News regarding the dangers of GMOs and biotech, and the advantages of organic sustainable agriculture.
Antibiotic-resistant disease is a major health threat around the globe, such that illnesses once easily treatable with the drugs are now becoming deadly. The cause of the antibiotic-resistance epidemic is quite straightforward: overuse of antibiotics. “Resistant bacteria are more common in settings where antibiotics are frequently used: health care settings, the community and food animal production,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states — and the latter category is of utmost importance. The majority of antibiotics in the U.S. aren’t used in health care settings for humans; they’re used in industrial agriculture, primarily in low, steady doses for purposes of “disease prevention” (which also has the “side effect” of growth promotion, making the animals get bigger, faster). Despite this, exactly how and in what numbers antibiotics are used on U.S farms is a mystery, in large part because, as Wired put it, the data “isn’t considered an obligation owed to public health … it’s a political football.”
Criminal Fertilizer Company that Already Settled $2 BILLION Lawsuit Wants 18,000 More Acres in Florida
Most health conscious and environmentally concerned people understand the problems facing us today due to modern agricultural and biotech practices. In the U.S. today, less than 1% of our population is producing the food for the country. When the U.S. was founded, about 90% of the population was involved in agriculture, and by the time Abraham Lincoln became president, that number still stood at around 50% of the population producing food for the country. Today, traditional small-scale sustainable farming is rare and has been replaced by biotech and the mass production of food. GMO food, along with the contamination of the food supply by pesticides and herbicides, is fairly well known today. But there is one aspect of modern-day agriculture that often slips under the radar of public awareness that is as ecologically harmful to human health or even worse. It is the worldwide phosphate fertilizer industry. And it is especially out of control here in America, in China, and in other regions to lesser extents. Florida’s phosphate industries supply 75 percent of U.S. fertilizers. Now the world’s largest phosphate mining and manufacturing company, Mosaic Fertilizer, is looking to grab more land in Florida with the usual carrot of economic development, put simply, more local jobs. Those who know the history and methods of this industry are trying to convince ignorant citizens and county commissioners that the risks far outweigh the benefits promised, even if actually fulfilled. Mosaic Fertilizer has already settled a $2 billion lawsuit to clean up 60 billion pounds of hazardous waste in Florida and Louisiana - one of the largest federal lawsuits ever settled. Now it wants to grab even more land in Florida, seeking 18,000 acres for strip mining.
More bad news for beer drinkers! We have previously reported about the problem beer drinkers face today with most beers being contaminated with glyphosate, the active ingredient in the world's most used herbicide, Round Up. In the United States, beer makers have had a hard time finding uncontaminated barley, a staple in most beer making recipes. This is due to the fact that barley, along with other crops grown in the northern climates, is desiccated at harvest time with glyphosate to control the harvest before snow comes. A report out of Germany also confirmed that Germany's top beers, known world-wide for their high standards of quality, were also contaminated with glyphosate. Now, it is being reported that genetic engineers in California are developing a GMO version to hops, to create "fake beer."
The recent Monsanto-Bayer merger has been approved by both American and European continent authorities, merging two of the world's top seed biotech companies and producers of genetically modified seeds. Bayer, a company based out of Germany, is a name most often associated with aspirin in the United States and around the world. But even before this merger, they already hold a huge market share of seed production. Bayer is somewhat constrained in developing their GMO products, as Germany bans the cultivation of GMO crops. Most of Bayer's GMO development is done in the USA, and by purchasing Monsanto, they will become, by far, the largest GMO company in the world. This has prompted some to refer to the Bayer-Monsanto merger as "A Marriage Made in Hell."
