Talk:Organic milk

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US bias[edit]

I am from England, but all it says is "Organic milk is defined by the USDA as milk from cows that have been exclusively fed organic feed, have not been treated with synthetic hormones, are not given certain medications to treat sickness, and are held in pens with adequate space.". I would like to know how it's defined in other places. — Preceding unsigned comment added by J1812 (talkcontribs) 16:37, 12 August 2011 (UTC) I have made some edits that address some of the primary concern here. Although I can't pretend to be familiar with the details of organic requirements in every corner of the world, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements http://www.ifoam.org/ does not suggest that sharp differences in rules is a major problem for the organic movement. (They would like to see better data however.) Adequate space for cows has not been identified as an animal welfare issue in dairy, whether conventional or organic. Though animal welfare debates in dairy are heating up, my guess is that they will focus on "barreness" of conventional feedlots (where animals have plenty of room) and specific practices like tail docking. Organic rules don't currently address this, in any case. Thomp649 (talk) 20:58, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Clear POV issues[edit]

I've removed some statements of clear bias, but more work here is needed.

Thanks for cleaning up this article. The Leifert study under difference vs regular milk needs a citation, however. 129.59.8.10 (talk) 13:12, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Contradiction[edit]

"According to the National Dairy Council there is no nutritional difference between regular milk and organic milk.[2] The team of professor Carlo Leifert of Newcastle University found that organic milk contains higher amounts of vitamin E than in non-organic varieties."

Those two lines seem to contradict each other. Pdcook (talk) 10:55, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Well, someone's solution to this contradiction was to remove the sourced material from the National Dairy Council, rather than reconciling the two statements. Pdcook (talk) 04:54, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Overview of Article and what needs to be added[edit]

Your article is very strong, your sources were cited well and you had almost everything. The one this that i think is missing is something about pesticides, you could add this information in your first sub-heading from the third source, Organic Milk FAQ. Also, your article would be stronger if you added more details to your cites, like author and details like that. Good job with your article, it was great. --Hayley wilcox (talk) 19:32, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I tend to disagree that this is a strong article. It uses sources that are probably biased against regular milk (the Organic Consumers Association) and on more than one occasion editors have removed my {{citation needed}} and {{unbalanced}} tags without actually adding citations or discussing the tag removals. Also, let's not gloss over what the National Dairy Council says about organic milk. This page should present the facts on organic milk and not be a soapbox for the organic food industry. I am not anti-organic, but let's not write a biased article here. Pdcook (talk) 04:19, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

State of research on comparative properties of Organically produced milk.[edit]

To allude to a conclusion or consensus on research into physical properties of Organic milk is highly POV in the present. There are numerous peer reviewed studies revealing difference and numerous ones revealing no difference. It is not helpful to wage POV here. These matters are contested and commercially sensistive. In the case of the dangers of smoking it took a very long time before the issues were medically agreed, in the case of Homeopathy almost no peer reviewed evidence in support came forth. This is not the case with organic milk. Lets not pretend that it is, let us note research and debate in the area, add references, but not egg our own conclusions. Lisnabreeny (talk) 14:57, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Hi Lisnabreeny. I have two concerns regarding the edit you are proposing to make to the article:
  • First, the study you are citing is a primary study, and Wikipedia strongly prefers secondary sources.
  • Second, the edit positions the primary study's findings inappropriately. The primary study finding was that the organic milk tested had a different fat profile as compared to conventional milk. This was placed in opposition to a systematic review that looked for evidence of differences in health effects. The two sources produced results about different things that cannot be compared in this way.
Can you please find a secondary source discussing the fat content differences, and we will need to use such data in a different way from how you are proposing. Until we can get this resulted, I will be reverting the proposed content change. Cheers... Zad68 15:10, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Strikeout second point, not stated accurately. Zad68 15:18, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Lisnabreeny, I actually think I am seeing that the current article content "A systematic review reported no difference in the protein or fat content of organic and regular milk." is not summarizing the secondary source ("Are Organic Foods Safer...") accurately. I need to read it more carefully, but it appears the source does support it. I need some more time to read it... you should look at it too, direct link is here. Zad68 15:22, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Here's what I'm reading in the systematic review:
  • p. 5 "...studies suggest that organic milk may contain significantly more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids ... and vaccenic acid than conventional milk. All but 1 (212) of these studies tested raw milk samples."
  • p. 6 "We found no difference in the protein or fat content of organic and conventional milk."
  • p. 10 "We also found statistically higher levels of ... omega-3 fatty acids in organic milk ... Our finding of higher levels of these beneficial fatty acids in organic compared with conventional milk is consistent with another recent meta-analysis of these outcomes (288)."
  • p. 11 "Finally, milk results should be interpreted with caution because most milk studies examined raw rather than pasteurized milk."
It appears that although the fat levels were not found to be different, raw organic milk was found to have higher levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids as compared to conventional milk. This is probably worthy of including in the article. Zad68 15:33, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
If not to refute p.10 , p.6 must refer to quantity of protien and fat rather than kinds of such, since 10 quite firmly states a noticable difference in quantity of a type of fat.
Thanks I have just found their own conclusion here: [1] "Conclusion: The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria." - It seems to me a fair statement on the state of research on the issues to inform that section of the article, if a bit weasle worded but that might be seen as neccessary given the research situation. The summary of it which i reverted is clearly partial, and my breif correction was very cumbersome. Lisnabreeny (talk) 15:47, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Based on the systematic review, raw organic milk doesn't have more fat, but rather the fat that it does have has different levels of the fat component omega-3 fatty acid. So here's a proposed change for discussion:

Raw organic milk does not have significantly different levels of fat or protien content as compared to conventional milk, but does contain significantly higher levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

sourced to the systematic review. Thoughts? Zad68 16:36, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
The first half of their summary -"The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods" - seems to preclude that omega3 levels in milk are significantly beneficial - I have read it contested that the subtype of omega 3 levels in organic milk is not proven to be a beneficial subtype. So all i feel confident about relaying is there are proven differences in fat composition of Organic milk which are possibly beneficial but not proven. The second half of their summary seems like a fair confirmation that one of the desputed . primary goals of organic standards - reduced pesticide and antibiotic exposure, is to some degree achieved. -"Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria." I appreciate your reading into the research paper Zad68. Perhaps Yobol can revisit it and comment so we can find a fair description of what has been and will possibly continue to be a hotly contested area. Lisnabreeny (talk) 17:54, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the proposed changes are very useful. The conclusion paragraph specifically states "We found no difference in the protein or fat content of organic and conventional milk", and while they did find possible increase omega fatty acids in milk, they qualified that with "these results were highly heterogeneous and the number of studies examining fatty acids was small." Discussion of fatty acids would have to include several caveats which make the distinction practically meaningless. The overall conclusion of the article, namely, "The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods" is clear; trying to pick out some statistical significance that the authors don't find significant seems like treading too near WP:OR to me. Yobol (talk) 00:43, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Yobol you are clearly mistaken here. Please confirm you have read the direct quotations which Zad68 and I cited, which clearly state that there were in fact differences discovered in fat type. These statements require the statement on fat compostion you highlight, to refer to the absolute levels of fat and protien - or the report itself would contain a blatant contradiction. Lisnabreeny (talk) 16:21, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I have read the article, and have quoted other parts of the article to support my position. If the authors felt there was a highly significant nutritional difference, they would not have come to the conclusion to the article that they did. While there was statistical difference between the two, the authors probably felt that it was not clinically relevant, due to the heterogenity and low number of studies noted (see the quote above from the article). Yobol (talk) 18:16, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
Another option would be, rather than just mentioning omega 3, we mention every single nutritional variable studied and whether or not any positive or negative differences were found, and be sure to include all caveats that the authors use. I think this article is small enough that that level of detail could be handled. Yobol (talk) 18:58, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree it would be good to put more findings in this study into the article.Lisnabreeny (talk) 00:48, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
" the authors probably felt that it was not clinically relevant, due to the heterogenity and low number of studies noted (see the quote above from the article). "
Here is the quote: "The differences between the remaining fatty acids examined in chicken and milk (Supplement 6) were heterogeneous and statistically insignificant."
The Keyword there is "remaining" The Omega-3 acids levels in Organic milk were significantly different enough to report, that is what statistical significance means. There are almost always differences in data, only some meet the notable criteria to be statistically significant. The P value of <0.001 stated in the study about this observation means there is less than 1000th of a chance of us being mistaken about the relationship. Your speculation about clinical relevance is extremely POV and OR.
They also, quite remarkably note a statistical increase in "beneficial omega 3" acid levels, evidenced in the sum of research into the breast milk of mothers (human)who had consumed mainly organic produce. I am not sure that should go here, but it will be relevant to the other organic articles. Lisnabreeny (talk) 00:40, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

I think we should not report/we should remove from the article all the results from the study that would require excessive qualification. Per WP:MEDMOS we should remove the detail describing the study (I got yelled at for doing just this on another article...). If for a certain result we have to get into providing detail about the source to have context to provide the qualifiers, that's a good indication the result isn't strong enough to include. In the meta-analysis, I do not see a strong concern of 'publication bias' applied to the omega-3 fatty acid result.

Taking a closer look now, I'd prefer it if we quoted only from the "Discussion" section of the meta-analysis article. In regards to organic milk, the Discussion section only talks about "statistically higher levels of ... omega-3 fatty acids in organic milk" and describes omega-3 as "beneficial." (I'm saying now we should not mention vaccenic acid, as I did suggest before, because it is not mentioned in the Discussion.) The level of confidence in our article wording should be high, because the Discussion gives the result without qualification, and also mentions their finding is consistent with another meta-analysis. Two meta-analysis articles producing the same result is good confidence. I suggest we replace the existing "Comparison with conventional milk" section content (all of it) with:

Raw organic milk contains significantly higher levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids as compared to conventional milk.

