Have you ever seen workers on the side of the road with a metal sprayer, dousing the landscaping with some unknown liquid? Or a truck with a tank of liquid driving slowly along the sidewalk spraying a jet stream of liquid all over the roadside or sidewalk? Or how about a farmer in a field on a tractor spraying the crops? Ever wonder what they are spraying?
It's not water. And it's not harmless. They are most likely spraying a glyphosate-based herbicide, such as Roundup or Rodeo. You may even have a bottle of these herbicides in your garage to spray in your own backyard. Glyphosate-based herbicides are the most popular, and insidiously harmful, herbicides and desiccants (drying agents) in the world. Over 9.4 million tons of these herbicides are recorded to have been sprayed globally. 80% of GMOs---genetically modified crops---are engineered to withstand glyphosate-based herbicides.
California is the only state that has a Department of Pesticide* Regulation that tracks the use of glyphosate and other pesticides/herbicides. That map was recently shared with me by a supporter for glyphosate-free grape growing. Click here for one of the most disturbing maps you will ever see, especially if you live in California. The California wine regions are recorded to have between 79,000-189,000 pounds of glyphosate sprayed in their communities every year.
*The term pesticide is accepted by the industry to include pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides.
Farmers, landscapers, and consumers had been told in the early 1970's by Monsanto and our EPA, that the most widely used herbicides, specifically the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, was safe back. However, the parameters used to come to this conclusion were misleading in many ways. To name a few:
The EPA does not have proof that the final formulation of glyphosate-based herbicides are safe. This is because the EPA does not require long-term animal studies** with blood analysis on the final formulation of Roundup, glyphosate-based herbicides, or any herbicide/pesticide. Only one ingredient--in this case glyphosate, is required to have studies presented that are short-term or long-term but with no blood analysis. This policy is incomplete and misleading. A consumer, farmer, or landscaper would assume that the bottle of Roundup, as it sits on the shelf, has been safety tested and is safe to use, but it is not. The co-formulants have been shown to be 1000X more toxic (meaning immediate harm) and glyphosate has been shown to be insidiously harmful (meaning causing long-term harm such as non-alcoholic liver disease over time).
The combinations of multiple pesticides have not been tested. Many landscapers or farmers are encouraged to use multiple pesticides to prevent pest and weed resistance. The use of these chemicals in combination has not been studied, nor is it required to be studied by the EPA to determine safety. A mixture of dozens of chemicals clearly has a different effect than a single chemical. That is basic third-grade science. Do you remember the baking soda and vinegar experiment that creates the foamy volcano? What happens when a combination of over fifty chemicals are used on our food or feed crops? The farmers and manufacturers can't and won't tell us. WE are the experiment...and I don't like the results I am seeing---1 out of 2 children in America have a chronic illness---do you?
The pesticides often do not dry, wash, or cook off, or biodegrade as we have been lead to believe. Glyphosate especially had been claimed to biodegrade (and that claim had to be removed), to "be as safe as table salt." Bottles of Veggie Wash in produce aisles lead the consumer to believe that he or she could simply spray veggies or soak them in vinegar and water and they would be free of chemical residues and safe to eat. This is not true. Glyphosate does not wash off. Glyphosate goes into the cells of the plant and we consume it along with the produce. The EPA allows glyphosate residues on about 158 food and feed crops, far above the levels that have been shown to destroy gut bacteria (the stronghold of the immune system) and cause liver disease.
- Dose does not make the poison in the case of pesticides. It is a common misconception that a small amount of glyphosate herbicides or any pesticide is not harmful to humans or pets. This is not true. Studies have shown glyphosate herbicides (and many pesticides) to be endocrine disruptors, which means that nano amounts can be even MORE harmful to pregnant mothers and babies because the tiny amounts can interfere with estrogen levels and disrupt or halt the development of the fetus. In America, we have 50% more babies that die on the first day of life than all of the industrialized nations combined. We can help prevent this tragedy by not buying Roundup (use alternatives instead), buying organic food, and asking our community officials to use alternatives!
There are many reasons that the amount of pesticide use shown in this mapping tool, or any amount for that matter, is not safe. There are hundreds of studies that prove the lack of safety. Many of these studies can be found on www.momsacrossamerica.org/data, www.BeyondPesticides.org, or www.Panna.org. Serious health issues linked to or shown to be directly caused by glyphosate-based herbicides include cancer, birth defects, shortened pregnancies (which can lead to miscarriages, infant death or developmental delays), liver disease, weakened immune systems, organ damage, and many more. Many other chemicals used on our non-organic food crops such as dicamba, 2,4-D, atrazine, chlorpyrifos, along with others have been shown to be toxic or harmful.
What can we do?
We can get glyphosate and toxins OUT of our communities!
RSVP to go to a local Earth Day Event or post your own, and get a code for a free box of flyers. Print out our sign up sheet, bring a clipboard and gather contact information from locals who agree that they do not want harmful chemicals sprayed in their neighborhoods.
Go to our Toxin Free Town Campaign page and all the information you need to speak to your city council, home owner's association, local farmers, or neighbors about why it is important to discontinue the use of glyphosate-based herbicides and all toxins, and use alternatives instead.
Send a comment to the EPA to revoke the license of glyphosate TODAY! On Earth Day ask your neighbors to send their comments to the EPA! The EPA is currently reviewing glyphosate and may re-register its use for another 15 years. Please let them know this is unacceptable. The EPA has encouraged us to comment to them as much as possible. MAA has been told by an insider that EPA members are receiving death threats. We believe that the chemical companies are asserting enormous pressure on the EPA to re-register glyphosate. Glyphosate-based herbicides alone create billions of dollars in sales each year for these chemical companies. Please comment and remind the EPA that we support them and we need them to do their jobs. It is their mandate to protect the American people, not the profits of chemical companies.
The good news is that when you eat organic, pesticides can be eliminated from the body within a week or two. Many moms report that their children and families get remarkably better and recover from health issues when they eat organic foods and avoid GMOs and harmful chemicals. Many moms also report that their towns have stopped spraying toxic pesticides/herbicides, their local farmer has switched to organic farming, and their schools no longer use glyphosate...all because someone like you simply asked them to.
Please, join us on Earth Day to raise awareness, ask people to comment to the EPA, and speak up to have your community stop spraying glyphosate-based herbicides and other toxins. You can do it! We need your help!
** We are not pro-animal studies. We are simply pointing out that the EPA's own standard of long-term animal testing with blood analysis as a means to determine the risks to humans that cannot otherwise be detected, unless humans are studied, (which is not allowed) is lacking. In addition, if testing pesticide safety on humans is not allowed--why are these pesticides allowed to be in our food?