Friday, 5 December 2008

Pesticides cocktails.

Since Georgina Downs won her high court battle against the government, she has written a comment on the 'Farming Today' blog to correct any misinterpretations around her message regarding agricultural pesticides. I have recorded below paragraphs from her comments which enumerate the important points:-

……"agricultural pesticides are commonly used in mixtures, often 4 or 5 different products in any one application. Each product formulation in itself can contain a number of different active ingredients, as well as other chemicals such as solvents, surfactants and co-formulants (some of which can have adverse effects in their own right, even before considering any potential synergistic effects in a mixture(s)). Therefore when people are exposed over the long-term to ongoing mixtures and then go on to suffer a chronic illness or disease it will be almost impossible to know which pesticide led to the illness or whether it is as a result of synergistic effects of mixtures of pesticides and the long term cumulative build up in the individuals. The Judge in my case recognised both the point of mixtures and of cumulative effects and therefore it is simply not the case as Elliott incorrectly put it of just getting rid of what he classes as the most "toxic" (which he stated is about 20 pesticides (5% of those currently on themarket)) as a) all chemical pesticides are designed to be toxic, that is their purpose; b) they are used in cocktails anyway and not individually and c) the Ontario College of Family Physicians in its thorough and detailed 2004 pesticides literature review quite rightly concluded that "Our review does not support the idea that some pesticides are safer than others; it simply points to different health effects for different classes of pesticides."The review?s overall message to people was to avoid exposure to all pesticides whenever and wherever possible.

…… It should be noted that the Judge in my case did not say that the UK system could be made lawful by just getting rid of a handful ofpesticides…..

The Judge agreed with my long-standing charge that the Government has fundamentally failed to protect people in the countryside from pesticides and has also knowingly allowed residents to continue to suffer from adverse health effects without taking any action to prevent the exposure, risks and adverse impacts occurring"

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