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6 Shocking Facts about Pesticides

Posted 12/22/2014 11:51 am by

Organic farmers fighting uphill battle
6 Shocking Facts about Pesticides

Pesticides are an increasing concern among populations all across the world. Even organic food, which is grown without the use of chemical additions, are suffering from the effects of pesticide overexposure.


Not only are they harming our food, our bodies, and our environment, many pesticides may be non essential when it comes to keeping crops safe from insects. Here are some of the shocking facts about pesticides that everyone should know.


1. Children Harmed by Pesticide Exposure, Yet EPA Says There isn’t an Issue


Organophosphates are a class of chemical often used as pesticides which work as endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins. Chlorpyrifos (Dow Chemical) is in use on major food crops across the US and is the second most common pesticide residue found on food, despite being a serious health hazard and banned in household cleaning products since the early 2000’s. Over 5 million pounds are sprayed each year. Three recent university studies, spanning up to 14 years in duration, have proven Chlorpyrifos as negatively impacting human health, including organ damage, mental disorders, learning disabilities, increased autism rates, and an average of 7 IQ point decline in children exposed. EPA continues to turn a blind eye. [1]


2. Even Organic Farmers Aren’t Protected from Pesticide Exposure


As more volatile, poisonous pesticides, like the reemergence of 2, 4­D (also known as Agent Orange) come to use in conventional and GMO crop fields nationwide, organic and family farmers are fighting an uphill battle to shield their unadulterated produce from the massive drift that often occurs from neighboring farms. [2] Fortunately for the organic movement, recent preventative programs are being launched, such as the educational/organic registration website by Purdue University. called DriftWitch (twelve states participate).


3. Pesticides Can Continue Harming Health Throughout the Generations


Researchers at Washington State University conducted a study looking at exposure effects of a bygone era controversial pesticide that was banned in the US a decade ago called Methoxychlor. Known to be a persistent organic toxin, Methoxychlor hangs around and saturates living tissues. This spurred interest by the university to investigate matters further.


They shockingly found that a person alive today could be suffering from things such as kidney disease, ovarian and reproductive disorders, and obesity simply because their great ­grandparents were exposed to it. [3] An exposure “drift” of disease up to four generations makes it quite apparent that chemical toxins are practically abundant in most people today.


4. Tea is a Prime Source for Pesticides


India is the world’s second largest producer of tea. Unilever is the largest tea maker in India with ~30% market share nationally. Extensive lab test screening of 49 branded teas for 350 potential pesticides discovered a shocking 60% of the teas contained one pesticide residue or more, with some containing up to twenty different pesticides, in stark violation of EU regulations. It’s easy to understand how economic interests are threatened when their wares are exposed to be toxin laden.


5. Parkinson’s Disease Increases with Prolonged Pesticide Exposure


University of Colorado’s recent multi­year ecological population study looking at statewide pesticide exposure in connection with occurrence rates of Parkinson’s disease recently revealed a significant correlation. [4] Researchers tracked atrazine–a very common pesticide across the US–via groundwater records. Additionally, a population group of 330,000 people were tracked alongside the atrazine exposure rates. Depending on groundwater levels of atrazine, Parkinson’s rates surged from 4 to 40%!


6. Monarch Butterflies are Becoming Endangered Thanks to Pesticides


Unbeknownst to most Americans, monarch butterfly populations have declined an alarming 90% in just the previous 20 years. Their winter habitat in Mexico has also declined from 45 acres in 1996 to just 1.7 acres in 2013 as well as Iowa due to monocrop farming of corn. Monarchs feed on milkweed plants only, which course through corn fields, though have been wiped out by the toxic pesticide glyphosate (RoundUp) used on corn crops. As a major pollinator of plants and food crops (similar to bees), if the monarch dies out so goes the rest of the pollinator insects and with it food crop sustainability.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

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