Pesticide Used To Control Zika Mosquitoes Causes Birth Defects And Autism

A strategic partner of Monsanto, is the manufacturer of Naled, the pesticide used in the US to control mosquitoes that spread Zika, AND the pesticide believed by some doctors to be the real cause of increasing microcephaly in infants. Both pesticides cause birth defects and increase autism risk in humans.

Credit - AP

Credit – AP

Over the past few months, US government officials have given the ‘go ahead’ for the widespread spraying of pesticides on local populations, mostly in Florida and New York. The spraying is aimed at controlling mosquito populations as mosquitoes are known to harbor the Zika virus, a virus which has caused recent panic across the country. Yet, leading scientists, including Kenyan entomologist Dino Martins, are coming forward, saying that aerial spraying is ineffective and dangerous to both humans and the environment. In addition, a study released in April linked aerial spraying for mosquito control with a 25% increase in autism cases. Of even greater concern is the mounting evidence that the birth defects linked to Zika are really caused by a pesticide used for mosquito control. Could the US actually manufacture a new epidemic of pesticide poisonings in its attempts to lessen Zika fears?

The answer may concern you as this has all happened before. Before World War II, mosquito control efforts focused on draining wetlands by digging massive ditches. During the Great Depression, 1,500 miles of ditches were dug in Florida alone. However, in 1944, Monsanto began marketing a “wonder chemical” known as DDT to control insect populations and by 1949, the state began paying for widespread aerial spraying of DDT in mosquito problem areas. At the time, there were no studies on the long-term effects of DDT exposure on human or environmental health. DDT was very effective in curbing mosquito populations, but mosquitoes developed an immunity to DDT only a few years later.

In 1953, two scientists, Dr. M.W. Provost and Dr. J.A. Mulrennan, recognized that aerial spraying was ineffective over the long term and worked to develop alternatives with state governments. Despite this, DDT spraying continued for decades, until concerned citizens and scientists, the most famous being Rachel Carson, raised the alarm that DDT was poisoning the environment as well as humans. DDT was later found to cause cancer, nervous system damage, Alzheimers, and even microcephaly (the birth defect “linked” to Zika) among others, even at very low levels of exposure.

DDT also caused a decline in several animal populations, including the emblematic bald eagle. All of this damning evidence and more led to a national ban on DDT use in 1972, followed by an international ban in 2001. However, DDT still persists in the environment and even in our bodies over 40 years after its ban. With DDT’s ban a distant memory for many, some prominent journalists are now calling for DDT’s ban to be lifted, calling its continued prohibition “unjustifiable” in the face of panic over the Zika virus.

nbcmiaminaledprotest

Miami residents protest the city’s use of Naled to control mosquitoes Credit – NBC Miami

However, as the DDT ban still continues, the pesticide of choice for mosquito control in the US has been Naled. Naled is manufactured by a subsidiary of Sumimoto Chemical Corp., a strategic partner of Monsanto, that is also the manufacturer of SumiLarv. Substantial evidence, as well as groups of Argentinian and Brazilian doctors, have linked the rise of microcephaly to SumiLarv, not Zika. Some doctors have even said that the Zika scare is a scheme by agrochemical companies to sell more products as they are losing money to due an increased demand for natural and organic foods. Could the same be true for Naled? Let’s look at the evidence.

Naled is banned in the European Union as it poses an “unacceptable risk” to human health. Naled has been proven to be highly toxic to the environment again and again, most recently when South Carolina killed 2.5 million of bees in just one day by spraying Naled. Naled is also a known neurotoxin in animals and in humans as it inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme essential to nerve function and communication. It has caused paralysis in animals. It has many other dangerous health effects, which you can read about here.

Most concerning is Naled’s ability to cross the placental barrier, meaning Naled freely crosses from mother to fetus. A study conducted at the University of Oslo found that Naled’s breakdown product, dichlorvos, caused a 15% decrease in the brain size of newborn guinea pigs when their mothers were exposed to Naled for only three days during pregnancy. Doctors from Puerto Rico have also claimed that Naled harms fetuses. Studies in the US have also shown that pregnant women exposed to Naled had a 60% higher chance of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder. One of Naled’s main ingredients, trichlorfon. If the point of stopping Zika is to protect pregnant women and their children from birth defects supposedly caused by Zika, why are they spraying a pesticide that causes birth defects?

That’s because this was never really about Zika. The most likely reason for this madness is that Naled is currently up for re-evaluation at the EPA and will likely be banned as the EPA found it to harm 22 out of 28 endangered species. However, political pressure could keep it on the market. What better way to keep a pesticide from being banned than by labeling it as the chemical “hero” that saved the US from Zika? In addition, the Senate is set to vote on HR 897 or the “Zika Control Act” which, if passed, would exempt mosquito control operations from environmental regulations and could keep Naled on the market regardless of the EPA’s decision. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in May of this year. This bill would end monitoring and limits to pesticide use, meaning state governments could use as much pesticide as they want without scientific basis or oversight. If Zika hysteria is high enough in the US, the bill will surely pass even though only one US citizen has allegedly died from the virus.

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