Consumer activist Ida Honorof died on March 5, 2007. She was 93 years old. Ida’s activism began when as a teenager she was arrested during a protest against the rising price of bread. After raising a family, at the age of 40 her passion for the environment was ignited after reading Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring. She was soon broadcasting a weekly radio program “Report to the Consumer” on listener-supported radio station KPFK in Los Angeles. Report to the Consumer was broadcast for over 20 years. During this same period she self-published a bi-monthly newsletter of the same title. During her time of activism she addressed hundreds of environmental and health concerns. In 1973 her reporting on the Monitor 4 (pesticide) contamination of head lettuce sold in supermarkets won her an Associated Press award for investigative journalism. She marched with Caesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers in order to publicize the severe health problems of farmworkers exposed to pesticides used in the fields. She was among the first to point out the dangers of diethystilbestrol, a cancer producing hormone used to fatten beef cattle. She was instrumental in informing consumers that our national forests were being sprayed with defoliants 2,4D, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-DP banned from military use in Vietnam. She moved to northern California in 1987 to be near her family. Soon after arrival she began organizing hearings which gave the community an opportunity to speak out against pulp mill pollutants, especially dioxin. These hearings ultimately resulted in the mills changing from a chlorine (dioxin-producing) process to the cleaner oxygen processing method. She loved to watchdog agencies entrusted with public protection. She would routinely visit the county offices of Environmental Health asking to inspect their storage of pesticides relaying upon her return: “They shit a brick whenever they see me coming.” She was most proud of the Rachel Carson Award she received in 1983 for protection of the environment. In 1992 she was honored by the Northcoast Environmental Center as being “ a one-person environmental corporation.. .working on behalf of clean air, clean water and pure food for decades”
Her family would like to also mention in addition to being a loving, beloved, hard-working mother, she was an incredible cook, passing on recipes from her Russian-born mother.
She is survived by her children: Donald, Richard (Feryl Honorof), Ben (Donna Honorof) and Faye (Bob Stockwell); grandchildren: Kimberly Cuenca, Michael Honorof, Henry Honorof Kraemer: great grandchildren: Melia and Arielle Cuenca. Her family would like to thank her care-givers at Chamberlain’s Care Home: Gina Chamberlain, Michelle, Nikki, Linda, Angel and Shalyn. You are all unsung heroes. You were able to meet the challenges she brought with compassion, tolerance and affection going way beyond the call of duty. A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Martin Smukler for his never-ending responsiveness and kind-hearted doctoring.
In lieu of flowers, Ida would have requested donations to the Northcoast Environmental Center.
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