GLYPHOSATE, FOOD, WATER, AND HEALTH
Are you aware of the dangers of pesticides that are inundating our water and food? Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used broad-spectrum herbicide and the primary ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, is the principal ingredient in the toxic mix of chemicals being sprayed on forest clear cuts in Kitsap, as well as in most industrial food farming. Scientific research increasingly shows that glyphosate causes cancer—a new 2019 UW study finds that glyphosate increases the risk of some cancers by 40 percent. Other studies suggest it’s also a cause of Parkinson’s disease. And its disruption of endocrine functions is likely contributing to extinction of insects, amphibians, and other species in our area.
Since 80% of Kitsap County is on wells, homeowners should know that glyphosate leaches into the groundwater.
Glyphosate is so under-regulated, and used so much in industrial farming and forestry, that it’s now virtually everywhere in the food chain: in water, plants, animals, and in humans. Every single study that has measured human contamination with glyphosate has found it. In a public testing project carried out in 2015 by a laboratory at UC-San Francisco, glyphosate was discovered in 93 percent of urine samples. Its effects are cumulative. To think glyphosate is someone else’s problem is a grave mistake. The EPA, Big Agriculture, and Big Forestry are not looking out for our health.
The main lumber company in Kitsap, Pope Resources (a.k.a. Olympic Resource Management or ORM), doesn’t grow natural, sustainable forests. Pope plants genetically modified glyphosate-resistant trees. It “manages” these forests by spraying glyphosate to kill competing plants and trees. Why are we seeing the harvesting of thousands of acres of trees across our area in the last year or two? The price of wood has never been so high, and Pope is cashing in as never before. Despite the company’s rhetoric of doing “sustainable forest management,” profit—the bottom line—is what governs all its practices.
Pope may be seeing the writing on the wall too. The use of glyphosate is causing the chemical industry big problems. A jury ruled unanimously just last month that Bayer must pay out $81 million in damages to California resident Edwin Hardeman who claimed that Bayer/Monsanto’s Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In a similar case last year, the sum was $289 million, reduced to $78 million on appeal. Since that first verdict, Bayer’s shares have lost 40% of their value—and there are still more than 11,000 such cases pending.
How badly did Bayer/Monsanto want to discredit international cancer scientists who found Roundup to be a “probable human carcinogen” and promote their counter-message that glyphosate was safe? Badly enough to allocate about $17 million to their propaganda campaign in one year alone, according to evidence obtained by lawyers representing cancer victims who are suing Monsanto.
Recent publications have detailed the strategies whereby Monsanto and governments have hid the cancer evidence. Investigative journalist Carey Gillam’s book Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science, carefully documents the history of Monsanto’s misdeeds, blocking of regulatory action, and the adverse health and environmental impacts of skyrocketing glyphosate use.
Federal agencies don’t even know how much glyphosate is present in our food and drinking water because glyphosate has never been included in the federal pesticide residue testing program. This is outrageous given that about 300 billion pounds of it are used each year in U.S. agriculture and timber.
Earlier this month the Lancet Commission on pollution and health issued a consensus statement identifying pollution from chemicals and pesticides as the
“largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths.”
The test results cited above
“highlight the massive failure of U.S. regulatory agencies, including the EPA, USDA and FDA, to protect us even as they continue to perpetuate the myth that low-level exposure to glyphosate is harmless,”
says Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association.
“We must bring down this poison-for-profit model and build in its place a food and farming system that regenerates and heals, before it’s too late.”
What can YOU do about the spraying of glyphosate and other chemicals on clear-cuts in Kitsap?
Contact local officials and tell them what you think:
Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands;
Your Kitsap County. Commissioners (Robert Gelder for North Kitsap)
Your State Representative and Senators
We need to ban glyphosate in Kitsap!
– Talk to your neighbors and friends—and spread the word. Education is key!
– See the Kitsap Environmental Coalition’s website and FB pages for more info, and join kitsapenvironmentalcoalition.org and
-Facebook Group: Kitsap Environmental Coalition
-Monthly meetings of KEC are held on the last Wednesday of the month, 6:30-8 pm, in the Village Green Community Center in Kingston. Come and get involved!
We want Clean Water (no poison!!!)
 https://www.washington.edu/news/2019/02/13/uw-study-exposure-to-chemical-in-roundup-increases-risk-for-cancer/  https://www.opb.org/news/article/washington-study-glyophosate-herbicide-parkinsons-disease/  “Over 22 years [1993-2016], we found about a 1,000 percent increase in the [glyphosate urine] levels” of human subjects in a study in California. https://www.upi.com/Herbicide-Roundup-detected-in-Californians-urine-at-increasing-levels/3501508931071/