How we are poisoning our kids

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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There is a battle going on to protect children, which parents are finding hard to win. The culprit is difficult to see or feel, but children are exposed to it every day. It is in our food, water, air, and even furniture, with potential carcinogenic, mutagenic and neurotoxic impact on the developing brain in utero and in children.

These ubiquitous poisons are categorized as pesticides.

The film, Toxic Chemicals: Kids in Danger, featured at the upcoming OneEarth Film Fest, which begins in March, explores the link between these poisons and numerous illnesses and abnormalities that are growing at an alarming rate, raising red flags with doctors.  

This film goes further, however, exposing the "Big Six" global companies that control the $50 billion pesticide market and that market them as safe: Bayer, Dow, Syngenta, BASF, DuPont, and Monsanto.

Most importantly, it raises the question, "Who has the right to regulate these pesticides?"

In the United States, the chemical industry has injected the concept of "pre-emption" into 43 state laws. This means in 43 of our states, including Illinois, pesticides can only be regulated at the state level. We have no "home rule" power. 

We cannot locally determine for ourselves what is the correct action to protect our children.

Following the screening of the film, there will be a Question-and-Answer discussion featuring:

Dr. Warren Porter, professor of environmental toxicology at University of Wisconsin Madison. 

Our own state Senator Don Harmon (D-39th), who has initiated several environmental bills, none of which have become law.

Please come and view this important film and learn what you can do on both the local and state level to regain the right to decide how to protect our kids. 

Toxic Chemicals: Kids in Danger will be shown on Saturday, March 11 at 3 the Main Library, second floor Veterans Room. Go online at to view other wonderful films being screened, March 2-12, all over the Chicago area.

Peggy McGrath

Oak Park

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