Consumer Power

Tell the FDA: The Impossible Burger's GMO Heme Should Be Safety-Tested!

Organic consumers - 7 hours 23 min ago
Belong to campaign: Millions Against MonsantoCategory: Food Safety, Genetic EngineeringArea: USA

Whether you’re excited about new meat alternatives, or you’d rather eat regenerative organic grass-fed beef, we can all agree on one thing: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has a responsibility to ensure that all meat alternatives are safe for consumers.

The GMO Impossible Burger is so packed with poisons, that if eating it makes you sick, you’ll never be able to figure out which ingredient to blame.

TAKE ACTION BY SEPTEMBER 3: Tell the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to safety test the GMO Impossible Burger—before the burger is sold to consumers!Read more

Take Action by September 3 for Fake Meat Food Safety!

Organic consumers - 8 hours 24 min ago
August 20, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationAlexis Baden-MayerFood Safety, Genetic Engineering barbecue_grill_hamburger_1200x630.jpg

Even if you prefer organic veggie burgers or grass-fed beef, even if you’d never touch the genetically engineered Impossible Burger, it’s important for all of us to demand safety testing and regulation of GMOs. 

The future of food—and public health—is at stake.

TAKE ACTION BY SEPTEMBER 3: Tell the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to safety test the GMO Impossible Burger—before the burger is sold to consumers!

The GMO Impossible Burger is so packed with poisons, that if eating it makes you sick, you’ll never be able to figure out which ingredient to blame.

Mercola.com reports that “any or all of the following ingredients in the Impossible Burger could potentially be GMO and/or contaminated with glyphosate:

"… Soy Protein Concentrate … Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors … Potato Protein, Methylcellulose (possibly from cotton), Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin … Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E) … Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12."

Impossible Foods, the Silicon Valley-based maker of the Impossible Burger, admits that consumers could experience adverse reactions to its lab-grown burger.

But in its warning to consumers the company downplays the potential risks associated with the burger’s genetically engineered ingredients, claiming that, hey, people could be allergic to just about any of the burger’s ingredients.

In other words, don’t blame the GMO ingredients!

Impossible Burger’s main ingredient is GMO soy. While organic fermented soy products like tofu or miso are healthy foods, the highly processed GMO soy in the burger is a nutritionally inferior junk food ingredient.

GMO soy is genetically engineered to soak up glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller. Glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Its maker, Monsanto (now owned by Bayer), has recently been ordered to pay out billions in compensation to victims who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a result of using the weedkiller.

The other GMO ingredient in the Impossible Burger is soy leghemoglobin, or heme, which gives the burger its color and makes it “bleed.”

Rather than getting the heme straight from soy, Impossible Foods makes it by taking the genes that code for the soy leghemoglobin protein, inserting them into a species of yeast called Pichia pastoris, then feeding the genetically modified yeast sugar and minerals, to make it grow, replicate and manufacture heme. Then the heme is extracted from the yeast.

So many things can go wrong with this process. And it would be very difficult to detect contamination, before it was too late. 

In 1989, a food supplement, L-tryptophan, that was also produced using genetically modified bacteria, was found to be toxic. It killed 37 people and disabled more than1500 others.

In the L-tryptophan incident, the product was greater than 99 percent pure, devoid of DNA, and the toxin was present in less than 0.1 percent of the final marketed product. Still, it caused disease and death.

Dangers like this are why GMOs need to be safety tested.

The American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health supports mandatory safety assessments prior to release of genetically modified foods because of “a small potential for adverse events . . . due mainly to horizontal gene transfer, allergenicity and toxicity.” 

The National Academy of Sciences concluded that genetic modification posed a higher risk of introducing unintended changes into food than any other crop-breeding method other than mutation breeding, a method in which plant genomes are bombarded with radiation or chemicals to induce mutations.

The World Health Organization has stated: “Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.” 

The WHO recommends that “adequate post-market monitoring” is carried out to ensure the safety of genetically modified foods. Yet such monitoring is not carried out anywhere in the world. 

That’s why nearly 300 independent scientists from around the world issued a public warning that there was no scientific consensus about the safety of eating genetically modified food, and that the risks, as demonstrated in independent research, gave “serious cause for concern.”

The Impossible Burger is getting all kinds of media attention these days. Fast-Food restaurants are keen to sell it. And it could soon be on supermarket shelves.

The final FDA comment period on GMO heme comes to a close on September 3. This is your last chance to weigh in on the need for real regulation of GMOs.

TAKE ACTION BY SEPTEMBER 3: Tell the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to safety test the GMO Impossible Burger—before the burger is sold to consumers!

Vermonters: Tell the Clean Water Board to Clean Up Vermont's Dirty Dairy

Organic consumers - 12 hours 36 min ago
August 20, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationKatherine PaulEnvironment & Climate, Farm Issues black_white_cow_dairy_1200x630.jpg

Should Vermont keep throwing money at cleaning up the state’s polluted waterways—without providing funding for preventing future pollution?

Vermont’s Clean Water Board is taking public comments through September 6, on the board’s priorities for funding the cleanup of Vermont’s waterways.

You can submit comments in writing here.

Better yet, deliver your comments in person at the board’s public hearing, 10 a.m. Thursday, August 22, at the National Life Building, Winooski Room, in Montpelier.

More than half of the state’s water woes are directly attributable to industrial factory farm dairy production, where too many cows create too much manure in ecologically-sensitive areas.

According to a report from Regeneration Vermont—"A failure to Regulate: Big Dairy & Water Pollution in Vermont"—from 40 - 79 percent of the phosphorus and nitrogen pollution, and almost all of the pesticide pollution, comes from the industrial mega-dairies that supply Cabot Creamery and Ben & Jerry’s. 

Cabot’s and Ben & Jerry’s rake in billions in sales every year, while paying farmers less than it costs them to produce the milk. Yet these two companies want Vermont taxpayers to foot the bill for cleaning up their mess!

The best way to clean up Vermont’s water is to stop polluting it in the first place. And that means cleaning up Vermont’s industrial factory farm dairy industry.

Don’t miss this opportunity to tell the Vermont Clean Water Board that it’s time to start preventing the pollution of Vermont’s waterways by funding a transition to organic regenerative dairy production. The more people who attend Thursday’s meeting, the better!

It makes no sense to throw money at yesterday’s pollution while allowing today’s—and tomorrow’s—pollution to continue.

'One of My Most Inspiring Assignments So Far This Year'

Organic consumers - Thu, 2019-08-15 14:30
August 15, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationRonnie CumminsAll About Organics via_organica_farm_crop_rows_1200x630.jpg

To read the headlines, you’d think there’s nothing good happening in the world.

At least that’s how it feels some days—especially in the world , where our government regulatory agencies are gutting environmental and food safety regulations right and left.

So today, I want to share a story about something good.

You’re probably more familiar with the work we do in the U.S. But the Organic Consumers Association is also a co-founder of two other organizations: Vía Orgánica, based in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Regeneration International, which has staff and close allies working in the U.S., Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Belize, the Philippines, London and elsewhere.

Reporter Tracy L. Barnett recently was assigned to cover the work of these two organizations, for an article in Permaculture Magazine.

Calling it “one of my most inspiring assignments so far this year,” Barnett produced a version of the story that appeared in several online publications, including the Esperanza Project. 

Barnett describes the impact of our work through the eyes of several native Mexicans. Two of those, Lourdes Guerrero and Don Martin Tovar, previously worked long grueling hours in industrial chicken slaughterhouses.

Today, Guerrero and Tovar work at the Vía Orgánica ranch just outside San Miguel. 

Barnett reports that Tovar, who immigrated to the U.S. when he was 14 and worked 12-hour days in a chicken processing plant, is “proud to be able to live well in his homeland and show his son how to plant, grow and make organic fertilizers.”

Barnett does a good job of portraying the greatest value of OCA’s international work: hope. Hope for the Earth. Hope for the human spirit. Hope for the future.

And if there’s anything we could use more of these days, it’s hope.

Please read “Regenerating the Human Story.” 

And, if you can, invest in hope, by making a donation to support our international work.

Tell Congress to Pass the Climate Stewardship Act!

Organic consumers - Tue, 2019-08-13 18:49
Belong to campaign: Regenerative AgricultureCategory: Environment & Climate, Farm IssuesArea: USA

If you’re excited about the potential of soil carbon sequestration to reverse climate change, the Climate Stewardship Act of 2019 is the bill you’ve been waiting for. 

Sponsored by presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), chairwoman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, this bill would fund natural carbon sequestration through voluntary farm stewardship on more than 100 million acres.

The Climate Stewardship Act would also fund the planting of more than 15 billion trees and the restoration of more than 2 million acres of coastal wetlands.

TAKE ACTION: Ask your Senators and U.S. Representative to cosponsor the Climate Stewardship Act of 2019.Read more

What Can You Do About the Looming Food Crisis? Take Action Today!

Organic consumers - Tue, 2019-08-13 16:19
August 13, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationAlexis Baden-MayerEnvironment & Climate, Farm Issues wheat_hand_farm_field_crop_1200x630.jpg

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned of a looming food crisis. 

The impact of climate change on land is “already severe,” the panel reported. Unless we act fast, climate change will eventually lead to global food shortages and higher food prices.

What can you do?

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to pass the Climate Stewardship Act!

U.S. farmers are already dealing with the impact of climate change—and it’s only going to get worse, here and around the globe.

