Manson, WA the heart of Lake Chelan Valley — It’s really a shame that local Chelan orchardists Randy Gleasman and his mother Phyllis Gleasman chose to employ toxic chemicals as a means of growing apples, and that they also violate pesticide spray applications. The Washington State Department of Agriculture has assessed a civil penalty on Gleasman after an investigation into a pesticide over-spray incident that occurred in April 2014.
The understandably upset neighbor actually managed to tape them spraying in heavy winds. Check out the YouTube video here
You can read the full PDF here of the WSDA investigation and penalties on Randy Gleasman. (The location is is in the Manson area of Lake Chelan but addresses have been redacted for privacy)
The investigation into the Gleasman spraying practices was the result of a complaint of over spray by the neighbors shooting the video. It found that the Gleasman clan had over-sprayed onto neighboring property, causing negative health effects on their neighbors. The neighbors reported pesticide related illness and consulted their doctor after the exposure, which then led to this formal complaint and investigation with the WSDA.
So what kind of nasty chemicals did the Gleasmans spray?
The WSDA’s investigation found a chemical product called Lorsban(TM) (also sometimes marketed as “Dursban(TM)”), a product of the Dow AgroSciences. Lorsban(TM) & Dursban(TM) are pretty disgusting and toxic.
These pesticides contain an active ingredient called “Chlorpyrifos” which is a really nasty chemical that was developed by Dow Chemical in 1965. Ahh… the 1960s… a regrettable time for the so-called “wonders of science”. It was the Golden Age of chemical science that brought us wonders like Agent Orange, Alar, and DDT.
DDT, Agent Orange and others. Sadly, chemicals of yesteryear like Lead Arsenate were used extensively in the Washington Apple industry and tons more chemicals were thought to be harmless, and turned out to be just the opposite. Reminds me of another activity thought to be “harmless” back then: smoking!
Sounds pretty gross right? It gets worse.
Lorsban(TM) and Dursban(TM) were both was banned by the EPA a few years back. Check out this great article in Mother Earth News.
The article points out that Lorsban(TM) and Dursban(TM) “are known to cause potential nervous system and brain damage to young people“. Lovely! Just what I want sprayed on my apples, right?!
Sadly, the chemicals Lorsban(TM) and Dursban(TM) are still allowed for commercial use! Why on earth is that OK? This stuff can cause devastating health defects in humans.
The question is: why is America seemingly OK with this crap being sprayed on apples and other crops?
Well, America isn’t exactly “OK” with this kind of thing. More than a few people have sued the big chemical companies over the years, and the EPA even “woke up and banned it” as this article from the Public Health Watch Dog points out. There have been many successful lawsuits against Lorsban(TM) and Dursban(TM). An Indiana family was recently awarded $23 million dollars after Lorsban(TM) exposure caused health problems with their children.
How can these big chemical companies sleep at night? Dow Chemical apparently wants to keep selling this stuff. They were recently fined $732,000 for not reporting 249 documented cases of Dursban(TM) poisoning to the EPA. Yeah! Check out the great work that Greenpeace has been doing in exposing what they call “Corporate Criminal” Dow Chemical.
More importantly, why do Randy Gleasman and Phyllis Gleasman willingly spray something so toxic onto his neighbors and community?
Have they not read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring?
We looked up the business Manzana Ranch LLC that the Gleasman family operates. They live among the orchards; virtually in them. From the satellite map their houses are smack dab in the middle of these apple orchards that get sprayed with this stuff. Why would the Gleasman clan spray these chemicals all around their own family? Isn’t that a really, really bad idea for a family’s health? If they happen to have kids, isn’t that an even worse idea healthwise?
Didn’t we learn anything from the Alar scare of the 1990s?
The orchard industry was hit hard in the 1990s by the Alar scare. Americans found out some nasty, dirty things about Alar, a chemical used in Apple growing. It caused a scare that devastated the industry. Many growers lost their farms due to this.
As a general rule, most consumers do not like chemicals on their food! Notice the growing organic movement?
Doesn’t common sense dictate that Apple growers would want to go Organic, if only for their own financial future? When more of the general public finds out about how conventional apples are grown… and the toxic Lorsban and Dursban being used in apple farming, the entire apple industry is just a 60 Minutes expose away from being devastated again.
My advice: wake up and stop using crappy chemicals to grow your “food”. It’s pure laziness. You want a higher yield crop and you are addicted to using these harsh nasty chemicals to get it. I don’t even call non-organic apples food because I would never eat them.