By Rady Ananda
Among several “chemicals of concern” recently removed from a list of proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency, Bisphenol A, a neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor that also damages DNA, has been banned in several other nations and in eleven US states.
BPA is used in making plastics from bottles to food packaging, and in thermal receipt paper. It’s found on paper money, and in epoxy resin used in food cans and textiles. Though BPA penetrates nearly half of all food stuffs, several more toxic bisphenols, like BPS, reports GreenMedInfo, also invade the food supply.
BPA has been linked to Type II diabetes, premenopausal breast cancer, abnormal heart rhythm, and lowered thyroid hormones in boys. Not only is BPA linked to obesity, but prenatal exposure tends to feminize boys and masculinize girls. Truly, the list goes on.
Belgium, Austria, Denmark and France currently restrict BPA in foodstuffs and/or infant products, as does Turkey, Japan, China and the UAE. Canada, meanwhile, has reversed itself twice. In 2008, Health Canada didn’t see a problem with BPA; in 2010 it did, and then in 2012 it decided BPA is okay after all.
Not many people like the messes Congress makes but everybody should see how they're made.
This article takes a close look at the legislation just passed by Congress and signed by President Obama allowing the Secretary of Agriculture to issue executive orders that bypass regulations, safety, and science for the purpose of speeding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered seeds (GE) and crops to market. The way the law is written, Secretary Tom Vilsack can lift restrictions on GMOs for a set period and, it appears, do so without hindrance from the courts.
Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs), seeds, and crops safe for human consumption? How has the scientific testing of these seeds been conducted and what are the results? Is there undue influence of the government and legislative process to fast track the delivery of GMOs to market? Who benefits from that influence, if it is present, and how are the benefits derived?
By Rady Ananda
EU beekeepers gain in genetic contamination case
On Sept. 6, the European Union’s top court paved the way for farmers and beekeepers to recoup losses when their crops or honey become genetically contaminated from neighboring GM fields.
The European Court of Justice ruled that all food products containing GMOs – whether intentional or not – must undergo an approval process.
This marks a much stricter view than that being pushed by European Union Commissioner for health and consumer affairs, John Dalli, who wants no regulation of foods genetically contaminated “by accident,” a ludicrous idea given that coexistence ensures genetic contamination.
By Rady Ananda
Home to two coal power plants, a fertilizer plant, and a large oil refinery, the city of Bathinda in Punjab, India is making people sick. Forty percent of the population (nearly 90,000 people) suffers from respiratory ailments. The area also suffers from a host of other diseases including cancer, at a rate triple that of other areas, which has been linked to agrochemicals.
Doctors are urging people to use medicinal inhalers, which is culturally stigmatized. Rather than demanding strict environmental controls, doctors have asked authorities to fund an education campaign to dispel the stigma associated with inhaler use.
By Chantal Boccaccio
If this were a horror movie, it would be a Holiday Blockbuster.
But it’s not a film, it’s your life. And if you want to see how it ends, it can be summed up in two words: Codex Alimentarius.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the 3 Billion – that’s BILLION, with a “B” – people projected to die of curable diseases in the first few years of implementation. At the risk of spoiling the ending, the plot, so to speak, goes as follows:
Codex Alimentarius (Latin for “Food Code”), is a dark marriage between pharmaceutical and chemical industries and the WTO, conceived to exact complete and regimented control over all food products and nutrients worldwide. Codex is a complex, global, inter-governmental program, written by Big Pharma, policed by the UN, and consisting of 170 member nations, the United States among them.
And it will mandate every bite you take.
By Rady Ananda
Current speculation that falling US birth rates are connected to genetically modified foods is debunked by a historical review of US birth rates. We cannot tie GM foods to falling US birth rates, yet anyway, since a look at the rate over the past 100 years shows much sharper drops than the one seen since 1996 when GM foods were deployed.
Spermicidal corn has been developed, as William Engdahl points out, and likely deployed somewhere (he suggests in Latin America or other "Third World countries"). If deployed in the US, its effects cannot be teased out from other environmental and cultural factors that contribute to a nation's birth rate, given lack of GM food labels and subsequent safety testing.
By Robert Singer
Click here to read why this “article is not currently available” at the OpEdNews link: http://www.opednews.com/articles/They-Call-It-Pharming-An-by-Robert-Singer-080916-752.html
They Call It “Pharming” And It’s Phrightening!
