Simultaneous demonstrations in Ames and Seattle highlight controversy surrounding Gates Foundation-funded Transgenic Banana Study at Iowa State University
Ames, IA and Seattle, WA: On Monday February 15th, Iowa State University graduate students will deliver 57,309 petition signatures to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at ISU while AGRA Watch members deliver the same petition to the headquarters of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. (The petitions will be delivered at 9:30am PST and 11:30am CST.) The petition asks the University and the Gates Foundation to cease supporting the transgenic banana study, including human feeding trials, and to change the trajectory for this type of research conducted at public universities. Petition signatures were collected by ISU graduate students, AGRA Watch and CREDO Action.
With the purported goal of reducing Vitamin A deficiency in Uganda and other parts of the world, genetically modified bananas are enriched with beta carotene. The study examines the extent to which the bananas’ beta carotene is converted to Vitamin A in the body and absorbed by consumers. The study is funded by the Gates Foundation.
The CREDO petition is a follow-up to a petition launched in 2015 by ISU graduate students who, in partnership with AGRA Watch, collected over 1000 signatures, that were delivered in December. These petitions respond to an email that was sent to the ISU student body in April 2014 inviting young women (ages 18-40) to eat genetically modified bananas in return for $900.
This study is one of the first human feeding trials of a genetically modified product, and there has been no prior animal testing of this product. Thus, ISU students are being asked to be the first to consume a product of unknown safety. The study is not being conducted in a transparent manner, and concerned ISU community members have not been able to receive answers about the research design, risks, nature of the informed consent given by the subjects, and the generalizability of the study.
The safety concern is not limited to students or activists. Dr. David Schubert, a molecular biologist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, said, “Beta carotine is chemically related to compounds that are known to cause birth defects and other problems in humans at extremely low levels, and these toxic chemicals are possible if not likely by-products of plants engineered to make large amounts of beta carotene. Since there is no required safety testing of the banana or any other GMO, doing a feeding trial in people, especially women, should not be allowed. It is both unethical and immoral, particularly because there are several naturally occurring varieties of banana that are safe and have higher levels of beta carotene than the [...]
President of the Portuguese Medical Association, José Manuel Silva, is calling for a worldwide ban on Big Ag’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. With so many health concerns surrounding the chemical, its days are surely numbered. 
The announcement follows the World Health Organization’s Cancer research arm, the IARC, called glyphosate ‘probably carcinogenic,’ followed by the State of California’s move to force Monsanto to label Round Up bottles with a carcinogen warning.
The Portuguese Parliament approved the new statutes of the Portuguese Medical Association, which allow for a significant improvement in its management, organization, and response time. Issues of ecological stewardship are among Silva’s concerns. He reminded his peers that even Pope Francis has been emphasizing ecological issues.
Among these is the use of glyphosate. This is the most used herbicide in Portuguese agriculture and urban areas for weed control.
As reported by SustainablePulse:
“In the last decade, glyphosate use has increased about 50%, with 1400 tons applied in 2010 alone. In total, more than 130 million tons a year are used around the world. Because of this glyphosate is routinely detected in food, air, rainwater and rivers, urine, blood and even breast milk.” 
Ecowatch states that between 1996 – 2011, the widespread use of Roundup Ready GMO crops sparked an increased herbicide use in the U.S. by 527 million pounds—even though Monsanto claimed its GMO crops would reduce pesticide and herbicide use.
Glyphosate is used so profusely that the legal limits have had to be stretched in many countries for it to be allowed. Numerous studies are now showing that the overwhelming amount of glyphosate used is causing increased risk factors the development of celiac disease, infertility, congenital malformations, kidney disease, autism and other pathologies.
‘Mortality in acute intoxication varies between 3.2 and 29.3%, mostly by pulmonary or kidney disease, or both. The various pathological mechanisms for glyphosate are well-known and include changes in the intestinal micro-biome, disruption of cytochrome P450, vitamin deficiencies, metal chelation, molybdenum and selenium deficiencies, etc.’
