Corruption in Science? You’re Kidding!

As anyone who follows the approval of FDA and USDA “science” knows, we no longer have much at all in the way of actual science. Instead we have black balling of those who don’t tote the corporate line, and science based studies that have nothing to do with legitimate science and the scientific method we are supposed to learn in school.

The following interview by Democracy Now! has clearly exposed the issue. Check it out:

Death by Regulation

I couldn’t possibly agree more with the author of the following article. He did a good job in going back through recent history and finding points that clearly show the insanity in which we now find ourselves regarding regulation of the simplest entrepreneurial effort.

The other day, Forbe’s, whom I take umbrage with over their continued support for GMO shill Henry Miller, did a good piece on the 1000 new businesses that sprang up in California due to the state allowing home food businesses to have a go at it without choking them to death with regulatory controls.

Less regulation is good for children and other living things…Unless of course it is lack of regulation over actual poisons like 24D.

My personal thoughts on this matter are that the regulatory system is effectively choking the spark of life out of us. It’s like replacing our inherent drive to create with the “Dao of Poo” summed up as, “Why bother?”

At any rate, here is the promised article. Hats off to the author, John Aziz!

By John Aziz | February 4, 2014
Yeah, it's tough out there kid.
Yeah, it’s tough out there kid. (Jim Weber/ZUMA Press/Corbis)
Over the last 30 years, it seems like it has gotten a little tougher for kids to start that most Norman Rockwell of ventures, the lemonade stand.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s there were a few instances of local governments shutting kids’ stands down for various reasons, although officials typically bowed to public pressure and allowed them to reopen.

In 1983, 6-year-old Ali Thorn’s lemonade stand in Belleair, Fla., was closed down after police received an anonymous complaint that her sign did not comply with city ordinances, but was quickly allowed to reopen.

In 1988, 9-year-old Max Schilling’s seven-foot high lemonade stand in Watchung, N.J., was shuttered after city officials claimed it was a permanent structure that sat too close to the street and threatened to fine him $500 a day. After a brief legal fight, Schilling’s stand was allowed to reopen.

In 1993, 12-year-old Sarah Knott and 13-year-old Margaret Johnson’s stand in Charleston, S.C., was shut down by police officers because they didn’t have a peddler’s license. However, after a public outcry, the city apologized to the girls and allowed them to continue.

More recently, though, local enforcement of lemonade stands seems to have grown stricter, or at least, more noticeable. The libertarian Freedom Center of Missouri has produced a map to show the locations of these incidents.

In 2010, 7-year-old Julie Murphy’s lemonade stand in Portland, Ore., was shuttered because she did not have a temporary restaurant permit, a license that carries a $120 fee, although that decision was later reversed with a Multnomah County chairman admitting that food inspectors may have overstepped their bounds, saying, “A 7-year-old selling lemonade isn’t the same as a grown-up selling burritos out of a cart.”

In 2011, in Midway, Ga., a lemonade stand run by Kasity Dixon, 14, Tiffany Cassin, 12, and Skylar Roberts, 10 was shuttered because they didn’t have a business license, a peddler’s permit, or a food permit, all of which would have cost them $50 a day to obtain for temporary use or $180 for the year. Despite national media attention and complaints from residents, the city wouldn’t back down.

And also in 2011, Caitlin and Abigail Mills’ girl scout cookie stand in Hazelwood, Mo., was closed for violating an ordinance banning the sale of items from a residential property. The girls’ family attempted to sue the city, but the case appears to have been dropped.

Let’s not overstate it, though. Lemonade stand-shutdowns are not reaching epidemic-like levels, and no one is going to cart off little Suzie to jail for selling cookies outside her house. That said, there is something absurd about shutting down lemonade stands, even if it’s still relatively rare.

The main risk of a tougher approach to children running food stands — and especially demanding that kids comply with costly licensing and strict city zoning laws — is that children will lose out on the entrepreneurial experience of running their first business, serving customers, and making money. If we want to have an entrepreneurial culture, where people innovate and take risks to build businesses, there has to be a certain amount of freedom and space for the young to learn these skills.

While navigating bureaucracy is definitely a useful entrepreneurial skill, expecting kids or their parents to fork out hundreds of dollars for a license to run their first business is punitive and anti-entrepreneurial. And every hour and dollar spent on inspecting or shutting down children’s lemonade stands on technicalities is an hour and dollar not spent on inspecting food safety in actual restaurants, food processing facilities, and stores — places where a lapse in food safety could expose hundreds or thousands of people to illness.

And while city zoning laws are useful for keeping heavy industry away from homes, selling lemonade or girl scout cookies is really a residential activity. Many of the world’s most famous businesses — Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, Hewlett Packard — were started in garages. An entrepreneurial culture requires the freedom to start a business at home. If we stop businesses and businesspeople from developing, we lose the benefits that come down the road, like job creation and innovation (not that little Suzie’s lemonade stand will likely grow to rival Tropicana, but you get the point…).

The sooner cities and counties realize this, and stop wasting resources going after the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, the better.

###

FDA to Ban Transfats, but No Action on GMO’s…

In yet another case of avoiding the obvious, the FDA is blaming our obesity (skyrocketing levels since the massive infusion of GMO products) on transfats, and therefore, they are going to ban them. Next thing you know, there will be black market transfats. Potentially a CIA funded underground of trans peddlers could pop up and create yet another agency to deal expressly with outlawed food, or food like products. Why not just label GMO products and let people make their own decisions with actual knowledge? No, instead we’ll forcibly reduce salt, ban transfats, continue to attack real food, and tell you we’re protecting you and that GMO crops stave off starvation on food shortages….The Food Destruction Agency is working it’s science based principles, and they are the ones who said transfats were generally recognized as safe in the first place.

Whatever you do, do not trust the FDA on anything. This time they are accidentally right, but they are the ones who created the proliferation of transfats in the first place.

Government Power Grab: FDA To Ban Trans Fats

 Posted by Kristin Tate

695320912_1381547432OPINION:

The United States is over 17 trillion dollars in debt, the national unemployment rate is over seven percent, and one-sixth of the American population is on food stamps. But fixing those problems is just so hard! So, some courageous politicians have decided to spend time and money dictating what we should be allowed to eat. They do this in the name of “keeping us healthy.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a plan to ban trans fats because they are a “threat to people’s health.”

The FDA is moving forward with this power-grab despite the fact that the amount of trans fats in the average American’s diet has declined rapidly in the last decade.

The food industry will be required to gradually phase out trans fats. Once they have been completely phased out, anyone who wants to use trans fats will be forced to get special permission from the FDA.

The FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, Michael Taylor, said, “We want to do it in a way that doesn’t unduly disrupt markets.”

As of right now, the exact timeline for the phase-out has not been decided on.

Michael Jacobson, the director of the advocacy group Center for Science, said, “Six months or a year should be more than enough time, especially considering that companies have had a decade to figure out what to do… [The ban is] one of the most important lifesaving actions the FDA could take.”

The FDA claims that trans fats are horrible for your heart — worse than saturated fat — and can contribute to heart diseases.

This is true… But when did it become the government’s job to control what we eat? Have we become a complete nanny state?

Smoking can cause lung cancer — so why don’t we ban cigarettes? Too much sugar often leads to diabetes — let’s go ahead and ban sugar, too! Alcohol can contribute to liver failure — ban it!

You get my point. The government simply cannot ban everything that is a “threat to people’s health.”

America is supposed to be the Land of the Free. If people want to make poor food choices, they should be allowed to. Of course, it is unfair to make the rest of us pay for their heart disease and diabetes. This is why ObamaCare (the biggest government power-grab in a generation) must be overturned immediately. In a free country, government cannot dictate lifestyle choices, nor can it become the overprotective mommy and daddy of its citizens.

Freedom means having the right to make bad choices and then deal with the consequences ourselves.

Read more: http://benswann.com/government-power-grab-fda-to-ban-trans-fats/#ixzz2kLRuBacw
Follow us: @BenSwann_ on Twitter

Going After Supplements….Again

Seems Durbin just won’t be satisfied until everyone has to get their “nutrition” from his cronies:

The Dangerous Durbin Anti-Supplement Bill

October 30, 2013

dick durbin anti supplement billThe FDA can count on mainstream media to mislead the public. Let’s get the truth out and stop this bill. Action Alert!

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)’s bill, S.1425, is meant to “improve the safety of dietary supplements by [requiring] manufacturers of dietary supplements to register dietary supplements with the Food and Drug Administration and to amend labeling requirements with respect to dietary supplements.” Sounds innocuous, doesn’t it? But as we reported in August, this is nothing but a smokescreen—a naked power grab for the FDA and an attempt to regulate safe dietary supplements as if they were dangerous FDA-approved prescription drugs.

A recent article in Newsday quotes “a top agency official” (probably FDA’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs director Dan Fabricant, who is quoted extensively in the article) as saying that 70% of supplement companies have violated FDA’s manufacturing rules over the last five years—with the clear implication that such manufacturing violations somehow puts the American public at risk. There is no mention of the nature, context, or seriousness of these alleged violations, and no link to any official reports or documentation.

