Philanthrocapitalism — epitomized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — has emerged over the last 30 years as a major force with the potential to “push the future of our planet towards extinction and ecological collapse,” according to a report launched Wednesday by Navdanya International.
“Gates to a Global Empire” sheds light on how philanthrocapitalism accelerates the corporate takeover of our seed, agriculture, food, knowledge and global health systems, and how it manipulates information and erodes democracies — all in the name of corporate profits.
The report explores how the Gates Foundation, powered by an “unholy alliance” between big capital, science and technology institutions and states, has established a global empire over life, through monocultures, patents and monopolies designed to destroy the natural world of diversity, self-organization and freedom.
In her introduction to the report, Navdanya International’s founder, Vandana Shiva, said:
“The European Court of Justice has ruled that gene-edited organisms are GMOs. However, Gates is hastily pushing for deregulation with no regard for caution or potentially dangerous consequences. His ‘Gates AgOne’ … initiative is a clear declaration of his intent to create an Empire over life and biodiversity, over food and farming, and over our daily bread.”
With a net worth of nearly $117 billion, Gates is now the most powerful philanthropist in modern history, according to a synthesis of the report. After making technology available to the masses through his popularization of the at-home personal computer, the founder of Microsoft has “taken to reinventing himself as a benevolent philanthropist who uses his technologic influence and private market savvy to solve the world’s most pressing problems through his and his wife’s foundation: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
Through its various initiatives, sub-organizations, development schemes and funding mechanisms, Gates weaves, according to the report, “an intricate web of wide-ranging power and influence.”
People around the world are watching as U.K. Judge Vanessa Baraitser hears arguments and decides whether or not to extradite Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange to the U.S.
While the Obama administration chose not to charge Assange, wary of the precedent it might set in criminalizing journalism, the Trump administration indicted him with 18 criminal charges that may land Assange in one of the U.S.’s most notorious prisons for 175 years.
Assange’s Wikileaks has won numerous journalism awards and has never had to retract a single publication despite releasing more than 10 million documents exposing, among other things, U.S. war crimes. Former CIA Director Leon Panetta recently indicated that the ongoingpersecution of Assange is meant to “send a message to others not to do the same thing.”
As the world debates whether Assange is a hero or a traitor, Children’s Health Defense takes a step back to examine some of the things his organization has revealed for those fighting for health and environmental justice.
1. U.S. diplomatic efforts to overturn resistance to GMOs at the behest of Monsanto
Wikileaks published hundreds of diplomatic cables exhibiting attempts by the U.S. to quell opposition to genetically modified organisms or GMOs. As reported by The Guardian, “the cables show U.S. diplomats working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto.”
In a 2007 cable, Craig Stapleton, then U.S. Ambassador to France, advised the U.S. to prepare for economic war with countries unwilling to introduce Monsanto’s GM corn seeds. He recommended the U.S. “calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the E.U.”
Another dispatch, this one from 2009, demonstrated that the U.S. funded a GMO workshop in Mozambique that, according to the authors, helped advance biotech-friendly policies in the country.
In another cable from 2009, a U.S. diplomat stationed in Germany relayed intelligence on Bavarian political parties to several U.S. federal agencies and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, telling them which parties opposed Monsanto’s M810 corn seed and tactics that the U.S. could impose to resolve the opposition.
One cable from Hong Kong shows a State Department employee requesting $92,000 in U.S. public funds for “media education kits” to combat a growing popular movement calling for the labeling of GMO foods in Hong Kong. The cable indicates a desire to “make it much more difficult for mandatory labelling advocates to prevail.” The State Department’s Anita Katial, who wrote the cable, also recalled a time when her office facilitated the sending of pro-biotech and bio-agriculture DVDs to every high school in Hong Kong.
According to Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter, the trove of cables “really gets down to twisting the arms of countries and working to undermine local democratic movements that may be opposed to biotech crops, and pressuring foreign governments to also reduce the oversight of biotech crops.”
2. Multinational commodities trader dumping toxic waste in West Africa
In 2006, Trafigura, the world’s second largest oil trader, illegally discharged more than 500 tons of highly toxic oil waste near the Port of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. Some of the dump sites were near agriculture fields or water supplies, and the UN estimates that more than 100,000 people sought medical treatment due to the incident. Wikileaks would later call this incident “possibly the most culpable mass contamination incident since Bhopal.”
Trafigura’s lawyer commissioned a confidential study that listed what the environmental and health impacts of the dumping incident would be after people living near the port started flooding hospitals.
The report explained that contact with the offloaded compounds could lead to eye damage, lung damage, skin burns, headaches, breathing difficulty, permanent skin ulceration, coma and death. The report also states that the chemical compounds would have a “severe and negative effect” on the environment.
As recently as 2016, residents were complaining about the smell of the waste, headaches, breathing problems and skin problems.
Wikileaks published the classified report in 2009, the first time the public could see the company’s true negligence.
3. Gates Foundation sees environmental activists as a threat
In 2008, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hired an intelligence firm called Stratfor to put together a “threat assessment report” and determine current and future threats to the foundation.
Stratfor’s report saw environmental activists, indigenous farming groups, and peasant political parties in Asia and South America, as “potential threats” to the foundation.
“Threats to the foundation are likely to be directly related to the public association between the foundation and a controversial issue such as GMOs, animal testing, clinical trials and reproductive rights,” the report reads.
Stating that the primary threat to the foundation’s agriculture program comes from its work promoting GMOs, the report notes the rise of anti-GMO campaigning in developing countries, including a “staunch opposition to GMOs in India.” It even names specific activists, such as the U.S.-based anti-GMO campaigner Jeffrey Smith.
The report also mentions the work of large organizations like Greenpeace and PETA as well as alternative media outlets like the Center for Public Integrity, Mother Jones, AlterNet and the LA Times, which had just published a seriesaccusing the foundation of “reap[ing] vast financial gains from investments in companies that contribute to the human suffering in health, housing and social welfare.”
