Barb Wilkie's EHN Website
Last updated 2008

EHN Board President Barb Wilkie was very ill from chemically-induced kidney disease for several years. She passed away May 31, 2011. EHN presents this site both as a tribute and as valuable information. Many links and references will be out of date but Barb's research holds up over time. We will be transferring the site page by page, with updated details, to EHN's main site. If you would like to reach an EHN staff person, please contact us directly.

Marin Beyond Pesticides


Marin Beyond Pesticides Coalition continues to meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month in the Tamalpais Room at Marin General Hospital at 7PM. In May we had John Walters speak about gardening the organic way. John presented ideas on how co-planting removes the need for pesticides. He combines flowers that produce natural pesticides planted next to vegetables to eliminate the need for any toxic chemicals. John always has a beauthiful garden that produces delicious tasting food.

June 23rd, we talked about our schools project, the Pesticide Free Zone campaign and the Healthy Schools Act of 1999.

The PFZ (Pesticide Free Zone) campaign is designed to make people think about pesticides and to allow those of us that do not use pesticides to let the world know how we feel. Even if you do not have a yard you might want people to know that your home is free of toxic pesticides. By displaying the signs we are making a statement...clean air, water, soil and food. Nothing less is acceptable.

Do You Know What You Are Eating??

Nothing could be more American than a potato salad in summer or a baked potato in winter. What you may not realize is that Monsanto, that multinational chemical & pesticide corporation has a near monopoly control of seed companies and is leading the pack with regards to genetic engineering. This combination has produced a very unique product. The NewLeafTM Russet potato, a bio-engineered food product, which is grown in the U.S. and sold on the open market without labeling, as fresh produce, or has processed foods such as potato chips or fast-food French fries. The NewLeafTM Russet is a registered pesticide having incorporated into every cell of the plant the genetic information that makes the active pesticide protein found in the Bacillus thuringiensis. B.t. is a naturally occurring bacterium that is lethal to the Colorado potato beetle.

No studies have been published in this country indicating what this registered pesticide food would do when fed to animals. In 1996 Dr. Arpad Pusztai a senior scientist at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland began feeding genetically modified potatoes to rats. He observed stunted growth and damaged immune systems, including damage to several major organs (kidney, spleen, thymus and stomach). Dr. Pusztai had been at the Rowett Institute for 35 years and during that time published 270 scientific papers. But during a second sanctioned TV interview in April, 1998, he said "he would not eat genetically modified foods himself" and he further said it was "very, very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs." Though at first defended by the director of the institute Dr. Pusztai was later forced to retire. Monsanto was a major contributor to the institute.

The regulatory divisions of the U.S. government have all failed to even be concerned that we are being sold a registered pesticide without even so much as a label or without the benefit of testing. Neither the FDA, EPA or USDA have taken any action regarding this food in part due to the "Regulatory Relief" actions initiated by Vice President Quayle that allowed the corporation to make a finding of "GRAS" (generally regarded as safe).

I for one have switched to organic potatoes. This gets around the concerns of heavy pesticide use and I know I will not be eating a pesticide. I have also been told but have not confirmed that a [fast-food chain] likes the NewLeafTM Russet because it produced a crispier fry. I have told my children not to eat fast-food fries ever again or until we have a pledge from them that they do not use this "Frankinstein" food.

Ginger Souders-Mason


Marin Beyond Pesticides has T-shirts and yard signs available.

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EHN is a coalition member of Marin Beyond Pesticides.
As with all organizations, EHN depends upon your contributions of
time and energy, as well as your support through membership.


Comments? (Barb's email is no longer valid, please contact EHN). Please put WWW in subject line. Thanks.

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The Environmental Health Network (EHN) [of California] is a 501 (c) (3) non profit agency and offers support and information for the chemically injured. Learn from the work of Julia Kendall, get The BEST of the Reactor, join EHN and receive The New Reactor. See what influence the Chemical Manufacturers have had against those of us with EI. The URL for EHN's homepage is