Tag Archives: Pesticide

Kauai Kudos

The people of Kauai have spoken yet again.

After the mayor of Kauai sided with the interests of the chemical companies, the people were shattered in disbelief.    So was I, to tell the truth.  This was two weeks ago.

Four GMO companies Dow, Sygenta, Basf and Pioneer account for 98% of Kauai’s restricted use pesticides – 18 tons per year (pre-diluted).  I shudder when I think of the amount of pesticides in the air, the soil and the water of continental US.   Millions upon millions of acres of farmland are given to GMO agriculture, subsidized by us, the taxpayers.

The people of Kauai wanted to know what toxins are used on Kauai with respect to GMO agriculture.  They weren’t even looking to ban GMOs but provide buffer zones next to schools and hospitals and pesticide disclosure.  For a list of these pesticides you can go to this link http://www.stoppoisoningparadise.org/#!restricted-use-pesticide-kauai/c1rjc This was fought by the chemical companies every millimetre of the way.  With stalling, delay tactics.  The mayor even vetoed bill 2491 which he was supposed to sign.

Moms weren’t having it.  Dads weren’t having it.  Children born in the zones where pesticides are sprayed routinely have more defects.  I’ve heard testimony that in one school every child is on medication for respiratory problems….  The rates of cancer are greater where GMOs are grown…  This is a bitter sweet post because I feel for all the mom’s and dad’s whose kids have died, or are suffering from cancer and poor health.  When a child suffers the community is affected.  In the deepest way.  What the people did in a special session this very day: they over-rode the mayor’s veto.  They passed the bill.

In case you haven’t made the connection, GMOs that are currently grown are either classified as pesticides by the EPA or have herbicide resistance spliced into the DNA.   They are not nutritionally superior.  In both cases they are treated with carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and toxins.  GMOs don’t increase yields over the long-run and pesticide use has gone up exponentially, defeating their raison-d’etre.  It is important to pull apart the golden promise of GMOs from their bleak reality.

For someone who fell in love with Kauai, who climbed Waimea Canyon with my family, who discovered the exhilaration of catching waves on Kauai’s stunning shores, this is important to me. I feel especially close to Kauai and the aloha I was shown by the people there.  We are one big family, the Earth our mother.

To my brothers and sisters in Kauai: mahalo.

Thierry Vrain

A vocal spokesman for GMOs during his career at Agriculture Canada, Scientist Dr Thierry Vrain is now speaking out against GMOs.  He farms organically now.  Unlike people like me who have read the science and come to the conclusions that GMOs are not necessary to feed the world, he actually has done the science.

In his TED talk http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/The-Gene-Revolution-The-Future, Dr Vrain demonstrates that GMOs don’t increase yields, do increase pesticide use.  Biotech says that the crops use fewer pesticides but that was before superweeds and superpests.  Pesticide use has gone up exponentially since GMOs were introduced.  Hear it from the expert himself Monday November the 18th at the University Of Victoria.  Come with questions and bring sceptics!

Time: 7 pm

Date: Monday November 18th, 2013

Place: Room A 110 David Turpin Building, University Of Victoria

aaa poster even nov 18

Dr OZ and Pesticides

First LivingMaxell on Fox news http://livingmaxwell.com/fox-news-carol-alt-gmos

Now Dr Oz on Pesticides http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/what-food-industry-doesnt-want-you-know

1.5 million pounds of pesticides were sprayed on crops in 1999 – mostly GMOs.  In my opinion that’s 1.5 million pounds too many.  Sit down and hang onto your hat, cuz in 2011 we were at 90+ million pounds of pesticides per year. 90+ million pounds of pesticides in our soils, in our waters and in the air.  And that data is conservative.

And that number is growing because of the superweeds and superpests.  These GMOs were supposed to reduce chemical applications.  Instead they have increased.  Exponentially.  For those people who believe that pesticide use decreased with GMOs, it didn’t.  It hasn’t.  Dr. Oz showed that very well.  This is based on USDA data.  Now there currently is an application with the FDA to spray 2,4 D, the active ingredient of agent orange.

Over time, yields of GMOs are equalled or outperformed by Organic.

For those who believe that GMOs hold promises…. In theory.  To you I say: How about this approach –  How about we just ban toxins?  How about banning/labelling food with known carcinogens and neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors?

Let’s stop poisoning people and planet whilst we debate the morals and ethics of GMO technology.

For more information on pesticides please see http://farmwars.info/?p=11515

I’ve copied this graph on Glyphosate use and explanation from the Farm Wars website.  This is just one pesticide being sprayed on our crops…..