The article declares that the number of adverse events caused by supplements “outstrips” those triggered by prescriptions drugs. This is totally false. The Newsday article’s author, Delthia Ricks, tells us that approximately “6,300 people nationwide complained about adverse reactions to dietary supplements between 2008 and 2012, according to FDA statistics. But the actual number may be more than eight times higher, some experts say, because most people don’t believe health products can make them sick.” This “eight times higher” claim has no basis in fact, and no documented source. Even if it were true, this number is far less than for prescription drugs.

The 6,300 figure averages to 1,575 per year, which is extremely low considering that 157 million Americans—half the US population—take supplements. This is in comparison to 526,527 adverse events for prescription drugs, 275,421 of which had “serious outcomes,” including death.

Why would we want to let the agency regulate supplements as if they were drugs when the drugs they approve cause over 400 times the adverse events than supplements do? When the Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked at the number of adverse events for supplements at the request of Senator Durbin, it was unable to uncover anything alarming, as we reported back in March.

On the contrary, the GAO report showed that FDA-approved drugs caused 80% of Poison Control fatalities. More than 100,000 calls to Poison Control Centers, 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and nearly 500 deaths each year are attributed to acetaminophen (Tylenol) alone!

The Newsday article goes on to describe, in detail, the FDA’s authority to regulate the vitamin supplement industry, noting the agency’s inspection of supplement company facilities, and its ability to issue product warnings, recalls, and seizures and levy steep fines against companies that run afoul of FDA regulation. Inexplicably, the article then quotes Dan Fabricant as saying, “There is little the FDA can do to exercise more power over supplement safety without an act of Congress,” and concludes that FDA has “limited power” to regulate supplements. In what universe does that statement make sense?

The only way it makes sense is if mainstream media pieces like this Newsday article are viewed as propaganda: a concerted alliance between the media, the FDA, and legislators like Sen. Durbin to weaken the public’s determination to keep dietary supplements freely available. Lest this sound too conspiratorial, we need to remember that drug advertising is what keeps much of print media alive in these days of online competition.

The theme of adverse events is very much echoed in Durbin’s legislation. His bill requires that the FDA, together with the Institute of Medicine (IOM), compile a list of dietary ingredients (supplements) that might lead to adverse events, or are otherwise deemed risky in some way—based on completely arbitrary or nonexistent standards. Given the FDA’s profound bias against supplements, and the skewed, anti-science recommendations of the IOM’s vitamin D report, these are hardly trustworthy sources of guidance!

By the way, speaking of IOM and adverse events, why does the IOM absolutely refuse to study adverse events from vaccinations? In this case it holds that adverse events are meaningless because not studied, but then refuses to study them.

Returning to supplements, the FDA already has complete authority to keep them safe—it’s just a matter of enforcement, as the FDA’s Fabricant himself said when he worked for the Natural Products Association: “The barriers to enforcement are simple: [FDA] money, manpower, and will.” (You’ll note he doesn’t say “more regulation”!) He also made the distinction between the “legal, safe and healthy dietary supplement industry” and “the seedy, fly-by-night, unsafe world of illegal steroids,” and called on FDA, DEA, and other appropriate agencies to work together to enforce the laws that already exist. Most of the violations cited in the Newsday article are examples of bad manufacturing practices, which are already illegal and subject to FDA enforcement action. All the FDA has to do is enforce existing rules.

Another element in Durbin’s legislation is a greater restriction of health claims: he has said his bill is designed to stop “mislabeling products and making health claims that have no scientific basis.” This is more nonsense.

The vast majority of supplement health claims have plenty of scientific basis—just not the random-controlled trials (RCT) that Durbin and the FDA want. And there’s a very good reason for this: most natural products companies cannot afford to spend up to a billion dollars on RCTs, because in most cases that natural product can’t be patented, so the companies could never hope to make back their investment. In addition, many supplements should be taken with co-factors and so should not be studied in isolation like a drug.

Durbin knows all this. The demand for RCTs is just a backdoor way to get rid of most supplements entirely.

In the past, Dan Fabricant did not support greater restrictions of health claims. In response to IOM’s recommendation that dietary supplement health claims should be subject to the same scrutiny as pharmaceuticals, Fabricant said, “Trying to see foods through the same lens as isolated pharmaceuticals is impractical from a policy standpoint.” He also noted that many widely used general claims about how nutrients work, such as “calcium builds strong bones,” can’t be subjected to the same clinical evaluation as pharmaceutical drugs.

In other words, the FDA’s Fabricant said exactly what we’ve been claiming all along—that supplements are safe and the FDA needs no expanded powers—before he changed employers!

Action Alert! Please write to your senators immediately and tell them to stop Sen. Durbin’s frontal attack on your right to use supplements dead in its tracks! We don’t need this new legislation—all we need is for existing laws to be fully enforced. We need our access to nutritional supplements to be protected. Please write your senators today!

GMO Damage in Pigs….How about in You?

World Exclusive: Evidence of GMO Harm in Pig Study

Pig stomachs gmo feed

June 11, 2013 in Sustainable Agriculture, by Admin Share with

A groundbreaking new study [1] shows that pigs were harmed by the consumption of feed containing genetically modified (GM) crops.

Press release from Sustainable Pulse (sustainablepulse.com) and GMWatch (gmwatch.org)

GM-fed females had on average a 25% heavier uterus than non-GM-fed females, a possible indicator of disease that requires further investigation. Also, the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. The research results were striking and statistically significant.

Find a clear summary of the study here

Find the full paper here

Lead researcher Dr Judy Carman, adjunct associate professor at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia,[2] said: “Our findings are noteworthy for several reasons. First, we found these results in real on-farm conditions, not in a laboratory, but with the added benefit of strict scientific controls that are not normally present on farms.

Find all the background on this study and on Dr. Judy Carman here: www.gmojudycarman.org

“Second, we used pigs. Pigs with these health problems end up in our food supply. We eat them.

“Third, pigs have a similar digestive system to people, so we need to investigate if people are also getting digestive problems from eating GM crops.

“Fourth, we found these adverse effects when we fed the animals a mixture of crops containing three GM genes and the GM proteins that these genes produce. Yet no food regulator anywhere in the world requires a safety assessment for the possible toxic effects of mixtures. Regulators simply assume that they can’t happen.

“Our results provide clear evidence that regulators need to safety assess GM crops containing mixtures of GM genes, regardless of whether those genes occur in the one GM plant or in a mixture of GM plants eaten in the same meal, even if regulators have already assessed GM plants containing single GM genes in the mixture.”

The new study lends scientific credibility to anecdotal evidence from farmers and veterinarians, who have for some years reported reproductive and digestive problems in pigs fed on a diet containing GM soy and corn.[3]

Iowa-based farmer and crop and livestock advisor Howard Vlieger, one of the coordinators of the study, said: “For as long as GM crops have been in the feed supply, we have seen increasing digestive and reproductive problems in animals. Now it is scientifically documented.

“In my experience, farmers have found increased production costs and escalating antibiotic use when feeding GM crops. In some operations, the livestock death loss is high, and there are unexplained problems including spontaneous abortions, deformities of new-born animals, and an overall listlessness and lack of contentment in the animals.

“In some cases, animals eating GM crops are very aggressive. This is not surprising, given the scale of stomach irritation and inflammation now documented. I have seen no financial benefit to farmers who feed GM crops to their animals.”

Gill Rowlands, a farmer based in Pembrokeshire, Wales who is also a member of the campaign group GM-Free Cymru, said: “This is an animal welfare issue. Responsible farmers and consumers alike do not want animals to suffer. We call for the rapid phase-out of all GMOs from animal feed supplies.”

Claire Robinson of the campaign group GMWatch said: “Several UK supermarkets recently abandoned their GM-free animal feed policies, citing lack of availability of non-GM feed. We call on the public to visit the new citizens’ action website gmoaction.org, where they can quickly and easily send an email to the supermarkets asking them to ensure their suppliers secure certified GM-free animal feed. This will mean placing advance orders for GM-free soy from countries like Brazil.

Study details

The research was conducted by collaborating investigators from two continents and published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Organic Systems. The feeding study lasted more than five months, the normal commercial lifespan for a pig, and was conducted in the US. The pigs were slaughtered at the usual slaughter age of over 5 months, after eating the diets for their entire commercial lifespan.

168 newly-weaned pigs in a commercial piggery were fed either a typical diet incorporating GM soy and corn, or else (in the control group) an equivalent non-GM diet. The pigs were reared under identical housing and feeding conditions. They were slaughtered over 5 months later, at the usual slaughter age, after eating the diets for their entire commercial lifespan. They were then autopsied by qualified veterinarians who worked “blind” – they were not informed which pigs were fed on the GM diet and which were from the control group.

The GMO feed mix was a commonly used mix. The GM and non-GM diets contained the same amount of soy and corn, except that the GM diet contained a mixture of three GM genes and their protein products, while the control (non-GM) diet had equivalent non-GM ingredients. Of the three GM proteins in the GM diet, one made a crop resistant to being sprayed with the herbicide Roundup, while two were insecticides.

