IS CANCER AND PESTICIDE RELATED?
The Guardian report did not include a study on cancer related to pesticides and herbicides, but has been included here and below.
12.6 million are diagnosed annually with cancer around the world.
7.5 million people die from cancer every year.
Cancer was the cause of 14% of total deaths globally in 2008.
27% of deaths in the UK were from cancer in 2008
204 out of every 100,000 men get cancer 2008
165 per 100,000 women got cancer 2008
More than eight out of 10 cases (86%) are now in the developing world
Pesticide-related illnesses among farm workers in U.S.A. each year: 300,000. U.S. citizens who die annually from cancer directly related to pesticides: 10,400
U.S. citizens killed each year by rifles is notoriously high, but according to the figures, still less than pesticides.
At least 12.6 million people are diagnosed with cancer around the world every year, and more than 7.5 million die of the disease – a toll that is steadily rising in every country as the population expands and people live longer, according to research by the World Health Organisation
Cancer was the cause of 14% of all deaths around the world in 2008, the year for which there are the most recent comprehensive figures, but the rates varied enormously from one region to another, from 5% in Africa to 21% in the western Pacific. More than a quarter of all deaths in the UK – 27% – were from cancer.
Cancer Research UK (Cruk) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) an arm of the World Health Organisation, are releasing their report as the first United Nations summit opens in New York on tackling the killer diseases that every nation is now having to confront: heart and lung diseases, diabetes and cancer.
These so-called “non-communicable diseases”, which have all taken off as sedentary lifestyles, junk food, smoking and drinking have spread around the planet, are already a massive burden on rich countries and are steadily becoming one in poorer countries, too.
TAKING ACTION TO PREVENT EPA APPROVAL OF TOXIC PESTICIDES
Campaigning for Health, Justice and Sustainability
“Instead of protecting vulnerable populations, corporate interests have continued to trump public health and common sense in the U.S. BPA is a chemical known to mimic estrogen and which has been linked to increased risk of cancer, altered brain development, early puberty and other metabolic changes. It really shouldn’t be in our food supply.” Sarah Janssen, a scientist from the Natural Resources Defense Council
“Vegetables and fruits finding their way to Delhi markets are a toxic cocktail capable of causing cancer, heart disease and infertility and posing a risk to nervous system and liver.” Report on pesticides and food in India.
WHAT ABOUT SOME COLD HARD FACTS?
Immunochemical Assays in Pesticide Analysis
For the technically minded
Pesticides are widely used in agriculture and there are concerns that they could increase the risk of cancer. Studies have suggested that pesticides could increase the risk of leukaemia, lymphomas, brain cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer
“For now, the evidence is not strong enough to give us any clear answers.”
But given the fact that cancer is on a rampant rise, along with the heavy use of pesticide, herbicides and fertilisers in industrialised farming, doesn’t that make alarm bells ring in your head? Read on.
First hand information: when I worked on a station (ranch) in Australia, one of the tasks was to tend to the ten acre apple orchard. In the shed was a selection of around 10 pesticides in 5 gallon drums. Each drum was clearly marked DO NOT MIX WITH OTHER PESTICIDES as the toxic effect of such a mixture was unknown – and still is. But what did we do? Yup, you guessed it. Took an empty 5 gallon drum and mixed a little from each drum into it, sloshed it around,, poured it into the pressure sprayer, went off and merrily sprayed the trees. This was over 20 years ago, I was concerned then; on hindsight, I am horrified today. It is probably hasn’t changed. And this folks, is why you should always peel an apple or buy organic or, best bet, grow your own. I don’t know why people stopped the practice of growing fruit trees in their back gardens. Grow fruit trees folks!
Phillip Voice at Landscape Juice says, “when it comes to organic farming you just need to follow your gut.”
If you did a survey of 1 billion people, how many do you think would say that pesticide on your food is actually good for you? Yeah … that’s what I thought.
The scientific evidence on pesticides and cancer is still uncertain; more research is needed. Studies done share common problems:
- They usually involve a small number of people. This makes it more likely that their results are down to chance.
