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by Alison Mitchell (Health Dimensions) Bachelor of Applied Science (Naturopathic Studies) Post Graduate Diploma (Naturopathic Studies) MNHAA, MATMS

chemicals as preservatives, colourings, antioxidants etc are prohibited in the processing of organic foods. Tere is an increasing body of concern about these synthetic compounds in the diets of humans and animals used for human food. Research from the University of Hawaii

has found that people who consume processed meats have a 6,700% increased risk of pancreatic cancer over those who consume little or no processed meat products. Te researchers concluded that sodium nitrite; a chemical used in nearly all non organic processed meats was the cause of the very alarming cancer rates. Chemicals It’s regularly claimed by the

mainstream food industry that pesticide residues in foods are known to be safe on the basis of total diet surveys that supposedly find the levels of pesticide residues in our food to be very low and within acceptable safety limits. But monitoring programs consistently show that around one in three non-organic food samples tested contains a variety of pesticide residues, with far lower levels being found in and on organic produce. Conventional-food proponents also claim that rigorous safety assessments show that pesticide residues are no threat to human health. Yet consumers intuitively know this is a false assurance. Te problem is that most pesticide-

residue safety levels are set for individual pesticides, but many samples of fresh produce carry multiple pesticide residues. Rules often do not take into account the “cocktail effect” of combinations of pesticides in and on foods. Research is emerging confirming the potential for such synergistic increases in toxicity of up to 100-fold, resulting in reproductive, immune and nervous system effects not expected from the individual compounds acting alone. Israeli researchers have linked

symptoms such as headaches, tremor, lack of energy, depression, anxiety, poor memory, dermatitis, convulsions, nausea, indigestion and diarrhoea with dietary intakes of pesticides. Belgian research has found that women diagnosed with breast cancer are six to nine times more likely to have the pesticides DDT or hexachlorobenzene in their bloodstreams compared to women who did not have breast cancer.

Te British Medical Association

appears to agree: “Until we have a more complete

understanding of pesticide toxicity, the benefit of the doubt should be awarded to protecting the environment, the worker, and the consumer—this precautionary approach is necessary because the data on risk to human health from exposure to pesticides are incomplete.” Peer reviewed published research has

demonstrated that many of these types of chemicals are known to disrupt the hormone, nervous and immune systems. Te escalating increase of certain types of cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, breast, uterine and prostate cancers are linked to agricultural and other synthetic chemicals. Similarly, a good body of scientific research also links these chemicals to the dramatic increases in disease like chronic fatigue syndrome. Cancers such as Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma have gone from being one of the rarest cancers to one of the fastest growing cancers amongst people exposed to agricultural chemicals. A detailed scientific analysis of

organic fruits and vegetables in the USA, published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Additives and Contaminants, showed that organic foods have significantly less pesticide residues than conventionally grown foods. Children’s immature and developing

organs, brains, detoxification and immune systems, plus their larger intake of food per kilo of body weight combine to make them even more susceptible to toxins than adults. Research has shown repeatedly that organic food significantly lowers children’s dietary exposure to pesticides, lowering their exposure from above to below recognized safety levels. Te facts show that organic foods

have health benefits because of higher nutritional values. Tey excel in the antioxidants that prevent heart disease, cancers, anti-inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. HOW TO BUY ‘ORGANIC’ 1. Look for the certification stamp on the labeling of the products;

2. Buy from a reputable retailer; 3. If there is no stamp, question the retailer on the authenticity of the products until you are satisfied that it is the ‘real deal’. Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

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ISSUE 17 | SEPTEMBER 2011 35

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