Natural News reported that Napa Valley residents are at an increased risk of developing cancer and ranked the highest in the state for cancer incidence when compared to 58 other California counties. Something is clearly amiss in the big bear state and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess it is Napa Valley’s ever-expanding vino industry.
The consumption of wine in the United States has been steadily growing over the past 20 years, and according to the Wine Institute, California wine shipments in the United States totaled 225 million cases in 2014, up 4.4% from the previous year, with an estimated retail value of $24.6 billion, up 6.7%. Big industry. And the forecast for growth in the wine industry is staggering. There are over 50 pending applications in Napa County for new wineries and winery expansions totaling 2.9 million gallons of wine using 6,000 additional acres for Napa vineyards.
Big industry. Big money. Big chemicals.
According to WineWaterWatch.org, the cause of the increased cancer rate in Napa Valley is the heavy use of pesticides employed by the wine industry. Their report fingers the increase in cancer rates on the runoff from chemically treated vineyards in the watershed areas in the hills of Napa, as the valley floor is already planted. They claim that the pesticide runoff is affecting residents, animals, and produce.
Bordeaux, an iconic wine region, is also experiencing higher than normal cancer numbers. According to WineWaterWatch.org, a “marche blanche,” or “white marc,” took place in Bordeaux in protest of the use of pesticides after a two-hour French television documentary aired in February 2016 and was viewed by 3 million French citizens. The documentary was purportedly based on a leaked government database identifying the area as one of the highest regions for pesticide use.
According to industry reports, more than 20 similar pesticide agents are used in Bordeaux, Napa, and Sonoma. So what can vino lovers do? As always when fighting big industries that think nothing of using poisonous chemicals to treat vineyards, consumers can fight back by imbibing only organically produced vino made by responsible winemakers. Individual purchasing power spawned the organically grown industry and the anti-GMO movement. You do have a voice.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 26:29, “I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” In the meantime, drink responsibly.