Friends of the Earth (FoE) recently assessed various pesticide residue and scientific reports, which reveal the potentially alarming impacts of pesticides on Australians’ health.
Scientists have reportedly discovered that pesticides regularly detected on Australian foods have been linked to possible problems with human endocrine function, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), learning and behavioural problems, lower IQ and possible increases in Lymphoblastic Leukemia in children.
Endocrine disruption occurs when a synthetic chemical is absorbed into the body and either mimics or blocks hormones and disrupts the body’s normal functions causing hormone levels to alter, halt or stimulate production which can change the way hormones travel through the body.
A number of health issues can be related to endocrine disruption including reproductive problems such as reduced fertility, male and female reproductive tract abnormalities, skewed male/female sex ratios, early puberty, brain and behaviour problems, impaired immune functions and various cancers. In addition, long-term exposure to pesticides through diet has been linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease.
The most ‘at risk’ foods in Australia for pesticide exposure include apples, wheat, strawberries, pears and grapes.