This is the first study to document the difference in exposures to pesticides offered by an organic versus a conventional diet, says Richard Wiles of the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research organization based in Washington, D.C.
The researchers measured six metabolites that derive from some 39 organophosphorus pesticides, the most commonly used in the United States and also some of the most toxic.
They compared a group of 18 organic-eating children with 21 conventional food-eating children all roughly the same age (2-to-5-years-old on average), gender, and of similar family income.
The children with primarily organic diets had far lower levels of the metabolites in their bodies.
The study was published online Oct. 31 in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ journal “Environmental Health Perspectives” and will be forthcoming in its print edition this spring.
Francesca Lyman is an environmental and travel journalist and author of “Inside the Dzanga-Sangha Rain Forest” (Workman, 1998).
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