Independent Science NEWS - by Ramon Seidler - DEC 6, 2018
Dissident Voice - by Colin Todhunter / October 15th, 2018
Food and environment campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason has just produced the report ‘Shockingly high levels of weedkiller found in popular breakfast cereals marketed for British children’. In this 68-page document, she draws from new research in the UK that mirrors findings from the US about the dangerous levels of glyphosate found in food, especially products aimed at children (glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weedicide Roundup). Readers can access this report here (which contains all relevant references).
Mason begins by reporting on research that significant levels of weedkiller were found in 43 out of 45 popular breakfast cereals marketed to US children. Glyphosate was detected in an array of popular breakfast cereals, oats and snack bars.
Tests revealed glyphosate was present in all but two of the 45 oat-derived products that were sampled by the Environmental Working Group, a public health organisation. Nearly three in four of the products exceeded what the EWG classes safe for children to consume. Products with some of the highest levels of glyphosate include granola, oats and snack bars made by leading industry names Quaker, Kellogg’s and General Mills, which makes Cheerios.
The global food regime degrades public health and the environment, and it has narrowed the range of crops grown, resulting in increasingly monolithic, nutrient-deficient diets. Yet the powerful industry lobby calls for more deregulation and more techno-fixes like GMOs to ‘feed the world’. This is in spite of the fact that hunger and malnutrition are political: these phenomena are in large part the outcome of a global capitalist food regime that, with help from IMF/World Bank geopolitical lending strategies and WTO rules, has undermined food security for vast sections of the global population by creating a system that by its very nature drives inequality, injustice and creates food deficit areas.
Oct 13 2018 - by Sustainable Pulse
A new study has found that some of the world’s most widely used herbicides, Roundup (glyphosate) and Kamba (dicamba), increase the rate of antibiotic resistance development in bacteria by a factor of up to 100,000 times faster than occurs without the herbicide.
Both herbicides are used on GM crops engineered to tolerate them.
The new study adds to a growing body of evidence that herbicides used on a mass industrial scale, but not intended to be antibiotics, can have profound effects on bacteria, with potentially negative implications for medicine’s ability to treat infectious diseases caused by bacteria. University of Canterbury (New Zealand) Professor Jack Heinemann, one of the study’s authors, said, “The combination of chemicals to which bacteria are exposed in the modern environment should be addressed alongside antibiotic use if we are to preserve antibiotics in the long-term.”
An important finding of the new study was that even in cases where the herbicides increase the toxicity of antibiotics they also significantly increased the rate of antibiotic resistance, which the authors say could be contributing to the greater use of antibiotics in both agriculture and medicine.
Previously these researchers found that exposures to the herbicide products Roundup, Kamba and 2,4-D or the active ingredients alone most often increased resistance, but sometimes increased the susceptibility of potential human pathogens such as Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli, depending on the antibiotic.
Prof Heinemann said, “We are inclined to think that when a drug or other chemical makes antibiotics more potent, that should be a good thing. But it also makes the antibiotic more effective at promoting resistance when the antibiotic is at lower concentrations, as we more often find in the environment. Such combinations can be like trying to put out the raging fire of antibiotic resistance with gasoline.”
The authors concluded that neither reducing the use of antibiotics nor the discovery of new ones may be sufficient strategies to avoid the post-antibiotic era. This is because bacteria may be exposed to other non-antibiotic chemicals that predispose them to evolve resistance to antibiotics more quickly. Herbicides are examples of some of the most common non-antibiotic chemicals in frequent global use. Thus antibiotic resistance may increase even if total antibiotic use is reduced, and new ones are invented, unless other environmental exposures are also controlled.
The new paper, “Agrichemicals and antibiotics in combination increase antibiotic resistance evolution” is published online in the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ on October 12 and can be downloaded without charge from here.
Sustainable Pulse - Sept. 5th, 2018
Bob’s Red Mill is facing a federal class action, filed in San Francisco Friday, after the world’s most used weedkiller, glyphosate, was discovered in both its organic and non-organic oats.
Citing a recent report by the Environmental Working Group finding traces of the ‘known carcinogen’ glyphosate in Cheerios, Quaker Oats and other oat-based breakfast foods, plaintiffs Tamara Frankel and Natasha Paracha said Friday that Bob’s Red Mill knew its oat products contain or likely contain the chemical, but didn’t disclose it on the label.
Instead, they say, the Oregon-based company labeled the products with phrases such as “gluten free,” “wheat free” and “purity tested,” leading consumers to believe them to be healthy.
“Consumers have a reasonable expectation that material product information, such as the presence of a probable carcinogen like glyphosate, will be provided by a product manufacturer, especially when the manufacturer affirmatively identifies the health-related attributes of its products such as “Gluten Free”, “Whole Grain”, and “Friend of the Heart,” the complaint states, adding that the labeling amounts to “misleading half-truths.”
Frankel and Paracha say Bob’s Red Mill had a duty to disclose the presence of glyphosate in its oats and that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, because consumers don’t have easy access to the information. They want a court order blocking the company from continuing to advertise the products as healthy.
They seek to certify classes of consumers in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Washington. In the alternative, they seek to certify a California-only class.
Patricia Syverson with Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint in San Diego represents Frankel and Paracha.
In late August, it was also announced that General Mills is facing a potentially damaging class action lawsuit after a Florida woman accused it of engaging in deceptive business practices, by not alerting the public that their Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereals contain glyphosate.
