Posts tagged FDA
By Hunter Lewis
Monsanto’s Friends in High Places
Editor’s Note: The following is adapted from Hunter Lewis’s new book Crony Capitalism in America, now available in the Mises Store.
Many companies hope to send an employee into a government agency to influence regulation. How much better if the employee can actually shape government regulation to promote and sell a specific product! Monsanto seems to have accomplished this — and much more.
Michael Taylor is among a number of people with Monsanto ties who have worked in government in recent years. He worked for the Nixon and Reagan Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s, then became a lawyer representing Monsanto. In 1991, he returned to the FDA as Deputy Commissioner for Policy under George H. W. Bush, and helped secure approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine (cow) growth hormone, despite it being banned in Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
This was only a start for Taylor. He also did not like some producers advertising their milk as bovine-growth-hormone-free. That seemed to put Monsanto’s product in an unfavorable light. So in 1994 he wrote a guidance document from within the FDA requiring that any food label describing the product as bovine-growth-hormone-free must also include these words: “The FDA has determined … no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from [BGH] and non-[BGH] supplemented cows.”
It apparently did not concern Taylor that this new pronouncement by the FDA was unsupported by either Monsanto or FDA studies. A private company making any such unsupported claim could have been charged with fraud. But since it came out of the FDA, milk producers would place themselves at legal risk by not printing it on their label.
Taylor moved to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the mid-1990s. During this period, he tried to persuade the FDA and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take a further step and make it illegal for dairies to make any claim to a bovine-growth-hormone-free product. Failing in that, he reached out to state governments to make such a claim illegal at the state level. This was finally blocked by a court decision in Ohio that there was indeed a “compositional difference” between BGH and non-BGH-treated milk. Long before this 2010 ruling, Taylor had returned to Monsanto as a vice president, and then returned to President Obama’s FDA, first as Senior Advisor on Food Safety and then Deputy Commissioner for Foods.
Taylor’s story, however, is not just about milk, or even mainly about milk. During his second posting at the FDA, as Deputy Commissioner for Policy 1991–1994, Agency scientists were grappling with questions about the overall safety of genetically engineered foods (often labeled Genetically Modified Organisms). As Jeffrey Smith notes,
[Internal] memo after memo described toxins, new diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and hard to detect allergens. [Staff scientists] were adamant that the technology carried “serious health hazards,” and required careful, long-term research, including human studies. …
The Agency, under Taylor’s and later under others’ leadership, simply ignored these findings. No human studies were required. GMO foods were allowed to enter the food supply unregulated by the FDA and barely regulated by the USDA, which views them as an important US export product. By 2012, in the US, 90 percent of sugar beets (representing half of overall sugar production) was GMO, 85 percent of soybeans (which are to be found in 70 percent of all supermarket food products), and 85 percent of corn, including the corn used to make high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener used in most soft drinks and processed foods.
The few scientists trying to conduct independent research on GMO often found their careers damaged. Most food research, conferences, and fellowships are funded by “Big Food” companies including Monsanto, which has a chilling effect. Even sympathetic colleagues may be reluctant to back those who dare speak out.
Those who persevered in conducting independent research, often abroad, reported worrisome findings. An Austrian study found that mice fed GMO corn seemed fine in the first and second generations, but by the third were sterile. A Russian study of hamsters fed GMO soybeans found a similar result. Could human beings exhibit a similar, delayed response? No one knows. Another, unrelated study showed that the pesticide used in large quantities on engineered Roundup Ready crops is toxic to male testicle cells and threatens both testosterone synthesis and sperm count.
At the same time that the FDA tries to remain as silent as possible about GMOs, the US Department of Agriculture and other parts of the US government are doing everything they can to promote them. The USDA under both George W. Bush and Obama has sought to accelerate what is already an automatic rubberstamp for new GMO products, to “deregulate” them (including grasses such as alfalfa that cannot be restricted to the planted area), and to provide immunity from lawsuits over the spread of GMO crops to adjoining organic farms. Immunity from lawsuit was especially ironic. For years, GMO producers had threatened, intimidated, sued, and in every imaginable way attempted to bully adjoining farmers. If any of the patented seeds drifted and were found on the neighboring farm, that farmer would be charged with “theft.” The clear message: buy the patented seeds or face destruction through legal costs. Remarkably, courts were buying this specious argument. But finally the persecuted began to counter-sue successfully, and the USDA immediately rushed to provide legal immunity to the GMO producers in the form of an insurance policy that organic farmers would have to buy and that would be their only available form of compensation.
