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Prenatal and infant exposure to ambient pesticides and autism spectrum disorder in children: population based case-control study

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l962 (Published 20 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l962

Linked Editorial

Pesticides and autism

Re: Prenatal and infant exposure to ambient pesticides and autism spectrum disorder in children: population based case-control study

This is a very important study with multiple implications for public health and nutrition. If these results are supported by other solid research it is to be hoped that the currently popular and harmful idea that vaccines are linked to autism will give way to the understanding that there is a link to pesticides instead. Pesticides pervade our food supply and bioconcentrate in beef and dairy cows, and chicken, fish etc where sprayed food is consumed or water is contaminated with run off. This study shows that those who live near agricultural areas where pesticides are applied, are disproportionately affected, with a higher risk of autism. One can only infer that those who actually work with these substances, and are exposed to higher concentrations, will be affected even more. And how unfair that unborn children are the ones affected. “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge”. The support of non-pesticide (organic) farming, and encouragement to eat low on the food chain (plant based diet) should be seen as public health priorities and as a duty to the next generations.

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 March 2019
Miriam Maisel
GP
Dumfries and GALLOWAY Out of Hours Service
Www.dr-Maisel.co.il