(NaturalNews) The efforts of four Southern Californian moms have succeeded in transforming the city of Irvine into the region’s first pesticide-free community, proving that grassroots-level activism can accomplish more in protecting children from exposure to deadly toxins than relying on state and federal regulators to do so.
When Laurie Thompson’s 2-year-old daughter Caelin was diagnosed with brain cancer, Laurie began hearing about other similar cases in the community. In fact, there were 16 cases of cancer reported among Irvine children between the ages of 1 and 15 – many of whom had developed brain cancer – leading Thompson to begin wondering whether there might be an environmental cause.
Thompson was particularly concerned about the spraying of pesticides in the community, including glyphosate – the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller – and 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), which was one of the main ingredients in the notorious Vietnam-era defoliant, Agent Orange.
Glyphosate, the most widely-used herbicide in the history of the world, has been labeled by the World Health Organization as being “likely carcinogenic,” and has been linked to a number of other illnesses, including birth defects, diabetes, liver disease and obesity, to name a few.
Exposure to 2,4-D has also been linked to cancer, infertility and birth defects. 2,4-D is also an endocrine-disruptor, which means that it can “mimic or inhibit” the body’s hormones, leading to thyroid disorders and other hormonal imbalances.
The inception of Non Toxic Irvine
Thompson soon learned that she wasn’t the only Irvine mom with concerns about pesticide use in the community. (Note: although glyphosate and 2,4-D are technically considered herbicides, they fall under the general classification of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides).
Irvine resident Ayn Craciun, who suffered a miscarriage 11 weeks into her pregnancy, was also concerned about the spraying of pesticides in the community, and suspected that they might have caused her to lose her baby.
Two other concerned Irvine moms, Kathleen Hallal and Kim Konte, joined forces with Craciun and Thompson to create Non Toxic Irvine, an organization whose intent was to make Irvine the first pesticide-free city in Orange County.
Non Toxic Irvine enlisted a team of scientific advisers, including several doctors, professors and other experts, and began a successful campaign to inform the public about the dangers of pesticide use and the fact that there are no “safe” levels for toxic chemicals.
The campaign resulted in the eventual ban on the use of all pesticides in Irvine.
From OC Weekly:
“The City Council voted 5-0 to eliminate the use of toxic pesticides, making Irvine not only the first city in Orange County to eliminate these chemicals from the landscaping plan, but also the first city in all of Southern California to adopt an organic, integrated pest-management program, which eliminates the use of synthetic pesticides, such as Roundup and 2,4 D, under all circumstances and incorporates manual removal, weed whacking and, if necessary, the use of organic pesticides as a means for weed abatement.”
The importance of grassroots activism and independent research
The victory in Irvine illustrates the potential of grassroots activism to bring about positive change on the local level, but it also calls attention to the serious issue of pesticide use and the associated health hazards in nearly all communities.
Pesticide residues are among the many dangerous toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis. To learn more about the toxins lurking in our food supply, for instance, be sure to purchase a copy of Food Forensics, the new book by Health Ranger Mike Adams, founder/editor of Natural News.
In Food Forensics, you’ll find out just how much poison is present in many of the foods we buy – even those labeled as organic – and how to minimize your exposure to these dangerous chemicals and heavy metals.
The bottom line is that we cannot rely on the government and its regulatory agencies to inform and protect us against exposure to toxins. We must rely on the independent efforts of people like the Health Ranger to uncover the truth, and we must organize at the local level to bring about change, as the four Irvine moms have proven is entirely possible.