A medic’s random reflections on pesticides – and news of a government monitoring plan

27 Jul

Searching Dr Mansfield’s archive for his views on the relative merits of pasteurised and unpasteurised milk I got sidetracked by a reference to the word ‘pesticides’ and searched on this word, receiving an unexpected bonus – information which I hope will be new to some readers, as it was to me.

Far more could be learnt from the book he wrote with Dr Jean Munro, ‘Chemical Children’.

Responding to one of Dr Mansfield’s essays, Mark Measures sent him a copy of a letter sent to the Sunday Times: 

There is a plethora of other information showing higher levels of vitamins and lower levels of pesticides. And it should be pointed out that no one knows the true risks from pesticides as no one has tested the safety of the use of multiple chemicals on food crops – the so-called cocktail effect.

The controlled trial of organic compared to conventional food on a human group over one generation may not yet have been done, but all the indicators are there. With increasing incidence of “environmental-related” diseases something needs to be done and eating organic food is one of a number of commonsense approaches.

Mark is the Director of the Institute of Organic Training & Advice, Craven Arms, Shropshire. It has just merged with the Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm.

Extracted from Dr Mansfield’s Rethink Health Bulletins, 2007-10

I suspect obesity is a result of other factors that predispose to cancer, such as consuming pesticide residues that are dispersed in fat. Natural therapy cancer clinics have insisted for decades that diet is crucial to evading cancer, and that food should be organically grown. This won’t stop me having organic sausages, bacon or a kipper for breakfast occasionally. It confirms much of what we already knew, but brings that knowledge in from the fringe to centre-stage.

Nobody yet knows what underlies the brain-wasting diseases. Meanwhile, there are two candidates worth serious attention. One is poisoning with accumulative toxins such as pesticides, mercury, lead, aluminium and arsenic. The other is mediocre food, failing to maintain the brain in good repair into advanced old age.

Quite a few modern chemicals are much harder to deal with. Those designed to kill insects are the most difficult. Many do not bio-degrade, so you consume them along with the food that was sprayed. They dissolve in fat rather than water, so that they can penetrate the skin of the insect. This makes them hard to handle in your body, and a good few are deposited in your fat cells so that they can at least be out of harm’s way. We know this because human milk, and fat samples from accident victims, were until 2000 analysed by the MAFF Working Party on Pesticide Residues. These residues have been declining over the years as their dangers have been recognised, but the range of values varied widely between individuals, some of whom were sufficiently contaminated to raise concerns. (These analyses seem to have been dropped by the Pesticide Residues Committee who superseded it.) I followed this link and found this information:

Proposals for 2012 UK Monitoring Plan for Pesticide Residues in Food and Drink: http://www.pesticides.gov.uk/guidance/industries/pesticides/advisory-groups/PRiF/PRC-results-and-reports/proposals-for-2012-uk-monitoring-plan-for-pesticide-residues-in-food-and-drink

One to watch!

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