RoundUp™ and Infertility; Causes and Effects.

Growing up in a state with the nickname “Cancer Alley” kind of attuned me to environmental issues, especially as I witnessed what were primarily corn and tomato fields, along with dairy farms and apple orchards, give way to encroaching suburbia and exurban/industrial development. I remember when I was a kid my father coming home and joyfully exclaiming that it was “snowing in the summertime” in Manville. The snow, of course, was asbestos, and the town is missing many due to this legacy. I remember him joking about how the state was building a minor-league stadium on the site of the old Cyanamid plant. Friends of his who used to work there, based on what they remember dumping into the ponds out back, said that anyone who worked on the construction of the stadium was probably shortening his life exponentially speaking. They should change the nickname of New Jersey from “The Garden State” to “The Superfund State”.

But I also remember the day I started digging up our suburban lawn in order to start an organic garden; I remember my subscription to Organic Gardening and Farming magazine; I remember my father referring to it as “Communist literature”. Then again, he took us to the local 4-H fairs, and worked for the county parks commission. This disconnect between what he knew to be true (in terms of the ravages of economic development) and what he feared as a valid and workable response looms heavy in my mind, because we were never able to bridge it. And so today, as I read more and more about the links between industrial agriculture and various illnesses of society (interpret that as you will), I am wondering still how far those who are in control of this situation might be willing to jeopardize their very “lifestyle” in order to find more sustaining and sustainable fulfillment in terms of their own lifetimes, and that of those who follow them?

This item was triggered by various articles I’ve come across that link the use of Monsanto’s RoundUp™ to (among other things) infertility. Dr. Don Huber, who is on the receiving end now of the “Rachel Carson” treatment aimed at discrediting him, says:

I believe that future historians may well look back on our time and judge us not by the pounds of pesticides that we do or don’t apply but they’ll judge us by how willingly we’re sacrificing our children and our future generations just for a massive experiment that’s based upon failed promises and false science to support a commercial enterprise.

Reading activists such as Vandana Shiva, Rania Masri, and Rami Zurayk already spells out what the cost of industrialized agriculture is to the “Third World”.

What about the cost to the “First World”? Can we imagine, say, adoptive parents taking on or championing such a cause if they know that the reason for their existential distress is a function of their economic and political class standing? As opposed to looking for short-term solutions (in surrogacy or adoption) that are equally or more damaging to those realms far afield from their acknowledgment?

What would it take for P/APs to stand up for themselves? How great a loss is too great a loss? I also ask this with the idea in mind that at some point surrogacy and adoption might not be options for them. Is that what it will take?

3 thoughts on “RoundUp™ and Infertility; Causes and Effects.

  1. Absolutely!! The costs are great for us all and our children.Too great in my opinion. I’m pleased you’ve raised this important issue. Alongside this is the damage done to transnational adoptees when they are taken into that toxic environment which their people see as somehow ‘better’, if they have a choice. Americans too, in their patriotism, see it to be better when it is toxic in every way.

  2. An article in Mother Jones links BPA in plastics to reproductive issues [link]:

    Since the 1990s, a vast body of research has linked BPA and other chemicals found in plastics to serious health problems, ranging from cancer to infertility. But the industry—often using tactics pioneered by Big Tobacco as it sought to bury evidence about the health risks of smoking—has managed to shield these substances from federal regulation. ​How did Big Plastic bring regulators to heel?

  3. New research on birth defects at extremely low concentrations and documentation of widespread ground- and drinking-water contamination has strengthened the case for banning the toxic compound atrazine, the most commonly used herbicide in the United States. Atrazine is a widely used weed killer that chemically castrates male frogs at extremely low concentrations and is linked to significant human and wildlife health concerns, including endocrine disruption, birth defects, fertility problems, and certain cancers.

    [link] Harper’s has written extensively on the link between atrazine and reproductive issues in the frog population, as well as the chemical manufacturer’s attempts to destroy those who research on the topic.

    My point here is not to get into debates concerning the science of all of this; I mean simply to point out what is to me a “weak point” in the argument for adoption concerning those who for whatever reason are unable to conceive children. It seems that if there is to be effort expended from this group, as long as it upholds the status quo and a class position (adoption) then this is valid; if it does not (advocating for ecological causes) or if it can be avoided (selectively purchasing BPA-free plastic, etc.) then this is invalid….

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

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