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Pesticides are causing Cancer: Is it Myth or Reality!

Pesticides are used by farmers for killing the pests. But now there are rumors that these deadly pesticides are causing cancer to the farmers.

Chander Mohan

Pesticides are used by farmers for killing the pests. But now there are rumors that these deadly pesticides are causing cancer to the farmers.  

Recent study by the Brazilian Toxicology Pathology had published the results of their research in the European Journal of Toxicological Sciences. De Camargo, a toxicological pathologist along with Professor of Pathology Joao Lauro Viana highlighted that pesticides available in the market does not support the existence of any association between cancer signs in humans and occupational exposure or diet.  

 De Camargo explains further that some chemicals may actually be carcinogenic to the human species. Accordingly, their synthesis, handling and use must be subject to strict safety standards and procedures. 

"There are repeated reports of possible associations, but they are inconsistent owing to scientific deficiencies, including flaws in the design of studies, a deficiency in the composition of exposed groups and their controls, poor determination of exposure (doses), and poorly characterized cancer diagnoses, he points out in a report produced as part of the Agro Science and Technology initiative. 

On the whole, de Camargo noted that these deficiencies "weaken the weight of evidence on the causal association between cancer and pesticides. Important and frequently overlooked aspects to define a cause-and-effect relationship are the identification of the mode / mechanism of action by which a pesticide would cause cancer in man and, when evidence is obtained from laboratory animals if the results obtained  from those animals are extrapolated to the human species ". 

In the view of de Camargo, risk and / or risk assessments by regulatory agencies around the world "are making the detection and management of molecules that could cause cancer in humans more effective." According to a toxicological pathologist, risk management is the most realistic and operational tool. 

"The effort made over the last 30 - 40 years to harmonize global hazard and pesticide risk assessment procedures and disseminate the results of these practices, has raised awareness among health authorities, the productive sector, researchers and public opinion, about the possibility of chemical risks being managed," he says. 

De Camargo is a member of the Joint Meeting of Pesticides (JMPR) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He is also a member of the editorial boards of renowned  scientific journals, such as the International Scholarly Research Network, Toxicology and the European Journal of Toxicological Sciences. 

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