A new peer-reviewed study has just been published on the possible link between the onset of Parkinson’s disease and the use of pesticides during one’s lifetime. Not surprisingly, the story has been picked up by the press globally and if you only have time to read the headlines then it’s a foregone conclusion that pesticides cause Parkinson’s disease. Here’s a few headlines to illustrate the point: ‘Pesticides linked to Parkinson’s’, ‘Pesticide Parkinson’s link strong’ and ‘New study confirms links between pesticide use and Parkinson’s’.

But actually if you read any of the articles and get to the end, you’ll probably read a quote from the author of the study, Dana Hancock, who concludes that “Many studies have supported pesticides as a risk factor for PD [Parkinson’s disease], but biological evidence is presently insufficient to conclude that pesticide exposure causes PD. Further investigation of these specific pesticides and others may lead to identification of pertinent biological pathways influencing PD development. In addition future genetic studies of Parkinson’s disease should consider the influence of pesticides, since exposure to pesticides may provide a trigger for the disease in genetically predisposed individuals.”

So headline says, confirmed link…. Ms Hancock says insufficient evidence to confirm pesticide caused Parkinson’s.

Anyway, don’t take my word for it. I recommend you start with this article written by Medical News Today as it gives a good summary and has links to press articles and some scientific background material.

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