Heavy rain and flooding in the U.S. heartland—made worse by climate change—prevented farmers from planting more than 19 million acres of crops this year. 

It was the highest total of unplanted acres ever recorded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

According to last week’s IPCC report, more than 500 million people worldwide today already live in areas where the land cannot provide adequate food.

If we fail to act on climate change, the world’s food supply will only diminish.

Here’s what the IPCC says we can do to reverse these dangerous trends:

• As individuals, we can eat a climate-friendly diet: 

“Balanced diets featuring plant-based foods, such as coarse grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and animal-sourced food produced sustainably in low greenhouse gas emission systems present major opportunities for adaptation to and limiting climate change,” said Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II and one of the authors of the report.

As nations, we can adopt policies that support “sustainable land management:” 

The IPCC defines this as the “stewardship and use of land resources, including soils, water, animals and plants, to meet changing human needs, while simultaneously ensuring the long-term productive potential of these resources and the maintenance of their environmental functions.” The report authors list several examples, including agroecology, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, crop diversity, crop rotations, organic farming, pollinator protection, rain water harvesting, and range and pasture management.

These practices can “prevent and reduce land degradation, maintain land productivity, and sometimes reverse the adverse impacts of climate change on land degradation… Reducing and reversing land degradation, at scales from individual farms to entire watersheds, can provide cost-effective, immediate, and long-term benefits to communities…”

The USDA first set “land stewardship” goals in 1933, when it established the Soil Conservation Service to address the Dust Bowl. Yet in recent decades, federal policy has pushed farmers to rely on machinery, chemicals and plowing up virgin land to maintain high yields—regardless of the impact on the soil or the climate.

Farmers are interested in conservation programs, but budget cuts have forced up to 75 percent of eligible applicants to be turned away.

The Climate Stewardship Act is the first bill since the New Deal era to propose making a renewed commitment to soil health for food security and the climate.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to pass the Climate Stewardship Act!

Why Won't Regulators Crack Down on Antibiotics in Industrial Meat?

Organic consumers - Thu, 2019-08-08 17:15
August 8, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationHealth Issues pigfarm_1200x630.png

Why do we need to end factory farming? So many reasons.

But the one reason that’s getting the most attention from public health officials these days is this: Drug-resistant infections from food are growing. And, as New York Times reporter Matt Richtel laid out in his article this week, powerful industry interests are blocking scientists and investigators from getting information they need to combat the problem.

Richtel tells the story of Rose and Roger Porter Jr., whose 10-year-old daughter, Mikayla, nearly died from the fastest-growing salmonella variant in the U.S.—“a strain that is particularly dangerous because it is resistant to antibiotics,” according to Richtel.

Mikayla was one of nearly 200 people reported ill in the summer of 2015 in Washington State from tainted pork.

As the Times reports:

The surge in drug-resistant infections is one of the world’s most ominous health threats, and public health authorities say one of the biggest causes is farmers who dose millions of pigs, cows and chickens with antibiotics to keep them healthy — sometimes in crowded conditions before slaughter.

We know industrial meat is contaminated with all manner of drugs, including antibiotics. A Consumer Reports investigation last year exposed the failure of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to act on information gleaned from its own test results.

FSIS testing on meat and poultry sold in the U.S. turned up everything from ketamine, an antidepressant, to Phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory pain medication, to chloramphenicol, to chloramphenicol, an antibiotic that, at any exposure level, can trigger life-threatening aplastic anemia (the inability to produce enough new blood cells) in some people.

Why doesn’t the USDA crack down on the use of drugs in industrial meat production? And why did the public health officials investigating Mikayla’s illness in Washington run into so many roadblocks?

Dr. Parthapratim Basu, a former chief veterinarian at FSIS told the Times:

“When it comes to power, no one dares to stand up to the pork industry, not even the U.S. government.”

What will it take for the USDA to act? More illnesses? More deaths? 

Read ‘Tainted Pork, Ill Consumers and an Investigation Thwarted’

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress: Healthy Farm Animals Shouldn’t Get Antibiotics that Sick People Need!

Bittman: 'We Don't Have a Food System in This Country'

Organic consumers - Thu, 2019-08-08 17:00
August 8, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationKatherine PaulEnvironment & Climate aerial view of tractor 1200x630

In a sit-down interview with Dr. Mark Hyman, food writer and guru Mark Bittman covers a wide range of issues—including this big question: If we had a food system in this country, what would it look like?

Bittman argues that we don't have a food system in this country:

"What we call a food system is a bunch of rich people just trying to get richer. The goal of the people who determine what we eat is to make money, and they make money by selling chemicals, by selling fertilizers, by selling seeds, by selling equipment, by selling us hyper-processed food that makes us sick."

If we did have a food system, Bittman asks, what would it look like? He argues that most people, if you asked them, would say that the overarching goals of a food system would be to "feed as many people as we can, as well as we can, while doing as little damage as possible to the environment."

How do we bridge the gap between that vision for a food system, and "a bunch of rich people trying to get richer?" Bittman does a good job in this interview of connecting the dots between the problems with our food system, and so many other critical issues facing us—including income inequality, epidemics of obesity and chronic illness, soil degradation, climate and on and on.

We think the Green New Deal is the best roadmap to come along since the original New Deal—and our best shot—for the kind of transformational change we need in order to have a real food system, based on what people really need and want, while at the same time addressing a host of other problems, including and especially, our current climate emergency. 

Watch ‘Why Food Matters More Than You Think: From Plate to Planet’

TAKE ACTION: Sign the Green Consumers for a Green New Deal petition

If We Don't Fix the Climate, It Won't Matter What Kind of Food We Eat

Organic consumers - Thu, 2019-08-08 16:30
August 8, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationKatherine Paul seedlings growing 1200x630 cc

The climate emergency is big. It touches on every aspect of human survival, from food security to what George Monbiot described this week as record temperatures that "test the thermal limits of the human body."

Let’s be honest. If we fail to throw the climate-change engine into reverse, and fast, it won’t much matter if we’re eating GMOs, or if our food is drenched in cancer-causing chemicals.

We’ll have bigger fish to fry, so to speak. 

The good news is, if we think big, if we expand our understanding of what’s causing the climate crisis (it’s not just the fossil fuel industry, it’s Big Ag, too), and if we expand our understanding of how to fix the crisis (reduce emissions, yes, but also scale up regenerative ag practices that can draw down and sequester the CO2 already up there), we might stand a chance of slowing down the climate-crisis train—and we’ll get healthier food, cleaner water and stronger rural communities in the bargain.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we’ll never succeed in preventing an all-out ecosystem failure unless we take on both Big Oil and Big Ag. And do it in a big way.

Fortunately, thanks in large part to a younger generation that has the most to lose, politicians are feeling the pressure to at least talk about climate change.

Now, if we can just get them to do something.

It won’t be easy. The path to Washington, for most politicians, anyway, is paved deep in lobbying dollars—millions and millions and millions of them. As Monbiot writes, those dollars buy protection for Big Oil, whose sole interest is, well, self-preservation:

But in many nations, governments intervene not to protect humanity from the existential threat of fossil fuels, but to protect the fossil fuel industry from the existential threat of public protest.

It’s no different in the world of Big Ag, where people are jailed for exposing the widespread animal brutality and environmental violations perpetrated by factory farms. And where local laws protect the corporate factory farm operators, not the citizens whose health is compromised when their air and water is polluted by a toxic soup of factory farm run-off.

But protest we must. And at the same time, we must also make it clear that we have a roadmap to a better place.

We’ve taken a fair amount of heat for our unabashed support for the Green New Deal. But we think this resolution, which aims to address so many of the crises we face, is our best shot at creating a detailed roadmap to a better place—a place where air and water are clean, where abundant nutritious food grows in healthy soil, where farmers and food workers earn a decent living, where biodiversity fosters resiliency.

Big Oil and Big Ag don’t want a Green New Deal. If we do, we’re going to have to build a movement so massive and so powerful that politicians will have no choice. They’ll either get to work and get it done. Or we’ll put them out to pasture—where maybe they'll learn a little something about how nature works.

Make a tax-deductible donation to Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)

Click here for more ways to support our work

New Report: Monsanto Operated 'Fusion Centers' to Spy on Activists

Organic consumers - Thu, 2019-08-08 16:16
August 8, 2019Organic Consumers Association abuse of power monsanto 1200x630

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security operates "fusion centers," which monitor the activities of suspected terrorists or others perceived as potential threats to U.S. security.

Apparently, so does Monsanto (now owned by Bayer).

The Guardian just published a new report on how Monsanto's "intelligence fusion center" monitored the activities of journalists, nonprofits and activists. Monsanto’s targets included Neil Young, an outspoken critic of Monsanto’s GMOs and toxic chemicals, Carey Gillam, author of "Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science" and the nonprofit, U.S. Right to Know (for which OCA provides partial funding).

You won’t want to miss this story. It reveals the mind-boggling lengths to which Monsanto has gone to silence its critics.

Michael Baum, one of the attorneys involved in the Roundup trials that uncovered the records, told the Guardian the records were further "evidence of the reprehensible and conscious disregard of the rights and safety of others." Baum said:

"It shows an abuse of their power that they have gained by having achieved such large sales. They’ve got so much money, and there is so much they are trying to protect."

