“We’ve made poisons the measure of progress.” ~ Vandana Shiva
“Circle of Poison” is one of the most well-made and compelling documentaries I have ever seen.
According to the film, no chemical pesticides existed before World War II. When the war ended, the corporations that had been making poison gases during the war turned their efforts towards making pesticides. Thereafter followed a mushrooming of crops in the United States; however, starting in the 1970s ramifications of the pesticides responsible for the explosion of the phenomenon known as “Big Agriculture” - such as birth defects, cancer, and sundry fatal disease - became known.
In the United States many pesticides were then banned. President Jimmy Carter issued an executive order that chemicals corporations could not export these harmful pesticides to other countries either; however, a month after Ronald Reagan became president he revoked Carter’s order claiming that it hurt American corporations’ profits.
Even though many pesticides were outlawed in the U.S. due to their dangerous health and environmental effects, the companies were still permitted to manufacture them for export only. The “circle of poison” is that these toxic pesticides circulate the globe and come back to the U.S. as residues on imported foods.
Narrated by Elizabeth Kucinich and featuring interviews with Jimmy Carter, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Professor Noam Chomsky, Senator Patrick Leahy, and a beautiful epilogue by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, “Circle of Poison” exposes the revolving door of lobbyists employed by six major chemical corporations to influence our government and allow them to continue make money from toxic pesticides. In particular, I loved what President Carter had to say: “I think the best approach to handling a particular issue like the choice between profit for corporations or protection of human beings, the first instigation should be to educate the American public about what is going on.” Which is exactly what the film “Circle of Poison” does. It takes viewers across the globe to India, Mexico, Argentina, Bhutan, and the United States to document the heartwrenching stories of victims and the inspiring ways communities are now rebuilding themselves.
Here in America there are more and more people fighting for Non-GMO organic foods and the rights to safety and health for all people on the planet. From organic farm co-ops in Mexico and Argentina and a Farmers Market in India, to the entire country of Bhutan becoming 100 percent organic, people are finding ways to grow food that is healthier for their families, communities, and the environment - food that does not rely on or enrich the agrochemical corporations that have poisoned them.
This documentary is seamless and has a lyrical soundtrack that threads the narrative together perfectly. You can watch the film for free this weekend on FMTV.com by visiting “Circle of Poison.”