These findings are duplicated again and again, even though mouthpieces for the biotech industry swear that glyphosate in breast milk should be of no concern. The industry claims:
“Human exposure to glyphosate most often occurs from the very minute amounts that remain on food that is consumed. Since it is among the safest agents used to control weed growth the US Environmental Protection Agency has set an Allowable Daily Intake (ADI) of 1750 micrograms (ug) of glyphosate for every kilogram (kg) of body weight.”
But even if this is true, they are discounting ample evidence that more glyphosate is being used, and it interacts with other chemicals that cause environmental and health degradation.
Many studies argue that the amount of glyphosate people are being [...]
The #1 Children’s Vitamin Brand in the US contains ingredients that most parents would never intentionally expose their children to, so why aren’t more opting for healthier alternatives?
Kids vitamins are supposed to be healthy, right? Well then, what’s going on with Flintstones Vitamins, which proudly claims to be “Pediatricians’ #1 Choice”? Produced by the global pharmaceuticalcorporation Bayer, this wildly success brand features a shocking list of unhealthy ingredients, including:
Coal tar artificial coloring agents (FD&C Blue #2, Red #40, Yellow #6)
Hydrogenated Oil (Soybean)
GMO Corn starch
On Bayer Health Science’s Flintstones product page designed for health care professionals they lead into the product description with the following tidbit of information:
82% of kids aren’t eating all of their veggies1. Without enough vegetables, kids may not be getting all of the nutrients they need.
References: 1. Lorson BA, Melgar-Quinonez HR, Taylor CA. Correlates of fruit and vegetable intakes in US children. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(3):474-478.
The implication? That Flintstones vitamins somehow fill this nutritional void. But let’s look a little closer at some of these presumably healthy ingredients….
Aspartame is a synthetic combination of the amino acids aspartic acid and l-phenylalanine, and is known to convert into highly toxic methanol and formaldehyde in the body. Aspartame has been linked to over 40 adverse health effects in the biomedical literature, and has been shown to exhibit both neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity  What business does a chemical like this have doing in a children’s vitamin, especially when non-toxic, non-synthetic non-nutritive sweeteners like stevia already exist?
(NaturalNews) A recent study conducted by Dr. Nancy Swanson and the President of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), Andre Leu, has reinforced what many have been convinced of all along: glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, is lethal. Their correlation study determined that it's lethal even in small amounts, debunking the notion in which some people suggest that its levels are so low that it can't possibly damage health.
The study, titled "Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America," was published in the Journal of Organic Systems. First, United States government databases were reviewed to find GE crop data, disease epidemiological data and glyphosate application data. Then, the team conducted correlation analyses on 22 diseases in these data sets which revealed the disturbing discovery that the ingredient is indeed wreaking havoc on people's health.
Glyphosate a "driver of mutations that lead to cancer"
Their findings state that "Glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut bacteria, it damages DNA and is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer." They noted that glyphosate applications are linked to a long list of ailments and chronic diseases ranging from stroke, cancers of the thyroid, bladder, pancreas, kidney and liver to autism, end stage renal disease, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
The study draws eye-opening parallels to the fact that there's been "A huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases" reported in the U.S. over the past two decades and that "During this same time period, there has been an exponential increase in the amount of glyphosate applied to food crops and in the percentage of GE food crops planted.
Monsanto and U.S. EPA maintain that glyphosate is safe
Ironically, Monsanto's website houses well-worded, emotionally-laden phrases to demonstrate their level of commitment.
Their "Monsanto Pledge" includes a "Respect" blurb which states, [...]
We live in an age of pseudo-illness, from obesity to ADHD. These "diseases" are cooked up in the imaginations of doctors and psychiatrists who attach a label to any arbitrary list of symptoms. In the latest gambit of intellectual chutzpah, scientists at the University of Northern Colorado claim that people with a passion for nutrition may be suffering from a mental disorder.
