Article #6: You’ve Just Been Poisoned By Mike Benton
Have you had a headache recently? Maybe you’ve felt tired or nervous or irritable for no particular reason. Or has there been some pain somewhere in your body, but you didn’t know just where?
Well, consider yourself poisoned—pesticide poisoned, that is.
You may be a victim of pesticide poisoning if you’ve experienced any of these symptoms lately: fatigue, aching bones, headache, indeterminate body pains, chronic tiredness, mental confusion, fever or other “cold-like” and “flu-like” symptoms.
Many times you may be poisoned by pesticide residues in your food and just not realize it. Pesticide poisoning goes virtually undetected by doctors because they rarely recognize the symptoms for what they are. Since you may not have become immediately sick after eating pesticide-contaminated food, you may not connect your negative feelings with the poisons you just ate.
While few people do know that many aches, upsets and illnesses are pesticide-related, over 500,000 people each year are seriously poisoned by pesticides each year—over one every minute.
Another 5,000 people die each year as a direct result of pesticides. Up to 5 million or more cases of pesticide poisonings go unreported or undiagnosed each year.
Everybody in the world—no matter where they live or what they eat—have pesticide residues throughout their body. That’s right—you’ve been poisoned!
Pesticides and Your Health
Pesticides seem especially damaging to the liver and spleen. Blood disorders such as leukemia, anemia and “tired blood” have increased with their use of pesticides. More leukemia cases are reported in the farm states that have had the highest amount of pesticide spraying.
Liver disorders such as hepatitis, jaundice and other ailments have skyrocketed with pesticide use. “It is now believed,” says Dr. W. Coda Martin, “that the greater number of hepatitis cases may be caused by DDT on the leaves of green vegetables.”
In 1969, Miami University did a study on cancer patients. A random selection of terminal cancer patients revealed that they had exceptionally high pesticide residues in their liver, brains and fatty tissues.
Although we can’t blame all our nation’s ills on pesticide use, pesticide poisoning is real. Stillbirths, miscarriages- and deformed babies occur most where pesticide use has increased the most rapidly.
Why Is This Happening?
The government is doing a miserable job of keeping pesticides out of our environment. Agribusiness aggressively promotes the use of these poisons for profit—even when they know they are killing people! Does this sound incredible, do you still believe that people are crying “wolf”? Well, read on.
Poisons For Profits
In 1977, workers at a pesticide plant in California discovered that they had been made sterile due to exposure to DBCP (a pesticide). Some of the companies making this poison suspended production while the government investigated. One company, called Amvac, did not.
Amvac told its stockholders that although DBCP had suspected “carcinogenic and mutagenic” properties, they would continue to sell it. They explained: “It was our opinion that a vacuum existed in the marketplace that (we) could temporarily occupy…(and) with the addition of DBCP, sales might be sufficient to reach a profitable level.”
Finally, after two years that it was determined DBCP did indeed cause sterility, the Environmental Protection Agency banned its use in this country. So, do you think you’re safe? Nope. Read on.
Although DBCP is now banned in this country because it is believed to cause cancer and sterility, there are no restrictions on selling this pesticide to foreign countries.
Banana plantations in Costa Rica, Honduras and Ecuador buy DBCP from us. They use it to kill soil-dwelling worms that attack the bananas. Then they ship the sprayed bananas back to the United States where you eat them.
Imported produce is more likely to be highly poisoned than food grown in our country. The reason? “Americans eat with their eyes,” a Mexican agribusinessman said. “They won’t buy a fruit or vegetable with any insect marks or blemishes, so we spray them heavily. About four times as much spray as we use on our domestic crops. No insects ever touch that food.”
And probably neither should you.
Strawberries from Mexico often have residues of 60 or more pesticides. A single head of imported lettuce had 11 different poisons used on it.
Bananas from Central and South America had 45 “allowable” (by FDA standards) pesticides plus 25 prohibited pesticides and 37 additional poisons that are not normally detected by FDA tests. Mexican tomatoes had 53 “allowable” pesticides, another 21 banned pesticides, and an additional 28 unidentifiable sprays and poisons. The FDA frequently finds mysterious, unknown poisons in imported foods no doubt illegal pesticides that were manufactured and sold by the United States.
The FDA rarely, seizes these poisoned food shipments or refuses them entry. Instead, they remove a small sample of the food for testing and send the rest to the marketplace. By the time they run the test and discover the deadly pesticides, the food is already in your stomach.
During one recent 15-month period, half of the imported food identified as heavily pesticide-contaminated was sold without penalty or warning to the American public.
The government is not protecting you. The pesticide manufacturers certainly won’t protect you. It’s up to you.
What Can You Do?
You cannot avoid pesticide poisoning. By now, the waterways, the soil and the rain are so polluted by them that it will take at least 20 to 40 years to eliminate them from the environment even if we start today.
Is it hopeless? Do we have to sit back and allow ourselves to be poisoned for someone else’s pocket-book? No. You can take actions today that may save the lives and health of all the people and wildlife on this planet. Here’s how:
As much as possible, boycott the giants of agribusiness who are chiefly responsible for pesticide production and use. Buy local and organic produce as much as possible. Support the small, independent grower.
Tell your local grocery store that you want more homegrown and unsprayed produce. Spend your dollars wisely so as to give little support to the food industries that use poison for profits.
Let your congressmen at the state and federal levels know about your deep concern for the pesticide problem. Write letters, emphasizing that their actions in this one area will greatly determine how you will vote.
Protest the exportation of pesticides to other countries. These poisons find their way back to your dinner table. Insist that federal agencies be more responsive and stringent in monitoring pesticide levels. Tell your representatives that you want more funding for environmental protection agencies.
