Dangerously organic!

Could you be poisoning yourself or your family?

Organic food. For many it is a way of life that promotes an active lifestyle and good health. Chemical free, most organic foods can improve the quality of life for many individuals. Supposedly grown with a low amount of contaminants, organic food is a great way to eat the foods you love without ingesting the harmful materials found in non-organic pesticides and fertilizers. Large corporations of organic foods grow their produce using fish emulsion, a fertilizer produced from the fluid remains of fish. Knowing that the fertilizer comes from fish emulsion sounds like plus for the organic industry. In fact, the last thing you would expect when eating organic foods is to ingest something toxic, however, it is a fact that is slowly becoming known. 


Mercury is one of the most toxic materials to be regularly ingested by people. It used to be that eating something like tuna, a large fish that is commonly eaten despite having noticeable traces of mercury, was fine within the realm of a couple of times a week. While it still may be the case, more and more fish are turning up with higher amounts of mercury. These toxic fish are still being used to create fish emulsion, and that emulsion is still being used to fertilize produce by large organic producers. This is essentially creating toxic food. 


Before you shrug it off and think "well I know it can't be in MY food", did you know that mercury poisoning is incredibly difficult to detect? Most doctors don't screen for it and the symptoms are so common that they are often mistaken for a myriad of other illnesses. Unless you specifically know to ask for a mercury poisoning test, there is a large probability that you may be misdiagnosed and the problem may never be resolved. Over time, mercury can cause massive amounts of damage and may even result in death. It is particularly damaging in children, causing profound mental defects as well as massive damage to other organs.


Mercury is a deadly toxin that can be easily avoided with the proper precautions. I am asking others to help stop this threat by contacting the Center for Science in the Public Interest with a brief email asking them to look into the use of fish emulsion as a fertilizer by the organic food industry. Choosing to ignore this problem could be more harmful than eating non-organic foods. So please take the time and send that email, it's quick and if enough people participate we may be able to bring organic food back to its former glory. 




-Anjuli Atwal

Views: 153


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Comment by Maria Minno on July 6, 2011 at 11:45pm

I am getting well from mercury poisoning, and it is a very serious neuro-degenerative affliction.  I don't think, however, that it is so easy to avoid. 


You get a lot of mercury from silver fillings.  Most people get most of the mercury in their bodies that way.  You can also get it by breathing in mercury vapors from compact fluorescent bulbs and other mercury vapor lights that contain mercury vapor.  You know, those lightbulbs that are supposed to be "green."  The body has very little resistance to mercury in the air. 


Mercury also comes into the freshwater environment from coal powered plants leaving fine particulate mercury compounds in the air and settling onto the soil and into the water, and bioaccumulating in the food chain.  That's why there are so few Florida panthers left.  Most have mercury poisoning, a lot of it from coal powerplants spewing mercury into their environment, and the panthers are on the top of the food chain, as are humans. 


Most of the freshwater bodies in the US are so polluted with mercury and other toxins that none of the fish should be eaten from them.  I got my mercury poisoning from eating catfish from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta when I worked on a catfish tagging project in the early 1980's.  This was before scientists had done tissue tests to learn that the fish in that drainage basin were highly contaminated with mercury.  It came from silver and gold mining in that area, you know, the '49-ers. 


I believe that the high tissue levels of cadmium, lead, DDT, organophosphate pesticides and other petrochemicals came from the fish, but those could come from other sources, also.  For example, both of my parents smoked, and tobacco smoke (that isn't organic) contains high levels of cadmium.  And most non-organic foods are contaminated with organophosphate pesticides. 


Many wild foods are now so contaminated that they should not be eaten.  From studies done around the Savannah River military pollution zone (which included radioactive materials, heavy metals, and petrochemicals), it was found that even in seemingly wild and remote areas, deer are so contaminated with radioactive cesium from the above-ground nuclear testing back in the 1950's that they should not be eaten. 


By the way, I don't think the CSPI is an organization that you can trust to do the right thing.  Here is an article about them, and I believe they were sold out to the soy industry and Archer-Daniel-Midlands from the start. 


Comment by Chandra on July 6, 2011 at 12:33am

In fish emulsion and hence in our food? Whoda thunk? Thanks for this.


What's OCA's take on this? I am very curious now!


Peace :)


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