This new study on organic products does not really show lower pesticide levels




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A fruit picker picks raspberries at a fruit farm in Hereford, UK on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg&copy; 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

A new study says that a biological diet can significantly reduce pesticide levels, but the & nbsp; search does not succeed. published February 12 in the newspaper Environmental research, the study authors tested pesticide concentrations in the urine of 16 study participants, before and after switching to a biological diet, and found that pesticide levels had decreased after switching . & nbsp;

The study focused mainly on the types of pesticides allowed in conventional agriculture, not on those authorized on organic farms. The conclusions of the study are therefore quite obvious: people will not throw what they do not eat.

The study does not say anything about whetherIs a health risks associated with conventional pesticide residues, as the mere presence of a chemical in the urine is not necessarily an unhealthy or dangerous sign.

This study may be a problem, but it is not the first of its kind. In 2015, a Swedish organic grocery cooperative & nbsp; sponsored a similar study with even fewer participants, a family of five who had switched from a conventionally grown diet to an all-organic diet.

The results were the same: when participants opted for organic food, the concentrations of synthetic pesticides in their urine decreased. But, again, it's because people who avoid conventionally grown foods also consume fewer synthetic pesticides.

Just like this latest study, the Swedish experiment did not test certified organic pesticides, which means that it does not indicate that a biological diet actually reduces overall pesticide levels, but only that one biological diet is associated with lower levels of a & nbsp; pesticide category: synthetic.

The grapefruits are cleaned and sorted at the Premier Citrus LLC packaging facility in Vero Beach, Florida, United States on Thursday, November 29, 2018. Photographer: Eve Edelheit / Bloomberg&copy; 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

It's no secret that both& nbsp; organic and conventional farmers use pesticides but, for the most part, organic producers & nbsp; use & nbsp;natural pesticides& nbsp; rather than synthetic chemicals. Under federal law, natural pesticides are allowed in the USDA's biological program, while most synthetic pesticides are not allowed. While many organic producers are trying to use fewer pesticides, according to the guiding principles of organic farming, it would be inaccurate to describe organic foods without pesticides.

Whether organic or conventional, the bottom line is that traces of pesticides on food do not really pose any risk to the health of consumers.& nbsp; Farm workers and & nbsp; product packers, on the other hand, pose a higher health risk because they are exposed to pesticides more frequently and at higher doses.

Farmers & nbsp; have & nbsp; pest control solutions & nbsp; going beyond the biological / conventional division. Many farmers & nbsp; use & nbsp; a & nbsp; Pest prevention strategy called integrated pest management, which & nbsp; calls for use & nbsp; pesticides properly and only when necessary.

Not all pesticides are created equal, and the question of whether a pesticide should be used can be complicated because each chemical (natural and synthetic) has its advantages and disadvantages. Untreated pests can also cause a lot of damage, including food wastage, which means "without pesticides »& nbsp; also has many risks.

February 16: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that exposures to organically-approved pesticides were higher in samples associated with organic diets. This has now been fixed.

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A fruit picker picks raspberries at a fruit farm in Hereford, UK on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg© 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

A new study says that a biological diet can significantly reduce pesticide levels, but research does not hold. Posted on February 12 in Review Environmental research, the study authors tested pesticide concentrations in the urine of 16 study participants, before and after switching to a biological diet, and found that pesticide levels had decreased after the change. But there is more in the story.

The study focused mainly on the types of pesticides allowed in conventional agriculture, not on those authorized on organic farms. The conclusions of the study are therefore quite obvious: people will not flush out what they do not eat.

The study says nothing either, whether it exists or notIs a health risk associated with conventional pesticide residues, as the mere presence of a chemical in the urine is not necessarily an unhealthy or dangerous sign.

This study may be a problem, but it is not the first of its kind. In 2015, a Swedish organic grocery cooperative sponsored a similar study with even fewer participants, a family of five who had switched from a diet consisting of conventionally grown foods to a diet. entirely organic.

The results were the same: when participants opted for organic food, the concentrations of synthetic pesticides in their urine decreased. But, again, it's because people who avoid conventionally grown foods also consume fewer synthetic pesticides.

As with the most recent study, the Swedish experience has not tested pesticides approved in organic farming, which means that it has not demonstrated that a bio diet decreased overall pesticide concentrations, but only that an organic diet was associated with lower levels of one category. pesticide: synthetic.

The grapefruits are cleaned and sorted at the Premier Citrus LLC packaging facility in Vero Beach, Florida, United States on Thursday, November 29, 2018. Photographer: Eve Edelheit / Bloomberg© 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

It's no secret that organic and conventional farmers use pesticides, but most organic producers use natural pesticides rather than synthetic chemicals. Under federal law, natural pesticides are allowed in the USDA's biological program, while most synthetic pesticides are not allowed. While many organic producers are striving to use less pesticides overall, in line with the guiding principles of organic farming, it would be inaccurate to describe organic foods without pesticides.

Whether organic or conventional, the bottom line is that pesticide traces on foods do not pose a major health risk to consumers. Farm workers and product packers, on the other hand, pose a higher health risk because they are exposed to pesticides more frequently and at higher doses.

Farmers have alternatives to pest control that go beyond the biological / conventional division. Many farmers use a pest prevention strategy called integrated pest management, which advocates the judicious use of pesticides and only when necessary.

Not all pesticides are created equal, and the question of whether a pesticide should be used can be complicated because each chemical (both natural and synthetic) has its advantages and disadvantages. Untreated pests can also cause a lot of damage, including food wastage, which means "without pesticides » comes with a lot of risks too.

February 16: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that exposures to organically-approved pesticides were higher in samples associated with organic diets. This has now been fixed.


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