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</P> Organics are growing-in the field, and in the marketplace. Fifty-eight percent of the public has purchased a food labelled "organic, according to arecent eBrain Market Research online poll.

Bravo to Buyers

Organics are growing-in the field, and in the marketplace. Fifty-eight per
cent of the public has purchased a food labelled "organic," according to a
recent eBrain Market Research online poll.

Study: Organic Diet Cuts Pesticides in Kids

The first study documenting the difference between conventional and organic
diets has been released. The good results? Eating organic food can reduce
children's pesticide-exposure levels. University of Washington researchers
found that kids fed an organic diet were exposed to six to nine times less
pesticides than those on a conventional diet.

Published this spring in the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, 40 households took part
in the research, during which scientists measured organophosphorous
pesticides or pesticide breakdown products in the bodies of 18
organic-eating and 21 non-organic-eating children.

Organophoshorous pesticides are very common and toxic, linked to serious
diseases in children including leukemia and bone and brain cancer.

While the agricultural chemical industry played down the findings, the study
is significant because it provides proof that organic food is safer than
conventionally grown produce in terms of chemical exposure. Although other
studies have found pesticides in children's bodies, this is the first study
to compare the pesticide residue difference between conventional and organic
diets.

Monsanto Market Watch

Leading biotech and chemical giant Monsanto seems to be suffering from
"falling stock" syndrome. It fell almost 50 per cent last year.

Monsanto's sales in third quarter 2002 were 19 per cent lower than those in
2001. Similarly, the first nine months in 2002 generated only US $3.45
billion compared to US $4.25 billion for the same time period the previous
year.

Sales of the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) were down 43 per cent in the
third quarter, following a 26 per cent decline in the first nine months.

US Roundup sales in 2002 were 37 to 39 million gallons, or 76 to 80 per cent
of the total national market. Monsanto's share of the US market is expected
to drop to about 60 per cent by 2005.

The company has seen growth in genetically engineered (GE) crops. Global
plantings rose last year by 10.5 per cent to 136.2 million acres.

American plantings of Roundup Ready soy beans (the most widely planted GE
crop) rose 9.9 per cent to 60.2 million acres in 2002.

Act Now on Clean Air

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may be in a cloud of trouble if
nine groups-including the Sierra Club and the Clean Air Council-go through
with plans to sue the agency for failing to comply with the Clean Air Act.

The groups published their intent to file a lawsuit last winter. The purpose
of the Act is to ensure public health by maintaining air quality, which
includes reviewing air quality science and national standards every five
years. The EPA has not done this since 1996, although much scientific
evidence has been released since that time on the hazards of ozone and
airborne particulate matter.

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