Pesticides Residues in Food and Activity Levels
Organic consumers in Canada, and elsewhere, expect certified organic vegetables and fruits to be pesticide free. Recent media reports seem to cast doubt on organic certification as a risk management system.
Can organic certification really protect organic integrity? Does certified organic food meet consumers expectations? Here are the facts:
Each year in Canada and the USA tens of millions and billions of pounds of pesticides are used to produce food, and some of these
pesticides are used near certified organic farms
It is not surprising that some detectable pesticide residues
show up in certified organic (organic) food.
PLEASE DO NOT BLAME ORGANIC FARMERS OR THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS. The evidence will show organic certification does safeguard organic integrity, even as the risks of contamination increase.
— Health Canada does not have a problem with small amounts
of pesticide residue in our food and does not believe organic
food is any safer 1.
— Governments use unverified pesticide company data to set “safe”
pesticide levels for food 2.
— Canadian physicians say avoid all pesticde exposure when possible 3.
— Job health research in Canada shows men exposed to multiple
pesticides have increased Hodgkins lymphoma cancer 4.
— Bees lose their memory and cannot communicate well when
exposed to multiple pesticides, such as occurs in food 5.
— Pesticide residues show up in children eating conventional
produce but these residues disappear when organic vegetables
and fruit are eaten 6.
LAB MEASURED RESIDUES
In Canada, pesticide residues in food are measured in the lab by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Results show less frequency of residues in organic (45.3%) compared to conventional (78.4%). In apple samples, the amounts in organic were an order of magnitude smaller than in conventional ( 0.02 ppm organic v.s. 0.3 ppm conventional ), i.e. like going from 10 to 100 not 10 to 35.
CBC article posted online January 8, 2014
Pesticide residues found on nearly half of organic produce
by JoAnne Levasseur and Vera-Lyn Kubinec
This article implies organic certification does not work. Health Canada says the same thing, pesticide levels in food are safe and organic food provides no protection from pesticides.
Clearly this is not the case. In the organic food sold in the supermarkets, (which is 80% imported), organic certification reduces the risks to consumers from pesticide residues in their food. The chemical that caused cancer in men exposed to pesticides through work (farmers), showed up in children.
The kids ate conventional vegetables and fruits and then had their blood (and urine in another study) analysed for pesticide residues. The organo-phosphate malathion showed up!
These residues disappeared to the non detectable level when organic food was eaten! Then returned as soon as store bought produce was eaten again.
Why does this not get more press? Why are these facts not known by Health Canada? Governments may be in denial about the real benefits of certified organic vegetables and fruits, but consumers are convinced. They are voting with their dollars, each week. Sales of organic food continue to grow much faster than conventional food sales.
Pesticide residues in organic food DO NOT leave residues in children. Detectable pesticide residues in conventional foods DO leave pesticide residues in the children. These residues disappear once organic vegetables and fruits are eaten.
Since detectable residue levels in organic food do not leave residues in children, they are not active and so meet the standards. This also meets consumers expectations about the quality of certified organic food.
Eat organic local food for the health of your family and the local environment and your regional economy.
1. http://canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumers-product-safety/reports-publications/pesticides-pest-management/fact-sheets-other-resources/pesticides-fo od.html
3.Exposure to multiple pesticides and the risk of Hodgkins lymphoma in Canadian men Shelley E Harris et. Al Cancer Causes Control 24: 1661 – 1673 , June 2013
4. Agricluture Production and Nutrition 1997 Tufts University,
ed. William Lockertz
5. Are Honeybees Losing Their Way? Christy Ulllrich
6. Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children’s Dietary
Exposure to Organophosphates, C. Lu et.al Environmental
Health Perspectives 2006 February 114(2): 260-263
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