Organic Center report finds residue of pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormone in non-organic milk
Results from a recent study examining what's in organic versus conventional milk show that the majority of samples of conventional, non-organic milk tested positive for certain low, chronic levels of pesticides, illegal antibiotics and growth hormones. The organic samples tested at either much lower or non-existent rates in comparison.
“To our knowledge, the present study is the first study to compare levels of pesticide in the U.S. milk supply by production method (conventional vs. organic)," the researchers noted. "It is also the first in a decade to measure antibiotic and hormone levels and compare them by milk production type.”
However, an expert reviewing the study at USA TODAY's request expressed caution at overinterpreting the results.
The study, conducted by Emory University in Atlanta was funded by Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research organization The Organic Center and looked at a total of 69 samples of conventional and organic milks pulled from retail stores around the U.S., which were then shipped overnight to Georgia to be analyzed. The results have been published online June 26 by peer-reviewed journal Public Health Nutrition.
Jessica Shade, director of science programs for The Organic Center said, "This study finds that the presence of antibiotics and pesticides in conventional milk is much more prevalent and pervasive than previously thought."