If you consume dairy, a new study from Emory University suggests you are safest drinking organic milk. In their study of 35 conventional and 34 organic milk samples, 59% of the conventional products contained chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos is a ubiquitous insecticide linked to lower levels of gray matter and IQ in children exposed prenatally. This toxin was nearly banned by an Obama-era decision with the backing of EPA scientists, but the current administration has called for more study. Other pesticides, including diazinon, atrazine, and permethrin, were also found in the conventional milk samples.
Additionally, 60% of the conventional milk samples contained antibiotics. One sample contained amoxicillin residues exceeding the FDA limit, and more than one-third of the conventional milk samples contained sulfonamides, which are prohibited by law from use in cattle. The World Health Organization has declared that “antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today,” partly due to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in livestock.
Organic milk in the study contained no antibiotics, no pesticide residue, and no sign of synthetic growth hormone. Although it is important to know what organic dairy does not contain, the best organic producers go above and beyond organic regulations.
Cornucopia’s Organic Dairy Scorecard identifies the brands that employ superb grazing and animal welfare management and are transparent in their practices. The top-rated brands show outstanding dedication to organic integrity, helping eaters feel confident about what they are putting in their bodies.
What’s in your milk? Choose organic for the cleanest milk, says new study
The Organic Center
Non-organic milk tests positive for illegal antibiotics, high levels of growth hormones and controversial pesticide contaminants
Milk is an important part of the human diet. It provides protein, fat, calcium and vitamin D, and for the youngest members of our population, it is especially critical as a main source of many nutrients. But not all milk is created equal.
For nearly 15 years, studies have repeatedly shown that organic milk has a healthier nutritional profile. Organic milk contains more of the good omega 3 fatty acids, more antioxidants and a higher nutrient mineral content than conventional milk. Dairy cows under organic management eat more grass than those under conventional management and that difference in their diet results in more nutrient-rich milk.
Now a study conducted by researchers at Emory University, in collaboration with The Organic Center, found that a majority of samples of conventional retail milk tested positive for residues of antibiotics – two of which are banned from dairy production — and currently used controversial pesticides. Organic milk showed no such contaminants. Residues of growth hormones in conventional milk were 20 times higher than in organic. The results of this important study were published online on June 24 by the peer-reviewed public health journal Public Health Nutrition.