In my article, “Pesticide Content In Food Less Regulated By Codex Than Vitamins and Minerals,” I briefly discussed the connection between commonly used pesticides and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease. In addition, I mentioned the rather contradictory position held regarding the use of such pesticides, which banned their commercial use in some aspects, but continues to tacitly allow their use in food production.
However, neurological diseases are not the only negative side effects presented by Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) or general pesticides. Indeed, pesticides have been linked to cancer as well.
For instance, a study published in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, found that exposure to certain pesticides doubled an individual’s risk of developing Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS) compared to individuals in the general population. MGUS is a “pre-cancerous condition that can lead to multiple layer myeloma which is a painful cancer of the plasma cells the bone marrow.” When one is diagnosed with MGUS, the patient requires life-long monitoring because MGUS is a condition that virtually every multiple layer myeloma patient experiences prior to developing the myeloma.
In addition, in a study conducted as part of the Agricultural Health Study and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, a potential link between pesticides and prostate cancer was reported. In particular, Methyl Bromide, a gas used to kill pests in the soil and fumigate grain bins and storage areas, was associated with increased risk of the disease by approximately two to four times as much as those who were not exposed to the pesticide. This is not surprising considering the fact that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health acknowledges Methyl Bromide as a potential occupational carcinogen.