CRISPR- Genetically Editing Food, Animals and People-

Below is a fairly in depth article regarding this new technology that the USDA and certainly, the FDA will (and have) done nothing about in the regulatory arena. The USDA recently approved CRISPR edited mushrooms that are genetically altered to reduce browning. They don’t require any special studies or limitations because they are just doing in a few days what, according to other sources, might take a thousand years in nature.

CRISPR Is Going To Revolutionize Our Food System—And Start A New War Over GMOs

The gene-editing tool could create drought-resistant grain or allergy-free peanuts. Will a society on edge about genetically modified food embrace this newest innovation?

Adele Peters 03.15.16 6:00 AM

In five years, there might be a little CRISPR-edited corn in your breakfast cereal or CRISPR-edited wheat in your pasta. CRISPR’d tomatoes and CRISPR’d pork might follow. There’s already a little CRISPR in your yogurt.

It’s not hyperbolic to say that CRISPR-Cas9—new technology that makes it possible to quickly and easily edit DNA—is changing the future of food. The method could eventually be used to tweak almost anything we eat, selecting traits that can make agriculture more environmentally sustainable and productive, or the resulting food healthier.

A Molecular Scalpel

The technology is based on a natural process. Many bacteria have a hidden talent: In order to protect themselves from viruses, they cut the virus’s DNA. First, they save a fragment of an invading virus’s DNA in a pattern known as CRISPR (short for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” which describes how the segment looks). If the virus comes back, the bacteria can recognize and hone in on it. Then it uses an enzyme called Cas9 to make a cut in the DNA, disabling the virus.

A few years ago, researchers figured out how to use the same method to edit any kind of DNA. By using guide RNA—the same type of molecule that bacteria use to find and fight a virus, but that can also easily be made in the lab from DNA in a few steps—scientists realized that they could target any spot in the genome of a plant or animal and make a deletion or paste something else in.

“I think a good analogy is a molecular scalpel,” says Jennifer Doudna, the University of California-Berkeley professor who was first to publish a paper about using CRISPR for gene editing in 2012 (Doudna and her colleagues are currently embroiled in a bitter legal battle with MIT researchers over the patent for the technology). “It’s a way that scientists can make very precise changes in the DNA and cells of organisms—down to the level of a single letter in the DNA code out of 3 billion base pairs in the human genome.”
“If editing a single gene might have taken years with older techniques, now it can happen in a matter of days with a single grad student.”

If editing a single gene might have taken weeks, months, or even years with older techniques, now it can happen in a matter of days with a single grad student. Old techniques—such as using a “gene gun” to shoot DNA into plant cells to make something like the earliest GMO soybeans—took far longer to reach a desired result; researchers would have to grow plants to see which ones happened to end up with the traits they wanted. More recent gene-editing tools, such as TALENs and zinc fingers, made it possible to directly target a particular gene for the first time but are more time-consuming than CRISPR in their design and construction.

CRISPR is comparatively easy, because all it requires is ordering some products that are widely available and synthesizing RNA, a simple process in a lab. “This is what I call the democratization of gene editing,” says Rodolphe Barrangou, one of the first researchers to realize how bacteria were naturally using CRISPR. “There were gene-editing technologies that existed before . . . but it was difficult, it was expensive, it was time-consuming, it wasn’t trivial. What CRISPR really has done is enable that gene-editing revolution that we’re witnessing.”

Since the beginning of last year, researchers have published more than 16,000 studies using CRISPR: editing mouse genes to repair genetic disease, designing better biofuels, figuring out which genes are responsible for certain traits and illnesses, and even—controversially—genetically editing human embryos.

But put the deep moral quandaries about human gene editing aside for a minute. In the world of farming, researchers are using CRISPR to work on some foods that might have been too complicated or expensive to genetically engineer in the past, along with the bigger crops that already have GMO versions.
A New Solution For Our Food Supply

At DuPont, researchers are working on CRISPR/Cas9-edited versions of commodity crops such as corn, soybeans, canola, rice, and wheat, which they expect to have on the market in 5 to 10 years. The plants have new traits like drought resistance and higher yields—both critical features for farmers trying to deal with a changing climate and the fact that the world population is growing faster than our food supply.
“The plants have new traits like drought resistance and higher yields—both critical features for farmers trying to deal with a changing climate.”

