Food Truth Freedom

Your food, where it comes from & what's in it


The EPA Will No Longer Protect Us

With the recent appointments of the Trump administration to the EPA, the word “protection” in the title, Environmental Protection Agency, no longer applies.

This administration’s vow to roll back government oversight, which was championed by Trump during the campaign, has taken a potentially deadly turn in the installation of Scott Pruitt as EPA head.  Pruitt has been an advocate for the oil, gas and coal industry, has denied the impacts of climate change, and after his appointment, signaled that he will not renew the Obama administration’s Clean Water Act.  He has also gone against the agency’s findings in mothballing a ban on the use of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide widely used on vegetables and fruits, which has been shown to poison groundwater and directly impact human health, especially that of farmworkers.  This is just the tip of the iceberg in the dismantling of the EPA.

Shortly after his inauguration, Trump welcomed coal miners to the White House in an effort to make good on his promise to revive the dying coal industry. This went hand in hand with the rolling back of the Clean Water Act which will allow mines to resume dumping toxic chemicals into waterways.

To further add insult to injury, Nancy B. Beck, joined the EPA in May.  She is a former member of the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade association.  She is an advocate of lessening oversight on potentially harmful chemicals.

Just announced is the EPA’s decision not to let 2 of its scientists speak at a conference, 3 years in the making, of the state of the Narragansett Bay Watershed Program and the relation to climate change.  This follows the scrubbing of the EPA website by Trump’s political appointees which addresses human causes in climate change.

This is just the latest in the Trump administration’s assault on the banishment of scientific evidence regarding climate change, environmental impacts of chemicals, pesticides and potentially harmful substances which endanger humans and the ecosystem.

It is horrifically clear to those of us concerned with our planet’s health and that of its people,  this is not a priority of this administration.

Government oversight has protected us from a myriad of potential harm from insidious corporate actions executed in the name of cost-cutting and greed.  Citizens who applauded a rollback of regulations in favor of less government may learn that they are the ones being hurt most.

Therefore, we need that protection in the “P” of the EPA, as well as other agencies under the axe of the Trump administration.

 

 

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Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready XTend: Dicamba & Roundup. The Poison Treadmill Continues

Use of Roundup has increased because of resistance to super weeds.

To battle the super weed crisis that American farmers have experienced with Roundup’s failure, the FDA approved  GMO (genetically modified) dicamba-resistant soybean & cotton crops.  This follows on the heels of the EPA green light for the “new &  improved” Roundup, Monsanto’s Xtend, a marriage between Roundup and Dicamba.

Dicamba’s been used since the 60’s. There’s one problem.  It’s highly volatile and prone to drift – even up to 72 hours after application –  to fields where it hasn’t been sprayed.

Soybean plant with Xtend damage. Photo: Andrea Morales for Washington Post

Farmers were told not to spray it directly on crops; only on the soil before planting, for post-emergent weed control. Dicamba has a tendency to drift when airborne,  so instructions were to maintain a sprayer height of 24 inches, adjust nozzles for a larger spray (heavier drops) and avoid use when weather conditions made drift more likely. Because of temperature inversions, night-time spraying was not advised. However, some farmers didn’t heed this advice & sprayed it directly on the GMO crops. In violation of federal pesticide laws, some used an older version of dicamba which is more prone to drift.

 A lawsuit was filed on July 19, 2017, against Monsanto, BASF and DuPont by 7 farmers in Arkansas citing crop damage. Approximately of 22% soybean crops were impacted by dicamba drift.  Over 3 million acres have been involved in 16 states, affecting not only farms but residential areas, as well as organic farms.

Missouri and Arkansas have banned the use of Xtend. Damage has been found in Mississippi, Illinois, Tennesee, and other areas of the South.

Monsanto, in its usual nefarious rush toward approval because of greed, didn’t test Xtend for commercial applications to avoid delay in the process.  BSAF limited their testing of their version, Engenia, further allowing scientists to “selectively choose” data for regulators.  “Monsanto, in particular, did very little volatility field work,” said Jason Norsworthy, an agronomy professor at the University of Arkansas.

More disconcerting is that research indicates this new pairing of herbicides may not work for very long. Scientists have found that in just 3 seasons Xtend is no longer effective against superweeds like pigweed.

So guess what?  More applications of Roundup and Dicamba will be needed. Or Monsanto, BASF, DuPont, Bayer or Syngenta will have to come up with another chemical concoction.

The poison treadmill continues.


Pesticides Affect Babies & Children

 

Babies & children absorb pesticides at a rate 10X that of adults.

In utero, as infants, babies & children absorb pesticides ten times that of adults.

Keep this in mind when your phobia of bugs prompts you to use pesticides in your yard & home.

Remember also that during pregnancy, pesticide and lawn chemical use will affect your unborn child.