Biofuels are often blamed for 85% of corn price increases since 2002. Even Congress is growing weary of the corn/ethanol inflation.
Why were we on this road in the first place?
It would seem an easy road to avoid, considering over 140% more energy—mostly high value oil and natural gas, is expended to produce a gallon of corn ethanol than is in the ethanol itself. In 2007, 20% of the U.S. corn crop was converted into 6 billion gallons of ethanol—to replace only 1% of U.S. oil consumption.
President, Bush 42 — known for his insight into our energy problems (We need an energy bill that encourages consumption), on April 29, 2008 told reporters at the Rose Garden “the solution now is to make ethanol out of switchgrasses or wood chips.” Later in that same speech he said, “…it's in our national interest that our farmers grow energy.” Really? I thought that’s what our food supply was supposed to provide—energy for our bodies to survive.
Switchgrass and growing energy is not a solution to our energy and global warming problems. They worsen Global Warming and are a Trojan Horse for Genetic Modified Organisms (GMOs), promising not only whole new markets for biotech products, but the irreversible entrenchment of genetically modified crops throughout the world.
When GMOs were first introduced into agriculture, farmers and consumer groups questioned the lack of basic protections. Since then, GMO contamination has spread from the cornfields in the Midwest to the birthplace of corn in the remote mountains of Mexico. Farmers have not been able to protect themselves from this genetic trespass. Instead of holding GMO manufacturers liable, the courts are upholding the patent rights of seed companies and making the farmers pay!
The latest proposals are to produce biofuels from more cellulose-rich plants like switchgrass rather than food crops. This may seem like a solution to the food v. fuel conflict inherent in ethanol production, because people will not directly starve when we fill up our gas tanks (of course they probably wouldn’t starve if we subsidized alternative fuels, mass transit or just demanded automakers produce cars that get 50+ miles per gallon). However the energy it takes to unlock the energy in cellulosic ethanol is far greater than the energy it produces, making it a net energy loser, but a winner for genetically modified organisms or GMOs because the cellulosic plants will be grown from these high tech seeds, which independent sources have warned of emerging human health and environmental problems.
With the advent of biofuels, however, Monsanto and other biotech companies have found a market that is more insulated from public rejection because none of these crops are directly destined for our food supply only our gas tank.
The problem is that once Genetically Modified or GM seeds are planted in the field, there is no way to prevent GMO fuel crops from contaminating their food-crop cousins. Because these crops are wind-pollinated, cases of genetic contamination are commonplace. In the past two years alone, there were at least 73 publicly documented cases of genetic contamination. Once GM agrofuels have entered the agricultural gates, they will soon escape into the wild, contaminating food crops across the globe.
By Rady Ananda
Just released yesterday, a November 19, 2009 leaked cable indicates Pope Benedict XVI supports genetically modified foods, though he will not publicly admit it. A June 2009 cable from the US Vatican Embassy confirmed the Pontiff’s refusal to take a stance on GM foods, which was verified in December 2010 by a Vatican spokesperson. However, this latest cable tells quite a different story:
"Linking development with use of agricultural technologies (i.e., biotechnologies), Benedict stressed good governance and further infrastructure development as essential to increasing food security over the long-term. (Note: Benedict's mention of agricultural technologies is a small but significant step towards more vocal Vatican support of biotechnologies. End Note)"
By Rady Ananda
In a January 2008 meeting, US and Spain trade officials strategized how to increase acceptance of genetically modified foods in Europe, including inflating food prices on the commodities market, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.
During the meeting, Secretary of State for International Trade, Pedro Mejia, and Secretary General Alfredo Bonet “noted that commodity price hikes might spur greater liberalization on biotech imports.”
It seems Wall Street traders got the word. By June 2008, food prices had spiked so severely that “The Economist announced that the real price of food had reached its highest level since 1845, the year the magazine first calculated the number,” reports Fred Kaufman in The Food Bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it.
By Rady Ananda
A leaked June 2009 cable from the US Vatican Embassy confirms the Pontiff’s refusal to take a stance on genetically modified foods. The Pope’s refusal to reject GM foods creates a vacuum in light of his condemnation of human genetic manipulation and his promotion of environmental stewardship.
Last month, at least one news source falsely reported that the Pope approves genetically modified foods. Vatican officials immediately denied such claims, but did admit there is debate within the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The cable confirms:
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