Sunday, October 31, 2010

Slow death, fast profits

Nov. 1, 2010

In addition to health risks, there are issues relating to seed patenting, biodiversity and the impoverishment of farmers.

The next time you serve up a good old ‘wholesome’ meal of rice and various vegetables, you will probably take in half a milligram of pesticide also. That would be more than 40 times what an average North American person would consume.

India is one of the world’s largest users of pesticides and a profitable market for the corporations that manufacture them. Ladyfinger, cabbage, tomato and cauliflower in particular may contain dangerously high levels because farmers tend to harvest them almost immediately after spraying. Fruit and vegetables are sprayed and tampered with to make them more colourful, and harmful fungicides are sprayed on fruit to ripen them in order to rush them off to market.

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