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The organic food process has been a miracle of clever marketing that will be taught in business schools for generations to come: They managed to convince the public to pay more for food using reasoning that mostly involved self-identification as being more ethical people and better parents if they did so.

Nothing special about that, except this is food; an organic tomato is no different than any other tomato. Both are grown using pesticides and fertilizers, both have been genetically modified for thousands of years.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's $300 million Akatsuki ("Dawn") probe fired its small attitude-control thrusters for 20 minutes Sunday evening at 6:51 p.m. EST in a second (and final) attempt to enter Venus orbit. 

The first attempt was exactly five years ago, on Dec. 6, 2010, but it failed when the probe's main engine conked out during the orbit-insertion burn, sending the spacecraft sailing off into deep space.

However, this time they had a win. Let's do some science!

Image: Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA
Sugar is sugar, to scientists. But Big Sugar, which promoted the notion that its bleached white product was somehow superior to corn syrup, suddenly found itself fighting a second front, against nutritionists, food bloggers and outright crackpots like Joe Mercola and the lunatic that runs that Natural News site.
Want to be made to feel like you are a bad mother? Defend ordinary food among a crowd of people who buy organic. They self-identify as not only being more educated than ordinary shoppers, but more ethical people as well. Especially if it is for the children.

Why don't men get the same social and gender pressure as women? Men may be less easy to manipulate with the 'you are a bad parent' marketing techniques used by organic marketing groups and the pressure groups like SourceWatch and U.S. Right To Know that they fund.
In 1959, the public were told not to eat cranberries because they might contain a cancer-causing carcinogen.

Ha ha.

Today, we know everything is a cancer-causing carcinogen. Your 100 percent organic Thanksgiving dinner is stuffed full of carcinogens that cause cancer in rats, yet people will eat it anyway.
As Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders watches his Presidential hopes fade, supporters are rushing to defend him. Though he has never campaigned as a Democrat in his entire career, he expected Democrats to embrace him because he always caucused with them in Congress; instead, he is a Democrat-Socialist campaigning for the nomination in the same party as a guy who got a standing ovation for killing Osama Bin Laden and will leave office with America in three wars and who let the AquAdvantage salmon get approved. That is going to be a struggle for acceptance in mainstream America when they see a guy coming from a state that says GMOs must have warning labels and has actively campaigned against the very thing the sitting President is taking credit for improving - the economy.
On November 19th, the American Council on Science and Health met with officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs group to discuss sensible regulations related to the FDA's new authority over tobacco products like cigars, pipes and also tobacco substitutes like e-cigarettes, which are also deemed to be in the group though they are not tobacco (it's a nuanced point - there is no commercially viable way to create nicotine without tobacco.)
Greenpeace is again trying to stop the Philippines from using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to solve hunger and vitamin deficiency. The group believes, without evidence, that GMOs are “contaminating non ‘GE’ environments and future generations in an unforeseeable and uncontrollable way.”
Dr. Chensheng Lu of Harvard School of Public Health, a nutritionist-turned-bee-expert, says members of Congress are ingesting five neonicotinoid pesticides in the cafeteria.

That will get some action. After all, this is the same cafeteria so concerned about sustainability they replaced plastic spoons with corn-based ones that melted in soup and had to be sent to a special composter in emissions-belching trucks. Everyone hated them, they were terrifically expensive, and it took Republicans getting back control of the House of Representatives to undo that policy.
If shade-grown, fair-trade organic no longer gets coos of wishful self-identification from your friends in Malibu, here is a way re-establish your elite credentials: Dog food that is locally grown. 

Farm-to-table pet food is all the rage. If you want your dog's food to 'explode with flavor', it takes an executive chef to design the meals. If you are on a Paleo diet, your dog can even copy it, though your dog would probably prefer that anyway.
David Katz is solidly against the consensus of scientists when it comes to food. It's no surprise, he is a friend of Dr. Oz. Thus, it is also no surprise he really likes the latest book from Dr. Marion Nestle, which invokes a vast, corporate soda conspiracy, etc. et al. 

The problem is that it isn't really a serious work, though books like that never are. Like Dr. Oz, Nestle needs a fact checker, writing that the American Council on Science and Health “depends heavily on funding from corporations that have a financial stake in the scientific debate it aims to shape” and that Coca-Cola is a significant sponsor.
Are you more likely to buy produce if it's picked by hand? Do labels such as local and organic conjure up imagery of small-scale farmers keeping money in the community and sustainable living and no pesticides or fertilizer?

It's a myth created by organic trade groups. There is a reason you see few small-scale farms run by anyone over the age of 40. While young idealists may initially invest in them, the reality is there is no substitute for the hard work and it is a lousy retirement plan. Picked by hand? I have to tell you, as someone who actually grew up on a farm that was small scale and the non-technological Idyll created by organic trade groups, there is a reason I got a scholarship to go to college, and that reason was to stop picking things by hand
Remember when television was all white people and that was a bad thing? Now it's somewhat difficult to find that sort of 1950s family. White fathers are instead helpless goofs that need to be rescued by wives or kids.

And minorities would like a little less representation, at least in food ads. Hispanic and black youth are disproportionate viewers of ads promoting unhealthy savory and sweet snacks, according to a report published by UCONN Rudd Center for Food Policy&Obesity.
Former anti-science activist who became a GMO advocate Mark Lynas notes that two papers denying science are out at the same time - but their audience is diametrically opposed to each other.
supplements via shutterstock

Dietary supplements - or rather the dangers of dietary supplements - continue to dominate the news of late.

It's no secret that various forms of "dark money" fund groups like US Right To Know and political allies like Center for Media and Democracy, which runs the political attack site SourceWatch.

But the desperate gambit of using Freedom of Information Act requests to bully scientists into silence has backfired; economists like Dr. Chuck Benbrook have been exposed as conspiring with the entire spectrum of progressive anti-science groups, including the magazine Mother Jones and academics like Dr. Marion Nestle and, of course, Dr. Oz, which had two people from the same organization on his program to foment fear and doubt about food.
The world of social media has been abuzz with the revelation that anti-science economist Dr. Chuck Benbrook was involved in an orchestrated campaign to demonize scientists and promote the agenda of his corporate sponsors. The chain of dark money wends its way through sites like SourceWatch, US Right To Know, Mother Jones and on to science critics like Michael Pollan, Dr. Marion Nestle and Dr. Mehmet Oz.
A demographic educated to believe they want locally grown and accustomed to cheap should be the perfect target market for organic food, especially after its giant size - a $100 billion industry(!) - has brought costs down, but organic corporations shouldn't rest on their laurels.
Robyn O’Brien—who styles herself as a foodie version of Erin Brokovich - considers economist Chuck Benbrook - who styled himself a Research Professor while an adjunct at Washington State  University - a "mentor" and an "inspiration."
Can the greatest escape artist even escape death?

In the spirit of scientific skepticism, two on-stage séances will summon the ghost of Harry Houdini — on Halloween, the anniversary of his death. The first séance will be earnest, conducted by a professional “psychic medium.” The second will be full of illusion and special effects, conducted by master magician Paul Draper.