Wikileaks published the threat assessment as part of its release of more than 5 million Stratfor emails in 2012.
4. Pharma intel and espionage operation
In 1996, Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, conducted clinical trials in Nigeria for an antibiotic called Trovan. The results were devastating, as Nigerian officials reported more than 50 children died in the experiment and dozens became disabled.
In 2006, a Nigerian government panel concluded that Pfizer violated international law and called the experiment “an illegal trial of an unregistered drug.” In 2007, Nigerian state and federal authorities sued Pfizer for $7 billion, alleging the company did not have proper consent from the children’s parents.
A 2009 U.S. diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks revealed that while the case was in federal court, Pfizer had hired a private intelligence firm to get blackmail on Nigerian Attorney General Michael Aondoakaa.
According to the cable, “Pfizer’s investigators were passing this information to local media,” who published articles on the attorney general’s “alleged” corruption. “Aondoakaa’s cronies were pressuring him to drop the suit for fear of further negative articles,” it reads.
A few months after the negative articles, the Nigerian ministry of justice signed a settlement with Pfizer.
5. U.S. is a climate bully
Cables disclosed by Wikileaks in 2010 present the U.S. using what The Guardian called “spying, threats and promises of aid” to get international support for the 2009 Copenhagen Accord — an industry-friendly international climate deal with non-binding agreements to lower emissions. (Climate activist Naomi Klein described, at the time, the accord as “nothing more than a grubby pact between the world’s biggest emitters”.)
The State Department sent a secret cable to foreign embassies seeking human intelligence, or “dirt,” on UN diplomats regarding climate policy. And, as reported by Democracy Now!, the cables also indicated that the U.S. cut funding to Bolivia and Ecuador after both governments opposed the accord.
Bill McKibben, founder of the climate organization 350.org, said the cables exposed that “the U.S. was both bullying and buying countries into endorsing their do-little position on climate.”
6. International organizations consulting with Big Pharma
In 2009, Wikileaks revealed documents that the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) gave its members a report by the UN’s World Health Organization(WHO)’s Expert Working Group on research and development financing.
IFPMA members include pharmaceutical giants like Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi, and the organization represents these entities when dealing with the UN. What makes the Wikileaks document dump significant is that the working group gave IFPMA access to these documents months before their scheduled public release, suggesting that the UN’s health expert group was more accountable to the pharmaceutical industry than to its own member states.
“The compilation of documents shows the influence of ‘Big Pharma’ on the policy making decisions of the WHO,” Wikileaks commented when publishing the files.
Synthetic gene drives are a new form of genetic engineering intended to permanently modify or eradicate populations, or even whole species, in the wild. [SHUTTERSTOCK]
After over 78 environmental and agricultural organisations signed a letter this week calling for a moratorium on gene drive technology, EURACTIV took a closer look at the controversial technology to find out about what it is and the implications it holds.
The letter, which was sent on Tuesday (30 June), urges the European Commission to outlaw the release of so-called ‘gene drive organisms’ (GDOs), calling the technology “incompatible” with the Commission’s proposed EU strategy on biodiversity protection. But scientists say the technology holds enormous potential for eradicating some of the world’s deadliest diseases.
Synthetic gene drives are a new form of genetic engineering, created via the genetic engineering method CRISPR/CAS9, and are intended to permanently modify or eradicate populations, or even whole species, in the wild.
They are currently defined as a system where genetic elements or traits have more than the usual 50% chance of being inherited, irrespective of whether they benefit or harm the organism inheriting them.
The idea of gene drive technology is to force the inheritance of detrimental genetic traits. In this way, scientists hope to reprogramme or eradicate species such as disease-carrying insects and invasive species.
This is a key distinction between GDOs and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are explicitly designed to contain the spread of modified traits.
Debate about if and how GDOs could be safely employed is proceeding. As it currently stands, GDOs fall under the EU GMO directive but an EFSA expert working group, mandated by the Commission, is currently developing recommendations for regulations on gene drive modified organisms, expected by the end of 2020.
While it may sound far fetched, this is far from mere conjecture, with experiments already well underway both in the EU and elsewhere.
It’s that time again: the United Nations is officially releasing the all new Agenda 2030 sustainable development plan, or what some have hailed as “the new Agenda 21 on steroids,” at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit kicking off today in New York City.
Since these supposedly non-binding international agreements can sometimes be a bit tricky to decode, what with all the weaponized buzz terms and semantics games, we’ve prepared a handy dandy translator on the 17 new Agenda 2030 goals below.
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Translation: Centralized banks, IMF, World Bank, Fed to control all finances
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Translation: Mass vaccination, Codex Alimentarius
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Translation: UN propaganda, brainwashing through compulsory education from cradle to grave
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Translation: Population control through forced “Family Planning”
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Translation: Privatize all water sources, don’t forget to add fluoride
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Translation: Smart grid with smart meters on everything, peak pricing
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Translation: TPP, free trade zones that favor megacorporate interests
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton Dykes created TruthstreamMedia.com as an outlet to examine the news, uncover the deceptions, pierce through the fabric of illusions, know the real enemy, unshackle from the system, and begin to imagine the path towards taking back our lives, one step at a time, so that one day we might truly be free…
After being told by her doctor that genetically engineered (GE) food and pesticides could be responsible for her son’s food allergies, Ekaterina Yakovleva set out to investigate. Her quest for answers was captured by the Russian Times in the featured film, “The Peril on Your Plate: Genetic Engineering and Chemical Agriculture.”
The film shows Yakovleva and her team traveling the world to meet “the people who lift the lid on the perils of GMOs and the chemicals used in the industry,” as well as proponents of GMOs who argue that genetic engineering is a “high-tech” solution to feeding the world’s growing population. Advocates for genetic engineering tell Yakovleva that the technology is beneficial to farmers in that it increases resistance to pests and disease, as well as produces higher yields. But Yakovleva isn’t convinced.