Although we have chosen to focus on the remarkable revolving door career of Michael Taylor at the FDA and Monsanto, because it has potentially affected the future health of hundreds of millions of people, stories like his are not uncommon. A Chicago Tribune article from 2012 is headlined: Chemical Firms Champion New EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Expert. It describes how Todd Stedeford worked at the EPA from 2004–2007 under the George W. Bush administration, then joined chemical firm Albemarle Corp. While at Albemarle, which makes flame retardants, he defended chemicals used in many products and even suggested that the standard set by the EPA for flame retardants was 500 times too high. Having returned to the EPA in 2011, under President Obama, he is now “in charge of a … program studying whether dozens of industrial chemicals, including flame retardants, are too dangerous.” One must ask: what was the EPA thinking when it made this appointment?
Bill Ruckelshaus, twice EPA head, once said that “at EPA you work for a cause that is beyond self-interest. … You’re not there for the money, you are there for something beyond yourself.” But on leaving the EPA, he himself became a Monsanto director. Meanwhile the Geneva-based Covalence group placed Monsanto dead last on a list of 581 global companies ranked by their reputation for ethics.
A look at some Monsanto representatives and their positions in government:
|Suzanne Sechen, worked on Monsanto-funded academic research||A primary reviewer for bovine growth hormone in FDA|
|Linda J. Fisher, VP, lobbyist for Monsanto||Assistant Administrator at EPA|
|Michael Friedman, MD, Sr. VP, GD Searle, subsidiary of Monsanto||Acting Commissioner of FDA|
|Marcia Hale, international lobbyist, Monsanto||Assistant to President under President Clinton|
|Michael (Mickey) Kantor, director||Secretary of Commerce and US Trade Representative under President Clinton|
|William D. Ruckelshaus, director||Head of EPA under both Presidents Nixon and Reagan|
Hunter Lewis is cofounder of Against Crony Capitalism. He is the former CEO of Cambridge Associates and the author of eight books, including two new books, Free Prices Now! and Crony Capitalism in America: 2008-2012. He has served on boards and committees of 15 not-for-profit organizations, including environmental, teaching, research, and cultural organizations, as well as the World Bank. See Hunter Lewis’s article archives.
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By Hunter Lewis
Will Smartphone Apps Revolutionize Medicine?
No– the government seems determined to stop it.
The Bloomberg article below describes a brave new world in which consumers can monitor their health through smartphone apps, share the information with their doctors, and also communicate with their doctors without an appointment, especially in emergencies. The article however fails to mention that Medicare and some private insurers won’t pay a doctor for time spent on e-mail, texting, and the like. Medicare not only wants you to go to the doctor’s office. It won’t even pay for treatment of more than one complaint per visit. If you have two problems, you are supposed to make another appointment and come back. The article does refer to the FDA’s plan to regulate the field, which it seems to regard positively. It does not explain that the cost of FDA approval will kill app innovation and availability.
Why is this happening? Because the FDA wants to be paid. Big drug companies contribute billions to FDA salaries and expenses, in addition to offering high paying jobs when employees leave government employment. Neither the government, nor key allies such as the American Medical Association, which enjoys a lucrative government granted monopoly in medical coding, have an incentive to change the way medicine is practiced. On the contrary, they keep us stuck where we are.
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About Hunter Lewis
Hunter Lewis is co-founder of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. He is the former CEO of Cambridge Associates and the author of 6 books. His most recent book is Where Keynes Went Wrong. He has served on boards and committees of fifteen not-for-profit organizations, including environmental, teaching, research, and cultural organizations, as well as the World Bank.
Pharmaceutical firms paid thousands to attend meetings of panel that advises the FDA on pain killers0
Pharmaceutical firms paid thousands to attend meetings of panel that advises the FDA on pain killers
Again, marijuana or cannabis, for many an effective, non-opiate (non-physically addictive), nearly free treatment for pain is widely illegal in this country. One can however get a prescription for Oxycodone, aka hillbilly heroin, which is viciously addictive and expensive no problem. Such opiates are profitable so long as the effective, largely non-addicting, non-stupefying, nearly free option is kept out of the hands of those who want to obey the law.
I wonder why the pharmaceutical companies would pay thousands of dollars to attend a conference which might determine the FDA’s pain killer policy?
(From The Washington Post)
Even as the meetings were taking place, the idea of FDA officials meeting with firms that had paid big money for an invitation raised eyebrows for some. In an e-mail to organizers, an official from the National Institutes of Health worried whether the arrangements made it look as if the private meetings were a “pay to play process.”
FDA officials did not benefit financially from their participation in the meetings, the agency said. But two later went on to work as pharmaceutical consultants and more than this, the critics said, the e-mails portray an agency that, by allowing itself to get caught up in a panel that seemed to promise influence for money, had blurred the line between the regulators and the regulated.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
FDA Approves New EEG Test to Locate ADHD in Children’s Brains
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new testing system called Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System that measures electrical impulses that neurons give off within the brain to look for evidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) within a patient’s neural-net.
