Organic food vs. conventional food Cheryl Lans, PhD Organic farmers & the law Sept 24, 2004
EU Commissioner Wallstr Ö m <ul><li>Margot Wallstr ö m is the European Commissioner for Environment. </li></ul><ul><li>In ...
1 st  group of 28 chemicals in Wallstr ö m’s blood Highest no of chemicals found in any one person = 49 Banned.  Enters in...
2 nd  group of 28 chemicals in Wallstr ö m’s blood EU legislation Diet source/ Health effects Source Chemical Banned as a ...
3 rd  group of 28 chemicals in Wallstr ö m’s blood Highest concentration of any chemical found was 2,557 parts per billion...
REACH <ul><li>WWF claimed that women had lower levels of  </li></ul><ul><li>certain PCBs than men and the levels were  </l...
Summary of chemical findings of WWF-UK National Biomonitoring Survey 2003 27 49 9 Number of chemicals 100 2600 1.3 Total D...
Outline: legal claims <ul><li>EU Chemicals policy & Commissioner Wallstr ö m. </li></ul><ul><li>Pesticides literature revi...
Pesticides Literature Review <ul><li>Ontario College of Family Physicians, April 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Website:  www.ocfp...
Pesticides Lit Review: cancer Running for a cure? Or stop pesticide use? 1 Ovarian 6 studies Kidney Children died from pat...
Pesticides Lit Review: cancers 2 incl 2 -ve 4 studies -ve 24 +ve 15 +ve 23 +ve Genotoxicit y/ Immunotoxicity Leukemia Live...
Pesticides Lit Review Mixed results 3 -ve Mixed results 58 39 +ve 6 studies Reproduction Neurological/ Mental health Derma...
Pesticides Lit Review: conclusions <ul><li>Exposure to all commonly used pesticides – phenoxyherbicides, organophosphates,...
Pesticides Lit Review: conclusions <ul><li>6 pesticides including 2,4-D and Dicamba were assoc with increased time to preg...
Data quality law <ul><li>Atrazine is America’s second-leading weedkiller. 80 million pounds of atrazine are sprayed on ten...
African clawed frogs & atrazine <ul><li>Syngenta hired Tyrone Hayes, the youngest tenured full professor at Berkeley (30) ...
Syngenta science <ul><li>4  independent research teams in 3 countries reproduced Hayes’ results. </li></ul><ul><li>Syngent...
Data quality law <ul><li>The Data Quality Act was written by industry lobbyist Jim J. Tozzi and slipped into a 712-page Tr...
Some Data Quality Law petitions Review carcinogenic properties of atrazine  National Institutes of Health National Toxicol...
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Organic food vs conventional food

  1. 1. Organic food vs. conventional food Cheryl Lans, PhD Organic farmers & the law Sept 24, 2004
  2. 2. EU Commissioner Wallstr Ö m <ul><li>Margot Wallstr ö m is the European Commissioner for Environment. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2003 Wallstr ö m participated in a bio-monitoring survey run by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Co-operative Bank and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. Study sample 50 men & 105 women from UK & Belgium, aged 22 to 80. </li></ul><ul><li>She sent 40 ml of her blood for screening to the Dept of Environmental Sciences of Lancaster (UK). Her blood was tested for 77 man-made chemicals found in everyday products such as TV sets, carpets, furniture and food. </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1 st group of 28 chemicals in Wallstr ö m’s blood Highest no of chemicals found in any one person = 49 Banned. Enters into force in EU: 15 August 2004 Fatty fish / PBDEs stored in human fat concentrate in breast milk or passed on to babies through placenta. Causes cancer in animals. Flame retardents in curtains, sofas, mattresses, polyurethane foam, rigid plastic in cars, TV and computer screen casings Poly Brominated Diphenyl Esters Penta-BDE Octa-BDE EU legislation Diet source/ Health effects Source Chemical
  4. 4. 2 nd group of 28 chemicals in Wallstr ö m’s blood EU legislation Diet source/ Health effects Source Chemical Banned as a persistent organic pollutant (POPs) in 2001. Effective 2004. Still found in food and environment/ Can pass to babies through placenta and breastfeeding. Stored in fat and liver and other organs in smaller amounts. High doses may affect organs, unborn child and cause cancer. Electrical equipment, paint additives, flame retardents in plastics Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls PCBs
