04/09/14 The Institute of Science in Society
Glyphosate’s metal-chelating activity causes bioaccumulation of toxic metals in the body, resulting in an estimated 400 000 cases in Sri Lanka and 20 000 deaths Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji
Sri Lanka is set to partially ban glyphosate-based herbicide use following a new peer-reviewed study linking it to a fatal chronic kidney disease epidemic badly affecting the country . Kidney problems have been further documented in other global regions, prompting an earlier complete ban by El Salvador late last year . A complete ban was initially proposed, but due to plantation sector representatives claiming a shortage of agricultural workers that would not sufficiently manage weeds without glyphosate, the government has now limited the ban to disease endemic areas . Even Brazil, one of the largest growers of glyphosate-tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops has now filed a law suit by Federal Prosecutors to ban glyphosate along with 8 other dangerous pesticides . It is becoming increasingly difficult for government regulators and glyphosate producers to justify the use of this herbicide when other nations are banning the chemical outright in order to protect their citizens.
Glyphosate can impact human health in a number of ways, one of which is through its potent metal chelating abilities. Indeed, glyphosate was originally patented by Stauffer Chemical Co. in 1964 (U.S. Patent No. 3,160,632)  for this very function. Chelating mineral ions can lead to nutritional depletion in plants and animals, which has already been shown to cause health problems in both. In the case of this kidney disease epidemic, its chelation of metals such as arsenic in the water supplies is now though to lead to their bioaccumulation in the body, resulting in kidney failure and even death, as proposed in a new study  by Channa Jayasumana (Rajarata University, Sri Lanka), Sarath Gunatilake (California State University, USA) and Priyantha Senanayake (Hela Suwaya Organization, Sri Lanka) published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Glyphosate has also been linked to many other health problems including cancers (see  Glyphosate and Cancer, SiS 62), infertility (see  Glyphosate/Roundup & Human Male Infertility, SiS 62), along with neurotoxicity, reproductive problems, birth defects, and other problems (see  Ban GMOs Now, special ISIS report). Read the rest of this entry »
Glad to hear from Hersh again, even if only thru the London Review of Books. Evidently he has been successfully muffled/censored in the US. This is quite a different story about Obama’s “red line” in Syria than you’ve heard before.
The Red Line and the Rat Line
By Seymour M. Hersh April 06, 2014 “Information Clearing House – “LRB” -- – In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.
Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.
Obama’s change of mind had its origins at Porton Down, the defence laboratory in Wiltshire. British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal. The message that the case against Syria wouldn’t hold up was quickly relayed to the US joint chiefs of staff. The British report heightened doubts inside the Pentagon; the joint chiefs were already preparing to warn Obama that his plans for a far-reaching bomb and missile attack on Syria’s infrastructure could lead to a wider war in the Middle East. As a consequence the American officers delivered a last-minute caution to the president, which, in their view, eventually led to his cancelling the attack.For months there had been acute concern among senior military leaders and the intelligence community about the role in the war of Syria’s neighbours, especially Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan was known to be supporting the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist faction among the rebel opposition, as well as other Islamist rebel groups. ‘We knew there were some in the Turkish government,’ a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, told me, ‘who believed they could get Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a sarin attack inside Syria – and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.’
The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration’s public claims that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s the link to the petition:
By Rady Ananda, 04 Feb 2014
Food Freedom News
Under 30 minutes, deceptions 2 is Chris Pratt’s follow-up to his popular full-length documentary from 2010 (reviewed here). D2 focuses on the use of public relations firms to manipulate the public into supporting foreign wars of aggression.
But these aren’t ordinary wars, where industry sends armies into the bush to slaughter natives to seize their lands. Instead, now the US and its allies are poisoning the lands they invade, using depleted uranium and caustic chemicals, and generating an epidemic of birth defects.
This is a continuation of the chemical contamination with Agent Orange, which the US and its allies used in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Pratt spends some time covering the ongoing teratogenic effects from that era, and briefly comments on Gulf War Syndrome.
“There has been a fundamental change in the nature of war and militarism since World War I,” wrote the late Dr. Sr. Rosalie Bertell in 2004, “and this change has escalated out of control since World War II.”
A Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart, Bertell received her Ph. D. degree in biometrics with minors in biology and biochemistry from the Catholic University of America in 1966. She founded the International Concern for Public Health (IICPH), and was a founding member of the International Commission of Health Professionals, and the International Association of Humanitarian Medicine. She served on the Bhopal and the Chernobyl Medical Commissions, and was a recipient of several awards, including the Right Livelihood Award. She died last June at the age of 83.
She goes further:
“The use of toxic gas as a weapon, poisoning of water ways or air, and using chemicals in warfare broke the taboo against widespread and indiscriminative killing of non-combatants. This trend escalated during WW II through carpet bombings, the nuclear bombs and the V2 rockets. Then chemists, using the chlorine gas, separated for a WW I weapon, developed agent-orange and an array of pesticides, herbicides and defoliants which attacked both people and the living earth itself. The military used these in the Viet Nam War. Extensive use of land mines in Korea and elsewhere, prolonged wars beyond the truce, and now we have the firing of radioactive waste, depleted uranium, at an enemy, prolonging the mutilation and killing for generations after the war is over.”
From Agent Orange victims to Bush babies, the film does not ignore Obama’s transgressions against basic human rights, including his overturning the Magna Carta by claiming the role of accuser, judge and executioner under the National Defense Authorization Act and Executive Orders.
But Pratt employs levity, too, when he reproduces James Corbett’s 3½ minute summary of the 911 Commission report, and Stephen Colbert’s 2-minute schtick on Global Terror color warnings.
Inspired by Margaret Heffernan’s Ted Talk on the dangers of “willful blindness”, Pratt set out once more to jostle the sleeping masses. Like the story about a town poisoned by asbestos, Pratt realized the same could be said about the destruction of our planet.
“This is not happening in secrecy,” he told me. “It’s happening right in front of us and people are choosing not to look.”
For those who want to, below is his latest documentary:
Fear Not the Path of Truth: A veteran’s journey after Fallujah follows Ross Caputi, veteran of the 2nd siege of Fallujah and Director of the Justice For Fallujah Project, as he investigates the atrocities that he was a part of and the legacy of US foreign policy in Fallujah. Caputi’s website is here.