From: "ANNIE GAZDAG" <GAZDAG@GANDALF.PHYSED.WISC.EDU>
Subject: Re: Natural vs. Man-made pesticides
Organization: U.W. Dept. of Kinesiology
Threat to human health posed by minute residues of man-made chemicals is small
>>When I read this response, I chuckled to myself. What about the
>>herbicides and pesticides on the vegetables? Vegetables even
>>produce substances to ward of bugs and disease that are sometimes
>>more toxic than what is applied to them by a farmer.
>>Kevin Kelly, LRD
>how about eating organically grown vegtables then?
>i'd like to know what substances plants produce that are more toxic
>than what a farmer uses on his fields. i'll take my chances with the
>plants any day.
Why? Just like vitamins: it doesn't matter if a plant made a given
compound, or a chemist. If a compound affects how a fungus
synthesizes its cell wall by inhibiting an enzyme only the
threatening plant fungus produces, how is this going to affect
Please refer to some of the latest opinions of Dr Bruce Aimes, the
legendary biochemist at UC Berkeley who came up with the Aimes test
which was so widely used in the 70's to test compounds for their
mutagenic capacity. Results from these experiments were extrapolated
into conclusions that tons of additives in our food supply were
cancer-causing. He later tested extracts from mushrooms and celery
and tons of other plants. Lo and behold, it was either mushrooms or
celery, but one of these was far more mutagenic than any food
additive he had tested. The point being, and Dr Aimes has expressed
these ideas in several popular press articles (I can't remember
exactly where I've read them), that we eat loads of compounds every
day in the plants we eat that have the capacity to kill insects and
other competing organisms. Yet, we are not affected. The threat to
human health posed by minute residues of man-made chemicals is so
small, and Dr Aimes predicts, can be totally counteracted by eating
fresh fruits and veggies because of the loads of antioxidants and
phytochemicals ineherent in these foods.
...just a thought to broaden one's perspective on the issue at hand.