September marks the beginning of Organic month – the UK’s biggest campaign dedicated to increasing the sales of organic products and produce.
The campaign was started by the Soil Association, who are dedicated to encouraging people to grow and purchase food that is produced in the most natural way possible, in order to protect the environment and the planet we live on, and reduce the amount of pesticides we use.
Pesticide usage is rife when growing food, but do we know really know how the chemicals we consume affect us and the environment?
In 1974, the agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology company, Monsanto, released the ground-breaking product, Round Up Weed Killer – a product designed to kill every living weed.
However, it was revealed, way back in the 1990s, that the weed killer, whose main ingredient is glyphosate, was killing more than just plants.
Not only has Round Up been proven to be damaging to the environment, it is poisoning the bee population and is said to be linked to a number of life threatening diseases in human beings, such as liver and kidney disease, infertility, birth abnormalities and cancer.
Now, Monsanta is being taken to court by Californian DeWayne Johnson, who has a form of terminal cancer. The former groundsman developed symptoms after he was accidentally drenched twice by the weed killer Roundup, while spraying schoolyards at work. The toxic spray also came into contact with his face on a regular basis, which he claims has physically affected the condition of his skin.
Despite only having months to live, Johnson is fighting his case whole heartedly in the hopes that it will change how we view these potentially toxic substances that are so readily available to purchase. “I would’ve never sprayed that product on school grounds if I knew it would cause harm,” says Johnson. “It’s unethical.”