In less than a half an hour, the NEBA can calculate the ratio of specific brain wave frequencies such as theta na beta waves.
The target age group for NEBA is between 6 and 17.
Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, commented : “Diagnosing ADHD is a multistep process based on a complete medical and psychiatric exam. The NEBA System along with other clinical information may help health care providers more accurately determine if ADHD is the cause of a behavioral problem.”
According to the FDA: “The theta/beta ratio has been shown to be higher in children and adolescents with ADHD than in children without it.”
It is believed that this new device “can help confirm an ADHD diagnosis” or “other medical or behavioral conditions that produce similar symptoms.”
In a study conducted in 2007 – 2008, researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that:
• 2.7 million of the 4.1 million US school-aged children with ADHD were taking medication for treatment, based on parent report
• Boys were more likely than girls to be taking ADHD medication, at every age
• State-based rates of ADHD medication treatment among those with ADHD ranged from 33% in Nevada to 79% in Mississippi
• The lowest rates of medication usage were documented in 5 Western states (Nevada, California, Alaska, Hawaii, and New Mexico)
• The highest rates of medication usage were documented in 5 Southern states (North Carolina, Louisiana, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Delaware)
• The state-based variation in ADHD medication treatment supports reports by the Food and Drug Administration of uneven distribution of common ADHD medication, contributing to ADHD medication shortages in certain states
Diagnosing ADHD has become a concerted goal since psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg, “scientific father of ADHD” came out in his last interview before his death to admit that ADHD is a fictitious disease.
Eisenberg said: “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease.”
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has promoted Ritalin as the go-to medication for ADHD which has proven highly profitable to Ciba Pharmaceutical and the psychiatric community.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. William Cooper, pediatrics and preventive medicine professor at Vanderbilt University, claims that Ritalin and Adderall (two pharmaceutical drugs used to treat ADHD) can prevent the mind of hyperactive children from becoming criminals. Cooper contends that these drugs should continue to be administered through adulthood to prevent criminal activity later in life.
Cooper said: “There definitely is a perception that it’s a disease of childhood and you outgrow your need for medicines. We’re beginning to understand that ADHD is a condition for many people that really lasts throughout their life.”
So far, 5% of the children in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD, a psychiatric disorder wherein the non-medical opinion of a psychologist that a child is hyperactive, impulsive, has difficulty paying attention and therefore must be given pharmaceutical drugs so that “focus in school” can be achieved.
The study analyzed court and prison records from 2006 – 2009 to determine the number of those convicted who were on a drug to treat SDHD; as well as the severity of their crimes. Only 10 control subjects were entered into the study.
The findings showed:
• Thirty – seven percent of convicts were pre – diagnosed with ADHD
• It was likely that ADHD medication was used in 32% of male convicts and 41% of female
• ADHD suffers were likely to commit burglary or theft
• Four thousand of the 23,000 crimes researched were violent
Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center, confirms through past research that adults who were diagnosed with ADHD as children are more likely to:
• Get into driving accidents
• Consistently lose jobs
• Divorce spouses
• Be arrested or commit some criminal activity
Adesman admits that not all children marked as ADHD go on to become criminals or divorcees, and that the majority of them simply grow out of the behavior. Yet, Adesman still maintains that despite the fact that ADHD is a phase of childhood that rarely carries into adulthood that “collectively, people with ADHD are at risk for a range of poor outcomes.”
Dr. Fred Baughman, child neurologist and ADHD researcher states that the advent of ADHD diagnoses is a scheme to sell more anti – psychotic drugs to young children by the pharmaceutical corporations in conjunction with the psychiatric community. Baughman insists that a normal development in children has now been socially accepted as a neurological disorder that requires psychiatric treatment.
Annually, Ritalin sales reach the billions and Adderall has unquestionably surpassed the once leading drug treatment for ADHD to become the drug of choice for pediatricians. However, doctors admit that the children “grow out of the symptoms of ADHD” and that none of the accepted pharmaceuticals actually cure the alleged disease.
Researchers, in keeping with the necessity for drugs to treat ADHD, claim that video games, television, and genetics are the causes of the “disease” while completely ignoring the chemical additives in processed foods that would be heightening a normal function in the neurological development of children.
Maida Galvez, M.D., director of pediatric environmental health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, explains that: “Scientific evidence is limited to support the association between food additives and ADHD symptoms. Although it is possible that a very small group of children who are allergic to artificial colorings or preservatives may show improvement in symptoms on restriction diets, evidence is insufficient to recommend routine, widespread use of restriction diets to treat a child’s ADHD symptoms.”
