Dr Oz: Pesticides in Your Food
Doctor Oz played whistleblower in this episode, warning about pesticides in the American food supply. Do you know how many toxic chemicals you are consuming? Are you worried about what a Pesticide Cocktail could be doing to your health?
Investigative reporter Elisabeth Leamy explained that pesticides are supposed to kill weeds, insects, and plant-killing diseases. Even though eating traces of pesticides probably won’t affect your health, these chemicals could be building up inside your body when you eat them.
Dr Oz: Conventional Vs Organic Farmers
Nick Maravell, an organic farmer, said that pesticides are poisonous. His farmland is surrounded by conventional farmers, so he has to border his farm with buffer zones to prevent contamination.
Conventional farmers are using more pesticides than ever, because genetically modified foods have had the side effect of creating resistant super weeds and super bugs. Like the overuse of antibiotics, weeds and insects are adapting to chemical pesticides due to overuse.
The government has raised the amount of pesticide that can be sprayed on our foods. Leamy joined Dr Oz in the studio with Consumer Reports’ Dr Michael Hansen.
Dr Oz: Genetically Modified Organisms Need More Pesticides?
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) were created to be doused in pesticides without killing the crops. Most of America’s crop of corn and soybeans is genetically modified, and those ingredients also wind up in many processed foods.
The Biotechnology Industry Organization, said that GMOs require fewer pesticides, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association agreed. But Dr Hansen disagreed with that assessment. He said that a study found GMOs fostered pesticide-resistant weeds which needed further treatment.
Dr Oz said that there appears to have been a dramatic increase in the way pesticides are used in our food. Since 1999, pesticide use has been on the rise. By 2011, it grew from 1.5 million to 90 million pounds of pesticides used each year.
Dr Oz: Conventional Vs Organic Produce
Investigative reporter Elisabeth Leamy said the question of whether organic foods are better for health depends on who you ask and what you ask. She found in one study that the nutritional value is purported to be the same, but other research found a higher amount of pesticides in conventional foods. You could reduce your health risk by 94% if you go organic, according to one researcher.
Dr Oz: Pesticide Cocktail
Could your health be at risk due to pesticides? One woman told Dr Oz that she had high levels of environmental pollutants, tied to her recent illnesses. Many other Americans are also concerned about pesticides.
Sometimes foods require multiple pesticides, and these are supposed to be regulated by the government. But regulations only limit the amount of any one pesticide that can be used on a food, without accounting for a combination of multiple chemicals in a Pesticide Cocktail.
“There is no limit on the number of pesticides that you’re allowed to put on our produce,” Dr Oz said, adding that we don’t know how the pesticides will interact with one another, or might happen when they are in our bodies.
Dr Oz Pesticide Side Effects: Birth Defects & Cancer
Pesticides can influence developing brain cells, and it has been linked to learning disabilities and conditions like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). These chemicals can also affect reproduction, leading to birth defects and miscarriages. Cancers like Lymphoma and Leukemia might also be linked.
New food allergies could be developing as a result of intestinal damage, possibly from pesticides. Dr Hansen said pregnant women, children, and the elderly are the groups most at risk from the possible health consequences of pesticides.