Pesticides and herbicides/weed killers are known to cause cancer and other human health effects. They also kill critically important species including bees and butterflies.
Incorporating native plants into your yard can support butterflies and bees, and also eliminate the need for toxic pesticides and fertilizers.
Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region. They are the ecological bases upon which life depends, including birds and people. Without them and the insects that coevolved with them, local birds cannot survive. (Source: Audobon Society).
“It is your efforts as an individual that will determine whether we succeed or fail whether we live in a world thriving with life or in one in which little stirs.” (Source: Doug Tallamy in “Nature’s Best Hope.”)
Advantages of Native Plants:
-Native plants do not require fertilizers.
-Native plants require less water than lawns and help prevent erosion.
-Native plants help reduce air pollution because they do not require mowing. Excessive carbon from the burning of fossil fuels used in mowers contributes to global warming.
-Native plants sequester or remove carbon from the air.
-Native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.
-Native plants promote biodiversity and stewardship of our national heritage.
-Native plants are beautiful and increase scenic value. (Source: US Forest Service).
Toxicity of Pesticides:
-Some pesticides have a half life of three years! That means half of it is still there three years after application. Please keep that in mind if you are thinking of starting a food garden in your yard.
-Scientist and Professor Don Huber links glyphosate (Round Up) to reduced nutrient availability in plants, increasing plant diseases, the emergence of a new pathogen, animal illness and possible effects on human health in this article: USDA Scientist Reveals All Glyphosate Hazards to Crops, Soils, Animals, and Consumers. See addendum at the end of this post for many more sources about glyphosate, including which foods have the most residues of it.
-TruGreen is just one example that pesticides cannot be contained to the lawns that they spray. People and animals track the pesticides from one lawn to the next and into their homes. The spray mechanism can drift into neighboring homes and yards. The toxic chemicals create:
* Burning sensations in the nose and lungs
* Dizziness and headaches
* Stomachaches and vomiting
* Rashes on the skin
And that’s not including the long-term effects, such as:
* Cancers, including Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
* Neurological disorders among children
* Learning disabilities among children
Here’s the truth about TruGreen (source):
TruGreen does not list all of the ingredients in their pesticides and chemicals. That’s because:
* 53% of TruGreen’s products include ingredients that are possible carcinogens.
* 41% of TruGreen’s products include ingredients that are banned or restricted in other countries.
* 34% of TruGreen’s products include ingredients that are known or suspected endocrine disruptors.
* 28% of TruGreen products include ingredients that are known or suspected reproductive toxins.
* 100% of TruGreen’s products include ingredients that threaten our environment, including our water supplies. TruGreen says the drying process of their pesticide application takes 1-2 hours but the truth is, studies have shown that these chemicals are traceable several days later and that they run off into our water and drift into our air. Pesticide drift is real.
TruGreen’s practices are dangerous:
* 0% of TruGreen’s pesticide application signs provide the exact time the lawn was sprayed, putting any human or animal at risk of touching the lawn before it’s dry. Also, birds and bunnies can’t read so how are they supposed to know the lawn is unsafe? There’s nothing stopping a squirrel from scampering through your neighbor’s TruGreen lawn and then into yours.
* TruGreen states that “All products used by TruGreen are registered for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are selected based on a number of criteria, including health, safety and the environment.” But, not all EPA-approved substances are consequence-free or safe. In fact, the EPA believes no pesticide can ever be considered perfectly safe.
In 2020, a lawsuit against TruGreen was brought up to the Superior Court of DC.
TruGreen and Roundup both contain the weed killer, glyphosate. Last month, Bayer (the maker of Roundup) reached a $2 billion settlement to resolve around 125,000 claims that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” Source for all of the above information about TruGreen.
Importance of Bees and Butterflies, and Vulnerability to Pesticides:
⁃Wild species like the bumblebee play an important role in pollinating. Around the world, coffee is mostly pollinated by native bees. In the United States, native bees have preferred pollinating fruits like apples, blueberries, and cranberries. (Source)
-Did you know many bees don’t live in hives? Approximately 4000 bee species are native in North America and of those, roughly 70% nest in the ground and 30% live in stems/pre-existing cavities.
