Last month, just one week prior to the passage of the Grenelle 2 legislation (eviscerated beyond recognition) on the environment, a parliamentary commission on science and technology published a 200-page report on “Pesticides and Health” which warned the government against a too-brutal reduction of pesticide use in France because this could precipitate “a complete breakdown of our economy” ,“a probable reduction in productivity”, “an increase in commodity prices” and “the possible disappearance of numerous fruits and vegetables”.
The stunning conclusion is: “No scientific study today can make a human link between consuming foods produced by conventional agriculture which uses phytopharmaceutical products and the incidence of illness and disease.”
This of course flies in the face of the spirit and the text of the Grenelle, which called for a 50% reduction in pesticide use by 2018.
François Veillerette, who heads the MDRGF (an NGO that lobbies against pesticide use) told Libération: “The agro-industrial system which favours shareholders and bankers and which makes a farm disappear every 20 minutes in France has gained the upper hand over environmental and health concerns.”
2010 is the era of “ecoloscepticisme” and a reactionary backlash.
As we edge closer to the season of delicious summertime fruits and vegetables, it is worth taking a minute to recall which ones are high on the list of produce which contains dangerously high concentrations of pesticides.
The Daily Green recently published an updated 2010 version of “The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic” and there were surprises for me, notably the arrival of blueberries at number 5: “blueberries are treated with as many as 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries on the market.”
Among the top 12 are celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, nectarines, spinach, potatoes and cherries.
And here’s a trailer for the documentary “The Idiot Cycle”, a Canadian/French documentary which focuses on the six big chemical companies (BASF, Bayer, Astrazenecca, Monsanto, Dow Chemical and Dupont) which produce cancer-causing chemicals and are also invested in and develop cancer treatments.
Food for thought as we ponder the collapse of the European Union under the collective weight of ballooning national deficits. For how much longer is the current economic system of creating “economic goods” such as poor health, polluted waterways and toxic soils going to persist?