Andre Leu, president of the International Federation of Organic Movements (IFOAM) and an experienced organic farmer in Australia has published a must-read book called The Myths of Safe Pesticides that questions the corporate misinformation, lack of safety and scientific evidence used by the makers of chemicals and pesticides in the conventional agriculture industry, and makes a strong case for embracing organic farming practices that eliminate reliance on pesticides.
In the book’s foreword by Vandana Shiva, Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author, she says: “Andre Leu wakes us to the global patterns of disease epidemics that are threatening human life and well-being with the combined threat from pesticides and pesticide-producing GMO plants.”
In The Myths of Safe Pesticides, André Leu has weeded through a wealth of respected scientific journals to present peer-reviewed evidence proving that the claims of chemical companies and pesticide regulators are not all they seem. Leu translates technical jargon into layman’s terms to break down the five most-repeated myths about pesticide safety, refuting them using scientific data. Learn the truth behind:
The “Rigorously Tested” Myth. Are pesticides tested for safety before going on the market?
The “Very Small Amount” Myth. Can even a small amount of chemical residue be harmful?
The “Breakdown” Myth. Do pesticides rapidly biodegrade, and are the breakdown products truly harmless?
The “Reliable Regulatory Authority” Myth. Do the regulatory authorities review unbiased evidence before declaring a product safe?
The “Pesticides Are Essential to Farming” Myth. Are pesticides the only thing keeping our planet from starvation?
In Chapter one, The “Rigorously Tested” Myth, Leu points out that there are numerous studies that show that Roundup is more toxic than its active ingredient, glyphosate. These studies link the pesticide to a range of health problems such as cancer, placental cell damage, miscarriages, stillbirths, endocrine disruption, and damage to various organs such as the kidney and liver.
“Research by scientists in France has shown that one of the ‘inert’ adjuvants in Roundup, the polyethoxylated tallowamine POE-15, is considerably more toxic to human cells than the ‘active’ ingredient glyphosate. The researchers found that at one and three parts per million (ppm), doses that are considered to be normal environmental and occupational exposures, POE-15 enters human cells and causes them to die,” Leu says.
The pesticide industry argues that agriculture, and the global population itself, cannot survive without its products. Leu warns that we are at risk unless we break free of their toxic hold and turn to more natural methods of pest and weed regulation.
Anita Lock, writing in the US Review of Books, said “One of the reasons for this book is my observation of so much illness in our communities, especially cancers, behavioral disorders, and degenerative diseases.
“The Myths of Safe Pesticides addresses the five most-repeated myths about the regulation of toxic chemicals and debunks these myths based on hundreds of published, peer-reviewed science studies that critically question the safety issues around that regulation,” Lock says.
According to Lock, Leu, President of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements, the world umbrella body for the organic sector, offers a compelling body of evidence against the use of pesticides. The staggering information all boils to one result: the “adverse human health due to persistent and short-term environmental toxicants.
“While each myth deals with different aspects of pesticides, of key importance is the disconcerting manifestation these chemicals have on human beings, especially at low dosages. Leu does an excellent job explaining how chemicals can disrupt hormonal systems, which creates a whole host of diseases throughout the body. Those who are most affected by this disruption are the unborn and growing children,” Lock says.
Joel Salatin, founder Polyface Farms and author of Folks This Ain’t Normal, says, “As a staunch opponent of pesticides, I thought I knew the arguments. In this wonderful gift to the integrity food movement, Andre Leu gives even the faithful a quotable, understandable, captivating text to affirm and strengthen out arguments.”
Miguel A. Altieri, PhD, professor of agroecology, University of California-Berkeley, says, “Andre Leu breaks the chain of corporate misinformation on pesticides and masks the failure of chemical warfare against pests. As Leu points out, there are ecologically and socially viable alternatives to chemical agriculture.”
Published by Acres U.S.A., The Myths of Safe Pesticides is available for sale on Amazon.com, Acres USA and iTunes.