On Thursday April 12 at 7:00 pm, Leonard Gianessi of the CropLife Foundation will present “War of the Weeds” in the Byrd Auditorium at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV.
Wrapped in the guise of “true sustainability” and “food security,” the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia is hosting this pro-pesticide and pro-herbicide presentation. The National Conservation Training Center wraps itself in images of Rachel Carson and has the following mission: “The National Conservation Training Center trains and educates natural resource managers to accomplish our common goal of conserving fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. As the “home of the Fish and Wildlife Service,” NCTC brings exceptional training and education opportunities to Service employees and others.”
NCTC plans on doing a national teleconference with Mr Gianessi. This broadcast will go to the desk of extension agents, fish and game workers and educators across the country. This is your tax dollars at work for the big chemical companies. It is really inappropriate that this information is coming through the auspices of a conservation organization.
ACTION TO TAKE
Please contact the following individuals to protest the use of tax payer monies for this presentation.
Mr. Rick Lemon
National Conservation Training Center (NCTC)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mark Madison, Ph.D.
National Conservation Training Center
698 Conservation Way
Shepherdstown, WV 25443-9713
304 876-7270 (fax)
Can we put an economic value on our breasts, on our prostates, on the fertility of our children, on our environmental health, or on the health of wildlife? If we are intelligent we won’t do this, but on April 12, Leonard Gianessi, a pesticide industry spokesman disguised as an educator, will ask us to do just that.
Although the major herbicide used in the US has been banned in Europe because it is a documented endocrine disrupter and in dosages as low as parts per million is responsible for such diverse effects as breast cancer and feminization of male animals, Mr. Gianessi will present the argument that the use of herbicides is necessary for the economic success of farming and for staving off hunger in this country. He will try to convince the audience that ” modern agricultural technology provides the clearest path to true sustainability. ” Mr Gianessi’s “agricultural technology” includes chemicals and genetic engineering.
Besides promoting chemicals that negatively affect all of our lives and are known to pollute areas up to 600 miles from their application site, Mr Gianessi is a national spokesman for BT corn, a genetically engineered product currently implicated by German scientists in the world-wide die off of honeybees.
Organic farmers do not use herbicides and with proper management weeds do not present a substantial threat to crop production. In fact, by not using expensive petrochemical-based herbicides, a farmer may have lower productivity but a higher overall net profit.
Endocrine disrupting pesticides have been banned in Europe. In the US, however, the EPA has dragged its feet for over ten years, failing to even identify problems with endocrine disrupters in the environment. The fear that the US will follow Europe in banning environmentally harmful chemicals is undoubtedly the impetus behind Mr Gianessi’s presentation at NCTC.
Why should a federal conservation organization provide a public platform for a presentation that advocates environmental contaminants as necessary to prevent hunger or as essential to sustainablility.
This situation is all the more poignant because the Potomac River that NCTC is sited near has almost 100% feminization of its smallmouth bass population and signs of intersex in two other species. Although the causes of intersex are “open to opinion,” herbicides are strongly implicated in the fish problems in the Potomac.
For more information on this event or on the effects of herbicides on humans and wildlife, please contact Allan Balliett allan (at) freshandlocalcsa.com .