Modern agricultural practices have led to ever-increasing amounts of chemicals being used on our food, and whether we're talking about pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, most have deleterious effects on health.
According to the latest report on pesticide residues in food by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a mere 15 percent of all the food samples tested in 2015 were free from pesticide residues. In 2014, over 41 percent of samples had no detectable pesticide residues on them.1
That just goes to show how quickly our food is being poisoned. At that trajectory, we may eventually find out none of the non-organic food sold in 2016 or 2017 was pesticide-free.
Recent news has highlighted a number of problems associated with this out-of-control use of agricultural chemicals, starting with atrazine.
Atrazine, the 'Forgotten' Toxin
Atrazine, the second most commonly used herbicide in the U.S. after glyphosate, has been linked to many disturbing health effects. Despite that, it has not received nearly the same public attention glyphosate has. A recent KCET story2 with focus on atrazine notes its effects are in many cases actually worse than glyphosate.
"If it wasn't for Roundup, atrazine would probably be the most controversial herbicide on the planet," Chris Clarke writes. "It's the pesticide most commonly found as a runoff contaminant in rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands.
It can travel hundreds of miles on airborne dust from the farm fields where it's applied in order to contaminate those wetlands, and can persist for decades once it gets there.
It's been linked to reproductive abnormalities in frogs, hormonal changes in alligators, and serious harm to other wildlife populations. And it can even promote fungal diseases in the soil by killing off beneficial fungi while leaving the pathogens."