Despite the U.S. food supply already being riddled with copious amounts of pesticides, the United States Department of Agriculture continuously approves new pesticides to be used on U.S. crops. The most recent case of approval revolves around the sale and planting of Monsanto’s genetically engineered dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Even more concerning, though, is that the USDA recently claimed that current pesticides levels on food are mostly nothing to worry about, and that we should continue eating food coated with toxic chemicals.
The USDA report states:
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted data from the 2013 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary. The PDP summary confirms that overall pesticide chemical residues found on the foods tested are at levels below the tolerances established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and do not pose a safety concern.
The 2013 PDP Annual Summary shows that over 99 percent of the products sampled through PDP had residues below the EPA tolerances. Residues exceeding the tolerance were detected in 0.23 percent of the samples tested. The PDP pesticide residue results are reported to FDA and EPA through monthly reports. In instances where a PDP finding is extraordinary and may pose a safety risk, FDA and EPA are immediately notified. EPA has determined the extremely low levels of those residues are not a food safety risk, and the presence of such residues does not pose a safety concern.”
This isn’t the most comforting news coming from an agency that is supposed to protect our food supply. Of course, as mentioned, it ins’t so surprising, The agency continuously approves new pesticides and GMO crops that are genetically engineered to withstand copious amounts of the toxic chemicals.
As one might expect, pesticides are in fact not safe to eat. Some of the effects of pesticides include:
- Cancer – The dreaded diagnosis of cancer has been linked in over 260 studies worldwide to agrochemicals. Worse, scientists have linked pesticides with several types of cancers, including that of the breast, prostate, brain, bone, thyroid, colon, liver, lung, and more. Some researchers from USC found that “those who lived within 500 meters of places where methyl bromide, captan and eight other organochlorine pesticides had been applied, they found, were more likely to have developed prostate cancer.”
- Obesity and Diabetes – Because pesticides have also been linked to obesity, it’s logical that it would be connected to diabetes, in which obesity often has a role. Some researchers found a higher prevalence of obesity in the participants with high urinary concentrations of a pesticide known as 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP). It is important to note that 2,5-DCP is one of the most widely used pesticides on the globe.
- Infertility, Birth Defects, Reproductive Problems – One study states, “Exposure of men or women to certain pesticides at sufficient doses may increase the risk for sperm abnormalities, decreased fertility, a deficit of male children, spontaneous abortion, birth defects or fetal growth retardation.”
- Deterioration in the Ecosystem and Environment – Pesticides can travel distances through the environment. When sprayed on crops or in gardens, pesticides can be blown by the wind to other areas. They can also flow with rain water into nearby streams or can seep through the soil into ground water. Some pesticides can remain in the environment for many years and pass from one organism to another.
And all of these exposures have a cumulative effect, according to independent scientist Anthony Samsel and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientist Stephanie Seneff:
“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.
“Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.”
What/s even more concerning is that the USDA didn’t test for glyphosate – the most widely used pesticide-chemical in the world. This is also the chemical found in Monsanto’s best-selling RoundUp herbicide. Why, you may ask, is this widely used chemical not tested for? Because it is ‘too expensive.’
A USDA spokesperson said it did not test this past year for residues of glyphosate because the test measures required for glyphosate are “extremely expensive… to do on an regular basis”.
It is obvious that the USDA is simply succumbing to corporate lobbying and isn’t terribly interested in protecting the public from toxic chemicals.
This article first appeared on NaturalSociety.com.