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At the time of writing (Sept. 2002) The Food Standards Agency (FSA) are taking evidence from experts with the view to issuing a report about 'the cocktail effect' of pesticides at the end of the year.
Chemicals of particular concern are -
Aldicarb - used on: carrots, parsnips, potatoes, sugar beet.
Campaigners claim high levels can: disrupt nerve impulses.
Carbendazim - used on: apples, beans, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms, oilseed rape, pears, tomatoes.
Campaigners claim high levels can: disrupt hormones in fish and are a possible human carcinogen.
Chlorpyrifos - used on: apples, barley, gooseberries, green beans, oats, onions, plums, strawberries, wheat.
Campaigners claim high levels can: disrupt nervous system,. Perhaps cause birth and immune system defects and leukaemis.
Vinclozolin - used on: apples, beans, oilseed rape, peas.
Campaigners claim high levels can: dispupt hormones creating 'anti-maleness' in fish. The effect on humans isn't known.
For more information contact Friends of the Earth www.foe.co.uk
Further reading: "Silent Spring" Rachael Carson (1962); "Moment in the Sun" Robert and Leona Rienow (1967); "The Great Food Gamble" John Humphrys (2001)