What's Up with Generic Pesticides?


I am still not done with the series: “other hormones related to weight management” but this post is related to it. Since pesticides interfere with hormone equilibrium, and as I have already mentioned in my last posts, some hormones are directly related to weight management: don’t mess with pesticides!


My husband is a chemical engineer. His career path took him to high management in an environmental solutions’ company, but his heart and mind keep connected with the scientific world of chemistry, chemical engineering and (because of my background), to biology and weight management.


Because of his scientific love affair he keeps informed on some the latest scientific advances through several scientific magazines. From time to time he comes to me with an article that he thinks may be of interest to me that otherwise I would have never had the option to read. He found the last one while reading in a flight to Chicago and left me thinking about it for a while. Now I wonder if by eating products from overseas we may be exposed to more dangerous pesticides we are not aware of. It also reinforced my belief about the need to try to eat organic as much as possible or at least to try to buy from local farmers when organic is not an option.


The article I am referring to is called “Reevaluate Pesticides for Food Security and Safety” from Philippe J.P Verger and Alan R. Boobis, and was published in the August issue of “Science” magazine in the Policy Forum section.


The article discusses how generic pesticides, vital in the developing world, present assessment challenges. The problem arises when large multinational companies are no longer interested in the commercialization or in investing resources to evaluate and comply with regulation related to the toxicity of specific pesticides. Their generic versions, although necessary for developing countries to increase their food production, may not meet the internationally accepted criteria for safe pesticide residues in the food supply.


The authors discuss an approach to address this, but said analysis is not the objective of this post.


In my opinion, no pesticide is safe. Even if they are approved to be used, my position is that we don’t have the resources to study all the potential negative effects of all pesticides so we don’t know for sure their risks. We might find out later on that a pesticide considered totally safe today may turn out to have significant negative effects in a few years. Remember how DDT was considered safe and used in households years ago and now is totally banned?    


This article reinforced my attitude towards pesticides and the benefits from consuming organic food or at least from local farmers.


Related to my last post on Trans Fats, if we as a society demand more organic products at an affordable price we will be able to push demand and get a positive outcome at some point or another.


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