This week, Lucy Shaw reported in The Drink’s Business on the danger of pesticides, “Pesticide residues found in 90% of wines”.
Please read the article and especially her closing paragraph:
“In May 2012, the French government recognised a link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease in farm workers, while last month, UCLA neurologists discovered a link between the pesticide benomyl and Parkinson’s disease.”
This reminded me of an article I read some time ago and my thoughts at the time: while we farm organically to bring back the natural balance to the environment and buy organic produce for health reasons, one of the very important reasons we also have to go this route, is to protect workers in the vineyards, orchards or gardens from being exposed to the dangers of pesticides and chemicals.
An APAChe investigation analysed pesticide presence in the hair of vineyard workers versus a control group living a good distance away from any vineyard with the following results:
- 11 times more pesticides residues in average among viticultural workers than the “control” group dwelling far away from the vineyard (6.6 pesticides found in average versus 0.6)
- 4 of 15 of the viticultural employees exhibit 10 different pesticide residues
- 5 times more pesticides residues in average among non-professional neighbouring vineyard than the “control” group living far away (3 pesticide residues found in average against 0.6)
- 74% of authorized pesticides within vineyard from the pre-established list for the study were found at least once among tested individuals
- More than 45% of the found molecules have been listed as possible carcinogens in Europe or in the United States
- More than 36% of the found molecules are suspected to be endocrine disruptors.
Rather than affecting wine drinkers, it is vineyard workers who are most at risk. Just another very important reason to introduce organic farming practices.