1. "assumptions about high dose animal cancer tests for assessing human risk at low doses need reexamination."
2. "The possible carcinogenic hazards from synthetic pesticides are minimal compared to the background of nature's pesticides, though neither may be a hazard at the low doses consumed"
Are you aware that as the use of chemicals throughout our society has grown, the age-adjusted rates of cancer have declined?
Are you aware that the major risks for cancer are smoking, unsafe sex, excess sun exposure, abuse of drugs including alcohol, advanced age and genetics? Exposure to chemicals in the workplace is far down on the list. Pesticides in the diet don't show on the list.
If you can cite any reputable sources that say pesticides in the diet (including drinking water) are a significant source of cancer, please cite them.
We spend a lot of time in this country worrying about the wrong things.
Where the only evidence you are bringing forth is a pic of two obese people, how are you backing up your assertions that you can tell all the diseases people have just by observing a slice of the population in a mall or other big city gathering place. What does a person with diabetes look like? What does a person with high blood pressure look like? Furthermore the topic on hand is organic foods. If 100 obese people that do not currently eat organic suddenly changed over night to only eating organic do you think they would magically become less obese? Then you bring in the Okinawans and that they do not eat much meat what exactly does that have to do with organic?
The conspiracy theory is you expect others to believe that big pharma, which just happens to also produce pesticides, is on purpose making us sick so they can drug us more to make us live longer. All these willing accomplices in agriculture, grocery, restaurant chains and the entire medical field are in on it. You sir are the one not making any sense.
Sir Mark, Knight of Sufferlandria
Yes, cancer rates have declined for many cancers. For others, rates have increased.
Unsurprisingly, there have been no toxicology studies of the effects of pesticides on humans. There is only one extensive epidemiological study of which I am aware, which is ongoing. A link to it is included below. A problem is that exposures to carcinogens frequently result in cancers 20-30 years in the future, and carcinogenic studies are never conducted on combinations of carcinogens. Only epidemiological studies can do that, and as is always the case in such studies, cause and effect can, is, and will be disputed by those with skin in the game.
Nonetheless, the facts are that we are depositing 5.6 billion pounds of pesticides this year on our crops and that this amount is increasing. This just doesn't seem to me the greatest idea. Studies noting problems with this:
Agricultural Health Study - National Cancer Institute
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and pesticide exposure: 2... [Acta Haematol. 2006] - PubMed - NCBI
Cancer Active - Pesticides and their links to Cancer
Pesticides Use and Exposure Extensive Worldwide
Pesticides and Cancer
Genetic Engineering INCREASES Pesticide Use, DECREASES Crop Yield | The Big Picture
Summary of Major Findings and Definitions of Important Terms - College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences |
So we see that such studies do exist and do show a connection between pesticide use and cancer. You are right that an estimated 10,000 deaths per year attributable to pesticide use is a low number compared to other death rates. However, I can only do what I personally can do to reduce these rates: not smoke, eat healthy, drive and bike carefully, try to follow best medical practice in health care, and . . . eat organic. That's a personal choice I can make. As Gandhi said, "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
Organic farming is good for the soil, good for the farmer, good for the consumer, and good for the long term health of the planet. I believe that less poison is better than more poison. I think the "more poison is better for all of us" argument should be a difficult one to make, yet is one that those who benefit financially will continue to make.
Minimum till and direct seeding is also good for the soil and yet neither are organic, although both could be. The studies in Africa linked above showed that 5 to 7 years of organic farming stripped the phosphate out of the soil and had to be replaced. Conventional agriculture conducts soil sampling and adds the correct N-P-K-S plus micro-nutrients for the crop being grown. Farming methods are an ever evolving thing.
If organic is so good for the farmer why is it that more farmers are not going that way? Perhaps if all you city dwellers would move back to the farm we could fix this. I do not know the answer but my guess is organic makes sense on smaller scale farms.
"Good for the consumer, and good for the long term health of the planet." Well that seems to be what is not in agreement in this thread. Choice is what is good for the consumer IMHO. The long term health of the planet is speculation at best and arrogant speculation at that. Farmers are not poisoning our planet. Chemicals are expensive, over application makes it more-so in more ways than one. Urban dwellers over apply both fertilizer and pesticides on a scale that pales what farmers apply. Organic advocates seem to be saying that they know what is better for others than the others do for themselves. I think it is better that consumers have the choice between organic and not organic.
All that said this is after all a cycling forum and the question at hand seems like it should be is organic better for cyclists. Cycling and eating whole foods has done wonders for my health. I can't get away from organic in that my favorite Clif products are "90%" organic. My daily eggs are not "organic" but they are free range, like that means anything, and do not come from a store. The same for my chicken and pork, well except my pork is not free range. Speaking of which anyone want to buy a half of a pig, cut and wrapped FOB Ellensburg $500? Some of the foods I buy at Costco are organic but that is because I like the price per pound of what they sell and they do not always have non-organic choices. If given a choice I will buy non-organic, it tastes just fine and I have found no bugs in it, shelf life is often long enough that I eat it before it spoils.
Sir Mark, Knight of Sufferlandria
Well, organic production has increased at double-digit rates for a decade. That's hot for any economy.