Environment, Organic Policy and Regulations, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Six Days and Seven Nights – Eating Organic Makes a Big Difference

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Photo by Boston Public Library on Unsplash

I began eating organic food back in the 1980s before Federal Regulations defined the category. Pesticides originated as chemicals used in warfare, and I intuitively felt that ingesting food grown with them just couldn’t be right.

It’s true that sometimes I fudge a bit. If my local store doesn’t have organic onions (which is rare these days), and I need one for a recipe, I’ll buy a conventional one rather than go to another store.

After hearing about a new study, I will rethink my recipe. This research shows that when people eat organic food for one week, their levels of glyphosate drop dramatically!

 Researchers tested four families in Baltimore, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Oakland who were eating a regular diet. They found glyphosate in everyone’s bodies, including children as young as four.

They then required that the family eat only organic food for six days—and the results were miraculous!

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The study found that levels of the pesticide glyphosate in participants’ bodies dropped an average of 70% after six days on an organic diet.

Along with a companion study published last year, the pesticides that dropped include not only glyphosate but organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and 2,4-D. The researchers concluded that we could expect to see similar reductions in pesticides in most Americans if they only ate organic.

Glyphosate is the main chemical ingredient in Bayer’s (BAYRY) Roundup®, and it’s the world’s most widely used weedkiller. For years, pesticide companies have been genetically engineering crops, like corn and soy, to be “Roundup Ready,” so they don’t die when you douse them with the stuff.

Conventional oat farmers use the weedkiller to desiccate their plants for a quick and easy harvest—leaving residues on our oat cereals.

Check it out. This peer-reviewed study was published in Environmental Research as part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to toxic pesticides.

Why is Glyphosate in the body such a big deal?

Glyphosate exposure is linked to a range of health problems. Decades of data show that pesticides can disrupt and derail the healthy functioning of our bodies.

In 2015, the World Health Organization determined that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Research has also linked glyphosate and the formulations it’s used in to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the Midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link glyphosate and its formulations to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome, and fatty liver disease.

Just this summer, Bayer agreed to pay $10 billion to resolve cancer lawsuits!

This $10 billion settlement is intended to end tens of thousands of lawsuits filed over its Roundup weedkiller that contains glyphosate.

The settlement follows three cases that have already gone to trial. In one of those cases, a California jury awarded a couple who used Roundup regularly on their lawn and garden more than $2 billion in damages!

Our government’s failure to regulate glyphosate has led to increased exposure.

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U.S. regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. They ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to toxic pesticides and other industrial chemicals.

Glyphosate was flagged as a  potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially with the market dominated by Monsanto, which Bayer purchased  in 2018.

An extensive set of internal company documents uncovered by a spate of high profile lawsuits reveal how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

Since the 1990s, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold. And unlike other commonly used pesticides, the government has failed to test for glyphosate on food and in our bodies.

This inadequate regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percent of the U.S. population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12 percent in the mid-1970s to 70 percent by 2014.

The new study suggests even more widespread exposure, finding glyphosate in all participants.

Why is our food industry allowed to make us sick?

 The fact is, the pesticide industry has lots of money to lobby elected officials. Our government favors the profits of the pesticide industry over our health, spending billions of our taxpayer dollars to prop up pesticide-intensive farming. At the same time, organic programs and research are woefully underfunded.

This misdirection of public dollars makes pesticide-laden food the norm. It is a significant reason why many people across the country still don’t have access to, or can’t afford, organic food.

Why isn’t organic food more available for everyone?

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Eating organic food should be something everyone can afford. It should be a right—available to everyone, everywhere. Don’t we all have the right to eat food that is free of toxic pesticides?

Many of my family still live in rural communities in Iowa. These farming communities deserve the right to live free of exposure to toxic pesticides. Their children play and go to school near farm fields where pesticides are sprayed. The farmers and farmworkers are exposed daily.

From farm to plate, we should protect human life and the biodiversity of our planet, the soil and water that sustains us.

Friends of the Earth has a campaign where you can take action. Demand that the largest U.S. grocery stores step up and get toxic pesticides like glyphosate out of their supply chains. And demand that your elected representatives protect the health of people and the planet by standing up to corporate influence.

Isn’t it time we created a healthy organic world for all?

 

© 2020, Melody Meyer. All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “Six Days and Seven Nights – Eating Organic Makes a Big Difference”

  1. Had no idea the percentage of poison was so high. . . always enjoy and learn something from your articles Melody: thank you. Have you managed to cultivate a calcium plant yet? I’m sure you will in time!

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