“When you think about the fact that your average biotech crop takes 10 to 17 years, that’s a really remarkable speed compared to where the market is today,” says Rachel Haurwitz, cofounder of Berkeley-based Caribou Biosciences, which partnered with DuPont to provide Caribou’s version of CRISPR. “I find that really, really exciting.”

The technique can also be used to remove allergens in peanuts, or make food more nutritious, all while using genes that naturally occur in the plant.

It might also save the modern banana. The Cavendish banana, the only type of banana sold in most grocery stores—because it is grown around the world as a monoculture crop—is on the verge of extinction because of a fungal disease. While some researchers are racing to test less-common varieties of bananas to try to find an alternative, a Korean researcher hopes to use CRISPR to snip out the receptor that the fungus uses, so it would no longer have an effect.

CRISPR may also keep livestock healthier without relying on antibiotics, which are overused in animals and leading to antibiotic resistance that is killing humans. “You can actually harness CRISPR systems as antimicrobials, and they provide a great alternative to classic antibiotics,” says Barrangou. “You can program them to selectively target one or more organisms of interest. Whereas most classical antibiotics are very broad-spectrum—when you consume them they wipe out the good guys and the bad guys indiscriminately—CRISPR is opening new doors for programmable antibiotics whereby you could selectively eradicate a pathogenic species.”

Some researchers are also experimenting with directly editing livestock genes to help protect animals from disease. One pig disease costs farmers $600 million a year; in 2015, researchers created a gene-edited version of pigs that couldn’t catch the illness. Twenty percent of all animals raised for food are lost to disease, which is a massive sustainability problem as well as a cause of animal suffering. Gene editing could potentially help change that in a way that traditional breeding hasn’t been able to.

Other meat might be gene edited to be healthier. The same Korean researchers working on the Cavendish banana have also created a variety of pig that is extra-muscly, so it can produce leaner cuts of pork. “We could do this through breeding,” lead researcher Jin-Soo Kim, of Seoul National University, told Nature. “But then it would take decades.”

CRISPR can also be used in its natural form—and it already is. When Barrangou first began studying CRISPR in bacteria, he realized that it could be harnessed to help prevent food waste in dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. It’s not uncommon in the dairy industry for viruses to attack the cultures that are used for fermentation, and that can lead to the loss of thousands or even millions of gallons of milk in a single instance. By selecting variants of the cultures that naturally get vaccinated against viruses, the industry can prevent that from happening.

“If people eat yogurt and people eat cheese, there’s a 50% chance, give or take, that people have been consuming dairy products that were manufactured using CRISPR-enhanced bacteria,” he says. The industry has used the natural form of CRISPR for more than a decade. It can also be used in other fermentation processes, such as pickling or making kimchi, soy sauce, or wine.

There’s potential for CRISPR to be used much more widely. But it isn’t clear yet if the technology can avoid the Monsanto problem—the public distaste for eating anything genetically edited. Public support for GMO food is still very low, despite the fact that the majority of scientists believe it’s safe. In a 2015 survey, most Americans said that genetically engineered food should be labeled—and that they probably wouldn’t buy it. More than half of those surveyed said they think it’s unsafe.

It’s possible CRISPR-edited food might not be seen the same way. In some cases—when the technology is simply used to delete a gene in a plant, rather than adding in anything from another species—the USDA doesn’t consider CRISPR’d food a GMO. The plant looks genetically identical to something that could have been created through cross-breeding or evolution.

Even adding a gene could sometimes end up being the same as a traditionally bred crop. “I think it’s exciting to think, for example, about some of the gene variants that are known to exist in wild strains of particular crops of interest, and the ability to use CRISPR to insert those naturally occurring wild variants into elite crops in a very rapid way, in a very precise way,” says Haurwitz. “It gets you the same product as if you had spent years and years breeding the wild strain with your commercial strain. At the end of the day, it’s the very same product, but it could get to consumers substantially faster by using CRISPR.”

