By Dr. Mercola
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, flowers are probably on most people’s minds. But did you know that the bouquet you’re giving your sweetheart may be loaded with pesticides?
Many people get headaches around flowers and simply assume they’re allergic. This might not necessarily be true, however. It could be that you’re having a reaction to the chemical residues on the flowers. Flower growers are actually among the heaviest users of agricultural chemicals, including pesticides that are suspected of being among the most toxic.
The reason for this is that a shipment of flowers can easily be turned back from whence it came should the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service happen to find so much as a single pest in the shipment.1 The department is not equipped to test imported flowers for pesticide residues, however.
This issue is not new; it just hasn’t gotten a lot of attention over the past decade. But testing conducted in the late 70s and again in the late 90s revealed this dark side of cut flowers. My personal recommendation—for all the reasons I’ll be discussing in this article—is to forgo cut flowers altogether and plant your own using organic, untreated seeds.
Are Your Flower Beds Promoting or Killing Bees?
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The reason for my recommendation to plant your own organic flowers is because the pesticide problem is not restricted to cut flowers—the majority of which, by the way, originate from South America, primarily Colombia (63 percent of US imports of flower stems), followed by Ecuador (23 percent).2