Archive for the ‘GMOs’ Category

Glyphosate Continues To Stalk Us In Our Vaccines

September 8, 2016

Despite growing research linking the effects of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, the most widely used herbicide/pesticide in the world, to our health problems, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has still not acted to take it off the market.

We know that Roundup depletes soils of rich microorganisms and plant diversity by gradually destroying soil nutrients. Proponents claim that Roundup will provide more food to feed the world. However, the world has survived to date through diversity. The reason we plant different varieties of vegetables is to ensure that most of them will survive to reproduce and feed us.

NH Biochemist Anthony Samsel and MIT Senior Research Scientist, Stephanie Seneff pioneer research on the effects of glyphosate on our health. Samsel found glyphosate in the vaccines promoted by multiple labs like Merk and Galaxo Smith Cline. The list included MMR, Proquad MMR, DPT, Hep B, PneumoVax 23, Chickenpox, Shingles, and Influenza.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Chickenpox—these are the vaccines given to our children. Shingles and Flu vaccines are targeted for adults.

Seneff researches the effects of glyphosate on our health. Seneff found that Monsanto, producer of glyphosate, initially did comprehensive studies and found that long term exposure to glyphosate caused cancer, endocrine disruptions, bone marrow disruption, and damage to lungs resulting in COPD and Asthma. Monsanto then got the EPA to agree to accept 3 month studies which of course show no problems.

It is the long term effects of Roundup that count. Glyphosate also binds with nitrates in the gut that lead to dementia.

Seneff’s research shows that by 2032, half of the boys born will have autism due to glyphosate, which triggers a manganese deficiency.

Unfortunately, there is much more to the glyphosate story. Depleted soils, destruction of worms and beneficial soil organisms, and more. We now have a derivative of Agent Orange being used to kill the weeds that have become immune to Roundup.

What can we do? For starters, we can go organic as much as possible, check our farm stands to be sure they do not use Roundup, check providers of prepared foods, rethink compulsory vaccines for school children and our use of adult flu vaccines. For more information, visit Seneff’s website: people.csail.mit.edu/seneff.

 

Glyphosate Blues

June 12, 2014

Roundup is the most widely used herbicide/pesticide in the world. Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, is currently being reviewed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to determine whether to place new restrictions on glyphosate, or to take it off the market.

We know that Roundup depletes soils of rich microorganisms and plant diversity, gradually destroying soil nutrients. Proponents claim that Roundup will provide more food to feed the world. However, the world has survived to date through diversity. The reason we plant different varieties of vegetables is to ensure that most of them will survive to reproduce and feed us.

Roundup and GMO sterile seeds are setting us up for a double whammy. The Irish Potato famine was catastrophic because so few varieties of potatoes were planted, and one blight wiped them all out. In Peru, where potatoes are said to have originated, there are hundreds of varieties of potatoes that can stand up to any given blight. Whatever organism emerges to destroy glyphosate, stands to effectively starve the world.

In response to this obvious threat, organic farmers and people concerned with maintaining soil diversity continue to call for food labeling and taking glyphosate off the market.

Monsanto and other GMO corporations continue to focus on the harmlessness of altering genes, while the real culprit that threatens our health may well be glyphosate.

Two activist groups: Moms Across America, and Thinking Moms Revolution, want the EPA to recall Mosanto’s Roundup. They recently convinced the EPA to hear them out and brought lawyers, scientists and advocates from the Organic Consumers Association, Natural Resources Defense council, Consumers Union, Beyond Pesticides, and the Truth-In-Labeling Coalition as back-up. (Google: Moms to EPA: Recall Monsanto’s Roundup)

The Moms related many health problems in their children including autism, and numerous deteriorating conditions. The children’s urine was tested for glyphosate and found to have toxic levels. Nursing mothers were also found to have toxic amounts of glyphosate in their urine that generated infant problems. However, when put on organic diets, their symptoms began to disappear.

Most of the reports I read are anecdotal accounts of individual children and mothers. There is a reason that much larger studies are not happening. Universities, particularly state universities, began as great research institutions for the public. However, Monsanto and other GMO corporations began to muzzle university research several years ago. You will now find science laboratories and programs at universities that are funded by Monsanto and other GMO corps. There is always an important string attached to their funding. The donor, i.e. Monsanto, retains the right to review all research before publication. Guess what research never sees publication? Guess what projects never get funded? Guess which researchers tend to be fired? Hence, we have many citizen groups appealing for sane controls that protect health and promote diversity.

Unless food is labeled in grocery stores, it has probably been GMO seeded and sprayed with glyphosate. Glyphosate is absorbed through the plant roots and on to anyone who eats the plant.

If you want to avoid the problems generated by glyphosate, now is a perfect time to find an Organic or Non-GMO vegetable stand, and just observe the changes in your well- being in addition to enjoying deliciously flavorful foods raised in harmony with the environment while providing jobs for local residents.

