THE BLOG
05/03/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Growing Evidence That Chemical Agriculture Is Killing Us

In my new book, Organic Manifesto, I show lots of evidence that agricultural chemicals are a major cause of many of our biggest health problems--cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, obesity, autism, and ADHD. In just the few short months since I wrote the book and sent it off to the printer, a few more major studies have come out that show even more damning (and damaging) evidence. Here are three of them:

1. A GMO may cause liver and kidney failure, according to a study published by the International Journal of Biological Sciences. GMOs are genetically modified organisms--in this case, crops that have laboratory-altered genes. What you need to understand is that GMOs have been unleashed into our food system on a massive scale, without any long-term health studies--only a few token studies by Monsanto, the maker of GMOs and, of course, the primary beneficiary of the profits they bring. Read the full study here.

2. Chemicals are increasingly implicated in autism. I interviewed the author of this study in the journal Current Opinion in Pediatrics, Dr. Phil Landrigan, for my book, so many of his ideas are already included there. However, this study was not yet published at the time the Organic Manifesto went to press. Now that the vaccine theory has been totally debunked as the cause of autism, we can start looking at the growing evidence of the true causes, data from doctors who have been trying to address this national crisis. One out of every 100 kids born in the U.S. today will be diagnosed as autistic. That is a crime. See the abstract here.

In another study done by Dr. Landrigan's Mount Sinai colleagues, agricultural chemicals, as well as pthalates--found in nail polish, kids toys, plastics, and fragrances--have been associated with childhood behavioral problems.

3. Infections worse than MRSA are starting to take over. In a recent article in the New York Times, Andrew Pollack reports that antibiotic-resistant infections even more deadly than MRSA are killing thousands of people in hospitals across America, and showing no signs of slowing down. As I write in my book, much of the overuse of antibiotics stems from the horrible conditions that animals are raised in to produce cheap food. And any farmer can buy a 50-pound bag of antibiotics at the local farm store, without a prescription! If you or a loved one is facing a hospital stay, be sure to take precautions against infection.

So we know we are putting our lives at risk by overusing antibiotics. But then I read this study just a few weeks ago in the Abstract of Environmental Science and Technology, and discovered that when wastewater that includes antibiotics (from urine and such) is applied in the lab to aquatic plants, it actually interferes with their photosynthesis and significantly stunts the plants' growth. So not only are we killing ourselves, but we are killing plants. Without plants, we don't get oxygen to breathe...

More on this in the weeks to come!

For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.