There are many great reasons to go organic. It helps combat climate change, fosters species diversity, prevents damage to valuable water resources, and protects farmers and farmers’ families from exposure to harmful chemicals.
According to a ground-breaking report released by the President’s Cancer Panel on May 6, 2010, choosing organic also helps reduce your exposure to environmental chemicals that can increase the risk of contracting cancer.
What the President's Cancer Panel Is:
- Consisting of three members, including at least two distinguished scientists or physicians, appointed by the President, the President’s Cancer Panel monitors and executes activities of the National Cancer Program and reports directly to the President.
What The Report Says:
- “Exposure to environmental contaminants can result in harm to health because they may alter or interfere with a variety of biologic processes, including hormone production and function, DNA damage, and gene expression or suppression.”
- “Children can be exposed to toxins in utero via placental transfer and/or after birth via breast milk.”
- “The number and prevalence of known or suspected carcinogens is growing. Many environmental contaminants are manufactured synthetic chemicals; waste and by-products of industrial processes; chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals used in farming and for landscaping; chemicals used in other commercial activities; combustion by-products of petroleum-powered engines; water disinfection/chlorination by-products; and both man-made and natural sources of radiation.”
- “In the United States, about 42 billion pounds of chemicals are produced or imported daily. Many of these chemicals are used in massive quantities exceeding one million tons per year.81 Exposure limits have been set for some of these substances, but the vast majority are unregulated.“
- “Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers”
- “Exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications.
Why Organic Can Help:
- By law, organic products must be grown and processed without the use of synthetic pesticides and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
- By law, organic livestock must be raised without the use of antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. They must also have access to pasture for at least 120 days per year.
- Organic regulations allow a limited number of pesticides and fertilizers for restricted use. These substances must undergo strict review, including an evaluation of their environmental impact and their impact on human health, in order to be used in organic production.