I was exposed in the workplace to many pesticides, without any protective gear, over a two year period 25 years ago, and was forced to become a bit of an uneducated backyard scientist so that I could prove that my exposure had made me sick.

I met with NZ’s self-proclaimed top expert on pesticides and occupational medicine, at the time, and made him aware that organophosphates (OPs) had been shown to give some people paralysis, which he cast doubt on. I also made him aware that Iraq had poisoned a large population of Kurdish people with OP compounds and there had been a large amount of documented scientific reproduction damage, on which he also cast doubt but told me he would investigate just to quell my anxiety. Later in his report he acknowledged my claims as being scientifically correct.

When looking at pesticide use the scientists need to be carefully questioned.
I proved that I was suffering neurotoxic symptoms and was one of the first and few ever ACC-accepted diagnosed with chronic OP poisoning, because I fought every day for two years to prove it. Constant letters, phone calls, OIA requests, etc. I have followed research on pesticides ever since.
I recently read an article on NZ having the world’s highest rate of motor neuron disease and wanted to share some info on neurological disorders brought on by pesticide neurotoxicity; in particular OP compounds, which were designed as nerve agents (such as sarin gas) which are now the most commonly used insecticide in the world and the leading suicide agent in India.

OP pesticide toxic residue is found in almost all foods in NZ and always shows on food toxicity testing. It’s in bread, milk, wheat, almost all fruits and vegetables, and most processed products. Only those who eat a fully organic, vegan, diet are likely to avoid constant low level exposure, and they have often been shown to develop chemical sensitivity, so you just can’t win… these (OPs) need to be banned.

OP compounds pass straight through the skin and straight through the blood-brain barrier (which stops most harmful chemicals from interacting with our brain).
OP compounds interact with a neurotransmitter in the brain called acetylcholine which inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase.
Acetylcholine is not been as well studied as its well-known counterparts of dopamine and serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitters) but has been strongly implicated by many scientists in neurological disorders such as motor neuron disease, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. In fact almost all the neurological disorders, neuropathies, and most dementias with unknown courses, have been suggested as having strong links to acetylcholine and acetylcholinesterase inhibition. We clearly need more research done in this area.

World Health Organisation (WHO) 2012 data states that 193,460 people died, worldwide, from unintentional poisoning.
In the same year unintentional poisoning caused the loss of 10.7 million years of healthy life on the Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY) scale.
It is also estimated that the deliberate ingestion of pesticides causes 370,000 deaths each year.
Latest figures from WHO estimate 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning per year.