Beware of Pesticides
If you still are not convinced about the wisdom of buying only organic food, you may wish to take a look at the latest studies on the world’s best-selling agricultural chemical, Roundup®. Roundup is the brand name for an herbicide whose main ingredient is glyphosate. According to a report in the June 2005 issue of the peer-reviewed science journal Environmental Health Perspectives (Volume 113, Number 6, June 2005), glyphosate damages human placental cells after only 18 hours of exposure and at concentration levels that are one hundred times lower than its recommended use in agriculture. What’s more, sources state that the Roundup formulation is reputed to enhance the effect of glyphosate, making Roundup an endocrine disruptor. The study said that at dosages below the recommended usage, its toxic effect on placental cells could cause reproductive problems. Roundup is sprayed on over 140 million acres of genetically engineered crops around the world, and it is promoted as one of the safest pesticides on the market.
In another study in the August 2005 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Ecological Applications, Roundup killed up to 71 percent of amphibian biodiversity and 86 percent of the tadpoles even when applied at concentrations that are one-third of the maximum concentrations typically found in waterways. The experiment was initially conducted to see whether the Roundup would have an indirect effect on the frogs by killing their food source, the algae. However, the study found that Roundup actually increased the amount of algae in the pond because it killed most of the frogs that eat the algae.
Similar glyphosate studies around the world have been equally alarming. The American Academy of Family Physicians’ epidemiological research has linked exposure to the herbicide with increased risk of non–Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a life-threatening cancer, while a Canadian study has linked glyphosate exposure with increased risk for miscarriage. A 2002 study linked glyphosate exposure with increased incidence of attention deficit disorder in children.
Steve is a health crusader and author on ten books, including The Organic Food Guide. He has been featured on PBS, the Home Shopping network, QVC and TV Food Network. He has written for Better Nutrition, Prevention, Organic Gardening and House & Garden magazines.