 

Corporations vs. Health

January 16, 2014

Obamacare seems to be a variation on the general theme of corporations mobilizing to control our lives at the expense of our health. How many examples do we need to experience before we wake up?  Stress brought about by corporate greed can lead to or exacerbate just about any health problem we have.

 Despite the fact that single payer health care has been found to be more economical and reliable elsewhere, it seems incredulous that the US can’t wise up and get with the program instead of feeding ever more corporate excess.

Locally, we can see corporate power at work in the attempts to make big bucks off an above ground energy transmission line that would claim destruction of forest lands, the threat of which has already created a hornet’s nest of family conflicts over property values. All this for corporate coffers when an economical underground line down existing state rights of way would make the state the recipient for the rent money and save the environment. Australia reduced its line maintenance by 80 percent by undergrounding. That is something to keep in mind when we have power outages due to downed lines during wind and snow storms and hurricanes.

 Corporations are also attacking water. The presence of bottled water at common meetings lets us know corporations have ‘massaged’ people into buying what they don’t need through their advertising. Coca Cola’s latest scam is to discourage restaurants from providing free water so that people will spend more money to have ANY liquids with a meal. The change has nothing to do with safety or digestion.

 Contaminated water from chemical and oil spills is daily reported in the US.  Citizens are being advised to accept changes in taste and odor, which in turn ratchets up the sale of bottled water by corporations.

 Everything is connected. More trees mean more holding tanks that purify natural water, more places for people to relax and coexist with other life forms, more chances to see the stars at night, and breathe in fresh oxygen. Less overhead wire means fewer accidents and ailments.

 Corporations are blocking food labeling that gives us the right to know what we are eating. These same corporations have already polluted our land with toxic pesticides and contaminated our heirloom seeds with GMO cross pollination. Big Ag corporations want to deny us the ability to choose what we eat. The White House sports an organic garden but supports Big Ag GMO foods for the rest of us.

 Significantly, Carl Gibson of Reader Supported News (1-4-14) reported that Monsanto, grower of GM crops, and Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, have an insidious relationship “invested in growing food that makes people sick when they eat it, and selling sick people the drugs to treat those conditions.”

 Even more damaging is the potential of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to affect our health. We’ve seen the destruction NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement) has wrought on vanishing jobs outsourced to foreign countries now housing US companies. The TPP is even more powerful, takes precedence over our government and threatens to send us spiraling down further.

 People are using less electricity, conserving more, and tapping into renewable energy, in spite of corporate ‘massages’. These are positive steps. However, we also need to take it to the next level and stop the TransPacificPartnership (TPP), which gives corporations even more power worldwide.  We need to contact our US Representatives (www.house.gov) and Senators (www.senate.gov) and ask them to vote NO on presidential fast tracking and the TPP.

There is No Food Shortage!

December 17, 2013

The YouTube film, Genetic Roulette, about GMO Food Labeling, covered all the bases with research we’ll never hear about on television. Television is subsidized by GMO chemical companies like Monsanto and has silencers on any negative research reporting the health, seed, or soil problems generated by GMO food production.

Despite Monsanto’s claims to feed the world, researchers the world over report that there is NO Food Shortage. The world still produces enough food for everyone. The problem is that everyone can’t afford to buy the food. Here are some of the reasons why GMO adds to the food distribution problem.

1. GMO crops don’t stand the test of time. After 4-5 years, GMO seed becomes less resistant to attack, unlike seeds that have been naturally developed for centuries to acclimatize to their specific environment.

2. Roundup depletes the soil of beneficial as well as harmful organisms, leaving a dismal farming future of failed crops.

3. Several studies demonstrate that when livestock are given the choice of GMO or Non-GMO food, they choose the Non-GMO and won’t touch GMO products. The irony is that we humans have a less discriminating sense than livestock, especially when produce is all sugared up.

Most alarming is the long string of health problems aggravated by GMO food consumption: allergies, autism, cancers, skin problems, behavioral problems, gastro-intestinal problems and on and on. We have been consuming GMO food from our supermarkets for about 40 years. Small wonder that GMO foods are most prevalent in the US where we lead the world in sickness and health care costs. Our chemical companies have brought devastating consequences as well to countries on whom they have forced their seed and chemicals.

It is probably no accident that we started needing vitamin pills in the 1940s. Only ten years earlier, Congress was arguing over allowing chemical amendments to be added to our soil. The chemical companies won and have enjoyed producing a continual expansion of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and pills ever since. That combination is a surefire money maker for corporations.

The Indian Ayurvedic system considers the digestive tract the seat of all illness. Hippocrates advised us to “Let food be your medicine.” Time to shake ourselves out of this groggy sleep state and take the necessary steps to label GMO food right out of existence along with the health problems it has spawned. How? If the label doesn’t say Non-GMO or Organic, don’t buy it. Food companies want our business.

