ScienceDaily reports Bruce N. Ames, Ph.D., said unfounded fears linking pesticides to cancer lead low-income areas to avoid fruits and vegetables, causing long-term health concerns.

Ames presented his “triage theory” at this year’s National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. He said children from low-income families who avoid fruits and vegetables treated with pesticides and can’t afford organic alternatives are at a higher risk for cancer and other diseases because of the lack of essential vitamins and minerals in their diet over the years.

The presentation by Ames showed almost all pesticides found in the human diet are naturally occurring in plants to protect them from insects. He said the risk for cancer shown in tests is not because of the pesticides, but due to the high dosage of pesticides.

Ames is a professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California at Berkeley, and a senior scientist at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute. He created the Ames test which uses bacteria to test a substance’s effect on material DNA and its potential to cause cancer. His test and research has received the U.S. National Medal of Science.

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Source: ScienceDaily