Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Framing the "Mysterious Disease" Killing Farmworkers

Field workers are suffering from a terrible and "mysterious disease," as described here by National Geographic:

Becky Little. June 2, 2016. Pictures Show the Mysterious Disease That's Killing Field Workers. National Geographic,

Photographer Ed Kashi documents how chronic kidney disease is affecting rural India.

In rural Central America and India, researchers are witnessing the spread of chronic kidney disease (CKD)—the gradual loss of kidney function. In developed countries, the disease is commonly caused by diabetes and high blood pressure. However, other factors seem to be driving the kidney disease that researchers are seeing in farmers in Nicaragua and rural India. Because of this, researchers refer to the condition in these areas as chronic kidney disease of non-traditional causes, or CKDnT. Although there is still uncertainty about what causes CKDnT, heat stress and recurrent dehydration are likely factors.
The proposed solutions to the mysterious disease are avoidance of heat stress and adequate hydration, although "there is still uncertainty" about causes.

No mention of pesticides. Yet, there are many studies that explain chronic kidney problems in relation to pesticide exposure, as illustrated in this abstract:
Payán-Rentería R1, Garibay-Chávez G, Rangel-Ascencio R, Preciado-Martínez V, Muñoz-Islas L, Beltrán-Miranda C, Mena-Munguía S, Jave-Suárez L, Feria-Velasco A, De Celis R. 2012. Effect of chronic pesticide exposure in farm workers of a Mexico community. Arch Environ Occup Health. 2012;67(1):22-30. doi: 10.1080/19338244.2011.564230.  
Pesticides are frequently used substances worldwide, even when the use of some of them is forbidden due to the recognized adverse effect they have on the health of not only the people who apply the pesticides, but also of those that consume the contaminated products. The objectives of this study were to know the health issues of farm workers chronically exposed to pesticides, to evaluate possible damage at genetic level, as well as to explore some hepatic, renal, and hematological alterations. A transversal comparative study was performed between 2 groups, one composed of 25 farm workers engaged in pesticide spraying, and a control group of 21 workers not exposed to pesticides; both groups belonged to the Nextipac community in Jalisco, Mexico. Each member of both groups underwent a full medical history. Blood samples were taken from all farm workers in order to obtain a complete blood count and chemistry, clinical chemistry, lipid profile, liver and kidney function tests, erythrocyte cholinesterase quantification, lipid peroxidation profile, and free DNA fragment quantification. For the information analysis, central tendency and dispersion measurements were registered. In order to know the differences between groups, a cluster multivariate method was used, as well as prevalence reasons. The most used pesticides were mainly organophosphates, triazines and organochlorine compounds. The exposed group showed acute poisoning (20% of the cases) and diverse alterations of the digestive, neurological, respiratory, circulatory, dermatological, renal, and reproductive system probably associated to pesticide exposure. More importantly, they presented free DNA fragments in plasma (90.8 vs 49.05 ng/mL) as well as a higher level of lipid peroxidation (41.85 vs. 31.91 nmol/mL) in comparison with those data from unexposed farm workers. These results suggest that there exist health hazards for those farm workers exposed to pesticides, at organic and cellular levels.
Why doesn't National Geographic even mention pesticides as a possible cause in their framing of this mysterious disease?


  1. Most likely someone already knows what the causes are, but since it would result in a loss of profit they are concealing these as long as possible. This is when a certain contempt for certain types of people really pays off. They will represent no loss, they think. And even in the USA human life is no longer valued highly.

  2. Well said. I'm getting quite sick of the "impartial", "scientific" posture of the big magazines/websites etc. They are covering up what they know, and not bothering to investigate what they don't know; just ask the IAEA, WHO, or the Japanese government - is Fukushima safe? Did anyone get sick or die? Noooo... Very, very disappointed in what "science" has become. A political tool.

    1. Me too. I just don't know whether its deliberate or a function of cultivated ignorance.

    2. It is deliberate, Majia, During the 10 year (1984-1994) aerial spraying of Malathion, an organophosphate nerve poison, sprayed daily over 450 miles of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, thousands were made ill, many died and the suffering was unpardonable. When reported to the health department they were insulted and humiliated saying they were imagining such symptoms, stress related and called "crazy". Actually the health department workers knew full well the whole time what the symptoms of this pesticide were way before the spray program began.

      The then Governor Jerry Brown had a toxicological review drawn up by Dr. Marc Lappe in CA. on the short and long term effects of Malathion, after which Brown quickly discarded it. It wasn't pretty. Many loud protests were televised showing the effects of this spraying equipped with bountiful health surveys on people and animals. After which.on the 4pm news one day, some one (I didn't get his name) from the federal government came on and said "If you out there in California don't pipe down about this, we will spray you with something stronger."

    3. I remember this period well. At one point LA county used helicopters to prevent the state from spraying in one area. The image was in the LA Times. I was living in San Diego

  3. propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol

    "Although the toxicity of propylene glycol is low, if excessively large amounts are absorbed, the following health effects may be seen

    (this Is referring to acute toxicity chronic high exposure to propylene glycol can lead to chronic lactic acidosis and kidney damage)

    An elevated osmolal gap,severe metabolic acidosis (caused by the metabolism of propylene glycol to lactic acid), and coma, seizures, and hypoglycemia (rarely, among patients who ingested large amounts of propylene glycol over several days)." (1)

    Roundup products contain a number of compounds designed to bind it to plant fatty acids, much as the surfactants in soap surround dirt and break its bond on a surface.

    Roundup contains polyethoxylated tallow amine surfactant. USDAFSs analysis of Roundup Pro found it to contain phosphate ester neutralized ethoxylated tallow amine surfactant. These phosphate esters of a tallow amine ethoxylate are called POEAs. these are converted to propylene glycol and other toxic glycol's in the body that are nephrotoxic with long term exposure. many roundup formulations contain propylene glycol as well as POEA (2)

    Surfactants are classified as inert ingredients. They comprise approximately 15 percent of Roundup's composition. There is Propylene glycol and there are other glycol's in roundup. (3)

    Ethylene glycol is a deadly poison and is converted to oxalic acid in the body that destroys the kidneys rather quickly. Significant amounts of propylene glycol in the body are concerted to lactic acid that can also contribute to metabolic acidosis and long term kidney damage.

    POAEs are converted to propylene glycol in the body and significant amounts of propylene glycol are added to roundup herbicides to disperse it in fields.
    POEAs are essentially just aminated propylene glycol. POEAs are just like soap or others detergents where the PROPYLENE GLYCOL is the the fatty of more fat soluble part of the molecule.

    1. Money. The peon system. Propylene glycol. These are the things that are causing the rates of high kidney poisonings in farm workers in places like Nicaragua and other roundup intensive countries in central america. Propylene glycol is used as an emulsifier and antifreeze in the united states. It is also used to as a surfactant and emulsifier to fix roundup in weed and plant roots, soil, and crop soil for farming and gardening in the united states and internationaly.

      Roundup and other glyphosate herbicides will not kill plants and weeds without the surfactant and emulsifier known as propylene glycol. There are other brands of industrial propylene glycol-glyphosate herbicides marketed world wide. It kills faster growing plants or what they call weeds when large scale agricultural corporations grow cash production crops.

      Roundups and other similarly formulated herbicides are particularly toxic to farm workers in tropical and subtropical areas because they become dehydrated in the heat and propylene glycol concentrates in their kidneys from repeated exposure and dehydration. Propylene glycol does irreversible damage. Propylene glycol kills farm workers kidneys after chronic exposure and dehydration.

      Propylene glycol is very much like ethylene glycol, the other antifreeze. Ethylene glycol is a more acute poison while propylene glycol is a more chronic poison.

      We all know what antifreeze does to kidneys. We all know of pets who have consumed antifreeze and died from kidney failure. The oncologist in Houston who poisoned her ex lover in Houston with ethylene glycol antifreeze and ruined his kidneys. The guy in Florida who killed his wife by slowly poisoning her with ethylene glycol antifreeze. She died of kidney failure and he got the life insurance money.

      Ethylene glycol is an acute kidney toxin. Ethylene glycol's cousin, Propylene glycol, is an intermediate insidious kidney toxin that has to be present for roundup to kill weeds in herbicides like roundup.

      Propylene glycol is omnipresent in the water tables of central and south america. It does not biodegrade like ethylene glycol. Propylene glycol is big money for chemical and oil refiners in america.

      There is 15 percent propylene glycol surfactants emulsifier, 1 percent monsanto glyphosate, 5 percent other chemicals and 79 percent water per gallon herbicide sprayed on industial crops and on gardens to kill weeds. (3)

      This is from an article about roundup from the web.

    2. Surfactants

      "Roundup products contain a number of compounds designed to bind it to plant fatty acids, much as the surfactants in soap surround dirt and break its bond on a surface. Original Roundup contains polyethoxylated tallow amine surfactant. USDAFSs analysis of Roundup Pro found it to contain phosphate ester neutralized ethoxylated tallow amine surfactant. These phosphate esters of a tallow amine ethoxylate are called POEAs. Surfactants are classified as inert ingredients. They comprise approximately 15 percent of Roundup's composition. In a study at the University of Caen reported in Scientific American in 2009, the surfactant POEA was singled out as dangerous to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. The French team concluded that the presence of certain inert ingredients can modify or intensify the toxicity of the active ingredient and that Roundup and other preparations should be considered as complete compounds rather than separated into active and harmless inert components."

      Propylene glycol is used an emulsifier and sufactant to spread the glyphosate more evenly. It is a plant fixer and solubilizing agent used in gylyphosate herbicide sprays and they because it makes glyphosate stick to the leaves of faster growing weeds and stay in the soil longer so faster growing so-called weeds will take gylphosate up in their root systems. So will the crop plants take up gyphosate and some of them will die.

      The propylene glycol itself is not well absorbed by plants. The glyphosate will not dissolve in water be fixed in the plants and soil, or be stable in the environment without propylene be glycol. If enough of it concentrates in the kidneys, in the heat repeatedly it insidiously destroys kidney tissue.

      1. Propylene glycol toxicity

      2. Formulations of Roundup
      Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) is a broad-spectrum ... Farmers quickly adoptedglyphosate, especially after Monsanto introduced ..... Spreader 90 contains 1,2 propanediol (also known as propylene glycol)"


    3. Interesting details. Thanks!

  4. Roundup is like nuclear energy. The devil is in the details. There is no effective way to spread roundup without surfactants or propylene glycol. You can't pin industry scientists, the media , or government down on the toxic mechanisms of roundup. The poisonings and deaths are always a mystery.
    As for nuclear there is a lot more nuclear pollution now than there ever has been. Radionuclide's are by far the most acutely and chronically toxic substances on earth. There is no place to safely store toxic nuclear waste.


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