Artificial food coloring in addition to the preservative sodium benzoate was shown in studies to incited hyperactivity in children that had not been previously diagnosed with ADHD.
Drug corporations that benefit from this scheme are:
• Johnson & Johnson
• Eli Lily
In 2010, there was an explosion of sales for drugs treating ADHD to the extent that manufacturers could not keep the drugs on the “shelf”. Without having a clear science of diagnosis, any psychiatrist could (and did) deem as many children as possible with this label for the sake of profits to the pharmaceutical industry as well as lending credibility to the interpretive world of psychiatry because this specialty analyses emotional responses and behaviors without using scientific measurements or knowledge of causational disturbances that are reflected in real, physical diseases.
ADHD is one of the most lucrative schemes concocted by the psychiatric community in order to justify the development of pharmaceutical drugs that were already in production.
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Supreme Court: Drug Corps Are Exempt From Liability Lawsuits
The US Supreme Court has ruled in a near unanimous vote that pharmaceutical corporations are exempt from being sued for fraud, mislabeling side effects and accidental death.
Despite having heard the case of a patient who developed a flesh – eating virus as a result of an adverse effect to a drug medication, the Supreme Court decided that regardless of whether or not the drug company had foreknowledge of this possibility or not, they are not responsible legally.
The case MUTUAL PHARMACEUTICAL CO., INC. v. BARTLETT began in 2004 in a New Hampshire court wherein Mutual Pharmaceutical (MP) was brought forth to pay $21 million to Karen Bartlett for having developed toxic epidermal necrolysis .
Bartlett was using the generic drug Clinoril when her skin became diseased, and literally peeled off; leaving 60% of her body open to infection.
Clinorl, a.k.a. Sulindac , is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory used for chronic conditions.
While MP was involved, Merck & Co is the originator of the drug.
However, the Supreme Court over – turned this decision; much to the delight of the pharmaceutical industry.
Michael Carome, director of the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group said : “Today’s court decision provides a disincentive for generic makers of drugs to monitor safety of their products and to make sure that they have a surveillance system in place to detect adverse events that pose a threat to patients.”
Essentially, this ruling creates a blanket of protection for the pharmaceutical industry beyond the approval of products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
During patent lawsuits, the Obama administration supported MP along with the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPM).
In 2012, President Obama made his intentions for the pharmaceutical industry clear with the announcement that the pharmaceutical corporations and US government were combining forces to find new uses for already established drugs.
The focus of this collaboration will identify new uses for drugs that have already been approved by the FDA. There may be need for new human trials, putting the general public at a health risk. Engaging in experimental trials to classify specific compounds to be utilized for unintended purposes is highly dangerous.
Genetic engineering has led researchers to discover over 4,500 diseases that need pharmaceutical drugs to combat.
Advocacy Group Finds Pepsi Contains Cancer Causing Ingredients
The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) says that the caramel coloring agents in Pepsi is a carcinogen and demands that the corporation change their formula.
PepsiCo uses the chemical 4-methylimidazole (4-Mel), which is added during the cooking process, has been analyzed and found to be a health hazard to the public.
The CEH has pointed out that California outlawed the use of 4-Mel; and yet it can still be found in Pepsi sold in that state.
While Pepsi claims to have reformulated their product, it is clear through laboratory testing that high levels of 4-Mel was discovered in 10 Pepsi products.
Michael Green, executive director of the CEH remarked: “This shows how California’s Proposition 65 law can make products safer for all Californians and in some cases for all Americans. We applaud Coke for taking this health protective action for consumers nationwide. Pepsi’s delay is inexplicable. We urge the company to take swift action to provide all Americans with the same safer product they’re selling in California.”
In March of 2012, rather than change labels to admit to poisoning their customers, PepsiCo altered their recipe by removing 4-Mel.
In 2012, PepsiCo decided that aspartame, a neuro-toxin used in their diet cola products as a sweetener, is not “sweet enough” and are “testing a new mix of artificial sweeteners” that will retain its potency longer than high fructose corn syrup.
The new mixture of sweeteners being tested includes acesulfame-potassium, or ace-K. The problem PepsiCo has with aspartame is that it is affected negatively in warm conditions that occur during shipping before their soda products arrive in retail stores.
In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of ace-K despite its known safety dangers. This chemical is most popularly used in baked goods, chewing gum and gelatin desserts according to the food safety advocacy group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Ace-K, or acesulfame potassium , is a lab-created chemical that is 200 times sweeter than sucrose. Ace-K is suspected through research to have carcinogenic properties, yet this studied fact was dismissed and further studies were not conducted prior to the FDA approval.
