global citizen reportCompiled by Rosemary Mason MB ChB FRCA on behalf of a global network of independent scientists, beekeepers and environmentalists

Farm Wars

What are pesticides and medical drugs doing to human health?

Have you wondered why pollinators, birds, amphibians, bats etc. have dramatically decreased in numbers in the last 20-30years? Or perhaps you weren’t even aware of the fact – because the British Media has been silent on the matter.

But you will be aware of the increasing number of diseases that are affecting us all: obesity, type 2 diabetes, autism, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, various neurological disorders, cancers, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, infertility, birth defects, depression, heart disease, strokes, hypertension etc.

Why has no-one in medicine, public health or medical epidemiology managed to work it out? “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”1

The answer is simple; but the cure is not. We are slowly, silently being poisoned. Our genes, and those of our children, are being damaged by toxic chemicals.2 Of course it is something of a ‘post-code’ (or water-shed ‘post code’ lottery3) and depends on where you are living. If you live in London and eat organic food, you may not have noticed. But there are pesticide residues (particularly glyphosate) in staple foods that are made from cereal crops, because many are desiccated (dried off) with glyphosate before harvest. Since 2007, most brewers and distillers have permitted pre-harvest desiccation to be done, so it will now be in beer and whiskey. Most of the imports from the US have ingredients contaminated with GM and herbicides (such as glyphosate, 2,4-D, glufosinate, dicamba) in the production process.

In South Wales we have found that glyphosate is present in our tap water.4 This is because large amounts of glyphosate are used on noxious weeds such as Japanese knotweed that are invading previously industrialised areas. Contractors on quad bikes with knapsacks have been spraying Roundup® along kerbs, verges, highways, even in areas of schools, libraries and doctors surgeries. In 2012 the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) instructed the workers not to spray on hard surfaces,5 because there is a lot of run-off into water courses, but I doubt whether a technical instruction posted on a website ever gets passed on to a worker.

Our Assembly Member wrote to the Local Council, but they said that Roundup® was perfectly safe. (This is a Monsanto myth: since 1996 the Corporation has been convicted in courts for fraudulent and false advertising6). Our Council refused to stop spraying until they were instructed to do so by the CRD or Defra. We have spent 3 years writing to these two Government Departments. Both maintain that glyphosateand the neonicotinoid insecticides are perfectly safe if applied in the correct dosages! We remain at an impasse and continue to be poisoned by Government policies.

Unfortunately some members of the British Government, such as the Defra Minister, Environment Minister, Science Minister and their Chief Scientists and a few MPs are ‘in bed’ with the pesticides companies. They, together with NFU Chairman, Peter Kendall, and many scientists from the John Innes Centre have held secret meetings with industry to devise a strategy to try to get GM crops into the UK.7 Paradoxically, at the same time, a significant number of countries are banning them.

Here is a 2012 Report: Combatting Monsanto: Grassroots resistance to the corporate power of agribusiness in the era of the ‘green economy’ and a changing climate.8 It is compiled by La Via Campesina,9 Friends of the Earth International and Combat Monsanto. Many countries have banned GMO crops. This Report also documents many crimes (including murder) committed by the Corporate Industries in their quest for seed and pesticide dominance. Is it significant that the UK has volunteered to take the first stockpile of chemicals from Syria (for the deadline: 31/12/2013) into an unknown British Port for destruction? These precursors are capable of being used by the pharmaceutical industry.10

 

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