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Children and Organics


									Children and Organics
   Kari Volkmann-Carlsen
  Why should we be concerned with
       organics for children?

Children’s health is different than adult
  – Children’s bodies are still developing
  – Their hormones fluctuate, causing
    differences in behavior
  – They eat more than adults relative to their
  – Many children have less variety in what
    they eat compared with adults
 Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children’s Dietary
 Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides, Lu et al

How it was done:
  – 23 Seattle, Washington suburban kids, aged 3-11
  – Phase 1: Days 1-3, consumed regular conventional
  – Phase 2: Days 4-8, diets replaced with organic
    food, as similar as possible to conventional diet
  – Phase 3: Days 9-15, returned to regular
    conventional diets
  – Pesticide levels analyzed through twice daily
    urine samples
Pesticides, cont.

  – Presence of some
    OP pesticides metabolites were significantly
    higher during conventional diet
  – Metabolites of malathion (MDA) and
    chlorpyrifos (TCPY) are frequently used

   Using same data, conducted study on pyrethroid pesticides
    (external exposure). Children whose families used
    household pesticides had more pesticide metabolites in
    urine. Diets were not considered.
Effects of pesticide residues
•“Young children may be especially vulnerable to pesticides because of the
sensitivity of their developing organ systems combined with a limited
ability to enzymatically detoxify these chemicals” –Brenda Eskenazi, et al
•Dr. Elizabeth Guilette (University of Florida) studied Yaqui Indian
children in Mexico. One Yaqui group lived in a valley, where chemical
agriculture is practiced extensively. Other group lived on a hill, where
there is no chemical agriculture. Valley children were behind in every
measurement of development: coordination, learning, and memory.
Effects, cont.
OP pesticides have also been linked to:
  Neurobehavioral problems including decreased balance and reflexes
  Low birth weight
  Birth defects
  Childhood cancer
  Acute symptoms of pesticide poisoning:
            Miosis (constriction of the pupil)
            Excessive salivation
            Nausea and vomiting
            Muscle weakness and inability to stretch
            Tachycardia (rapid beating of the heart)
            Respiratory distress                                (Eskenazi, et al)
                      Organic Dairy

The study: Differentiation of organically and conventionally produced milk by
  stable isotope and fatty acid analysis, Joachim Molkentin and Anette
  Giesemann from Germany.
The goal: To discover a way to differentiate the two types of milk for
  consumer protection.
The results: Organic milk always contained higher content of fatty acids,
  particularly conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Both types of milk had
  more fatty acids in summer than in winter, probably because of grazing.

*Remember that this was done in Germany, which has different standards
  for organic.
   Influence of organic diet on the amount of conjugated
   linoleic acids in breast milk of lactating women in the
                    Netherlands, Rist et al

• 312 women in study, about 50% had strictly conventional
  diets, and the rest ate some organic meat and dairy (grouped
  into two: 50-90 % organic and over 90% organic.)
• Found that rumenic acid and trans-Vaccenic acid (two types
  of CLA) were higher in the breast milk of women who had
  organic diets according to amount of organic they ate.
               CLA Benefits
• Anti-carcinogenic effects
• Lowers total cholesterol as well as triglyceride
• Reduces body fat
• Enhanced immune function
• Increased bone formation
• Anti-diabetic effects
• According to a study done by Kummeling et al, of
  the Netherlands, the higher CLA in organic milk
  can protect against eczema in children under 2
  years old.
Other possible dangers of non-organic
food production concerning children
• An Indiana study showed that children conceived during
  the summer months, coinciding with herbicide and fertilizer
  application and run-off into drinking water, scored lower on
  the statewide test (1.6 million students in grades 3-10. )
   – This is attributed to exposure to high nitrate and atrazine levels,
     which may affect normal production of thyroid hormones, during
     the crucial first stages of pregnancy.

• It has also been suggested that growth hormones in
  conventionally produced milk are leading to early pubertal
  development in girls. I found no science to back up this
  claim. Instead, it is more probable that increased body
  weight is the culprit (McLean.)
                     What’s being done?
• The Organic School Project:
    –   3 public elementary schools in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood are part of the program.
        They grow their own organic gardens, have classes that encourage eco-mindfulness, and eat food
        from local producers in the cafeteria.

• The Edible Schoolyard:
    –   MLK Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California grows an organic garden and teaches cooking
        classes using their produce. Every student must participate at some time during their three-year
        stay at the school.

• SEPA?: Petition at
    –   The Organic Consumers Association is trying get congress to pass the School Environment
        Protection Act (SEPA) which would ensure that school grounds implement integrated pest
        management systems to reduce exposure to pesticides.

• The School Lunch Lottery:
    –   Organic Valley in collaboration with pediatrician Dr.Greene and the “renegade lunch lady” Ann
        Cooper. It is an event where lunch is served by lottery (typical school lunch, home-packed, or
        healthy, which includes organic) and is meant to promote discussion and action to change school
•   “Emerging Health Benefits Of CLA”. <>.
•   Eskenazi, Brenda, et al. "Exposures of Children to Organophosphate Pesticides and Their Potential Adverse Health Effects." Environmental
    Health Perspectives Supplements Volume 107, Number S3, June 1999
•   Hepperly, Paul. "Indiana Study Shows Correlation Between Ag Chemicals and Fetal Impacts, From Pre-term Births to Children's School
    Performance". The New Farm 15 Jun. 2007. 10 Nov. 2007.
•   Hepperly, Paul. "Through Choices Private and Public, Our Children's Future is in Our Hands". The New Farm 12 May 2006. 10 Nov. 2007.
•   Kummeling, Ischa, et al. "Consumption of Organic Food and Risk of Atopic Disease During the First 2 Years of Life in the Netherlands".
    British Journal of Nutrition (2007) 1-8.
•   Lu, Chensheng, et al. "A Longitudinal Approach to Assessing Urban and Suburban Children's Exposure to Pyrethroid Pesticides".
    Environmental Health Perspectives 114 (2006): 1419-1423.
•   Lu, Chensheng, et al. "Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children's Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides". Environmental
    Health Perspectives 114 (2006): 260-263.
•   McLean, Candis. "Growing Up Too Soon". Alberta Report/Newsmagazine. 16 Nov. 1998: 39.
•   Molkentin, Joachim and Anette Giesemann, "Differentiation of Organically and Conventionally Produced Milk by Stable Isotope and Fatty
    Acid Analysis". Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 388 (2007): 297-305.
•   Perr, Hilary A. "Children and Genetically Engineered Food: Potentials and Problems". Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 35
    (2002): 475-486.
•   Rist, Lukas, et al. "Influence of organic diet on the amount of conjugated linoleis acids in breast milk of lactating women in the
    Netherlands". British Journal of Nutrition 97 (2007): 735-743.
• (eyes)
• (cow)
• (title page and sprouts on pg.2)
• (milk)
• (drawings)
• (eczema)
• (chickens)

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