Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Discussion on family life, childcare, home making, shopping, lifestyle, pet care, gardening and general household issues.
SPONSORS: Expat Lodge
Post Reply
User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 21870
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by PeteC » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:17 am

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... l/30333056

NGOs call for law forcing industry to declare discharge of toxic substances

Recent research has disclosed that serious contamination from persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and herbicides in food and the environment poses health threats to the Thai public.

The research, from Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand (EARTH) and Thailand Pesticide Alert Network (Thai-PAN), found that Samut Sakhon had the highest levels of dioxin contamination. The level of contaminants known as polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PBDD/Fs) was 33 times higher than European Union standards, Meanwhile, 46 per cent and 55 per cent respectively of fruit and vegetables were found to contain pesticides and herbicides.

The organisations said that toxic substances posed serious health threats and the authorities had not put enough measures and regulations in place to protect the public.

Jindrich Petrlik , the executive director of the NGO, Arnika – Toxics and Waste Programme, said studies on POPs contamination in Thailand’s major industrial heartlands included an analysis by EARTH of 11 free-range eggs samples from six areas across the country in 2015 and 2016.

(Click on below photo chart and it will open larger in a separate window)
phpMYWC9aAM.jpg

Petrlik said the researchers were shocked to find that the industrial area in Samut Sakhon’s Muang District had the second highest contamination of PBDD/Fs in the world.

He explained that the team collected eggs from chickens that foraged freely in the study areas. The eggs were used as indicators of POPs contamination in the food cycle and environment of that area, and the analysis of one of two egg samples from Samut Sakhon found the dangerously high level of PBDD/Fs of up to 84.04 nanograms per kilogram.

Egg samples from Saraburi’s Ban Mo district had a level of PBDD/Fs at 11.73 nanograms per kilogram, and eggs from Prachin Buri’s Tha Thum district had 4.14 nanograms per kilogram – both higher than the EU standard of 2.50.

According to EARTH, PBDD/Fs are among the most dangerous POPs and contribute to many negative impacts on human health. All areas that registered high levels of this toxic substance were in major industrial zones.

EARTH director Penchom Saetang cautioned that the major issue that contributed to this problem was that Thailand still does not have a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) law and there were no reports on toxic substances discharged from individual factories.

Penchom said that even though there is a pioneer project of voluntary pollutant-release reporting in Rayong’s Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, only 22 per cent of participating factories actually reported their discharges.

“Therefore, the authorities have to develop and enforce a PRTR law in order to pursue the goal of reducing POPs discharged to the environment,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, Thai-PAN coordinator Prokechon U-sap said that separate research on pesticides and herbicides in fruit and vegetables found that all samples from nine markets, three department stores and four supermarkets in Chiang Mai, Pathum Thani, Ratchaburi and Songkhla had higher than average contamination from toxic substances.

Despite the fact that the overall level of contamination in fruit and vegetables was slightly better than last year, Prokechon stressed that most popular vegetables – such as cowpea, asiatic pennywort, Chinese kale, Thai basil leaves and red chilli – had high levels of pesticides.

“The most concerning finding is that 55 per cent of 76 samples are contaminated with herbicides – especially Paraquat and currently illegal substances such as Carbofuran. These substances had not shown up in testing on these fruits and vegetables before,” she said.

Kingkorn Narintarakul Na Ayuthaya, BioThai Foundation coordinator, said that the relevant state agencies and food distributors needed to disclose the sources of the contaminated food so the problem could be solved at its root. Kingkorn noted that even some certified fruit and vegetables had high levels of pesticide contamination.

Kingkorn also disclosed that the alliance of environmental organisations was considering suing the Agriculture Department for allowing the renewal of licences for Paraquat against the recommendations of the Public Health Ministry.

Disease Control Department (DCD) Occupational and Environmental Diseases Bureau director Dr Chantana Padungtod said the agency was well aware of this threat and constantly sent teams to monitor public exposure to toxic substances.

According to DCD, 8,689 people became sick from pesticide toxins last year. Many of them were farmers, who constantly use pesticides in their fields.

“It is quite hard to detect diseases from exposure of toxic substances, as these sicknesses are often not acute. It takes time for people who are exposed to toxic substances to show symptoms, because the toxin will have to accumulate in their body,” Chantana said.

