32

Sick to the Stomach: Pesticides and the Cocktail of Toxicity

Colin Todhunter

Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England and recently released the CMO annual report for 2019. The report focuses on UK engagement with global health and forging partnerships.

However, there appears to be no mention of cancers in the report, a serious omission according to environmental campaigner Rosemary Mason. Like many others, she has been campaigning tirelessly for many years to draw attention to the links between agrochemicals and certain cancers and health conditions.

In response to the report, Mason has written an open letter addressed to Sally Davies (and has also sent a copy to Werner Bauman, CEO of Bayer).

Mason’s letter is presented below.

Dear Professor Dame Sally Davies

I have just read your CMO’s Report for 2019 in the Lancet. I note your statement: Across the UK, there are significant and widening inequalities in a range of health outcomes, including healthy life expectancy, infant mortality and obesity.

What about the huge increases in cancers in the UK? Were you asked by Werner Baumann (Bayer CEO) not to mention them while he tries to decide whether to fight the 18,400 lawsuits from people in the US who claim that Roundup caused their cancer or to settle them? If you add the 13,605 new cases of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosed in 2015 (the latest figures produced for the UK) and they all were to take out lawsuits against Bayer, he would probably agree to settle.

Pesticide Action Network UK’s analysis of the last 12 years of residue data published by the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) shows that there are unacceptable levels of pesticides present in the food provided through the Department of Health’s School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS). Residues of 123 different pesticides were found, some of which are linked to serious health problems such as cancer and disruption of the hormone system.

In many cases, multiple residues were found on the produce. This is another area of serious concern as the scientific community has little understanding about the complex interaction of different chemicals in what is termed the ‘cocktail’ effect. We have also found that the levels of residues contained on SFVS produce are higher than those in produce tested under the national residue testing scheme (mainstream produce found on supermarket shelves). When Nick Mole, Policy Director of PAN-UK sent these findings to the Department of Health, he was told that pesticides are not their concern.

That is a shocking statement to hear from an organisation meant to be protecting people’s health. There are many papers that show that obesity is associated with low diversity of bacteria in the gut microbiome. Thousands of UK children, mainly in deprived city areas, are already classed as severely obese when they leave primary school. Children are being poisoned from their very first days at school. It is no wonder children in Britain have the highest levels of obesity in the world and the UK is the most obese country in western Europe.

Were you aware that documents released under a freedom of information request showed that between the coalition taking power in May 2010 and the end of 2013 the Department of Health alone had 130 meetings with representatives of the industry?

Yours sincerely

Rosemary Mason (MB, ChB, FRCA)

Rosemary Mason also attached a 20-page document to the letter for the attention of Sally Davies and Werner Bauman.

In it, Mason states that each year there are steady increases in the numbers of new cancers in the UK and increases in deaths from the same cancers, with no treatments making any difference to the numbers.

In the UK there were 13,605 new cases of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2015 (and 4,920 deaths in 2016)2: there were 41,804 new cases of bowel cancer in 2015 (and 16,384 deaths in 2016); 12,547 new cases of kidney cancer in 2015 (and 4,619 deaths in 2016); 5,736 new cases of liver cancer in 2015 (5,417 deaths in 2016); 15,906 new cases of melanoma in 2015 (2,285 deaths in 2016); 3,528 new cases of thyroid cancer in 2015 (382 deaths in 2016); 10,171 new cases of bladder cancer in 2015 (5,383 deaths in 2016); 8,984 new cases of uterine cancer in 2015 (2,360 deaths in 2016); 7,270 cases of ovarian cancer in 2015 (4,227 deaths in 2016); 9,900 new cases of leukaemia in 2015 (4,712 deaths in 2016); 55,122 new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2015 (11,563 deaths in 2016); 47,151 new cases of prostate cancer in 2015 (11,631 deaths in 2016); 9,211 new cases of oesophageal cancer in 2015 (8,004 deaths in 2016); and 5,540 new cases of myeloma in 2015 (3,079 deaths in 2016); 2,288 new cases of testicular cancer in 2015 (57 deaths in 2016); 9,921 new cases of pancreatic cancer in 2015 (9,263 deaths in 2016); 11,432 new cases of brain cancer in 2015 (5,250 deaths in 2016); 46,388 new cases of lung cancer in 2015 (and 35,620 deaths in 2016). In the US in 2014 there were 24,050 new cases of myeloma.

