Dr. Oz: Pesticides & GMO Crops
Dr. Oz kicked off his show by talking about a very concerning issue. It comes down to GMO crops and pesticides. When farms use pesticides to wipe out the weeds around crops, the weeds eventually adapt. This calls for stronger pesticides. However, the crops weren’t strong enough to withstand stronger pesticides. So crops were genetically modified to become stronger, to withstand even stronger pesticides. Pesticides used now contain things like Glyphosate and 2, 4-D, a chemical found in Agent Orange, which was banned during the Vietnam War.
GMOs are allowing what Dr. Oz called a “pesticide arms race”, putting the health of everyone at risk.
I didn’t know much about this topic prior to this segment, but this segment was both terrifying and enlightening.
Dr. Oz: Should the EPA Approve A New Pesticide?
The federal government is about to make a critical decision. The EPA is considering approving the new pesticide Enlist Duo. Health experts and concerned citizens on both sides of the controversy have been their opinions known. More than half a million people wrote into the EPA to stop the pending approval of the pesticide, including a letter signed by 30 prominent doctors, scientists, and researchers, which highlighted the risks for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Here are some facts: 70 to 80 percent of our foods contain GMOs, 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides are used every year on crops, and 70 to 170 million pounds of additional pesticides will be used if the EPA approves this. Dr. Oz said that most people already have pesticides in our blood.
Dr. Oz: Do Pesticides Hurt Children?
Dr. Oz talked to concerned mother Zen Honeycutt, who started Moms Across America to sound the alarm on pesticide use in the U.S. It took her a long time to learn her kids were being affected by pesticides. Her children had rashes and severe allergies for years. But then she learned about the pesticides used and how glyphosate, the most common pesticide, kills gut bacteria. She thought this might be the problem for her children so her family went GMO-free and organic and her children’s health got better.
Zen said her doctors would not test for glyphosate because there was no reason to. So they went to a private lab that found her son was positive for glyphosate at a rate that was eight times higher than what was found anywhere in Europe. Her son also had autism symptoms, but after going GMO-free and organic, his autism symptoms went away.
Dr. Oz: Are Pesticides Safe?
Mark Bittman, New York Times food columnist and author of Eat Vegan Before 6, came by to talk to Dr. Oz about this. He said there’s a fair case for the technology of GMOs, but the way the technology has been proven so far hasn’t proved anything. Yields aren’t up and pesticide and herbicide use is not down, which was the promise of GMOs.
Dr. Ken Ramos, Associate Vice President of Precision Health Sciences at the Arizona Health Sciences Center, said that pesticides are “overwhelmingly safe”.
Dr. Oz: Does Pesticide Drift Injure Our Children?
Dr. Marisa Weiss, president and founder of breastcancer.org, said that drift is a huge concern. Pesticides drift through the air away from the farm and sail onto neighboring structures, like playgrounds, where children breathe them in. “The fact is that the corn and soy are genetically engineered to survive these chemicals, but our children are not,” Dr. Weiss said.
Pesticides are hard to keep in the vicinity of a farm, especially when there’s strong wind. In fact, the drift range is around 200 feet. There are over 5500 schools within the drift range of farms in the U.S. That means thousands of children and families are at risk.
Dr. Oz: Are We At The Start of a Catastrophe?
Dr. Ken Ramos said that pesticides are a concern, but “kids are always going to be exposed to some level of pesticides, animals are always going to be exposed to some level of pesticides, whether we want to or not.” He also added that they’re monitoring how pesticides are affecting children.
“But that subjects are entire nation to one massive experiment. You know, I hear these words that we’re going to continue to survey what happens to kids, so a decade from now we’ll apologize, but in the meantime I’m very concerned that we’re at the beginning of a catastrophe, one that we don’t have to subject ourselves to,” Dr. Oz said.
Dr. Oz urged people to demand the President stop the EPA from approving this pesticide, at a petition he started. If the petition gets 100,000 signatures, the President has to respond to it. If you want to stop them from approving the pesticide, sign the petition.