Organic for All: New study shows eating organic reduces levels of pesticides in human body

"Everyone has the right to clean organic food. That is a human right."

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Can eating organic really reduce the level of pesticides in the human body? A new study conducted by Kendra Klein, Ph.D., senior staff scientist, at Friends of the Earth U.S., the world’s largest federation of grassroots environmental groups, and in collaboration with many resources, concluded that an all organic diet drastically reduces the presence of pesticides in people.

Not only did the peer-reviewed study prove that eating organic lowers pesticide levels in the human body, but it also protects the health of farmworkers, farmers and rural communities all while protecting the air, water, soil and species from exposure to toxic pesticides.

“This important study shows how quickly we can rid our bodies of toxic pesticides by choosing organic,” Sharyle Patton, director of the Commonweal Biomonitoring Resources Center and collaborator of the study, said.

The objective of the study, which was Published in the Environmental Research titled Organic Diet Intervention Significantly Reduces Urinary Pesticide Levels in U.S. Children and Adults (pdf) was to “investigate the impact of an organic diet intervention on levels of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides or their metabolites in urine collected from adults and children,” the study stated. The method used was a collection of “urine samples from four racially and geographically diverse families in the United States before and after an organic diet intervention.” The study tested the urine of four families in Oakland, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Baltimore for six days on a conventional diet and then for six days on a controlled, all organic diet.

On average, participants’ pesticide and pesticide metabolite levels dropped 60.5 percent eating an organic diet for six straight days. The testing showed “significant reductions in pesticides associated in the past with increased risk of autism, cancers, autoimmune disorders, infertility, hormone disruption, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease,” Common Dreams reported.

Health impacts of pesticides detected in the Organic for All study

Image Credit: Friends of the Earth

According to the study, “the European Union has banned or restricted 246 pesticides, many of which are widely used in the United States,” including the hormone-disrupting weed-killer atrazine and the class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids, which have been connected to massive pollinator losses and bee die-offs.

The pesticide industry now consists of four companies – Bayer-Monsanto, DowDuPont, Syngenta-ChemChina and BASF – which control 84 percent of the market.

Not only do they spend millions on lobbying legislators, a United Nations report accuses pesticide corporations of the “systematic denial of harms,” “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralyzed global pesticide restrictions,” according to the study.

“If we want to create a healthy food system that provides for everyone and protects the health of people and the planet, we must put an end to the pesticide industry’s outsized influence. The more we expand organic farming, the more we take back our food system from pesticide companies.”

Read the complete study here.

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