Nutrition Action Healthletter


Sept 07:

Sept 07:
Pumped-Up Poultry

Jul/Aug 07:
Organic Food

June 07:
Menu Labeling

May 07:
Brain Teasers

April 07:
Saving Muscle

More Resources on Organic Food

Latest News

Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming on the same amount of land, according to researchers at the University of Michigan

>>See press release from University of Michigan.

Further Reading

USDA's National Organic Program. The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990 required the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop national standards for organically produced agricultural products to assure consumers that agricultural products marketed as organic meet consistent, uniform standards.  The OFPA and the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations require that agricultural products labeled as organic originate from farms or handling operations certified by a State or private entity that has been accredited by USDA.

The mission of the private Organic Center is to generate credible, peer reviewed scientific information and communicate the verifiable benefits of organic farming and products to society.

A USDA review of the state of U.S. organic agriculture: U.S. farmland under organic management has grown steadily for the last decade as farmers strive to meet consumer demand. By 2003, the United States had over 2 million acres of certified organic crops and pasture. USDA implemented an organic regulatory program in 2002, and Federal research and education activities have also emerged.

Pesticides and other Chemicals in Foods

2002 study comparing pesticide residues in conventional, organic, and integrated pest management agricultural systems

The Pesticide Data Program (PDP) is a national pesticide residue database program.  Through cooperation with State agriculture departments and other Federal agencies, PDP manages the collection, analysis, data entry, and reporting of pesticide residues on agricultural commodities in the U.S. food supply, with an emphasis on those commodities highly consumed by infants and children. 

The “2005 Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) National Residue Program Data” publication (the ‘Red Book’) explains USDA's FSIS’ chemical residue sampling plans and presents National Residue Program (NRP) testing results by calendar year for meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy foods.

More about the Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to the pesticide levels in popular fruits and vegetables.

Effects of Pesticides and Other Chemicals in Foods on Infants and Small Children

from the May 2007 statement on the susceptibility of infants and small children to environmental toxins including pesticides from the International Conference on Fetal Programming and Developmental Toxicity:

Research into the environmental influence on developmental programming of health and disease has therefore led to a new paradigm of toxicologic understanding. The old paradigm, developed over four centuries ago by Paracelsus, was that “the dose makes the poison”. However, for exposures sustained during early development, the most important issue is that “the timing makes the poison”. This extended paradigm deserves wide attention to protect the fetus and child against preventable hazards.


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