Chemicals for Dinner? No, Thanks!

By Robyn O’Brien

This week, a new report out in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology states that there is a relationship between the use of pesticides known as dichlorophenols and food allergies.

According to the study, participants who had high levels of dichlorophenols in their bodies were 80% more likely to have food sensitivity than those with lower levels.

This comes on the heels of the American Academy of Pediatrics statement that efforts should be made to reduce children’s exposure to pesticides, not only for the concern over their toxicity and relationships to cancer, but also due to their link to hyperactivity and other behavioral conditions.

According to the EPA, approximately 1.1 billion pounds of chemicals are used in the United States each year.  4/5 of those are used for agricultural purposes.

In other words, our foods and the crops used to feed livestock are routinely doused with millions of pounds of chemicals.  And they’re not on the label.

A new study out of Harvard shows that even tiny, allowable amounts of a common pesticide class can have dramatic effects on brain chemistry.

But pesticides aren’t the only “-cides” being sprayed on our crops.  With the introduction of a new technology on the farm, known as genetically engineering where seeds are hardwired to withstand increasing doses of chemicals, these new seeds, introduced in the late 1990s, have led to 527 million more pounds of herbicides to be sprayed than would have been used on conventional crops.

As noted by Harvard, the President’s Cancer Panel and other organizations, these chemicals are harmful to human health, pollute natural resources, and devastate neighboring crops.

On top of that, according to media industry estimates, advertisers spend $900 million every year on television shows aimed at children under 12. And more than two-thirds of that advertising is for food products, products full of genetically engineered ingredients routinely treated with a lot of these chemicals.

Which is why a new video produced by Robby Kenner (the director of Food Inc.) and his team at Fix Food is so powerful.  Because it is the voice of a farmer speaking about the contamination of our food crops with these chemicals and the unknown risks and long-term implications they might have.

It’s less than two minutes long, so take a look and join his efforts in calling on the USDA to begin regulating these genetically engineered crops so that we stand a chance at reducing our exposure to these toxic chemicals.

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