Shared from Friends of the Earth:

A groundbreaking peer-reviewed study published in the journal Environmental Research found that switching to an organic diet significantly reduced the levels of synthetic pesticides found in all participants in just one week.

The Study

Researchers from UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Friends of the Earth tested the urine of four racially diverse American families in Oakland, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Baltimore after eating their typical diet of conventional food for six days and then after a controlled diet of all organic food for six days.

On average, the pesticides detected dropped by 60.5% after six days of eating an all-organic diet. The study found significant reductions in pesticides that have been associated with increased risk of autism, cancers, autoimmune disorders, infertility, hormone disruption, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Full results at >

Going organic significantly reduced levels of 4 pesticides:

  • The most significant declines involved organophosphates, a class of highly neurotoxic pesticides linked to brain damage in children: the study found a 95% drop in levels of malathion, a probable human carcinogen; a nearly two thirds reduction in chlorpyrifos; and a 70% drop in DAPs metabolites that represent exposure to organophosphates as a class. Organophosphates are so toxic to children’s developing brains that scientists have called for a full ban. Organophosphate exposure is associated with endocrine disruption, autism, learning disabilities, reduced IQ, attention disorders, delayed motor development, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, decreased sperm quality, and cancers.

  • The neonicotinoid pesticide clothianidin dropped by 83%. Neonicotinoids are among the most commonly detected pesticide residues in baby foods. They are associated with endocrine disruption and changes in behavior and attention, including an association with autism spectrum disorder. Neonicotinoids are also a main driver of massive pollinator and insect losses, leading scientists to warn of a ‘second silent spring’.

  • Levels of pyrethroids were halved. Exposure to this class of pesticides is associated with endocrine disruption, adverse neurodevelopmental, immunological and reproductive effects, increased risk of Parkinson’s and sperm DNA damage.

  • Finally, 2,4-D dropped by 37 percent. 2,4-D is one of two ingredients in the Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange. It is among the top five most commonly used pesticides in the U.S. and is associated with endocrine disruption, thyroid disorders, increased risk of Parkinson’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, developmental and reproductive toxicity and damage to the liver, immune system and semen quality.

Other recent studies have found compelling evidence of the health benefits of an organic diet. One study found a 25% reduction in cancer risk for participants who ate the most organic food. Another study found fertility benefits for women who ate organic food.

Make Organic For All

We all have the right to food that is free of toxic pesticides. The farmers and farmworkers who grow our nation’s food, and their communities, have a right to not be exposed day in and day out to chemicals linked to serious health problems. The way we farm should protect rather than harm the biodiversity, soil and water that sustain all life.

Organic works. We already have the solution. We need to organize, raise our voices, demand that our leaders step up and shift support, research, and policies to create a system where organic is for all.

The solution is here — we just have to grow it.

Friends of the Earth is a non-profit striving for a more healthy and just world.