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Toxic chemicals in our Food System - Physicians for Social Responsibility

Posted on October 9, 2019 at 11:35 AM

What chemicals are in the food we eat?

Chemicals are used in every step of the process that

puts food on our table: production, harvesting,

processing, packing, transport, marketing and

consumption and can be dangerous to our health.

Some of these chemicals remain in our food and

many persist in the environment and our bodies for

decades to come.

 Preservatives are added to many processed

foods including breads, cereals, and meat.

Studies have found additives are a source of

headaches, nausea, weakness and difficulty

breathing. New research has shown that they

may damage human nerve cells. We do not fully

understand all of the long-term effects that additives

could have on our health because synthetic additives

are a relatively new invention.

 Certain fish contain toxic chemicals called

Perchlorinated biphenyls (PCBs-which have been

banned but remain in our environment and end up in

our food system) or heavy metals such as mercury.

PCBs can damage the developing brain and have

been linked to behavioral disorders. Heavy metals

like mercury may lower IQ and also cause visual or

hearing impairment.

 Food packaged in plastic may contain phthalates or

other harmful chemicals. As the chemicals can seep

from the packaging into the food itself. Research has

linked phthalates to behavioral disorders.

How can we avoid toxics in food?.....

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