Good job bringing this to light. People won't realise how huge the problem is and municipalities are woefully ill equipped to...
Agreed; mining can never be sustainable, but then how do you get the metals to make all the things you need in the course of...
Very good piece.
fruits distributed to schoolchildren by the uk's department of health (under its five-a-day programme) contain over 25 per cent more pesticide residues than those on sale in shops. These are the findings of the uk -based Soil Association (sa), which represents organic producers. The government's pesticide residue committee (prc), however, claims that the fruits and vegetables distributed in schools "appear similar to fresh products in shops in terms of their pesticide residues."
But a closer analysis of the prc results prove the shallowness of its claim. It tested 167 samples of fruits and vegetables supplied to schools in 2004 under the five-a-day programme, which entitles schoolchildren (four to six years) to a free piece of fruit each day. The tests showed that residues were present in 84 per cent of the samples. In stark contrast, residues were found only in 57 per cent of the fruits and vegetables available in shops. All the strawberries, mandarins, satsumas and clementines given to the schools contained residues. 97 per cent of the bananas had detectable level of pesticides and 11 per cent of the carrots contained residues; interestingly, only one per cent of carrots in shops tested positive. Furthermore, two-thirds of the school fruits and vegetables contained residues of more than one pesticide.
Despite such results, prc says that the residues present no risk to human health. The uk's food standard agency also maintains that there is uncertainty about the "cocktail effect" of consuming mixtures of residues.
The findings, however, are alarming as recent research proves that there may be "windows of vulnerability" to pesticide exposure during foetal, neonatal, school age and puberty, when development is triggered by hormonal changes. Moreover, pesticides are known to disrupt the endocrine system that controls the vital metabolic activity.
Peter Melchett, sa's policy director, said, "We support the fruit scheme but it's wrong to source lower quality fruit and vegetables for the most vulnerable members of the society. Its imperative for the government to take corrective measures as soon as possible. The findings of its own committee are alarming enough. It should not put the life of children at risk."