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MindMover

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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 4,951

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Federal regulations on chemicals in environment need overhaul

Federal policies regulating the sea of industrial chemicals we encounter in everyday life—and new ones being formulated in laboratories—are “broken” and in need of urgent overhaul to better protect our brains from harmful toxins, a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researcher said in a March 18, 2014 online article in The Atlantic.

The primary U.S. law regulating these chemicals is the Toxic Substances Control Act. Since the passage of the law about 40 years ago, more than 20,000 new chemicals have entered the market. Only five have been removed, according to the article.

“We don’t have the luxury to sit back and wait until science figures out what’s really going on, what the mechanisms are, what the doses are, and that sort of thing. We’ve seen with lead and mercury and other poisons that it takes decades (to discover their damaging effects). And during that time we are essentially exposing the next generation to exactly the kind of chemicals that we want to protect them from,” Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at HSPH, told The Atlantic.

In the article Grandjean discussed a report he co-authored with Philip Landrigan, dean for global health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, published in February 2014 in Lancet Neurology that raised concerns about a “silent pandemic” of chemical exposure on developing brains in children. The researchers cited 12 chemicals—including pesticides and chemicals found in everyday objects like furniture and clothing—that they believe contribute to ADHD, autism, and other such conditions.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/federal-regulations-on-chemicals-in-environment-need-overhaul/

Anti-GMO protesters rally against Monsanto

Ontario beekeepers filled a coffin with thousands of bees in front of a large rally of protesters in Queen's Park Sunday in protest of GMO giant Monsanto.

The third March Against Monsanto Toronto boasted thousands of Torontonians voicing their concerns about genetically modified seeds and calling for a permanent boycott of harmful agricultural chemicals.

Genetically modified seeds are engineered to resist insects and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crops and increase the global food supply.

The dead bees were taken from farms where they died over the winter. Their deaths have been linked to the use of agricultural neonicotinoid pesticides which coats most corn and soy seeds.

The march, entitled "Requiem for Bees," had pallbearers in beekeeping suits marching through areas of downtown as well as expert speakers and a GMO-free festival and farmers market in Christie Pits park. The beekeepers called for Montsanto and its subsidiaries and allied companies to stop producing GMOs and neonicotinoids.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/anti-gmo-protesters-rally-against-monsanto-1.2653350

Monarch butterfly decline linked to spread of GM crops

The main cause of the monarch butterfly's decline is the loss of milkweed — its food — in its U.S. breeding grounds, a new study has found. That all but confirms that the spread of genetically modified crops is indirectly killing the monarch.

This past winter, the number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico fell to its lowest since 1993, when records first started being kept, the World Wildlife Fund and Mexico's Environment Department reported in January. That report blamed the loss of milkweed owing to genetically modified crops and urban sprawl in the U.S. and illegal logging in the butterflies' Mexican wintering ground.

Monarch migration said to be in trouble as numbers fall
Now, an analysis combining all the known data about monarch populations and the factors that influence them shows that the monarch's biggest threat is in the U.S., not Mexico.

The leaves of the milkweed plant are the only place that monarchs lay their eggs and the only food that monarch butterfly caterpillars will eat. A large proportion of monarchs east of the Rocky Mountains breed in the U.S. corn belt, stretching from Kansas in the west to Ohio in the east, and south to north from Missouri to North Dakota.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/monarch-butterfly-decline-linked-to-spread-of-gm-crops-1.2665131

Horizontal Transfer of GM DNA Widespread But No One is Looking, Almost

The first genetically modified (GM) crop was commercially approved and released into the environment 20 years ago. From the beginning, some of us have been warning repeatedly of hidden dangers from the unintended horizontal transfer of GM DNA (transgenes). A comprehensive review Gene Technology and Gene Ecology of Infectious Diseases, ISIS scientific publication) and successive updates were submitted to the World Health Organization (WHO) and regulatory agencies in the US, UK and European Union (see Ban GMOs Now, ISIS Report); all to no avail.

The position taken by regulators and their scientific advisors today is perhaps best represented in a recent publication with lead author Kaare Nielson at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, who both advises Genøk-Centre for Biosafety and serves as member of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) GMO panel.

The paper, entitled “Detecting rare gene transfer events in bacterial populations”, recognizes that horizontal gene transfer is part of the risk assessment for GMOs, and that the large-scale cultivation of GM-plants on more than 170 m ha worldwide results in “multitudinous opportunities for bacterial exposure to recombinant DNA and therefore opportunities for unintended horizontal dissemination of transgenes.” It admits that horizontal gene transfer has indeed been demonstrated in the laboratory. “But in natural settings, negative or inconclusive evidence has been reported from most sampling-based studies of agricultural soils, runoff water and gastrointestinal tract contents.”

It tells us that horizontal gene transfer research “suffers from significant methodological limitations, model uncertainty and knowledge gaps.” In particular, on account of the “low mechanistic probability of horizontal transfer...in complex environments”, it would take “months, years, or even longer for the few initially transformed cells to divide and numerically out-compete non-transformed members of the population” for them to be “detectable.” The rest of the paper mentions a mathematical model based on those very assumptions, the most important being the very low probability of horizontal transfer; which has been contradicted by empirical evidence, most decisively from a study in China reported in 2012 .

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Horizontal_Transfer_of_GM_DNA_Widespread.php

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60 Countries are already aware that GMO's are extremely dangerous to all living things ... and are currently doing something about it

Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Are Unsafe Health Risks

There are a multitude of credible scientific studies that clearly demonstrate why GMOs should not be consumed, and more are emerging every year. There are also a number of scientists all around the world who oppose them.