Cibus, a San Diego-based startup making CRISPR-edited flax, position their products as a non-GMO food. “DNA ‘spelling changes’ occur naturally in all plants and are the basis behind the diversity we see in plants as we walk in our local parks or in the forest,” says Greg Gocal, senior vice president of research and development at Cibus. “During domestication events that selected the world’s crop plants, genetic diversity was lost. Breeders have been working for decades to augment crop diversity using mutation breeding. However, this is random. . . . Non-transgenic breeding, which includes technologies such as precision gene editing, can also restore lost genetic diversity.”

Even in Europe, where regulation has been stricter, there are early indications that CRISPR’d foods may not be regulated. In Sweden, authorities recently said that CRISPR-edited plants (as long as they don’t contain foreign DNA) shouldn’t be defined as GMOs under EU legislation.

EU law says that it must be possible to detect a GMO food—and because CRISPR-edited foods are identical to those that are not GMOs, they can’t be detected. It also says that the changes that occur must not be more “uncertain” than something that could occur with techniques like breeding. “The changes are identical to those that could occur with techniques that are not considered to produce GMOs,” says Stefan Jansson, head of the department of plant physiology at Umeå University.
“”Since most politicians consider it to be political suicide to express their opinions about GMOs, maybe they now dare to stand up.””

While the Swedish ruling could be overturned by the EU Commission, Jansson believes there’s increasing support for biotech food. “It is clear that there are very many, in addition to us in the scientific community, who are deeply concerned that the lack of access to efficient plant breeding is a serious threat to the possibilities to make food production sustainable,” he says. “Since most politicians consider it to be political suicide to express their opinions about GMOs, maybe they now dare to stand up.”

In an analysis of the psychology behind why people dislike GMOs, researchers pointed to transgenesis—the mixing of species—as one problem. People tend to see inserting a fish gene into a tomato as fundamentally unnatural. But if CRISPR is used to insert genes from the same plant (or just to take a gene away), it’s possible that might shift attitudes.

It’s also possible that it won’t. “Given the fact that CRISPR can be viewed as tampering with a organism’s essence, I’m afraid that biotechnologists might face an opposition similar to the GMO case,” says Stefaan Blancke, co-author of the paper on the psychology of GMO opposition.

“There probably are some critics who are going to be more accepting because of CRISPR,” says Paul Thompson, a bioethicist and professor at Michigan State University. “But the vast majority are focused on broader philosophical issues. . . . You’ve got this community of critics who in some respects don’t really care that much about what the details are. There’s been this kind of creation of a lot of—I don’t want to be dismissive, but I’ll use the word mythology—about GMOs. And I’m constantly talking to people that I like and respect in the sustainable agriculture community who are just quite, at least from my perspective, misinformed about what GMOs actually are and what they actually do.”

One of the few scientists to speak out about GMOs argues that CRISPR is fundamentally no different than earlier technology, and that CRISPR-edited foods should be regulated before they go on the market. “Is it more exact than the use of a gene gun, where it’s literally scattershot? Sure,” says Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist at Consumers Union, the organization that publishes Consumer Reports. “It’s more exact, but there can still be off-target effects.”
“”We’ve never been against the use of any technology. We just think that before these technologies come out on the market—whether it’s CRISPR or anything else—there should be required safety assessments.””

Hansen points to the fact that Doudna and other researchers have called for caution in the use of CRISPR in humans—because of potential unknowns—and thinks that the same caution should be applied to food. “We’ve never been against the use of any technology,” he says. “We just think that before these technologies come out on the market—whether it’s CRISPR or anything else—there should be required safety assessments, and those crops should be labeled.”

For now, however, the technology is moving ahead, and most researchers think that’s a good thing. “I think there’s real potential from a technology perspective,” says Haurwitz. “But I think that potential can only be realized if we the industry do a good job of communicating to the rest of the world how beneficial it will be for growers, for consumers . . . for everyone involved in the food value chain.”

The FDA To Test for Round Up Residue

As most people who pay any attention to our food supply issues know, glyphosate is in pretty much everything. It’s in urine, breast milk and umbilical cord blood in over 90% of urban dwellers tested for presence. Over 90% of the corn and soy in this country are GMO variants…What could go wrong?

