Organic Milk and Long-Life Milk Linked to Children’s Lower IQ

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Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:

organic milk

Photo courtesy of Elana Amsterdam via Flickr

  • Organic milk and long-life milk linked to children’s lower IQ: According to a new research from the University of Reading, recently published in the journal Food Chemistry, organic milk as well as conventional long-life milk (UHT), contain a third less iodine than conventionally-produced fresh milk. Researchers from Reading’s Food Production and Quality Division said the findings had potentially serious public health implications, as most iodine in our diet comes from milk products. Iodine is also crucial for the brain development of babies, mainly in the early stages of pregnancy. Studies have found that iodine deficiency in mothers during these stages can lead to children with a lower IQ. As Ian Givens, the lead researcher and Professor at the University of Reading, explained: “People are increasingly buying organic and UHT milk for perceived health benefits or convenience. But our research shows that this trend could have serious implications for public health. Iodine deficiency ought to be a health problem from the past. But unless this situation is carefully monitored, we risk sleepwalking into a new health crisis in the 21st century. Organic and UHT milk is not bad for you, and drinking all types of milk has numerous health benefits. But to get the same amount of iodine as in a pint of conventional pasteurised milk, you would need to drink around an extra half-pint of organic or UHT milk.” Previous research indicated that some organic milk, produced in summer when organic dairy herds are fed almost exclusively on grass, was lower in iodine. This latest study proves that the trend is year-round, as well as making an assessment of iodine content in UHT milk for the first time.
  • Toxic weed killer found in breast milk and infant formula: The widely-used herbicide glyphosate has been found in a number of food products including honey, breast milk as well as infant formula. This weed killer is currently classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization (WHO). As Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, stated:  “The primary reason millions of Americans, including infants, are now exposed to this probable carcinogen is due to the explosion of genetically engineered crops that now dominate farmland across the U.S. Through their purchasing power, the American consumer is fueling this surge in GMO crops and the glyphosate exposure that comes with it. It’s time the federal FDA require foods made with GMOs be labeled as such so the public can decide for themselves if they want to send their dollars to the biotech industry that cares more about profits than public health.” According to a report by Carey Gillam of Reuters, laboratories are receiving a surge in requests to have everything from food to urine samples tested for glyphosate following the recent announcement by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.
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