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Did You Know?

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Many vegetable, fruit, nut and seed crops require insect pollination.

In a single day, one bee makes 12 or more trips from the hive, visiting

several thousand flowers. This makes honey bees the most valuable agent for cross-pollinating crops.

Pesticides Linked to Diabetes

A study in the respected British medical journal, The Lancet adds to mounting evidence that pesticide exposure is linked to diabetes. This study gives credibility to several others that have been published showing that exposure to small amount of pesticides can cause diabetes. Source: PANNA

Toxicity Levels in Children

Researches at the University of Washington conducted a study to measure the concentration of organophosphorus insecticides in the urine of pre-school children. Most children had sizeable concentrations well over Environmental Protection Agency recommended "safe" levels.

As in many scientific investigations, a few children were found to be atypical. In this case, their toxic levels were greatly under that of the other children measured. Interviewing the parents of these rare cases, researchers learned that their parents chose certified organic foods for their children. With this lead, the researchers expanded their trial to evaluate equal numbers of children eating conventional non-organic diets and organic diets. Again measuring urine samples, they found a huge six-fold increase of organophosphate contamination in the conventional non-organic group compared to the organic group.

Organophosphorus (or organophosphate) insecticides were originally developed in Germany during World War II. They act to inhibit an enzyme fundamental for nerve transmission in humans, other mammals and insects. It takes a much higher dose to kill a human than to kill an insect, however, there is robust scientific literature showing the ability of organophosphates to impact human developmental activity at far below lethal doses, due in part to these compounds' tendency to bio-accumulate within animals.

Children are at much greater risk than adults due to their immature detoxification system. As children consume more food per kilo of body weight than adults, their intake of organophosphorus and other toxins is proportionally more. Their organs and brains are still developing and are at greater risk.

The study concluded that consuming organic food "lowered exposure from above to below EPA guidance levels of safety, thus reducing the risk of harm from uncertain to negligible."

Curl et. al. 2003. Organophosphorus pesticide exposure or urban and suburban pre-school children with organic and conventional diets. "Environ health perspectives"111(3):377-382.

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