Do you ever wonder what happens when pesticides and agrochemicals enter ‘the environment’? Nukleus has uncovered facts about toxic pesticides - information which chemical companies like Monsanto would prefer you didn’t know - which reveal horrific contamination of soil, water, even air, and the widespread destruction of birds, insects and other wildlife.
WE’VE READ REPORTS THAT CHEMICAL COMPANIES LIKE MONSANTO DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE
And what we found shocked even us.
‘AN ASTONISHING PICTURE OF HARM’
One report reveals the way in which most of the developing world’s cotton farmers work and the hazardous pesticides which contaminate their environment and threaten their health. It talks about an astonishing picture of the harm caused by pesticides.
|Pesticide Clearly Labelled as Poison|
EARTH, WATER, AIR, ANIMALS, BIRDS AND INSECTS...AND HUMANS...SICK AND DYING, POISONED BY CHEMICAL PESTICIDES...
According to a report from the UK's Pesticide Action Network, The Deadly Chemicals in Cotton ‘Cotton is the world’s most important non-food agricultural commodity.'
US$ 2 billion of chemical pesticides are used in its production every year, of which almost half are considered toxic enough to be classified as hazardous by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Cotton accounts for 16% of global insecticide use – more than any other single crop. Almost 1.0 kilogram of hazardous pesticides is applied for every hectare of cotton.
In India, home to over one third of the world’s cotton farmers, cotton accounts for 54% of all pesticides used annually – despite occupying just 5% of land under crops. ‘
HALF A CENTURY OF POLLUTION : THE TRAGEDY OF UZBEKISTAN
‘In Uzbekistan, the world’s second largest cotton exporter, toxic agrochemicals applied to cotton 50 years ago now pollute the country’s land, air, food and drinking water. Despite the substantial damage that these chemicals cause to human health and the environment, Uzbekistan’s leaders still allow the use of cotton pesticides so toxic that they were banned under the Soviets.
THE DIRTIEST CROP IN THE WORLD?
*Insecticides account for 60% of all agrochemicals applied to cotton.
*Insecticides act by impairing biological processes such as the nervous and reproductive systems – which are common among all animals; including humans.
- Cotton farmers apply US$ 1,310 million of insecticides to cotton each year: far more than is applied to any other single crop, making it the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop.
- Despite accounting for just 2.5% of global cropland, cotton in responsible for the release of 16% of global insecticides.
DESIGNED TO KILL
Pesticides are designed to kill pests...but the damage doesn’t stop there...
*They work by impairing biological processes and systems, like reproduction and the nervous system.
*They affect not only the physiology of the species they are intended to control, but also other species, AND humans.
- Of the 201 agrochemicals classified by the WHO as being either ‘Extremely’, ‘Highly’ or ‘Moderately’ hazardous, insecticides are by far the biggest group (52%).
* In 1984 in the world’s worst man-made chemical disaster, a cloud of toxic gas leaked from a factory in Bhopal, India, manufacturing aldicarb (WHO Ia) and carbaryl (WHO II) for use in Indian cotton production. 20,000 people were killed: 120,000 people were injured.
Glyphosate is the world’s best-selling chemical herbicide. Glyphosate-containing herbicides, such as Monsanto’s Roundup are used in the production of genetically modified crops like chemical cotton in India.
Scientific studies have questioned glyphosate’s safety. There have been calls for glyphosate-containing herbicides to be banned in Europe. New research by Friends of the Earth has detected glyphosate residues in the urine of 44 percent of people tested, from 18 different European countries.
Glyphosate-containing herbicides are used to control plants considered to be weeds. But other plants, animals, insects and micro-organisms are also exposed to glyphosate-containing herbicides:
insects flying through spray
from eating treated crops, or by eating prey that has been feeding on treated crops
chemicals washed by the rain into groundwater, streams, rivers and coastal waters
DID YOU EVER WONDER WHY HUGE CORPORATIONS LIKE MONSANTO TARGET POOR INDIAN FARMERS?
Indian cotton farmers use US$ 344 million of pesticides annually.
- This is 55% of the country’s total expenditure on agricultural pesticide
- cotton accounts for just 5% of India’s total cropland
- A staggering US$ 235 million is spent trying to control bollworm alone.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE ANIMALS, INSECTS, BIRDS AND OTHER WILDLIFE BEING SPRAYED? THESE WARNINGS ON PESTICIDES GIVE US AN IDEA OF THE HARM THEY CAUSE...
Many different hazardous pesticides used on cotton crops have been detected in rivers, streams and wells in the USA, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Australia, Greece and in West Africa.
Endosulfan has adverse effects on aquatic systems, and is highly toxic to fish, birds, bees and other wildlife.
Methyl parathion is highly toxic for aquatic invertebrates, and moderately toxic to mammals such as rats, dogs and rabbits. It has been implicated in the deaths of waterfowl and the acute poisoning of fish, birds, cattle and wild animals. In 1995 a mixture of methyl parathion and endosulfan led to the death of over 240,000 fish in Alabama, when heavy rain washed the pesticides washed from the cotton fields and into rivers.
|Indian Farmer Preparing Herbal Pesticide|
ORGANIC COTTON HELPS WILDLIFE, PEOPLE AND NATURE
● Global consumption of cotton has almost doubled in the last 30 years.
* Purchasing decisions made by consumers directly impact production methods and so both environmental security and social equity.
● Organic cotton production works in harmony with Nature, using natural methods of pest control.
|Cultivating Organic Cotton in India|
- Consumer demand for organic cotton currently stands at between US$ 800 million and US$1 billion, and is growing rapidly.
- Organic cotton is environmentally and socially sustainable alternative to chemical cotton.
- Demand for organic products among consumers is growing. In a 2005 survey almost half of British consumers reported buying organic products, with many stating environmental concerns.
LOOK FOR THIS SECRET INGREDIENT OF TRULY ORGANIC PRODUCTS
Comprehensive labeling allows consumers to make informed choices about the type of cotton they buy. This ensures transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain. Organic cotton can be a powerful force for improving the lives of millions of cotton farmers.
By buying organic cotton clothing, you are helping make the world a better, more sustainable place.
NUKLEUS, THE SMALL BRAND WITH THE BIG HEART...CARING FOR YOU AND THE PLANET
Pesticides: general term referring to poisonous chemicals designed to kill anything seen as a 'pest'. Includes insecticides, aimed at poisonous chemicals designed to kill insects. Herbicides: poisonous chemicals designed to kill unwanted plants.
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