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Are neonicotinoids in foods affecting our health?

| | February 4, 2016
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

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Neonicotinoids. . . have been at the center of the conversation about bee die-offs for several years. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently acknowledged that very small quantities can impact pollinators. But what about human health?

. . . .

Now, a number of scientists, including those at the U.S. National Toxicology Program,say a closer look is needed.

. . . .

. . . The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) finds neonicotinoids in its ongoing testing of food for pesticide residues. A recent study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers also found neonicotinoids in nearly all the produce and honey bought at a Boston, Massachusetts, supermarket . . . And because these compounds are found in the produce flesh, rather than just on the surface, they can’t simply be washed off before eating.

. . . .

Researchers at both USGS and Harvard have noted that the levels of neonicotinoids found in water and food samples are below what the EPA considers of concern. But, as Harvard associate professor of environmental exposure biology Chenseng Lu and his team wrote in their study, the results “raise the concerns of potential health risks from chronic exposure.”

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. . . .

Eric Chivian, founder and former director of Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and Global Environment, explained that while neonicotinoids may not be as toxic to mammals as they are to insects, they do affect part of brain that is “enormously important to the nervous system,” and which is responsible for “memory, concentration, awareness, and consciousness.”

Chivian asks: “If we’re being chronically exposed [to neonicotinoids] in water and food, if they’re targeting receptors in adult, developing fetal and infant brains, shouldn’t we have more data?”

Read full, original post: Are Bee-Killing Pesticides Impacting Our Health?

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