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The Industry's Myths

Pesticide Industry Propaganda: The Real Story: The Industry's Myths

May 1, 1995

The chemical and food industries care about the bottom line, even if that means fostering myths and distorting science to convince the public and policy makers not to regulate pesticides.

The truth is that animal tests are valid predictors of human cancer and other health risks, that we can grow affordable food with far fewer pesticides, and that pesticide residues in our diet pose an unnecessary--and preventable--risk to which children are particularly vulnerable.

Myth #1: Animal tests of pesticides don't predict human cancer risks because the high doses fed to animals are irrelevant to the low doses consumed by humans. What's the real story behind Myth #1?

Myth #2: The amount of pesticide residues in food and water is so small as to pose no health risks -- expressed as "You have to eat 340 oranges a day to get the dose causing health problems in animal tests." What's the real story behind Myth #2?

Myth #3: We're winning the war against cancer. What's the real story behind Myth #3?

Myth #4: Nobody has ever been hurt by exposure to pesticides at the low doses found in food and water. What's the real story behind Myth #4?

Myth #5: Natural carcinogens in food are more dangerous than pesticides. What's the real story behind Myth #5?

Myth #6: Alar on apples was a "scare," reflecting environmentalists' use of emotion and scare tactics, not sound science. What's the real story behind Myth #6?

Myth #7: Restricting the use of pesticides will cause food shortages and raise the price of food. What's the real story behind Myth #7?

Myth #8: Pesticides cost money, so farmers currently use as few pesticides as possible. What's the real story behind Myth #8?