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Why Dr. Zach Bush Believes Herbicides Could End Life on Earth

Dr. Zach Bush went from developing chemotherapy to fighting pesticide-makers

Dr. Zach Bush will tell you he is “very much” trained as a traditional, patient-facing MD, yet you wouldn’t necessarily expect that given his present-day work. After studying internal medicine, which included a training on hormone medicine, Bush became interested in cancer research and started developing chemotherapy treatments. Yet he soon felt frustrated that his work was doing nothing to prevent the things that caused cancer in the first place.

“I went from that world of chemotherapy and drug concepts and drug development to the sudden realization that there had never been a cancer caused by a lack of chemotherapy,” Bush told me. “And so, no matter how good I got at making chemotherapy, I was always going to be missing the point, missing the root cause of the situation.”

This realization redirected his focus to nutrition. Eventually he opened a nutrition center in rural Virginia. “And out of that experience, we realized that the nutrition of today on the grocery store shelves was not really working as it had in the 1960s,” he said. “And that took us down into this new era of chemical farming and the discoveries of the chemicals that were in the soils.”