Steve Tvedten's "The Bug Stops Here"
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In our concern about "Breaking the Cycle of Violence," we do not want to overlook the neurotoxic and hormonal effects from many of the man-made chemicals that we are spewing into our environment. For example, "a very large proportion of all the pesticides used today are neurotoxic."1 In experimenting with rats, Professor Warren Porter of the University of Wisconsin, Madison has found that tiny doses of combinations of pesticides (poisons), at levels that can be found in Wisconsin drinking water today, can cause both aggression and learning problems in the rats. He states, "Can you imagine any parents exposing their children to a toxic chemical? And yet they do it all the time [by pesticiding their homes and gardens, eating pesticided food, and permitting pesticiding in their children's schools and on their playgrounds].

The telling comparison is that we protect laboratory rats better from this stuff than we do our kids."2 He said,

"We will not be able to maintain a highly-ordered technological society if we raise a generation of children who are learning disabled and hyperaggressive."3

Many synthetic chemicals disrupt our hormones. Tiny doses can have devastating effects on the fetus, lasting a lifetime. Even although the genetic makeup of the individual can remain unchanged, the affected hormones control which genes will actually be expressed and in what way. Concerning these effects of man-made chemicals, the authors of Our Stolen Future write: "Wildlife data, laboratory experiments, the DES [a synthetic estrogen] experience, and a handful of human studies support the possibility of physical, mental, and behavioral disruption in humans that could affect fertility, learning ability, aggression, and conceivable even parenting and mating behavior. To what extent have scrambled [hormone] messages contributed to what we see happening around us - the reproductive problems seen among families and friends, the rash of learning problems showing up in our schools, the disintegration of the family and the neglect and abuse of children, and the increasing violence in our society?"4

  1. Young, B. B., "Neurotoxicity of Pesticides," Journal of Pesticide Reform, 6(2): 6, summer 1986.

  2. Knapp, Dan, "Warning! Good Looking Lawns May Be Hazardous To Your Health," On Wisconsin, page 53, May/June 1996.

  3. Telephone conversation between Marjorie Fisher and Professor Warren P. Porter, Chair, Wisconsin, Madison, March 5, 1991.

  4. Colborn, Theo, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers, Our Stolen Future, Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? — A Scientific Story, Dutton, 1996, page 232.

Michigan Living, March 1998, Volume 80, No. 6, noted that studies at AAA show the number of aggressive driving incidents has risen 51% since 1990. This study specifically measured only the number of times a driver tries to kill or injure another after a traffic dispute. The study did not note the increased amount of verbal abuse or obscene gestures which we now all have to deal with daily.

Helen Keller was once asked, "Is there anything worse than not having your sight?" She responded earnestly, "Oh, yes; it would be much worse to have your sight but not to have vision!"

Enough of the problems - On with the answers and the vision!

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