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Beware: Pesticides in Muesli

Beware: Pesticides in Muesli

Most people frown upon the use of pesticides in agricultural practice, but their practicality makes it hard for us to break apart from it. Those who wish to lower their consumption of pesticides turn to organic foods, but these products can dig quite a hole in their bank account. Not many people are keen on having to pay more when cheaper options are available, despite containing pesticides.

As a person with diabetes, you might be asking yourself: “Why should I care?”

Well, the fact is that exposure to pesticides might just be another risk factor for type 2 diabetes (not to say that the list isn’t long enough).

The authors of a 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Environment International agree that “exposure of pesticides increase the risk of T2D [type 2 diabetes]”, and that regulatory guidelines on pesticides should be reviewed in light of recent research findings.

Générations Futures is a French NGO (non-governmental organization) that aims to raise awareness about pesticides and to fight against their usage. They conducted an investigation on pesticides found in a popular breakfast staple: muesli. Their findings are published in a report found here.

What are Endocrine-Disruptor Pesticides?

Endocrine-disruptor pesticides are natural or man-made chemicals that wield the ability to “disrupt” the body’s endocrine system, which in turn can lead to adverse effects. Endocrine-disruptor pesticides are suspected to play a role in hormone-related cancer, on the reproductive system, in heart problems, and even in diabetes. The scariest part of endocrine-disruptors lies in their relentless quest of not harming only the individual himself, but his descendants as well. And we’re talking up to three generations, according to Générations Futures.

The Results

All of the 15 non-organic muesli were tested positive for pesticides.
None of the five organic muesli contains pesticides.
On average, there are 9.4 pesticide residues found in non-organic muesli products.
Out of the 141 residues detected, 81 of them are believed to be endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Just because this investigation is based on muesli products found in France, it doesn’t mean Americans should not be worried. In fact, the products selected for testing are from big name companies like Kellogs, Nestlé, and Jordans. Among the residues, they discovered the presence of a fungicide called pyrimethanil. This residue is commonly used in viticulture and is suspected to be carcinogenic.

“These findings again reveal population exposure to too many pesticide residues that are suspected of being endocrine disruptors, which can act at very low doses,” stresses Francois Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures.

To learn more about Générations Future, visit their website.

Additional Reference:

Evangelou E, Ntritsos G, Chondrogiorgi M, et al. Exposure to pesticides and diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Int. 2016;91:60-68.