Presentation on theme: "Natural or Man-made Chemicals? Adapted from a presentation by Penny Le Couteur, The Fraser Institute, Vancouver, Canada."— Presentation transcript:
Natural or Man-made Chemicals? Adapted from a presentation by Penny Le Couteur, The Fraser Institute, Vancouver, Canada
All substances are poisonous, there is none which is not a poison; the right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy. Paracelsus circa 1538
The great myth Natural is good; man-made is bad
It may be natural but youll be just as dead!
The seven most deadly chemical compounds LD 50 / mg/kg Botulinum toxin A3 x Tetanus toxin A5 x Diphtheria toxin3 x Dioxin *3 x Muscarine2 x Bufotoxin4 x Sarin *4 x LD 50 = The lethal dose of a compound for 50% of animals exposed * Synthetic
The best chemists can do
Viktor Yushchenko President of the Ukraine July 2004 December 2004
Muscarine - from mushrooms
Bufotoxin – from the common toad
The next ten …. (most deadly) * Synthetic LD 50 / mg/kg Strychine5 x Soman *6 x Tabun *6 x Tubocurarine chloride7 x Rotenone3 Isoflurophate *4 Parathion *4 Aflatoxin B110 Sodium cyanide *15 Solanine42
Vitamin C Ascorbic acid
Other variations of natural is good; man-made is bad Synthetic chemicals were not around as man evolved so we havent had time to become resistant to them as we have to naturally occurring compounds. Synthetic chemicals bioaccumulate in our bodies.
Chemicals in food: Advertisements from organic food stores We read the labels so you dont have to. We want you to concentrate on how good the food tastes and not worry about words that you cant pronounce
Chemicals in food: Advertisements from organic food stores We keep the chemicals out of your food
Chemicals in food: Advertisements from organic food stores We think your food tastes better without the flavour of preservatives
Chemicals used to preserve food Chemical Use Ascorbic acidAntioxidant/antimicrobial BHAAntioxidant Calcium propionateMold inhibitor EDTAAntioxidant Sodium benzoateMicrobial inhibitor BHT Antioxidant Sodium nitriteMicrobial inhibitor in meat Sorbic acidMold inhibitor in cheese BHA= butylated hydroxyanisole BHT = butylated hydroxytoluene EDTA = ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
Sodium nitrite Risk: Cancer from nitrosamines Benefit: Prevents botulism in meats NO HCl HNO 2 + Cl - HNO 2 + (CH 3 ) 2 NH (CH 3 ) 2 NNO + H 2 O
Natural toxins in food Chemical Food sourceHazard Allyl isothiocyanateBrown mustard, horseradish, garlic Tumours Benzo(α)pyreneBBQ/smoked meatsStomach cancers CyanidesBitter almonds, cashews, lima beans General toxicity NitrosoaminesCooked baconCancer EstragoleBasil, fennel, tarragon Tumours Glycyrrhizic acidLiquoriceHypertension/heart HydrazinesRaw mushroomsCancer
Dont worry, its organic Organic farming is a multi-dollar industry that relies on the publics perception that organic food is more healthy. There is little evidence to suggest that organic fruit and vegetables are any healthier than conventional produce. Some forms of organic farming may introduce natural toxins into consumers food. Chemistry World, June 2004
Science writer John Emsley quotes We come into this world with a wonderful built-in detoxifying system that protects us against thousands of natural toxins every day. Cancer (from synthetic chemicals) is a risk, but the risk may be so low as to be worth ignoring.