Read ‘Revealed: How Monsanto’s ‘Intelligence Center’ Targeted Journalists and Activists’

Make a tax-deductible donation to OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto campaign

St. Louis Roundup Cancer Trial Reset for January, Talk of Bayer Settlement

Organic consumers - Wed, 2019-08-07 17:03
August 7, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationCarey GillamGenetic Engineering kills_1200x630.png

The much-anticipated Roundup cancer trial set to get underway in two weeks in Monsanto’s former hometown of St. Louis is being rescheduled,  according to the a spokeswoman for the St. Louis County Court where the trial was set to begin Aug 19.

Court spokeswoman Christine Bertelson said Judge Brian May, who is overseeing the case of Gordon v. Monsanto, communicated late Monday that the trial was being continued, but no official order has yet been entered into the court file.  Jury questionnaires were due next week and the voir dire selection of the jury was set for Aug. 18 with opening statements Aug. 19.

Judge May is rescheduling the trial for January and will issue an order within the next few days, according to Bertelson.

Aimee Wagstaff, lead attorney for plaintiff Sharlean Gordon, said that a continuance was a possibility but nothing official was determined at this point.

“The judge has not entered an order continuing the trial,” Wagstaff said. “Of course, as with every trial, a continuance is always a possibility for factors often outside control of the parties. Ms. Gordon is ready to try her case on August 19 and will be disappointed if the case is in fact continued. We are ready on whatever day the trial does commence.”

Gordon developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup herbicides for 25 years at her residence in South Pekin, Illinois. Gordon has suffered extensive debilitation due to her disease. Gordon’s stepfather, who also used Roundup at the family home where Gordon lived into adulthood,  died of cancer. The case is actually derived from a larger case filed in July 2017 on behalf of more than 75 plaintiffs. Gordon is the first of that group to go to trial.

Before selling to Germany-based Bayer AG last summer, Monsanto was headquartered in the St. Louis, Missouri area for decades, and still maintains a large employment and philanthropic presence there. Bayer recently announced it would add 500 new jobs to the St. Louis area.

Last week, Judge May denied Monsanto’s motion seeking a summary judgment in favor of Monsanto, and denied the company’s bid to exclude plaintiff’s expert witnesses.

Bayer has been under great pressure to settle the cases, or at least avoid the specter of another high-profile courtroom loss after losing all three of the first Roundup cancer trials. The company is currently facing more than 18,000 plaintiffs alleging that exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup, caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The lawsuits allege that Monsanto knew of the cancer risk but failed to warn users and worked to suppress scientific information about the cancer risk.

It is not uncommon for parties to discuss a potential settlement ahead of trial, and it would not be surprising for Bayer to offer a settlement for the Gordon case alone given the negative publicity that has been associated with each of the three trials. Evidence publicized through the trials has exposed years of secretive conduct by Monsanto that juries have found warranted more than $2 billion in punitive damages. The judges in the cases have also been harshly critical of what the evidence has shown about Monsanto’s conduct.

U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria said this about the company: “There’s a fair amount of evidence that the only thing Monsanto cared about was undermining the people who were raising concerns about whether Roundup caused cancer. Monsanto didn’t seem concerned at all about getting at the truth of whether glyphosate caused cancer.”

Last week, Bloomberg reported that Bayer AG Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann said he would consider a “financially reasonable” settlement. The company’s shares have plummeted since the first jury verdict came down Aug. 10 awarding $289 million to California school groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson. Monsanto has appealed the verdict.

Some legal observers said that Bayer could be angling to delay the trial and/or simply distract plaintiff’s attorneys with settlement speculation.

Terrifying Technofascist Acts Against Health Freedom You’ll Probably Never Learn About

Organic consumers - Wed, 2019-08-07 15:34
August 7, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationMaryam HeneinHealth Issues, Politics & Globalization 67766168_470344747122962_7319842011576532992_n.jpg

“When there were no external records that you could refer to, even the outline of your own life los[es] its sharpness.” – George Orwell, “1984,” Chapter 3, Part I

Dear Prole,

I hope this missive finds you well. If not, I’ll blame it on yet another act of technofascism.

Your rights to be healthy without drugs and speak freely are being thwarted. Alas, a large swath of the general populace will never know their health choices are being eliminated.

This is an uphill battle of Sisyphean proportions. A virtual witch hunt. A deletion reminiscent of the Library of Alexandria burning. A multi-tentacled greedy schema.

Those of us who stand for health freedom and, who criticize Big Anything, are losing posting privileges, getting banned, being buried, finding ourselves deranked, and proverbially becoming imprisoned.

It sounds conspiratorial because it is. We are blowing the whistle. But it’s become a silent one.

Content is literally disappearing from the Internet. High-quality online health sites that have been negatively affected include HoneyColony, Greenmedinfo, Dr. Axe, Erin Elizabeth of Health Nut News, SelfHacked and Dr. Joseph Mercola.

The stifling of natural remedies in favor of peddling pharmaceuticals and monetizing medicine isn’t new. We gave our health over to the faux faith of maligned science and technology ages ago, back in 1910, when a teacher—not a doctor—wrote the so-called Flexner Report. Since WWII, the pharmaceutical industry has steadily netted increasing profits to become the world's second largest manufacturing industry after war toys.

Health journalist S.D. Wells wrote in his eBook, "25 Amazing (and Disturbing) Facts About the Hidden History of Medicine:”

“Five score and two years ago, a man named Abraham Flexner was hired by John D. Rockefeller to evaluate the effectiveness of therapies being taught by medical colleges and institutions, with the ultimate goal of dominating control over pharmaceuticals.

“With partnerships including Andrew Carnegie and JP Morgan, a new ‘doorkeeper’ would exist to influence legislative bodies on state and federal levels to create regulations and licensing ‘red tape’ that strictly promoted drug medicine while stifling and shutting down alternative, inexpensive natural remedies.”

What is new and novel is that now Big Tech is collaborating with Big Pharma to suppress free speech. They’ve now modified search algorithms to align and appease an arguably sick agenda in the name of the supposed safety and protection of the public.

Jason Erickson, a writer for NaturalBlaze.com, says:

“Evidently, the fact that a level playing field of information—which is exactly what the Internet was promised to be—must be worrying to those who rely on the financial support of Big Pharma and establishment medicine.”

The future is now. The zombies are here.

It was just four years ago that Chet Bowers, the now-deceased author, lecturer and environmental activist, wrote: “Is the Digital Revolution Sowing the Seeds of a Techno-Fascist Future?” Bowers described technofascism as “an increased reliance upon computer-mediated learning at all levels of education to spur conformity of thinking.”

For technofascism to operate seamlessly, Bowers said, “there needs to be a significant percentage of the population that is hyper-patriotic, thinks in clichés and is willing to support the use of imprisonment and torture of those who challenge the rise of techno-fascism, especially those labeled as environmentalists(...).”

It’s 2019, for fuck’s sake. Or wait, is it “1984?”

More than 10 years after directing the documentary film, “Vanishing of the Bees,” my message has evolved to include all of us: We, like the bees, are slowly being subjected to sublethal doses of poisons. Not only are we subjected to more than a billion pounds of pesticides each year that make us sicker, these pesticides are also are literally robbing us of IQ points.

And, as we become aware of the role of epigenetics on physical and mental health, we realize that the absorption of (or exposure to) toxins extends well beyond the food supply.

Social media platforms—toxins for the mind and intellect—are using “persuasive technology” to feed the masses processed manufactured information while omitting or fudging whatever doesn’t jive with Big Healthcare aka Sick Care.

As Bowers puts it:

“The populace assumes they are being given accurate information and over time are only able to digest short explanations. In addition to conformity, fascism necessitates the loss of historical memory and a perceived crisis or endpoint that requires the collective energy and loyalty of the young and old.”

So now it’s about making Trump the enemy. Look over here while we do all this shit and make veritable sick enemies out of all of you.

We’re being reduced to pawns in a game of divide and conquer, obsessively gazing at blue-lit screens, like in a twisted version of the Greek myth of Narcissus where we never recognize who we truly are: a magnificent species worthy of complete health and vitality. But alas, in this rendition, we are too busy engaging in palatable online vitriol and trollism, and ingesting toxic bullshit. Instead of debating the subjects at hand with civilized decorum, we’re being polarized and we’re engaging in red herrings and ad hominem attacks. For instance, you begin talking about the negative impacts of 5G and someone on social media calls you a tin hat-wearing loon and discredits you, instead of focusing on all the experts that have spoken up and shared scientific evidence against this technology.

In this balkanization, we become part of sub-tribes, making it easier for corporations and government to manage and manipulate us.

Smoke and mirrors. Cloak and daggers. Crowd control.

All sickness. No health. 

#GoogleExposed during the decade of vaccines

In 2006, Google became so popular that the Oxford English Dictionary officially minted the company into a verb. Thirteen years later, Google is not only the most powerful search engine, it’s also a drug company. It's a beautifully crafted Trojan Horse for Big Pharma.

Simply put, Google's parent company, Alphabet, owns pharmaceutical subsidiaries. In 2013, Google founded Calico, run by Arthur Levinson, former CEO of the biotechnology corporation Genentech (a subsidiary of Roche). Calico’s mission is to understand the biology that controls lifespan and to treat age-related diseases. Two years later, Alphabet founded Verily Life Sciences (previously Google Life Sciences). Both pharma companies are partnering with others and having babies of their own.

