Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap…
Okay so maybe not cheap, since Syngenta (Another one of the lovely Biomafia companies in our country), has crossed the line in order to do damage control. That’s right my lovely fellow revolutionaries, in order to keep the truth about Atrazine from making it to your eyes and ears, they resorted to hiring detectives to dig up the dirt on not only on Tyrone Hayes (a scientist who conducted tests showing that Atrazine causes male frogs to become females), but also the judge who was working on the case against Syngenta (a water-management district in Illinois filed a lawsuit to force Syngenta to pay for the cost of removing atrazine from drinking water). The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court. During discovery, the court forced Syngenta to turn over mounds of document. Here’s a passage: “please don’t redistribute. I don’t think it would be helpful if it were generally known that we research SAP panel members. The real good stuff I have kept to myself. Tim, if you see a bill coming in from some detective agency, you could just sign it and pass it along. It protection from Janis on atrazine,” Basically, Syngenta hired detectives to dig up the dirt on members of the Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific advisory board (SAP). Numerous memos show that Syngenta funneled money to the American Council on Science and Health, to the Hudson Institute (where Alex Avery of the institute’s Center for Global Food Issues attacked Hayes to discredit him and his research), to Steven Milloy, publisher of junkscience.com and to president of Citizens for the Integrity of Science. In return, Syngenta got praising and supportive blog posts and fluffy warm editorials. Syngentas head of communication stated the folloing: “These are great clips for us because they get out some of our messages from someone who comes off sounding like an unbiased expert. Another strength is that the messages do not sound like they came from Syngenta,” Most people don’t even read scientific papers, because we rely on experts and journalists to help us make head and tails of what is being said. But none of this has anything to do with the science surrounding atrazine. In fact, the research that Hayes did, is the very same research that Syngenta conducted themselves. If they had gotten different results do you think they would have published them for all to see?? Of course not!!
But let me back up and explain what the big deal about atrazine is. Atrazine is a synthetic compound, used as an agricultural herbicide. Yes herbicide, meaning it’s sprayed on our food crops. Europe, as with most dangerous things these days, has banned the use of it. Atrazine is a widely used herbicide for control of broadleaf and grassy weeds that interfere with the growth of corn, sorghum, sugar cane and other crops. Atrazine is also used as a weed killer on golf courses as well as a variety of commercial and residential lawns. Atrazine was first registered for use in the United States in 1959. The herbicide has been banned in the European Union since 2004—individual countries in Europe banned Atrazine as early as 1991—but 80 million pounds of the stuff is used each year in the United States. So what’s the big deal? Atrazine may protect crops and lawns from certain types of nasty little weeds, but it is a serious problem for other species. The chemical is a strong endocrine disruptor that causes immunosuppression, hermaphroditism and even complete sex reversal in male frogs (Gasp, you mean Hayes’s research was correct?? Perish the thought!) at concentrations as low as 2.5 parts per billion (ppb)—well below the 3.0 ppb that the EPA says is safe. Amphibian populations across the globe have been declining at an unprecedented rates. Today, nearly one-third of the world’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction. As if that wasn’t bad enough, atrazine has also been linked to reproductive defects in fish and prostate and breast cancer in laboratory rodents (Eek?). Epidemiological studies have also suggest that atrazine is a human carcinogen and leads to other human health issues. So let’s talk about the problems this powdery little substance has on us. Researchers have been finding an increasing number of links between atrazine and poor birth outcomes in humans. In fact, a 2009 study found a significant relationship between prenatal atrazine exposure (primarily from drinking water consumed by pregnant women) and reduced body weight in newborns. Low birth weight is associated with increased risk of illness in infants and conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes (which as you know is not good!). The public’s health in this issue is a growing concern. Atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in American groundwater! An extensive U.S. Geological Survey study found atrazine in approximately 75% of our stream water and about 40% percent of groundwater samples in the agricultural areas tested. Even more recent data shows atrazine present in 80% of drinking water samples taken from 153 public water systems. Yes that’s right my fellow revolutionaries, this nasty stuff has been found hanging out in our water system. So not only is our food being poisoned by these big bad Biomafia companies, but they actually have been silently poisoning us through our water as well. So how would you feel if I tell you that after 15 years of completely stopping the use of atrazine, France is still detecting its presence. Persistent must be it’s middle name!! Each year, more than half a million pounds of atrazine gets caught in the airstream during spraying, and falls back to Earth in rain and snow, before eventually making it’s way into our streams and groundwater. In 1006, our ever so dedicated and government agency we call the EPA, re-registered atrazine and deemed it safe. They claim that it posed no health risks for humans at all. The NRDC and other environmental organizations questioned that conclusion, and pointed out that the EPA’s monitoring systems was inadequate and weak, and regulations have allowed atrazine levels in watersheds and drinking water to reach extremely high concentrations, which certainly puts public health in question and possibly even at serious risk. But farmers love this stuff!! Well of course they do. WHy? Well first, it’s relatively cheap. Second, it doesn’t harm crops. Third, it increases yields, and finally it saves them money. And we all know that happy farmers, who make make good money, is always a good thing. Sadly, it’s stil a dangerous chemical, and regardless of whatever the benefits our farmers may see, the economic costs of continuing to use atrazine—both in treatment of our water and public health costs, could be significant when compared to the relatively small economic losses that banning this chemical would cause. WHy must we play with poisons in the name of higher crop yields??
Back to my earlier story. So here we have Mr. Hayes conducting research and publishing his findings that atrazine causes male frogs to become females, and Syngenta jumps to run damage control, much like what Monsanto does when it rushes to pay off journals and researchers to discredit any researcher and study that shows negative effects of any of it’s GE crops or products. So to read news like this, where yet another biomafia company plays dirty and puts the safety and well being of not just our health but that of our families as well, in danger…well it just sickens me. In agriculture, where the largest amount of money for research comes from big corporations that use steel fists to guide public opinion, maybe we need to start paying closer attention to independent reports from researchers like Tyrone Hayes. After all if these big bad companies are willing to drop so low such as hiring detectives, what does that tell us about he research they are trying to discredit? My fellow revolutionaries, that tells us that they are trying to hide the truth yet again from us, and yet again don’t give a rats ass about our health, but are more worried about their profits and public image.
We here at the Food Revolution, salute you Mr Hayes. We hope that you continue your research ad that other researchers follow in your footsteps and put finding the truth about whatever it is that is being researched at the time, not just in the name of science but in the name of all of the people that might just be affected by whatever the results may show. Power to the people, it’s time for a revolution!!!
Posted on June 19, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged agriculture, earth, feed, food, foodie, garden, gardening, GE, gmo, good food, harmful additives, healing, health, healthy, monsanto, nature, people, power, revolution, united. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.