New Zealand farmers experience 25% lower cancer rates than city dwellers, study shows, challenging misleading environmentalist claim they face higher pesticide cancer risks

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Shepherd in Karikari, New Zealand. Credit: Rafael Ben-Ari/Fotolia
Shepherd in Karikari, New Zealand. Credit: Rafael Ben-Ari/Fotolia

The good news [in the 2020 New Zealand] State of Cancer report is that the overall incidence of cancer is 25 percent lower among those living in rural areas, compared with those living in the main urban areas.

Although it might not be a reason to leave the cities (nose-to-tail traffic every long weekend indicate there are enough reasons to cause outflows already) it certainly is reason enough to reconsider the validity of some arguments.

Agrichemicals, whether fertiliser nitrogen or Roundup, have been the butt of activist concern for years.

Working on the fear of a possible health threat, activists provoke anxiety and anger in society, without considering all the consequences of their actions.

Generating unnecessary anxiety in people is one consequence. Another is that without the tools of food production, which, when used as recommended, do not cause problems with human health, food would be very much more expensive.

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With this news it should be possible to refocus funding and effort on education for the real reasons causing cancer in New Zealand – smoking and obesity.

Increased education in household management, shopping for meal plans and basic cooking are foundational for a healthy future.

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Related article:  Former New Zealand EPA chief scientist says agrochemicals help 'provide safe and affordable food'
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