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Should mothers-to-be really avoid fruit & veg?

Pregnancy
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Pregnant women should avoid eating fruit and vegetables as the pesticides on them could harm their baby’s brain. PICTURE: Supplied

Pregnant women should avoid eating fruit and vegetables as the pesticides on them could harm their baby’s brain.

Controversial advice from Professor Philippe Grandjean says that the health benefits of getting your five-a-day are partially cancelled out by chemicals which can damage the developing foetus.


And the US expert, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, even suggests drinking bottled water wherever possible because tap water contains contaminants such as arsenic, fluoride, and perchlorate, which some say harm brain development.

The NHS already advises women to wash fruit, vegetables and salads to remove traces of soil, which may contain toxoplasma, a parasite which can cause toxoplasmosis and harm an unborn baby. But the latest advice, which comes in a report into children’s brains produced by the charity CHEM Trust, goes even further.

Called No Brainer: The Impact of Chemicals on Children’s Brain Development, the research says poisoning cases show at least 200 chemicals can enter the human brain and cause damage to the nerve cells, with children likely to be more vulnerable.


And because, the scientist claims, pesticide usage in the UK is restricted, unwashed fruit and vegetables and produce imported from abroad is particularly risky. Professor Grandjean’s solution is to peel fruit and only eat organic produce. He added: ‘You should definitely include fruits and vegetables in your diet, and that is especially important for pregnant women.

The trouble is, while the nutrients are crucial for the foetus, the pesticides can damage the development of the foetal brain.

© Daily Mail
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