Written by: D.Wilson, RD, LD, MPH
There are many benefits to eating an organic diet, both for the environment and especially for our children, as much research is starting to reveal. For instance, a report in Pediatrics in the June 2010 issue highlights a study done by several institutions in which their findings showed that children with higher urinary levels of a chemical called organophosphate were more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. (1) Organophosphates are found in common pesticides that are used on conventional produce crops that are available in grocery stores today. In fact, there are approximately 40 of these pesticides registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Children are said to be most vulnerable to these chemicals due to their smaller body weight and still developing brains. The study in Pediatrics found this to be especially true in children from ages 6 to 11 years of age. They had the highest urinary concentrations of dialkyl phosphate (DAP) metabolites (which are markers of organophosphate exposure) as compared to other age groups in the U.S. population.
Two other studies, one conducted by Environmental Health Perspectives and the other by The Organic Center, also concluded that there is a definite, measurable amount of pesticide residue found in the urine of children who eat a conventional versus an organic diet, especially from eating fruits and vegetables. (2) (3) This is significant news as postnatal organophosphate exposure has been associated with behavioral problems, poorer short-term memory and motor skills and longer reaction times in children. (1)
Most recently, the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity noted the possibility that developmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (such as organophosphate pesticides, monosodium glutamate, and bisphenol A) and other chemical pollutants can play a role in the development of diabetes and childhood obsesity. Some scientists have coined the term “obesogens” for these chemicals because they believe they promote weight gain and obesity. (4)
In light of the findings of these studies and reports, we are pleased to offer children a great start with our organic, pesticide free, complete nutrition products for both infants and children up to age 13 years. Our Baby’s Only Organic® formulas provide organic nutrition for children up to age 3 years. For toddlers who need added calories, consider offering PediaSmart®, our complete organic nutritional beverage for children ages 1-13 years. For more information on both of these products, please visit our website at www.NaturesOne.com.
(1) Maryse F. Bouchard, PhDa,b, David C. Bellinger, PhDa,c, Robert O. Wright, MD, MPHa,d,e, Marc G. Weisskopf, PhDa,e,f. “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides.” PEDIATRICS June 2010, pp. e1270-e1277.
(2)Cynthia Curl, Richard Fensker, Kai Elgestun, et al. Organophophate Pesticide Exposure of Urban & Suburban preschool children with Organic & Conventional Diets. Environ Health Perspect. 2003:111(3):377-382.
(3)The Organic Center. Critical Issue Report: Pesticide Dietary Risk. Available at http://www.organic-center.org/tocpdfs/OrganicOptionExecSummary.pdf. Accessed June 11, 2010.
(4) The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity. Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation, May, 2010 can be found at: