UK Govt. Ignore Pesticides as Cause of Increased Disease

Officials keen to dismiss research and pin blame on alcohol and biscuits.

Colin Todhunter
The information below and the quotes were taken from the 12-page report that accompanied Rosemary Mason’s recent open letter to the Chief Medical Officer to England, Sally Davies. It can be accessed here.

Campaigner and environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has written an open letter to the Chief Medical Officer of England, Sally Davies. In it, Mason states that none of the more than 400 pesticides that have been authorised in the UK have been tested for long-term actions on the brain: in the foetus, in children or in adults.

The UK Department of Health (DoH) has previously stated that pesticides are not its concern. But, according to Mason, they should be.

Mason says that Theo Colborn’s crucial research in the early 1990s showed that endocrine disrupters (EDCs) were changing humans and the environment, but this research was ignored by officials.

Glyphosate, the most widespread herbicide in the world, is an EDC and a nervous system disrupting chemical.

In a book published in 1996, Our Stolen Future: How Man-made Chemicals are Threatening our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival, Colborn (d. 2014) and colleagues revealed the full horror of what was happening to the world as a result of contamination with EDCs.

There was emerging scientific research about how a wide range of these chemicals can disrupt delicate hormone systems in humans. These systems play a critical role in processes ranging from human sexual development to behaviour, intelligence and the functioning of the immune system.

In addition to glyphosate, EDCs include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). DDT, chlordane, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, toxaphene, heptachlor, dioxin, atrazine and dacthal.

Colborn stated:

The concentration of persistent chemicals can be magnified millions of times as they travel to the ends of the earth… Many chemicals that threaten the next generation have found their way into our bodies. There is no safe, uncontaminated place.”

Mason says that Colburn predicted that this would involve sexual development and adds this is why certain people may be confused about their sexuality.

She says to Davies:

You were appointed as interim CMO by David Cameron in June 2010; you became the permanent holder in 2011. Was that once you had assured him of your loyalty by not mentioning pesticides?”

She continues by saying:

You did not train as a specialist in public health but as a consultant haematologist, specialising in haemoglobinopathies. You joined the Civil Service in 2004 and became Chief Scientific Adviser to the Health Secretary.

Did David Cameron instruct Tracey Brown OBE from Sense about Science, a lobby organisation for GMO crops, to be your minder?

When the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists published a paper saying that exposure to chemicals during pregnancy could damage the foetus, you and Tracey Brown publicly made fun of it.

After that I wrote to you about the Faroes Statement: in 2007, twenty-five experts in environmental health from eleven countries (including from the UK) met on the Faroes and contributed to this statement:

‘The periods of embryonic, foetal and infant development are remarkably susceptible to environmental hazards. Toxic exposures to chemical pollutants during these windows of increased susceptibility can cause disease and disability in infants, children and across the entire span of human life.’

You asked Dr John Harrison from Public Health England to write to me to reassure me that there was no evidence that it was true.

You made an announcement in 2011 that antibiotic resistance was an apocalyptic threat to humans and the issue should be added to the government’s national risk register of civil emergencies

…When I informed you that one of glyphosate’s many actions was as an antibiotic, you ignored me. 

Dr Don Huber, a Plant Pathologist from Purdue University, Indiana, says that glyphosate is an antibiotic, an organic phosphonate, a growth regulator, a toxicant, a virulence enhancer and is persistent in the soil.

It chelates (captures) and washes out the following minerals: boron, calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, nickel and zinc.

Mason doesn’t waste much time in drawing conclusions as to why her previous letters to Davies and other officials have been ignored or sidelined.

She notes that between May 2010 and the end of 2013 the UK Department of Health alone had 130 meetings with representatives of industry and concludes that commercial interests are currently in control of key decisions about the public’s health.

In 2014, an open letter from America warned citizens, politicians and regulators in the UK and EU against adopting GM crops and glyphosate. It was endorsed by NGOs, scientists, anti-GM groups, celebrities, food manufacturers and others representing 60 million citizens in the US.

Mason draws attention to the fact that the letter outlined eight independent papers describing environmental harm and six about the threat to human health. But David Cameron, PM at the time, ignored it. The European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority also ignored it. Glyphosate was relicensed.

Mason asked relevant officials why the EFSA was regularly increasing the maximum residue levels of glyphosate in foods at the request of Monsanto but has received no reply.

Professor Philippe Grandjean, the leader of the conference that issued the ‘Faroes Statement’, released the book: Only One Chance: How Environmental Pollution Impairs Brain Development – and How to Protect the Brains of the Next Generation (2013).

