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Chemical Pollution.....blood Toxins


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According to an article in yesterday's Nation more than 1,600 Chiang Mai residents were tested for toxins in the blood and 95% were found to have dangerously high concentrations. What toxins exactly wasn't mentioned but more than likely herbicides and heavy metals. Anyone feel like a blood test? I wonder how many years it takes staying here to build up to a typical Thai person's blood toxin level?

In the same article it was stated that nearly all pork sold contains high levels of the salmonella virus as a result of the lax slaughtering process where faeces and meat are allowed to come in contact.

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Is this the article? http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2005/10/14...l_18871377.html

I think the toxins they are talking about are associated with salmonella, not pesticides or heavy metals.....but it isn't clear about this. Is salmonella what causes food poisoning? and if so then if you're not getting symptoms of food poisoning then its not a problem? I do agree, however that contamination of food is a problem here.

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According to an article in yesterday's Nation more than 1,600 Chiang Mai residents were tested for toxins in the blood and 95% were found to have dangerously high concentrations.  What toxins exactly wasn't mentioned but more than likely herbicides and heavy metals. Anyone feel like a blood test? I wonder how many years it takes staying here to build up to a typical Thai person's blood toxin level?

In the same article it was stated that nearly all pork sold contains high levels of the salmonella virus as a result of the lax slaughtering process where faeces and meat are allowed to come in contact.

anyone got stats on cancer, birth defect rates?

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Thailand is full of un-licensed waste disposal companies dumping toxins wherever they can. These toxins are then making their way into food chain. There are daily stories in the papers regarding this but not much is being done.

From this weeks Pattaya mail:

Police and Plutaluang sub-district authorities are looking for those responsible for the unauthorized dumping of chemical waste in the Khao Pancham Valley.

Following complaints from villagers, volunteer police went into the deserted area late at night where they found a truck bearing Chonburi license plates and a railroad truck, also carrying Chonburi identification, parked in the valley and pouring chemical substances onto the ground.

Volunteer police officer points to toxic waste illegally dumped at Khao Pancham Valley in Plutaluang, Sattahip.

As soon as he saw the officers the driver locked his door and ran away into the forest. The vehicle was impounded and taken to Plutaluang police station.

Taweep Tangkaew, chief of the Plutaluang sub-district executive, said the villagers have reported the truck had been dumping the chemicals into the valley every night. A report has been made to Sattahip district chief Pongpat Wongtrakul, and the chemical substance is being analyzed. The authorities assume it came from Rayong Province.

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Sorry Chownah but the Nation article referred specifically to pesticide contamination and even mentioned those veges worst affected. The problem of unhygienic food handling and processing were also mentioned.

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Sorry Chownah but the Nation article referred specifically to pesticide contamination and even mentioned those veges worst affected. The problem of unhygienic food handling and processing were also mentioned.

If the article is the one I gave a link for then I read it in its entirety and I am still of the opinion that the toxins they refer to that were found in the blood of Chiang Mai residents were salmonella toxins....but, as I stated before they don't say specifically what toxins they found. The article in its entirety is reproduced below so that anyone can determine for themselves what they think it means:

Contamination fears prompt demands for food-safety body

Published on October 14, 2005

A national body to control the hygienic handling of food on its journey from the farm to the table is being called for, following reports which show that agricultural commodities often fall short of food safety standards.

Songsak Srianujata, manager of the Knowledge Network Institute of Thailand’s Food Safety Project, said yesterday that food contamination is still an issue due to a lack of safety awareness among both the authorities and those involved in food production and processing.

According to Songsak, contamination can take place at every step of the food chain, from the farms, where farmers still use huge amounts of chemicals, to transportation and storage processes, which are often unhygienic, right up until the processing and sales stages.

He referred to the latest research from Mahidol Univer-sity’s Institute of Nutrition, which found that 90 per cent of pork available in 36 fresh markets in Bangkok and the vicinity was contaminated with salmonella bacteria, which can cause cholera. He added that the contamination could also have come from cutting boards, knives and even the hands of individuals selling the pork.

According to Songsak, the bacteria are normally found in pig waste and its intestines.

