Tag Archives: pesticides
The public water supply doesn’t just provide us with the water we drink. We use this water to take a shower, to water our plants, and to wash our pets. Water is essential, but the majority of our water supply is full of nasty compounds that are slowly destroying our health, whether we realize it or not. Without the proper filtration system in place, you are being exposed to a large supply of chemical toxins, including pesticides, pharmaceutical medications, and even animal excrement.
5 Nasty Things in Your Water
This post is not just meant to gross you out, it’s meant to inspire positive action in your own home. By reading the following facts about the water you’re drinking and showering in, you’ll be shocked and hopefully lulled into switching to a cleaner source of water. Here are some of the facts you need to know about the water you are exposed to every day.
1. Pesticides Are Invading Our Water
Pesticide and fertilizer runoff is a serious concern in many states, especially recently for the Midwestern states.  Pesticides infiltrate every aspect of our life already; our food, clothes, and indoor environments are sprayed with the chemicals. Even if you are consuming an organic diet, not having the proper precautions in place for your drinking water can still, unfortunately, expose you to the toxins you are attempting to avoid.
2. Medications Find Their Way into Drinking Water
Studies have been consistently showing that our water supply is being contaminated with pharmaceutical medications.  Antibiotics and antidepressants are commonly found in trace amounts in drinking water these days, possibly contributing to a host of issues. Having antibiotics in your system for a prolonged period, for example, can increase the risk of becoming resistant to antibiotics, potentially compromising your future health in the rare case of illness. Antidepressants, when consumed through the drinking water in small amounts over a long period of time, may also have unseen interactions with proper brain chemistry.
3. Phthalate Water, Anyone?
Phthalates are common chemicals found in plastics, typically used to improve flexibility. They are easily released into the environment, and some research suggests they may be carcinogenic.  Other research is showing that phthalates may negatively affect thyroid health which, in turn, affects hormones, weight, and mood. 
4. Animal Poop is Hiding in Your Water
You probably don’t want to hear this, but it’s best to know now: animal poop may be lurking somewhere in your water. Of course, it’s just trace amounts; however, isn’t any amount considered unacceptable? A recent study reported that pig excrement and bacteria were found in North Carolina drinking water, so if you live near here, you probably want to contact your local officials to get more information about the water you and your family are drinking. 
5. Arsenic Pollutes California Water
A new report shows that California’s public drinking water violated safety requirements more than 1,000 times for the fiscal year of 2012-2013, citing high levels of nitrates and arsenic.  Arsenic can cause skin issues and increase cancer risk, so any level of this contaminant in drinking water is totally unacceptable.
Actions You Can Take
Investing in a high-quality water filter is the best way to keep your water clean and free of contaminants. Distilled water is also a great water source that has been purified and can be a great addition if you haven’t yet transitioned to an at-home water filter. Even filtering the water you bathe in can be helpful for decreasing the chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis. Be sure to continue eating a healthy diet that is rich in antioxidants because these compounds will help protect your body from toxins already present in your environment.
- Maya Rao. A closely watched fight brewing over nitrates in Iowa water. StarTribune.
- Ben Sutherly. Unused meds go down the drain, worrying environmentalists. The Columbus Dispatch.
- Lopez-Carrillo L, Hernandez-Ramirez RU, Calafat AM, et al. Exposure to phthalates and breast cancer risk in northern Mexico. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Apr;118(4):539-44. doi: 10.1289/ehp.0901091.
- Li, N, D Wang, Y Zhou, M Ma, J li and Z Wang. Phthalates in drinking water affect thyroid hormone, finds lab study. Environmental Science and Technology. doi: 10.1021/es101254c.
- Brian Bienkowski. Pig poop fouling North Carolina streams; state permitting questioned. Environmental Health News.
- Sharon Bernstein. Arsenic, nitrates among pollutants in California drinking water: report. Reuters.
Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.
For decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has known that Dow’s chlorpyrifos pesticide, marketed under names like Dursban and Lorsban, is dangerous to children and farmworkers. And yet, the EPA has allowed the continued use of this dangerous pesticide on golf courses, on parks and on farms—where it drifts onto food. In her recent article, “Pesticides, Birth Defects and Brain Damage in Children,” Dr. Janette Sherman, MD, says that chlorpyrifos “is a serious risk to health and intellect for people working and living in proximity to fields.” Sherman also said that detectable levels of chlorpyrifos in New York City children raises the question of exposure via food. According to Sherman:
Although the neurotoxicity of pesticides has been known for decades, recently, several national magazines, have named the pesticide, chlorpyrifos (Dursban/ Lorsban), as an agent causing loss of intelligence, as well as birth defects and structural brain damage.
Known to damage children’s brains, Dow’s chlorpyrifos is now up for review by the EPA. Will the EPA finally ban Dow’s chlorpyrifos? Or will the agency continue to allow Big Ag to poison our children? Tell the EPA: Stop Letting Dow Chemical Poison our Children with Chlorpyrifos!
Although they are extremely toxic, organophosphate pesticides remain some of the most commonly used insecticides today. A variety of fruits and vegetables are regularly treated with organophosphates, including green beans, apples, grapes, and peaches.
The Dangers of Organophosphate Pesticides
This highly toxic type of pesticide has been linked to numerous health problems, including reduced testosterone, leukemia, and Parkinson’s disease. Organophosphate pesticide exposure may also be associated with attention and developmental disorders in young children.
According to a recent study, adults may greatly reduce their exposure to organophosphates by eating organic produce.  The study found that people who eat organic, even occasionally, tend to have significantly lower levels of pesticides in their system.
To conduct the study, scientists gathered data on the dietary habits of more than 4,000 people living in different cities in the US. They collected information on the frequency with which participants reported eating organic foods, as well as the different types and amounts of produce eaten. To calculate pesticide exposure, scientists compared typical consumption of certain produce items with their average pesticide residue levels.
After collecting this data, they compared the calculated pesticide exposure to levels of pesticides found in the urine of participants. Participants who occasionally ate organic produce had significantly lower levels in their urine, while people who frequently or always ate organic typically had around 65 percent lower levels than participants who seldom or never ate organic.
The study only reconfirms existing theories about the benefits of eating organic fruits and vegetables to reduce pesticide exposure. This is particularly important for fruits and vegetables that typically are treated with more pesticides. Produce such as apples, strawberries, celery, grapes, and bell peppers tend to contain a lot of pesticides, while avocados, pineapples, and sweet corn are generally lower in pesticides.
How to Avoid Pesticides
Buying organic foods can be pricey, making it difficult for those on a smaller budget; however, going organic can be more affordable if you shop at local farmers markets, join a Community Supported Agriculture program, and purchase produce in season. While you can limit the amount of pesticides you are consuming through your diet, there are some pesticides that linger in the air. In this case, you may want to try methods for supporting your lungs.
- Lindsey Konkel. Eating Organic Produce Can Limit Pesticide Exposure. Live Science.
Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.
By: Garrick |Juicing with G –
In this day and age, our environment is bombarded with pesticides from insect killers in our homes to pest killers that farmers use to ward off insects that could potentially devastate their crops. On a worldwide level over 5.6 billion pounds of pesticide is used per year and in the United States alone over 1 billion pounds of these pesticides is used by different industries – yes that includes farms that grow the vegetables and fruits we eat daily.
Pesticide has been linked in numerous studies to various types of ailments like infertility and cancer. And in children the danger is higher because their bodies don’t have fully developed immune systems just yet. Children exposed to pesticide are at risk of brain cancer, ASD, AD/HD and Endocrine disruption.
The dangers are real and we need to do our best to minimize pesticide exposure. One of the best ways to do that is using the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to know which fruits and vegetables have the most and least amount of pesticide residue.
This is the infographic version that will show you the dirty dozen in an easy to understand format to help you shop smarter. When I say shop smart, that means not buying everything organic because that would be very expensive, shopping smart means that you’ll only buy organic for those items listed in the dirty dozen. For the rest, go for conventionally grown produce.
When you scroll down the infographic, you will find a bonus, 5 places where you can buy organic produce at cheaper price (compared to buying it in a grocery). Make sure to check that out.
Garrick is the founder of Juicing with G where he regularly shares recipes, health tips and product reviews that will help people navigate the world of juicing without making the same mistakes he did. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Truth seekers who long ago figured out that mainstream media is all lies and staged news coordinated by central intelligence (CIA) to manipulate the opinion of the masses, know that living a life free of mainstream media news is extremely fulfilling if not downright fun. Many of us are used to the idea that no mainstream media in our lives means a better life. But how many of us have considered the details of why this is true? The benefits of living in a life where you do not believe mainstream media news are profound. Positive factors carry deep into our lives in ways many of us don’t realize or have ever taken time to consider. Many of us have taken these benefits, which all lead back to health, for granted for so long that we don’t even know they are there.
