January 19, 2010

Pesticides at the root of certain biodiversity loss

Scientists are finding out that even low-level exposure to pesticides can impair immune function in wildlife such as amphibians, with US expert Dr. Kevin Zippel stating that today’s devastation of frog species is comparable to the mass extinctions of the dinosaurs.

Currently over 1,800 species of amphibians are endangered, with growing evidence that many of their afflicting diseases are pesticide-based. University of Padua entomologist, Professor Vincenzo Girolami in Italy has also discovered that low levels of a neonicotinoid, a newer kind of pesticide thought to be safer for wildlife such as bees, still affects them when devices like seeding machines are used as these stir up clouds of the chemicals into the atmosphere.

Bats also may be on the decline due to pesticides. With at least one million that have died in North America since 2006 from a fungal infection called White-nose syndrome, scientists are now evaluating the role of pesticides as environmental contaminants that suppress the bats’ immune system. Many thanks Dr. Zippel,
Professor Girolami and all researchers involved for your diligent work to investigate the harms of pesticides on our natural environment.

Let us quickly turn to sustaining lifestyles that include organic farming methods to preserve all cherished life. As on previous occasions, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke of the environmental tolls of such toxic substances along with the benefits of adopting more eco-considerate ways during a September 2009 videoconference in South Korea.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Another example of a practice causing harm to both animals and Earth is the use of chemical pesticides. Over 5 billion pounds of pesticides are used throughout the world each year! And only about 10% - 10%! - of these chemicals even reach the areas where they are intended for. So the rest?
What happens?

They go into the air and water where they have been linked to everything from cancer of humans and animals to oceanic dead zones. In Europe, one pesticide was found to be the reason for billions of bees dying across the continent, while others are known to make the eggshells of birds become thinner, resulting in the death of their babies because the shells crack and break before the baby is ready to be born.

Since organic vegan farming does not use pesticides and does not have anything to do with livestock raising, milk production or any such harmful activity, it could be called a practice of compassion, in line with Heaven, with values that are echoed in many spiritual paths and religious teachings.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Organic vegan diet is the best.


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