Glyphosate & My COVID Clothes
I’m so incredibly tired of my sad loungewear collection that I’ve worn every day for the last year. Most of it is tie-dyed, a trend that for some reason has experienced a massive explosion in popularity over the last year. My increasingly embarassed-by-mom tween daughter asked me not to wear them anymore – and added that my bright red sweats are on the “no” list as well. She also pointed out with concern that I have two growing bald spots up on my temples – which now I can’t help but stare at and consider buying the Vegamore hair growth serum that is bombarding my Instagram. You know, lest I forget, the Gram will remind me of my insecurities.
Ten years ago, a friend had a baby, and asked me where she could buy organic crib sheets. I silently laughed at the absurdity of such a weird and privileged-sounding product. SO Palo Alto. But I should have thought that through – she is one of the first computer programmers at Google, so she clearly does some things quite right.
Today, as I look through different cotton loungewear and PJ sets online in an effort to replace the banned pants I’ve passed on to Goodwill, I’m trying to find clothes without glyphosate. Most of the cotton in the clothing we buy originates from GMO cotton. The glyphosate, and other toxic chemicals, reside there in the textile itself – the same fabrics that comprise my permanent Covid uniform.
At a production rate of 25 million tons a year, cotton is one of the top four GMO crops in the world—and nearly 95 percent of that global cotton production is GMO and/or conventionally grown.
Cotton earned the title “dirtiest crop” because it’s sprayed with some of the worst pesticides, including: Bayer’s aldicarb, which was banned in the U.S. in 2010, but re-approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2016; Syngenta’s paraquat, a highly toxic pesticide banned in the European Union but not in the U.S.; and Monsanto’s glyphosate, classified by the World Health Organization as a “probable” human carcinogen.
Those and other toxic chemicals associated with cotton production pollute waterways and damage the health of farmworkers. They also contaminate consumer products.EcoWatch
Most affordable organic cotton women’s pajamas look like toddler-styled, mom&me tops and bottoms. I see that most organic PJ sets are available not just in Christmas family-fun pajama patterns, but also spring florals and what appears to be a repeat pattern of Toucan Sam drinking a margarita. On the other end of the spectrum, one can find a $300 set of the most luxurious organic pajamas that I would be too nervous to wear. They would sit perfectly folded in a dresser drawer next to my pristine JCrew cashmere joggers that I was gifted on my birthday.
When looking for non-toxic fabrics, the ideal is to purchase textiles that are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) approved, which are often prohibitively pricey. A next-best option are products that are OEKO-TEX approved. OEKO-TEX is a label you might have seen on some textiles like towels, mattresses, and bedding. It is a certification placed on textile products that have gone through laboratory testing for harmful chemicals, and meet certain standards. Certainly influenced by the momentum of the cancer lawsuits, OEKO-TEX placed glyphosate on the list in 2020:
Following one year of observation, the herbicide glyphosate and its salts have also been included in the limit value catalogue for the STANDARD 100.
For all the entrepreneurs out there, I think the organic clothing market is ripe in opportunity. Because I can only sew patchwork quilts with kits from Joanne’s, I will be your first customer.
Hakluyt Report Revisited
I was preparing for a presentation last week and took another perusal through the famous Hakluyt report, a litigation discovery document which was made public in the Monsanto Papers. In 2016, Monsanto received a report from the highly secretive corporate intelligence firm Hakluyt regarding their investigation into the current state of the regulatory attitude towards glyphosate in the US. You may remember the most famous lines from this report that Monsanto lined up:
A domestic policy adviser at the White House said, for instance: “We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation. We are prepared to go toe-to-toe on any disputes they may have with, for example, the EU. Monsanto need not fear any additional regulation from this administration.”
I hadn’t given much thought to an additional key component of the report which addresses the growing concern about the sharp discord between EPA political appointees and the EPA professional staff on the human health risks of glyphosate.
With regard to glyphosate, in particular, the differences between political and professional staff are sharp…The professional staffers’ view was represented by one official with the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, who told us: “Our periodic review of glyphosate is likely to conclude that it is not a human carcinogen. However, there is little doubt among officials in our office that the science is evolving and that this assessment may come under professional, activist and public pressure in the coming years.”