Contrary to claims made by the chemical industries, glyphosate use increased 6,504% from 1991 to 2010 according to data from the USDA: National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). States participating in the USDA surveys reported applying a whopping 91,200 tons (1 rail car holds approximately 100 tons) of glyphosate on corn, cotton and soy crops alone in 2010 (see graph). Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup™, the herbicide used on Roundup Ready™ crops genetically engineered (GE) to withstand glyphosate. Glyphosate residues of up to 4.4 mg/kg have been detected in stems, leaves and beans of glyphosate-resistant soy, indicating metabolism of the herbicide. This means that the Roundup Ready™ plants are absorbing the herbicide and you cannot simply wash it off.

glyphosate graph 1


As ‘new’ super foods enter the mainstream, new uses are found for them. Such as gojiccino!
In case you haven’t heard about gojiccino (I certainly hadn’t until now) it is the love child between a cappuccino and the Goji berry. My sister Jyoti grew a goji on her patio a few years ago. Shrivelled up Goji berries are Full of vitamins and antioxidants. 15 times the amount of iron as spinach. They are unique among fruit have all essential amino acids (like soy). Used in Chinese and Tibetan cultures for thousands of years, they are only recently known here in N. America.
I drank this gojiccino at Fresh in Toronto. It was unlike anything I’d ever tasted: a mix between coffee, chocolate, orzo (an Italian grain coffee found in every Italian cafe), rooibus and of course goji.
It got me thinking about superfoods and food intolerances and Robyn O’Brian whose book the best-selling number one book on GMOs on Amazon, “The Unhealthy Truth” talks about the link between GMOs and allergies. Her premise is ‘how on earth can we be allergic to food?’ Unless, of course it’s been altered.
As food becomes industrialized and bred for corporate efficiency, food loses nutritional value: what made it good for us to begin with. Fabio Picchi, famous Florentine Chef and Author told me once that the role of food isn’t to NOT harm ( sorry about he double negatives) ‘non e di Non fa male’ On the contrary food should be proven to do good ‘Deve far bene’. He wasn’t even talking about GMOs at the time. Rather veggies such as tomatoes that are bred to have an extended shelf life at the expense of flavour. I know what Fabio thinks about GMOS without even asking. He wants food to be proven to do GOOD. GMOs are actually proven to do harm. In many ways. Mamma mia!
With GMOs now rampant and unlabelled in N. America , not only are food staples such as corn and soy losing nutritional value but they are also made to express pesticides. The food we are eating in copious amounts, is actually designed with a pesticide to kill insects. In high concentrations these pesticides kill us too. Should food kill? In low doses this food poisons us slowly. I think of it like arsenic. Or putting a drop of Glyphosate (known as Round Up Weedkiller) everyday in a glass of drinking water. Why would we want to feed ourselves or our precious children trace amounts of nasty toxins?
So back to the new superfoods and superberries. I’m referring to things like quinoa, amaranth, goji berries, acai berries. Plants like spelt have shown to be superior to wheat for example. We know that the ancient varieties of wheat like Spelt and kamut and red fife are nutritionally far superior to over 95% of GMO wheat. GMO wheat is a monoculture crop bred to grow fast, resist pesticides and grow despite being sprayed a toxic cocktail. It isn’t cultivated with nutrition in mind. But profits. Devoid of nutrition, sprayed with toxins and spiced with bacterial genes, modern GMO wheat is to be avoided at all costs.
Until we demand large corporations to change their recipes to exclude GMOs (like they have done in Europe and South Africa) and eliminate round-up and toxic pesticides, we must avoid N. American grown sugar, soy, canola, corn. It’s the buycott. If we stop purchasing these poisons, ignore the advertising, corporations will have no power, no choice but to change for the better.
Until traditional varieties are re cultivated en masse and the GMOs erased from our food supply we must seek out Organic, GMO free, and Pesticide free foods. we must turn into hunter-gatherers at the supermarket. Armed with the ability to read and recognize labels, we can sniff out what we should put in our bodies. We can even use our smartphones which sort out the GMO chaff from the Organic wheat with apps that can tell you which products are NON GMO project verified.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2013/06/11/watch-forbes-test-buycott-app-on-anti-gmo-and-koch-products-in-supermarket-aisle/
And long live the Gojiccino! I hope to see it at cafes everywhere.

Shocking Label in Heart-Land of France

We need food labels.

Here is a label that surprised me.  “PRODUIT TRAITE” it says on these yummy looking donut peaches, an heirloom variety commonly found in Europe.  I know what “PRODUIT” means (product).  But what did ‘TRAITE’ mean?

I was in Central France in the Loire Valley and saw this at a regular run of the mill supermarket “Super U” (which is a well know chain, not known for health foods or organic foods.  The organic section was rather disappointing: bananas, potatoes and apples).  I went to ask someone what this label meant.  A manager at the store explained that PRODUIT “TRAITE” pronounced TREH-TAY means that the food is sprayed with harmful pesticides and we should not eat the skin of these fruits and veggies.  And/or wash them very carefully before eating.


Talk about a country informing it’s citizens, a store letting customers know that there are toxins in what looked like beautiful fresh ripe fruit.  We can’t see them, taste them or smell them.  If they’re not labelled, how else can we know how they are grown?


With pesticide use now at record highs, we should have the right to know what toxins we’re ingesting in N. America.  GMOs are sprayed, positively doused with pesticides.  That is how they are grown.  GMO and Conventional farming are heavily sprayed with toxins that pollute the water and the soil and kill the bees.  If around 90 percent of N.American Wheat, Soy, Sugar, Soy and Corn are treated with toxic, harmful pesticides…. Can you imagine what kind of labelling must be in place to protect us and our defenceless children?

I can imagine some upper level decision maker in the Super U store saying, “Traite?  Eet ees treated wiz round up and ozzer pesticides?    Zat is legal.  Oui. But zat ees not right.  Hi dont want my cheeldren to eat zat.  My mozzer should not eat zat eizer. Eef some body wants to eat zat, zey must be told.  Zut alors.”

Let’s take the best practises we can find worldwide and apply them to better ourselves and our planet.

What more can I say but: Vive la France!