Following are some links to articles I’ve written on pesticides and children:

Dangers of Pesticides:  Sevin Dust, Roundup & Other Garden Chemicals

Sevin Dust Illegal in Many Countries – Top Seller in  The U.S.:     Pregnant women should avoid exposure to Sevin dust because it can cause fetal abnormalities: cardio and pulmonary, nervous system development, spontaneous abortion, ADD in their child and a host of other difficulties. Additionally, women whose pregnancies fall between the months of highest Sevin applications – May and September – have the highest instances of fetal distress in development.

Your questions answered on Sevin Dust. It’s not the harmless chemical you think it is.

Are your kids helping in the garden? You may be exposing them to high levels of pesticides.

 


Put Down The Strawberries: These Pesticide-laden Fruits & Veggies Top the Pesticide List For 2017

Topping the list of the most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables are strawberries, which can contain as many as 20 different pesticides. The Environmental Working Group released its annual “Dirty Dozen” list.

Another favorite, spinach, climbed the list from 8th last year to 2nd for 2017.  A disturbing fact is permethrin, a neurotoxin banned in Europe but still used here in the United States, was found on approximately 75% of tested samples. Permethrin was also found in higher levels in the urine of children more likely to have ADHD & can cause seizures as well as endocrine (hormonal) and neurological damage.   Additionally, permethrin is used here in the U.S. to control head lice and is embedded in mosquito and tick-repellent fabrics. It is commonly used on nut, fruit, vegetable, cotton, ornamental, mushroom, potato and cereal crops.

More bad news for spinach:  mandipropam, fluopicolide and ametoctradin, which are used to kill mold and mildew – were found in higher rates this year. In previous years their presence was not found on this and other produce.

New additions to the list were pears and potatoes which edged out cherry tomatoes and cukes.

In contrast, the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15” is as follows:  corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, (frozen) sweet peas, papayas,  asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit.

It is important to note that even at low levels, pesticides have a cumulative effect.  Children absorb them at a rate ten times that of adults.  Because their systems are still developing, it is wise to limit their exposure. Important READ —>  If You Use Pesticides, READ THIS!

Best bet?  BUY ORGANIC when you can!


Food Waste: 800 Million Starving – We Could Feed Them All

Trillions of pounds of food are discarded annually - perfectly good, edible food that could feed millions.

Trillions of pounds of food are discarded annually – perfectly good, edible food that could feed millions.

It’s hard for the average American to imagine true starvation.  With the abundant availability of food at our fingertips:  Grocery stores chock-full of food right around the corner, fast food joints at every turn and restaurants with their heaping portions – we never consider the hungry worldwide.

800 million people on this planet are starving.  Worldwide, we waste 1/3 of the planet’s production,  an astonishing 2.9 trillion pounds of food a year – enough to feed all of them twice.

In developing nations, those without easy access to refrigeration or passable roads, much is lost post-production. In more industrialized countries, more food waste occurs farther down the supply chain.  Retailers order too much, restaurants serve huge portions that patrons don’t finish. Consumers lose leftovers in the back of the fridge or toss food because they’ve bought too much and it’s spoiled.  They pitch perfectly good food (canned, boxed or frozen) because they’re paranoid about the “use by,”  “best before” dates, not realizing that it’s still OK to eat. Nationwide, 40% of  food used in school lunches is thrown in the trash.

Then there’s the 6 billion pounds of unharvested or unsold food which the United States wastes because it failed to win the beauty contest; misshapen, “ugly” produce, bruised, scarred, slightly bug-chewed or deemed not aesthetically pleasing for grocery shelves.  Edible, nutritious food is going to waste while people starve.

Food waste taxes the planet’s resources.  When food is rejected for looks, rots somewhere for lack of storage or thrown away by retailers or consumers, millions of gallons of water are wasted, more dangerous pesticides and herbicides were used than necessary, gasoline or diesel is wasted, seeds squandered and our landfills stuffed with edible food, all for naught.

There is hope.  Here in the States, the USDA is promoting gleaning which means food is collected from farms, grocery stores, farmer’s markets and restaurants. (click HERE to get involved) A growing movement of gleaners salvages food and re-purposes it. A some farms are collecting discarded food, like the pig farmer outside of Las Vegas who gathers uneaten food from casinos to feed to his animals.  PantryNet is available to let consumers find local food banks nearby.  Schools are cutting back on food waste by offering sharing tables.  “Feedback,” an organization dedicated to reducing food waste collects food on an international level.  Feeding America is fighting hunger in America. Many restaurants have begun  fine-tuning purchasing, making portions smaller and donating unused food to charities.  Stores are springing up all over which sell packaged food past its “sell by” date which is certainly still edible.  The former president of Trader Joe’s, Doug Rauch, opened a non-profit supermarket in Massachusetts, The Daily Table,  offering fruits & vegetables soon to be discarded. Imperfect Produce, based in California, collects rejected produce from farms and delivers it right to your door. In our nation’s capitol, D.C. Central Kitchen collects food and provides 11,000 meals a day to shelters, schools and other locations.

