New study shows we’re eating WAY more chemicals than we thought

Pesticide use on commercially grown crops has increased dramatically  even more than consumers have been led to believe. According to figures recently released by the Soil Association – the UK’s leading food and farming charity and organic certification body – show the number of chemicals on supermarket vegetables has increased up to 17 fold in the past 40 years.

These figures were unveiled at a Royal Society of Medicine conference on pesticides. Scientists there warned that consuming tiny amounts of many different chemicals on a regular basis could be harmful to human health.

The consumption of “toxic cocktails” of low levels of pesticides are thought to be linked with degenerative diseases like strokes, heart attacks and cancers.

Professor Anne Marie Vinggaard, of the division of diet, disease prevention and toxicology at the National Food Institute, said: “Chemicals may have no effect by themselves but when mixed have a pronounced mixture effect. We are not just exposed to pesticides,” she said. “We are exposed to a lot of chemicals acting together.”

Onions and leeks have seen the biggest rise in toxic chemical application, with the number rising 17 fold. Back in 1974 less than two chemicals were applied to an average wheat crop, a figure which rose more than ten fold to 20.7 in 2014. And potato crops are now sprayed with five times more chemicals than they were in 1975.

A chief scientific adviser to the British Government recently warned that the assumption by regulators around the world that it’s safe to use pesticides at industrial scales across landscapes is false.

Dr Michael Antoniou, head of the gene expression and therapy research group at King’s College London, said the only way to guarantee minimizing your exposure to pesticides is by eating organically.

Quoting from an article in The Telegraph, “A long term study of Roundup in rats found that the lowest dosage, that was 75,000 times below the recommended dose of glyphosate [a common crop weed killer], had Anatomical Level toxicity leading to fatty tissue liver disease.”

Keith Tyrell, spokesman at the Pesticide Action Network UK, said: “It should be up to the pesticide companies to prove that the pesticide does not cause harm, not up to the researchers to show that there is harm.”

With this in mind, it’s critical that consumers take steps to minimize chemical exposure through food. Besides purchasing organic produce, another way to avoid eating chemicals is to clean produce before eating it by using a good vegetable “wash”. There are a number of good products out there. This writer has tried a few of them and personally uses one by Vermont Soap – a company long known for quality organic products – called “Produce Magic”.  There are others out there as well. And they’re simple to use. Just spray, rinse and you’re ready to go.

Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean your produce hasn’t been amply sprayed with toxic pesticides. Unless it’s certified organic, you can count on that beautiful broccoli, carrots, brussel sprouts or lettuce you bought HAS been sprayed. It’s up to we consumers to be smart about what we buy and feed to our families. The more you know, the healthier the choices you can make.

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One Response

  1. If someone has a power point presentation on the details including pesticide name, its application (on type of agriculture), amount found as Maximum Residue levels MRLs, its health impacts & target organs, WHO / FAO or any other intl standards I would appreciate to receive at nfqadir@gmail.com

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