Pesticides cause up to 41 million people to suffer from adverse reactions and 200,000 deaths a year

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pesticides(NaturalHealth365) The UN has released a report that condemns the use of toxic pesticides – and attributes over 200,000 deaths per year, worldwide, to their use.

The report also attacks the claim of agrochemical manufacturers that the use of pesticides is essential to address global hunger – and highlights the “systemic denial” of the companies regarding deaths and injuries from pesticides.

The impact of pesticides is characterized as “catastrophic” and a human rights violation

The report, delivered on March 8 to the UN Human Rights Council, details the adverse effects of chronic exposure to pesticides, including links to cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, hormone disruption, developmental disorders and sterility. In addition to causing almost a quarter of a million deaths yearly, pesticides cause up to 41 million people to suffer from adverse reactions.

Co-authored by Hilal Elver – a research professor and special UN rapporteur, or investigator, on the Right to Food – the report bluntly calls the use of pesticides “catastrophic“ and says that relying on these poisonous chemicals is a short-term solution that threatens the right to adequate food and health.

According to Andrew Kimball, executive director at the Center for Food Safety, the report is historic because it declares that the ability to have non-toxic and safe food is a human right.

Hilal noted that 99 percent of the poisonings took place in developing countries, due to lack of protections for farm workers. The report also noted that children – who may be forced into labor at an early age in developing countries – are particularly susceptible to pesticide contamination of food, with 23 deaths reported in India in 2013 and 39 deaths in China in 2014. In China, pesticide contamination has put a stop to farming on about 20 percent of the arable land.

In addition to distributing carcinogenic poisons for human consumption on a massive scale, pesticides deplete the topsoil, threaten the ecosystem and pollute groundwater. The report called for a global treaty to govern the use of these substances, and for incentivizing organically produced food. It also advocated natural methods of pest control, including crop rotation.

Powerful agrochemical industry uses lies and deception to conceal harm

The report was co-authored by Baskut Tuncak, the UN’s special rapporteur on toxins. Tuncak voiced his frustration with the difficulty of proving pesticide harms – although scientific studies have demonstrated that they exist.

The global pesticide market, a $50 billion dollar a year industry, gives agrochemical companies unprecedented power over governments and over the scientific community, Tuncak says.

And these industrial giants think nothing of using “aggressive and unethical” marketing tactics to systematically deny and suppress the truth about pesticide dangers, Tuncak concludes – adding that lobbying of governments obstructs reform and paralyzes global pesticide restrictions.

Philosophy justifying the use of toxic pesticides is nothing more than “smoke and mirrors”

The belief that pesticides are needed to combat the global hunger crisis is a “myth,” according to Helver. In reality, pesticides play no role in reducing world hunger.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization points out that we have currently have the ability to feed 9 billion people, the projected population of the world by 2050. The problem is not one of production, Helver says, but of poverty, inequality and improper distribution. (Natural health experts and advocates agree)

Jay Feldman, executive director of the non-profit environmental group Beyond Pesticides, points to the $43 billion organic industry as proof that toxic chemicals are not required to feed people.

The upshot: sustainable farming methods can address global hunger – without the use of toxins.

The U.S. lags behind the EU in protecting its citizens

Elver praised some countries – including those in the EU – for their “very strong regulations” for pesticides. Since 2013, the EU has banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides – which are toxic to bees – on flowering crops. Disgracefully, the United States has no such regulation.

When it comes to developing countries, few have regulatory regimes for pesticides. In some cases, pesticides that are banned in specific countries are still being manufactured there for export to other countries.

Meanwhile, pesticide manufacturers, including the UK’s Crop Protection Association, are pushing back against the condemnation, insisting that pesticides play a key role in ensuring access to a “healthy, safe, affordable and reliable food supply.”

However, the UN’s powerful and damning report makes that claim an impossible one to entertain.


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  • Eithel Noland

    I find the use of pesticides repulsive. There were many times I objected to the exterminated spraying-I hate the smell and know the dangers. There reply-it is perfectly safe I have been doing this for years.

    However, there clothes harbored the smell and residues of the toxic chemicals. Guess who did get sick their wife who did the laundering and saw them as soon as they got home.

    How do I know this? The servicemen were very friendly and told me about the horrendous illness that their wife was fighting. I put two and two together and realized what was happening.

    I know of people who owned dry cleaning shops and became very ill. This is no different it is toxic chemical exposure.

  • Genie R

    I don’t like bugs, but I like pesticides less. The only answer I have is try every non-toxic treatment until you get results.

  • Eden Phillip

    What I find is men in my neighborhood think nothing of spraying this stuff all over the house. It is the wife that will protest. It could be that women are more sensitive to the smell. Also, they report feeling it more in their eyes, noses and even having palpitations.

  • Bart Kraus

    Some of the comments are also going to be about home pesticides, because many people hate them. Well this is used all around us on lawns, gardens, and crops.

    We are surrounded by it in the environment, and then we consume them. How awful, we can’t get away from being poisoned.

    • S. Kramer

      At least we can get rid of the toxins in our own homes by having a good air filter and filtering our water, both for drinking/cooking and for showers. We can buy more organic food and less processed food. The NaturalHealth365 online store has a lot of things that can help. So does Wellness Home Specialists.

  • Anne

    I was horrified when at Uni. of London, Wye Agricultural College. A student was missing one night. When found he was found lying in a field unable to move. Why? he had tucked his trousers into his wellies. Unfortunately they were testing organic mercury seed dressing and some of the seed had droped into his boots and entered his bloodstream through skin between his socks and trouser bottoms. Luckily he lived.
    I became a more enthusiastic environmentalist than I was already. Will we ever learn?

  • archer

    More and more U.S. court cases are increasing with farmers who are either deceased or survivors with non Hodgkin’s cancer, petition its related to agrochemicals. Bee alliances challenging them for our bees to rights to survive. Hague Netherlands Monsanto Tribunal court decision we all are on the edge of our seats to hear that verdict? Who could even be upset that our new President has defunded these xyz agencies, who have stood in the way of any challenge to there policies and we the people for far too long in my opinion there is a lot of federal duties being compromised for money.
    The sick industrialized food and medicine patents and regulations must be challenged continuously.
    Vermont did it and won a case for this whole country with lawful GMO Food Labels Why would we accept what this Federal Government did to wipe a States 10th Amendment rights to protect their citizens informed food choices But the Fed Govt believes in hiding ingredients and enforcing us to have no choice? Its going to take an Act of God to dismantle the power behind this and all the harm money has purchased.
    I am so grateful to the voices, actions,courts coming forth for humanity and all life on this planet with evidences against that which harms so much. We must all support and stay informed and be present at our State Houses to petition legislative actions for our natural health and healthy food freedoms into law.

  • Sara Chudleigh

    The way pesticides reduce world hunger is by causing the premature demise of people.