How increasing organic agriculture would decrease health risks


organic crops have higher antioxidant activity and between 18 and 69% higher concentrations of a range of individual antioxidants; increased intakes of polyphenolics and antioxidants has been linked to a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers (discussed by Barański et al. [ 12 ]);

Not only does organic production help reduce public health risks, mounting evidence shows that food grown organically are rich in nutrients, such as Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, with less exposure to nitrates and pesticide residues in organically grown fruits, vegetables, and grains when compared to


What are the health benefits of organic agriculture?

Health Benefits of Organic Agriculture 1 The whole picture. Organic food contributes to better health through reduced pesticide exposure…. 2 Nutrition. Not only is the production of organic food better for human health and… 3 Pesticide Contamination. Pesticide residues in food are regulated by the Food Quality Protection Act…

Are organic farmers at risk for Health and safety?

Conclusions: This is one of the few studies in the United States exploring health and safety among organic farmers. Although participants reported very few actual incidents, the study identified relevant intrapersonal and behavioral factors that may increase or reduce the risk for disease and injury.

Does organic farming reduce the use of antibiotics?

Organic farm animals are less likely to develop certain diseases related to intensive production compared to animals on conventional farms. As a consequence, less antibiotics for treating clinical diseases are required under organic management, where their prophylactic use also is strongly restricted.

Does eating organic food reduce risk of disease?

It is therefore expected that consumers who regularly eat organic food have a decreased risk of these diseases compared to people consuming conventionally-produced food, as a consequence of dietary patterns. These dietary patterns appear also to be more environmentally sustainable than average diets [254].


How does organic agriculture benefit health?

On organic farms, the preventive use of antibiotics is restricted and animals are given more space to roam in natural conditions, which lowers their risk for infections. These techniques have been found to improve animal health, prevent disease, and minimize antibiotic resistance.

Is organic farming better for human health?

Consumer health Not only is the production of organic food better for human health and the environment than conventional production, emerging science reveals what organic advocates have been saying for a long time—in addition to lacking the toxic residues of conventional foods, organic food is more nutritious.

How does organic farming reduce human impact on the environment?

Organic farming is widely considered to be a far more sustainable alternative when it comes to food production. The lack of pesticides and wider variety of plants enhances biodiversity and results in better soil quality and reduced pollution from fertilizer or pesticide run-off.

How did organic farming reduce environmental stress?

Organic agriculture promotes biodiversity [14][15][16], natural pest control [17], pollination [14], soil quality [18, 19] , and efficient use of energy, avoiding pesticide application and other harmful externalities that are related to intensive farming [12,18,19].

Why is organic better for the environment?

Organic farming is better for environmental health Organic farming is better for the environment because its practices involve less pollution soil erosion, and energy. Eliminating the use of pesticides in farming also benefits nearby birds and animals and people who live close to farms.

How much does organic farming reduce pollution?

Organic farming releases 64% less new reactive nitrogen into the environment than conventional farming, the study found, meaning that more benign, non-polluting nitrogen remains in the soil and the atmosphere.

Why are antibiotics used on organic farms?

On organic farms, the preventive use of antibiotics is restricted and animals are given more space to roam in natural conditions, which lowers their risk for infections . These techniques have been found to improve animal health, prevent disease, and minimize antibiotic resistance.

Why should pregnant women eat organic food?

Although the scientific evidence on pesticides’ impact on the developing brain is incomplete, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and women planning to become pregnant, may wish to eat organic foods as a precautionary measure because of the significant and possibly irreversible consequences for children’s health.

Why are antibiotics bad for farm animals?

We know that the overly prevalent use of antibiotics in farm animals is a contributing factor in the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria—a major public health threat because this resistance can spread from animals to humans.

When was the Organic Food Report published?

Read a slightly abbreviated version of the organic food report to the EU Parliament published October 27, 2017 in the journal Biomed Central: “Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review”. *Editor’s note: This story was updated on February 12, 2017.

Does pesticide exposure affect IQ?

In these studies, researchers found that women’s exposure to pesticides during pregnancy, measured through urine samples, was associated with negative impacts on their children’s IQ and neurobehavioral development, as well as with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] diagnoses.

Will the EU favor organic food?

Clearly, if the EU is going to favor organic products more in the future, that will open up an opportunity for U.S. producers of organic foods. And vice versa: If more products become available from EU farmers that are organic, that could be attractive to U.S. consumers.

Can politicians reduce taxes on organic food?

For instance, politicians could decrease or waive taxes on organic food. They could decrease taxation on organic farmers. We also suggest that they support more research to learn more about the benefits of organic food. If the European Parliament does take action, I hope it could influence practices also in the U.S.

Why is organic food important?

Organic food contributes to better health through reduced pesticide exposure for all and increased nutritional quality. In order to understand the importance of eating organic food from the perspective of toxic pesticide contamination, we need to look at the whole picture—from the farmworkers who do the valuable work of growing food, to the waterways from which we drink, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. Organic food can feed us and keep us healthy without producing the toxic effects of chemical agriculture.