Verily joined forces with the European pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to form a new drug company, Galvani Bioelectronics. The $715-million collaboration aims to treat diseases by targeting electrical signals in the body, a novel field of medicine called “bioelectronics.” Incidentally, GlaxoSmithKline generates billions by manufacturing vaccines.

Next, in 2016, Sanofi SA and Verily partnered to address the diabetic epidemic, a condition that from a functional medicine point of view can be addressed without prescription drugs.

Meanwhile, Google’s peeps are also fraternizing with Big Pharma. For instance, in January 2019, BusinessWire reported that Mary Ellen Coe, Google’s president of Customer Solutions, was joining Merck’s Board of Directors. Merck is another huge vaccine producer.

But the real clincher is that GV, the venture capital arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has also invested in Vaccitech—a company described as "the future of mass vaccine production.”

Founded by scientists at Oxford University, Vaccitech’s end goal is to develop a vaccine that would be the first in the world to fight all types of flu.

Mic drop.

If all goes well, Vaccitech’s shot could potentially be ready for launch in 2023. The potential development has been described as a “Holy Grail.” Yet to others, a one-size-fits-all flu shot sounds like a disastrous future. It doesn’t take into account or respect biodiversity. Not to mention that as sovereign humans, we should be able to choose what we do with our bodies, not be forced to subject ourselves to questionable medicine.

Is it just coincidence that vaccine safety has become so maligned in the media as of late? People are being ostracized like never before for merely questioning alternative views. Vaccine safety has become such a polarizing topic because it’s meant to be. To pave the way for what is coming—mandatory vaccines, not only for children, but for adults, too.

Stated another way: Google And Friends stand to earn a shitload of money from vaccinating whatever they can stick a needle into, multiple times over.

In 2012 alone, the world's 11 top pharmaceutical companies generated $700 billion-plus in profits on vaccines. Take into account that long before the age of instant internet communication and social media, lofty goals were set in motion in regards to vaccinations.

Sherri J. Tenpenny, DO, AOBNMM, ABIHM, writes:

“The National Vaccine Plan, developed by the U.S. Department of Human Services (HSS), is the roadmap for a 21st century vaccine and immunization enterprise. It lays bare the incestuous public-private relationship between the pharmaceutical vaccine manufacturers, the U.S. government and the World Health Rulers.”

For more on the plan, read the objectives of “Healthy People 2020,” put forth by representatives from more than 50 Federal Agencies, including the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODHP).

“The objectives in 'Healthy People 2020' represent the massive expansion of a nanny-state government, intent on taking over every area of a person’s life and eliminating health choices,” writes Tenpenny. 

Did you know that partners from all over the world came together with a global commitment to vaccination, declaring 2010 - 2020 the “Decade of Vaccines?” Meanwhile, in January 2019, the World Health Organization—in perfect timing—stressed the importance of getting your child vaccinated to protect them, and others, from deadly diseases. Not doing so poses a “global threat.”

Check, please.

How about the $4 billion-plus paid out to those who have been impacted by vaccine injuries? Given what is in the pipeline, isn’t it a bit odd that simply engaging in an educated conversation/exploration, or presenting opposing evidence, results in being ixnayed from the Internet? Oftentimes, opposers do not have informed arguments nor are they scientifically literate. And if you use intuition on what’s best for your own body? Fuggedaboutit. Here’s more about vaccine censorship.

“It’s really scary what is happening,” says one health influencer who wished not to be named. “So many being shut out of Google, now Vimeo rejecting [anti] vaccine content. Mailchimp shutting down accounts and keeping the lists of people that email about anti-vaccine. The lengths they go.”

In early July, Vimeo announced that it will no longer publish sites critical of vaccines, or sites that question vaccine safety.

Facebook, whose committee members include former Big Pharma employees, has also censored legitimate scientific inquiry and debate regarding vaccine safety.

But let’s table this particularly inflammatory "V" word for right now. The focus of this story is not about the very sensitive topic of vaccines. You may believe in them despite your criticism of Big Pharma. And I personally am not one to throw out the baby out with the bathwater. With that said, the "V" word is arguably a linchpin. Or the great divider.

The point I’m illustrating here is that Big Pharma’s tentacles—full of suction and sway—now extend to Big Tech, and that prohibiting the sharing of (health) information—a tenet of the Net—is wrong. Unless you do not believe in the First Amendment.

If you bother to look, the conflicts of interest are obvious. Google has a clear agenda that serves pharmaceuticals, and its success is now directly built into its search algorithms.

Read the ingredients: Google is now processed & non-organic

Today, social media platforms “want you to tow a line,” Podcast Host Joe Rogan told Jesus Hotep in a recent episode.

Back in the good ole’ days, organic search results closely matched the user’s search query. The algorithm was based on relevance and popularity, unless you paid Google extra to get listed on top as an obvious ad—just like you need to fork over more money if you want a beloved’s crypt to be stored at eye level in a mausoleum.

Popular vertible search terms helped connect Googlers with the information they were actually looking for. This in turn spurred writers to pivot and employ search engine optimization—such as keywords—when crafting content online.

By June 2016, our online magazine and marketplace HoneyColony—whose mission is to empower you to be your own health advocate—was getting about 500,000 unique visitors a month, according to Google Analytics. We were genuinely and organically garnering interest and offering value with solid well-researched articles.

Until we weren’t.

What happened? Google changed its algorithms.

Updates on Google aren’t new. The company has gone through thousands of updates throughout its existence. And every once in a while, it rolls out a major algorithmic update. But until now, there’s been nothing as sinister as the recent changes, which apparently are powerful enough to do serious damage to a health-oriented site’s revenue, alongside the site's organic traffic. Unless those sites tow the line, of course.

In the past, Google has said:

“As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded."

However, in reality, we’ve witnessed a slow sneaky purge where crowdsource relevance is now seemingly irrelevant. In short, Google—and other tech companies—are exercising more and more control over what pops up when you search. (Social media companies, by the way, are currently conducting surveys to gauge if people are upset. I’ve seen one on Instagram. And I was just invited to participate in a focus group about tech companies, where I’ll need to sign a non-disclosure agreement).

In August 2018, traffic to HoneyColony.com dwindled 30 percent. We scratched our heads during marketing meetings, wondering what we were doing wrong, based on Google’s standards. And then, we learned we had been impacted by what would be referred to as the “Medic Update.”

Google described the change as a “a broad, global, core update.” But according to Search Engine Land, upon further analysis from SEO consultants, the focus of the changes made under the "Medic Update" centered around the medical and health space, as well as “Your Money Your Life” types of sites that focus on money and life events.

“This specific focus is something Google will not confirm,” said Search Engine Land.

Here are some of the sites, many in the health and wellness space, that have lost visibility, according to Search Engine Land:

In June 2019, Google rolled out yet another algorithmic change.

Sites impacted in previous core updates were once again affected. “On average, the impact was smaller than the August ‘Medic Update,’” as measured by MozCast.

But many in the space would disagree on the severity of the impact. “Devastating” may be a more appropriate word than “smaller,” depending on if you’ve personally experienced content go from page one of a Google search to being buried on page six.

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth,” said George Orwell, in “1984.”

Furthermore, unless you add "HoneyColony.com," or "Mercola.com" to a key term, you won’t find the content our sites publish. “Even skipping ".com" will minimize your search results,” writes Mercola, whose Google search results had been topping the charts organically for years. Since these updates, Mercola’s site traffic has been slashed by about 99 percent.

Shadow-banned. Ostensibly scrubbed.

Also, Google used to rank pages based on whether an author could prove his/her expertise, on how many people visited a page or on the number of other reputable sites that linked to that page. How about when an author has a degree? No more.

Google now buries expert views if they're deemed "harmful" to the public, explains the SEM post:

"There has been a lot of talk about author expertise when it comes to the quality rater guidelines (…) This section has been changed substantially … [I]f the purpose of the page is harmful, then expertise doesn't matter. It should be rated Lowest!"

Who decides? What qualifications do Google quality checkers possess? Who is deciding what’s harmful?

And dare I ask, what happens to those of us who stand for health freedom, who believe that lifestyle changes and addressing nutrient deficiencies are the foundation of health? You do realize that Big Pharma just pilfers from nature, isolating, patenting and synthesizing to make money?

How will you know if well-sourced information filled with facts are buried from the one search engine you’ve taken for granted or trusted a bit too much? The cyber realm is sadly no longer the place to look for valid information, and yet our reliance is undeniable.

No room for independent thought. Swallow the pill and trust. We got your back. Are some of us just waking up like in an episode of WestWorld, or has shit has just reached a new level of terror?

“It’s impossible to know what is what because nothing is what it seems,” to quote “The Great Hack, ”an upcoming documentary about the explosive Cambridge Analytical/Facebook data scandal. 

Which brings me to another change: autosuggestions.

The most popular search terms will no longer come up. Incredulously, Google states that the auto-suggestions are actually "predictions, not suggestions."

Here's Google’s official statement:

"You’ll notice we call these autocomplete ‘predictions’ rather than ‘suggestions,’ and there’s a good reason for that. Autocomplete is designed to help people complete a search they were intending to do, not to suggest new types of searches to be performed. These are our best predictions of the query you were likely to continue entering.

“How do we determine these predictions? We look at the real searches that happen on Google and show common and trending ones relevant to the characters that are entered and also related to your location and previous searches."

HocusPocus Google, who made you resident magician?

