It’s finally happening. Lengthy campaigning from concerned and health affected citizens, community groups and environmental organisations, and the support of the WHO, have been warning of the deadly affects of various pesticide sprays for years. Last Friday, a landmark court ruling in California confirmed glyphosate as the cause of Dewayne Johnson’s cancer, signalling the implosion of the immensely profitable and devastating agrichemical industry’s reign of terror over the world’s food supply.
The chemical giants are aware of the effects of their products, but they continue to produce in the conventional business fashion – their marketing creates demand, and production meets the demand.
Monsanto resisted the push of negative public opinion for years, boldly squashing detractors of their products – even going as far as having an executive declare that their pesticide was so safe you could drink it (and then refusing to drink it). Even they could see the tide was turning. With the writing on the wall, Monsanto completed the deal that was to salvage their business, being acquired by Bayer less than 2 months ago.
However, the public are waking up. No longer will consumers be accepting of dubious practices. Society has learned through bitter experience the need to be questioning and sceptical with large corporations. The public know that other large chemical businesses have other dangerous chemicals, and they’ll be happy to say they’re safe. They’re distrustful of regulatory authorities who have enabled these toxins to be produced and used widely, without consideration.
Glyphosate (Roundup), along with other dangerous chemicals are currently readily available for use and extensively in use around Australia, in stark contrast to widespread bans across Europe. These dangerous chemicals are sprayed on conventionally grown crops, they’re routinely used by organisations, schools and government ‘caring’ for natural environments in a groundskeeping capacity, and are most likely the poison of choice used by your neighbour in his backyard.
These toxins have become ubiquitous in our environment – infiltrating and polluting air, water, soil, plants, animals, bees and people.
The landmark ruling opens the door for widespread liability of people and organisations responsible for using these chemicals. Schools, landscaping businesses, government departments and farmers are all exposed to the threat of possible litigation if they continue to use dangerous and harmful chemicals like glyphosate. Knowledge is widespread, and implied, and regulatory authorities like APVMA (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority) risk becoming completely irrelevant unless they act quickly and decisively to reflect shifts in opinion regarding these chemicals.
This is a critical development in our individual and collective health, as well as the health of our bees, and our wider environment.
If the dangers of these chemicals are relatively new to you, there’s plenty you can do to help yourself, others around you, and our environment.
Being aware and avoiding exposure is the first step.
Read on to our article about reducing your exposure to pesticides for the best ways to minimise your chemical load, and help make changes to improve our environment at the same time!