by: Tony Isaacs
(SilverBulletin) The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded $180,000 in federal funds to finance an agribusiness-chemical industry plan to "correct the misconception that some fresh produce items contain excessive amounts of pesticide residues". It appears that the funds will actually be used to attack those who warn about pesticide dangers and make false safety claims: helping offset lost profits due to the growing popularity of organic produce and increased awareness of pesticide dangers.
Over the past decade, organic fruit and vegetable sales have soared from 3 percent of the retail produce market in the U.S. in 2000 to nearly 11 percent last year, to $9.5 billion. According to the Pesticide Action Network of North America, in 2008 California growers deployed 161 million pounds of pesticides on all crops, including 53 million pounds of pesticides on crops whose growers comprise the AAF.
Last July, the AFF set up a web site and press webinar to attack EWG's Pesticide Guide, contending that there is "no scientific evidence" that a small amount of pesticide residue on food "represents any health risk." While the food growers and pesticide companies would have us believe their self-funded studies, real scientific evidence tells us just the opposite.
Pesticides have been linked to leukemia, Parkinson's disease and other nervous system disorders, damage to the reproductive system and other organs, developmental and behavioral abnormalities, disruption of hormone function and immune dysfunction. About 16 million US citizens are sensitive to pesticides (i.e. they have compromised immune functioning as a result of pesticide exposure).
Pesticides accumulate in the fat deposits in the body where they remain and cause damage. Infants and young children consuming breast milk ingest pesticides. Pregnant women can pass pesticides on to their fetus and nursing women pass on the insecticides to their nursing children. Pesticides initiate and propagate multiple chemical sensitivities. Some pesticides become even more toxic as they break down. In addition, so-called "inert ingredients" may be even more toxic than the active ingredients which are listed on pesticide labels. A whopping 3700 chemicals can legally be concealed by listing them merely as inert ingredients without specifying the chemical compound.
Many industry "safety tests" on pesticides are fundamentally flawed: they test for the acute (not chronic) effects of single (not multiple) chemicals on healthy (not sick, chemically sensitive or immuno-suppressed etc.) adult (not fetuses or young) animal (not human) subjects exposed over short (not long) periods of time. Some companies testing pesticides have been charged and convicted of falsifying study data. In the US it is a violation of federal law to state that pesticide use is safe.
Non-industry studies tell a much different story. For example, and EPA-funded study found that eating organic foods provides children with "dramatic and immediate" protection from exposure to two organophosphate pesticides that have been linked to neurological harm in humans. A second study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2006 confirmed these results.
Other pesticide safety studies have found:
*Damage done by pesticides may last for four generations or more.
*Children who have high levels of pesticide residues are 93% more likely to have ADHD
*For every 55% increase in residue in children's urine, there is a 10% greater risk of ADHD.