Latest news has revealed that the UK has failed to ban 36 harmful pesticides - all of which are banned in the EU.
Campaigners have labelled the UK the “toxic poster child of Europe”.
These harmful pesticides have been found to toxic to human health as well as the environment. The EU has acted to ban the use of these pesticides according to research from Pesticide Action Network (PAN).
The PAN is calling for the government to realign standards with the EU to ensure protection of human health, environment and the agriculture industry.
The effect on wildlife and humans
Out of the 36 harmful pesticides still in use, 4 are highly toxic to bees, which has a knock effect to pollination and bee population. One of the pesticides contaminates water, and another is highly toxic to aquatic organisms.
12 of the chemicals have been classified as carcinogens. 9 have been found to affect hormones and have been found to interfere with fertility, and 2 have been linked to impairment of the respiratory system.
Nick Mole, from PAN UK, said: “The UK is becoming the toxic poster child of Europe. The government has repeatedly promised that our environmental standards won’t slip post-Brexit. And yet here we are, less than four years later, and already we’re seeing our standards fall far behind those of the EU. With UK bees and other pollinators in decline, and our waters never more polluted, now is the time to be taking steps to protect nature. Instead, the government is choosing to expose British wildlife to an ever-more toxic soup of chemicals.”
The quality of UK soil
Another major issue with the overuse of pesticides and herbicides is the effect this has on the quality and nutrients within the soil.
UK soil is not as nourished as it was 40-50 years ago. This means we are not receiving the a good level of vitamins and minerals which are essential for maintaining good health.
This is one of the main reasons why supplementing our diets with food supplements such as pHKind is one of the best ways to ensure we are receiving a higher dosage of vitamin and mineral levels for our bodies.
Can pesticides affect our health?
Unfortunately, the wider use of pesticides in the UK will have a detrimental effect on our health, as has been highlighted above. The worrying aspect is that whilst we may be eating healthily with lots of fruit and vegetables, are we doing more harm to our bodies?
Organic produce is the preferred option, but not everyone can afford switching to the organically grown fruit and vegetables.
There are a few tips to avoid over exposure to pesticides:
➡️ Eat a variety of vegetables, so you are not overloading on a specific vegetable and it’s associated pesticide. This also ensures that you are eating vegetable from a range of farms and different crops.
➡️ Wash and scrub vegetables with warm water. Soaking vegetables in warm water is also a good way to reduce pesticide residue.
➡️ Peel the outer layer from vegetables like carrots, and potatoes, and remove outer leaves from foods such as lettuce, spinach and cabbage.
➡️ Cooking vegetables also reduces the exposure to pesticides, although this will also limit the vitamin content.
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Photography by Oliver Hale via Unsplash.