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Dec 2011

10 Reasons to Buy Organic

Beyond Frankenfoods and Toxics:
Ten Reasons to Buy Organic
by Ronnie Cummins Organic Consumers Association
Organic foods and products are the fastest growing items in America’s grocery carts. Thirty million households, comprising 75 million people, are now buying organic foods, clothing, body care, supplements, pet food, and other products on a regular basis. 56% of US consumers say they prefer organic foods.
1
Organic foods are produced without GMOs Consumers worry about untested and unlabeled genetically modified (GMO) in- gredients in common supermarket items. Genetically engineered ingredients are
now found in 75% of all non-organic US processed foods, even in many products labeled or advertised as “natural.” In addition, the overwhelming majority of non-organic meat, dairy, and eggs are derived from animals reared on a steady diet of GM animal feed. Although polls indicate that 90% of Americans want labels on gene-altered foods, government and industry adamantly refuse to respect consumers’ right to know, understanding quite well that health and environmental-minded shoppers will avoid foods with a GMO label.
2
Organic foods are safe and pure Organic farming prohibits the use of toxic pesticides, antibiotics, growth hor- mones, nano-particles, and climate-destabilizing chemical fertilizers. Pesticide
and drug residues are routinely found in non-organic produce, processed foods, and ani- mal products. Consumer Reports has found that 77% of non-organic produce items in the average supermarket contain pesticide residues. The beef industry has acknowledged that 94% of all US beef cattle have hormone implants, which are banned in Europe as a cancer hazard. Approximately 10% of all US dairy cows are injected with Monsanto and Elanco’s controversial genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone, banned in most indus- trialized nations. Recent studies indicate that an alarming percentage of non-organic US meat contains dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
3
Organic foods & farming are climate-friendly 35-50% of climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas pollution (CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide) in North America comes from our energy & chemical-intensive
food and farming system. Organic farms and ranches use far less fossil fuel and can safely sequester up to 7,000 pounds of CO2 per acre in the soil every year.) Twenty-four billion pounds of chemical fertilizers applied on non-organic farms in the US every year pollute our drinking water and create enormous dead zones in the oceans and release enormous amounts of nitrous oxide, a super potent, climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas.
4
Organic certification prohibits nuclear irradiation
Irradiating food with nuclear waste or electron beams destroys vitamins and
nutrients and produce cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene and form- aldehyde. The nuclear industry, large food processors, and slaughterhouses continue to lobby Congress to remove required labels from irradiated foods and replace these with misleading labels that use the term “cold pasteurization.” The USDA and large meat compa- nies have promoted the use of irradiated meat in school lunches and senior citizen facili- ties. Many non-organic spices contain irradiated ingredients.
5
Very few cases of food poisoning have ever been linked to organic farms or food processors Salmonella, e-coli, campylobacter, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus au-
reus (MRSA), and fecal contamination are found in animal products coming out of the na- tion’s inhumane and filthy slaughterhouses. The Centers for Disease Control have admit- ted that up to 76 million Americans suffer from food poisoning every year.
6
Organic farming categorically prohibits the use of sewage sludge Billions of pounds of toxic municipal sewage sludge are
being dumped as “fertilizer” on 140,000 of America’s chemical farms. Scientific evidence has confirmed that municipal sewage sludge contains hundreds of dangerous pathogens, toxic heavy metals, flame-retardants, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, phar- maceutical drugs and other hazardous chemicals coming from res- idential drains, storm water runoff, hospitals, and industrial plants.
7
Animals on organic farms cannot be fed slaughterhouse waste The routine practice of grinding up slaughterhouse
waste and feeding this offal and blood back to other animals has given rise to a form of human mad-cow disease called CJD, often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease.
8
Humane treatment of animals
Organic farming prohibits intensive confinement and
mutilation (de-beaking, cutting off tails, etc.) of farm animals. In addition to the cruel and unhealthy confinement of animals on factory farms, scientists warn that these CAFOs (Con- fined Animal Feeding Operations) produce enormous volumes of manure and urine, which pollute surface and ground water and emit large quantities of methane, a powerful climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas.

9
Organic has high nutritional value
Organic foods are nutritionally dense compared to foods produced with toxic chemicals, chemical fertil- izers, and GMO seeds. Studies show that organic foods contain more vitamins, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, and important trace minerals.

10
Organics preserve family farms
Just about the only small farmers who stand chance of making decent living these days are organic farmers, who get a better price for their products. Stud- ies have shown that small organic farms in the developing world produce twice as much food per acre as chemical and GMO farms, while using far less fossil fuel and sequestering large amounts of excess CO2 in the soil. Yields on organic farms in the industrial- ized world are comparable to the yields on chemical and GMO farms, with the important qualification that organic farms far out-produce chemical farms under extreme weather conditions of drought or torrential rains.

For all these reasons, millions of American consumers are turning to organic foods and other organic items, including clothing and body care products—part of an overall movement toward healthy living, preserving the environment, and reversing global warming.
For more information, visit organicconsumers.org



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