Humanity is moving rapidly in different directions, and it would be nice to say the collective is moving forward, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in many areas. Sure, we are becoming far more technologically savvy, and no doubt more advanced in several areas, but all of our advancements seem to be driven by profit, greed, control, and lies as well as the manipulation of our consciousness in order to accept certain developments. Genetically modified foods are a great example, along with a number of pesticides that go along with them.
“As part of the process, they portrayed the various concerns as merely the ignorant opinions of misinformed individuals – and derided them as not only unscientific, but anti-science. They then set to work to convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that GMOs were safe.”
The quote above comes from Jane Goodall, who wrote the forward to a book about a lawsuit in 1998 that forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to divulge its files on genetically engineered foods, showing how the agency fast-tracked the approval of them based on flawed science. Today GMOs are banned in multiple countries as they’ve cited countless studies that clearly show great cause for concern regarding our health and environment. You can read more about that here and see a few examples.
The same thing goes for pesticides, as they represent a great example of the tight knit relationship that plagues North American as well as global health regulatory agencies. I recently published an article on Robert F. Kennedy Jr. explaining how our federal regulatory agencies, which were allegedly designed to protect us as well as our children, have been completely compromised. I provided a few more examples within the article, which you can access here.
“Imagine the power they exercise over both republicans and democrats. They’ve captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press… and they destroy the publications that publish real science.” – RFK Jr.
Not only do they destroy these publications, but they completely ignore them, and the science used to approve the pesticides sprayed in our environment as well as on our food (which also end up in our food) come from the corporations who manufacture these pesticides themselves. For example, glyphosate, an active ingredient within Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.
Organic VS. Conventional
You will hear a lot of people ask, how do we know that organic is really organic? Well, it’s quite simple, you can take a conventional piece of fruit to a lab and test it for pesticides yourself, or you can simply read the studies that have already done so. One of the latest and most recent ones was published in the journal Environmental Research, titled, “Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults.”
The study highlighted that diet is the primary source of pesticide exposure in both children and adults. It found that an organic diet significantly reduced neonicotinoid, OP pyrethroid, 2,4-D exposure, with the greatest reduction observed in malathion, clothianidin, and chlorpyrifos.
The researchers noted that all of us are exposed “to a cocktail of toxic synthetic pesticides linked to a range of health problems from our daily diets.” They explain how “certified organic food is produced without these pesticides,” and ask the question, “Can eating organic really reduce levels of pesticides in our bodies?”
They tested four American families that don’t typically eat organic food to find out.
First, we tested the levels of pesticides in their bodies on a non-organic diet for six days. We found 14 chemicals representing potential exposure to 40 different pesticides in every study participant. These included organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and the phenoxy herbicide 2,4-D. Some of the pesticides we found are linked to increased risk of cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and more. (source)
After this, they tested them on a full organic diet and found that it produced a dramatic reduction with regards to exposure to pesticides. All pesticides detected in the body dropped an average of 60.5% in just six days on an organic diet.
The most significant drops occurred in a class of nerve agent pesticides called organophosphates. This class includes chlorpyrifos, a highly toxic pesticide linked to increased rates of autism, learning disabilities and reduced IQ in children. Organophosphates are so harmful to children’s developing brains that scientists have called for a full ban. (source)
Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure also dropped significantly. These pesticides are significant contributors to massive pollinator losses and bee die-offs, and they are the most commonly reported residues in infant foods and have been linked to developmental issues within fetuses and children, possibly leading to changes in behaviour and attention including an association with autism spectrum disorder.
In addition to reducing eaters’ exposure to toxic pesticides, organic farming systems protect the health of farmworkers, farmers and rural communities, and safeguard our air, water, soil, pollinators and other critical species. We need organic for all. No one should be exposed to toxic pesticides in the food they eat. No farmer or farmworker should have to sacrifice their health or their children’s health to grow the food we all eat. And the way we grow food should protect rather than harm the ecosystems that sustain all life. (source)
The researchers make it clear that pesticides are poisonous not only to humans, but to other lifeforms as well. They point out that more than 90 percent of Americans have detectable pesticides in their bodies, and that government testing has found at least 29 different pesticides in the average American.
They state and provide sources for their claim:
Decades of data clearly shows that pesticides can disrupt and derail the healthy functioning of our bodies. Pesticide exposure is linked to cancers, asthma, neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and ADHD and to adult neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Pesticide exposure is also associated with reproductive disorders like infertility and other disorders related to the endocrine system. Over 50 pesticides are associated with endocrine disruption. Endocrine disrupting chemicals, even at extremely small doses, can scramble, block or mimic the cellular mechanisms responsible for developing and managing the body’s reproductive, neurological, metabolic or immunological systems. Endocrine disruptors are associated with hormone-influenced cancers such as thyroid, breast and prostate, as well as learning disabilities, brain development problems, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders.
This study and others that I mention below prove that an organic diet is a great way to reduce exposure to pesticides and to protect our health.
Organic farmers produce abundant food without the use of an estimated 17,000 pesticide products approved for use in conventional farming in the US. An organic diet has been shown to reduce overall risk of developing cancer by 25 percent.
The information above further proves what scientists have known for a long time. For example, a study conducted by researchers from RMIT university nearly 5 years ago published in the journal Environmental Research found that eating an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide exposure in adults. Thirteen participants were randomly selected to consume a diet consisting of at least 80% organic or conventional food for precisely 7 days, afterwards crossing over to the alternative diet from which they started. Urinary levels were used for analysis. The study found that urinary dialkylphosphates (DAPs) measurements were 89% lower when they ate an organic diet for seven days compared to a conventional diet for the same amount of time.
A lot of these agents were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare, so we know they have toxic effects on the nervous system at high doses. Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, which are neurotoxins that hinder the nervous systems of humans by blocking an important enzyme. Recent studies have raised concerns for health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels. This study is an important first step in expanding our understanding about the impact of an organic diet.
To understand this controversial issue it is helpful to look at the history of pesticide use. Prior to World War II, the pesticides that we use now did not yet exist. Some pesticides currently in use were in fact developed during the World War II for use in warfare. The organophosphate insecticides were developed as nerve gases, and the phenoxy herbicides, including 2,4-D (the most commonly used herbicide in Canada), were created to eradicate the Japanese rice crop, and later used as a component of Agent Orange to defoliate large areas in jungle warfare. After World War II, these chemicals began to be used as pesticides in agricultural production, for environmental spraying of neighbourhoods for mosquito eradication, and for individual home and garden use. (source)
Below is a very interesting clip titled “The Organic Effect” from the Swedish Environmental Research Institute. Watch what happened when this family decided to switch to organic food. Here is the full report.
It’s odd how cancer awareness as well as awareness of other diseases like the ones mentioned in this article receive practically no attention when it comes to their association with pesticides. Instead, all we ever hear about is donating money, and the many causes of these diseases sadly go unaddressed.
That’s why it’s up to people like us, you and me. Nobody these days knows anybody who has not been affected by cancer. Rates continue to increase and at this point they are very concerning. The best ways to fight these diseases are to increase awareness, speak up about the topics mentioned in this article, and most importantly, commit to lifestyle changes. We can vote with our dollar, and we can choose to greatly minimize how much we surround ourselves with harmful products and disease-causing foods.
The solution is quite simple.