I can’t tell you how many times I have been told, “If it’s not grown organically, then it’s poisoning the a’ina (land in Hawaiian).” The GMO Free activists keep making this statement over and over and people start to believe it. It is repeated over and over until it becomes a pseudo-truth that they all regurgitate at their social rallies.
From Big Island County Council Member Margaret Wille to Kauai County Council Member Gary Hooser and even Senator Josh Green, this is now stuck in the minds of the activists and seeping into the minds the general public. These “leaders” have people thinking that chemicals are bad and we have to avoid them at all costs. The activists then shout out, “I don’t want any chemicals on my food.”
I’m sorry to disappoint but everything in this world is made up of chemicals including us! It really bothers me that people are saying these kinds of things, not even realizing that this shows a clear lack of understanding of science. I sometimes wonder if the movement is not so much about being anti-science, but non-science. That really is a better descriptor of these folks when they make comments that show their chemophobia.
What a lot of the GMO free folks really demonstrate with these statements is that they really don’t understand the concepts about chemicals and toxicity. They automatically assume that if the chemical is derived naturally that it is safer and that is not the case. They also think that anything used on a biotech or conventional farm is very toxic just because it is called a pesticide. Little do they realize that just paying attention to what’s in our own homes, we have a lot of toxic things in our living quarters that work just like pesticides. It’s time to educate people a bit on this issue.
Before we go on, let’s talk about toxicity for a bit here. Here is the definition of it on Wikipedia:
What is important to note with the concept of this is that there is a degree to which something can be harmed by the substance. Certain substances like water and salt is vital to life but when taken in at high doses, it can prove deadly to organisms. This applies to nearly every substance that we might ingest or be exposed to. Like the ancient scientist Paracelsus noted, “The dose is what makes the poison.”
Ah, the dose that makes the poison is the key concept here. Toxicity is also measured in something called lethal dose (LD) and is usually expressed in a measure called the median lethal dose or LD50. LD50 refers to the amount of a substance it would take to kill 50% of the population of say rats or mice per milligram of substance to kilogram of body weight. It is an indication of the lethality of a substance. In general, the smaller the amount, the higher the lethality of the substance.
I decided to take yet another walk around my house to find “poisons.” I bet if many of the GMO free folks did the same walk, we’d all find the same things too.
My Kitchen of Death
I started in my kitchen to see if I had poisons lurking there. Sure enough, I found quite a bit of things that if taken in the right doses could be toxic to me. Take a look at what I found.
Right above my stove and purposefully added to food is a nice hefty, but toxic container of table salt or sodium chloride. A GMO free activist would never believe it but this is much more toxic than RoundUp any day. Table salt has a LD50 of 3000mg/kg vs. RoundUp at 5600mg/kg.
Eating small amounts of it makes food tastes great but too much isn’t good for us as we all know.
I’ve seen so many natural fallacy sites and lots of GMO Free sites touting baking soda as the chemical free way to clean. Please, baking soda is a chemical called sodium bicarbonate in technical terms. Its LD50 is 4200 mg/kg and is much more toxic than RoundUp also. If a small child were to consume just a few tablespoons of this, it would be extremely toxic and it’s stated right on the box.
Dishwashing soap is also considered a pesticide. When you go to the gardening stores, you can buy diluted dishwashing soap that’s sold as soap spray pesticides for the same price as a large bottle of it. Save money by making your own pesticides right from your own kitchen.
Some people have tried using the homemade recipe for weedkiller that uses dish soap along with some salt that is effective. That is likely much more toxic that the RoundUp you find premixed in the stores. That’s why it makes a great weed killer of all weeds!
I do hate bugs and will admit to using pesticides. This stuff works great to keeping the bugs out of my kitchen and foodstuffs. Who likes having roach infested cupboards? I’m sure many other GMO free folks have a can or two of bug spray available for the same reason. We live in Hawaii where cockroaches are the size of B52’s and we don’t believe in coexistence with them!
Now why would I put coffee here? Coffee contains a pesticide! Yes, indeed, caffeine does kill! How many millions of people consume coffee yet are fine?! Caffeine’s LD50 is at 192 mg/kg. Yes, it is much more toxic that RoundUp is! The GMO free folks drink this organically but fear pesticides! The irony of it all!
Chocolate chips indeed have some chemicals in it that is toxic, yet we consume it with no fear at all. The chemicals found in it are theobromine and caffeine. We all know that keep the dog out of chocolate or they will get sick and it is all thanks to this chemical. Theobromine has a LD50 of 1265 mg/kg and yes, it is more toxic than RoundUp! The amount of theobromine in chocolate chips is quite small so you’d have to consume a lot of it for it to be toxic.
Believe it or not but that hot sauce you douse your food in contains something toxic. That chemical is called capsaicin. It is naturally occurring and found in hot sauce, to kim chee, to even that muscle rub. Some people love eating this pesticide! It has a LD50 of 148.1 mg/kg to 161.2 mg/kg in rats, making this much more toxic than RoundUp.