In testing preformed on rats, ace-K was shown to stimulate dose-dependent insulin secretion. In further studies , ace-K provided more of a danger to male rats, than female rats with regard to their signal toward being cancer producing.
Two years ago, mainstream media reported that certain brands of PepsiCo soft drinks contained a patented flame retardant used in plastics to keep carbonated drinks from becoming combustible. Over exposure to the toxin could lead to the necessity of medical attention for “skin lesions, memory loss and nerve disorders.”
A report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy stated that processed foods and beverages may contain mercury that was part of the process of deriving high fructose corn syrup. The FDA failed to make this independent study effective by acknowledging its findings.
Mercury impairs neurological development, as well as has a dramatic effect on the human nervous system. In children, mercury exposure manifests as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Shockingly, PepsiCo have never denied their use of the deadly additive aspartame, nor its link to cancer. They stated publicly that the findings from scientific studies were untrue; essentially ignoring the fault and responsibility of their company to offer a product that did not endanger the health of the public. By denying the facts, their validity does not diminish.
After a petition forced them, PepsiCo agreed to remove brominated vegetable oil (BVO), a.k.a. flame retardant, from their products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was deemed generally safe in 1958. During the 1970s, BVO was restricted in its use as a food additive with a concentration of 15ppm.
The FDA said that BVO is an interim food additive in the US and completely permissible in Canada. BVO has been banned in Japan and India while the European Union has not approved the substance for human use.
After the FDA approved BVO for use in products, adverse effects began to be reported. Reactions to the chemical include:
• Production of bromoderma lesions
• Memory loss
• Loss of muscle coordination
• Ptosis of the eye
BVO is also used by soft drink corporations to keep the carbonated drinks from becoming combustible.
Currently, BVO is used in many brand name soft drink products such as PepsiCo Gatorade and Mountain Dew; but also found in Coca-Cola soft drinks such as Powerade, Fanta Orange and Fresca; and Sunkist Peach Soda produced by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.
BVO will be replaced with sucrose acetate isobutyrate which is considered “generally safe” as a food additive by the FDA.
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Despite Irrefutable Evidence of Toxicity and Death, Monsanto’s Friends at the EPA Raise Allowable Glyphosate Levels0
By Daisy Luther
Despite Irrefutable Evidence of Toxicity and Death, Monsanto’s Friends at the EPA Raise Allowable Glyphosate Levels
Great news! You no longer have to worry about excessive levels of glyphosate, the toxic chemical found in Monsanto’s Round-up pesticide, in your food or in the feed that livestock consumes. Why not? Well, the Environmental
Deception Protection Agency has looked over the situation, and in their infinite wisdom, raised the safety threshold of glyphosate that is allowed to be in consumable goods.
The EPA’s change of heart means that the the allowed glyphosate level in animal feed will rise to 100 parts per million (ppm) and 40 ppm in oilseed crops. Thankfully, there’s no need for us to worry because they’ve assured us that the new allowable levels are only “minimally toxic” to humans.
The EPA is the agency that is charged with protecting the air we breathe, the soil in which we grow our food and the water that we drink. Unfortunately the only responsibility they seem to take seriously is their commitment to furthering the agendas of big business. This decision to allow more Roundup to drench the food supply comes immediately after two major, peer reviewed studies have proven that glyphosate is deadly.
The first study found that glyphosate increases the breast cancer cell proliferation in the parts-per-trillion range.
An alarming new study, accepted for publication in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology last month, indicates that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide due to its widespread use in genetically engineered agriculture, is capable of driving estrogen receptor mediated breast cancer cell proliferation within the infinitesimal parts per trillion concentration range.
The study, titled, “Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors,” compared the effect of glyphosate on hormone-dependent and hormone-independent breast cancer cell lines, finding that glyphosate stimulates hormone-dependent cancer cell lines in what the study authors describe as “low and environmentally relevant concentrations.”
Another study found that consumption of glyphosate causes intestinal and gut damage, which opens the door to numerous human diseases, such as diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, obesity, autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
However, another classification of allergy-type food is emerging and getting recognized for adverse effects on the human intestinal tract and gut. Those foods are genetically modified organisms known as GMOs or GEs. There is scientific research indicating intestinal damage from GMO food and the article “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Disease” discusses how the inordinate amount of pesticides sprayed on GMOs leaves residues in GMO crops that, in turn, are being traced to modern diseases. (source)
The Organic Consumers Association is very concerned. They are behind a petition to lobby the EPA to lower the allowable glyphosate levels instead of raising them. (Find it HERE) The OCA cites numerous reasons why the EPA’s current move is a deadly mistake:
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. According to the EPA, at least 208 million tons of Roundup were sprayed on GE crops, lawns and roadsides in the years 2006 and 2007. In 2007, as much as 185 million pounds of glyphosate was used by U.S. farmers, double the amount used just six years ago.
