The following article is translated from its original publication in French, found here.
Cash Investigation. Chemical Products: Our Children in Danger
Syngenta , Monsanto, Bayer and Dow– Perhaps, you didn’t know about them, but these are the multinationals in the agrochemical industry who manufacture pesticides used in agriculture. Their products are found in food, in tap water and even in the air we breathe. Some are carcinogenic and neurotoxic, while others are endocrine disruptors, particularly dangerous for children. “Cash Investigation” had access to a confidential database on pesticide sales in France, product by product, department by department, between 2008 and 2013. On average, there are nearly 65 000 tonnes of pure pesticides that are applied on our territory every year. Today, the Hexagon is the largest consumer of pesticides in Europe.
Since 1980, childhood cancer has been increasing by 1% per year in France, with approximately 2,500 additional cases each year. This is the second cause of death in children. Is there a link between these diseases and exposure to pesticides? For scientists around the world, there is hardly any doubt.
Folpet produced by Bayer, atrazine by Syngenta or chlorpyrifos-ethyl from Dow Chemical; Behind these names unknown to the general public, are hidden molecules with proven health risks; Molecules that bring in billions of euros to multinationals. After a year of investigation in France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States, “Cash investigation” reveals how certain products put our children in danger.
Democracy polluted by pesticides
The last part of the investigation led the team of “Cash Investigation” to Hawaii. The climate of this heavenly archipelago allows four harvests per year. This is why multinationals test their products here. In what is probably the greatest open lab for GMO experimentation in the world, they make heavy use of pesticides. Here, there is ten times more birth defects than average in the United States. The mobilization of citizens pushed the local government to pass a law to limit the damages. Manufacturers immediately responded by attacking this law in court, and they won. In Hawaii, in the great game of democracy, it is chemistry that prevails.