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Organic Food is Poisoning You

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If there’s one thing the last couple of decades have reinforced in the minds of consumers, it’s that organic foods are healthier than their non-organic alternatives. However, unless you’re growing your own produce, it’s unlikely that you’re even aware of the differences between organic and non-organic. Like most people, you’ve probably bought into the marketing hype that anything not labeled organic is somehow inferior, and therefore not as healthy.

Organic Salad

Is organic better than non-organic? Image

That’s because the standards defining what is and isn’t certified organic vary from country to country. When it comes to those standards, the U.S. is so far from perfect that the last time you ate organic, you probably ingested deadly poisons. That’s because the FDA doesn’t monitor the presence of heavy metals in certified organic food.

This opens up a huge export market for other countries, as what can’t be sold on their shelves is readily purchased in the U.S. At over $30 billion in annual revenue, the American organic food market remains one of the largest unregulated industries in the country. Mom-and-pop businesses and grassroots organizations like the California Certified Organic Farmers are working to establish regulations, but there is only so much they can do without support from the FDA. Across the U.S., California is the unchallenged leader in establishing and enforcing organic standards, while federally administered programs such as the USDA’s National Organic Program still lag behind.

Unfortunately, federal regulation by the USDA tends to focus largely on environmental sustainability, and the absence of pesticide use. The regulations govern where food can be grown, how it can be raised, and what can be done with it once it’s harvested. They do not, however, mandate any particular testing, as that’s the job of the FDA. As we’ve stated previously, the FDA isn’t doing its job. In fact, it isn’t even pretending to.

This would have continued to go unnoticed by Americans were it not for the actions of a man known as the Health Ranger. His name is Mike Adams, he’s the Editor in Chief of Natural News, and to quote him,

The shocking truth is that the FDA does not require certified organic products to be tested for heavy metals. That means manufacturers can legally sell products here that have concentrations of toxic heavy metals that would be illegal to sell in Canada, for example. Many people are consuming these products, but are not aware of the health risks.

Manufacturing Something

Is it healthy manufacturing, or just organic? Image

As you might imagine, Adams is no friend of certain organic food manufacturers, and there are several scientific publications that vilify him, but he’s not a loose cannon blindly slinging these accusations. Everything he does is based on research conducted in his own labs, and much of it has been independently verified. In fact, the most commonly leveled accusation against him concerning heavy metals in organic foods is that he’s claiming that there are dangers when no FDA regulations exist to establish what’s dangerous and what’s not. While that is technically true, it’s only a half-truth. The FDA’s website does indicate that “many plants, whether or not they are organically grown, contain substances that may be toxic,” and there certainly aren’t any standards to be found there, but they’re not the only group in the United States working to regulate the organic food industry. Nor are they the most informed or effective.

California holds that honor. As mentioned previously, it’s the national leader when it comes to establishing and enforcing standards in the organic food community. California’s own Prop 65 is the only real statute in America that establishes measurable standards for these heavy metal poisons. It sets standards for aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, tungsten, and other substances. Unfortunately, that’s also where the problem starts. In some cases the levels of these poisons found in certified organic foods manufactured from imported raw materials are more than 20 times the acceptable levels.

His research is considered groundbreaking by many, including Doctor Oz, who featured Mike Adams on a program titled The Whistleblower Who Found Poison in America’s Food. However, these findings aren’t limited to research conducted by the “Renegade Health Ranger.” They’re actually quite widespread, and have been a concern for some time.

Stanford - Non-Organic

Stanford considers organic benefits limited. Image

In 2006, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of NIH, wrote, “It is difficult, therefore, to weigh the risks, but what should be made clear is that ‘organic’ does not automatically equal ‘safe.’ Additional studies in this area of research are warranted. At our present state of knowledge, other factors rather than safety aspects seem to speak in favor of organic food.” In other words, while organic food might be better for you, being organic doesn’t necessarily make it any safer to consume.

In 2012, Stanford University published an article on the health benefits of organic foods, and found that there was little benefit to them when compared to non-organic foods. “Some believe that organic food is always healthier and more nutritious,” said Smith-Spangler, who is also an instructor of medicine at the School of Medicine. “We were a little surprised that we didn’t find that.” While the article did not specifically look into the presence of heavy metals, it did find that the main difference between organic and non-organic foods was a lack of pesticides. Other factors, such as where the foods were grown, had a much more uniform impact on the foods, with little difference noted between them once pesticides were eliminated from the equation.

This leaves us with the disturbing fact that, while organic foods are relatively free of pesticides, they’re not necessarily as healthy as we’ve been led to believe. At least, not if you live outside of California or consume protein shakes made with ingredients of dubious origin, such as China or other countries known for exporting contaminated food products.

For those of you who just want to see the test results for heavy metal contamination, here is a link to some of the tests conducted on rice protein shakes.

Featured Image: Carrots – Not just for rabbits!

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About HJ Buell

Henry is an author, a copywriter, and a journalist. He ghostwrites, produces compelling copy for ad agencies or websites, and writes research based articles and stories.
  • kotawinters

    The way this piece is written is disturbing. It is an opinion piece – not news report. Since it is talking about research, it should have been written straight – sans the judgments. If the writer wants credibility, it should not have been written this way. Take note of his adjectives >> As you might imagine, Adams is no friend of certain organic food manufacturers, and there are several scientific publications that vilify him, but he’s not a loose cannon blindly slinging these accusations. Everything he does is based on research conducted in his own labs, and much of it has been independently verified. << It's one man's word against the public.