“Therefore, we have an at-risk population group for this kind of sickness – those who work or live close to these toxic substances, such as farmers and industrial workers – and we are working closely with this group to protect them from toxin-related diseases.”
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

User avatar
Dannie Boy
Addict
Addict
Posts: 5206
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:12 pm
Location: Closer to Cha Am than Hua Hin

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by Dannie Boy » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:57 am

To say that this is worrying, is a massive understatement. I’ve always had a concern that fruit and vegetables could be a risk but this paints a pretty grim reading of what we are eating. Is anything safe to eat?

User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 21870
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by PeteC » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:08 am

They leave you hanging as they don't indicate if washing will remove most, and what kind of washing and with what? I hope there are subsequent articles that give some kind of advice based upon the chemicals they know are in use. It could be that what they are using can't be removed with anything, and if that is the case I'm sure they are terrified to release that info.
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

deepee
Professional
Professional
Posts: 481
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:06 pm
Location: here and there

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by deepee » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:22 am

Sorry PeteC,
Washing fruit and vege does nothing towards removing contaminants absorbed into the produce thru the growing period.
At best you may wash away dirt , a practice you should follow anyway when preparing food.
Even if there was an instant reversal in the current practices contamination of the soils will remain for years to come.
Answer?? grow your own ??
Complexity is so simply overrated

User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 21870
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by PeteC » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:40 am

^ I was afraid of that but didn't want to say it. :(

Where many of us live within a few KM's of the coast, it's even hard to grow weeds in the poor soil. To grow decent veggies here you would need to construct boxes with top soil in them.

Fruit trees much easier and organic mango and papaya everywhere where I live, including on our property.

There are so many types of veggies in Thai food though it's very worrying, especially for young kids raised on a diet here.
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

User avatar
usual suspect
Ace
Ace
Posts: 1737
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: Huahin

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by usual suspect » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:23 am

I've done many yrs of crop-spraying in the past, & yes every application was metered, the machine was calibrated, the field had every application logged..& I'd like to think having passed various tests so I could legally do this..the task was done in a responsible manner,you know what I'm saying...but here..when you see them spraying the rice 'willy-nilly' with a knapsack-sprayer from side to side with a scarf over their nose/face for protection.. it does not bode well..or blasting the fruit trees with a boat-mounted pump/sprayer from the narrow klongs..I get the idea there's no real laws here & minimal education to start with.. "Well this is how my father did it..so it must be right..?"
But the chance of changing anything here I think is slim..Look at all the laws passed against burning off the fields around C.Mai? All those rules & enforcement are working wonderful...err NOT! :banghead:

User avatar
Big Boy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 32609
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:36 pm
Location: Bon Kai

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by Big Boy » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:21 pm

Maybe a head in the sand attitude, but the way I look at it is the population is living longer than ever, so is it really that bad?

Scaremongering reports are required to finance expensive studies. If they couldn't find anything amazing, they probably won't get their next mega-study funded.
League 1 Plymouth Argyle 0 - 1 Blackpool :cry: :cry:

Points 3; Position 24

deepee
Professional
Professional
Posts: 481
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:06 pm
Location: here and there

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by deepee » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:32 pm

Scaremongering reports are required to finance expensive studies.
This is pretty serious stuff Big Boy. This research is not a frivolous look into what is your favourite chocolate brand or car colour. We are talking about the expectations of the local people and the safety of their food and ultimately their health.
This examination put many results at way way above international standards.

To establish these standards you also have to realize that the professional lobbyists for the manufacturers of the chemical industry push extremely hard to raise the accepted assessment levels of contaminants way up to the highest bearable level.Higher usage rates means higher profits to them .
Sure, standards of living are rising but for many factors other than agrarian chemical use.
Sadly I see greed and ignorance on behalf of the suppliers as the motive here.
And , on a sadder level I have direct connections to a couple of people whose health has been devastated by these chemicals in Thailand.
Complexity is so simply overrated

User avatar
Big Boy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 32609
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:36 pm
Location: Bon Kai

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by Big Boy » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:52 pm

Yes, I accept its supposed to be serious, but I'm afraid I can't take it as such. There'll be another study next week saying something else. Its all mind control saying what you should and shouldn't eat. If these reports didn't sensationalise their finding, the people doing them would need to get a proper job.