Additionally, a very likely cause of the increase in gluten intolerance is that some wheat farmers are flooding the wheat fields with glyphosate prior to harvest to cause the wheat to know it’s dying and push it’s energy into the seed quickly (increasing the weight of the yield) and to make it easier to harvest because the dead, dry plants are less likely to tangle and slow the equipment down. Not all are doing this, but some are…and it’s no good.

The article below details a recent announcement that the FDA (Food Destruction Agency) is going to test four foods for the presence of glyphosate. If history is an indicator, as it usually is, the FDA results will probably be “negligible presence found”, and they will pat themselves on the back for being good controllers of the food supply. But maybe, just maybe, a few honest people will be involved and real results might be put out-officially, or unofficially.

Link to the article is in the headline below:

 

FDA to test food for Monsanto weedkiller

© Vincent Kessler

Info on Proposed Additional Beef Check Off for Missouri

If you’ve been raising cattle for any length of time, you know how the Check Off issue is loaded with corruption and seeming misappropriation of funds. Everyone gets to pay the Check Off and very few benefit from the additional collection of funds. Well Missouri wants to add an increased check off tax for just Missouri. Please read the following from Missouri Rural Crisis Center and then download this pdf form and register so your voice is counted in the discussion.
STOP the New Missouri Beef Checkoff Tax
In order to Vote NO on this corporate money grab—
Cattle Producers Must Register before March 4th
Thank you for signing the petition opposing a new state beef checkoff tax. Now is the time to register with the Missouri Department of Agriculture to be eligible to vote—see registration forms enclosed.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture is holding a referendum to add a new beef checkoff tax. If passed, all cattle sold in Missouri will be assessed an additional $1 a head checkoff with the proceeds going to the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC). And, the only way to stop it is for Missouri cattle producers to register to vote before March 4th (registration forms are enclosed). If you have registered by March 4th, the Missouri Department of Agriculture will send you a ballot on April 4th.
We are in a cattle market crisis right now with feeder calves having lost up to 45% of their value between September and December (according to the Livestock Marketing Association) with no foreseeable end in sight. What is the response by the MBIC? They want us to give them $2 million more every year. They want a 200% raise? We should say no to this money grab.
Please fill out the enclosed registration form and reach out to other producers in your area that oppose the checkoff. Note: you will be asked to provide three years of cattle sales on this form—We must not let this rule deter us from registering and voting to stop this checkoff.
According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, anyone who has a shared interest in your cattle sales—including your spouse, son, daughter or business partner—can register to vote in this referendum. Each person can fill out separate registration forms and list the number of cattle sales that represent each person’s share in the business. For example, a husband and wife who marketed 50 head of cattle could each register and report 25 head of cattle marketed.
Here are ways you can register:
 We’ve included registration forms—fill them out and send them to the Missouri Department of Agriculture c/o Missouri Beef Referendum, P.O. Box 630, Jefferson City, MO 65102; or
 Go to agriculture.mo.gov and register online or print a form; or
 Call the Missouri Department of Ag at (573) 751-5633 and ask to have a registration form mailed to you; or
 Pick up a registration form at your county FSA office.
If you need additional registration forms or have any questions:
 Call the Missouri Rural Crisis Center at (573) 449-1336.
 We can email, mail or fax you a registration form(s).
All Registration Forms Must Be Postmarked by March 4th.
Paid for by the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Roger Allison, Executive Director, 1108 Rangeline Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Here are some key facts about why we oppose the state beef checkoff:
 There are no rules that this checkoff slush fund will be used to promote Missouri beef. The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association successfully lobbied to remove the “promote Missouri beef” language from the bill. And, our federal checkoff dollars are already being used to promote foreign beef in U.S. markets.
 There is no sunset clause on this beef checkoff. Once these programs are put into place, they are virtually impossible to get rid of. So, as cattle prices continue to decline, producers will still be paying the extra $2 million+ every year.
 The vast majority of current federal checkoff dollars end up in the coffers of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) that consistently supports policies favoring corporate meatpackers (even foreign-owned meatpackers) at the expense of Missouri’s independent cattle producers. The NCBA successfully lobbied to end Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and supports corporate packer ownership of livestock which drives down producer farm-gate prices.
 The Missouri Beef Industry Council ignored its own hand-picked “Missouri Beef Checkoff Taskforce” that voted to request a $.50 per head state checkoff instead of $1 on August 26th. Instead, the MBIC requested $1/head anyway—another clear example of the no accountability attitude of the Missouri Beef Industry Council.
 Supporters claim that there will be some way to get a refund after the fact, so they try to call this a “voluntary” program. In reality, cattle producers are forced to pay into this program by having the money taken out of their cattle sales checks before they even get them. If the fee is not paid when due, a penalty shall apply and the attorney general can sue cattle producers for the collection of checkoff fees and penalties. It doesn’t get any more mandatory than that. A complicated, time-consuming refund process does not eliminate this mandate to pay.
 This new checkoff would mean the state government would be collecting another $2.2 million from Missouri beef producers every year and giving our money to the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC), an unaccountable private entity that says it has “no obligation to disclose documents” about how our money is spent.
 The only way to stop this new checkoff tax is for independent cattle producers to say “NO”, otherwise starting in July, we will be paying over $4 million every year in beef checkoff fees.
Please register to vote today—
your vote could make the difference.

