CODEX-DRIVEN PESTICIDE PROFITS ARE DESTROYING OUR PLANET!
and the consequences are devastating …
By Katherine A. Carroll, NHF Executive Director
April 9, 2019
First, it was antibiotic resistance. Now, anti-fungal drugs fail while global deaths mount. The situation is deadly serious.
If you thought the “urgent threat” to the welfare of the Planet were the unvaccinated, think again. Fungicides over-used on agricultural crops have created an international crisis. During the past several years, a stealth germ has steadily gained resistance against common anti-fungal drugs: The rise of Candida Auris (C. auris) embodies a deadly-serious and emergent threat easily on par with global antibiotic resistance.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that roughly half of patients who contract C. auris die within 90 days, many much sooner. The same anti-fungal drugs that might have worked against this killer infection have been overused as fungicides on crops. So now what? We are living in a post-antibiotic era, that is, antibiotic resistance to the point where there are no antibiotics left that are effective. This health disaster is documented in Big Chicken, the book that soundly lays out the problem and its causes. Our book review of Big Chicken can be read here. Now, anti-fungal drug resistance has taken away our last hope.
NHF has fought for reductions of both antibiotics and pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides at Codex faithfully for years, championing the Planet and your health. Yet, Codex is choosing to pander to corporate sponsors and continues setting maximum residue levels (MRLs) for dangerous, killer compounds and now the consequences are devastating.
In an April 2019 article, Dr. Lynn Sosa, Connecticut’s deputy state epidemiologist, said she now saw C. auris as “the top” threat among resistant infections. “It’s pretty much unbeatable and difficult to identify,” she said.
Experts cannot pin down where it came from but speculate that overuse of fungicides in agriculture globally is the culprit.
While the disease spread internationally, it was kept under the public radar. Dr. Silke Schelenz, Royal Brompton’s infectious disease specialist, found the lack of urgency from the government and hospital in the early stages of the outbreak “very, very frustrating.” The public’s right to know was thwarted as hospitals tried to protect their fragile reputations and try to figure out what was going on. A simple elective surgery could turn into death. Meantime, food-borne illnesses appeared in the news over and over again. And yet harassment against unvaccinated people mounts as if they are the problem.
The real issue is that the global governing body – the United Nations-sanctioned Codex Alimentarius – chooses far too often to listen to the greedy corporate sirens instead of listening to the science and chooses to sacrifice humanity, the Planet, all life on that Planet, the soils and atmosphere regardless of the outcome. Now, that outcome is laid at the feet of Big Ag and Codex committees such as the ones NHF participates in: Pesticide Residues and the Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods. Stupid, irresponsible decisions such as setting MRLs for glyphosate are made even while people die from it, stores and counties boycott it, and Bayer settles millions in lawsuits with hundreds more lined up to see justice at last. Codex’s non-responsiveness to valid science and its putting corporations and industry ahead of the health of now 7.5 billion people on the Planet has resulted in the latest global disaster: fungal-drug resistance, brought to the fore and laid at the feet of Codex.
Dutch researcher Dr. Meis postulates that drug-resistant fungi were developing due to heavy use of fungicides on crops. This conclusion seems plausible due to the spillover effect coming from heavy antifungal-pesticide use. Now, antifungal treatments are failing.
Just as overuse of antibiotics in food-production animals as well as in humans coupled with eating animal foods tainted with antibiotic residues has led to antibiotic resistance so has consumption of produce grown with anti-fungal chemicals led to resistance. This is exactly what NHF has argued at the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) and Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) meetings. We will continue our concerted efforts to bring responsibility and sanity to the Codex process. Read NHF’s comments to the CCPR meeting occurring this week in Macao SAR, P.R. China, where delegates are setting MRLs on pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides that are endocrine disruptors and create drug resistance, leading to the dire problems