Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Natural pesticides are carcinogens too

with 2 comments

An interesting quote from a blog I came across about natural pesticides compared to artificial ones. I apologise if someone sent me a link to this, I have no idea where it came from!

Dr. Ames began rethinking this war against synthetic chemicals after thousands of chemicals had been subjected to his test. He noticed that plenty of natural chemicals flunked the Ames test. He and Dr. Gold took a systematic look at the chemicals that had been tested on rodents. They found that about half of natural chemicals tested positive for carcinogencity, the same proportion as the synthetic chemicals. Fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices contained their own pesticides that caused cancer in rodents. The toxins were found in apples, bananas, beets, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, grapes, melons, oranges, parsley, peaches — the list went on and on.

Then Dr. Ames and Dr. Gold estimated the prevalence of these natural pesticides in the typical diet. In a paper published in 2000 in Mutation Research, they conclude:

About 99.9 percent of the chemicals humans ingest are natural. The amounts of synthetic pesticide residues in plant food are insignificant compared to the amount of natural pesticides produced by plants themselves. Of all dietary pesticides that humans eat, 99.99 percent are natural: they are chemicals produced by plants to defend themselves against fungi, insects, and other animal predators.

We have estimated that on average Americans ingest roughly 5,000 to 10,000 different natural pesticides and their breakdown products. Americans eat about 1,500 mg of natural pesticides per person per day, which is about 10,000 times more than the 0.09 mg they consume of synthetic pesticide residues. Synthetic v. Natural Pesticides


Written by alienrobotgirl

6 May, 2008 at 8:57 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Dr Gold’s paper reminded me of a story.

    Our cells are equipped with very effective pumps to get rid of plant toxins, of which, as you point out, there are a huge number. It’s a war zone after all. The pumps get up regulated during cancer chemotherapy as our cells regard chemotherapy agents as comparable to plant toxins, as indeed many of them ARE plant toxins.

    My wife attended a seminar by a medic who had designed a clever molecule to block the action of these pumps, so allow the chemo drugs to continue to work in resistant cancers. Adding it to chemotherapy resistant cancer cell cultures caused them all to die with standard chemo. Yippee, hurray. Giving it in combination with a chemo drug to a group of mice gave 100% mortality.

    Back to the drawing board.

    When you want rid of plant toxins, you want rid of them. Which is all the time. Probably tough if you get second rate pumps. There’ll be some genes there too I guess.



    7 May, 2008 at 9:01 pm

  2. Hi Peter

    This is very interesting story, thanks for relating it. And a new angle to pursue too, which is always great!


    10 June, 2008 at 1:19 am

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