By Daisy Luther
GMO Rat Study Retracted..by New Journal Editor from (Surprise!) Monsanto
Remember the Seralini study, with those gruesome images of GMO-fed rats that were engulfed by horrific tumors? Well, great news! You can grab yourself some GMO corn and chow down now because the journal that published the study has retracted it. Silly us, there was absolutely nothing to worry about!
The new editor over at the journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, says so – you know, Richard E. Goodman, the editor that used to work in the hallowed halls of Monsanto.
I guess it wasn’t enough for Monsanto to infiltrate the government at every level - now they have to install staff to keep their GMO death crops from being negatively reviewed at respected scientific journals.
In February of 2013, the FCT hired Monsanto’s former employee, Richard E. Goodman, for a new position reviewing biotechnology papers. On November 19, the FCT reported its decision to retract the published paper stating the study’s results were inconclusive because there weren’t enough rats used in the study, and the strain of rat used was not acceptable.
Writing for CRIIGEN, the independent lab with which Seralini is affiliated, Frédérique Baudouin noted that a short Monsanto study, which was published in the same journal to prove the safety of its product, “was conducted with the same strain and number of rats.”
Séralini has promised to sue. (source)
In case you don’t recall the findings of this study that has Monsanto running scared, here’s a quick refresher.
The rodents were fed a lifetime of genetically modified corn that had been doused with Roundup (glyphosate) during its growing process. The tragic results proved that the rats had a 50-70% chance of developing horrific, grotesque tumors from the diet. Naysayers attempted to refute the science behind the study and a war developed in the scientific community, one that is clearly ongoing with this Monsanto scientist that was very obviously put in place to discredit the harmful-to-Monsanto report. Natural News summarized some findings of the study:
• Up to 50% of males and 70% of females suffered premature death.
• Rats that drank trace amounts of Roundup (at levels legally allowed in the water supply) had a 200% to 300% increase in large tumors.
• Rats fed GM corn and traces of Roundup suffered severe organ damage including liver damage and kidney damage.
• The study fed these rats NK603, the Monsanto variety of GM corn that’s grown across North America and widely fed to animals and humans. This is the same corn that’s in your corn-based breakfast cereal, corn tortillas and corn snack chips.
The infiltration of Monsanto into the halls of academia did not go unnoticed to a group of scientists in Europe. They have harshly denounced the whole sordid camouflage job.
A European network of scientists (ENSSER) has also published a scathing condemnation of FCT’s behavior, warning that this level of corruption is “a flagrant abuse of science” that will “decrease public trust in science.” No doubt.
Going further, ENSSER condemned the FCT for violating “not only the criteria for retraction to which the journal itself subscribes, but any standards of good science.”
A recent article calling this matter ‘The Goodman Affair,’ noted that:
Richard E. Goodman is professor at the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, University of Nebraska. But he is also a former Monsanto employee, who worked for the company between 1997 and 2004. While at Monsanto he assessed the allergenicity of the company’s GM crops and published papers on its behalf on allergenicity and safety issues relating to GM food (Goodman and Leach 2004).”Beyond all this, Seralini wasn’t even looking for cancer, which would require a larger number of animals, but merely prepared a chronic toxicity study under the same conditions that Monsanto used to assert the GM corn’s safety.
ENSSER explains that the short term study found not only “pronounced toxic effects” but also “increased tumour rates.” Further, the Sprague-Dawley strain of rat is the “commonly used standard for this type of research” and was the same one Monsanto used.
Most importantly, “Unpleasant results should be checked, not ignored. And the toxic effects other than tumours and mortality are well-founded.”
ENSSER concluded that, “Prof. Séralini’s findings stand today more than before, as even this secret review found that there is nothing wrong with either technicalities, conduct or transparency of the data – the foundations on which independent science rests. The conclusiveness of their data will be decided by future independent science, not by a secret circle of people.”
Monsanto is clearly striving diligently to undo the damage done by activists spreading the word about their toxic takeover of the food supply. They are blatantly covering up the information that people need to have access to in order make informed decisions about the consumption of GMOs. I’m certainly not swayed by this retraction. I stand by my former recommendation: GMOs are not safe, even in moderation.