By slipping it into our food without our knowledge, without any indication that there are genetically modified organisms in our food, we are now unwittingly part of a massive experiment.The FDA has said that genetically modified organisms are not much different from regular food, so they’ll be treated in the same way. The problem is this, geneticists follow the inheritance of genes, what biotechnology allows us to do is to take this organism, and move it horizontally into a totally unrelated species. Now David Suzuki doesn’t normally mate with a carrot and exchange genes, what biotechnology allows us to do is to switch genes from one to the other without regard to the biological constraints. It’s very very bad science, we assume that the principals governing the inheritance of genes vertically, applies when you move genes laterally or horizontally. There’s absolutely no reason to make that conclusion – Geneticist David Suzuki

If anybody ever tells you that we know with one hundred percent certainty that GMOs are totally safe to eat, they haven’t done their research. There is no reason GM foods should be approved safe for consumption, we just don’t know enough about them. We could easily feed the planet through organic, GMO-free methods, so there is absolutely no reason we need GM foods around.

Below I’ve presented just a bit of information to get you started on your research.

http://usnewsghost.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/scientific-studies-proving-gmos-are-unsafe-health-risks/

60 Countries around the World but not California ?

(Reuters) - (This May 28 story was corrected in the seventh paragraph to delete erroneous reference to a genetically modified wheat)

California lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a bill that would require labels on foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the second time in two years such legislation has failed to take hold in the state.

Proponents of the bill had sought to make California the second state in the country after Vermont to require GMO labeling, but the measure failed to pass the state Senate by two votes.

Democratic Senator Noreen Evans, the bill's author, was planning to push a reconsideration vote on Thursday before the end of the legislative session.

The bill would require all distributors who sell food in California to label the product if any of the ingredients have been genetically engineered. The labeling law would exclude alcohol and food sold at farmers markets.

http://www.newsdaily.com/article/272513f388fa9de0148c3a3fa123f09a/california-lawmakers-reject-bill-requiring-labeling-on-gmo-foods

Monsanto’s Roundup Found in 75% of Air and Rain Samples

Roundup herbicide, Monsanto’s flagship weed killer, was present in 75 percent of air and rainfall test samples, according to the study, which focused on Mississippi’s highly fertile Delta agricultural region.

GreenMedInfo reports new research, soon to be published by Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry journal, discovered the traces over a 12-year span from 1995-2007.

In recent years, Roundup was found to be even more toxic than it was when first approved for agricultural use, though that discovery has not led to any changes in regulation of the pesticide. Moreover, Roundup’s overuse has enabled weeds and insects to build an immunity to its harsh toxins.

To deal with the immunity issue, Monsanto’s solution has been to spray more and stronger pesticides to eliminate the problem.

The health effects of Roundup are also hard to ignore as research has linked exposure to the pesticide to Parkinson’s disease and various cancers.

http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/27/monsantos-roundup-found-in-75-of-air-and-rain-samples/

Protect Yourself with the Latest Weapon Against GMOs – Smartphone Technology

Consumers will soon have the power to conduct on the spot tests for a variety of poisons in their food — including GMOs, nanoparticals, pesticides and bacteria. Using smartphone technology, along with a specialized cradle and app, researchers have developed a biosensor that identifies various toxins, bacteria, viruses, proteins and other molecules in mere seconds. With the pervasiveness of GMOs and other dangerous elements infiltrating our food supply at every turn, using modern technology to add another layer of protection against these hazards is a smart move.

As unbelievable as it may seem, the average person contends with an astounding amount of environmental pollutants on a daily basis. Prevent Disease drives the point home in the article, “Consumers Will Soon Have Devices In Their Hands To Detect GMO and Toxic Foods”:

“Every human being on every developed nation on Earth, whether living in a rural or isolated area, in the middle of a large city, or near an industrialized area, now contains at least 700 contaminants in their body including pesticides, phthalates, benzenes, parabens, xylenes and many other carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals.”

The human body has turned into a toxic waste dump, and drastic measures are needed simply to maintain a modicum of health and prevent serious disease. It’s high time we know exactly what is in our food — and technology just may provide a solution.

http://wakeup-world.com/2014/05/29/protect-yourself-with-the-latest-weapon-against-gmos-smartphone-technology/

Frankengrass: Coming to a Neighborhood Near YOU

GMO Grass: Coming to a Lawn Near You?


Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

Monsanto and Scotts have begun testing the first genetically engineered (GE) grass, intended for both consumer and commercial use.

Scotts Roundup-Ready Kentucky Bluegrass, genetically engineered to withstand massive amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is unregulated, will not be labeled “GMO” (genetically modified organisms), and because of the ease with which grass spreads, could in short order contaminate lawns, parks, golf courses and pastures everywhere.

Because Roundup will kill everything except the grass engineered to stand up to it, lawns all over the country will be green, lush—and toxic.

And you won’t know it.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/gmo-grass-coming-lawn-near-you

Mass. GMO Labeling Supporters Announce Progress On Legislative Front

BOSTON — Supporters of GMO labeling legislation pending on Beacon Hill will gather at the State House Wednesday to announce they have the support of a majority of lawmakers in the House and Senate to pass the bill.

More than 100 members of the House and about two dozen senators have signed group letters to the leaders of their respective chambers urging positive action on the GMO labeling bill. The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture voted favorably on the bill in March. The proposed law would require all packaged foods and seeds containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled as such.

Three New England states have passed GMO labeling statutes. But the laws in Connecticut and Maine, and the proposed law in Massachusetts, can’t go into effect until a total of five states enacts similar laws. Some of the states have to border each other, and they have to encompass a population of at least 20 million people in the northeast part of the country. Vermont recently passed a GMO labeling law that has no such “trigger clause” and therefore will be the first to take effect.

Rep. Ellen Story of Amherst has sponsored the legislation here for several years.

http://www.wbur.org/2014/06/04/gmo-labeling-massachusetts
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