"Those in power are poisoning children" (Mussels not flexed?)
By Mickey Z.
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Sep 22, 2006, 01:34
According to a
study presented at the recent national meeting of the American Chemical
Society, "remnants of Prozac are flushed from the body and travel in
wastewater that reaches streams and rivers . . . (and) cause female mussels to
release their larvae before they're able to survive on their own."
Tell this to the
person sitting in the next cubicle and the typical response will likely be either
indifference or bemusement. After all who gives a damn about a mussel?
This got me
thinking about Rachel Carson, who with the publication of her book,
"Silent Spring," sounded a toxic wake-up call in 1962. "Can
anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poison on the
surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life? " Carson asked
44 years ago. "They should not be called 'insecticides' but
Spring" simultaneously alerted the public to the chemical dangers all
around them while incurring the predictable wrath of corporate America. Indeed,
an author can be certain about his or her impact when companies like Monsanto
-- the good folks who brought us Agent Orange -- take aim.
The use and abuse
of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, Carson posited, were directly
responsible for myriad health hazards not only for humans, but all life on the
planet. "If the Bill of Rights contains no guarantee that a citizen shall
be secure against lethal poisons distributed either by private individuals or
by public officials," she wrote, "it is surely because our
forefathers . . . could conceive of no such problem."
showed that people are not master of nature, but rather part of nature,"
says Carson's biographer, John Henricksson. "It was a revolutionary
thought at the time. Today no one seriously questions its truth, but in 1962 it
was a direct attack on the values and assumptions of a society."
We could use some
of that "revolutionary thought" stuff today as we now produce
pesticides at a rate more than 13,000 times faster than we did in 1962. The
Environmental Protection Agency -- hardly a bulwark against corporate
domination -- considers 30 percent of all insecticides, 60 percent of all
herbicides, and 90 percent of all fungicides to be carcinogenic, yet Americans
spend about $7 billion on 21,000 different pesticide products each year.
World War II, annual worldwide use of pesticides ran right around zero,"
says author Derrick Jensen. "By now it's 500 billion tons, increasing
every year." As a result, about 860 Americans suffer from pesticide
poisoning every single day; that's almost 315,000 cases per year. Some of the
many symptoms of pesticide poisoning include altered personality, memory loss,
difficulty concentrating, dizziness, headaches, hyperactivity in children,
wheezing cough, liver damage, kidney damage, constipation/diarrhea, decreased
sex drive, decreased sperm count, severe muscle weakness, and cancer. The
worldwide death rate from pesticide poisonings is more than 200,000 per year.
It's so, so easy to
ignore or even mock the plight of mussel larvae but this is a canary in a
coalmine situation. Those larvae are the mussel's children and what happens to
them -- in its own way -- is happening to human children. "Let's be
clear," Jensen concludes. "Those in power are poisoning children,
stealing their physical and cognitive health: making them weak, sick, and
No wonder the whole
damn planet is on Prozac.
Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.
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