BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Although previous research suggested that milk could increase the risk for this disease, a recent study has confirmed that contaminated milk is linked to Parkinson’s.
The milk in itself does not necessarily pose a threat, but in the 1980’s milk was contaminated with a pesticide called heptachlor. This pesticide was sprayed on pineapple cultures by farmers. What does pineapple have to do with milk? Not much, except that the farmers sometimes fed the scraps (from pineapples) to their cows. Obviously, the ingestion of the substance later affected the quality of the milk.
Furthermore, the substance can persist in both water and soil for many years, so even if the pesticide was banned, the contamination remained was found even in other parts of the world.
The study was made on the brains of 449 men who agreed to donate their brains after death. They were aged between 45 and 68 and the collected data referred to the milk intake. The postmortem studies took place from 1992 to 2004.
The pesticide was found in 9 brains out of ten from the people who drank milk, while only about 63 percent of the brains of non-drinkers (of milk) presented with the substance.
However, the results of the study might be inconclusive as the researchers were not able to test the milk that the men have consumed. Therefore, the length of the contamination’s spread in both time and space is not known.
But the pesticide was not used only on pineapple crops in the 1980s. It was also used beginning with the 1960s until 1988 for termite control. Although the use of heptachlor is still allowed as a means of controlling ants, the FDA limits its use for food crops to .01 parts per million.
Now, it is still unclear whether contaminated milk leads to Parkinson’s. However, we know that at least for a few decades, the milk products from the U.S. as well as from other parts of the world contained a pesticide called heptachlor which can have negative effects in large quantities.
It remains to look further into the problem until researchers will be able to know for sure if milk consumption increases the risk for Parkinson’s. In that case, people will know to avoid certain products in their diets.
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