Health & Fit Native Tribes Are Being Poisoned By Pesticides Made By U.S. Companies

17:10  12 october  2020
17:10  12 october  2020 Source:   teenvogue.com

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There is no legal adoption of adults, to make them full tribal members. There are just a small handful of tribes that allow for adopted children to gain tribal People used to leave the colonies in hordes to join local tribes . Now people who might get adopted into a tribe or nation are mainly honorary members.

This use of pesticides is so common that the term pesticide is often treated as synonymous with plant protection product. Meanwhile, in the nineteenth century, researchers focused more on natural techniques involving compounds made with the roots of tropical vegetables and chrysanthemums.

a basket full of dirt © Bloomberg

At 9 a.m., during my first-year pathology class at Harvard Medical School, my classmates and I were asked to hold a liver with cirrhosis and discuss how it became that way. Many students mentioned chronic alcoholism, but I couldn’t stop thinking about an Indigenous baby named Juan Antonio from my Tribe in Mexico, who died from the same disease at two years old. The cause of his cirrhosis? His mother was exposed to toxic pesticides manufactured by U.S. chemical giants before and during her pregnancy.

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Because agricultural pesticides account for over 75 percent of total U . S . pesticide use, farmers and farmworkers are often exposed to Poisoning of pets is common. For example, in 1990 the American Association of Poison Control Centers received over 11,000 calls regarding pesticide - poisoned pets.

I am Hunkpati Dakota and Yaqui. My people have been practicing medicine on these lands for thousands of years, and I feel blessed to play a part in that beautiful story. This intergenerational history compels me to share how a U.S. pesticide law and others like it threaten the health of mothers, children, and future generations from my Tribe and other Indigenous communities around the world.

Currently, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), allows U.S. chemical corporations to export, often to less developed countries, “pesticides that are not approved — or registered — for use in the United States.”  Many of these pesticides have been banned domestically due to their known detrimental health impacts.

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Federally recognized tribes are those Native American tribes recognized by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs for certain federal government purposes. For an alphabetical listing, see list of federally recognized tribes . For state recognized tribes , see the relevant article.

Pesticides are poisons and, unfortunately, they can harm more than just the “pests” at which they are targeted. They are toxic, and exposure to pesticides can cause a number of health effects. They are linked to a range of serious illnesses and diseases from respiratory problems to cancer.

The Yaqui Tribe has communities in the U.S. and in Mexico. On our reservation in Arizona, FIFRA protects children from harmful pesticides. In our eight pueblos in Mexico, FIFRA allows them to be exposed. Juan Antonio and I come from the same Tribe, thousands of years older than the U.S.-Mexico border, but FIFRA apparently considered Juan Antonio unworthy of the same protections afforded to American citizens like me.

Juan Antonio’s story is not an anomaly. For decades, hazardous pesticides sold by U.S. companies have contaminated our drinking water, sacred river, and homes via aerial spraying and large-scale burning of pesticide-laden crops. As a result, our community struggles with disproportionately high rates of stillbirths, infant mortality, birth defects, developmental disorders, cognitive deficits, asthma, and childhood leukemias.

As a Native American medical student, the disease processes my classmates and I study at a supposed objective distance in the classroom are often, for me, the science behind conditions that manifest from systemic and environmental racism, which devastate the lives of my people, despite consistent political action and outcry from our community leaders.

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Evidence reported by Internet Archive biblio tool for item nativetribesofso00howiuoft on March 18, 2008: no visible notice of copyright; stated date is 1904.

The violent death of an American missionary on a remote island in the Indian Ocean in mid-November raises new and urgent questions about the survival of uncontacted and isolated tribes and their right to remain free from interference from the outside world.

In order for the U.S. to export a domestically banned chemical, importing countries like Mexico are required to legally acknowledge the risks involved by signing a foreign purchaser acknowledgement statement (FPAS). Similarly, the Rotterdam Convention permits the export of pesticides banned in the manufacturing country so long as the importing country is notified — but this sets an embarrassingly low standard of global human rights leadership. Once the pesticides are sold, there is seemingly no built-in accountability or processes that give a voice to the Indigenous Peoples to prevent the following harm, the same harm that justified them being domestically banned in the U.S. in the first place.

Growing up, I was well aware that pesticides impacted my Tribe. But for the past six years, I have participated in Indigenous rights processes at the United Nations that helped me understand how pesticides impact other Indigenous Nations. As co-chair of the UN Global Indigenous Youth Caucus, I work with fellow Indigenous youth representatives who also come from communities being poisoned by imported chemicals banned in the Western countries that export them.

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Unrecognized tribes in the United States are organizations of people who claim to be historically, culturally, and/or genetically related to historic Native American Indian tribes but who are not officially

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Teen Vogue spoke with Baskut Tuncak, the UN special rapporteur on toxics, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to conduct country visits and report on the human rights implications of exposure to hazardous substances. One of his recent country visits was to Brazil.

“In Brazil, there are repeated cases of pesticides pouring in from Switzerland, the U.S., and other countries, being sprayed intentionally or negligently over Indigenous children and other minority community members, whose lands are desired by agribusiness or just unfortunately near plantations,” Tuncak said.

For more than a decade, Indigenous leaders across the world have been coordinating to change UN policies that set a low standard for countries and allow these practices to continue with legal immunity. Slowly, this pressure has created some hope.

In​ 2015, due to advocacy from Indigenous rights organizations like the International Indian Treaty Council, the treaty-monitoring body for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a legally binding convention, recommended​ that Mexico “prohibit the import and use of any pesticides or chemicals that have been banned or restricted for use in exporting countries.” The United States has not ratified this treaty.

According to Saul Vicente, international director of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples, a federal agency of Mexico, this recommendation has had an impact.

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“Mexico is moving on a Declaration and has begun taking official steps to halt the import of all pesticides banned in exporting countries, including the United States,” he told Teen Vogue.

At the global level, there is more than enough evidence to​ establish or strengthen international, legally binding pesticide policies to require importing and exporting countries to protect the rights of everyone, including Indigenous Peoples. Such​ a framework should make​ it illegal for any company to export a pesticide or chemical that has been banned for domestic use.

At the national level, we need pesticide laws that respect science, uphold human rights, and withstand political change. Under Donald Trump’s administration, the power of interpretation has taken a dangerous turn on our own citizens. Some banned pesticides, including one developed by the Nazi’s during WWII,​ have been brought back onto the U.S. market and are currently being used within our borders.

This is just one example. But even if we banned every harmful pesticide and strictly regulated its uses domestically, pesticides do not respect borders. Fruits​ and vegetables grown in other countries using pesticides banned for U.S. citizens can end up back on American dinner plates, as Al Jazeera has documented. Toxins sprayed in the air travel through the environment and can remain as residue on food products. Sending our bad pesticides elsewhere will not keep us safe.

As Congressman Raul Grijalva, chair of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, put it in a statement to Teen Vogue, “Continuing the current use of FIFRA is the same as judging the value of one life over another. This is inhumane and sinful.”

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As I learn about disease pathways harming my Nation because of policies like FIFRA, I feel heartbroken. Our children are sick and dying. Their families are poor and do not have the funds to buy medicines or pay for organ transplants. Some of our young women, even teenage girls, already have signs of breast cancer.

With the heartless disrespect of human dignity, the U.S. continues to allow the manufacture and export of domestically banned pesticides for the financial profit of chemical companies. The harms are well-documented, and the time for action is now. Protecting pregnant women and babies should not end at the border, at a certain price tag, or along party lines. If a chemical is not safe enough for children born here, then it is not safe enough for children born anywhere.

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