Contact:

Claire Robinson, GMWatch, UK: claire@gmwatch.org To phone within UK: 0752 753 6923. To phone outside UK: +44 752 753 6923

Dr Judy Carman, Adelaide, Australia

Email: judycarman@ozemail.com.au

Mr Howard Vlieger, Maurice, Iowa

Email: studentofthesoil@mtcnet.net

 

Notes

1. Judy A. Carman, Howard R. Vlieger, Larry J. Ver Steeg, Verlyn E. Sneller, Garth W. Robinson, Catherine A. Clinch-Jones, Julie I. Haynes, John W. Edwards (2013). A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and  GM maize diet. Journal of Organic Systems 8 (1): 38-54. Open access full text: www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf

2. Dr Judy Carman, BSc (Hons) PhD MPH MPHAA; Epidemiologist and Biochemist; Director, Institute of Health and Environmental Research, Adelaide, Australia; Adjunct Associate Professor, Health and the Environment, School of the Environment, Adelaide, Australia

3. For example:

www.responsibletechnology.org/posts/wp-ontent/uploads/2012/04/Soydamage1.pdf

www.i-sis.org.uk/GM_Soy_Linked_to_Illnesses_in_Farm_Pigs.php

Farmer interviews in the 2012 film, Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives, directed by Jeffrey Smith

GMO Labeling Must Wait for Canada’s Definition

The article below indicates to me that “voluntary” labeling of GMO content or lack of such is (as we thought) completely pointless. The fact is that the powers that be don’t believe we have the right to know what is in the food we put in our mouths, or the mouths of our children. It is apparent that the “guerilla labeling” method is the only way to get more people aware of what they are buying for dinner. So let’s do it! If someone is good at making label templates, let’s get them shared all around and whenever we go to a grocery store put 10 labels on boxes of things the GMO shopping guide indicates contain GMO’s. A little effort multiplied can awaken millions. If they won’t let people know, then it’s our duty to let others know. Your thoughts are welcome:

Loblaws orders GMO-free labels removed

Kevin Cox and Ingrid Peritz

Loblaws, Canada’s largest grocery retailer, has ordered its suppliers to remove or cover by Sept. 1 any labels that identify food as being free of genetically modified ingredients.

The move has angered many of the organic food processors that market their breakfast cereals, pastas and other products in the store’s health food department as being free of chemical additives and genetically modified material.

Nature’s Path Foods Inc., a British-Columbia-based company that produces organic breakfast cereals, said some Canadian grocery chains pressed the company to alter the labels on its products.

The section of the label that says the products are made without genetically modified organisms has been blacked out with a felt pen.

Spokesman Arran Stephens said some large grocery chains warned the company that its products would be yanked from shelves if it didn’t remove the reference to genetically modified organisms.

“We’ve sort of been bullied into this. We feel it’s very important that consumers know if their food has been genetically tampered,” Mr. Stephens said, but the company didn’t want to risk cutting production and laying off employees.

Mr. Stephens noted that independent food stores and grocery chains in the United States welcome the GMO-free labels.

Many suppliers are afraid to criticize the grocery chain publicly because they fear losing shelf space.

But they say privately that they are facing major expense to change labels and could lose sales because consumers won’t be able to tell if they are getting non-GMO foods.

In a memo sent to suppliers in late January, Jamie Cooney, director of procurement of health food for Loblaws, said the products of distributors who didn’t remove the non-GMO labels could be removed from the grocery chain’s shelves.

“It is our position that until such time as a government and-or industry-supported definition of genetic modification exists in Canada we will not support product packaging containing non-GMO claims,” the letter, dated Jan. 29, said. No one was available to comment for Loblaws yesterday.

In some Loblaws stores across the country the non-GMO stickers have been blacked out or covered.

The federal government has yet to establish a standard or a labelling policy for genetically modified foods, those that come from plants altered to resist pests or herbicides or to produce greater yields.

Ottawa suffered a setback yesterday in one of its attempts to control labelling of GMO foods when a Quebec judge quashed its bid for an injunction that would stop a beer maker from labelling and advertising its product as “certified GMO-free” by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The agency doesn’t label or test consumer products for GMOs.

Unibroue Inc. has said that a manufacturer’s certificate signed by a government food inspector proved that the CFIA says its product is GMO-free.

Don’t Hold Your Breath – Monsanto May Be in Trouble

Knowing how Monsanto controls the “regulatory” agencies at the Federal level, I deeply doubt that anything will come of this. Also, since Senator Roy Blunt got the Monsanto Protection Act passed, there may be little that can be legally done against one of the most evil corporations on the face of the planet. Nonetheless, here is a story that we should be making a ruckus about:

Monsanto Panics as Oregon GM Wheat Scandal Spreads Worldwide

GM Wheat

May 30, 2013 in Sustainable Agriculture, by AdminShare with

USDA INVESTIGATING DETECTION OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED (GE) GLYPHOSATE-RESISTANT WHEAT IN OREGON

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Wednesday that test results of plant samples from an Oregon farm indicate the presence of genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-resistant wheat plants. Further testing by USDA laboratories indicates the presence of the same GE glyphosate-resistant wheat variety that Monsanto was authorized to field test in 16 states from 1998 to 2005. APHIS launched a formal investigation after being notified by an Oregon State University scientist that initial tests of wheat samples from an Oregon farm indicated the possible presence of GE glyphosate-resistant wheat plants. There are no GE wheat varieties approved for sale or in commercial production in the United States or elsewhere at this time.

As a result of the USDA announcement Japanese authorities have canceled a tender offer to buy wheat from the US and other governments worldwide have threatened to stop all US wheat imports.

The EU Commission has asked the United States how to test for unapproved GM Wheat, a spokesman said, adding that incoming shipments would be tested and blocked if they contained the strain.

The detection of this wheat variety does not pose a food safety concern. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed a voluntary consultation on the safety of food and feed derived from this GE glyphosate-resistant wheat variety in 2004. For the consultation, the developer provided information to FDA to support the safety of this wheat variety. FDA completed the voluntary consultation with no further questions concerning the safety of grain and forage derived from this wheat, meaning that this variety is as safe as non-GE wheat currently on the market.“We are taking this situation very seriously and have launched a formal investigation,” said Michael Firko, Acting Deputy Administrator for APHIS’ Biotechnology Regulatory Services, “Our first priority is to as quickly as possible determine the circumstances and extent of the situation and how it happened. We are collaborating with state, industry, and trading partners on this situation and are committed to providing timely information about our findings. This situation is unacceptable and USDA will put all necessary resources towards this investigation.”

The Plant Protection Act (PPA) provides for substantial penalties for serious infractions. Should APHIS determine that this situation was the result of a violation of the PPA, APHIS has the authority to seek penalties for such a violation including civil penalties up to $1,000,000 and has the authority to refer the matter for criminal prosecution, if appropriate.

APHIS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ FDA work together to regulate the safe use of organisms derived from modern biotechnology. APHIS regulates the introduction (meaning the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release/field testing) of certain GE organisms that may pose a risk to plant health. EPA regulates pesticides, including plants with plant-incorporated protectants (pesticides intended to be produced and used in a living plant), to ensure public safety. EPA also sets limits on pesticide residues on food and animal feed. FDA has primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of human food and animal feed, as well as safety of all plant-derived foods and feeds. (article source)

New Study Shows “Leukemogenic” Properties of the Bt toxin

This is a redux on yet another study proving the inherent danger of the genetically modified food supply. With all of the proof behind the dangers of consumption of these aberrations, the only thing I can recommend is that every one grow everything they can and we must plant in defiance of the destruction of decency and integrity in our food. Please, do NOT feed your children this stuff!!! Here is the article:

A new study, yet to receive any media attention, reveals the “leukemogenic” properties of the Bt toxin biopesticides engineered into the vast majority of GMO food crops already within the US food supply.

Last September, the causal link between cancer and genetically modified food was confirmed in a French study, the first independent long-term animal feeding study not commissioned by the biotech corporations themselves. The disturbing details can be found here: New Study Finds GM Corn and Roundup Causes Cancer In Rats

Now, a new study published in the Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases indicates that the biopesticides engineered into GM crops known as Bacillus Thuringensis (Bt) or Cry-toxins, may also contribute to blood abnormalities from anemia to hematological malignancies (blood cancers) such as leukemia.[i]

A group of scientists from the Department of Genetics and Morphology, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Brasilia, Brasilia/DF, Brazil set out to test the purported human and environmental biosafety of GM crops, looking particularly at the role that the Bt toxin found within virtually all GM food crops plays on non-target or non-insect animal species.

The research was spurred by the Brazilian Collegiate Board of Directors of the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), who advocated in 2005 for evaluations of toxicity and pathogenicity of microbiological control agents such as Bt toxins, given that little is known about their toxicological potential in non-target organisms, including humans.