A list of consumer action groups that are lobbying for stricter pesticide control is included’ with this article. Contact them for additional information about how you can help.
You can consume less pesticides by growing your own food. If you have extra room, grow additional poison-free food for friends and relatives. However, realize that pesticides are now throughout the environment. Rains carry deadly poisons from around the world and deposit them in your garden. Even homegrown and organically-grown food is now being pesticide contaminated due to our polluted waterways. You can’t run away anymore from the problem—it’s being brought home to you, like it or not.
If you can’t garden or raise your own food, grow sprouts. These are virtually poison tree food and may be had fresh all year round. Sprouting dried seeds and grains can help you consume less supermarket poisoned foods.
A Good Diet Can Help!
Yes, you can eat certain foods and avoid others to reduce your pesticide poisoning. By wisely choosing your foods, you can consume up to 100 times less poisons than the average person. Here’s how:
- Avoid meat and dairy products. Pesticide residues are 16 times to several hundred times higher in meat and milk products than in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Animals must eat 16 pounds of plant material to produce one pound of flesh. The poisons in the feeds and plants are concentrated in the fat and vital organs of the animal. When you eat the meat, it’s like getting a super-concentrated dose of pesticides. The pesticides that are bonded in the animal fat is even more difficult for the body to handle than the pesticides found in the fruits and vegetables. When pesticides are subject to heating as well (as in the cooking of the meat), additional dangerous chemical changes occur.
The former secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Robert Finch, said: “If strict enforcement of pesticide residues in meat, dairy products and eggs existed, I fear we would have to become a nation of vegetarians.” Actually, the fear should be that we won’t become a nation of non-meat eaters.
Although DDT contamination of fruits and vegetables has now slightly decreased since the limited 1973 ban, pesticide poisons in livestock, poultry and fish have steadily increased. Animal fat is a storehouse of poisons. The more fat in your diet, the more poisons. It’s that simple.
Remember too that it is now impossible to consume any dairy food in any form and not receive dangerous levels of DDT. High-fat dairy products are, of course, the worst.
- Limit or reduce grain products. Grain farming is most conducive to heavy spraying and mono-crop farming. After a few years of continual spraying, the grain fields become saturated with high doses of pesticides.
The safest grain to eat is wild rice. Corn and wheat are among the heaviest sprayed.
- Buy organic food or grow your own. Obviously if you grow or buy unsprayed food, you’ll get less pesticides. Remember, however, that as long as there are pesticides used anywhere in the world, your food will still be contaminated. The only sure way to prevent pesticide poisoning is to make certain that these chemicals are not released into the environment in the first place.
- Use careful food preparation. You can remove some surface pesticides by washing them with a harmless soap to remove oil-based poisons, vinegar or lemon juice to remove alkali-based sprays, and soda for acid-based sprays. Make sure all such washed produce is then cleansed with water (preferably distilled to avoid other contaminants).
You can peel some fruits and vegetables (especially waxed produce). You should remove outer leaves of green vegetables.
Once again, however, these are not sure protection measures. Most pesticides are not on the surface of the food, but are throughout the entire system of the plant. The poisons may be entirely intercellular and none may be on the surface at all.
- Avoid most imported produce. Food that is imported has often been more heavily sprayed and with poisons banned in this country. This is not always true, however. For instance, many foreign countries will not let U.S. produce come into their country because of the poisons we use. Oftentimes, the food you get inside these countries is safer than what is grown inside the U.S. It’s just that to produce high-cosmetic produce for Americans, the foreign countries heavily spray their export crops.
- Avoid produce that receive the highest amount of spraying. This is often difficult to determine, as pesticide use is not consistent for any crop across the country. In general, “soft” fruits which are more prone to insect attack will usually be more heavily sprayed than those foods with a naturally protective layer or skin.
- Don’t worry. Strange advice after all these warnings, but you should realize that at this time, it is impossible to avoid all pesticides. Worrying does no good anyway; action is what is needed.
If you follow a good diet, you can be protected from most of the harmful effects of pesticides. For instance, uncooked foods present less of a problem to the body as it tries to separate the poisons from the food. If you cook your food, you’re creating chemical bonds with the poisons that may present difficulty. A little poison on your fresh fruits and vegetables won’t hurt you as much as the high amount of poisons most people get in the typical high-fat, high-meat American diet.
Fasting can help your body eliminate the pesticide poisons by burning up those fat deposits where the residues are stored. As these poisons are released during the fast, you may experience the usual symptoms of pesticide poisoning—nausea, headaches, irritability, etc. It’s uncomfortable, but fasting and/or the eliminating of this body fat may be the only way of ridding yourself of the pesticide load.
Remember, you don’t have to sit back and be continually poisoned. You’re not helpless. You have to take action. You’re fighting for your life.
No one is immune from pesticide poisoning. We are killing the birds, the animals, the children and all life on our planet by the crazy, unjustifiable use of deadly pesticide poisons.
We have a chance. There are still people—people like you—who believe health, life and, well-being are more important than a few extra dollars for a poison manufacturer or for the chance to eat an “unblemished” apple.
But you can’t wait any longer. You’ve got to fight back—now —because with the next bite you eat, you’ve just been poisoned
- 1. Having Enough Food For Our World
- 2. The Quality Of Our Food Is Determined By The Quality Of Our Soil
- 3. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: How Vitamin and Mineral Content in Food Decreases Step-by-Step
- Article #2: Saving Open-Pollinated Seeds By Margaret Flynn
- Article #3: Hand Pollination of Squash
- Article #4: The Spirit Speaks
- Article #5: Origin of the World’s Basic Food Plants
- Article #6: You’ve Just Been Poisoned By Mike Benton