Wheat and other cereals – 1. organophosphate pesticides

29 Nov

A message received from Richard Bruce highlights the lack of reference to “the poisons that are added to the wheat AFTER harvest, in the food grain stores and during processing”. He continues: “Here in the UK tons of the poisons have been admixed with wheat, barley, oats and other food crops every year for decades, often with no withholding times after treatment at all.

“The EU intervention stores demanded that the grains were protected from insect infestation by these products for at least 5 years in store … Bakers have refused delivery of clean wheat unless it is treated with the poisons.

“Even the British Medical Association stated in the publication Pesticides, Chemicals and Health (link only to citation, payment site) that wholemeal bread contained the highest residues of the poison – yet 24 years later it is still approved for use in our food and NEVER appears on the food content labels because it does not have to be declared. The official reason? Because it is classed as a pesticide and not a food additive.

Richard adds that using organic flour should limit intake of the poisons – if the authorities are not permitted to weaken organic standards.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information in the United States aims to ‘advance science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information’. A link from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a research agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services relates an account of organophosphate poisoning after eating a wheat bagel:

Intern Med. 2009;48(2):85-8. Epub 2009 Jan 15: “Organophosphate poisoning due to a wheat bagel”: Kavalci C1, Durukan POzer MCevik YKavalci G. It is stated that organophosphate compounds are possibly the most widely-used insecticides worldwide, causing poisoning – inhibiting acetylcholinesterase at the cholinergic synapses:

After eating a wheat bagel, 13 patients with organophosphate poisoning were admitted to our emergency department. Seven were males and 6 were females. The mean age of the patients was 26 +/- 13.9. The mean serum acetylcholinesterase level was 2945.1+/-2648.9 U/L. Nine patients who had supportive treatment and who were given atropine and pralidoxime were hospitalized approximately 6.8+/-6.5 days. All of the patients recovered after the treatment and no deaths occurred.

In National Geographique (2013), Dana Boyd Barr, an exposure scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who has studied organophosphate poisoning recorded that organophosphates are so toxic to humans that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken steps to limit their availability to the public: “The EPA has asked manufacturers to voluntarily eliminate its use [for residential purposes] . . .There are a couple still available for residential garden use, but they’re few.”

Richard asks:

  • Are the increasing incidences of “allergy” to gluten really the symptoms induced by the presence of organophosphates?
  • Does avoiding the gluten also avoid most of the poison?

Part 2 below.



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