So let’s consider some of these benefits in no particular order:
1- More in touch with yourself
When you disconnect yourself from the 24/7 lies that mainstream media has become, especially since the legalization of propaganda which was implemented in the United States by an amendment to the 2012 NDAA, you will notice you will became a bit more aware of yourself than you were before. By virtue of not having a pundit on a TV screen representing the same tiny group of super giant mainstream media corporations telling you what you are supposed to believe, you will automatically start thinking more on your own and thus increase you own self awareness.
When the human brain is not told what to do, it will automatically think independently. In other words, for the average person not pathologically infected with mainstream media mind-control poison every day, this means returning your brain back to normal. Remember, humans were never meant to sit in front of a cathode ray tube flickering at their brains at high rate while a voice tells you every single day what it is you are supposed to think.
This ‘return to normal’ should not be underestimated. “Normal” is a big deal and it is normal to be in touch with your own thoughts, intuition and interpersonal analysis of the world around you without a weird electronic, bright, flickering machine telling you what to think.
The health benefits of being more in touch with yourself are clear to see. People who are more in touch with themselves are in touch with their feelings and emotions and thus able to function more effectively as humans. Interacting more effectively with others and being more honest with your own thoughts, feelings and emotions then leads to greater relationship and an overall richer more fulfilling life.
2- Increased self-confidence
By shutting off mainstream media you will get back many things. One of those factors is self-confidence. You may be thinking, how can this be? Actually, when you consider how mainstream media political news drains your emotions with engineered fear then you may begin to see how cutting it off may increase self-confidence.
Every single day mainstream media believers are subjected to political psyops, scaremongering, staged shootings, scary police stories or staged terror. All of it presented as reality to those who actually believe mainstream media news. Thus, without realizing it, their sense of self-reliability, the sense of trust in their own ability to protect themselves and thus their sense of self-confidence slowly goes out the window. Not to mention all the stories mainstream media presents showing their brainwashed audience arrest stories, debt collection, new laws about government fines etc. From beginning to end, the mainstream media news is designed to strip you of your sense of self-reliability and self-confidence so that you will put your confidence in government and police.
3- Save vast amount of mental energy
Mainstream media lies come at their victims on a daily bases, 24/7. With psyops and government lies being scripted every day now, it doesn’t take a mathematician to calculate that this is a lot of information. Information is now being processed every day by central intelligence, all of it designed to control what you think. Most truth seekers don’t realize that disinformation, mass mind control, propaganda and mass cognitive infiltration is a full time process.
As I’ve mentioned before, humanity as a whole understands the concept of being lied to. However, humanity is not really designed to cognitively wrap its head around the concept of being lied to 24/7. When we think of someone lying to us, we think of lying as a singular event. Generally, we wouldn’t keep someone around in our lives that knowingly lied about everything every single day. The species dislikes or is intolerant of the concept of being lied to knowingly. For this reason many people simply choose to not believe that mainstream media and thus government would lie to us every single day (cognitive dissonance). They would rather just deny this is happening to keep things (mentally) easier and more stable. So if things are mentally easier believing mainstream media, then how can we save mental energy by not believing mainstream media news?
Although brainwashed mainstream media watchers seek to make things easier by ignoring the reality outside of mainstream media news, I believe this only backfires on them. You can try to deliberately forget or ignore mainstream media news thinking you’ll deal with this news later if you have time, but the reality is that you are filing and circulating these stories somewhere in your head. How do I know this? The stories put out by media which are scripted by CIA are actually intended to appeal to your lower brain functions of fear, helplessness and despair. This unforgettable sense of helplessness, fear and despair only builds up deep in your mind as you worry about the next story and the next, and the next. All of this requires mental energy to process. The problem is that you will be burning mental energy on things that are not even true thus blocking the energy that you could put into something else (like doing real research and verifying their claims).
Doing your own research on a topic, while it also uses up mental energy, is energy well spent because it has direction and purpose. Blindly believing mainstream media news on the other hand, leaves one with directionless, wasteful scaremongering energy being thrown around in your head. All of this deleterious to your mental health. Consolidating this thought process for other (purposeful, non-propaganda) issues is inevitably good for your brain and your mental well being. Remember, you are what you fill your brain with. No one would go to see the same magician do the same tricks every day of their life. After a while it would be considered a waste of time and (mental) energy. It’s the same with mainstream media news.
Freeing up this mental activity for more purposeful ones will of course contribute to your quality of life, mental health, good sleep, and thought process such as memory and creativity.
4- Decreased stress levels
Without saying it, it is obvious that if all mainstream media does is pump out one psyop scaremongering story after another, then not believing mainstream media would (as with overall mental energy discussed above) instantly relieve you of this stress. Yes, it is also stressful to realize how much mainstream media lies every day. However, as truth seekers we have a different paradigm we live by. One by which we don’t look to government and police to solve our problems. Instead we realize government and police is the problem. As truth seekers we tend to channel the stress of seeing mainstream media-government lies pile on and on, and we tend to be on the lookout for new solutions. As truth seeking non-mainstream media believers we tend to see through the scaremongering story (less stressful) and use healthy stress to create solutions which begin by simply exposing mainstream media news. As all truth seekers know, exposing mainstream media lies and sharing articles, videos and links, comes with a feeling of deep accomplishment and gratitude which mainstream media believers are not even capable of understanding.
At the very least stress is channeled from one of helplessness (e.g. ISIS is coming, be afraid) to one of hope (e.g. ISIS is a psyop, let’s keep exposing it and wake everyone up thus ultimately exposing and ending the ISIS operation). The stress surrounding a sense of hopelessness where one thinks their only sense of safety depends on government and police, is not natural and is not a stressful state of mind that humans were designed to live under. Thus freeing oneself from mainstream media news instantly relieves this engineered perception that leaves the average person fearful and hopeless. The fear and hopelessness directly leads to stress. Stress has been directly linked to many diseases including cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, premature death and other diseases.
5- Improved relationships
With the benefits of being more in touch with yourself, increased confidence, conservation of important mental energy and lowered stress levels in your life, it is no surprise that dropping mainstream media (mental junk food) news from your life and your mind can and will naturally improve all your relationships. Those around you will naturally notice that you are thinking clearer, are more aware, and have a more focused interest in things that are important and awareness of what they are saying.
I believe the human mind is purified and given a full tune-up when you remove CIA lies from it. The magnitude of what this effect can have on the human brain is highly underestimated. As someone that dropped mainstream media news years ago, I can honestly say I’ve become a much more genuine person unaffected by day to day propaganda. People will notice a more steadiness to your personality and that reflects on your character and trustworthiness. Consistency in life is important and when your paradigm is consistent and not subject to spontaneous day to day government psyops, that will reflect in your personal relationships.
Some may be thinking, what? My relationship got worse since I became a truth seeker. If so, that’s because those around you are still asleep in the matrix. Many of us have family and friends who are not ready to wake up to the truth and yes, that can be a relationship killer. However, truth really does bring people together. The reason those around are against you now that you seek truth is because you ruin their paradigms with the words you speak.
For those who have people around them that are free of mainstream media news, you know the relationship benefits firsthand. Ultimately, all of us will surround ourselves with those who connect with us and understand our paths. For those who have been awakened for long and exercise wisdom, you know how much better your relationships can be even in scenarios where those around you are still asleep. So if you are still struggling with this, give it time.
For everyone else, for those looking to date, you probably know that common fundamental beliefs in a relationship will make or break your relationship. Find that partner that understands the basics of our current information war and you’ll find a very fulfilling relationship. One that is far more meaningful than any relationship in mainstream media believing world where government literally controls the emotions of tomorrow which can and will impact your relationship.
6- Cognitive protection against next psyop
Finally, isn’t it a nice feeling knowing that tomorrow’s psyop will not effect you the way it will effect everyone else? Personally, I love the sense of power this foreknowledge gives me. It’s a gift most of us ignore. Yes, knowledge is a gift and with this power of knowledge comes wisdom. In the world we live in today, virtues like knowledge and wisdom are reduced to non-existent. CIA doesn’t want you to obtain knowledge and they certainly don’t want you to understand what true wisdom is. Nevertheless these virtues are very real and very powerful gifts that we should all share because they are some of the key factors that give us the assurance and mental protection we need for tomorrow.
Because of the knowledge we share we can reach that point where we hear about the next terror attack or shooting and know almost as the news transpires that it’s likely another false flag. If you are still worried about being called a “conspiracy theorist” then you may still be under their spell. Yes, absolutely it is still a good idea to let stories evolve and wait for the facts before making a judgment. But those that are completely awakened know the patterns, the oddities and the signs of these false flags. Sometimes its not absolutely necessary to know exactly what happened. We know that either way the control system will spin a story within seconds to their benefit. We also know that for the most part, only stories that they’ve “approved” make it to the headlines to begin with. These factors all contribute to the protective effect we get from not believing mainstream media news. This protective effect comes with a sense of calmness in the middle of panic, level-headedness in the process of “breaking news”, and a sense of even-keel in the 24/7 media staged circus. All of this is extremely beneficial to your mental heath.