A 2009 study found that Americans use about 100 million pounds of glyphosate annually on their lawns and gardens. It’s safe to assume all these number are much higher now. Why? Because GE crops are now being invaded by new strains of herbicide-resistant “superweeds” requiring higher and higher doses of poison.
Beyond Pesticides has assembled extensive documentation of past research linking glyphosate to increased cancer risk, neurotoxicity and birth defects, as well as eye, skin, respiratory irritation, lung congestion, increased breathing rate, damage to the pancreas, kidney and testes.
Glyphosate also endangers the environment, destroys soil and plants, and is linked to a host of health hazards. The EPA’s decision to increase the allowed residue limits of glyphosate is out of date, dangerous to the health of people and the environment and scientifically unsupportable. (source)
So why would the EPA make this ruling?
Because instead of being an unbiased agency looking out for public interest, they are merely puppets for the biotech industry. They spread disinformation from beneath a cloak of benevolence and authority. They use the trust that people have put in them to deceive and manipulate the public in favor of big business.
Here are some examples of their incestuous partnerships:
The EPA has been accused of covering up crimes committed by public health enemy #1, Monsanto, as well as Dow Chemicals. The EPA’s investigation proved that Monsanto knowingly tainted Lysol (used by moms everywhere to sanitize babies’ toys) with dioxin. However, no criminal charges have been forthcoming as of this publication.
The EPA also quietly closed an investigation of Monsanto’s twisted cover-up in the Nitro, West Virginia herbicide plant accident that exposed hundreds of workers to deadly carcinogen dioxin, which can still be found in nearby streams and lakes. Despite the fact that this investigation simply disappeared, Monsanto agreed in February to pay $93 million dollars to residents of Nitro in order to settle a class action lawsuit.
The EPA has refused to ban a pesticide made by Dow Chemicals, the controversial 2,4-D, the same substance used in Agent Orange. This pesticide will be used on corn crops that have been genetically engineered to be resistant to the toxin. Agent Orange causes cancer, hormone disruption, genetic mutations and neurotoxicity and will be soon be coming to a corn field near you.
The EPA has refused a petition to ban BPA in industry, citing a lack of scientific evidence of the negative effects of the chemical. BPA is commonly found tainting canned goods, especially soup, and bottled water that has been exposed to heat. (Author’s note: It would probably be very expensive for industry to have to replace all those containers with BPA-free cans and bottles.) (source)
The EPA pulled an identical sleight of hand when radiation from the Fukushima disaster began to reach the United States in 2011. They raised the acceptable levels of radiation, stopped measuring it, and even tried to convince us that a little radiation was actually good for us:
The EPA is right on top of things with their response, of course. First, they promptly closed down 8 of 18 radiation measuring stations in the hardest hit area, California. Then, to further calm the good people of the nation, the EPA magically changed the numbers. They’ve raised the amount of radiation that we can safely absorb and ingest. It wouldn’t do for the large factory farms to be unable to sell their tainted produce or for the huge dairies to be stuck with all that radioactive milk.
The radiation in our food supply is of so little concern to the EPA that they’ve actually begun to tell us that a little bit of radiation is good for us. According to a report citing the EPA, a bit of radiation can prevent cancer, instead of causing it.
Since our minds can be at ease now, the EPA has decided that they are no longer planning to monitor the radiation levels in our food supply. They will return to their previous practice of only monitoring random samples every three months. Yep. Really. The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States is no longer monitoring radiation levels in our food and water supplies as of April 14th. That will definitely keep them from getting those inconveniently high readings that might affect Big Agri’s prosperity. (source)
The government’s consumer protection agencies are hopelessly corrupted. The FDA, the EPA, and the USDA are all servants of Big Food, Big Pharma and Big Agri. We are on our own. The public outcry will be muffled in the mainstream media because, well, Big Food, Big Pharma, and Big Agri own them too – you need only look at the advertisers to see this.
Therefore, we have to resort to other means to spread the word. We have to be so loud and so adamant that even the sleepiest individual will have no option but to see what is going on. So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to “out” the EPA for this disastrous decision.
- Share information via social media
- Protest publicly
- Sign the petition mentioned above and persuade everyone you know to sign it too
- Contact the EPA directly and let them know your thoughts on this matter (please be civil)
- Here’s the phone number for the office of the EPA’s administrator – give him a call: (202) 564-4711
- Write letters to the editor of all of your local publications
- Make comments on message boards for the mainstream media (they’ll get deleted but a few people might read them first)
- Don’t purchase processed foods or any foods that may contain GMOs, including factory farmed meats. The animals are given GMO feed throughout the course of their entire lives
Please understand, the system is irrevocably corrupted. Only by shedding light on this corruption can we make a change. People are being lulled into compliance, all the while, feeling that there are measures in place to ensure that what they consume from the grocery store is not poison.
