News regarding the dangers of GMOs and biotech, and the advantages of organic sustainable agriculture.
Strawberries remain at the top of the Dirty Dozen™ list of the EWG Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, with spinach jumping to second place in the annual ranking of conventionally grown produce with the most pesticide residues. EWG's analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventional produce were contaminated with residues of one or more pesticides. USDA researchers found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples they analyzed. The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.
A few years ago, Dr. Stephanie Senneff of MIT made a prediction that by 2025, half of American children will be born with autism, or at least different individual aspects of the autism disorder spectrum. Yes, she mentioned the toxins in vaccines that are forced into infants, but also included another toxin, glyphosate. Dr. Seneff and her partner Dr. Anthony Samsel claim there is a harmful synergism of glyphosate from foods with the toxic ingredients of vaccines that are accelerating the rise of autism spectrum disorders, whether diagnosed as learning or language deficits, hyperactivity, seizures, or the classic complete withdrawal from all social stimulus. In a recently published study, three triplets, two boys considered autistic and a third female with seizure issues and learning disorders, were tested for glyphosate initially and again after a period of organic food only as their diets. The results were interestingly expected. As their glyphosate levels dropped their autistic conditions diminished accordingly.
Due to the popularity of gluten-free food items, and the rise of digestive disorders related to wheat allergies, much of the public believes that our modern wheat supplies are grown from genetically modified seeds. But this is not the case. There are currently no approved genetically modified varieties of wheat in the market place. That may soon be changing in Europe, however, as the Rothamsted Research group working in collaboration with researchers from the University of Essex and Lancaster University has reportedly received approval in the U.K. to begin trials of genetically modified wheat.
Over a decade ago, Scotts partnered with Monsanto to market a GM bentgrass resistant to glyphosate (Roundup). It was planted next to the Malheur National Forest in test plots ostensibly controlled by Oregon State University. Unbeknownst to most people, it was also planted all over the US—in California, Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and seventeen other states. It was supposed to be confined and controlled, but it very quickly escaped and spread out of the test plots in Oregon into Idaho, and crossbred with natural grasses to create new breeds that were also resistant to glyphosate. It clogged up irrigation ditches, threatening food crops and contaminating pasture-raised cattle with GMOs. In addition to the immediate threats to farmers and ranchers, grass seed—which is among Oregon’s top five commodities—is now under threat. Initially, Scotts-Monsanto tried to stop the spread and clean up the contamination. But it was unable to do so because the original bentgrass (and now the other grasses it cross-pollinated with) are glyphosate-resistant. More toxic herbicides have been brought in to try to keep irrigation ditches clear, and to stop the grasses from clogging and eventually killing waterways important to wildlife and humans.
If you started your day with a bowl of oatmeal, Cheerios or even organic cage-free eggs, there's a good chance you consumed a small amount of glyphosate residue along with it. Likewise, if you've recently snacked on popular brands of crackers, tortilla chips and pita chips, or consumed beer or wine. As the results of increasing numbers of independent tests come in, it's becoming increasingly clear that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, is showing up virtually everywhere — in our food, water and even in baby food and women's breastmilk. It's not altogether surprising — glyphosate is the most heavily-used agricultural chemical in history — but it is incredibly concerning. The health risks of glyphosate, though downplayed by the chemical's makers, are accumulating daily. A recently published study shows even small amounts of glyphosate in the diet can cause liver damage.
Agriculture has undergone massive changes over the past several decades. Many of them were heralded as progress that would save us from hunger and despair. Yet today, we're faced with a new set of problems, birthed from the very innovations and interventions that were meant to provide us with safety and prosperity. For decades, food production has been all about efficiency and lowering cost. We now see what this approach has brought us — skyrocketing disease statistics and a faltering ecosystem. Fortunately, we already know what needs to be done. It's just a matter of implementing the answers on a wider scale. We need farmers to shift over to regenerative practices that stops depleting our soil and fresh water supplies. Frustratingly, farmers are often held back from making much needed changes by government subsidy programs that favor monocropping and crop insurance rules that dissuade regenerative farming practices.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect at least 2 million Americans every year. At least 23,000 die as a result. The growing threat of antibiotic-resistant disease is one of the biggest health threats facing the globe, yet, unlike some other pressing health threats, it has a clear and well-known cause: overuse of antibiotics. “The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, explaining “simply using antibiotics creates resistance.” The drugs are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in human medicine, and up to 50 percent of the time they’re prescribed when not needed or using incorrect dosing or duration, according to the CDC. This is problematic, but it pales in comparison to the use of antibiotics in food animals, which is driving rates of antibiotic resistance sky high.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease involving several protein mutations in glycine-rich regions with limited treatment options. 90 - 95% of all cases are non-familial with epidemiological studies showing a significant increased risk in glyphosate-exposed workers. In this paper, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, plays a role in ALS, mainly through mistakenly substituting for glycine during protein synthesis, disruption of mineral homeostasis as well as setting up a state of dysbiosis. Mouse models of ALS reveal a pre-symptomatic profile of gut dysbiosis.
Weed killer used on GMOs may be wreaking havoc on Americans’ guts. Action Alert! Feeding GM food soaked in Monsanto’s Roundup causes liver and kidney problems, fertility issues, tumors, fatigue, paralysis, allergic reactions, and more in animal studies. Now it appears that some GMO foods may be perforating your stomach as well.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decisions (Nov. 18, 2016) on whether federal and Hawai'i state laws preempt Hawai'i counties' authority to regulate genetically engineered (GE) crops and pesticide use. Of significance to state and local communities throughout the U.S., the Ninth Circuit ruled that federal law—specifically, the Plant Protection Act—does not prohibit states and counties from passing local laws to regulate and ban commercially-grown GE crops. "Today's decision to allow states and counties to ban or regulate GE crops is an important victory for GE-free seed sanctuaries and small communities and farmers around the country," George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety, said.