Mason wonders whether industry influenced the decision not to mention cancers in the CMO 2019 report and reserves a special place for Bayer in her document.

Bayer has stated that transparency creates trust. The company says it embraces its responsibility to assess its products’ safety. An advertisement that Bayer placed in Politico and the Farmers’ Guardian on 19/12/2018 said:

“Transparency creates trust. At Bayer, we embrace our responsibility to communicate how we assess our products’ safety — and we recognize that people around the world want more information around glyphosate. This month, we published more than 300 study summaries on the safety of glyphosate on our dedicated transparency website.”

However, Mason implies this is little more than PR and provides a brief and disturbing history of the company and claims that Bayer has never been transparent in its life.

She then goes on to note that life expectancy is falling in Britain and the US and argues that people are being poisoned by weedkiller and other pesticides in our food.

As mentioned in Mason’s letter, Pesticide Action Network UK’s analysis of the last 12 years of residue data (published by the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food) shows there are unacceptable levels of pesticides present in the food provided through the Department of Health’s (DoH) School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS).

Residues of 123 different pesticides were found, some of which are linked to serious health problems such as cancer and disruption of the hormone system. Moreover, residues contained on SFVS produce were higher than those in produce tested under the national residue testing scheme (mainstream produce found on supermarket shelves).

In her document, Mason also discusses the deleterious effects of agrochemicals on the gut microbiome, the collective genome of organisms inhabiting our body, and notes increasing levels of obesity are associated with low bacterial richness in the gut. She refers to certain studies and lays the blame squarely at the door of agrochemicals, not least the use of glyphosate, a strong chelator of essential minerals, such as cobalt, zinc, manganese, calcium, molybdenum and sulphate. In addition, it kills off beneficial gut bacteria and allows toxic bacteria such as clostridium difficile to flourish. She states that two key problems caused by glyphosate residues in our diet are nutritional deficiencies, especially minerals and essential amino-acids, and systemic toxicity.

At this point, it must be stressed that children and young people are especially vulnerable. In a 2016 article that appeared in The Guardian, developmental neurobiologist and science writer Mo Costandidiscussed the importance of gut bacteria and their balance. In adolescence, he explained, the brain undergoes a protracted period of heightened neural plasticity, during which large numbers of synapses are eliminated in the prefrontal cortex and a wave of ‘myelination’ sweeps across this part of the brain.

These processes refine the circuitry in the prefrontal cortex and increase its connectivity to other brain regions. Myelination is also critical for normal, everyday functioning of the brain. Myelin increases a nerve fibre’s conduction velocity by up to a hundred times, and so when it breaks down, the consequences can be devastating.

Gut microbes control the maturation and function of microglia, the immune cells that eliminate unwanted synapses in the brain; age-related changes to gut microbe composition might regulate myelination and synaptic pruning in adolescence and could, therefore, contribute to cognitive development. Upset those changes, and there are going to be serious implications for children and adolescents.

Findings published in the journal ‘Translational Psychiatry’ provide strong evidence that gut bacteria can have a direct physical impact on the brain. Alterations in the composition of the gut microbiome have been implicated in a wide range of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including autism, chronic pain, depression, and Parkinson’s Disease.

Many important neurotransmitters are located in the gut. Aside from affecting the functioning of major organs, these transmitters affect our moods and thinking. Feed gut bacteria a cocktail of biocides and is it any surprise that many diseases are increasing?

Yet we are still being subjected to an unregulated cocktail of agrochemicals. Regulatory agencies and governments appear to work hand in glove with the agrochemical sector.

In her document, Rosemary Mason discusses the nexus between government, health institutes, the Gates Foundation and a profiteering pharmaceuticals industry and the fact that many of its products escape effective regulatory controls and are pushed onto an unsuspecting public, especially children.

Mason touches on a lot more but also notes a failure by the media to discuss the impact of agrochemicals on public health primarily because so many journalists are fed reports and press releases by the very organisations with an interest in protecting industry.

Perhaps her most damning comments are reserved for Cancer Research UK (CRUK):

“CRUK’s vision ‘is to bring forward the days when all cancers are cured’ is complete fabrication by the pesticides industry.”

It’s a bold statement. Readers can access Rosemary Mason’s latest document here (and all her previous documents here) and may draw their own conclusions.

Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

Filed under: agriculture, environment, GMO, latest

by

Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
mark
mark

Don’t worry. When Bojo’s done his mega trade deal with Trump, we can all look forward to delicious chlorine flavour chicken, Kraft rubber cheese, and Hershey plastic chocolate, served up with a wonderful glyphosate garnish. Yummy, yummy!

FacePalmDecide
FacePalmDecide

“Were you aware that documents released under a freedom of information request showed that between the coalition taking power in May 2010 and the end of 2013 the Department of Health alone had 130 meetings with representatives of the industry?”

In this case, our governing AI algorithm will determine that ‘freedom of information requests’ are used by terrorists and are a major National Security Threat.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar

Listing new cancer cases each year is not that helpful. Cancer is a disease you get primarily because you did not die of something else first. Statistics show that case levels rise hugely after the age of 60.

The really worrying cancers are those emerging in younger people as their bodies are more vigorous and cancers correspondingly more aggressive. Things to really worry about are increases in early onset cancer and increases in deaths in the U60s. You see such statistics after Hiroshima, 9/11, in places like Serbia and Iraq after depleted uranium-containing bombing campaigns. If it is occurring in nations nominally in peace time, it says that society in those nations is not monitoring danger appropriately.

FacePalmDecide
FacePalmDecide

“Statistics show that case levels rise hugely after the age of 60.”

Typical ‘Establishment’ tactic: blame the victim.

Where the air, food and water are clean, people can ride horses in their 90’s.

Get him in the van!

vexarb
vexarb

@Rhys Jaggar: “Things to really worry about are increases in early onset cancer and increases in deaths in the U60s. You see such statistics after Hiroshima, 9/11[asbestos], in places like Serbia and Iraq after depleted uranium-containing bombing campaigns.”

I have read credible links to lung cancer in NYC after 911 (asbestos I presume), and I have been horrified by photos of the deformed babies of Fallujah in Iraq. Can you recommend a reliable link to cancer in Serbia? I have a special interest because a Serbian woman told me that her brother died of cancer after the NATZO bombing of Belgrade; to date that is the only incident I know of.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Donna Summer, who’d never smoked, was insistent to her death, that she’d ‘gotten’ her cancer from the asbestos filled dust clouds of minute particulates, to which she was exposed on that ‘fateful’ day in NYC.

Just a thought … ? that others also more directly affected might like to follow up on, as should many emergency services personnel, in their claims … & against Larry Silverstein’s insurance company: if connectivity could just be established and you’ll excuse the black humour and musical reference, it would likely be the end of another insurance company, as

recklessly, ‘Another one Bites the Dust’ 🙁

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson

“HEALTH of animals and men is linked to the mineral balance of the soil” is a statement on the cover of Andre Voisin’s book, “SOIL, GRASS AND CANCER”.
I have the English translation book published in 1959.
Chapter 47 is titled, “Nutrition affords powerful protection against carcinogenic effects”.
A summary: Voisin reports that in 1932 in Japan Yoshida discovered that rats fed an azo dye developed a cancerous tumor of the liver. Voisin states, “This was the first time that a simple and clearly defined chemical substance had been discovered which, when introduced into the diet, caused cancer.”
When researchers in Europe and America repeated the experiment, the rats failed to get cancer. While those researchers thought the Japanese researchers had made some experimental error, the Japanese researchers repeated the experiment many times resulting in the rats developing the cancer.
It took time for someone to finally realize the difference in the experiments done in Japan with those done in Europe and North America. The rats in the Japanese experiments were fed decorticated and even often polished rice while the rats in Europe and America were fed wheat grains.
“Finally, in 1940 the Japanese workers (13) came to the following conclusions:

(1) Development of liver cancer due to azo dyes depends on the nature of the ration, particularly on the nature of the cereal and what treatment it has undergone.
(2) Whole wheat has a remarkable capacity for inhibiting the carcinogenic action of azo dyes on the liver.
(3) Non-polished rice has only a moderate inhibiting power. This becomes almost non-existant in the case of polished rice.”