She learns nothing could be further from the truth after witnessing the devastation caused by mass farmer suicides in India as a result of the failure of Monsanto’s Bt cotton. Yakovleva visits the U.K. where she meets Lady Margaret, Countess of Mar, a member of the House of Lords and a former farmer who suffered from chemical use, and then to the U.S. where she meets with Zen Honeycutt of Moms Across America about the link between GMOs, pesticides and chronic disease in humans.
What Is Genetic Engineering?
In order to better understand genetic engineering and its impact on human health, Yakovleva starts to research the technique and how it’s used. She learns that genetic engineering enables DNA to be transferred not only between different kinds of plants, but even between different kingdoms, meaning scientists can take DNA from an insect or animal and insert it into the genome of a plant.
Many GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is just an extension of natural breeding methods, and just as safe. Nothing could be further from the truth — on both counts. Genetic engineering is radically different from conventional breeding techniques used to improve a crop. For starters, it’s a laboratory-based technique allowing scientists to create a food that could never be created by nature.
Claire Robinson, editor of GM Watch and coauthor of the book, “GMO Myths and Truths: A Citizen’s Guide to the Evidence on the Safety and Efficacy of Genetically Modified Foods and Crops,” says:
US Leads World in GM Crop Production
Yakovleva learns that an estimated 190 million hectares (469.5 acres) of GE crops1 — an area three times the size of France — are cultivated in 28 countries worldwide.2 The U.S. leads the world in GM crop production, growing about 40 percent,3 while Brazil grows 27 percent and Argentina 13 percent. Canada and India each grow 6 percent.4GE crops currently in production include squash/pumpkin, alfalfa, sugar beet, potato, papaya, rapeseed oil, corn, soy and cotton.
Monsanto, soon to forgo its name and merge with Bayer, controls a vast majority of GE crops including 80 percent of GE corn and 93 percent of GE soy in the U.S. The first GE crop to hit the market was tobacco. It was genetically modified in 1983 to be resistant to an antibiotic.5 It was later altered for other reasons, including to remove a gene that turns nicotine into a carcinogen in tobacco leaves,6and to increase the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.7
The first genetically engineered food crop was the Flavr Savr tomato, produced by Calgene, a California-based company later bought by Monsanto. The tomato was genetically modified to stay riper longer by inhibiting a gene responsible for producing a protein that makes a tomato soften.8 Calgene is reported to have been transparent in its marketing of the tomato, clearly labeling the product and adding an 800 number for people with questions. Monsanto later removed the Flavr Savr tomato from store shelves.
A Growing List of Countries Say No to GMOs
The film highlights regions that are completely GMO-free, including Romania, which stopped cultivating GE crops despite being the first country in geographical Europe to introduce them.9 Portugal and Spain have reduced the amount of areas under GE crop cultivation,10while a number have enacted a total ban including France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Greece, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Russia forbids GE crop cultivation,11 but does not prevent GMOs from entering the country’s food chain, according to the film. Yakovleva travels to the Agrarian University in Moscow to meet GMO proponent Arkady Zlochevsky, chairman of the Russian Grain Union. She confronts him about the human health effects of eating GE foods.
“There is absolutely no risk to the human body associated with eating GM foods compared to traditional equivalents, not a single one,” he says, adding that GMOs are “high-tech” and have “significant advantages.” He even went so far as to say that glyphosate, the key active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, is safer than 100 percent manure.
Glyphosate Doubles as Herbicide and Suicide Poison in India
Unconvinced, Yakovleva travels to India where glyphosate doubles as a lethal human poison. The Punjab region, formally known as the bread basket of India, is now known for colossal suicides among farmers, particularly young farmers between the ages of 20 and 35.
Yakovleva meets with families of farmers who committed suicide. She learns that thousands of farmers have taken their own lives after agriculture corporations granted them loans they could never repay to purchase seeds and pesticides that ultimately failed to provide the profits that were promised.
Inderjit Singh Jaijee, chairman of Punjab’s Baba Nanak Educational Society, says farmers who commit suicide often take drugs, drink alcohol or even take a swig of glyphosate to muster up the courage to go through with it. Singh Jaijee, who is on a mission to raise awareness about the serious issue of suicides in Punjab, says that young farmers are more susceptible because they don’t yet have the experience older people do to survive.
Thousands of Indian Farmers Commit Suicide Over Faulty GE Crops
The amount of suicides in the Punjab region is so massive that some people are making a profit removing dead bodies from a local canal. Ashu Malik, an underwater diver, uses surveillance cameras to monitor the canal for floating bodies. If a body is not claimed, it’s placed back into the water, he says. Ending up in the canal as a result of suicide is so common in this region that families built a house on the canal’s shoreline for them to stay in while they search for their loved ones who are missing.
The exact number of suicides occurring annually in the Punjab region remains unknown. One estimation found the annual suicide rate to be about 2,200. However, Singh Jaijee’s research estimates it to be closer to 4,000 suicides per year, while farmer organizations estimate up to 6,000. Shocked by what’s become a normality for agricultural communities in India, Yakovleva interviews agricultural scientist Kiran Kumar Vissa to learn more about Monsanto’s Bt cotton, the crop responsible for placing so many farmers into debt.
Monsanto’s Bt cotton was marketed as a solution to the challenges faced by cotton farmers, many of whom were in crisis; however, it ended up causing farmers more problems. There are many places where Bt cotton is not suitable for cultivation, including dry, nonirrigated areas, explains Vissa. The packaging says that Bt cotton is suitable for both irrigated and nonirrigated conditions, but it’s not true, says Vissa, adding, that it’s deceptive to farmers.
