Fruit and veg a cancer risk for kids?

November 15, 2012, 10:33 amYahoo!7

New research reveals children could be at risk of developing cancer in later life following long-term exposure to pesticides in certain fruits and vegetables.

Children at risk of cancer from pesticides in fruit and veg
Toddler + Preschooler

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The California University study, result of which were published in the journal Environmental Health, set out to investigate how toxicity levels in certain foods effects children’s health over time.

Head researcher Professor Irva Hertz-Picciotto, said “Contaminants get into our food in a variety of ways. They can be chemicals that have nothing to do with the food or byproducts from processing. We wanted to understand the dietary pathway pesticides, metals and other toxins take to get into the body.”

The small study assessed 364 young children, all under seven years old. Scientists found that pesticide exposure was high in tomatoes, peaches, apples, peppers, grapes, lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, spinach, dairy, pears, green beans and celery. Lead author of the study, Dr Rainbow Vogt, said: “We focused on children because early exposure can have long-term effects on disease outcomes.”

Previous research has only focused on the effects of individual contaminants, however this study aimed to “understand the cumulative risk,” Dr Vogt said, adding that the results highlight a need to prevent exposure to multiple toxins in young children to lower their cancer risk.

The study also outlined how families may lower their exposure to pesticides, such as introducing organic produce to their diet and varying the foods they eat . Prof Hertz-Picciotto, said “Varying our diet and our children’s diet could help reduce exposure. Because different foods are treated differently at the source, dietary variation can help protect us from accumulating too much of any one toxin.”

However, a cancer research expert in the UK, Eleanor Barrie, commented on the study saying, “'It’s really important to remember that the levels of pesticides found in fruit and vegetables are usually very low, and there is no evidence that eating these small amounts of pesticides increases the risk of cancer. “In fact, eating lots of fruit and vegetables actually reduces the risk of some types of cancer, so it’s a good idea to get your five-a-day.”

Certain pesticides can be removed from fruits and vegetables through light washing prior to eating.

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  1. d06:35pm Thursday 15th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I am a fruit farmer in Australia and this hasn't got anything to do with Australian fruit at all. I own 5 farms that grow apples, cherries, pears and stone fruit and I don't spray any pesticides at all. The laws in Australia are tougher than the US and using all the nasty pesticides was banned decades ago. Farmers all over Australia don't spray pesticides because it's cheaper to go organic so to speak and let the spiders eat well.

  2. Ash06:25pm Thursday 15th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    If Rachel Carsons 'Silent Spring' is anything to go by, we could be facing a large health legacy from the use of artificially enhanced oil based fertilisers.

  3. wanderer05:56pm Thursday 15th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    hmmm, are the Californian farmers observing withholding times after application of pesticides ! ...

  4. swingmanic05:28pm Thursday 15th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I guess the use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture is inevitable and as the worlds population increases and along with it, a greater need to produce more food, we'll see a higher incidence of cancer among children and adults!...I think medicine is striving to combat the effects of pollution in the environment created by our need to have modern cars and disposable electronics..Nobody thinks about the chemicals used and disposed of in the creation of these devices!!....And lets not forget the the presence of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones and towers and of course increased background radiation from past nuclear bomb testing, although you probably get a higher dose of radiation every time you take a flight to some far away destination!...I'll just go and put my fruit and veg on a cold wash cycle in the washing machine before heading off to the beach with my umbrella to save me from the sun's rays. ;o))

  5. LucyB03:41pm Thursday 15th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse


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  6. Glib03:14pm Thursday 15th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    This news has been around for decades.

  7. blue02:49pm Thursday 15th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    There was a time when you could pick an apple off a tree and eat it without any risks. Now in our apparently 'advanced society' we have succeeded in poisoning our own food for the sake of profit. Very sad indeed. I feed my family organic food...but it in order to do so we have to make sacrifices... but I would rather drive an old car and have healthy family, than have some big tv, or fancy car and have myself and my kids have to suffer through the fear, trauma, and pain of cancer. Let's get our priorities straight!! LOVE

  8. Robert02:47pm Thursday 15th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    It is now official, everything you can eat or drink is bad for your health, and try not to breathe too much because the air is polluted from all the car exhaust etc etc.

  9. Gymnafreak02:45pm Thursday 15th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Okay that is it I'm never going to eat a vegetable or fruit again in my life because there may be a tiny bit of pesticide on the fruit that may cause cancer in my life. Instead I'll eat a diet of 100% processed foods including Pizzas, White Bread, Chips, Biscuits, Muffins, Lollies and Chocolate. That way I surely cannot get cancer and I won't be put through chemotherapy. I'll choose obesity and heart attack over a tiny chance of cancer any day. On a more serious not this is ridiculous and you really have to look at statistics here. Chances are these children may have gotten cancer anyway, without the fruit in their diet they may be morbidly obese and die due to health complications. To prevent this washing your fruit and vegetables will get any excess pesticide of anyway. Also, the cancer could have been caused by something else in the childs environment - maybe the doctors office where they got assessed had high levels of radiation and that's what caused the cancer. besides 364 people is not enough to form a justified conclusion. But seriously, fruit and veg are really important in our diet


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