The overall finding of the report "evidence does not suggest marked health benefits..." is too general to be on-topic in this article. Feedback? Zad68 05:13, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
I am in broad agreement with your approach Zad68. The Discussion - Summary: Opening sentence was very diplomatic, affirming the existence of positive evidence to Organic proponents while 'limiting' it for Organic opponents:
" our comprehensive review .... identified limited evidence for the superiority of organic foods. "
Some meaning is lost by its scope being beyond milk, rather the evidence of difference in milk was one of the limited differences discovered. The articles present comment of indications publication bias i find to be quite unfounded. And the reported problem of heterogeneity is wrong, variability in data makes it harder for differences to achieve statistical significance, not easier. I did not read the reports milk findings at all discounted in the way in which has been put. Yolols single concession to the possibility of benefit was to write "raw milk may contain more omega-3 fatty acid" The editors choice of word may here is essentially meaningless and not what the report found, it found that they do significantly tend to And even state in the discussion, specifically about organic milk:
"Our finding of higher levels of these beneficial fatty acids in organic compared with conventional milk is consistent with another recent meta-analysis of these outcomes (288)."
This statement is repeated in kind and worded clearly enough in the discussion summary to be certain of inclusion in the article, any caveats should be specifically connectable to it in the text and retold accurately if not actually quotable. Lisnabreeny (talk) 12:54, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Just so that we're clear about wording, here is the direct text from the article I used as source material for my re-write: "These studies suggest that organic milk may contain significantly more beneficial -3 fatty acids"..."and vaccenic acid than conventional milk" page 353 (bolding mine); "Similarly, funnel plots of analyses of fatty acids in milk suggested possible publication bias." (bolding mine) (page 356); "We also found statistically higher levels of total phenols in organic produce, -3 fatty acids in organic milk and chicken, and vaccenic acid in organic chicken than in conventional products, although these results were highly heterogeneous and the number of studies examining fatty acids was small" (bolding mine) page 358. Accusations that I am editorializing against the source text should probably be retracted.
@Zad68: I toned down the jargonish discussion of heterogeneity and number of studies per your suggestion, and added the word "beneficial" as well. I don't think we should remove the material about the nutrients which were not found to be at higher levels for two reasons: 1) it gives the impression that omega 3 was the only nutrient studied, which is incorrect and 2) I plan on adding the other meta-analysis mentioned at a later time, whose results are largely contradicted by this study. It would be useful for readers to have both to examine. The Discussion section does not give omega 3 fatty acid results "without qualification", it qualifies the results with a discussion of the heterogeneity of the results and small sample size of studies (see my 3rd quote above). I also do not agree that we should leave out the final conclusion of the authors; the whole point in discussing nutrients is because people think that it would make them healthier if they drink it. That the authors do not believe any of the evidence they found (including their results about milk) qualifies as strong evidence of health benefits is an important conclusion. Yobol (talk) 13:19, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Yobol, i read you select only the most diminutive statements possible and combine them in the article, ignoring all contrasting statements and the wordings choosen by the authors in the discussion summary. Where the reports authors used may they also included significantly - which you disguarded, thus changing their meaning to your goal. The listing of individual nutrients tested without statistically confident differences apparent across the samples, is cumborsomely long winded and you misrepresent the difficulties caused by their heterogeneity.
Re: publication bias. Yobol's edit states "Analysis of studies looking at fatty acid content suggest there may be a publication bias in those studies as well as other factors that could lead to biased results." this is an editorialisation of a single undeveloped statement in the report review- "funnel plots of analyses of fatty acids in milk suggested possible publication bias" The authors "suggested possible" becomes "suggest there may be" in Yobols account, and "as well as other factors that could lead to biased results." -added unattributed and towards a consistent POV. The reports sentence on publication bias is immediately followed by: "We adjusted P values to assign significance to differences between organic and conventional foods due to the multiple statistical comparisons. It may be reasonable to use a less stringent criterion for the interpretation of contaminant results because consumers may have a lower threshold in their desire to avoid harms." There is no chance of Yobol applying this caveat or others which raise respect for the reports standards.
The authors find the results of fatty acids in mothers milk relevant enough to cows milk to put them together in discussion: summary: "One study examining the breast milk of mothers consuming strictly organic diets found higher levels of trans-vaccenic acid (58), similar to our findings among organic dairy products."
If after fixing the current errors in wording, the article is going to contain the level of detail which Yobol requires, this finding should certainly be included as the authors choose to do so in the summary. Lisnabreeny (talk) 15:19, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I added the word "significantly" per above discussion. Trying to parse a difference between the words "possible" and "there may be" seems to be nitpicky to the point of absurdity. The change in statement to "other factors" that could lead to bias came from the suggestion that there is too much jargon with a discussion of heterogeneity and small sample sizes; I would gladly return this more specific description if you are saying it is too vague (though I hope you are not suggesting small sample sizes and heterogeneity in results are not possible sources of bias, and the exact reason why the authors spend so much time discussing them). The discussion of adjust P values comes in a separate paragraph and does not seem particularly linked to the discussion of funnel plots, so I fail to see the reasoning behind discussing that (there is no discussion of safety risks due to organic milk in this analysis, so discussion of less stringent criterion is off topic on this page). Yobol (talk) 17:20, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Lisnabreeny, could I ask you to please avoid speculating that Yobol has any "goal" here other than good article development? I've never seen comments like that about a fellow editor benefit an article content discussion... let's focus on the content and not the contributor.

The current article content says, "The study found that organic raw milk may contain significantly more beneficial omega-3 fatty acid and vaccenic acid but found no significant differences between organic raw milk and conventional milk with respect to total protein, total fat, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, conjugated linoleic acid, linoleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acid, omega-6 fatty acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids, or saturated fatty acids." Maybe I'm just really bad at reading this report... I can see support for beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol. I can't see where the report talks about organic milk's conjugated linoleic acid, linoleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids or saturated fatty acids.

Originally I had thought that the report wasn't raising serious statistical concerns but Yobol made a good argument and it appears we have to carry the statistical caveats in the article.

I'd still prefer not to include the sentence, "The authors concluded the 'evidence does not suggest marked health benefits from consuming organic versus conventional foods.'" It's off-topic here because this article isn't about organic foods overall, just organic milk. That sentence would be totally appropriate at Organic food but I don't see it being directly relevant here, it's a bit WP:COATRACK-y. My reading of the results is that they studied many, many different possible nutrition and health factors across many different kinds of foods, and overall, there were few statistically significant organic-vs.-conventional differences; however, one difference they did indeed find was the omega-3 level in organic milk. As an analogy, another study might find organic milk costs $1 more per gallon than conventional milk. We should report just that, and not go on to also say, "...but spending $1 per gallon for organic milk would have a negligible effect on the overall food budget of the average family." We shouldn't be second-guessing why the reader is reading the article. We should just be presenting the directly relevant facts we find regarding the article's subject. Zad68 21:12, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

I Apologise to you both for my insinuation, im not a very experienced editor. I found the original statement which prompted my involvement very misleading, tried to balance it with another ref, which was almost immediately rejected. I put up a compromise edit as per our discussion and that too was almost immediately overwritten by a large rewrite with numerous issues to address at once. My naive protests were meant as plea for balance.
I believe organic production has potential benefits, and has not been shown to be a quack marketing idea like other subjects we disclaim with "Advocacy" headings... here again i alert to POV in this advocacy section - it contains a refutation by 'dairy industry sources', so the big bold disclaimer is extra there.
The article has come a good way toward the center since the rewrite, but the caution over the omega3 result is still overstated. There is no suggestion of confidence in public bias, only its possibility. We announce:"The study found that organic raw milk may contain significantly more beneficial omega-3 fatty acid and vaccenic acid but..." the following 'but..' is several lines of needlessly length chemistry, and then "Analysis of studies looking at fatty acid content suggest there may be a publication bias in those studies as well as other factors that could lead to biased results." - that text itself is longer than the announcement of the finding (sans chemical detractions), and it is only a vague possibility, not a high probability which is what the omega-3 relationship on the face of it is, too a balanced statistical measure which is obscured (not assised) by heterogeneity and sample size.
The phrase selected to end the section is selective against organics as well. I pointed out the diplomatic one directly proceeding it in the study, and the flattering one directly following it. I'm not asking for flattery, just to carry the findings with balance.
The report connects the omega3 dairy result with omega3 in mothers breast milk. It makes some sense to, since the breast milk finding reinforces the cows milk. We have gone into more lengthy caveats of the dairy milk finding than reporting its confidence, without even mentioning the supporting breast milk result. Lisnabreeny (talk) 20:40, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Hi Lisnabreeny... It's OK to be an inexperienced editor here. The trick is to assume we're all on the same side of this, or, even better, that there aren't two sides at all. We shouldn't be thinking of ourselves or each other as "pro-organic" or "anti-organic." We all need to be on the same side, "pro-good Wikipedia article."

Also, you say you "believe organic production has potential benefits, and has not been shown to be a quack marketing idea." We all have our own points of view but it's really important to avoid bringing them to our editing. Your stated beliefs might get you into trouble because you'll want to shape the article be in accordance with them. We need to write articles so that they reflect what the best-quality evidence available in well-respected, mainstream scientific sources say. We will actually do our best work on articles we know nothing about and have no interest in... it's a funny Wikipedia catch-22.

With that out of the way...

I would also prefer it if we could convey the information in the source about omega-3 and also the other chemical information and the caveat without it looking so clumsy. There's a couple ways to do it. Here's one proposal, we can do something like,

The study found that organic raw milk may[Note 1] contain significantly more beneficial omega-3 fatty acid and vaccenic acid.

The study also found no significant differences between organic raw milk and conventional milk with respect to total protein, total fat, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, conjugated linoleic acid, linoleic acid, monounsaturated fatty acid, omega-6 fatty acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids, or saturated fatty acids.

and under [Note 1] we can describe the issue about publication bias. And, as mentioned previously, I'd like the "The authors concluded the 'evidence does not suggest...'" sentence to come out. I think that would go a good ways to presenting the information accurately and also clearly. Look good? If we can agree we can put it in. Looks like Yobol's been away for a few days, hopefully he'll chime in too. Zad68 17:55, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Thankyou for advising Zad68 i appreciate it and bow to your experience. In discussion i am inclined towards giving full disclosure, i have always attempted to edit towards neutrality. Apologies again for being an unsteady rower. I support your suggestion, only wondering if it is not too pendantic of me to say that the statement "found no significant differences" seems like some assurance that there are none, which is less true than eg. "did not detect significant differences ... in the samples which were quite variable" (re. the heterogeneity notes) Lisnabreeny (talk) 20:06, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
No problem... honestly I really haven't rowed all that much further down the river from where you are. Sounds like you are on board with the "Note" idea and separating the two chunks of text so the interesting omega-3 result won't be lost in the less interesting other results. Go ahead and propose alternate wording for the 'significant differences' content. I'm taking off for the weekend in just a minute, we'll see who else chimes in and then get the article updated. Have a good one... Zad68 20:12, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I think the use of the note is an elegant solution to adding minor details about the study while giving the full information for those who want to see it, and have implemented it, as there does not seem to be any objections to its use. (Note, the information on the nutrients not found to have a difference between organic foods is found in Supplement 5 and Supplement 6 on the website - undoubtedly, the journal had a space and word-limit to the article, so they added extra tables they couldn't get published in the article there). I, however, feel very strongly we need the concluding sentence of the authors there. The authors could have just as easily said "Except for organic milk, the evidence does not suggest..." if they felt organic milk evidence was strong. One thing we need as editors who read medical journals need to keep clear in our heads is that there is often a difference between statistical significance and clinical significance (see here for a concise disclaimer). When we take specific bits of data out (like we are doing here talking about omega 3 fatty acids) we need to make sure we do not in the process place a "spin" on the data that the authors did not intend. In this case, while there was a statistical significance found, the authors concluded it nevertheless was not an important enough to make a conclusion that any organic food produce was healthier. Implying that organic milk is healthier by saying it contains more of it, without adding the authors' conclusions is the intellectual equivalent of quoting out of context. If the authors come to a conclusion, we certain should make it clear; our readers are not experts enough to analyze the data themselves. Yobol (talk) 02:56, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Looks great, nice work Yobol! Although it's still not my preference to have that general quote about an overall organic diet in an article about just organic milk specifically, I see Yobol's point and am OK with how it stands in the article now. Cheers... Zad68 04:46, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

POV[edit]

I have added a POV-template to this article. The recent edits/editwarring are plain cherrypicking out of one article. The way he choses his picks, make the article POV instead of neutral. Chosing just a negative part of the conclusion [t]he evidence does not suggest marked health benefits from consuming organic versus conventional foods (...) instead of the full (and far more nuanced) conclusion The evidence does not suggest marked health benefits from consuming organic versus conventional foods, although organic produce may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and organic chicken and pork may reduce exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. is just one of the symptoms.

