Math Error? Common Pesticides 1,000 Times More Toxic Than Advertised


It’s no secret that pesticides and herbicides pose grave human health and environmental risks. They’re connected to the serious population declines of important pollinators including bees and butterflies. And new research now shows they may be even more harmful than previously thought.

The issue, discovered by a team of French scientists from the University of Caen, is with some of the ingredients in common pesticides that are considered to be inert. But it seems some of these ingredients actually have a tendency to amplify the toxicity of the more active ingredients in common pesticides.

The findings were published in a recent issue of BioMed Research International. According to the study authors, some of these inert ingredients can amplify “up to 1000 times the toxicity of their active principle in 100% of the cases where they are indicated to be present by the manufacturer.

Now, the researchers are exposing the pesticide manufacturers and the “inert” ingredients, calling that claim “nonsense.”

 Even if the US Environmental Protection Agency has recently changed the appellation for ‘other ingredients’, pesticide adjuvants should be considered as the first toxic ‘active’ compounds.

Environmental Health News reported that the researchers found Monsanto’s Roundup to be “by far the most toxic of the herbicides and insecticides tested.”

Other pesticides evaluated in the study include neonicotinoid pesticides Confidor (Imidacloprid) and Polysect (Acetamiprid), which have been linked to colony collapse disorder and banned in the EU as a result; and the herbicide Starane (Fluoxypyr) and the fungicide Eyetak (Prochloraz).

“The new finding, if confirmed, has significant implications for pesticide safety,” reports EHN, “because if inert ingredients commonly amplify pesticide effects, then safety standards may not be protective of human health.”

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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