Journal, Fall 2002, Pesticides

Wise Traditions, Volume 3, Number 2


  • Environmental Toxins:

  • Children’s Health: Peace, Theo Colborn holds a vision for the future


President’s Message: Modern Plagues

by Sally Fallon

During the past century, advances in technology that have given us clean water and clean living environments, have brought us great victories over infectious disease. A common theme in these pages is that this same technology has made it possible to denature our food to such an extent that we have exchanged one set of diseases for another. Epidemics of smallpox, cholera and yellow fever have given way to epidemics of chronic disease–cancer, heart disease, arthritis, infertility and so on.

In this issue we look at how modern technology has created yet another threat–that of persistent toxic pesticides causing endocrine disruption with its attendant consequences. Many of the consequences that we will describe–dental deformities, birth defects, reproductive problems, diminished intelligence and even behavior problems–are also manifestations of nutritional deficiencies. In his article “Perilous Pathways,” Dr. Bill Plapp closes the loop by demonstrating that pesticides wreak havoc mainly by disrupting vitamin A pathways. Vitamin A deficiencies, due either to a lack of vitamin A in the diet or a disruption of the body’s utilization of vitamin A, inhibits the formation and utilization of steroid hormones that the body needs for normal development, healthy reproduction, optimal intelligence and the ability to deal with stresses of all types. Even outright paralytic poisoning, described in “Pesticides and Polio” by Jim West can be prevented, or at least mitigated, by adequate stores of vitamin A.

The scenario we present in this issue is bleak but not hopeless. It suggests several courses of action that many of our members have already undertaken, including the inclusion of adequate amounts of fat-soluble vitamins in the diet, purchase of as much food as possible (especially animal foods) directly from farmers practicing nontoxic agriculture, and avoidance of the worst sources of toxic chemicals in our diets and environments–plastic containers, household pesticides, lawn chemicals, freshwater fish, vegetable oils and heavily sprayed fruits and vegetables. Our efforts in avoiding exposure to persistent pesticides and similar compounds will help avoid numerous health problems in future generations.

And speaking of the future, please note the dates of May 3-4 for next year’s conference. The setting is the beautiful, newly refurbished Sheraton National hotel, easy to get to and offering spacious conference rooms. The theme is “Heart Disease in the 21st Century: Beyond the Lipid Hypothesis.” We have obtained an excellent room rate (and yes, they have rooms with windows that open) and are planning three delicious, all organic meals, so mark your calendars and plan ahead for this wonderful event.

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