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Common Effects of Pesticides in Food

Organic produce and food items have been a source of a lot of controversy lately. People wonder if they are really any different from the mainstream grocery foods that they are used to, and if it’s really worth it to spend more on buying organic. Well, the truth is that not buying organic actually costs you more- not just a few pennies, but your health. The harmful pesticides non-organic foods are farmed and manufactured with wreak havoc on the human body in multiple ways. If you’re still skeptical, read on.

Obesity and Diabetes

Pesticides are linked with conditions such as obesity and diabetes- conditions that more and more Americans every year are falling prey to. 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP) is the primary chemical linked to these diseases, and is one of the most widely used pesticides around the world. Researchers have found that people with high concentrations of this pesticide in their urine also have a higher risk of developing obesity or diabetes. The reason is that this common agricultural fungicide promotes insulin resistance in fat cells, making people with more fat more at risk.

Infertility and Birth Defects

The weed killer Atrazine- which is commonly used in agricultural settings, on golf courses, and in residential areas, has been found in tap water supplies across the nation. Its effects include lowering testosterone levels in men, and increased risk of infertility or miscarriage in women. The active ingredient in Roundup weed killer- glyphosate- has been shown to damage or kill testicular cells within 48 hours of exposure. Avoid these pesticides during pregnancy as well, since contact with them can increase the risk of various birth defects.

Parkinson’s Disease

Long-term exposure to either pesticides or herbicides has been linked to increased incidence of Parkinson’s Disease in more than 60 separate studies. This applies to both the second-hand commercial pesticides we consume off of non-organic produce and residential use in our own lawns and gardens. To keep yourself and your plants healthy, use natural methods to keep pests and weeds at bay rather than resorting to harmful pesticides and herbicides.


Of course, pesticides are not the only cause of autism, but they are contributing to the rising incidences of the condition. In a recent Harvard study, organophosphate pesticides that were found in children’s urine samples were linked to both Autism and ADHD. Exposure to these chemicals during pregnancy and early childhood can have irreversible effects on the child. This is likely because these pesticides are designed to affect the neurological state of the pests they are intended for, but can also have an impact on the neurological state of the children who eventually ingest them.


Yes, pesticides are known to be carcinogenic. In over 260 studies, agrochemicals have been linked to cancer. That is not something that can just be ignored. Pesticides have been linked to a number of different types of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, bone cancer, prostate cancer, brain cancer, colon cancer, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, and more. Effects were most prominent in those who lived within 500 meters of a commercial agricultural area actively using these pesticides, but even indirect exposure, as with a pregnant mother, can cause harm.