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Molokai Mom on a Mission

Community Contributed

Opinion by Mercy Ritte

It is a mother’s right to know if, what, and when noxious chemicals are being released into the air, water, and soil that their children are in contact with. I did receive a response from Monsanto Molokai to my inquiries, but my specific questions were left unanswered. Only with additional research and determination was I able to find partial answers.

Below is a short list of chemical herbicides and pesticides manufactured and used by Monsanto and other industrial agriculture corporations.

Active Ingredient: Atrazine (and Acetochlor)
Fact: Atrazine is estimated to be the most heavily used herbicide in the U.S. and is the most commonly detected pesticide in surface water. Approximately 75 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is treated with atrazine.
Health Impact: Potential carcinogen; known endocrine disruptor; ground and surface water contaminant; toxic to frogs and aquatic life.
Verdict: Banned in Europe

Active Ingredient: Glyphosate
Fact: Glyphosate-based herbicides are now major pollutants of rivers and surface waters.
Health Impact: Risks include infertility, low sperm count, and prostate or testicular cancer.
Verdict: Australia has banned the use of glyphosate near waterways. When contamination was found in the drinking water supply, Denmark banned glyphosate completely. Ontario also banned all glyphosate herbicides in 2009.

Active Ingredient: Glyphosate
Fact: Glyphosate is the third most common cause of pesticide illness in farm workers.
Health Impact: Two separate studies in Sweden have linked exposure to glyphosate to Hairy Cell Leukemia and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. These types of cancers were extremely rare, however Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the Western world.
Verdict: See above

Active Ingredient: Alachlor
Fact: Products containing alachlor are classified as “restricted use” herbicides.
Health Impact: Known carcinogen and reproductive toxin, suspected endocrine disruptor; toxic to fish; groundwater contaminant. Drinking water that contains alachlor for long periods may damage the liver, kidneys, eyes and spleen.
Verdict: Banned or restricted in at least three countries; not approved for use in much of Europe, Canada, the Philippines and Africa.

AQUA-KLEEN (Active ingredient manufactured by Monsanto)
Active Ingredient: 2,4-D
Fact: 2,4-D was first used in the U.S. in the 1940s. Agent Orange, an herbicide used during the Vietnam War, contained both 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T.
Health Impact: Serious eye and skin irritant; possible carcinogen; probable endocrine disruptor; toxic to bees, birds and fish.
Verdict: Banned or restricted in at least five countries.

Should we be concerned for the health and safety of our children? Industrial agriculture corporations would say no. As I mother, I am not going to wait around wondering, then find out 10 years later that they were wrong.

In the words of Sandra Steingraber, acclaimed ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, “What we love, we must protect!”

For information, please visit gmwatch.org.

Walnut Loaf
(Shared by Brenda and Denny Kaneshiro)

1 cup organic raw potatoes, grated
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. whole-wheat flour

Mix all ingredients and place in sprayed baking dish at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

For a free sample of this tasty walnut loaf, please come by Kualapu`u Market on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m.


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