Why Organic, Glyphosate-tested, and More Activism is Essential for Our Children’s Health: How we can stop the ongoing trial that you never signed your family up for!
The food we eat contains more chemicals than the average person could imagine. How would a nation that prides itself on food safety and tight food processing regulations allow anything at levels that have been shown to cause harm in animal studies, often at exposure levels much less than what Americans are getting in just one serving of a common household staple; for instance, a breakfast cereal? This is just the case. Unfortunately, not enough families are aware of what’s there.
Whether it is an endocrine disruptor or a carcinogen, most conventionally grown foods carry at least one to, at times, several, petrochemicals. A recent study at the University of Buffalo revealed that carbaryl, one of the most common pesticides used in the US, disrupts our circadian rhythms by interfering with our body’s ability to use melatonin. Melatonin is a critical neurotransmitter that has an enormous influence on many areas of our health. The carbamate family of insecticides is largely banned in Europe and many other countries but is still widely used here in the US.
However, the most heavily used agrochemicals are herbicides. These weed killers are now being used in the vast majority of conventionally grown crops: from grains and cereals to fruits and vegetables. The top three are glyphosate, atrazine, and paraquat. Intensive combinations of these are now applied in most conventional farming systems, as weeds have begun to develop an increased tolerance to glyphosate. All three have very serious impacts on human health.
What’s most distressing to many of us is the fact that the United States regulatory agencies have such disregard for the research that has influenced so many other countries to take action. European governments have either tightened their scrutiny on how much is allowed or have banned their use altogether. It is bad enough when we consider the significant influences that each of these chemicals has individually, but what are the possibilities when our children are exposed to various combinations of these?
Thankfully there are consumer advocate groups, activists, and non-profit organizations that are trying to raise our awareness around this issue. Many are the actual source of the only exposure data we have (check out Food Democracy Now for example). Until we can get the FDA and USDA to take action, we need to stop purchasing the foods with the highest levels of these chemicals.
Economic forces tend to have the greatest influence (much more effective than political forces, especially here!). Stop the demand for toxic food and the supply will be forced to change.
John Bagnulo MPH, PhD. - Director of Nutrition