How does organic diet help with pesticides?

Pesticide exposure also occurs through food, and switching to an organic diet is an important step in reducing this exposure. Research has shown that switching children to an organic diet drastically reduces their exposure to organophosphates, a class of pesticides that includes the common and toxic malathion and chlorpyrifos.

How to avoid pesticide residue?

The only way to avoid pesticide residues is to switch to organic foods. Some foods tend to have lower pesticide residues either because fewer pesticides are used in their production or because they have thicker skins and, when peeled, contain smaller amounts of pesticides than more thin-skinned products. return to top.

Why are children more susceptible to pesticides?

Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of pesticide exposure because they have developing organ systems that are more vulnerable and less able to detoxify toxic chemicals. Beyond Pesticides has produced a factsheet entitled Children and Lawn Chemicals Don’t Mix, that outlines the need to eliminate children’s exposure to toxic lawn chemicals. Pesticide exposure also occurs through food, and switching to an organic diet is an important step in reducing this exposure.

Why are phenolics important?

Phenolics are important for plant health (defense against insects and diseases), and human health for their “potent antioxidant activity and wide range of pharmacologic properties including anticancer, antioxidant, and platelet aggregation inhibition activity.”.

Can farm workers get cancer?

Acute pesticide poisonings for farmworkers are only one aspect of the health consequences of pesticide exposure. Many farmworkers spend years in the field exposed to toxic chemicals, and some studies have reported increased risks of certain types of cancers among farmworkers. The emerging science on endocrine disrupting pesticides reveals another …

Is there a national reporting system for pesticide poisonings?

There is no national reporting system for farmworker pesticide poisonings. In California, one of the few states to require reporting pesticide poisonings, there was a yearly average of 475 reported farmworker poisonings from pesticides in the years 1997-2000 according to the report Fields of Poison 2002: California Farmworkers and Pesticides.

What are the benefits of organic food production?

One main advantage of organic food production is the restricted use of synthetic pesticides [ 5, 6 ], which leads to low residue levels in foods and thus lower pesticide exposure for consumers.

What is conventional agriculture?

In this paper, we use the term “conventional agriculture” as the predominant type of intensive agriculture in the European Union (EU), typically with high inputs of synthetic pesticides and mineral fertilisers, and a high proportion of conventionally-produced concentrate feed in animal production.

What is the first set of evidence for organic food?

The first set of evidence is the epidemiological studies comparing population groups with dietary habits that differ substantially in regard to choices of organic v. conventional products.

What is the regulatory risk assessment of pesticides?

The regulatory risk assessment of pesticides currently practised in the EU is comprehensive, as a large number of toxicological effects are addressed in animal and other experimental studies. Nonetheless, there are concerns that this risk assessment is inadequate at addressing mixed exposures, specifically for carcinogenic effects [ 96] as well as endocrine-disrupting effects [ 97, 98] and neurotoxicity [ 99 ]. Furthermore, there are concerns that test protocols lag behind independent science [ 100 ], studies from independent science are not fully considered [ 101] and data gaps are accepted too readily [ 102 ]. These concerns primarily relate to effects of chronic exposure and to chronic effects of acute exposure, which are generally more difficult to discover than acute effects. Most studies rely on urinary excretion of pesticide metabolites and a common assumption is that the subjects were exposed to the parent chemicals, rather than the metabolites.

Why are antibiotics used in animal production?

Overly prevalent prophylactic use of antibiotics in animal production is an important factor contributing to increasing human health problems due to resistant bacteria. Antibiotic use is strongly restricted in organic husbandry, which instead aims to provide good animal welfare and enough space in order to promote good animal health.

Do compounds in food exist and act separately?

The focus on single plant components in the comparison of crops from organic and conventional production, as discussed further below, disregards the fact that compounds in food do not exist and act separately, but in their natural context [ 49 ]. In vitro studies of effects of entire foods in biological systems such as cell lines can therefore potentially point at effects that cannot be predicted from chemical analyses of foods, although a limitation is that most cells in humans are not in direct contact with food or food extracts.

Is sustainable food a priority?

The long-term goal of developing sustainable food systems is considered a high priority by several intergovernmental organisations [ 1, 2, 3 ]. Different agricultural management systems may have an impact on the sustainability of food systems, as they may affect human health as well as animal wellbeing, food security and environmental sustainability. In this paper, we review the available evidence on links between farming system (conventional vs organic) and human health.

Why are antibiotic resistant germs a serious public health issue?

Antibiotic-resistant germs are a serious public health issue for everyone, regardless of what diet they follow, because antibiotic-resistant germs can travel in windblown dust for long distances as well as being transmitted into medical facilities and the community at large by infected workers.

Is it bad for children to be exposed to organophosphate?

Epidemiological studies have clearly shown that low-level exposure to organophosphate insecticides has negative effects on children’s cognitive development and existing studies support the idea that reducing dietary exposure to pesticide residues is a good idea, especially among pregnant women and children. 5.

Is organic farming toxic?

