1. ADHD linked to pesticide exposure - yep, another example of short term problem (bugs on our plants) creating an even bigger, more complicated and widespread problem. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers led by Maryse Bouchard, a researcher in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Montreal, analyzed the levels of pesticide metabolites in the urine of 1,139 children and found children with above-average levels had roughly twice the odds of being diagnosed with ADHD. By eating only organic fruits and vegetables you can reduce your exposure to these toxins. The abstract of the paper published in the journal Pediatrics is accessible online.
2. Genetically modified cotton stops one bug but fosters another - yep... you guessed it. Our GMO cotton seeds have yet again created another problem to worry about. In this LA Times article the focus is on China. Although Bt cotton (genetically engineered) has reduced bollworms from the fields it has created a new pest called mirid bugs. Researches from Cornell University first noticed the problem in 2004 "when they surveyed 481 farmers in five Chinese provinces. They suspected something was amiss when they discovered that Bt cotton farmers were using more pesticides than farmers planting conventional cotton." Does anyone else think this is insanity?
3. Don't forget last week The President’s Cancer Panel Report: “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now,” was submitted to President Obama. What was the advice of this report by Dr. LaSalle Leffall, Jr., an oncologist and professor of surgery at Howard University, and Dr. Margaret L. Kripke, an immunologist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston? You guessed it - choose food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers , antibiotics, and growth hormones to help decrease exposure to environmental chemicals that can increase risk of contracting cancer. Organic products avoid the use of these chemicals. If you want to read the entire 240 page report you can down load it here.
Do you need any more reasons to support organic agriculture? I don't. Our CSA starts this Friday. I can't wait to see and taste what local, organic treats await! Yes, organic is more expensive in the short term but when you factor in ADHD, more pests and potentially cancer, I think the cost is actually very affordable!