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Organic Does Matter: Pesticides Making US Kids Stupid

Pesticide-Free Park Festival

We all have different reasons for choosing to feed our family organic food.  From concerns about health to the environment, there is another cause for concern with conventional food:  pesticides are making our kids stupid.

According to Nation of Change:

recent analysis (and not the only one) demonstrated that U.S. children have lost a combined total of 16 million I.Q. points due to pesticides in their food. While “pesticides make you stupid,” sounds like a silly argument for organics—it’s a legitimate one. Pesticides truly do lower the intelligence of children. These pesticides are absorbed when the child is in utero, through the mother. So, whether you are pregnant or hope one day to have children, cutting out pesticides now could save your child’s mind down the road.

I repeat:

“U.S. children have lost a combined total of 16 million I.Q. points due to pesticides in their food.”

This study is not exactly new, and it could explain why there has been such an increase in children needing special educations services. Particularly, prenatal exposure to pesticides is the cause of declining intelligence.  Reuters explains:

In one study, a team at the University of California Berkeley found that every tenfold increase in prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides corresponded with a 5.5 point drop in overall IQ scores in children by age 7.

“That difference could mean, on average, more kids being shifted into the lower end of the spectrum of learning, and more kids needing special services in school,” Berkeley’s Brenda Eskenazi, who led one of the three studies published online in Environmental Health Perspectives, said in a statement…

The team said while prenatal exposure to pesticides were significantly linked with childhood IQ, pesticide exposure after birth was not, suggesting exposure during fetal brain development was a more critical period than childhood exposure.

It is not just pesticide use in agriculture, but pesticide use in the home and yard are also to blame.  We can eat organically to reduce the use of pesticides in the growing of our food, but it is just as important to make sure our homes are safe as well.


  1. I appreciate this article.

    I have traveled much throughout my life and, yes, I have long been concerned about the seemingly declining intelligence of my fellow Americans. Whenever I spend even a short amount of time in London or Paris, I am painfully reminded of the fact that so many of my fellow citizens are simply quite brain dead.

    We must at times appear to be another species to Western Europeans.


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