While Bacillus Thurigensis spore-crystals have been used since the late 1960′s in agriculture as a foliar insecticide, it was only after the advent of recombinant DNA biotechnology that these toxin-producing genes (known as delta endotoxins) were first inserted into the plants themselves and released into commercial production in the mid-90′s, making their presence in the US food supply and the bodies of exposed populations ubiquitous.

What the new study revealed is that various binary combinations and doses of Bt toxins are capable of targeting mammalian cells, particularly the erythroid (red blood cell) lineage, resulting in red blood cell changes indicative of significant damage, such as anemia. In addition, the study found that Bt toxins suppressed bone marrow proliferation creating abnormal lymphocyte patterns consistent with some types of leukemia.

The researchers also found that one of the prevailing myths about the selective toxicity of Bt to insects, the target species, no longer holds true:

It has been reported that Cry toxins exert their toxicity when activated at alkaline pH of the digestive tract of susceptible larvae, and, because the physiology of the mammalian digestive system does not allow their activation, and no known specific receptors in mammalian  intestinal cells have been reported, the toxicity these MCAs to mammals  would negligible [8,22,23]. However, our study demonstrated that Bt spore-crystals genetically modified to express individually Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2A induced hematotoxicity, particularly to the erythroid lineage. This finding corroborates literature that demonstrated that alkali-solubilized  Bt spore-crystals caused in vitro hemolysis in cell lines of rat, mouse, sheep, horse, and human erythrocytes and suggested that the plasma membrane of susceptible cells (erythrocytes, in this case) may be the primary target for these toxins [33]

The study also found:

1) That Cry toxins are capable of exerting their adverse effects when suspended in distilled water, not requiring alkalinization via insect physiology to become activated as formerly believed.

2) That a dose of Cry1Ab as low as 27 mg/kg, their lowest tested dose, was capable of inducing hypochromic anemia in mice – the very toxin has been detected in blood of non-pregnant women, pregnant women and their fetuses in Canada, supposedly exposed through diet.

3) Whereas past reports have found that Bt toxins are generally nontoxic and do not bioaccumulate in fatty tissue or persist in the environment, the new study demonstrated that all Cry toxins tested had a more pronounced effect from 72 hours of exposure onwards, indicating the opposite is true.

4) That high-dose Cry toxin doses caused blood changes indicative of bone marrow damage (damage to “hematopoietic stem cell or bone marrow stroma”).

The authors noted their results “demonstrate leukemogenic activity for other spore-crystals not yet reported in the literature.”

They concluded:

[R]esults showed that the Bt spore-crystals genetically modified to express individually Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2A can cause some hematological risks to vertebrates,increasing their toxic effects with long-term exposure. Taking into account the increased risk of human and animal exposures to significant levels of these toxins, especially through diet, our results suggest that further studies are required to clarify the mechanism involved in the hematotoxicity found in mice, and to establish the toxicological risks to non-target organisms, especially mammals, before concluding that these microbiological control agents are safe for mammals.

Did you get that? Their conclusion is that it is premature to consider GM toxins to be safe in mammals. Billions have already been exposed to Bt toxins, in combination with glyphosate-based herbicide formulations such as Roundup, and yet, most biotech research scientists and industry regulators still claim they are unequivocally safe.  This has much to do with the well-known relationship that biotech corporations like Monsanto have with so-called ‘check book’ science firms who are basically paid to obfuscate adverse health outcomes of their products, such as the GMO-Cancer link. [see: Monsanto-Funded Science Denies Emerging Roundup Cancer Link]

Consider also that the question of combined toxicity of Cry toxins and glyphosate-based residues within plants have not been sufficiently explored, and that glyphosate exposure has already been linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma and hairy cell leukemia in the biomedical literature.[ii]

The reality is that we no longer have time to wait around for additional research to accumulate on the adverse health effects of GMOs, especially considering the biotech industry has far more capital to infuse into their own faux research on the topic.

Some, in fact, argue that we should not be waiting around for the corrupt legislative process to compel manufacturers to label GMOs, rather, we should be fighting to BAN THEM NOW, advocating for the precautionary principle before its too late.

In the meantime, you can join the growing movement to March Against Monsanto, occurring world wide on May 25th, as a way of expressing your desire for real change, as well as vote with your forks, the only immediately effective tool we have against biological and environmental gene-ocide articulated by the dominant GMO-based food system.

(from GeenMedInfo)

Killing Us Softly – Glyphosphate, Deadly Convenience

Recently, I posted a link to a study heavily referenced in the following articles. That study actually cinched me up, when not much does any more. The issue I keyed on was the actual change of messenger RNA upon exposure, not limited to ingestion, of the lovely GMO’s that are so prevalent in our food supply now. However, there is a lot more information in the study than just that, and Heidi Stevenson has done a tremendous service to all of mankind by relating the study to us in a three part series on glyphosphate.

Please people, read this. Share it. Give it to mothers who are feeding their babies commercial formula, to farmers growing GMO crops, your local Health Board, doctors, and of course, advocates for real food. I know this is long, but here is a link to a pdf of the three articles so you can print it out and read it at your leisure.

While the truth may be ugly, and unfathomable to those of us who actually love life, it is paramount that we have as much information as possible so we can make decisions based on facts and not simply convenience.

Glyphosphate- Killing Us Softly, Monsanto Style

Glyphosate is assumed to be safe for humans. As a result, it’s become the world’s best-selling herbicide. However, a groundbreaking study documents that it may actually be fueling the plague of chronic & immune diseases, including cancer and autism. This study documents the underlying systemic damage produced by glyphosate, then discusses how that damage leads to specific diseases.

by Heidi Stevenson

This article is split into three parts. This is Part 1, Glyphosate: Chronic Disease Degeneration. It gives an overview and then goes on to discuss the primary findings of a new study about the human effects of Monsanto’s herbicide, glyphosate. Part 2, titled Glyphosate: Disease Creator, discusses specific diseases, applying the basic harms produced by glyphosate and showing how they lead to each disease. Part 3, titled Glyphosate: A Trajectory of Human Misery, discusses glyphosate’s use throughout the world and then draws conclusions.

Monsanto’s herbicide, glyphosate, has become virtually ubiquitous based on a presumption of harmlessness in humans.  In spite of noxious and aggressive superweeds that have developed in response and a host of reports citing harm and potential harm to the environment and farm animals, this premise of innocence has resulted in its use nearly everywhere. Because of that same image of innocence, its use has multiplied astronomically.

However, a new report from the journal Entropy turns the proposition of glyphosate’s innocence in human health upside down. An exhaustive review of existing research in which 287 studies were reviewed, coupled with irrefutable logic, produces a frightening picture of the reality: Glyphosate may be the single most devastating substance ever introduced into agribusiness. As the authors, Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, concluded:

Glyphosate is likely to be pervasive in our food supply, and, contrary to being essentially nontoxic, it may in fact be the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment.

The range of diseases that can be associated with glyphosate is frightening. Its biological effects are so primary that virtually every bodily system—if not every one—is adversely affected. The authors state:

Our systematic search of the literature has led us to the realization that many of the health problems that appear to be associated with a Western diet could be explained by biological disruptions that have already been attributed to glyphosate. These include digestive issues, obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, liver diseases, and cancer, among others. While many other environmental toxins obviously also contribute to these diseases and conditions, we believe that glyphosate may be the most significant environmental toxin …

Glyphosate’s Metabolic Disruptions

The study documents that glyphosate disrupts several significant basic biological processes in humans with devastating results. Certain primary functions at the most basic levels are disrupted or diverted. These include:

  • Disruption of the shikimate pathway in gut biota.
  • Disruption of sulphate transport
  • Increase in Flavonoid Synthesis
  • Disruption of cytochrome P-450 enzymes

This section will explain and discuss each of these.

Shikimate Pathway Disruption

Glyphosate is believed to operate by disrupting the shikimate (pronounced shə kih mut) pathway in plants, a process for manufacturing a group of amino acids called aromatic (though the term has nothing to do with odor). These include phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. Aromatic amino acids are required for a plant’s survival.

It’s been assumed that glyphosate is harmless in humans because the shikimate pathway does not exist in any animal. However, the shikimate pathway does exist in bacteria, including those in the mammalian gut. Until fairly recently, the importance of gut biota in health has largely been ignored. However, it’s now understood to be key in many aspects of the body’s function.

Gut bacteria are in a symbiotic relationship with the body. They digest food, synthesize vitamins, detoxify foreign substances, and are key in immune system function and gut permeability. Thus, anything that interferes with the shikimate pathway has the potential of causing severe harm.

Disruption of Sulphate Transport

Sulphate transport, the method by which sulphate is moved into and out of cells, is a delicate balance. When glyphosate is present, this balance becomes a tightrope walk. The problem is that both sulphate and glyphosate are kosmotropes, which can have a devastating impact on the blood.

A kosmotrope is a substance that can cause water to become gelled. Too much sulphate in blood can turn it into sludge, so it cannot circulate and bring nutrients and oxygen to cells or remove waste. Therefore, transport of sulphate is always a balancing act between cellular requirements and blood viscosity.

