes this phenomenon: People think of organic food as being just generally healthier, so they eat more of it. The trans-fat ban was a similar boon to the food...

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Modern biotechnology greatly benefits the quality and quantity of food, human and animal health, and the environment. Unfortunately, misinformation and misunderstandings about biotechnology in the popular media make it difficult for consumers to make informed assessments. This booklet explains the facts behind genetic modification (GM) and explores some of the issues surrounding the increasingly contentious...

This article appeared in the May 1, 2005 New York Daily News, paired with an opposing argument from Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest:

Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz is now intensifying his ongoing campaign to fight obesity in the state by taxing "junk food," purportedly to generate funding for obesity education programs. His targets are foods high in fat and sugar--specifically cookies, candy bars, soft drinks, fast foods and potato chips. This year his bill dubbed "the couch potato tax" picked up the support of the powerful New York State health workers union, thus confirming the wisdom of H.L. Mencken, who noted, "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is...

Over the weekend, Justin Gillis of The New York Times published his extensive article underscoring a serious and growing global health problem: food shortages and undernourishment. Hundreds of millions of impoverished people remain hungry and, in addition to population increases and rising food prices, Gillis attributes to global warming much of this failure to meet food demand. Rising carbon dioxide levels have led to sharp changes in weather and climate, he claims, leading farmers to face devastating blows in terms of crop yield.

But ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross is somewhat skeptical: “I was surprised to read in this article that global warming, to whatever extent...

Not so long ago, hunger was the only food issue over which it was worth issuing international reports, but the World Health Organization recently suggested that governments around the world should start fighting obesity by using taxes and subsidies to get people to eat healthy foods. That inspired the U.S. government to tell the U.N., correctly, that it is one's total diet, not specific "good" and "bad" foods, that determine one's weight (and overall health), as the AP's Jonathan D. Slant reported on January 16:

"The (U.S. government) favors dietary guidance that focuses on the total diet, promotes the view that all foods can be part of a healthy and balanced diet, and supports personal responsibility to choose a diet conducive to individual energy...

An April 19, 2005 article by Katrina Woznicki in www.MedPageToday.com described the newly-unveiled revised food pyramid and quoted the reaction of ACSH's Dr. Ruth Kava:

Whether a new graphic nutrition guideline will make any impact on the nation's girth has yet to be determined, but Ruth Kava, Ph.D., director of the American Council on Science and Health in New York, said the new pyramid takes a promising approach.

"They're trying to get away from one (food) group being on top of another to indicate preferences," Dr. Kava said in an interview, explaining how the old pyramid with the wide...

A Chicago Tribune personal health blog written by Julie Deardorff seeks the cost-benefit analysis for organic food.

“Ms. Deardorff writes that the crux of the matter usually comes down to nutrition,” says Dr. Ross. “Unfortunately, however, that’s not true. The crux usually comes down to everything but nutrition; it comes down to being against agribusiness, being ‘Earth-friendly,’ and so forth. She goes through a very long list of nutritional studies that show very clearly that there’s no evidence that organic food is nutritionally superior in any way.

“Then she gets into pesticides,...

This piece first appeared on September 8, 2008 in the New York Post:

If the city Health Department gets its way, government officials -- local, state and federal -- will soon be deciding what you can and can't eat.

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month, Drs. Lynn Silver and Mary Bassett (both of the Health Department) argue that Americans eat too much fat, sugar, salt and calories and that it's up to government to take urgent action to protect...

In an attempt to protect its citizens, the United Kingdom is reviewing proposals to implement its own color-coded alert system evocative of the one in place in the United States.

This may prompt cynicism in Americans who are skeptical about the effectiveness of our own color-coded security alert system. They may, however, be comforted by the knowledge that the UK's system would create warnings that are targeted to much more specific areas than our system. You see, the UK's proposed alert system has nothing to do with international terrorists. Rather it...

The following piece appeared in the May 6, 2006 Washington Times:

Fast food is under increasing attack. It has become the perfect scapegoat for our nation's obesity crisis. Critics argue that the consumption of burgers, fries, soda, nuggets, and pizza explain why Americans -- including kids -- are so fat. Never mind that obesity is the result of over-consumption of calories from all sources (and the majority of meals daily are eaten at home, not at fast food establishments), combined with a lack of sufficient exercise to burn those calories.

For every complex problem...