Learn more here: Monsanto behind Journal’s retraction of GMO rat-cancer link
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca
The Coming Food Stamp Riots
It may not happen this month, or even this year, but food stamp riots are coming to America. In fact, we got a small preview of the coming food stamp riots this past weekend when a “temporary system failure” caused food stamp cards to stop working in 17 U.S. states. Within hours, there were “mini-riots” at Wal-Marts and other retailers that rely heavily on food stamp users. So what would happen if food stamp benefits were cut off or reduced for an extended period of time? As you will see below, if Congress had not pushed through a “deal”, the USDA would have started cutting off food stamp benefits on November 1st. Considering the fact that 47 million Americans are on food stamps and more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government, that could have sparked massive rioting. So the good news is that the coming food stamp riots will probably not happen in November. The bad news is that the “deal” in Congress only delays the political fighting until after Christmas. In just a few months we will be dealing with a potential “government shutdown” and a debt ceiling deadline once again.
Most Americans have no idea what almost just happened. According to Reuters, the state of North Carolina had already cut off some welfare benefits for the month of November…
North Carolina has become the first state to cut off welfare benefits to poor residents in the wake of the partial federal government shutdown, ordering a halt to processing November applications until a deal is reached to end the federal standstill.
More than 20,000 people – most of them children – receive monthly benefits aimed at helping them buy food and other basic supplies through North Carolina’s welfare program, called Work First, which is fully funded by the federal government. Recipients must reapply each month.
And as Mac Slavo recently detailed, the USDA was already planning to cut off food stamp assistance to millions of Americans on November 1st…
We say next month because the USDA, which oversees the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), has just issued an order to SNAP agency directors calling for their respective States to implement an emergency contingency program because of government funding issues. In a letter obtained by the Crossroads Urban Center food pantry, the USDA is directing state agencies to, “delay their November issuance files and delay transmission to State Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) vendors until further notice.”
What this means is that should Congress fail to increase the debt ceiling this week, come November there will literally be millions of people in the United States who will have exactly zero dollars transferred to their EBT cards.
What will happen to the nearly 50 million people who depend on these benefits to survive?
In fact, there have been quite a few news reports that have confirmed this…
In Utah, Fox News 13 in Salt Lake City reported that a local provider recently received a letter from the USDA sticking to the November 1 cut-off date.
“This is going to create a huge hardship for the people we serve here in our food pantry,” Bill Tibbits, Associate Director at Crossroads Urban Center, told Fox News 13.
“What this means [is] if there’s not a deal, if Congress doesn’t reach a deal to get federal government back up and running, in Utah about 100,000 families won’t get food stamp benefit,” added Tibbits.
The USDA letter says in part, “in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing states to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to state electronic benefit transfer vendors until further notice.”
So what would have happened if tens of millions of Americans suddenly had their food stamp benefits cut off without warning?
Customers staged a disturbance then walked out of a Mississippi Walmart store with groceries that hadn’t been paid for Saturday night after a computer glitch left them unable to use their food stamp cards.
People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a temporary system failure.
Shortly after the mini-riot, managers decided to temporarily close the store, citing customer safety.
Due to this technical glitch, many parents were left wondering how they were going to feed their families. If this is the kind of anger that is unleashed over a single failed trip to the grocery store, what would we see if this kind of thing went on for an extended period of time?
At some Wal-Mart stores down in Louisiana, EBT cards were not showing any limits on Saturday night, and within two hours many store shelves in the grocery section were completely cleared of merchandise…
Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits.
The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended.
Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Walmart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Walmart was so packed, “It was worse than any black Friday” that he’s ever seen.
Sadly, this was only a very small preview of the massive food stamp riots that are eventually coming to America. I like how Mike Adams explained what we are likely to see in the future…
Why does any of this matter? Because this is exactly the same way these people will behave when the federal government goes into default and nearly 50 million EBT cards stop working nationwide.
