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Food Supply

Pesticides in Our Food

Food PesticidesPesticides do more than kill little tiny bugs. They permanently harm human beings in countless ways. It is foolish to assume that something capable of killing a beetle will not harm your sperm, egg or fetus. According to an article found at, ‘One study found that the incidence of leukemia in children was 650 percent greater in homes where indoor and garden pesticides were used.” Think the government is protecting you? Think again.

Although Codex says it is focused on “Consumer Protection” the Codex Alimentarius Commission currently allows seven of the 12 deadliest compounds on earth to be used in food. These seven deadly pesticides are banned by US law and the Stockholm Convention, which the US and every member of Codex signed.

The Stockholm Convention, signed by 176 countries including the United States (May 2005) commits the signatories to eliminate world’s 12 most dangerous Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs . The (CAC)Codex Alimentarius Commission, (made up of 171 countries, including the US, uses consensus to set the world’s rules for international trade in food) allows seven of the twelve agreed upon killer POPs to be used in the production of foods as varied as milk, soy oils, cotton seed, citrus fruits, eggs, poultry, cereal grains, pineapples, leafy and root vegetables, legumes and others.

There are currently twelve POPs listed in Annexes to the Convention. These are:

* Aldrin
* Chlordane
* Dieldrin
* Endrin
* Heptachlor
* Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)
* Mirex
* Toxaphene
* Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)
* Dioxins
* Furans

POPs remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of living organisms and are highly toxic to humans and wildlife. They increase brain, bladder, biliary, lung, breast and other cancers, cause damage to the kidney, liver, adrenals and thyroid, can cause decreased fertility, immune suppression, diabetes, porphyria, cardiovascular disease, fatal skin lesions especially in children and nursing infants (“pink sore”), headache, dizziness, nausea, general malaise, and vomiting, followed by muscle twitching, myoclonic jerks and convulsions.

All of the killer POPs pose shared health threats but each has its own special hazards. Endrin, for example, is 2-4 times more toxic than the better known DDT, and tends to accumulate in children. Chlordane, banned in the US in 1988, paralysis cancer-fighting cells and doubles rates of lung and brain cancer in exposed persons. As a group, the seven deadly pesticides are known to increase the effects of the other toxic substances. Codex allows them in food. Scientists estimate that the misuse of POPs leads to thousands of excess deaths, millions of disabilities and billions of lost dollars annually.

The seven restricted POPs banned by both the Stockholm Convention and US law but permitted by Codex are Aldrin, Chlordane, ,Dieldrin,Endrin, Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene and Mirex. Toxiphene and DDT are the only two POPs pesticides on the Stockholm POPs list which Codex does not allow.

The Natural Solutions Foundation is deeply concerned about the apparent lack of science-based decision making since excellent alternatives exist to the use of these deadly toxins. Consumers, environmentally concerned groups and individuals have raised serious concerns about the trustworthiness of Codex Alimentarius as a consumer protection agency which are strengthened by Codex’s position on POP’s.

The important take home message is to take control of your food. The best choice is to grow your own produce organically. If that is not possible, buy from a farmers market or co-op and make sure they are using organic practices. If you must buy from a supermarket, try to buy from a health food store or choose organic from your chain supermarket. Always wash your produce well or soak in a water/hydrogen peroxide solution. For further information contact The Natural Solutions Foundation.

Additional Resources:
Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power
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About the author

Natural Living – who has written posts on A Much Better Way.


32 Responses to “Pesticides in Our Food”

  1. Wow, this article that you wrote will make me think about were my food has came from.

    Posted by batman | February 25, 2009, 9:31 am
  2. one of the things peroxide is used for is to remove staining on teeth in the dentist office, but i didn’t know till now that you can use it to remove chemicals from produce! cool

    Posted by tom | April 5, 2009, 3:44 pm
  3. it makes me think about were my food has came from.

    Posted by Mike | May 5, 2009, 4:28 am
  4. I think this is why you are seeing more of a move to natural organic foods. People don’t want chemicals touching their food at any time.