However, when glyphosate is added to the picture, the risk is even greater. Glyphosate is also a kosmotrope, which makes it significantly more difficult for sulphate to be transported where it’s needed. As a result, sulphate transport is disrupted in the presence of glyphosate.

Increase in Flavonoid Synthesis

Glyphosate interferes with synthesis of the aromatic amino acid, tryptophan, instead favoring the production of flavonoids by as much as 20 times normal. While flavonoids are generally believed to be health-inducing,  Samsel & Seneff’s paper presents the likelihood that the picture is far more complex, and they propose a role for them in sulphate transport in the presence of glyphosate.

It’s known that, in both plants and microbes, glyphosate induces synthesis of two kinds of phenols: monophenolic compounds and polyphenolic flavonoids. Although monophenols are known to be toxic, flavonoids are generally thought to be beneficial for heath. However, their metabolic mechanisms are unknown.

Carbon rings are part of the molecular structure of phenols. Molecules with carbon rings have a special capability. They can diffuse the effects of kosmotropes. Therefore, phenols, including monophenols and flavonoids, are able to diffuse the effects of sulphate by binding to it and escorting it through the bloodstream.

Sulphate transport comes under pressure in the face of glysophate’s kosmotropic gelling effect on the blood. Therefore, aromatic amino acids may be oxidized into phenolic compounds to compensate, that is, to provide more phenols for sulphate transport.

However, once a phenol has delivered its sulphate, it becomes highly toxic. Sulphate-free phenols are destructive to phospholipids and DNA.

Therefore, to fulfill the more pressing need of sulphate transport, authors Samsel & Seneff propose that flavonoids are synthesized instead of tryptophan. That is, because of flavonoids’ ability to counter the kosmotropic effects of glyphosate, they are produced at the expense of tryptophan.

They propose that, in the presence of glyphosate, flavonoids and phenols can transport sulphur from the gut to the liver, and then return to the gut by way of the hepatic portal vein to repeat the process. However, once a phenol has given up the sulphate anion in the liver, it becomes toxic, over time causing damage to the liver and the digestive system.

While the immediate problem of sulphate transport is resolved by overproducing flavonoids, there’s a distinct downside in the long term. First, of course, is underproduction of tryptophan, with resultant harmful effects on tryptophan-associated processes. It also results in loss of sulphates from the gut, resulting in development of chronic disorders.

Disruption of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes

Glyphosate causes an excess build-up of shikimate by inhibiting EPSP synthase, a critical enzyme in the process that leads to the aromatic amino acids.  As a consequence, the precursors are sent down other pathways that produce toxic compounds. For example, activity of the enzyme PAL is substantially increased, leading to the release of ammonia.

This appears to be a significant factor in glyphosate’s damaging effects.

At the same time that PAL activity is increased, a side branch of the tryptophan synthesis pathway is opened to synthesize flavonoids. As noted before, flavonoids’ metabolic function is not yet understood, so their benefits may not be the whole story.

Cytochrome P450 (CYP) is a large family of enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of organic substances and is critical for detoxing xenobiotics. It’s been established since 1998 that glyphosate inhibits CYP in plants. Therefore, it follows that their detoxing function is disrupted.

Retinoic acid is catabolized (destroyed) by a CYP enzyme called CYP26A1. Though retinoic acid is required for the process of developing neural differentiation, the neuron cannot mature until retinoic acid is removed by CYP26A1. Therefore, glyphosate’s inhibition of the CYP enzyme prevents the neuron from maturing.

CYP enzymes function throughout the body, both inside cells and through the bloodstream. Glyphosate is also carried in the blood. Thus, by inhibiting their function, glyphosate can disrupt any activity in which CYP enzymes are active. This is of particular concern in blood clotting, where two CYP enzymes are involved. Thromboxane A2 synthase (CYP5A1) regulates clotting and prostacyclin synthase (CYP8A1) regulates hemorraging. Glyphosate in the blood can inhibit these enzymes, thus disturbing the delicate balance of blood clotting and dissolution.

Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) is a member of the CYP family. It’s important for production of nitric oxide (NO), which is needed to relax blood vessels to ease blood flow.

Though not yet documented, it’s predicted that glyphosate disrupts the production of sulphate by eNOS in the endothelium, further exacerbating the sulphate transport concern.

Evidence of CYP Enzyme Inhibition

Multiple evidence from several areas demonstrates that glyphosate inhibits CYP enzyme activity. It inhibits aromatase, which is a CYP enzyme that’s key in converting testosterone to estrogen. Retinoic acid activity is enhanced, which can be explained by suppression of the CYP enzyme that breaks it down. Studies document that glyphosate suppresses certain detoxifyng CYP enzymes.

Two studies demonstrate that activity of CYP19, aromatase, is inhibited by glyphosate. It takes only 10 parts per thousand to disrupt aromatase’s activity in a human liver cell line. At concentrations just one-hundredth the recommended agricultural use, aromatase is inhibited in human placental cells. Worse, when glyphosate is combined with chemicals in RoundUp, these effects happen with just 1/20 as much glyphosate.

In another study, a 15 micromoles concentration of glyphosate resulted in cutting the activity of benzene-detoxing CYP enzymes to one-fourth of normal. When the concentration was increased to 35 micromoles of glyphosate, the CYP activity was completely stopped.

A compelling study documented that rats given glyphosate intragastrically for two weeks suffer a reduction of CYP activity in the liver. This result is not surprising, since glyphosate is an organophosphate, and it’s well established that this class of pesticides inhibits CYP enzyme function in human liver cells. Therefore, it would be unsurprising to find that glyphosate’s inhibition of CYP liver enzymes that detox benzene could lead to severe adverse effects, since it’s known to cause cancer.

Glyphosate may also be an indirect factor in the ongoing die-off of bees. The class of insecticides called neonicotinoids is known to kill bees. One study has found reduced pollination in genetically modified Roundup-Ready canola compared to organic canola. The authors suspect that a synergistic effect between glyphosate and neonicotinoids is worsening bee die-off.

Pathology Induction by Glyphosate

Gyphosate causes disruption of the shikimate pathway in gut bacteria, which results in a domino effect of pathology. It causes formation of excess shikimate, along with deficiencies of aromatic amino acids in plants.

Aromatic amino acids include phenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine, among others. All three can be in short supply as a result of glyphosate’s enzymatic suppression. Phenylalanine cannot be synthesized in the body and is required for synthesis of tyrosine. Its suppression results in a cascade of adverse effects, including of course, reduction in tyrosine.

Excess ammonia is observed in the cells of plants treated with glyphosate. This is true for both natural and Roundup Ready plants. A likely cause of the excess ammonia is glyphosate-induced increase in the activity of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), an enzyme found in both plants and microbes that catalyzes release of ammonia. Most of glyphosate’s ability to retard plant growth is probably a result of PAL activity, which produces both toxic ammonia and phenolic compounds.

Glyphosate Effects on Gut Bacteria

Evidence of glyphosate’s disruption of gut bacteria is found in cattle and poultry. Over the last ten to fifteen years, Clostridium botulinum infection has increased in German cattle. Glyphosate is toxic to Enterococcus, a friendly bacterium. This leads to a gut imbalance that favors overgrowth of Clostridium.

Research documents that glyphosate reduces beneficial bacteria and increases pathological bacteria in the gut. Particularly pathogenic strains of drug-resistant Salmonella and Clostridium were found, while beneficial Enterococcus, Bacillus, and Lactobacillus are susceptible to glyphosate. The result is overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria at the expense of beneficial bacteria.

In one instance, pathogenic bacteria do a good turn—but in the end, negate it with a particularly nasty by-product. Antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas are opportunistic pathogens that can break glyphosate down into metabolically-safe and usable phosphate and carbon. Unfortunately, a by-product of the process is neurotoxic formaldehyde, which can cause amyloid-like misfolding of tau protein in neurons, much like those found in Alzheimer’s brains, among other mischief.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) suffers starvation, energy drain, and shut-down of the shikimate pathway in the presence of glyphosate. A switch to anaerobic fermentation occurs instead of oxidizing glucose (sugar), which is a less efficient method of producing energy. It is reminiscent of changes in soil microbes with glyphosate application.

Frogs and Embryonic Development

In research comparing the effects of pesticides on frogs, glyphosate was unique in being able to destroy tadpoles. Out of four species, two had no survivors, one had almost none, and the overall survival of the four species was 70 percent.

Glyphosate had a synergistic effect with a fungal pathogen, Batrachochotrium dendrobatidis, which reduced survival of tadpoles.

It is probable that glyphosate is a factor in the worldwide disappearance of frogs, and also that embryonic development is disrupted.

Slow Effects in Mammals

Samsel & Seneff state:

An insidious issue with glyphosate is that its toxic effects on mammals take considerable time to be overtly manifested.

Nonetheless, evidence is building in mammalian studies. Research on rats given glyphosate in quantities equivalent to the highest legally-allowed doses demonstrated that they suffered oxidative stress in only 30-90 days.