  5. 5. 3 rd group of 28 chemicals in Wallstr ö m’s blood Highest concentration of any chemical found was 2,557 parts per billion of the DDT metabolite p,p’-DDE. Others found: HCB, p,p’-DDE, p,p’-DDT, beta-HCH. Rarely found were o,p’-DDD, o,p’-DDT, o,p’-DDE, p,p’-DDD, alpha-HCH and gamma HCH (lindane). No alpha-chlordane or gamma chlordane EU legislation Diet source/ Health effects Source Chemical Banned 20 years ago, except to produce the pesticide dicofol. Still found in food and environment. Can pass to babies through placenta and breastfeeding. Affects nervous system. Harms reproduction in animals. Pesticides like DDT, lindane (_-HCH) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) Organo Chlorine pesticides OCPs
  6. 6. REACH <ul><li>WWF claimed that women had lower levels of </li></ul><ul><li>certain PCBs than men and the levels were </li></ul><ul><li>reduced in relation to the number of children they </li></ul><ul><li>carried and breast-fed. WWF claimed that these differences were related to women “off-loading” some of their chemical burden to their children. </li></ul><ul><li>REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of chemicals) is the EU’s new regulatory framework for 100,000 chemicals. Only a limited number of these chemicals have documentation on their effects on human health and the environment. It shifts the burden of proof of safety back to the producers, manufacturers and downstream users of chemicals (including that of older chemicals). </li></ul>
  7. 7. Summary of chemical findings of WWF-UK National Biomonitoring Survey 2003 27 49 9 Number of chemicals 100 2600 1.3 Total DDT and metabolites (ng/g lipid) 15 120 Not found Total HCH pesticide (ng/g lipid) 130 2700 7.1 Total organochlorine pesticides (ng/g lipid) 170 670 14 Total PCBs (ng/g lipid) 5.6 420 0.63 Total PBDE flame retardants (ng/g lipid) 340 3100 46 All chemicals analysed (ng/g lipid) (lipid of blood) Median Maximum Minimum
  8. 8. Outline: legal claims <ul><li>EU Chemicals policy & Commissioner Wallstr ö m. </li></ul><ul><li>Pesticides literature review, Ontario College of Family Physicians. </li></ul><ul><li>US Data quality law. </li></ul>a. Difference in two types of food. b. Production and consumption of organic food not a ‘lifestyle choice’ but a right. Need for Canadian data
  9. 9. Pesticides Literature Review <ul><li>Ontario College of Family Physicians, April 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Website: www.ocfp.on.ca </li></ul><ul><li>Project began in Feb 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Review of papers (Eng, French, Spanish, Portuguese) investigating the human health effects of pesticides. </li></ul><ul><li>109 cancer papers and 156 non-cancer papers published from 1990 to 2003. (Cohort, case-control, ecological). </li></ul><ul><li>Categories: cancer (lung, breast, colorectal, pancreas, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, brain, prostate, stomach, ovary, kidney, testicular), genotoxic/ immunologic, neurotoxic, reproductive effects, dermatologic. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Pesticides Lit Review: cancer Running for a cure? Or stop pesticide use? 1 Ovarian 6 studies Kidney Children died from paternal exposure 8 3 4 6 11 Prostate Pancreatic Lung Breast Brain Dichlorvos, heptochlor, lindane, simazine Fungicides, herbicides, methyl bromide 1 Stomach Atrazine
  11. 11. Pesticides Lit Review: cancers 2 incl 2 -ve 4 studies -ve 24 +ve 15 +ve 23 +ve Genotoxicit y/ Immunotoxicity Leukemia Livestock farmers esp pig NHL Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphona Phenoxy herbicides, lumberjacks,carbamate insecticides, others
  12. 12. Pesticides Lit Review Mixed results 3 -ve Mixed results 58 39 +ve 6 studies Reproduction Neurological/ Mental health Dermatologic