The latest pseudo-disorder to take the academy by storm is called orthorexia nervosa (ON), which is characterized as "a pathologic obsession for bio-logically pure and healthy nutrition," says Ryan M. Moroze, MD. In other words, if you strive to maintain healthy eating habits, according to these loons, you just might have a problem.(1)
The researchers deduced the "disorder" from a case study on the obsession of eating healthy. The psychologists behind the study insist that eating healthy can turn against you if you insist to know where food comes from, how it is prepared and what goes into it. Symptoms include taking extra time to prepare food and setting guidelines about what you will and will not eat.(1)
The hell of being healthy
Any obsession has the potential to become dangerous. But where do the risks lie? Thomas Dunn, associate professor of psychology at the University of Northern Colorado, who co-authored the paper suggests:
Such draconian diets can lack essential nutrients, and they make the vitamins and minerals a person does get from meals of exclusively, say, leafy greens, impossible for the body to absorb. This can lead to fragile bones, hormonal shifts, and cardiac problems, along with psychological distress and entrenched, delusional thinking.(1)
Never mind the fact that more than 90 percent of the food system is littered with processed foods, which have been produced with lots of carbohydrates, sugars and trans fats, and little nutrients. Nor the fact that major diseases – real disease – that plague the United States are very much food-related, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. According to food expert Michael Pollan, this is the first time in history when people can be both overweight and malnourished.(2)
In response to American's health epidemic, health professionals, doctors and Big Pharma have pumped out a steady stream of pills and medications to treat the diseases, both real and fictitious, that they created. In actuality, our primary source of medicine should come from food – not doctors.
Are you a certified health enthusiast?
How can you tell if you are "suffering" from orthorexia? Not to fear: Dr. Dunn has created an arbitrary list of symptoms. Other than the first symptom, if you identify with two or more of the following, congratulations! You qualify as a certified health enthusiast:
1. You consume a nutritionally unbalanced diet because of concerns about "food purity."
2. You're preoccupied about how eating impure or unhealthy foods will affect your physical or emotional health.
3. You rigidly avoid any food you deem to be "unhealt [...]
Jessica Carpenter - The Garden Island |
LIHUE — Ritikaa Kumar says she likes science because there are always questions that need to be answered.
“Science is always expanding,” she said.
The senior at Kapaa High School was one of 45 students who participated in this year’s science and engineering fair.
Usually, every district school has a science fair. But only two students from Kapaa High School signed up. Those students, Kumar and Marvin De Peralta, joined with students from Kauai High School, said Andrea Bell, a science teacher at Kauai High School.
Kumar’s project tested the amount of glyphosate, a weed killer, in local honey. Testing for glyphosate in honey was an idea Kumar and her science teacher, Nicole McKamey, had been tossing around for two years.
“She made it to the district competition two years in a row, but never made it to state level, which was heartbreaking for her,” McKamey said. “So I decided it would be best for her to take a break and take time to think of a really good idea.”
The extra time also gave them a chance to find a mentor.
“I can only do so much,” she said. “The students who make it to state usually have a professional scientist as a mentor.”
That’s when Carl Berg, a marine biologist and ecologist, came into the picture.
“I knew he and Ritikaa would be a good fit, so I begged him to help us,” McKamey said.
Berg, who served as a mentor for science fair competitors for years, planned to take a break this year. But he decided to be involved because it was a project that had never been done before, he said.
Going to “uncharted territory” was one of the reasons Kumar decided to do the project.
“I’m big into the GMO movement, and everyone is passionate about it,” she said.
It took Kumar seven months to collect honey samples from around the island. She had help from beekeepers Jimmy Trujillo and Doug Gates, who helped her network with other beekeepers to gather samples. She gathered a total of 36 samples.
After getting samples, she sent them to a lab in Honolulu and a lab in Germany.
“We wanted to compare the results that were gathered from two different methods to see if they were similar,” Kumar said.
Both lab tests yielded the same results — the area around Kupua and Kapena had the highest levels of glyphosate.
“It’s concerning because pesticides shouldn’t be in honey, and now beekeepers have to question whether or not their honey is safe to sell,” Trujillo said.
High dosages of glyphosate can cause cancer and miscarriages, according to motherearthnews.com.
The new finding may explain why some bee colonies are dying, Trujillo added.
On Wednesday, the students’ hard work paid off with an awards ceremony at the Kauai High School library.
Their projects were judged by 14 science professionals in the community and 11 advanced placement science students who analyzed the projects on their research question, design and methodology, execution, creativity and presentatio [...]
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes the pharmaceutical industry and big food corporations are threatening the lives of Russia’s citizens.
