Thursday, July 28, 2011

Monsanto Nation: Taking Down Goliath

Organic Consumers Association, July 28, 2011

"If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it." - Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto, quoted in the Kansas City Star, March 7, 1994

After two decades of biotech bullying and force-feeding unlabeled and hazardous genetically engineered (GE) foods to animals and humans, it's time to move beyond defensive measures and go on the offensive. With organic farming, climate stability, and public health under the gun of the gene engineers and their partners in crime, it's time to do more than complain. With over 1/3 of U.S. cropland already contaminated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), with mounting scientific evidence that GMOs cause cancer, birth defects, and serious food allergies and with new biotech mutants like alfalfa, lawn grass, ethanol-ready corn, 2,4 D-resistant crops, and genetically engineered trees and animals in the pipeline, time is running out.

Living in Monsanto Nation there can be no such thing as "coexistence." It is impossible to coexist with a reckless industry that endangers public health, bribes public officials, corrupts scientists, manipulates the media, destroys biodiversity, kills the soil, pollutes the environment, tortures and poisons animals, destabilizes the climate, and economically enslaves the world's 1.5 billion seed-saving small farmers. It's time to take down the Biotech Behemoth, before the living web of biodiversity is terminated.

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Genetically engineered maize with synthetic toxin approved for usage in EU food and feed

Farm Wars, July 28, 2011

Testbiotech and GeneWatch UK formally request withdrawal of EU market authorisation of Monsanto´s genetically engineered maize Genuity VT Triple PRO Corn with synthetic toxins.

The non-profit organisations Testbiotech (Germany) and GeneWatch UK have submitted a formal request to the European Commission to re-examine market authorisation of a genetically engineered maize produced by Monsanto sold under brand Genuity VT Triple PRO Corn (event MON89034 x MON 88017) that produces a synthetic toxin, intended to kill insect pests. This maize was approved for usage in food and feed by the EU Commission on 17th of June. It produces a combination of three different insecticidal toxins, one of which is synthesised artificially. Further, the plants are made tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate (known as Roundup).

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Trenton Becomes Fourth Town To Declare Food Sovereignty

Tenth Amendment Center, July 28, 2011

Today, the town of Trenton became the fourth Maine town to pass the Food Sovereignty Ordinance, joining Sedgwick, Penobscot, and Blue Hill. Trenton has become the latest in a growing Tenth Amendment movement in Maine, where a number of Tenth Amendment related bills have been introduced in the Legislature alongside the Town level sovereignty movement.

The ordinance now protects citizens engaging in local exchange of food products from invasive and unlawful interference by the State and Federal Governments. Here is the text of the Food Sovereignty Ordinance, first passed by Sedgwick.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

‘Stoner Stupid’ Myth Goes Up In Smoke

Activist Post, July 27, 2011

The consumption of cannabis, even long-term, poses few adverse effects on cognitive performance, according to clinical trial data to be published in the scientific journal Addiction.

Investigators at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, Center for Mental Health Research assessed the impact of cannabis use on various measures of memory and intelligence in over 2,000 self-identified marijuana consumers and non-users over an eight-year period. Among cannabis consumers, subjects were grouped into the following categories: ‘heavy’ (once a week or more) users, ‘light’ users, ‘former heavy’ users, ‘former light’ users, and ‘always former’ — a category that consisted of respondents who had ceased using marijuana prior to their entry into the study.

Researchers reported: “Only with respect to the immediate recall measure was there evidence of an improved performance associated with sustained abstinence from cannabis, with outcomes similar to those who had never used cannabis at the end point. On the remaining cognitive measures, after controlling for education and other characteristics, there were no significant differences associated with cannabis consumption.”

They concluded, “Therefore, the adverse impacts of cannabis use on cognitive functions either appear to be related to pre-existing factors or are reversible in this community cohort even after potentially extended periods of use.

