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Dangerous poison on the shell

It is not often that independent researchers may take a look at those data, with which pesticide manufacturers, the Concerns, the ineffectiveness of its products to the authorities. Such studies are usually considered a trade secret. The chemist, Axel Mie, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm had last year, one of those rare occasions, and the result is not questioning the safety assessment of a specifically controversial insecticide, but the entire evaluation process, as he is currently in Europe prescribed.

the starting point of the insecticide Chlorpyrifos. Among other things, on the peel of oranges, mandarins and other fruits, it arrives in the supermarkets. At the end of November 2018, the European Commission has the authorisation for that substance by 31. January 2020 extended. It was only a few days after Mie and colleagues had published their discovery in the journal "Environmental Health". In Switzerland, Chlorpyrifos is also used; currently, the Federal office for agriculture reviewed the permit for the pesticide.

Smaller Kleinhirne after contact with the pesticide

Older epidemiological studies had provided evidence that Chlorpyrifos is a nerve acting poison, and about brain development at school could affect children. Also animal experiments in the meadows in that direction. Mie made the suspicious, because such results were in contradiction to the information written by the manufacturer Dow Chemical in 1999 in the application for admission to the EU. Normally under lock and key held the raw data from the pivotal study got Mie, thanks to the Swedish freedom of information law by a national authority. Then he went to work.

Dow Chemical had announced the study in a Toxicological laboratory in order. In the result report, which was taken into account at the time of admission, no evidence of neurological effects in the investigated young rats. Only animals whose mothers were given extreme chlorpyrifos quantities administered, showed a higher mortality after birth. Also, they developed more slowly and had slightly smaller brains. In summary, the industry researchers attributed the slow development of animals to a General poisoning, not on a neurological effect.

Mie and his colleague, Christina Rudén from Stockholm University, and Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health in its analysis of the original data to a fundamentally different result. They found smaller Kleinhirne in the case of those of young rats, whose mothers were exposed to the pesticide. This effect was already at the lowest tested dose. The entire study design was not suitable to reliably all of the effects on the development of the brain, even in people – discover.

Spanish authorities, nothing fell on the

a manufacturer Wants to allow a plant protection substance in the EU, it must submit its documents to the "reporting member state". This also includes studies on the safety of a drug given by the manufacturer in order, and not by the authorities. In the case of Chlorpyrifos Spain was for the application for approval of Dow Chemical is responsible; the authorities would have all must already be noticed in the year 1999.

It is common that the AAS copy summaries or reviews of the applicant in their report, if they consider the data and conclusions to be plausible. The test country sends finally, in his report to the European food safety authority (EFSA), checks again, and the report on public discussion. From this point on, also the other EU–member States.

What happened in 1999 in Spain, is difficult to reconstruct, the authority has not responded to requests. The EFSA did not yet exist. Mie can only speculate: "The task is daunting, manufacturers submit only a study, but a hundred or more. To look through on inconsistencies, it takes time and competent staff. Who knows whether the authority has opened in 1999, the study at all. Maybe she has to rely also on the summary of the industry." How many times has it happened that the authorities on the judgment of the industry have left, instead of making an image of your own, without a comprehensive insight into the original studies to clarify.

Apples, bananas, raisins and fresh herbs

Dow Agrosciences affected writes in an opinion, you know, the study of Mie, and colleagues. In terms of content, the company is not on the Mies Interpretation of the data. The company rejects any allegation that it had manipulated data, or cheated on, "strictly". Only: such A charge is not collected by the three researchers. You can, however, refer to a Memo from the U.S. environmental protection Agency, EPA, from the year 2000, in the of inappropriate data manipulation.

there Is now a risk for human brain development? 2016 tested by authorities in Germany samples slightly more than 16'000 food on Chlorpyrifos and the chemically related substance Chlorpyrifos-Methyl. In almost 600 of the samples, the analyst, found the insecticide, in 28 cases, the amounts were higher than what is permitted by law. Three years earlier, the controller in less than 15'000 samples 966 were pushed changes to the insecticide.

"Acute impairment of health"

grapefruit, oranges and other citrus fruits stuck in 2016, the most frequently Chlorpyrifos residues. Also pears, Apples, grapes and bananas were debited, as well as raisins, fresh herbs and vegetables. In a report, the German authorities, it was said 2017 to, among other things, that an "acute impairment of health" was considered as possible.

Mie, and colleagues are clear. You write that the current burden of Chlorpyrifos, the evidence in the direction of harmful effects, pointing to the nervous system of small children, along "with a lower IQ in school age".

(Sunday newspaper)

Created: 09.02.2019, 17:25 PM

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