Vladimir Putin stated in a report prepared by the Security Council that Russians should be protected from GMO foods and pharmaceutical companies “at all costs.” The Russian leader judged that human evolution is at “grave risk” and that Western powers are “intentionally decelerating the process for personal gain,” YourNewsWire reported.
According to the report, Putin believes that “we as a species have the choice to continue to develop our bodies and brains in a healthy upward trajectory, or we can follow the Western example of recent decades and intentionally poison our population with genetically altered food, pharmaceuticals, vaccinations, and fast food that should be classified as a dangerous, addictive drug. We must fight this. A physically and intellectually disabled population is not in our interests,” the report revealed.
Putin met with his country’s Security Council in early 2015 “on the status and problems of national security in connection with the use of GMOs.” The Russian Government’s Commission on Legislative Activities approved a bill introduced by the Ministry of Science and Education and supported by Nikolai Fyodorov, former Minister of Agriculture which would prohibit the cultivation and breeding of GMOs in Russia. The bill would strengthen laws that are already in place.
In December last year, Putin announced that Russia could become the world’s largest supplier of ecologically clean and high-quality organic food. He also revealed that the country he leads could become completely self-sufficient in food production by 2020. “We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources –Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing,” the president addressed the Russian Parliament. [...]
WebMD is the most visited health site on the web. While the general belief is that it's a trustworthy source of "independent and objective" health information, it's become quite clear that WebMD is a shill, using its influence to primarily promote corporate-backed health strategies and products.
Partnerships and sponsorships color WebMD's recommendations across the board, and "passive" promotion techniques, where advertisements are designed to look more like editorials, have become commonplace.
The pharmaceutical industry's influence over WebMD has of course been evident for some time.
As just one glaring example, back in 2010, I wrote about how WebMD's free online depression test was rigged in such a way that no matter how you responded the only answer you could receive was that you were at risk for major depression and should discuss your options with your doctor.
This fake test was sponsored by Eli Lilly, the maker of Cymbalta, and its function was quite clear — to get you to inquire about antidepressants.
This sneaky form of direct-to-consumer advertising masquerading as a bonafide consumer aid sparked enough furor to spur Senator Charles Grassley to launch an investigation. After all, no one expects to be directed to seek help, let alone drugs, when you have no symptoms of a problem whatsoever.
Monsanto is one of the latest multinational corporate giants to use WebMD's influence to serve its own biased agenda.
Almost every article now flaunts a Monsanto sponsored ad saying, "It's time for a bigger discussion about food," with links to Monsanto's biased take on soil, water, and honey bee issues, with no other contributors to the discussion in sight.
The Rise of 'Passive' Marketing
According to marketing strategists, advertorial sponsorships are the best way to sell something these days, because consumers do not realize they're being sold something.
In years past, the line between editorial and advertorial content was quite clear, and there was virtually no confusion about the fact that you were reading an ad. Today, you have to be more "eagle-eyed" to spot these differences.
A business has to pay for a sponsorship/advertorial just like it would a regular ad, and in some cases, they pay significantly more than they would for a regular ad. But the expense of a sponsorship/advertorial is considered worth it because:
The venue where your sponsored advertorial is going (in this case, WebMD and its affiliates) has no input on the content — the advertiser has full control over the text of the "informative" ad
You, the advertiser, can control how the information is presented on the page, as opposed to having to select a regular display ad format.
Although expensive, the sponsored advertorial can be used in multiple publications.
Companies can reuse a sponsored advertorial as a stand-alone ad in other places.
'Native Advertising' Blurs the Line Between Ads and Independent Content Even Further
Another form of this type of shrouded sales presentatio [...]
Scientific misconduct and fraud: most of us have no concept of how they influence our food. Jonathan Latham, a scientist with a master's degree in crop and a Ph.D. in plant virology, sheds much-needed light on this issue.
Together with his wife, Allison Wilson, who is also a scientist, he founded the Bioscience Resource Project, an organization with a mission "to provide the highest quality scientific information and analysis to enable a healthy food system and a healthy world."
He's also the editor of Independent Science News.
Part of his career was spent doing medical research in the genetics department at the University of Wisconsin. He also worked in the U.K., where many of his coworkers were proposing ambitious research projects designed to alter soil microbiology and cure plant viruses using novel transgenic techniques.