A long term study examined rats fed genetically modified (GM) maize, nonGM maize without glyphosate, or GM maize with glyphosate. The experiment ran for the rats’ lifetimes, about two years. Unlike previous short-term research that had ended at 3 months. The results were dramatic. Rats fed the genetically-modified glyphosate-treated maize suffered multiple pathologies, including enormous mammary tumors in females, and gastrointestinal, liver, and kidney pathologies in males, which also developed skin and liver carcinomas. Male rats tended to die prematurely of liver and kidney deficiencies.

Roundup is a compound that includes both glyphosate and a surfactant called TN-20. Studies have found that the combination greatly increases glyphosate’s toxicity, resulting in mitochondrial damage, and both apoptic and necrotic cell death. It’s suspected that TN-10 disrupts the integrity of the cell barrier, which allows entry by glyphosate.

The synergistic effects of TN-20 with glyphosate were demonstrated in a study showing that dairy product starter microorganisms were inhibited by Roundup, but not by glyphosate alone. That study’s authors wondered if a recent loss in the biodiversity of raw milk might be caused by Roundup.

Part 1, Glyphosate: Chronic Disease Degeneration
Part 2, Glyphosate: Disease Creator
Part 3, Glyphosate: A Trajectory of Human Misery

Source:

Samsel, Anthony; Seneff, Stephanie. 2013. “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases.” Entropy 15, no. 4: 1416-1463; doi:10.3390/e15041416

A new study has demonstrated glyphosate’s ability to interfere with gut biota and underlying metabolic functions. The conclusion that glyphosate is a major factor in nearly all modern chronic diseases is inescapable. Here’s how those disturbed metabolic functions are associated with conditions like autism, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

by Heidi Stevenson

This is Part 2 of a three-part series:

Part 1, Glyphosate: Chronic Disease Degeneration
Part 2, Glyphosate: Disease Creator
Part 3, Glyphosate: A Trajectory of Human Misery

With the damage done to primary cellular function, it should not be a surprise that glyphosate is implicated in the modern health plague, chronic diseases. It seems likely that virtually all are, at the least, exacerbated by it. Following are discussions of a wide array of these condtions and likely associations with glyphosate.

Please note that the interrelationships among glyphosate’s effects are very complex. Therefore, as much as possible, health conditions are arranged so that associations with glyphosate’s effects can be best understood and repetition is minimized. Nonetheless, some points may seem a bit out of context, while others may appear to be repetitious—though I’ve attempted to reduce such irritations. It should also be noted that this is not a complete listing of diseases and conditions discussed by Samsel & Seneff’s report.

Most important of all, though, are the chilling effects that glyphosate and its symbiotic partner, Roundup, have on the human body.

Cholesterol and Vitamin D Deficiencies

Synthesis and breakdown of both cholesterol and vitamin D (which refers solely to vitamin D3 here) are affected by glyphosate’s effects on CYP enzymes. Though there’s certainly an association between sun avoidance and sunscreen use, it’s likely that part of this epidemic is associated with glyphosate.

The importance of glyphosate’s interference in synthesis of cholesterol cannot be overestimated. Cholesterol provides a wide array of functions throughout the body:

  • Cholesterol is a precursor for synthesis of vitamin D, bile acids, and every steroid.
  • Cholesterol is required to build and maintain membranes and membrane fluidity.
  • Cholesterol is involved in cellular transport.
  • Cholesterol is involved in cell signalling.
  • Cholesterol is involved in nerve conduction.
  • Cholesterol is part of the myelin sheath around nerves.
  • Cholesterol may act as an antioxident.

It’s not difficult to see that glyphosate’s interruption in cholesterol synthesis can have domino effects throughout the body.

Obesity

Obesity is at the base of much modern ill health. However, a strong argument can be made that the obesity epidemic itself is caused by Agribusiness use of glyphosate. It’s already been proposed that synthetic chemicals in general are behind the obesity epidemic. However, high levels of them are better noted for causing anorexia. Samsel & Seneff, though, argue that glyphosate can be behind both problems.

Tryptophan supply is curtailed by glyphosate. Serotonin is derived from tryptophan. Therefore, it follows that depletion of tryptophan leads to deficiency in serotonin.

But the tryptophan tale is even worse. When inflammation is present, after glyphosate redirects production to flavonoids, the limited tryptophan that is produced faces another glyphosate-induced problem. Gut inflammation causes tryptophan to be converted to kynurenine by lymphoid tissues at the inflamed site. So it’s engulfed by two types of white blood cells, macrophages and neutrophils, for self-protection. Immune cells hoard kynurenine so they can defend themselves against DNA damage.

Although the popular press ties serotonin only to depression, it’s highly significant in obesity. It is the hormone that indicates satiety so that hunger stops. Confirmation of the tryptophan-serotonin connection is confirmed by studies documenting low tryptophan and serotonin levels in obese people.

Sadly, trytophan levels remain low after weight reduction, so it should not be surprising that maintaining weight loss can be so difficult. Obesity is a genuinely pathological condition—a genuine disease, not a character defect.

In an experiment, a strain of endotoxin-producing bacteria was transferred from a human gut to the guts of mice with neither beneficial nor harmful bacteria. During a 16-week period, these mice became obese on a high-fat diet. Lest you think that it was the high-fat aspect that made them obese, the same diet was also fed to normal mice, which didn’t gain weight.

Glyphosate changes the balance of gut bacteria to endotoxin-producers. That fact, in conjunction with the fact that the obesity epidemic has increased along with glyphosate’s increased use, provides a strong prima facie case for glyphosate as a factor in obesity. This same trajectory of obesity has also happened in conjunction with glyphosate introduction in other areas of the world. South Africa, which started using glyphosate in the 1970s, along with Roundup Ready genetically modified crops, has the highest obesity rate in Africa.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

C. difficile is a known causative agent of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The incidence of C. difficile has increased a great deal in North America over the last few years. A study in Wisconsin showed that, although C. difficile was almost unknown in people with IBDs prior to 2003, it was found in 3% of cases in 2003, 7% in 2004, and 16% in 2005.

It is likely that glyphosate is fueling the growth in people with IBDs infected with C. difficile.

Glyphosate can also lead to IBD through its disturbances of tryptophan production. Normally, tryptophan is taken up by the liver primarily for production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the chemical produced by cells for energy. Any that isn’t taken up circulates in the blood, making it available to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) into the brain, where it’s used to make serotonin and melatonin. As already noted, low serotonin levels can lead to obesity.

Obesity does provide some limited protection against inflammatory disease in the gut. There are two factors providing such protection. One is that adipose (fat storing) tissues can store endotoxin produced by gut bacteria, so the lining is spared inflammatory damage. The other reason may be even more significant. Adipose tissue can supply sulphated steroids.

Unfortunately, though, obesity’s protection against inflammation can be overcome by the disturbance in tryptophan creation and processing. The process is not yet well understood. However, experiments on mice have shown the protective effect of obesity does break down, leading to severe inflammatory bowel disease, bleeding, and diarrhea.

Anorexia/Cachexia

The term anorexia nervosa in this study is better understood to mean simply anorexia, which does not involve the psychological condition of refusing to eat. Anorexia, in this context, refers to an inability to eat instead of refusal, and is more closely related to cachexia, which refers to weakness and wasting of the body. It is an end stage of much disease, including tuberculosis, cancer, and aids.

A typical aspect of IBS is weight loss that results from loss of ability to transport nutrients across a damaged gut barrier. Thus, the processes that can lead to obesity are, paradoxically, the same ones that, when taken to greater extremes, can also lead to anorexia and cachexia.

Glyphosate triggers inflammation in a variety of ways, including tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), which promotes muscle breakdown, thus likely being a factor in the cachexia of some chronic diseases.

Autism

It’s now well accepted that gut disease is associated with autism.

As noted earlier, glyphosate’s interference with the shikimate pathway results in overactivity of the enzyme PAL, which leads to excessive ammonia, which plays a toxic role in autistic brains.

The synthesis of ammonia is a byproduct of anaerobic fermentation, and anaerobic Clostridia bacteria are found in excess in the feces of children with autism. In general, by-products of anaerobic bacteria, which include phenols, amines, ammonia, and hydrogen sulphide, are toxic to the bowel.

Hepatic encephalitis—confusion, personality changes, reduced consciousness, and coma resulting from liver failure—is related to autism. The connection is ammonia. Impaired liver function prevents detoxification of ammonia, leading to symptoms of both autism and hepatic encephalitis.

Reduction of serotonin in the brain, which is indirectly caused by glyphosate’s redirection of tryptophan synthesis into flavonoids, is associated with autism:

  • One study comparing 40 autistic children with normal controls found that 35% of the autistic children had a far lower serum ratio of tryptophan to large neutral amino acids.
  •  Inadequate dietary tryptophan is known to exacerbate autistic children’s anxiety and repetitive behaviors.
  • Mice genetically designed with a defective gene that reduces availability of serotonin in the brain exhibited autistic-like behaviors.

