By Dr. Mercola
The United States uses about 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides each year.1, 2 Worldwide pesticide use amounts to approximately 5.2 billion pounds annually. There’s little doubt that the current pesticide load is taking a toll, as mounting research has linked pesticides to an array of serious health problems.
Processed foods form the basis of nearly everyone’s diet, as 95 percent of the food Americans buy is processed. If this is you, then you can consider yourself in the highest risk category, as such fare tends to contain the greatest amounts of hidden genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, and hence the highest pesticide load.
Avoiding pesticide exposure – around your home, in your community, and via the food you eat – is important for reducing your risk for a number of chronic and devastating diseases, including Parkinson’s and DNA damage indicative of early-stage cancer.3, 4
Now, with the publication of a new meta-analysis,5 the evidence linking pesticides to cancer is stronger than ever. The analysis, which included 44 papers exploring the impacts of pesticide exposure on non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, concluded there appears to be a strong link between the two.
The study, which was done by a team at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, covering nearly three decades’ worth of epidemiologic research, will likely be taken seriously worldwide.
Phenoxy Herbicides Linked to Lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), or sometimes simply referred to as lymphoma, is a type of blood cancer that originates in your lymphatic system. It’s the sixth most common type of cancer in the US, with an estimated 69,000 Americans diagnosed each year. Worldwide, NHL accounts for an estimated 37 percent of all cancers.
According to the featured research,6 phenoxy herbicides, including 2,4-D and dicamba, are clearly associated with three distinct types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Besides cancer, other documented health hazards associated with phenoxy herbicides include developmental and reproductive problems.
This is particularly chilling considering the fact that use of these herbicides have risen several-fold since the early 2000s, and their use will increase even further if 2,4-D and dicamba-tolerant crops are approved.
Carbamate insecticides, organophosphorus insecticides, and the active ingredient lindane—an organochlorine insecticide also used to treat head lice—were also positively associated with NHL. The strongest evidence however, is reported for glyphosate and B cell lymphoma. According to the authors:
"The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines pesticides as substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate a pest. Within this broad category, pesticides are often grouped according to the type of pests that they control; for example, fungicides are used to kill fungi, insecticides to kill insects, and herbicides to kill weeds and plants…
Because pesticides are thought to have different toxicologic and immunologic effects, identifying the chemicals and chemical groups that are most dangerous to humans and non-target living organisms is important. From a research perspective, the decision about what chemicals to investigate has implications for disease prevention…
Despite compelling evidence that NHL is associated with certain chemicals, this review indicates the need for investigations of a larger variety of pesticides…."