Sunday, May 27, 2018

Monsanto in Epic Fail with Attempted Attack on Global Glyphosate Study

Sustainable Pulse | May 22, 2009

The peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts from the pilot phase of the Global Glyphosate Study were revealed last Wednesday in a Press Conference at the European Parliament.

The results of the short-term pilot study showed that glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) were able to alter certain important biological parameters in rats, mainly relating to sexual development, genotoxicity and the alteration of the intestinal microbiome, at the ‘safe’ level of 1.75 mg/kg/day set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As is normal practice for Monsanto, their Public Relations department was soon in action to try and crush the scientists involved and the study results, which could cause major damage to the product that supports their whole business model – the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup.
However, this time their PR campaign against the Study was only met with contempt and disdain from journalists, politicians, scientists and the public in countries across Europe.
Urban Dictionary – Epic Fail: A mistake of such monumental proportions that it requires its own term in order to sucessfully point out the unfathomable shortcomings of an individual or group.
Monsanto’s epic fail began with their comments in The Guardian newspaper:

Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s VP for global strategy told the Guardian: “The Ramazzini Institute is an activist organisation with an agenda that they have not disclosed as part of their crowdfunding efforts. They wish to support a ban on glyphosate and they have a long history of rendering opinions not supported by regulatory testing agencies.”

There are many things that are ‘interesting’ about Scott Partridge’s comment:

Epic Fail #1: Monsanto attacked the wrong Institute

The excellent Guardian article was mainly discussing a study on the microbiome of the rats, hence the title: “Glyphosate shown to disrupt microbiome ‘at safe levels’, study claims”. This study was actually carried out at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York on samples provided by The Ramazzini Institute.

The truth is that Monsanto has never been faced with an independent study on glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides, in which multiple Institutions and Universities are involved. They are used to attacking one single scientist or a small institution.

The Global Glyphosate Study involves The Ramazzini Institute, the University of Bologna (Faculty of Agriculture, Veterinary Science and Biostatistics) the Genoa Hospital San Martino, the Italian National Institute of Health, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and the George Washington University.

Monsanto have now shown that they will struggle to attack this group of well-respected Institutions!

Epic Fail #2: Monsanto suggests expert cancer scientists are activists

Monsanto’s Mr. Partridge was obviously having a bad day, as he also suggested that “The Ramazzini Institute is an activist organization”. This could not be further from the truth. In fact they are expert scientists who have been protecting public health for over 40 years.

The activities of the Ramazzini Institute (RI) focus primarily on the experimental identification and quantification of carcinogenic risks and on the evaluation of the efficacy and safety of drug therapies and active ingredients that may be used to prevent the development and/or progression of cancer.

The Ramazzini Institute’s long-term studies on Formaldehyde, Vinyl Chloride and Benzene, amongst others have led to global regulatory change on these chemicals.

The RI study design closely mirrors the human condition, in which persons may be exposed to agents in all phases of life for varying lengths of time. A distinctive characteristic of most RI carcinogenicity studies is that rodents are treated from prenatal life and kept under observation until natural death or at least 130 weeks of age. This lifespan protocol is in contrast with most laboratories where rodents are treated starting from adulthood and sacrificed at 110 weeks of age (representing about 2/3 of the lifespan) and corresponding to 60-65 years in humans. This practice means that the researchers miss a significant proportion of cancers induced by early exposure during pregnancy and that might show up in old age.

Sorry Mr. Partridge and Monsanto, you cannot change the truth!

Epic Fail #3: Monsanto claims no link between glyphosate and cancer…off topic

Monsanto’s Mr. Partridge continued by telling the Guardian; “All the research to date has demonstrated that there is no link between glyphosate and cancer.”

Does this not seem to be a bit off topic Mr. Partridge? There is no suggestion in the short-term studies, which he was being asked about, that glyphosate is linked to cancer.

However, if Monsanto really want to bring up this topic, we would suggest they have a chat to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), who classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.

Oh…..I forgot they are currently also trying to campaign against IARC too, including an attempt to stop the U.S. government from funding the Agency. I wonder why that is…..

It is time that we all stop Monsanto in their tracks and support the Global Glyphosate Study, which is being funded by the public worldwide. You can help them by donating here.

Solar minimum for 2018 - 2020 could be unprecedented in modern astronomy

SOTT | May 23, 2009

© David Hathaway/NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center
The story thus far... and the curious drama that is solar cycle #24.
Have you been keeping an eye on Sol lately? One of the top astronomy stories for 2018 may be what's not happening, and how inactive our host star has become.

