Round Up and Autism…MIT Professor Shows Stunning Correlation

Yesterday I came across some incredible information. As everyone is aware, the number of people affected by autism has been skyrocketing. I thought it was from vaccines and the additives present in them…Well, that looks like it is a part of the cause, but if you go through Dr Stephanie Seneff’s Power Point on Round Up prevalence and the increase in autism, it is simply stunning.

Here’s a chart form the PPT that really drives it home:

 

You can watch several videos of Seneff on youtube going over her various studies and the correlation between increases in various diseases and the striking relationship of glyphosate to the disease increase. Here is one that is about an hour long: Dr Seneff on Glyphosate and Autism.

Or you can copy this direct link below:

 

Tasmania Remains GMO Free!

Maybe I’ll move to Tasmania.

Tasmania Extends Ban on GM Crops Indefinitely

In a victory for the GMO Free movement in Australia the Tasmanian Government announced Thursday that it has extended the state’s ban on genetically modified crops and animals indefinitely.

Tasmania, the only state in Australia that has a blanket ban on GM crops, has been GMO free since 2001, however the moratorium was set to end in November 2014.

Following a very clear consultation process with local farming and environmental groups, the Tasmanian government decided to announce Thursday that it would continue to protect Tasmania’s clean and green brand by extending the ban indefinitely.

Deputy Premier Bryan Green told ABC that making the ban indefinite will protect the state’s GMO-free brand.

Federal Senator Lin Thorp, who has led the push against GM in Tasmania and was a member of the state government that introduced the moratorium in 2001, said that Tasmania, as an island, can use its isolation and clean environment to “overcome the tyranny of distance and the difficulties of the size of our ventures” by producing GM-free food “that people are prepared to pay a premium for”.

The state’s agriculture industry bodies were also mostly united in their support for maintaining the moratorium. Tasmania’s honey growers even threatened to cease crop pollination services if the ban ended because GM contamination would have destroyed their lucrative European and Asian markets.

Most Tasmanian farmers have not taken an ideological position on GMOs. They have simply judged that GMO Free products give them a huge advantage, a view that is being supported by more and more farmers worldwide.

Tasmania’s Unique GMO policy:  

  • Prohibits use of gene technology in commercial agriculture, horticulture, forestry, fisheries, bioremediation and pets;
  • Does not apply to gene technology use in contained research and medical or non-agricultural industrial use where there is no risk of release to the environment;
  • Allows specific authorisation of some types of research if risks of escape of GM organisms to the environment is low enough;
  • Prohibits import of viable GM organisms which could establish in the environment (eg GM canola seed);
  • Does not prohibit import of non-viable materials derived from GMOs (eg feed containing GM soya bean meal);
  • Continues the eradication program at former trial sites at which residual GM canola occurs;  and,
  • Supports continued Tasmanian participation in national GMO and food safety regulation systems.

GMO Labeling Continues Losing Streak

The most telling thing in this article is the amount of money spent by out of state interests in the “NO” camp of GMO labeling. It’s one of those ridiculous things that, to me, illustrates just how corrupt and non-representative our political process has become. We are so free, we can’t even know for certain what is in our food. And what’s more, we can’t buy it from each other without the oversight of those who want to tell us that “Round Up Ready” corn, etc is not significantly different enough from regular old corn to warrant either testing or labeling. However, it is significantly different enough to allow a life form to be patented. They are out to take care of you alright. Like taking care of a sick chicken.

At any rate, here’s an article on the issue:

The initiative would have required labels on foods containing genetically engineered ingredients

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Washington state voters on Tuesday rejected an initiative that would have required foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled.

The vote was 54.8% opposed to labeling and 45.2% in favor of it.

Had it passed, Initiative 522 would have made the state the first in the nation to require such labeling.

The initiative was the most expensive in state history, though it was largely fought by out-of-state interests.

The No on 522 campaign set a record for fundraising, bringing in $22 million in donations according to The Seattle Times. Just $550 came from Washington residents, according to the newspaper. The top five contributors were the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Dow AgroSciences and Bayer CropScience.

The largest donor to the pro-labeling campaign were California-based Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C. However the initiative garnered almost 30% of its funding from individuals in Washington state, the Times reported.

Food industry ads claimed that the initiative would raise food prices. Labels would mislead consumers into thinking that products that contain genetically engineered ingredients are “somehow different, unsafe or unhealthy,” said Brian Kennedy of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a food industry group based in Washington, D.C.

The Yes on 522 campaigns emphasized consumers right to know what’s in their food.

The Washington initiative was part of an ongoing national fight by those opposed to genetically engineered crops to push for labeling. A similar,bruising $37 million battle in California in 2012 went against labeling advocates. The final vote was 51.4% opposed and 48.6% in favor.

