News-in-Transition

9 January 2018

 - At the recent Codex meeting in Berlin, there was an attempt to define genetically engineered (GE) food ingredients as ‘biofortified’ and therefore mislead consumers. This contravened the original Codex mandate for defining biofortification. That definition is based on improving the nutritional quality of food crops through conventional plant breeding (not genetic engineering) with the aim of making the nutrients bioavailable after digestion. The attempt was thwarted thanks to various interventions, not least by the National Health Federation (NHF), a prominent health-freedom international non-governmental organization and the only health-freedom INGO represented at Codex. But the battle is far from over.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission’s Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) convened in Berlin during early December and drafts provisions on nutritional aspects for all foods. It also develops international guidelines and standards for foods for special dietary uses that will be used to facilitate standardized world trade.

Based upon previous meetings, the initial intention of the Committee was to craft a definition for biofortification that could then be used uniformly around the World. Biofortification originally referred to increasing certain vitamin and mineral content of basic food crops by way of cross-breeding, not genetic engineering, for example by increasing the vitamin or iron content of sweet potatoes so that malnourished populations would receive better nutrition.

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9 January 2018

 - One of the myths perpetuated by the pro-GMO (genetically modified organisms) lobby is that critics of GMOs in agriculture are denying choice to farmers and have an ideological agenda. The narrative is that farmers should have access to a range of tools and technologies, including GM crops. 

Before addressing this issue, we should remind ourselves that GMOs have been illegitimately placed on the commercial market due to the bypassing of regulations. 

Steven Druker’s book Altered Genes, Twisted Truths (2015) indicates that the commercialisation of GM food in the US was based on a massive fraud. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) files revealed that GM foods first achieved commercialisation in 1992 but only because the FDA covered up the extensive warnings of its own scientists about their dangers, lied about the facts and then violated federal food safety law by permitting GM food to be marketed without having been proven safe through standard testing.

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7 December 2017

Image: GM humans: New vaccines made with synthetic genes will alter your DNA - Back in 2015, The New York Times published an article entitled, “Protection Without a Vaccine,” an in-depth look at immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer, or I.G.T. Described as a “novel approach” to fighting serious diseases like H.I.V., Ebola , malaria, hepatitis and even the common flu, the researchers involved in the development of I.G.T. believe that it could provide long-term protection against diseases which traditional vaccines have failed to control.

While this sounds good on the surface, those who are interested in protecting their health freedoms and those of their offspring should take careful note of what it entails.

While I.G.T. is different from ordinary vaccinations and therefore doesn’t carry their risks, it could potentially be far worse.

Handing genetic control to health practitioners – and by extension, the government – could be really dangerous. Under the guise of protecting us against specific diseases, for example, they could alter our genes to make us more docile or meek, and therefore more easily controlled...

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28 November 2017

 - Monsanto has been selling glyphosate to farmers since 1974 - under the trade name Roundup, used to kill weeds without killing crops.

It’s currently the most commonly used herbicide in America - sales today 100-fold greater than when first introduced.

In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic in humans” - based on epidemiological, animal, and in vitro studies.

In February 2016, a group of international scientists published a  consensus statement - explaining the risks associated with increasing human exposure to glyphosate herbicides.

They noted its endocrine disruption in test tube and animal experiments studies.

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2 November 2017

 - It’s a war of the experts, and Monsanto, the world’s most evil corporation, has billions of dollars riding on the outcome.

Highly respected scientists have released reports insisting that glyphosate – the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller – is a probable carcinogen (cancer-causer), while other, equally respected scientists are insisting that it’s as safe as houses. Monsanto obviously has a huge vested interest in which of these scientific groups’ findings are accepted by governments as gospel. And they’re willing to fight dirty – as always – to get the results they want.

EU member states are engaged in a tug-of-war trying to determine whether the license for glyphosate should be renewed. While each member state gets to decide whether or not to use a certain pesticide in their country, as well as in what quantities and for which applications, the active ingredients in all such pesticides first have to be approved at the EU level. In other words, if the EU as a body approves of the use of a certain chemical, then each member state can go on to decide whether or not to allow the use of that chemical in their country. On the other hand, if the EU does not approve a certain chemical, then no EU member state may use that chemical at all.

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22 October 2017

A farmer plows a field in Gragnague, Midi-Pyrenees, France. (Photo: Lelou/cc/flickr) - Pesticides, once used, do not dissolve into thin air, but persist in the environment, contaminating soil, air and water.

This is the most recent red flag to emerge as a result of a new joint study by the University of Wageningen, the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and RIKILT laboratories. which shows that almost half of European soils are contaminated.

Results of the analysis of 300 soil samples in 10 different European countries reveal that 45% of agricultural land in Europe contains glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA. This is just the latest, and certainly not the last blow to the theories on the presumed, and never proven safety of agrochemicals in agriculture.

In recent weeks numerous discussions have taken place in Brussels on the issues related to glyphosate’s licence renewal, for which a vote of the EU member states is scheduled in Strasbourg on 23-26 October. On October 19th the European Parliament’s Environmental Committee backed a motion for the full phase out glyphosate by 2020 and to issue immediate restrictions on its use.

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21 October 2017

Image: BOMBSHELL: Proof GMOs cannot be contained — GM mosquitoes have successfully mated with wild mosquitoes, spreading GM traits - The scientific modification of plants and animals – and even humans – is often justified as being for the greater good.The long-term effects of such tinkering are often overlooked, however, and quite possibly pose serious and unexpected risks for humankind in the future.

