Bizarre case: A medicine called ivermectin, given to cows, sheep, and horses as protection from parasites, has turned their dung into a toxic and virtually indestructible health hazard in the French Alps. Insects die once in contact with the toxic dung, and birds and bats eat the insects and then sicken and die. “We have seen cowpats [cow dung] survive four years or more,” marveled Jean-Pierre Lumaret of the University of Montpellier. “If the dung does not decompose, it becomes like stone, which stops the grass from growing.”

More bizarre case: A drug called Mirapex, approved by the FDA in 1997, to relieve tremors and stiffness in Parkinson’s patients, has been found to cause compulsive behaviors as a side effect. Archives of Neurology reported in July 2005 that some Mirapex users became compulsive gamblers and lost large sums of money in casinos and playing the lottery. Other users developed compulsive sex addictions that destroyed their marriages, or they became compulsive shoppers and went heavily into debt.

Even more bizarre: New regulatory rules on human testing to determine health risks from pesticides and other drug exposures were adopted in September 2005 by the EPA to allow experimentation on “abused and neglected children” without the permission of parents or guardians. Absolutely anyone can be subjected to “ethically deficient” research, so the regulatory language reads, if the EPA determines it to be “crucial to protect public health.” There was surprisingly little public attention or outcry when these rules were announced.

As a result of a century of innovations in synthetic chemical manufacturing, we have inherited a virtually indestructible residue of toxins in the environment. Synthetic chemicals have seared into nature a seemingly immortal stamp.

The Hundred-Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald, pg. 146-47.