Big Ag Uses Images of Rich, American Farmers to Sell GMOs Abroad
Next, Yakovleva meets with renowned scholar and environmental activist Vandana Shiva, who blames the mass suicides solely on the corporations that sell the seeds and chemicals. Monsanto spends huge amounts of money on advertising. Between the fiscal years 2011 to 2017, Monsanto spent more than $500 million on advertising worldwide.12
Shiva explains that seed and chemical agents show farmers in India images of American farmers with big tractors and promise them that if they just take this seed, which they can pay for later, they will be rich. But what they don’t tell the farmer is that they can’t save the seed and that it might fail because the seeds aren’t meant for dry, nonirrigated areas, says Shiva.
So, the farmer takes it on credit, not having a good understanding of the costs involved, and the seed fails, Vandana explains, adding that in two years’ time the agents who sold the seed and pesticide return and repossess the farmer’s land because he could not pay his loan. Shiva tells Yakovleva that she has personally spoken to widows whose farmer husbands committed suicide and when she asked what their debt was, they showed her packages of Monsanto’s Bt cotton seed.
Are Farmers Risking Their Health by Using Chemicals?
Yakovleva’s investigation proceeds to the U.K. where she meets with Lady Margaret, Countess of Mar, a member of the House of Lords and a former farmer who suffered from chemical use.
While serving organic tea and pudding, Lady Margaret says she had to give up farming after she was exposed to harmful chemicals while dipping sheep. The sheep dip contained organophosphates, the same class of chemicals to which glyphosate belongs. The chemicals are used as both flame retardants and pesticides. According to National Geographic:
Within weeks of being exposed, Lady Margaret says she began to suffer from intense fatigue and neurological problems. She even felt suicidal. At one point, she was forced to rely on an oxygen tank for up to 16 hours a day. Lady Margaret was ill for three years before doctors diagnosed her with organophosphate poisoning.
Most of Americans Have Glyphosate in Their Bodies
Humans are increasingly testing positive for residues of glyphosate.14 In tests conducted by a University of California San Francisco lab, 93 percent of the participants tested positive for glyphosate residues.15 In the European Union, when 48 members of Parliament volunteered for glyphosate testing, everyone one of them tested positive.16Humans are exposed to glyphosate via the food they eat, the air they breathe, the water they drink and the lawns, gardens, parks and other environments they frequent.
What impact is this having on human health? To find out, Yakovleva and her team head to the U.S. to meet with Honeycutt, who blames chemicals in our food for the rise in chronic disease. A number of chronic diseases have been linked to pesticides, including autism, cancer, food allergies, endocrine disruption, diabetes and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.17
One in 4 females over the age of 30 now has a gluten intolerance, says Honeycutt; however, she believes it’s not gluten that’s the problem, but the glyphosate that’s applied to wheat as a drying agent prior to harvest.
“It’s destroying their gut lining. They can’t process it and then the body acknowledges it as a gluten intolerance,” says Honeycutt, adding that food today not only has more chemicals, but is also less nutritious. Chemical-intensive agriculture has depleted our soils of essential nutrients and has drawn out vitamins and minerals that make our food healthy, she adds.
Long-Term Safety Studies Are Sorely Lacking
Yakovleva and her team reached out to Monsanto regarding the public health concerns tied to its Roundup weed killer, but the company refused to comment, instead directing them to its website which, of course, states that all of their products are safe and environmentally friendly. The deceptive GMO talking points Yakovleva received from the seed and chemical industry failed to convince her that GE crops are safe for human consumption, as there’s no real evidence to support this claim.
While few in number, longer-term animal feeding studies have been published over the past several years showing there’s definite cause for concern. Liver and kidney toxicity and immune reactions tend to be the most prevalent. Digestive system, inflammation and fertility problems have also been seen. A major part of the problem is that safety studies conducted for regulatory purposes to gain market approval for a GE product are too short to show the damage that could occur from life-long consumption of the GE food.
Some independent studies looking at lifetime consumption of GMOs have found rather dramatic health effects, whereas the safety studies used to promote GE foods as safe have all been short-term. There seems to be an agreement among biotech scientists to not test GE foods longer than 90 days in rats, which is only about seven to nine years in human terms. That’s nothing when you consider the average human life span is somewhere in the 70s, and the current generation is fed GMO food from Day 1.
How to Protect Yourself From Toxic Agriculture
The biotech giants have deep pocketbooks and political influence and are fighting to maintain their position of dominance. At the end of the day, we must shatter Monsanto’s grip on the agricultural sector. There is no way to recall GMOs once they have been released into the environment. The stakes could not be higher. Will you continue supporting the corrupt, toxic and unsustainable food system that Monsanto and its industry allies are working so hard to protect?
For more and more people, the answer is no. Consumers are rejecting genetically engineered and pesticide-laden foods. Another positive trend is that there has been strong growth in the global organic and grass-fed sectors. This just proves one thing: We can make a difference if we steadily work toward the same goal.
One of the best things you can do is to buy your foods from a local farmer who runs a small business and uses diverse methods that promote regenerative agriculture. You can also join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, where you can buy a “share” of the vegetables produced by the farm, so that you get a regular supply of fresh food.
I believe that joining a CSA is a powerful investment not only in your own health, but in that of your local community and economy as well. In addition, you should also adopt preventive strategies that can help reduce the toxic chemical pollution that assaults your body. I recommend visiting these trustworthy sites for non-GMO food resources in your country as well:
Monsanto and its allies want you to think that they control everything, but they are on the wrong side of history. It’s you, the informed and empowered, who hold the future in your hands. Let’s all work together to topple the biotech industry’s house of cards. Remember — it all starts with shopping smart and making the best food purchases for you and your family.
Biotech Companies Are Gaining Power by Taking Over the Government
to read the rest of the article, go to: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2018/06/27/the-peril-on-your-plate-film-explores-the-human-health-effects-of-genetic-engineering-and-chemical-agriculture/
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Creators of a fake-meat burger made with a high-profile genetically engineered ingredient may have landed their experimental industry in a sizzling food safety mess, casting doubt on a Silicon Valley foodtech investor bubble.
