Actually what got this letter started was your part in the discussion on
"Ideology" - I don't remember how ideology and pesticides got connected.
When my brother died in 1960 the state pathologist's autopsy found the cause
of death to be dieldrin (now banned) and malathion (still in use), both of
which were found in his blood. He had sprayed the apple orchard the day
before, using proper precautions including gas mask. But there was an
inversion layer which kept the poisons from escaping into the higher
atmosphere, so they hung around waiting for him to come back without
protection. The pathologist's statement was printed in the local newspaper,
was immediately challenged by agrochemical companies and by a professor at the
nearby University of Vermont, who said the chemicals were not highly toxic and
"proved" it by noting that they could be purchased without prescription for
commercial use. All the same, there was a flurry of concern, like the more
recent Alar scare, and somehow the word was spread that cause of death was an
allergic reaction to a bee sting, although the pathologist's report was filed
without any change.
Last summer a Vermont organic farm (certified organic for 15 years) lost their
whole crop, and perhaps their certification eligibility for three years, when
Atrazine was sprayed by air on a neighbor's cornfield. Since there was no
apparent damage to human health, this story got minimal press coverage.
I expect that most SANeters already buy organic food if they're not growing it
themselves. As I see it, the big question is, how do we bring awareness to
the Great American Public, the millions who are too uninformed to look for
information, and the ones who don't want to believe that their food is sprayed
with something lethal?
It just occurred to me that insurance companies keep a close watch on
statistics, I wonder if they have noticed the increase of cancers, etc., in
people living near where pesticides are used.
What we need is for somebody to make a Global Disaster Movie with people
having to choose between starvation and eating poison-grown food, and the Bad
Guys hoarding everything organic, and graphic pictures of horribly diseased
cows being ground up to stretch hamburg for MacDonald's, and hospitals
overflowing with cancer patients, and Pollution Watch radio alerts telling
citizens when the air pollution requires gas masks, and hungry throngs
desperately commandeering golf courses to plant corn and potatoes, and
hungrier throngs digging up the planted potatoes and eating them raw - let me
see, now, who would be the heroes and heroines and what would they do? By
gosh, though, the Great American Public would eat this up!
Cecile, you wrote "Our air quality is affected (however, by law, pesticides
are not measured by the local agency for Air Quality)."
Whose law is that, and does the law prohibit such measurement or just not
Enough for now, best to all,
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