These chemicals could come in the form of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and the like, and health specialists are concerned that the rampant use of these chemicals places certain groups at a higher risk of pesticide-related health issues.
In one of her recent articles published online, Liza Gross, an independent journalist specializing in science and health and a senior editor at the journal PLOS Biology, reported that about 70 percent of all U.S. produce harbors traces of pesticides. But more concerning is the fact that more than 90 percent of the U.S. population has these pesticides in their bodies, added Gross.
Gross reported that commercial farmers and pregnant mothers, babies and children residing near commercial farms are among the most susceptible to the health effects of pesticide residues in foods. Yet federal agencies fail to monitor the heightened risk that these groups face despite decades-long research on the dangers of pesticide use on human health.
Gaps in regulation
Federal agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensure that chemicals in foods and products marketed for human use do not endanger consumers.