Saturday, December 31, 2011

Are Farmers Addicted to Chemicals?

Farmers I invite you to take the time to understand the toxicology behind the poisons you use. Is it easier for you to spray and apply than to be responsible, especially when bankers require you to use chemicals to protect your loans?

Meanwhile chemical sales people get awarded by the volume of pesticides they sell so they continue to pitch their these-chemicals-are-safe shtick.

Making money is the top priority, trumping the health of people and planet. And integrity? Well amid this current agricultural landscape, it seems to be a foreign notion. 

I am angry. I can’t just compost and buy organic produce in silence. I am like a bee, here to deliver a message, hoping someone will listen.

Sure physical pain has its place and teaches us important lessons about gratitude, ego and mortality but clearly the levels of cancers, obesity, autism, allergies, and auto-immune disorders are epidemic. There is too much illness and it’s because of environmental pollutants.

To make a profit, multinational companies like the Big Six (Syngenta, Dupont, Bayer,Monsanto, BASF and Dow Agroscience) are poisoning us each day by air, water, earth, and food. And then, they take even more of our money in an attempt to heal us.

Take Bayer for example. They make baby aspirin and yet they also were also described as the Nazis’ “industrial jackal” in the wake of Hitler’s armies.  This is the same company responsible for trademarking heroin in the late 1800s and marketing it world-wide for decades as a safe cough medicine for children, despite knowing it was addictive.

Today they are the leaders in making systemic pesticides believed to be at the root cause of CCD.  

I’ve started reading a book called the War on Bugs, which I purchased several years ago when I started conducting research for my documentary Vanishing of the Bees.

Author Will Allen grew up on a farm himself during an era when DDT was lauded and greatly used. Unlike many of the people around him however, he realized that these common farming chemicals were dangerous. He became an organic farmer who discovered and documented how “advertisers, editors, scientists, large scale farmers, government agencies, and even Dr. Seuss, colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise.”

By now many of us know that these are the same chemicals that were used in concentration camps, Vietnam and in Iraq. But chemicals were used before the war. In the early 1800s, there were scientists along with those from mining and manufacturing companies who began persuading large scale farmers that their chemicals would solve their financial and farming problems.

What they really wanted of course was to find a way to make profit off their waste! And thus agriculture became a dumping ground!

Take sodium nitrate fertilizer for instance which was used in Chile and Peru; it was also a waste product of salt mining.

“Many arsenic and lead pesticides used on food were byproducts recovered from flue gas in the smelting of iron and copper or wastes from fabric dyeing and paint manufacturing,” writes Will. “Especially after the commercial success of guano, potash, arsenic and sodium nitrate other industrial and mining operators saw farming as a potential market. Thereafter, not only did the mining and industrial corporations avoid dumping fines, they made outrageous profits selling their toxic waste as a fertilizer or pesticide.”

And there you have it.

Sure there was opposition and skepticism, so ad makers aggressively developed ad campaigns that played on farmer’s economic fears. The result has been an on-going “160-year-long campaign” to marginalize organic farmers and  promote chemicals.

And as a result of seven generations of such campaigns, most farmers have come to be dependent on pesticide, fertilizers, antibiotics and genetically modified products. It’s like the five monkey study where nobody actually remembers why these chemicals were implemented in the in the first place, the practices are just blindly enforced.

Or perhaps farmers are addicted?

To be continued…


  1. maryamhenein posted this
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