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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Oct;87(19):7777-81.

Dietary pesticides (99.99% all natural).

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1
Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.

Abstract

The toxicological significance of exposures to synthetic chemicals is examined in the context of exposures to naturally occurring chemicals. We calculate that 99.99% (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves. Only 52 natural pesticides have been tested in high-dose animal cancer tests, and about half (27) are rodent carcinogens; these 27 are shown to be present in many common foods. We conclude that natural and synthetic chemicals are equally likely to be positive in animal cancer tests. We also conclude that at the low doses of most human exposures the comparative hazards of synthetic pesticide residues are insignificant.

PMID:
2217210
PMCID:
PMC54831
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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