Pesticides do more than kill little tiny bugs. They permanently harm human beings in countless ways. It is foolish to assume that something capable of killing a beetle will not harm your sperm, egg or fetus. According to an article found at NYTimes.com, ‘One study found that the incidence of leukemia in children was 650 percent greater in homes where indoor and garden pesticides were used.” Think the government is protecting you? Think again.
Although Codex says it is focused on “Consumer Protection” the Codex Alimentarius Commission currently allows seven of the 12 deadliest compounds on earth to be used in food. These seven deadly pesticides are banned by US law and the Stockholm Convention, which the US and every member of Codex signed.
The Stockholm Convention, signed by 176 countries including the United States (May 2005) commits the signatories to eliminate world’s 12 most dangerous Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs . The (CAC)Codex Alimentarius Commission, (made up of 171 countries, including the US, uses consensus to set the world’s rules for international trade in food) allows seven of the twelve agreed upon killer POPs to be used in the production of foods as varied as milk, soy oils, cotton seed, citrus fruits, eggs, poultry, cereal grains, pineapples, leafy and root vegetables, legumes and others.
There are currently twelve POPs listed in Annexes to the Convention. These are:
* Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)
* Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)
POPs remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of living organisms and are highly toxic to humans and wildlife. They increase brain, bladder, biliary, lung, breast and other cancers, cause damage to the kidney, liver, adrenals and thyroid, can cause decreased fertility, immune suppression, diabetes, porphyria, cardiovascular disease, fatal skin lesions especially in children and nursing infants (“pink sore”), headache, dizziness, nausea, general malaise, and vomiting, followed by muscle twitching, myoclonic jerks and convulsions.
All of the killer POPs pose shared health threats but each has its own special hazards. Endrin, for example, is 2-4 times more toxic than the better known DDT, and tends to accumulate in children. Chlordane, banned in the US in 1988, paralysis cancer-fighting cells and doubles rates of lung and brain cancer in exposed persons. As a group, the seven deadly pesticides are known to increase the effects of the other toxic substances. Codex allows them in food. Scientists estimate that the misuse of POPs leads to thousands of excess deaths, millions of disabilities and billions of lost dollars annually.
The seven restricted POPs banned by both the Stockholm Convention and US law but permitted by Codex are Aldrin, Chlordane, ,Dieldrin,Endrin, Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene and Mirex. Toxiphene and DDT are the only two POPs pesticides on the Stockholm POPs list which Codex does not allow.
The Natural Solutions Foundation is deeply concerned about the apparent lack of science-based decision making since excellent alternatives exist to the use of these deadly toxins. Consumers, environmentally concerned groups and individuals have raised serious concerns about the trustworthiness of Codex Alimentarius as a consumer protection agency which are strengthened by Codex’s position on POP’s.
The important take home message is to take control of your food. The best choice is to grow your own produce organically. If that is not possible, buy from a farmers market or co-op and make sure they are using organic practices. If you must buy from a supermarket, try to buy from a health food store or choose organic from your chain supermarket. Always wash your produce well or soak in a water/hydrogen peroxide solution. For further information contact The Natural Solutions Foundation.