All The Cancer (Probably) You Can Eat, Drink, Swim In and Breathe.





(This is the first part in a series regarding gmo’s and their related pesticides.  The following piece quotes at length from an article by Andre Leu, published in the May 2015 edition of ACRES, USA.  The article is quoted with permission.  Many thanks to Andre Leu and ACRES for the use of this material.)DSC_0619Many people probably find the above image picturesque and nice.  I find it incredibly disturbing.  This corn field is about a forty-five second drive from my farm.  In fact, even though I live in Central Maine, my farm is surrounded by Iowa.  Less than a mile from my home in either direction I get to see this barren wasteland.

If you’re one of the folks who is wondering why this picturesque scene of gently rolling farmland is so disturbing, consider this.


In the above photo you can see the edge of the same field.  See how the road dips to a low point just before the corn field?  Just beneath that dip is a culvert which carries a drainage brook beneath the road.  It runs directly out of this corn field.  In fact, the first picture above is only half the field.  Here’s the other half.


There is a little pass between the two fields; the drainage filters down through those trees in the middle and into the culvert.  Where does the culvert end up?  Well, if you know anything about ditch design and anything about gravity, you know the answer.  If you don’t, here’s a hint.


On the opposite side of the road the brook runs directly into this beautiful lake.  ‘Ok, so what?’ you may ask.  Check this out.

The World Health Organization recently made a big announcement that almost nobody in the United States heard.  The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) just classified glyphosate as a ‘probable carcinogenic’.  This is the second highest classification of carcinogenicity allowed by the IARC.  If that corn field doesn’t yet bother you it may be because you have no idea what glyphosate is.  Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide on the planet.  In fact, “Dr. Charles Benbrook, research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, showed that there was a 527 million pound (239 million kilogram) increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011.”  Specifically, “the amount of glyphosate used on crops in the United States has increased from 27 million pounds in 1996 to 250 million pounds in 2009.


Here is what awaits you if you drive in the other direction from my farm.  More of the same.  Corn, corn, corn, nearly as far as the eye can see.  The above quotes (used by permission) from a recent article printed in Acres USA and written by Andre Leu both reference 1996.  That year is important because it marks the point when Round-up Ready GMO seeds were introduced into the country’s industrial agricultural stream (and all the actual streams!).  Round-up is the brand name used for glyphosate by Monsanto.  The number of pounds applied to the country’s corn and soy fields has increased a lot since 2009.

The terrible truths about GMO’s are beginning to spread and more people are beginning to wake up to the fact that we are being used as guinea pigs in a massive experiment.  If you’re going to the grocery store to buy meat, dairy or processed foods, the odds that you’re consuming gmo’s is nearly 100%.  In fact, even if you’re buying ‘fresh’ vegetables at the grocery store you’re probably eating gmo’s.  Know what that waxy substance on the outside of the cucumber you bought is made from?  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s got four letters and they are c-o-r-n.

Even more terrifying than the industry and government enforced ignorance surrounding our consumption of gmo’s and the herbicides that accompany them is the fact that you would be exposed to this terrible, foreign, ‘probable carcinogenic’ material even if you were on hunger strike and/or had decided to starve yourself to death.

According to Mr. Leu’s article in ACRES USA, “Glyphosate and its degradation product, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), have been detected in the air, surface water, soil and sea water. These studies show that glyphosate and AMPA persist in the soil and water, and the amounts detected are increasing over time with increasing agricultural use. Glyphosate was frequently detected in water, rain and air in the Mississippi River basin with concentrations as high as 2.5 µg/L in agricultural areas in Mississippi and Iowa. Because glyphosate is in air, water and food, humans are likely to be accumulating it in low doses over time. Glyphosate residues of up to 4.4 parts per million (ppm) have been detected in stems, leaves and beans of glyphosate-resistant soy, indicating uptake of the herbicide into plant tissue. Reports from Germany of glyphosate in the urine of dairy cows, rabbits and humans ranged from 10-35 ppm. According to the study, “chronically ill humans had significantly higher glyphosate residues in urine than healthy humans.”

Also, “Glyphosate has been found in human breast milk and is able to cross the placenta and damage human placental cells, raising massive concerns about its effects on the fetus and newborn children — one of the most vulnerable groups to minute levels of chemicals.


Here is a picture of a large flat bed truck with a large tank of some kind of chemical.  I’m going to take a wild guess about what the chemical is.  Back to our first picturesque scene for a moment.

DSC_0619See all those little tiny green weeds making a nice lush carpet between the centurion like corn plants?  That’s what glyphosate is for.  I’ll snap a picture in a couple weeks and show you what a field of corn doused in probably carcinogenic chemicals looks like.


I, my wife, my children, dog, niece, other family and friends swim in this lake.  Just outside the lens of this shot there are people fishing all along this bridge.  My entire community uses and enjoys this water.  This lake is a huge economic driver for the town where I live and the surrounding region.  Industrial farmers are spraying this stuff and its ending up in the water…human breast milk… the air.  The air, for goodness sake!  Is this right?  Is this ok?  Is this just?  Cancer just from breathing.  This is what’s at stake.  Read the article, be afraid, be angry, react.  Find alternatives!  Local Food.  Eat well – be well.



Ryan Parker

About Ryan Parker

Ryan Parker is a farmer, writer, artist and musician. He currently lives in Central Maine with his wife, two children, a golden retriever, some pigs and chickens. He raises pastured and forested animals and grows a diverse range of vegetables without synthetic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides or taxpayer subsidies.