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FDA Copies the European Union and Slips In One of its Deadliest Weapons

Alliance for Natural Health, July 26, 2011

Are the NDI guidelines the ultimate FDA tool to freeze dietary supplement innovation? A special report by Robert Verkerk, PhD, ANH-USA Scientific Director and ANH-Europe Executive and Scientific Director.

If the US natural products industry values its ability to keep a diverse range of products available for the benefit of the American public, and believes in not exposing the public to unnecessary costs, we strongly suggest that it look very closely at the latest guidelines from the FDA—with eyes wide open. We refer to the FDA guidelines on so-called “new dietary ingredients” (NDIs) that we’ve been telling you about over the past several weeks. These guidelines preempt a crackdown on ingredients used in natural products, one that appears to be coordinated closely with a similar clampdown happening currently in Europe. The guidelines bear an uncanny likeness to the European Union’s Novel Food Regulation.

The justification given for the new guidelines is—as is always the case when facing a tighter regulatory noose around dietary supplements—consumer safety. This of course brings about a predictable response from the natural health sector: “But where are the dead bodies?” It’s actually quite a pertinent question, and one that is rarely taken seriously by the FDA or other regulators.

A careful examination of the most recent two years of US National Poison Data System (NPDS) figures reveals that, of all products to which we are exposed that might cause harm, pharmaceutical drugs caused 80% and 81% of fatalities, respectively. The majority of these were from unintentional poisoning. Are you surprised? It makes it even more of a wonder that regulators continue to try to convince the public that pharmaceutical-like regulation will be the best way of guaranteeing their safety!

The NPDS data, combined with other data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows emphatically that botanicals and dietary supplements are the safest products that we put in our mouths.

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SMART METERS: A triple threat

PPG Gazette, July 26, 2011

As a nationwide revolt is growing against the invasive and costly electric Smart Meters, public utilities and corporations, intent on putting the entire nation under surveillance unlawfully, not to mention creating a massive health threat, are moving quickly to install phase 2 of the SMART GRID: Gas Smart Meters. It won’t stop there; they are planning on rolling out SMART water meters as quickly as possible.

On March 31, 2011 in Capitola California, it was reported that PG & E spokesman Jeff Smith said a total of 17 of the wireless devices were installed on residences and businesses where existing meters had been damaged by floods. Fifteen of the meters were for gas and two were for electric.

The City Council placed a moratorium on Smart Meter installations in February, though the California Public Utilities Commission has sole authority over PG&E. (This authority over PG&E pertains ONLY to PG&E and cannot be construed and extended to mean authority over private citizens and communitites)

The California Public Utilities Commission may have sole authority over PG & E, but they do not have authority over private property and the owner’s rights to refuse the meters. The statement CPUC is using is misleading as it leads people to believe that because the CPUC has authority over PG&E, that that authority is somehow extended to private citizens.

CPUC has NO authority over private citizens and cannot arbitrarily subject them to a product or service they do not want and surely do not need.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Massachusetts: Citizens deliver shocking testimony to legislators about the dangers of vaccines and demand the right to opt out. A powerful presentati, July 21, 2011

By Mr. Keenan of Salem (by request), a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1055) of Andrea Rupert for legislation to allow students not immunized to be admitted to schools upon the written request of a parent. Education.An Act relative to childhood immunizations...

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Friday, July 15, 2011

We don't know enough about childhood vaccines

Baltimore Sun, July 11, 2011

The topics of vaccines and vaccine safety spark emotional outbursts at scientific meetings and family dinner tables alike. But many of these debates are remarkably fact-free. Surprisingly few people — not just concerned parents but also doctors, policymakers and even immunization experts — can answer this seemingly simple question: How many immunizations does the federal government recommend for every child during the first two years of life?

A new Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health study reports that the higher the proportion of infants and toddlers receiving recommended vaccines, the higher the state's rate of children diagnosed with autism or speech-language problems just a few years later. This analysis is sure to rekindle the debate about vaccine safety.

