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Did Pesticides Cause Your Food Poisoning?

Did Pesticides Cause Your Food Poisoning?

Although the most serious causes of food poisoning like Salmonella come mostly from animal products (for example, most foodborne-related deaths have been attributed to poultry), millions of Americans are sickened by produce every year, thanks to noroviruses. Noroviruses can spread person-to-person via the fecal-oral route or by the ingestion of aerosolized vomit, which together may explain most norovirus food outbreaks. But a substantial proportion remained unexplained. How else can fecal viruses get on our fruits and veggies?

The pesticide industry may be spraying them on.

The water thatís used to spray pesticides on crops may be dredged up from ponds contaminated with fecal pathogens. When you hear of people getting infected with a stomach bug like E. coli from something like spinach, itís important to realize that the pathogen didnít originate from the spinach. Intestinal bugs come from intestines. Greens donít have guts; plants donít poop.

“The application of pesticides may therefore not only be a chemical hazard, but also a microbiological hazard for public health.” What is the indsutry’s solution? To add more chemicals! ďThe inclusion of antiviral substances in reconstituted pesticides,Ē researchers assert, ďmay be appropriate to reduce the virological health risk posed by the application of pesticides.Ē Or we could just choose organic.

The Salmonella in alfalfa sprout seeds (don’t eat raw alfalfa sprouts) likely came from manure run-off or contaminated irrigation water. But this pesticide angle adds a whole new route for fecal pathogens to pollute produce. Broccoli Sprouts are safer, and organic sprouts may therefore be safer still.

Either way, though, we should always wash all fruits and veggies under running water, as one solution to pollution is dilution.

Organic foods may also be healthier†and donít carry the potential chemical hazards associated with pesticides.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you havenít yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations†Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More Than an Apple a Day, and From Table to Able.

How To Counter Dietary Pollutants & Pesticides
Protecting Our Babies From Pollutants
How Chemically Contaminated Are We?

Read more: Health, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, General Health, Men's Health, Natural Remedies, Videos, Women's Health, , , , ,

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


+ add your own
9:16AM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

Thanks for sharing!

9:10AM PDT on Aug 24, 2014


6:26AM PDT on Aug 24, 2014

Nah... Don't you believe it!
Besides, organic foods are way TOO expensive!
Cancer doesn't cost half as much...

4:41AM PDT on Aug 23, 2014


8:40PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

Food Poisoning and Intent to Kill us all! Yes!

4:49PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014


1:44PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014


6:14AM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

Do something beneficial

9:46PM PDT on Aug 21, 2014

Thanks for posting.

4:29PM PDT on Aug 21, 2014

Carol P.

"Humans and wildlife come into more contact with produce than your average cow and it isn't as if birds don't leave droppings as they fly overhead."

The average cow on a large farm has e coli so you should cook it. Wildlife does not have e coli. It is the large farms that concentrate the e coli.

"Again, Greger is just focusing on his one personal interest, trying to scare people into becoming vegans."

The article is about e coli in vegetables, not at all an endorsement for veganism. It is about the dangers of pesticide application.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Thank you for this article and sharing.

Thankfully I don't have to worry about this one but I will still enjoy these foods, most are favorit…

Thanks, great ideas. I would put herbs on the table, for tea or salad!

Important information!!Thank you for sharing.

Cool ideas, thanks.


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