  13. 13. Pesticides Lit Review: conclusions <ul><li>Exposure to all commonly used pesticides – phenoxyherbicides, organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethrins shows +ve assocs with adverse health effects. </li></ul><ul><li>No evidence that some pesticides are safer than others; rather - different health effects with different latency periods. </li></ul><ul><li>Triazine herbicides – increased breast cancer risk. </li></ul><ul><li>Carbamate & phenoxyherbicides – increased lung cancer risk. </li></ul><ul><li>Spraying organophosphate during pregnancy – caused deterioration in placentas. </li></ul><ul><li>Indoor spraying of insecticides assoc with brain cancer and acute lymphocytic leukemia in children. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Pesticides Lit Review: conclusions <ul><li>6 pesticides including 2,4-D and Dicamba were assoc with increased time to pregnancy. </li></ul><ul><li>Fungicide exposure had +ve assoc with dermatitis. </li></ul><ul><li>Pyrethrins assoc with chronic pychiatric effects, chromosome aberrations, rashes in licensed pet groomers, intrauterine growth retardation (major determinant of health in first year of life). </li></ul><ul><li>Herbicides glyphosphate and glufosinate assoc with congenital malformations. </li></ul><ul><li>Parental preconception exposure to glyphosate assoc with late abortion. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Data quality law <ul><li>Atrazine is America’s second-leading weedkiller. 80 million pounds of atrazine are sprayed on tens of millions of corn every year. It is the most prevalent herbicide in ground and surface water. </li></ul><ul><li>Atrazine will be banned by the EU in 2005 because it disrupts hormones in wildlife (frogs with m/f organs). </li></ul><ul><li>Not banned in US despite 10 years of scientific review. </li></ul><ul><li>Reason: a sentence was added to the final scientific assessment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Sentence reads: hormone disruption cannot be considered a “legitimate regulatory endpoint at this time” because the [Bush] government has not settled on an officially accepted test for measuring such disruption”. </li></ul>
  16. 16. African clawed frogs & atrazine <ul><li>Syngenta hired Tyrone Hayes, the youngest tenured full professor at Berkeley (30) to test atrazine on tadpoles of African clawed frogs. </li></ul><ul><li>At 0.1 parts per billion (1 drop of atrazine in 5000 40-gallon barrels of water) [1/30 level allowed in US drinking water), tadpoles were demasculinized.Tadpoles had smaller larynxes, testosterone levels were 1/10 th normal levels. Syngenta told Hayes to repeat his work. Then they did not allow him to publish. </li></ul><ul><li>Hayes quit EcoRisk Inc., a private risk-assessment service and repeated his studies with 200 leopard frogs caught in the wild. 100% of males from areas treated with atrazine had abnormal sex organs. Untreated regions had normal males. Hayes published in Nature (2002) and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2003. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Syngenta science <ul><li>4 independent research teams in 3 countries reproduced Hayes’ results. </li></ul><ul><li>Syngenta funded 12 other studies that did not reproduce Hayes’ results. </li></ul><ul><li>In at least 2 Syngenta studies, ‘control group’ frogs had been placed in atrazine contaminated water. In other studies 80 to 90% of frogs died from neglect. However since these flawed studies did not reproduce Hayes’ results Tozzi was able to file a petition under the Data Quality Act that information that is not reproducible is “not accurate, reliable or useful.” </li></ul><ul><li>The EPA asked Syngenta to track atrazine levels in 40 US watersheds over 3 years and see how farmers are minimizing atrazine contamination. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Data quality law <ul><li>The Data Quality Act was written by industry lobbyist Jim J. Tozzi and slipped into a 712-page Treasury & General Government Appropriations Act in 2000 by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo) without congressional debate (signed by Clinton 9 days after Gore lost). </li></ul><ul><li>It directs the Office of Management and Budget to ensure that all information disseminated by the federal government is reliable (quality, objectivity, utility, integrity of information). </li></ul><ul><li>39 petitions so far (non-trivial); 32 filed by regulated industries. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Some Data Quality Law petitions Review carcinogenic properties of atrazine National Institutes of Health National Toxicology Program Limit salt intake National Institutes of Health Salt Institute & US Chamber of Commerce Limit sugar intake FDA & Agriculture Sugar industry Banning wood with heavy metals & arsenic from playgrounds Consumer Product Safety Commission American Chemistry Council Subject Challenged party Industry

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