By PF Louis
Three separate studies recently published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives indicate prenatal pesticide exposure to fetuses negatively impact a child’s learning ability. Their IQs tend to be lower. The greater the umbilical cord pesticide blood levels, the lower the child’s IQ.
These toxins originated mostly from conventional agriculture’s heavily sprayed foods. But farmers and farm workers were studied the least.
The three studies focused mostly on urban dwellers who consume those sprayed foods. One was done in UC Berkley, CA, another by Columbia University in NYC, and the other by Mt. Sinai Hospital researchers, also in NYC. It doesn’t get much more urban than that.
What’s Bad About Pesticides
Most effective pesticides contain different types of organophosphates. As of the turn of our current century, many nations had banned chlorpyrifos and diazinon, from domestic use. Those two pesticides were so heavily loaded with organophosphates that just having bug and ant poisons stored in one’s domicile caused health problems to occupants.
Organophosphates (OPs) are spinoffs from biochemical warfare research to create nerve gases for killing humans. Scientists soon discovered that the OPs killed bugs too. Of course, the usual toxicology index that protects the industry is based on the notion that if you don’t drop dead soon after exposure to any chemical agent, it’s safe!
But eventually, long term neurological deterioration was detected among OP users, even if they hardly used them. The link was made to these organophosphate nerve gas components in chlorpyrifos and diazinon. They were disallowed for home use, but not for agricultural use.
Back on the Farm
Since workers on farms using these pesticides are often subject to skin exposure and inhalation of organophophates, the CDC issued a paper categorizing symptoms of poisoning from biochemical nerve agents and pesticide toxicity. The symptoms described were the same for both. (CDC source below)
If you’re having thoughts about Monsanto’s Roundup, it is actually an herbicide for killing weeds. Roundup kills all plants. That’s why Roundup Ready GM seeds are necessary. They enable using the herbicide while the GMO seed plants supposedly thrive.
Roundup’s active ingredient is glyophosate, which is a type of organophosphate that isn’t as nasty to the nervous system as other organophosphates. Over 30 organophosphate pesticides used in non-organic commercial farming are USDA approved.
So what if we eat daily while other environmental toxins overload our immune systems. Remember, if it doesn’t do great harm immediately, it’s safe.
If you have to go with conventionally grown produce occasionally, find out the most and least sprayed from the Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen and clean fifteen list here.