The deadly danger in your garden shed—and on your dinner plate

iStock_000017670714_MediumBy Fred Pescatore, M.D.

Discussions like this are always a double-edged sword.

On one hand, there’s nothing I love more than telling you about the work that brave souls are doing to help keep you and me safe from environmental toxins.

On the other hand, it’s criminal that we should even need protection from an enemy like this. Especially when the government claims to be protecting us already.

So I’ll just break the news to you straight. A team of French researchers recently discovered that popular pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are a whole lot more dangerous than manufacturers disclose.

If you read the labels of these products, you know that they list “active ingredients” and “inerts.” The former are the ingredients that do the heavy lifting (which, in theory, makes them capable of causing the most damage).

The “inerts,” meanwhile, are “adjuvants”—or mere supporting ingredients without much power. At least, that’s what popular pesticide manufacturers (and the government, for that matter) would have you believe.

This latest study, however, suggests quite the opposite.

The lead author says (and I quote): “Adjuvants in pesticides are generally declared as inerts, and for this reason they are not tested in long-term regulatory experiments. It is thus very surprising that they amplify up to 1,000 times the toxicity of their active principle in 100% of the cases where they are indicated to be present by the manufacturer.”

The emphasis is mine. And I put it there to underscore a very serious point.

These so-called “inert” ingredients in popular pesticides aren’t really inert at all. (And it looks like the EPA isn’t completely ignorant of this fact, either. They recently began referring to “inerts” as “other ingredients” instead.)

What’s worse, these so-called “inert” ingredients actually supersize active ingredients’ ability to cause bodily harm in every instance. Yet the government seems to think that they don’t require additional study. Which would imply that they’re perfectly safe for routine use.

But, clearly, they’re not. And the results of this recent research serve as a horrifying slice of proof.

To reach their conclusions, these researchers tested the toxicity of nine common pesticides on human cell lines. More specifically, they compared the effects of these products overall with the effects of their active ingredients alone.

Of the nine formulations tested, results showed that eight of them were more toxic than the main active ingredients were on their own. (And not just a little more… we’re talking several hundred times more toxic.)

And here’s where it gets really good… or really bad, as the case may be.

Despite Monsanto’s claims that their signature weed-killer Roundup is generally benign, it was by far the most toxic of the herbicides and insecticides tested.

Bear in mind that this is the same product advertised so freely on TV—showing even small children spraying it in the garden. And the same product GMO soy and corn farmers across the country soak their “Roundup Ready” crops with.

But while Monsanto may be the biggest offender of this bunch, they’re obviously not the only one. Which is what makes this study’s findings especially scary.

And you can’t tell me these companies don’t know what’s going on. It’s like the tobacco companies saying they didn’t know nicotine was addictive.

More than likely, the deception is motivated by money. And believe me when I say that it runs deep.

In fact, these same researchers published a different study a couple of years back. This one connected Monsanto’s products to cancer development in rat models. But the journal in which it appeared later withdrew the paper. They claim it was in response to criticism that the research didn’t meet “scientific standards.”

But in the two years that followed, nearly 1,000 scientists across the globe launched a boycott of the publisher in response to its bogus retraction.

And all the while, the consumers that really deserve to know about this research remain blissfully unaware of the controversy bubbling behind the scenes.

But now at least you know.

At the very least, go out of your way to keep your garden and your kitchen organic and GMO-free. Because no product that’s designed to kill is ever really safe. And that goes double for whatever Monsanto’s trying to sell you.

Of course, cutting off the source of exposure is just half the battle where toxins are concerned. Helping your body to eliminate what’s already there is the other half. In fact, it’s an unfortunate reality in our modern-day world that no one can completely avoid toxins all the time. And clearing your system of the toxic buildup that accumulates during everyday living has become increasingly necessary. Which is why I recommend regular detoxes to all my patients.

My approach to detox is simple, and doesn’t require any fancy juicers or a closet full of supplements. You can read more about my specific detox protocol in the September 2013 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter. Subscribers can download and view this issue from the Archive for free on my website, (And if you’re not already a subscriber, the website also has all the information you need to sign up today.)


Dr. Fred Pescatore is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Hamptons Diet and the No. 1 best-selling children’s health book, Feed Your Kids Well, amongst others. He is the President of the International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists, a member of the American College for the Advancement of Medicine, and belongs to many other professional organizations. Earlier in his career, Dr. Pescatore served as the Associate Medical Director of The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, working as the right-hand-man to the late, great Dr. Robert C. Atkins. Today he sees patients at his own practice in Manhattan and writes a monthly newsletter called Logical Health Alternatives, as well as a free e-letter called The Reality Health Check.


“Major pesticides are more toxic to human cells than their declared active principles.” Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 179691.