Of the “conventional” non-organic food we eat, 46% contains residues of one or more pesticide, and levels are going up dramatically, not down: in 2003 the equivalent figure was just 25%. Consumers are assured that farmers and growers take human health protection very seriously, but the truth of the matter is that the National Farmers Union and chemical companies militantly defend their pesticide armoury in the face of any government attempt to restrict it.
Non-organic farmers have at their disposal an arsenal of over 320 pesticides and they use them routinely. Carbendazim is one of the most commonly applied ones (on apples, cucumber, grapes, pre-packed salads, spinach and more) even though evidence links it with developmental damage to mammals that could lead to cancers, developmental problems and birth defects.
ABSTRACT The toxicological significance of exposures to
synthetic chemicals is examined in the context of exposures to
naturally occurring chemicals. We calculate that 99.99% (by
weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that
plants produce to defend themselves. Only 52 natural pesticides
have been tested in high-dose animal cancer tests, and about
half (27) are rodent carcinogens; these 27 are shown to be
present in many common foods. We conclude that natural and
synthetic chemicals are equally likely to be positive in animal
cancer tests. We also conclude that at the low doses of most
human exposures the comparative hazards of synthetic pesticide
residues are insignificant.