In reviewing the book, Theo Colbern said:

This book is a huge gift to humankind from an eminent scientist. Grandjean tells the truth about how we have been ruining the brain power of each new generation and asks if there are still enough intelligent people in the world today to reverse the problem. I cannot rid myself of the idea that too many brains have been drained and society is beyond the point of no return. We must learn from the follies and scandals that Grandjean reveals and stop the chemical brain drain before it is too late.”

But pesticides are ignored

A key point that Mason wants to make to Davies is that lifestyle choices are not to blame for rising rates of diseases, cancer and obesity; these increases are the outcome of the toxic cocktails of pesticides and other chemicals we are consuming.

Mason says to Davies about the Chief Medical Officer for England’s 2019 annual report:

For your final report, you failed to mention many diseases afflicting people in the UK… You claim that you work independently and you are going to write about childhood obesity in September. But why did you collude with Cancer Research UK to blame the people for obesity?”

Not only did David Cameron ignore the ‘Letter from America’, he also appointed Michael Pragnell, founder of Syngenta and former Chairman of CropLife International, to the board of Cancer Research UK in 2010. He became Chairman in 2011. As of 2015, CropLife International´s member list included BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, FMC Corp., Monsanto, Sumitomo and Syngenta. Many of these make their own formulated glyphosate.

Mason says to Davies:

CRUK, you, the Chief Medical Officer for England, and Public Health England, linked cancer to alcohol, obesity and smoking. You all blamed the people for ‘lifestyle choices’. Where is the scientific evidence for this?”

Syngenta is a member of the European Glyphosate Task Force, which sought to renew (and succeeded) European glyphosate registration. Not surprisingly, Mason says, the CRUK website denies that there is any link between pesticides and cancer. Its website says the following about pesticides:

For now, the evidence is not strong enough to give us any clear answers. But for individual pesticides, the evidence was either too weak to come to a conclusion, or only strong enough to suggest a “possible” effect. The scientific evidence on pesticides and cancer is still uncertain and more research is needed in this area.”

Mason refers to a survey commissioned by CRUK, ‘People lack awareness of link between alcohol and cancer’, but asks what credible scientific evidence is there that alcohol causes seven different types of cancer and that obesity causes 13 different types of cancer?

She concludes, none, and writes that certain top scientists have questioned (ridiculed) the messages being conveyed to the public about alcohol use.

In the Observer and the Guardian in July 2019, CRUK took out half-page advertisements stating that obesity (in huge letters) is a cause of cancer.

In a smaller box, it was stated that, like smoking, obesity puts millions of adults at greater risk of cancer. Bus stops and advertising hoardings were replete with black text on a white background.

The adverts invited people to fill in the blanks and spell out OBESITY, asking the public to ‘Guess what is the biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking’.

Mason notes that CRUK has also paid for many TV adverts, describing how it looks after people with cancer and encourages donations from the public. It claims to have spent £42 million on information and influencing in 2018.

She says that the Department of Health’s School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS) has residues of 123 different pesticides that seriously impact the gut microbiome. Mason states that obesity is associated with low diversity of bacteria in the microbiome and glyphosate destroys most of the beneficial bacteria and leaves the toxic bacteria behind.

In effect, she argues (citing relevant studies) that Roundup (and other biocides) is a major cause of gross obesity, neuropsychiatric disorders and other chronic diseases including cancers, which are all on the rise, and adversely impacts brain development in children and adolescents.

She asks Davies:

Why did you not attend the meeting in the Houses of Parliament on Roundup? If you were away, you have hundreds of staff in the DOH or Public Health England that could have deputised for you.

Dr Don Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, Indiana, and one of four experts on Roundup, spoke at a meeting in the House of Commons on 18th June 2014 on the dangers of Roundup.

In what was one of the most comprehensive meetings ever held in Europe on Glyphosate and Roundup, experts from around the World gathered in London to share their expertise with the media, members of a number of UK political parties, NGO representatives and members of the general public.


They are protecting the pesticides industry.

Mason makes much of the very cosy relationship between the Murdoch media and successive governments in the UK and asks:

Roundup weed killer is present in all our foods: why does the UK media not want us to know?”

She notes that women in the UK are being warned to cut back on sweet treats or risk cancer. Sally Davies says women are consuming “two biscuits too much each day” and should lose weight. Davies says obesity will surpass smoking as the leading cause of cancer in women by 2043.

Last year, official figures revealed 30 per cent of women in the UK are overweight and 27 per cent are obese. Obesity levels across all genders have risen from 15 per cent to 26 per cent since 1993.

But as Mason has shown time and again in her reports and open letters to officials, pesticides (notably glyphosate) are a key driver of obesity. Moreover, type 2 diabetes is closely associated with being very overweight. According to NHS data, almost four in five of 715 children suffering from it were also obese.

Type 2 diabetes is a disaster for the child and their family and for the NHS,” says Graham MacGregor, a professor of cardiovascular health at Queen Mary University of London who is also the chair of the campaign group Action on Sugar. “If a child gets type 2 diabetes, it’s condemning them to a lot of complications of that condition, such as blindness, amputations and kidney disease,” he said. “These figures are a sign that we are in a crisis and that the government doesn’t seem to be taking action, or not enough and not quickly enough. The UK obesity levels now exceed those of the US.”

Mason explains:

“I am one of the many British women in 2014-16 who were spending nearly 20 years of their life in poor health (19.3 years) while men spend just over 16 years in poor health. Spanish women live the longest, with UK longevity ranked 17th out of 28 EU nations, according to Public Health England’s annual health profile. 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.”

She concludes:

Britain and America are in the midst of a barely reported public health crisis. These countries are experiencing not merely a slowdown in life expectancy, which in many other rich countries is continuing to lengthen, but the start of an alarming increase in death rates across all our populations, men and women alike. We are needlessly allowing our people to die early.”


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Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Sep 18, 2019 9:55 PM

There is strong epidemiological evidence linking smoking to lung cancer. So strong as to be beyond debate. There is compelling evidence of immune function impairment as a result of heavy drinking, not to mention liver damage which impairs detoxification of harmful molecules in the bloodstream. Both those impairments raise cancer risk through enhanced rates of mutation (longer lived carcinogens in blood) and reduced scavenging of cancer cells by white blood cells. Whilst alcohol, smoking and obesity are not the only contributory causes of cancer (poor diet, exposure to ionizing radiation, infection by certain viruses, stress and other causes of immunocompromise being others), they are definitely on the list. Pesticides should be viewed the same as tobacco in the 1950s. You think everyone just said: stop selling cigarettes!? No, there was stonewalling, lobbying, misinformation, threatening behaviour etc etc. It took fifty years to put eliminating smoking dentre stage (and still many… Read more »

Sep 17, 2019 8:28 PM

The US E.P.A. at one time organized a program whereby the larger farming operations stored their used Roundup containers, which contractors would collect for recycling.. This was in the late 1990’s, and I supervised a collection group covering the US mid-west..
Even with only partial exposure, after only 2 weeks I started developing sores on my arms, up to my shoulders, which started resembling flesh-eating bacteria..
I called a halt to this job; super-antibiotics stopped the sores, but I will always have these white spots on my arms where the flesh was eaten away..
Mine was an individual reaction; it breaks down into enzymes & beyond..
Strangely enough, a friend’s wife was a PR mouthpiece for Monsanto, based in St Louis Missouri.. Showing her my scars, of course she denied that Monsanto would ever deal in such a hazardous product..

Sep 17, 2019 11:11 AM

Wasn’t Sally Davies the woman who claimed that using baby wipes would clean all traces of Novichok if found on the person or any items? She definitely the ‘one to go to’!!

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 17, 2019 6:45 PM
Reply to  bob

Obesity outweighs Novichok, by a lot.

Sep 17, 2019 5:54 AM

Do you put it past the Establishment to make people ill in order to significantly reduce their capacity to scrutinise what the government is doing in secret (and not so secret)?

George Mc
George Mc
Sep 17, 2019 8:21 AM
Reply to  RopeResearch

Making people ill is partly what the basic system is all about anyway. You can’t sell crap to people unless they feel they need it. They must be made to feel they need it by feeling bad about themselves. Thus it is good to destroy everyone’s confidence through destroying their mental health. If you can destroy their physical health too then that’s a bonus. Best of all is to get them hooked on the very thing that’s making them sick in the first place.

Sep 17, 2019 4:05 AM

Do we know who it is that is voting down a fair number of the very comments that make the most sense here…?
I do understand a reluctance to ban anyone from a discussion here – whatever their views might be, but some of this just looks nasty and childish in the context of the intelligent input we are accustomed to.

Sophie - Admin1
Sophie - Admin1
Sep 17, 2019 8:38 AM
Reply to  wardropper

The free voting system is definitely being exploited by some using proxy IPs and other ways to get round the one-person one-vote restriction. We are thinking of limiting voting to subscribers as a way of countering this.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 17, 2019 12:48 PM
Reply to  wardropper

Wardropper, I think there are no widely seen You Tube videos which do not elicit downvotes. From Whitney Houston to Mozart. I think many of these are from people with what is called “oppositional personality disorder”. For the most part I think it is benign and tolerable. And there are a few for whom Mendelssohn’s violin concerto is like fingernails on a chalkboard. I met one. No accounting for taste. Just an opinion.

Sep 17, 2019 10:14 PM
Reply to  George Cornell

Absolutely, George. It’s just that I was beginning to see a pattern here during the last week or so.
It’s great to have such wonderful terminology as, “Oppositional personality disorder” to describe this phenomenon. I’ll remember that one.

Sep 16, 2019 11:53 PM

It is especially important that a notification has been made regarding the confusion of gender identity caused by the hormonal disrupters in glyphosate .I have been suggesting same for many years based on a hunch .Now the science is clear.

Sep 16, 2019 11:05 PM

The scientific evidence on pesticides and cancer is still uncertain and more research is needed in this area

Those spouting such criminal ignorance deserve to be promoted and assigned to the best lampposts available. That will allow us to conduct proper research on a) the efficiency of various kinds of ropes, and b) what lamppost+rope combinations offer the best lifestyle improvement.

Sep 16, 2019 10:12 PM

After 40 years of neo-liberalism the UK is now corrupted beyond belief. The stuff with Julian Assange is testament to this; as is the Brexit fiasco (whether you’re a leaver or a remainer).

I am perhaps fortunate enough to have lived in a very rural part of France for almost two decades (caveat: France is going through many problems at the moment, and Frexit is strongly on the agenda). I do not eat processed foods, I consume hardly any sugar (cancer feeds off sugar) and have an abundance of locally produced healthy food.

On the rare occasions that I go back to the UK I am utterly gobsmacked by the total crap that people eat.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 16, 2019 7:17 PM

“I am one of the many British women in 2014-16 who were spending nearly 20 years of their life in poor health (19.3 years) while men spend just over 16 years in poor health. “ Ah the inevitable gender-bending. This is sooo Guardianesque. The men spend less time in poor health, yes, but what would the campaigner wish? That it be legislated that they spend more time in poor health? Women outlive men and I suspect the difference is nothing more than that. Why not focus on the premature demise of men, though thankfully now narrowing? Men use a fraction of the health care resources used by women but what should it be? Equal? Or unequal until longevity equalizes. A treacherous direction for sure. The main scourges of mankind now are multifactorial diseases, gradually replacing infections and malnutrition which is increasingly regional and shrinking. This is good. But no one… Read more »

Sep 16, 2019 11:58 PM
Reply to  George Cornell

One reason that British women might be spending on average more time in poor health compared to men is that women usually carry more fat deposits (in their breasts and around the abdomen) than men do. Most chemicals from plastics, processed foods and other substances we ingest will end up stored in fat deposits. It follows that for their size compared to men, women will carry more of these chemicals, including glyphosates, in their fat deposits. This partly explains why foetuses and babies can ingest so many chemicals even before they start eating solid foods containing them: foetuses ingest chemicals through the placenta and from the uterus, and babies ingest them from breast milk. Also foreign chemicals stored in fat deposits will act on girls and women’s bodies in ways similar to how oestrogen acts (indeed, such chemicals have been called xenoestrogens) but more severely. Among other things, this explains… Read more »

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 17, 2019 1:15 AM
Reply to  Jen

True enough. However, any comparison has to be corrected for the many other confounders. But often they aren’t known. The endocrine disrupters have profound effects in experimental animals. The difficulty is that in mammals there are differences in the genders before day one at several levels including epigenetic ones where the environmental experience of a parent or grandparent can exert big effects. And these themselves are gender-specific. I smirked when the Regius Prof in Oxford told me 25 years ago that you could sequence the whole genome and be no wiser. But he was right. He might have smacked me. And there are several sites for modification downstream. And then chromosomal differences, hormonal ones… And obesity is now endemic among men too. The vast majority of associations are of course not causal. If you’re saying more attention to these effects is warranted, I agree wholeheartedly but it has to be… Read more »

Sep 17, 2019 3:54 AM
Reply to  George Cornell

The gender warfare issue was brought up in your original comment. The campaigner Dr Mason was quoting a statistic in her open letter to the Chief Medical Officer to England (also a woman).

