The Clear Choice to Protect Children’s Health: Organic Food

October 6th, 2015

Report Cites Scientific Evidence
Making a Compelling Case for Organic Diet

Click here to read the report

The Cornucopia Institute released a report today making the compelling case for protecting children’s health and development by choosing organic foods over their conventional, chemically grown and produced counterparts.

The report, Protecting Children’s Health: Choosing Organic Food to Avoid GMOs and Agricultural Chemicals, cites scientific data from numerous peer-reviewed, published studies that all point to the importance of protecting children from pesticide exposure.

“We wanted to compile the scientific data on organic vs. conventional foods and make it accessible to parents and other caregivers,” says Mark A. Kastel, Cornucopia’s codirector. “Parents are fortunate that an alternative to pesticide- and drug-intensive agriculture exists. We can opt out of Big Ag’s uncontrolled experiment on our children by choosing organic foods.”

The “organic” label on foods is federally regulated and third-party certified. Organic farmers are strictly prohibited from using most synthetic inputs, including neurologically toxic pesticides and a host of synthetic drugs, including antibiotics, hormones, and other growth promoters administered to livestock.

“I recommend that pregnant women and parents of young children feed them organic whenever possible,” says Victoria Maizes, MD, executive director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and professor of Clinical Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, and Public Health at the University of Arizona.

Image source: ThinkStock Photos

“Children are uniquely sensitive to environmental chemicals, including pesticides, for several reasons,” adds Dr. Maizes. “Their neurological system is still developing. Their immune system is not fully developed, limiting its ability to protect itself. Their detoxification systems have not fully matured, so they are less able to metabolize and excrete chemicals.”

Dr. Maizes concludes, “Organic foods are the best way to protect children from these chemicals.”

Cornucopia’s new report draws on published research and studies conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the President’s Cancer Panel, as well as dozens of published reports in peer-reviewed journals.

“Although some agribusiness-backed think tanks have contended otherwise, scientific publications and expert opinions supporting the decision to buy organic are hiding in plain sight,” adds Kastel.

The California Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a notice of intent to add glyphosate to a list of carcinogens under the state’s Proposition 65 law. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world.

Children today are repeatedly exposed to genetically engineered (GE) foods, designed to tolerate repeated applications of glyphosate. Reports indicate glyphosate effects are long-term, interfering with fundamental biochemical reactions in our GI tracts, depleting essential amino acids, and predisposing humans to a host of chronic health problems,  including obesity, depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

“The landscape of children’s health has changed,” explains Robyn O’Brien, founder of the AllergyKids Foundation and the author of The Unhealthy Truth: One Mother’s Shocking Investigation into the Dangers of America’s Food Supply. “With the escalating rates of diabetes, allergies, autism, obesity, and cancers, our children have earned the title ‘Generation Rx’ and are the first generation expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. This has to change.”

Adds O’Brien: “Thankfully, reports from the President’s Cancer Panel, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and now The Cornucopia Institute highlight steps that parents can take to protect the health of our children. Because while our children are only 30% of today’s population, they are 100% of our future.”

Protecting Children’s Health is a comprehensive resource for parents and caregivers that lists the many benefits of an organic diet as well as the risks of conventionally grown foods. The report outlines food policy failures and the harmful impacts of GE foods and pesticides, including neurotoxicity, cancer, endocrine disruption, and food allergies.

“This information should be in every household across the U.S., guiding our decisions and, in turn, the demand for and production of organic foods,” Kastel added.

MORE:

The full report is available at https://www.cornucopia.org/protecting-childrens-health-choosing-organic-food-to-avoid-gmos-and-agricultural-chemicals/

From the Cornucopia report:

  • “There is a growing body of literature that suggests that pesticides may induce chronic health complications in children, including neurodevelopmental or behavioral problems, birth defects, asthma, and cancer.”
    —American Academy of Pediatrics
  • “Children are at higher risk for cancer and other adverse health effects from pesticide exposures.”
    —President’s Cancer Panel, National Institutes of Health
  • “New science is showing that the effects of exposure to chemicals at low doses, and in combination, can have an impact on human growth and development.”
    —National Institute of Environmental Health Science, National Institutes of Health
  • Foods containing genetically engineered ingredients do not have to be labeled in the U.S. Federal law prohibits genetically engineered (GE) ingredients in organic foods.  A 2011 review of the scientific literature on the safety of GE foods, by researchers at the University of Caen in France, concluded:

A review of 19 studies (including industry’s own studies submitted to regulators in support of applications to commercialize GE crops) on mammals fed with commercialized GE soy and maize that are already in our food and feed chain found consistent toxic effects on the liver and kidneys.

  • In 2010, researchers found a correlation between higher levels of specific organophosphate pesticide residues in children’s bodies and higher levels of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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