Pes­ti­cide dan­ger ‘un­der­es­ti­mated’

Sunday Times - - WORLD - The Daily Tele­graph, Lon­don

CON­SUMERS should con­sider go­ing or­ganic be­cause pes­ti­cides on foods are far more dan­ger­ous than was thought, caus­ing dam­age to the hu­man brain, a study sug­gests.

The re­search, pub­lished by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, warns of the “very high costs” of cur­rent lev­els of ex­po­sure to pes­ti­cides — es­pe­cially for chil­dren and preg­nant women.

The study sug­gests that the dam­age caused by pes­ti­cides across the EU amounts to at least £125-bil­lion (about R2-tril­lion) a year, based on the loss of life­time in­come from such dam­age.

The re­port warns of in­creas­ing ev­i­dence that residues from in­sec­ti­cides are dam­ag­ing the brain, and re­duc­ing the IQ of the pop­u­la­tion. And it raises con­cerns that the chem­i­cals could also cause can­cer and dam­age to the re­pro­duc­tive sys­tem.

“At least 100 dif­fer­ent pes­ti­cides are known to cause ad­verse neu­ro­log­i­cal ef­fects in adults, and all of these sub­stances must there­fore be sus­pected of be­ing ca­pa­ble of dam­ag­ing de­vel­op­ing brains as well,” the re­port states.

“Such ad­verse ef­fects are likely to be last­ing and one main out­come is cog­ni­tive deficits, of­ten ex­pressed in terms of losses of IQ points.” — ©

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