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HERBICIDES                              Ending toxic chemical use on our lands

Because of the tremendous harm herbicides and pesticides pose to the public, to wildlife, to groundwater, streams, lakes and threatened forests, The Hills Conversation Network oppose their use, period.  Especially since their use is not absolutely necessary; just convenient, profit-driven, and habituated.




Hundreds of gallons of these toxins are applied, over years, to thousands of felled tree stumps and

"weeds" (i.e., unwanted plants) in East Bay "treatment" areas.  Once introduced into an ecosystem,

the poisons wash, drift and migrate into soil, plants, trees, streams, lakes, insects, mammals, birds,

raptors, dogs, and eventually us human wildland visitorsRachel Carson covered all this almost six

decades ago in her seminal 1962 book, "Silent Spring," which helped launch the environmental

movement.  The chemical industry attacked her book then, as it does today.  The only difference is

the mountain of amassed scientific research demonstrating the toxicity of the industry's products,

and the mountain of profits fueling a billion dollar industry.

Unfortunately, despite common sense, grade school teachings, university studies (not tainted by chemical industry grants) and hundreds of scientific papers demonstrating pesticide/herbicide harm, they are still mostly legally and routinely used nation-wide and worldwide—and on Oakland and Berkeley public lands.  This is mostly due to the chemical industry's advertising, public relations and lobbying dollars, convincing — or corrupting — federal, state and city governments and regulatory agencies like the EPA which has allowed an exponentially expanded use of these poisons.  These ad and P.R. campaigns, as with the tobacco industry, protect literally billions of dollars in annual worldwide profits.

ARTICLES on the toxicity of pesticides

                                                   READ LA Times, "California lists Roundup ingredient as a chemical linked to cancer"


                                                   READ Reuters, "Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence"

                                                   READ NY Times, "Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety..."


BOOKS on the toxicity of pesticides

The majority of East Bay Hills (and SF Bay Area) residents oppose using poisons — pesticides and its sub-categories herbicides and insecticides — on public lands.  And with good reason.  Numerous independent studies show them to be carcinogens and endocrine disruptors; toxic to plant life, and harmful to the gut bacteria of mammals — and humans.

Each chapter of "The Myths of Safe Pesticides" dispels one of the many myths of pesticide safety, and by extension, the government regulators and corporate community evaluating them:

MYTH 1:  All agricultural poisons are rigorously tested.  Actually, of the more than 88,000 chemical compounds introduced to the world since the end of World War II, only a few hundred have been (inadequately) tested, and even these not thoroughly.  Only 3 chemicals have ever been banned, and none has been tested in combination with any of the others, inside the human body.

MYTH 2: Very small amounts. The old adage is the dose makes the poison.  But, the body doesn't care only about massive amounts.  It's he tiniest parts per billion and even trillion that latch on to proteins, hormones and cells, block communications from the brain, disrupt the stability of the network, and create massive imbalances in cell growth — cancers — and the various "new" chronic diseases of the past 25 years.  Tiny amounts can kill.

MYTH 3: Modern pesticides rapidly degrade. Actually, residues concentrate the poisons. When toxic poisons biodegrade they can become oxons (as in organophosphates), 100 times more toxic than the original pesticide. Glyphosate (Monsanto's signature chemical Roundup) at residue levels induces human breast cancer cells to multiply 8-13 times. It grows cancer.

MYTH 4.  Reliable Regulatory Authorities. Actually, they can be counted on for very little protection. READ review of "Poison Spring" by E.G. Vallianatos, a 25-year veteran administrator at the EPA.





"Vegetation Management" advocates who fell trees and use herbicides (like Dow Garlon) on stumps often quell public fear by claiming only “small" amounts of these toxic chemicals will be used.  


But cutting down 100,000 trees (a conservative estimate of deforestation plans HCN has thwarted) and treating their stumps with an (also conservatively) estimated 3 oz. of herbicide per stump adds up to thousands of gallons of herbicides (applied to manufacturer's specifications):


3 oz/stump, twice/year, for 5-10 years x 100,000 trees

= 6oz/year x 5-10 years = 30-60oz/tree

x 100,000 trees = 3-6 million oz. over 5-10 years.  

Divide by 128oz per gallon...




Even this massive (and conservative) estimate is not complete.  It only accounts for applications to tree stumps, NOT additional herbicide routinely sprayed on vegetation like hemlock, thistle, poison oak, broom and grasses that grow quickly where forests are cut down. Herbicides kill and dessicate small plants. Hot, dry summers and autumns create easily ignitable fuels, replacing fog-capturing forests. All this "managment" increases the chances of wildfire ignition and rapid spread. READ MORE.

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