Fifty million. Consider that for a moment. Most of those 50 million people live in high-density cities. Many are proud owners of Obama phones, Obama food stamps, Obama unemployment checks and Obama subsidized housing. They have absolutely no clue that the government upon which they wholly depend to put food on the table is teetering on the verge of permanent collapse. (Seriously, they cannot conceive of the idea of government “running out of money” because they do not understand where money comes from.) Because of this distorted belief, they do not prepare for any future events other than more Obama handouts. Their entire “preparedness” plan is to vote for Democrats, because that’s who they know will give them the most handouts. And they will always win the popular vote, too, because any politician promising to restore responsible fiscal spending to the government by cutting programs will be viciously accused of being “mean” or involved in “hating poor people.” So the government handouts will only ratchet higher and higher, ensnaring more and more people, until the entire system is unsustainable and collapses under its own weight.
When that system of dependence fails, those who depend on it will panic in mere hours. As proof of this, consider the fact that this mass looting of Wal-Mart stores happened in less than three hours after the Saturday EBT card glitch struck. Police had to be called in to prevent the situation from getting completely out of control, and it was offline for only part of one day.
Now imagine what will happen when EBT cards go offline for 24, 48 or even 72 hours. And imagine it happening in every U.S. city simultaneously.
Of course not all Americans would go wild when food stamp benefits are cut off.
Other Americans express their desperation in other ways. According to Bloomberg, an increasing number of people are starting to sell hair, breast milk and their own eggs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet…
Hair, breast milk and eggs are doubling as automated teller machines for some cash-strapped Americans such as April Hare.
Out of work for more than two years and facing eviction from her home, Hare recalled Louisa May Alcott’s 19th-century novel and took to her computer.
“I was just trying to find ways to make money, and I remembered Jo from ‘Little Women,’ and she sold her hair,” the 35-year-old from Atlanta said. “I’ve always had lots of hair, but this is the first time I’ve actually had the idea to sell it because I’m in a really tight jam right now.”
The mother of two posted pictures of her 18-inch auburn mane on www.buyandsellhair.com, asking at least $1,000 and receiving responses within hours. Hare, who also considered selling her breast milk, joins others exploring unconventional ways to make ends meet as the four-year-old economic expansion struggles to invigorate the labor market and stimulate incomes.
We have moved into a time when things are becoming increasingly unstable and when people are becoming increasingly desperate.
In an attempt to keep order, the authorities will become increasingly forceful in the years ahead. At this point, many law enforcement officers already believe that there is very little that they cannot do to exert their “authority” over the rest of us. Just check out video of a drunk off-duty police officer “arresting” a woman that refused to go out on a date with him right here. Sadly, this type of behavior is becoming way too common these days.
And it looks like major financial institutions are getting ready for the chaos that is eventually coming as well. In fact, according to an article by Paul Joseph Watson, Chase Bank is now placing a limit on cash withdrawals and is banning business customers from sending wire transfers out of the country…
Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending international wire transfers from November 17 onwards, prompting speculation that the bank is preparing for a looming financial crisis in the United States by imposing capital controls.
Numerous business customers with Chase BusinessSelect Checking and Chase BusinessClassic accounts have received letters over the past week informing them that cash activity (both deposits and withdrawals) will be limited to a $50,000 total per statement cycle from November 17 onwards.
Fortunately, the chaos that would have been unleashed if Congress had not made a deal has now been delayed for a few months.
But by kicking the can down the road, our politicians continue to make our long-term problems even worse. Either we are going to have tremendous pain now, or we are going to have even worse pain later. Peter Schiff explained the choice that we are facing this way…
If Republicans were to inexplicably prevail, and the federal government were to cut spending so that its expenditures matched its tax revenues (a truly radical idea) the country’s financial mess would be laid bare. The government would have to weigh the relative costs and benefits of making interest payments on Treasury debt (primarily to foreign creditors) or to trim entitlements promised to U.S. citizens. But those are choices we will have to make sooner or later anyway. In fact we should have dealt with these issues years ago. But generations of mechanistic debt ceiling increases have allowed us to perpetually kick the can down the road. What could possibly be gained by doing it again, particularly if it is done with no commitment to change course?
The Democrats’ argument that America needs to pay its bills is just hollow rhetoric. Paying off one’s Visa bill with a new and bigger MasterCard bill can’t be considered a legitimate payment of debt. At best it is a transfer. But in the government’s case, it doesn’t even qualify as that. Treasury debt is primarily bought by the Fed, foreign central banks, and major financial institutions. None of that will change with a debt ceiling increase. We will just go to the same people for greater quantities. So it’s like paying off your Visa card with a bigger Visa card.
