Index Home About Blog
From: Oz <>
Newsgroups: sci.agriculture,sci.environment
Subject: Re: Pesticides and Reproduction
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1996 17:56:39 +0100

In article <>, "Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers"
<> writes
>Oz wrote:
>> Aaarrrggghhh!!!! 
>> NOTHING is completely safe. 
>> Water has an LD50 and common table salt is VERY toxic.
>> So, what do you want? Chemicals that are safer than common salt?
>> Is this good enough?
>he also posted nonsense about having to choose between hazardous food
>preservatives and dangerous chlorine on the one hand, and microbial
>caused death on the other.  me thinks he protests too much, and knows
>that these are false choices when there are safe and effective
>alternatives available.  

What alternative do you suggest for replacing chlorine in water?
We do know the risks of omitting it. Just take a peek a the history books on
the reasons why it is done, and what happens on the rare occasions when it is
not done.

Actually quite a lot more people have died in the UK from food poisoning
since preservatives were removed from most products. It is exactly what the
food scientists predicted, but nobody believed them. memories are short.
Mayonnaise, in particular is prone to grow serious levels of pathogens quite
quickly in hot weather, when it is often used for mass catering (and picnics
etc) subject to delays etc etc. So it's already killed quite a few people,
yet I know of no deaths from it's inclusion.

>i would make the additional point that people write 
>about many 
>toxic data points as if we knew ll about the toxicity of all these dangerous 
>compounds oz 
>is so enamoured of.  

I am not enamoured of toxic compounds. However we know a great deal more
about man made ones than we do about natural ones.

The list is very long, but I quite like the post I got from Uncle Al below:


okra - sterculic acid (anti-metabolite)
celery - psoralins (light-stimulated carcinogens)
peanuts - aflatoxin (hepatic carconigen)
lima beans - cyanogenic glycosides
carrots - carotatoxin (neurotxin)
mushrooms - hydrazines (carcinogen; holy Alar, Batman!)
tomatoes - tomatine (neurotoxin), quercetin glycosides (carcinogens)
broccoli - benzpyrene (carcinogin), goitrin (shuts down thyroid)
potatoes - solanine (toxin; causes spina bifida), chaconine (neutrotoxin)
isoflavones (estrogens), arsenic
soy - genistin, daidzin, coumesterol (estrogens)
cabbage - thiocyanates (shuts down thyroid)
spinach - phytanic acid (chelates iron - no absorption)
wheat germ - phytoestrogens
alfalfa sprouts - canavanine (arginine mimic; highly toxic to growing
nutmeg - myristicin (hallucinogen, spasmodic)
mustard - allyl isothiocyanate (war gas)

My favorite is oleander.  It is a perpetually flowering (red, pink, yellow,
or white), unstoppable huge bush remarkably resistant to drought and insect
predation, used as freeway and private landscaping everywhere in California.
Every part of the plant - leaves, flowers, seeds, wood - is loaded with
oleandrin, which irreversibly shuts down your heart (cardioglycoside).
Human median lethal dose is about three leaves or five seeds.  California
loses a few Boy Scounts each year when they pull off an oleander branch to
impale their weiner for roasting over a camp fire.  Think of it as evolution
in action.

You are a gazelle.  A lion approaches intent on dinner.  You run like hell.
You are a blade of grass.  A vicious cow approaches, intent on grazing.  And?
        You poison the bastard.

Perhaps the only "harmless" vegetable is iceberg lettuce, except it has zero
nutritive value and no flavor at all.

Alan "Uncle Al" Schwartz


>the unknowns are often of greater magnitude than the 
>knowns.  see, 
>e.g., the article that i assume prompted this thread, about how some weakly 
>pesticides are up to 1,600 times more estrogenic when combined.

I hope you stay off soya beans then.

By the way, you never did answer my question. Would you accept products less
toxic than common salt?

'Oz     "When I knew little, all was certain. The more I learnt,
        the less sure I was. Is this the uncertainty principle?"

Index Home About Blog