Thursday, January 31, 2019

What's At Stake?

a plethora of toxic choices at your fingertips

It's not pleasant to venture into the gardening section of any small or big box store these days. They just stink of chemicals. You know what I'm talking about. It's unmistakeable in places like Tractor Supply, Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart - even in the back room Wagner Hardware in Coudersport.

Pesticides are created to kill. They are poisonous to living organisms, including plants, wildlife, pets, your neighbors, your family and you. Of 30 commonly-used lawn pesticides, 19 are linked to cancer, 13 are linked to birth defects, 21 to reproductive effects, 26 to liver or kidney damage, 15 with neurotoxicity and 11 with disruption of the endocrine system. Of those same pesticides, 17 are detected in groundwater, 23 can leach into drinking water sources.

Poisons are absorbed through the skin, or by breathing sprays, dusts or vapors. You can be poisoned if you apply or are present during application of the chemical. If you touch contaminated grass, shoes, clothing, lawn furniture, etc. or put contaminated objects (think of toys, balls, golf tees, blades of grass) or fingers in your mouth, you have introduced the poison into your body. Chemicals can enter your system through inhalation so it isn't crazy to try to hold your breath as you walk into the "gardening" section ... or when you walk by your neighbor's yard treated with chemicals ... or when you drive up to Cole Memorial Hospital after the landscaping company has sprayed.

Monsanto (now part of Bayer Ag) is facing thousands of lawsuits from individuals who assert that Roundup has caused their cancers. One gentleman, a groundskeeper for a school district in California, was awarded a large settlement in a jury trial, claiming his Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma was caused by glyphosate (in Roundup). More trials are upcoming as Monsanto scrambles to keep records of their corporate subterfuge out of the public eye. (Lots of documents to add to your reading list here.)

And to those who believe the assertions of the "authorities," that these products are safe, I ask why are you not skeptical of these claims in light of all the evidence to the contrary?  I continue to be baffled about exactly why folks are willing to assume the risk of using these products to "control" weeds in their landscaping. Is is worth the risk to your health to eliminate the dandelions? Is it worth the risk to your neighbors ... or your neighbor's children... or your neighbor's pet?

For those who might be interested in reading more, here's a link that might lead you to a new conclusion.

On Metzger Heritage Farm, we are proud of our heritage as organic farmers and continue to work hard to raise quality, USDA Certified Organic vegetables, fruits and herbs to share with our community.


Sharon said...

It's horrifying to see an entire field that has been sprayed with Roundup - before planting potatoes, green beans, etc. It's completely dead and brown and one can see a clear demarcation between the sprayed and unsprayed areas.

Alvie Fourness, IOIA Organic Inspector said...

My idea for an event is to dress in a lime green coveralls (chemical spray suit) and set up a small table at the farmers market. On the table would be a lovely bowl of organic apples and a spray bottle of Roundup weedkiller and another spray bottle of water. I would take an apple from the bowl and eat a few bites and mention how tasty it is.

Then I would place the mask over my face and don some rubber gloves and spray an apple or two with the roundup.

Then I would mention that in chemical farming, it supposed to safe to eat conventional fruit and vegetables sprayed with chemicals if they washed. So then, I would spray to roundup sprayed apple with some water from the spray bottle to “wash” it, and then ask if anyone would like to take a bit?

How many people do you think would eat that chemical sprayed apple? Would you?