We are living on borrowed time that has been purchased by stealing money from future generations.
We are literally destroying the future in order to make the present more palatable.
But whether it is this year, or next year or the year after that, at some point we are going to experience the pain that results from decades of incredibly foolish decisions.
I hope that you are getting ready.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Why the agriculture industry hates Chipotle (And why the market loves Chipotle)
The market loves Chipotle. The chain has grown by leaps and bounds in the midst of the deepest recession in 70 years. Why? Because they make an awesome product.
The food is simple and inexpensive. It is prepared in front of you quickly. And the quality of the ingredients is consistently good. For many people, that Chipotle uses hormone free food is also a big plus. It is increasingly an important factor for me.
That Chipotle offers a relatively healthy, fast, and inexpensive alternative to other fast food outlets should be commended. As mentioned diners are frequenting Chipotle more and more.
But Big Agriculture has a hormone infused bone to pick. They don’t like this video made by the restaurant chain.
What if people started demanding higher quality food with fewer hormones and less exposure to GMO grasses and corn? Why that might squeeze profit margins.
Perhaps, but Chipotle is making plenty in profits and likely will see them grow as long as the chain responds to an increasingly informed food consumer. It appears to me that Big Ag could learn a lot from Chipotle.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
About 40 Percent Of All Food In The United States Is Thrown In The Garbage
Could that headline actually be true? Do Americans waste about 40 percent of all the food that we produce? That sounds like an absolutely crazy number, but it is actually quite accurate according to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council. What the NRDC discovered is that approximately 40 percent of our total food supply is either thrown into dumpsters by grocery stores, is discarded by restaurants, never gets harvested on our farms, or is thrown into the garbage by consumers in their homes. Even though 47 million Americans are on food stamps and millions of children go to bed hungry in this country every single night, we continue to waste approximately 263 million pounds of food every single day of the year. One day people will look back and regard us as probably the most wasteful society in the history of the planet.
So where does all of that food go?
Well, according to a recent Seattle Times article, “food waste” takes up more space in our landfills than anything else does…
Last year, the NRDC found that Americans throw out as much as 40 percent of the country’s food supply each year, adding up to $165 billion in losses.
Food waste makes up the largest portion of solid trash in landfills, according to researchers.
Some $900 million of expired food is dumped from the supply chain annually, much of it a result of confusion. Misinterpreted date labels cause the average American household of four to lose as much as $455 a year on squandered food, according to researchers.
The expired food that gets wasted is one of my personal pet peeves.
I don’t do this a lot, but today I am going to share a personal story with you.
Earlier today I was out running errands and I decided that I wanted to pick up some mini-cupcakes from Safeway that I just love. I do try to eat a healthy diet, but I do also like a treat from time to time. So I got over to Safeway, and I noticed that the only mini-cupcakes that they had out were ones with chocolate frosting, but I wanted ones with vanilla frosting.
So I went up to the bakery counter and there was nobody there, but behind the counter I saw a stack of several containers of vanilla cupcakes. I waited until the bakery lady got back and I asked her if I could have them.
I was astounded when she very firmly told me that I could not buy them.
She said that it was against regulations.
I implored her to sell them to me. I explained that I had come over to Safeway just to buy them and I didn’t care if they were a little old.
Again she very firmly told me that I could not buy them.
I could not understand this. I knew that the cupcakes were just going to be thrown out, so I asked to speak to her manager.
After a few moments her manager came over and I was once again told very firmly that under no circumstances would I be able to buy the cupcakes.
So needless to say, I left the store with a sad look on my face and without any cupcakes.
Now of course I probably didn’t need the cupcakes anyway. They are not healthy for me. But big chains such as Safeway throw away massive amounts of very good food as well. The level of the waste that goes on is absolutely astounding.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans that are dealing with hunger and malnutrition grows with each passing day. I want to share with you an excerpt from a recent article authored by Jason Ford entitled “I Work On The Breadline“…
I work as a cashier at a nationally known discount store. I sell clothing, cleaning products, house wares and food. The people I sell to are people of all colors, races, ages and sex, but most of them have one thing in common; EBT cards. I would say about half of every transaction I do is paid for with an EBT card. Sometimes people will use three different methods of payment. They will use whatever is left on their EBT card, then use whatever is left on their debit card, and then scrape their purse to find the remaining balance, and sometimes they still don’t have enough.
