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Chemical Pollution.....blood Toxins

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Not directly relevant to Chiang Mai but perhaps relevant to the fear of pesticides.

The Economist: Organic? Don't Panic [Alimentation bio]

http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=2261881

Organic? Don't panic

Dec 11th 2003

What the birds and bees say

“WHEN I was invited to an organic conference,” says Marion Nestle, a nutritionist (unrelated to the Swiss multinational), “I thought there would be a lot of farmers in birkenstocks. Instead I found I was sharing the platform with General Mills.” The American food giant's purchase in 2000 of Small Planet Foods, an organic company, signalled the coming of age of organic food. In Britain, where the movement has aristocratic patrons such as Prince Charles, sales hit £1 billion ($1.7 billion) in November.

Consumers' worries about conventional food's effect on their health and the environment are helping organic sales, yet those worries may not be well founded. Pesticide residues, for instance, particularly concern people, yet there is no evidence that current levels in fruits and vegetables are dangerous. According to Sir John Krebs, head of Britain's Food Standards Agency, “a single cup of coffee contains natural carcinogens equal to at least a year's worth of carcinogenic synthetic pesticides in the diet.”

Nor are consumers clear about what they are getting in organic foods. People commonly believe that organic farmers do not use pesticides. That is wrong. Governments (which regulate organics) and licensing agencies (which license organic farmers) permit the use of a range of pesticides which are chemically inorganic and industrially produced but qualify because they are naturally occurring.

These pesticides are old conventional technology. Copper sulphate, for instance, known as Bordeaux mixture, was invented in the 19th century for vineyards, and widely used until 1930. More modern, more effective chemicals can be used in smaller quantities and are less persistent, so they disappear after a couple of weeks, while heavy metals hang around. The Soil Association permits the use of such pesticides, but, says the organisation's policy director, Lord Melchett, “it should not be allowed. We're quite open about the fact that we want to phase it out.” But farmers, who use such pesticides to control, for instance, potato blight, are reluctant to give them up.

Several studies have compared the taste of organic food to that of conventional food, but have failed to establish that either is better. Nor is there evidence that organic food is healthier. According to Sir John , “the current scientific evidence does not show that organic food is any safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food.”

Organic farming scores better on biodiversity and soil composition, according to a review of studies comparing conventional and organic farming by Britain's farming ministry. Curiously, though, the review includes evidence from the Soil Association, which licenses organic farmers and promotes organic food; it is rather like asking Tesco if supermarkets are good for the nation.

A review of the literature by Tony Trewavas, professor of plant biochemistry at Edinburgh University, is more equivocal. Organic farms had more beetles and butterflies, but conventional farms had more species of beetle. A study measuring 13 bird species over nine years found slightly higher levels intermittently in organic fields, though no significant difference in the end. In a study comparing 22 organic farms with nearby conventional ones, birds did better on organic farms in 50 out of 68 cases, though the numbers were significant for only two species.

Bigger environmental gains have been observed in no-till agriculture. No-till, practised more in America than in Britain, means growing crops without ploughing fields, and leads to many-fold increases in bird population and a range of other environmental benefits. But no-till farming works best with GM herbicide-resistant varieties to keep weed populations down, an idea that doesn't go down well with most of the organic movement.

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Several studies have compared the taste of organic food to that of conventional food, but have failed to establish that either is better.

Any study that shows that organic and inorganic food tastes the same proves one thing....it proves that it its possible to grow organic food that tastes like inorganic food....it does not prove that it is impossible to grow organic food that tastes better than inorganic food...and it does not prove that it is impossible to grow inorganic food that tastes better than organic food. It just proves that the methods that were used to raise the produce created food that tastes the same. I don't know which is better for taste...I do know that fresh from the garden is clearly the best for many vegetables...whether organic or not...and if you raise your own vegetables you can keep the level of pesticides down whether you do it organically or not.

Also, I don't fear pesticides...my wife has used them occasionally on her rice which is the rice that we eat. I never think about the fact that they were not organically grown. I eat oranges occasionally and know full well that they have been sprayed alot....I do not, however eat Thai raised strawberries as a rule but on the rare occasion that I do I don't worry about it.

Edited by chownah

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Several studies have compared the taste of organic food to that of conventional food, but have failed to establish that either is better.

Any study that shows that organic and inorganic food tastes the same proves one thing....it proves that it its possible to grow organic food that tastes like inorganic food....it does not prove that it is impossible to grow organic food that tastes better than inorganic food...and it does not prove that it is impossible to grow inorganic food that tastes better than organic food. It just proves that the methods that were used to raise the produce created food that tastes the same. I don't know which is better for taste...I do know that fresh from the garden is clearly the best for many vegetables...whether organic or not...and if you raise your own vegetables you can keep the level of pesticides down whether you do it organically or not.

