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Fungicide worries ...

DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,457
edited July 2019 in The potting shed
I am am seriously concerned about the use of fungicides ... I was reading an article (or was I listening to it on the radio?) the other day which stated that fungal conditions are becoming resistant to fungicides in the way that bacteria are developing/have developed resistance to antibiotics.

The article said that this means that fungal conditions which were previously merely a nuisance are causing huge health problems with serious possible outcomes. There was mention of fungal conditions establishing themselves within a body and growing into a mass.   Does this mean that the day may come when we could die from incurable thrush or athlete’s foot?!?!

Fungicides have been used a great deal in agriculture and horticulture, as antibiotics were in farming ...  I don't use them, but I know some others do ... I think we may be laying up a store of trouble for the human race if we continue to use them at the current rate.

Does anyone else know anything or has anyone heard/read anything about this?
“I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh



  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 12,208
    Fungal infections have always been a major problem in people who are already ill for other reasons and have always been difficult to treat.
    I was not aware of what you read, but it is really no surprise, the more you use the limited available treatments, the more likely resistance is to develop.
    At present there is very little incentive for drug companies to research new anti-fungals, as there is very little money to be made out of them.
    I can easily see a day when we could die of thrush.
    Consequences, altered cases
    Broken noses, altered faces
    My ego altered, altered egos
    Wherever I go, so does me go
  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 3,945
    No, it doesn't surprise me at all. 
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,208
    Me either.   Haven't knowngly used a fungicide since a bout of athlete's foot in my 20s.  Never used one in the garden.  Not even Roseclear back in the day.

    I tend to think if a plant gets a problem it's because I've cultivated it wrongly - position, soil, watering - and try and fix the cause, not the symptoms.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,629
    I've never used fungicides in the garden either, Obelixx, though I do treat athlete's foot...  It's often possible to choose plant varieties less susceptible to fungal attack, like blight-resistant spuds or recently bred roses, resistant to black spot.  And sometimes you just have to accept that weather conditions have conspired against you, and the peas have succumbed to mildew...

    I agree, Dove.  Unthinking use of fungicides - often recommended for use as a preventive, sprayed on plants whether or not they have a fungal attack - must be laying up trouble ahead.  
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,631
    I've been banging on about all the stuff in the spray bottles for years. Most people still regard me as a crank but some have seen the light.
    I have a friend with a short while to live. she has a fungal infection of the lungs. Acquired when on a prescribed treatment for something else which lowered her immunity. No further treatment for her
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,457
    Oh @nutcutlet ... I’m so sorry. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,199
    I don't use fungicides in the garden but have used them for athlete's foot and ringwork.

    I think it's highly unlikely that there is any connection between fungus and fungicides on plants and those that affect animals though.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287

    I also would like to fix the problem with good cultural behaviour, husbandry?
    I have cut things back and lost the flowers for the year sometimes.

    But if I can catch something early and spray using the best practice I can I won't be feeling guilty, or made to feel that way.
    If I have spent good money on plants, and make mistakes while they are getting established, I won't be letting them go in an untimely manner.
    If they do succumb after a couple of seasons to get  established  I realize it is not going to work I try different plants.

    If we lose out on this planet although sadly taking some things with us on the way. It will be a better place without the human race, or at least a much reduced one.
    Nature will find a way to bounce back without us.

    I hope that research will eventually find some good fungi to fight the bad or that I find a better "product" to help when I would like to keep something well.
    We are already bombarded with mycorrhizal stuff to plant with. Not sure if it is a real benefit or just using good old compost and leafmould is as good.

    I hope you can remember where you heard it Dove or find the article.

    I am just off out to pick a couple of black spot leaves off a rose before it gets bad.
    The clematis I sprayed with fungicide earlier in the season seems to have fought off the beginnings of mildew. Hopefully next year with a bigger stronger root system to take up water it will do better.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,020
    Very sad to hear that, Nut.

    When my Mum was first diagnosed with cancer about 20 years ago now, some things her oncologist told her she passed on to me which have made me think very hard about casual use of all sorts of manufactured products - sprays, pills, foods. I stopped buying anything with hydrogenated fats immediately, because that was his strongest recommendation. At the time there was no evidence of a link (the science has moved on a bit since) but he was going by what he had observed in his job. 

    From asthma to cancer to MRSA, food allergies and BSE - there's an impirical but unproven link between the rapid increase in these conditions and the widespread, indiscriminate use of some chemicals in our environment knocking natural balances out of whack. I hear everything everyone says about glyphosate not being proven to be harmful, but I stick to 'absence of proof is not proof of absence' and I don't want to be a guinea pig for Monsanto or Unilever or Glaxo any of these other mega-corps who will continue to sell the stuff unless and until there's 50 years of scientific evidence to prove it's unsafe. As they did with margarine, and are still doing with corn syrup and refined sugar.

    So there may be a link between sugary drinks and cancer? The evidence of people I know personally is that there is a clear link between artificial sweeteners, obesity and depression. No one's done a study, so there is no proof. But I don't have a wide circle of friends and still I know 4 women with clinical depression and an addiction to sugar free coke. Maybe it's coincidence. I'll wait for the proof of absence and stick to water.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,457
    edited July 2019
    ...... I think it's highly unlikely that there is any connection between fungus and fungicides on plants and those that affect animals though.
    Not so I’m afraid 😢 

    Aspergillus is a common family of fungi that grow on decomposing plant material ... they are also responsible for a common ear infection ... which can spread to the brain if untreated.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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