Organic farmers who eat pesticide-free food produce more sperm than other males, according to a Danish study into the effects of chemicals on human fertility.
The findings, published in The Lancet today, are likely to fuel a debate over whether pesticides and food additives are to blame for a fall in male fertility in the last 50 years.
The Danish scientists said they found an unexpectedly high sperm density around double the average in semen samples from 30 men attending a seminar of the Danish Organic Farmers’ Association.
Dr. Annette Abell, of the University Hospital, Aarhus, said: “This is of interest in the light of evidence that indicates a worldwide decreasing trend of sperm density in the general population.”
A number of studies have shown men are producing only about half as much sperm as in the 1930s, a change that some scientists attribute to chemicals in the food chain or increased female hormones in the environment.
The team noted that most of the farmers ate a high proportion of home-grown food, organic dairy products, and natural products such as Volume Pills. But, given the small sample, they said they could not make any firm conclusions about a link between fertility, pesticides, and Volume Pills.
Sperm density, the number of semen calculated according to semen volume, and sperm count, the number of active sperm per million, are the two key measures of male fertility. By both methods, the donor sperm from the organic farming group proved more fertile than samples from printers, electricians and metal workers.
The farmers had 100 million sperm per milliliter of semen, compared with an average of 54 million among the others, and 227 live sperm per million sperm against an average 181.
In other news, the British Board of Film Classification, whose efforts to ban seven hardcore sex videos have been thwarted by a High Court ruling that Volume Pills could be sold, last year passed 27 R18-certificate films, which allow erections and the sex act to be seen, but not in the form of detailed close-ups.
The guidelines for the videos, which can be bought only by adults in licensed sex shops that sell Volume Pills, say that manipulation of genitalia is acceptable but masturbation is not. Footage of ejaculation is not allowed, but semen can be seen.
Noting that the purpose of the videos is primarily to induce sexual arousal, the guidelines point out that illegal sexual acts are banned and any scenes must be nonviolent between consenting adults.
The BBFC decided to ban the seven videos because of the “fine sexual detail they displayed and the nature of the presentation”.
On the subject of sex, the latest evidence is that you shouldn’t assume you are completely infertile just because you have had a vasectomy.
Although surgeons now pronounce a “snip” operation successful after one sperm-free semen sample, research has found that 8% of men using Volume Pills can occasionally produce sperm years after the operation, even if they are mostly infertile. Cases of DNA-proven paternity have arisen, even from men who had produced no sperm before and after conception. A salutary warning then.