by guest blogger Ed Brown, documentary filmmaker
I really thought I’d learned enough about toxic chemicals to last a lifetime.
After directing the film Unacceptable Levels, which took me more than four years to create, I really believed there wasn’t anything left to say. I knew that we have 80,000-plus chemicals in our system of commerce, that each and every one of us has at least 232 synthetic industrial chemicals in our bodies at this very moment, and that we have a lot of challenges in fighting this. I also knew that I would continue to do whatever I could do to stem the tide.
However, as a filmmaker, you’re always thinking about the story you want to tell next and how you’re going to tell it. I thought I was done with toxic chemicals as a topic for now. But then I learned that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and more than 2,000 other products, was being found in breast milk, and I knew that I couldn’t leave chemicals behind.
I considered myself well educated on the issue of toxic chemicals, but what I learned about glyphosate shocked me. To think that this toxic chemical has been a part of our lives for more than 40 years but we’re still testing it for safety is simply appalling.
Most of us don’t even know how glyphosate works. It’s actually rather interesting. When it was first manufactured, it was sprayed on to a particular plant and then the glyphosate would go on to kill the bacteria inside of the plant, thus killing some pesky weed. Surfactants were then added, as this cuts down on the “waxy coating” on a plant, allowing the glyphosate to work more effectively. Then the makers progressed by adding it directly to the plants themselves in the form of GMOs, and the rest is, as they say, history.
My question is this, (and this is where I draw my inspiration from): If the bacteria in our bodies outnumber our cells 10 to 1, then what is killing bacteria doing to us? And if glyphosate is being found in our bodies, is it killing our essential bacteria, as well? We absolutely need beneficial bacteria to function, to live a healthy life, and when I consider that the more I learn about how our “gut” works, I believe that we may find out through this filmmaking process the key to understanding why we are so sick.
A New Resistance is about all of us, every one of us who is fighting to make the world a better place! We need a lightning rod to ignite not just our understanding or awareness about an issue, but also to provide all of us a direction to move toward. Our inspiration is drawn not only from what we read or hear, but also from those around us who are no longer willing to accept the way things are, and we will not be turning back!
Right now, in the United States, we have the highest rate of infertility since anyone began keeping records. If the rates of autism continue at the pace they are moving, 1 in every 2 children will be autistic within 20 years. Digestive issues, such as Crohn’s disease, have increased by 79 percent in the past 10 years. We now understand that glyphosate lowers sperm counts in men, and that it’s getting into our children through breast milk or GMO corn syrup in nonorganic baby formula.
So, I want to give everyone a chance to have all of the information, and a great deal more, by contributing to our Indiegogo Campaign today. Just a few dollars will help us to create this landmark film that will be given away for free to everyone in 2015, when the Environmental Protection Agency will make a determination about the license of glyphosate.
If we become educated and mobilized and have the discipline to know what we must do to overcome this toxic chemical, we’ll be able to do it over and over again, until companies and regulators understand that we are no longer sitting on the sidelines!
Help me to make this film, and we will all be helping our kids, our families, our teachers, and ourselves to reach our potential and live healthier, happier lives!
Ed Brown is the director/producer of the award-winning film Unacceptable Levels. A Pennsylvania native, Ed grew up in Altoona before attending Shippensburg University, where he earned a degree in journalism and applied speech. He went on to a successful career at CBS Sports, where he worked as a highlight writer for The NFL Today and NCAA College Football and Basketball in New York before becoming a filmmaker. He currently lives in central PA with his wife Lauren, and their three young children.