    Posted by Scott | August 14, 2009, 9:59 am
  5. This is really really alarming. We created a group here that tries to revive the soil to be planted with organic plants.

    Posted by harvey | August 15, 2009, 8:40 am
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    Posted by Harry | August 28, 2009, 1:56 am
  7. Hi! I’m extremely against all forms of chemical pesticides. A lot of land where I lived before is now waste land due to harmful pesticides. I will only eat organic produce. Thanks, David

    Posted by David | September 6, 2009, 1:43 am
  8. I actually live relatively close to a city or county, can’t remember which, banned the use of chemical pesticides. Just goes to show ya how important local government meetings really are. It can surprise you!

    Posted by Rob | September 27, 2009, 7:08 pm
  9. I agree..This is really really alarming. We created a group here that tries to revive the soil to be planted with organic plants.

    Posted by Nurse Staff | October 13, 2009, 11:02 pm
  10. Interesting to say the least. I teach agriculture at a community college, and I remind my students that everything used to be “organic.” And that is why the public demanded the use of pesticides in the first place… to get rid of the bugs in their food. Seems we have come full circle. Now the public is crying for organic again. No doubt the future will hold for another outcry because of the bugs.

    Posted by ko | November 15, 2009, 7:52 pm
  11. I agree and am aware of the risks that pesticides present, but I think the media is exaggerating this problem a bit. If it presents such a big risk, I’m sure more would be done already to prevent it. However, one can never be careful enough.

    Posted by David | November 26, 2009, 5:46 am
  12. It’s unbelievable, obviously a good reason to give a push towards all things organic and natural. We need to get these chemicals out of our foods and environment.

    Posted by Jeff | December 22, 2009, 1:30 pm
  13. I have long known of the benefit of eating organically, but I had no idea that internationally governments have been so hypocritical… to eliminate certain pesticides individually but allow them collectively!?!? I don’t understand.

    Many, like the commenter before, believe these dangers are exaggerated, but they are not. Yes government is supposed to protect us, and yes government is supposed to be controlled by the people, but the people usually in control are those with the most money and influence… in this instance the food companies.

    Posted by Darvin | December 29, 2009, 4:29 pm
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    Posted by John Adams | February 16, 2010, 3:46 am
  15. It seems obvious that pesticides must do some harm to humans – or at least can. Common sense tells you that something without chemicals in them must be better for you than something with chemicals.

    Posted by Anders | March 30, 2010, 8:11 am
  16. Hi really enjoyed reading your post.
    Where's a great place to live for a 28 s/f that's inhabited by liberal-minded, natural living oriented people?

    Posted by Barry | July 22, 2010, 12:52 pm
  17. My mother constantly tells me to wash my fruit and vegetables and I never do. I will be from now on, thanks for the article.

    Posted by topless waiters | September 2, 2010, 6:08 pm
  18. It’s so hard to fathom how deeply trenched we are in chemical pollution. I don’t see the solution. Do we become Omish and shun the good and the bad for nature or do we try to sift the bad from the good while sitting in the midst of cell phone, satellite, and microwave-waves?

    Posted by Joe | September 29, 2010, 10:35 pm
  19. Great post! This is exactly why I have been promoting organic products on my website, focused on healthy products for babies. This should be of concern to everyone. Thanks.

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  22. There are harmful implications of pesticide in food.There are children who are falling sick and dangerous diseases arising as cause and effect of the same.

    Posted by Cosmetic surgeon Atlanta | December 24, 2010, 11:40 pm
  23. This is a great informative post to whom you have come to know what is right for you. Whatever you eat where ever it comes from less eat but clean. And wash it before eating. It will certainly gives you more freshness and taste automatically

    Posted by waqas | January 21, 2011, 5:56 am
  24. Thanks for sharing this awareness blog on food control. Another way is to wash well the fruits and vegetables that you get from the market.

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  25. Incidentally, I know of cancer patients who are switching to organic produce. This seems to be beneficial in managing the disease.

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