Milwaukee Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print

Letter from Publisher

A weed is but an unloved flower. ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In March, the highly respected International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced that glyphosate “probably” causes cancer in people. Glyphosate, better known by the trade name Roundup, is the most widely used, broad-spectrum, systemic weed killer in the world. Its use soared in the last two decades because its leading producer, Monsanto, developed genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready crops, which were first introduced in 1996 and now account for most corn, soybeans and cotton grown in the United States. The seeds were genetically engineered (GE) to tolerate the herbicide, allowing farmers to spray it across entire fields to kill most weed varieties without killing the crops.

Monsanto subsequently accused the agency of having an agenda and cherry-picking the data to support its case. The IARC, which looks at the simple question of whether a substance might cause cancer under some circumstances, replied that it had no agenda other than to inform the WHO of the conclusions of its studies of people and laboratory animals. The research produced evidence of DNA and chromosomal damage in animal and human cells and increased rates of rare forms of cancerous tumors in mice and rats exposed to glyphosate.

With Monsanto likely planning to sponsor future research to support its proposition that Roundup and GM crops are safe, the question we all need to ask ourselves is whether allowing these foods into our body and environment is worth the risk. The good news is that as consumers we have a choice.

As Jeffrey Smith says in this month’s interview with Linda Sechrist, we, the people, are in control, not government agencies. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and director of the documentary Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives, points to the statistics and trends resulting from our individual decisions to banish products with GM or GE ingredients, also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), from our lives. It can be tricky in the face of big business’ overwhelming practices, but it’s possible.

We can personally make a difference in reducing the amount of glyphosate and other chemicals in our environment by supporting organic food producers and choosing organic methods of maintaining our own lawns and gardens, which is especially critical for minimizing the exposure of those most vulnerable—young children and pets. Converting part of a lawn into a haven for native plants and wildflowers makes the task of maintenance easier, while we also learn to appreciate the beauty of less than picture-perfect but safer, healthier yards.

Wishing our readers a healthy and fun-filled barefoot summer,

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Letter from Publisher

“Game Changers,” one of Natural Awakenings’ themes for October, focuses on the youth of our nation taking the reins to make a difference in social and environmental areas.

Letter from Publisher

Natural Awakenings is just one of many publications delivering cutting-edge information about natural, noninvasive, non-pharmaceutical health remedies presented by health and wellness advocates, scientists and researchers.

Letter from Publisher

As we strive to stay true to our values and ensure that our children feel loved, we need to model this behavior by applying those values in our interactions with others.

Letter from Publisher

Wisconsinites are fortunate to have an abundance of local, organically grown choices. In its 2017 organic agriculture status report, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems reported that, nationally, Wisconsin is second only to California in the overall number of organic farms and in the number of farms adding organic acres.

Letter from Publisher

While Milwaukee has had its share of unraveling over the years, today activism abounds as community leaders strive for healthy, livable communities that include safe, friendly neighborhoods; public access to green space; thriving, locally owned businesses; and transportation alternatives such as mass transit, cycling and walkability.

Letter from Publisher

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that extraordinary health benefits may be achieved through fasting, a practice long revered throughout the world for its spiritual benefits.

Letter from Publisher

For years, scientists and climatologists have been warning that the world will face severe water shortages resulting from a combination of climate change and the irresponsible overuse of precious water.

Letter from Publisher

Today Milwaukee has a diverse, sophisticated palate that includes vegetarian and vegan restaurants and a range of international cuisines that were difficult to find in the area a decade ago.

Letter from Publisher

We may expand and grow by giving, practicing gratitude and forgiveness, taking responsibility for our own lives, creating strong social networks, and having a sense of purpose.

Letter from Publisher

Read this issue to become inspired about reducing plastic waste, walking to improve physical and mental health, and keeping pets healthy and happy through responsible feeding.

Letter from Publisher

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. ~Dalai Lama

Letter from Publisher

As Thanksgiving arrives, may we remember to be grateful for all that we have—especially those things that can’t be bought or destroyed.