Cherrypicking explanations for bias and twisting these a bit is another symptom. The Banner talk 12:36, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

This is the organic milk article, and should not include off topic discussion about chicken and pork, or discussion of safety as the study did not look at the safety of organic milk (only the nutritional aspects). Yobol (talk) 05:16, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
The source notes that there are nutritional differences in milk from different breeds. Holstein cattle, the main source of conventional milk, is the least nutritious. 21:55, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

The selected reviews final summary from which the articles summary was cited, is 2 sentences. A neutral sentence, followed by a negative statement (if isolated, followed by positive statement (if isolated). This article cited the negative statement isolated from the positive in the same sentence, in the sections final part. I have changed it to the neutral sentence, i hope this is acceptable.

"(/)In summary, our comprehensive review of the published literature on the comparative health outcomes, nutrition, and safety of organic and conventional foods identified limited evidence for the superiority of organic foods.

(-)The evidence does not suggest marked health benefits from consuming organic versus conventional foods,

(+)although organic produce may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and organic chicken and pork. " Lisnabreeny (talk) 21:07, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Removal of a negative statement just because it is negative is a violation of WP:NPOV. We do not discuss the safety of organic milk because the authors of the review specifically do not discuss it themselves; they do however discuss the health/nutritional status of it. Yobol (talk) 17:02, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I did not remove the statement just because it is negative. I replaced it because you isolated it as the only negative statement in the reports summary, which is balanced. Your selection of the negative statement from the balanced summary is blatant POV. And your misrepresentation of what I did and the clear reasons i gave is also blatant. Lisnabreeny (talk) 21:57, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
RE: Heterogeneity and Small sample Size, these do not connote any 'bias'

Noisiness of samples and small sample size make it more difficult to detect and establish statistically significant differences - not easier or biased towards one appearance or another. The mathematics of calculating P values (probability) accounts for the likelihood of noise/sample size throwing up false positives - that is the point of calculating pvals and relying on them. With no noise at all significant P values can not be produced by fewer than a dozen or so samples, as a matter of mathematical impossibility, no matter how clear they seem. When significant p-values are calculated, they are done so restricted by sample size and noise as fundamental parameters in the calculation. So I have briefly corrected this in the note. It is a small but important difference from an extra suggestion of 'bias' Lisnabreeny (talk) 21:31, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Specifically referring to meta analyses, heterogeneity and small sample sizes make even statistically significant results suspect. See here for more discussion. I have therefore clarified this statement. Yobol (talk) 17:02, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
No you have not, the report does nowhere state that heterogeneity or sample size affects the significance of the detected difference in omega-3, and your article does not infer that either. The report neither explicity states that the high heterogeneity and limited sample size make it more difficult to establish significant differences - which is undeniable. You just once again demonstrated your insistence on putting a one sided account.Lisnabreeny (talk) 21:57, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Read the CCJM article again. "In any case, as the level of heterogeneity increases, the justification for an integrated result becomes more difficult." See also the specific example of the Gebski meta-analysis. High heterogeneity in the setting of small individual study sample sizes call the result into question, despite a p value of .05. Yobol (talk) 22:04, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
The milk review gives no indication that heterogeneity is so severe as the CCJM article concerns, and a P value of .05 which you remark ('despite') is usually considered weak, the confidence of distinction in Omega-3 for organic milk had a P value of less than 0.001 (!) So you have demonstrated you are getting ideas from related technical articles and mis-submitting them here, without attention to necessary technical details. Lisnabreeny (talk) 21:42, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Unreliable sourcing[edit]

I have marked the section The American Academy of Pediatrics published a review that concluded, "[t]here is no evidence of clinically relevant differences in organic and conventional milk." In addition to little, if any nutritional differences, the review also found no increased risk of bacterial contamination of organic milk, nor is there any evidence of increased levels of bovine growth hormone in conventional milk compared to organic milk.[1][unreliable source?] as being sourced with an unreliable source.

Interactions with editor Yobol give me enough reasons to don't believe him at his word that the information is there. Or at least: as negative as he stated it. On a related article, he has a history of cherry picking parts of conclusions to make it look more negative than it really is. Therefore, I will not believe or accept this statement, unless I have read it myself (but I have no access to the full article) or until it is confirmed by a reliable editor. The Banner talk 19:30, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Forman J, Silverstein J (2012). "Organic foods: health and environmental advantages and disadvantages". Pediatrics. 130 (5): e1406–15. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-2579. PMID 23090335.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
I have removed the RS tag, the AAP is an extremely well-respected medical association and their journal Pediatrics is top-tier. Further, there is no Wikipedia policy-based reason to make edits on your personal feelings that a particular fellow editor is unreliable, please do not do it again, such actions can lead to sanctions. Zad68 19:36, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Too many conflicts between sources and statements when I tried to verify the sources conform WP:V.
But can you confirm that the statements about milk are in that article and in the way Yobol has phrased it? The Banner talk 19:45, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Even better than that, you can do it yourself: Click on the ref link which takes you to the PubMed database listing for the article, at the bottom of the page open LinkOut, click on the HighWire Press link and that will take you to the full text of the article, see the Summary: Key Points, which includes:
There is no evidence of clinically relevant differences in organic and conventional milk.
a. There are few, if any, nutritional differences between organic and conventional milk. There is no evidence that any differences that may exist are clinically relevant.
b. There is no evidence that organic milk has clinically significant higher bacterial contamination levels than does conventional milk.
c. There is no evidence that conventional milk contains significantly increased amounts of bovine GH. Any bovine GH that might remain in conventional milk is not biologically active in humans because of structural differences and susceptibility to digestion in the stomach.
Zad68 20:10, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, I have added it to the article.
One question: was the research performed on raw or pasteurised milk? I could not find that and it is relevant in relation to "In addition, 90% of bovine GH in milk is destroyed during the pasteurization process." The Banner talk 20:51, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
In the same article, the AAP states "The American Academy of Pediatrics, US Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise consumers not to consume raw milk." Also the refs cited appear to be talking about homogenized, pasteurized milk. I think it's safe to say that in the Key Points, the AAP is not talking about raw milk but rather the most common kind of off-the-shelf supermarket milk. Zad68 22:45, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Discussion of pesticide residue does not belong on this page[edit]

Discussion of pesticide residue does not belong in this, the organic milk page. The authors specifically did not address the issue of pesticide residue in organic milk: "Studies of meats, poultry, eggs, and milk did not assess pesticide levels." Discussion of pesticide residue here (as opposed to the nutritional content, which is discussed by the source), is therefore off-topic and should be removed, until someone finds a source that specifically talks about pesticide residue and organic milk, and not organic produce. Yobol (talk) 22:10, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

I did a small rewrite to fix this issue. The Banner talk 22:26, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Appreciate the effort, but I don't understand why we are even discussing pesticide residues at all if the source does not speak to pesticide residue and organic milk. As it stands now, we have two sentences about pesticide levels, when it is completely off topic to this article. Yobol (talk) 22:30, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
The is simple: let's keep it neutral. The Banner talk 23:19, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, let's keep it on topic. Why are we discussing produce on a milk page? Yobol (talk) 23:31, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Why do you come up with fuzzy sources instead of clear sources about milk? The Banner talk 22:37, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Would you try answering the question? Why are we discussing produce in an article about milk? Yobol (talk) 22:44, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

relevant info from the AAP source[edit]

The reports Keynotes concluded:

− "(1) Nutritional differences between organic and conventional produce appear minimal, but studies examining this have been limited by inadequate controls for the many subtle potential confounders, such as moisture, maturity of the produce, and measurement techniques. No direct evidence of a clinically relevant nutritional difference between organic and conventional produce exists."

− "(2) Organic produce contains fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce, and consuming a diet of organic produce reduces human exposure to pesticides. It remains unclear whether such a reduction in exposure is clinically relevant. (...)"

− "(4)There is no evidence of clinically relevant differences in organic and conventional milk. a. There are few, if any, nutritional differences between organic and conventional milk. There is no evidence that any differences that may exist are clinically relevant. b. There is no evidence that organic milk has clinically significant higher bacterial contamination levels than does conventional milk. c. There is no evidence that conventional milk contains significantly increased amounts of bovine GH."

− "(6) The price differential between organic and conventional food might be reduced or eliminated as organic farming techniques advance and as the prices of petroleum products, such as pesticides and herbicides, as well as the price of energy, increase."

