Chemical Companies

Are Americans Suffering the Effects of Pesticides?

Side Effects of Pesticides

Below is a guest columnist. It may seem as if this topic isn't related to addiction, but I believe it is. The addiction of our chemical companies to toxic chemicals that are harmful to many Americans. One chemical we have brought back is RoundUP. Many companies in the world have banned this product because of neuro-toxic, (& other) effects. As a holistically oriented counselor and someone who knows many with gut, gluten, thryoid, etc. issues we consumers want and need to be as aware as possible. Here's to your health & happiness. Blessings - Lynn

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Increasing agricultural yield with chemical products has a cost. According to an analysis of FAO data, which was conducted in 2012, each 1% increase in crop yield is associated with a 1.8% increase in the use of pesticides.

In turn, the increase in the use of pesticides in crops such as wheat often causes celiac diseases, a health issue which is tied to gluten, according to an infographic developed by MedAlertHelp. One in 100 Americans has the disease and the diagnosis rate is expected to spike up to 50-60% by this year (2019).

Logically, this is an untenable trend if we consider the health repercussions that are associated with exposure to pesticides and their effects on the environment. These include the destruction of soil and non-target plant life, pollution of waterways and the annihilation of essential pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

The Common Side Effects of Pesticides and Other Agricultural Chemicals

Depending on the chemical that is used, agricultural chemicals usually have their own specific side effects on humans:

  • Pesticides mainly produce symptoms that affect the nervous system, such as headaches

  • Fungicides may affect the skin over time

  • Herbicides lead to problems with the digestive and dermal system

In 2016, glyphosate, which is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world, was reclassified as a "probable carcinogen" class 2A by the cancer research agency, IARC, which is a division of WHO. Although the IARC did not reach a more solid carcinogenic classification, there is great evidence to show that glyphosate is "definitely" carcinogenic.

In 2013, a study published in Interdisciplinary Toxicology showed a direct relationship between the increase in the presence of glyphosate in wheat and the increase in celiac disease, with an almost identical trend. Also through this study, it was shown that the most damaging effect is on the digestive tract: glyphosate affects the "good" bacteria of our body, that is those useful for the production of essential amino acids for digestion.

It is disturbing that glyphosate and the product Roundup can even be worse than the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), as they are related to a variety of health effects that are constantly increasing. They include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies, since glyphosate prevents movement of some specific nutrients, thereby altering the nutritional composition of treated crops

  • Alteration of amino acids that are not produced by the body but must be provided by means of food)

  • Increased exposure to toxins

  • Systemic toxicity – which is a common side effect arising from the extreme alteration of the microbial function of the organism's body, especially the beneficial microbes, which allows the proliferation of pathogens

  • Intestinal dysbiosis

  • Increased harmful chemical residue effects from food as well as environmental toxins

  • Ammonia creation (which occurs when specific microbes break glyphosate down), this can cause brain inflammation related to Alzheimer's disease and autism.

  • Increase in resistance to antibiotics

  • Increase in the risk of cancer.

Glyphosate-based pesticides and herbicides, in short, are much more toxic than previously thought. On the one hand, if the biotech giant continues experimenting on these products, fortunately, some countries are intervening to curb the powerful multinational. Holland, Russia, Mexico, and Tasmania have said: "No to Monsanto."

Although these chemicals serve their purpose well enough, the side effects of pesticides can be likened to the wrong side of a coin. This is a problem the world will rather not have to live with.