If you haven't seen it yet, you might want to check out the Jan/Feb issue
of Sierra magazine (I just got it in the mail; I don't know if it's on
The cover article is on environmental estrogens (hormone disruptors,
including some pesticides) and the great harm they're being shown to do.
Summarizes the issues in a very accessible way. The main article is adapted
from _Our Stolen Future_. Also discusses chemical industry campaign to
discredit this evidence, etc. 9 pages.
One passage I liked, "At levels typically found in the environment, these
chemicals act like thugs on the biological information highway, sabotaging
vital hormonal communication. They mug the messengers or impersonate them.
They jam signals. They scramble messages. They sow disinformation.... The
most important concept in thinking about this kind of toxic assault is not
poisons, not carcinogens, but chemical mssages." Great damage can occur as
a result, especially to fetuses and children at key phases in their
A good article if you: want to get acquainted/up to speed on this important
topic; want a brief summary to show others; want information on the
chemical companies' response/misinformation campaign.
Also in this issue:
- An article on international ag, including how pesticides are used to
create export crops to us, so we can have food at unnatural times, and that
those pesticides come back and poison us. According to one study, from
1992-4, "the U.S exported at least 344 million pounds of hazardous
pesticides, of which at least 25 million pounds were forbidden in this
country... As recently as 1992, the Biesterfeld/Hansen brokerage firm in
New York City arranged the shipment to Peru of more than 300 tons of the
notorious poison DDT, most uses of which have been banned in the US since
1972." This comes back in our food. Conclusion: eat local, buy organic.
- Short article on "how Monsanto's biotech miracle undermines organic
farming". (Bt cotton or Bollgard). Contrary to claims, "bollworms continued
to ravage that acreage" and (predicably) resistance is a problem; "The
tobacco budworm, for example, another cotton scourge, has been shown to
become 10,000 times more resistance to Bt after three years exposure to
Bollgard." An activist wants to know who is going to take responsibility
should the worst happen. " 'Those who make the mistakes seem never to pay
the price.'... Organic farming would be crippled, but Monsanto will just
move on to a new poison."
- Exec Director Carl Pope column "The Rest of the Story" that discusses the
rest of certain environmental stories - including PCBs (industry once tried
to show they weren't as carcinogenic as early studies suggested; evidence
now shows they're more dangerous than previously believed).
- Article on anti-environmentalists political use of paranoia.
- An interesting article on the Toxics Release Inventory, how it serves the
public in taking care of themselves, the industry's complaints about it and
efforts to disempower it, and the way activists would like to see it
improved instead. Expect another Republican assault next Congress on this
vital public information/tool. Includes info on particular toxic
sites/states/etc., info on accessing the full electronic list (ex.
http://rtk.net, searchable database, by location, company, etc., and EPA's
list: http://www.epa.gov/lcgi-bin/waisgatell),and info on newsletter
(online and paper) on this subject. Includes side bar on mining industry
In short, lots of interesting stuff... You might want to check it out...