Sooner or later, we all have a cancer story to tell.
Gillam knows a little about the disease and some of its causes. The author of “Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science,” she has delved deep into the links between pesticides, including Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, and cancers like non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In her article this week she wrote:
Researchers say there are an array of causes for cancer, including an unhealthy diet, obesity and alcohol intake. Researchers also point to what they call “environmental pollutants” - substances such asbestos, arsenic, benzene, chromium and, notably, the pesticides that have become pervasive in our lives in recent decades and are used by farmers in food production.
Gillam reported that data from the FDA and USDA “show that foods we eat on a regular basis contain residues of hundreds of different pesticides, tiny invisible traces of insecticides and weed killers in thousands of commonly consumed foods, including fruits and vegetables.” She also noted that we’re exposed to pesticides in our drinking water, on our parks and playgrounds, and our lawns and gardens and schoolyards.
The death of her friend, Gillam said, “serves as a sad reminder of the tight grip cancer has taken on so many lives.”
It’s also a reminder that the battle to end pesticide use in our food production, however challenging, is one worth fighting.