Many Americans recognize pesticides are a serious problem and are linked to all sorts of health problems. As if getting sick isn’t bad enough, let’s take a look at a few facts about pesticides that’ll simply make you angry.
1. Pesticides Have Completely Ruined Strawberries
Toxic pesticides like fumigants are used on all strawberries—even organic! These poisons are released into the soil to kill off diseases, weeds, and pests before they become a problem, but now you’re left with a toxic gas in the environment—and on the berries. These fumigants are also linked to cancer.  While the USDA is researching alternatives, no projects are looking at strawberries. 
2. Pesticides Are Destroying Male Fertility
One of the worst things about pesticides is that they turn something good into something bad. By that I mean they turn otherwise health-promoting fruits and vegetables and add a very unhealthy component — as well as an unavoidable component. Washing conventional produce will not wash away the pesticide residue.  And now, new research suggests that pesticide residue is extremely damaging to male fertility. In fact men who consume pesticide-residue-laden produce have sperm counts up to 50% less than men who don’t as well as abnormally shaped sperm. 
3. Pesticides Are Polluting the Water Supply
In the Midwest, where farming can be big business, fertilizer runoff is polluting the water supply. Iowa’s largest water utility is even “threatening to sue three rural counties” under the Federal Clean Water Act because of drinking water contamination.  The main concern here is nitrates in the water, which could poison—even kill—infants. Pesticides are such a widespread problem that they’re even making their way into our oceans. Whale meat from Norway was imported to Japan; tests confirmed that it had twice the legal limit of the toxins. 
4. Pesticides Are Ruining Good Wine
In some places, toxic pesticides have even made drinking to escape your problems impractical. Take some wines in France, for instance. A report found that of some “300 French wines from the 2007 and 2008 vintages of the Rhône and the wider Aquitaine region,” 90% were contaminated with pesticides. 
5. Pesticides Lead to Antibiotic Resistance
Superbugs and antibiotic resistance is a scary problem and a a recent study found that glyphosate—the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup—and two other common herbicides (2,4-D and dicamba) could be connected.  Exposure caused bacteria to react differently to common antibiotics. And with glyphosate also recently ruled as carcinogenic to humans by the World Health Organization (WHO), this latest study is just one more reason to stay away from herbicides. 
6. Pesticides are Linked to Autism
This one is insane… one study suggested that because of the glyphosate toxicity in our food supply, 1 in 2 children will have autism by the year 2025.  Take a second and think about the gravity of that situation — 50% of our children will be autistic due to completely unnecessary toxin exposure.
One Final Thought
We can’t even rely on the government to protect us. The EPA takes the position that pesticides are safe — despite the evidence. And, in many cases, the laws about pesticides aren’t even being enforced. In Europe, however, they’re trying to further regulate toxic pesticides, and some US business and government leaders are having a fit. If Europe were to strictly regulate the toxins, the U.S. could stand to lose out on a multi-billion dollar import business. Unfortunately, when our health is on the line, our leaders only see dollar signs.
Have you made an effort to reduce your exposure to pesticides? Leave a comment below and share your best tip.
- Weisenburger, D. Human health effects of agrichemical use. Human Pathology. 24 (6).
- United States Department of Agriculture. National Program 308: Methyl Bromide Alternatives. United States Department of Agriculture.
- Environmental Working Group. EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™. Environmental Working Group.
- Chiu, Y. H. et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic. Human Reproduction.
- Rao, M. A closely watched fight brewing over nitrates in Iowa water. Star Tribune.
- The Japan Times. Norway whale meat dumped in Japan after pesticide finding. The Japan Times.
- Sciolino, E. In France, Pesticides Get in Way of Natural Wines. New York Times.
- Kurenbach, B. et al. Sublethal Exposure to Commercial Formulations of the Herbicides Dicamba, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid, and Glyphosate Cause Changes in Antibiotic Susceptibility in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. mBio. 6 (2).
- International Agency for Research on Cancer. IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides. World Health Organization.
- Alliance for Natural Health. Half of All Children Will Be Autistic by 2025, Warns Senior Research Scientist at MIT. Alliance for Natural Health.