I have been off for the past few days working on my upcoming book, Organic Manifesto (due in stores in early 2010). When doing some research on farming and cancer, I came across a really fascinating project called the Agricultural Health Study, which is being done by the National Cancer Institute. It’s one of those huge long-term studies that started in 1994 and is supported by the National Institutes of Health.
I was surprised to find that one of their updates discussed a strong link between seven pesticides and an increased risk of diabetes. The pesticides are: alachlor, aldrin, chlordane, cyanazine, dichlorvos, heptachlor, and trichlorfon. What I find most interesting is the open acknowledgment of the problem, including statements like this:
“Although three of the insecticides studied—aldrin, chlordane, and heptachlor—are no longer on the market, measurable levels of these and other pollutants are still detectable in the general population and in food products. These chemicals are organochlorines, as is dioxin, which has been shown to increase the risk of diabetes among Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange.”
The scientists also acknowledge that pesticide residues are stored in body fat so they are more likely to impact obese people. Hmmm. I wonder if pesticides and other chemicals can cause obesity? And I’m not the only one. As described today in Rodale News, a new report by the Organic Center outlines six ways in which obesity and diabetes levels could be lowered by organic food and agriculture.
Of course, just because the government funds a study that doesn’t mean they’ll pay attention to their own results.
One more reason to buy organic!
If any of you wonderful readers have any leads for me to investigate for Organic Manifesto, please let me know!