Agriculture and Industrial Practices that Influence Health

Sick sleeping child girl under a blanketGood health can be compromised by environmental exposures to chemical or pollutants. Toxic environmental chemicals are released from nature, occupational sources that process food or polluted water, and even uncontrolled, hazardous waste sites. The general increase of and the persistent exposure to pollutants create a cumulative affect that is a major concern for the environment and public health.

Agriculture practices have changed drastically in the last 50 years. The majority of agriculture farming use various pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, and other artificial solvents to benefit the growth of specific crops to the long term health detriment of animals and humans. Often pesticides use an adjunctive agent such as glyphosate to improve performance. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup which is used in the agriculture business to dry wheat before harvest. Research indicates that some specific dose amounts of this agent is very toxic in animals and humans. A study published in the journal of Toxicology found that glyphosate-based formulations are associated with human cell toxicity. Another study published in the Environmental Health Perspective journal found that specific agriculture pesticides, solvents, and chemical fertilizers may increase the risk factor of Rheumatoid Arthritis in women, although more research is needed in this area. Again, another study in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that specific agriculture practices involving the use of pesticides have a negative impact on human health. As of now, we know there is a correlation between agriculture farming agents and the quality of health, but researchers will continue to explore the underlying biological mechanisms to explain the relationship between toxic agents and human biology.

A recent study looked at the urinary concentrations of agricultural toxins after changes in diet. They found a relationship between an organic diet and a reduced level of organophophorous pesticides and other insecticides and herbicides. These results suggest that a change in diet to one composed chiefly of organically raised produce and animal products could be one way to effectively reduce toxic exposure. It is general knowledge that excessive chemical exposure to pesticides and herbicides is toxic for humans.

Due to changes over time, the agriculture and industrial business started to use chemicals to enhance performance at the long term detriment to human, health visible as poor health in the average adult population. We encourage our readers to be aware of all environmental exposures and to the learn more about ways to reduce the negative health effects of pesticides and other environmental toxins.


Bradman et al. (2015). Effect of Organic Diet Intervention on Pesticide Exposures in Young Children Living in Low-Income Urban and Agricultural Communities. Environmental Health Perspective, 123(10),1086–1093.

Hennig B. Ormsbee L. Bachas L, et al. Introductory Comments: Nutrition, Environmental Toxins and Implications in Prevention and Intervention of Human Diseases. Journal of Nutrition Biochemistry. 2007;18:161–162.

Hofmann et al. (2015). The Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect in Agriculture (BEEA) Study: Rationale, Design, Methods, and Participant Characteristics. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health ,78(21-22), 1338-1347.

Mesnage, R, Bernay, B & Seralini, G.-.E. (2012). Ethoxylated Adjuvant of Glyphosate-based Herbicides are Active Principles of Human Cell Toxicity. Toxicology, 313(2-3), 122-128.

Mohamed et al. (2016). Mechanism-specific injury biomarkers predict nephrotoxicity early following glyphosate surfactant herbicide (GPSH) poisoning. Toxicol Lett, 16(1), 30141-2.

Parks et al. (2016). Rheumatoid Arthritis in Agricultural Health Study Spouses: Associations with Pesticides and Other Farm Exposures. Environmental Health Perspective, Retrieved 23 JUN 2016. Published online 10 JUN 2016 ahead of print.

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