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Posts Tagged ‘Stanford University’

Is ‘Organic’ Food a PR Scam?

First the big news: A recent study performed by the Stanford University School of Medicine found “little evidence of health benefits from organic foods.” Let that one sink in for a minute.

Are those organic apples and peppers for which you fork over twice as much of your precious salary really no better than the perfectly shiny “modified” variety? After reviewing more than 237 relevant papers, the Stanford study’s senior author concluded that “There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health.”

Wow. Color us slightly shocked. Researchers found that, while the consumption of organic produce did limit exposure to potentially toxic pesticides, organic foods were generally not more nutritious and did not “carry fewer health risks” than their non-organic brethren—and FDA-approved “organic” foods aren’t 100% pesticide-free either! Researchers were, by their own admission, “a little surprised” by these results.

This study amounts to a big PR challenge for companies that base their sell on the health benefits of all things organic, since it pretty much relegates their claims to the land of unproven marketing doublespeak.

Wait a minute, though: the Los Angeles Times takes issue with the study’s conclusions.

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Tech and Govt. Vets Form Dream Team Firm

Big names, big news: Eastwick–a tech communications agency that helped build some of Silicon Valley’s biggest brands over more than two decades in the business–has officially launched a new independent consulting firm called SocialxDesign (read “Social by Design” or “SxD” if you don’t feel like typing it out). The firm’s prime movers comprise a team of PR industry veterans whose resumes run from the offices of scruffy tech start-ups all the way to the White House and the State Department.

New firms open every day, but SocialxDesign is different: Led by Eastwick CEO Barbara Bates, White House PR man Toby Chaudhuri and Deloitte vet Giovanni Rodriguez, SxD describes itself in a press release as “a new strategy consulting firm focused on helping businesses, government agencies and NGOs remake themselves for the socially networked economy” by expanding services, reducing costs and creating real-world value within their respective markets. The group lists its three primary services as “Discovery, Design and Delivery” while throwing in a few key phrases like “quantitative audit”, “strategic positioning” and “technology implementation.”

Sounds good, but what does it mean?

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