A very common attitude toward the presence of chemical and pesticide residues in our food supply is that they are present in such small amounts that they couldn’t do any harm. I actually had someone recently tell me that there is no proof that pesticides are responsible for cancer or any other significant disease. He even cited a book to “prove” his position. But recent scientific re-analysis of the results of many previous studies has shown this to be anything but true. ”Denial is not just a river in Egypt” sprang to mind when I thought of the current mindset, when such overwhelming evidence of the harm done by these chemicals is available.
The focus of the new analysis was endocrine and hormone disrupting chemicals and their affects on health and disease. These substances are found in can liners, plastic softeners and also in chemical fertilizers, and their residues are present in much of our food. What they found should put an end to the idea that, “oh, just a little bit won’t hurt you” mentality that has prevailed, as if good ole’ common sense shouldn’t have already.
“The current report found that low doses of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, which are comparable to the average person’s environmental exposure to these chemicals, can result in significant health effects.” via Current chemical testing missing low-dosage effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
“Their research, based on a review of 800 scientific studies, concludes that it is “remarkably common” for very small amounts of hormone-disrupting chemicals to have profound, adverse effects on human health. Hormone-disrupting chemicals, the paper explains, challenge a fundamental tenet of toxicology — “the dose makes the poison” — which contends that the greater the dose, the greater the effect. Hormone-disrupting chemicals don’t necessarily behave like this. Significant health effects, the researchers say, sometimes occur at low rather than high doses. Scientists Warn of Low-Dose Risks of Chemical Exposure by Elizabeth Grossman: Yale Environment 360
Or you can read the abstract of the original study here. Hormones and Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Low-Dose Effects and Nonmonotonic Dose Responses.
So, the next time you are reading your food label, AS YOU SHOULD BE, and it says, “less than 2% of the following”, be sure to read on. Sure, the euphemism is, “you can stop reading now, because there is only a little bit of this knarly toxic waste present, nothing to see here, keep moving,” But, common sense and overwhleming evidence is telling you that that is exactly where you should be paying attention.