“Sooner or later, one of these is going to pass. It’s only a matter of time. At some point the industry is going to get tired of pouring this kind of money into these campaigns,” said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University.

She said she doesn’t believe there’s anything dangerous about genetically engineered foods but is concerned about corporate control of the food supply.

Genetically engineered crops have a gene from another plant inserted into them to give them some ability they didn’t have before.

There are two common genetic modifications. One is for herbicide tolerance: Plants are given a gene that protects them from harm when a farmer sprays them with herbicides to kill weeds. The other is a gene from a soil bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis that allows plants to produce their own insecticide.

A huge proportion of commodity crops grown by U.S. farmers are genetically engineered: 97% of the nation’s sugar beets, 93% of the soybeans, 90% of the cotton and 90% of the feed corn for animals, according to the 2013 figures from the Department of Agriculture.

About 60% of the papaya grown in the United States, all in Hawaii, has been genetically engineered to allow it to withstand the ringspot virus, which virtually wiped out papaya production in the islands in the 1980s, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications.

Very small amounts of genetically engineered zucchini, yellow squash and sweet corn are also sold in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration does not require foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled because it considers them “functionally equivalent” to conventionally grown crops.

Round Up and Aflatoxins

For those who still think Round Up (or any glyphosphate) is a good thing, try telling that to your dead livestock after a spike in aflatoxin either causes them to abort or kills them. Here’s an excellent article, and if you go to the source, there are extensive footnotes:

 

roundup aflatoxin mycotoxin1 BREAKING: Study Links Roundup Weedkiller To Overgrowth of Deadly Fungal Toxins

by Sayer Ji
GreenMedInfo.com

A new study reveals that Roundup herbicide enhances the growth of aflatoxin-producing fungi, lending an explanation for the alarming increase in fungal toxins recently discovered in U.S corn, and revealing another way in which GM farming is seriously undermining food quality.

A new study lead by Argentinean researchers and published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health titled, “Influence of herbicide glyphosate on growth and aflatoxin B1 production by Aspergillus section Flavi strains isolated from soil on in vitro assay,”[1] adds to an increasing body of research indicating that glyphosate (aka Roundup), the primary herbicide used in GM agriculture, is seriously undermining the quality of our global food supply, and may help to explain recent observations that GM corn heavy markets, such as the U.S., have a significant aflatoxin problem.[2]

Researchers from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, National University of Rio Cuarto, Cordoba, Argentina, set out to evaluate the effect of glyphosate (Roundup) on the growth of aflatoxin B1 production by strains of Aspergillus under different water availabilities on maize based medium. Aflatoxin B1, one of at least 14 different types, is a naturally occurring mycotoxin that is produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, two species of fungi that commonly effect cereal grains.  Known to be one of the most carcinogenic substances in existence, aflatoxin B1 is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as “Group 1, carinogenic to humans,” with an oral, rat LD50 (the dose that acutely kills 50% of a test group) of 5mg/kg – compare that to a 6.4 mg/kg LD50 for potassium cyanide, which is used in lethal injection.

The authors of the study pointed out that that little previous research has been performed on the role of glyphosate on the growth rate of aflatoxin-producing fungal species.  The researchers also described the relevance this information has to the Argentinean corn market:

“Aspergillus section Flavi and Nigri Argentina is the world’s second biggest exporter of maize (Zea mays L.), and was responsible roughly for 15 percent of the world’s maize exports in the last three years. During the harvest season 2011/2012 the maize production is expected to be of 20 million tons.  These cereal grains are colonize by several fungi communities, including mycotoxigenic species.”

Argentina’s total acreage dedicated to GM corn, while small in comparison to the U.S. majority stake in the world market, is second only to the U.S. [See figure 1]

341 gm corn2009 BREAKING: Study Links Roundup Weedkiller To Overgrowth of Deadly Fungal Toxins

Figure 1: Acreage of GM maize in million hectares/GMO-Compass.org

Also, Argentina’s GM corn share in the total GM corn acreage of their country is on par with the U.S. [see figured 2 below], indicating that their environmental and toxicological situation in regard to the food quality fallout from GM farming is likely very similar.

341 gm corn2009 ratio BREAKING: Study Links Roundup Weedkiller To Overgrowth of Deadly Fungal Toxins

Figure 2: GM maize share in the total maize acreage of a country/Source: GMO-Compass.org

Researchers Discover Roundup Enhances Growth of Aflatoxin-Producing Fungi

In brief, the researchers discovered that all six different concentrations of glyphosate tested decreased the lag phase of fungi growth proportionately to the increase in glyphosate concentrations.  In other words, the glyphosate enhanced the growth of the aflatoxin-producing Apergillus strains, and at concentrations lower than the range generally detected in Argentinean soils destined to crop production, specifically an agricultural area belonging to the province of Buenos Aires.[3]

In the author’s words:

“This study has shown that the eight Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus strains evaluated are able to grow effectively and produce AFs [aflatoxins] in natural medium with high nutrient status over a range of glyphosate concentrations under different aW [water activity] conditions.”