The strange tale of Solar Cycle #24 is ending with an expected whimper: as of May 8th, the Earthward face of the Sun had been spotless for 73 out of 128 days thus far for 2018, or more than 57% of the time. This wasn't entirely unexpected, as the solar minimum between solar cycle #23 and #24 saw 260 spotless days in 2009 - the most recorded in a single year since 1913.

Cycle #24 got off to a late and sputtering start, and though it produced some whopper sunspots reminiscent of the Sol we knew and loved on 20th century cycles past, it was a chronic under-performer overall. Mid-2018 may see the end of cycle #24 and the start of Cycle #25... or will it?

One nice surprise during Cycle #24 was the appearance of massive sunspot AR 2192, which popped up just in time for the partial solar eclipse of October 23rd, 2014. Several times the size of the Earth, the spot complex was actually the largest seen in a quarter century. But just as "one swallow does not a Summer make," one large sunspot group couldn't save Solar Cycle #24.

 The Sun goes through an 11-year sunspot cycle, marked by the appearance of new spots at mid- solar latitudes, which then slowly progress to make subsequent appearances closer towards the solar equator, in a pattern governed by what's known as Spörer's Law. The hallmark of a new solar cycle is the appearance of those high latitude spots. The Sun actually flips overall polarity every cycle, so a proper Hale Cycle for the Sun is actually 11 x 2 = 22 years long.

Read more at SOTT..


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Weedkiller products more toxic than their active ingredient, tests show

The Guardian | May 8, 2018 | Carey Gillam

After more than 40 years of widespread use, new scientific tests show formulated weedkillers have higher rates of toxicity to human cells

Formulated weedkillers, like Monsanto’s widely-used Roundup, leave residues in food and water, as well as public spaces. Photograph: Rene van den Berg/Alamy Stock Photo
US government researchers have uncovered evidence that some popular weedkilling products, like Monsanto’s widely-used Roundup, are potentially more toxic to human cells than their active ingredient is by itself.

These “formulated” weedkillers are commonly used in agriculture, leaving residues in food and water, as well as public spaces such as golf courses, parks and children’s playgrounds.

The tests are part of the US National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) first-ever examination of herbicide formulations made with the active ingredient glyphosate, but that also include other chemicals. While regulators have previously required extensive testing of glyphosate in isolation, government scientists have not fully examined the toxicity of the more complex products sold to consumers, farmers and others.

Monsanto introduced its glyphosate-based Roundup brand in 1974. But it is only now, after more than 40 years of widespread use, that the government is investigating the toxicity of “glyphosate-based herbicides” on human cells.

The NTP tests were requested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015 classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. The IARC also highlighted concerns about formulations which combine glyphosate with other ingredients to enhance weed killing effectiveness. Monsanto and rivals sell hundreds of these products around the world in a market valued at roughly $9bn.

Mike DeVito, acting chief of the National Toxicology Program Laboratory, told the Guardian the agency’s work is ongoing but its early findings are clear on one key point. “We see the formulations are much more toxic. The formulations were killing the cells. The glyphosate really didn’t do it,” DeVito said. 

A summary of the NTP work stated that glyphosate formulations decreased human cell “viability”, disrupting cell membranes. Cell viability was “significantly altered” by the formulations, it stated.
DeVito said the NTP first-phase results do not mean the formulations are causing cancer or any other disease. While the work does show enhanced toxicity from the formulations, and show they kill human cells, the NTP appears to contradict an IARC finding that glyphosate and/or its formulations induce oxidative stress, one potential pathway toward cancer. The government still must do other testing, including examining any toxic impact on a cell’s genetic material, to help add to the understanding of risks, according to DeVito.

The NTP work informs a global debate over whether or not these glyphosate-based weedkilling chemical combinations are endangering people who are exposed. More than 4,000 people are currently suing Monsanto alleging they developed cancer from using Roundup, and several European countries are moving to limit the use of these herbicides.

“This testing is important, because the EPA has only been looking at the active ingredient. But it’s the formulations that people are exposed to on their lawns and gardens, where they play and in their food,” said Jennifer Sass, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

One problem government scientists have run into is corporate secrecy about the ingredients mixed with glyphosate in their products. Documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests show uncertainty within the EPA over Roundup formulations and how those formulations have changed over the last three decades.

That confusion has continued with the NTP testing.

“We don’t know what the formulation is. That is confidential business information,” DeVito said. NTP scientists sourced some samples from store shelves, picking up products the EPA told them were the top sellers, he said.

It is not clear how much Monsanto itself knows about the toxicity of the full formulations it sells. But internal company emails dating back 16 years, which emerged in a court case last year, offer a glimpse into the company’s view. In one 2003 internal company email, a Monsanto scientist stated: “You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen … we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement. The testing on the formulations are not anywhere near the level of the active ingredient.” Another internal email, written in 2010, said: “With regards to the carcinogenicity of our formulations we don’t have such testing on them directly.” And an internal Monsanto email from 2002 stated: “Glyphosate is OK but the formulated product … does the damage.”