− "(7)Organic farming reduces fossil fuel consumption and reduces environmental contamination with pesticides and herbicides."[1]

References

  1. ^ Forman J, Silverstein J (2012). "Organic foods: health and environmental advantages and disadvantages". Pediatrics. 130 (5): e1406–15. doi:10.1542/peds.2012-2579. PMID 23090335.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

Putting these here since they need reworded to go in the article (the first keynote very clearly gives context to keynote 4 which was/is deceptively partially cited and summarised in the article. Lisnabreeny (talk) 23:04, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

We should only include information directly relevant to organic milk. The authors have already pointed out what the "key points" are, we should not water down these points with off topic discussions. The directly relevant part of the key points, #4 above, is already summarized in our article. Yobol (talk) 23:10, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
All of this is directly relevant to organic milk, non of this is off topic. Keynote 1 is relevant to keynote 4 (or else the authors would have stated otherwise) Where the authors point out exceptions for organic milk -- we do. Lisnabreeny (talk) 23:18, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
So instead of just summarizing what the authors think the "Key points" about organic milk are, you'll remove two of those points (discussion of bacterial contamination and bGH) as "extraneous details" and instead substitute your own judgement of what is relevant. Sigh. Yobol (talk) 23:20, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
BTW, Point #1 talks about produce not milk. Why on earth are we discussing so much about produce on this page? This is the organic milk page, isn't it? Yobol (talk) 23:22, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
The indication on bacterial contamination was good for organic milk -there are claims that it is higher and they refute this, so i do not think that was contentious to clip for brevity and relevancy. The Bgh situation has not been introduced and is confusing when mentioned in isolation at this point. It can be included, but it is a point of a lack of distinction, there are several much more prominent distinctions of organic milk to be covered. Environmental pesticides... fossil fuel... cost? Should the article be about what organic milk is not or may not be, or what it is?
Organic milk is organic produce, it is not rational to avoid or ignore that relationship here. Lisnabreeny (talk) 23:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
The authors of that study are using produce to mean fruits and vegetables, not all farm products. There is a reason why there is a separate "Produce" section and a "Milk" section. We should not be mixing them up, they are separate issues. Again, we should be summarizing what the authors find are key points, not what YOU think are key points. Yobol (talk) 23:50, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
There are separate sections because there are separate product types, in the milk section or the keynote section the authors do not make the remarkable point which you wish to make, that they mean organic produce to exclude organic milk. They do not do that, and you claim i am pushing POV for not observing it? Organic milk and organic produce are not seperate issues. The article does not specifiy as you suggest "organic fruits and vegetables reduces fossil fuel consumption and reduces environmental contamination with pesticides and herbicides" It says "organic farming ..." If you think they are mistaken and should exclude organic milk from organic farming, that is remarkable and you might get in touch with them, but you cant exclude it here by arguing that the report has a separate section for organic milk. Lisnabreeny (talk) 00:31, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Discussion in this article should be about organic milk, not organic produce, organic foods in general, or organic farming in general. It should be about organic milk, the title of the article. When you have the authors telling you what the conclusions about organic milk are, we should use them, rather than trying to substitute our own judgement. Yobol (talk) 00:39, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
The article is not about what is only exclusive to organic milk, that is ridiculous. It can no more be claimed to be unlike or irrelevant to other organic produce and organic farming, than it can be claimed to be unlike or irrelevant to milk (without remarkable substantiations). The authors use language quite clearly to indicate the subjects of their findings. Stop casting extraneous 'meaning' and exclusion based on format and.. i cant possibly imagine... Lisnabreeny (talk) 01:05, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
This is the organic milk article. Why would we want to include irrelevant material about organic fruits and vegetables? Yobol (talk) 01:12, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Because you are the only person who says that when the reviewers write this, they really mean just fruits and vegetables -- "Organic farming reduces fossil fuel consumption and reduces environmental contamination with pesticides and herbicides" Seems the article is protected till Jan 25th now. Plenty of time to resolve it whether this is accurate and relevant here.Lisnabreeny (talk) 01:25, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Once more: The authors gave us, on a silver platter, the "Key Points" about organic milk. Let's use those. Do the authors talk about pesticides with milk? No. Do the authors talk about environmental contamination with milk? No. Do the authors talk about fossil fuel use with milk? No. Then we shouldn't use those to talk about milk, should we? Yobol (talk) 02:16, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
You are just skipping clear reason and repeating your completely arbitary selection of information. Note 1 explicity by virtue of the meaning of the word "produce" includes organic milk and is directly relevant to the notes on research findings for milk and all other organic produce (naturally unless otherwise stated) The notes on organic farming are explicitly relevant (unless otherwise stated) because organic milk, is organically farmed. The authors talk about fossil fuel use and reduced environment pesticide of organic farming generally, which organic milk is produced by, organic milk is not excluded --organic milk is included. QED Lisnabreeny (talk) 03:57, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
"Produce" almost always refers to fruits and vegetables (Per Merriam Webster: Produce: agricultural products and especially fresh fruits and vegetables as distinguished from grain and other staple crops"). No where in the section about "Produce" does it talk about milk. You are making up your own definitions and assumptions. If the authors talked about fossil fuels and organic farming in reference to organic milk, show it to me. Otherwise you and I have no idea whether or not it refers to organic milk or not, and therefore violates WP:OR. This is easy. We know where the authors talk about organic milk in the Key Points section because they say the word "Milk". If they don't refer to "Milk" in any other section, you cannot assume they mean to talk about "Milk". Yobol (talk) 13:22, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Lisnabreeny, in the AAP report, it is clear that when they talk about "produce" they do not mean milk. There is lots of evidence for this:

  1. Under heading "Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Food", there are separate sections for "Produce" and "Milk"; the word milk does not appear in the produce section and the word produce does not appear in the milk section.
  2. Look at the source documents referred to by these two separate sections. Only the Produce section has source documents covering only fruits and vegetables. Only the Milk section has source documents covering only milk.
  3. Under Key Points, discussion of produce in points numbered 1 and 2 is separate and distinct from milk in number 4.
If this is still not convincing, we can open a RSN discussion asking whether the "produce"-related content in this AAP report is a reliable source for proposed article content regarding organic milk. Zad68 13:57, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

This report mentions quite specifically the issue which Yobol has be unaccepting of in the articles notes on heterogenity: "Funnel plots are appealing because they are simple, but their objective is to detect a complex effect, and they can be misleading. For example, lack of symmetry in a funnel plot can also be caused by heterogeneity in the studies." Lisnabreeny (talk) 00:42, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Review for 'Milk is not Produce'[edit]

The concerned point rests on its own explaination:

"studies examining this have been limited by inadequate controls for the many subtle potential confounders, such as moisture, maturity of the produce, and measurement techniques." -- Have we not read the problems which were already raised to cast doubt here on organic milk research? Of Seasonal variability, and feed types and breeds and differing practices etc. ie "inadequate controls for the many subtle potential confounders"

So editors would eliminate a note, which from information we have together already gathered - clearly applies to the Organic 'Milk' studies. While this note clearly applies, we would take to review that 'milk is not produce' within the language of the Key points of this report; Key points requiring novel interpretation of plain language to understand them, interpretation which is suggested but nowhere specified in the report. It has even been put that Organic milk by virtue of having a note of its own out of 8 notes, is excluded from indications given by a plain reading of the other notes.

If editors are comfortable with taking these positions to review that is their call. I can not speak for them. And there are also key points relating to Organic Farming... Lisnabreeny (talk) 22:15, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

If you want to talk about milk, find sources that talk about organic milk. The portion you want to use as a source is talking about produce. It cannot be used to talk about milk, because milk is not produce. Yobol (talk) 22:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
I note you pass over the points that, (1) This is normal reading of plain language in a "Key point" (not a separated 'portion') and (2) The keypoint's guidance makes as much (or more) sense towards situation with Organic Milk research as it does any other produce of organic farming. But you reject or ignore both those points, because you perceive that "milk is not produce" That is as clear to me as saying "green is not colour". What is your position on the relationship of the reports advisory key points addressing "Organic Farming" to Organic Milk? Lisnabreeny (talk) 21:16, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
You would have a point if they had discussed any of the key points in relation to milk. Which they don't. Produce isn't milk. Not all things related to organic food or farming relate to milk. If the authors don't tie it to milk, neither should we. Yobol (talk) 22:19, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
I made two clear points there not one. You say now "Produce isn't milk." a similar juxtaposition as "colour is not green". I find your position insensible despite its simple repetitions. When something produces A and produces B, A and B are both said to be produce of the something. (This is primary level language comprehension) If there is an important distinction between the organic farming practices of organic milk and other organically farmed produce, which disassociates organic milk from information on non-dairy organic farming, then the distinction exists in a review only after it is specified in the review.
In response to my last clear question, you have suggested that you will also be opposing this reports information given for "organic farming". Can you clarify; are you also rejecting from the article the keypoint i listed which concerns organic farming? Point 7 is about organic farming. Point 6 is about organic food. Will you be contending that "organic milk is not organic food" in the language which the report uses in its key points? Lisnabreeny (talk) 16:55, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Produce, in common parlance, usually means fruits and vegetables (the "Produce" section of the grocery store has fruits and vegetables, not milk). It takes an incredibly strained reading of the source to come to the conclusion that the authors mean "produce" to include "milk", when the authors specifically chose different sections for the two, and discuss only fruits and vegetables in one and only milk in the other. I see now that you are intent on making the erroneous assumption that the authors include "milk" as "produce", and will have to agree to disagree with you on this. I am now repeating myself on the subject, which is a waste of my time. You are also assuming that any conclusions about "organic food" or "organic farming" in general must apply to organic milk; this is of course is nonsense, as we do not know the details of how the authors came to those conclusions (were studies on organic milk even included, and if they were, did the organic milk studies have different results that, when combined with all other studies, led the general conclusions in the opposite direction?) We don't know, because the authors don't say. If the authors don't talk about organic milk, it is not our role to make assumptions about what their conclusions are based on general discussion of organic foods. Yobol (talk) 17:06, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Lisnabreeny, I'm sorry I'm not clear any more on what your exact proposed article content change is and what part of the AAP source you are proposing support it. Could you please provide those two items so that we can be sure we're all taking about the same thing? Thanks... Zad68 17:19, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

I am proposing we remove the statements, "Nutritional differences between organic and conventional produce appear minimal, but studies examining this have been limited by inadequate controls for the many subtle potential confounders, such as moisture, maturity of the produce, and measurement techniques. No direct evidence of a clinically relevant nutritional difference between organic and conventional produce exists." which Lisnabreeny added to the article before it was protected, as off-topic to the discussion of organic milk. I also propose removing discussion of organic produce decreasing exposure to pesticide in the section sourced to the meta-analysis since it also is off topic to the discussion of milk. Yobol (talk) 17:23, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
OK, although I'd like Lisnabreeny to confirm that this is indeed the edit under discussion. Zad68 17:25, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I thought it should be clear that this section is discussing the linguistic objection to including Key Point 1 (which Yobol is seeking removal and you have already agreed Zad68) and points 2, 6, and 7 which also seem to be rejected similarly for refering to organic farming and organic food rather simply and absurdly exclusive direct addressing to "organic milk".
Yobol States -"Produce, in common parlance, usually means fruits and vegetables " I do not know if that is regional distinction, but it is not visible in any dictionary or reference (or supermarket) which I know and you must be able to reference your distinction of the term and connect it to this article (of global scope) to exclude its plain relevance to milk. No point restating your assertion without substantiation and complaining your time is being wasted.
This report also examines meat and beyond milk - dairy. No key points address meat or dairy beyond milk. So they should either have stated "fruit and vegetables" instead of produce, or produce now magically means, "fruit and vegetables and meat and dairy except milk". But the destination is absurd. In the reports keypoints, "produce", "farming" and "food" apply completely plainly and clearly to "the produced" and "the farmed" and "the eaten" entities which are the subject of the report. I find the necessity of having to defend that understanding, in opposition of two proficient editors, very remarkable.Lisnabreeny (talk) 18:27, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Merriam-Webster: "agricultural products and especially fresh fruits and vegetables as distinguished from grain and other staple crops "
American Heritage Dictionary: "Farm products, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, considered as a group
Dictionary.com: "agricultural products collectively, especially vegetables and fruits"
As a mental exercise, why don't you try to count how many bottles/gallons of milk you can find in a google image search for "Produce Department" or in [this search of "Organic Produce". Yobol (talk) 19:28, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I note that you did provide the Merriam dictionary defintion earlier, and I apologise for missing it. However the citation was typically partial, leaving out the first definition given > "Produce (noun) (1) a : something produced b : the amount produced : yield ","(2): agricultural products and especially fresh fruits and vegetables as distinguished from grain and other staple crops."
-The second definition is far too vague to read into this reports key points, and if we do so anyway however vaguely, the key points then contain no advice (especially) for meat, non-milk dairy or "grain or other staple crops" This is making nonsense of the key points out of a general terms ambiguity. The point which the ambiguity is used to reject, as i have already documented does apply to existing organic milk studies by virtue of its explanation and what is known. I am familiar with you asserting report authors 'real meaning' yourself here earlier in this discussion. The 'real meaning' of point 1 is obvious to organic milk, and documented so any attentive editor/reviewer can affirm. Yet you ignore that also, and will only comment vaguely on the inapplicability of the other notes on "farming" and "food". Lisnabreeny (talk) 20:24, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Lisnabreeny, well as mentioned earlier, it looks like keeping this conversation limited to just the couple of us here isn't going to get us anywhere, so I started an RFC (below) to get a wider set of opinions. Although I mentioned RSN before this will work better as an RFC, as the reliability of the source, the AAP journal article, isn't in question, but rather whether the proposed content is on-topic or not. Zad68 21:02, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

