No doubt the furor over a recent Stanford study — that undercuts health claims for organic food and finds no nutritional advantage in choosing it over its conventional counterparts — is torrential in degree and has alarmingly sparked a movement to have its findings rescinded.

Yes, you heard me right. Seems in today’s world when a group of people disagree with the outcome of an academic study that doesn’t suit them, then the perfectly logical thing to do is to start a petition calling for the paper to be withdrawn; never mind the strength of the researched results.

And this is exactly what is occurring following weeks of heated reaction to Stanford University’s report that appeared in a recent issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. Indeed, the petitioners, numbering more than 3,000 and growing, have signed the petition at making their grievances known.

Some of the petitioners have gone so far as accusing the university researchers of being biased liars and taking payoffs from nefarious Big Ag. “It is essential that we make enough waves within the media to force Stanford and the mainstream media to issue a retraction,” was one comment found on the petition.

Other statements on the website include: “The fatally flawed Stanford study claiming that organic food is the same as conventional … failed to examine food issues such as the use of GMOs, high-fructose corn syrup, mercury in the food supply, and countless other factors.  Stanford University has also been found to have deep financial ties to Cargill, a powerful proponent of genetically engineered foods and an enemy of GMO labeling Proposition 37.”

Before I get into the specifics of the complaints, you have to ask yourself if this isn’t political correctness run amok. Silly me; I thought we were living in America — where academic independence and freedom reigns supreme, even when it doesn't agree with popular culture or conventional thought?  The notion that a loud and disgruntled segment of society should attempt to suppress the scientific findings of academia should send chills down our spines. We are no longer living in the Dark Ages and our Earth indeed orbits around the sun!

It is in this spirit that a response to the petitioners goes something like this: the Stanford scientists weren’t studying genetically modified foods (though if GMO foods were in the conventional data, one might think that GMO-caused health factors would have revealed themselves in the results). And they weren’t studying high-fructose corn syrup — they were only reviewing fruits, vegetables, eggs, grains, dairy, poultry and meat. Not processed foods.