Another common trait of the people I serve besides the poverty is the poor health. The food I sell is not healthy, by any stretch. I sell potato chips, candy bars, bread, canned food, ice cream, soda, packaged meat, cigarettes and alcohol. I noticed quickly that a common ingredient of most of the foods is sugar and grains. Sugar and grains are easy to grow and produce cheaply and are used as fillers in processed food to cut cost and mask the taste of other questionable ingredients. Grains work in conjunction with sugars to inflame the body and compromise the immune system. Grains and sugars also have no nutritional value besides calories, so on top of inflaming the body; they do not provide the sustenance the body needs to survive. As the functions of the body require these nutrients the diet lacks, the body sucks these minerals from the bones, teeth and brain. Bone loss, and tooth decay and decreased brain function are the unfortunate symptoms of malnutrition. The poorest of the customers I serve are also the sickest. I have witnessed toothless mouths in the young and old. Mental retardation is also a common trait among many of them. I have even witnessed one unfortunate woman whose skin was a pale green color. These people are dying a slow starvation and they don’t even know it.
Doesn’t that just break your heart?
People are living like that, and yet America discards 263 million pounds of food every single day.
Something is fundamentally wrong with the way our system works.
So what is society going to do as the number of hungry people continues to grow in this country and around the world?
Well, according to ABC News, some scientists plan to feed them with flour made out of bugs…
A team of MBA students were the recipients of the 2013 Hult Prize earlier this week, providing them with $1 million in seed money to produce an insect-based, protein-rich flour for feeding malnourished populations in other countries. The product is called Power Flour.
“It’s a huge deal because we had a very ambitious but highly executable five-year plan in place,” said team captain Mohammed Ashour, whose team hails from McGill University in Montreal. “So winning this prize is a great step in that direction.”
Ashour, along with teammates Shobhita Soor, Jesse Pearlstein, Zev Thompson and Gabe Mott, will be immediately working with an advisory board to recruit farmers and workers in Mexico, where a population of roughly 4 million live in slum conditions with widespread malnutrition.
“We will be starting with grasshoppers,” Ashour said.
Are you ready for a “protein-rich flour” made out of grasshoppers?
I know that I am not.
And in Japan, scientists have actually been working on a way to create meat out of poop. You can read more about that right here.
Perhaps if we just quit wasting so much food we would be able to feed everybody without resorting to such craziness.
These days, an increasing number of Americans are fighting back against the colossal waste that they see all around them. Some have even chosen to take advantage of the waste by regularly going “dumpster diving”. The following is how I described “dumpster diving” in one of my previous articles…
Have you ever thought about getting your food out of a trash can? Don’t laugh. Dumpster diving has become a hot new trend in America. In fact, dumpster divers even have a trendy new name. They call themselves “freegans”, and as the economy crumbles their numbers are multiplying. Many freegans consider dumpster diving to be a great way to save money on groceries. Others do it because they want to live more simply. Freegans that are concerned about the environment view dumpster diving as a great way to “recycle” and other politically-minded freegans consider dumpster diving to be a form of political protest. But whatever you want to call it, the reality is that thousands upon thousands of Americans will break out their boots, rubber gloves and flashlights and will be jumping into dumpsters looking for food once again tonight.
Who knows – perhaps some enterprising young dumpster diver will end up fishing the vanilla cupcakes that I wanted out of Safeway’s dumpsters this evening.
It is amazing what some of these dumpster divers are able to recover from “the trash”. In North Carolina, one man even takes his son dumpster diving with him…
A programmer by day, Todd takes to the streets of North Carolina by night, digging through Dumpsters at drug stores and grocery stores all around his rural neighborhood.
“You would be simply amazed at what businesses throw out,” he said. “I’ve only had to buy two loaves of bread all year. … Last week I had a trunk full of cereal, cookies, chips and ramen noodles.”
Todd slinks in and out of smelly places with low-light flashlights to evade rent-a-cops who will shoo him away. Most nights, his 14-year-old son comes along.
Unfortunately, dumpster diving is not as easy as it used to be.
