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Margriet SAMWEL-MANTINGH, Henk TENNEKES, Jelmer BUIJS; Norms for pesticides in water and agricultural products. A critical review; Recent Advances in Food Science; 2018; 1(1): 63-74
There is increasing evidence that changes in the environment and in the human health have a strong relationship with the use of pesticides. Wild populations of birds, freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects and several other species are declining at an alarming speed. Society has tried to protect man and his environment with maximum tolerated levels of pesticides in soil and water and in food. However, these limits are rather a result of wishful thinking than of scientific scrutiny. The authorization procedures for pesticides have fully ignored the impact of cumulative toxicity. The toxicity of many pesticides is determined not only by dose but also by exposure time, and in some cases, such as the neonicotinoid pesticides, toxicity is even reinforced by exposure time. The alarming truth is that the dose-time-response relationship of the most pesticides is fully unknown, since this information is not required in official authorization procedures. The consequence of time-dependent toxicity is that for many pesticides the current maximum tolerated levels may seriously underestimate actual risk. These chemicals need to be identified and removed from the market as soon as possible. Testing should be performed by independent organizations and authorization data should become accessible for the public. At the same time, organic farming should be stimulated in which synthetic pesticides are not used altogether. Almost 185.000 organic farms in Europe prove that this is a good alternative.