Monday, March 5, 2007

Study Finds Organic Food Is Safer for Children

Children who eat a diet of organic food show a level of pesticides in their body that is six times lower than children who eat a diet of conventionally produced food, according to a study published in the March 2003 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study, Organopho sphorus Pesticide Exposure of Urban and Suburban Preschool Children with Organic and Conventional Diets, used biological monitoring to examine the effects of food eaten by preschool children. Eighteen of the children examined were fed organic diets, and 21 were fed conventional diets. Parents kept a diary of their child's diet for three days, after which 24-hour urine samples were taken to look for metabolites of organophosphate (OP) pesticides. Significantly higher concentrations of OP metabolites were found in the children with conventional diets. According to the authors, "The dose estimates suggest that consumption of organic fruits, vegetables, and juice can reduce children's exposure levels from above to below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's current guidelines, thereby shifting exposures from a range of uncertain risk to a range of negligible risk."