Also, I don't fear pesticides...my wife has used them occasionally on her rice which is the rice that we eat. I never think about the fact that they were not organically grown. I eat oranges occasionally and know full well that they have been sprayed alot....I do not, however eat Thai raised strawberries as a rule but on the rare occasion that I do I don't worry about it.

I have never tasted any organic food that tasted any better than non-organic - in fact it often tastes worse - so I remain sceptical of that myth however, I do agree on the fresh from the garden bit! :o

Edited by Judge

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Several studies have compared the taste of organic food to that of conventional food, but have failed to establish that either is better.

Any study that shows that organic and inorganic food tastes the same proves one thing....it proves that it its possible to grow organic food that tastes like inorganic food....it does not prove that it is impossible to grow organic food that tastes better than inorganic food...and it does not prove that it is impossible to grow inorganic food that tastes better than organic food. It just proves that the methods that were used to raise the produce created food that tastes the same. I don't know which is better for taste...I do know that fresh from the garden is clearly the best for many vegetables...whether organic or not...and if you raise your own vegetables you can keep the level of pesticides down whether you do it organically or not.

Also, I don't fear pesticides...my wife has used them occasionally on her rice which is the rice that we eat. I never think about the fact that they were not organically grown. I eat oranges occasionally and know full well that they have been sprayed alot....I do not, however eat Thai raised strawberries as a rule but on the rare occasion that I do I don't worry about it.

I have never tasted any organic food that tasted any better than non-organic - in fact it often tastes worse - so I remain sceptical of that myth however, I do agree on the fresh from the garden bit! :o

What myth are you referring to.

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The myth that organic food tastes much better than that grown with conventional fertilizers. It simply is not true.

I realize that is not what you were saying, but I had to add my two cents to your comments. :o

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The myth that organic food tastes much better than that grown with conventional fertilizers. It simply is not true.

I realize that is not what you were saying, but I had to add my two cents to your comments.  :o

I agree. To say that organic food tastes much better than that grown with artificial fertilizers is clearly wrong....it ignores the fact that farmers in both categories have a wide range of skill, knowledge and dedication. Organic farmers and non-organic farmers can both grow food that is terrific or terrible depending on their skill, knowledge, and dedication....the same goes for safety of the food...maybe the same for nutritional quality but I don't know much about this one.

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I agree.  To say that organic food tastes much better than that grown with artificial fertilizers is clearly wrong...the same goes for safety of the food...maybe the same for nutritional quality but I don't know much about this one.

I would love to see a study on the difference in nutritional quality between organic and non-organic.

Despite the many claims of the health food industry, I would bet that they are almost the same! :o

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I agree.  To say that organic food tastes much better than that grown with artificial fertilizers is clearly wrong...the same goes for safety of the food...maybe the same for nutritional quality but I don't know much about this one.

I would love to see a study on the difference in nutritional quality between organic and non-organic.

Despite the many claims of the health food industry, I would bet that they are almost the same! :o

So, what do you make of the subject for this topic? What do you think it means when the Thai health people say that 95% of the people tested in Chiang Mai had excessive levels of toxins?

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So, what do you make of the subject for this topic?  What do you think it means when the Thai health people say that 95% of the people tested in Chiang Mai had excessive levels of toxins?

I have lived in Chiang Mai for about 17 years and I was just tested for heavy metals and toxins recently and they told me that I had no problem. Therefore, I'm somewhat baffled/distrusting of this figure.

What else can I say? :o

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Hi concerned friends and sleeping TV members alike!

Here is my take on things here on the topic.

Thanks for you thoughtful and sincere question you sent me regarding your decision to come on your planned vacation to Thailand.

I get where you are coming from and have to say you are asking a pretty big question the way I see it.

Maybe a bit bigger than you imagine?

I will give you my perspective the way I see it take it for what it’s worth to you.

No one can answer this question with certainty because no one knows the future but we can look at the signs and read what is happening presently (“wake up if you are sleeping”, this is not for you but for some of the TV readers!) to make and educated guess for sure.

On the one hand the chances you will have a problem here are small (currently but that could change at any moment) is my opinion but on the other hand I believe there are huge “corrections” (think they call these in this case “pandemics”) in the works and I think within the next day to 10 years (I can’t tell yet) there will be substantial “die offs” of the population due to many the toxins (we will call it a “disease” or “pandemic”) in the environment.

We are at the beginnings of that I am afraid (it’s been building up for a while now) and when “the shit hits the fan” it will be big time for sure.

