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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This is my story and I give you permission to use it in part or whole as you see fit unless it is to defend Monsanto.

I was an ornamental horticulturist and Estate Superintendent for several of the richest people in the world. I also worked as a Golf Course Superintendent at some of the most prestigious Country Clubs and Retirement Havens.

I started out by going to a small regional college in North Alabama to study Ornamental Horticulture and later I went to the University of Florida extension in Lake City to study Golf Course Operations and Landscape Maintenance. At my college, we naturally had a course of study and consequent certification for Herbicide, Pesticide, and Fungicide application. Our class was taught by a Junior Executive from Monsanto.

Monsanto Company is a publicly traded American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation. 

 At the beginning of each new class, he would take a brand new factory sealed canister of Round-Up, pop the metallic seal, and proceed to pour a shot-glass full of the herbicide and drink it to prove how safe it was. This is the level of brainwashing and propaganda prevalent in the chemical lawn industry.

I would like to see this stooge today, if in fact he is even still alive. We had training in more potent and poison applications like Atrazine and Methyl Bromide. In none of these classes, were we ever told to wear respirators or mop suits. Consequently, I never did. This was in the mid 80’s.
Over the years, I have no real idea of the thousands of gallons of herbicide, pesticide, and fungicide I sprayed on the numerous golf courses upon which I worked. I was very good at chemical application and was very accurate. I was also very careful and never endured a toxic spill during my 20 plus year career. Just by my nature alone, I probably saved myself from severe injury but little did I know that these toxic chemicals were building up in my system little by little. In the usage of Atrazine, we were told it had a residual of about a year, maybe two.

 In reality it has been found that the herbicide has a normal residual of 7 years and on repeated application locations, like golf courses, it will hold a 15 year toxicity. It is almost impossible to remove from public water systems. I worked primarily in Florida where the soil is sand and the aquifer is often only a few shovels full of sand deep. Imagine the contamination.

In 1998 as I recall and Florida was exercising the hysteria over what they called the Mediterranean Fruit Fly. In reality there is no such thing; but States like Texas, California, and now Florida use this hoax as an excuse to broad spray the entire state with Malathion. No doubt some sweetheart deal between the chemical manufacturers and the state for kickbacks and God only knows what else.

It was a very hap-hazard affair, poorly organized, and used spray pilots that were evidently untrained in aerial spraying. As a licensed spray tech, I was notified by the State Agriculture Department that we were to be sprayed and the supplied a map of the areas to be sprayed and on which day and we were advised to plan our work accordingly. Unfortunately, the pilots couldn’t read their maps either because they sprayed the wrong zone on the wrong day and over a two week period of time, I got sprayed twice.

Once I was pruning some orange trees in a 5 acre orchard owned by my employer and adjacent to their mansion. I heard them coming. I tried to run for shelter but 5 acres is a lot to cover in the minute or three that I had. The second time I was actually on my own spray rig spraying another mansion’s Ligustrum trees.

The first episode made me nauseated, dizzy, and gave me a headache and stiffness. The second time it paralyzed me. I was hospitalized and during the investigation into my condition, many tests were conducted to assess the severity of my poisoning. It was during a bone marrow test they discovered I had Attrazine, and Malathion in my bone marrow and blood stream. The Malathion was fairly easily overcome but removing the atrazine was a different story.

For the next two years, I had blood chelations, was on low dose chemotherapy, and took PUVA treatment two to three times a week. I was using Oxoralen and Methotrexate which came after the emergency Cortizone injections and Prednisone injections and pills. I had severe inflammation in almost every joint in my body and this was the first order of treatment. Soon I was walking again and could once again turn my head. The doctors determined I had more Attrazine in my system than Malathion and that this was the most difficult to deal with.
The net result of my situation was a cost of approximately $200,000.00. I lost my right eye due to the poison cocktail, and was left with lung damage for which I will take medication the rest of my life. I have psoriatic arthritis which will require permanent treatment and I also will take anti-inflammatory drugs for the arthritic pain. I have periodic swelling and shooting pains happen in any given part of my body.

Mainly, fingers and hips are most painful, and my neck still gets stiff from time to time. The Malathion was what pushed the bus off the cliff but the lasting and persistent damage was done by the Atrazine, so agree all three of my specialists.

To add insult to injury, we were slapped in the face again by the State of Florida. I say we because in Florida, 200 people died from extreme exposure and an additional 2000 were is a similar condition to me.

 We organized a class action law suit and obtained an attorney rather easily because the class was so well defined. Then as were nearly ready to file the suit, Jeb Bush was elected Governor of the State of Florida and within days, he shoved through what they called “Tort Reform” which limited any class action suit against the state to $187,000.00 per class. Our attorney immediately dropped us because there was no money to be had.

 I never recovered the expenses of my illness. Regardless of the Malathion exposure, the Attrazine was already embedded in my system and the doctors agree that I surely would have gotten cancer and would not have lived much longer.

Mr. Morgan is a avid follower of COOLHANDVETS and a patriot.  During a Facebook exchange regarding atrazine Mr. Morgan informed us on his experience regarding this subject so we inclined to help by utilizing our social media reach to spread his story as far as we can to bring balance and real justice to him and others like him.
Godspeed everyone.