A 2016 testing project on glyphosate residues in popular American foods by Sustainable Pulse’s partner The Detox Project and Food Democracy Now! is one of the main pieces of evidence being used in the case, according to the court documents, after it found levels of glyphosate in both Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios as well as many other products.
This wave of class actions against food companies has caused many food brands to start seeking The Detox Project’s Glyphosate Free certification, according to their Director, Henry Rowlands; “The Detox Project has received a massive rise in enquiries from food brands regarding Glyphosate Residue Free certification, ranging from baby food to honey to supplement brands. So far we have 15 brands from around the world fully certified but over 50 brands have been in touch during the last week.”
Wine-WaterWatch.org - Sept 5, 2018
“Additionally, the number of people diagnosed with gluten intolerance and celiac disease has risen in tandem with the increased use of glyphosate in agriculture, especially with the recent practice of drenching grains in the herbicide right before harvest, which started in the 1980s and became routine in the 1990s.
Glyphosate residues in grain, sugar and other crops are increasing recently likely due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to harvest, the researchers say. The secretive, illegal practice has become routine among conventional farmers since the 1990s.“
“Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it,” researchers wrote in a meta-analysis of nearly 300 studies.
“Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic,” they add.
Now that glyphosate is getting the attention it deserves, being named as the culprit in a $280 million cancer lawsuit and labeled as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization and the state of California, it may be time to look at the chemical’s role in a related disease:
The symptoms of so-called “gluten intolerance” and celiac disease in are shockingly similar to the symptoms in lab animals exposed to glyphosate, argue the study’s authors Anthony Samsel, an independent scientist who’s served as a consultant to the EPA on arsenic pollution and to the U.S. Coast Guard on chemical hazard response, and Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at MIT.
They point to a recent study on how glyphosate effects the digestive systems of fish. It decreased digestive enzymes and bacteria, disrupted mucosal folds, destroyed microvilli structure in the intestinal wall, and increased secretion of mucin.
“These features are highly reminiscent of celiac disease,” Samsel and Seneff write.
Additionally, the number of people diagnosed with gluten intolerance and celiac disease has risen in tandem with the increased use of glyphosate in agriculture, especially with the recent practice of drenching grains in the herbicide right before harvest, which started in the 1980s and became routine in the 1990s:
While some suggest the recent surge in celiac disease is due simply to better diagnostic tools (which as you can see above happened around 2000), a recent study suggests it’s more than that.
In 2009, researchers looked for gluten antibodies in frozen immune serum obtained between 1948 and 1954 for gluten antibodies, and compared them with samples from people today. They found a 4-fold increase in the incidence of celiac disease in the younger generation.
“Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria.”
“Celiac disease is associated with the impairment of cytochrome P450 enzymes. Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes.”
“Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements.”
“Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids.”
“Celiac disease patients also have a known increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure.”
“The incidence of non-Hodgkins lymphoma has increased rapidly in most Western countries over the last few decades. Statistics from the American Cancer Society show an 80% increase since the early 1970’s, when glyphosate was first introduced on the market.”
“Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate.”
Glyphosate residues in grain, sugar and other crops are increasing recently likely due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to harvest, the researchers say. The secretive, illegal practice has become routine among conventional farmers since the 1990s.
Ironically, the practice increases yields by killing the crops. Just before the plants die, they release their seeds in order to propagate the species:
“It goes to seed as it dies. At its last gasp, it releases the seed,” Seneff told The Healthy Home Economist.
Moral of the story? We need to go glyphosate-free, not gluten-free. And that means going organic, especially when it comes to grains and animals who eat those grains. Well, you might need to go gluten-free too for a while, until you’ve healed your gut.
Rabble.ca Lois Ross August 23, 2018
As a Saskatchewan resident for many years, I often heard the phrase “Roundup Ready.” It was coined as if it were a harmless jingle for soda pop. The ad still rings in my ears.
All farmers know of Roundup, the most effective weed killer. Most urbanites do as well. The way the corporate giant Monsanto has marketed, promoted, and created an artificial need for Roundup is a true story of profiteering and avarice. Now, finally, even some courts are accepting that it likely kills much more than just weeds and that Monsanto has acted to cover up concerns about the safety of Roundup.
A few years ago, Dewayne Johnson, a courageous man and one who is also dying of cancer, launched a lawsuit against Monsanto. In early August, Johnson had his day in court — and won. He showed that David can still take down Goliath — something that some of us had begun to wonder about given all the nasty stories of corporate greed, seed manipulation and cover-ups we have come to know.
But some days there are heroes. And Dewayne Johnson and the thousands of cancer patients now suing Monsanto are modern-day heroes. The 46-year-old father of two was composed in court as the San Francisco jury sided with him, noting that exposure to Roundup was a substantial factor in his getting cancer, and ordering Monsanto to pay Johnson $289 million in damages. Monsanto states it will appeal, but the appeal will cost the transnational corporation $25 million a year in interest should their appeal not be successful. Reason to pause, perhaps, for a bit of reflection.
Meanwhile, Bayer, the German company that bought Monsanto a few years ago, saw its stock plunge by billions following the court decision.
For years many have been concerned that Roundup causes cancer. Many have also been concerned about the marketing of genetically modified (GM) seed, specifically modified to only grow if used with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.
Read on at: SOURCE