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Authors/Reporters Philip and Alice Shabecoff to Speak at National Pesticide Forum

(Beyond Pesticides, February 5, 2009) Former chief environmental correspondent for The New York Times Philip Shabecoff and freelance journalist Alice Shabecoff will be making a rare public talk at Bridge to an Organic Future, the 27th National Pesticide Forum, April 3-4, 2009 in Carrboro, NC. They will be speaking Friday evening at the conference and signing copies of their new book, Poisoned Profits: The toxic assault on our children, during a reception immediately following their presentation. See registration information below.

Based on more than five years of investigative research and reporting, Poisoned Profits reveals the cumulative scientific evidence connecting the massive increase in environmental poisons to the epidemic of disability, disease, and dysfunction among our nation´s children. The authors conclude that the poisoning of the environment is as grave a threat to the future as any problem confronting our nation.

Yet even as individual parents and pediatricians struggle to fight illness, one child at a time, the public remains in the dark about the enormity of this crisis. Why? Because, according to the authors, corporations control the system, molding laws to their liking. The book shines a light on the motives and means of corporate-paid lawyers, “product defense” companies, fake grassroots groups, research centers and industry scientists.

In layman´s language, Poisoned Profits explains how genes and the environment act upon each other, how mental and behavioral illnesses can be environmentally-triggered, affecting both the body and mind. And it explains the ways in which the fetus and young child are much more vulnerable than adults. Our nation picks up the tab for these illnesses. The book gives the dollar figures for reduced productivity on one hand, the staggering cost of care for sick children on the other.

Instead of fighting against disability and disease with cures, a never–ending struggle, the authors affirm that we now have the knowledge to prevent harm and they describe the solutions.

From Beyond Pesticides’ review of Poisoned Profits (read the full review)

This is a powerful, well-researched, and humanizing book about “the toxic plague that is harming our children.” The stories of the children victimized by toxic chemicals from Port Arthur, Texas to Dickson, TN to Toms River NJ to Fallon, Nevada, to Harlem, New York City are woven into an indepth discussion of technical studies, statistics, and the scientists’ voice.

The authors’ research finds, “The scientific method is a way of looking at and trying to understand the world. But, as we came to realize with some surprise during our research, uncertainty and controversy “flow through science like a river.” They continue, “Science likes simplicity. But the world is infinitely varied. . .[I]t’s almost impossible to study the various combinations of multiple chemicals that are today’s reality.” Then, “[A] study of exposure at any one time may be different from a study that examined another window of exposure.”

The authors conclude that there is, however, adequate “proof” to find that purveyors of toxic chemicals are committing a crime and that government is the co-conspirator.

After leaving The New York Times, Mr. Shabecoff founded and published Greenwire, an online daily digest of environmental news. He has appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Washington Week in Review, CNN News, C-Span, National Public Radio, and the BBC. For his environmental writing, Shabecoff was selected as one of the “Global 500” by the United Nations’ Environmental Program. He received the James Madison Award from the American Library Association for leadership in expanding the public’s right to know. His previous books include A Fierce Green Fire: A History of the American Environmental Movement.

Ms. Shabecoff was executive director of the National Consumers League, the country’s oldest consumer organization, and executive director of the national nonprofit Community Information Exchange. Her previous books include A Guide to Careers in Community Development. Her work as a journalist has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and the International Herald Tribune, among other publications.

Beyond Pesticides’ 27th National Pesticide Forum, Bridge to an Organic Future: Opportunities for health and the environment, will be held April 3-4, 2009 at the Century Center in Carrboro, NC. This national environmental conference, co-sponsored by Toxic Free North Carolina, will feature panel discussions, workshops and talks by Jim Hightower and Baldemar Velasquez. Register online (members $65, non-members $75, students $35).


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