African Use of Ants and Intercropping to Fight Armyworm Pests in Corn Crops More Effective than GMOs
Recently GMWatch reported on attempts by the GMO lobby to persuade African countries to accept GM Bt maize to fight the fall armyworm pest, which is spreading across the continent and ravaging maize crops. But the lobbyists omitted to mention that GM Bt insecticidal maize targeting the fall armyworm has already failed in different regions due to pests becoming resistant to the GM Bt toxins in the crop. The lobbyists also ignored the fact that agroecological methods, such as attracting ants to feed on armyworm eggs, are proving successful. Now we've been alerted to another agroecological and non-GMO method that is working well in Africa as a defence against the fall armyworm. The method, a climate-adapted version of Push-Pull, is being spearheaded by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), a multinational government-funded organisation that supports poverty alleviation and food security.
A local private buying club in Minneapolis, known as Uptown Locavore, was raided and shut down by the Health Department earlier this month (May, 2018). Even though there were apparently no complaints, and no one reporting any illness due to the food being sold in this private market, the city of Minneapolis decided to shut them down, stating that they did not have proper retail licenses, and that some of their food was "dangerous" because they were selling fresh raw milk and meat that had not been USDA inspected, according to ABC 5 KSTP. Will Winter, the owner of the market, links members of his buyer's club with up to 50 different farmers. He disagrees that the club was operating illegally without licenses, because it is not a retail store, but a private club. "The reason this is legal is it's a private transaction between consenting adults... Never a complaint, never made anyone sick, never had any questions about our food."
A California Superior Court ruled last week that a man dying of cancer, who is suing Monsanto, can present evidence that Monsanto covered up research linking glyphosate to cancer. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup, the world's most prevalent herbicide used in agriculture, that has been found in 93% of Americans' urine, most mothers' breast milk, and is probably residing inside of every person alive on planet Earth. Provided that the trial will go forward without any more legal maneuvering by Monsanto, 46-year-old DeWayne Johnson, who has terminal cancer and only months left to live, will take the stand against Monsanto in a California court on June 18, in what is being called a "Landmark Lawsuit." Last week Judge Curtis Karnow issued an order clearing the way for jurors to consider not just scientific evidence related to what caused Johnson’s cancer, but allegations that Monsanto suppressed evidence of the risks of its weed killing products. Karnow ruled that the trial will proceed and a jury would be allowed to consider possible punitive damages. There are more than 4,000 other cancer victims who have filed lawsuits against Monsanto since the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a report linking glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma back in 2015. Therefore, should this case actually make it to trial, and DeWayne Johnson gets his day in court before a jury, it could set quite a precedent.
Glyphosate-based herbicide caused adverse health effects in rats at a dose claimed to be safe by regulators, according to a new study. Glyphosate herbicides are used on the vast majority of all GM crops worldwide. The study used the US Environmental Protection Agency’s acceptable daily dietary exposure level of glyphosate – 1.75 mg per kg of bodyweight per day. The same concentration was given to the rats daily over a 3-month period. The study was focused on the newborn, infancy and adolescence phases of life. The results reveal that glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH) was able to alter certain important biological parameters, mainly relating to sexual development, genotoxicity, and the intestinal microbiome. The effects occurred at a dose deemed safe by regulators to ingest on a daily basis over a long-term period. In human-equivalent terms the dosing period corresponded to the period from the embryo stage to 18 years of age.
People living in an Argentine town in the heart of the GM soy and maize growing area suffer miscarriages at three times and birth defects at twice the national average rate, a new study shows. In addition, the study found a correlation between a high environmental exposure to glyphosate and an increased frequency of reproductive disorders (miscarriage and birth defects).
The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public input on the health impacts of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. But despite mounting evidence, the EPA continues to ignore glyphosate’s hazards, and it looks like Monsanto’s under-the-table influence may be a reason why. Monsanto has launched a campaign to pressure the EPA into declaring glyphosate safe. It is terrified of losing the profits from selling this ubiquitous herbicide. The use of glyphosate on U.S. farmland has exploded in recent years. A recent study found that Americans’ exposure to the pesticide has increased fivefold since it was first introduced more than 20 years ago.