An alarming trend is starting to take form on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. In Waimea, doctors are noticing a heart defect, which is normally considered rare, becoming increasingly common. Pediatrician Carla Nelson, has noted seeing four of these defects in children born in the last three years.
Kauai is the center of GMO corn, historically being the testing ground for the mainland, where over 90% of GMO corn was grown during its original development.
Since then, not only have severe heart malformations risen ten times the normal rate, but other severe illnesses and birth defects are also steadily rising.
The Guardian reported a similar concern:
“In Kauai, chemical companies Dow, BASF, Syngenta and DuPont spray 17 times more pesticide per acre (mostly herbicides, along with insecticides and fungicides) than on ordinary cornfields in the US mainland, according to the most detailed study of the sector, by the Center for Food Safety. That’s because they are precisely testing the strain’s resistance to herbicides that kill other plants. About a fourth of the total are called Restricted Use Pesticides because of their harmfulness. Just in Kauai, 18 tons – mostly atrazine, paraquat (both banned in Europe) and chlorpyrifos – were applied in 2012. The World Health Organization this year announced that glyphosate, sold as Roundup, the most common of the non-restricted herbicides, is “probably carcinogenic in humans.”
In the small Hawaiian town, residents have complained of vomiting, headaches and stinging eyes when the wind blows down from the fields. And if that wasn’t enough, Dow AgroSciences’ main lobbyist in Honolulu, also ran the main Kauai hospital. Research concerning the effects of pesticides on patients has never been commenced.
It’s a similar story across the islands. In Maui County, residents formed a council and launched a ballot to call for a stop on GMO farming until a full environmental impact statement could be completed. In response to this, Monsanto spent $7.2 million to curb the action, and essentially won. The council then sued in federal court, with the rulings now being appealed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ report, Pesticide Exposure in Children, discovered “an association between pesticides and adverse birth outcomes, including physical birth defects.” They noted schools being evacuated due to chemical drift, and how difficult it is to treat a child when you don’t know “which chemical they’ve been exposed to.”
According to the report by The Guardian, a pediatric surgeon has also noted the steady growth of birth defects in children born in Hawaii. Dr. Sidney Johnson, at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, oversees all children born in Hawaii with major birth defects. The number of babies born with their abdominal organs outside, a rare condition known as gastroschisis, has increased from three a year to around a dozen, he told The Guardian.
Big Ags are seemingly unstoppable in terms of their plans for GMOs, and as a result, it appears our children are now faced with an increased risk of developing a number of life threatening conditions. Maybe it’s time to start growing your own vegetables and say no to GMOs.
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