Organic farming relies on biodegradable pesticides that break down rapidly and which are non-toxic or only minimally toxic to humans, rather than the more persistent man-made pesticides such as organophosphates (which, despite the name, are NOT part of organic management systems) used by conventional farmers.

Do organic livestock producers use antibiotics?

Organic livestock producers do not use antibiotics as growth promotors (many conventional operations do) and organic livestock operations have been shown to be far less likely to generate antibiotic-resistant strains of human disease germs than conventional operations.

How can agriculture improve health?

How agriculture can improve health and nutrition. The agricultural sector presents key opportunities for improving nutrition and health. But this connection is often not given due attention, despite parallel initiatives across the three sectors. The potential impacts of agricultural activities on health and nutrition extend across a number …

Why is agriculture important for the poor?

Given the importance of agriculture for the livelihoods of the rural poor, agricultural growth has the potential to greatly reduce poverty – a key contributor to poor health and undernutrition.

How many people are hungry in the developing world?

Despite major progress, serious concerns remain about the nutrition and health situation throughout the developing world. An estimated 805 million people still go hungry and many people also suffer from hidden hunger, that is, deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals, which are associated with a number of negative health and economic impacts. At the same time, 2.1 billion people worldwide (37% of men and 38% of women) are obese and overweight and this figure is rising (especially in the developing world), bringing with it a rise in non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer).

What are the micronutrients that are used in biofortification?

More recently, biofortification efforts to breed and disseminate crops that are rich in micronutrients, such as vitamin A, zinc and iron, have improved vitamin and mineral intake among consumers in Africa and Asia.

How does organic farming affect biodiversity?

Organic farming generally increases crop and landscape heterogeneity compared with conventional farming, which enhances biodiversity. For example, overall species richness on organic farms is on average 34% (95% CI: 26–43%) higher than on conventional farms, according to one meta-analysis (Tuck et al. 2014 ).

What are the aims of organic farming?

According to its principles, the aims of organic farming go beyond food production to include caring for and protecting the environment (landscapes, climate, habitats, biodiversity, air and water) and the wellbeing of people and animals (IFOAM 2005 ).

How much premium is required for organic farming?

Crowder and Reganold ( 2015) found that a premium of 5–7% is required in order for the profits in organic farming to equal to those in conventional farming, while the actual premium is around 30%.

What is the role of genetically diverse crops in soil?

Using genetically diverse crops, including intercrops and variety mixtures, that have the potential to perform well under different environmental conditions also minimises the amount of residual available nutrients in the soil (Wolfe et al. 2008 ). Some nutrient losses are however inevitable.

Why are pigs overfed?

Due to the ban on synthetic amino acids in organic production , pigs and poultry are often overfed with protein (+ 5–10% of crude protein in laying hens) in order to reach sufficient levels of certain amino acids in the feed (van Krimpen et al. 2016 ).

Why is joint production important?

The joint production system of dairy, which produces both milk and meat, constitutes an important exception to the rule of thumb that increased yields reduce the climate impact. When milk yields increase, the amount of meat from the dairy system decreases, as fewer cows are needed and hence fewer calves are born.

Is pig production organic?

For pigs, productivity is mostly lower in organic production, with higher intake of feed in organic sows and a lower number or weaned piglets per sow. In Northern Europe, it is common practice to use the same high-yielding breeds in organic production as in conventional animal production.

How does agriculture affect human health?

In some respects there has been improvement in the health and safety of those working in agriculture due to improved technology, personal protection, and awareness of hazards.

When was agriculture at risk?

Agriculture has experienced major bio-technological advances and economic and socio-cultural disruptions since the publication of the white paper “Agriculture at Risk” in 1988. At that time it was recognized that there were acute needs in the prevention of musculoskeletal conditions, agricultural respiratory disease, noise-induced hearing loss, …

What are the effects of aging on farmland?

Aging of the farm population may lead to increased susceptibility to the adverse effects of occupational exposures, on chronic diseases including respiratory and musculoskeletal illnesses.

What are the factors that affect agricultural exposure?

Health studies must consider several modifying factors in agricultural exposures resulting in physical illnesses including work force age and ethnicity, type of commodity, work practices, engineering controls, and use of personal protective equipment. The work force has significantly changed and varies greatly by region.

What is the focus of the paper on occupational exposures?

As other papers will address agricultural injuries, mental health, and environmental issues, the focus will be upon occupational exposures that have the potential to cause physical illnesses from occupational exposures.

What are the health problems farmers face?

Farmers have an increased prevalence of many acute and chronic health conditions including cardiovascular and respiratory disease, arthritis, skin cancer, hearing loss, and amputations. Other health outcomes have been little studies in the agricultural workplace, such as stress and adverse reproductive outcomes.

Is there a lack of knowledge of how many people are adversely affected by their exposures?

Even with the consolidation of agricultural operations and the increased complexity and size of farms and other agricultural operations, there is a lack of knowledge of how many people are adversely affected by their exposures, particularly long-term, low level exposures.


Leave a Comment