Pesticide is any substance, single or mixed with others, intended to destroy or control any harmful organism, prevent or prevent its damage, including vectors of human and animal diseases, unwanted species of plants or animals that cause damage or otherwise interfere with the production, processing, storage, transport and marketing of food, foodstuffs, timber and its derivatives, zootechnical foods, as well as substances that they can be used in animals for the control of insects, mites or other harmful organisms administered or applied to them.
Included are substances intended for use as plant growth regulators, defoliators, desiccants, thinners or anti-vermin of fruits. In addition, those applied to crops before or after harvest to protect it from deterioration during storage and transport.
They have introduced the danger of the presence of residues in food due to regulations, perhaps excessive, in commercial exchanges, which lead to the generalized and preventive use of pesticides. Furthermore, although pesticides are not the only cause of ecological damage, they are certainly one of the most serious.
This danger was ignored for a long time until fears became dramatically evident: disappearance of animal species, disappearance of fish in rivers and seas near coasts, reduction of game, especially birds, contamination of water and land until to the polar regions: a profound alteration of the environmental balance.
The Intake of fruits and vegetables by pesticide residue status in relation to cancer risk study published on the Environment international explains: "Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables (FVs) are the main source of general population exposure to pesticide residues.
To evaluate the relation of intake of high- and low-pesticide-residue FVs with cancer risk. We followed 150,830 women and 29,486 men without a history of cancer. We ascertained FV intake via validated food frequency questionnaires and categorized FVs as having high or low pesticide residue levels based on USDA surveillance data.
We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of total and site-specific cancer related to quintiles of high- and low-pesticide-residue FV intake. We documented 23,678 incident cancer cases during 2,862,118 person-years of follow-up.
In the pooled multivariable analysis, neither high- nor low-pesticide-residue FV intake was associated with cancer. The HRs per 1 serving / day increase in intake were 0.99 for high- and 1.01 for low-pesticide-residue FVs. Additionally, we found no association between high-pesticide-residue FV intake and risk of specific sites, including malignancies previously linked to occupational pesticide exposure lung, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, prostate or inversely related to intake of organic foods.
These findings suggest that overall exposure to pesticides through FV intake is not related to cancer risk, although they do not rule out associations with specific chemicals or sub-types of specific cancers."