As dumpster diving has soared in popularity, some grocery stores have responded by putting locks on their dumpsters.
And in some areas of the country, police have even started regularly arresting dumpster divers.
But in the end, dumpster diving was not going to be a permanent solution anyway.
A permanent solution would be to quit wasting so much food.
I applaud the grocery store chains that choose to donate their expired food to homeless shelters and food banks.
We need to see a lot more of that going on.
And in our own homes we need to find ways to give more food away and waste less of it.
All of this needless wasting of food does not have to happen. Let’s work together to find some solutions.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Schools Issue Fat Letters to Parents Warning of Obesity Based on BMI
Nineteen states, including Arkansas and Illinois, are sending students home with reports on their annual weigh-in program. Parents will be informed of whether or not their child has a high body mass index (BMI) or not.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI standards , a child or teen that falls between the 85th and 95th percentile are considered overweight. If the child or teen falls beyond the 95th percentile they are considered obese.
In Clark County, Nevada, the state law requires students in the 4th, 7th and 10th grades to be checked for obesity in 19 schools.
The CDC has given grant money to Nevada to support 3rd, 6th and 9th grade students to get tested as well.
Obese children are being singled out for potential mental health conditions that could manifest later in life. These include:
• Lacking social skills
• Low self-esteem
• Victim complex
Lanre Omojokun Falusi, pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) claims that BMI readings are “the best means we have to determine whether a child’s weight is healthy or unhealthy.”
Misinterpretations of how BMI should be understood abound.
School officials may not be aware of how the relationship between height and weight work together.
An athlete or someone who has more muscle mass than body fat would score within the obese range when the BMI is calculated; this pertains to teenage boys in high school who focus on sports such as football.
The American Medical Association (AMA) published a report stating that obesity is not a disease. This classification would necessitate pharmaceutical intervention, treatment and prevention.
However, a team of representatives at the AMA decided that obesity would be called a disease.
Patrice Harris, member of the AMA board said: “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans.”
To control what and how much children eat while at school, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released “Smart Snacks in School” that outlines federal standards for nutrition stands for “students, parents, school stakeholders and the food and beverage industries to implement the new guidelines, and make the healthy choice the easy choice for America’s young people.”
Caloric restrictions mandate that snack items can contain no more than 200 calories and entrees cannot contain more than 350 calories.
While low-calorie diets cause weight loss, they are also extremely dangerous because they decrease metabolic rates which throws the human body into survival mode and could lead to health problems such as heart disease, less muscle development, hypo-glycemic conditions; as well as the development of diabetes.
Caloric controls for school nutrition programs state that “kindergarteners to fifth-graders, lunches must contain 550 to 650 calories, and for ninth- to 12th-graders, lunches must have 750 to 850 calories.”
Using “science-based nutrition guidelines” with recommendations from the National Institute of Medicine (NIM) children and parents will have choices that are pre-approved by the federal government and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Tom Vislack, secretary for the USDA said: “Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children.
Parents and schools work hard to give our youngsters the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong, and providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts.”
Image credit: http://www.occupycorporatism.com
About the author:
Monsanto Again Serves as Human Resources for the Government
Following in the footsteps of other Monsanto bigwigs going through the government’s revolving door, the seed company has again supplied a staff member for a position of authority in one of the very agencies that are allegedly present to protect the public from unsafe farming practices. The Iowa Department of Agriculture has hired Mike Naig to serve as the deputy secretary.
Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey announced he has hired former Monsanto lobbyist Mike Naig as deputy secretary.
Naig was manager of state and local government affairs for Monsanto, the nation’s largest seed-corn company and a farm-chemical giant.
Naig will start Sept. 4.
“Mike will be a tremendous asset to the department and I’m glad he agreed to join our team,” Northey said in a statement. “His background and experience make him a natural fit for the department.”
…Naig will help manage the ag department, especially on personnel and budget issues. (source)
31 Percent Of U.S. Honey Bees Were Wiped Out This Year – Who Will Pollinate Our Crops?
If bees keep dying off at this rate, we are going to be facing a horrific agricultural crisis very rapidly in the United States. Last winter, 31 percent of all U.S. bee colonies were wiped out. The year before that it was 21 percent. These colony losses are being described as “catastrophic” by those in the industry, and nobody is quite sure how to fix the problem. Some are blaming the bee deaths on pesticides, others are blaming parasites and others are blaming cell phones. But no matter what is causing these deaths, if it doesn’t stop we will all soon notice the effects at the supermarket.
