We promote organic as 'pesticide free' food, and a recent podcast of 'The Model Health Show' prompted us to share some research impacting Australia and why it matters.
A recent study published in the journal, Chemosphere, uncovered that the intake of a widely used pesticide called Chlorpyrifos can promote obesity and insulin resistance through influencing our gut and gut microbiota, and this should be front page news, but nobody's talking about this. What's actually contributing to our obesity epidemic, what we're exposed to coming through our food supply every single day, but there are so many far-reaching detrimental things happening with the use of these chemicals. Chlorpyrifos was invented as an alternative to the pesticide DDT, which itself was a substitute for toxic lead called arsenate, used with growing food, and has become a part of a pattern known as "regrettable substitution".
Chlorpyrifos works by attacking insects' nervous systems and has been repeatedly shown to create side effects in people working on farms. According to researchers at Columbia University, one of the most devastating issues seen in pregnant women exposed to Chlorpyrifos finding that it led to significant impairment in the development of their children's brains. Pregnant women working on farms using this chemical had a skyrocketing rate of miscarriage as well. It's not okay. We need to stop this. Now, how does this affect all of us? This isn't just about pregnant women. Clearly it's going to be hurting us in other ways. Well, the human gut itself, these... Again, the researchers noted that this particular pesticide is designed to attack the nervous system of insects. The microbes and cells that make you up are even smaller than insects. The human
gut itself is a mass of neural tissue. So again, the pesticide is targeting the nervous system. Our gut itself is made of a mass of neural tissue filled with 30 types of neurotransmitters, just like the brain. Because of the massive amount of brain-like tissue found in the gut, it has rightfully earned the title of being the second brain. The human gut is referred to as the second brain, technically known as the enteric nervous system. And this second brain that we all have in our bellies consists of around 100 million neurons, more than either the spinal cord or even the peripheral nervous system. And these pesticides are designed to target and destroy the nervous system. Clearly, it's been banned by now, right?
Australia - current status of Chlorpyrifos
Australia's government regulator (www.apvma.gov.au) has banned it in household and garden chemical products, but relax...you won't miss out - it's still fine to use on crops so it will still be absorbed by your food.
One agricultural chemical company has phased out production in 2020, which prompted the following reassurance from an Australian industry body - Brett Hosking, Grain Growers chairman, said growers would still have the opportunity to use Chlorpyrifos products made by other companies. "The important thing to note is that the active ingredient remains registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and farmers have other options if they want to use it."
Organic farms are not represented by Brett Hosking. Our government and our food industry are protecting the ability of farms to produce food more cheaply. They are not protecting your health because pesticides do get into your body through food. We need to make our own choices to avoid these chemicals.