Pesticides and Cancer

pesticides and cancer,

A couple of months ago I began to do a lot of research into the use of pesticides in Australia. I invited you all to join me on my journey of getting informed and finding the truth. I shared with you all five shocking facts about pesticide use in Australia  and today I wanted to focus on just one of those facts:

There are over 80 pesticides used in Australia that are banned in other countries.

What’s with those 80 pesticides? Why are they banned in other countries and why do we still use them here? Turns out, those 80 pesticides are banned in other countries for very good reasons. They have a whole bunch of nasty, scary side effects on human health, animals and the environment. I discovered that 17 of those 80 pesticides are either  known, likely or probably carcinogens. A carcinogen is a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue. So lets just take that in for a minute. What I’m saying is that in Australia, we commonly use 17 pesticides which we either know or it’s highly likely that they cause cancer! How scary is that?!

But why are they banned in other countries and not Australia? Because Australia has a different system. In Europe for example, pesticides have to be proven to be safe before they can be used. In Australia, the reverse is true. In Australia a pesticide has to be proven to be unsafe before it can be removed from use. That takes someone to first recognize there is a danger, then go about proving it. And that can literally take years.

The majority of these 17 pesticides are currently under review or have been suggested for review. So basically, whilst the scientists research and test whether or not their is a link between these pesticides and cancer (when in many cases this has already been proven elsewhere) we continue to go on using and ingesting them on a daily basis.

So what can we do about it? Well thankfully the answer to that is simple; eat organic. By choosing to eat organic not only are you protecting your own health by eliminating these nasty pesticides from your foods you are also encouraging more farmers to go organic. Think about it, the whole farming system is about supply and demand so the more we buy organic the more we convince famers to grow organic.

And, if you’re interested in what those 17 cancer causing pesticides are and what they’re used for I’ve put it all into a nifty little table for you below.

Did you know about these 17 pesticides? Does it scare you to know we are still using these in Australia?

Pesticide Name Likelihood of being a carcinogen Common uses
Acifluorfen Likely Used to control weeds and grasses on certain crops
Carbaryl Likely Fruit, nuts, vegetables, crops and pastures
Diclofop Likely Wheat, barley, cereal rye, linseed, peas.
Diuron Known Apples, sugar can, pears, asparagus, bananas, coffee, cotton, citrus, pineapple, wheat, barley, cereal rye, oats.
Ethylene oxide Known Fumigation, sterilization.
Fenoxycarb Likely Apples, pears, household pests.
Haloxyfop Probably Legume, pastures, seed crops, bananas, citrus, grapes, pineapple, pome fruit, stone fruit, tropical fruit, nut crops.
Imazalil Likely Postharvest diseases, citrus, apples pears, rock melons, potatoes.
Iprodione Likely Turf, potatoes, small fruit, berries, grapes, kiwifruit, mandarins, passion fruit, stone fruit, almonds, macadamias, celery, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes
Mancozeb Probable Field crops, fruit, turf, vegetables
Tetracoazole Likely Grapevines
Thiacloprid Likely Apples, pome fruit, stone fruit
Thiodicarb Probable Cotton, maize, sweet corn, pulses, tomatoes
Trichlorfon Likely Canola, cereal crops, legumes, linseed rice, avocado, grapevines, guava, macadamia, pawpaw, passionfruit, pome fruit, stone fruit.
Pirimcarb Likely Fruit crop tree and vine, vegetables
Propachlor Likely Maize, sweet corn, vegetables
Propoxur Probable Dogs, cats

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