Every food manufacturer will agree that pesticides are one of the most useful tools in the process of production of food. Almost everything they produce is treated with pesticides. This is the reason why agriculture is able to increase its output every year, but at the same time, no one wants to talk about the consequences of their use. Modern foods seem to be packed with chemicals and potentially dangerous. This is something that we have not witnessed in the past.
Berries are known as one of the most delicious and most useful foods when it comes to the elimination of free radicals. They are treated with significantly more pesticides than any other product like this. This is especially true for strawberries which are sprayed with a specific kind of chemical known as a fumigant. Fumigants are actually gasses that are sprayed on the soil in order to eliminate weeds and pests before strawberries are planted.
Fumigant Use is Directly Linked to Higher Strawberry Yields as Well as to Ozone Depletion
Fumigants reach the air even when they are used in a perfectly suitable way. This means that particles of this pesticide affect the health of workers and people who live in that area and often lead to cancer, ozone depletion, and development issues.
People have first used fumigants for agricultural purposes right after the First World War. They were first used in Hawaii by several pineapple manufacturers. They have bought the reserves of chloropicrin, a strong chemical used during the war.
The first results were incredible. Pineapple manufacturers that used chloropicrin on the soil before planting pineapples have witnessed record-high yields. For instance, one acre of pineapples planted on soil sprayed with chloropicrin gave additional 20 tons of pineapples compared to areas that were not treated with this chemical. So, it is no wonder why almost all farmers started using this chemical not only for pineapples but also for different types of crops like strawberries. Thanks to fumigants, US citizens have consumed 400% more strawberries than before.
Fumigants used in the process of growing strawberries easily reach the air above them making workers sick and damaging the ozone layer.
There are only a small number of scientific studies focused on the effects of fumigants on human health, but experts agree that the group of chemicals where fumigants belong are very dangerous for the environment. At the beginning of the 1990s, an international agreement known as Montreal Protocol banned the use of one of the most common fumigants – methyl bromide. The main reason why this fumigant is banned is the fact that it damages the ozone layer.
The final evaluation, which consisted of more than 200 opinions and reviews from some of the most famous atmospheric experts in the world, suggested that methyl bromide was up to 50 times more harmful to the ozone layer compared to CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons.
A scientific study conducted three years ago by the University of California has discovered a link between individuals living close to fields exposed to methyl bromide and births to underweight infants and babies with smaller heads. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), methyl bromide is a First Grade acute toxin which means that this is a powerful toxicant. About 20 individuals around the world have died as a result of exposure to methyl bromide in the past twenty years.
Even though strawberries field cover about 1% of the total farmland in California, nearly 10% of the pesticides used in agriculture are used on strawberries.
California is the state where most of the strawberries in the US come from. Thanks to the good climate, the yields are naturally high. Many people love eating strawberries and some of them move to areas where strawberries are grown only because these areas look beautiful. However, this might not be the smartest idea.
The ban on methyl bromide has forced farmers to use 1,3 – dichloropropene. That’s why this pesticide has become the third most popular pesticide in America. The fact is that there is enough evidence that 1,3 – dichloropropene is carcinogenic and there were many cases in which the use of this chemical was related to some health issues.
It is interesting that this pesticide was pulled from the market exactly 26 years ago. But, after long studies and research, the manufacturer was able to remove the ban and the fumigant is used freely today. They still claim that their product is not linked to any health issue.
What is even worse is that the authorities have allowed farmers to use two times more 1,3 – dichloropropene in one year. This means that many Californians and their families are at risk of developing different types of cancer and other diseases due to the increased use of this fumigant.
Via Natural News