Corporate Greed and Our Health

It is horrifying we have to fight our own government to save the

My yard without chemicals

environment” Ansel Adams

We now have a government that is dismantling all protections the American people have from corporate America.  Corporate profits now take priority over the health of people, wildlife and the entire planet earth. The United Nations released a report this week stating how harmful pesticides are to people and the planet.

“The chronic overuse of pesticides across the world has caused “catastrophic” harms to human health, human rights and global biodiversity, according to a report presented to the United Nations human rights council Wednesday.

The UN-solicited study on toxic chemical impacts to global food sources criticizes pesticide manufacturers’ “systematic denial” of the broad harms caused by their products and calls for a transition to healthier farming methods that move away from the current dependence on pesticides.” Read about it here. And more about it from Ecowatch.

And read about the state of our bees from pesticide use and habitat loss.

In his book, Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA, published in 2014, E. G. Vallianatos, who worked for the EPA for 25 years, wrote:

“It is simply not possible to understand why the EPA behaves the way it does without appreciating the enormous power of American’s industrial farmers and their allies in the chemical pesticide industries, which currently do about $40 billion per in year business. For decades, industry lobbyists have preached the gospel of unregulated capitalism and Americans have bought it. Today, it seems the entire government is at the service of the private interests of America’s corporate class.”

We can only control our corner of the world.  I hope you will think twice before putting pesticides on your yard, and speak out against the use of chemicals in agriculture and in our parks!

Jane Goodall: How Can We Believe It Is a Good Idea to Grow Our Food With Poisons?

Pesticides, bees, butterflies and all of us!

A bumblebee on wild geranium in N. Wisconsin
A bumblebee on wild geranium in N. Wisconsin

In the past two weeks I have spent 5 days in Iowa, and then a week in Northern Wisconsin away from the agricultural belt.  As I biked and walked in Iowa the lack of butterflies was disheartening.  I even saw and smelled the Iowa DOT spraying along the highway.  In contrast northern Wisconsin is more grass/hay country, lower pesticide use, and the butterflies aren’t like what I would like to see, but they are flitting around when you look for them.  The bee population up north is still  questionable, but better than what I saw in Iowa.

I agree with this excellent letter to the editor in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Thank you for “Bees at the brink” (June 29). Our rural surroundings have changed since we moved to south-central Minnesota in 1960. Our small farms have mostly disappeared, and our once-vibrant town struggles to stay alive. There was much more variety in the landscape: I remember picking strawberries along Hwy. 169 with my children; we heard and saw meadow larks and pheasants, and clouds of monarch butterflies were a part of every spring and summer. Now what do we have? Corn and soybeans from horizon to horizon; hedgerows with their diversity of plants and animal life gouged out; wetlands drained, and herbicides ensuring that few bee-friendly flowers grow on roadsides and lawns. Our state and federal supports, with their continuing crop insurance programs — even for marginal land — and cutbacks on set-aside acreage such as CRP and CREP help to perpetuate the increasing sterility of our natural environment.

Economic success should not be the only determinant of wealth. We lose too much if it is.

Maria Lindberg, Blue Earth, Minn.

http://www.startribune.com/local/264929101.html?site=full&c=n&stfeature=    This is the link to the Bee article she is referring to.

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/265857781.html  Autism Risk is Linked to Pesticides

Gardeners Beware: Neonicotinoids

The native Canada Anemone is blooming now!
The native Canada Anemone is blooming now!

It is worrisome that most plants still contain neonicotinoids!  Native plants are Neonicotinoid free

Purchasing plants that are free of neonicotinoids is a challenge.  I went to the local nursery that claimed to not use neonics.  They don’t use the neonic pesticide, but their suppliers might.  The clerk was very helpful, but most of the annuals

Swallowtail on a dianthus
Swallowtail on a dianthus

were not neonic free.  I had to search through the plants for specific containers, but the large majority of the plants still available could have been treated with neonics.

Report Release from Friends of the Earth: Gardeners Beware 2014

In a study commissioned by Friends of the Earth and conducted by independent scientists at the Pesticide Research Institute, findings show that most “bee-friendly” garden plants sold at major retailers in the US are routinely pre-treated with bee-harming pesticides, with no warnings to consumers.

Bees are dying at alarming rates, and neonic pesticides are a key contributor to recent hive losses. Bees and other pollinators are essential for two-thirds of the food crops humans eat every day, and contribute over $20 billion dollars to the US economy. Our own food security is tied closely to the survival of bees and other pollinators – we must take swift action to protect them.

The power to practicing bee-safe pest control is in your hands. Read the full report here and learn how to get started.

http://libcloud.s3.amazonaws.com/93/72/9/4735/Gardeners-Beware-Report-2014.p