Many parents buy into ‘faulty premise’ that organic safer for kids

Gerber Organic Baby Food
Wikimedia Commons

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

It is almost a given for many parents that “Certified Organic (CO)” means healthier food. Ask the average American consumer what makes CO foods healthier and the answer is often that they are pesticide-free.

In reality however, the current body of research has not convincingly demonstrated that pediatric consumption of CO foods contributes to better long-term health outcomes. The American Academy of pediatrics (AAP) published a statement in 2012 acknowledging this.

The statement discusses the lack of evidence for CO health benefits, but, frustratingly, makes several ambiguous statements: “While organic foods have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, lipids and other nutrients as conventional foods, they also have lower pesticide levels, which may be significant for children.”

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By law, pesticides and herbicides approved for CO farming must be “non-synthetic”. Importantly, the fact that a pesticide is derived from natural sources, doesn’t say anything about its toxicity profile. Journalist and author Jon Entine, a senior fellow at the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy and founder of the Genetic Literacy Project said, “The statement that organic foods “have lower pesticide levels” … is both misleading and wrong. It’s based in part on the faulty premise that organic foods do not use pesticides, when in fact they extensively use them.”

Indeed some CO approved pesticides are considered highly toxic. Rotenone is commonly used in CO crops. As Scientific American reported, “Research found that exposure to rotenone caused Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms in rats.”

While that may sound discouraging to some who look to organic for an escape from pesticides, understanding that we have found no concrete reasons to believe that our produce is harming our children should be reassuring.

Read full, original post: Organic foods: Are they actually pesticide-free?

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