News regarding the dangers of GMOs and biotech, and the advantages of organic sustainable agriculture.

Most Beers and Wines Tested are Contaminated with Glyphosate

Most of us take it for granted that the food and drinks we buy from the store are not putting our health at risk. However, new research from public health groups and scientists from the past several years indicates that food and drinks are contaminated with glyphosate, the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. This is a potential health problem because in 2015 the World Health Organization found that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, and in 2017, the state of California agreed. To explore how much Roundup we’re drinking, U.S. PIRG tested beer and wine for glyphosate/Roundup. As we’ve confirmed in this study, Roundup is found in beer and wine (including organic).

100 Percent of Oat Products Tested Positive for Weedkiller Glyphosate

Oat-based foods, such as oatmeal, cereals and bread, are considered by many to be a healthy dietary addition, but if you eat such foods know that you’re probably getting herbicide residues along with them. In testing done by Friends of the Earth (FOE), 100 percent of oat cereal samples tested positive for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide.

Brucella Infection Outbreak Blamed on Raw Milk Producers Turns out to be Caused by Brucella Vaccine in Commercial Dairies

Recent headlines about a Brucella outbreak in 19 states blamed raw milk dairies. But one raw milk dairy in Pennsylvania has sent out an email update to its customers explaining that the Brucella outbreak is actually "an antibiotic resistant, modified live strain of Brucella that veterinarians give to cows as a vaccination." The farm in this brucellosis case was not even licensed or permitted for raw milk sales. Raw milk producers that are allowed to produce raw milk legally in some states (many states do not allow it all), must pass much more stringent sanitary inspections than even commercial dairies. As we have reported for many years here at Health Impact News, conscientious dairy farmers who choose to market a high-end product directly to the consumer are a threat to the subsidized commercial dairy industry. These brave farmers have endured a lot of persecution from government regulatory bodies who try to shut them down, and deny consumers access to a healthier, and safer, dairy product. Here is the letter from Pennsylvania farmer Edwin Shank setting the record straight on this most recent attack against raw milk dairy farmers.

America’s Fraudulent Organics Industry: 40% of All Organic Food Tested Positive for Prohibited Pesticides

A Missouri farmer has been charged with ripping off food companies and consumers by falsely marketing more than $140 million worth of corn, soybeans, and wheat as organic. Observers have called the scale of this fraud “jaw dropping” and likely the largest case of its kind involving US farmers. The level of deception in the organic industry has reached epidemic proportions: a USDA study found that 40% of all organic food sold in the US tested positive for prohibited pesticides. This is an outrage, but the USDA shows no signs of deviating from business as usual.

Judge Rules Monsanto’s Attempts to Ghostwrite Studies and Influence Findings of Scientists and Regulators to be Allowed in Court

A federal judge overseeing lawsuits alleging Bayer AG's glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer causes cancer on Monday tentatively allowed pieces of controversial evidence that the company had hoped to exclude from upcoming trials. The company denies allegations that glyphosate causes cancer and says decades of independent studies have shown the chemical to be safe for human use. Chhabria on Monday said plaintiffs could introduce some evidence of Monsanto's alleged attempts to ghostwrite studies and influence the findings of scientists and regulators during the first phase of upcoming trials. He said documents which showed the company taking a position on the science or a study introduced during the first phase were "super relevant."

New USDA “Mandatory” GMO Labeling Rule Allows Loopholes to Let Companies Hide GMO Ingredients

The USDA has released its final GMO labeling rule, and it’s not good. As we feared when the agency released its proposal earlier this year, the so-called GMO labeling law will apply only to a narrow set of foods. Congress and the USDA have offered a number of loopholes and exemptions to food companies, undermining any semblance of a consumer’s right to know. It’s as if the USDA asked the food industry to write the rule themselves.

French Court Cancels Monsanto Weedkiller Permit on Safety Grounds

A French court cancelled the licence for one of Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkillers on Tuesday over safety concerns, placing an immediate ban on Roundup Pro 360 in the latest legal blow to the Bayer-owned business. A court in Lyon in southeast France ruled that the approval granted by French environment agency ANSES in 2017 for Roundup Pro 360 had failed to take into account potential health risks.

Report: Costco to Stop Selling Glyphosate-based Roundup Weed Killer

Zen Honeycutt, the leader of Moms Across America, announced this week that Costco will not be selling the glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup Ready. In a live video update posted on Facebook, Honeycutt stated that she received word that Costco was no longer selling Roundup or glyphosate-based herbicides. While she has reportedly not received any official word yet from Costco, she stated that she has talked to various people at the headquarters and various regional offices to confirm this news. Honeycutt stated that based on the recent lawsuit against Monsanto in 2018, where a jury awarded damages to a man with terminal cancer resulting from exposure to glyphosate, Costco had decided to stop carrying the product. Moms Across America also sponsored a petition on Change.org that received over 89,000 signatures asking Costco, Lowes, and Home Depot to stop selling Roundup. It is hoped that Home Depot and Lowes will now follow Costco's example.

After 80 Years, Hemp, the Non-psychoactive Cousin of Marijuana, is Legal Again in the U.S.

United States’ hemp agriculture has been given the “green light” in the 2019 Farm Bill. President Trump signed the 2019 Farm Bill that was passed by both the Senate, with an 87 to 13 vote, while the House voted it into law with a 369 to 47 count. President Trump signed it into law on December 20th, 2018. It includes a clause that legalizes hemp agriculture throughout the entire United States. What had been a valued commodity for thousands of years among varied cultures, including America until immediately after WWII, has been a viable cash crop denied to American farmers, till now. Even though many of our U.S. founding fathers grew hemp as an agricultural product in the 1700s, it has been illegal to grow in the U.S. for over 80 years. From circa 1960 to now, hemp advocates have been constantly campaigning to bring hemp agriculture and hemp products back into open commerce. Hemp advocates have tended to promote the superiority of many hemp products over ecologically-destructive material sources for paper, clothing, plastics, and even building materials. But it appears that what has finally swayed the nation’s lawmakers was the fact that many farmers need this agricultural option to improve their lot for a variety of reasons.

Africans Paid 69 Cents an Hour to be Bitten in GMO Mosquito Trial

Under the headline, Malaria trial pays Africans to be bitten, The Times of London reports that human “guinea pigs” in the West African state of Burkina Faso are being paid to expose themselves to mosquitoes that could potentially carry malaria or other diseases. Although the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested $70 million in the project, The Times reports that about 25 African “volunteers” in the village of Bana are being paid just 69 cents (£0.55) an hour to expose their legs for six hours a night to all mosquitoes in their local environment, as part of a GMO mosquito trial. The villagers taking part have been given information sheets warning them that they could be bitten by a mosquito and be “infected by malaria or another sickness transmitted by the mosquito”. According to The Times, for each six-hour shift, between dawn and dusk when the insects are most active, the villagers are paid just $4.17 (£3.30) a night “to compensate for fatigue and time given”. As part of this, they are expected to try and capture the mosquitoes that come to bite them. The information sheet also says they will be tested regularly for malaria.