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Evan Mascagni '11 Filming New Documentary, Toxic Profits

Thursday, December 06, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
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Former UDC-DCSL Law Review Editor-in-Chief Evan Mascagni, '11, is one of the principals behind a documentary film, Toxic Profits. The film will show how American chemical firms continue to sell dangerous chemicals that are actually banned in America to third world countries – and how the poisons end up back in America as part of our food supply. The filmmakers started out with a very nicely done trailer on "Kickstarter" - a website that collects pledges to donate to causes if they reach critical mass. They did reach their initial goal and have now received over $21,000 from 267 backers. Please check out the trailer and consider making a pledge/donation! See http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1731827420/toxic-profits

What follows below the 6th Kickstarter update - complete with photos of the crew with former President Jimmy Carter and international renown biodiversity proponent Vandana Shiva.

Evan Mascagni

Update #6 - Filming Begins

Update #6 · Dec. 04, 2012
 

The Toxic Profits team has been busy filming since we received all of our pledges from Kickstarter in September. On our first trip, we visited Plains, Georgia, where we had the honor of interviewing former United States President Jimmy Carter. President Carter is the only president to have tried to end the practice of exporting banned chemicals from the United States to foreign countries.

In October, we had the honor of meeting with Dr. Vandana Shiva, an Indian environmental activist, author, ecofeminist, and philosopher. Dr. Shiva has written extensively on the use of toxic pesticides in modern agriculture.

Then, just last week, the Toxic Profits team returned from filming in Argentina. In the most recent report from the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education's Pesticide Project, it was discovered that the United States exported more pesticides associated with cancer to Argentina than any other country in the world. For example, between 2001-2003, over 88 million pounds of pesticides associated with cancer were exported from the United States to Argentina. [1] We met with numerous people whose health, families, and communities have been adversely affected by this practice. In one town that we visited, residents reported cancer rates that were 41 times the national average in Argentina (doctors suspect that many other cases go unreported), as well as high rates of neurological and respiratory diseases, birth defects, and infant mortality. [2]

We are very pleased with our footage thus far and are currently planning on our next trip in January to visit with Yaqui communities in Sonora Mexico who have been exposed to dangerous banned pesticides exported from the US. Additionally, we have discovered the names and locations of US biochemical companies that are producing and exporting these extremely toxic pesticides, and we plan to visit them and urge them to immediately cease this practice. We will also visit our representatives in DC and share the stories we have documented and urge them to take action as well. Finally, as we begin to put together a rough cut of our film, we are going to attempt to raise additional funding to secure a trip to Bhutan, which recently announced that it plans to be the first country in the world to phase out pesticide usage completely and be 100% organic.

We will keep you updated on our progress and thanks again for making this journey possible.

Best,

Evan, Nick & Shannon

[1] http://fasenet.org/pesticide.html

[2] http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/sofia-gatica

Image-188411-full Image-188412-full Image-188413-full

 

Evan Mascagni is a Research Assistant at the California Anti-SLAPP Project (CASP), a public interest law firm and policy organization dedicated to fighting against Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) in California. Mr. Mascagni graduated summa cum laude from UDC-DCSL in 2011. While in school Mr. Mascagni was Editor-in-Chief of the UDC Law Review, was awarded the Women's Bar Association 2010 Founders Fellowship, and was awarded a Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2009, where he worked at the National Whistleblowers Center in Washington, D.C.


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