Endocrine disrupters are man-made chemicals that affect our hormonal systems by mimicking or blocking hormones that regulate essential functions of the thyroid, pancreas, ovaries and testes glands.
They are pervasive in the environment, in the water we drink and food we eat and it is time to call them for what they are: sex change agents.
Sex change agents turn normal sperm on a mission from God into sluggish swimmers with deformed heads, tails or midsections, a microscopic analog to fish deformed by endocrine disrupters in our estuaries and bays.
They pose the greatest hazard in the earliest phases of life because hormones orchestrate development and because fetal development is exquisitely sensitive to tiny variations in hormone signals.
Florida’s Lake Apopka turns up male juvenile alligators with higher estrogen levels, abnormal testes and smaller than normal penises than normal males of the same age. Female alligators have a high incidence of ovarian abnormalities. And around the world, evidence is emerging that sex change agents are turning frogs into hermaphrodites missing legs and arms.
In our own species, falling sperm counts in industrialized nations are related to endocrine disrupters. So are rising infertility rates and imbalances in the ratio of male to female births.
Endocrine disrupters have been implicated in the dramatic drop in the onset of puberty for females, rising rates of autism, breast cancer and spontaneous abortions.
You would think that government agencies and scientists would be on an emergency mission to save mankind from sex change agents in our midst. Think again.
The Bush administration has been particularly recalcitrant in addressing this threat to public health and the environment. So far as regulating polluters and toxics is concerned, the White House has more confidence in negotiated settlements than stiff penalties and litigation.
But you can’t be a little bit pregnant and your hormonal system can’t be a little bit compromised by sex change agents.
There is not a nickel’s difference between cellular change that creates and that which deforms, but communities of faith rigidly opposed to abortion and stem cell research are loose and limp on sex change agents infiltrating our bodies.
While the Christian Coalition attacks scientists and university labs and hospitals for research on stem cells to protect the sanctity of life, endocrine disrupters are turning our flesh and blood for which Jesus gave his life into living experiments in deformity without a peep from the Christian Coalition.
The religious right revs up its megaphones against teenage behavior and sexual promiscuity but never against corporate interests responsible for imposing sex change agents on all of us. Interesting.
And political candidates and public officer holders know that the cellular litmus test of the religious right has loopholes big enough to drive a truck through: otherwise, pro-life initiatives would include advocacy, laws, and funding for research and science adequate to protecting God’s creation from any cellular change.
Surely a church leader like Pat Robertson, who knew well enough to advise President George W. Bush before the war in Iraq that Americans need to be prepared for casualties, can understand the threat to his congregation from sex change agents.
“A blinking, red strobe light” is how Dr. Lou Guillette, professor of zoology at the University of Florida, who studied Lake Apopka alligators, describes endocrine disrupters.
In humans, Guillette notes the potential link between endocrine disrupters and a 200 percent to 300 percent increase of penis abnormalities of male infants in the past 25 years, with industrialized areas of the world bearing a much higher imprint.
There is no way to un-compromise a compromised hormonal system, the exquisite clockspring of life.
There is a way, though, to deny its consequences, by rejecting science and inquiry, failing to fund necessary research, and falling back on obedience to blind belief, as though a cheese sandwich bearing the image of the Virgin Mary can provide all the nourishment we need for healthy, spiritual, and productive lives.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger only had it partly right when he coined a new phrase for his critics, “girly men.” With pollution changing our fetuses and our bodies, there is more girl in men than there used to be.
For Christians, a question: When God comes to raise us up, what if there are no real men left to save?
For all communities of faith: When will you bang the doors of the White House and Congress as loudly about the moment of mis-creation as you do about the moment of creation?
ALAN FARAGO, a writer on the environment and politics, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.