A new study is saying what many of us have known for a long time: Pesticides and herbicides and pregnancy do not mix.
Obstetricians have been told by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine to issue a basic warning that pregnant women should stay away from pesticides and herbicides that are in non-organic foods because of previous studies indicating they can harm the developing fetus.
In this study, Cincinnati-area women demonstrated levels of organophosphate insecticides that significantly affected birth weight and gestation period. Lead researcher, Dr. Bruce Lanphear, and his partners followed an economically and ethically diverse group of more than 300 expectant mothers from the Cincinnati and the surrounding areas and they measured the levels of organophosphates in their urine. The women with the highest concentrations of urine had babies that were delivered, on average, about half a week earlier and weighed one-third of a pound less than those of women with the lowest exposures.
This may not seem like a big deal. In fact, for many women, it may seem inviting to have to deliver a smaller baby and wait a few less days to deliver, but it is indicative of a bigger problem. Pesticides and herbicides in our foods are getting into our bodies and causing an effect on our lives.
Now, combine this new study with past studies and we get a better picture of just how dangerous eating foods sprayed with or genetically altered to manufacture their own herbicides or pesticides really is. Other studies include:
- Three studies that found that prenatal exposure to organophosphates was associated with a lower IQ in children.
- A study that shows glyphosate (an herbicide used in our foods) causes damage to placenta, umbilical, and embryonic human cells.
- One study saying that our current formulations for food use underestimate their toxic and hormonal impact on pregnancy.
- A study that linked the herbicide RoundUp to birth defects.
- A studying addressing herbicides’ link to neural defects and craniofacial malformations.
I understand the the topic of mainstream food verses organic food is an especially hot topic these days, especially as the Just Label It campaign managed to muster up over a million signatures on their petition to the FDA requesting that genetically modified foods be labeled in part because of their enormous use of herbicides and their ability to manufacture their own pesticides within their own DNA. This is a very political issue. I understand that.
My motives for writing this post are not about politics though. In August of 2000, I had a still born baby and last year, I found a study that showed, finally, a cause for what my doctors had said was a fluke genetic mutation. After ten years, I discovered the only known, provable cause for my daughter’s genetic defect that resulted in her death. That cause was organophosphates. That loss was one I hope to prevent other women from experiencing. That is the reason for my message.
If you are planning a family, as I know many of Everything Birth Blog’s readers are, please consider making the switch to organic foods for both you and the father-to-be. It may spare you a devastating heartbreak…