Global Research
June 13, 2013
By Friends of the Earth
Region: Europe

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People in 18 countries across Europe have been found to have traces of the weed killer glyphosate in their urine, show the results of tests commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and released today [1].

The findings raise concerns about increasing levels of exposure to glyphosate-based weed killers, commonly used by farmers, public authorities and gardeners across Europe. The use of glyphosate is predicted to rise further if more genetically modified (GM) crops are grown in Europe [2].

Despite its widespread use, there is currently little monitoring of glyphosate in food, water or the wider environment. This is the first time monitoring has been carried out across Europe for the presence of the weed killer in human bodies.

Friends of the Earth Europe’s spokesperson Adrian Bebb said:

“Most people will be worried to discover they may have weed killer in their bodies. We tested people living in cities in 18 countries and found traces in every country. These results suggest we are being exposed to glyphosate in our everyday lives, yet we don’t know where it is coming from, how widespread it is in the environment, or what it is doing to our health.


“Our testing highlights a serious lack of action by public authorities across Europe and indicates that this weed killer is being widely overused. Governments need to step-up their monitoring and bring in urgent measures to reduce its use. This includes rejecting any genetically modified crops that would increase the use of glyphosate.”

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GreenMedInfo
June 10th 2013
By: Alan Phillips, J.D.

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Pediatrician and pro-vaccine advocate Dr. Paul Offit, who once said a child can safely receive 10,000 vaccines at once, has spoken out repeatedly against vaccine religious exemptions, implying that his opinion is more important than the fundamental moral tenets of a variety of world religions.

Pediatrician and pro-vaccine advocate Dr. Paul Offit has spoken out repeatedly against vaccine religious exemptions. For example, in one speech (http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/transcript-offit-speech.pdf), he implies that since the Old and New Testaments and the Qur'an predate vaccines, these religions can't be opposed to vaccines. Sadly, Offit appears to suffer from a largely undiagnosed condition common among medical doctors, egoencephalitis (inflammation of the ego part of the brain), which causes its victims to mistakenly believe that their medical degree bestows upon them infinite, authoritative knowledge about everything. Surely one of the 250 vaccines currently in clinical trials or awaiting FDA approval addresses this concern, so there may be hope yet for Dr. Offit.

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Food Freedom News

by geobear7 • 10Jun2013

By AFP


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More pest species are becoming resistant to the most popular type of genetically-modified, insect-repellent crops, but not in areas where farmers follow expert advice, a study said on Monday.

The paper delves into a key aspect of so-called Bt corn and cotton — plants that carry a gene to make them exude a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis, which is toxic to insects.

Publishing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, US and French researchers analysed the findings of 77 studies from eight countries on five continents that reported on data from field monitors.

Of 13 major pest species examined, five were resistant by 2011, compared with only one in 2005, they found. The benchmark was resistance among more than 50 percent of insects in a location.

Of the five species, three were cotton pests and two were corn pests.

Three of the five cases of resistance were in the United States, which accounts for roughly half of Bt crop plantings, while the others were in South Africa and India.

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GreenMedInfo
June 9th 2013
By: Nathan Daley, MD, MPH



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OMG, GMOs!

You might ask, "why all the fuss about agricultural genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?" After all, regulatory agencies have approved these technologies for widespread application and consumption, so they must be safe, right? Well, the truth is that there is no agency and no industry that works to protect our health. At best, the EPA, USDA, and FDA attempt to respond to our disease after the cause is widespread. At that point only risk reduction, rather than risk avoidance, can be achieved. This has been the case historically with radium paint, tobacco, particulate air pollution, water pollution, asbestos, lead, food-borne illnesses, and DDT. A number of the various 80,000 chemicals in production will likely be added to this list in the future while the majority of them that actually do contribute to disease (often in combination and in complex ways) will never be scientifically associated with disease. This is because science is far from perfect, scientific methodology is always biased and often manipulated, and scientific interpretation by stakeholders and decision makers is alarmingly inept (I'm not being political or condescending, these are well known and easily observed facts).

The situation with agricultural GMOs is unique compared to other technologies. While genetic engineering of food crops has been ongoing for 15 years, it is currently experiencing a major boom with the potential for widespread worldwide application. Yet, few people understand how a GMO food could really be so much different than a non-GMO food in regard to health and disease effects. GMO foods look like non-GMO foods and so we don't experience the same hesitation and aversion to consuming them like we would, say, a clearly labeled bottle of virus and pesticide in tomato juice. Therefore, the quality of public education, consumer awareness, and informed public discussion about this technology has the potential to alter the future of GMO agriculture for better or worse.

