Friday, June 10, 2011

Yummy, More Pesticides!

The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) mandates that pesticides be screened both as carcinogens and as endocrine disrupters. Endocrine disrupters are chemicals that imitate the body’s hormonal system and consequently disrupt chemical text messaging amongst cells and other glands. As big “endo” words have been used recently (BPA, PCBs, PBDEs), scientists continue to publish and scream their findings of the alarming rise of hormonally driven cancers (breast and prostate) in younger adults. More recently are the intense battles between the EPA, FDA, farmers and pesticide manufacturers. Sure, republicans and democrats are involved. Why? Because the thresholds from the FDA and EPA are argued because the “minimal amounts” haven’t been met. Why do you I need any DDT in my food let alone my body? Why would I want neurotoxic organophosphate insecticide in my child’s apple sauce? Who needs three legs? Let’s not argue about the particulars. In fact, our government agencies have hired independent, third party “partners” to conduct research. Now, whether to prove them good ole farmers right or to prove the pesticide manufacturers wrong…let’s just read the facts:

An analysis made by the Environmental Working Group of more than 110,000 government-tested food samples on children’s food consumption discovered and confirmed numerous pesticides known or suspected to cause brain and nervous system damage, cancer, or hormone interference.

• More than a quarter of a million U.S. children aged 1–5 ingest a combination of 20 different pesticides every day. More than 1 million preschoolers eat at least 15 pesticides on a given day. Overall, 20 million children aged 5 and under eat an average of 8 pesticides every day.

• Preschoolers’ eating habits are even more dramatically different from those of adults than previous data indicated. When weight is taken into account, kids aged 1–5 consume 30 times more apple juice, 21 times more grape juice, and 7 times more orange juice than the average person in the population.

• Ten years after the Alar scare, apples are still loaded with pesticides. The average apple has residues of four pesticides after it is washed and cored. Some have residues of as many as ten. More than half of the children exposed to an unsafe dose of organophosphate insecticides get it from apples, apple sauce, or apple juice.

PCBs in our environment are not a new phenomenon, but rather and old injury the environment must deal with. It is pressure on private industry and governmental organizations to deal with the problem effectively that seems to work best. Companies that produced these toxins years ago are reluctant to pay for their cleanup now.

Source: Northeast Organic Farming Association
Image: Treehugger News

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