Bees pollinate about a hundred different crops in the United States, and if the bees disappear nobody is quite sure how we will be able to continue to grow many of those crops. This emerging crisis does not get a lot of attention from the mainstream media, but if we continue to lose 30 percent of our bees every year it is going to have a cataclysmic effect on our food supply.
The frightening thing is that the bee deaths appear to be accelerating and they appear to be even worse in the UK and Canada…
This past winter was one of the worst on record for bees. In the U.S., beekeepers lost 31 percent of their colonies, compared to a loss of 21 percent the previous winter. In Canada, the Canadian Honey Council reports an annual loss of 35 percent of honey bee colonies in the last three years. In Britain, the Bee Farmers’ Association says its members lost roughly half their colonies over the winter.
“It has been absolutely catastrophic,” said Margaret Ginman, who is general secretary of the Bee Farmers’ Association. “This has been one of the worst years in living memory.”
Scientists have been scrambling to figure out what is causing this, and one study that was recently conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture may have some answers…
The study, published July 24 in the online journal PLOS ONE, is the first analysis of real-world conditions encountered by honey bees as their hives pollinate a wide range of crops, from apples to watermelons.
The researchers collected pollen from honey bee hives in fields from Delaware to Maine. They analyzed the samples to find out which flowering plants were the bees’ main pollen sources and what agricultural chemicals were commingled with the pollen. The researchers fed the pesticide-laden pollen samples to healthy bees, which were then tested for their ability to resist infection with Nosema ceranae – a parasite of adult honey bees that has been linked to a lethal phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder.
On average, the pollen samples contained 9 different agricultural chemicals, including fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and miticides. Sublethal levels of multiple agricultural chemicals were present in every sample, with one sample containing 21 different pesticides. Pesticides found most frequently in the bees’ pollen were the fungicide chlorothalonil, used on apples and other crops, and the insecticide fluvalinate, used by beekeepers to control Varroa mites, common honey bee pests.
The particular parasite mentioned above, Nosema ceranae, is extremely destructive to honeybees, and this study found that some pesticides and fungicides make it much more likely that bees will become infected by these parasites…
When researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite called Nosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.
Most disturbing, bees that ate pollen contaminated with fungicides were three times as likely to be infected by the parasite. Widely used, fungicides had been thought to be harmless for bees as they’re designed to kill fungus, not insects, on crops like apples.
“There’s growing evidence that fungicides may be affecting the bees on their own and I think what it highlights is a need to reassess how we label these agricultural chemicals,” Dennis vanEngelsdorp, the study’s lead author, told Quartz.
So are these pesticides and fungicides the cause of Colony Collapse disorder?
The authors of the study stated very clearly that they were not making that conclusion.
But it does seem more than coincidental that continental Europe is not seeing bees die in the same kinds of numbers and they have banned many of these pesticides and fungicides. The following is from a recent article by Christina Sarich…
A study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has labeled one pesticide, called clothianidin, as completely unacceptable for use, and banned it from use entirely. Meanwhile, the U.S. uses the same pesticide on more than a third of its crops – nearly 143 million acres. Two more pesticides linked to bee death are imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam. These are also used extensively in the US, while elsewhere, they have been taken out of circulation.
There are others that are not entirely convinced that pesticides and fungicides are the primary cause of the mass bee deaths that we are seeing. In some cases, tens of millions of bees are dying all at once. How could that be caused by pesticides and fungicides? The following is from a recent article by Arjun Walia…
It’s not just the United States, Elmwood, Canada also recently reported a discovery of over 30 million dead bees. The massive bee deaths in Elmwood came shortly after approximately 50 thousand bees were found dead in an Oregon parking lot.
No matter what the true cause is, we need to find a solution quickly because if we start running out of honey bees we will rapidly be facing a nightmarish agricultural apocalypse.
