Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Recent Trends in the Use of Chemicals in Farming and Food Processing

Srikant Prasad Yadav, Hashmat Ali


Intake of food and drinks in pure form are unavoidable for the survival of life. However, there is need of serious concern towards food safety which is contaminated by the increasing environmental pollution and other ways of adulteration round the globe. Indiscriminate use of various food additives in fast growing food processing industries has created new problems instead of safeguarding the edibles. The motive behind making undue profits in these industries has caused adulteration in food by the deliberate use of new chemical entities of inferior quality which contaminate the packed food and drinks heavily.


To make these food and drinkable items tasty and durable food companies use harmful preservatives and chemicals such as sodium nitrate, high fructose, low grade oils, maida instead of flour, artificial colours etc. which damage internal body parts causing various ominous diseases including cancer. Harmful colours frequently used to make sweets, crushed ice, sugar confectioneries etc. attractive are the sources of abdominal problems. Use of butter yellow to impart colour to cheaper colourless oil causes much harm to human health. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, an environmental pollutant affect several edible oils. Toxic metals are to be found in many processed foodstuffs. Pesticides residues are to be found in food grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and edible oils due to their improper use. Similarly, mycotoxins severely affect various plant foods. In the context of above, there is thus a serious and sincere need to restrict the use of improper chemicals in the name of processing and preservation of foods and drinks as well as to restricts the use of insecticides and pesticides indiscriminately in agricultural processes, and to move to organic farming


Chemicals, Farming, Food Processing, environmental pollution, pesticides, organic farming, Vertical Farming

Full Text:



Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture. Annual report,2010-2011.New Delhi: Government of India; March 2011.

Roy BC, Chattopadhyay GN. Greenpeace India. Subsidising Food Crisis. Available from: http://www.greenpeaceindia, accessed on January 20,2020

Food and agricultural division, United Nations. Fertilizer use by crop in India. Rome: FAO; 2005

Corporate catalyst India. Surveys and reports. Chemical and petrochemical industry; 2011[cited on Jan 2020]. Available from:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pesticides health and safety. Human health issues. Available from:, accessed on January 21, 2020

World Health Organization. Public health impact of pesticides used in agriculture. Geneva; 1990

World Health Organization. The World health report 2003 - shaping the future. Geneva; 2003

Goldman L, Tran N. Toxics and poverty: the impact of toxic substances on the poor in developing countries. Washington DC: World Bank; 2002.

FAO/UNEP/WHO. Childhood pesticide poisoning: information for advocacy and action. Geneva: United Nations Environment Program; 2004

Sanborn M, Kerr KJ, Sanin LH, Cole DC, Bassil KL, Vakil C. Non-cancer health effects of pesticides: systematic review and implications for family doctors. Can Fam Physician 2007; 53 (10):1712–20. Cited in PubMed;PMID:17934035

Jurewicz J, Hanke W. Prenatal and childhood exposure to pesticides and neurobehavioral development: review of epidemiological studies. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2008; 21 (2): 121–32. Cited in PubMed; PMID:18614459

United Nations Development Program. Human development report consumption for human development. New York: Oxford University Press; 1998.

Yáñez L. Overview of human health and chemical mixtures: problems facing developing countries. Environmental Health Perspectives 2002; 110 (6): 901-9. Cited in PubMed; PMID:12634117

Central Ground Water Board, Ministry of Water Resources. Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India. New Delhi: Government of India; 2006

Francisco SB, Baskaran S, Kennedy RI. Ecological relative risk (EcoRR): another approach for risk assessment of pesticides in agriculture. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 2002; 91(1-3):37-57

Singh SK, Raha P, Banerjee H. Banned Organochlorine Cyclodiene Pesticide in Ground Water in Varanasi, India. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol 2002; 76: 935-41.Cited in PubMed; PMID:16855898

US Geological Survey. Water Science for Schools. Pesticides in Groundwater. [Internet] 2020 [updated 2020 Mar 9; cited 2020 Apr 28]. Available from: /pesticidesgw.html

Kellogg RL, Nehring R, Gru be A, Goss DW, and Plotkin S. Environmental indicators of pesticide leaching and runoff from farm fields. Washington: United States Department of Agricultur e; 2000.

Thomas JB. Pesticides and Groundwater. Pesticides as potential pollutants. Doug Peterson, editor. Land and Water; 1988

Health and Environment Linkage Initiative, WHO. Toxic hazards.[Internet] 2020 [cited on 2020 April 26]. Available from:

Antonella Fait, Bent Iverson, Manuela Tiramani, Sara Vaisantin, Macro Marconi. Preventing health risk from the use of pesticides in agriculture. Protecting workers health series. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2001 (2020). Vertical Farm Systems | growing for the future. Available at: [Accessed 10 April. 2020].

Gosling P, Hodge A, Goodlass G, et al. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and organic farming. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment. 2006;113(1-4): 17-35.

Stockdale EA, Lampkin NH, Hovi M, et al. Agronomic and environmental implications of organic farming systems. Adv Agron. 2001;70:261–327.

Biao X, Wang X, Ding Z, et al. Critical impact assessment of organic agriculture. J Agric Environ Ethics. 2003;16(3):297–311.

Gosling P, Shepherd M. Long-term changes in soil fertility in organic arable farming systems in England, with particular reference to phosphorus and potassium. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment. 2005;105(1-2):425–432.


  • There are currently no refbacks.