Food safety should not be in the hands of the highest bidder.
Monsanto’s Website Hacked After 2 Million March
The Monsanto corporate website was hacked on May 29, 2013, just days after more than 2 million people marched against the organization around the world, and despite an almost complete media blackout. Anonymous, a group of internet hackers calling themselves ‘hacktivists’, was able to temporarily shut down the site as an act of outright revolt against Monsanto’s illegal and predatory practices of planting poison GMO crops even despite the public’s desperate attempts to stop them.
A statement released by Anonymous relates:
“Monsanto is facing the wrath of activists because they are altering the nature of our food supply without a concern about long term effects on human health, because they are creating a monopoly on the supply of seeds for farmers, and, because of increasing evidence of long term environmental damages.”
This same hacktivist has previously hacked into Monsanto’s website before, and also the public relations companies associated with them. In December of 2012, the hackers infiltrated the PR firm known as The Biving Group due to “15+ years of running marketing campaigns and helping some of the most corrupt corporations on the planet, as well as several governmental agencies, cover up their dirt.” Going by information released by Anonymous, Bivings Group shut down all of their servers and liquidated their assets after the infiltration.
Will activists take on increasingly desperate attempts to shut down corporations like Monsanto as the global spread of GMO seed endangers our food supply? As Monsanto seems to slide like a slippery eel through government institutions that are supposed to protect the people from health hazards like GMO, including the Senate, Congress, FDA, and our completely mute presidential office, perhaps the public is getting anxious as the GMO monopoly continues to grow in India and the US, as in other countries, despite rampant activism to stop them.
Forget Passwords: Take a Pill & Let Your Body Log You In
The Motorola Pill, a.k.a. the authentication vitamin, is a stomach acid-powered pill that emits an 18-bit authentication signal that will log the person into an online service.
Regina Duncan, head of special projects for Motorola Mobility and former head of the (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) DARPA, is part of an initiative to bring electronic tattoos that retain passwords to log-in users and the authentication vitamin.
Duncan revealed at the All Things D conference that: “We are thinking of a variety of options for how you could do better at authentication. You can start with near term things like tokens or fobs, but you can also think of a means of authentication that you could wear on your skin for a week at a time. We are talking about an electronic tattoo.”
The electronic tattoo has “sensors and an antenna that can recognize your devices, after which it sends out an authenticating signal.”
Duncan laughed at the idea of teenagers defying their parents by wearing an electronic tattoo. She said: “Teenagers might not want to wear a watch, but you can be sure they’ll wear a tattoo just to piss off their parents.”
Duncan explained: “There are a lot of problems in wearables,” Dugan said, “Electronics are boxy and rigid, humans are curvy and soft. That’s a mechanical mismatch problem. The strategy these companies use for radical innovation is decades out of date. We need to update it. We learned to do it at DARPA and we’re going to bring it to mobile, and it will have cascading effect on industry.”
MC10 is working with Motorola to perfect the electronic tattoos. In essence, the pill turns the user’s entire body into a password.
Duncan explained how the authentication pill is actually a tiny computer ship. She said: “It also has what amounts to an inside-out potato battery. The acids in your stomach serve as an electrolyte and power it up.”
PDH developed a silicon chip as big as a grain of sand. The human body gives it power by interacting with the digestive juices to produce voltage with copper and magnesium inside the pill.
This emits a signal to a smartphone which will alert the physician that the patient has taken their medication.
The pill has been used in conjunction with treatments for tuberculosis, mental health, heart failure, hypertension, and diabetes.
Monsanto’s Congressional Cartel: List of Senators Who Betrayed Constituents in Favor of Biotech Dollars1
By Daisy Luther
Monsanto’s Congressional Cartel: List of Senators Who Betrayed Constituents in Favor of Biotech Dollars
Once upon a time, a system was designed in which “the people” elected delegates to go to Washington DC. These members of Congress had the specific duty of representing the wishes of their constituencies when laws were being voted upon.
The success of last weekend’s March Against Monsanto should have made it very clear that a great many people wish to see, at the very least, labels on toxic GMO foods. The fact that this success was covered up by the media does NOT mean that the members of Congress were unaware of it – just the opposite. Our success was frightening, and that is why it was covered up.
