Every time I see the ads, the ones with a man standing on his front lawn, proudly holding a gallon of Roundup and smiling triumphantly at his weed-free lawn, it makes my blood boil. Roundup, whose primary active ingredient is glyphosate, is a potent, broad-spectrum herbicide, an extremely dangerous toxin and of all things, an antibiotic, which, in the four decades since its invention, has left behind a global wake of illness and ecological destruction.
Tag Archive: Birth Defects
It’s a fact. Kids today are sicker than they were a generation ago, and according to the Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA), pesticides are a part of the reason why. “From childhood cancers to birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise, and public health experts tell us we have a “silent pandemic” of learning disabilities and disorders” they suggest. But these pesticides aren’t just affecting children, their impact is far-reaching, affecting all of us. On average, Americans are exposed to between 10 and 13 pesticide residues on their food and drink every day.
Filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer was curious about the chemicals she was exposed to while pregnant: Could they affect her unborn child? So she asked scientist Tyrone Hayes to brief her on one he studied closely: atrazine, a herbicide used on corn. (Hayes, an expert on amphibians, is a critic of atrazine, which displays a disturbing effect on frog development.) Onstage together at TEDWomen, Hayes and Chaffer tell their story.