If you get nothing else out of this article, try to understand and appreciate the power and the wonder of being truly free from CIA mainstream media scripted and focused lies designed as mind control to keep the controllers in power. Step back and see this greater picture and you’ll understand more clearly and appreciate the overall message in this article.
Living in a state of freedom from mass mind control is very much a big deal. As I’ve written in the past, the power of watching false flags in real time is a rush only humble and honest truth seekers can understand. This should serve as a reminder that life is a big game with many big ideas and many big concepts all in motion at once all around us. This singular concept of 24/7 government controlled information being fed to the masses, in my opinion, is the key to unlocking all of humanities answers, solutions, and problems. That’s right, all of them. I honestly believe getting humanity focused on the information war is the answer to all of our problems. Together we can and will out-think any and all government agencies and find ways to out-think and dismantle all of their psychological operations orchestrated against humanity. Just knowing that this possibility exists should be enough to induce all of these reassuring health benefits in all of our personal lives. Can you acknowledge and recognize these health benefits in your life?
Bernie Suarez is an activist, critical thinker, radio host, musician, M.D, Veteran, lover of freedom and the Constitution, and creator of the Truth and Art TV project. He also has a background in psychology and highly recommends that everyone watch a documentary titled The Century of the Self. Bernie has concluded that the way to defeat the New World Order is to truly be the change that you want to see. Manifesting the solution and putting truth into action is the very thing that will defeat the globalists.
Disturbing new research published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology indicates that genetically modified (GM) crops with “stacked traits” – that is, with multiple traits such as glyphosate-herbicide resistance and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins engineered together into the same plant, are likely to be far more dangerous to human health than previously believed, and all of this is due to their synergistic toxicity.
The natural resistance that most plants have to the chemical glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, has been engineered into many GM plants, so that fields can be sprayed indiscriminately with herbicide without the plants having to worry about destroying the crops. While the GM glyphosate-resistant plants survive, they subsequently contain residues of glyphosate and its various metabolites (e.g. aminomethylphosphonic acid) that present a significant health threat to the public.
In this latest study the glyphosate-containing herbicide Roundup was tested on human embryonic kidney cells at concentrations between 1 to 20,000 parts per million (ppm). It was found that concentrations as low as 50 ppm per million, which the authors noted were “far below agricultural dilutions,” induced cell death, with the 50% of the cells dying at 57.5 ppm.
The researchers also found that the insecticidal toxin produced by GM plants known as Cry1Ab was capable of causing cell death at 100 ppm concentrations.
Taken together the authors concluded
“In these results, we argue that modified Bt toxins are not inert on nontarget human cells, and that they can present combined side-effects with other residues of pesticides specific to GM plants.”
These disturbing findings follow on the heels of other recent revelations that have discovered that Roundup is toxic by several orders of magnitude more than previously believed. Only 5 days ago (Feb. 14, 2012) the journal Archives of Toxicology reported that Roundup is toxic to human DNA even when diluted to concentrations 450-fold lower than used in agricultural applications. This effect is likely due to the presence of the surfactant polyoxyethyleneamine within the Roundup formulation which may dramatically enhance the absorption of glyphosate exposure into exposed human cells and tissue.
Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.
Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.
The nightmarish toxicological profile of Roundup herbicide (glyphosate) continues to emerge within the peer-reviewed research, this time revealing its role in supporting the growth of a pathogenic bacteria of great medical significance.
A concerning new study published in the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology titled, “Influence of glyphosate in planktonic and biofilm growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa,” indicates that the world’s most widely used herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) may be contributing to the enhanced growth of the pathogenic bacteria P. aeruginosa in our environment.
The Brazilian team responsible for the study expressed concern over the “virtual nonexistence” of research evaluating glyphosate herbicide-pathogenic microbiota interactions, and conducted a series of microbial experiments to fill this data gap. They noted:
“Glyphosate is probably the herbicide most discharged into the environment. Due to its extensive use in the protection of crops, it is inevitable that it will reach surface and deep waters (Pournaras et al., 2007), especially after rainfalls.”
P. aeruginosa is commonly found in watercourses and reservoirs in both oxygen (aerobic) and non-oxygen preferring forms (anaerobic), and can be a source of waterborne infection.
The results of the new study indicate that when exposed to varying concentrations of both glyphosate (a common contaminant found in GM agricultural runoff) and oxygen, both the aerobic the anaerobic and biofilm forming strains of this bacteria can thrive:
“Aerobic planktonic growth was superior to anaerobic one. This points to the possibility of P. aeruginosa, although a facultative organism (Davies et al., 1989; Yoon et al., 2002), has its growth significantly favored by the presence of molecular oxygen. Continuous bacterial exposure to low concentrations of glyphosate leads to increased rates of aerobic growth, which is somehow in agreement with previously published findings (Fitzgibbon and Braymer, 1988). By the contrary, in conditions of inaccessibility of molecular oxygen, the bacterium started to grow better in a concentration-dependent manner. It is possible that this phenomenon results from the use of the molecule as a source of phosphorus, as previously reported for the genus Pseudomonas (Peñaloza-Vazquez et al., 1995; Moore et al., 1983; Talbot et al., 1984). Glyphosate could also serve as a carbon source, which would be processed by both aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms (Rueppel et al., 1977), with increased rates in presence of oxygen. To support such theory, it has been found that different bacterial genera may promote catalysis of glyphosate using C-P lyases (van Eerd et al., 2003). Once broken up this connection, Pseudomonas spp. can produce glycine (Kishore and Jacob, 1987), which can also enhance growth.”
The researchers also focused on the ability of glyphosate to support the growth of so-called biofilms, a closely adhering colony of bacteria embedded in a self-produced matrix of a “slimy” extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), revealing:
“Our results revealed that the xenobiotic tends to favor the formation of biofilms of P. aeruginosa, especially those anaerobic and that such increase seems to be concentration-dependent.”
This finding has significant medical implications, as P. aeruginosa biofilm colonies are far more virulent and exhibit the kind of antibiotic resistance found in serious infections in humans, such as skin infections and pulmonary complications associated with fatal conditions such as cystic fibrosis.
The study concluded:
“The results from this study point to the fact that the indiscriminate use of agricultural formulations containing glyphosate may result in an increase in growth rates of planktonic and biofilm phenotypes of P. aeruginosa in watercourses or reservoirs.”
As Roundup – now a ubiquitous agrochemical contaminant found in our rain, air and water — continues to accumulate in larger amounts in the environment, concern grows that it may be upsetting the natural microbial balance upon which our own microbial health depends on.
Previously, we have looked at the way that Roundup herbicide is altering the microbial biodiversity of our environment by destroying soil microbes that have indispensable importance in the production of food. Research also now exists showing this agrochemical can shift the gut bacteria of animals towards pathogenic strains of bacteria, including the deadly botulism-associated Clostridium botulinum strain. Also, a new study raises concern that as a water pollutant glyphosate may be contributing to the decline of the coral reefs, underscoring how profoundly this environmental contaminant may be affecting the future health of our planet as a whole.
As the public continues to rally behind the non-GMO movement, expending the bulk of its political efforts on labeling GMO-containing foods, it is important to also focus on the clear and present danger of Roundup herbicide, which a growing number of groups support banning entirely. When we understand the true extent of harm represented by this agrochemical (and which research now links to over 50 adverse health effects), then the argument that GM foods and non-GM (e.g. organic) foods are ‘substantial equivalent‘ is immediately disproved. GM foods are universally contaminated with glyphosate and AMPA (a glyphosate metabolite) residue and owing to the fact that infinitesimal (parts-per-trillion) concentrations of glyphosate may have endocrine disrupting/carcinogenic properties present regulations on glyphosate are not protecting the public or environment at large from its known risks. (Learn more by reading: ‘EPA to the Public: Let Them Eat Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Cake’).
To get more involved follow the Global GMO Free Coalition.
 Antibiotic Susceptibilities of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolates Derived from Patients with Cystic Fibrosis under Aerobic, Anaerobic, and Biofilm Conditions J. Clin. Microbiol. October 2005 vol. 43 no. 10 5085-5090
Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.
Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.
By: Dr. Mercola –
Research has demonstrated that pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are neurotoxic, capable of damaging your nervous system. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides are also carcinogenic.
All of these toxins are permitted on conventional farms, and any number of them can end up on your plate when you conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables. The increased use of genetically engineered plants1 and soil insecticides also increases the chemical load in food—particularly processed foods.
The answer, of course, is to limit your exposure as much as possible, giving your body a chance to eliminate the toxins you do inadvertently ingest. Certain foods, such as fermented foods, can also help detoxify some of these chemicals.