Further investigation found that the B group of vitamins, particularly B2, were the primary protective factors.
A German surgeon and cancer specialist, Bauer stated in a paper:
“The fact that the carcinogenic influence of azo dyes cannot be exerted if the ration contains sufficient riboflavin is a discovery of fundamental importance for our methods of defense against cancer. It shows in effect that we will be no longer exposed to the danger of carcinogenic action if we see to it that our diet is not deficient in a fundamental vitamin. No one can believe that this is a unique and exceptional case. On the contrary, this example justifies the conclusion that the diet, whatever its nature, can favor cancer if, for a long period of time, is lacking in certain essential substances.”
Voisin concludes the chapter by stating, “Those words were written ten years ago by one of the greatest authorities on cancer. Unfortunately, they do not seem to have found much echo.”
I say those words have found less echo since Voision made that statement.

Notes:
The (13) reference is regarding a 1956 report on the experiment by the Pasteur Institute.
The Bauer (H.K.) reference is Das Krebsproblem (Berlin 1949). It’s now available on the internet.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar

Absolutely: and you inow why? A healthy diet ensures a healthy immune system. The biggest controllable in cancer prevention is immune status. Diet, exercise and emotional well being correlate very well with immune health. Chronic stress, lack of sleep, exercise and poor diet do not. Alcohol and tobacco are both major immunosuppressants, which is why they are associated with many cancers other than just lung cancer.

Big Ag will do anything to stop an entire nation growing healthy food locally, because if they did, no one will need Big Ag anymore.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

Thank you for this superb work of true journalism – again.

That is a shocking statement to hear from an organisation meant to be protecting people’s health.

Actually, it is not. Or, to be precise, in a democratic government, it would be. But not in a fascist regime, which the UK is saddled with for a very long time now. Any notion about the massive and all-encompassing programs to exterminate what is deemed the ‘surplus’ population on earth, is met with accusations of being a ‘conspiracy theorist’ – although there is no theory. It is all proven. But this evidence is not made available to the public, because – a regime answers only to the owner class, not to its pesky and expendable population.

The UK is in as much – if not greater – trouble as the rest of the world. Companies that were in business with the gassing champions of the 20th century are still doing whatever they want. There is nobody in the regime that gives a flying hoot about the wellbeing and health of the people. The opposite is true. Sick people must go to see a ‘doctor’ and the ‘doctor’ will refer them to a ‘specialist’, and the ‘specialist’ will have them admitted into a hospital – where they are given all kinds of treatments and drugs. It is a business model based on the opinion of the owner class, that the people are a commodity. As soon as there is no more money to be made with them, they are ‘allowed’ to croak.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Bayer the way, nottheonly1, good comment …

Sales
Sales

To many in shit-hole countries, ‘cultural relativity’ is an obscure concept.
Here is an attempt at explaining Cultural Relativity.

War is Peace.
Ignorance is Strength.
(you knew those, but there is a new one. It is not new but it wasn’t specifically named until now)
the new one is:
Medications Bondage is Health.

The last bit relates to the reality that for every cancer death there would be many hundreds (thousands?) of individuals who suffer symptoms ranging from allergies and weakened immune system to organ(s) malfunctions. These individuals are not dead but become dependent on varieties of medications to manage their symptoms with little real help from the medical profession except for prescribing more pills.

A major contributor to Healthcare/Medications Bondage is the attitude spread widly (Propaganda?) that all chemicals used in the country are safe and adhere to safety standards of the nation (name any neoliberal nation).
at some stage in the past, there were not meant to be bullshit, but they are now used to introduce [deliberately] untested chemicals/materials with highly toxic and highly damaging potential.

Sales
Sales

last paragraph edit:

Safety standards, at some stage in the past, were not meant to be bullshit, but they are now used to introduce [deliberately] untested chemicals/materials with highly toxic and highly damaging potential.

Monobazeus
Monobazeus

If you can’t get organic clean foods all you can do to protect yourself from things like Dicamba and Round Up is take at least 40,000mg of Silymarin (Silybum Marianum) per day and grow and consume your own milk or water Kefir.

GRAFT
GRAFT

If we the people want to enact change we need to advocate for gun rights in Britain. Quite frankly. And armed population that is knowledgable and angry would sharp change the laws of this land.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

Like in the US? All those guns and getting shafted like helpless and defenseless sheep. No, there is only one way to change a regime into a democratic government. Hint: it has to do with where you spend your money.

