Unusually Deadly Pesticides and You

Starting as early as the 1980s, the European Community, United States and Canada took steps to ban pesticides, such as DDT that were shown to be toxic to people, animals and the land. BUT THEY ARE BACK!

I remember looking at a jar of pickles, which was a manufactured in India.  My first question was, why India, don’t we have enough local Canadian or US cucumbers? Now I know why.

These counterfeit pesticides are widely used on your vegetables coming China and India, but also from your neighboring farms.

And, YES, all pesticides are potentially very harmful but some are more deadly than others and those are illegal and have been banned but they are still coming from China as a counterfeit and used on US, Canadian and European vegetable fields.

The problem of fake pesticides is multi-dimensional.

Firstly, these highly toxic substances may be sprayed on the vegetables grown in a country of origin, such as India or China then sold abroad.

Secondly, they may be sold and packaged as “approved” or “allowed” pesticides to the US, Canada and Europe when indeed they are not;

Thirdly, these pesticides can be sold in bulk as raw ingredients to US manufacturers, So the chemicals are mixed and packaged in US /Canada but from banned ingredients which the label may not indicate;

Fourthly, pesticides may also sold as house hold chemicals and as pet products;

Fifthly, these counterfeit pesticides may be highly toxic to farmers, to consumers and to the ecology!

“Furthermore, there is a risk that illegal pesticides can be used as precursors for home-made explosives – due to the lack of traceability.”4

Bellow is a small example of what US and European agricultural news has to say:

“The illegal trade in pesticides is worth hundreds of billions of dollars globally. Europol has released figures indicating that as much as a quarter of the pesticides bought and sold in some European countries are counterfeit.” 1

“Counterfeit pesticides imitating very famous brands…’ More worrying are those that contain banned chemicals such as endocrine disruptors – which interfere with hormones – or those that are transported without due care and attention to health and safety.” 1

“…So, do farmers know what they’re doing when they’re covering crops in illegal chemicals? Some do, some don’t, …’There are the ones that are duped – who pay full price for what they think is a brand name product’….”1

“In 2009, 2,403 pesticide makers in China produced 2.2 million tonnes of pesticide, the largest output worldwide. ” 2

” Increasing quantities of fake pesticides are being produced, marketed and sold around the world, while advances in technology and relaxed trade laws facilitate the spread of fake products. This is serious organised crime.”3

“Organised crime groups are “so well structured and so professional” that wholesalers are unaware they are buying counterfeit products” 4

“The trade in illegal and counterfeit pesticides is organised by highly sophisticated criminal networks. They have developed complex global supply chains and exploit legal companies to camouflage their activities. The global revenues associated with this crime are estimated to be billions of euros a year.”4

“Illegal pesticides are often sold without proper directions or warnings on the labels. The packages frequently make false claims like “harmless to human beings and animals” and “safe to use.” These products are not only illegal, but they may be much higher in toxicity than the legal products. One example of counterfeit pesticide products being sold in the U.S. is counterfeit versions of EPA approved flea and tick treatments for dogs and cats.”4

” In some regional hot spots, 25 percent or more of the pesticide market is estimated to be counterfeit based on statistics, market dynamics, percentage of customs seizures and case-by-case country studies. And the problem is growing.5

In China and India, illegal pesticides are believed to comprise about 30 – 20 percent of the pesticide markets in these countries, respectively.5

Chinese companies are formulating pesticides, and more than 400 Chinese companies are involved in manufacturing the active ingredients of pesticides. Active substances, primarily originating from China, are readily supplied and exported with no controls to countries around the world, including the United States, where the substances are formulated and labelled for onward distribution to consumers and industry.”5

So where does it leaves us, consumers?

Should you grow all your vegetables yourself, or participate in community gardening?

Does this stop at vegetables? What about wheat and other grains, used in our everyday cereal, bread and cookies? What about teas, coffee?  How about fruit juices? Should we continue feeding these foods to our children

We need to become more informed.

We need to be more pro-active and start asking more questions.

I would definitely go for LOCAL organic food, this is a safer alternative.

You should purchase as much as possible from local organic farms, strike up a relationship with them and ask all your questions.

Buying from small local stores is also a way to go, they are often able to provide you information you need, about the farms they buy from.

Don’t hesitate to call manufactures and ask questions.  If they can’t give you a reassuring answer and you feel they are not honest with you, stay away from their products.

Should we make more food ourselves, from known sources and materials?  This is not a bad idea.  This will require a bit more time and investment on your part.  But chances are you will be eating much healthier food and as I have seen, in many cases this will also help you to loose excess weight.  This is because, you will avoid many chemicals and additives that make you gain weight one way or another.

Stay Healthy and informed.

Tania

 


 
Sources:
1 http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2012/January/fake-counterfeit-pesticides-europe-europol.asp
2 http://www.illegalpesticides.eu/about/
3 http://www.euractiv.com/cap/sales-counterfeit-pesticides-rising-eu-news-510166
4 http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/1348/growing-counterfeit-pesticides-health-and-security-risk
5 http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/ptype/illegal/index.html
6 http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi210

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