A Tribute to those we have lost in 2005.
These three are just a few of many whose lives have been touched and destroyed by chemical exposures over which they had no control.
They all had very different lives but each has tried to inform the public of the dangers posed by pesticides and is as important as any one of countless sufferers who have tried to prevent others suffering as they have done.
   Geoff Lewis

Geoff Lewis was a man who demonstrated a wide range of skills and a detailed knowledge of science.
Badly affected by chemicals himself when he and his wife Joan were exposed to organophosphates sprayed around their home he established the web site called "UK OP Resource" - UKOPR - and exposed the problems experienced by fellow sufferers and those responsible.
He was the man who used his knowledge of chemistry to force the government scientists to admit that the herbicide "glyphosate" is in fact an organophosphorus compound. He often said that they admitted to him that the chemical inhibited cholinesterase just as other organophosphates do - but they deny it now.
He incurred the wrath of those who did not wish to have the truth made known and suffered the usual abuses with telephone tapping and threats even to his life.
Made sensitive to pesticides by his own exposures he once traced the source of a chemical affecting his health to spraying operations 11 miles away from where he was experiencing effects.
In recent years he was working on a project to publish his books and those of his wife on the internet.
His knowledge of toxicology, chemistry, electronics, computers and metallurgy made him a formidable adversary for those who attempt to hide the truth.
He was able to assist others poisoned by pesticides and had a special interest in Gulf War Syndrome cases, acting as an adviser to Members of Parliament and others.
He was able to help those of us who were subjected to attempts to force us through unethical medical tests and was able to offer advice on treatments to ease our symptoms.
His sense of humour was with him to the end and he raised the spirits of many with his endless jokes and the nicknames for some of the lawyers who had failed us. Many will recognise "Lie, Die and Crow"; "Crapbarns"; "Dodge, Grave and Digger"; or "Grab and Con", all of whom made considerable sums by failing to properly represent sick clients who often died before their cases could be heard in the courts.
Geoff held them in contempt along with the so-called scientists who aided and abetted them.
Geoff and his wife had at last found happiness and contentment in their home in Cornwall and it is a sad irony that he was to end his life at 64 years of age in an NHS hospital regarded as a specialist centre that could not even determine the true cause of his multiple organ failure.
Geoff's problems had begun in the Summer with a loss of appetite and the yellowing of his skin. The diagnosis of jaundice appeared to explain the problems but they went far deeper than that.
Doctors discovered a duodenal ulcer, low blood count and a stone in the bile duct. There were it was said eight possible reasons for the jaundice but a stent that was put in caused septicaemia although that was cleared by antibiotics.
Things were improving until he was admitted to a hospital in London for an endoscopy - supposedly a centre of excellence.
There he became breathless and was put on oxygen in intensive care. He hated the tubes in his throat.
Joan travelled to see him and the last words that he said were that he loved her very much.
His death was not caused by cancer, or MRSA, but it is clear that the real cause of death is unknown.
It is officially a "mysterious death" but those who know him are certain that the failure of his organs one by one was the result of chemical toxicity.

The world is a poorer place without him.

Helen Fullerton

Helen was a remarkable woman with a wide knowledge and range of interests. Politically active from an early age she had a deep interest in society and she obtained, in her mid-thirties and after initially being self-taught, a PhD in science.
Helen became a lecturer in Soil Science at Glasgow University and she used her specialist knowledge to good effect when she took on the responsibilities of owning a dairy farm. She loved the life but was forced to give it up after a move to Wales.
She was an early member of the Soil Association, promoted organic foods, and warned of the harm being done to the environment, by industry and modern farming methods, and of the resulting effects on animal and human health.
Helen had a keen interest and belief in homeopathy, which she used to treat both animals and humans.
Many of those poisoned by organophosphorus pesticides and sheep dip have good cause to be grateful to Helen for her help both in treating their symptoms and in trying to persuade the government both to admit to the dangers and to take action to stop the harm caused.
In 1999 Helen produced a 27-page paper she titled "Sensitisation: Clue to the pathology pathway of Chronic Organophosphorus Poisoning" in which she reviewed the detailed and technical scientific evidence and illustrated the seriousness of the problem with case details.
Knowing how the officials of government ignore evidence she wrote that her paper "has just gone off to the COT's Working Group on OPs. Maybe another black hole but I am sending it out".
It was her hope to have her work put on the web. Perhaps in time this will be done as her evidence and the science upon which she relied is still very relevant.
She followed that paper with another called "A case of pirimiphos methyl poisoning" in which she quoted the diaries of a farmer who had been poisoned while treating grain in a store and showed how the smallest exposures could induce serious adverse effects in people already sensitised.
Helen accompanied that paper with a letter to the COT Chairman in which she wrote that she could show precisely how the chemical could induce "abnormal acetylcholine transmission in the peripheral autonomic, sensory and motor systems and in the CNS"
Helen called on the government to enact similar restrictions on its use as found in the USA and to take steps to protect our health but the COT claimed that there was no evidence of long-term harm, despite legislation dating from 1958 recognising those very effects.
This work and her interest in cattle brought her into the BSE controversy and she was able to provide the inquiry with her views on causation and transmission.
Helen was also active in the campaign to control TB in cattle and was a founding member of Compassion in World Farming.
For many years she advised on the dangers of genetically modified crops and many campaigners looked to her for the scientific information to back their campaign. She wrote "Glyphosate must be stopped. Its effect on the environment when linked to GMOs is horrific."
Her powerful and persuasive paper to the EU in attempts to prevent the corporate control of food supplements and vitamins referred to the Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals about which she commented "On such weak and erroneous evidence the EVM is advising the Government to restrict the free availability of B6 supplements to 10mg."
The COT backed down on B6 but the evidence for free availability of vitamins and mineral supplements was eventually ignored by the European Union who surrendered to the pharmaceutical companies shortly after she died.
Helen was a kind and compassionate woman who did courageous things in her quest to help others and to improve life for both humans and animals.
She was indeed an amazing woman.