RFC[edit]

Per a request at WP:AN/RFC, this discussion is closed with the consensus that the material is off-topic and unsuitable for inclusion in this article. -Nathan Johnson (talk) 16:24, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Is the following content:

Nutritional differences between organic and conventional produce appear minimal, but studies examining this have been limited by inadequate controls for the many subtle potential confounders, such as moisture, maturity of the produce, and measurement techniques. No direct evidence of a clinically relevant nutritional difference between organic and conventional produce exists.

sourced to this article "Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages" in the journal Pediatrics (the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) on-topic and appropriate for inclusion in this article on organic milk?

There is one thought that "produce" as discussed in the source includes organic milk and so is on-topic here; there is another thought that "produce" as discussed in the journal article is discussing only fruits, vegetables and greens and not milk or dairy products, and so the proposed content would be off-topic here.

Why are Society Sport and Culture due to be RFCed rather than Food and Drink or other intrested group? Lisnabreeny (talk) 02:13, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The reason is that the RFC subject areas don't go down to that level of specificity, look at the RFC subject areas available here: WP:RFC. The only other one that might have made sense is "Maths, science, and technology" but from previous discussions I know you're thinking of this article more as "food and drink" rather than "biology and medicine" so I picked "Society Sport and Culture" as the most sensible higher-level category for food and drink. Zad68 02:38, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining and setting it up. Lisnabreeny (talk) 03:46, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

RFC comments[edit]

  • Off-topic I think it is generally understood that "produce" means "fruits, vegetables and greens" and not "milk." Beyond that, in the AAP report, it is clear that when they talk about "produce" they do not mean milk. There is lots of evidence for this:
  1. Under heading "Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Food", there are separate sections for "Produce" and "Milk"; the word milk does not appear in the produce section and the word produce does not appear in the milk section.
  2. Look at the source documents referred to by these two separate sections. Only the Produce section has source documents covering only fruits and vegetables. Only the Milk section has source documents covering only milk.
  3. Under Key Points, discussion of produce in points numbered 1 and 2 is separate and distinct from milk in number 4.
Based on this, summarizing the AAP report's discussion about produce would be off-topic in this article about organic milk. Zad68 20:59, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Off-topic and therefore not appropriate. The fact that the authors chose to separate out "Produce" and "Milk" sections is clearly showing that these are separate and distinct topics. This is the organic milk article, so only material that the authors directly relate to organic milk is appropriate here. Yobol (talk) 21:02, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Evidently Relevant
The source article [[2]] nowhere specifies an exclusive meaning for the term 'produce'. It section headings are convenient, they do not explicitly, deliberately or accidentally imply extra meaning to language from their selection and formatting. The Key Points are likewise composed in plain language. It is impossible to resolve what Key point 1 should specifically pertain to if produce were not meant to be an inclusive term there (and if the point were not understood). But we know that point 1 applies to Organic Milk research -this is known by the rejecting editors, from earlier discussions:
" Nutritional differences between organic and conventional produce appear minimal, but studies examining this have been limited by inadequate controls for the many subtle potential confounders, such as moisture, maturity of the produce, and measurement techniques. "
The highlighted situation on which the point rests, has been already been pressed by Yobol as a criticism of milk studies, this report states it properly as a warning and qualifier of the difficulties of comparing agricultural produce. The other notes can and should be read in accordance with an understanding of Point 1.
The definition of 'Produce' at Oxford Dictionary [[3]] states (in full):
  1. "Produce (mass noun) agricultural and other natural products collectively: dairy produce / the result of a person’s work or efforts: the work was in some degree the produce of their joint efforts"
The Editors rejecting this kind of definition with vague secondary definitions of 'produce', some synchronous heading and unremarkable formatting observations, have also ignored that the review concerns Meat and Dairy produce (beyond Milk) as well as Fruits and Vegetables, but none of the Key points are addressed specifically towards Meat or Dairy (beyond milk). Pediatricians are guided at the end of the paper to concentrate on these key points for giving advice. The rejecting editors interpretation of 'produce' would mean that the key points contain no advice for pediatricians to give on Meat or Dairy besides Milk, and depending on various secondary dictionary definitions 'not especially grains' etc. They would give no advice or explanation of lack of advice for these other organic product types.
If a special meaning of produce is intended by the report it should be defined. This table [[4]] defines "Commonly Used Food Product Marketing Terms" in the report. A particular meaning of 'Produce' is not specified there or anywhere in the report.
I think it related to this argument to consider Yobol has also indicated his opposition to including information from the key points pertaining to 'Organic Farming' and 'Organic Food' stating that these do not necessarily include 'Organic Milk'. Zad68 has not decided to respond to my questions on the relevance of those points. Lisnabreeny (talk) 23:43, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Surely it was just a formatting oversight, but here's how the quoted Oxford Dictionary definition really reads (with my note in green):
[mass noun]
agricultural and other natural products collectively:
dairy produce   "dairy produce" is in italics to indicate it is an example of usage, and not part of the definition
  • the result of a person’s work or efforts:
the work was in some degree the produce of their joint efforts
And Lisnabreeny it sure would have been nice if you could have made your point about content without discussing editors. Zad68 00:19, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I thought it was self evident that dairy produce was Oxford dictionarys given sample usage - I thought plain language was self evident. I am sorry to ask for consideration of other exceptionally labourous disagreements, but i am not looking forward to more disagreement and reviews like this to be permitted to interpret "farming" and "food" normally too. Lisnabreeny (talk) 00:32, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The dictionary definitions submitted by Yobol earlier are all b listings, with the b removed and the first definition too. "Surely an oversight" Lisnabreeny (talk) 00:45, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Self correction, two of the dictionary defintions were selectively clipped.
The most straightforward was at dictionary.com [[5]]
"13. agricultural products collectively, especially vegetables and fruits."
I previously highlighted the word especially, and how you were both wrongly interpreting this reviews sectional headings connection to especially as meaning exclusively But it does not mean exclusively, it can mean especially. If we factor the definition into the rejected note word for word we get:
"Nutritional differences between organic and conventional agricultural products collectively, especially vegetables and fruits appear minimal, but studies examining this have been limited by inadequate controls for the many subtle potential confounders, such as moisture, maturity of the produce, and measurement techniques. No direct evidence of a clinically relevant nutritional difference between organic and conventional agricultural products collectively, especially vegetables and fruits exists."
This plainly includes the reviewed Milk, (in line with all other non-exclusifying reasons supplied) - but we have thousands of words argument about it somehow. The ability to argue so long over such a clear and comprehensible statement should be reviewed here, not whether the statement is relevant to Organic Milk, but how could it reasonably be rejected and put up for review at all? Lisnabreeny (talk) 01:47, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

User:Zad68 Claimed "Only the Produce section has source documents covering only fruits and vegetables."
Here are all the references in the Produce section with what they cover in relation to this dispute bolded:
  • 22 Williams CM
Nutritional quality of organic food: shades of grey or shades of green? Proc Nutr Soc. 2002;61(1):19–24
  • 23 Asami DK, Hong YJ, Barrett DM,Mitchell AE
Comparison of the total phenolic and ascorbic acid content of freeze-dried and air-dried marionberry, strawberry, and corn grown using conventional, organic, and sustainable agricultural practices. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51(5):1237–1241
  • 24 Worthington V
Nutritional quality of organic versus conventional fruits, vegetables, and grains. J Altern Complement Med. 2001;7(2):161–173
  • 25 The Soil Association.
Organic farming, food quality and human health: a review of the evidence. Bristol, United Kingdom: Soil Association; 2000. Available at: www.soilassociation.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=cY8kfP3Q%2BgA%3D&tabid=388
  • 26 Magkos F,Arvaniti F, Zampelas A
Organic food: nutritious food or food for thought? A review of the evidence. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2003;54(5):357–371
  • 27 Bourn D,Prescott J
A comparison of the nutritional value, sensory qualities, and food safety of organically and conventionally produced foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2002;42(1):1–34
  • 28 Woese K,Lange D,Boess C,Bogl KW
A comparison of organically and conventionally grown foods —results of a review of the relevant literature. J Sci Food Agric. 1997;74(3):281–293
  • 29 Dangour AD, Dodhia SK, Hayter A, Allen E, Lock K,Uauy R
Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90(3):680–685
The first and five more of the references relate to "food".
One Reference concerns berries and corn, one is "fruits vegetables and grains"
(note this dictionary def given earlier by Yobol: "Per Merriam Webster: Produce: agricultural products and especially fresh fruits and vegetables as distinguished from grain and other staple crops:")
Another reference... no, there are no other references, that is all, two references in the produce section could vaguely support their claims, one of them conflicting with the dictionary definition Yobol selectively cited, in fact both of them conflict if Corn is considered a Grain. Against these dubious two, Six of the references concern "food". How does the situation meet Zad68s claim "Only the Produce section has source documents covering only fruits and vegetables." Did that claim have a clear meaning, what was its intended meaning? Besides the mere existence of the Section, and point about formatting or something(?? Invisible to me) of the key points, it was his central point for this dispute. Lisnabreeny (talk) 03:38, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Correct, as I stated, "Only the Produce section has source documents covering only fruits and vegetables. Only the Milk section has source documents covering only milk." And the sources you enumerated bear this out for the Produce section. Here's the quick rundown for both the Produce and the Milk sections by AAP citation number, listing the scope of each report cited:
Produce:
  • 22 - "food", report covered milk but the AAP "Produce" section only mentions "organic leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, and chard"
  • 23 - berries and corn
  • 24 - fruits, vegetables and grains
  • 25 - "food"
  • 26 - "food"
  • 27 - "food"
  • 28 - "food"
  • 29 - "food"
Milk:
  • 30 - milk
  • 31 - milk
  • 32 - milk
The two sources cited for Produce that don't cover "food" generally both only cover fruits, vegetables and grains (not milk). (Also, for one of the "food" sources cited here, which does cover milk as well as produce fruits, vegetables and grains, the "Produce" section only mentions "organic leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, and chard" in citing it.) If there were even one milk-specific source cited in the Produce section, that would really provide a strong argument for what you are saying, but that is not the case here.