The most recent proof that the future effects of genetic modification can never really be fully understood in advance is an experiment on mosquitoes undertaken by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Science Daily recently reported that there has been a lot of interest in recent years in genetically modifying mosquitoes to “reduce or prevent the spread of disease.” One of the challenges faced by scientists interested in pursuing this field of study is getting GM mosquitoes to mate with regular, wild bugs. However, when a research team from the NIAID recently altered the microbiota of GM mosquitoes to suppress the parasites which cause malaria in humans, they found that the GM mosquitoes actually preferred to mate with wild mosquitoes rather than their GM counterparts.

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10 October 2017

- Members in the European Parliament (MEPs) announced that Monsanto officials would no longer be able to meet MEPs or attend committee meetings, essentially banning them from parliament.

The blow came after the biotech giant refused to attend a hearing over allegations that Monsanto inappropriately influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate.

A ruling over whether or not to relicense glyphosate in the EU is expected by the end of 2017, which means the ban could not have come at a more inopportune time for Monsanto.

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28 August 2017

 - As humans, we have evolved with the natural environment over millennia. We have learned what to eat and what not to eat, what to grow and how to grow it and our diets have developed accordingly. We have hunted, gathered, planted and harvested. Our overall survival as a species has been based on gradual, emerging relationships with the seasons, insects, soil, animals, trees and seeds. And out of these relationships, we have seen the development of communities whose rituals and bonds have a deep connection with food production and the natural environment.   

However, over the last couple generations, agriculture and food production has changed more than it had done over previous millennia. These changes have involved massive social upheaval as communities and traditions have been uprooted and have entailed modifying what we eat, how we grow our food and what we apply to it. All of this has been driven by geopolitical concerns and powerful commercial interests with their proprietary chemicals and patented seeds. The process of neoliberal globalisation is accelerating the process as farmers are encouraged to produce for global supply chains dominated by transnational agribusiness.

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24 August 2017

 - The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa is calling for an immediate halt on imports to South Africa of Monsanto’s high-risk second-generation gene-silencing GM maize meant for human consumers.

In an open letter to African biosafety regulators, AFSA rejects and condemns US corporation Monsanto’s plan to exploit millions of Africans as unwitting human guinea pigs for their latest genetic engineering experiment. AFSA also condemns the IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture) field trial application in Nigeria using this same risky technology to produce GM cassava for the agro-fuels industry.

These GM applications target staple foods of maize and cassava, eaten by many millions of Africans every day. AFSA’s open letter states, “Scientists have reported that the untested gene-silencing effect is able to cross over into mammals and humans, and affect their genetic makeup with unknown potential negative consequences, and have called for long-term animal testing and stronger regulation before this goes ahead.”

The technology that the AFSA is referring to is the controversial RNAi. They are demanding the use of RNAi tech to be adamantly banned while the risks remain and for regulators in South Africa and Nigeria to reject the import of GE maize and field testing of GE cassava root.

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9 August 2017

Image: False climate change narrative now being used to push genetically modified “drought resistant” corn on Africa - Each day, farmers face real-world challenges to produce food, especially in countries where their lives depend upon agricultural success. Managing natural resources and crop yields in the face of unpredictable weather is a daunting task. African farmers face irregular seasons of drought; therefore they must breed and select the right drought-tolerant and insect-resistant hybrids in order to maintain their yields.

The last thing these farmers need is multinational seed corporations and billionaire investors sensationalizing the climate change narrative in order to introduce GM seeds, take over farmland, and steal away farmer’s right to use their own seeds and adapt them to regional weather and pest challenges. However, that now seems to be an issue: The pretentious climate change narrative is being used as a selling point to push genetically modified “drought resistant” traits on African farmers.

The main culprits, who are bringing this “climate change solution” to Africa, are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Monsanto. Both of these entities have cleverly funded, infiltrated, and/or helped develop the Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, an organization committed to producing drought-tolerant and insect-protected maize varieties.

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3 August 2017

 - Documents released in US cancer litigation show Monsanto’s desperate attempts to suppress a study that showed adverse effects of Roundup herbicide – and that the editor of the journal that retracted the study had a contractual relationship with the company. 

Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.

The study, led by Prof GE Séralini, showed that very low doses of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide had toxic effects on rats over a long-term period, including serious liver and kidney damage. Additional observations of increased tumour rates in treated rats would need to be confirmed in a larger-scale carcinogenicity study.

The newly released documents show that throughout the retraction campaign, Monsanto tried to cover its tracks to hide its involvement. Instead Monsanto scientist David Saltmiras admitted to orchestrating a “third party expert” campaign in which scientists who were apparently independent of Monsanto would bombard the editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT), A. Wallace Hayes, with letters demanding that he retract the study.

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11 July 2017

 - Without much more than a whisper from the mainstream media, Monsanto’s newest Frankenfood has received full EPA approval and will be arriving on dinner plates by the end of the decade. The implications of this are harrowing, to say the least.

While you may not have made up your mind on the dangers of GMOs, you likely feel entitled to know when you’re consuming a food that is the product of laboratory research. For this reason, I am reporting on Monsanto’s latest food technology, unfortunately, already in the pipeline. And quite silently so. Both the dangers and the breakneck speed of development of this technology have gone largely ignored, even among activists deep in the non-GMO movement.

In order to truly appreciate the gravity of the situation, and why the EPA's approval of RNAi corn intended for human consumption, is so concerning, it will first require a little background information on the fascinating topic of non-coding small RNAs, and their formidable relevance to our health.

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Calendar of Events

Group distant healing events planned for 2018:

20 March - Equinox

21 June - Solstice

22 September - Equinox

21 December - Solstice

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