-Pesticides and fertilizers kill those ground nesting bees (as well as many other increase insects including fire flies which live most of their life underground). If you remove/deadhead flowers and pick up all deadwood, the other 30% of these also have nowhere to live. (Source: Pollinator friendly yards on Facebook).
-25% of bumblebees are threatened with extinction.
-Because plants have toxins that discourage being eaten, butterfly larvae eat only specific leaves for which they have evolved to process the specific toxins. The biggest role of caterpillars in an ecosystem is … bird food. Birds need a lot of food for their babies.
Top 10 Ways to Help Bees and Butterflies:
1. Shrink lawn (plain grass) space and have more plants.
2. Remove non native plants.
3. Plant and support keystone species, and have generous amounts, so that caterpillars don’t run out.
4. Plant geared to specialist species.
5. Network with your neighbors so that you’re not the only one doing these things. It can be difficult for birds if they have to travel long distances to one food source.
6. Be aware that certain outdoor lighting can kill bugs.
7. Explore ways to provide moving water for birds and butterflies. It can be beneficial if there are rocks in the water.
8. Maintain hiding places for bees and butterflies.
9. Don’t use pesticides/ fertilizers/ insecticides / other chemicals, and be sure to acquire any new plants from a source that doesn’t use pesticides/ chemicals, because those often kill caterpillars.
10. Spread the word.
11. A tip from me: Buy organic foods and products to support farming that doesn’t use synthetic pesticides. USDA Certified Organic foods aren’t allowed to be sprayed with glyphosate.
12. Also, a tip from me: Reconsider what a weed is. Many “weeds” are edible or otherwise beneficial.
Note that putting “bee hotels” in your yard is discouraged because they are easy predator magnets. Instead, use blocks of wood with holes.
-Facebook group that provide lots of great interactive forums: “Beyond Pesticides” and “Pollinator Friendly Yards.”
-For guidance on what to plant, the National Wildlife Federation has a search by ZIP Code feature to get a list of plants that host the highest number of butterflies and moths. Also, it lists the species each plant supports.
-For alternatives to lawn chemicals, check out this site.
-States such as Florida have homeowner laws that protect your right to landscape with native plants.
Addendum: Many Links About Glyphosate:
Note: The article links come first, followed by a summary or excerpt.
1. Check out my facebook post for even more information about glyphosate’s effects on human health.
Exposure to glyphosate — the world’s most widely used, broad-spectrum herbicide and the primary ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup — increases the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent, according to new research from the University of Washington.
Various reviews and international assessments have come to different conclusions about whether glyphosate leads to cancer in humans.
The research team conducted an updated meta-analysis — a comprehensive review of existing literature — and focused on the most highly exposed groups in each study. They found that the link between glyphosate and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is stronger than previously reported.
Study Shows Monsanto’s Roundup Can Harm Fetuses
Quote: Other studies have found links between Roundup and various health problems and diseases like Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers (3). The peer-reviewed study, authored by Stephanie Seneff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant, found that glyphosate residues disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.
How toxic chemicals contribute to COVID-19 deaths.
Glyphosate and Covid connection.
“the jury found unanimously that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused Mr. Johnson to develop NHL, and that Monsanto failed to warn of this severe health hazard. Importantly, the jury also found that Monsanto acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct….”
“We were finally able to show the jury the secret, internal Monsanto documents proving that Monsanto has known for decades that … Roundup could cause cancer,” Johnson’s lawyer Brent Wisner said in a statement, according to The Guardian.”
Glyphosate is the main reason I don’t eat wheat. It was previously designated as a probable carcinogen. use by farmers averages 70% or more for some crops. These include almonds, walnuts, figs, plums, prunes, grapes, kiwi, lemons, grapefruit, pistachios, and pomegranates.
