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Organic Food Consumption Leads to Dramatically Lower Pesticide Exposure

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Washington, DC-  A recent study, Reduction in urinary organophosphate pesticide metabolites in adults after a week-long organic diet, led by Liza Oates found lower trances of organophosphate metabolites in consumers that ate organic food for a week compared to those who ate a conventional diet. The study adds to the scientific literature that shows consuming organic food minimize consumers' exposure to pesticides residue. Because organic agriculture is a healthier system for consumers it is important we protect strict organic standards.

The study, published in the Journal of Environmental Research, found that participants who ate a diet that was at least 80 percent organic had 89 percent lower levels of dialkylphosphates (DAPs), non-selective organophosphate metabolites, in their urine. The study was conducted in Melbourne, Australia with non-smoking participates between the age of 18 and 65. Participants were asked to eat a diet of conventional food for a week than on the morning of day eight participants provided a urine sample to the researchers. This process was repeated with the same participants after they spent a week eating at least 80 percent organic food. The levels of DAPs found in participants during the week in which they ate conventional were comparable to previous studies done on the general population.

The study was expressly concerned with the health impacts that organophosphates can have on consumers. Organophosphate pesticides originally were derived from World War II nerve agents. According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 73 million pounds of organophosphates were used on U.S. crops in 2001. Organophosphates inhibit cholinesterase, a neurotransmitter that carries signals between nerves and muscles. Inhibiting cholinesterase can cause poisoning victims to suffocate due to paralysis and cause lungs to fill up with fluid. Children are at an elevated risk for organophosphate pesticide poisoning.    


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