    • Hello Kota Winters, and thank you for your comments and opinions. I’m curious as to why you believe I’ve reported an opinion, rather than news and fact. The fact is that poisons do exist in organic food, and there is a near complete lack of industry oversight by the FDA. Both of these things are newsworthy and need to be reported on. Mike Adams or Dr. Oz drawing public attention to them does not change the worth of these items as news.

      The statements you’ve drawn out of my article are also absolutely not opinion. They are facts, and I challenge you to research them, as I have, and draw your own conclusions – based on fact.

      Specifically, as concerns your comments:
      • Mike Adams is not well liked by certain organic food manufacturers, something he clearly states in the linked Dr. Oz clip. This is a fact, and not my opinion. Have you watched the clip to hear Mike Adams and Dr. Oz discussing exactly what I’ve written?
      • The scientific community vilifies Mike Adams. Some even consider him public enemy number one. This is a fact, and not my opinion. Have you researched the opinions of the scientific community on Mr. Adams and Dr. Oz?
      • Mike Adams has his own lab, and conducts his own testing. Those results are independently verifiable. Again, this is fact, and not opinion. Have you researched the standards of his lab or what goes into certifying a lab?
      • Most first world countries have very strict requirements for organic foods. What the US imports isn‘t always suitable for consumption in its country of origin. This is also a fact. Have you researched the organic food standards of other countries in comparison to the US?

      Again, these are all facts. I have not made them up, and each has been thoroughly researched. My personal opinions on Mike Adams, Dr. Oz, or organic foods have no in a news article. That is why my opinions and beliefs are not presented in the article. One could argue that I might have written a much longer piece, but then, as you know, not everyone reads it to the end.

      • kotawinters

        Perhaps it’s in the way you express yourself. For example, “he’s not a loose cannon blindly slinging these accusations. Everything he does is based on research conducted in his own labs” – This one would rather require a SHOWING (data, statistics, facts) rather than your TELLING it in these statements. You will need more journalistic discipline in use of words. Try lesser use of adjectives and give numbers, report facts. Your emotion shows too much. Report it like straight news, not a column. 🙂

        • Thank you for the helpful follow up response. I hadn’t considered it from that perspective, and will try to incorporate that view into future writing. Generally I’m more of a storyteller in what I write, but often the story I’m telling isn’t mine.

          With news I work to keep out personal opinion, and in this piece especially. The more I researched it, the more I noted people quoting opinion as fact on both sides of the argument.

          Originally the part of the article you mentioned was much longer, and filled with facts and links. However, a friend who read over it critiqued the original piece and said that it detracted from the story. Either I was reporting on poisons in organic foods and FDA problems, or I was reporting on personal bias interfering with the acceptance of scientific evidence.

          Basically it was a case of cramming two stories into one. So, I dropped my research links and quotes, focused on the organic poison part of the article, and reduced it to what it is.

          The other half of the debate, where both science and pseudoscience join forces against reason and thoughtful dialogue, well… I had to leave that for another piece (one I will probably never write, and instead just gripe about when I see it).

          I will probably write a big FDA piece too, but that will have to wait until I have more time or a wealthy benefactor.

          As long as I’m not too old to learn, I hope to continue writing. Thank you again for your comments and insights. One day when I’m a celebrated author, I’ll be able to add you to the list of those who helped me refine my writing. 🙂

          I hope you have a good day,

          • kotawinters

            Right. I like your attitude. Especially that you are writing more for public service like that one on organic foods, you need really to refine your writing. Then when you go into book form, you won’t find it hard to adjust.

          • kurt brigliadora

            Exactly right, if some company would come fourth…and put out a product that would reduce the amount of salt and sugar and unhealthy fats in their recipes and ingredients.

          • kurt brigliadora

            yadda yadda , but how do we fix it?…What is the solution?

        • kurt brigliadora

          yes, like a real reporter, less emotion and more detail!

    • kurt brigliadora

      like a survey of him and by him , oh and for him…”popeye laughs” gah gah

  • Barry

    People need to know that the best and safest and best way to remove mercury and other heavy metals from the body is with the natural detox mineral called Zeolite! Zeolite has the advantage over all other chelators to be able to hold onto the mercury or other heavy metals all the way out of the body without releasing anything back into the body to make you feel sick! For more information do a simple search for the single word Zeolite.

    • kurt brigliadora

      Gary Null is very good at things like this along with chelation therapy…

  • kurt brigliadora

    why do u say that? because of the heavy metal in the food?

  • When I see the word organic printed on any product I have immediate doubts. The word SALE in a shop window has the same effect, as does NEW, NEW IMPROVED; phrases like 99% of mothers agree that…or…”as seen on TV.” We have moved into a digital age when words don’t tell the truth. How can we expect our politicians and corporate overlords to do so?

  • Barry

    People need to know that the best way to safely remove mercury, lead and other heavy metals from the body is with the natural mineral called zeolite that has been proven to safely remove mercury and all heavy metals from the body! For more information on this detox, do a search for the single word Zeolite.

  • kurt brigliadora

    The larger the fish the more mercury per pound it contains.

  • kurt brigliadora

    I would like to see more small eatery’s open up the serve; calorie conscious meals,with nutritional info , with local sustainable products.