Hard to get dumber than this one.
The “researchers” asked 155 men at a fertility clinic how much fruit and vegetables they ate. Exposure to pesticides was then guesstimated based on USDA reports about pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables. The pesticide guesstimates were then compared with single sperm samples from each man.
Here are some of the major flaws of this study:
1. The men’s actual exposures to pesticides is unknown. Unverified, self-reported dietary data is always a dubious proposition. Compounding this problem with assumed intake of a variety of pesticides makes this exercise mind-blowingly ridiculous.
2. Sperm counts can very for a number of reasons, none of which can be ruled out based on unverified self-reported data. Moreover, this study is based on one sperm sample per man — hardly representative of even an individual’s sperm count.
3. There is no other credible biological, medical or real-world evidence indicating that typical/ambient chemical exposures (especially via diet) affect sperm count or, more importantly, fertility. Remember that the 20th century Baby Boom came amid an explosion of chemical exposures.
There is nothing here except the ensuing sensationalist headlines.