This is just Googledygook. Gross. Bullshit. A brilliantly sinister way to program the masses. Autosuggestions are arguably the simplest yet strongest tool for mind control.

Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedinfo, writes:

“Google is auto completing the search fields of billions of users with false information (topics ranging from natural health to candidates for election), based not on objective search volume data, but o n an extremely biased political and socio-economic agenda—one that is jeopardizing the health and human rights of everyone on the planet.”

The articles we publish at HoneyColony.com are referenced to studies published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature—the commonly recognized gold standard for research. But that doesn’t matter now that Big Pharma propaganda is disseminated via Google.

This way to your FEMA camp!

In late June 2019, a top Google executive-turned-whistleblower divulged to investigative journalist James O’ Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, that Google is indeed manipulating search results, filtering content and dubbing information news based on Google’s agenda.

Don’t believe you are being bamboozled? View the disparities in volume yourself by going to Google Trends. Compare the actual search volume with Google’s amazing new "predictions" feature.

These actions trump principles of truth and justice. It’s called social engineering. Human experimentation even. What it isn’t is a search engine synonymous with looking for and finding objective answers. The Veritas video was promptly removed by YouTube (owned by Google) and then by Vimeo.

Sick ties: Big Pharma & Big Tech

One in every two Americans today suffers from a chronicillness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While I found another CDC study on Duckduckgo to illustrate this point, the original link (below) is no longer working, even though it did just a week ago.

I called the CDC's press department to ask if they could tell me where the link had gone. So far, no word.

Consider that in his book, “1984,” Orwell describes how history and facts are recalled and rewritten again and again, invariably reissued without any admission that any alteration had been made. Journalists have witnessed information go missing before their eyes while doing research. I now use different search engines to look for stuff, and often find opposing narratives. I take extra precautions to link to the actual source and also to actually interview people.

Now back to pill popping. Americans do it more than anywhere else in the world. In 2016, more than 4.5 billion prescriptions were filled, earning the pharmaceutical industry more than $200 billion, according to an article by Gary Null published on The Centre for Research on Globablization (CRG), an independent research and media organization based in my hometown of Montreal.

Despite all the pill gobbling, we’re still the sickest country on the planet. And all these drugs are often just adding to the problem. Take into account that many of the FDA-approved pills also cause harm. According to a 2011 report by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, in that same year drugs were associated with 2 – 4 million people in the U.S. experiencing “serious, disabling or fatal injuries, including 128,000 deaths.”

Meanwhile, America also ranks pretty low when it comes to life expectancy. According to America’s Health Ranking, “Compared with other developed and many developing nations, the United States continues to rank at or near the bottom in indicators of mortality (...) while continuing to exceed other countries in health spending."

In 2019, the U.S. will spend about $3.5 trillion on healthcare, in addition to a $1.5-trillion loss in work and wages due to illness.

What’s fascinating is that prescription meds like xannies and SSRIs are a part of American culture, woven into narratives, songs, movies and casual conversation. It’s accepted and common, but still sick—what German-born American social psychologist Erich Fromm would have described as a “socially patterned defect.”

So let’s put things into perspective: Opioid crisis. Antibiotic-resistance epidemic. Grotesque obesity stats. Rising rates of metabolic syndrome. Skyrocketing autoimmune conditions. Modernized health crime like never before.

According to the New York Times, cities are even suing major drugstore chains and Walmart, contending they helped orchestrate the distribution of billions of painkillers that devastated communities.

Pills and needles aren’t really about us, despite the convincing guise. To hell with the Hippocratic Oath of do no harm; profits trump the long-term care of patients.

Null writes, “Instead of making efforts to fund disease prevention and educate the public, prevention has been abandoned altogether.”

There is no money in cures. Management of symptoms is what keeps Big Pharma in business. Curing patients isn’t a sustainable business model.

With all these facts laid out, can we safely say—both figuratively and literally—that  western medicine may not have all the answers? It’s no wonder so many are going elsewhere for answers. Sectors such as nutrition, preventative medicine and personalized holistic health have grown by leaps and bounds. In 2016, alternative medicine industry revenue was estimated to at about $14.3 billion in the U.S. (Of course this industry also has its own host of issues).

Congress, corruption, and censorship

What is the U.S. government—federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—doing about all this you may ask? While some politicians, even presidential candidates, have spoken out against Big Pharma and the lack of proper oversight, it’s all ultimately useless. Big Pharma doesn't just own Google. It owns Congress, too.

Dr. Raeford Brown, a pediatric anesthesia specialist at the UK Kentucky Children's Hospital and chair of the FDA Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics, told Yahoo Finance:

“The pharmaceutical industry pours millions of dollars into the legislative branch every single year. In 2016, they put $100 million into the elections. That’s a ton of money.”

As one reporter wrote in the Guardian, “Drug money is coursing through the veins of Congress.”

And we’re worried about the Russians? Really?

Overall, Congress gets paid to grant Big Pharma carte blanche. The billions of lobbying dollars Big Pharma has spent over the years, and the different lobby groups involved, is enough to make a woke person nauseous.

Lobbying is how big business controls government. Big Tech has followed suit, which will come handy given what OpenSecrets.org characterizes as the recent “tremendous pressure from regulators and lawmakers . . . over a litany of issues ranging from privacy to antitrust.” Big Tech is now spending millions on lobbyists (paid persuaders), too, joining the top “Usual Suspects,” which predominantly includes Big Pharma.

Currently, tech companies like Google are indemnified against lawsuits for manipulating content on their platform under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, says Sayer Ji. Until this act is repealed, tech companies will continue to operate with impunity, essentially above the law.

In June 2019, Senator Josh Hawley(R-Mo.) introduced Senate Bill 1914, “A bill to amend the Communications Decency Act to encourage providers of interactive computer services to provide content moderation that is politically neutral.”

The bill is referred to as the “Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act.” Per traditional process, it will next be considered by committee before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate for a vote. But according to SkoposLabs, the bill has only a  2-percent chance of being enacted. Meanwhile, a week ago, The House Antitrust Subcommittee launched a bipartisan investigation into "competition in digital markets."

In a press release, Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.), said:

“The growth of monopoly power across our economy is one of the most pressing economic and political challenges we face today. Market power in digital markets presents a whole new set of dangers. After four decades of weak antitrust enforcement and judicial hostility to antitrust cases, it is critical that Congress step in to determine whether existing laws are adequate to tackle abusive conduct by platform gatekeepers or whether we need new legislation to respond to this challenge.”

(Involving government in online policing merits its own story).

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in late July that it’s launching an antitrust probe into online platforms. The DOJ is responsible for reviewing and enforcing issues relating to mergers, monopolies, competition and price-fixing. Given the agency’s track record of allowing perverse unjust mergers, I wouldn't hold my breath.

What is happening is that social media platforms are getting fined. But so what? Facebook was just hit with a record $5-billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission and a $100-million fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission, in late July. The EU, meanwhile, has fined Google billions of dollars four separate times in recent years for violations of European monopoly policies.

Fines are paltry in comparison to the power being gained and the profits that Big Tech/Pharma/Government/Elites stand to make. Can we expect any real accountability, given Big Tech is sleeping with all-powerful Big Pharma?

The politicians who drank the Big Pharma KoolAid or have ties with Big Pharma are making arguments that social media and the openness of information is causing harm. In a recent letter to Google and Facebook, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wrote:

“There is strong evidence to suggest that at least part of the source of this trend [spreading supposed misinformation] is the degree to which medically inaccurate information about vaccines surface on the websites where many Americans get their information.”

What is this “strong evidence?” Why not let the people decide and allow veritable independent journalists to do their job, offering accessibility to independent studies?

Schiff writes:

“The algorithms which power these services are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation or misleading information, and the consequences of that are particularly troubling for public health issues.”

This cuts both ways, or at least it it used to. Instead, Big Tech is taking an unequivocal stance on what constitutes health freedom and safety, blaming the openness of social media as the reason for a measles outbreak. Puhleeze. This hoopla or fake narrative is manufactured to push an agenda that involves pills and needles, while smearing credible people, hiding information and vaporizing sovereignty.

Most people don't understand the power of Google in their lives, nor do they have any idea that Google has rolled out impactful updates and has more in the works. But when I ask, I get a "Yeah, you know what, I did kind of notice something was different about Google."

Abracadabra autosuggestions at play.

And then there is the glut of fake news confusing the public. Take for instance this quote on ThinkProgress concerning evidence of Google’s preferential leanings:

“What appears to be happening is that some conservatives are massively distorting tech companies’ attempts to protect against foreign election interference or restrict the distribution of hateful views, stirring up conspiracy theories that the companies are demonstrating blanket bias against conservatives.”

Bullshit. Don’t believe that the algorithmic changes are being made only to protect you from another “rigged” election or to save you from four more years of Trump. And don't believe that tech companies haven’t been allowed to cross a line. This is a perfect example of both a red herring and a false narrative.

Wikipedia: online encyclopedia or Google sidekick & deathknell?

“I am always looking for ‘all-around raconteurs,’” Jimmy Wales told me via email in 2006, when I reached out to ask if I could write for his company, Wikipedia. That was before I got wrapped up in a swarm of bees. I went on to make my film, "Vanishing of the Bees,” about colony collapse disorder and the systemic pesticides that contribute in large part to their death.

