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Pesticides: Sowing Poisons, Growing Hunger, Reaping Sorrow. A monograph by Dr Meriel Watts addressing the poisoning of people, the contamination of the environment, the advent of insect resistance, and the reduction in the biodiversity that sustains agro-ecosystems. It explores the greater productivity that can be achieved by avoiding the use of pesticides at the same time as enabling farming communities to regain their dignity and independence. Read monograph here

Pesticides and Breast Cancer: A Wake Up Call by Dr Meriel Watts PhD cover sample-3Breast cancer is by far the most common cause of cancer in women throughout the world, and incidence is escalating in the Asia Pacific region. It is time for systemic change in our attitudes to pesticides: we need to implement the precautionary principle and substitute safer ecological methods of managing pests, weeds and disease, for those pesticides exposed here as having the potential to cause breast cancer.

Written by PAN AP scientist and coordinator of PAN Aotearoa/New Zealand, Dr. Meriel Watts PhD, the book provides a compelling argument for preventing the exposure of women and girls to many of today’s commonly used pesticides. This collation of scientific evidence stretching over more than 30 years indicts 98 pesticides—including insecticides, herbicides and fungicides—one common adjuvant and two contaminants of pesticide formulations, as having the potential to cause breast cancer.

“Invaluable, comprehensive, impressive, thorough review of the extensive literature on the ways that pesticides affect our health and that of the entire planet. State of the art assessment. A wake up call!”, states Dr. Devra Davis, author of “The Secret History of the War on Cancer”, basic books, 2007; Director, Center for Environmental Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; and Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, United States of America.

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Poisining Our Future“Poisoning Our Future: Children and Pesticides” marks the 2013 global no pesticide use week. The book details the scientific evidence for the insidious effects of pesticides on children and calls on government institutions to adopt a more precautionary approach to better protect human health and the environment.

Toxic chemicals such as pesticides pollute our surroundings – from the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe in our homes, farms, communities, at schools and work and even our own bodies. Children are exposed to these pesticides and are very much vulnerable to the negative health effects of these harmful chemicals. Yet, governments and industry overlook these impacts on children’s health despite the availability of safer alternatives to pesticides.

According to Pesticide Action Network Aoteoroa New Zealandauthor, Dr Meriel Watts, “Children are not little adults. The activities they do make them more prone to accumulate pesticides in their bodies; and their developing bodies make them more prone to the negative effects of toxic chemicals such as pesticides. Yet government regulatory processes and tests do not look into these effects,” according to Dr Meriel Watts, author of the book. Tests used to approve use of pesticides do not look into endocrine disruption which can impact the physical, intellectual and behavioural development of the foetus and young child. The effects can include ADHD and autism and even conditions like obesity and breast cancer that can show up later in life in what is now referred to as the “foetal origins of adult disease”. Some childhood cancers like leukaemia have been linked to the exposure of parents to pesticides. Highly hazardous pesticides also damage the developing immune, nervous and reproductive systems.

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