As explained by Latham in the video, when you make a transgene, you take different parts of genes from different organisms, and you put them together to (hopefully) get them to do what you want them to do.
Once a transgene performs according to expectation, it is used to develop commercial transgenic plants carrying that particular feature. However, Latham noticed that the end results were frequently potentially very dangerous, both to plants and people, which made him question the purpose of it all.
"There were people proposing ideas in molecular genetics and genetic engineering that were incredibly ambitious and interesting to think about from an intellectual perspective, but really quite scary if you thought about what would happen in the real world," he says.
U.S. Regulatory System Allows Unsafe Products to Be Brought to Market
Eventually he became quite concerned about the potential implications the commercialization of genetically engineered plants might engender.
"I saw these ideas people were having, which had potentially major implications for human health or for the soil, and were risky in my opinion.
I didn't worry about them too much because I imagined no serious person would take up these ideas, and the regulatory system would work as advertised ...
But when I moved to the genetics department, I started looking at the regulatory system in the United States.
I came to realize that the regulatory system was intellectually bankrupt and also corrupt. It wasn't asking questions that it should've been asking. And they were perfectly happy with answers they shouldn't have been happy with ...
Between people making products that I was really unhappy with, and the risk assessment process that wasn't functioning intellectually ... it didn't take me long to realize that you can put 2 and 2 together here and see that bad products are going to come on the market.
Scientific Profession Is Ruled by Secret Culture of Fear
It's not uncommon for people to be fired from their academic positions or blackballed in the scientific community when disagreeing with the status quo, but fortunately that did not happen in Dr. Latham [...]
This week Joe & Kevin discuss the question of consciousness and it's various aspects. From the strict definition of consciousnes to Higher vs Lower, The Ten Worlds of Buddhism and everything in between.This topic is so vast it is almost an hour long and we haven't even scratched the surface!
Download the episode here: : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tis_network/2015/07/24/the-red-pill-podcast-22-what-is-consciousness-anyway
Right now, all the focus for increasing crop yields is centered on one method: Genetically modifying crops to make them resistant to pesticides and herbicides. In this model of farming, haste makes waste. Instead of working with the land, we poison it instead with chemicals like glyphosate. Even the World Health Organization now admits that popular herbicide glyphosate is a carcinogen. Year after year, the food on our plate becomes more saturated with cancer-causing chemicals but we’re perpetually told that GMOs are saving the world.
That’s all about to change, however, as we start to learn the importance of growing a diverse selection of food in healthier soils to avoid disease and yes, increase food abundance! As we start to relearn the principle of personal responsibility in food production, we get back to respecting the land and making good use of our resources.
A new report finds that on a large scale, major investments in infrastructure can pave the way for ending hunger. For developing nations, billion dollar investments in electricity and transportation can curb widespread food waste that occurs after harvest. The United Nations believes poverty can be halved by 2030 if at least $239 billion can be invested over the next 15 years to promote better infrastructure in developing nations. These improvements include connecting roads and railways with farms and markets. Increasing access to electricity can drastically improve cold storage, reducing spoilage. They estimate that $3.1 trillion in food resources can be saved from spoilage if proper cold storage needs are met in the next 15 years.
The report also finds that 25 percent of all food harvested today is currently being wasted. Feeding growing populations may be as simple as making use of the food that’s already harvested. The biotech industry likes to tell the lie that GMOs are the answer for feeding the world. In actuality, feeding the world begins with cutting the waste already present. Feeding the world also requires a shift away from chemical based GMO agriculture because this model only profits corporations that manufacture pesticides and herbicides which ultimately just make people sicker.
The focus must be on building infrastructure and connecting farmers to resources in the most efficient manner, not controlling the seed and chemical market.
“In a world where currently up to 900 million people are chronically malnourished, reducing post-harvest losses could play a significant role in meeting the coming challenge,” wrote Christopher Barrett, a reviewer at Cornell University.
In essence, personal responsibility must return in order for hunger and malnutrition to end in the world. This starts in every person’s backyard. This starts with the decisions we make when buying food at the grocery store. From a policy standpoint, this starts with connecting farmers and resources instead of pushing GMOs and subsidizing [...]