News regarding the dangers of GMOs and biotech, and the advantages of organic sustainable agriculture.
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.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — not to be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) — is an autoimmune disease that can have very serious consequences. (IBS, on the other hand, is a functional bowel disorder. In other words, there are no significant physical conditions that contribute to the problem; hence it's a functional disease.) According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IBD affects more than 3 million American adults, nearly triple previous estimates.1 There are two types of IBD: Crohn's disease Ulcerative colitis Both of these IBD conditions involve chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, fatigue and diarrhea. IBD also raises your risk of developing colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in the U.S.
Recently we reported that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft report on the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. This was in advance of a meeting in which a panel of scientists would discuss the available data on glyphosate and its potential to cause cancer—but that meeting never happened. It was postponed, ostensibly because the agency was seeking additional experts so there could be a more “robust review of the data.” The biotech industry is going all out to stop this review. CropLife America, the trade group for the nation’s largest biotech and pesticide manufacturers, strenuously objected to the government reviewing the cancer data, telling the EPA that there is no need to discuss the issue at all! Outrageously, CropLife also called for the removal of any scientist from the panel who has “publicly expressed an opinion regarding the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.” The trade group kindly offered the names of scientists who should be removed from the reviewing panel to restore “impartiality.”