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STUDY SHOWS
THAT PESTICIDES PASS
FROM FOOD TO HUMANS

A new study of local children leaves little doubt about the passage of pesticides from food to humans. The report studied diets of organic and non-organic foods with amazing results.

Scientists decided to test 21 children, ages 3 to 11, in the upscale community of Mercer Island. The scientists found the pesticides detected in children eating a diet of non-organic products disappeared less than two days after switching to an organic diet.

That's big, but is it dangerous?

"The compound that was exposed to and coming into the body was great and then leave the body through the urinary excretion but we are not sure the affect would disappear as quickly as the chemical," said Dr. Lu Chensheng, Emory University.

In other words, they don't know if the pesticide exposure causes any negative health effects, now or later. That's what they are trying to find out.

But some local residents who've read the study say they don't need to wait for an answer.

"It's been shown that farmers have been using pesticides for a long time. It's been affecting us and there are other tests out there showing that and we're going in a more organic direction," said Mercer Island resident Carla Iafrate.

"Absolutely intuitive. I think when people will embrace organic food because they believe that chemicals are harmful," said Tom Rogers of Organic to Go.

Organic foods dealers like those at Organics to Go say this study just backs up what they already knew.

And the study goes further. The pesticide numbers were fairly consistent when children were eating in season domestically produced crops subject to federal pesticide laws. But when children ate out of season produce, imported products, the pesticide levels jumped.

"Those products were grown in other countries that we don't have anything to do with what pesticide they use, how much they use and so forth," said Chensheng.

Can't afford organic?

If you can't afford organic, is it better to skip the produce aisle altogether? Not at all. The Enviromental Working Group has put out a list of the least contaminated fruits and vegetables.

Safer bets include asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, sweet corn, eggplant, kiwi, mangos, onions, pineapple and sweet peas.

Written by: Gary Chittim, KING 5 News


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