The three sources cited for Milk all cover milk only. Zad68 04:40, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Of course the Milk section contains only references for Milk, the produce section contains mostly references for "food" -a situation hidden behind your oddly arranged statement. Of the two references for your selective idea of produce, one includes grains which is deselected by a dictionary ref given earlier. I do not find any of your argument to be sensible, and neither of these two votes cast so far, provide any sense or reference for their position taken, which is in clear conflict with Oxford dictionary definition and the sources for Organic Food included in the reports own Produce section, and the meaning of the rejected note itself. If the reports Keynotes intend not to include organic food in "produce", why are most of the references in the produce section about "food" in general? Lisnabreeny (talk) 18:36, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • The term "produce" refers to fruit and vegetables, and does not include milk, eggs, meat or grains. TFD (talk) 12:43, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Please include how you come to this conclusion in your vote. Attempt to address some references and arguments given in this RFCLisnabreeny (talk) 18:43, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Not relevant: Milk is not a type of produce. CorporateM (Talk) 13:23, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Milk is Dairy Produce. Organic milk is a kind of Organic Produce. This situation is documented here, in this RFC. Please document your vote. Lisnabreeny (talk) 18:43, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • 'Not relevant No brainer. The subject sentence is taken from a summary section of the article called "Key Points" in which the authors first deal very clearly with stuff that grows in the ground in items 1 and 2. Item 3 deals with meant/dairy/poultry generally. Item 4 deals with milk specifically. 5, economics for farmers. 6, economics for consumers. 7, environmental. 8 deals with HEALTH (MEDRS) and the difficulty of making definitive health statements. btw, the mention of "moisture content" which is a confounder when comparing organic v conventional fruits and vegetables. Not milk.Jytdog (talk) 02:19, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Please, do involve the brain :) Key points 1 and 2 do not "very clearly" indicate that they are specific to "stuff that grows in the ground", they suggest by an ambigious reading of the term "produce" that they might be.
The sense of point 1 applies to organic milk because the keypoint does not just rest on an ambigious term and on a mention of "moisture content" it rests on "many subtle potential confounders," adding "such as moisture, maturity of the produce, and measurement techniques" We have already had debate here about the degree of doubt which should be stated in the organic milk article on the bases of described heterogenity and the factors which cause it in examined studies. The sense of keypoint 2 does not from what was read necessarily apply to organic milk research. But keypoint 2 states "consuming a diet of organic produce..." Which is in conflict with the meaning of produce being "stuff that grows in the ground" A diet of such "produce" would be a strict form of veganism. "organic produce" can be synonymous with "organically produced food". Also the note which is dedicated by clear language to milk, has 3 subsections for seperate statements. The other notes are listed individually. To be more specific the two 'produce' notes should by all indications be subdivided in a single note like milk and meat are.
But I can see the ambiguity of points 1 and 2 will probably block point 1's information from this article. I will accept that if so, but state for the record and some reflection, how editors are selecting through an ambiguity and unstated but arguably plausible sectional division, while giving almost no attention to the points actual meaning. That might seem an efficient editing strategy -- but most interested in the meaning and information in literature and WP, i find it unfortunate. Lisnabreeny (talk) 03:51, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
@Lisnabreeny, I recommended this article for inclusion in the discussion on the Organic Food talk page a month ago because I found it, and read it, and appreciate its careful thinking, writing, and structure. You seem to be coming from a litcrit perspective and reading this like a novel. However it is a biomedical science article and a very well structured one. While every reader is free to read as they like, I recommend you read within the genre and with sympathy to what the authors are trying to do (which I think is to provide clear guidance to parents (and the pediatric field) about what science can say definitively about health benefits of organic food (which is, "not much")). I don't think you will be able to sustain the reading you have been advocating. But if you read as I suggest, and still really believe you are correct about authorial intent, why not write the authors and ask them? I am sure they would be happy their article is being discussed. Jytdog (talk) 16:53, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
additional note - there is no need to create false dichotomies like either "produce" must mean all food or the authors must be advocating a vegan diet; seems to me they mean "a diet including organic grains/vegetables/fruits whenever possible" -- fits nicely into the overall flow and advice, right? If parents choose organic fruits/veggies they will expose their kids to less... "pesticides". relevant to things that grow in the ground, not dairy.Jytdog (talk) 17:16, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Thankyou for helping Jytdog. I was actually taken unaware by the existence of this definition of produce ( The Oxford dictionary gives its usual meaning here in UK ). I find this American definition is vague and demands comprehensive reading where it is used in these key points. --No more extra comprehension than has been insisted on already in expressing doubts about organic milk studies re: statements on heterogenity. This key point 1, expresses doubt in a more complete way than has been put in the wp article.
My attempt has not been to quote the point in the article, it is to allow the understanding of the point to contribute to evolving descriptions of organic milk studies in the wp article. Which have mostly been forwarded by Yobol (caveats) and attempted to be balanced by myself.
I don't know what you mean, here, sorry. The RFC asks: "Is the following content (snip) on-topic and appropriate for inclusion in this article on organic milk?" Any my answer is no, for the reasons given above (namely, it is not addressing milk). If you are looking for other content from that article to quote, to support statements that we cannot say much about whether organic milk is actually healthier because the studies to date are limited and will probably always be too limited, then there are much better sentences than this one. For example: "The composition of dairy products, including milk, is affected by many factors, including differences caused by genetic variability and cattle breed; thus, the results of studies assessing milk composition must be interpreted with caution. In general, milk has the same protein, vitamin, trace mineral content, and lipids from both organically and conventionally reared cows." and of course point 4 from the summary. I don't really understand why this sentence was important enough for you to create an RFC on when there are much better, and more clearly on-target ones to use.Jytdog (talk) 23:23, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Thankyou for placing the quote above for consideration:
  • "is affected by many factors, including differences caused by genetic variability and cattle breed"
  • "but studies examining this have been limited by inadequate controls for the many subtle potential confounders, such as moisture, maturity of the produce, and measurement techniques"
Key point 1 does not say as the more clinical quote on milk above does -"to be interpreted with caution"- , "caution" means suspicion in the shallower language of key points and summarys. The key point says in common terms, where ambiguity is uncontentious, not to treat the results "with caution" which can be misconstrued, rather it says:
  • "differences between organic and conventional produce appear minimal, but.."
--The keypoint says this circumstance which thankyou for bringing the quote establishing it, may obscure differences. This point has not been allowed in the milk article. Only the caveats of caution/suspicion/bias. Do you think that is fairly carrying the state of the research to the article?Lisnabreeny (talk) 02:23, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I have not offered anything for general consideration. What I was saying to, lisnabreeny, is that I don't undertstand why you are putting so much emphasis on a quote that doesn't clearly read on the topic when there are two other quotes that are unambiguously about milk. This is about a foot of wikipedia Talk on a quote that is by far not the most relevant thing in the article.Jytdog (talk) 12:29, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
I think it is alright to examine and ask about a specific matter concerning the quote which this RFC was centered on (by another editor incidentally). Yet you may defer to comment. I have also found the quantity of argumentation here challenging. Lisnabreeny (talk) 20:08, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Lisnabreeny you appear to be the only person defending the applicability of the quote that is the subject of the RFC, and my read of the discussion prior to the RFC, is that you were the person arguing for it then. So yes I am addressing you. I don't get why this quote matters so much especially when there are bullseye on target ones.Jytdog (talk) 21:48, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
You seem to have read past all of my explaination and requests for comment, to tell me my position is isolated. I know, that doesn't make it wrong. It is about information Jytdog. There is no detected differences between lab water and homeopathically 'altered' water, so the situation is very clear, because the substance can be compared easily. In the cases of the detected differences in most food including milk, the situation is not clear that there are no differences, until a great deal of work is done, very correctly. "the evidence may appear limited due to many confounding factors" If you know of "a bullseye on target" statement of that situation which correctly contextualizes the key points on organic milk as key point 1 does (and in international english lang. - is), then great... Lisnabreeny (talk) 01:48, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
It appears to me that the key takeaway for pediatricians is that the science, at this time, gives no reason to choose organic milk over conventional milk (or vice versa). If (and I do mean "if" because I don't know what content you want to support with this quote) you are trying to use this article to support some more affirmative recommendation, this article does not support that. If you want to use it to support a statement that "we don't know" then the support is there.Jytdog (talk) 15:13, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
You quite clearly outline here, how you select between individual informative statements to carry your overall judgement. That is not npov composition, we select what is relevant and allow the encyclopedia user to make their own conclusions. Lisnabreeny (talk) 21:16, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
lisnabreeny, the authors wrote in the milk summary point: "There is no evidence of clinically relevant differences in organic and conventional milk." This is about as absolutely, unambiguously clear as a doctor can get. It is crazy to call reading that plainly, as "selective reading" or POV. How else can you read that summary, provided by the authors?Jytdog (talk) 04:10, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Jytdog, you are very definitely wrong and should think carefully about what you wish to portray and what you wish to exclude. "Produce" is ambiguous, sure you can vote for, but you cannot invent your own strict definition of "Organic produce". Point one caveats the later points, that is its purpose as key point one:
" Nutritional differences between organic and conventional produce appear minimal, but studies examining this have been limited by inadequate controls for the many subtle potential confounders, ..."
This point applies to the milk research and findings. There is not clearly little or no difference - there is little or no clear difference. And clipping the report to convey the former ,personal expectation, is wrong. The 'scientific dury' is not in on organic milk or other organic produce research, the report made that clear. Lisnabreeny (talk) 05:25, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
There have also been only indications made to my clear questions to involved editors, that the information on environment and economics from this report will similarly be ruled out for not being specific enough to organic milk. Since these points have not been included in this RFC, it seems other RFCs might be required directly following it. Lisnabreeny (talk) 18:07, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Re:False Dicotomy, They do not write "a diet including organic produce..." as you translated, they write "a diet of organic produce..." So I would argue that you changed languages explicit meaning there, and had to in order to support of a partial reading of a single ambigious term - 'produce'. Produce is ambigious, but 'of' and 'included' are not interchangeable to inform it. Once you allow yourself to replace words with others with a divergent meaning, to carry your own sense of what is ambiguously intended, you introduce your own sense without justification and disguard the composed sense in breach of principle. I do not think these arguments are fairly described as akin to litcrit, i think it is more fundamental that we have strict principles in comprehending and interpretation technical material, than other literature. Lisnabreeny (talk) 18:07, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
all i can see is that from my perspective (american, reading biomedical science papers all the time) is that your reading breaks the text and breaks with the author's intentions, as expressed by (a) their own use of words (see the "produce" section of the article which is about stuff that grows in the ground, and which is the only other place where "moisture" is mentioned); (b) the order of the key points which mirrors the order of the article, and (c) common American usage. really, email them and ask them what they meant if you believe so strongly that your reading is tenable!Jytdog (talk) 23:23, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
I hope if you will look beyond the wikiroutine of the RFC, your experience in reading biomed and the details of this research would confirm the importance of the information in the keypoint to organic milk, and the essential ambiguity of the term 'organic produce'. Its ambiguity actually made irrelevant by the information within, which is no way reliant on formatting and order of listings,, not so reviews :] . Lisnabreeny (talk) 02:23, 23 January 2013 (UTC))
You admit that it is ambiguous whether Key Point 1 reads on milk. (I don't think it is ambiguous at all, but that is another matter). In a contentious article, it is not a good strategy to reach for ambiguous support. It's not a good strategy in Wikipedia in general, but it is an especially poor and weak one in a contentious article - frustrating for everybody involved, because your opponents have no reason to read the ambiguity your way. You can argue all you want but the ambiguity is still there. I urge you to think in the following way -- try to make statements, and offer support (sources) for them, that a reasonable person with the opposite view from you, would accept - -would have to accept -- because the statement is accurate and NPOV and the source is reliable and unambiguously on point. Really, why not use one of the quotes that reads directly and unambiguously on the topic? I really, really don't get it.Jytdog (talk) 21:48, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment The quote appears to refer to vegetables and is not relevant to this article but I wonder why this quote, 'There is no evidence of clinically relevant differences in organic and conventional milk', which appears in the same article is not used. Martin Hogbin (talk) 10:18, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Here is another comment from someone who has not or cannot read the article. Lisnabreeny (talk) 15:24, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Please do not attack every editor that disagrees with you. I have read the article, so perhaps you can explain exactly what I mean. Martin Hogbin (talk) 15:58, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
It is not an attack, it is a criticism. Advice: Read the small article over again, perhaps out loud to help, repeatedly, until that very quote appears -word for word. It is also possible to use ctrl+f tool, but better to exercise the word reading/locating skill for future use, not least in responding to RFCs. This advice may appear facetious, for which i apologise, but it is directed bluntly at the level of your input for your benefit. Lisnabreeny (talk) 16:47, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I missed that, thank you. It might have been easier to have just said, 'We already have that in the article.
I see what the discussion is about now but perhaps I could ask a question. The RfC asks, 'Is the following content:...appropriate for inclusion in this article?'. Is it proposed to put the quotation directly in the article are is it proposed to use it to support a statement of some kind If so, what is the proposed statement? Martin Hogbin (talk) 17:23, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Thankyou for your interest and sorry for being a bit snooty there (you'll probably be able to get me back later if inclined :).
These points were just ruled altogether irrelevant to organic milk study by one editor and point one was ruled irrelevant by both other editors involved, with the other points left uncommented despite my requests, for not being specific enough to organic milk.
Specific to organic milk, variable factors contributing to differences in milk composition within organic production and between all production types, have been mentioned in the wp article as caveats to the announcement of significant difference in Omega-3. It is my position that if we are to caveat the omega3 findings in that manner we should include the sense of keypoint1, that these differences (and limited sample size) make significant differences more difficult to establish. They obscure the picture, they do not tend to produce false positives. The Omega3 finding has a P value <0.001 High p values are increasingly difficult to calculate for low sample sizes, to the point of being impossible at a minimum ~12 samples or so, and are also obscured, not artifacted by high heterogenity. I dont wish to overstate that situation in any way, i just want to oppose partial caveating of findings unfairly diminishing the significance of research. Point one is directly relevant to the caveats put forward at present in the wp article, despite this revealed ambiguity of the term 'produce' Lisnabreeny (talk) 18:07, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Response to Lisnabreeny[edit]