Many of us have good cause to give thanks for her life and for her knowledge and help.

Pat Dickinson

Pat was a family man and a very loyal friend. A keen motorcyclist he had a strong belief in what was right and would stand against any odds to support a friend in trouble.
He was a carpenter by trade but he spent many years working on farms and his skills were recognised and appreciated by countless farmers. He took great pride in his work, no matter what he did, but his work was to cost him his health and eventually his life.
Some 25 years ago he was exposed to organophosphorus insecticides used in grain stores. He was certain that those exposures resulted in his need for the very rare operation he endured at the time - a double mastectomy, an operation normally performed on women with breast cancer.
Some years later he was applying the herbicide glyphosate to a field using a tractor mounted sprayer when a pipe burst on the machine sending the liquid under pressure into the cab of his tractor. Soaked to the skin he escaped from the drenching and dived into a water trough, used to provide water to cattle, to wash the chemical from his clothes. Years later with his usual sense of humour he was to say "You see I took precautions" but sadly those precautions do not appear to have been enough.
He was fit and well when his legs first began to swell. Doctors suspected a thrombosis but could find nothing wrong. Then his scrotum began to swell and he saw his GP who sent him to a specialist. One of his testicles was removed and the doctors said that they could not understand it. There was no cancer but his cells were breaking down. They told him that he appeared to have been poisoned and suspected lymphoma.
By now his skin was yellow and he was losing weight rapidly but the doctors now suggested that plasma cytosis was the cause and that there was a treatment.
The treatments had no effect and the diagnosis was then Multiple Myeloma. Again doctors said that it could be treated but again the treatments had no effect.
Pat's wife Jill was informed that he had just a few months left, then that there were only weeks.
That weekend Pat heard the doctor's talking and he later told Jill that they were talking rubbish and that he wanted to leave the hospital. He told her that he was angry because he would never be able to use his new fishing rod and then told her that he loved her and asked her to help him out of the bed.
He pulled the tubes from his body and passed away.
The local press dedicated their September magazine to Pat who was a much-loved member of the community. It read :
"This edition ...I would like to dedicate to Pat Dickinson, a friend of mine who died on August 14th. He leaves behind a large painfully bereaved family including parents, wife, children and grand-children and very many friends.
Pat was like a beam of sunshine, a source of humour and common sense who brought laughter and pleasure to all those who were privileged to know him.
Pat died of extraordinary symptoms that baffled his doctors for months. But Pat was always sure of the cause and I agree with him that it was down to treating the corn harvest with poison to kill weevils....
Pat's death is one of a pattern of seemingly healthy former farm workers dying suddenly of dramatic cancers.
See his Post Mortem report here.
If you knew Pat, or never had the chance, please think about the food you buy and eat. Organic food is more expensive but at least it does not involve poisoning the environment, ourselves and those who work in farming."

Pat's dying wish was that his medical records should be used by those exposing the dangers of pesticides but so far the doctors have not complied with that request.
Pat was just 48 years of age when he died and his wife reports that only 6 weeks before his death he was mowing the lawns seemingly fit and well.

He remains a warning to us all and we miss his laughter.

Like many thousands of others around the world these brave people knew from first-hand experience the horrific effects on the human body caused by supposedly "safe" pesticides and industrial chemicals.
Their efforts to inform the wider public have been blocked by powerful alliances to the detriment of human and environmental health.
We cannot afford to ignore their experiences or the loss to society caused by their deaths.

Dated 30/12/2005    Updated 14/01/2006

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