Posts Tagged ‘food’

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But the internal documents obtained by the Guardian show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide.

Weedkiller found in granola and crackers, internal FDA emails show

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing food samples for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in hundreds of widely used herbicide products, for two years, but has not yet released any official results.

Bayer-Monsanto

Ellen Brown

April 4, 2018

Bayer and Monsanto have a long history of collusion to poison the ecosystem for profit. The Trump administration should veto their merger not just to protect competitors but to ensure human and planetary survival.

Two new studies from Europe have found that the number of farm birds in France has crashed by a third in just 15 years, with some species being almost eradicated. The collapse in the bird population mirrors the discovery last October that over three-quarters of all flying insects in Germany have vanished in just three decades. Insects are the staple food source of birds, the pollinators of fruits, and the aerators of the soil.

The chief suspect in this mass extinction is the aggressive use of neonicotinoid pesticides, particularly imidacloprid and clothianidin, both made by German-based chemical giant Bayer. These pesticides, along with toxic glyphosate herbicides (Roundup), have delivered a one-two punch against Monarch butterflies, honeybees and birds. But rather than banning these toxic chemicals, on March 21st the EU approved the $66 billion merger of Bayer and Monsanto, the US agribusiness giant producing Roundup and the genetically modified (GMO) seeds that have reduced seed diversity globally. The merger will make the Bayer-Monsanto conglomerate the largest seed and pesticide company in the world, giving it enormous power to control farm practices, putting private profits over the public interest.

As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) noted in a speech in December before the Open Markets Institute, massive companies are merging into huge market-dominating entities that invest a share of their profits in lobbying and financing political campaigns, shaping the political system to their own ends. She called on the Trump administration to veto the Bayer-Monsanto merger, which is still under antitrust scrutiny and has yet to be approved in the US. 

A 2016 survey of Trump’s voter base found that over half disapproved of the Monsanto/Bayer merger, fearing it would result in higher food prices and higher costs for farmers. Before 1990, there were 600 or more small independent seed businesses globally, many of them family owned. By 2009, only about 100 survived; and seed prices had more than doubled. But reining in these powerful conglomerates is more than just a question of economics. It may be a question of the survival of life on this planet. 

While Bayer’s neonicotinoid pesticides wipe out insects and birds, Monsanto’s glyphosate has been linked to over 40 human diseases, including cancer. Its GMO seeds have been genetically modified to survive this toxic herbicide, but the plants absorb it into their tissues; and in the humans who eat them, glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut bacteria, damages DNA and is a driver of cancerous mutations. Researchers summarizing a 2014 study of glyphosates in the Journal of Organic Systems linked them to the huge increase in chronic diseases in the United States, with the percentage of GMO corn and soy planted in the US showed highly significant correlations with hypertension, stroke, diabetes, obesity, lipoprotein metabolism disorder, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, end stage renal disease, acute kidney failure, cancers of the thyroid, liver, bladder, pancreas, kidney and myeloid leukaemia. But regulators have turned a blind eye, captured by corporate lobbyists and a political agenda that has more to do with power and control them protecting the health of the people.

The Trump administration has already approved a merger between former rivals Dow and DuPont, and has signed off on the takeover of Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta by ChemChina.  If Monsanto/Bayer gets approved as well, just three corporations will dominate the majority of the world’s seed and pesticide markets, giving them enormous power to continue poisoning the planet at the expense of its living inhabitants.

The Shady History of Bayer and the Petrochemical Cartel

To understand the magnitude of this threat, it is necessary to delve into some history. This is not the first time Monsanto and Bayer have joined forces. In both world wars, they made explosives and poisonous gases using shared technologies that they sold to both sides. After World War II, they united as MOBAY (MonsantoBayer) and supplied the ingredients for Agent Orange in the Vietnam War.

In fact corporate mergers and cartels have played a central role in Bayer’s history. In 1904, it joined with German giants BASF and AGFA to form the first chemical cartel. After World War I, Germany’s entire chemical industry was merged to become I.G. Farben. By the beginning of World War II, I.G. Farben was the largest industrial corporation in Europe, the largest chemical company in the world, and part of the most gigantic and powerful cartel in all history.

A cartel is a grouping of companies bound by agreements designed to restrict competition and keep prices high. The dark history of the I.G. Farben cartel was detailed in a 1974 book titled World Without Cancer by G. Edward Griffin, who also wrote the best-selling Creature from Jekyll Island on the shady history of the Federal Reserve. Griffin quoted from a book titled Treason’s Peace by Howard Ambruster, an American chemical engineer who had studied the close relations between the German chemical trust and certain American corporations. Ambruster warned:

Farben is no mere industrial enterprise conducted by Germans for the extraction of profits at home and abroad. Rather, it is and must be recognized as a cabalistic organization which, through foreign subsidiaries and secret tie-ups, operates a far-flung and highly efficient espionage machine — the ultimate purpose being world conquest . . . and a world superstate directed by Farben.109

The I.G. Farben cartel arose out of the international oil industry. Coal tar or crude oil is the source material for most commercial chemical products, including those used in drugs and explosives. I.G. Farben established cartel agreements with hundreds of American companies. They had little choice but to capitulate after the Rockefeller empire, represented by Standard Oil of New Jersey, had done so, since they could not hope to compete with the Rockefeller/I.G. combination.

The Rockefeller group’s greatest influence was exerted through international finance and investment banking, putting them in control of a wide spectrum of industry. Their influence was particularly heavy in pharmaceuticals. The directors of the American I.G. Chemical Company included Paul M. Warburg, brother of a director of the parent company in Germany and a chief architect of the Federal Reserve System.