Milk companies got the message. When people discovered that growth hormones given to stimulate increased milk production in cows also stimulates the development of huge breasts in young men and women as well, many stopped buying milk products unless they were marked ‘hormone free’. Breast reduction surgery continues to be sought actively. The GMO version of natural bovine growth hormone (BGH), developed by Monsanto,  is called recombinant Bovine Somatotrophin. The next time you buy, milk, ice cream or other milk products, be sure the container says ‘no rbST’, ‘no rBST’, or ‘no BGH’. Several milk companies label their products today.

Now for the rest of the food industry…. It’s up to each of us to call the game.

“Control Food And You Control The People”

October 2, 2011

Henry Kissinger offered the above advice in 1970. Today, we can see that what goes around, comes around.

 We seem to be intrinsically bound to slowly repeat India’s sagas. This time, it’s the GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) challenge. Vandana Shiva, the Indian physicist who tirelessly advocates for India’s farmers, informs and warns us. Over 250,000 of India’s farmers have committed suicide in the last 16 years.  Monsanto put them all out of business with the high cost of nonrenewable seed in the guise of claiming more abundant crops. Greater abundance seems to apply mainly to corporate profits. 

Shiva notes in The Nation (9/19/11) that the “biggest threat we face is the control of seed moving out of the hands of farmers and communities and into a few corporate hands. The hijacking of our food systems is the hijacking of our democracy.”

 It is chilling to note that  in the US, the 2009  Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals placed a nationwide ban on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa because the USDA had illegally approved Monsanto’s GE (Genetically Engineered) alfalfa without carrying out a proper and full Environmental Impact Statement.

 However, in 2010, the Supreme Court, with advice from Elena Kagan, the then Solicitor General, reversed the ruling. We now have two former Monsanto lawyers, Thomas and Kagan, on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court does not seem interested in supporting a study  of GMO seeds and their potential impact on human health and the environment. There is reason to expect that whatever Monsanto wants, it is in a position to get, in the US.

The 2005 US-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative (AKI) included a US  pledge of  $24 million to India through 2008. At the time of the signing in 2005, the US-India AKI had on its board representatives from Monsanto, Walmart, and ADM (Archer Daniels Midland). ADM’s annual profits include a hefty sum from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American Government, according to the CATO Institute.

 GMOs are not about feeding people. They have already been shown to produce no greater yields; they simply cost farmers more and we probably will not know the cumulative health costs for years. But they do generate fantastic corporate profits.

 Is this the main reason our administration promotes GMOs in the US and around the world while maintaining a nice, safe organic garden at the White House?

 Shiva predicts that, “We will either have a food dictatorship for a while and then a collapse of our food systems and our societies, or we will succeed in building robust food democracies, resting on resilient ecosystems and resilient communities. There is still a chance for the second alternative.”

 To keep each other well, we need to listen up, observe, and act. One such opportunity will be on October 15-16: Millions Against Monsanto weekend, organized to legally  mandate that all GMO foods be labeled. In Europe, people know that food labeling is what keeps them in control of their food.

The Myth of the Holy Cow and Cow Culture Health

September 18, 2011

Humans repeat patterns of cultures so predictably that it’s fascinating to study older cultures, with all their myths, and see where we are in the timeline of repetition. For example, India’s myth of the Holy Cow has nothing to do with the Veda texts. The Vedas contain contradictory passages of ritual slaughter and consumption taboos.

 Cow killing stopped gradually as castes developed in response to population explosion. India needed soil and draft animals for its agrarian society. To dissuade people from eating beef, leaders promoted the Vedic principle of  ‘ahimsa,’ which means non-violence or non-harming. Today, India’s oxen continue to be used 50/50 with tractors and much of the milk is provided by water buffalo, which has a higher fat content than cow’s milk.

The cow myth is currently being strongly debated in India. Historian, Dwijendra Narayan Jha documents the discrepancies in his controversial book,  Holy Cow: Beef  in Indian Dietary Conditions. He notes that by 300 B.C. “the forested Ganges Valley became a windswept semi-desert and signs of ecological collapse appeared; droughts and floods became commonplace, erosion took away rich topsoil.” 

There’s no denying the parallels between conditions that started the Holy Cow belief in India and what is happening in the US today. Our history demonstrates a variation on the same theme. However, it has only taken us a few hundred years to reach a similar state.

When the settlers arrived in 1620, or a few years later, they brought cows with them. Bison were the only bovines here. They were wild, west of the Appalachians, and never lent themselves to domestication. Native Americans valued their lean, high energy meat and used every part of the bison for food, clothes, tools, blankets, and more.