I understand what you are saying above. I find it impossible to say exactly what the authors of the paper meant by the term 'produce' in point 1 and short of writing to them there is no way of definitively answering that question. I think it is more likely that they meant 'fruit and veg' but I can see the possibility that they intended a wider interpretation.

Can I get back to my question though. What is your proposed edit to the article? Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:42, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Firstly, sorry, i will get to the "proposed edit", but i find this necessarily to explain... I didnt make the RFC, and i didn't protect the article or 'edit war' as the protector wrote in edit summary, with a concluding and puzzling "haha". I was involved in ongoing debate about what i saw as constant bias selection of quotations and recomposition /advisory by one active editor and with Zad68 the who made the RFC and was helping as a third opinion. I was minutes into adding citations which i was going to summarize and format into refs, as balance to a newly introduced dismissive summary quotations from the review, when my preliminary edit was 'undid' for being too many quotes and undiscussed, so i moved the points to discussion, and proceeded to compose just number 1 into the article, before i could finnish (i was hurrying) the article was protected. I began discussing the relevance of the number of the keypoints (listed way above) to organic milk, and continued finding the positions of Yobol and myself terribly polarised.
Specific to Key point 1: I find that this summary [[6]] of the AAP review in the article was misleading without context from key point 1, which is applicable to organic milk studies despite any ambiguity over 'conventional and organic produce'. Also as a summary of the article, it omitted very relevant points on organic productions stated environmental effects, and possible economic potential, and introduced complex bacterial and hormone findings with no context.
The American Academy of Pediatrics published a review that concluded, "[t]here is no evidence of clinically relevant differences in organic and conventional milk." In addition to little, if any, nutritional differences, the review also found no significantly increased risk of bacterial contamination of organic milk, nor is there any evidence of significantly increased levels of bovine growth hormone in conventional milk compared to organic milk.[3]"
So i began filling the summary out with other information from the key points which i found relevant, but my first edit was undid 2 minutes after submission, so when i saw the conflict, i put the rest of the points in the talk page and resubmitted keypoint 1 for these editors (near instantaneous) judgement, which says in effect the evidence may appeal minimal because of many potential confounding factors. The page was protected in mid-composition.
Where the other editors had to caveat omega3 findings with warnings over 'bias' and heterogenity and sample size, quite frantic protectionism resulted here when i tried to include a general food research note, and organic environment and economic notes to the reviews summary. Unfortunately this article does not just need a single editor to suggest a fair and informative edit, it needs a few. The article is very small at present. If the RFC and realms of discussion help get a balance of editors active in the article, i will very happily sit in a back seat for a while. Lisnabreeny (talk) 20:08, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
There is no detected differences between lab water and homeopathically 'altered' water, so the situation is very clear, because the substance can be compared easily. In the cases of the detected differences in most food including milk, the situation is not clear that there are no differences, until a great deal of work is done, very correctly. "the evidence may appear limited due to many confounding factors" - That is the statement of key point 1 which contextualizes all of the following points. The situation is no different for milk which is why the ambiguity of refering to 'produce' is not (supposed to) matter. Pediatricians are advised to be familiar with all the keypoints. The statements on milk research make it sound like organic milk is like homeopathic water, if taken out of their list. I do not think it fairly carrys the reports message to quote them without that context. Lisnabreeny (talk) 03:36, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
The purpose of this talk page is to discuss ways of improving the article, it is not intended to be a forum for general discussion of the subject. If there is nothing you want to add to, or remove from, the article then this discussion is pointless. Martin Hogbin (talk) 23:07, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
"the evidence may appear limited due to many confounding factors" - this is the information i want included, in some form. Lisnabreeny (talk) 21:09, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I could not support that wording for the following reasons:
  • There is some doubt, at least, as to whether that wording applies to milk.
  • We have a statement, specifically referring to milk, elsewhere in the same source, which says the differences 'appear minimal'. In writing their key points, the authors would be expected to take account of measurement uncertainties.
  • It is not in accordance with the general tone of the document
I might support wording along the lines of 'No direct evidence has been found to date... ' or ' ' As far as can be determined using current techniques, no direct evidence...'. This compromise suggestion might also be acceptable to others here. Martin Hogbin (talk) 09:40, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
But this is not what either of the reports in the article are concluding. Research into the properties of organic foods has not been concluded, as with eg. homeopathic water. Point one makes that very clear to someone without time to read the whole reviews. It is made clear within the reviews, that this research is ongoing, incomplete, and in need of improvements. The 'current techniques' you suggest have been exhausted, have certainly not been. There are little or no clear differences, not clearly little or no differences. Our reduction of these reports summaries can not rightly allude to the latter, simply because the reports do not.Lisnabreeny (talk) 19:52, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Confounders?[edit]

Jumping in here (as a fresh pair of eyes). With respect to the "confounders" discussion I am seeing a statement from the AAP, which as a scientific/medical organization is a good source per MEDRS, and could be used to represent a view of the professional community. What jumps out at me from the text that has been cited from them is the phrase "no evidence of clinically relevant differences". At the moment in the article the "confounders" caveat is sourced to a single journal article. In my view this is using lesser sources to undermine superior ones since editorially, it seems to me that the confounders argument is being used to suggest "there may be something, no matter what they say". I would omit this and make sure that the "no evidence" statement was front and centre in this article. In this context, the argument over whether the Pediatric article applies to milk or other types of "produce", is moot. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:30, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

