Health and Safety

You are what you eat, or in this case what you smoke or concentrate

Have you eaten a bowl of cereal today?  Did you use Ketchup on your burger or fries last night? Unfortunately you have already consumed bugs, roaches and rat droppings. The average person consumes about 2 pounds of this stuff per year( sorry). We’d starve if we tried to avoid it.

Now I am not advocating for everyone to raise mite farms, I am however advocating for medicine that is safe for human consumption.  Mites are an absolute detriment to the farmer.  They can waste an entire crop overnight.  Mites however are an allowable contaminate for human consumption under the FDA. It’s called the “Food Defect Action Level” (allowable contaminates allowed in food by the FDA). It’s actually unavoidable and not harmful. This is the level of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans.

On the other hand pesticides present a whole different round of issues when it comes to health hazards, including application and use. It is obvious that many farmers fail to read the directions on the bottle of, well let’s say Avid. One reading and you will see this is not the tool to use.  It’s like trimming your bushes with a lawn mower; you probably would be more efficient to use a trimmer and you most likely won’t get hurt trying.

At the very minimum we consider our medicine to be a food product. Therefore you should never use anything on your crop you can’t use on food crops. This is not about organics. This is about health hazards to humans, especially humans that are sick and have compromised immune systems.

My question is simply why we are falsely teaching our patients and growers that there is a zero tolerance level to mites but an open free range to long term toxins that are a known health hazard to humans as stated on the label. Since when does any industry have a zero tolerance for allowable contaminates and no holds barred on harmful pesticides? In our food they may allow a few harmless bugs but they don’t allow toxic pesticides.

What about other risks? When applying pesticides are you wearing the correct gear such as a hazmat suit complete with respirator, head and face gear? Do you post your garden off limits for a minimum of 24 hours?

Would you consume Mexican sprayed with Paraquat or Thai sprayed with Agent Orange? No, you would run. However you have no fear spraying essentially the same thing on the plant you’re going to give your sick mother or sister.  Our thinking as an industry must change before people are hurt.

My food may have mites but it does not have poison. Yes I would rather smoke a mite than any of these harmful chemicals.  Our mites probably test higher and taste better than your Agent Orange medicine anyway. And I probably will live long enough to see the results of our industry decisions.

Stay Healthy or at least don’t pollute others. Let’s be careful what we are extracting. No matter how safe your process it starts with the farmer.

Further info:

Bugs, roach droppings, and rat droppings in food…?

A friend once told me that the FDA allows a certain amount of bugs, roach droppings, and rat droppings to be in cereal. They said a certain amount is “ok” and no food packaging company can keep all of that stuff out of your cereal. I don’t know if this is true, but it caused me not to eat cereal for a long time.

Is this or any part of it true?

Yes,

It’s called the “Food Defect Action Level”(allowable contaminates allowed in food by the FDA). It’s actually unavoidable and not harmful. The average person consumes about 2 pounds of this stuff per year( sorry). We’d starve if we tried to avoid it.

Look at cheese under a microscope. It crawls, literally. (Mites)

  1. The Food Defect Action Levels – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Food Defect Action Levels: Levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans is a publication of the United States Food …

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Food_Defect_Action_Levels

  1. Defect Levels Handbook – U S Food and Drug Administration …

Food Defect Action Levels – the Levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans.

www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocuments

It is absolutely true. A couple of years ago I took an intro to forensic science class. My professor was a forensic etymologist. He worked many murder cases, but was also called in for a bunch of food lawsuits. He would analyze the food product in question, and testify in court about the content. The FDA has standards, and if the food was not up to code.. then the company would lose the case, or whatever.

He told us that he can no longer eat peanut butter. He explained that the FDA allows bug parts etc in lots of foods including cereal, ketchup, and chocolate, but the largest amount they allow was in peanut butter. He said that he didn’t mind the bug parts, but his problem with peanut butter was the rat droppings. Apparently rats climb into the machines all of the time, and it’s hard to stop it. He told us that the FDA determines the allowable amount based on what the food looks like, and whether or not you would be able to notice. So with peanut butter, it’s hard to tell if there is rat hair or feces in it once it’s all mixed up.

It totally freaked me out, and for a while I food processed my own peanuts

This matter will probably be a moot point once there is regulation and required testing in the near future (accept for the farmer who must take a different approach to pest control) however it is becoming an epidemic right now.

SGG provides a Farm to Table Certification Program in over 5 states. We do not sell products nor make profits on this program. The program is quickly growing in popularity amongst established farmers to provide quality medicine. Recently our associates from the state of Washington all converged at our office for an “emergency meeting” in which they requested. I had no forewarning what the meeting was about.

Their concerns were about the propagation of Avid and the pressure they were getting if they did not use it. Most all dispensaries and farmers markets have inspections of flowers for signs (past or present) of mites, molds and mildew performed by a competent and skilled intake person.  Inspections and testing are important. Mold and Mildew should never be allowed. Mites however are different. But if even a trail of a former single mite is on your product you are immediately expelled or turned away. None of these inspectors perform pesticide tests.

These same inspectors are Avid salespersons who will not only recommend but supply you with a small unlabeled bottle of Avid concentrate for a hefty fee. Avid is now available in every garden store in northwest Washington. We are seeing it all over Oregon as well.

As a result we are promoting safe growing and will be spending a lot of effort, along with many other known figures in our industry to change the mindset of the patient, client, consumer and farmer. In our associate meeting there were those farmers who decided to continue using a product we do not allow and therefore no longer carry our certification.  Most are working hard doing a great service however are asking us to push this message forward to you. These farmers care about their work, environment and fellow humans.

As we move forward to regulation farmers that use these types of pesticides will need to look at other options that are acceptable.  This will be difficult for many caught in the existing mechanisms of toxic pest control. We would advise farmers to begin looking now.

Thank you for your time.

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