The majority of people in America begin their morning with a cup of tea or coffee and a dose of DDT, malathion, paraquat, diazinon, and a bit of Round Up (sprayed on the coffee plant). Milk or cream comes with acceptable amounts of bovine growth hormone, a shot of antibiotics, and a few steroid molecules for good measure. One or two teaspoons of sugar filtered through slaughtered bone ash prevents it from caking, and a bowl of genetically modified cornflakes carries up to 50 different pesticides just to bring it to the table on this lovely morning. To top it off a sip of orange juice requires 253 gallons of water and half a gallon of tractor fuel before landing on the breakfast table. Good morning, America, your daily chemical intake has only just begun.
A pesticide is a poisonous chemical sprayed on your food in order to eradicate any insect, creature, bacteria, mold, microbe, weed, bird, fish, mollusk, you get the picture. The problem is, many of those pesticides are deadly for humans as well. Sure, they are designed to kill pests, but they will eventually kill other animals, including the person applying the chemicals to the plants.
Herbicides are right up there with pesticides in the deadly poison category. They are designed to kill other plants, weeds in particular. What some people consider a weed, such as the magnificent dandelion, others honor for their high nutrient content and healing properties. Herbicides target a plants specific hormones in order to destroy them without harming the protected crop. It is interesting to note that herbicides have been found to disrupt the endocrine (hormone) systems of animals with the suspicion that they are endocrine disruptors for humans as well.
Your endocrine glands make chemicals called hormones and pass them straight into the bloodstream. Hormones communicate with the body and bring about changes in your physical growth, metabolism, cellular repair, sexual reproduction, digestion, and internal balance. Environmental chemicals disrupt the intricate network that regulates your body’s reproductive system, your ovaries and testes, as well as your pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, and thymus glands. They are sprayed on your food and served with a nice dose of artificial flavorings and colorings to hide the fact that the food is of inferior quality.
These synthetic chemicals actually alter the way your body produces hormones and this in turn affects the functions those hormones would normally be taking care of easily. The endocrine disrupting chemicals I am referring to are: Dioxin, PCBs, DDT, Pesticides, Herbicides, Plasticizers, and Diethylstilbesterol (DES).
In today’s environment you will run smack dab into these bad boys every time you ingest contaminated water, food, and/or air. They also leach out of plastic bottles, plastic containers, or plastic wrap and accumulate in your fatty tissue. By watching how they affect other vertebrate animals in nature, scientists have drawn the conclusion that these chemicals are also disrupting our endocrine system.
Some good news appeared last week when President Obama’s Cancer Panel issued a report that states, “The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase healthcare costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.” With Americans exposed to over 70,000 chemicals in the surrounding environment and many of them unregulated and known to cause cancer, the task to clean up this toxicity can be daunting if not downright impossible.
I say it’s time to call in the Chemical Busters, who, by the way, are you and me, because every penny, dime and dollar we spend supports the chemical industry or we can simply refuse to co-operate and look to spend our money elsewhere. I believe Mahatma Gandhi called this peaceful resistance. Why not give it a try? It worked for him.