The one thing you can't argue with is the average person is living longer these days. Yes, there will always be exceptions.
League 1 Plymouth Argyle 0 - 1 Blackpool :cry: :cry:

Points 3; Position 24

handdrummer
Ace
Ace
Posts: 1319
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:58 am

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by handdrummer » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:03 am

Living longer and getting sicker: heart disease, liver ailments, kidney disease, ling disease, brain disease, etc. are all on the increase and have been traced to chemicals in the food. You can soak fruits and vegetables for 15 min. in water and vinegar, that will remove pesticides from the surface but there's nothing that can be done to the internal parts of the food. Living longer is not the criterion for health. I don't want to live a long, sick life.

User avatar
migrant
Rock Star
Rock Star
Posts: 4193
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:15 am
Location: California is now in the past hello Thailand!!

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by migrant » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:13 am

handdrummer wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:03 am
I don't want to live a long, sick life.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

Hunter S Thompson
The essence of life lies with the dispensing with of formalities

User avatar
buksida
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16768
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 12:25 pm
Location: south of sanity
Contact:

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by buksida » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:21 am

Burning plastic is probably the most toxic activity in Thailand - the dioxins have been proven to give you cancer, nobody seems to listen or care though ... "mai pen rai".
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S Thompson

User avatar
J.J.B.
Guru
Guru
Posts: 930
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by J.J.B. » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:56 pm

deepee wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:32 pm
Scaremongering reports are required to finance expensive studies.
This is pretty serious stuff Big Boy. This research is not a frivolous look into what is your favourite chocolate brand or car colour. We are talking about the expectations of the local people and the safety of their food and ultimately their health.
This examination put many results at way way above international standards.

To establish these standards you also have to realize that the professional lobbyists for the manufacturers of the chemical industry push extremely hard to raise the accepted assessment levels of contaminants way up to the highest bearable level.Higher usage rates means higher profits to them .
Sure, standards of living are rising but for many factors other than agrarian chemical use.
Sadly I see greed and ignorance on behalf of the suppliers as the motive here.
And , on a sadder level I have direct connections to a couple of people whose health has been devastated by these chemicals in Thailand.
It is always interesting to study such areas and we should remember that the single-issue pressure groups (such as the one who produced this report) are also highly effective lobbyists who we should be cautious to simply cast as ‘the good guys’.

The figures on the bottom right, detailing those who have become ill, is based on people who have been directly exposed to high levels of pesticides and herbicides over a prolonged period. This is certainly what the narrative in the report states. It will likely include the unfortunate children who have drunk the stuff in error, which is also bound to happen considering the variable levels of Health and Safety considerations in the LOS.

There are no mentions of what the actual safety margins are, however, and instead there are deliberately alarming adjectives and comparative terms used. It’s generally frowned upon to feed humans toxic substances in order to determine ‘safe levels’ so rats and mice are used with the results being scaled-up to human weights. Some government agencies will then add safety margins and each country will have huge differences in what these are; ‘safe’ is a very relative, societal construct.

The report cites the differences they found as percentages of one figure against another but without knowing what the actual comparators are and understanding more about the specific substances and human metabolism of such toxins, it’s inconclusive at best. With all the other toxins we are exposed to, this finding is probably of very little immediate concern. That the figure is rising, yes, it’s a worry, but far better the lobby group encourages the government to act to introduce enforeable regulation (good luck!) than getting Freddie Farang to worry about what’s in his vegetable stir-fry.
"A man who does not think for himself, does not think at all."
Wilde

handdrummer
Ace
Ace
Posts: 1319
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:58 am

Re: Study finds high pesticide levels in local food

Post by handdrummer » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:24 am

migrant wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:13 am
handdrummer wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:03 am
I don't want to live a long, sick life.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

Hunter S Thompson
I don"t consider suicide by gunshot wound to be worth proclaiming, nor anyone else's idea of "What a ride," to be my criteria for a well lived life. I do like his statement that, "The only people who know where the edge is are those who have gone over it." I know where the edge is.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests