Pesticides and Children


While we all know that pesticides are harmful for any creature, the evidence that they are also extremely harmful for humans continues to mount.  As you know, Monsanto cannot be sold in many countries due to the harm it causes.  Monsanto was taken to the international court, The Hauge, and this courts decision was to allow the bans against it to stand.  So, here we have not only scientific evidence that pesticides are harmful, but legal rulings against it, also.

The study linked to below, deals with an insecticide class known as Organophosphates which were developed in Germany in the 1940’s and are “like” nerve agents, which means that they target an enzyme (acetylcholinesterase ) that controls nerves signals, of course this destroys the enzyme, and then the insect also dies.  These insecticides are known as chlorpyrifos and are widely used in the U.S. and Europe.  Not only that, but chlorpyrifos are not only used in fields, but they have also been used in parks and playgrounds.  Since they have been used so widely, it is nearly impossible not to come into contact with them.

Until this meta study was conducted,(for those who don’t know, a meta study is the extensive study of many different peer-reviewed scientific studies) many people were under the impression that these were not “all that” harmful to humans, however by using the meta study (the study of many peer-reviewed studies from over 71 countries), the scientists discovered that the level of human harm is much higher than was previously thought.  Indeed, they discovered that there is no “acceptable” level, in fact, chronic low-level exposure is extremely harmful and can lead to problems in babies and children that include lower I.Q., problems with the mechanics of the brain, learning disabilities and memory problems.  Should many children have these problems it will become a societal problem.

I’m leaving the link to this information below.  Scary stuff indeed.




Updating Monsanto


I first wrote about the trial of Monsanto at The Hague.  Just a quick update with how that turned out.  The company was found guilty on all charges, and the ban on any and all Monsanto products being sold in the European Union still stands.

However, I also wanted to write about newly released documents that show how Monsanto has been paying off government regulators and scientists in an effort to keep them from publishing scientific studies that show the harm that Monsanto products (in this case, Roundup) do, along with using their influence to stop scientific studies that show Roundup to be a health hazard.  There are lawsuits around the country that claim that Roundup is a carcinogen.  These documents have been made available to the public, since this is a public health concern.


I hope that you go to the links provided below and read the articles.  This is an important discussion to have, since there is an effort in the U.S. to allow corporations to self-regulate.  I feel that this shows that no corporation should be allowed to self-regulate, but that the entire process needs to be made completely public, with all scientific data peer-reviewed and released to the general public.


Have you used Roundup?  What are your thoughts on this?



Why is Science Important?


This past weekend there was a march in Washington, D.C., along with other marches around the world in support of science.  We actually needed a march to support science.  I still can’t wrap my head around that fact.  The marches were in support of evidence, fact-based and peer-reviewed science.  This is needed since the administration in Washington is against both science and peer-viewed research.  Research needs to be peer-reviewed, since anyone could claim to be a scientist, publish a “study” and claim anything.  We already can see that happening, so it needs to be stopped.  Science is actually one subject that can be proved correct.  Just because someone doesn’t like what is scientifically proven doesn’t mean that they have the ability to claim it is false.


For those people who think that we don’t need science, do you like using your technology?  Phones, laptops, t.v., all are science-based.  Should funding be cut, so will your technology.  How about “cutting-edge” health care?  All those new life-saving surgeries are based on science.  Do you like your new medicines?  Those too come from science. If funds are cut so will your health, since there will be less money spent on keeping you healthy.  Science is life-saving.  It affects all of us in every part of our lives.  Support science, your life may very well depend on it.


Why Not Getting Enough Sleep is Seriously Bad for You


I’ve posted about skipping sleep before.  I have a hard time forcing myself to go to bed, and I seldom get more than four to five hours of sleep a night.  I’ve always been a bit of a night owl, however over the years, I’ve gotten much worse.  At first it was babies being up all hours of the night, then came the night terrors.  But, for many, too many years, my sleep habits have been terrible.


When I do get jaw-crackingly tired, I still try to stay up!  The culprit is often a book, although I’ve been known to stay up playing Destiny, also.  In my defense, even though I may be exceedingly tired, there have been times when no matter how much I want to go to sleep, I haven’t been able to fall asleep.  However, the vast majority of time, I just don’t want to go to sleep, apparently, I’d much rather read than sleep.

However, as usual, there is scientific evidence that I should be getting more sleep.   Researchers have found that skipping sleep can cause inflammation in our organs, which can lead to immune system problems.  Since I suffer from Fibromyalgia, this skipping sleep is really a dumb idea, since I could be making my problems much worse.

Another scientific finding is that loss of sleep may lead to permanent loss of brain cells.  So, no!, I really need all the brain cells that I have.  There is also a process that removes toxins and waste from our brains while we sleep, and this in itself is extremely important for our brain cells.  So, yah, I think I really do need to get more sleep.


Here’s another fact for you.  Not getting enough sleep can lead to a slowing down of the metabolic system, and lead to weight gain.  So, that explains it.  Another benefit is that when we sleep we produce HGH, which is the human growth hormone.  As we age, we produce more cortisol, which helps to age us.  So, if we sleep more, we’ll produce more HGH, which in turn will keep us from aging too fast.

And, finally, lack of sleep can make us more stressed.  Not getting enough sleep can affect up to 700 genes in our bodies, alter our hormones and lead to our inability to deal with stress.


So, who’s for a really good 8 to 10 hours of sleep?  I know I am!


Thoughts on Captain Fantastic


First of all, I must say that I’m extremely “taken” with Viggo Mortensen – I think he’s not only handsome, but an interesting person (odd, but interesting).  I try to watch all the movies that he makes, since not only is he a wonderful actor, but he makes good movies.  Even if I find a movie difficult to watch (The Road and Good come to mind), any movie he makes is definitely fodder for thought.

So, with that in mind, I watched his latest movie, Captain Fantastic, the other night.  There is much to think about in this movie.  A quick over-view of the plot is that a husband (Ben) and wife (Leslie) decide to raise their children “off-the-grid” and away from all the “bad” influences of the modern world in the middle of the wilderness that is the Pacific Northwest.


Who can argue with this assessment of the modern world?  I actually agreed with much of what Ben and Leslie believed.  Our food is poisoned; social media is invasive; schools teach to the test, and don’t promote much in the way of critical thinking; the pursuit of money and profit at the expense of people is pervasive.  These are all valid issues that should be discussed both individually and in larger venues.  So, with this in mind, the family grows their own food, hunts their own meat, learns survival skills and are almost completely independent.  Everything goes well, until Leslie’s mental illness makes her ability to cope (and live) frighteningly difficult.  Ben seeks help for her from her parents, and she is institutionalized.  While there, Leslie commits suicide.  The children want to attend the funeral that Leslie expressly did not want to have, and the family commences their exotic journey from the wilderness back into “civilized society”.


However, as with most, if not all, reintroduction’s to “civilization”, they encounter stressful and comic situations.  In the first restaurant they go to, the younger children are convinced that the other people are ill due to their lack of physical fitness and weight.  When subjected to violent video games which their cousins are playing, the children are aghast, even though they all partake in actual hunting of animals for food.  Even though their aunt and uncle allow for violent game-play they refuse to let the cousins hear about the suicide of Leslie, finding no irony that their children routinely “kill” people while playing video games, but are too delicate to hear about mental illness.  This juxtaposing occurs throughout the movie, giving us fodder for the brain.

If you haven’t watched this movie, I hope that you do so.  If you have watched it, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.


Monsanto at The Hague


 First things first, for those of you who may not know, The Hague is the International Court, located in the Netherlands.


This international court that has presided over many international cases.  In the case of Monsanto, the court will be looking at the potential liability for Monsanto to be charged with damages to human and environmental health.  There are 26 countries that have banned GMO’s (including the products produced by Monsanto).    The ingredients that Monsanto uses in its pesticides (both that are sprayed, and the ones that are inserted into the seeds) have been found to be carcinogenic to both humans, animals and insects.


One of the reasons for this new trial against Monsanto is the company’s aggressive behavior toward the EFSA (Europe Food Safety Agency).  Monsanto sued this agency after they banned the product.

There will be many well-known and respected scientists who will be both disputing Monsanto’s scientific evidence; along with presenting their own evidence against Monsanto products.  To find out more about this important case, please follow the links I’ve provided.  Let me know what you think about this issue?  Do you believe that your food is safe?