Research has demonstrated that pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are neurotoxic, capable of damaging your nervous system. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides are also carcinogenic.
All of these toxins are permitted on conventional farms, and any number of them can end up on your plate when you conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables. The increased use of genetically engineered plants1 and soil insecticides also increases the chemical load in food—particularly processed foods.
The answer, of course, is to limit your exposure as much as possible, giving your body a chance to eliminate the toxins you do inadvertently ingest. Certain foods, such as fermented foods, can also help detoxify some of these chemicals.
Yet despite all the known risks, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) insists pesticide residues on food are no cause for concern.
According to the agency’s latest report, more than half of all foods tested last year had detectable levels of pesticide residues, but most, they claim, are within the “safe” range. However, there are a number of factors you need to be aware of before you swallow such assurances hook, line, and sinker...
USDA Does Not Test for Glyphosate
Most notably, as reported by Reuters,2 the USDA does not test for one of the most pervasive and one of the most harmful agricultural chemicals of all, namely glyphosate:
“As has been the case with past analyses, the USDA said it did not test this past year for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide and the world's most widely used herbicide.
A USDA spokesman who asked not to be quoted said that the test measures required for glyphosate are ‘extremely expensive... to do on an regular basis’...
Many genetically modified crops can be sprayed directly with glyphosate, and some consumer and health groups fear glyphosate residues in foods are harmful to human health, even though the government says the pesticide is considered safe.”
Meanwhile, one of the most recent studies3 investigating the effect glyphosate on Americans’ health noted that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in both plants and animals.