The Most Massive Poisoning of the Environment in the History of Humanity
Pesticide residues found in 70% of produce sold in US even after washing
- Strawberries, spinach and kale among most pesticide heavy
- Conventionally farmed kale could contain up to 18 pesticides
Alexis Temkin of the Environmental Working Group said: "The Shopper's Guide to Produce is building on a body of evidence that shows mixtures of
pesticides can have adverse effects." Photograph: Dave Martin/AP
Wednesday March 20th, 2019:
Alexis Temkin of the Environmental Working Group said: "The Shopper's Guide to Produce is building on a body of evidence that shows mixtures of pesticides can have adverse effects."
Alexis Temkin of the Environmental Working Group said: "The Shopper's Guide to Produce is building on a body of evidence that shows mixtures of pesticides can have adverse effects."? Photograph: Dave Martin/AP
About 70% of fresh produce sold in the US has pesticide residues on it even after it is washed, according to a health advocacy group.
According to the Environmental Working Group's annual analysis of US Department of Agriculture data, strawberries, spinach and kale are among the most pesticide-heavy produce, while avocados, sweetcorn and pineapples had the lowest level of residues.
More than 92% of kale tested contained two or more pesticide residues, according to the analysis, and a single sample of conventionally farmed kale could contain up to 18 different pesticides.
"Dacthal" the most common pesticide found, which was detected in nearly 60% of kale samples, is banned in Europe and classified as a possible human carcinogen in the US.
We definitely acknowledge and support that everybody should be eating healthy fruits and vegetables as part of their diet regardless of if they"re conventional or organic," said Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist working with the EWG.
"But what we try to highlight with the Shopper?s Guide to Produce is building on a body of evidence that shows mixtures of pesticides can have adverse effects."
Other foods on the group's "dirty dozen" list include grapes, cherries, apples, tomatoes and potatoes. In contrast, its "clean 15" list includes avocados, onions and cauliflower.
Leonardo Trasande, an environmental medicine specialist at the New York University medical school, called the EWG report "widely respected" and said it can inform shoppers who want to buy some organic fruits and vegetables, but would like to know which ones they could prioritize.
Despite a growing body of research, scientists say it is difficult to pinpoint how many pesticides people are exposed to in their daily lives, and in what quantity. And it is also hard to say how those chemicals in combination affect the body.
One recent French study found that people eating organic foods were at a significantly lower risk of developing cancer, although it suggested that if those findings were confirmed, the underlying factors would require more research. Nutritional experts at Harvard University cautioned that that study did not analyze residue levels in participants' bodies to confirm exposure levels.
While 90% of Americans have detectable pesticide levels in their urine and blood, "the health consequences of consuming pesticide residues from conventionally grown foods are unknown, as are the effects of choosing organic foods or conventionally grown foods known to have fewer pesticide residues," they said.
A separate Harvard study found that for women undergoing fertility treatment, those who ate more high-pesticide fruits and vegetables were less likely to have a live birth.
The CDC explains that ?a wide range of health effects, acute and chronic, are associated with exposures to some pesticides,? including nervous system impacts, skin and eye irritation, cancer and endocrine disorders.
"The health risks from pesticide exposure depend on the toxicity of the pesticides, the amount a person is exposed to, and the duration and the route of exposure," the CDC says, noting evidence suggests children are at higher risk.
The Environmental Protection Agency sets rules for how pesticides are used, but those rules do not necessarily prevent cumulative exposure in a person's diet.
The agency is fighting a court order to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that is associated with development disabilities in children.
EPA has also scaled back what types of exposure it will consider when evaluating human health risks. And President Trump has appointed a former executive from the industry lobbying group the American Chemistry Council, Nancy Beck, as the head of its toxic chemical unit.
Press Release February 18, 2019:
TomatoFest Reports Loss of Honeybees and Insect Species Worldwide Threatens to Compromise the Food Chain and Foretells a Catastrophic Collapse of Nature's Ecosystems.
Stripes of wildflowers across farm fields could cut pesticide spraying.
The stripy fields have been planted across England as part of a trial to boost the natural predators of pests that attack cereal crops.
Response to this article by Tom Theobald:
Might work in England, but doubtful. Even more doubtful in the U.S.. Researcher Jonathan Lundgren in South Dakota planted flowering buffer strips around organic fields and conventionally treated fields. What he found was that both were contaminated with neonicotinoids at the same levels. What they don't want the public to know is that the soil and groundwater all across the U.S. is poisoned at toxic levels. Planting more flowers may produce more killing fields rather than healthy habitat. Remember, the toxic equivalent of 400 billion pounds of DDT, every year, year after year.
Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'.
Tom Theobald says "I've been fighting these pesticide wars for 44 years and we are much worse off today than we were when I began beekeeping in 1975. The last go round with the neonicotinoids has put me out of business.
We are up against a well ordered criminal enterprise that has captured the government and the regulatory agencies created to protect us. I think in addition to educating the public we must deal with the criminality of what is going on with all these chemicals. Lower level employees who are carrying out the corporate decisions in violation of their own professional ethics should be demoted or removed from their jobs. The higher level decision makers should be prosecuted for their criminal conduct. We need to tie last week's blockbuster report on the massive decline of insect life to the massive poisoning of the environment and everything in it. Loss of habitat, industrial farming, da da da da da . All these play a role, but the fundamental underlying cause is the chemicals. Neonicotinoids are the major player. Even in this important report they muddy the water by putting pesticides under a broader and more vague category of 'pollution'. As a start I think we need to make a public issue of whether or not the chemical mafia and its made men in the regulatory agencies should be charged under RICO. For those of you who aren?t familiar with RICO:
"The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization."
Unless we get to the root cause of these problems we will all be long gone before anything changes. All this death and destruction is driven by an economic system that considers profit as the paramount objective with complete disregard for the consequences. In my view the corporate shield does not protect individuals from criminal prosecution who knowingly make decisions which will bring death and disability to millions of people.