Methylation impairment is seen in both autism and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s caused by an inadequate supply of methionine. An experiment on carrot cell lines demonstrated several pathologies resulting from glyphosate exposure. They were short of phenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine. On top of that, levels of three other amino acids, serine, glycine, and methionine, are cut by 50-65 percent.

Glyphosate interferes with synthesis of methionine, which is necessary for methylation, clearly indicating a link between glyphosate and both autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Ammonia, which is synthesized by gut bacteria as a result of glyphosate, plays a toxic role in Alzheimer brains.

Glyphosate fuels the growth of antibiotic-resistant Pseudomonas, which breaks it down into safe chemicals. Unfortunately, a byproduct of the process is formaldehyde, which can induce amyloid-like misfolding of proteins in the brain, a key trait of Alzheimer’s disease.

Lysosomes, structures in cells that break down waste materials, depend on sulphate—but glyphosate disrupts sulphate transfer. Liposomal dysfunction is a major factor in Alzheimer’s disease.

Excess ammonia, already demonstrated to be a problem caused by glyphosate, is a known issue in Alzheimer’s disease.

Glyphosate is a potent chelator of divalent cations, and zinc is one of them. Therefore, it’s likely that zinc is chelated and removed from the system, leading to zinc deficiency, which is noted for causing diarrhea and increasing risk of pneumonia and malaria. Glyphosate also reduces the number of friendly gut bacteria that help absorption of minerals, including iron and zinc.

Zinc is used in the brain in the process of degrading amyloid-β plaques. However, as a result of glyphosate, zinc can be in short order, so these plaques don’t get removed. The result is continued buildup of Alzheimer’s characteristic plaques, thus worsening, or possibly even causing, the condition.

Deficiencies of zinc and copper have been noted as likely factors in Alzheimer’s disease. A South Africa study found that supplementing zinc in Alzheimer’s patients known to be low in zinc did not help. However, when vitamins D and A were also supplemented at the same time, improvements were noted. This ties back to glyphosate’s impairment of CYP enzymes, which are required to synthesize vitamin D.

Parkinson’s Disease

Dopamine is synthesized from tyrosine, which is synthesized from phenylalanine—and phenyalanine is inhibited by glyphosate. Reducing tyrosine and phenylalanine in the diet reduces dopamine concentrations in the brain, so it’s reasonable to assume that reduction of tyrosine by glyphosate’s inhibition of phenylalanine will result in reduction of dopamine.

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by impaired dopamine signaling in the brain, and it has also been associated with several pesticides. Though glyphosate has not been named as one, that may be a result of preconceptions about its safety.

Sulphate deficiency has been noted in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, as well as Alzheimer’s and amytrophic lateral sclerosis, which though generally considered hereditary, has been increasing over the last few years. Thus, there is good reason to suspect glyphosate’s complicity in all three of these devastating brain conditions.

Multiple Sclerosis

Molecular mimicry is a theory of some autoimmune disorders. It suggests that abnormal entry into the body of a molecule that is similar to ones found in the body can result in an immune response that identifies normal tissues for attack and destruction because of the resemblance.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the myelin sheath around nerves is attacked and destroyed by the immune system. MS sufferers often have inflammatory bowel disease. A search of the scientific literature found matching mimics in gut bacteria. Coupled with glyphosate’s ability to cause gut inflammation and leaky gut syndrome, a case can be made that the increasing rate of MS is related to the herbicide.

Liver Disease

Fatty liver disease is a growing threat to health. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease leads to cirrhosis and liver failure. Several glyphosate-related factors may be involved.

TNF-α and other cytokines, which are triggered by glyphosate, induce liver-damaging inflammation. TNF-α inhibits insulin signaling, which is a factor in metabolic syndrome. Cytokines can induce fibrosis and lipid overloading in the liver.

Of course, obesity is associated with liver disease, and glyphosate can induce obesity.

Sleep Disorders

Typtophan is a precursor of melatonin, which is excreted from the pineal gland, and it’s a major factor in sleep cycle regulation. Glysophate’s disruption of tryptophan production may be a factor in sleep disorders.

Fertility

Zinc, which has been shown in the discussion on Alzheimer’s disease to be diminished by glyphosate, is necessary for male reproduction.

Cholesterol sulphate is essential in fertilization, so glyphosate-induced CYP inhibition, which can interfere with cholesterol production, can interfere with fertilization, helping to explain falling fertility rates.

In 1978, Argentina’s birthrate peaked, and has been in decline since then, but the rate of decline accelerated in the last five years of the 20th century. Roundup Ready soybeans were introduced there in 1996 and spread at an unprecedented rate. Argentina is now the leading soybean producer in the world.

The second largest soybean producer is Brazil, where the fertility rate has dropped from more than 6 per woman to under 2. Like Argentina, in the mid-90s they took to to Roundup Ready soybeans with the associated use of glyphosate. A plague of glyphosate-resistant superweeds has developed, which has resulted in massively increased usage of the herbicide. Since starting to grow genetically modified crops, both a rapid decrease in the birth rate and increase in still births have been noted.

The birth rates in both western Europe and the US have declined for several years. While other factors are certainly at play, it seems probable that glyphosate is also a culprit.

Glyphosate has been shown to interfere with testosterone production. In men, the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) is required in the process to synthesize the hormone testosterone. A study on a rat cell line found that very low doses of Roundup interfere with StAR function, and higher doses cause necrosis and apoptosis of rat testicular cells. StAR protein levels were reduced by 90 percent.

Aside from StAR, another enzyme called the side chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) is required to produce steroids. The research just described also found that Roundup inhibits P450scc activity by 71%.

Interestingly, glyphosate alone did not have this effect. Samsel & Seneff surmise that it was a combination of glyphosate and surfactants acting in synergy that had the effect. Significantly, StAR and P450scc are involved in producing several hormones, not only testosterone. Therefore, Roundup is also likely to have adverse effects not only on fertility, but also on the adrenal glands, which produce the glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids steroids.

An in vitro study on synthesis of progesterone in testicular Leydig cells compared the effects of several pesticides: Ammo, Banvel, Cotoran, Cyclone, Dual, Fusilade, and Roundup. Only Roundup had an effect, and that effect was significant. It reduced progesterone synthesis as much as 94% in a dose-dependent manner.

Birth Defects

Glyphosate is known to cross the placental barrier, and it has been associated with birth defects. A study of a farming population in Ontario, Canada showed a statistically significant increase in spontaneous late-term abortions associated with exposure to glyphosate at any time during pregnancy.

Glyphosate’s inhibition of CYP enzymes causes an increase in retinoic acid. African clawed frog and chick embryos were exposed to low doses of glyphosate, 1/5,000 of the standard. The result was frog embryos that developed into tadpoles with cranial deformities and chick embryos with microcephaly, abnormally small heads. These defects were traced back to an increase in retinoic acid.

Glyphosate leads to inflammation and inflammation leads to excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Both ROS and RNS can damage DNA during replication, thus disrupting embryo development.

Cell cycle checkpoints exist in the life cycle of cells to verify whether there is any DNA damage before allowing progression to the next stage. This is of great importance in mitosis (cell division) to assure that defects are not passed on. Sea urchins, a very simple form of animal life, are used to study mitosis. Cyclin dependent protein kinases (CDKs) help verify whether cells should progress past checkpoints. A live sea urchin study found that Roundup delays activation of a CDK by dephosphorylation of tyrosine. This indicates a means by which glyphosate can cause birth defects and stillbirths.

Preeclampsia, a life threatening condition of pregnancy, may be caused by inadequate sulphate supply, which is caused by glyphosate. Preeclampsia is becoming a much more common problem in pregnant women.

Cancer

The last thing that glyphosate is generally accused of causing is cancer. That, though, may be far from true. Glysophate’s association with breast cancer is implicated as a result of glyphosate-exposed mice that developed massive breast tumors in a recent study. Breast cancer has recently skyrocketed in the US, with one in three women now expected to develop it.

The fact is that professional pesticide operators who are exposed to glyphosate through their jobs have been found to suffer an increased risk of myeloma, bone marrow tumors known to be associated with disease-causing agents. Glyphosate causes chronic inflammation, which is known to damage DNA. Depleted tryptophan is also linked to DNA impairment.

Multiple myeloma accounts for 15% of all lymphatohematopoietic cancers (cancers of blood and lymph production) and 2% of all cancer deaths in the United States. Glyphosate’s ability to trigger obesity is a likely factor in myeloma incidents.

Impaired sulphation is suggested as a cause of breast cancer because it could lead to slower metabolization of sex hormones, leading to increased breast density, which is associated with cancer. The CYP enzyme, CYP1A2, could be a factor as a result of inhibition by glyphosate, as well as its interference with sulphate transport.

Obesity is associated with breast cancer, which again leads to culpability of glyphosate. Inflammation has also been linked to it, so glyphosate’s ability to trigger inflammation implicates it again.

With so many aspects of glyphosate’s effects coming into play, it certainly shouldn’t be surprising that we’re seeing enormous increases in cancer rates.

