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Organic foods aren’t healthier for kids?

Delicious Living Medical Editor Robert Rountree, MD, responds to a recent American Academy of Pediatrics statement claiming organic isn't healthier for kids.

A recent statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says there are no benefits for kids from eating organic diets. My response: People see what they are looking for because, after all, plenty of research has shown otherwise. 

Consider the 2011 meta-analysis from Newcastle University supporting the potential for organic foods to fight disease. The study found that secondary metabolites were 12 percent higher in organically grown foods compared with conventionally grown foods and that defense-related secondary metabolites were 16 percent higher. Why are these molecules important? Because an abundance of data shows they are responsible for most of fruits' and vegetables' beneficial disease-preventing properties.

In contrast, the AAP article gave these disease fighters short shrift by citing only one article from 2003 in saying that phenols have "postulated benefits."

And that's not the only place where the article went wrong. It also had the audacity to report that use of bovine growth hormones would have environmental benefits because it would induce more milk production from cows, creating a “salutary” effect on global warming. 

I couldn't help but think that it sounds like they may have called on Monsanto’s marketing team to craft that statement.

It turns out that one of the authors, Janet Silverstein, MD, is a faculty member at the University of Florida, which worked closely with Monsanto to develop bovine growth hormone and has received millions of dollars of University of Florida grant money. Monsanto continued to work with the university on genetically engineered corn.

What's even more interesting is that the authors of the AAP article say that although eating organic foods would reduce exposure to pesticides, it was "unclear" if this was clinically relevant. 

In other words, who cares if kids are swimming in pesticides!

What do you think about this recent statement from the AAP on organic foods and kids? Answer in the comments below or tweet us at @deliciousliving

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