Just check out the following list of crops that are pollinated by honey bees…
Black and Red Currants
Acerola – used in Vitamin C supplements
Bok Choy (Chinese Cabbage)
Chili peppers, red peppers, bell peppers, green peppers
Black Eyed Peas
Can you imagine life without those foods?
I can’t either.
But if bees keep dying off like this, first those crops will start becoming extremely expensive and then they will start disappearing from our store shelves altogether.
About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth. His new novel entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.
Be Sociable, Share!
Image credit: http://thetruthwins.com
Google’s Sergey Brin is the Money Behind Test-Tube Synthetic Burgers
While I share Sergey Brin’s concerns about meat production and the completely cruel way in which we treat our animals, I can’t say I’m looking forward to biting into a test tube hamburger any time soon. This story has received a lot of press in the past few days following the synthetic meat’s taste testing in London yesterday. I have to admit, I’d take the entire thing a lot more seriously if Sergey wasn’t wearing those creepy and idiotic Google Glasses while discussing it (watch video):
From The Guardian:
The man who has bankrolled the production of the world’s first lab-grown hamburger has been revealed as Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The internet entrepreneur has backed the project to the tune of €250,000 (£215,000), allowing scientists to grow enough meat in the lab to create a burger – as a proof of concept – that will be cooked and eaten in London on Monday.
“It’s really just proof of concept right now, we’re trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger,” said Brin in a film to mark the tasting event in London. “From there I’m optimistic that we can really scale by leaps and bounds.”
Brin said that he was moved to invest in the technology for animal welfare reasons. People had an erroneous image of modern meat production, he said, imagining “pristine farms” with just a few animals in them. “When you see how these cows are treated, it’s certainly something I’m not comfortable with.”
Brin’s money was used by a team led by physiologist Dr Mark Post at Maastricht University to grow 20,000 muscle fibres from cow stem cells over the course of three months. These fibers were extracted from individual culture wells and then painstakingly pressed together to form the hamburger that will be eaten in London on Monday. The objective is to create meat that is biologically identical to beef but grown in a lab rather than in a field as part of a cow.
Here’s one version of the future I don’t want to see: People running around wearing Google Glass and eating Google lab meat.
Full article here.
Follow Mike on Twitter!
So the video mentions that in the future consumers will have a choice of two labeled products to choose from. Yup, just like all the “Contains GMO” labels we currently see? Nice try on that part. Good post by Mike, as always, just pointing out an issue mentioned in the video.
$300,000 Stem Cell Burger
LONDON –Two volunteers Monday participated in the first public frying and eating of hamburger grown in a lab made from beef stem cells. The two volunteers reported that it had the texture of meat but was short of flavor because of the lack of fat.
Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, appeared on a video shown at the event and announced that he funded the 250,000-euro ($330,000) project because of his concern for animal welfare.
Brin expressed high hopes for the technology stating “We’re trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger. From there I’m optimistic we can really scale by leaps and bounds,” Experts say new ways of producing meat are needed to satisfy growing carnivorous appetites without exhausting resources.
By 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization predicts global meat consumption will double as more people in developing countries can afford it. Raising animals destined for the dinner table takes up about 70 percent of all agricultural land.
Posted by Judy Morris
U.S. Govt. Funnels Billions of $$$ into Junk Food, Equivalent to Cost of About 52 Billion Twinkies
Children today are three times more likely to be obese than three decades ago, while more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. These obesity rates are directly tied to the number of people dying every year from heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. While the U.S. government would have you think they have your best health interests in mind, there is evidence to the contrary. Not only do they support our growing dependence on dangerous prescription drugs and the proliferation of genetically modified crops, but they also fund the junk food industry through subsidies.
A recent report from U.S. PIRG (a federation of state Public Interest Research Groups) indicates that since 1995, the U.S. government has spent more than $19 billion subsidizing corn and soy junk food ingredients.
That report, “Apples to Twinkies 2013: Comparing Taxpayer Subsidies for Fresh Produce and Junk Food”, says that the government funds more junk food than fresh fruits and vegetables. Though the government spends an estimated $292.5 billion on all agricultural subsidies since 1995, only $689 million went to apples (the “only fruit or vegetable to receive significant federal subsidies”). $689 million for apples compared with $19.2 billion for junk food is a serious disparity.
Read the rest at Natural Society, here.