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(12 Posts)
thatbags Sat 22-Mar-14 07:38:32

Do we fear pesticides too much?

Aka Sat 22-Mar-14 07:46:40


Mishap Sat 22-Mar-14 07:52:32

I have a healthy fear of pesticides. There is evidence that PD is an illness of rural areas and the theory is that the exposure to pesticides in genetically sensitive individuals could be the mechanism. Within a half mile radius of where I live in the country there have been at least 5 cases of PD, including my OH. Cannot be a coincidence.

I regard malathion as toxic, having been very unwell for many weeks after treating my hair for nits many moons ago.

MiceElf Sat 22-Mar-14 08:08:00

I don't know. Isn't that the problem for many of us. Even those with a good scientific education don't generally have access to the research and results of any studies which may have been undertaken. Neither are many people trained in statistical analysis to interpret and evaluate these results.

So, we rely on reports which appear on the press and anecdotal examples.

I've seen at first hand the devastation caused to crops by swarms of locusts and I've also seen at first hand the consequences of exposure to Agent Orange. But I couldn't form an opinion because I just don't know or understand enough.

That's what I find frustrating.

nightowl Sat 22-Mar-14 08:13:15

I think the bees may be trying to tell us hmm

ffinnochio Sat 22-Mar-14 08:58:03

No, I don't fear pesticides. I am rational enough to realise that there are positives and negatives involved in their uses. From what little I understand about them, I think it worth giving them a long, hard look about how they are used, on what and where. Many, many crops benefit - but perhaps pesticides are used as a 'cure all' rather than targeted at specific and vulnerable areas of food production.

According to this it would seem that in some areas at least, consumers have a choice.

It is crop spraying time here in my area of France. Big tractors with even bigger mechanical arms spread out, each with many nozzles, are spraying their away across the wide open fields. If the farmer notices people walking alongside these fields (me), he turns off the spray until I have passed. It certainly gives me 'food' for thought. Just being polite? I don't think so.

thatbags Sat 22-Mar-14 09:04:40

Farmer may be obeying a law about not exposing people directly to the spray. What gets into or acts on the plants will be another matter and, presumably, have a much smaller effect.

ffinnochio Sat 22-Mar-14 10:33:30

Ah, yes. Hadn't thought about that re. spraying. Must ask around.

MiniMouse Sat 22-Mar-14 15:44:39

I have ME and years ago joined an organisation called PEGS (no longer in existence), which was founded by a lady who was affected by organophosphates. I was involved in research carried out by someone from the Hospital for Tropical Medicine (I think, but don't quote me on this - senior moment!), by answering a very detailed questionnaire and the researchers concluded that I had been affected by the og pesticides that I had come into contact with - albeit at a relatively low level - and they almost certainly contributed to causing the ME. My main pesticide contact had been through holidaying in the countryside when they were crop spraying, plus having our whole house treated for woodworm/rot etc.

I had always been very wary of pesticides and rarely used anything myself! It can lead to multi-chemical toxicity. Now I'm almost paranoid and use 'nature' as much as possible.

ffinnochio makes a very valid point about pesticides not being used specifically. They have been used so indiscriminately in the past.

TriciaF Sun 23-Mar-14 09:59:45

Like ffinnochio we live in France and there's spraying going on around us.
I get a magazine from La Ligue contre le cancer and they report on current research - it seems there could be a link between longterm use of some pesticides and some types of cancer.
Some pesticides have been banned because of their effect on wildlife eg birds which eat the sprayed grains, but they're still in use as farmers had a stock of them.

annodomini Sun 23-Mar-14 10:33:58

Thirty years ago, in our Norfolk village, asthma was almost endemic and the activities of sprayer planes on the neighbouring farmland was suspected. We moved north, so never found out if this was proved.

Nelliemoser Sun 23-Mar-14 10:46:43

All of these concerns could tie in very nicely with the subject of GM crops.
There is a lot of work going into trying to establish genetic resistance to a lot of the worst crop pests and diseases.

Whether you like it or not GM might be a lesser evil than pesticides.