The I.G. Farben cartel was technically disbanded at the Nuremberg War Trials following World War II, but in fact it merely split into three new companies — Bayer, Hoescht and BASF — which remain pharmaceutical giants today. In order to conceal its checkered history, Bayer orchestrated a merger with Monsanto in 1954, giving rise to the MOBAY Corporation. In 1964, the US Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against MOBAY and insisted that it be broken up, but the companies continued to work together unofficially.

In Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (2007), William Engdahl states that global food control and depopulation became US strategic policy under Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger, who was Secretary of State in the 1970s. Along with oil geopolitics, these policies were to be the new “solution” to the threats to US global power and continued US access to cheap raw materials from the developing world. “Control oil and you control nations,” Kissinger notoriously declared. “Control food and you control the people.”

Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity and establishing proprietary control with GMO seeds distributed by only a few transnational corporations led by Monsanto; and by a massive taxpayer-subsidized propaganda campaign in support of GMO seeds and neurotoxic pesticides. A de facto cartel of giant chemical, drug, oil, banking and insurance companies connected by interlocking directorates reaps the profits at both ends, by waging a very lucrative pharmaceutical assault on the diseases created by their toxic agricultural chemicals.

Going Organic: The Russian Approach

In the end, the Green Revolution engineered by Henry Kissinger to control markets and ensure US economic dominance may be our nemesis. While the US struggles to maintain its hegemony by economic coercion and military force, Russia is winning the battle for the health of the people and the environment. Vladimir Putin has banned GMOs and has set out to make Russia the world’s leading supplier of organic food.

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PHOTO-Dungeness crabs caught by fisherman Josh Churchman-061715-B.Drummond, bdsjs.com-5648x2690-landscape.jpg

 

Commerce Secretary Pritzker declares fisheries disasters for nine West Coast species

How close are we to the zombiepocalypse?

In recent years, each of these fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock biomass due to unusual ocean and climate conditions.

 

 

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Fucking Republicans

“I’m a registered Republican,” she said.

And none of this would have mattered to her in the slightest except it happened to her, to her son. There’s no problem with corporate control and deregulation until your family gets sick and dies. That’s how Republicans roll. They look the other way at corruption until that corruption affects their own family. It has to personally impact them before the horror of the situation becomes real. They lack fundamental empathy and reasoning skills. They are like programmed drones, programmed to think in ideological cliches until the results of their programming suddenly fail them, or someone they love. Not until.

It’s the same old God damned fucking story. And it is exactly what got us here.

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Food Inc. is one of those blood curdling investigations of big business and its control of our food supply. It’s the story of corruption, monopoly, subsidies and disease.

Essentially the government has subsidized corn so that it is overproduced and shoved into everything. We need to end these subsidies. Stop paying for food we don’t need and that isn’t healthy. Stop subsidizing giant corporations so that they can control our food and squeeze out all the small competitors. Stop the corruption.

“The industrial food is not honest food.”

Sums up the situation.

The film moves onto Monsanto’s evil empire of Terminator Seeds (TM), the RoundUp assault, and the corporate war on independent farmers. These subjects are covered in other films, and this seems like a general audience intro to the subject of corporate food. It’s not novel, but it is thorough in covering its bases.

Of course, Americans are largely too stupid to demand the Right to Know what the hell they’re eating and feeding to their children. I remember the California ballot measure, and I was on my campus giving out information. The bullshit industry propaganda had already reached the sheeple. Some of them argued in favor of systemic ignorance, against their own interests and on behalf of GMO manufacturers.

How did our society become so propagandized that educated people go to absurd lengths to fight against their own right to know what’s in their food? Mis-educated, I suppose, would be more accurate.

The legal assault, the batteries of lawyers abusing the law, openly fascistic corporate/state power abuses, is the chilling final section of Food Inc. Farmers cannot stand up to any of these multinational monsters. Legal fees quickly mount, $25k, $400k, over a million dollars! They can sue just to send a message. This is the expression of fascism, which Mussolini defined as corporatism. Corporations using government to abuse the people, that’s fascism. That’s America.

The movie tries to strike an upbeat final note. Consumers got Walmart to introduce organic products. It is difficult however to swallow an upbeat ending to such a devastating and sickening main event.

 

 

Full Film?

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Two More European Countries Ban Monsanto’s GMO Crops

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GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health

Monsanto’s lies and its troll army are contradicted in no uncertain terms. They have monkeyed with science in numerous ways, and corrupted the process of ensuring food safety.

nejm

In our view, the science and the risk assessment supporting the Enlist Duo decision are flawed. The science consisted solely of toxicologic studies commissioned by the herbicide manufacturers in the 1980s and 1990s and never published, not an uncommon practice in U.S. pesticide regulation. These studies predated current knowledge of low-dose, endocrine-mediated, and epigenetic effects and were not designed to detect them. The risk assessment gave little consideration to potential health effects in infants and children, thus contravening federal pesticide law. It failed to consider ecologic impact, such as effects on the monarch butterfly and other pollinators. It considered only pure glyphosate, despite studies showing that formulated glyphosate that contains surfactants and adjuvants is more toxic than the pure compound.

…This decision was made in haste. It was based on poorly designed and outdated studies and on an incomplete assessment of human exposure and environmental effects.

…National Toxicology Program should urgently assess the toxicology of pure glyphosate, formulated glyphosate, and mixtures of glyphosate and other herbicides.

Labeling will deliver multiple benefits. It is essential for tracking emergence of novel food allergies and assessing effects of chemical herbicides applied to GM crops.

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What physicians think about GMO labeling