President's Cancer Panel: Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk (pdf), Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, April 2010
"Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers and washing conventionally grown produce to remove residues. Similarly, exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications if it is available. Avoiding or minimizing consumption of processed, charred, and well-done meats will reduce exposure to carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and polyaromatic hydrocarbons."So, the President's Cancer Panel is unabashedly advising Americans to eat organically-grown foods to reduce exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, yet the EPA, FDA, USDA, etc., are choosing not to regulate the presence of those chemicals in our food.
"In general, adequate infrastructure exists at the Federal level to perform necessary regulatory functions related to the manufacture, use, disposal, and exposure limits of known or suspected environmental carcinogens. However, key agencies are not fulfilling their responsibilities to protect public health. U.S. regulation of environmental contaminants is rendered ineffective by five major problems: (1) inadequate funding and insufficient staffing, (2) fragmented and overlapping authorities coupled with uneven and decentralized enforcement, (3) excessive regulatory complexity, (4) weak laws and regulations, and (5) undue industry influence."
"I think we need national programs on a lot of things, and pesticide regulation is one of them, but EPA has chosen to give [regulation of] the administration of pesticides to the various states." - Marion Moses, Pesticide Education Center
How do we know if the EPA's limits on pesticides in food, referenced in this recent Stanford Review of organic food, is worthy if the government itself admits that research is inadequate, industry influence is pervasive, and funds to investigate the problem at all are lacking?
What a mess.
The photo is from the NIH's report above. They aren't beating around the bush here. They're saying quite bluntly that pesticides and other exposures are a problem:
"The American people — even before they are born — are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures. The Panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our Nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives."