Conscientious Agriculture

Eric Anthony Crew

(UPDATE: Now contains link to download free copy of “The World According To Monsanto” here.)


An essay examining the misuse, misapplication and misinformation pertaining to science of agriculture.  By  Eric Anthony Crew

Allow yourself a moment to conceptualize a pesticide strain so powerful that we could easily eliminate the need for any new chemicals to be developed. Such a world would no longer have the bothersome insects that eat our fruits, and our gardens would remain free of predators or gopher holes that irritatingly thread themselves throughout the soil. But what are the implications of undertaking these actions? Rachel Carson, author and founder of the conservationist movement, answers this question in her article, “The Obligation to Endure,” by saying that if we are to continue to kill so many life forms indiscriminately, we should expect the very real possibility of human extinction. This is because of what these chemicals are and how long it takes nature to react to its use and misuse.  The misapplication of these dangerous chemicals creates an imbalance in nature that will end up devastating all of Earth’s life forms if we do not step in and start the process of checks and balances in this generation.

The deadly pesticides and herbicides that are constantly used today are creating a chain of death that continue for years after they are applied and have far reaching detrimental affects that are often not taken into account as a whole. In this civilization deemed the “information age,” we neglect to heed the warnings of numerous specialists that often tell us the very same message, that we are killing our world at a rate that will leave nothing but destruction for our future generations. The nature of the beast we call man is to change its environment so radically and swiftly that nature has had to learn to adapt itself to us, which, by all accounts is relatively new to the external factors that influence the evolutionary process. Carson’s article gave a detailed abridgment of the agricultural development of pesticides, herbicides and even other toxic pollutants that began to sprout up just before her time in the early 1960’s. While many could argue that an article written decades ago would likely have little to no relevance for today’s booming agricultural-based society, after reading her concise points most readers are left wondering why these problems are still around today.


With the advent of any dangerous chemical also comes the possibility of its proliferation, a consideration that appears lost on most individuals that use them. The side-effects from the spraying of pesticides have become such a constant in our mass-production of agricultural goods, that most people fail to even recognize when they are occurring. These chemicals deposit into the soil and later reach our insect and animal life, gallivanting its way from organism to organism only to eventually show itself in our water, air and food supply.

To better understand how we could end up destroying ourselves by the very creations we use to subdue other living creatures, it is necessary to investigate what these pollutants actually do to our environs. The chapter entitled “Environment Pollution” from the book, Chemistry: Foundations and Applications,gives a broad overview of these pollutants are and how they affect the world. Environmental pollution is the release of chemicals or chemical byproducts that cause harm to the wellbeing of the ecology and environment. These pollutants are often divided into certain categories: H20, atmospheric and soil pollutes, which are then listed as either organic or inorganic in nature . Toxicology is the study of effects of poisons on the human body. The main assertion of toxicology states that the dosage of certain chemicals determines the overall effects and postulates that just about any chemical at high dosages are dangerous for the cellular development of any living organism (“Environment“).

Even with all of these factors now coming together about the use of pesticides and the link to toxicity and death, many people still remain unconvinced that there is a need for immediate change. However, what is not often considered is to what level these pesticide and herbicides are already ingested, breathed and lived in within our daily lives. People just assume that governments and corporations will not be constantly poisoning ourselves along with the world just to make money. It is this assumption and the negligence of observing just how deeply these pollutes have become ingrained in our world that will be our undoing.

A perfect example of how blind we have become to the overuse of these chemicals and how embedded they are in our lives is by looking at the insertion of pesticides and herbicides into the genetic makeup of the very food we eat. Certain companies have decided to combat the pest problem to the extent of modifying their crops on a wholly different level by the manipulation of genetics. Ana Campoy of the Wall Street Journal reported on a historic chemical-company merge in her article, “Seed Giants Join Forces; Corn Made by Dow, Monsanto to Fight Insects and Weeds.” In accordance to the agreement, the companies will collaborate on a seed that combines “eight different herbicide tolerance and insect-protection genes into top-performing hybrids for the most complete control ever available.” The finalized creation will be protected against any threats from both above and below the soil. Monsanto and Dow agreed to pay royalties to each other for any seeds they sell using the other’s traits. Campoy reported on Monsanto’s reaction to this, “It’s an environment where you can add things you wouldn’t have independently and create new products that the industry would not have seen,” said Carl Casale, vice president of operations for Monsanto. Campoy also continued by writing Andrew Liveris, the Dow Chief Executive’s commentary concerning this rousing new agreement, “This is game-changing technology… When you put in a couple more genes, unexpected things can happen.”

If it weren’t bad enough that these chemicals are inherent in the soil we use and the air we breathe, now we must also ingest them at the genetic level. As stated earlier with the theme of toxicology, any exposure in abundance to these poisons will negatively affect living creatures. These chemical giants are even admitting that they do not know what will happen from the merging process nor are they offering any studies of these new chemicals to alleviate any concerns.