Monsanto did not respond to a request for comment. But in a 43-page report, the company says the safety of its herbicides is supported by “one of the most extensive worldwide human health and environmental databases ever compiled for a pesticide product”.

Carey Gillam is a journalist and author, and a public interest researcher for US Right to Know, a non-profit food industry research group.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

News ALERT: WiFi street lamps emit radiation that causes insomnia, nosebleeds and stillbirths, officials deny reality

Natural Health 365 | April 30, 2018 | Jonathan Landsman

© Natural Health 365
Gateshead, a town in Northern England, has become the center of a controversy over 5G wireless technology. Local resident Mark Steele, a scientist who formerly worked for the IEEE Communications Society, maintains that the borough’s WiFi “smart” lights –many located right outside residents’ bedroom windows –are causing insomnia, nosebleeds and stillbirths.

“Babies are dying in the womb,” Steele maintains. “It’s a humanitarian crisis.” Not so, say Gateshead officials, who assert that the reports of illness are “false,” and should be ignored.

Experts say: 5G technology will put current WiFi systems ‘on steroids’

5G (fifth-generation) networks, which operate in the 24 to 90 gigahertz spectrum, are being developed in order to facilitate the “Internet of Things” – a planned network of interconnected devices such as lights, home appliances, and even motor vehicles.

Natural health experts and advocates maintain that radiation from existing wireless 3G and 4G technology is already causing serious adverse health effects, including increased risk of gliomas, or brain tumors.

Cell phone radiation has been found to interfere with DNA replication, possibly triggering mutations that could in turn trigger cancer. Opponents of wireless technology also say it is responsible for heart arrhythmias and cognitive problems – among other conditions.

And 5G foes say that the new WiFi networks, which use higher frequencies than those ever utilized – or tested – before, will exacerbate things further. Some experts liken the effect to putting the current WiFi system – already associated with grave health risks – on “steroids.”

Suspicion mounts regarding premature 5G rollout and ‘secret trials’

By 2020, 5G is expected to be launched throughout Britain.

But Steele thinks Gateshead jumped the gun, allowing the government to perform a ‘secret trial’ by rolling out the technology ahead of time.

Despite the Gateshead Council’s assertions that the lights are operating at 2G to 3G, Steele believes they are already emitting 5G radiation. He reports that many people have been plagued with health problems since the installation of the lights in 2016, and says he knows of “at least three” women in the area who have suffered stillbirths.

Noting the lack of small birds in the area, Steele says that the lights have decimated insect and bird populations, along with harming human health. “The sparrows,” says Steele, “have been annihilated.”

Gateshead Council: “Nothing to see here” (ignore the health dangers)

In a Facebook post on April 9, the The Gateshead Council pushed back against the allegations, urging . residents to ignore “conspiracy theories” and “scare stories” about the dangers of 5G radiation.

The council insists that the borough is using the old 2G/3G mobile phone network technology – not 5G – and that there is no threat of cancer, miscarriages, insomnia or nosebleeds. In the post, the council also points out that they are taking advice from Public Health England, which in turn reviewed WHO guidelines governing wireless radiation.

A small transceiver allowing street lights to be turned off and on is in use, the council reports – adding that it transmits for a total of only 80 seconds a week, at less than 1 percent of the safe exposure limit set by authorities.

“The tales (of adverse effects and conspiracy) are completely untrue,” the Council adds, urging that they be “ignored.”  So, just like the vaccine manufacturers, the telecommunications industry would have us believe that WiFi is perfectly ‘safe and effective.’

Many residents, however, remain unconvinced. (and, for good reason)

Experts point to research linking wireless technology and cancer

A growing list of experts, physicians and researchers are joining the groundswell of support against 5G – and warning of life-threatening consequences of WiFi technology.

Dr. Thomas Rau, medical director of the renowned Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland, asserts that EMFs (electromagnetic fields) from wireless networks and cell phones can cause cancer, ADD, heart arrhythmias, insomnia and Parkinson’s disease.

The European Academy for Environmental Medicine agrees, reporting that EMF radiation is linked to cancer, insomnia and mental health disorders – while Ulrich Warnke, an internationally esteemed professor from the University of Saarland, asserts that EMF radiation from light transmitters can cause disruption of the body’s nitrogen monoxide system, which keeps cells healthy and regulates gene expression.

As for the World Health Organization, that agency has classified EMF radiation as a ‘possible human carcinogen’ since 2011.