As reported on in today’s New York Times, recently obtained documents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveal that Impossible Foods, maker of the Impossible Burger, the meatless burger that supposedly “bleeds,” was told by FDA officials that it hadn’t provided adequate proof of safety for a genetically engineered protein that gives the burger its meat-like taste and color. Impossible Foods put the genetically engineered product on the market for public consumption even though the company privately admitted to the FDA that it had not conducted or designed safety tests. The FOIA-produced documents state that the “FDA believes that the arguments presented, individually and collectively, do not establish the safety of SLH for consumption, nor do they point to a general recognition of safety.”
“The FDA told Impossible Foods that its burger was not going to meet government safety standards, and the company admitted it didn’t know all of its constituents. Yet it sold it anyway to thousands of unwitting consumers. Responsible food companies don’t treat customers this way,” said Jim Thomas of ETC Group. “Impossible Foods should pull the burgers from the market unless and until safety can be established by the FDA and apologize to those whose safety it may have risked.”
“Under no circumstances should any food company ignore FDA safety warnings and put consumers’ health at risk,” Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “The FDA must be the authority when it comes to determining food safety, and that means overhauling the broken regulatory process so that companies like Impossible Foods cannot self-regulate and rubber stamp their products as safe.”
The FDA’s safety designation of “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) allows a manufacturer, like Impossible Foods, to decide for itself, without FDA input, whether or not a product is safe. The self-determination does not require notice to the public or the FDA, and may apply to food chemicals regardless of industry conflicts of interest, or whether the chemicals are new or not widely studied.
U.S. government documents, obtained by ETC Group and Friends of the Earth U.S. through the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Impossible Foods was warned by FDA officials that its key genetically engineered ingredient, “soy leghemeglobin” (SLH), would not meet the basic FDA GRAS status. SLH, or “heme,” is a bio-engineered protein additive that adds meat-like taste and color. Impossible Foods recognizes that SLH has never been widespread in the human diet in its natural or genetically engineered form. Despite touting the color properties of the engineered “heme,” Impossible Foods did not seek FDA approval as a color additive, which has stricter safety regulations.
In discussion with FDA, Impossible Foods also admitted that up to a quarter of its “heme” ingredient was composed of 46 “unexpected” additional proteins, some of which are unidentified and none of which were assessed for safety in the dossier.
The case of Impossible Burger raises concerns that surpass this one patty and implicates the extreme genetic engineering field of synthetic biology, particularly the new high-tech investor trend of “vat-itarian” foods (meat, dairy, and other animal proteins grown in a biotech vat instead of from an animal). While Impossible Burger is the poster child for this vat-grown approach, other companies such as Perfect Day (synthetic biology cow milk) and Clara Foods (synthetic biology egg whites) appear also to be racing to market. Just as biofuels were pitched as a “clean tech” fix to climate change a decade ago, the vat-itarian venture capitalists are now attempting to capitalize on animal welfare concerns through “molecular farming.”
While the health and environmental damage caused by large-scale industrial livestock production should not be minimized, the success of non-animal burgers like the non-GMO Beyond Burger demonstrates that plant-based animal substitutes can succeed without resorting to genetic engineering.
A 2013 US National Survey by Hart Research found that 61% of respondents felt negative about synthetic biology-produced food additives. Polls also show that consumers increasingly want GMOs to be labeled as such, but so far, most companies selling products with synthetic biology ingredients, including Impossible Foods, are not labeling on the products or menus.
Friends of the Earth and ETC Group reached out last week to Impossible Foods, inviting the company to a discussion on the safety of the Impossible Burger.
Impossible Burger FOIA documents are available here.
For further information and analysis see ETC Group’s on-line searchable database of synthetic biology derived ingredients, including Impossible Food’s “heme”.
See Friends of the Earth’s blog on synthetic biology animal replacement products “Is ‘Food-Tech’ the Future of Food?” and website for additional information on synthetic biology’s risks to our health and environment.
It seems that myth has finally become reality, now that scientists have crafted up the first human-animal hybrid recently in a lab experiment. Researchers from Salk Institute have defied the laws of nature by growing embryos that featured both pig and human DNA.
The creation of human-animal hybrids has been a controversial topic that has been the subject of countless debates. Twelve years ago, National Geographic reported on the contentious topic of chimeras when Chinese scientists from the Shanghai Second Medical University successfully merged human cells with rabbit DNA in 2003. After several days of development, the scientists destroyed the embryos so they could harvest their stem cells. Shortly thereafter, researchers from the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood running through their veins. [RELATED: Learn more about questionable scientific research at Scientific.news]
According to experts, the intent behind such experiments is drug testing and organ-growing. Scientists say that the more human-like the animal is, the better suited it is for testing purposes — and for growing “spare parts.”
The latest research from Salk Institute suggests that science is one step closer to reaching its goal, no matter how disturbing some people find it to be.
Creating the first chimera embryos
Though scientists have been trying for decades, encouraging growing stem cells to mature into fully functional adult cells has been a struggle — the growing organs for use in humans seems eons away.
The study’s lead investigator Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in the Salk Institute of Biological Studies’ Gene Expression Laboratory, explains, “We thought growing human cells in an animal would be much more fruitful. We still have many things to learn about the early development of cells.”
Izpisua Belmonte and staff scientist Jun Wu have been working on chimera creation for a long time; their first step was to create mouse-rat hybrid embryos. After that, their next choice was to use CRISPR genome editing techniques to direct the rat cells to grow in certain “developmental niches” within the mouse. Essentially, the researchers turned off certain genes in the mouse DNA, like turning off their ability to grow a liver. Then, the team add the rat stem cells to see if they would “fill” the opening. Sure enough, it worked. [RELATED: Learn more about genetic modification GMO.news]
When moving onto their most recent experiment — pig and human DNA — the team explains that their choice was easy: they were looking for an animal with organs similar in size to humans, and pig embryos had proven themselves to be far more affordable and easier to work with than cow embryos.
