Eat more greens, produce more sperm
Sunday 30 June 1996
This lends support to the view that pesticides may be a leading cause of the alarming world-wide drop in sperm counts, which have fallen by half in 50 years.
The study, by a team under Niels Skakkebaek of Copenhagen University, who first drew attention to falling sperm counts, compared sperm from 55 members of the Danish Association of Organic Farmers, each of whom devoted at least a quarter of their diet to pesticide-free produce, with samples from 141 men working for an unnamed airline.
On average, the farmers produced 43 per cent more sperm per millilitre of semen than the airline workers. Professor Skakkebaek stresses that his results are not proof of the effects of pesticides; other factors may also have been involved, such as the fact that more of the farmers than the airline workers lived in the country. Other experts point out that farmers are also likely to eat less packaged food, thus taking in less phthalates, the suspect chemicals found in packaging and in baby milk.
Yesterday, Gwynne Lyons, scientific adviser to the World Wide Fund For Nature and a member of a Government group investigating fertility- impairing chemicals, hailed the new study as a "landmark". She said: "It seems that minimising pesticide exposure maximises sperm." Next month she will publish a study showing that well over 1,000 tonnes of hormone- disrupting pesticides are sprayed in Britain every year. It will call for the use of pesticides to be halved and for a fifth of British farmland to be run organically.
In the meantime, the Danish research suggests that mother was more right than she knew, when she said eating greens was good for you.
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
Syria's 'circle of hell': Aleppo residents describe children without heads, streets filled with blood and injuries never before witnessed by surgeons
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...