Agriculture has undergone massive changes over the past several decades. Many of them were heralded as progress that would save us from hunger and despair. Yet today, we're faced with a new set of problems, birthed from the very innovations and interventions that were meant to provide us with safety and prosperity. For decades, food production has been all about efficiency and lowering cost. We now see what this approach has brought us — skyrocketing disease statistics and a faltering ecosystem. Fortunately, we already know what needs to be done. It's just a matter of implementing the answers on a wider scale. We need farmers to shift over to regenerative practices that stops depleting our soil and fresh water supplies. Frustratingly, farmers are often held back from making much needed changes by government subsidy programs that favor monocropping and crop insurance rules that dissuade regenerative farming practices.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect at least 2 million Americans every year. At least 23,000 die as a result. The growing threat of antibiotic-resistant disease is one of the biggest health threats facing the globe, yet, unlike some other pressing health threats, it has a clear and well-known cause: overuse of antibiotics. “The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, explaining “simply using antibiotics creates resistance.” The drugs are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in human medicine, and up to 50 percent of the time they’re prescribed when not needed or using incorrect dosing or duration, according to the CDC. This is problematic, but it pales in comparison to the use of antibiotics in food animals, which is driving rates of antibiotic resistance sky high.
Healthy Traditions announced today that they have added Raw Brown Whole Flax Seeds to their line of GMO-tested and Glyphosate-tested products. Healthy Traditions is a brand of Tropical Traditions, and in 2014 Tropical Traditions tested their USDA certified organic grains for the presence of glyphosate. They were shocked to find many of their grains were contaminated with the herbicide glyphosate. In their search for new products that would test clean for the presence of both GMOs and glyphosate, they had a very difficult time finding flax seeds that tested clean for the presence of glyphosate. The area of the U.S. where most flax seeds grow are in northern states where desiccating crops with glyphosate is common practice to control the harvest prior to snowfall. Finally, almost 2 years later, they obtained samples from a farm in Italy that tested clean on the samples which were tested. They now offer this very high quality flax seed to their American market.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease involving several protein mutations in glycine-rich regions with limited treatment options. 90 - 95% of all cases are non-familial with epidemiological studies showing a significant increased risk in glyphosate-exposed workers. In this paper, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, plays a role in ALS, mainly through mistakenly substituting for glycine during protein synthesis, disruption of mineral homeostasis as well as setting up a state of dysbiosis. Mouse models of ALS reveal a pre-symptomatic profile of gut dysbiosis.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decisions (Nov. 18, 2016) on whether federal and Hawai'i state laws preempt Hawai'i counties' authority to regulate genetically engineered (GE) crops and pesticide use. Of significance to state and local communities throughout the U.S., the Ninth Circuit ruled that federal law—specifically, the Plant Protection Act—does not prohibit states and counties from passing local laws to regulate and ban commercially-grown GE crops. "Today's decision to allow states and counties to ban or regulate GE crops is an important victory for GE-free seed sanctuaries and small communities and farmers around the country," George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety, said.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — not to be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) — is an autoimmune disease that can have very serious consequences. (IBS, on the other hand, is a functional bowel disorder. In other words, there are no significant physical conditions that contribute to the problem; hence it's a functional disease.) According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IBD affects more than 3 million American adults, nearly triple previous estimates.1 There are two types of IBD: Crohn's disease Ulcerative colitis Both of these IBD conditions involve chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, fatigue and diarrhea. IBD also raises your risk of developing colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in the U.S.
Recently we reported that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft report on the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. This was in advance of a meeting in which a panel of scientists would discuss the available data on glyphosate and its potential to cause cancer—but that meeting never happened. It was postponed, ostensibly because the agency was seeking additional experts so there could be a more “robust review of the data.” The biotech industry is going all out to stop this review. CropLife America, the trade group for the nation’s largest biotech and pesticide manufacturers, strenuously objected to the government reviewing the cancer data, telling the EPA that there is no need to discuss the issue at all! Outrageously, CropLife also called for the removal of any scientist from the panel who has “publicly expressed an opinion regarding the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.” The trade group kindly offered the names of scientists who should be removed from the reviewing panel to restore “impartiality.”
The U.S. food system is set up to protect industrialized, centralized food production and distribution, while efforts to decentralize food are kept strictly under wraps. There are many problems with this system, including the fact that food production is often out of sync with demand, leading to excessive amounts of waste. In 2016, for instance, the industrial dairy industry has dumped 43 million gallons of milk due to a massive milk glut. The glut is the result of a 2014 spike in milk prices, which encouraged many dairy farmers to add more milk cows to their farms. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data shows that dairy cows have increased by 40,000 in 2016, with a 1.4 percent increase in production per cow. With too much milk and nowhere to sell it, prices have tanked. Milk prices declined 22 percent in recent months to $16.39 per 100 pounds — a price so low some farmers can no longer afford to even transport it to the market.1 The milk glut isn’t only affecting the U.S., either. It’s been felt globally, which means milk producers can’t export their surplus milk. What’s a dairy farmer to do with a surplus of milk? Dump it — on fields, into animal feed or added to manure lagoons.
Earlier this month, major biotech and agriculture groups sent a letter to key members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee supporting the inclusion of $3 million in the fiscal year 2017 budget to “better inform the public about the application of biotechnology to food and agricultural production.” In plain English, these groups are asking for taxpayer dollars to fund propaganda efforts on behalf of the biotech industry. For those interested in real answers to questions about GMOs, we’ve recently updated and revamped our GMO Fact Check site. We’ve included the most up-to-date information on the safety of GMOs, the facts about GMOs and pesticide use, the epidemic of cross-pollination of GMOs with conventional (and/or organic) crops, the myth that GMOs increase crop yields, and much more. Our information is science-based and fully cited. Since industry has systematically attempted to corrupt so many government agencies, universities, and researchers working in this field, simply having accurate, scientific data is an accomplishment.
When consumers purchase organic produce, they expect to avoid vegetables and fruits that have been genetically modified or sprayed with dangerous pesticides. The unsettling reality, however, is that cross-contamination between GM plants and conventional or organic plants is not only possible—it is already happening. Millions of acres of GM rapeseed, which is used to make canola oil, the most popular cooking oil in North America, are being grown—in Canada and Australia in particular, but also in the US. This GM rapeseed has spread across the world, growing wild in ports, railway beds, along highways, and other areas where it has “escaped” during transport. Not only is it growing wild—it has contaminated another Brassica, the parent of cruciferous vegetables known as Brassica rapa. Organic broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Napa cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and more are now under threat.