Yet despite all the known risks, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) insists pesticide residues on food are no cause for concern.
According to the agency’s latest report, more than half of all foods tested last year had detectable levels of pesticide residues, but most, they claim, are within the “safe” range. However, there are a number of factors you need to be aware of before you swallow such assurances hook, line, and sinker…
USDA Does Not Test for Glyphosate
Most notably, as reported by Reuters,2 the USDA does not test for one of the most pervasive and one of the most harmful agricultural chemicals of all, namely glyphosate:
“As has been the case with past analyses, the USDA said it did not test this past year for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide and the world’s most widely used herbicide.
A USDA spokesman who asked not to be quoted said that the test measures required for glyphosate are ‘extremely expensive… to do on an regular basis’…
Many genetically modified crops can be sprayed directly with glyphosate, and some consumer and health groups fear glyphosate residues in foods are harmful to human health, even though the government says the pesticide is considered safe.”
Meanwhile, one of the most recent studies3 investigating the effect glyphosate on Americans’ health noted that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in both plants and animals.
The researchers searched US government databases for GE crop data, glyphosate application data, and disease epidemiological data, and analyses revealed “highly significant” correlations between glyphosate applications and the following health problems among the US population:
|Obesity||Lipoprotein metabolism disorder||Alzheimer’s disease|
|Senile dementia||Parkinson’s disease||Multiple sclerosis|
|Autism||Inflammatory bowel disease||Intestinal infections|
|End stage renal disease||Acute kidney failure||Thyroid cancer|
|Liver cancer||Bladder cancer||Pancreatic cancer|
|Kidney cancer||Myeloid leukemia|
According to the authors: “The significance and strength of the correlations show that the effects of glyphosate and GE crops on human health should be further investigated.”
Glyphosate May Be Worse Than DDT
According to Dr. Don Huber, an expert in an area of science that relates to the toxicity of genetically engineered (GE) foods, glyphosate may be even more toxic than DDT—a devastating chemical that, just like glyphosate, was once proclaimed to be “safe enough to eat.”5
Just last year, new research implicated DDT in the development of Alzheimer’s, decades after exposure, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re heading down the same road with glyphosate.
Dr. Seneff’s groundbreaking research published in June 2013 suggests that glyphosate may actually be the most important factor in the development of a wide variety of chronic diseases, specifically because your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm.
Monsanto has steadfastly claimed that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which allows it to kill weeds), called the shikimate pathway, is absent in all animals. However, the shikimate pathway IS present in bacteria, and that’s the key to understanding how it causes such widespread systemic harm in both humans and animals.
Dr. Huber has also presented evidence6,7 linking glyphosate to Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and honeybee starvation.8 Glyphosate has also been found to be highly toxic to the soil surrounding a plant’s roots (known as the rhizosphere), woodland plants, amphibians, fish, aquatic environments, and mammals9–causing reproductive problems and disrupting the endocrine system.
Why Even Non-GMO Crops Are Also More Toxic These Days
Many leading authorities like Dr. Huber and Dr. Stephanie Seneff have started bringing attention to the practice of desiccation—a practice in which glyphosate is applied to the grain shortly prior to harvesting. Interestingly enough, this causes the grain to release more seeds. The Washington Blog10 recently ran an article giving an excellent overview of the process. Desiccating11 non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate began about 15 years ago.
Glyphosate desiccation is also done on barley, beans, peas, peanuts, sugar cane,12 oats, canola, flax, and lentils,13 just to name a few. Roundup (glyphosate) is used as a desiccant at harvest on about 160 conventional crops.14
Needless to say, desiccated crops tend to be more contaminated with glyphosate. A large percentage of processed foods are made with wheat, and the practice of desiccating wheat with glyphosate appears to be strongly correlated with the rapid rise in celiac disease. Dr. Seneff’s research shows that glyphosate destroys the villi in your gut, which reduces your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals.
Wheat also contains gliadin, which is difficult to break down. Normally, a reaction takes place that builds connections between different proteins in the wheat. But glyphosate prevents that process from occurring, resulting in wheat that is highly undigestible. Dr. Seneff and her co-researcher Dr. Anthony Samsel believe the glyphosate may attach to the gliadin as a consequence of a chemical reaction. The end result is that your body develops an immune reaction. As noted in their study:15
“[G]ut dysbiosis, brought on by exposure to glyphosate, plays a crucial role in the development of celiac disease. Many CYP enzymes are impaired in association with celiac disease, and we show that glyphosate’s known suppression of CYP enzyme activity in plants and animals plausibly explains this effect in humans.”
Glyphosate Readily Accumulates in GE Crops
Recent research16 has also shown that there are significant compositional differences between genetically engineered (GE) soybeans and non-GE varieties, and that glyphosate readily accumulates in the former. Contrary to industry claims, the study also found that they differ in terms of nutritional quality, with organic soybeans having the healthiest nutritional profile.
According to the authors, “This study rejects that genetically modified soy is “substantially equivalent” to non-GM soybeans.” The study in question investigated contamination levels and nutritional contents of three varieties of Iowa-grown soybeans: Roundup Ready soybeans; non-GE, conventional soybeans grown using Roundup herbicide; and organic soybeans, grown without agricultural chemicals, and found that:
- On average GE soy contained 11.9 parts per million (ppm) of glyphosate
- The highest residue level found was 20.1 ppm
- No residues of either kind were found in the conventional non-GE and organic varieties
Similar results were found in a 2012 nutritional analysis of GE corn, which was found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to none in non-GMO corn. When you consider that Americans eat an average of 193 pounds of genetically engineered foods each year,17 the issue of glyphosate contamination is undoubtedly a very important one. In a 2014 article for The Ecologist,18 two of the researchers point out that these levels are actually double, or more, of what Monsanto itself has referred to as “extreme levels:”
“Monsanto (manufacturer of glyphosate) has claimed that residues of glyphosate in genetically modified (GM) soy are lower than in conventional soybeans, where glyphosate residues have been measured up to 16-17 mg/kg (Monsanto 1999). These residues, found in non-GM plants, likely must have been due to the practice of spraying before harvest (for desiccation). Another claim of Monsanto’s has been that residue levels of up to 5.6 mg/kg in GM-soy represent ‘…extreme levels, and far higher than those typically found.’ (Monsanto 1999).” [Emphasis mine]
It’s quite crucial to understand that glyphosate contamination in GE crops is systemic, meaning it is present in every cell of the plant, from root to tip. It’s not just an issue of topical contamination—although that certainly adds to the level of contamination. Normally, you need to thoroughly wash your produce to remove topical residues, but you cannot remove glyphosate from GE produce, as it has been absorbed into the cells of the plant. And neither can food and animal feed manufacturers who use GE ingredients in their products…
Amid Concerns of Safety, EPA Raised Allowable Levels for Glyphosate in Food
All of this points to the importance of testing for and restricting glyphosate residues in food, yet that is NOT being done, ostensibly due to cost. It also brings up another important point, which is that despite rapidly rising concerns about safety, in 2013 the EPA quietly went ahead and raised the allowable levels of glyphosate in food—and by significant amounts19, 20 to boot. Allowable levels in oilseed crops such as soy were doubled, from 20 ppm to 40 ppm. So all of a sudden, that makes “extreme levels” appear to be on the lower end of the allowable spectrum!
It also raised the levels of permissible glyphosate contamination in other foods—many of which were raised to 15-25 times previous levels! Farmers are also ramping up their usage of the chemical due to the proliferation of glyphosate-resistant weeds. It’s worth noting that, for years, pro-GMO advocates claimed that genetic engineering would lead to reduced reliance on toxic agricultural chemicals. Now, the data shows us the exact converse has happened.
Lies, Lies, and More Lies
We were promised that GMOs would result in LESS pesticide use, but as noted in a 2012 article by Tom Philpott,21 Monsanto’s Roundup Ready technology “has called forth a veritable monsoon of herbicides, both in terms of higher application rates for Roundup, and… growing use of other, more-toxic herbicides.” Philpott’s article includes eye-opening statistics compiled by Chuck Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. Benbrook discovered that:
- Overall, GE technology drove up herbicide use by 527 million pounds (about 11 percent) between 1996 (when Roundup Ready crops were initially released) and 2011
- Herbicide use dropped by about two percent between 1996 and 1999, but shortly thereafter, as weeds began developing resistance against the chemical, application rates skyrocketed
- In 2002, glyphosate use on Roundup Ready soybeans rose by 21 percent. Overall, American farmers increased their use of glyphosate by 19 million pounds that year
- By 2011, farmers growing Roundup Ready crops (corn, soy, and cotton) used 24 percent more Roundup than farmers planting non-GE versions of the same crop, because by that time, glyphosate-resistance had become the norm. Farmers also began resorting to older, more toxic herbicides like 2,4-D
‘Inert’ Ingredients in Pesticides May Also Be Profoundly Toxic
A third issue that is completely ignored by the USDA when they claim pesticide residues in food are within safe levels is the fact that “inert” ingredients in herbicidal formulations are not necessarily inactive. On the contrary, synergistic effects between active and so-called inactive ingredients are a hidden source of toxicity that is widely overlooked.