Despite that, the day before the event, an amendment to the farm bill that would have allowed the individual states to pass laws protecting consumers from unlabeled GMOs was quietly shot down in the Senate with a vote of 71-27 against this right. The timing of this betrayal, right before a long weekend, goes along with the general modus operandi of sliding through things that will meet with objections from the public when they are otherwise distracted.
The failure to pass this amendment was due in part to Monsanto mouthpiece Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the chair of the Agriculture Committee. Stabenow, incidentally, received over three quarters of a million dollars from agribusiness interests ($739,926 to be exact) in agribusiness donations. Stabenow utilized the propaganda that is being dispersed by the likes of Monsanto and the Gates Foundation to argue her point:
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the chair of the Agriculture Committee, spoke on behalf of the biotech giant seizing the opportunity to focus primarily on the myth that genetically modified ingredients feed the hungry people of the world, ignoring the fact that 64 countries now require GMO labeling.
“This particular amendment would interfere with the FDA’s science-based process to determine what food labeling is necessary for consumers,” Stabenow said.
“It’s also important to note that around the world now we are seeing genetically modified crops that have the ability to resist crop diseases and improve nutritional content and survive drought conditions in many developing countries,” she added.
Unable to make the connection with how allowing states to label GMO foods would interfere with corporate biotech operations abroad, she instead took the opportunity to show that the chair of the Agriculture Committee is marching lockstep with the Gates Foundation.
“We see wonderful work being done by foundations like the Gates Foundation and others, that are using new techniques to be able to feed hungry people,” she said. (Source)
This puts Stabenow right up there on the list with Senator Roy Blunt (R- Mo), the inextricably-linked congressman from Monsanto’s home state of Missouri who slipped the rider in for the Monsanto Protection Act last March. But Stabenow and Blunt are not the only enemies. Monsanto is the number one donor in the agricultural lobby, having spent nearly 6 million dollars in 2012, ($5,970,000) as well as more than $925,000 directly to political candidates. ($541,854 as Monsanto, $384,890 as Scott’s Miracle Gro, which is an agent for Monsanto’s “Round-up” ). Any politician who took money from them and then voted in favor of them is equally guilty of betraying their offices and the trust placed in them by voters.
There is simply no excuse for voting against the individual state’s rights to allow consumers to make informed choices about the food they purchase. The sponsor of the failed bill, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, said:
“…the concept we’re talking about today is a fairly commonsense and non-radical idea.
“All over the world, in the European Union, in many other countries around the world, dozens and dozens of countries, people are able to look at the food that they are buying and determine through labeling whether or not that product contains genetically modified organisms.”
Sanders also noted that in the past he has helped pass laws in his home state of Vermont that would require GMO labeling but hasn’t seen those laws actually be enacted over fears that Monsanto would sue the state. This bill would allow states to do what they want without fear that the company that brought us agent orange could end up having more power than an entire state government. (Source)
The saying goes, “The friend of my enemy is also my enemy.” By this rationale, those who are in the back pocket of Monsanto are the enemies of those of us who demand proper oversight of the evil corporation through the checks and balances that are SUPPOSED to be in place to protect consumers. Therefore, it is patently clear that those in Congress who vote in favor of Monsanto are the enemy.
Let’s out the politicians who voted against the amendment last Friday that would have allowed the states to choose whether or not GMOs should be labeled. As long as these politicians are in office, GMOs will NOT be labeled at a national level, because these politicians will not allow legislations to pass that might harm the bottom line of their puppet-master, Monsanto. Real Farmacy put together a list of the US Senators who voted AGAINST our right to know what we are eating:
Despite the vast campaign donations the politicians receive from special interest groups, the recent grassroots movements like Occupy Monsanto and March Against Monsanto have proven that activism works without the huge budget. Even though Monsanto has a kennel full of obedient pet congress members, we can defeat the biotech enemy by spreading information. Teaching the public about the dangers of consuming GMOs, the environmental and health tolls of Monsanto’s farming methods, and the unscrupulous business practices that are designed to put small farmers around the globe out of business, is our most powerful weapon.
This is a call to action. Use the list above to make it clear that we will not stand idly by while our elected representatives betray us for the benefit of Monsanto.
- Find the email addresses and phone numbers of your Senator HERE. Write them a polite letter or make a polite phone call. Firmly and courteously demand answers.
- Use public forums provided to you on your local level to share information about the selling out of our health by these elected officials. Write letters to the editor, post on social media, and hand out fliers, being sure to follow local ordinances. Always be courteous to encourage dialogue.
- Find your senator’s page on Facebook. Actively post in the comments sections and post on their timelines about your displeasure regarding their betrayals.
- Use the power of social media to spread the word that these senators are the friends of Monsanto, and thus the enemies of food freedom and GMO labeling.