Future of Food Virus Fact Check

Goals

To gather the information that can prove or disprove the following statements: "There is a relationship between the introduction of pesticides like Roundup and the rise of pandemics" and "COVID-19 patients are not dying of pneumonia, but they’re instead dying of hypoxemia." The information will be used to show notes on a podcast.

Early Findings

Is there a relationship between the introduction of pesticides like Roundup and the rise of pandemics?
  • As per the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), "pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi and unwanted plants (weeds)." These chemicals are widely used to avoid the damage of crops and are potentially toxic to humans, which is why they need to be used safely.
  • Long-term exposure to pesticides has been associated with Parkinson’s disease, asthma, depression, anxiety, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and cancer.
  • A pandemic is originated when a bacterium or novel virus causes serious illness and spreads rapidly. Increased travel and mobility have increased the spread rate of new diseases.
  • As stated by Scientific American, the latest pandemics have been caused by "humanity’s seemingly insatiable desire to eat animals." For example, the 2009 H1N1 swine flu outbreak possibly originated in a pig confinement in North Carolina and the 1997 H5N1 bird flu outbreak originated in Chinese chicken farms.
  • Public health experts relate zoonotic diseases to the industrial farming of animals, which, according to them, create the "perfect storm" for infectious diseases and global pandemics.
  • As per information from the World Economic Forum, the shift to agrarian communities increased the spread of new diseases with human-animal interactions. Diseases like "malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, influenza, and smallpox" appeared during this early period.
  • According to Josh Bloom, from the American Council on Science and Health, the theory of Dr. Stephanie Seneff, which states that glyphosate (Roundup) and COVID-19 are connected, has no scientific basis. Bloom affirms that Seneff's theory is not backed up by any data and that her theory is based on speculations.
Through this initial research, we concluded that there is little to no information that can state, with data, that there is a relationship between the use of pesticides and the rise of pandemics. However, there is information that relates pandemics with animal-human contact. Hence, according to our information, the statement that pesticides and COVID-19 are correlated is false.

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