Taking the global pesticide industry to task for its "systematic denial of harms" while, at the same time, perpetuating the "myth" of aiding global hunger, a United Nations food expert has put forth a new report on the "catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health, and society as a whole."
The chemical poison conglomerate is a threat to all humanity - all for profits above all else, including the countless people affected unto disease and death, the extermination of our priceless and irreplaceable pollinators, pollution of our lakes, rivers, bays and estuaries (our marine fisheries industry), and our food supply - a vast crime by any measure!
It would be a criminal conspiracy and even greater crime for the trump regime and GOP co-conspirators to deregulate the chemical industry and already pathetic lack of oversight by watered-down "regulatory" agencies any further - it is never "an accident" when consequences are known & proven, it is criminal. Further deregulation would be a crime against humanity as sure as a chemical attack on any civilian population! What we all need is a sustainable, healthy, future, one that is now (and has been) in serious jeopardy!
This problem goes so far beyond the specifics of the Trump administration, it is important for all of us to grasp what is happening, what is needed, and what must be defeated.
"Progressive" Democrats (sold to us all as the only "rational" home for our hopes of peace, ecology, and human needs) have been criminally weak and unfocused on:
- Regulation of the corporate looters in general;
- Corporate PR / propaganda, and the corruption of science, academia, government, and the media;
- Controlling endocrine disruptors (in pesticides, in plastics, produced by industrial processes, etc.);
- Targeting INDUSTRIAL and CONSUMER POISONS that CAUSE so many cancers and other diseases;
- Ecosystem integrity, complexity, diversity, resilience, in general;
- Industrial agriculture as a PRIME CAUSE of ecosystem degradation and breakdown;
- Overall breakdown of the Earth's ecology, OF WHICH HUMANS ARE PART;
All these areas of crisis, and the need for deep systemic reform, have been getting "progressively" WORSE under BOTH duopoly political parties. Trump and his team have removed the veneer. But if Clinton had been elected, the US government would still be pandering to corporate looters and profiteers, and we would still be facing the ACCELERATING BREAKDOWN OF THE EARTH'S ECOLOGY, without realistic action to stop it.
We need to know what our goals are: Transform the whole political economy; disempower the corporate looters; institute democratic reforms of wealth, land, and political power; and structure the incentives and disincentives in the economy on ecological and humanistic imperatives, NOT on private profit and the interests of the looting class.
These necessary strategic goals goes WAY BEYOND "defeating Trump." And they are indeed NECESSARY, if we are to have any hope at all of turning aside from the accelerating ecological collapse THAT IS UNDERWAY.
Our EPA was deeply seeded by the chemical industry before Scott Pruitt. Employees formerly of Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta- are no strangers to either the EPA or the Department of Agriculture. In this respect it is good that an openly anti-science person is now head of the EPA as at least we lose a level of deception.
The EPA and the Agriculture Department are not concerned about wholesome diets; they are concerned with the welfare of their once and future employers, corporate America.
Same as it ever was. In the Obama administration, a Monsanto scientist won the World Food Prize and the man most responsible for the worldwide propagation of water-intensive, chemical reliant industrial mono-culture farming, Norman Borlaug, had his statue erected in the National Statuary Hall.
It has come to this, a resignation that we have to eat pesticides with our food--paraquat, atrazine, glyphosate, malathion---we eat these every day in grocery-bought food. The EPA decides acceptable contamination rates based on studies done by the chemical industry and no industry ever published a study that would put them out of business. Wouldn't be good for our shareholders.
If you are a nursing mother your baby gets a dose of Roundup in your breast milk. "UN Report Skewers . . ." and nothing changes. I've been reading articles like this for 20 years.
W T H?
It is BOTH herbicides and pesticides that are causing damage. Everywhere.
The link to the report in this article doesn't seem to work. Try this one:
Global ecological collapse is well under way. Pollinators are reeling, whole forests are dying, and the largest biological structure on earth - the Great Barrier Reef, you can see it from space - is turning to ash.
Another poster has seen reports like this for 20 years. Silent Spring treated this very subject more than 50 years ago. The response, the effect of the environmental movement, was to ban DDT (sort of), switching to more dangerous pesticides. Not exactly what Rachel Carson had in mind. The steady acceleration we see today in the pace of ecocide is evidence that we environmentalists have not yet found effective strategies.
What are we doing wrong? In my opinion, we need to knock it off with all the cost/benefit ledgers (e.g. "green growth" delusions) and confront the moral dimension. Abolitionists did not argue that the economy would do better without slavery, it was enough to simply call evil by its name. In today's world, it's considered embarrassingly gauche to discuss right and wrong, as did Pope Francis in his inspiring encyclical. What strategies can lead to spiritual reform? I don't know.
If humankind ever turns this around, it might have to wait until suffering similar to the current African famine knocks on empire's door.
It should be illegal for a person to possess a billion dollars. If it was illegal to be incredibly wealthy, most of the world's problems would go away.
"In my opinion, we need to knock it off with all the cost/benefit ledgers (e.g. "green growth" delusions) and confront the moral dimension. Abolitionists did not argue that the economy would do better without slavery, it was enough to simply call evil by its name. In today's world, it's considered embarrassingly gauche to discuss right and wrong, as did Pope Francis in his inspiring encyclical."
i agree 100%.
When the "green economy" apologists assert "No mission, no margin" -- meaning, unless we maximize our profit, we cannot carry out any good in the world -- i reply "No ecology, no economy" -- meaning, unless we stop focusing on profit, we will dis-integrate the ecology and destroy ourselves. And ecological dis-integration is what is taking place, under the assault of the profit-maximizing economy.
Every individual, every business, every human institution that exists, must place the moral question at the center of their operations.
Thanks for publishing this, Grist. There used to be several sources we could get such reporting, but since Alternet switched to clickbait and numbered lists and Nathanael Johnson took over the ag beat at Grist to provide one more outlet for the chemical-ag industry, such information is harder to come by, at least from US sources.