Book Title: Poisoning Our Children: The Parent's Guide to the Myths of Safe Pesticides
Author: André Leu
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 206 pages
Genre: Educational / Parenting / Nature - Science
Publisher: Acres USA
Release date: March 1, 2018
Tour dates: March 12 to April 13, 2018
Content Rating: G
Parenting was never easy. While loving, teaching and nourishing children, parents also seek to protect them from harm. The past few generations, however, have been silently attacked by thousands of manmade, poisonous chemicals carried into homes and children's bodies in our food supply. The chemical-based conventional agriculture industry claims that the synthesized concoctions they sell as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are safe when used as directed, but does the scientific evidence truly support their assertions?
When pesticide residues are found in 77 percent of all foods in the United States, it's important to know the truth. Organic agriculturist André Leu has weeded through a wealth of respected scientific journals to present peer-reviewed evidence proving that the claims of chemical companies and pesticide regulators are not all they seem.
The minute I read the title of this book I knew I wanted to read it. Poisoning our Children is a guide meant to inform and empower parents to become better consumers so that positive and healthy changes in the food and farming industry become possible.
The author's extensive knowledge of farming and environmental systems across the world is evident in this second book he wrote about the topic of pesticides and its adverse and destructive effects on our health and livelihood. I always knew that eating organic foods is the way to go, but this book has reinforced this belief 100%. In our family about 80% of our meals are from organic foods and pasture-raised and grass-fed meats.
Knowledge is power, and Leu gives us tons of it by debunking five myths that the bully pharmaceutical and agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporations are perpetuating so that we as consumers remain ignorant. The book is filled with pages and pages of peer-reviewed studies and information from respected scientific journals to show us the truths about this topic. It's very informative but makes for dry reading. Because Leu already has most of this info in his first book The Myths of Safe Pesticides, I think this second book aimed at parents could have been more user-friendly by including a section with a tip-sheet on how exactly parents can choose safer foods and household products. For example, what to look for on the labels.
There is a growing movement of doctors and health care professionals (functional medicine) that are informing the public through books and documentary series about leading a healthier life and fighting illnesses through nutrition and knowledge. It's true that as parents we can become overwhelmed by the intensity of the problem of GMOs, pesticides and the alarming increase in childhood illnesses as a result. However, Leu proposes a simple solution that I found encouraging and true.
As consumers, we can be significant change agents for a better future. It is so simple. Stop using pesticides in and around the house, and buy organic food whenever you have the choice. These consumer dollars will drive the change as retailers and farmers change their sales and production to meet this growing demand.The author goes on to say that "real positive change has always been driven by people--not by governments." I believe this to be true and this book has reinforced my determination to make better decisions in what I feed my family. And I am proud to be a part of this change.
Read my interview with the author below as he beautifully summarizes what his book is about and what we can do about this huge problem affecting our children.
LCR. Welcome to our blog, André. Can you please tell us more about your book?
AL: The book shows that there is no peer-reviewed evidence based science showing that the pesticide formulations sprayed on food are safe for children.
There are no requirements for pesticide formulations to be tested specifically for children’s health, reproductive effects, birth defects, organ damage, cancer, developmental neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, metabolic disruption, epigenetic mutations, autoimmune diseases and many other illnesses that are affecting our children
There are numerous studies showing that the smallest amounts of pesticides can cause a lifetime of health problems for children.
LCR: Why did you feel it was necessary to write it?
AL: It is important for parents to be properly informed about the science on how the fetus, breast fed babies and growing children can be harmed through exposure to small amounts of pesticides in their food, breast milk or through the placenta. I have put a lot of effort to ‘translate’ the complex scientific technical jargon on pesticides into plain language so that the majority of people can understand the issues.
LCR: You write about the myths that keep being circulated by toxic pesticide and herbicide companies. What is the biggest misconception?
AL: The biggest myth is that if we don’t spray poisons on our food we will starve. The emerging body of scientific evidence shows that regenerative organic agriculture based on the science of agroecology can get equal and higher yields compared to the current industrial agriculture practices. There is no need to poison our food.
LCR: The title is a bit ominous. Are kids actually being poisoned?
AL: Yes, they are being fed a cocktail of poisons every day. We are currently in a crisis the World Health Organization calls an epidemic of “non-communicable diseases” affecting adults and children. You cannot catch diseases like cancer, autism, heart, liver, kidney and other diseases from sitting next to people with these illnesses. The causes are clearly environmental and hundreds of scientific papers show that pesticides and other chemicals are linked to many of these diseases. The fetus, babies, and children are the most vulnerable to smallest amounts of pesticides. Consequently, their rates of cancer, autism, behavioral problems, metabolic problems, hormone problems, auto-immune diseases numerous other chronic illnesses continue to increase.
LCR: What change can people make today to help improve our food supply?
AL: The good news is that published scientific studies show that these pesticides can be eliminated from both children’s and adult’s bodies after just a few days on a diet of organic food.
What is the true cost of the increase of autism, cancer, asthma and the numerous other chronic diseases in our children? What is the true cost of a lifetime of ill health? The reality is the true cost of food with pesticides is a price that is too high to pay. Organic food is the best value for money as it is the most effective way to prevent children from developing these diseases.
By buying organic food, people are creating demand and this income will drive more farmers to change their practices.
LCR: Is this an issue just in the U.S., or is it a global issue?
AL: This is now a global issue: an epidemic of non-contagious chronic diseases that can easily be stopped by changing farming to regenerative organic agriculture and nourishing the world with nutritious, safe and healthy food.
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