Back then, Wales and Wikipedia co-founder, Larry Sanger, regularly had a banner splattered on their homepage, hitting up online visitors for money to stay in business. Thirteen years later, Google has helped fund a fleet of raconteurs by investing $3.1 million into Wikipedia, bringing Google's total contribution to $7.5 million.

Wikipedia is now Google’s obedient sidekick. As journalist Louise Matsakis wrote in Wired:

“The decision isn’t altruistic. The company also has used Wikipedia articles to train machine-learning algorithms, as well as fight misinformation on YouTube.”

Google now ranks Wikipedia in many searches as a totally legit encyclopedia, even though it’s an open source site that has been described as an “often untrustworthy source of information.” On Wikipedia, users can update entries in real time. Sanger himself described it as a “broken system.”

According to Null and Richard Gales:

“Content about medical products and therapeutic regimes are penned by completely unqualified editors with no medical background . . . Yet Wikipedia editors state with authority that there are no proven health benefits in non-conventional and natural medical therapies. Given that their employers are part of Big Pharma, can we really believe them?”

Google’s algorithms are giving better rankings to content from a bunch of anonymous unvetted contributors over veritable independent journalists educated in functional medicine who inspire conversation, question assumptions, challenge the status quo and encourage curiosity. But we’re the castaways?

In truth, there exist tons of studies and articles demonstrating the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine. Many independent board-certified physicians and functional medicine practitioners utilize them in their practices with excellent results.

Take for example, Dr. Joseph Mercola, an actual board-certified D.O. and respected author whose website predates Google. He has written hundreds of valid articles and has been an inspiration to millions. But now, many will never know his contributions, because, he says, "Google is now manually lowering the ranking of undesirable content, based on Wikipedia’s assessment of the author or site."

Below is what you’ll find if you search for Joseph Mercola. Go ahead kids, try it at home.

"Whatever happened you vanished, and neither you nor your actions were ever heard of again." – from “1984.”

Technofascist future: Will we resist?

I am only scratching the surface of this well spun-out (worldwide) web.

You likely have never heard of me, but I have been banned for life from PayPal, scrubbed off Kiva and GoFundme, had our Facebook ads temporarily shut down, and have been buried by Google. In truth, I can write a whole series about technofascist acts in the health and wellness space.

Just recently, I learned that Care2, a site that connects people with causes, is closing down its “Healthy Living and Causes” sections “as the company sharpens its focus on advocacy work and nonprofit partners.” What does that really mean? Not only are they shutting down the section, they are removing all their articles. Poof. Gone. Vaporized.  

“I know it's super frustrating to see content that you've written disappear,” one editor wrote to me. Super frustrating? I’ve never had my content deleted. It’s suspicious. Infuriating. Puzzling. Technofascist.

Coincidental? Unlikely.

As Mercola writes:

“It’s a frightening future. Big Tech has joined the movement, bringing in a global concentration of wealth to eliminate competition and critical voices—voices that bring awareness . . . .as our rights, freedoms and competition erode into a fascist sunset, all disguised as a means to protect you from ‘misinformation.’”

Bowers asks:

"Will enough of the public recognize the dangers that lie ahead and will they be able to articulate the importance of what is being lost, including how what is being lost undermines the diversity of cultural commons experiences that are more ecologically sustainable? The most critical question is whether there will be resistance to how everyday lives are being increasingly monitored, motivated to pursue the increasingly narrow economic agenda of the emerging techno-fascist culture and stripped of historical values and identity?"

In "1984," the torture is too much. Winston, the main character, betrays his lover, Julia, in exchange for his own life. She does the same. "Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing," Orwell writes.

Will we stand up for rights for health freedom and sovereignty? Or sit back and play with our phones while we lose our rights and are forcefully stuck with needles?

"Anytime you are truly free, there is a cost to pay," Dr. Cornel West recently told Joe Rogan.

I agree. But the alternative is ghastly. I don't believe we have to be slaves to Big Brother. Speak out and share. Tend to your gut and your brain with micronutrients, and access the cleanest food. Use Duckduckgo and other search engines.

Meanwhile, Organic Consumers Association is working with Mercola and other Health Liberty allies to create an alternative to technofascism.

As Orwell says, "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."  

Maryam Henein, HoneyColony.com, is a Canadian investigative journalist, activist, functional medicine consultant, filmmaker and entrepreneur. She directed the documentary “Vanishing of the Bees.”  Follow her on Twitter. Organic Consumers Association (OCA), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit grassroots consumer advocacy organization. To keep up with OCA’s news and alerts, sign up here.

Tell the Democratic National Committee: Hold a #ClimateDebate & Include Agriculture!

Organic consumers - Tue, 2019-08-06 18:54
Belong to campaign: Regenerative AgricultureCook Organic Not the PlanetCategory: Environment & Climate, Farm IssuesArea: USA

During the last two debates, a presidential candidate talked about soil as a solution to climate change. Then one candidate extolled the environmental benefits of cover crops and conservation easements. And another even name-checked two regenerative organic farmers.

But, with only a few minutes of the debate devoted to climate change, most candidates didn’t get to say anything about agriculture—even though nearly all of them recognize that it’s an important part of the solution! 

SIGN THE PETITION: Tell the Democratic National Committee: Hold a #ClimateDebate & Include Agriculture!Read more

Most Presidential Candidates Get It: We Can't Solve the Climate Emergency Without Regenerative Agriculture

Organic consumers - Tue, 2019-08-06 15:59
August 6, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationAlexis Baden-MayerEnvironment & Climate, Politics & Globalization carrot_farm_harvest_1200x630.jpg

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) still hasn’t agreed to the Sunrise Movement’s demand for a #climatedebate, but that hasn’t stopped candidates from focusing on the issue.

Supporters of Organic Consumers Association’s “Cook Organic, Not the Planet” campaign, along with supporters of Regeneration International, a nonprofit OCA helped launch in 2015, will be happy to hear that this election cycle, candidates are finally talking about climate change. More important, most of the candidates recognize that it will be very difficult to solve the climate problem by focusing on fossil fuels and emissions reduction alone. They realize that we also have to draw down and sequester the excess carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere—and they know that the most efficient, most practical and most “shovel-ready” way to do that is to rapidly scale up regenerative organic farming and ranching practices that increase soil carbon.

Here’s how some of the candidates stack up on the issue.

Bernie Sanders was one of the first candidates to take a public stand, back in May, fully embracing the regenerative revolution. He is a Green New Deal cosponsor who supports “comprehensive legislation to address climate change that includes a transition to regenerative, independent family farming practices,” as well as a “transition to more sustainable management of livestock systems that are ecologically sound, improve soil health and sequester carbon in soil.” Sanders would compensate farmers for improving ecosystems. He supports a program “to permanently set aside ecologically fragile farm and ranch land.”

Tulsi Gabbard has taken the position that “Environmental degradation has taken us past the point where we can simply ‘sustain’ the status quo. We need regenerative agriculture to actively rebuild one of our most valuable national resources—our farmland.” Gabbard is the author of the Off Fossil Fuels Act (FFA), which is focused on creating a just transition away from fossil fuels to 100-percent clean energy by 2035. But the FFA also states: 

“In addition to the specific changes made by this Act, we must also explore the methods used in regenerative agriculture that provide healthier, grass-fed cows, chickens and pigs that also restore farmland to its original condition. This is vital if we hope to expand the market of regenerative farming and work to phase out harmful, conventional practices that contaminate our water and deplete essential topsoil. Conventional, large-scale farming is the cause of widespread topsoil depletion, and is a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. There are better alternatives and sustainable solutions in the form of regenerative agricultural practices. We should incentivize farmers who provide healthier food, sustain the land and sequester carbon dioxide and methane.”

Jay Inslee would “ensure that farming practices maximize the potential to provide long-term natural carbon storage that makes a lasting contribution to cleaning the atmosphere” and he advocates for greater “federal investment in research, development, demonstration and deployment of persistent soil-based sequestration processes.” 

Elizabeth Warren would invest $2 trillion over the next 10 years in “green research, manufacturing and exporting—linking American innovation directly to American jobs, and helping achieve the ambitious targets of the Green New Deal.” (She’s also a GND cosponsor.) This investment would include funding for the Agriculture Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant program at the Department of Agriculture, both of which support innovations in soil carbon sequestration on working lands.

Tim Ryan spoke up for regenerative organic agriculture during the July debate and even name-checked a couple of farmers, saying:  

“But you cannot get there on climate unless we talk about agriculture. We need to convert our industrial agriculture system over to a sustainable and regenerative agriculture system that actually sequesters carbon into the soil. And you can go ask, you can go ask Gabe Brown and Allen Williams, who actually make money off of regenerative agriculture. So we can move away from all the subsidies that we're giving the farmers. They haven't made a profit in five years. And we could start getting good food into our schools and into our communities. And that's going to drive health care down. That's another part of the health care conversation that we didn't even have. How do we start talking about health instead of just disease care?”

Not familiar with Gabe Brown and Allen Williams? Watch “Soil Carbon Cowboys,” an inspiring and hilarious movie about family farmers who discover the amazing power of regenerative organic grazing to raise their profits and cut their work time. (The funniest part of the movie is what they describe how they would have spent their extra time if they'd learned this earlier.) The secret is increasing soil carbon which, by the way, could solve the problems of what to do about climate change and how to feed the world's growing population. The movie shows you how they do it and why Ryan's so excited about it.

