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Welcome to PSR's Environmental Health Policy Institute, where we ask questions -- then we ask the experts to answer them. Join us as physicians, health professionals, and environmental health experts share their ideas, inspiration, and analysis about toxic chemicals and environmental health policy.


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How does our food production system drive our exposure to toxic chemicals?

Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on February 24, 2011

Our mechanized, pesticide-rich, fertilizer-driven food production system has a significant impact on our exposure to toxic chemicals. Antibiotics and hormones support the mass production of eggs, chicken, milk, and beef. Fertilizers and phosphates flow to our rivers and lakes, contaminating waterways and encouraging the bloom of toxic algae. Chemical food flavorings and colors, some of which affect children’s behavior, are added to foods to encourage consumption. Pesticides including neurotoxins remain as residues on food and are subsequently ingested and metabolized by people. Plastic and paper packaging may leach toxic chemicals into food. And food is trucked, shipped, and flown around the world, contributing to air pollution. This month, our expert contributors address the ways in which our food production system drives our exposure to toxic chemicals.

The views expressed in these essays are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Physicians for Social Responsibility.


Waging War on the Insects
Steven G. Gilbert

What’s Behind the Wholesome Image of the American Family Farmer?
Brad Heavner

The Story of Strawberries
Susan Kegley

"Don't Methylate My DNA or Perturb My Thyroid": An OB/GYN gets tough on pesticides
Joanne L. Perron

Making the Case for Organic Food: The View from Washington State
Kathy Pryor

A Food System Overview from the San Francisco Chapter
Lucia Sayre

Tallying the True Cost of Industrial Agriculture
Ted Schettler

Don’t Blame the Fish! And, don’t prescribe fish.
Boyce Thorne Miller & Niaz Dorry


Grace said ..

So these meat packaged in plastic is not really healthy after all,or is it different?

April 9, 2016
poo said ..

Whats the story behind the tomatoes??????

March 21, 2014

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