It is actually very untrue to report that there is simply "no evidence" of clinically relevant difference, and the complex research situation cannot be reduced to that statement, so the summaries do not claim it. For medical purposes they focus on significant, not relevance. In particular the reviews found statistically significant difference in omega3 levels in organic dairy, and in the breast milk of exclusively organic produce consuming mothers. This review does not refute that research. It just does not find it clinically significant enough to recommend. But the point of the article is not simply to recommend health directions (which develop over time). People interested in organic milk, can also be interested in economic and environment and welfare and any other number of factors of organic production. And they can be interested to know whether a different production standard, results in any detectable difference at all in products. Which incomplete research has indicated some difference so far for organic milk, only not yet and perhaps?probably? never clinically significant. The conclusions of further research have however not been forgone by the current incomplete picture. This review does not claim it has, in fact it clearly caveats its advice as circumspect in key point. A proper full reading of the reviews should comprehend this situation too. It has been discussed at length here amid echos of 'milk is not produce'. Lisnabreeny (talk) 20:16, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Lisabreeny what you write is simply false. The article that is the subject of the RFP says "[t]here is no evidence of clinically relevant differences in organic and conventional milk." You are trying to push the evidence beyond what it can bear.Jytdog (talk) 23:19, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
It was false, i accept that the report states that. However my position, is that that statement is contextualised by key point 1, and by the information in the report for anyone willing to address it. Such as:
"This study found that milk labeled “conventional” had lower bacterial counts than milk that was organic or GH-free, although this was not clinically significant. Estradiol and progesterone concentrations were lower in conventional milk than in organic milk, but GH-free milk had progesterone concentrations similar to conventional milk and estradiol concentrations similar to organic milk. Macronutrient composition was similar, although organic milk had 0.1% more protein than the other 2 milk types. Several studies have demonstrated that organic milk has higher concentrations of antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids. However, it is important to recognize that the composition of milk is strongly related to what the cows eat...."
I am not attempting to "push evidence" I am trying to stop it being misreported by deselective quotation. Lisnabreeny (talk) 01:39, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Ok I am glad we are on the same page there. Additional note to try to get all the way on the same page. There are two ways to talk about differences between organic food and conventional food. One is to try to describe chemical differences -- this one has more of X (say a protein) and this one has less of Y. Then there are differences they may or not have, health-wise -- a given amount more of X may be actually improve or harm your health, or having less of Y may improve or harm your health. These are two different things -- the chemical differences, and the health differences. When the author of the pediatrics review says "there is no clinical difference" he is talking about the latter -- he is saying that with the evidence that we have, there is no reason to choose organic milk over conventional milk, with respect to your health. Do you see all that?Jytdog (talk) 02:13, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Although, authoritive clinical statements are also affected by economics. For instance it seems impossible to mention that Organic Milk is inherently resistant to BSE and the potential for other diseases generated by novel changes to feed - because no clinical authority will make that, very obvious point. The Organic standards are by design more conservative and if that design is somewhat effective, it will benefit from precautionary principle. Unfortunately (to those who might appreciate it) it seems impossible to source a statement of that basic situation. So it is all the more important to give as complete account of the clinical research and advice as possible. Lisnabreeny (talk) 17:03, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
I guess by "inherently resistant" you mean that cows used to produce milk that will be labelled organic, cannot be fed the products of animal slaughter, and one of the ways that BSE has been transmitted from cow to cow is via the use of slaughtered cow parts in cow feed. That is not 'resistance' in any meaningful sense of the term. There are also regulations that prevent cows with BSE from entering the food or feed supply, so actually the protection from getting BSE is the same for organic and conventional -- both are protected by regulation. The risk from "other diseases generated by novel changes to feed" is to vague to be meaningful as far as I can see. So I am not sure what your point is here, really. But it would be interesting to see if there is any reliable source for a statement along the lines that "conservative means safer." I doubt there would be... but it would be interesting to look for.Jytdog (talk) 19:04, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
I found it depressing to look for, because it is just common sense in my experience, but it is not discussed well, in fact it is often treated with dismissal. It is a restricting policy and there are many caveats, but the well trodden path tends by virtue of its troddeness to be the reliable route. Fundamentally, with more cautious use of technology we would not be facing climatic and environmental crisis today and tomorrow. We can no longer just be cautious, we have to try to counter act novel anthropogenic effects to some degree, and if not careful about that... well everything is at risk... But half the world population have been starving anyway while the other has been letting loose, what should they care that we may soon all be in trouble.
Sorry for that. I found the work you put into the article top rate and thank you very much for it, and your time and patience with me Jytdog. Best Regards Lisnabreeny (talk) 20:58, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Glad you are pleased. after all the sturm und drang i was worried that both sides of the prior dispute would be unhappy and the edit warring would start again.. i tried to hit the wiki middle NPOV ground and maybe i hit it.Jytdog (talk) 21:43, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Alex I also came here in response to the RfC and, as you will see, I essentially agree with you. The 'confounders' caveat is nothing more than the standard kind of caveat to be found in may papers, stating that there are some uncertainties. It certainly does not support what you have called, 'there may be something, no matter what they say'.
In the interests of resolving this dispute I have suggest some weaker wording that might be used, along the lines of 'No direct evidence has been found to date... ' or ' ' As far as can be determined using current techniques, no direct evidence...'. Would you support wording of this nature? Martin Hogbin (talk) 22:13, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
I disagree that the "confounders caveat" is trivial. Chemical analysis of food -- extremely complex substances that are produced in huge quantities in the real world - is very hard (you can go on and on identifying and quantifying ingredients) if you just pick something -- say a single grape, and describe it. It gets even worse if you try to want to say something about 'grapes' in general. And it gets insanely hard if you try to compare food in categories as amorphous as "organic" vs "conventional" - it makes that devilish complexity even worse. This is something that is really important for the public to know. This is not like making a small amount of two different chemicals in a lab and comparing them. The caveat with respect to chemical analysis of food is real and important. And with respect to health claims, doing an actual clinical study comparing the difference between some individual "conventional food" (say spinach) to "organic food" is also very complex and expensive (not to mention that we can hardly tell the two apart, on a chemical basis) -- and again it is infinitely harder if you want to broaden that to simply any food. Again this is very different from comparing, say, two different cancer drugs on patients with breast cancer - or even trying to figure out if one drug is safe and effective or not. Even after a huge phase III trial of a drug (which is one of the most intensely thought about and controlled and expensive kind of experiment that is ever done), we sometimes don't fully understand what the drug does - unexpected harms sometimes emerge only after the drug has been marketed and administered to millions of people, as opposed to the mere thousands in a clinical trial. So the level of uncertainty is even higher with respect to trying to make a health claim for organic food, which is why you find, over and over, MEDRS sources saying that they cannot - cannot - say that organic food is better for you than conventional food. I very much doubt that there will ever be evidence on which to make such a claim, because the studies are so difficult to plan and execute and would be so, so expensive. The caveats with respect to chemical differences and health differences are not trivial. If you look at the chemical difference and health difference sections of the organic food article you will see that the current text (which I edited) emphasizes these caveats very strongly. Jytdog (talk) 02:13, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Note that perWP:RELTIME such relative time qualifiers can't be used, although a particular date can be stated. Zad68 22:29, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Understood. Maybe some other standard scientific qualifier like 'subject to experimental uncertainties' might be used. Martin Hogbin (talk) 00:11, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Thankyou for the helpful suggestions. Its balanced but very sparse, less informative than possible. I would like to suggest something like:
"%Description-of-review% ...found available evidence to be limited and found no significant nutritional or clinical differences to recommend organic milk."
-I changed a 'but' with 'and' there, to not push any particular interpretation of what evidence limitation could confer, but i am convinced that it should be accepted as a relevant piece of information. Lisnabreeny (talk) 01:21, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Off topic – the abstract clearly discusses produce and milk separately in numerous places, indicating they are not the same thing. —Torchiest talkedits 15:46, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Alternate source[edit]

I strongly suggest you use an alternate and less ambiguous source, such as Faidon Magkos, Fotini Arvaniti and Antonis Zampelas (2003) "Organic food: nutritious food or food for thought? A review of the evidence" International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition Vol. 54, No. 5 , Pages 357-371, doi:10.1080/09637480120092071 hgilbert (talk) 22:58, 27 January 2013 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

New organic milk study[edit]

The new organic milk study (found here) violated WP:MEDRS, WP:WEIGHT and WP:PSTS as a primary study. We already have secondary reviews discussing the fatty acid content of organic and conventional milk, we do not need to give undue weight to one random study just because it is in the news or the most recent study. Yobol (talk) 21:22, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

agreed. Jytdog (talk) 04:36, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
The application of MEDRS sources for organic milk is absolute nonsense. In this case, it is not a health claim (but chemical analyses) so the application of MEDRS is giving undue weight and a stranglehold on this subject. The Banner talk 02:44, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
banner, would you please say why you care about the chemical content of organic milk? thanks. Jytdog (talk) 02:47, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Instead, could you make clear why this falls under MEDRS? Organic milk has something to do with agriculture, not with the medical world. The Banner talk 04:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC) And, no. I have no organic milking cows or any other farm animal.
sure i will! The only reason why anybody gives a hoot about what is in organic milk compared to conventional milk, is because they think organic milk is "better for you" - that the difference matters. Jytdog (talk) 11:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
So, the popular believe is already seen as a health claim. And with MEDRS the only outcome possible is the fact that there is not enough evidence, because MEDRS-source hardly are into organics. And relevant reliable agricultural research is almost automatically rejected by the MEDRS-guys because it is not a medical source. Wake up, please. The Banner talk 11:44, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Banner, you didn't respond to the point. you want this scientific source and content based on it in the article, because it supports the belief that organic milk is better for you. you are trying to use preliminary science to support a belief. I wrote the following on MEDRS the other day, and I'll repeat it here. Basic research in biology is published by scientists for scientists, as they push the boundaries of their field and talk to one another. We live in a day when we can watch that conversation unfolding. But we have to respect it for what it is -- exploration. Many published studies end up being unreplicable or draw conclusions that turn out to be dead ends. Those publications are rarely withdrawn; they are just ignored by the field as it moves ever onward. Review articles tell us where the field stands - what ideas or approaches have turned out to be productive, and which were barking up the wrong tree. It is really an abuse of WP and of the scientific process to grab this or that primary source and decide - on your own authority - that this one is durable or right or important. Rely instead on reviews in which experts in the field judge where the field stands. That is what MEDRS is all about. Please reach for WP's highest standards, not its lowest ones, to help achieve our mission of providing reliable, NPOV information to the public. Jytdog (talk) 12:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but this is nonsense and just an attempt to keep the MEDRS-stranglehold in place. Not an attempt to reach the highest standards, not an attempt to give NPOV information to the public. The Banner talk 12:21, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
would you please explain how it's nonsense? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 12:26, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Before including you need to establish weight by providing secondary sources that explain the degree of acceptance of its findings. Since in science there are numerous studies which can arrive at conflicting results, choosing to report one may be misleading. It seems reasonable though that grass-fed dairy cattle would produce milk with higher levels of omega-3 than those that were fed corn. TFD (talk) 03:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

The title of the journal article is Organic Production Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality by Shifting Fatty Acid Composition: A United States–Wide, 18-Month Study. Note Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality, so clearly the point of article is to discuss health effects, and the abstract of the article intertwines discussion of ω-6/ω-3 ratios with discussion of health effects. It was published in PLOS ONE which is primarily a medical journal: it is indexed by medical databases such as MEDLINE and Index medicus. So this is a primary study investigating health effects and published in a medical journal, and what the edit was attempting to cite was exactly the findings of the study that related to the health effects. It's impossible to see how WP:MEDRS would not apply. If it's a good primary source in due time it will get picked up by a good-quality secondary source and then can be cited here, but until the per WP:MEDRS we should avoid using it. Zad68 13:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

The article appears to compare pasture and legume fed cattle with grain fed cattle. From the definition given in this article, this would seem to have little to do with organic milk. Martin Hogbin (talk) 16:21, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Martin please read the methods section of the PLoS article. Jytdog (talk) 17:16, 24 July 2014 (UTC)