By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only


Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING resulted in the banning of a
horribly toxic pesticide, D.D.T. Ironically, Carson died a
few months after publishing the best selling book that
changed America. Or did it? Her breasts became toxic dump
sites for chemicals approved by government agencies, and her
breast cancer overwhelmed healthy cells, resulting in her

The United States Department of Environmental Protection
(EPA) has established so-called safe levels for pesticides
in foods, but their tolerance levels make absolutely no

EPA's math is one level below dyslexic, hovering between
unethical and criminal.

If humans and animals eat the same plants, and humans then
eat the flesh of these same animals, or drink their milk,
the pesticides become concentrated in the bodies and body
fluids of those food-animals. Humans sit atop the food

Unfortunately, EPA standards for farm animals allow greater
amounts of pesticides in animal feed.

Let me cite you one example.

If soy crops are sprayed with one of the most toxic
substances used in agriculture, malathion, EPA will allow no
more than 8 parts per million on those soybeans.

Soybeans are harvested, roasted and served to dairy cows and
beef cattle. If soy forage is used for animal feed, the
permitted level of malathion is nearly seventeen times
greater (135 parts per million).

Humans may eat a few ounces per day of malathion-treated soy
products. Dairy cows might eat ten pounds per day or more of
that same product with higher permissible residues. Day
after day. Week after week. Thousands of doses.

The actual human dose of malathion for milk drinkers or meat
eaters may very well be thousands of times greater than the
maximum standard for human tolerance as set by EPA.

Mal means bad, and malathion (Dimethoxy Phosphino Thioyl
Thio Butanedioic Acid Diethyl Ester) is the baddest of
pesticides. Exposure to malathion can result in a vast array
of human conditions, including birth defects, cancer,
chromosomal, brain, and kidney damage, leukemia, and often-
times death.

Read the horror stories associated with malathion:

Many hundreds of different pesticides are used on America's
farms. In most cases, the allowable levels of pesticides in
feed for farm animals is significantly higher than it is for
human food.

Other pesticide ranges include acetochlor (7 times higher
for animal feed), alachlor (3.5 times greater), bentazon (60
times greater), carbaryl (20 times greater), chloroneb (20
times greater), diflubensuron (10 times greater), diphenamid
(5 times greater), fenvalerate (20 times greater), methomyl
(50 times greater), methyl parathion (10 times greter),
metolachlor (40 times greater), and norflurazon (10 times
greater). Many more pesticides are used. You get the idea.

Eat soy or any fruit and vegetable, and you get one dose.
Eat organic soy, or organic fruits and vegetables, and you
receive zero doses of pesticides.

Eat animals who are permitted many more times than the
levels of pesticides tha are humans, and who eat many
hundreds or thousands of doses, and you introduce poisons
into your own flesh.

Is there any living creature higher on the food chain than
human adults who eat poisoned flesh and dairy products?

Sadly, the answer is yes. The highest creature on the food
chain is the growing fetus whose mother is exposed to these
concentrated toxins. After birth, her mother delivers these
concentrated pesticides to the child through breast milk.

Who protects Americans from pesticides? Is it the
Environmental Protection Agency? Yesterday (April 2, 2002),
I had a busy phone day, leaving messages for about 15 E.P.A.
employees. I reached Christie Whitman's office, but my ex-
Governor did not call me back. I left word with her special
assistant, Steve Johnson. He did not call me back either. I
did speak with Joe Bailey, the assistant to the Director of
Pesticide Control (Marcia Mulkey). I asked Mr. Bailey:

"Why does E.P.A. allow 8 parts per million of malathion on
soybeans grown for human consumption, and 135 parts per
million for farm animals? Animals eat many more doses, and
it is concentrated in their milk and meat."

He responded:

"Those levels are established by scientific studies provided
to us at E.P.A. I am not an expert, so I will have somebody
from our health division call you back. The safe level for
malathion use is currently being reassessed, and those new
numbers should be made public by August 3rd."

Joe Bailey's phone: 703-305-7090 Joe Bailey's EMAIL:

Baily's health expert did call me. A nice young man by the
name of Antonio Bravo.

Mr. Bravo first explained:

"A tolerance level for pesticides is used more as an
enforcement standard than a safety assessment. When humans
eat soybeans, some of the pesticides are lost when the beans
are washed, ground up, and made into other foods. We attempt
to reflect the dinner-plate values of various pesticides."

I responded.

"In that case, allowable levels of permissible pesticides
for farm animals is even more dangerous. In the case of
malathion, cow soy forage is allowed to contain 17 times the
level of pesticides as human soy, and they eat thousands of
portions to our one portion. The steak or ice cream contains
fat, which captures the pesticide, which does not degrade.
In milk and meat, we eat many more doses. Should not the
standard for animal feed be safer than human feed for that

His response:

"That's interesting. Let me discuss that with our chief

If and when Mr. Bravo gets back to me, I will share what I
learn with you. Perhaps my pesticide question is so simple
that it will scare enough of those E.P.A. folks who then
find it safer to seek refuge under their desks.

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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