The figure below shows the influence of glyphosate on growth and aflatoxin B1 production:

aflatoxin glyphosate BREAKING: Study Links Roundup Weedkiller To Overgrowth of Deadly Fungal Toxins

Figure 3: Influence of glyphosate on aflatoxin

The discovery that glyphosate enhances fungal growth contradicts several previous studies, including a 2007 study performed by US Department of Agriculture researchers,[4] which did not find that glyphosate increased Aspergillus flavus growth. The authors noted that their findings are consistent with research on similar fungal strains, such as Fusarium,[5] which possesses high tolerance to applied doses of glyphosate, and Rust fungi and Blight fungi,[6] [7] which exhibit enhanced growth on glyphosate-amended media.

They noted: “[S]everal studies have demonstrated that microbial activity and/or biomass can be stimulated following application of some glyphosate formulation to field soil.” This may be explained by the fact that glyphosate-tolerant species of fungi use glyphosate as a source of ‘food,’ utilizing available phosphate or amine structures that result from its metabolic breakdown. Indeed, previous studies indicate glyphosate can be used by fungal strains as a “nutriment” and “energy substrate.”[8][9] [10]

The Toxicological Nightmare of GM Food Grows Darker

A major implication of the study is that there exists a synergism between glyphosate (Roundup) and soil-borne pathogens, which would lead to increased susceptibility to and severity of disease in glyphosate-treated plants.[11]  Not only would Roundup-ready corn contain residues of highly toxic glyphosate, its ‘inactive’ yet still highly toxic ingredients (surfactants), and metabolites (AMPA), but it would also be more likely to contain aflatoxins – taken together, represent a veritable nightmare of synergistic toxicities, whose sum harms no regulatory agency yet adequately accounts for.

The researchers conclude their paper with a cautionary note: “This situation suggests that quantitative changes could occur in these fungi population in the soil exposed to longtime action of this xenobiotic.The survival of these microorganisms, capable to adapt to different glyphosate concentration represents a toxicological risk…”

When one takes into account recent research that Roundup herbicide contributes to the suppression of beneficial lactic-acid producing gut bacteria, while enhancing some of the most deadly known to man, e.g. Clostridium botulinum (1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) would be enough to kill the entire human population), the days of casually classifying the ever-expanding numbers of anti- or non-GMO supporters and activists as alarmists, or GM food itself as “substantially equivalent” to non-GM food, are over. Those who continue to toe Biotech’s party-line, under the much maligned banner of checkbook “Science,” and in face of clear evidence against its safety, will increasingly be perceived as morally, financially and even legally liable for the damages being caused to exposed populations.

Read the full article here: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/breaking-study-links-roundup-weedkiller-overgrowth-deadly-fungal-toxins-1

British Columbia Signs Resolution Banning GMO’s

Excellent news from British Columbia! Not that anything will actually happen, but it is indeed positive that this elevates the conversation about GMO’s into the general public’s view:

UBCM can’t stomach genetically engineered foods

Municipal politicians rejected genetically engineered food by a narrow margin at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver Thursday.

The resolution, brought up by the Vancouver Island community of Metchosin, called for a resolution to ask the province to ban plants and animals produced by using genetic engineering.

According to Health Canada, genetically engineered foods are those that have been developed from a process not previously used in food or had their genes manipulated.

Teresa Lynne of the Society for a GE Free BC said the resolution being passed is in step with public views on the issue.

“We actually believe it is a grassroots effort from the bottom up that can make a difference,” she said. “We’ve had so much response from the people in B.C. backing this.”

Lynne maintains such crops haven’t been proven safe and said, despite many places fighting to label the foods for consumers, her group wanted them banned to avoid cross breeding with non-GE crops and animals.

Reg Ens of the BC Agriculture Council said the issue is “complex and emotional” and one it is watching.

“Our board has discussed it and looked at it,” he said. “We don’t have an official statement or an official statement on it because we probably have five or six different perspectives on the issue itself.”

Ens said the need for regulation is clear as technology is forever changing.

While the resolution may not make much of a difference as provincial agriculture minister Pat Pimm pointed out, such regulations are Ottawa’s responsibility.

“I will certainly share the results of the vote and summary of the debate with the federal minister, as it is the federal government’s jurisdiction to approve or deny foods for production in Canada,” Pimm said in an email.

