Landmark study links pesticides to high depression rates

Landmark study links pesticides to high depression rates  


(NaturalNews) Globally, one person dies by suicide roughly every 40 seconds. Around the world, over one million

people commit suicide each year -- an increase of 60 percent over the last four and a half decades. Incredibly,

farmers have one of the highest rates of self-inflicted death.

Newsweek reports that suicide for farmers in the U.S. is about twice the average of the general population. However,

his isn't just a problem in America; it's an international crisis.

"India has had more than 270,000 farmer suicides since 1995. In France, a farmer dies by suicide every two days.

In China, farmers are killing themselves to protest the government's seizing of their land for urbanization. In Ireland,

the number of suicides jumped following an unusually wet winter in 2012 that resulted in trouble growing hay for

animal feed. In the U.K., the farmer suicide rate went up by 10 times during the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in

2001, when the government required farmers to slaughter their animals. And in Australia, the rate is at an all-time high

following two years of drought."

Although factors such as poor yield, financial stress, erratic weather and animal disease certainly contribute to a high

suicide rate in farmers, researchers are beginning to suspect another cause: exposure to pesticides.


20-year study establishes a connection between depression and conventional farming chemicals

Researchers at the National Institute of Health completed a historic study earlier this fall which confirmed that seven

 pesticides -- some of which are widely used -- contribute to clinical depression in farmers. Over the last two decades,

the team interviewed almost 84,000 farmers and their spouses. The findings were startling. Dr. Freya Kamel, lead

researcher for the study, said that two specific types of pesticide were responsible for the massive uptick in depression --

organochlorine insecticides and fumigants. Each increases the risk of depression by an astounding 90 and 80 percent,

respectively. One of the more common varieties is called malathion and is used by approximately 67 percent of the

farmers surveyed. It also just happens to be banned in Europe.



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