You won’t want to be in Bangkok, Thailand then for sure!

When that happens in a big way, “watch out”!

You won’t want to be a tourist stuck in a big big mess trying to get out of a big city like Bangkok!

Thailand with the rest of Asia is “throwing the baby out with the bath water” (in terms of the environment) and the agrochemical business here is creating huge environmental and health problems that are beginning to take their toll.

This is why I am promoting environment awareness and organic production of as many products as possible as soon as possible.

Yep planting an organic garden is a good step and should be on a lot of peoples list of top priorities I think.

I feel this is critical for the survival of the species.

Martin Luther King (MLK) was a great man with” human rights” on his mind and agenda.

Honey I am afraid the times and issues have changed.

I am just one of the many MLK’s of the present day but my agenda is not just about human rights it’s about “human and planetary survival”!

I think that is what this “bird flue deal” (very tip of the big iceberg) is all about.

These poor chickens are our “canary in the mine shaft”.

You know the little bird in the mine shaft who is there to show the miners wither it was safe (their environment) of not?

It’s a warning to get our shit together latterly and figuratively speaking!

If you saw the conditions of the chicken populations (a massively huge industry here) in the factories here an in Asia or almost any industry for that matter here, you would agree with me that something has to give.

Most of the foods (yep all those lovely fresh fruits and vegetables in the lovely Thai “fresh food “markets” too) and water supply here is contaminated with pesticides and other dangerous chemicals.

The Bangkok Post news paper post mentioned in an article on the environment a couple years ago the avg orange here in Thailand was sprayed 20 times before it was harvested and that the amount of pesticide inside the fruit was a lot more than on the outer peel

They are so “clever” and uncontrolled (you can see this even on the TV reports as you mentioned “no protection”) that they have “out smarted” themselves and have created a real mess of the environment here.

If they handle this situation the way they handle most things here it will be fraught with gross eras and screw ups for sure!

We evolved with the dangerous of our technology and I am afraid these people just had it thrown in their laps recently.

They don’t understand what they are “playing” with here (this new toxic chemical based technology) and treat things almost like a baby treats things with no concern.

Many many of their thinking is that anything modern (chemical spray, plastic, GM foods etc….) must be good and better than what they had before.

It is really different here from an environmentally tuned in western perspective.

The worst part of all is that almost no one has taken notice!

The PM here is talking GNP growth rates and exports quotas while the environment literally falling apart!

As a friend of mine says they really don’t have a clue what is coming next!

So I think you are not being crazy to worry about this important subject and if the disease jumps species there could be a large die off (millions and millions of birds have died so far recently).

A logical question could be asked; “if it gets into the human population why not humans too?”

Governments are not going to tell you anything until it’s all over if that so you won’t be able to rely on them for much, unfortunately!

I would love to be able to tell you some reassuring positive words that made you feel comfortable but as I have been over here for a while and to tell you the truth I too am at times literary terrified of the environment degradation I am witnessing here.

And I live on just a tiny little island out of the way of the main areas of development here in Thailand.

The thing I feel most disappointed to tell you is there are few places in the world where you can go to find a sustainable, organic setting for a vacation.

There are beginnings of this happening and I suggest finding those kinds of places and supporting them with your tourist dollars so we can have a positive impact as tourists and that the market will respond creating thousands of new eco friendly resorts and communities.

I know a few places in Hawaii (see www.pangaia.cc) where they are into such things and I am sure there are many more places too but I don’t have first hand experience of those.

There is my two baht or “two cents”. What ever way you want to call it.

Let me know what you find out more and finally decide?

Best of luck and take care of yourself and our great planet.

Yours truly, Ayakiawe

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So, what do you make of the subject for this topic?  What do you think it means when the Thai health people say that 95% of the people tested in Chiang Mai had excessive levels of toxins?

I have lived in Chiang Mai for about 17 years and I was just tested for heavy metals and toxins recently and they told me that I had no problem. Therefore, I'm somewhat baffled/distrusting of this figure.

What else can I say? :D

Everything is sensationalized these days.

There was probably a Moonbat reporter on a slow news day who decided "Hey, let's write some 'end of the earth' story" about how contaminated CM is.

Everything with a grain of salt... :o

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Hi concerned friends and sleeping TV members alike!

Here is my take on things here on the topic.

Thanks for you thoughtful and sincere question you sent me regarding your decision to come on your planned vacation to Thailand.

I get where you are coming from and have to say you are asking a pretty big question the way I see it.

Maybe a bit bigger than you imagine?

I will give you my perspective the way I see it take it for what it’s worth to you.

No one can answer this question with certainty because no one knows the future but we can look at the signs and read what is happening presently (“wake up if you are sleeping”, this is not for you but for some of  the TV readers!) to make and educated guess for sure.