Part 1, Glyphosate: Chronic Disease Degeneration
Part 2, Glyphosate: Disease Creator
Part 3, Glyphosate: A Trajectory of Human Misery

Source:

Samsel, Anthony; Seneff, Stephanie. 2013. “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases.” Entropy 15, no. 4: 1416-1463; doi:10.3390/e15041416

Glyphosate has likely caused more damage to human health than any other chemical ever produced. Indeed, it is probably a cause of the explosion in chronic diseases. Surely civilization cannot be maintained when the average person is irrevocably ill. This trajectory of human misery must come to an end.

by Heidi Stevenson

This is Part 3 of a three-part series:

Part 1, Glyphosate: Chronic Disease Degeneration
Part 2, Glyphosate: Disease Creator
Part 3, Glyphosate: A Trajectory of Human Misery

Ubiquity of Glyphosate

Glyphosate was first introduced in 1974 and has become the world’s most dominant herbicide. It’s now generic, so there are many brands and formulations. As a result, it’s virtually ubiquitous, found nearly everywhere on earth. Further driving its use are genetically modified (GM) crops, which were first developed for the purpose of creating glyphosate-tolerant plants, usually known as Roundup Ready. These have resulted in ever-more blatant and free use, especially in the wake of glyphosate-resistant superweeds. Estimates put glyphosate-tolerant GM crops at 90% of all transgene crops.

In the United States alone, the amount and increase in glyphosate’s use is stunning. The following table gives estimated figures in millions of pounds of glyphosate for one year:

Year

2001

2003

2005

2007

Range

85-90

128-133

155-160

180-185

Notice that the amount of use has doubled in just six years.

Exposure to Glyphosate

Samsel & Seneff state:

The Western diet is a delivery system for toxic chemicals used in industrial agriculture. It consists primarily of processed foods based on corn, wheat, soy and sugar, and they’re consumed in high quantities. Chemical residues of insecticides, fungicides and herbicides like glyphosate contaminate the entire diet.

Roundup Ready GM crops have become the mainstay of Agribusiness. These include soy, beet sugar, and corn—which supply the bulk of the processed food industry. High fructose corn syrup, implicated in the diabetes epidemic, is produced mostly with GM corn. Cotton is genetically engineered and its oil has entered the food supply.

Glyphosate is systemic in plants, so it cannot be washed off. If it’s used on a crop, it will be in the food produced from it. All the soy, sugar, cotton, and corn that ends up in packaged foods is carrying glyphosate into our bodies.

Food and dairy animals are raised in concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs). The bulk of their diets consists of GM grain crops. Grain and sugar crops take up higher levels of glyphosate than other crops. Therefore, the flesh, eggs, and milk of CAFO-raised animals are contaminated with glyphosate, which enters the food pipeline.

Glyphosate is used not only on Roundup Ready crops, but also on glyphosate-sensitive sugar cane and wheat shortly before harvest, when it acts as a dessicant. It’s also used as a dessicant on Roundup Ready sugar beets, canola, and cottonseed for oils, among others.

The perception that glyphosate is not toxic in humans results in difficulty obtaining figures on how much glyphosate ends up in the food supply. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Pesticide Data Program is voluntary. Searching for information on residues for the year 2010, the most recent year for which data is provided, shows residue levels for all pesticides except glyphosate and another organophosphate, glufosinate. The USDA has simply not monitored residue levels for either of these herbicides, though they will this year (2013), but only for a small sampling of glyphosate residues in soy.

Increasing Limits on Glyphosate Use

Governments have failed to control use of glyphosate. The precautionary principle has not been in evidence anywhere. The drive to use it has increased as the use of glyphosate on Roundup Ready crops, which has driven development of noxious superweeds. Therefore, Agribusiness in the forms of chemical and biotech industries have demanded increased limits on glyphosate residue.

In 1999, the EU and UK, where no GM crops are currently grown for human consumption, increased the limit for soy from 0.1 parts per million to 20 ppm—a 200-fold increase! The US limit for soy is currently the same.

Pressure is now on to increase levels even more. In the EU, industry is pressing for an increase of at least 100 times current residue levels in lentils from 0.1 ppm to 10 ppm, or even 15 ppm. Safety isn’t factored in. Approval levels are based solely on anticipated use, and glyphosate use is being driven massively higher by the noxious superweeds that exist only because of it.

The residue limits for food animals are even worse, and by a huge amount. Animal-feed grass is allowed glyphosate residues of 300 ppm, and animal-feed corn can have glyphosate residues of 400 ppm!

Glyphosate’s Toxicity

It should come as no surprise that sickness is becoming the normal state of health. Chronic diseases, once fairly rare, are now how we live and die. Diseases once seen almost exclusively in the elderly are now being seen in children. Autoimmune and neurological disorders are becoming common.

There are many potentially causative and contributory factors, but glyphosate has generally gotten a pass because it was considered “generally recognized as safe”—GRAS—for its apparently low toxicity. Indeed, short term studies appeared to confirm its innocence. However, long term studies of its effects on health weren’t done until recently. The most insidious factor in glyphosate’s toxicity has been the slow expression of harmful effects. Because of it, studies demonstrating glyphosate’s insidious action inside the body—like those Samsel & Seneff reviewed—have been systematically ignored.

So glyphosate is now the most popular herbicide on earth, and that factor is driving the extent of harm it produces. It isn’t just the fact of its toxicity that’s at issue, it’s the sheer volume of usage.

Samsel & Seneff’s research is blowing away the smokescreen around the harmful effects of this monstrous product. They have provided specifics for how glyphosate can destroy health and produce the modern plague of chronic diseases.

Glyphosate: A Trajectory of Human Misery

The proven and probable effects of glyphosate are manifold. The meteoric rise in chronic diseases and metabolic disorders has occurred during the same time period that glyphosate was introduced, and has followed a trajectory much like that of the herbicide’s massive increase in use.

At some point, officials in power must take their heads out of the sand and address the evidence that ties glyphosate to the epidemic of chronic diseases. Samsel and Seneff have now collected, sorted, and logicially extrapolated on evidence from studies, and they leave little question that there must be an association between the herbicide and the phenomenom of mass ill health.

Samsel and Seneff do not oversell their findings. They clarify that glyphosate is not the only toxin in today’s world. Nonetheless, its known effects on some of the human body’s most basic functions—disruption of gut bacteria, impairment of sulphate transport, and interference with CYP enzyme activity—indicate that, at the very least, glyphosate must have a synergistic effect with other environmental toxins.

It is, therefore, imperative that—at the very least—a moratorium be declared on the use of glyphosate until and unless it can be demonstrated to be safe. Surely it’s long past time to apply the precautionary principle to glyphosate and its partner in synergy, Roundup. The toll in human suffering, not to mention costs to society and economic losses, cannot be allowed to continue.

Surely civilization cannot be maintained when the average person is irrevocably ill. This trajectory of human misery must come to an end.

Part 1, Glyphosate: Chronic Disease Degeneration
Part 2, Glyphosate: Disease Creator
Part 3, Glyphosate: A Trajectory of Human Misery

Source:

Samsel, Anthony; Seneff, Stephanie. 2013. “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases.” Entropy 15, no. 4: 1416-1463; doi:10.3390/e15041416

 

Plenty to Follow in Food Safety Regulations

I’m probably the only advocate of traditional food and farm freedom in this country that is following the overall destruction of our ability to access food of our choice  in connection with the implementation of the GFSI. At this point, I still haven’t made it through the FDA’s two recent rules for the Food Safety Modernization Act. I assure you, with the double attack of the non-governmental GFSI and the implementation of the FSMA, food freedom will be taking a hit like it has never seen before.

I just wanted to share this little snippet to illustrate how the only ones who will actually profit from these programs are the third party certifying and auditing agencies…..And armies of bureaucrats with plethoras of paperwork enhancing their own job security through these programs. Mind you, I am not smacking down the company offering their services here. I know nothing about them. I just thought followers of my blog would like to see the confession of complexity by one involved in the support of businesses trying to live in this Brave New World.

Here’s the excerpt:

Plenty To Follow In Food Safety Regulations – FSMA and GFSI

January 31 2013

Every day food plants across the United States process tons of food for hungry consumers. Everything from milk to ground beef to a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables, these plants are at the epicenter of food production.

A look inside the numbers of food processing is quite impressive: 20 billion gallons of milk are produced annually in the United States not only for drinking and dunking cookies, but for being poured over cereal or put in coffee, and in the production of cheese, ice cream and butter. According to the American Meat Institute, 10 billion pounds of ground beef is consumed in the U.S. annually – that’s a whole lot of burgers.

The Sprague Pest Experts get to see behind the curtain of food processing on a daily basis as our highly trained service staff works with clients to protect their facilities from unhealthy pests, as well as assist them in preparing and successfully passing food safety audits. Today, as we go about our duties, the landscape of food safety regulations is changing rapidly. Driven by new Global Food Safety Initiatives (GFSI) standards and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), food industry professionals have a full plate in front of them. (full article here)

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