One More Reason to Grow Your Own and Come out the Killer Controlled Food System

FDA approves controversial drug to beef up farm animals despite being reported as the most dangerous livestock drug on market and being banned in 150 countries

by: Jennifer Lea Reynolds

FDA

(NaturalNews) If it’s been deemed bad in other countries, that’s often when the United States comes in and welcomes it with open arms. In this case, we’re talking about the fact that a California judge recently dismissed two lawsuits that claimed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) illegally approved a harmful drug additive – ractopamine hydrochloride – used in animal feed.(1)

Indeed, despite having information about the weight gain inducing drug’s detrimental effects on animals, and that the active ingredient, found in the brand Paylean, is banned in 150 countries, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers turned a blind eye.(1)

FDA records revealed that pigs in particular have suffered horrific consequences from being given the drug, which is designed to make them gain weight without having to consume a great deal of feed. While cost effective for the farming industry, it’s been found to have rendered 160,000 pigs unable to walk, to experience hyperactivity and broken limbs, and even to die.(1)

In fact, a Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) investigation determined that ractopamine is fed to “an estimated 60 to 80 percent of pigs in the United States” and has “resulted in more reports of sickened or dead pigs than any other livestock drug on the market.” Over the years, farmers and veterinarians have repeatedly expressed concern over ailing pigs.(1)

Still, the judge feels it’s appropriate to dismiss the lawsuits while these horrors continue to unfold.

Judge’s unbelievable reason for dismissing lawsuits

A portion of the judge’s explanation for the motion to dismiss reads as follows:

Due to statutory and regulatory requirements that applications to FDA for new drugs remain confidential… plaintiffs only became aware of the approvals, and FDA’s associated decision-making, when they were final and published in the Federal Register… Thus, plaintiffs were not able to participate in the administrative process prior to the FDA approvals at issue… Central to defendant-intervenor’s motion to dismiss, plaintiffs do not allege that they pursued any administrative remedies with the FDA relating to their NEPA grievances following the FDA approvals.(2)

So there you have it. The FDA is protected by secrecy, able to approve harmful drugs under a cloak of application confidentiality, knowing full well that participation in approval processes is limited. Not everyone is in on it, of course, especially those who the FDA knows would be likely take issue and dare to ask questions.

Organizations who take issue with this additive include the Center for Food Safety, the Sierra Club, the United Farmworkers of America and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, all of whom – along with others – originally filed the suit in 2014. They maintained that it violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Administrative Procedure Act when the animal feed additive containing ractopamine hydrochloride was approved. They are also adamant that the FDA did not properly test the feed additive, which is manufactured by Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly.(1)

What this means for you

What does this mean for your food and for those who advocate the humane treatment of animals? It means that animals will continue to be given drugs that severely compromise their health. They are dying, trembling and living in a constant state of fear.

It also means that the food you eat involves an additive – ractopamine hydrochloride – which has actually been deemed “not for human use,” yet has turned up in tested meat samples. This doesn’t just pertain to pigs, either; it’s been found that ractopamine is fed to turkeys and cattle as well.(3)

If this has you shaking your head in disbelief and disgust, it should. Once again, greed enters the picture – one that’s well-framed by loopholes and hush-hush regulatory processes.

