"If people really understood the connection of
Pesticides & children:
"Pesticides pose special concerns to children because of their high metabolisms and low body weights. More than 1 million children between the ages of 1 and 5 ingest at least 15 pesticides every day from fruits and vegetables. More than 600,000 of these children eat a dose of organophosphate insecticides that the federal government considers unsafe, and 61,000 eat doses that exceed benchmark levels by a factor of 10 or more."
• Source: Food for Thought: The Case for Reforming Farm Programs to Preserve the Environment and Help Family Farmers, Ranchers and Foresters, pages 12-13, found at www.environmentaldefense.org/pubs/Reports. Original source: Environmental Working Group, Overexposed: Organophosphate Insecticides in Children’s Food, 1998, pp. 1-3.
Toxic chemicals are contaminating groundwater:
Toxic chemicals are contaminating groundwater on every inhabited continent, endangering the world’s most valuable supplies of freshwater, according to a WorldWatch paper. As a result, author Payal Sampat called for a systematic overhaul of manufacturing and industrial agriculture. He noted that since 1998, farmers in China’s Yunnan Province have eliminated their use of fungicides while doubling rice yields by planting more diverse varieties of the grain. Meanwhile, several water utilities in Germany now pay farmers to switch to organic operations because moving farmers to organic practices costs less than removing farm chemicals from water supplies.
• Source: "Deep Trouble: The Hidden Threat of Groundwater Pollution," by Payal Sampat, Worldwatch Paper 154, December 2000
Pesticides "encourage life-threatening bacteria to grow on crops":
Pesticide sprays "encourage life-threatening bacteria to grow on crops," according to Canadian researcher Greg Blank in an article in the New Scientist. Researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg found that bacteria thrived in some formulations of pesticides diluted with water, growing best in chlorothalonil, linuron, permethrin, and chlorpyrifos. Blank warned that the bacteria could pose a threat to people eating raw fruit and vegetables such as strawberries, raspberries and lettuce.
• Source: New Scientist, Oct. 7, 2000.
Exposure to pesticides can cause a range of ill effects:
"Exposure to pesticides can cause a range of ill effects in humans, from relatively mild effects such as headaches, fatigue, and nausea, to more serious effects such as cancer and neurological disorders. In 1999, EPA estimated that nationwide there were at least 10,000 to 20,000 physician-diagnosed pesticide illnesses and injuries per year in farm work. Environmental effects are evident in the findings of the U.S. Geological Survey, which reported in 1999 that more than 90 percent of water and fish samples from streams and about 50 percent of all sampled wells contained one or more pesticides. The concern about pesticides in water is especially acute in agricultural areas, where most pesticides are used."
• Source: Agricultural Pesticides: Management Improvements Needed to Further Promote Integrated Pest Management, U.S. General Accounting Office [GAO-01-815, Page 4, August 2001].
Rate of usage of toxic pesticides is still significant:
"Pesticides not only harm the health of farm workers and poison wildlife and wells; they also undercut their own effectiveness. They often kill off not only the target pest but also its natural enemies, creating pest resurgences. Furthermore, regular applications of any pesticide tend to hit individual pests most sensitive to the poison while letting the least sensitive survive and breed. So pest populations become resistant, forcing chemical farmers to turn to even more lethal poisons. In the past 50 years, more than 500 insect pests, 230 crop diseases, and 220 weeds have become resistant to pesticides and herbicides."
• Source: Donella H. Meadows, "Our food, our future," in September/October 2000 issue of Organic Gardening.
Pesticides threaten the health of millions:
More than 500,000 tons of old and unused pesticides threaten the health of millions of people and the environment in developing countries and countries in transition, according to a report co-authored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the United Nations Environment Program released in May 2001. Poisons leaking from the stocks threaten human health; contaminate natural resources like soil and water, and make fields unfit for crop production. Among the highly toxic and persistent pesticides in the waste sites include aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, malathion, and parathion.
• Source: "FAO Warns: Toxic Pesticide Waste Stocks Dramatically Higher than Previously Estimated—Calls on Countries and Industry to Speed Up Disposal," Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Press Release 01/28, May 9, 2001.
Pesticides classified as carcinogens:
A 44-page report has shown that 4.5 million gallons of pesticides were reported used by commercial applicators or sold to farmers across New York state, a 20 percent increase over 1997. Nearly a third of the total amount used in 1998 are classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as known or suspected carcinogens.
• Source: The Toxic Treadmill: Pesticide Use and Sales in New York State 1997-1998.
Increase in pesticide potency:
Farmers will use 2.5 million tons of pesticides on the year 2000’s crops, pesticides that are 10-100 times more potent that formulations used just 25 years ago."
• Source: Worldwatch press release for the 92-page paper, Why Poison Ourselves? A Precautionary approach to Synthetic Chemicals, November 2000.
Why Organic Cotton?
Creating a pure, natural environment is an important choice for a growing number of parents. Choosing 100% organic cotton is the first step toward natural living, both for our sensitive babies, as well as our environment. Pesticide and chemically-treated clothing, nappies and bedding block the natural balance of the skin by trapping heat and preventing it from “breathing” which can cause rashes and eczema on sensitive skin. Organic cotton is pure and natural and allows the skin to breathe. Many people consider conventional (non-organic) cotton to be one of the world’s purest fibres, but in actual fact it is one of the world’s most heavily sprayed crops and is believed to cause up to 20,000 deaths and 3 million poisonings every year in developing countries. (Figures from the World Health Organisation- WHO)
Benefit of organics
Organic agriculture protects the health of people and the planet by reducing the overall exposure to toxic chemicals that can end up in the ground, air, water and food supply, and which are associated with health consequences from asthma to cancer. Because organic agriculture doesn’t use toxic chemicals and pesticides, choosing to buy organic products is one way we can help to care for ourselves and our children by leaving behind a clean healthy planet.
The benefits of choosing organic cotton are many:-
A healthier planet - no pesticides and hazardous chemicals are used so better for the community and for our precious planet.
Better for farmers and farming communities- farmers and their families are not exposed to the toxic chemicals used in conventional farming which can cause death and poisonings, thus saving lives.
Better for the consumer - as much as 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies thus by using organic cotton we avoid all the unnecessary chemicals which can cause rashes, asthma, allergies etc
Conventional Cotton represents only 2.4% of all cultivated land but uses 24% of all insecticides and 11% of all pesticides used in the world each year.
Chlorine bleach and formaldehyde are used for whitening and finishing in conventional cotton. These are known cancer causing agents.
Conventional cotton uses 84 million pounds of pesticides and 2 billion pounds of synthetic fertilisers every year.