Pesticides, IQ, social climbing – A pesticide poverty trap


Two different studies by Berkelay and Columbia university confirm that children of women who assumed food with pesticides during their pregnancy, after 7 year from birth, perform worse in IQ tests than peer whose mothers ate free-pesticide food in the same period. The researchers controlled for eduction and environmental elements which could bias the results, too. Unfortunately, the paper is not downloadable freely (it would be interesting to analyse for some selection bias issues). As a development economist, I am concerned with poverty issues. That is, it is likely that poorer families are more exposed to pesticides than wealthier ones, pushing poorer children into a pesticide poverty trap which does not allow (at best, obstacles) them to social climbing. Especially, I am thinking to developing countries or BRICS, where need for growth could lead government to subside cropping technologies which spur agricultural productivity at the expense of health conditions.

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5 responses to “Pesticides, IQ, social climbing – A pesticide poverty trap

  1. Pingback: Pesticides, IQ, social climbing - A pesticide poverty trap | Γονείς σε Δράση

  2. which pesticides are those? don’t our mothers in the western world eat the same stuffs??

    • Organophosphates (OP). Of course our mothers eat that stuff, too (these studies are based in US, western world indeed). However, I think that even in the western world poorer people – who cannot afford organic food – eat or breath more of them. Moreover, I believe in emerging countries the issue could be even more compelling, being the standards on quality less severe. Then, we can have more food, more productivity, lower prices. Yet, how much is the net benefit in terms of improved health conditions and poverty alleviation, truly? I would like to see some study on that.
      Thank you Mattia!

  3. In poor countries (and even in not so poor) many women work in the crop season, been more exposed to pesticides.

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