Fact-checking against Organic Food
Last week an article came out with the title, “organic foods offer fewer health advantages comparing to conventional”. It is quite strange how the content of the article contradicts and disproves its title. Let me explain.
The title and heading of the article, “Organic foods offer few health advantages, study suggests. While exposure to pesticides and antibiotics is lowered, the amount from conventionally grown products is considered safe” - actually prove that, to a certain degree at the least, organic food is good for your health since it contains no chemicals and pesticides, as it SHOULDN’T. So the article heading is agreeing that organic foods have ADVANTAGES compared to “conventional” foods – which really isn’t actually conventional since it has additives such as pesticides and chemicals. REAL conventional foods don’t have such contaminants to harm people.
So these supposedly conventional foods are exposed to pesticides and antibiotics--- that much we are in agreement. But the debate is about the amount of pesticide and antibiotics in conventional foods which may or may not be considered safe. I personally rather stay on the safe side and have foods with no pesticides, chemicals and contaminants – if I can help it.
We have been told before that certain things (like prescription drugs by FDA) is considered safe while 10 or 15 years later, it was found to be a serious health hazard to adults and lethal for children. FDA itself has admitted on many occasions that while they had suggested a food product, additive or drugs safe at one point, they later discovered that its level was not adequately tested under proper conditions and hence were deemed hazardous to the public health. Additionally, on many occasions, certain studies related to side effect of conventional and GMO foods and their side effects on people were interrupted or postponed and in some cases the study was completely stopped before the results were published.
For instance, many scientists and activists are concerned and deeply troubled by the use of GMO that can cause irreparable damage to human DNA and yet, these scientists are not allowed to conduct intensive studies before the release of GMO products and have even been threatened and warned away from speaking publically regarding the damage to human health. But the question is how could anyone know the long term harmful effects of GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, MSGs, HFCS and other toxic foods and additives added in our food supply by food industry? The smart and prudent thing to do, is to wait and test these contaminants and chemicals until we know 100% that these are safe for consumption by people. Let’s not risk people’s lives and the lives of their family and loved ones.
The article also states, “Eating organic fruits and vegetables can lower exposure to pesticides - often a concern when feeding children - but the amount measured from conventionally grown produce was within safety limits, the researchers reported Monday” This is again an admission that organic foods and vegetables offer lower or no exposure to pesticides, which addresses the concern when feeding children that have lower immune system. Measurement of safety limits has been proven to be dubious at the very least, and sometimes even outright dangerous with high risk potential to children, pregnant women, elderly or those with weak immune system.
For instance, Monsanto’s toxic PBC plant was within range of safety limits before it got banned. The main Monsanto’s PBC plant was in the state of Illinois and up to today the Illinois residents suffer from the highest rate of premature birth, birth defects, cancer, lower immune system and fatal death. Shouldn’t we be on the side of safe than sorry when it comes to people’s health and the health of their children and new born?
Another statement made in the article addressed contamination, “Specialists long have said that organic or not, the chances of bacterial contamination of food are the same, and Mon-day's analysis agreed” Well, if bacterial contamination of food is really a concern here, then this statement is an oxymoron since it supports some contamination rather than no contamination.
The statement is quite misleading since any food can be contaminated with environmental pollution and other means but that does not mean that we should go out looking to have foods that are contaminated by pesticides or chemicals. Also, organic food like any other foods can be contaminated at the grocery store when it comes in contact or close proximity of other non-organic or GMO foods.
In all potential risk scenarios, it is much healthier and smarter to consume foods that have the absolute lowest possible risk to human life rather than have some danger limits that are controlled and often suggested by large corporations that wish to sell their products to consumers. To evaluate the potential of lower risk factor, I would point to another statement made in the article, … “But when bacteria DID LURK in chicken or pork, germs in the non-organic meats had a 33% HIGHER risk of being RESISTANT to multiple antibiotics”.
Here it becomes quite evident, again, that the content of the article is severely contradicting its heading and title, as mentioned earlier. The above paragraph actually suggests that people who consume conventional food have a 33% higher risk to their health as a result of higher resistance to antibiotics and this is a serious health potential for pregnant women, children, elderly and those with weak immune system. The article is filled with contradictions and it seems as if the heading was done by a Monsanto PR department and the content of the article was done by concerned scientists and researchers that are committed to public health before corporate profits.
The obvious contradiction is yet again evident from another paragraph in the article, … “Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, counted 24 outbreaks linked to multi-drug-resistant germs in food between 2000 and 2010. The U.S. government has begun steps to curb the non-medical use of antibiotics on the farm” So the study actually suggests that use of antibiotics in livestock will make your body resistant against bacteria and drugs and is a serious risk to you and your family.
