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Organophosphates (i.e. malathion) & M.E./CFS



I've started this new thread to discuss what is known about organophosphates like malathion and their causal implication in M.E./CFS. The discussion started on the Under the Eight Ball movie - Conspiracy theory?

Hi Fresh Eyes,

Yes, I will gladly give you all the info I can. It's been such a big problem here and for some years I helped with the campaign to alert people to the dangers of OPs and its connection to ME. I assumed that you would all know about the findings of Professor Behan and Dr Jonathon Kerr in relation to melathione (and other nerve agents of the same group) and M.E. You sure you aren't pulling my leg........just a bit....huh? Can't believe you folks in the US don't know about it. I have tried to find info about this on the forums, but haven't so far. :confused:

I can't jot it all down now........too knackered and brain-dead, but when the remaining brain cell shows some sign of life .....hopefully tomorrow.....I'll get back to you. Nighty night for now. :)


Thanks for starting this thread, Kim. Can't wait to learn more. FYI I think it's "Malathion" (looked it up).

See...I know absolutely nothing about this topic - I just copied the M-word out of the other post. Thanks for looking that up.


Senior Member
Malathion and have you beaten your wife lately

I'm sorry that I've taken sooooo long to get back to you but have spent the time in a hospital out-patient's clinic. Have just been deposited at my door by two very nice ambulance men and thought I'd better make contact straight away as it is getting late for me. Now, where were we....ah! yes Professor Behan.The bottom line is that, according to Behan's research (my notes go back a few years) the illness caused by chronic low dose OP exposure (e.g. malathion) and M.E. is identical. In The Journal of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine 1996: 6: 341-350 he says that such exposure 'in some way prepared the patients for the later development of ME'. So, all you folk who enjoyed playing in the malathion spray as children....maybe that wasn't such a good idea.:eek:

Dr Jonathon Kerr of St George's (yeep, the Dr Kerr) gives support to Behan's conclusion. In the J. of Clinical Pathology 2007 he says that he has previously reported the finding of up-regulated neuropathy target esterase (NTE) in M.E. Apparently, NTE is the main target site for OPs. and he concludes that this family of chemicals may be the 'trigger' for ME.

Malathion, according to a Dr Wayne Sinclair M.D., weakens the immune system, knocking out natural killer cells and inhibiting T-lymphocytes. According to him (Florida, I think) this causes increased susceptability to viruses, cancer and premature aging of organs.

There was a flood of information about the dangers of OPs in the British press in the mid-90s. The Daily Telegraph reported on it week after week and especially linked it to ME. In an article titled, 'The Poison that is getting in our food', journalist Christopher Booker reports that Professor Behan and his team have been increasing struck by the number of ME victims they have studied who turn out to have been exposed to OPs. 'All suffer from severe impairment of their immune system.' Linking OPs with ME is listed as a top priority. 'Evidence,' said Brooker, 'is flooding in that the ramifications of the OP disaster may extend much further than previously imagined. It not only causes damage to those in agriculture, but (through the food supply and household chemicals) among ever-increasing numbers in the population at large.' He then continues by documenting how OPs are rife and states that this 'ticking time bomb' effect could explain the explosion in the numbers of ME sufferers in the last few years.

In a later article The Telegraph states....'As evidence continues to mount that we are threatened with one of our worst public health disasters for decades through widespread poisoning from organophosphorous pesticides......' (He continues by criticising the government departments for failing to sort out the problem.)

With so many farmers falling ill with ME symptoms after repeatedly dipping sheep in OPs (does anyone think how the poor sheep feels?) the Western Morning News reported that strong links had been found between the type of dangerous chemicals used in sheep dip and the 'mysterious condition known as Yuppie Flu' :mad: Behan, the paper says, has found evidence that farmers are at higher risk of developing severe forms of ME than any other population group. ME and organophosphate poisoning, it says, is the same complaint. Macauley, the reporter, quotes Behan as saying 'ALL HAVE SEVERE IMPAIRMENT OF THEIR IMMUNE SYSTEM. WE WERE ABLE TO SHOW THAT THEY WERE CHRONICALLY INFECTED WITH VIRUSES. THEY ALSO HAVE ABNORMAL NEURO-ENDOCRIN FUNCTION DENOTING DAMAGE TO THE HYPOTHALAMUS.....' EXPOSURE TO OPs IS NOW SHOWN TO BE A CAUSE OF LYMPHOMA.

All the above was written between 1993-1995. So what happened? Some very dirty tricks....serious ones. That is another story, which I'm too knackerered to relate at the moment and this is getting rather long...sorry folks.

Everyone (mainly farmers) were told to report to Guy's Hospital Poisons' Unit, who sent out a questionnaire. A number of farmers in my area contacted me and one sent me a copy of the questionnaire. It was disgraceful and it made it obvious that there was going to be a cover-up. Unfortunately, I no longer have a copy, but none of the questions were health-related as far as I can remember. It asked questions about the person's criminal past, tendency to violence, experience of abuse or of being the abuser (I think wife beating was mentioned!), mental illness.....that sort of thing.

Then the Royal Colleges met to discuss OP poisoning. Yes, you've guessed it...they rolled out the psychiatrists. OP poisoning was just another case of aberrant illness behaviour which would respond to CBT. :eek:

This is a huge topic......there is so much more if anyone is interested. And, of course, it is not just OPs but organochlorines as well. But ..enough for tonight. :)