Quote: After yesterday’s trial, the president of the NGO Environmental Working Group, Ken Cook, said, “Today’s verdict reinforces what another jury found last year, and what scientists with the state of California and the World Health Organization have concluded: Glyphosate causes cancer in people.”
“As similar lawsuits mount, the evidence will grow that Roundup is not safe, and that the company has tried to cover it up,” Mr Cook added.
3rd case. Guilty. Monsanto has to pay $2.05 billion. Round up causes cancer!
Oh and stop eating foods containing glyphosate… wheat, beans, etc.
“A Monsanto executive said he wanted to “beat the shit out of” a mothers’ group that urged the company to stop selling its Roundup weedkiller, according to internal emails obtained by lawyers for victims who say the pesticide caused their cancer.”
Glyphosate, an active component of Roundup, has been linked to cancer.
Study is the latest evidence that glyphosate herbicides are so pervasive that residues can be found in foods not produced by farmers using glyphosate.
As U.S. regulators continue to dance around the issue of testing foods for residues of glyphosate weed killers, government scientists in Canada have found the pesticide in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.
Cheerios and Nature Valley cereals, granola and snacks contain ’troubling levels’ of Roundup ingredient, study says.
Great article with a “what you can do/ how to avoid” section. Mentions the PFAS issue which also causes cancer.
The link between glyphosate and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is particularly strong. One study, published in 2008 by Swedish researchers, found that exposure to glyphosate tripled the risk of a subtype of non-Hodgkin called small lymphocytic lymphoma (2).
Another study published in 2003 showed a suggestive link between glyphosate-based herbicide use and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The more pesticides a subject used, the more non-Hodgkin lymphoma incidences increased. Subjects who used five or more of the nine pesticides were “twice as likely to be NHL cases than controls (3).”
Aside from cancer, glyphosate has been associated with a host of health issues, like kidney disease (3), reproductive problems (4), liver damage (5) and birth defects (6).
Glyphosate also interferes with the ability of a plant to uptake nutrients from the soil. Glyphosate, which is a patented chelating agent, binds with nutrients in the soil, and prevents plants from absorbing them. It also acts as an antibiotic (7), which can kill bacteria both in the soil, and our own guts (both of which are incredibly important for plant and human health).
Regardless of the evidence, Monsanto still states that “Glyphosate has a 40-year history of safe and effective use. In evaluations spanning those four decades, the overwhelming conclusion of experts worldwide, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been that glyphosate can be used safely.” Despite the lawsuit, it seems Monsanto is still in denial.
See their complete list of foods that contain glyphosate residues; combined data from both the report EWG released, as well as the reports released from Food Democracy Now! and the group’s “Detox Project.”
So glad I already avoid protein powders because they also often contain lead and other heavy metals. Also they are processed and I prefer whole food.
Some of the organic pea protein brands’ products came back with higher levels of glyphosate than the conventional brands. This is very problematic because glyphosate is prohibited in the certified organic standards, meaning farmers are not allowed to spray glyphosate on their fields and manufacturers are not allowed to “swap” conventional crops for organic crops. See their list of brands.
Quote: Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as “probably carcinogenic” to people. In 2017, glyphosate was also listed by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a chemical known to the state to cause cancer.
“If General Mills and Quaker refuse to remove glyphosate from these children’s cereals, then the companies should at least let parents know how much of this toxic weed killer they may be feeding their kids,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “When there is more weed killer linked to cancer than essential vitamins in kids’ cereal, parents and all consumers have the right to know.”
“Monsanto may not care about its reputation among parents, but food companies that market products to children should,” said Just Label It Chairman Gary Hirshberg. “The fact that these cereal makers could easily remove glyphosate from their products but have so far refused to do so should raise alarm bells with consumers and shareholders. A weed killer linked to cancer has no place in any food, especially those overwhelmingly eaten by kids.”
Good news for wine 🍷 drinkers: There’s some less toxic ones!
Foods that have glyphosphate. Most of these are grains and soy. One of the notes said “broccoli was the only item that did not contain the chemical.”
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