male hormones o Studies have shown an effect on the uterus (endometriosis) However, difficult to prove that pesticides are the culprits o If causation is to be proven, diet, level of exercise & genetic susceptibility need to controlled; all of which are difficult to control
What do the studies & lab experiments tell us? o Tells us that pesticides are hormone disrupting chemicals, but we are also exposed to hormone disrupting chemicals other that just pesticides from daily consumption Soy: contains estrogens Hummus: contains estrogens Milk: naturally occurring estrogens Maybe the mere interactions between the combination of pesticides o Difficult to answer because every food we eat contain many different chemicals (most of them naturally occurring) which include trace amounts of pesticide residues WHO estimates ~3 million pesticide poisonings every year o Results in over 200K deaths ( most of which are intentional) o Sometimes caused by not following proper directions 1979: 1.5 billion lbs NOW: 2010 lbs o Because of more sophisticated chemistry o Some herbicides used now are far more potent (need less) Few teaspoons per acre o Safer ones are being used Particular one interacts with enzymes in weeds not found in humans o Metolachlor: enantiomers (mirror image isomers) more adept at killing the weeds than the other By using only this particular compound, we can reduce the amount of potential side effects Colony collapse disorder (bees): bees are disappearing o Insecticide called neonicotinoids Eliminated in Europe o Other possible causes: Exposure to viruses Pesticides not limited to synthetic; naturally occurring ones o Nicotine from tobacco plants o Leaves of the coffee plant Attacks fungi Over 1000 compounds isolated from coffee
Caffeic acid, benzene, styrene, formaldehyde, furfural Insecticidal & antifungal properties (reason why plant produces them) Some are carcinogens, we ingest them Daily consumption of ~1.5 grams of natural pesticides everyday o 99.99% of pesticides consumed are natural o Human body does not distinguish between synthetic & natural Detoxed in our liver, kidneys, our skin can eliminate substances Movement to be organic, pesticide-free o NOT possible because there are natural ones available o Cannot produce all the food without using agrochemicals Natural; hard to define Organic: no synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or GMO o WHY? WHY DO PEOPLE WANT IT? 1. People want it for what it does NOT contain 2. People think it has more nutrients 3. People view its environmental benefits ° ° REASON #1 How to know something is truly organic? o You can’t. mostly based on honour system o What is “natural” & not synthetic? Copper sulfate, occurs in nature, can be mined & used as pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria sprayed as pesticide Harmful to insect enzymes, not ours If the gene that codes for the insecticide property is isolated & put into the crop, that is genetic modification, BUT if the entire genome is sprayed over the crops, then it is okay (?!)
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