GM Free Cymru

Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children's Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides

Date Added to website 2nd May 2014

This is an old article, but highly relevant to the current debate about the impact made on public health by glyphosate and Roundup. Roundup is referred to as "a deadly organophosphate herbicide" and glyphosate on its own is often classed as an organophosphorus pesticide. So we may assume that at least part of the exposure to which the children in this test were exposed is related to Roundup, which was of course widely used at the time of this research, not just in rural areas but also in urban parks, streets and gardens.

The key point is the immediate change noticed when children switched to organic diet, and another immediuate change when they switched back again to a "conventional" diet...........

"Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children's Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides" by Chensheng Lu, Kathryn Toepel, Rene Irish, Richard A. Fenske, Dana B. Barr, and Roberto Bravo Environ Health Perspect 114:260–263 (2006).

doi:10.1289/ehp.8418 available via [Online 1 September 2005]


We used a novel study design to measure dietary organophosphorus pesticide exposure in a group of 23 elementary school-age children through urinary biomonitoring. We substituted most of children's conventional diets with organic food items for 5 consecutive days and collected two spot daily urine samples, first-morning and before-bedtime voids, throughout the 15-day study period. We found that the median urinary concentrations of the specific metabolites for malathion and chlorpyrifos decreased to the nondetect levels immediately after the introduction of organic diets and remained nondetectable until the conventional diets were reintroduced. The median concentrations for other organophosphorus pesticide metabolites were also lower in the organic diet consumption days; however, the detection of those metabolites was not frequent enough to show any statistical significance. In conclusion, we were able to demonstrate that an organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against exposures to organophosphorus pesticides that are commonly used in agricultural production. We also concluded that these children were most likely exposed to these organophosphorus pesticides exclusively through their diet. To our knowledge, this is the first study to employ a longitudinal design with a dietary intervention to assess children's exposure to pesticides. It provides new and persuasive evidence of the effectiveness of this intervention.