While the current food system categorizes “conventional” fruits, vegetables and other foods as those that are allowed to be sprayed with synthetic pesticides and herbicides, the truth is that the “organic” way of doing things obviously came first.
Since the post-World War II era, leftover chemicals from the war (and new ones being manufactured) have been sprayed on our food in huge amounts, culminating in the modern era of food crops that have been genetically engineered to resist these pesticides by Monsanto and other companies.
The toll taken on our health and the environment has been massive, and now a new report is shedding light on just how polluted our agricultural system has been over the past handful of decades.
Number of Toxic Chemicals Rises 17-Fold, New Report Says
According to a new report from the Soil Association in the UK, a well known pro-organic grassroots organization, the amount of toxic chemicals sprayed on supermarket vegetable crops in the country rose 17 fold in 40 years, as reported on in The Telegraph.
Numbers for chemicals applied to onions, leaks, wheat and potatoes has been steadily increasing since the 1960s, the article continued, although the weight of pesticides has been halved in the UK since the 1990s according to industry data.
The most concerning part of the Association’s new data however is the assertion that tiny amounts of multiple different chemicals are coming into contact with our food, humans, and the environment. While these chemicals are toxic on their own, scientists and chemical-free food advocates have long warned that they are not tested for combined toxicity, meaning that we don’t know how they react with each other or how harmful these mixtures may be for human health both in the short-term and the long term.
Degenerative diseases like strokes, heart attacks, cancers and more may be the result of exposure to these chemical mixtures, which are routinely applied to our food supply, especially in non-organic foods.
“Chemicals can have a mixture effect. They may have no effect by themselves but when mixed have a pronounced mixture effect,” said Professor Anne Marie Vinggaard of the National Food Institute according to the article.
“We are not just exposed to pesticides. We are exposed to a lot of chemicals acting together and we must take account of this cocktail effect affecting the same target audience that the pesticides are.”
Unfortunately in the United States, the pro-pesticide train shows no signs of stopping as President Donald Trump has appointed pesticide industry insiders and recently seemed to announce his support for GMO crops and the Biotech industry.
Levels of pesticides have been rising dramatically on GMO crops according to one review of U.S. government data by Professor Charles Benbrook (learn more here), and a recent report in The New York Times titled ‘Broken Promises of Genetically Modified Crops’ also found that many promises of GMO crops, including reduce pesticide use and their necessity to “feed the world,” were not true.