New England Journal of Medicine Calls for GMO Labeling!

I don’t think this could have come at a better time. The Senate is due to vote on the Dark Act soon, and with such a prestigious medical journal now publishing an article stating that we should be labeling GM crops, it is not going to be easy for the Senators to keep holding the Monsanto line of “It’s great! And all the studies that show it isn’t are wrong because we say so.”  Mind you, I am not going to hold my breath thinking the US Federal Government will do the right and decent thing, but this is still fantastic ammo. Here is an excerpt from an article. The link to the article is in the title below:

New England Journal of Medicine article calls for labeling of GM foods

In the August 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, two respected experts on pesticides and children’s environmental health call for the FDA to require mandatory labeling of GMO foods.

Currently, the FDA does not require labeling of genetically modified foods, even though 65 countries mandate the labeling of GM foods, and more than 90 percent of Americans support it. Last month, the DARK Act, which would block states and federal government from making mandatory labeling laws, passed in the House. Next, it goes to the Senate.

What the article says

In the article, titled “GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health,” Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, the Dean for Global Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and co-author Charles Benbrook, a crop and soil scientist, say the time has come for three important steps.

One of these is GMO labeling. They write: “We believe the time has come to revisit the United States’ reluctance to label GM foods.”

As they explain, two recent developments are dramatically changing the GMO landscape:

  1. The number of chemical herbicides applied to GM crops has increased sharply and is scheduled to increase even more in the next few years.
  2. This year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate, the herbicide used most widely on GM crops, as a “probable human carcinogen.” And the agency classified 2,4-D, another herbicide, as a “possible human carcinogen.”

The authors believe labeling will have multiple benefits. It will help track the emergence of new food allergies and better evaluate the effects of chemical herbicides applied to GM foods. And also, it will respect the wishes of the growing numbers of consumers who insist they have a right to know what is in the foods and beverages they are buying.

The article also calls for the National Toxicology Program to urgently assess the nature, effects, and possible poisons in pure glyphosate, formulated glyphosate, and mixtures of glyphosate and other herbicides.

Finally, the article calls for the EPA to delay its implementation of its decision to allow the use of Enlist Duo, a combination herbicide made with both glyphosate and 2,4-D that is designed for use on GMO crops…..(rest here)

OIE and Animal Based Bio-Weapons

The OIE is basically the USDA on the animal side for all World Trade Agreements and therefore sets the harmonization and standardization for animal products and animal diseases within all WTO member states….Yes, I used the word states instead of nations, because we truly are now under global government. I could pontificate and illustrate for hours about just how this is now a fact, and the methods by which we have lost our nation, but I don’t have the hours to do so again. SO, if you desire to see how that happened in our food and livestock sector, just look for any article I have written on the Food Safety Modernization Act and GAP (Good Agricultural Practices). Maybe I’ll do it all again as a retrospective, but right now, I’m consumed with taking care of family and prepping for the imminent collapse. :Smiley Face: I hope you are as well!

The OIE is responsible for the foolish stamping out policies for diseases that must be controlled under trade standards. A quick illustration is the annihilation of all the poultry due to avian influenza here. Since it is classified as a “disease of concern” states must either be free of the disease, or have a “controlled” level of this disease. The “free” status is what brings about the stamp out or eradication policy. To maintain a free status, should a disease of concern present itself, all animals potentially exposed and potentially carriers must be killed to stop the disease. Biologic idiocy, but that’s “free trade”. If you kill all the animals exposed, it leaves no genetic pool that demonstrates resistance to draw from. So two birds out of 10,000 die and the whole barn must now be killed.

After that lovely little introduction to the OIE and the reason for such lack of reason, here is an article that people should know about. Please read between the lines and act accordingly:

Beware of animal diseases as biological weapons, health experts say

PARIS (Reuters) – The World Health Organization, animal health and national defense officers called on Tuesday for wider international cooperation to avoid the spread of animal diseases that could be used as biological weapons.