Pigs and humans are about five times more distant in evolution than mice and rats are, which made things quite challenging for the researchers. Delicacy and exact timing were needed to successfully introduce human DNA into the pig embryos. The team utilized a number of different human stem cell forms in their experiment, to see which type would survive the best.
They found that the cells that survived best and showed the most potential for continued development were “intermediate” human pluripotent stem cells.
When the human cells survived and formed a human-pig hybrid, the researchers then took the newly formed embryos and implanted them into a sow. The embryos were allowed to develop in the mother pig for a period of three or four weeks.
“This is long enough for us to try to understand how the human and pig cells mix together early on without raising ethical concerns about mature chimeric animals,” says Izpisua Belmonte.
Some would argue that even creating and implanting chimeric embryos into non-consenting living animals is ethically concerning too.
Wu says that the contribution of human DNA to the hybrid embryo was fairly low, which is fortunate. The researchers say that one of the big concerns about chimera creation is the potential for the hybrid animal to become too human. As Science Daily reports, “For instance, researchers don’t want human cells to contribute to the formation of the brain.”
Top 7 diseases, disorders, and syndromes brought on and EXACERBATED by GMOs, antibiotics, and a slew of toxic vaccinations
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 by: S. D. Wells
(NaturalNews) The majority of diseases and disorders that exist in the world today are either of the contagious, infectious kind or the type that are brought on by consuming carcinogens and neurotoxins. Regarding the latter and the term “consuming,” we are describing anything toxic in food, beverages, vaccines, or personal care products that find their way into the bloodstream, and thus affect the heart, brain, organs, cells, and central nervous system.
It is also very important to note that infectious diseases are often prevented from being spread and/or beaten down by a normal, functioning immune system, and again, a system that is not heavily burdened by noxious chemicals that are “consumed.” Moreover, most humans are NOT born with autism, or cancer, or irritable bowels, or central nervous system (CNS) disorders, or malfunctioning cleansing organs. Yet many MDs label health problems as “genetic” (which they are), even though they are NOT inherited. There is a difference.
It has been proven time and time again that the majority of today’s diseases and disorders are not only preventable, but curable with a plant-based diet and by filtering common chemicals from our daily intake.
So, then, where do we start? Good question. The onslaught of toxins in American food is relentless. It includes very dangerous chemical-based pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, algaecides, and even fertilizers that make the food toxic, from beginning to end–meaning from seed, stem, and leaf to fruit and vegetable, and finally onto the breakfast, lunch and dinner tables. Even most baby food and infant formula sold in America is toxic. Remember, nothing kills good gut bacteria and natural immunity faster than consuming chemical-based pesticides and herbicides, including glyphosate.
Then there’s the water. More than 80% of all municipal taps in America are infested with sodium fluoride, another noxious chemical derived as a by-product of China’s immense chemical industrial complex and exported to America for dripping into the taps, all while being touted as “good for your teeth” – an insidious LIE purported by propaganda ever since WWII.
Speaking of the second world war, that’s when American medicine took a sharp turn for the worse. Nazi scientists were hired to manufacture chemicals to be used as food additives (that cause allergies), food preservatives (that warp and kill brain cells), pharmaceuticals (that don’t help anything), vaccine adjuvants (carriers and preservatives that destroy immunity and disrupt the CNS), and chemotherapy (that makes cancer tumors recede, only to come back with a vengeance).
Lastly, there’s the most popular prescription of all times, that MDs dish out like candy at the front doors on Halloween–and that’s antibiotics. Not only are antibiotics killers of good bacteria and immunity in general, but they are prescribed across the board for viral infections that have symptoms of bacterial infections, because at first, most doctors can’t even tell the difference. Plus, as you probably do NOT know, there are antibiotics in many vaccines. Oh yes, there are! They’re used during production to prevent the growth of bacteria during storage of the vaccine. Oops.
So, the first and last line of defense against all of this mayhem is to STOP consuming chemicals. This requires a strict regimen of organic (or clean locally grown) food, filtered water (or natural spring water), and clean, natural medicine (never cooked up or altered in a laboratory).
Dissipate, dissolve, and disappear your health problems by ending chemical consumption
Remember, the majority of diseases, disorders, and syndromes popular today in America are all brought on and EXACERBATED by GMOs, antibiotics, and a slew of toxic vaccinations. Here are the top 7 aggravators and instigators of health problems for the masses:
#1. Asperger’s Syndrome: Biomarkers of abnormal immune function are associated with behavior impairments–core features of Asperger syndrome, a disorder considered on the “high functioning” end of the autism spectrum, but still exhibiting restricted range of interests and usually repetitive behaviors. Flu shots are a major cause of Asperger’s due to the high mercury content (50,000 parts per million).
#2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Stems mainly from the destruction of good gut bacteria and annihilation of enzymes by pesticides and vaccines.
#3. Autism Spectrum Disorder: Science and gene replacement studies in mice point right at synaptic dysfunction as a cause of autism spectrum disorder, specifically synaptic pathways–those associated with cell adhesion. There is strong evidence ASD arises early in development, but AFTER birth, hence the name autism spectrum “development” disorder. Many parents first become aware of autistic symptoms immediately following routine combination vaccinations with flu shots.
#4. Cancer: hardly any forms of cancer are contagious or inherited. Most cancer forms after birth and those cells multiply when fed chemicals. Period. Stop consuming chemicals and the cancer cells are destroyed by healthy cells. Look into natural remedies like turmeric, cannabis, garlic, aloe, and hemp seed oil.