- It is difficult to work out the amounts of pesticides that people were actually exposed to.
- Most studies estimate exposures based on a person’s job. Others ask people with cancer to remember whether and how they used pesticides in the past.
- Their answers might not be accurate and may have been influenced by different factors.
- There is a wide variety of pesticides and it is not clear which, if any, affect the risk of cancer. (or what the toxicity is when different pesticides are mixed)
- The results from different studies are not consistent.
The graph report above shows the reported pounds of carcinogenic pesticides being applied in California from 91 to 98 – if this doesn’t scare you …
PESTICIDES AND CANCER: by Mary H Ward Ph.D Occupational Epidemiology Branch: National Cancer Institute
10% of community drinking water contained at least one or more pesticides
Tap water in 27 of 29 cities tested had 2 to 9 different pesticides
14 million people regularly drink tap water contaminated with herbicide
Most occupational exposure to pesticide is through the skin and can be high
Costa Rica uses pesticide in a deadly quantity of around 52 kgs per hectare.
It is followed by USA with around 48.6kgs per hectare on an average.
Unconfirmed source taken from a blog.
ARE PESTICIDES RELATED TO CANCER ?
Proceedings of the International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 2011, 1(2):125-144
Varieties and consumption of pesticides worldwide have been increasing dramatically along with increased population and crop production. In this process pesticide misuse becomes more and more serious; this has resulted in heavy environmental pollution and health risk for humans. In order to safeguard human health, threatened species and ecosystems from pesticide pollution, the consumption and pollution of pesticides worldwide …
DO PESTICIDES CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS?
Moderate to high Pearson’s correlation coefficients ranging from 0.36 to 0.81 were observed among pesticides sales in eleven states in 1985 and further reproductive hazards during the nineties (Table 3). Statistically significant correlations were seen for breast cancer mortality among women 50-69 yr. during 1995-1997 (r = 0.81, 0.41-0.95), women 40-49 yr. (r = 0.66, 0.10-0.90), ovarian cancer mortality (r = 0.71, 0.19-0.92), and a borderline result for sperm evaluation rates (r = 0.60, -00.1-0.88).
“The observation of reproductive disturbances in humans and in the wildlife has been reported in the last decade in different countries. Exposure to different chemicals possibly acting in the endocrine system or endocrine disruptors, including pesticides, has been a hypothesis raised to explain the observed changes.”
In 2005, the births of three babies born in Florida with severe birth defects to mothers who all worked for Ag-Mart Produce, a company that produces chemically-treated tomatoes and other agricultural products, brought the connection between birth defects and pesticide exposure into the public consciousness. Birth defects are structural or functional abnormalities present at birth that cause physical or mental disabilities, ranging from mild to fatal. Researchers have identified thousands of different types of birth defects. Currently, birth defects are the leading cause of death for infants during
BUT IF PESTICIDES CAUSED CANCER THE BIG CORPORATIONS OR THE GOVERNMENT WOULD STOP IT, RIGHT?
Before you answer that you’d better check out this old add for ‘Radiating Healthy Skin.’
SOME MORE NATURAL BUG REMEDIES HERE
THE CODEX ALIMENTARIUS
There’s been a lot of talk just recently about the codex alimentarius. But just exactly what is it?
Codex is one forum in which the genetically modified (GM) food battle is being played out, between the United States, Canada and Argentina on the one hand, and Europe on the other. Europeans have been resolute in their opposition to GM foods, despite a more recent softening of the stance of governments and trade bodies.
“Smith-Spangler and her colleagues found there was no difference in the amount of vitamins in plant or animal products produced organically and conventionally – and the only nutrient difference was slightly more phosphorus in the organic products.”
Given the choice between having a salad that was generously sprayed with pesticide and one that was not, I wonder what choice Ms Smith-Spangler would make?
Worth noting: “Many of the studies didn’t specify the standards for what constituted “organic” food and only 200 studies were done against a population of 300 million.
Q: JUST HOW MUCH PESTICIDE DOES THE US USE ANYWAY?