“We can assume that the contamination begins at the slaughter house where waste and pork might not be separated, or intestines might be mixed with pork in the same containers. Without guidelines, the possibility of contamination continues throughout the process until the meat is handed over to the consumers,” he said.

“How can we be the world’s kitchen if we still have a problem with food safety?” he added.

Songsak said his institute would make a proposal to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra suggesting he set up a national body to monitor food safety.

Songsak’s concerns were echoed by Deputy Director-General of the Health Depart-ment Sophon Mekthon, who said that after the government announced the food safety policy in 2003, the toxic contamination of food had declined, though it still exceeded acceptable levels.

He said the Medical Science Department had also found pesticide contamination in Chinese kale, Chinese cabbage and cow peas, especially the kale.

A recent study by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation also showed that 90 per cent of Chiang Mai residents tested had excessive levels of toxins in their blood.

Dr Supakorn Buasai of the foundation said the study

which tested the levels of toxins in the blood of 1,682 Chiang

Mai residents from August last year to September this year, revealed that 95 per cent of them displayed unsafe levels of toxins.

The Disease Control Depart-ment’s nationwide food poisoning watch report also revealed that there had been 102,370 cases of food poisoning, with more than half [52 per cent] of the cases reported in the northeastern region.

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Sorry Chownah but the Nation article referred specifically to pesticide contamination and even mentioned those veges worst affected. The problem of unhygienic food handling and processing were also mentioned.

I went to google and tried to find out just what toxins were being detected. I looked at a Thai Health Promotion Foundation web site since the article attributed the study to them....but...when I looked around there I found that they claimed that the study was done by the Disease Control Department...these are the people who do food poisoning studies...meaning bacteria. To make a long story shorter, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation web site made statements that seem to indicate that the term 'toxins' included pesticide residues....but once again they were not 100% clear on this....and....I could not find a web site for the Disease Control Department....so.......now my opinion is that it is likely that pesticide residues were included in the toxins reported....but I would have to see the Disease Control Department report before I would be sure.

At any rate the issue of pesticide residues in the food supply is important and really a problem in Thailand where overuse of pesticides is common and their danger is too often not understood by the locals who handle them and the produce which is contaminated with them......that is why I do my farming without using these substances....now I wish I could get my wife to stop using them....I'm working on her.

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Last year we had two reports regarding serious problems with toxins in Thai food (Heavy Metals found in rice crops resulting in the Thai goverment having to destroy havested rice and take land out of production), there was a second report regarding the use of pesticides and herbicides in the Orange farming industries around Chiang Mai.

The whole issue of food safety is one that has not yet been given any serious debate in Thailand but one that has been debated in the west, I believe another case where it really would not hurt to learn from the experience of the west.

When the UK's Prince Charles started talking about these things 30 years ago he was branded as a hippy, eccentric etc - It turns out he was on the money with his views on food quality and safety.

My wife and I feel this whole food safety issue is hugely important and we have made plans to build our own home on a plot of land big enough to accommodate a sizable vegitable garden, we plan to ensure the safety of the food we eat by growing as much of it as we can.

Well something to keep me busy with in retirement... :o

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a plot of land big enough to accommodate a sizable vegitable garden, we plan to ensure the safety of the food we eat by growing as much of it as we can.

well, make sure you get soill tests done before you plant. A lot of land is contaminated in CM, and soil from "bad" areas can be used to infill land on building sites.

:D:o

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So is Chiang Mai worse off than other places in Thailand in terms of pesticide use and contaminated food?

One thing good about the Chiang Mai area is that there are many who are trying to grow completely organic or at least herbicide and pesticide free and even in local markets you can find those who claim to be selling organic produce (even up in Mae Rim market).

I checked out some of the growers and as far as I could tell the claims were legitimate and the growers were sincerely organic in their thinking. However you can not be certain without checking it yourself as there is little organic certification available and most local farmers growing organic do not wish the extra expense of certification as they do not seem to charge any more for their produce than non organic. At least not in the local markets where I was shopping. In the major grocery stores you certainly pay a premium for organic when you can find it.

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