02 July, 2009

Looking After You, Or Looking The Other Way?

You take a big bite of your corn cob, and life's pretty good. Sweet juice dribbles down. Sounds like heaven? It sure is - as long as you grew the corn yourself and didn't use pesticide around it...

It seems - surprise surprise - that some big chemical companies aren't quite as scrupulous in their processes of establishing how harmful their pesticides are. Are you as surprised as I was? Uh-huh...  The devil's in the details, as usual.

"Inert" material refers to any material that's not directly involved in the pesticidal action, from what I can glean from that article.  So if I needed to suspend my pesticide ingredients in carbon tetrachloride, that becomes the "inert" material in the pesticide.  Can you see where that leads to?   Okay - maybe my example wouldn't pass muster, since carbon tet has been well and truly vilified and exposed as a nasty chemical and even a large pesticide manufacturer might have trouble slipping that in.  But when you're dealing in quantities where a difference of cost to produce of a few cents a litre results in a profit of several million dollars a year, you can see the temptation they must be under...

If you read my last article about vitamins and supplements that are less than 10% of what they claim to be, and the other 90% possibly composed of lead or other poisons, then you see the pattern.  And once again, you aren't going to change that big company's method of doing business by standing there shaking a fist at them.  You'll be much better served by avoiding their product, directly and indirectly.

I suppose I imagine this scenario, as idealistic and misguided as I am:

  1. PesticideCo makes nasty pesticideX that makes people's fingernails drop off.  
  2. Farmer Harry uses that pesticideX, sells his corn to SupermarketCo.
  3. People (hey, that's you and me and everyone!) notice that their friends' fingernails are rolling around and
  4. Start buying their corn from local farmers that don't use pesticides, and are local as well.
  5. Supermarkets no longer see a demand for Farmer Harry's corn.
  6. Farmer Harry gets the buzz and stops using pesticideX.
  7. PesticideCo sees sales slump and decides not to make PesticideX any more.
  8. They now make PesticideY, or perhaps they close up shop.

But whether PesticideCo goes broke or not, the important thing to come out of this is that you still have your fingernails because you were proactive in your own health.  And enough people just doing that will make the rest of the effects from 5 onwards.

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