In all, the federal government recommends 36 doses of vaccine, addressing 14 different diseases, for every U.S. child under age 2. An on-schedule child will receive a dose of vaccine for hepatitis B at birth, eight doses of various vaccines at 2 months, seven additional doses at 4 months, and four to seven more doses at 6 months.

The federally recommended doses of vaccine for every child during the first two years of life are: three doses each for hepatitis B, polio, flu, and HIB (12 doses in all); two doses each for hepatitis A and rotavirus; four doses for pneumococcal infections; one dose for chicken pox; three doses through the combination MMR vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella; and 12 doses through four separate administrations of the combination DTaP vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough).

In addition to the number of doses, vaccine ingredients can be problematic, especially for susceptible subgroups. First are adjuvants, substances added to boost effectiveness and allow smaller doses of vaccine antigen to be used. The most common adjuvant is aluminum, which is found in vaccines for hepatitis and diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus.

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Related: Vaccines and autism: a new scientific review ("Documented causes of autism include genetic mutations and/or deletions, viral infections, and encephalitis [brain damage] following vaccination. Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain.")

'Four in 10' face ordeal of cancer

The Independent, July 14, 2011

Rising cancer rates mean that more than four in 10 Britons will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives, according to a study by a leading health charity.

New figures obtained by Macmillan Cancer Support show that 42% of Britons who die have had cancer - compared to around 35% a decade ago.

The study, which analysed data from 2008, also revealed that 64% of cancer sufferers will eventually die from the disease.

Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "It is really alarming that the number of people who will get cancer is now well past one in three, and that there are so many more people with cancer today than even 10 years ago."

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Feds sting Amish farmer selling raw milk locally

Washington Times, April 28, 2011

A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.

The product in question: unpasteurized milk.

“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA, whose investigators have been looking into Rainbow Acres for months, and who finally last week filed a 10-page complaint in federal court in Pennsylvania seeking an order to stop the farm from shipping across state lines any more raw milk or dairy products made from it.

The FDA’s actions stand in contrast to other areas where the Obama administration has said it will take a hands-off approach to violations of the law, including the use of medical marijuana in states that have approved it, and illegal-immigrant students and youths, whom the administration said recently will not be targets of their enforcement efforts.

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It's not all white: The cocktail of up to 20 chemicals in a glass of milk

Daily Mail, June 7, 2011

A glass of milk can contain a cocktail of up to 20 painkillers, antibiotics and growth hormones, scientists have shown.

Using a highly sensitive test, they found a host of chemicals used to treat illnesses in animals and people in samples of cow, goat and human breast milk.

The Spanish-Moroccan team analysed 20 samples of cow’s milk bought in Spain and Morocco, along with samples of goat and breast milk.

Their breakdown, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, revealed that cow’s milk contained traces of anti-inflammatory drugs niflumic acid, mefenamic acid and ketoprofen – commonly used as painkillers in animals and people.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

New study is wake-up call for diet soda drinkers

CBSNEWS, June 29, 2011

Sorry, soda lovers - even diet drinks can make you fat. That's the word from authors of two new studies, presented Sunday at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.

"Data from this and other prospective studies suggest that the promotion of diet sodas as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised" Dr. Helen Hazuda, professor of medicine at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said in a written statement. "They may be free of calories, but not of consequences."

Consequences like weight gain.

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EFSA confirms access to 1980s aspartame data as it calls for fresh science, June 30, 2011

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has confirmed it has access to 112 studies about aspartame, most of which were conducted in the 1980s, which had been feared lost.The agency referenced the studies in issuing a public call for aspartame (E951) data that runs until September 30, this year and which it said will be, “the most thorough and up-to-date yet.”

“To complete its evaluation, EFSA is asking for all available scientific and technical data – published, unpublished and newly generated – related to aspartame in food and drinks and as a table-top sweetener,” it said in a statement.

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Related: EFSA intense sweeteners opinion lacks ‘common sense’, says Ajinomoto [Excerpt: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) article 13, general function opinion delivered yesterday found replacing sugars with intense sweeteners does not contribute to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight or normal blood glucose concentrations.]