As discussed in a 2006 paper published in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives,22 it’s important to realize that the term “inert ingredient” does NOT mean that it is biologically or toxicologically harmless. When you see “inert” or “inactive ingredients” listed on the label of a pesticide or herbicide, it only means that those ingredients will not harm pests or weeds. This is how federal law classifies “inert” pesticide ingredients.23 And while a chemical may not kill a pest or weed, it may have a profound impact on human biology.
For example, one 2012 study24revealed that inert ingredients like ethoxylated adjuvants in glyphosate-based herbicides are “active principles of human cell toxicity.” (On a side note, an “ethoxylated” compound is a chemical that has been produced using the carcinogen ethylene oxide.25 The ethoxylation process also produces the carcinogenic byproduct 1,4-dioxane.) The study found that liver, embryonic, and placental cell lines exposed to various herbicide formulations for 24 hours at doses as low as 1 part per million (ppm), had adverse effects.26 According to the authors:27
“Here we demonstrate that all formulations are more toxic than glyphosate, and we separated experimentally three groups of formulations differentially toxic according to their concentrations in ethoxylated adjuvants.
Among them, POE-15 clearly appears to be the most toxic principle against human cells… It begins to be active with negative dose-dependent effects on cellular respiration and membrane integrity between 1 and 3ppm, at environmental/occupational doses. We demonstrate in addition that POE-15 induces necrosis when its first micellization process occurs, by contrast to glyphosate which is known to promote endocrine disrupting effects after entering cells.
Altogether, these results challenge the establishment of guidance values such as the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate, when these are mostly based on a long term in vivo test of glyphosate alone. Since pesticides are always used with adjuvants that could change their toxicity, the necessity to assess their whole formulations as mixtures becomes obvious. This challenges the concept of active principle of pesticides for non-target species.” [Emphasis mine]
Perhaps most disturbing of all, the researchers claim that cell damage and even cell death can occur at the residual levels found on Roundup-treated crops, as well as lawns and gardens where Roundup is applied for weed control. They also suspect that28 Roundup might interfere with hormone production, possibly leading to abnormal fetal development, low birth weights, or miscarriages.
FDA Tests Less Than One-Tenth of One Percent of All Imported Fruits and Vegetables
The monitoring of pesticide residue by the FDA and USDA received harsh criticism in a recent report created by the General Accounting Office (GAO). In its report,29 titled: “Food Safety––FDA and USDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Residue Monitoring Programs and Further Disclose Limitations,” the GAO suggests a number of major changes to the two agencies’ pesticide monitoring programs. Greater sample sizes are needed, the report says, and special attention should be paid to pesticides that already have established EPA tolerance levels, rather than those that do not. The GAO also calls for greater transparency in annual test reports.
As reported by Food Safety Magazine:30
“Such changes could eventually reveal whether or not regulatory violations are rampant throughout each agencies’ pesticide residue testing. Over the years, established testing programs have shown few incidences of violation. Also, a helping hand from Congress might be necessary as the suggested changes would require additional funding and resources. Additional findings include:
- The FDA tests less than one-tenth of one percent of all imported fruits and vegetables. Less than one percent of domestic fruits and vegetables are tested. The small sample sizes suggest that results that may not be ‘statistically valid.’
- The FDA does not test foods for many pesticides that have strict residue limits set by the EPA. This lack of testing, according to the GAO, should be stated in the FDA’s annual reports.
- Testing by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Agricultural Marketing Service were found to be statistically valid. But like the FDA, the FSIS also doesn’t test for pesticides with established tolerances.”
Avoiding Toxic Food Is Imperative for Optimal Health
The chemical technology industry, spearheaded by Monsanto, has managed to turn food into a literal poison… Glyphosate, which we now know systemically contaminates the plant and cannot be washed off, has a number of devastating biological effects, including the following:
|Nutritional deficiencies, as glyphosate immobilizes certain nutrients and alters the nutritional composition of the treated crop||Disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids (these are essential amino acids not produced in your body that must be supplied via your diet)|
|Increased toxin exposure (this includes high levels of glyphosate and formaldehyde in the food itself)||Impairment of sulfate transport and sulfur metabolism; sulfate deficiency|
|Systemic toxicity—a side effect of extreme disruption of microbial function throughout your body; beneficial microbes in particular, allowing for overgrowth of pathogens||Gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies such as gluten intolerance)|
|Enhancement of damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins as a result of glyphosate shutting down the function of detoxifying enzymes||Creation of ammonia (a byproduct created when certain microbes break down glyphosate), which can lead to brain inflammation associated with autism and Alzheimer’s disease|
Ideally, you’d be best off opting for products bearing the USDA 100% organic label when buying processed foods in order to avoid exposure to agricultural chemicals, which certainly are not limited to Roundup. Don’t make the mistake of confusing the “natural” label with organic standards however. The “natural” label is not based on any standards and is frequently misused by sellers of GE products.
Growers and manufacturers of organic products bearing the USDA seal, on the other hand, have to meet the strictest standards of any of the currently available organic labels. That said, my personal recommendation is to forgo processed fare altogether. Instead, pick up a good cookbook, and start cooking from scratch using whole organic ingredients. This really is the key to optimal health. Meats need to be grass-fed or pastured to make sure the animals were not fed GE corn or soy feed.
You’d also be wise to stop using Roundup around your home, where children and pets can come into contact with it simply by walking across the area. Here are some great resources to obtain wholesome organic food. Eating locally produced organic food will not only support your family’s health, it will also protect the environment from harmful chemical pollutants and the inadvertent spread of genetically engineered seeds and chemical-resistant weeds and pests.
- Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- Farmers’ Markets — A national listing of farmers’ markets.
- Local Harvest — This Web site will help you find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
- Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals — The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
- Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) — CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
- FoodRoutes — The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSA’s, and markets near you.
Help Support GMO Labeling
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture.
Finally public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back.
The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.
Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these corporate giants. So please, fight for your right to know what’s in your food and help support the GMO labeling movement by making a donation today.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
Together, Let’s Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve
Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption.
Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.
For decades, Monsanto has claimed that Roundup and its key ingredient, glyphosate, are “safe.” The biotech industry has backed up those claims with industry-funded “studies.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is supposed to protect us, has been protecting Monsanto’s profits instead. In July the EPA, despite new studies linking glyphosate to everything from infertility to cancer, actually raised the allowed limits of glyphosate on fruits and vegetables for human consumption.
The world has had enough.
On Tuesday, November 11, a $25-million international study was launched that will put an end, once and for all, to the question of whether or not Monsanto’s Roundup is “safe.”
The study, the first of its kind, will be based on a variety of herbicide-resistant corn. Three independent scientists, from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow; University of California, Irvine, Calif.; and Maltoni Cancer Research Center, Bentivoglio, Italy, will investigate the answers to these questions:
- Is the GM food (or its associated pesticide) toxic to organ systems over the long-term?
- Does the GM food (or its associated pesticide) cause cancer?
- Does the GM food (or its associated pesticide) reduce fertility or cause birth defects?
- Is the mixture of chemicals present in Roundup herbicide more or less toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate?
The Global GMO Free Coalition, of which OCA is a member, supports the study. We believe it will provide the irrefutable, bullet-proof evidence needed to ban Monsanto’s Roundup.
By: Brian Bienkowski | Environmental Health News –
On his farm in Iowa, Matt Peters worked from dawn to dusk planting his 1,500 acres of fields with pesticide-treated seeds. “Every spring I worried about him,” said his wife, Ginnie. “Every spring I was glad when we were done.”
A clinical psychologist spoke to him on the phone and urged him to get medical help. “He said he had work to do, and I told him if it’s too wet in the morning to plant beans come see me,” Mike Rossman said. “And the next day I got the call.” In the spring of 2011, Ginnie Peters’ “calm, rational, loving” husband suddenly became depressed and agitated. “He told me ‘I feel paralyzed’,” she said. “He couldn’t sleep or think. Out of nowhere he was depressed.”
Peters took his own life. He was 55 years old.
No one knows what triggered Peters’ sudden shift in mood and behavior. But since her husband’s death, Ginnie Peters has been on a mission to not only raise suicide awareness in farm families but also draw attention to the growing evidence that pesticides may alter farmers’ mental health.
“These chemicals that farmers use, look what they do to an insect. It ruins their nervous system,” Peters said. “What is it doing to the farmer?”
Farming is a stressful job – uncontrollable weather, physical demands and economic woes intertwine with a personal responsibility for land that often is passed down through generations. But experts say that some of the chemicals used to control pests may make matters worse by changing farmers’ brain chemistry.
