U.S. consumers can experience up to 70 daily exposures to residues of a class of toxic chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants--POPs--through their diets, according to report released by Pesticide Action Network North America and Commonweal.
The report, "Nowhere to Hide: Persistent Toxic Chemicals in the U.S. Food Supply," analyzes chemical residue data collected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and finds persistent chemical contaminants in all food groups--from baked goods and meats to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Exposure to POPs has been linked to serious disease and developmental disorders, including breast and other types of cancer, immune system suppression, nervous system disorders, reproductive damage, and disruption of hormonal systems. The report was released on the eve of the final negotiations of the terms of an international treaty on POPs that could institute a global ban on the production and use of 12 of the worst of these chemicals, including DDT and dioxin.
"We hope that the U.S. negotiating team does not miss this unprecedented opportunity to prevent further accumulation of these chemicals in our food," said report author Kristin Schafer of Pesticide Action Network North America. "We urge the Clinton Administration to dramatically strengthen its negotiating positions in the interest of protecting the health of the nation's consumers."
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