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Applied sciences and engineering/Food science/Foods/Organic foods

Organically grown vegetable sprouts caused the E. coli outbreak that has killed 31 people and sickened nearly 3,100 in Europe, investigators at Germany's national disease control center announced last week.

E. coli is a virulent bacteria found in cattle manure, which organic farms use instead of chemical pesticides, to fertilize their crops.

E. coli is not the only toxin that can enter our food supply. Potato peels, tea leaves, peaches and apricots all have naturally occurring toxins in them that can have deadly consequences on people who consume them.

In a reading from his book "NATURALLY DANGEROUS: Surprising Facts About Food, Health, and the Environment," author James P. Collman, a professor emeritus at Stanford University and a member of AAAS, offers some sobering facts about the food we eat.

    Only basic research can help food producers find solutions to challenges posed by population growth and climate change, but increased funding doesn’t yet have public support, an expert panel told a AAAS audience.

    Foods containing ingredients from genetically modified (GM) crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding techniques, the AAAS Board of Directors has concluded. Legally mandating labels on GM foods could therefore “mislead and falsely alarm consumers,” the Board said in a statement approved 20 October.