Pete Buttigieg hailed soil as a solution to climate change in the June debate, saying, "Rural America can be part of the solution instead of being told they're part of the problem. With the right kind of soil management and other kinds of investments, rural America could be a huge part of how we get this done."

Beto O'Rourke took a stand during the July debate in favor of “farmers in Iowa [who] say pay me for the environmental services of planting cover crops and keeping more land in conservation easements.” 

Marianne Williamson supports regenerative agriculture. 

Michael Bennet would “Increase the effectiveness of voluntary markets and government partnerships that support soil health, reforestation, wetlands restoration, conservation, and drive up the income of the people working our lands.” He also wants to “assist farmers and ranchers to transition to voluntary carbon sequestration practices.”

Joe Biden would “focus on [among other things] decarbonizing the food and agriculture sector, and leveraging agriculture to remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the ground.”

Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar don’t specifically mention agricultural soil carbon sequestration in their climate plans, but they’re cosponsors of the Green New Deal which would “remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible” and invest “in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health.”

Just about every candidate who’s likely to make it to the next round of debates is on record in support of regenerative organic agriculture practices as a solution to climate change!

This topic deserves way more attention. But it’s unlikely to get it without an official debate focused on climate change. The Sunrise Movement has demanded that the Democratic Party hold a debate focused on climate change. The DNC initially refused that request, but both MSNBC and CNN announced they would broadcast candidate forums about climate change, and now the news is that the DNC may vote on the issue on August 23. 

Let’s support the Sunrise Movement’s demand for a climate debate and let the DNC know we want one that includes agriculture!

TAKE ACTION: Sign our petition to the Democratic National Committee calling for a #climatedebate that includes agriculture!

Alexis Baden-Mayer is political director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). To keep up with OCA news and alerts, sign up for our newsletter.

When Will We Start Applying the Precautionary Principle to the Chemicals that Are Killing Our Kids?

Organic consumers - Fri, 2019-08-02 15:05
August 2, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationKatherine PaulGenetic Engineering, Health Issues pesticide_spray_field_farmer_crop_row_1200x630.jpg

The first car my parents carted me and my siblings around in, in the 1950s, didn’t have seatbelts. Not one of us was ever strapped into a car seat. No kid I knew donned a helmet before hopping on her bike.

When I was a kid, there were no government-regulated safety standards for cribs or playpens or strollers. There were no “choking hazard” warnings on the packages containing the toys we played with, regardless of how many small, potentially detachable parts came with those toys.

After decades marred by child deaths in car accidents, and what were determined to be preventable deaths if only baby equipment manufacturers had thought to make this crib safer, or that stroller less dangerous, the federal government stepped in. 

Taxpayer-funded government agencies, like the Consumer Product Safety Commission, founded in 1972, told corporations they had to make products safer. They had to take responsibility for the products they profited from, and for keeping kids safe.

Meanwhile, over this same time period, chemical companies brought more and more chemicals to market, including pesticides and herbicides. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), in place since 1906, was already supposed to be keeping our food safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which didn’t come along until 1970, was supposed to keep our air and water safe.

Yet of the more than 80,000 chemicals used in the U.S. today, most haven’t been adequately tested for their impact on human health, much less on the health of children.

That’s bad enough. But this is worse: Despite being “regulated” by the EPA, and despite being linked to a host of human health issues, agricultural chemicals like glyphosate and chlorpyrifos that pollute our air and water, and whose residues contaminate our food, continue to be widely used. Even though cancer kills more children in the U.S. than accidents do.

It begs the question: Why have we come so far on protecting our kids from some harms, only to allow chemical companies to poison them?

A toxic, deadly soup

Sometime in the near future, a 12-year-old boy will take on Bayer-Monsanto in a U.S. courtroom. Jake Bellah has non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer linked to exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller. He and his parents allege that exposure to Roundup caused his cancer.

An article in the Guardian this week featured the story of Oliver Strong, who died from acute myeloid leukemia in June 2015, at age 12. Concerned that their otherwise healthy, athletic son’s cancer was caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, Oliver’s parents set up a foundation that is working with Texas Children’s Hospital and the Baylor College of Medicine to study the correlation between exposure to chemical toxicants and childhood cancer.

Citing statistics from the National Cancer Institute, the Guardian reported that cases of pediatric cancer in the U.S. surged by almost 50 percent from 1975 to 2015. The institute predicted that in 2018, up to 16,000 children, from birth to age 19, would receive a new cancer diagnosis.

Are all these cancers caused by exposure to chemicals? Probably not. But most are, says Dr. Zach Bush, a former cancer researcher. Bush, who said he was taught that cancer was a genetic disease, says his research now supports the theory that most cancers can be tied to exposure to chemicals.

Bush specifically blames Monsanto’s Roundup:

“This one tiny molecule is now gumming up the gears of life, it’s stopping, on so many levels, all normal functions of resilience, and we’re becoming a very unresilient species and damaged species, and we’re dying very quickly.” 

Vilma Short, Oliver's mother, subscribes to the same theory. She told the Guardian:

“I, like most people, thought it’s just bad luck and dodgy genes, and you discover we’re quietly encouraged to think that. “[But] I found a paper published by the World Health Organization … it’s [cancer] always triggered by external agents that damage to our DNA and the body’s ability to deal with that damage.”

For decades, glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup have been under fire for harming human health and the environment. The 2015 decision by the World Health Organization that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen” led to heightened scrutiny. It also led many countries —though not the corporate lobbyist-loving U.S.—to ban the chemical.

Today, there are more than 18,400 lawsuits pending against Bayer, by people who believe exposure to Roundup caused their cancer.

It isn’t just glyphosate making us sick. And it isn’t just cancer that’s harming our kids. The EPA recently overturned a ban on chlorpyrifos, an agricultural chemical known to cause birth defects and neurological damage in children.

Writing about the EPA’s chlorpyrifos decision for the Washington Post, Joseph G. Allen, assistant professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, posed this question:

Do you think that a chemical cousin of nerve agents used in World War II that alters the brain function of children should be used as a pesticide? I’d hazard a guess that most people think this is a bad idea. The Trump administration, on the other hand, thinks this is just fine.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) doesn't think it's just fine. In its preliminary review of DowDupont's renewal application for chlorpyrifos, which expires in 2020, the agency said there can be "no safe exposure level" set for chlorpyrifos:

EFSA has identified concerns about possible genotoxic effects as well as neurological effects during development, supported by epidemiological data indicating effects in children. This means that no safe exposure level—or toxicological reference value—can be set for the substance."

Caution to the wind

How is it that chemical companies are able to unleash more than 80,000 unregulated chemicals into our environment and food supply? And how do we protect our children from the toxins we know—like glyphosate and chlorpyrifos—and those we don’t even know exist, much less where they lurk?

An article pubished this week by CBS Marketwatch, covering Organic Consumers Assocation’s lawsuit against Twinings Tea, and a similar lawsuit by Children’s Defense Fund against Beech-Nut baby food, included this quote by Dr. Aparna Bole, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health:

“Ultimately it should not be the job of consumers to try to purchase their way out of the fact that we in this country don’t take a precautionary approach to chemical safety.”

Bole was no doubt referring to the Precautionary Principle, a principle that government agencies routinely and recklessly ignore.

In a 2001 paper published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a team of scientists wrote: 

The precautionary principle, proposed as a new guideline in environmental decision making, has four central components: taking preventive action in the face of uncertainty; shifting the burden of proof to the proponents of an activity; exploring a wide range of alternatives to possibly harmful actions; and increasing public participation in decision making. 

That was in 2001. Yet here we are, in 2019, with an EPA that clearly has no intention of following these guidelines—no matter what the scientists say or the public demands. And no matter how many children suffer through surgeries and painful, debilitating treatments—only, in many cases, to die anyway.

The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics issued a statement this week calling for the “removal of glyphosate from global usage.”

Meanwhile, we’re stuck with an EPA that won’t ban glyphosate or chlorpyrifos, and that earlier this year proposed tripling the amount of perchlorate, a chemical used in rocket fuel, allowed in our drinking water supplies. And it's a known fact that 99 percent of Americans have C8, the key chemical in Teflon™ (made by DuPont and 3M) in their blood, even though, for years, 3M and DuPont (now DowDuPont) were well aware of the chemical's potential to harm human health. C8 is linked to birth defects and six diseases, including cancer.

My three siblings and I were lucky. We survived, minus the seatbelts and carseats and helmets that provide protection for today’s kids. But I worry for my 2-year-old grandson and 6-year-old granddaughter. Though they travel surrounded by high-tech protective gear and play with safety-tested toys, when it comes to cancer-causing chemicals, they're at the mercy of our government “protection” agencies.

And those agencies consistently place a far higher value on corporate profits than they do on the Jakes and Olivers of the world.

Katherine Paul is associate director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). To keep up with OCA news and alerts, sign up for our newsletter.

'The Devil We Know:' How DuPont Poisoned the World with Teflon

Organic consumers - Wed, 2019-07-31 21:49
July 31, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationJulie WilsonFood Safety, Health Issues dupont_teflon_1200x630.jpg

A new Netflix documentary titled, “The Devil We Know,” tells the story of DuPont’s decades-long cover-up of the harm caused by chemicals used to make its popular non-stick Teflon™ products. The film shows how the chemicals used to make Teflon poisoned people and the environment—not just in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where DuPont had a Teflon plant, but all over the world.