However, the settlers were accustomed to domesticated cows whose meat was marbled with fat due to being tethered, or otherwise restricted from roaming and finding wild grasses. Their meat was tender and the fat stimulated appetites.

The settlers learned to grow corn and fed it as silage to their cattle. Due to the high sugar content of corn, cows became even fatter and their marbled meat was prized; it made excellent gravies for roasted meat. For broiled steaks, the fat was spooned up as a delicacy at the table.

As more people came to America, and the population expanded west, ranchers needed grazing land for their cattle business. Since Native Americans were already there, ranchers decided that if they killed all the bison, the native people would head for Canada and they’d have unlimited land. Many native people who didn’t go to Canada remained and starved to death. Those who survived became customers for ranchers.

Step two was to grow the cattle business. When the herds pulled grass up by the roots, soil began to erode, draining topsoil of its nutrients. Ranchers continued to feed cattle corn, which was difficult for cattle to digest.

By 1960, we began to see sick beef, sick chicken and other sick foods in our markets. People were finding growths and demanded regulations. In 1960, rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) appeared. In cows, it increased their milk production and in steer, their bulk. The industry claimed that there was no interaction between rBGH and human growth hormones and that cooking the meat and pasteurizing the milk destroyed the hormones anyway. Research to the contrary was discounted.

Fifty years later, the evidence is clear as we look around and note that young women, raised on plenty of beef and milk, now struggle with huge breasts. Men are also developing large breasts and both men and women are electing to have breast reduction surgery.

Do we want this trend to continue? Are we headed for a time when our caste system invents a myth to reduce beef consumption for most of our people while continuing to be consumed by the few?

A pivotal time may be eminent as corn rootworm becomes resistant to Monsanto’s GMO seed and Roundup, as it is in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota.

Currently, giving cattle growth hormones when they are 300 days old and then putting them in holding pens on a steady corn diet for several months, means they are big enough to slaughter at 15 months of age. Grass fed cattle mature in 2-3 years. If genetically engineered corn is allowed to wipe out heirloom strains of corn, and suddenly becomes vulnerable to root rot on a grand scale, we could repeat the same scenario India faced in 300 B.C.

It is time for us to check current research about our foods, and change what can be changed, to keep each other well. In this information age, we can no longer claim, “If we only knew.”

Is It Time to Round Up Roundup?

August 22, 2011

On 8/12/11, Carey Gillam (Reuters) quoted Bob Kremer, a microbiologist with the US Dept. of Agriculture. Kremer said that repeated use of the chemical glyphosate, which is the key ingredient of Roundup herbicide, effects plant roots and may be causing fungal root disease. He further noted that weed resistance is also evident and the genetically modified plants (GMOs) don’t yield more than conventional crops, likely due to root disease problems.

 Other researchers raise possible links between glyphosate and cancer, miscarriages, and other health problems in people and livestock. However, neither the USDA  nor the Environmental Protection Agency appear interested in researching areas of safety and health relative to Roundup use.

 It behooves us to pay attention to the cracks in the GMO approach for global food security.

 First, a little history of the use of our land-grant college system: Originally, state colleges were federally funded for  scientific research to aid farmers and feed millions of Americans. Researchers constructively criticized each other and shared ideas openly. What they learned remained in the public domain; it made the news.

 Then, federal funds were cut drastically to land-grant colleges. Here was an opening for corporations to step in and fund research, and they did. But their funds have strings attached. Corporations decide what topics scientists may research, when they can do it, and by whom the results are approved before publication.

 In 1980, the Supreme court decided that Terminator genes could be patented just as if they were a new machine or toy. This gave public universities the incentive to create marketable products. It also put an end to open sharing of ideas and keeping the public informed in the competition to come up with new gene patents.

 Corporations began donating buildings and faculty positions to universities. At Texas A&M, there is a DOW Chemical Prof. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering position. At Iowa State, Monsanto funded an auditorium that bears its name, as well as the Monsanto Graduate Fellowships. The fellowships focus special emphasis on seed policy for the protection of intellectual property rights. Hello private profit, goodbye public domain.

 In other words, there won’t be money to study non-GMOs. There won’t be money to study adverse health effects of GMO foods. Such results would never be approved by scientists paid by corporations to discredit negative findings. There won’t be money to compare crop yields and cost comparisons over time.

 The university funding list is long and alarming when you consider that Senators Lugar and Casey tried to promote a Global Food Security Act (S. 384) through congress that would provide billions of federal research funds ONLY for GMO research.

 Over 100 scientific organizations petitioned to oppose S. 384 until the bill is made technology-neutral. The bill was not passed but we all need to be on the alert for future strategies. Funding for agricultural research remains compromised.

 With Farmers Markets in full swing, now is a great time to check out how much GMO food we consume. Is it time to round up the Roundup before more problems are created?  The more we question, the sooner we’ll have more reliable choices to keep each other well.