#5. Auto-immune Disorder: vaccines are injected into muscle tissue, conjuring unnatural, hyper-immune responses in babies which leads directly to the immune system attacking itself.
#6. Anxiety, Depression, and Central Nervous System Disorders: Continuous chemical consumption can contribute to or worsen these conditions.
#7. Alzheimer’s, Strokes, and Dementia: the three major causes of dementia and strokes are coagulating saturated fat in the blood, aluminum in the blood, and lack of oxygen to the brain. Aluminum is commonly found in antacids, vaccines and flu shots.
To suffer most chronic health problems, you not only have to consume chemicals, but you have to continually consume chemicals. There’s a cumulative effect that no MDs or oncologists EVER talk about, and that’s how they stay in business and make so much damn money. End the onslaught of chemical consumption and watch your health issues dissipate, dissolve, and disappear. Remember, the top 7 diseases, disorders, and syndromes are all brought on and EXACERBATED by GMOs, antibiotics, and a slew of toxic vaccinations, including flu shots. Get smart. Eat clean and research natural medicine. The rewards are endless!
Whole Foods goes ROGUE… partners with Monsanto to kill GMO labeling across America and replace with fake labeling deception… SENATE VOTE PLANNED AS EARLY AS TOMORROW
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
(NaturalNews) IMPORTANT UPDATE: Whole Foods was just caught blatantly LYING about everything covered in this article. CEO Walter Robb has been captured on video admitting total support for Monsanto-engineered GMO fake labeling law that kills Vermont GMO labeling bill. Whole Foods takes to social media to LIE to everyone, denying everything, even while Robb is captured on video… click here for the breaking news report on Whole Foods CAUGHT LYING.
According to breaking news reports, Whole Foods Market (WFM) has gone full rogue, partnering with Monsanto to kill GMO labeling across America under the guise of a new, fraudulent “GMO labeling compromise” in the U.S. Senate that’s actually a fake labeling law requiring no clear labeling of GMOs whatsoever.
Food Democracy Now has issued this red alert, naming the sellout corporations (including Whole Foods) that have betrayed health-conscious consumers with a sellout deal that outlaws GMO labeling nationwide.
The deception on food labeling has never been greater. With this act of ultimate betrayal, Whole Foods cements its position as a poison-pushing distribution partner of Monsanto, the world’s most evil corporation that produces poisonous, deadly crops laced with bt toxin and glyphosate, a cancer-linked herbicide.
With this betrayal of consumers, Whole Foods might as well now be called, “POISON FOODS” because that’s what they’re pushing.
What follows is the full text of the Food Democracy Now announcement:
Whole Foods Joins Monsanto Try to Kill GMO Labeling in America
Washington D.C. — National grassroots organizations expressed their outrage today towards a group of U.S. Senators and major, self-described, “organic companies” that have brokered a backroom legislative deal to kill mandatory GMO labeling of food products across America while stifling first-of-its-kind state legislation in Vermont (slated to go in effect this Friday, July 1st) that would mandate labeling of foods that have been genetically engineered in laboratories.
The companies, including Whole Foods, Smucker’s and Organic Valley, among others, have historically funded major public relations and advertising campaigns to promote themselves as “organic” brands. Now, some national leaders are criticizing these companies for “selling out” the GMO labeling movement, public health and the environment and urging the public to fight back.
“Make no mistake, these self-proclaimed organic companies, including Whole Foods, Smucker’s Stonyfield and Organic Valley have just joined with Monsanto and sold out the ability for parents to know what they are feeding their children,” said Dave Murphy, Executive Director of Food Democracy Now!
Murphy continued, “Monsanto and Whole Foods’ new fake labeling bill would not only preempt Vermont’s bill this week, but all provisions of the bill are OPTIONAL — the bill’s language is so poorly written that it would actually not include 85% of the current GMOs on the market, including Roundup Ready GMOs owned by Monsanto that are sprayed with the weedkiller glyphosate, which the World Health Organization declared a “probable carcinogen” linked to cancer in lab animals and humans last year.”
Food Democracy Now! and Organic Consumers Association are now leading a grassroots pressure campaign to urge the US Senate to block the last minute legislative deal.
“Consumers need to resist this outrageous attack on consumer and states’ rights with their pocketbooks and their political voices,” said Ronnie Cummins, the International Director of the Organic Consumers Association. “This is an outrageous assault by corrupt corporate interests on our basic freedoms and a mother’s right to know what’s in the food they feed their children.”
Polls regularly show that ninety percent of American consumers want to know whether their food is genetically engineered and the impending Vermont GMO labeling law has already forced major food corporations to disclose GMO contamination in their products”.
“Now, at the last minute, a self-selected group of so-called “organic leaders,” including the head of Whole Foods Market, Walter Robb; Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of Stonyfield Farm, the bogus pro GMO labeling group Just Label It, run by the Environmental Working Group, and lobbyists for the corporate owned organic companies inside the Organic Trade Association (led by “natural” brands Smucker’s and White Wave) have made an absolutely corrupt bargain with Congress completely embracing an industry-crafted DARK Act “compromise”, now known as The Stabenow/Roberts bill,” continued Cummins.
A coalition of independent family own organic companies and consumers groups is actively working to get Senators the real facts about this bill even as the Organic Trade Association and its corporate-own organic companies are working behind the scenes to intentionally confuse Senators about what’s actually in the bill and the fact that the millions of Americans that actually support GMO labeling are not represented by their corrupt corporate interests.
Take action NOW or be forever screwed by Whole Foods and Monsanto
Orthorexia Nervosa – New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
by: Mike Bundrant
(NaturalNews) In a world where meaning is malleable, you can twist the truth however you want. You can create a story to make worthwhile endeavors look bad. You can make harmful practices appear attractive.
The mental health system has recently taken a shot at making healthy food choices appear dangerous, if you can imagine, especially when those choices are your top priority.
Clinicians are actively diagnosing patients with orthorexia nervosa, the extreme desire to eat pure food.
