Around 1980 Dr. Elaine Ingham* put together a scientific paper, in ‘Crop Protection’ (scientificjournal) that summarised the work published in the scientific literature about the damage that atrazine, and its sister compounds, simazine, triazine, or any of the related chemical compounds, does to soil life. Part 3
At that time the EPA was stating that there was no scientific evidence that any of these chemical compounds harmed soil life, in fact there was quite a bit of evidence in the scientific literature to the contrary. So, despite the fact that there was the solid scientific data that this laundry list of toxic chemicals (there were 12 toxic reviewed in that paper) were extremely detrimental to ALL soil life Dr. Elaine Ingham’s paper was ignored. Did the US EPA pay any attention? Did the USDA take note? Of course not! It was Dr. Ingham’s first, naive introduction to the world of big business.
Here is what Elaine has to say about her life in the university research system:
“I mistakenly thought that Federal agencies in the US actually served THE PEOPLE, when in fact they appear to mostly protect the source of their funding. Possibly the day-to-day salaries are paid by the people of these United States, but the basis of promotion within the ranks of the Federal system, and at the state level as well, requires that individuals form monetary associations with businesses in order to pay for their research. You can’t advance in these institutions unless you have these pipelines to money.
Lots of interesting research could be done, but lab support positions aren’t funded by the University. You want to wash your own dishes? Research funds are required then. You want a promotion? You better be pulling a couple million dollars in outside funds through the University so they can take their 45% or more cut of your total budget. Universities in the US are BIG Business, and they will first and foremost protect themselves against any threat to status quo.
I played the game for ten years within the system, and was being promoted along quite nicely. My administrators liked me. Lots of positive kudos for them…. female, bright, brought in lots of research dollars. But then, silly me, ethics got in the way”.
Questions from Elaine:
- How can researchers continue to do research on products so obviously detrimental to the health of the people using them, never mind the environment and all that life in the soil?
- Do people not understand that they put themselves into an addictive condition when they start to use toxic chemicals that kill the organisms that do the work for them?
- All that detrimental stuff gets lost in the hype, does it not?
But, beneficial life in the soil! Talk about Willing Organic Workers! The life in the soil does the jobs of making nutrients available to your plant when the plant demands, are controlled by the plant and fed by the plant. Oh! But they have to be there in order to do their job. They have to be fed when your plant isn’t growing. They have to have an environment conducive to the growth of the beneficial organisms.
- What happened that we started losing the life in the soil, so that it seemed to be so beneficial to use toxic chemicals? To be continued…
* Dr Elaine Ingham, President Soil Foodweb International