Rachel Carson - What the Green Movement Got Wrong TV - News Report - BBC News TV - Horizon TV - SFGate online & Baltimore Sun - Kenneth Mellanby - Andrew Marr TV - Woody Harrelson - Adam Curtis TV - Amy Martin - The Future of Food 2004 - Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives 2012 - Mark Thomas TV - The World According to Monsanto 2008 -
The poison travels from link to link of the food chain and soon the birds at the lake margins become its victims. And the following spring is silent of Robin song. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
A Who’s Who of pesticides is therefore of concern to us all. If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones – we had better know something about their nature and their power. ibid.
In the early 1960s just before the environmental movement took off zoologist Rachel Carson wrote a book saying that pesticides were killing wild birds and were potentially harmful to humans. The book became an international best-seller – Silent Spring. What the Green Movement Got Wrong, Channel 4 2010
One pesticide in particular became the target: DDT. It was dangerously sprayed outside indiscriminately. But used inside in small quantities it was very effective against malaria. Environmentalists campaigned for governments around the world to ban it. What nobody realised at the time was the unintended consequences that might have. ibid.
One hundred and forty-nine persons in California alone have now become ill with hundreds of more cases suspected in four other Western states and Canada from eating water melons contaminated with the pesticide. News report
In the town of McFarland there have been twelve case of cancer among children. Six of those children have died. There’s a growing suspicion that it’s connected with the spraying of chemicals. BBC News
Today there are more than 350 pesticides approved for use by conventional farmers ... The latest results show that about 40% of food does have traces of pesticide but less than 3% are found to contravene safety levels. The question is then, How do we know that the agreed level is safe? Horizon: Professor Regan’s Supermarket Secrets, BBC 2008
By the 1970s it was clear that pesticides were devastating wildlife by crippling reproductive ability and wrecking nervous systems. And we were at the top of the food chain. Susan Jebb: Horizon: A Diet Guide, BBC 2010
Many pesticides were banned in the 1970s. ibid.
EPA rule loophole allows pesticide testing on kids. SFGate online citing article Andrew Schneider 15th September 2005 Baltimore Sun
Danger of pesticides – the debt to Rachel Carson. Dr Kenneth Mellanby, article
Government scientists accused her of reckless misinterpretation of scientific facts. And in a sinister echo of the McCarthy era a politician simply branded her a communist. The intensity of the attacks on Rachel Carson were compared directly to the assault on Charles Darwin when he published On the Origin of Species. Andrew Marr, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, BBC 2009
Pesticides came about after the First World War. Some brainy petrochemical money-maker said, ‘Hey, that mustard gas worked great on people, maybe we could dilute it down and spray it on our crops to deal with pests.’ Woody Harrelson
[Thomas] Midgley … put lead in petrol. In 1930 he discovered a new coolant for fridges: it was called by its initials – CFC. Midgley became part of a golden age of chemistry in America in the Thirties. Adam Curtis, Pandora’s Box IV: Goodbye, Mrs Ant, BBC 1992
It killed insects: it was called DDT … The United States was a continent plagued with insects. Farmers lived in perpetual fear of finding a new infestation. Whole crops were regularly destroyed by pests. DDT and the other insecticides invented in its wake promised victory in this war. ibid.
But the entomologists began to discover what appeared to be serious side effects … Many other species of wildlife were being harmed. ibid.
The chemical companies also portrayed the battle against the insects as a necessary war. ibid.
The first serious public attack on the widespread use of pesticides came from Rachel Carson. She was a biologist who had worked for the United States Fish and Wildlife service. In the late ’50s she began collecting evidence of the side effects. In particular, studies which showed that DDT was becoming more concentrated as it worked its way into the bodies of larger animals. In 1962 she wrote a book called Silent Spring. ibid.
Where once chemicals were seen as good now they were bad. In the early 1970s press and television became fascinated about any reports of the side effects of pesticides and herbicides and above all of the effects on human beings. ibid.
Last month the university of San Francisco made an alarming discovery: that 93% of Americans tested had traces of the chemical called Glyphosate in their urine … the main ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship product Round Up, a pesticide sprayed all over almost every acre of food ground. Abby Martin, The Empire Files: Monsanto, America’s Monster, Youtube 2016
Monsanto Town: ‘created to be a sewer’. Today, it’s a toxic wasteland. ibid.
Industrial chemicals called PCBs … Monsanto is also responsible for irradiating American citizens … on pregnant women and their unborn babies. ibid.
Monsanto produced plane-loads of one of the world’s first pesticides: DDT. ibid.
The military’s top producer of a deadly chemical weapon known as Agent Orange. ibid.
The new chapter … Aspartame … a growing health controversy … Rumsfeld joined Reagan’s administration. ibid.
Every administration has worked closely with Monsanto … Obama has been one of the most pro-Monsanto presidents so far. ibid.
We used to be a nation of farmers but now it’s less than 2% of the population. The Future of Food, 2004
Nerve gas developed during World War II was slightly modified to make insecticides. DDT was the hero of its generation. ibid.
97% of the varieties of vegetables grown at the beginning of the 20th century are now extinct. ibid.
A pesticide treadmill: the more they sprayed, the more they had to spray. The increased use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides increased costs, polluted water and created health risks. Then in the 1970s Monsanto introduced Round Up, because of its ability to kill most weeds it became one of the most popular herbicides in history. ibid.
Monsanto genetically modified its seeds to be Round Up ready. ibid.
Estimates are that Monsanto has sent out 9,000 letters to farmers; most farmers choose to pay to avoid lawsuits. ibid.
‘They’re opposing labelling … A key way to get these corporations liable for the health affects.’ ibid.
The vast majority of genetically modified crops are engineered to make it easier for farmers to kill weeds. Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives, 2012
Round-Up & Birth Defects: Is the Public Being Kept in the Dark? ibid. EarthOpenSource online article
Coca-Cola strenuously denied the pesticide claims, and went on a PR battle. Mark Thomas, Dispatches: Coco-Cola, Channel 4 2007
Skin rashes and the fish have died. ibid.
Organophosphates: ‘The farm workers were pretty alarmed.’ Mark Thomas Comedy Product s6e1, worker, Channel 4 2002
Organophosphates were actually developed by the Nazis … cheap food thanks to the Nazis! ibid.
Roundup herbicide: It doesn’t say biodegradable any more … Not harmful to humans, animals or their environment. Copyright Monsanto, made in Belgium. The World According to Monsanto, 2008
On its website Monsanto positions itself as an agricultural company that aims to help farmers produce healthier food … Its leading product is Roundup ... Also the world leader in biotechnology. ibid.
It was one of the largest chemical companies of the 20th century. ibid.
Agent Orange, aspartame, bovine growth hormone, PCBs … ibid.
Washington Post 2002: Monsanto Hid Decades of Pollution. ibid.
Roundup’s toxicity was hidden to protect the development of GMOs. ibid.
‘Monsanto did not deny they made the offer of one to two million …’ ibid. Dr Shiv Chopra, Health Canada