The fact that the government is lacking a responsible effort to study the long-term effects of these inventions is alarming to say the least. In fact, the only available studies of the long-term effects of these chemicals is in its aerosol form. The Food and Drug Administration states that they have been working diligently to reduce the pesticide residue in the imports from other countries caused by these aerosol sprays. According to the article, “Scaling Up Political Ecology: The Case of Illegal Pesticides on Fresh Vegetables Imported into the United States, 1996-2006,written by Ryan E. Galt, states that the adherence to the regulations of food and pesticidal residue creates a major health concern for the entire agricultural world. The main points of the article are that domestic vegetables have lower adverse residues than that of imported products, and that there are 14 main pesticides from an allotted 476 testable chemicals make up more than two-thirds of all violations (Galt).

Now it is clear that there is not only a continued use of these dangerous toxins, but also that there is an actual level deemed safe for ingestion based on region and country. Each of these factors still remains isolated from each other, however, when looked at by specialists trying to decide how to regulate certain aspects of chemical production and use. Keeping in mind that farmers have been dealing with pests for thousands of years without the help of such potent forces, it becomes a question then of why humans are so arrogant to think that we can continue to use these products without worry of any eventual effect on ourselves, let alone the rest of the world.


The answer can be found in the lack of proper media coverage on the use of these chemicals, especially concerning the implementation of genetically modified organisms. After looking into what the word GMO actually entails and researching the topic further, we begin to get a bigger picture of why there are so many citizens that are wholly unconcerned about the subject. The website, GMO-Compass,tells us that there is a necessity for these particular developments in the scientific community, especially concerning agriculture and the supply and demand of its consumers. Such developments proposed as necessary for humanity to advance, include the invention of genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s. GMO-Compass effectively describes the laws, definitions and history of genetically modified organisms to the average consumer. The site, financed by the European Union itself, suggests that the coexistence of GMO products and natural or organic products are a necessary and pertinent part of our society’s future (GMO-Compass).

The American conglomerate Monsanto, created GMO’s with the genetic predisposition to be completely unaffected by  the use of certain pesticides, namely its own product Round Up. These Round Up-Ready organisms actually contain a protein developed from a virus cell that the FDA claims is similar in nature to the proteins that humans have ingested for millennia. If you are to look at the reports of said hypotheses, you may be hard pressed to find one that isn’t paid for by the company itself. The benefits then appear to be only for the company’s profit and production of seed; which also carry with it a unique genetic coding called the “Terminator Gene,” in which the scientists have actually devolved the crops from being able to reseed themselves annually after the fruition of the crops. This means that the farmers would have to return to Monsanto year after year for the ability to have such “pest-free” crops.

The idea behind GMO’s originated in the mass production of certain staple foods to be developed for the hungry and starving Third-World Countries, which actually called for the “deregulation” of the years of testing the effects of these organisms on human life. If you were a politician in the 80’s and even into the Clinton administration of the 90’s, you were practically considered a heretic for suggesting such tests to be conducted, these processes of which have been part of the Scientific Method for centuries. Yet after more than twenty years of application and development the notion that these creations were for the feeding of the hungry seems to have mysteriously vanished. These countries are still lacking food resources and our developed countries have actually been projecting results of over-production. If it were truly the intention for these products to assist these nations it is clear now that something that went terribly wrong along the way. It appears that the corporations would rather continue to globalize and create profit than to assist in helping humanity rid itself of the pestering element of hunger.

Returning to Rachel Carson’s “Obligation to Endure,”we are reminded to look at the bigger picture, to imagine how we will leave the future and our generations of children that will have to deal with nature’s adaptation to our maniacal inventions. Perhaps then it is not unwise to suggest that the Bill of Rights be amended to include protection of our citizens from such obviously harmful chemicals and even radiation. At least insofar as to give us the right to opt out in the vote booths as to whether or not these chemicals should be used.

At this point it is unknown as to whether or not the processes described by Carson and others are completely irreversible, but it would be wise to consider the notion that we are all part of this world and are therefore subject to the changes this world will make in reaction to us. To sum up Rachel Carson’s warning is to recount a quote by Jean Roosted, the man that inspired the name of the New York Times excerpt; stating, “the obligation to endure gives us the right to know.” If the leaders of this world want to create a responsible society in our augmentation of health, the right to know and the right to vote in these processes must be made into a necessary part of our societal evolution. Otherwise the use of toxins sprayed on our food, in our air and in the genetics of the products itself will continue to deposit the poisons into everything we know until it all becomes too much for life to continue.

Eric Anthony Crew

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Links to check out…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rml_k005tsU

DOWNLOAD MOVIE via my 4SHARED ACCOUNT HERE

“There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it — it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.”

“Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.”

http://www.livefreerevolution.com/
http://livefreerevolution.blogspot.com

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The Botany Of Desire
One of my absolute favorite documentaries.

“Are we controlling nature or is nature controlling us? Michael Pollan reveals his view with four examples: the apple, the tulip, cannabis & the potato.”



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