And farmers inject livestock with antibiotics and hormones not necessarily because they are sick but to fatten them up and produce cheap meat. This is yet another sign of big corporations making profit by disregarding the health of the public and reducing the risk factors to just some safety level arguments while many countries around the world refuse to tolerate such “acceptable” risk to their people for the good of corporate profit. “Consumers can pay a lot more for some organic products but demand is rising: Organic foods accounted for $31.4 billion sales last year, according to a recent Obama administration report. That's up from $3.6 billion in 1997”, - in the article is simply agreeing that more and more, people choose to have no contaminants in their food as a potential risk to them and their families. People are simply choosing no chemicals and pesticides rather than accepting the risk level that is being sold to us in order to increase corporate profits.
Well the study suggests that organic food is more expensive than conventional food which isn’t true. Click here if you want to read this article explaining 10 reasons why organic food is cheaper than conventional foods.
“The Stanford team combed through thousands of studies to analyze the 237 that most rigorously compared organic and conventional foods. Bra-vata was dismayed that just 17 com-pared how people fared eating either diet while the rest investigated properties of the foods themselves”
This would seem impressive until you read between the lines. Out of 237, ONLY 17 studies were done to investigate the actual effect of conventional food versus organic food on people? Well, it begs to ask, why? Why only 17? Majority of the studies were investigated on foods themselves rather than their side effects on people?
And since the author admits that the non-organic foods have containments, pesticides, and chemicals and higher resistance to antibiotics compared to organic, why not conduct a few studies on the health risks associated to adding chemicals to foods in the first place? The author even admits the risk factor of organic food is at low levels …“Organic produce had a 30-per-cent-lower risk of containing detectable pesticide levels. In two studies of children, urine testing showed lower pesticide levels in those on organic diets. But Bravata cautioned that both groups harboured very small amounts, and said one study suggested insecticide use in their homes may be more to blame than their food”.
So the study suggests that you are exposed to 30% less pesticide by consuming organic foods. Therefore organic foods are safer for children who generally have lower immune capacity to chemicals and insecticide. The author proves my point once again that this article is a contradiction of its title, but tries to argue that both children are more at risk as a result of insecticide use in their homes. So let’s reduce contaminants wherever we can, starting with foods. The author seems to come around and agree with my statement above, … “Some studies have suggested that even small pesticide exposures might be risky for children, and the Organic Trade Association said the Stanford work confirms that organics can help consumers lower their exposure”.
"Parents with young children should consider where their produce is coming from," DeWaal said, calling types grown in the U.S. or Canada "a safer bet" for lower pesticide levels”, says the author. I particularly like the statement, … "a safer bet for lower pesticide levels”. Safer when – lower pesticide levels. Agreed. Hopefully. May I also suggest that we extend, not just to children, but also to elderly, pregnant women, and those with weaker immune system? Heck, while we are at it – why not everyone since we have so many other environmental contaminants and pollution and toxic water – we could all surely be more healthy if we tried reducing containment where and when possible.
“As for antibiotics, some farms that aren't certified organic have begun selling antibiotic-free meat or hormone-free milk, noted Bravata. Her preference is to buy from local farmers in hopes of getting the ripest produce with the least handling” Monsanto has become the most hated company worldwide as a result of its rBGH, even worse than cable companies as if that was possible. Monsanto’s rBST and antibiotics in our milk is a major controversy and the battle is being fought to protect the public. Yes, these small levels of carcinogens, additives, pesticides and heavy metals are somehow negligible and approved by FDA. These foods aren’t necessarily “POISON” which means they don’t kill you right away, but they are certainly “TOXIC” and we all know small negligible level of toxins builds up little by little in your body. The so called conventional food (i.e. food with chemicals) was a dream come true for biotech industry that make billions of dollars at the cost of our health, polluting the air, water and the environment.
These so called pesticides have been known to cause the colony collapse of bees, reduction on soil useful microorganisms and soil degradation, loss of many other beneficial insects in the food chain, and reducing soil fertility and nutrients. Bottom line, it’s up to you whether or not you choose to feed your family with conventional or organic food. But the fact that these biotech companies are fighting harder and harder to pursue their anti-labeling policies concerns all of us to keep us uninformed of what is in our foods. The food industry knows that labeling GMO will hurt the sales and nobody in their mind will go shopping in the morning to buy genetically modified tomatoes.