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CCHR

By Kelly Patricia O’Meara

June 7, 2013

While the White House has just announced its support of sweeping mental health programs that will lead to more children being targeted for mental health “treatment,” the Vatican is spearheading an investigational conference into the harmful effects of psychiatric drugs on children.

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Upcoming Vatican Conference, “The Child as a Person and as a Patient: Therapeutic Approaches Compared”

The conference brings together professionals to discuss the harmful consequences of overusing prescription drugs for treating mental and emotional disorders in children, as well as how a similar trend is hurting pregnant mothers. According to the Catholic News agency, the conference hopes to prove that “psychosocial options” are better than “psychotropic care.” Experts taking part in the conference also hope to show that the risks heavily outweigh the benefits of the drugs.

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ProPublica
June 6, 2013
by Christie Thompson




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(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the Guardian published documents revealing the government has been collecting months’ worth of telephone “metadata” on millions of Verizon customers. The Washington Post and the Guardian followed with news that both the National Security Agency and the FBI have been pulling Americans’ data from major web companies like Facebook and Google.

Since 9/11, the government has been collecting enormous amounts of information on citizens. But most of the data grabbing is done in secret. What do we know about what the government knows? Here’s our reading guide to the government growing surveillance.

Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts , New York Times, December 2005

In 2005, the New York Times broke the story of warrantless wiretapping under President George W. Bush. The National Security Agency previously listened in on calls in which both parties were abroad, but monitoring expanded under Bush to include U.S. calls and emails made to overseas contacts. Officials said it was an attempt to track “dirty numbers” that were linked to al Qaida.

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Common Dreams

May 31, 2013

"Our trading partners do not want genetically modified wheat"

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer


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A wheat field in Oregon. (Photo: Elias Gayles/cc/flickr)

The U.S. wheat industry is reaping the swift global repercussions of the genetic pollution caused by Monsanto's rogue glyphosate-resistant wheat on an Oregon farm.

"This will have an impact worldwide, because our trading partners do not want genetically modified wheat," Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union, told Bloomberg.

Katsuhiro Saka, a counselor at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, added, "In most countries the unapproved genetically modified wheat would be a target of concern."

Already, as the New York Times reports,

Japan and South Korea suspended some imports of American wheat, and the European Union urged its 27 nations to increase testing, after the United States government disclosed this week that a strain of genetically engineered wheat that was never approved for sale was found growing in an Oregon field.

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GreenMedInfo

June 2nd 2013

By: Sayer Ji, Founder

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Photo credit: Ginkgo tree with therapod dinosaurs and several extinct birds from various periods within the Mesozoic era. (John Agnew)

Those interested in learning how to enhance their longevity may want to look to Gingko Biloba, whose very existence today as a "living fossil" speaks volumes to its ability to survive conditions that would otherwise kill or dramatically shorten the lifespan of most other species.

There is a thread of biological immortality woven into all things that are living. Anything that breathes or pulsates with life today contains within its germline genetic information that originated from a last universal common ancestor (LUCA), and from which all living things -- plants, bacteria, fungi and animal included -- descended. While somatic cells within multicellular organisms perish, their germline stem cells are capable of infinite self-replication, which in the case of gingko biloba, has been going on for at least a quarter of a billion years.

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Farm Wars

Barbara H. Peterson

Normally I don’t put too much stock in petitions, but one has got my attention. It is the petition put out by Colleen Mellor and Nomi C. to ban GMOs worldwide. Here is what they say at the site:

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Ban Genetically Modified Organisms Worldwide

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are endangering the health, environment, and economic welfare of the entire world. GMO’s are not proven safe and are not sustainable, despite biotechnology industry claims. Independent research shows major health problems associated with GMO consumption and related chemical farming in the form of chronic illnesses, reproductive failure, food allergies, autism, birth defects and cancer. We do not support the continued production of GMO’s anywhere in the world and the long term safety of GMO’s has not been confirmed through rigorous, independent, scientific studies. We value our health and environment and want to preserve the availability of safe food in the future. We want every nation to join those who have already banned GE and work together towards the eventual worldwide ban of Genetically Modified Organisms.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Ban_Genetically_Modified_Organisms_Worldwide/?cDUEFcb

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Prevent Disease

June 3, 2013

by DR. MARIANNA POCHELLI

Cholesterol-lowering drugs have been linked to musculoskeletal and joint injuries and adverse events especially in those pursuing physical activity, according to a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

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Approximately 15% of the top prescribed medications in the world are generic statins. A study published in January 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine linked statins to 48 percent increased risk for type-2 diabetes.

The are have been no independent scientific studies which have ever documented through causation that lowering LDL cholesterol prevents disease of any kind and the obsessed culture of lowering cholesterol may actually be causing cancer.

Statins artificially lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting a critical enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol in the liver.

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