A New Scare Attempt Body Burden

On May 11 the “Pesticide Action Network” released its latest scare attempt allegedly presenting data about high concentration of pesticide and chemicals found in humans.

Some months ago I wrote about the new directions that were being taken by enviro extremists to attack pesticides and chemicals. Also, the same subject was highlighted by one of our convention speakers last year. The subject is “body burden.” How many and how much chemical/pesticide residue is retained in the human body? Naturally following is the question of how much and what is dangerous to the person in question?

CDC released last year a preliminary study of pesticides and chemical residues retained in the bodies of a given set of subjects and compared this is a previous study conducted some years ago. CDC cautions on its web site that “just because an environmental chemical is in the environment doesn't mean that it is getting into people and making them sick.”

In order to establish terms of research CD defined biomonitoring as the measurement of environmental chemicals in the human body, specifically in blood, urine, serum, saliva or tissues. It further discussed “body burden” as the total amount of a substance in the body.

Some substances build up in the body because they are stored in fat or bone or because they leave the body very slowly according to the CDC. However, it's important to realize that measurement of metabolites (the result of the body breaking down a substance) is not considered “body burden.”

The environmentalists attempt to establish “body burden” as “chemical trespass” (a sound-bite term according to CropLife America which insinuates that all chemicals found in the body are there against the will of the individual concerned). The use of this term we believe is done in an attempt to create the idea that any chemical substance found in the body is dangerous and against the subject's will.

Scientifically-valid biomonitoring reports (studies that are at least peer-reviewed and whose results are reproducible) can give researchers insight into which segments of the population are more at-risk for exposure. These studies can improve regulatory decision-making by focusing on real, not theoretical, risk.

It is not unusual to detect trace amounts of man-made and naturally-occurring chemicals in people's bodies. The human body consists of thousands of chemical substances, many of which, such as vitamins and minerals, are essential to life itself.

The government would take immediate action to protect human health if there was reason for concern. A pesticide must pass more than 120 tests and be registered with EPA to ensure it will not adversely affect human health or the environment before it can be sold in this country. Current regulations, including the Food Quality Protection Act, ensure the amounts to which consumers are exposed are thousands of times less than a level that could cause potential harm.

Pesticides are absolutely essential to keeping food safe, abundant and affordable, and in fighting pests like cockroaches, rats and disease-carrying mosquitoes. The removal of a safe and effective pesticide based on incomplete data would impair the ability of farmers to produce food and of public health officials and consumers to protect themselves from dangerous pests, such as West-Nile carrying mosquitoes and asthma-inducing cockroaches.

Be on the lookout for more on this subject. Remember that those opposed to pesticides will attempt to create fear and doubt wherever possible.

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