Tuesday, 21 April 2009

News Release – Green Party of Manitoba

Apr. 19th, 2009 - Brandon, MB.

Read related story here.

The leader of the Green Party of Manitoba, James Beddome, is challenging Premier Doer to make Manitoba the first western province to ban lawn and garden chemicals.

Just weeks ago, Ontario became just the second jurisdiction in the country to do away with the so-called “cosmetic” use of pesticides, long considered a health hazard, especially to children.

Beddome says such a ban would do a lot to enhance the image Mr. Doer has been promoting of himself as a “green” leader.

He further challenges the Premier to call on Ottawa for an immediate halt to the introduction of any further genetically-engineered crops in this country.

Beddome says, contrary to industry hype, GMO crops require more, not less, pesticides to ensure their success.

Meanwhile, there is mounting and credible evidence that these pesticides are harmful, both to human health and the natural environment.

CONTACT: James Beddome - (204) 990-5195
Or Larry Powell - (204) 937-3055
Ontario has just passed a new law which comes into effect on Earth Day, this Wednesday as a matter of fact, to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides in that province.

Just click here and search for Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008

Also read related article here...

Roundup is probably the most familiar and widely-used weed-killer in the world today.
It's used mainly on crops such as canola, which have been genetically modified to resist the chemical.

So the weeds in the treated fields are killed, while the crops survive.

(Ironically, canola has itself become a "weed" in crops sown in subsequent years.

Being Roundup-resistant, ever-more potent chemicals have been produced to kill it!

Where will this all end?

Roundup is also the herbicide of choice for a lot of urban homeowners, who use it trustingly on their lawns and gardens to get rid of such things as dandelions.
Thanks in large measure to expensive, pervasive advertising campaigns by its makers, Monsanto Corporation, it has a reputation for being effective and safe.

Empty containers dumped beside a field.

But it is now becoming clear that Roundup is not the benign, harmless product it has been made out to be.

A container collection site in rural MB.
Photos by L.P
A research team at the University of Caen, in France, has found that Roundup kills human tissue within 24 hours of exposure, at just fractions of the concentrations used in agriculture!
Team leader, Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini (l.)
President of the Scientific Council of CRIIGEN
University of Caen - Laboratory of Biochimistry
Please also help Prof. Seralini fend off an attack from the buitech industry by clicking here.

Surprisingly, Roundup has been found to be far more toxic as a mixture that its active ingredient, glyphosate, alone.

This means that the products mixed with glyphosate to make Roundup are also, by themselves, very toxic.

They too have been touted for years as being "inert" or inactive, implying that they too, are harmless!

Yet Roundup continues to be used in "oceanic" amounts! Why?

As well, a study at the University of Pittsburgh has found that Roundup is highly toxic to amphibians, including frogs!
Biology Professor Rick Relyea (r.) found Roundup to be acutely toxic to amphibians.

Could this be a factor in the alarming decline of amphibian populations around the world?

If you accept that creatures such as this are barometers, not only of our natural environment, but of a healthy human population, then we suggest there is reason
for concern here.

The extinct
Golden Toad, (above).

Red-eyed tree frog (above).
Art by Rosa (Eunche) Lee, a
winner in the '09 Robert Bateman
"Get to Know" Contest.

Yet Roundup continues to be used in "oceanic" amounts! Why?

Despite all of this, Monsanto and other big corporations continues to invent more and more GMO crops that are, in Monsanto's jargon, "Roundup Ready." These include alf alfa and sugar beets.

Amid a groundswell of concern, Monsanto dropped a bid to develop GMO wheat in Canada a few years ago. But, make no mistake. That idea is still very much alive.

Tragically, governments continue to set science aside and approve ever more of what some critics call "frankencrops!"

That’s why we,
the Green Party of Manitoba, believe it’s of utmost importance that an immediate hold be placed on the approval of any new GMO crops in Canada until their full impact on health and environment can be investigated.

Late in 2005, (almost four years ago) a Canadian scientist, Myriam Fernandez with Ag Canada’s research Centre in Swift Current, found that wheat crops grown a year after glyphosate had been applied to the field, had higher levels of a fungal disease known as fusarium head blight, than fields where no glyphosate had been applied.

The blight affects mostly wheat, but can also attack barley, corn and oats. It affects both yield and quality of crops and can produce toxic seed.

Fusarium is a serious and pervasive condition that has deprived producers of millions of dollars of revenue over the years.

Fernandez also found, under similar conditions, Roundup seemed to promote another phenomenon called sudden death syndrome in soy beans.

