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Above all else, the United States is the marketing capital of the world. Our society is built around products and services and all the ways they are advertised to us in a way designed to outpace the competition. While it may be unethical to do so, marketing fosters its share of lying, truth-twisting and censorship by omission. The food industry is a model food chain — the big guys try to swallow the small guys, which is why organic foods are slandered by food giants and Big Agra.
Over the years I have read several so-called "studies" that would have us believe that organic foods are no different than non-organic foods. While these may be confusing for many people, those who have been eating organically for many years remain unmoved. The scientific evidence of the dangers of pesticides and other chemicals used in growing and processing non-organic foods is too great to ignore.
One simple question cuts to the heart of the matter
Ultimately, to cut through the confusion, we can ask this one question to appeal to reason over the organic food issue: In what instance would it ever be advantageous and beneficial to ingest pesticides? The question is easy for health-minded people to answer, but impossible for conventional food producers to answer honestly.
Clearly, it is never a good idea to eat pesticides, for many sound reasons.
What you don't know about conventional foods can kill you
Conventional foods (those grown using pesticides and other poisonous chemicals and those grown in oft-nutritionally depleted soil) contain a variety of chemicals that are poisonous to the human, plant and animal organism. This main fact is often overlooked in the so-called "studies" comparing organics with non-organics. Instead such studies focus on nutrient content, although not according to any scientific model.
Non-organic food growers use chemical sprays that are neurotoxic (damage the nerves), endocrine disrupting (interfere with hormonal systems), carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and disease causing in various other ways. Not only are pesticides used on non-organic crops, but also employed are herbicides and fungicides.
Endocrine disruptors and cancer
It would be impossible to report all of the ill effects of pesticides, but it bears mentioning at least one example merely to give the reader an idea of the types of poisons people are consuming and that the commercial food industry claim are harmless (and even beneficial) to consumers.
The National Institutes of Health report, "Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are compounds that alter the normal functioning of the endocrine system of both wildlife and humans. A huge number of chemicals have been identified as endocrine disruptors, among them several pesticides... [A]n increasing number of epidemiological studies tend to link environmental exposure to pesticides and hormone-dependent cancer risks. High levels of PCBs [polychlorinated biphenyls], DDE [dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene], and DDT [dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane] have been found in fat samples from women with breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer is said to be four times greater in women with increased blood levels of DDE. One of the latest epidemiological studies performed in Spain between 1999 and 2009 shows that among a total of 2,661 cases of breast cancer reported in the female population, 2,173 (81%) were observed in areas of high pesticide contamination. Moreover, it was also suggested that women with hormone responsive breast cancer have a higher DDE body burden than women with benign breast disease."1
There are hundreds of scientific references to the deleterious effects of pesticides, yet all are ignored in Big Agra's argument that crops sprayed with them are equal in health value to those that are not.
What's in the food you're feeding your family?
University of Florida researchers report, "U.S. pesticide amount used in 2006 and 2007 exceeded 600 million pounds both years ... The largest portion of U.S. agricultural pesticides used each year was herbicides, followed by nematicides and fumigants, insecticides and miticides, fungicides, and other pesticides."2
The annual application of synthetic pesticides to food crops in the EU [European Union] exceeds 140,000 tons, an amount that corresponds to 280 grams per EU citizen per year.3
The EPA reports, "Approximately 5.1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the United States."4 If you read the labels on the bottles and cans of pesticides you will see explicit warnings not to consume the stuff. Odd that they don't put the same warnings on your bananas, strawberries and grapes.