Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Our Daily Poison

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Our Daily Poison

Article excerpt

Our Daily Poison By Marie Monique Robin. $398. Icarus Films. Brooklyn, NY. 2011.

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If we are what we eat, we may be in trouble. Our Daily Poison is a documentary film that examines the regulation, or lack thereof, of the chemicals in our food.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that over the past 30 years, the incidence of cancer has doubled, with an increase of 2% per year of brain tumors and leukemia in children. WHO notes a similar trend in neurological disease, autoimmune diseases, and reproductive dysfunctions. These increases are most pronounced in developed countries. The film postulates that the 100,000 chemicals that have invaded our food supply and general environment are responsible for this massive increase in disease. The director interviews scientists, including those at the FDA and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), chemical manufacturers, business leaders, and frontline users.

As with any issue, multiple viewpoints and trade-offs are involved. The DVD has seven sections: Sick Farmers, Acceptable Daily Intake, Maximum Residual Levels, Aspartame, Endocrine Disruption, The Cocktail Effect, and Cancer and Nutrition. The film can be played straight through, or preferably, one section at a time to let students better digest the information. The first segment has interviews with farmers who stopped using a particular herbicide after suffering health problems from inhaling the fumes as the herbicide was spread. Most had a neurological disorder, with one farmer describing how he would suddenly drop into a deep coma. He was later diagnosed with brain lesions.

Data from studies ties the use of herbicides with farmers' health issues. …

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