A: 857 MILLION POUNDS ANNUALLY: 684 million pounds in agriculture alone (On a population of 300 million people)
“Pesticide use in agriculture is down slightly, from 948 million pounds in 2000 to 877 million pounds in 2007. But that’s only about 1% per year, and still close to one billion pounds of toxic chemicals intentionally introduced into the environment and our food supply each year.” (knowing that it is carcinogenic and results in bad health)
- Use of organophosphates continues to decline, and this definitely is a good thing, as these are among the most acutely toxic pesticides still used. But 33 million pounds is still 33 million pounds too many, and despite the decline these neurotoxins are still detected in the bodies of most Americans (see the CDC’s National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals) and commonly found on our food.
- The herbicide glyphosate has more than doubled in use, from 85-90 million pounds in 2001 to 180-185 million pounds in 2007. According to a report from the Organic Center, this increase is likely a reflection of the rising popularity of Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready genetically modified crops. (Glyphosate is the active ingredient of RoundUp.)
THE EPA: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with states and other agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is responsible for regulating the production and use of pesticides in the United States.”
READ THE FULL EPA REPORT HERE
NOTE: there are many photographs on the net portraying infants / children with dreadful deformities purporting to be related to pesticides and cancer. They are far too disturbing to post on this blog.
MONSANTO – FOOD & PESTICIDES
The company manufactured controversial products such as the insecticide DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and recombinant bovine somatotropin. Monsanto was among the first to genetically modify a plant cell, along with three academic teams, which was announced in 1983, and was among the first to conduct field trials of genetically modified crops, which it did in 1987. It remained one of the top 10 U.S. chemical companies until it divested most of its chemical businesses between 1997 and 2002, through a process of mergers and spin-offs that focused the company on biotechnology.
LEAKED MONSANTO REPORT: Internal memo study sheet on pesticides. Global: A scientific manuscript reviewing virtually all Monsanto and
publicly-available studies on glyphosate, AMPA, Roundup herbicide and the
polyethoxylated tallowamine surfactant (POEA) was published by leading
mammalian toxicology experts. The paper concludes that, under present and
expected conditions of use, Roundup herbicide does not pose a health risk to
Kucinich Calls Out Monsanto: Americans Demand GMO Labeling
“After the first ban in France, there is a now a high possibility that Monsanto will soon be facing a European ban.”
MONSANTO AND GMO’S EXPLAINED
Endless greed, bad technology: Domination of technology over sharing of wisdom
ARE PESTICIDE KILLING BEES?
“Bees are still dying and EPA is still sitting on its hands. Luckily for those of us who like to eat…”
ALBERT EINSTEIN & BEES
Albert Einstein once said: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!”
My thought: we might be able to manufacture cabbages by the ton, but all the spice and variety would go out of food.
THE OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE EPA
“The EPA is responsible for ensuring that the American public is protected from potential health risks posed by eating foods that have been treated with pesticides.”
MEANWHILE … back to the EPA
DO PESTICIDES AFFECT US IN OUR URBAN COMMUNITIES? HEALTH EFFECTS DIVISION: OFFICE OF PESTICIDE PROGRAMS:
US ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (EPA) (leaked document)
“There are residential exposures to homeowners and children (e.g. toddlers) from the use of cacodylic acids (pesticides) on ornamentals, during lawn renovation and weed control, and around buildings and walkways.”
“Long term oral exposure to iAs (inorganic arsenics) has been reported to be associated with several cancers (e.g., skin, lungs, bladder)” EPA
MOVING ON TO GMO’s (a new GMO post has been created)
Read continuation of previous report not covering pesticides…
Or scroll down to But what can I do?
Cruk has high hopes of the summit, which is intended to focus the attention of government leaders on ways of preventing as well as treating the new scourge. “While it is clear that tackling cancer worldwide will remain one of the major challenges in the 21st century, this high-level meeting will finally put cancer on the global agenda, providing the biggest and best opportunity to drive forward major changes in this area,” says its report.
