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Study Shows Buying Organic Can Reduce Pesticide Exposure

Study Shows Buying Organic Can Reduce Pesticide Exposure

Advocates have long praised organic food for its great taste, high cultivation standards, and positive effect on environmental and human health. Among these benefits is the fact that organic foods are grown without the use of certain pesticides. These man-made chemicals are used to prevent, destroy, and repel pests in conventional agriculture. While they protect crops from insects and other pests, studies show that pesticides and insecticides disrupt the endocrine system, disturb reproductive health harm, and increase the risk of cancer.

Although organic foods are not necessarily produced without any pesticides, organic farmers use significantly less of these chemicals. A growing body of evidence suggests that sticking to an organic diet can significantly lower the level of pesticides found in the bloodstream. A study conducted in 2006 and published in the October 2015 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at 20 children living in Oakland, California and 20 in an agricultural community located 100 miles away called Salinas. All 40 children ate a conventional diet for four days, an organic diet for seven days, and the conventional diet for the last five days.

Researchers collected urine from the children daily and found that 72 percent of the samples contained evidence of pesticides. Out of six different pesticides detected, two of those chemicals decreased by nearly 50 percent when the children were on the organic diet. One common herbicide that they identified fell by 25 percent. Levels were generally higher in the children from the agricultural community than in the Oakland children, suggesting that the Salinas children had greater exposure to chemicals from nearby farms. “There’s evidence that diet is one route of exposure to pesticides, and you can reduce your exposure by choosing organic food,” Asa Bradman, the study’s lead author and the associate director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University of California, Berkeley told the New York Times.

A number of other studies, including one published in the May 2015 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, also report decreased pesticide levels in consumers of organic food. The 2015 study assessed long-term dietary exposure to 14 different pesticides among 4,466 participants in a multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis. Urinary diakyl phosphate metabolites (DAP) are used to estimate human exposure to certain pesticides. The researchers found that increased pesticide exposure was associated with higher concentrations of DAP. Additionally, DAP concentrations were substantially lower in those who more reported more frequent consumption of organic produce.

The growing body of evidence suggests that organic food is protective against a number of harmful pesticides. That being said, buying organic is more expensive than choosing conventional fruits and vegetables. If you are concerned about your pesticide exposure but don’t want to break the bank, take a look at the “dirty dozen.” This list features the most pesticide-ridden produce. Buy the organic versions of those 12 fruits and vegetables, and give your wallet a break by sticking to conventional versions of all others.

The accompanying slideshow is provided by Daily Meal special contributor Victoria Barton.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.


You have pesticides in your body. But an organic diet can reduce them by 70%

N ever before have we sprayed so much of a chemical on our food, on our yards, on our children’s playgrounds. So it’s no surprise that Roundup – the world’s most widely used weedkiller – shows up in our bodies. What is perhaps surprising is how easy it is to get it out. A new peer-reviewed study, co-authored by one of us, studied pesticide levels in four American families for six days on a non-organic diet and six days on a completely organic diet. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of Roundup’s toxic main ingredient, glyphosate, by 70% in just six days.

“If my kids have this much of a change in their numbers, what would other families have?” asked Scott Hersrud of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a father of three who participated in the study. The answer to that question is increasingly clear: a big one. This study is part of a comprehensive scientific analysis showing that switching to an organic diet rapidly and dramatically reduces exposure to pesticides.

That’s good news, but it raises a grave question: why do we have to be supermarket detectives, searching for organic labels to ensure we’re not eating food grown with glyphosate or hundreds of other toxic pesticides?

Glyphosate was flagged as a potential carcinogen as far back as 1983 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yet use of the chemical has grown exponentially since, with the chemical giant Monsanto – purchased by Bayer in 2018 – dominating the market. Numerous reports have covered the internal company documents showing how Monsanto’s influence over the EPA succeeded in suppressing health concerns.

In fact, rather than restricting the use of glyphosate, the EPA has raised the legal threshold for residues on some foods up to 300-fold above levels deemed safe in the 1990s. And unlike with other commonly used pesticides, the government has turned a blind eye for decades when it comes to monitoring glyphosate – failing to test for it on food and in our bodies.

The agency’s slipshod regulation has led to a dramatic increase in exposure. Research shows that the percentage of the US population with detectable levels of glyphosate in their bodies increased from 12% in the mid-1970s to 70% by 2014.

The new study paints an even more concerning picture. Researchers found glyphosate in every participant, including children as young as four. “I would love to get those pesticides out of my body and my family’s bodies,” said Andreina Febres of Oakland, California, a participant and mother of two.

Parents have sound reasons to be concerned about their children’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides. While food residues often fall within levels that regulators consider safe, even government scientists have made it clear that US regulations have not kept pace with the latest science. For one, they ignore the compounding effects of our daily exposures to a toxic soup of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. Nor do they reflect that we can have higher risks at different times in our lives and in different conditions: a developing fetus, for instance, is particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures, as are children and the immunocompromised. Instead, US regulators set one “safe” level for all of us. New research also shows that chemicals called “endocrine disruptors” can increase risk of cancers, learning disabilities, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and reproductive disorders, even at incredibly small levels. (Think the equivalent of one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

Research has linked glyphosate to high rates of kidney disease in farming communities and to shortened pregnancy in a cohort of women in the midwest. Animal studies and bioassays link it to endocrine disruption, DNA damage, decreased sperm function, disruption of the gut microbiome and fatty liver disease.

The pesticide industry’s success in keeping a chemical with known toxicity on the market is emblematic of a fundamental system failure. The US allows more than 70 pesticides banned in the European Union. And in just the last few years, the EPA has approved more than 100 new pesticide products containing ingredients deemed to be highly hazardous.

Yet last year, it looked like glyphosate was going to be a success story of another kind – the kind where science wins. In the wake of the World Health Organization determination that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, thousands of farmers, pesticide applicators and home gardeners filed lawsuits linking their cancer to Roundup. The first three cases were settled in favor of the plaintiffs, saddling Bayer with $2bn in damages (later reduced by judges). But this summer, while Bayer agreed to pay $10bn to settle an additional 95,000 cases out of court, the company again evaded responsibility: under the terms of the settlement, Roundup will continue to be sold for use on yards, school grounds, public parks and farms without any safety warning.