Spring Allergies

Why is it that so many Americans are afflicted by seasonal allergies? The answer is simple, but before that, what is an allergic reaction? An allergic reaction is when the immune system attacks any foreign bodies (intruders) that it does not recognize. If the body recognizes these intruders then it will handle it smoothly (the immune system is constantly and quietly at work handling all sorts of bugs/bacteria/virus/dust every second). If it doesn’t recognizes it then it uses increasingly brute force, the sledge hammer approach to dismantling the intruder. This is what is called an “allergic reaction”.

In six-million years of human evolution (and earlier) the immune system has been fine tuned to recognize and deal with the natural elements of our environment. The use of ever increasingly complex weed-killers has accelerated the evolution of weeds such that it has outpaced our evolution to keep up with the biological/chemical signatures of the weeds. So what happens? All of the sudden, after 6 million years, the body sees an intruder it absolutely doesn’t recognize (the pollen from the highly mutated weed as well as the weed killer). This causes the body to go into allergic reaction (in skin, eye, lungs, etc.).

Natural Selection: One in hundred of these weeds survive. This mutant is “bizarre” – as to have survived it must have matched the complexity of the weed-killer. Within a few weed-generations this becomes the dominant weed. Weed-killers also increase in potency to match this new weed (and so does your allergy medicines!). Within a few generations, through aggressive chemical induced mutations, these weeds become unrecognizable (their chemical signatures) by the inhabitants of the ecosystem. This is also an example of GMO, not through biotechnology, but nonetheless created by man.

The weed-killers themselves also cause allergy. Some of the components used in broadleaf weed-killers, just FYI:

  • alpha,alpha,alpha-trifluoro-2,6-dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-p-toluidine
  • disodium methylarsonate
  • 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid)
  • 2,4,5-T

Solution? why the obsession with perfect lawns, let the grass grow thick and tall to suffocate out the weeds (full grown, foot tall grass actually look nice as the wind breezes through them), and why not add wildflowers to the mix. It pays not to meddle too much with nature. It’s worth it, to be able step outdoors without allergies.

Franken-plants

But it’s more than just allergies, it is the irreversible damage on our delicate ecosystem that should have everyone running scared. For example, in my town in India, Monsanto corporation (the evil biotech giant) introduced some crops with pesticide genes built into it. That is, they’ve engineered the plant so that it “naturally” produces a pesticide. That way we won’t have to spend millions of dollars in spraying pesticides. Bright idea uhh? Well, the dangerous of this:

  • The most obvious is that these are Frankenstein plants, unleashed into Nature, where they will cross-pollinate with other plants, creating bazaar species nature and humans have never seen (so much for just “spring” allergies). Already countries like India are dreading this and creating seed-banks (to preserve thousands of varieties of seeds), as a preparation for an apocalyptic future.
  • In Kodaikannal (a hill resort in Tamil Nadu, India), the jackfruit yield really plummeted. Why? because of lack of pollination by bees. The bee population today is almost zero. Even in my home town it is zero (we used to keep a bee hive in our garden; we still do — but what used to be bustling with bees is now a ghastly empty box). What happen to the bees? well apparently the GMO crops do not just kill pests, but also good insects like bees. Who knows what other plant and animal species are now affected as a result of this chain reaction (for example, insects, birds, etc. which were dependent on the jackfruit, and other organisms dependent on these animals).
  • The famous first case of biotechnologically engineered pesticide producing corn back in 2000 (which was meant only for cattle feed) that leaked into the Taco Bell food chain in the USA causing serious health effects, makes the point very well.
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