Recent research has linked long-term use of pesticides to higher rates of depression and suicide. Evidence also suggests that pesticide poisoning – a heavy dose in a short amount of time – doubles the risk of depression.
“For years there was a high level of denial in the farming community that mental illness exists, period,” said Lorann Stallones, an epidemiologist and psychology professor at Colorado State University. “But there’s been a shift – partly because there’s more people talking about being mentally incapacitated.”
Depression is the most common mental disability in the United States. About 7 percent of U.S. adults annually experience at least one two-week or longer stretch of depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. There is no national data on whether farmers and their workers are more prone to depression.
The causes are complex. There “are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic system that is responsible for your mood, perceptions, and how you experience life,” according to a Harvard Medical School report.
Some research suggests that the chemicals that farmers and their workers spread on fields may alter some of these brain chemicals.
Peters and his wife were among 89,000 farmers and other pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina who have participated in the Agricultural Health Study led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Last month, epidemiologist Freya Kamel and her colleagues reported that among 19,000 studied, those who used two classes of pesticides and seven individual pesticides were more likely to have been diagnosed with depression. Those who used organochlorine insecticides were up to 90 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with depression than those who hadn’t used them. For fumigants, the increased risk was up to 80 percent.
“Our study supports a positive association between depression and occupational pesticide use among applicators… and suggests several specific pesticides that deserve further investigation in animal studies and other human populations,” the authors wrote in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
The major strengths of the research are its large number of participants and its detailed pesticide exposure data, said Stallones, who was not involved in the study.
The applicators were asked about depression when enrolled in the study and then again around 2010. Most previous studies only asked once about depression.
Similar results were found when Kamel and colleagues analyzed the same group from 1993 to 1997. Farmers with the highest number of lifetime exposure days to pesticides were 50 percent more likely to later have a depression diagnosis.
The studies don’t prove that pesticides cause depression, but animal testing indicates that it’s possible, said Cheryl Beseler, an environmental health researcher at Colorado State University. In rat tests pesticides have altered brain cells, neurotransmitters and production of a protective acid.
In France, farmers who used herbicides were nearly twice as likely to have been treated for depression than those who didn’t use herbicides, according to a study published last year. The study of 567 farmers found that the risk was even greater when the herbicide applicators had been doing it for more than 19 years.
The studies suggest that chronic exposure to low levels over time may raise the risk of depression.
“It’s not surprising she (Kamel) found the links between depression and those who had been poisoned,” Stallones said. “But the association held true for those that didn’t report poisoning.”
Colorado farmers who suffered pesticide poisoning – a large dose in a short period of time – had double the risk of depression during the next three years. In addition, pesticide applicators in the North Carolina and Iowa group who suffered pesticide poisoning were 2.5 more likely to later have a depression diagnosis.
Most insecticides work by disrupting insects’ nerve cells. At high enough doses, they can alter human nerve cells as well.
“I don’t think there’s any question that pesticides can affect the functions of the brain,” Kamel said, referring to experiments that found pesticides harm rats’ brain tissue and receptors. “There could also be indirect effects. Pesticides can promote other health problems, which could be related to depression.”
For instance, Dr. Beate Ritz, a neurologist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that Californians exposed to pesticides are more likely to have Parkinson’s disease. One effect of the neurological disease, characterized by a lack of the chemical dopamine, is depression.
Melani Forti, director of health and safety programs for the Association of Farmworkers Opportunity Programs, said one of the biggest challenges in protecting farmworkers is a lack of scientific evidence for health impacts from pesticides.
“A lot of it is anecdotal, we need more research like this from the federal government,” she said. Depression “is yet another health effect from pesticides, and farmworkers need to know about this.”
Wendy Ringgenberg, an assistant professor at the University of Iowa, combed through 19 years of national data and reported that farmers and farm workers were 3.6 times more likely to die of suicide than other professions. Several studies have linked suicide to pesticide use. In Brazil, workers that used more pesticides were more likely to commit suicide, and in China, a World Health Organization survey of 9,800 people in the rural Zhejiang province revealed that those who stored pesticides in their homes had more than double the risk of having suicidal thoughts.
However, the study did not examine the causes of suicide.
Ringgenberg noted that “farmers feel occupational stress for many reasons, including management of own company, self-reliance, personal illness, diseases in crop or livestock, long work days, few vacation days, caring for family members, relationships with family members and neighbors, work in a changing world, national and world politics, and weather.”
Migrant and seasonal farmworkers face stresses related to working conditions, cultural barriers and being away from home and family, Forti said.
The seven individual pesticides that were linked to depression diagnoses in Kamel’s study were the fumigants aluminum phosphide and ethylene dibromide; the phenoxy herbicide 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T); the organochlorine insecticide dieldrin; and the organophosphate insecticides diazinon, malathion and parathion.
Of those, “only aluminum phosphide, diazinon, and malathion are still registered and in use,” Cathy Milbourn, a spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency, said in an emailed response. The EPA cancelled the registrations of ethylene dibromide, 2,4,5-T, dieldrin, and parathion, Milbourn said. Aluminum phosphide, diazinon, and malathion are undergoing EPA review.
Three of the largest pesticide manufacturers – Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer CropScience – said that they do not produce the seven pesticides linked to depression in Kamel’s study, but none would comment on the broader issue of mental health and pesticide use.
Many developed countries, including the United States, have phased out organochlorines and organophosphates, but Stallones said regulations do not fully protect workers.
“It’s really important to consider chronic low level exposure and most regulatory agencies base their work on acute high level exposure, which is not analogous to 20 years of occupational use of the pesticide,” Kamel said. “That’s a problem.”
Neonocotinoids– the newer class of pesticides that Matt Peters was handling when he committed suicide – weren’t included in Kamel’s study. However, they are suspected of causing bee die-offs because they harm bees’ brains and nervous systems. The chemicals’ impacts on humans are unknown since no studies have been conducted.
Peters was heavily exposed to other pesticides, too, including organophosphates, his wife said. “Matt did almost all of his own spraying of the crops,” she said.
Ginnie Peters remembers her husband as an even-keeled, kind, loving man who made it a point to treat younger farmers and farm workers with respect.
A fourth-generation farmer, he left behind a son and daughter. His grandfather, also a farmer, suffered from depression as well.
When he died, it “messed with every piece of my being,” she said.
While there is no evidence to blame the pesticides Peters was handling on his Dallas County farm, Stallones said it’s possible he was poisoned because depression symptoms can show up suddenly after a large dose.
Rossman, the clinical psychologist, said it “certainly seemed that there was a chemical contribution to this man being unable to sleep and emotionally paralyzed.”
But when Rossman and Ginnie Peters sent his blood in for chemical analyses, they were unable to get results due to complications at the medical examiner’s office.
An adjunct professor in environmental and occupational health at the University of Iowa, Rossman said many farmers are open to hearing about the possible dangers of pesticides. But economic realities remain. “Even if they hear my message, they have to make choices: Do I need to use this chemical for the good of my farm, or do the negative factors – what it could be doing to the insects, food supply and possibly people – make it not worth it?” he said.
Ginnie Peters tries to cope by mounting her new mission: bringing suicide out of the darkness and drawing attention to the chemicals that could be playing a role.
“I don’t have ability to do the science,” she said, “but I have my gut, and what happened to Matt, it had to be the chemicals.”
By: Paul Towers, Pesticide Action Network -
Today the US Department of Agriculture granted Dow AgroSciences approval of its controversial new herbicide-resistant, genetically engineered corn and soybean seeds known as Enlist. The seeds have been engineered to withstand applications of the toxic herbicide, 2,4-D. Using Dow AgroScience’s projections in its final report, USDA predicts 2,4-D use in corn and soybean production to increase between 500% and 1,400% from 2011 to 2020, depending on farmers’ practices and changes in Dow’s share of corn and soybean seed markets.
Dow’s proposed introduction of the 2,4-D-resistant seeds two years ago immediately unleashed a firestorm of protest, with nearly half a million farmers, farmworkers, health professionals and concerned individuals from across the country voicing opposition. Fruit and vegetable farmers are particularly concerned that 2,4-D drift will lead to frequent and extensive crop damage. However, USDA continues to ignore the crop damage likely to accompany the projected increase in 2,4-D use. Instead, the agency is focused exclusively on whether the seeds themselves—but not the herbicides that go with them—might pose a threat to other crop plants.