We must be more conscious of the food we eat and more aware of the vast amount we waste. Keeping this in mind, we need to pressure those entities which throw away edible food, large grocery chains, restaurants, corporate farms, Mom-and-Pop stores, farmer’s markets and schools, to concentrate on feeding the world’s hungry.


Sevin Dust, Bug B Gon, 2,4-D : ALL Lawn & Garden Chemicals WILL MAKE YOUR PETS SICK!

All lawn and garden chemicals will make your cat or dog sick.

All lawn and garden chemicals will make your cat or dog sick.

Let me get right to the point:  ALL LAWN & GARDEN CHEMICALS WILL MAKE YOUR PETS SICK.  There are no exceptions to this rule!

Just as you can be sickened by Sevin Dust, Spectracide, Bug B Gon, Scott’s Weed & Feed, 2,4-D, Triazicide, Bayer All-In-One products or any other lawn care chemical, so can your pet.

Pesticides and herbicides are toxic chemicals.  They are poison. Get that?

Every time you use products like Sevin Dust, Bug B Gon, 2,4-D or others, you run the risk of poisoning your cat or dog. (or yourself and your kids, too.)

Pesticides are neurotoxins,  meaning they act on the brain.  They’ve also been found to increase chances of cancer in animals, respiratory disease, muscle weakness and a host of other serious complications.

Pesticides and lawn care chemicals do not dissipate.  When your pet walks on the lawn you just treated with Bug B Gon,  Spectracide, Scott’s Weed & Feed or 2,4-D, it will pick up residue on its feet and coat.  It tracks it into your home. Then, in grooming itself, it ingests the chemical.

In a study conducted by Purdue University found that even after lawn chemicals had dried, reside was still found on dogs tested.

In 2,4-D exposure, dogs were found to have very high instances of malignant lymphoma.  Despite numerous epidemiological studies linking it to cancer in dogs and people, The EPA refuses to classify it as a carcinogen.

These are not harmless chemicals. They cause significant neurological and endocrine damage in humans and pets.

Please educate yourself. Your health, the health of your family and that of your pet depends on it.

READ MORE:

If You Use Pesticides, READ THIS!  <— A “Pesticides 101” primer.

Sevin Dust Is Not Your Garden Friend

 


Pesticide Use Linked To Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & ALS

Pesticide use has been linked with increased rates of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS.

Pesticide use has been linked to increased rates of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.

Pesticides are neurotoxins (neu·ro·tox·in: a poison that acts on the nervous system) which overstimulate brain cells, causing miscommunication between them and eventually, cell death. This is how pesticides kill insects: the creature’s brain and nervous system becomes so scrambled it shuts down and the insect dies.

Definitive links exist between pesticide use and the rise of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease as well as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – ALS – or known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Pesticides are classified as those used to control insects, weeds and fungi and are known as insecticides, herbicides or fumigants.

Organophosphates are commonly used on food, in household pesticide and insecticides as well as lawn and garden chemicals. Organophosphates  have been shown to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and ALS.

You might know some of these pesticides by their brand names:  Sevin Dust, Malathion (used in mosquito control)  Round-Up (glyphosate) and Diazinon.

Elevated serum levels of pesticides in humans, along with a rise in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, point to a link in neurological damage in those consistently exposed.

Though most Alzheimer’s research has focused on genetic factors, scientists have found that only half the cases are linked to heredity.  The other half increasingly points to use of pesticides in past decades.  DDT, banned over 40 years ago, remains in the body and has been found in about 75-80% of the population.  In Alzheimer’s patients the levels of DDE, (DDT when broken down) were 4.18 times higher.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurological disorder.  Nerve cells in the brain regulating dopamine – which controls movement – are damaged to the point where they cannot produce the chemical.  Less than 1% of Parkinson’s cases can be attributed to genetics and researchers are finding a solid link to exposure to pesticides.  Scientists in the UK in studies ranging from 1983-2005, found a substantial link to pesticide and herbicide exposure in Parkinson’s patients.

  • Research conducted in the U.S. found that those consistently exposed to low levels of pesticides and herbicides were twice likely to develop Parkinson’s.
  • A Harvard study found that long-term pesticide exposure, even at low levels, shows a 70% increase in the disease over those who had limited contact.
  • Gardeners who routinely use pesticides such as Sevin Dust,  are 50% more likely to develop Parkinson’s than those who grow organic gardens.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, affecting motor control and is always fatal.  Over time patients lose motor control and in later stages, may become totally paralyzed.

Pesticides cause oxidative stress which in turn can lead to an array of health issues:  Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, cancer, chronic fatigue, heart and blood vessel disorders, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attack and inflammatory diseases.

With mounting evidence against pesticides, isn’t it time you think twice before using them?

There are no “safe” pesticides.

Read More:

Food Truth Freedom:  If You Use Pesticides, READ THIS!

Beyond Pesticides:  Pesticide Induced Diseases.

PubMed.gov: Pesticide Exposure, Parkinson’s &  Neurodegenerative Diseases