This is not a parody. It’s actually happening.
If you have a strong desire to eat pure, uncontaminated food, then you could be suffering from a mental disorder per this new medical labeling trend.
According to the Guardian: Orthorexics commonly have rigid rules around eating. Refusing to touch sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soy, corn and dairy foods is just the start of their diet restrictions. Any foods that have come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or contain artificial additives are also out.
Doctors and mental health professionals are very concerned, of course, as orthorexia nervosa seems to be ‘on the rise.
Ursula Philpot, chairperson of the British Dietetic Association mental health division, was quoted as follows: I am definitely seeing significantly more orthorexics than just a few years ago. Other eating disorders focus on quantity of food but orthorexics can be overweight or look normal. They are solely concerned with the quality of the food they put in their bodies, refining and restricting their diets according to their personal understanding of which foods are truly pure.
Philpot further asserts:
Those most susceptible are middle-class, well-educated people who read about food scares in the papers, research them on the internet, and have the time and money to source what they believe to be purer alternatives.
Are you with me? If you are well-educated, like to do your own research and eat only foods that you (all by yourself) determine to be healthy and pure, then it is safe to say that you are at risk for ‘catching’ orthorexia nervosa.
Yes, orthorexia, is something that you can catch like a disease, according to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA). On the NEDA website, they ask the questions: Why does someone get orthorexia? This positions orthorexia as capable of latching onto you like a cold.
A 2013 study associated orthorexia with impaired executive functioning (based on self-reporting). This means, according to researchers, that the better you do with cognitive tasks, including planning and decision-making, the less likely you are to have orthorexia.
So, if you’re high functioning and smart, you shouldn’t have problems eating chemically-laden food, at least once in a while.
If your brain is not functioning properly, then you’re very likely to begin insisting that everything in your diet consist of real food.
I don’t know if orthorexia nervosa is a grand conspiracy – another way to misle innocent people into eating junk. If it were a conspiracy, it would be a brilliant one. I can’t imagine a better message from the likes of big food and big pharma.
We could boil down this message as follows:
Hey, we’re busy profiteering by infecting the planet and the food supply with chemicals. If you insist on avoiding our noxious faire, then you’re a mental case. Your brain has gone haywire and you should seek professional help from one of our mental health representatives.
When you arrive, you will be diagnosed mentally ill, of course. But don’t worry, we have pills for that. We’ve got you covered! Soon, your brain will be corrected and you’ll have no problem eating our crap.
Do you have orthorexia nervosa?
WebMD can help get started down the path to diagnosis. Just ask yourself the following questions, per their website:
• Are you spending more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food?
• Are you planning tomorrow’s menu today?
• Is the virtue you feel about what you eat more important than the pleasure you receive from eating it?
• Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet increased?
• Have you become stricter with yourself?
• Does your self-esteem get a boost from eating healthy?
• Do you skip foods you once enjoyed in order to eat the “right” foods?
• Does your diet make it difficult for you to eat anywhere but at home, distancing you from friends and family.
• Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
• When you eat the way you’re supposed to, do you feel in total control?
Are any of these leading questions? You be the judge.
The ‘symptoms’ are common
There are people out there that experience anxiety about chemicals in their food. There may be people who are obsessive about eating only 100% pure food – and will go to any length to avoid food manufactured with impure ingredients. This may mean avoiding food at social gatherings, refusing certain foods prepared by others and taking considerable time planning and preparing meals.
Are all natural health advocates candidates for this diagnosis? Natural health lovers be warned. One nutritionist says that you are in danger if you eat only healthy food. To quote Jennifer Culbert (SAR’09), a registered dietician: So if someone cuts out processed food, or things that are genetically modified, or not grown organically, the danger is that they can become malnourished or underweight.
Got it? You must eat processed food, GMO’s and plenty of non-organic ingredients in order to avoid malnourishment.
How much more ridiculous can we get here, folks? My brain is spinning as I pick myself up off the floor. Laughing your ass off is dangerous, too. You can fall out of your chair.
Let’s be fair, though
The originator of the term is one Steven Bratman, MD. Dr. Bratman has taken some heat for his new term. On his website, he explains very carefully that he never intended for his concept to applied to anyone who is merely pursuing health by eating well. It was only intended for those who are suffering from an over-focus or “unhealthy obsession” with pure food.
I understand. I am sure there are those who take it too far. Not by eating only 100% real food 100% of the time, but by alienating others in their life who choose to eat a conventional diet. After alienating those around them, the health obsessed individual could get pretty lonely. This could be a valid concern.
Additionally, I am sure it is possible to become so paranoid about your food the even the purest and healthiest food choices available become suspicious. At this point, you might begin to dangerously restrict your diet.
Another fair point: Orthorexia nervosa is not an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM). It is merely used by clinicians, but not officially sanctioned by the APA.
Fair enough. The problem, however, is that clinicians are using it as a practical diagnosis and some of them appear to quite sloppy about it, in my humble opinion.
For example, one registered dietitian, Julie Upton, reported to the Huffington Post, “We have no specific criteria [for orthorexia], but we know it when we see it.”
And thus the problem with the mental health system in general and with mental “disorders.” The labels are there. If you get one, then you are officially mentally ill. You have a brain disorder. Yet, there are rarely, if ever, tests to validate the so-called brain disorder prior to prescribing meds.
There are pills to chemically alter your brain, but no tests. Have you ever had your child diagnosed as ADHD and put on psychiatric drugs? What tests were done to determine the physiological necessity of the drug?
In the case of orthorexia nervosa, there apparently aren’t any criteria for diagnosis. Clinicians “just know.” How dumb do you doctors, dietitians and counselors think we are?
The other problem is this: There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating a 100% clean, healthy diet 100% of the time!
Check the reference links below and you will discover that I am not making this stuff up. Hey! Are you an orthorexic?