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, PhD, senior scientist with Pesticide Action Network, released the following statement:
“The USDA approval of Enlist after such a fundamentally flawed review process is a slap in the face to farmers. Thousands of farmers have warned USDA of the crop damage, economic losses and health risks they will face from pesticide drift, if these 2,4-D resistant seeds hit the market. Instead of taking farmers’ concerns seriously, and evaluating the entire suite of harms that these pesticide-GE seed combinations pose, USDA focused its approval process on questions that were sure to result in an easy approval for Dow’s new money maker – showing once and for all where Secretary Vilsack’s loyalties lie. It’s time for a change: we need a USDA that serves farmers, not Dow and Monsanto. PAN will pursue all available legal options to protect American farmers and rural residents.”
Canadian beekeepers are suing the makers of popular crop pesticides for more than $400 million in damages, alleging that their use is causing the deaths of bee colonies.
The proposed class action lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the Ontario Superior Court on behalf of all Canadian beekeepers by Sun Parlor Honey Ltd. and Munro Honey, two of Ontario’s largest honey producers, the Ontario Beekeepers Association announced Wednesday.
“The goal is to stop the use of the neonicotinoids to stop the harm to the bees and the beekeepers,” said Paula Lombardi, a lawyer with London, Ont.-based law firm Siskinds LLP, which is handling the case.
As of Thursday morning, more than 30 beekeepers had signed on to participate in the class action.
The lawsuit alleges that Bayer Cropscience Inc. and Syngenta Canada Inc. and their parent companies were negligent in their design, manufacture, sale and distribution of neonicotinoid pesticides, specifically those containing imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiomethoxam.
The pesticides, which are a neurotoxin to insects, are widely coated on corn, soybean and canola seeds in Canada to protect the plants from pests such as aphids. Studies have shown that bees exposed to the pesticides have smaller colonies, fail to return to their hives, and may have trouble navigating. The pesticides were also found in 70 per cent of dead bees tested by Health Canada in 2013.
The European Commission restricted the use of the pesticides for two years and Ontario has indicated it will move toward regulating them, due to concerns over bee health.
Bayer maintains that the risk to bees from the pesticide is low, and it has recommended ways that farmers can minimize bees’ exposure to the pesticide.
Both Bayer and Syngenta told CBC News they wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit because they haven’t yet been served with it.
The lawsuit is seeking more than $400 million in damages, alleging that as a result of neonicotinoid use:
- The beekeepers’ colonies and breeding stock were damaged or died.
- Their beeswax, honeycombs and hives were contaminated.
- Their honey production decreased.
- They lost profits and incurred unrecoverable costs, such as increased labour and supply costs.
Beekeepers or companies involved in beekeeping services such as honey production, queen bee rearing and pollination who are affected and want to join the lawsuit are asked to contact Lombardi.
The Ontario Beekeepers Association is not directly involved in the lawsuit, but along with the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, helped connect beekeepers with the law firm. The association also helped with the research for the lawsuit.
Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Not anymore, according to soil health experts—unless the apple comes from a tree grown in healthy, organic soil.
And that orange you just ate to help ward off a cold? It’s entirely possible that it contains no vitamin C at all.
A study looking at vegetables from 1930 to 1980, found that iron levels had decreased by 22 percent, and calcium content by 19 percent. In the United Kingdom, from 1940 to 1990, copper content in vegetables fell by 76 percent, and calcium by 46 percent. The mineral content in meat was also significantly reduced.
Food forms the building blocks of our bodies and health. Soil forms the basis for healthy food. Unhealthy soil grows poor quality food. And poor quality food means poor health.
So what’s happened to our soil? It’s been under assault since the advent of modern industrial agriculture, with its monocrops, fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides.
The term “biodiversity” evokes images of a rich variety of plants—trees, flowers, grasses, fruits, vegetables—mixed in with an equally diverse collection of animals, insects and wildlife, all co-existing in a lush environment.
But there’s a whole world of biodiversity that lives beneath the surface of the earth—at least in areas where the soil hasn’t been destroyed. And that biodiversity is essential for the growth of nutrient-rich foods.
The Earth’s soil is a dynamic mixture of rock particles, water, gases, and microorganisms. Just one cup of soil contains more microorganisms than there are people on the planet. These diverse microbes compose a “soil food web,” a complex chain beginning with organic residues like decaying plant and animal matter, and ranging from bacteria and fungi to nematodes (worms) and bugs. Just by going about their daily lives in the dirt, these organisms decompose organic matter, stabilize the soil and help convert nutrients from one chemical form to another.
This rich diversity of microbes affects most soil properties, including moisture content, structure, density, and nutrient composition. When microbes are lost, the properties of soil that allow it to stabilize plants, convert chemicals, and perform other vital functions are also reduced. The microbe content of soil—its biodiversity—is nearly synonymous with soil health and fertility.
As Daphne Millier, physician, author and professor, writes, “soil teeming with a wide diversity of life (especially bacteria, fungi, and nematodes) is more likely to produce nutrient-dense food. Of course, this makes sense when you understand that it is the cooperation between bacteria, fungi, and plants’ roots (collectively referred to as the rhizosphere) that is responsible for transferring carbon and nutrients from the soil to the plant—and eventually to our plates.”
Unfortunately, human interactions have negatively impacted almost all aspects of soil health—we are responsible for the degradation of more than 40 percent of worldwide agricultural land.
What have we done to the soil? For starters, we’ve destabilized our soil ecosystems through the widespread and reckless use of chemicals—herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers—that destroy nearly everything in sight, except the plants themselves (many of them genetically engineered to withstand herbicides and pesticides). We end up with corn, soy, alfalfa and other crops that may appear “healthy,” but in truth, are nutrient-deficient because the nutrient-cycling quality of the soil has been destroyed.
And we do it as a matter of routine, even though it’s estimated that in the case of pesticides, for instance, only 0.1 percent of pesticides used actually interact with their targets; the rest pollute plants and soil.
As any gardener knows, nitrogen is one of the three essential soil nutrients. (Potassium and phosphorous are the other two). In order for nitrogen to “feed” plants, it must first be converted to ammonium or nitrate. Soil microbes, which are critical to the nitrogen cycle, achieve this conversion by feeding on decaying plant matter, digesting the elemental nitrogen contained in the decayed matter, and excreting nitrogen ions. The newly available nitrogen is taken up by plants, where it becomes available to humans either directly (when you eat the plant) or indirectly (through consumption of grazing animals).
What happens when soil is stripped of the microbes required to complete the nitrogen cycle? Farmers often resort to fertilizers that contain nitrogen. But the over-use of fertilizers leads to nutrients (like nitrogen) building up beyond the capacity of soil microbes to convert it into usable, absorbable nutrients. Too much nitrogen actually klls plant life.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, factory farming, where thousands of animals are confined in small spaces and fed grains (supplemented with antibiotics and hormones), rather than the forage nature intended, is behind much of the damage humans have inflicted on the soil.
At the core of industrial food production is monoculture—the practice of growing single crops intensively on a very large scale. Corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton and rice are all commonly grown this way in the United States.
Monoculture farming relies heavily on chemical inputs such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
The impact of the loss of soil biodiversity is linked to the increase in asthma and allergies in western societies. The human immune system is developed early in life through exposure to environmental stimuli. When meat or vegetables are lacking in certain bacteria and microbes, children can’t formulate that early immune response and so may develop an allergic reaction later in life.
If the numbers are any indicator, there’s a crisis in worldwide soil health that is rapidly becoming a crisis in human health. Converting from factory farms and conventional crops to pasture-grazing livestock and organic farming are the solution. According to one study, it’s possible to more than double soil biodiversity by replacing conventional farming methods with organic farming.
But we shouldn’t be satisfied with simply scaling back the problem. Regenerative agriculture is a crucial tool for actively reversing the harm caused by Big Ag practices. And there’s no time to waste—scientists say that a single square centimeter of soil can take from 20 to 1000 years to form.
Hannah Bewsey is a writer/researcher for the Organic Consumers Association.
Katherine Paul is associate director of the Organic Consumers Association.
Ignoring science to make the case for chemical farming.
The New York Post loves a good villain, but you’d think it would be hard to cast a bad light on the group of people profiled in an April 19 story: moms who feed their kids organic food.
Naomi Schaefer Riley took on the challenge in “The Tyranny of the Organic Mommy Mafia,” and built a case against “the arrogance and class snobbery” of people who buy and eat food that’s been grown without artificial chemicals.
“Organic food does not necessarily mean better. It’s a term that’s been co-opted and manipulated into a billion-dollar industry by some of the biggest food companies in America,” Riley wrote.
The anti–organic food narrative is a recurring theme in the media of late. What’s going on with these stories?
In January, Slate (1/28/14) served up “Organic Schmorganic” by Melinda Wenner Moyer—shared 45,000 times on Facebook. The story concluded that it’s not worth feeding your kids organic fruits and vegetables because there is no documented harm from conventional produce treated with chemicals, especially when the residues are below levels deemed safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The story assumes that EPA exposure levels for pesticides are health-protective and ignores ample evidence about the health concerns of long-term exposures and combined effects of pesticides (Environmental Health Perspectives, 11/12; International Journal of Andrology, 4/08), as well as data that pesticides are building up in children’s bodies (Environmental Health Perspectives, 2/06).
