CBC's "Toxic Legacies"
examines health effects of pesticides
AIRDATE: THIS Wednesday, March 16, 2001
PROGRAM: CBC's NATURE OF THINGS
TIME: 9 P.M.
The Yaqui Valley is one of Mexico's largest agricultural areas, providing
much of North America's fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also home to
neighbouring towns in which children exhibit significant and disturbing
neurological differences. CBC-TV's THE NATURE OF THINGS with David Suzuki
investigates this phenomenon and its
relevance for children across North America in Toxic Legacies, Wednesday,
March 14 at 9 p.m.
U.S. anthropologist Elizabeth Guillette learned in 1993 about problems in
the Yaqui Valley. As she has written in the scientific journal
Environmental Health Perspectives, the valley children are far behind those
of the foothills in physical co-ordination, energy
and learning capabilities. The only difference she observed was that
pesticides have been used in the valley since the early 1950s, while in the
foothills there is no agricultural industry and virtually no pesticide use.
Toxic Legacies follows Dr. Guillette as she meets with eminent laboratory
scientists in her search for corroboration and possible solutions.
Neurotoxicologist David Carpenter of the University of Albany says, "I have
suspected for a long time that pesticides cause
these effects, but no one has demonstrated it so convincingly."
Dr. Guillette also visits Halifax, North America's first major city to ban
the cosmetic use of pesticides. "I don't think we have to throw our hands
up and say it's hopeless. People are doing things," says Guillette.
One in six U.S. children suffers from such disorders as autism, aggression
and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Could pesticide exposure be a
major culprit? "I was shocked at the lack of science that exists on
pesticides," remarks filmmaker John Ritchie,
himself a father of two young children. "That's why making people aware of
Elizabeth's study is so important."
Toxic Legacies is co-produced by THE NATURE OF THINGS, Force Four
Entertainment and Discovery Health U.S.A. It is written and directed by
John Ritchie and produced by Rob Bromley. John Grassie is executive
producer of Discovery Health, and Toni Egger, director of development.
Executive producer of THE NATURE OF THINGS is Michael Allder.
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The following is from:
Force Four Entertainment
310-1152 Mainland St.
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Over a year in the making, "Toxic Legacies" airs in Canada March 14 on
CBC's "Nature of Things" at 9pm, and on June 15 at 10pm on Discovery Health
Channel in the United States. My crew and I travelled to Mexico last
summer to follow the story of anthropologist Elizabeth Guillette, who
discovered two communities of children who
exhibit significant and disturbing neurological differences.
We also followed Dr. Guillette as she met with eminent laboratory
scientists in her search for corroboration and possible solutions, and went
with her to Halifax, North America's first major city to ban the cosmetic
use of pesticides.
Photo imagery of the program can be found at www.cbc.ca/imagegallery. Click on
"television" under "Hi Res images" then choose "The Nature of Things" under
"Current Affairs" and click go. "Toxic Legacies" photos are near the bottom.
For those of you outside of North America, please send an e-mail if you
would like to receive a copy of the program.