Extensive studies demonstrate the damaging effects of radiation from wireless technology

A $25 million study conducted by the National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Program provided a definitive link between 2G/3G cell phone radiation and heart and brain cancer in rats. Researchers cited “clear evidence of carcinogenicity.”

An additional study conducted at the Rammazzini Institute for Environmental Policy reinforced the results of the NTP study. Both showed a statistically significant increase in rare malignancies – the very same malignancies found in population studies of human cell phone users.

Finally, recent research shows that pregnant women exposed to the highest levels of EMF radiation are 48 percent more likely to lose their babies than women exposed to the lowest amount.

Protect yourself by reducing exposure

Of course, you can minimize radiation exposure from WiFi with some common-sense precautions, such as: keeping cell phones away from the body, turning WiFi off when not in use, and keeping devices in airplane mode when not using them.

Whenever possible, use speakerphones or hands-free headset, and keep conversations brief.
Better yet, text instead of calling – or use a landline.

Obtaining a radio frequency meter – which analyzes ambient radiation exposures from WiFi routers, cell phones and cell towers – can help you determine the level of EMFs in your home.
With Intel reportedly planning to bring 5G to its laptops by next year, it is clear that time is running out.

EMF Scientists – an alliance of 220 researchers and doctors from 42 different countries – is currently appealing to the UN to ask the WHO to develop stricter EMF guidelines, and to better educate the public as to the risks. Although this is a good start, much more needs to be done to protect human health and the environment from the upcoming 5G rollout – and the dangers of wireless systems.

Sources for this article include:

Getting Real About “Smart Cities”: Questions to Ask Before Your Community Becomes “Smart”.

Activist Post | May 5, 2018 | BN Frank

Business leaders and elected officials across the U.S. and around the world seem to be hell bent on turning communities into “Smart Cities.”

Many have already written articles about health, privacy, and security risks involved with becoming “Smart Cities.” I wrote one just last week.

Becoming a “Smart City” requires ignoring “The Precautionary Principle.”

Hundreds of small cell towers must be installed everywhere including in front of homes, public rights of ways, historic districts to make a “Smart City.” These towers may be 4G and/or 5G technology.

Many around the world are concerned about small cell towers.  Dr. Oz featured a segment about 5G small cell towers on his February 9, 2018 show.

Research has proven that there are health risks from 5G exposure, from exposure to all other sources of cell phone and wireless WiFi radiation and from exposure to Electrical Pollution (Electrosmog).
If you aren’t concerned about health, small cell towers being installed in front of or near your home will still undoubtedly lower your property value and create cyber security risks.

If your community leaders are also gushing like school girls about becoming a “Smart City,” Roxana Marachi, Ph.D  wrote a fantastic article about efforts to make San Jose, CA a “Smart City.”  It includes 10 questions to ask community leaders and rain on their parade.

These questions as well as much of the information provided with them could be applied in communities everywhere.

Thanks Roxana!  You rock!

For more information, contact the following organizations:

California Defeats Monsanto in Court to List Glyphosate as Carcinogen

Sustainable Pulse | Apr 20, 2018

A California Appellate Court sided with the State of California and Center for Food Safety (CFS) on Thursday, affirming that Monsanto’s glyphosate pesticide can be listed as a known carcinogen under Proposition 65.

Monsanto’s lawsuit challenged the 2015 announcement by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) that it intended to list glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, under California’s landmark Proposition 65.

Proposition 65 requires notification and labeling of all chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and prohibits their discharge into drinking waters of the state. CFS intervened in the case, defending the listing of glyphosate as a carcinogen and the public’s right to know when it is being exposed to cancer-causing chemicals.

“This is a huge win for all Californians—and a huge loss for Monsanto—as it upholds our right to protect ourselves and our environment from unnecessary and unwanted exposure to the dangerous chemical, glyphosate,” said Adam Keats, senior attorney at CFS.

Glyphosate is a broad spectrum herbicide that is widely used in agriculture, parks, home gardens, and residential landscapes. It is the most heavily used pesticide in the world, in large part due to the proliferation of Monsanto’s genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops that are resistant to glyphosate.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic.” California subsequently issued the notice of intent to list glyphosate as a Proposition 65 chemical based on the IARC finding. Under Proposition 65, no person in the course of doing business may knowingly or intentionally expose any individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without first giving a clear and reasonable warning. The discharge of such chemical into a source of drinking water is prohibited. With today’s court ruling, these protections will now be required for glyphosate products.

“All California consumers have the right to know that glyphosate is considered a probable carcinogen, and Proposition 65 ensures that the public obtains that knowledge,” concluded Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director at Center for Food Safety. ”We are pleased that the California Appellate Court prevented Monsanto’s attempt to keep the public in the dark about potential hazards from their products.”