In the Washington Post (4/7/14), Tamar Haspel took a more balanced approach with “Is Organic Better for Your Health?” However, in reaching her conclusion that organic products are not that much better, Haspel overlooked large-scale literature reviews and meta-analysis about the benefits of organic food. She also ignored many studies on the health risks of pesticides, especially in children (Environmental Health Perspectives, 8/11, 4/12; National Research Council, 1993), and missed the bigger public health concerns about feeding healthy animals massive doses of antibiotics and growth hormones. (See the statement from the American Public Health Association, 11/10/09, regarding their opposition to hormones in beef and dairy production.)
Haspel also fails to recognize that that US standards allow for comparatively high drug-residue levels (thus the low detection rate of drugs) and that the European Union and many other countries reject US meat raised with hormones and growth additives precisely because of animal and human health concerns. (See the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Review, 4/10/02, on the potential risks to human health from hormone residues in bovine meat and meat products.)
Where do reporters get these ideas? The New York Post article cited a recent report published by Academics Review (4/7/14) that harshly attacks the organics industry and its nonprofit allies for what they described as “deceptive marketing practices,” designed to instill “false and misleading consumer health and safety perceptions about competing conventional foods.”
However, the report provides scant evidence to back up its fundamental premise that organics marketing strategies are deceitful and that eaters in fact have nothing to fear from conventional food, or that there are no appreciable health, nutritional or safety advantages to organic over chemically farmed and genetically engineered foods.
In fact, in the entire 24-page report, principal researcher Joanna Schroeder cited just two highly contested meta-studies, including one by Stanford researchers published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (9/4/12). This misleading study has been soundly discredited by agricultural policy expert Charles Benbrook in a comprehensive rebuttal (9/4/12) published by Washington State University, as well as by articles in the New York Times (10/2/12), Huffington Post (9/13/12) and Environmental Health Perspectives (12/12). These critiques highlight how the study greatly underestimates the important differences between organic and conventional foods, especially in terms of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and pesticide exposure.
The other study cited by Schroeder, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (7/2/09), failed to consider several important studies (e.g., Plant Sciences, 4/29/11; Organic Center, 3/08; Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 4/01) that suggest dramatically higher nutritional benefits for organic food. Benbrook explains why their conclusion is wrong in a letter to the editor (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 12/09), and the Organic Trade Association’s response to the study (2011) points to organic food’s higher levels of minerals, antioxidants, omega 3 and other beneficial nutrients.
Importantly, neither of the studies Schroeder cites mentions the question of GMO safety, a major focus of the Academics Review article. Despite claims made on the Academics Review website that the science is settled on GMOs, nearly 300 scientists and doctors have signed a statement (ENSSER, 10/21/13) that there is no consensus on the safety of GMOs.
Schroeder also does not mention important studies from UC Berkeley (Environmental Health Perspectives, 8/11) and the University of Washington (Environmental Health Perspectives, 3/03) that suggest that people, and especially children, should be concerned about the health risks of pesticide exposure from food. She doesn’t mention the impact of pesticide mixtures or weak EPA regulatory frameworks, and the extreme toxicity of pesticides when combined with “inert” ingredients that are found in products such as Roundup (BioMed Research International, 2/26/14).
Finally, the author conveniently ignores the environmental benefits that also drive organic purchases. Numerous studies have shown the farmworker, soil health, water quality and climate benefits of organic agriculture (e.g., Organic Farming Research Foundation, 8/12; Crop Management, 4/13; FiBL, 10/2/13).
Unfortunately, most reporters writing on the topic fail to dig under the surface spin of their sources. A closer look at some of these sources suggests that the anti-organic narrative did not arise organically.
Riley’s “organic mommy mafia” narrative in the New York Post starts off with a few examples of moms who are “so crazy” and “worried” about non-organic food that they harass other moms, then quotes her main source, author and conservative activist Julie Gunlock.
Gunlock explains that the pressure on parents to use only organic food is an “outgrowth of helicopter parenting. People need to be in control of everything when it comes to their kids—even the way food is grown and treated.”
Gunlock expounded on this theme in a recent panel in New York (5/1/14), which aimed to educate stressed-out moms about how activist organizations, the media and government regulators work together to nurture a “culture of alarmism” in which “terrifying headlines about child safety, food and agriculture, chemicals and everyday household products bombard women daily.”
Whose agenda is Riley advancing by espousing Gunlock’s views in the Post article?
Gunlock is director of the Culture of Alarmism Project at the Independent Women’s Forum, a group that “gets its funding from right-wing foundations and other conservative interests including the Koch Brothers,” explained Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury (and a FAIR associate), in a recent CounterPunch piece (4/30/14).
The Koch brothers are the conservative billionaire co-owners of a conglomerate of chemical and oil companies, including Koch Ag & Energy Solutions. They and other biotechnology/chemical companies have a lot to lose from the explosive growth of pesticide-free organic foods.
Academics Review claims to be an independent “association of academic professors, researchers, teachers and credentialed authors” from around the world “committed to the unsurpassed value of the peer review in establishing sound science.”
However, recent articles on its website and Facebook page paint a picture of industry-biased, agenda-driven organization focused on discrediting public interest organizations, organic companies, media outlets and scientists who question the safety of GMOs and pesticides, or who tout the benefits of an organic diet.
The co-founder of Academics Review is Bruce Chassy, a recently retired professor of food microbiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Chassy was among 11 scientists named by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in a complaint (8/21/03) to the journal Nature for failing to disclose “close ties to companies that directly profit from the promotion of agriculture biotechnology.”
As the letter notes, Chassy “has received research grants from major food companies, and has conducted seminars for Monsanto, Genencor, Amgen, Connaught Labs and Transgene”—companies with a large financial stake in pesticides and GMO technologies designed to boost pesticide sales.
Chassey is also on the advisory board of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), a group that bills itself as an independent research and advocacy organization devoted to debunking “junk science.” Carl Winter, one of Slate’s key sources, is also on the ACSH board.
However, as Mother Jones (10/28/13) revealed in a expose based on leaked documents, ACSH’s funders include agribusiness giants Syngenta and Bayer CropScience, as well as oil, food and cosmetics corporations that have a vested interest in getting consumers to stop worrying about the health effects of toxic chemical exposures.
Links to ACSH and other pro-biotechnology organizations, such as International Food Biotechnology Committee, Center for Environmental Risk Assessment and GMO Pundit, are listed prominently on Academics Review’s “independent” website.
ACSH’s director of chemical and pharmaceutical science, Josh Bloom, also appeared alongside Julie Gunlock at the Culture of Alarmism panel in New York, echoing her theme about the tyranny of organic foodie moms.
Academics Review accuses organic companies of “paid advocacy” in which companies fund their NGO allies to promote messages that “amplify negative health risk allegations linked to conventional foods and the corresponding safety, healthfulness and ethics of organic production.”
But the relatively small amount of money spent by the organic industry to support mission-aligned nonprofits is nothing compared to the more than $1.3 billion that the agribusiness industry has spent over the last decade in lobbying and on PR front groups or “industry trade groups” to help spin a story about the safety of chemical-intensive and GMO foods.
These include the Animal Agriculture Alliance, the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, the Biotechnology Industry Association, the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food and the Alliance for Food and Farming. The latter group alone has spent millions, including a $180,000 grant from the USDA, to convince eaters that they have nothing to fear from pesticides in conventional foods—and they’re also a source quoted by the New York Post’s Riley to assure readers of pesticides’ safety.
All of this raises the question: Why spend massive resources on PR efforts to convince people not to care about pesticides, antibiotics, hormones or GMOs in food, rather than giving consumers what they want: safe, healthy food grown in ways that don’t harm people or the planet?
With the proliferation of industry-associated scientists, websites and opinion pieces attacking organic agriculture and spinning their narratives about the safety of chemical-intensive GMO foods, reporters and the public must probe deeper and question the real motives behind these so-called “independent” sources of information.
By Kari Hamerschlag and Stacy Malkan, fair.org
Kari Hamerschlag is senior program manager of Friends of the Earth/US Food and Technology Program. Stacy Malkan is the founder of communications consulting firm MovetheMarket.org and the author of Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry.
You might want to move.
A study published last month in Environmental Health Perspectives shows that babies whose moms lived within a mile of crops treated with widely used pesticides were more likely to develop autism.
According to the research, mothers who lived less than one mile from fields treated with organophosphate pesticides during pregnancy were about 60 percent more likely to have autism than children whose mothers did not live close to treated fields. When women in the second trimester lived near fields treated with chlorpyrifos—the most commonly applied organophosphate pesticide—their children were 3.3 times more likely to have autism.
And still, the pesticide-makers would have us believe all cases of autism are caused by genetics?