Worldwide, men are more likely to get cancer than women – 204 out of every 100,000 men and 165 per 100,000 women got cancer in 2008, according to age-standardised data. The incidence rate is rising fast in the developing world but is still markedly lower in Africa, where 88 per 100,000 people got cancer, than in North America and western Europe, where 334 and 335 people respectively per 100,000 were diagnosed.
Data is not well collected or kept in most developing countries, but the younger age of the population and different diets and lifestyles play a big part. The highest incidence among men in the world was in France and Australia, which had 361 cases per 100,000. Among women, it was Denmark, with 325 per 100,000. The UK rate was 33rd highest among men and 12th for women.
Four common cancers are responsible for 45% of the death toll, says the report – lung cancer, which is the biggest killer among men, liver, stomach and colorectum. In the UK, the biggest killers are lung, colorectum, breast and prostate.
For several decades, lung cancer has been the most common cancer in the world. In 2008, there were 1.6m diagnoses and the largest proportion – 55% – is now in the developing world, where public smoking bans and advertising restrictions generally do not apply.
The declaration to be signed at the end of the UN meeting will call on governments to take action against tobacco marketing. About a quarter of all adults in the world – more than 1 billion people – are thought to smoke. In Europe, male smoking has peaked, but the habit is still on the increase among young women and girls. The UK has the seventh highest lung cancer rate in women among 184 countries with reliable statistics in the world.
Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer among women, with 1.38mdiagnoses in 2008, which is a quarter of the total for women. It affects a larger proportion of women in wealthy countries, although the developing countries have high numbers and it is a growing problem there.
Reproductive behaviour – having fewer children and postponing childbearing, and breastfeeding less – as well as weight, lack of exercise and drinking are all thought to be factors in the rise in cases. Breast cancer is the most common cause of death among women worldwide.
Cervical cancer hits developing countries hardest as screening, vaccination and treatment bring the numbers down in the richer world. More than eight out of 10 cases (86%) are now in the developing world, and 88% of the 275,000 deaths. The UK death rate is low, ranked 157th out of 184 countries on mortality rates.
But what can I do? Nothing I can do, right?
It only takes one 4×4 square foot garden box to supply one adult one full, healthy salad meal per day. A family of four? 2 meals per day? You do the math.
We as individuals can make a difference. It’s just a state of mind. Most houses in the UK have gardens. Those gardens are usually a total waste of space, energy and resources. They could be used to grow your own healthy crops. EVERY family discards brown and green carbons EVERY DAY! (sorry – was I shouting? ) these discarded brown and green carbons make fantastic humus. You grow crops in humus. No digging. No weeding. No hard work. You start a never ending cycle. Imagine.
Imagine what would happen if a thousand, ten thousand, a million people started to blow the pesticide driven farming industry out the window. Imagine the financial impact. The pesticide and farming industry would sit up and take notice. Radical? Revolutionary? Not really. My father and his father before him used to grow their own vegetables. The difference between now and then? It’s much easier now with modern (refound) techniques than it was back in the old sod-turning, back breaking days.
So what are you waiting for? Get to it!
What am I doing? I’m working on it, really.
In addition, farmers need to be re-educated in farming practices. By current methods the soil is destroyed by constant tilling and tiny microbes that live in the soil don’t get a chance to survive and help the crop. And of course, pesticides …etc …
What are the alternatives?
There is a practice called the No Dig Method
Basic of no dig method: Lay a ‘ground-sheet’ of cardboard
Add generous layer of mulch and allow to rot down
Plant seed and grow organic crops
Planting companion plants eradicates the need for pesticides
no tilling – no weeding – 70% less water – keep adding mulch for healthy crops
CHECK OUT THE NO DIG METHOD WITH TREE HUGGER
In a recent mail to me Richard wrote:
“This topic came up at the Real Farming Conference in Oxford yesterday. All topics lead to the inevitable question, especially the last session held in Merton College, Oxford University, on How can We Rebuild our Soils.
The conclusion was that we need to add organic matter in the right condition to do this. This is why the Howard-Higgins compost system has been developed.”
Co chair WG05, sanitation to agriculture http://sustainableagriculturelondon.ning.com/