Sales
Sales

GRAFT most likely is joking. Guns could be allowed by the government but only in the certainty that we the plebs will use them initially against brown-skin people, and then we use against each other.

Where we spend money can help, but knowing ‘where’ needs hard work. For a lot of people, changing a routine might not be an easy task.

Labelling is an area where successive governments continue to help industries deceive every one of us. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that 95% of a label is designed to deceive customers. the rest 5% used for the ingredient list is often incomplete and contains deliberate ambiguities. Most of the time the ingredient list cannot be read easily [what are they ashamed of?].

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

‘You are what you eat’
Literally.
The higher up the food chain we are, (i.e. consuming animals and animal products that have already absorbed many of these toxic chemicals) the higher our risk of being ‘poisoned’.
Eating organic fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts wherever possible is not only more ethical and healthier. It is logical.
Veganism is not a fad, it is a kick in the guts for Agribusiness.

GRAFT
GRAFT

But aren’t the fruits and veggies not also subject to as many pesticides if not more?

nottheonly1
nottheonly1

Yes, especially in those Nations that had to bow to the pressure of the US regime. In the US, you can spray your ‘organic’ produce with Monosodium Glutamate. I know, because I worked on an ‘organic’ pharm. Like for many others, MSG makes my heart race like after having been injected epinephrine.

B.J.
B.J.

Friends of ours lived in a beautiful old Kentish farmhouse adjoining fields that had once belonged to the original owner of their house.
They had a beautiful established garden, a small area devoted to fruit and vegetables, the rest, shrubs and seasonal flowers, until the agribusiness owner of the adjoining fields had them sprayed to protect his growing crop of winter wheat.
Just about everything living in their garden died, even the grass turning yellow.
The wife died earlier this year from an un treatable cancer.
Maybe just a coincidence.

Sales
Sales

“The wife died earlier this year from an un treatable cancer.”

… died and killed by government [de]regulations.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

A sad story BJ. Probably one of many.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar

Vegans are actually verging on totalitarians themselves.

There are plenty of farmers raising truly healthy animals, not engaging in battery farming.

Too many vegans cannot distinguish between personal choice and totalitarian imposition for all.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

And what of the ‘totalitarian’ slaughter of more than 100 billion sentient creatures every year?

mark
mark

Just like Little Greta and the Green Taliban.
They’re going to spend the next 10 years banning things.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell

Free will is sacred, I agree, but our obligation to be aware of the effects of our choices on others is a key obligation we all have.

Besides that and to illustrate how weak your very familiar argumentation is, let’s look at its core logic:

1. X cannot distinguish between personal choice (to do Y) and totalitarian imposition (against Y).
Women cannot distinguish between personal choice (to rape) and totalitarian imposition (against rape).

A similar argument leveled against veganism is that humans have been eating meat for thousands of years. Well, we’ve been stealing, warring, raping and a bunch of other bad things for as long, but that does not make these actions right or good.

2. Some Xs are kind to Ys.

Some slave owners are kind to their slaves.

Another weakness implicit in your arguments is that some vegans’ misunderstanding of veganism means veganism itself is bad. Obviously this is not true.

Some say veganism isn’t natural. But then neither are cities and cars. Or, as I see it, maybe everything that occurs is part of nature and thus natural, simply because humans do not and cannot act outside nature.

It boils down to this: Why exploit, kill and abuse if we don’t have to? To answer this question in a vegan context, we have to look scientifically at how healthy a whole-food plants-only diet is. Scientists have been doing so for many decades and the balance of evidence overwhelmingly supports the argument that humans thrive on a well-balanced whole-food plants-only diet.

Veganism is the ethics of not exploiting, abusing or harming others, regardless of the species of those others. It is up to each of us how we go about minimising our negative impact on the world around us, but the culpability for our choices rests with each of us too.

Barry
Barry

I recommend “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith for another view. . Always a good idea to get another perspective.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

The more than 100 billion sentient creatures slaughtered is NO myth.
Health wise one can’t go past this book:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/178788.The_China_Study
The animal agriculture business has been bad mouthing this book for years.
Why?
Because it affects their bottom line.

Barry
Barry

I am aware of The China Study. Are you aware of ” The Vegetarian Myth”?

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

I am now Barry.
Like The China Study, it cops a lot of criticism, but in the end one must test the claims in one’s own experience.
Veganism works for my family and for me.