Strong scientific evidence shows that crop protection products do not cause endocrine-related diseases or conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity or reduced sperm count. In fact, the most consistent finding across the largest epidemiological studies on farmers and agricultural workers (including crop protection product applicators) is that this group is healthier than the general population. Overall, these groups have lower mortality rates and incidences of most cancer types.
Multiple factors may account for increases in endocrine-related diseases or conditions independent of endocrine active substances, such as lifestyle, diet, body weight and changes in diagnostic criteria. However, for most endocrine-related human diseases frequently discussed, causes are simply not known. Several possible risk factors include genetics, age and maternal age.
Guidance for determining cause and effect incorporates consideration of consistency of effects across independent studies, specificity of effects, strength of observations and biological plausibility. These principles should be applied in the evaluation of any potential linkage between exposure to a substance and resulting disease.
A holistic approach is needed for assessment of endocrine-related diseases, including input from interdisciplinary expertise (e.g., epidemiologists, toxicologists, endocrinologists and medical professionals) to research all possible and the most plausible risk factors.
For more information about Endocrine-Related Diseases and Crop Protection Products, click here.