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... And pesticides in food.

. . . and pesticides in food

Citing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, a newNational Academy of Sciences study reports that 60 percent (by weight) of all herbicides used in the United States can cause tumors in animals, as can 90 percent (by volume) of all fungicides used and 30 percent (by volume) of all insecticides. Under the Delaney Clause, a provision of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, pesticides capable of inducing cancer in animals or that accumulate in processed foods are not supposed to be granted "tolerances' (federally granted permissible limits) for their allowed presence in food. But, the NAS study finds, many of these oncogenic pesticides--especially those granted "tolerances' more than 10 years ago--do find their way into foods. As a result, the study says, consistent enforcement of the Delaney Clause (for older pesticides as well as new ones, and for raw foods as well as processed ones) may force EPA to pull many agriculturally important and widely used pesticides off the market as these chemicals periodically come up for reregistration.

The NAS panel would prefer to see adoption of a new"negligible risk' policy in enforcement of the Delaney Clause-- one that ignores chemicals whose presence in foods poses only a small risk to health and concentrates efforts on eliminating those which pose significant risk. For example, such a policy might initially focus on those 10 pesticides, used on only 15 different foods, that the panel estimates account for roughly 80 percent of the dietary risk posed by all pesticides.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 6, 1987
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