It all began in 1945, when DuPont, renamed DowDuPont following its 2017 merger with Dow Chemical, began manufacturing Teflon, a product best known for its use in non-stick cookware, but also widely used in a variety of other consumer products, including waterproof clothing and furniture, food packaging, self-cleaning ovens, airplanes and cars.

One of the key ingredients in DuPont’s Teflon was C8, a toxic, man-made chemical created by Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, better known as 3M, to make Scotchgard. The chemical, also known as PFOS or PFOA, is what gave Teflon its non-stick properties.

Both 3M and DuPont were well aware of the health hazards associated with C8. But that didn’t stop DuPont from dumping the toxic chemical into local waterways, where it made its way into public drinking water and subsequently sickened thousands of people, and ultimately killing many of them.

3M and DuPont covered up the health risks of C8

The film features stories from a number of people who were affected by DuPont’s Teflon, including DuPont employees, children and adults in the surrounding community, as well as pets, livestock and wildlife.

One of those stories is that of Sue Bailey, a former DuPont employee who gave birth to a son with severe deformities. Her son, William Bailey, aka Bucky, was born with half of a nose, one nostril, a serrated eyelid and a keyhole pupil where his iris and retina were detached.

Sue’s work for DuPont required her to come in direct contact with C8. Her job involved working in a large room with huge cylinders filled with C8. The cylinders would bubble over like an out-of-control bubble bath, according to the film. The Teflon production process left behind a discharge of water. It was Sue’s job to pump it out back, where it would flow directly into the river.  

DuPont tried to blame Sue for her son’s birth defects. But she wasn’t buying it. On her first day back to work, she heard her co-workers talking about another DuPont employee who had given birth to a baby with deformities very similar to Bucky’s.

DuPont knew exposure to C8 could harm human health and cause birth defects. Both DuPont and 3M had been studying the chemical since the 1960s. One study on the chemical led by 3M, determined that the chemical could potentially cause birth defects in the eyes of rat fetuses.

Studies link Teflon chemical to six human diseases

The film also features Ken Wamsley, a former DuPont employee who worked for the company for 40 years. He said the first time he heard C8 was dangerous was from a supervisor who said it might hurt pregnant women. DuPont sent all the women home, but insisted the men were not at risk.

That turned out to be a bold-faced lie.

Today, we know that exposure to C8 in drinking water is linked to six different diseases: kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, preeclampsia and high cholesterol, according to the film.

Evidence shows that DuPont knew for decades that exposure to C8 could cause long-term health effects in humans. DuPont started conducting cancer studies in 1988. The company’s own studies showed that exposure to C8 killed rats, dogs and monkeys, by causing testicular cancer, liver disease and pancreatic disease.

Teflon chemical is in the blood of 99 percent of Americans

Not only did DuPont continue to manufacture Teflon, but it also continued to dump the chemical into waterways.

In 2001, a class-action lawsuit was brought against DuPont by residents of the Ohio River Valley who had been exposed to C8 in their drinking water. DuPont agreed to settle the suit, offering the plaintiffs $343 million.

But in a groundbreaking decision, the plaintiffs refused to take individual payments. Instead, they decided to establish a C8 Science Panel dedicated to studying the link between C8 in drinking water and human disease.

C8 contamination is so widespread that, according to this article in the Intercept, 99 percent of Americans have the chemical in their blood. It’s also been found in the blood of people from all parts of the world. The main sources of exposure are still somewhat of a mystery. The likely culprits, though, are industrial waste and the consumer products that shed C8 over time.

Under terms of the $343-million settlement, six water districts could test people’s blood and sue DuPont if the Science Panel could prove exposure to C8 caused any harm.

DuPont said it was confident the test results would prove C8 was safe.

In order to overcome the challenge of recruiting enough volunteers to submit their blood for analysis, the panel used some of the funds from the settlement to offer each volunteer $400.

Through the payout and a massive media effort, the panel got more than 70,000 people to participate. The process took more than seven years. In 2012, the results were in: Exposure to C8 in drinking water caused six different human diseases.

DuPont is still manufacturing Teflon

More than 3,500 cases were filed against DuPont. Soon, the victories started pouring in.

The first case involved a woman who said exposure to C8 caused her kidney cancer. The jury found DuPont guilty and awarded the plaintiff $1.6 million.

In 2017, DuPont and Chemours, a company created by DuPont, agreed to pay $671 million to settle thousands of lawsuits.

Many lawsuits are still pending to this day.

DuPont agreed to casually phase out C8 by 2015. But it still makes Teflon. DuPont replaced C8 with a new chemical called Gen-X, which is already turning up in waterways.

Animal studies conducted by DuPont found tumors in rats exposed to Gen-X, according to the film. The tumors are similar to those seen in rats exposed to C8.

Whether Gen-X is just as bad—or even worse—than C8 remains to be seen.

Want to learn more? Click here to find places where you can watch the film.

Julie Wilson is communications associate for the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). To keep up with OCA news and alerts, sign up for our newsletter.

Families Seek Answers for US Rise in Childhood Cancers

Organic consumers - Wed, 2019-07-31 18:58
Health IssuesRichard LuscombeThe GuardianJuly 30, 2019https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/30/toxic-america-families-seek-answers-childhood-cancers mother with cancer baby.png 1200x630 cc

Parents whose children have died from cancer are teaming up with scientists to study any correlations between toxicants and illness 

Soccer was a huge passion in Oliver Strong’s young life. Right up to his death from acute myeloid leukemia in June 2015 at the age of 12, he was a standout athlete and goalkeeper, a healthy, vibrant and popular boy with a zest for living that inspired his teammates, friends and family.

So when Oliver died suddenly at a Miami children’s hospital, just 36 hours after doctors first diagnosed the disease, his parents Simon and Vilma started looking for answers. What they found was disturbing.

Cases of pediatric cancer in the United States surged by almost 50% from 1975 to 2015, according to alarming but under-reported statistics by the National Cancer Institute, and in 2018 up to 16,000 children from birth to age 19 will have received a new diagnosis.

Yet what really elevated the disquiet of Oliver’s parents was increasing concern over the role that carcinogenic environmental toxicants, including industrial waste and pollutants, were believed to be playing in the rise of childhood cancer.

'I'm Not a Climate Change Guy, But...': Farmers Reckon With New Reality in the Heartland

Organic consumers - Wed, 2019-07-31 18:45
Environment & Climate, Farm IssuesRosa TuiranCBS NewsJuly 26, 2019https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-reckoning-in-the-heartland-cbsn-originals/ flooded1200x630_cc.jpg

Walking over soggy lifeless crops, Brett Adams, a fifth generation Nebraska farmer, paused to catch his breath. Under the dark grey clouds of the Midwestern spring, he was forced to come to terms with an alarming reality: 80% of his farmland was under freezing floodwater. 

In March 2019, record-breaking floods inundated America's breadbasket, a region that's also a key exporter of corn and soybeans to the world. Much of the Midwest was overwhelmed with floods as a result of torrential rains, frozen ground unable to absorb more water, heavy snowmelt, and a series of extreme weather events that culminated in a major winter storm—described by meteorologists as a "bomb cyclone."

"Winter was colder than normal, overall. We also had a wetter-than-normal winter as well as fall, so the soils were at or near saturation," Nebraska State Climatologist Martha Shulski said. 

Michigan Is Tiptoeing Around PFAS in Dairy Agriculture

Organic consumers - Wed, 2019-07-31 08:00
Food Safety, Health IssuesGarret EllisonM LiveJuly 30, 2019https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2019/07/michigan-is-tiptoeing-around-pfas-in-dairy-agriculture.html dairy cow in a field 1200x630 cc

LANSING, MI — Kay Fritz let the cattle out of the bag in Boston.

Fritz, a toxicologist with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), told the National PFAS Conference audience that Michigan punted on testing an Allegan County dairy farm because it worried about killing the farmer’s business.

Testing found PFAS in the farm’s hay and pond water. Instead of testing milk from those cows, Fritz said that regulators, leery of repercussions seen in other states, decided the exposure wasn’t serious enough and “we weren’t going to go there.”

“If you test the milk and you find PFAS, then you have to tell the farmer,” said Fritz, whose remarks are available on video.

DEADLINE AUGUST 5: Tell the USDA to Do Its Job: Protect Consumers, Not the Biotech Industry!

Organic consumers - Tue, 2019-07-30 16:37
July 30, 2019Organic Consumers AssociationKatherine PaulGenetic Engineering corn_gmo_scientist_1200x630.jpg

You can’t make this stuff up.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to let companies like Monsanto-Bayer, DowDupont and Syngenta (now owned by ChemChina) “regulate” their own genetically engineered products—under a proposed rule the USDA euphemistically calls the “Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient,” or “SECURE” for short.

DEADLINE AUGUST 5: Tell the USDA to do its job: protect consumers, not the biotech industry!

If we don’t stop this rule in its tracks, biotech companies will definitely be more secure—secure in the fact that they will be allowed to unleash any genetically engineered organism into the environment or into the food system. 

No oversight. No independent testing. No accountability.

That doesn’t sound like a “SECURE” deal for consumers, or for the environment.

Want more info on the USDA’s latest attack on your right to know? Read our article on the the proposed rule to weaken (and eliminate) regulation of GMOs. 

Then, take action!

DEADLINE AUGUST 5: Tell the USDA to do its job: protect consumers, not the biotech industry!