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Coalition of Researchers Take the Wind out of Tilapia Study’s Sails

And then the other shoe drops-for days now we've been battered with misguided, poorly researched news reports that repeat from the rafters a sensational claim that bacon and doughnuts might have more healthful properties than tilapia.

Sure, there were voices of opposition. There we calls for a measured understanding of what the report was claiming but did the media listen? Not so much. And now comes this-an international coalition of researchers lead by the very Doctor who penned the editorial that originally ripped the study has come out with an open letter that says what so many already suspected, the way the conclusions of this study are presented is way off base.

Don't take my word for it ask researchers at Sanford Medical School, Harvard, Penn State and wouldn't you know it even Wake Forest-- where the original study came from.

I hate to say I told you so... so I won't, instead I will say Winston Salem Journal it's time to make good on your word. Allow me to quote from a letter to NFI from the Executive Editor of the aforementioned newspaper:

"I don't want to dismiss the concerns of your organization. If we should find an opportunity to report on this study again, we will strive to detail the debate about the health effects of Omega-6 fatty acids more exhaustively."

Perhaps an open letter from 16 renowned researchers and cardiologists calling the report your paper wrote on essentially bunk is just the "opportunity" you've been looking for.

Ball's in your court Winston Salem Journal:

NFI's Letter to Winston Salem Journal

July 17, 2008

Carl Crothers

Executive Editor

Winston Salem Journal

VIA Email

Dear Mr. Crothers,

In your July 11 email to me you were kind enough to write, "I don't want to dismiss the concerns of your organization. If we should find an opportunity to report on this study again, we will strive to detail the debate about the health effects of Omega-6 fatty acids more exhaustively."

I believe I have found just such an opportunity. An independent, international coalition of 16 researchers and cardiologists lead by Dr. William Harris, the doctor who authored the editorial in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association that disagreed with the Wake Forest study, has released an open letter publically disagreeing with the report's conclusions.

The letter takes particular issue with the most sensational claim that bacon, hamburgers or doughnuts might be healthier than tilapia. The letter also notes the agreement of the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association, "that omgea-6 fatty acids are, like omgea-3s, heart-healthy nutrients which should be a part of everyone's diet." The letter goes on to highlight the fact that the nutrient the Wake Forest study suggest we avoid in tilapia is also found in abundance in chicken, vegetable oil, whole-wheat bread, and nuts.

Aside from the international researchers, doctors from Penn State, Harvard and even Wake Forest have signed the letter. This coalition has publically banded together to put the claims of this research in perspective as they should have been from the start.

With this in mind and your pledge of more exhaustive coverage when warranted, I ask that you consider this story.

Thank you.

Gavin Gibbons

cc: Charlie Elkins, Assistant managing Editor

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