 

(link to original by clicking title of article or this url: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2013/09/19/ubcm-cant-stomach-genetically-engineered-foods)

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

Trade Agreement with Europe May Force Them Into GMO’s

As I’ve said entirely too many times, the focus of the “free trade” agreements is to bring the entire globe under similar rule and to make us all equally poor. Europeans are now getting a bit miffed at this harmonization and standardization. But I’ve been hacked off about it for years!

At any rate, the new agreement, when finalized, will allow GMO’s without current impediments into the EU. Here is an article about it:

At the end of June, the European Union and the US will officially launch negotiations for a new free trade agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The plan is to create the world’s largest free trade area, ‘protect’ investment and harmonize regulation. While appealing to big business, the trade treaty poses a serious threat for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic, as it could weaken labour, social, environmental and consumer protection standards. One of the greatest risks includes US negotiators using the trade deal to push for the EU to open its plates and fields up to GM crops.

Everything is on the table

The negotiation agenda is very broad. According to theleaked EU draft mandate it is likely to include “goods and services as well as rules on trade and investment related issues with particular focus on removing unnecessary regulatory barriers”, with the aim of promoting “the untapped potential of a truly transatlantic market place”. Basically, this means tackling what the Office of the United States Trade Representative understands as “technical barriers for trade”, among them EU restrictions on GMOs. (see pp. 61).

One of the core part of the negotiations is that both the EU and US should recognize their respective rules and regulations, which in practice could reduce regulation to the lowest common denominator. The official language talks of “mutual recognition” of standards or so-called reduction of non-tariff barriers. However, for the EU, that could mean accepting US standards in many areas, including food and agriculture, which are lower than the EU’s.

US officials state it quite clearly every time they have the opportunity: all so-called barriers to trade, including highly controversial regulations such as those protecting agriculture, food or data privacy are in their sights. Even the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, made it clear that any agreement must also reduce EU restrictions on genetically modified crops, chlorinated chickens and hormone-treated beef.

A unique opportunity for big business

The negotiations are so broad that groups lobbying on the subject range from Toyota and General Motors to thepharmaceutical industry and IBM; not to mention the Chamber of Commerce of the US, one of the most powerful corporate lobby groups in the US. Indeed, Business Europe, the main organization representing employers in Europe, launched their own strategy on an EU-US economic and trade partnershipin early 2012, and their suggestions have been widely included in the draft EU mandate. Regarding agriculture, their demands include an “ambitious liberalisation of agricultural trade barriers with as few exceptions as possible”. Similarly, food lobby group Food and Drink Europe, representing the largest food companies (Unilever, Kraft, Nestlé, etc.), welcomed the negotiations, one of their key demands being the facilitation of the low level presence of unapproved genetically modified crops. This is a long-standing industry agenda also supported by feed and grain trading giants including Cargill, Bunge, ADM, and the big farmers’ lobby COPA-COGECA. Meanwhile, the biotech industry on both sides of the Atlantic offers its “support and assistance as the EU and the US government look to enhance their trade relationship”.

No doubt this trade deal is an unique opportunity to achieve through closed and non-transparent negotiations what hasn’t been possible so far in a transparent and democratic way. Tactics used to convince Europe to introduce GMOs have even included involving US diplomacy, as revealed by a recent report from Food and Water Europe. The TTIP offers the perfect vehicle to bypass overwhelming opposition to GMOs by EU citizens, as confirmed in every European opinion poll.

According to a professional lobbyist, “EU-US trade negotiations will offer many US firms a second chance to get their interests implemented effectively in Europe. Thanks to this process numerous sectors that have been fighting for change for decades could see their fortunes turn around within a short period of time.” And of course, “US seed companies that for a decade have been struggling to break the deadlock over the authorization for the cultivation of their [GM] seeds now will be presented with the ultimate opportunity to change the entire process to suit their needs.”

Time to raise citizens’ voices – take action

The European Parliament will vote 23rd of May on a resolution over the EU mandate for the negotiation of the TTIP. Corporate Europe Observatory and Friends of the Earth Europe have launched a joint campaign, Stop the Crop, to prevent the introduction of more GMOs into Europe’s food and farming. We ask you to tell MEPs that EU citizens won’t accept the introduction of GMOs through the back door. Public concerns must be debated openly and transparently!

NOTE: The European Parliament already voted. You can read about the results here

Next steps

After the European Parliament vote, the European Council is expected to endorse the EU mandate to negotiate the TTIP in the Foreign Affairs Council dedicated to Trade on the 18th June. The negotiations could be formally launched on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland by mid June, and are intended to be finalised by the autumn of 2014.

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