On the one hand the chances you will have a problem here are small (currently  but that could change at any moment) is my opinion but on the other hand I believe there are huge “corrections” (think they call these in this case “pandemics”) in the works and I think within the next day to 10 years (I can’t tell yet) there will be substantial “die offs” of the population due to many the toxins (we will call it a “disease” or “pandemic”) in the environment.

We are at the beginnings of that I am afraid (it’s been building up for a while now) and when “the shit hits the fan” it will be big time for sure.

You won’t want to be in Bangkok, Thailand then for sure!

When that happens in a big way, “watch out”!

You won’t want to be a tourist stuck in a big big mess trying to get out of a big city like Bangkok!

Thailand with the rest of Asia is “throwing the baby out with the bath water” (in terms of the environment) and the agrochemical business here is creating huge environmental and health problems that are beginning to take their toll.

This is why I am promoting environment awareness and organic production of as many products as possible as soon as possible.

Yep planting an organic garden is a good step and should be on a lot of peoples list of top priorities I think.

I feel this is critical for the survival of the species.

Martin Luther King (MLK) was a great man with” human rights” on his mind and agenda.

Honey I am afraid the times and issues have changed.

I am just one of the many MLK’s of the present day but my agenda is not just about human rights it’s about “human and planetary survival”!

I think that is what this “bird flue deal” (very tip of the big iceberg) is all about.

These poor chickens are our “canary in the mine shaft”.

You know the little bird in the mine shaft who is there to show the miners wither it was safe (their environment) of not?

It’s a warning to get our shit together latterly and figuratively speaking!

If you saw the conditions of the chicken populations (a massively huge industry here) in the factories here an in Asia or almost any industry for that matter here, you would agree with me that something has to give.

Most of the foods (yep all those lovely fresh fruits and vegetables in the lovely Thai “fresh food “markets” too) and water supply here is contaminated with pesticides and other dangerous chemicals.

The Bangkok Post news paper post mentioned in an article on the environment a couple years ago the avg orange here in Thailand was sprayed 20 times before it was harvested and that the amount of pesticide inside the fruit was a lot more than on the outer peel

They are so “clever” and uncontrolled (you can see this even on the TV reports as you mentioned “no protection”) that they have “out smarted” themselves and have created a real mess of the environment here.

If they handle this situation the way they handle most things here it will be fraught with gross eras and screw ups for sure!

We evolved with the dangerous of our technology and I am afraid these people just had it thrown in their laps recently.

They don’t understand what they are “playing” with here (this new toxic chemical based technology) and treat things almost like a baby treats things with no concern.

Many many of their thinking is that anything modern (chemical spray, plastic, GM foods etc….) must be good and better than what they had before.

It is really different here from an environmentally tuned in western perspective.

The worst part of all is that almost no one has taken notice!

The PM here is talking GNP growth rates and exports quotas while the environment literally falling apart!

As a friend of mine says they really don’t have a clue what is coming next!

So I think you are not being crazy to worry about this important subject and if the disease jumps species there could be a large die off (millions and millions of birds have died so far recently).

A logical question could be asked; “if it gets into the human population why not humans too?”

Governments are not going to tell you anything until it’s all over if that so you won’t be able to rely on them for much, unfortunately!

I would love to be able to tell you some reassuring positive words that made you feel comfortable but as I have been over here for a while and to tell you the truth I too am at times literary terrified of the environment degradation I am witnessing here.

And I live on just a tiny little island out of the way of the main areas of development here in Thailand.

The thing I feel most disappointed to tell you is there are few places in the world where you can go to find a sustainable, organic setting for a vacation.

There are beginnings of this happening and I suggest finding those kinds of places and supporting them with your tourist dollars so we can have a positive impact as tourists and that the market will respond creating thousands of new eco friendly resorts and communities.

I know a few places in Hawaii (see www.pangaia.cc) where they are into such things and I am sure there are many more places too but I don’t have first hand experience of those.

There is my two baht or “two cents”. What ever way you want to call it.

Let me know what you find out more and finally decide?

Best of luck and take care of yourself and our great planet.

Yours truly, Ayakiawe

Boon Mee, is this what you would refer to as a "Moonbat" per chance? :o

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So, what do you make of the subject for this topic?  What do you think it means when the Thai health people say that 95% of the people tested in Chiang Mai had excessive levels of toxins?

I have lived in Chiang Mai for about 17 years and I was just tested for heavy metals and toxins recently and they told me that I had no problem. Therefore, I'm somewhat baffled/distrusting of this figure.

What else can I say? :o

Where did you go to get your blood tested?

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