Sixty percent of human diseases come from animal agents and 80 percent of the agents that could be used for bio terrorism are of animal origin, said Bernard Vallat, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

“History has shown that animal diseases have often been used as weapons before. Advances in genetics can now make them even more harmful. So we are calling for further investment to be made at national level on bio security,” Vallat told reporters at a conference on biological threat reduction.

Diseases have spread from animals to humans for millennia, with latest examples including the bird flu virus that has killed hundreds of people around the globe.

The OIE and the WHO warned that animal disease agents could escape naturally, accidentally but also intentionally from laboratories, to be used as bio weapons.Earlier during the conference Kenneth Myers, Director of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), part of the Department of Defense, stressed the need for international collaboration to avoid the loss of biological material.

“Terrorists have clearly shown they will use any weapons at their disposal,” Myers said, noting that disease agents are easy to transport and difficult to detect.

Security breaches involving animal diseases are not rare.

The Pentagon said in May and earlier this month the U.S. military had sent live samples of anthrax, which can be used as biological weapon, to five countries outside the United States and to dozens of U.S. labs.

The conference on ‪‎biothreat reduction in Paris is the first to gather experts from the ‪‎OIE, ‪‎WHO, international police agency I‪nterpol, the ‪United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization FAO and representatives from the health, security or defense sectors from over 120 countries.

“The aim is to have the same voice on this subject,” Vallat said. “International solidarity is key because any country that does not implement standards can be a threat to the entire planet.”

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

Doctors Want Glyphosate (Round Up) Banned!

So 30,000 Argentinian doctors have shown they have much greater powers of observation than all the doctors at the FDA, USDA, AMA, CDC, and NIH combined. I don’t know, but I wonder if Argentina doctors have the same kind of nefarious relationship with big pharma as the doctors in the US do. Let’s not forget that Monsanto is 85% owned by Pfizer.

Here’s the article on the Argentinian doctors asking that glyphosate be banned:

30,000 Doctors in Argentina Demand that Glyphosate be Banned

Joining millions of citizen voices
pesticides_field_guys_735_350
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/30000-doctors-in-argentina-demand-that-glyphosate-be-banned/#ixzz3YcL327g5
Follow us: @naturalsociety on Twitter | NaturalSociety on Facebook

If the millions of regular people who have asked Monsanto to stop selling their toxic chemicals is not enough, more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals are asking that glyphosate be banned.

The doctors are part of FESPROSA, Argentina’s Union of medical professionals. Citing the World Health Organization’s recent declaration that the glyphosate chemicals used in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Round Up (formulated to use on Round Up Ready crops) are “likely carcinogenic,” they add an additional disclaimer:

Glyphosate is also associated with:

  • Spontaneous abortions
  • Birth defects
  • Skin disease
  • Respiratory illness
  • Neurological disease

Where are the American doctors who can tell the WHO, and Monsanto the same thing? Instead of forcing Monsanto’s hand, other doctors have been retaliating against Dr. Oz who recently said that glyphosate was dangerous on world-wide television.

Read: Glyphosate Found in Urine, Blood, Breast Milk

FESPROSA also explained:

“In our country glyphosate is applied on more than 28 million hectares. Each year, the soil is sprayed with more than 320 million litres, which means that 13 million people are at risk of being affected, according to the Physicians Network of Sprayed Peoples (RMPF). Soy is not the only crop addicted to glyphosate: the herbicide is also used for transgenic maize and other crops. Where glyphosate falls, only GMOs can grow. Everything else dies.”

The doctors also talk about vindicating one of their own:

Our trade union, the Federation of Health Professionals of Argentina (FESPROSA), which represents more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals in our country, includes the Social Health Collective of Andrés Carrasco. Andrés Carrasco was a researcher at [Argentine government research institute] CONICET, who died a year ago, and showed the damage caused by glyphosate to embryos. For disseminating his research, he was attacked by the industry and the authorities at CONICET. Today, WHO vindicates him.”

With evidence like this – how can any biotech shill talk about genetically modified food being ‘safe’ when the primary chemicals sold to grow them are killing the people of entire countries?

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/30000-doctors-in-argentina-demand-that-glyphosate-be-banned/#ixzz3YcJoOzJG
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