You are viewing the NationofChange archives. For the latest news and actions, visit the new www.NationofChange.org.
Sunday, June 26, 2016 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
Get Email Updates | Log In | Register

Did the Government Give Industrial Hemp a Pass to Clean Up Radiation in the States?

Christina Sarich
NationofChange / News Analysis
Published: Friday 14 February 2014
Hemp has numerous uses and could replace many crops that require heavy irrigation and pesticides, but the most interesting fact about hemp is that it “eats” radiation.
Article image

Activists have been shouting they want an end to GMO foods for more than a decade now, and Cannabis Sattiva L. supporters have been at it for even longer, so why has the US government finally given farmers the right to legally grow industrial hemp, the non-hallucinatory, sister plant of medical marijuana?

It is safe to say that industrialized hemp should have been legalized years ago. With THC levels so low, you would have to smoke more of it than Snoop Dogg to get ‘high’ – and that’s a lot of Cannabis, it is ridiculous that it was classified as a drug at all. It has numerous uses and could replace many crops that require heavy irrigation and pesticides, like cotton, for example. Here’s the most interesting fact though – hemp plants ‘eat’ radiation.

When the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Reactor 4 accident caused severe radioactive contamination in 1986, families within a 30-kilometer area of the site had to be evacuated. Radioactive contamination was later found at 100 kilometers from the accident site, and Fukushima radiation levels are still to be determined, with the Japanese government planning on dumping their overflowing radiated water tanks into the Pacific as we speak.

As with the Chernobyl incident, scientists are finding radioactive emissions and toxic metals--including iodine, cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium--concentrated in the soil, plants, and animals of Japan, but also now throughout the United States and all along the West Coast – from Canada to Mexico. Even the EPA has admittedthat any living tissue can be affected by radiation exposure. High levels of thyroid disease and cancer have been reported in Japan, and our ocean is dying by the day. Scientists are also expecting that children born on the US West Coast will suffer a 28% higher incident of hyperthyroidism – a disease that accompanies radiation exposure. Even the livestock that grazed on irradiated grasses grown in contaminated soils developed meat with high concentrations of these unwanted toxins after Chernobyl, and Fukushima is exponentially worse.


 

Is Hemp Our Redeemer?

Dr. Ilya Raskin of Rutgers University's Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment, who was a member of the original task force sent by the IAEA to examine food safety at the Chernobyl site figured out that through phytoremediation utilizing hemp, among other plants, the soil, and thus the food supply could be saved from toxicity.

Phytoremediation is the process whereby green plants remove toxins from the soil. Plants can extract specific elements within their ecosystem and still thrive. They accumulate the toxins in their tissues and root systems but remain undamaged. Sunflowers have been known to do something similar for centuries, eliminating heavy metals and pesticides from damaged soil. Two members of the mustard family are also useful for this process – Brassica juncea and Brassica carinata, but it seems hemp is quite amazing at sucking up radiation.

Granted, the government is probably dumbfounded at what to do with the Fukushima radiation headed our way, but the legalization of hemp just might balance some of the toxicity scientists expect.  Fortunately, California, one of the states that will be hardest hit, has already legalized industrial hemp, but it has to wait for the federal government to give states the right before they can actually grow it. The Farm Bill only allows ‘research’ growth at certain institutions in 10 states currently.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. In light of Fukushima, let’s join our countries’ founders to grow it too. You can help clean the soil in your area if hemp or medical marijuana has been legalized in your state, and help it to pass in further states by being vocal with your state and federal representatives.



Comment with your Facebook account



Comment with your Disqus account

Top Stories

comments powered by Disqus

NationofChange works to educate, inform, and fight power with people, corruption with community.

If you would like to stay up to date with the best in independent, filter-free journalism, updates on upcoming events to attend, and more, enter your email below:

7 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Support NationofChange

Our readers often tell us why they’ve decided to step up and become supporters. Here are some of the top reasons people are giving.

1. You’re keeping independent journalism alive
The corporate owned media has proven that it can’t be trusted. In a media landscape wrought with spin and corruption, NationofChange stands in very scarce company.

2. You’re sticking it to the rich, powerful, and corrupt
When you have money in this country you can get away with damn near anything, and they do. NationofChange isn’t afraid to expose these criminals no matter how powerful they are.

3. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible
NationofChange is a 501(c)3 charity. People tend to assume that many other organizations are (most nonprofits are NOT) but it’s that 501(c)3 status is a bit more rare than you think.

Read the rest...