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 17, 2019 4:40 AM
Reply to  Jen

I thought it was in the unqualified statement about gender-specific years in poor health.

Sep 17, 2019 7:25 PM
Reply to  George Cornell

George The problem with the undersold uncertainties is that they can never be ruled out. We do not live in a lab. Environmental and psychsocial stressors are multivariate and may act in combinations that we cannot account for. That is why we should exercise the Precautionary Principle. The undersold uncertainties are double edged. ‘Safe’ is a relativist term. Glyphosate, for instance, is safe? How: in a lab confined vivisection of rats in an ‘LD50’ experiment? Posivitist certainty is posterior. It comes after the fact. By employing detached rationality to dead things: which is why I call it ‘dead certainty’. I would prefer we employ inferior emotional intelligence to live things: precautiously administered. You mention your Regius Prof below. Now we have decoded the human genome: and we are none the wiser. One problem is the ‘genome-complexity conundrum’ or ‘missing-heritability’ problem. We do not have the genome to express the level… Read more »

George Cornell
George Cornell
Sep 17, 2019 8:45 PM
Reply to  BigB

The gut microbiome is getting a lot of attention now. It is too early to assign it a major role in the “complex traits” but never has a label been more apt. There is complexity at every turn and then more. For short attention spans seeking comfort with simple explanations the reality is unpleasant. One recurring theme in the science of the poorly understood is the overly enthusiastic expectations placed on areas which are just that. It is a rerun of what was meant 50 years ago by telling an undiagnosable patient that they “ had/have a virus”. This could be translated by the cognoscenti into “ I haven’t a clue but we don’t know much about viruses so let’s say it’s that, shall we?”. This has not disappeared, with the enduring template having virus replaced by something else, also obscure. The mere fact that there are hundreds of species… Read more »

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 16, 2019 5:31 PM

It is impossible to review the evidences for industrially managed disease and degradation of consciousness in our time and not come to see it as by ‘Malthusian’ design. Some of that design is built into a mistaken identity resulting in a destructive outcome whose cause is obscure, but the sustainability of such identity is by manipulative deceits backed by coercion and protected against exposure. Profiteering is both attaining financial leverage and a means of recruitment. But greed for power is more like hatred against humanity and indeed Life itself. And is insinuating itself as self-hating humanity rather than opening a re-educational perspective on the thinking that sets such a mind. It is possible to use terms like evil and demonic but more to express feelings than convey reliable information. Self-hate generates demonic thought reversal, that then projects its self-denial to others and to life itself and attacks it there. This… Read more »

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Sep 16, 2019 5:33 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

Perhaps I would have better started “I find it impossible…”
I cannot say what is possible for others to believe!

Sep 16, 2019 4:08 PM

Excellent and thought-provoking article. I have for a long time now also had concerns about what we are not being told in respect of other pharmaceutical spheres, and the potential daily risks many people unwittingly invite upon themselves. I have in mind cosmetics, deodorants, perfumes, toiletries such as soap, toothpastes, shampoo/conditioner and talcum powder, detergents, scented candles and diffusers. We have to ask ourselves whether we can be truly confident that all such products (and certainly excessive use of such products) do not present some degree of risk to humans and the environment that we are not being told about. It strikes me that every so often an article fleetingly appears in the msm claiming health risks, usually cancer, from such products but overnight the media claims just vanish without even an attempt to offer an explanation as reassurance to the public. Evidence of the power of the pharmaceutical conglomerates,… Read more »

Sep 16, 2019 10:41 PM
Reply to  JudyJ

I think your comment is bang on.

What some people (aka corporations) will do for profit is beyond belief.

They don’t care how many people they kill in pursuit of $$$.

The problem is that most ‘normal’ people have a hard time getting their head around such psychopathic behavior.

The fact is, we are ruled by complete psychopaths.

Another war, anyone..?

Sep 17, 2019 1:01 AM
Reply to  RobG

For the poison peddlers, e.g. Monsanto + Bayer + Dow Chemical Company , there must be things that are much more important than simply making profits.

Don’t you think that for the chemical(s) pushers, inflicting misery (on as many people as possible), is a bigger goal than making profits?

You can make huge profits by making and selling healthy poison-free foods. So what is behind the obsession in injecting poisonous chemicals at every opportunity in the production process??!!!

Sep 17, 2019 4:10 AM
Reply to  RopeResearch

What is behind it is the fact that these things are often very addictive.
Normal, healthy food, for example, is not addictive, although of course you will crave it if you are literally starving.