Soil Carbon Alliance

Put carbon where it belongs!

Review of Poisoning Our Children: The Parent’s Guide To The Myths Of Safe Pesticides, Andre Leu, 2018

Andre Leu’s 2018 book, Poisoning Our Children: The Parent’s Guide To The Myths Of Safe Pesticides, is a book that should be read by everyone who eats food!

An updated version of his 2014 book, The Myths of Safe Pesticides, this book provides a clear discussion of the harmful health effects of inadequate regulation of toxic chemicals that are widely applied to the food we eat.

Andre Leu reviews a vast field of technical literature and explaining clearly how these chemicals can act to cause intensifying epidemics of diseases. In many cases the chemicals used are far more toxic when they “break down”, or because of the mixture of untested and allegedly “inert” materials they are mixed with, or to test the effects on the most vulnerable infants.

He exposes the disgraceful failure of regulatory agencies around the world to protect the public from chemicals they inadvertently consume with their food that have either dangerous direct poisonous effects through chemical action, or which trigger biochemical or genetic responses that can last for generations.

He shows that this is accomplished by widespread manipulation of data to reject sound science in place of industry-manufactured fake news about the effects of their products using “studies” that have been deliberately designed to fail to show them by using the wrong mixtures of chemicals, for the wrong length of time.

One of the most alarming examples given is that of Glyphosate, or “Roundup” the most widely used herbicide, which is causing thousands of farm workers across Central America, Asia, and Africa, and their families to suffer severe kidney problems. The testing procedures for these chemicals ignore the toxic mix of other chemicals which are added because they increase the activity of the toxic chemicals, but which are labeled as “inert” so they are exempt from testing! Thousands are dying from these chemicals while the companies producing them are getting rich while denying that there is any effect at all.

Andre Leu deserves public thanks for putting this important information out. Andre is the former President of The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM – Organics International), the worldwide umbrella organization for some 800 affiliates in 117 countries, and has led efforts to promote organic farming methods for healthier food. At the same time, he has been a leader in global efforts to regenerate our planet’s health and reverse climate change by using agricultural methods that heal soil by regenerating their soil carbon.

A few weeks ago Andre Leu showed me his magnificent organic tropical fruit tree farm in the Daintree Rainforest area of Queensland, Australia. His soil had healthy lumps in a wide range of sizes, which allowed water poured onto the ground to soak straight down where roots can use it, so his farm stayed green even though the area was suffering from record high temperatures and the most severe drought in memory.

In contrast, the sugar cane farm soil surface was baked hard like concrete, so water poured onto it runs right off the surface, carrying topsoil with it into rivers and into the sea, where it has killed the coral reefs that used to line Queensland shores.

I had just the day before walked the dead reef with the Aboriginal Australian community who used to live from harvesting the abundant life of the coral reefs and seagrass beds, that were now dead and smothered in mud, with the dead corals overgrown by weedy algae that bloom prolifically because of all the agricultural fertilizers washed off the farm with the soil.

The difference is that Andre’s soil has more than 6 times more organic matter in it, from composting, so it holds much more water and has a longer growing season. He took soil samples from his farm and from the conventional sugar cane farm next door, added water, and stirred. His soil kept together, and the water soon cleared, but the sugar cane farm soil turned into a muddy slurry that remained turbid hours later.

If all the farms used his methods, we could keep the soil, the nutrients, and the water in the ground where it is most useful, instead of flushing it into the ocean and killing our most productive marine ecosystems.

I strongly urge everyone to read this book and ask their own families and friends read it too, for a better future for their own health and that of the planet they live on!

Thomas J. F. Goreau, PhD
President, Global Coral Reef Alliance
President, Biorock Technology Inc.
Coordinator, Soil Carbon Alliance
Coordinator, United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Small Island Developing States Partnership in New Sustainable Technologies
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge, MA 02139