Note this line in particular: “The differences between political and professional staff are sharp.” I’ve been reflecting upon the visit to the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs last year, at which Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt presented binders of research on the damage glyphosate exacts on the human body. I absolutely believe that several people in that room silently concurred with our concerns.
Regulation & Political Updates
Despite Biden’s horrifically disappointing appointment of “Mr. Monsanto” Tom Vilsack to head the USDA, I spy several harbingers that regulatory decisions on toxic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals may begin to favor the sustainability of mammalian biology.
- The appointment of Michael Regan to head the EPA appears to favor more science-based, less industry-determined regulation. As noted in Nature, Regan spent more than nine years working in the EPA’s air-quality program under former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and then eight more at the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group based in NYC. For the past four years, he has led the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.
- California EPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is currently assessing glyphosate herbicides to be placed on their Prop 65 List as an endocrine disruptor. Members of the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC), which advises OEHHA, stated in their December 10, 2020 meeting: “There is overwhelming evidence in animal studies showing glyphosate herbicides as endocrine disrupting.”
- An organization I closely follow, the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, is working with Congressional staff to identify the advocacy community’s targets for CRA repeal – meaning, congress has the authority to repeal certain regulatory actions, and is eager to receive suggestions from advocacy groups as to which regulatory actions should be considered for repeal.
I continue to hold a great deal of hope in the EPA’s Biological Evaluation that I discussed a few posts ago – the evaluation showed that glyphosate herbicides harm 93% of endangered species and 97% of their critical habitats. The public comment period has been extended, because Bayer found the report to be too much information to process in a short period of time. I will soon post what I am contributing to the EPA public comments, and hope you will consider writing in as well.
Another Environmental Health Win
While my pseudonym is not Wireless Girl, I do know several people who have become very ill simply from everyday wireless radiation. Robert F. Kennedy Jr, who also served as a Plaintiff attorney in the Monsanto trials, has established a team to address the health damage originating from wireless technology, including rockstar attorney Dafna Tachover. Tachover herself suffered ill health from everyday wireless exposure, and is committed to making the FCC/FDA do their job. Chronic illness from wireless exposure often goes undetected, so her work to raise awareness around research-proven human health effects from wireless is a lifeline for many sufferers.
On Monday, the team had oral arguments challenging the FCC’s refusal to review its 25-year-old obsolete wireless “health guidelines” and to adopt scientific, biologically based radio frequency emissions rules to protect public health from wireless devices and infrastructure.
Get a load of this – WIRELESS HEALTH GUIDELINES HAVE NOT BEEN UPDATED FOR 25 YEARS!!!
For those old enough to remember, in the late 90s, people weren’t hanging around on devices all of the time. The human health standards for tablets, laptops, iphones – the devices that children and adults nearly hug all day long – have NOT been updated since before their invention!!
You will see a great deal of spin out there that human health danger from wireless is merely a conspiracy theory. If that is true, then the FCC, telecom companies and all of the name callers need to provide a pretty substantial rebuttal to the thousands of pages of research showing health damage from wireless exposure.
Excitingly, the hearing went exceedingly well, and the judges on the panel carefully evaluated the information submitted to them. Tachover notes:
“The honorable Judge Millet consistently pushed the FCC to answer why the FCC and/or the FDA didn’t review the evidence on non-cancer effects of wireless technology; why they addressed only cell phones when there is evidence on effects from various other devices and infrastructure; and why they didn’t address the cumulative effects from the chronic exposure for numerous devices.”
Congratulations team! Crossing fingers that judicial system once again helps direct regulators to do their job.
A new report was released today further proving the damage to the microbiome from glyphosate and Roundup exposure – congratulations to Robin Mesnage, Michael Antoniou and team! Another step towards understanding how these chemicals have paralyzed our microbiome and gut lining, including mine.
Use of Shotgun Metagenomics and Metabolomics to Evaluate the Impact of Glyphosate or Roundup MON 52276 on the Gut Microbiota and Serum Metabolome of Sprague-Dawley Rats