Are neonicotinoids in foods affecting our health?

| | February 4, 2016

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

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.

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. . . 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.

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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.”

Related article:  Rethinking the pesticides–neonicotinoids–bee health crisis narrative: Why the media get it wrong

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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?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

1 thought on “Are neonicotinoids in foods affecting our health?”

  1. Chivian demonstrates how he is part of the growing epidemic of science illiteracy, pseudoscience and urban myth. The guy is supposed to be a big time scientist, researcher as well as founder & former director of Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and Global Environment, but here he is practicing his scare mongering, ginning up fear and mistrust of science and EPA.

    Scientists should continue to investigate neonicotinoids to flesh out their place in the science of toxicology and should study nervous system effects to push forward the science of neurobiology. Scientific curiosity would drive research if researchers possessed the true spirit of scientific inquiry, instead of sleuthing about for scary associations and publishing dramatic “we’re all gonna die” innuendo..

    A big deal is made over who funds scientific research these days, the sword of conflict of interest and corruption hangs over every researchers head by a thread, but what about the obvious corrosive effect of pandering to public interest in sensational spooky mysteries and tacit endorsement of pop science and urban myth? This behavior by scientists is unprofessional and amounts to confirmation bias before studies are even conceived or designed. It only serves to put a taint on scientific pursuits in general.

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