Yet Roundup continues to be used in "oceanic" amounts! Why?

Her finding followed 4 years of study.

Click here, then search for Myriam Fernandez.

(NOTE-her complete study no longer seems
to be posted on this site.)
For years now, honeybees have been disappearing in alarming numbers in Canada and around the world.

While many factors are believed to be causing this, it is known for sure that certain pesticides, for one, are lethal to the bees.

Click here for the complete, joint, 6 year-old study by the EPA and PMRA…

While Germany, France, Italy and Slovenia have already banned these chemicals, including an especially nasty one called “clothianidin.” (made by Bayer CropScience) North American regulators not only continue to allow this poison to be used, they are approving new ones which are just as potent, if not more so!

So they sit and fiddle, apparently oblivious of the fact that one out of every three spoons-full of food we put in our mouths is there thanks to honeybees, the world’s most efficient pollinators!

Authorities seem to feel that every last cause of bee disappearances has to be identified and proven rather than acting on the ones we already know about!
They even have a convenient term for it. “Colony Collapse Disorder.” It’s characterized as a mystery apparently so deep, let’s not even try to solve it!

Yet clothianadin continues to be used in "oceanic" amounts! Why?

It is a strange phenomenon we see repeatedly….an unexplained and fiercely loyal allegiance of our politicians to large, wealthy and powerful chemical companies who can seemingly do whatever they want!
Illness Among Pesticide Applicators in the Northern 'States

As long ago as the early '90s, the University of Minnesota found significantly more birth defects among children in the Red River Valley than in other agricultural regions of that state.

Of these, most were born to men who applied pesticides for a living to wheat, sugar beet and potato crops. And most of those children were conceived in spring, when herbicide use was the greatest.

The children developed significantly more problems with circulation, breathing and genital formation than the general population.

The lowest rates of birth defects were found in what are called "non-crop" regions of Minnesota.

"Birth defects, season of conception, and gender of children born to pesticide applicators living in the Red River Valley of Minnesota, USA.
Garry VF, Harkins ME, Erickson LL, Long-Simpson LK, Holland SE, Burroughs BL.
Environmental Medicine and Pathology Laboratory, 1st Floor Stone Laboratory 1, University of Minnesota,"

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12060842 ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.


Spousal effects

Reproductive outcomes in the women of the Red River Valley of the north. I. The spouses of pesticide applicators: pregnancy loss, age at menarche, and exposures to pesticides.
Garry VF, Harkins M, Lyubimov A, Erickson L, Long L.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota

In addition, these same studies showed that the wives of men who applied chemicals, especially fungicides, had a significant increase in their risk of miscarriages..

And, of the kids born to fungicide applicators, significantly fewer were boys than girls. This suggests this kind of product may even be a determinant in the gender of newborns.

Southern Manitoba and Pesticide Hazards

A year-&-a-half ago, a bright young researcher at the University of Manitoba, Jennifer Magoon, did an exhaustive and groundbreaking bit of research. Sifting through mounds of records, she cross-referenced the health insurance files of thousands of people in rural southern Manitoba with agricultural maps showing the intensity of pesticide use in the region.

She found a link between the intensity of the use of pesticides, especially insecticides, and moderate to serious health conditions of the people there.

For example, where insecticide use was average, there was a 32.7 percent, or slightly less than a one-in-three chance of lower birth rates, respiratory distress and jaundice among the very young. Where pesticide use was twice that amount, these illnesses increased by a full four percentage points - to 36.7 percent!

And, where insecticide use was average, severe birth defects like spina bifida, Down Syndrome and cleft palate could be expected in 11.8% of newborns. Where pesticide use was doubled, that figure jumped to 12.8%, an increase of one full percentage point.

Magoon calls these numbers statistically significant and very unlikely to happen by chance.

Her recommendations?

Decrease pesticide use and conduct further studies that would pin down a "cause and effect" relationship.
Have either of these things happened?

Rather than decrease pesticide use, governments here and in North America are falling over themselves to approve new GMO crops, like alf alfa and sugar beets. And if you hear a politician or chemical manufacturer claim that GM crops need less pesticides, don't believe it! Field studies show just the opposite is happening.

So not only are the health risks, especially to children, unacceptable, it is becoming clear that GM crops are being developed, not in the interests of our food producers, or consumers, but as cash cows for the chemical corporations.

As for further studies, I haven't heard of any. Have you? I 'd invite you as journalists to make inquiries, to find out why!

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