Iron is an essential nutrient to our functioning but in too high of a dose is very toxic. It’s LD50 is 250 mg/kg in mice and 300 to 1100 mg/kg in rats making it much more toxic than table salt or RoundUp any day. Anyone can buy this in the store too!
The very things we give our children to make them well can also be toxic. I found a bottle of acetaminophen in my kitchen cabinet. The LD50 for this pain reliever is at 700 mg/kg for rats which shows that it is more toxic than the GMO free folks’ RoundUp.
I’m sure many parents have a bottle of this in their medicine chest. Ibuprofen has a LD50 at 800 mg/kg in rats making it also more toxic than RoundUp. I personally like using this to really help my kids feel better and know that it works but is also toxic at high doses. I’m sure other GMO free parents do the same and have no second thought about it when it comes to sick kids.
Some folks take these tablets daily not realizing that it is more toxic than that dreaded weedkiller. Aspirin, also known as salicylic acid, has a LD50 of 1360 mg/kg making it less toxic than iron and all the above pain killers listed.
Bathroom of Poison
There are a lot of potentially poisonous things found in my bathroom but oh, so necessary for cleaning or health purposes. Remember, that if used in the right amounts will make things toxic to us. Using these chemicals sparingly as needed actually does wonders for our home and bodies when needed.
The Garage of Gloom
I hate bugs in my house. I admit that I hate letting nature take its course in my living quarters. In Hawaii, the bugs will take over as it is their tropical paradise also. I have those horrible pesticides to stop letting nature take it’s course over my home. Am I afraid of these pesticides? Nope. Kills bugs so I love them.
When it comes to cleaning up after dirty kids, dogs, and an old person, I’ll be honest that going chemical free as the antis love to harp on, doesn’t cut it for me. Wiping down a toilet with vinegar and baking soda just does not do the job at all. It takes some good germ killers that if taken in too high of a dose, this stuff is toxic. I bet a lot of anti-GMO activists who marched had homes that had these chemicals in it! All bought at Longs CVS on sale!
I garden as a hobby for fun and yes, I use chemicals on my plants. These indeed are toxins when taken in too high of a dose but so necessary for my plants to grow happily. I give my gardenias a nice spraying of Volck’s Oil every few months to kept the sooty mildew that those pesky scales create. If I don’t spray it, I get no flowers. I also use snail and slug killer in my lettuce and greens boxes so that I have less worry about rat lungworm disease that is very dangerous for humans.
I am sure that other anti-GMO activists who have pets must have pesticides like these in their homes. With the warm weather all year long, the fleas and ticks love our beloved pets. I don’t believe in coexistence with these blood suckers so I kill them and keep them out of my home.
Dear golly goodness, I even feed pesticides to my pooches too. What an awful owner to be feeding poisons to my dogs! Well, I hate fleas and critters so the pooches have to eat these pesticide pills.
I love keeping my car shiny and sparkly and have yet to find chemical free things to do this. For now, I use my favorite resin glaze and Rain-X headlight polish to keep my car in tip top shape. I apply this directly to the car and my skin comes in contact with this stuff. Oh, the exposure to toxins! Hmm. Toxins or rust? I pick toxins to keep my car nice. I bet a lot of of antis do the same thing since I’ve seen them with some nice GMO fueled cars and trucks!
I like my clothes fresh and clean and a bit of bleach helps to accomplish this. It’s toxic in the right dose. It is also known as sodium and calcium hypochlorite. Its LD50 is 192 mg/kg making it very toxic indeed. Let’s not forget that that this is also used in food preparation, and even though it is synthetic, it is approved for use on organic food processing. We even drink it and even swim in it! It kills the germs that can make people sick which is why we use it.
To sum it up, take a look at Doc Cami Ryan’s table on toxicity.
Should you now be even more afraid of chemicals after finding out all of this? No. We rely on these chemicals for sanitation, food preparation, bug control, and other helpful reasons. Remembering that something is a toxin at the right does is what makes it important to remember. The more you know, the less you have to fear. If someone is making you fearful, cross check them and you will find a different story.
It’s kind of like how County Council Members like Gary Hooser and Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff will go to rallies and tell people that GMOs are poisoning them and it’s being shoved down peoples’ throats. Shortly after that, they sit together and have a GMO meal at a GMO restaurant. Get off the fear mongering bandwagon and question what’s being said and actually listen to the answer.
Did you note that the Sluggo you pictured is OMRI listed and approved for ORGANIC production? A chemical used in organics. While it’s just one of many, that fact totally blows some people’s minds.
BTW…I love that stuff. It is the only thing that keeps the slug population to a manageable level in our mixed lettuce crop (our most popular item at the Farmers’ Market).
I’m right there with you that “the more you know, the less you have to fear”. Here’s to educating folks!
It is funny too that Sluggo’s new box doesn’t call it a pesticide. It’s called a molluscide! I wonder why?!
Great article! Thank you for all the great articles…
You clearly have no idea of what you are writing about. Comparing salt to herbicides…..wasting your time blogging for the cause….
You must have not read what the message was. Glad you stopped by to prove my point about the concept.