Tag Archives: children

Agrochemical drift causing diseases and death in Argentina and Georgia

Pesticide poisoning has rapidly increased in Argentina as Monsanto-seed pesticided crops ramped up. Meanwhile in Georgia, 90+% of common crops already are doused in pesticides. What effects are all those poisons having on our own children and adults?

Michael Warren and Natacha Pisarenko wrote for AP today, Argentines link health crisis to agrochemicals,

Argentine farmworker Fabian Tomasi wasn’t trained to use protective gear as he pumped pesticides into crop dusters. Now at 47, he’s a living skeleton.

Schoolteacher Andrea Druetta lives in a town where it’s illegal to spray agrochemicals within 550 yards of homes, and yet soy is planted just 33 yards from her back door. Recently, her boys were showered in chemicals while swimming in their backyard pool.

Sofia Gatica’s search for answers after losing her newborn to kidney failure led to Argentina’s first criminal convictions for illegal spraying last year. But 80 percent of her neighbors’ children surveyed carry pesticides in their blood.

Meanwhile, German researchers found pesticides in all samples of urine, and back in the U.S.A. and Canada, researchers found pesticide metabolites in 95% of schoolchildren tested.

90+% of cotton, soybeans, peanuts, and corn around here are doused in agrochemicals, and even Continue reading

Pesticides lower IQ in children

ScienceDaily wrote 22 April 2011, Prenatal Pesticide Exposure Tied to Lower IQ in Children, Study Finds
In a new study suggesting pesticides may be associated with the health and development of children, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health have found that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides — widely used on food crops — is related to lower intelligence scores at age 7.
Continue reading

Factory Chickens

We were just driving and these were in front of us:

Where are we going?

I recognized them from Food, Inc. They get them out of the chicken houses at night. It was maybe around 8 o’clock in the morning. (7:51 according to the timestamp.) According to Food, Inc., they’re put in the cages as little babies, and they put the sides down. These chickens have probably never seen daylight before: Continue reading

Pesticides Linked to ADHD

Reuters writes that Pesticides tied to ADHD in children in U.S. study:
Researchers tracked the pesticides’ breakdown products in children’ urine and found those with high levels were almost twice as likely to develop ADHD as those with undetectable levels.

The findings are based on data from the general U.S. population, meaning that exposure to the pesticides could be harmful even at levels commonly found in children’s environment.

“There is growing concern that these pesticides may be related to ADHD,” said researcher Marc Weisskopf of the Harvard School of Public Health, who worked on the study.

“What this paper specifically highlights is that this may be true even at low concentrations.”

Organophosphates were originally developed for chemical warfare, and they are known to be toxic to the nervous system.

Then they try to greenwash the problem by saying to wash food before eating. Sure, that will help a bit, but many of the chemicals are inside the food, not just on it.

The problem is that by waging chemical warfare on weeds, we’re waging chemical warfare on ourselves.


PS: Glysophate (RoundUp) is an organophosphate.

Pesticides in Children

Carolyn Butler writes in the NYTimes about Hidden hazards in fruits and veggies:
Researchers at the University of Montreal and Harvard University looked for organophosphate pesticide metabolites, an indicator of pesticide exposure, in the urine of 1,139 kids ages 8 to 15 and found that close to 95 percent had at least one of these chemical byproducts in their system. Those with the highest levels were 93 percent more likely to have received an ADHD diagnosis than children with none in their system. Those with above-average levels of the most common organophosphate byproduct — they made up a third of the whole group — were more than twice as likely as the rest to have ADHD.

So what fruits and vegetables are pesticides found in?

If you’re concerned, there is a wealth of information establishing just how many chemicals we consume, starting with the Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program, which tests thousands of food samples a year, tracking specific residue levels. According to its most recent report in 2008, for example, a type of organophosphate called malathion was detected in 28 percent of frozen blueberries, 25 percent of fresh strawberries and 19 percent of celery. “It’s easy to have a dozen exposures [to different pesticides] in the course of a day,” says Richard Wiles, senior vice president for policy at the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based environmental advocacy group .

I don’t know why the NYTimes can’t be bothered to provided links, such as the actual Pediatrics journal article, or the USDA Pesticide Data Program. That’s some hard data.

Beta Agonists and Bovine Growth Hormone

Martha Rosenberg writes in CounterPunch, If You Liked Bovine Growth Hormone, You’ll Love Beta Agonists:
As much as twenty percent of Paylean, given to pigs for their last 28 days, Optaflexx, given to cattle their last 28 to 42 days and Tomax, given to turkeys their last 7 to 14 days, remains in consumer meat says author and well known veterinarian Michael W. Fox.

Though banned in Europe, Taiwan and China–more than 1,700 people were “poisoned” from eating Paylean-fed pigs since 1998 says the Sichuan Pork Trade Chamber of Commerce– ractopamine is used in 45 percent of US pigs and 30 percent of ration-fed cattle says Elanco Animal Health which manufactures all three products.

What effects could these drugs have?

According to Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, the “indiscriminant use of Paylean (ractopamine) has contributed to an increase in downer non-ambulatory pigs,” and pigs that “are extremely difficult to move and drive.” In Holsteins, ractopamine is known for causing hoof problems, says Grandin and feedlot managers report the “outer shell of the hoof fell off” on a related beta agonist drug, zilpateral.

A article in the 2003 Journal of Animal Science confirms that “ractopamine does affect the behavior, heart rate and catecholamine profile of finishing pigs and making them more difficult to handle and potentially more susceptible to handling and transport stress.”

Surely such animal drugs would have no effects on human? Well, except they’re used to treat children for asthma. Not the sort of thing you really want in the food and water supply.

Rosenberg asks how did this happen, and points out the answer: massive lobbying by big agribusiness.

The FDA’s approval of a drug for food that requires impervious gloves and a mask just to handle is reminiscent of the bovine growth hormone debacle.

And in that debacle, Monsanto didn’t just lobby the FDA, it lobbied the press, including making Fox rewrite a story 80 times.