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Posts Tagged ‘Birth defects

Fallout from WHO Classification of Glyphosate as Probable Carcinogen

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Fallout from WHO Classification of Glyphosate as Probable Carcinogen

Campaigns to ban and phase out the chemical across the world intensify with major successes

Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji    The Institute of Science in Society     June 10, 2015

Could it be that the World Health Organisation’s classification of glyphosate as a ‘probable carcinogen’ (see [1] Glyphosate ‘Probably Carcinogenic to Humans’ Latest WHO Assessment, SiS 66) will be the final nail in the coffin for the world’s most popular herbicide and Monsanto’s flagship product.

Recent weeks have seen the intensification of campaigns to ban or remove the product as well as lawsuits being filed against Monsanto; in the US for false safety claims of glyphosate, and in China, for hiding toxicity studies from the public. (El Salvador has already banned the chemical though yet to be signed into law [2], while the Netherlands last year banned private sales [3]. Sri Lanka had a partial ban in place in regions most afflicted by chronic kidney disease that has been linked to glyphosate use (see later)).

People have known the truth for years. Industry and government regulators have conspired to bury copious evidence of toxicity for decades, and they feel to some extent vindicated by the latest WHO assessment (see [4] Glyphosate and Cancer, SiS 62) and [5] EU Regulators and Monsanto Exposed for Hiding Glyphosate Toxicity, SiS 51). More importantly, governments are finally beginning to take action.

Outright bans

Colombia has taken the lead, deciding to suspend aerial spraying of illegal coca as well as poppy plants, which is expected to come into effect in a few weeks’ time following a majority 7 to 1 vote for the ban by the National Narcotics Council [6]. The day before the ban, the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defence (AIDA) delivered 24 000 signatures to the Minister of Justice who also chairs the Narcotics Council to push for this decision [7].

Colombia had been employing US contractors to spray glyphosate for two decades, covering an estimated 1.6 million hectares of land. This spraying for the “war on drugs” has been ineffective in eradicating illegal cocaine production, but has instead caused rising illness in local communities, killing local crops and polluting land and water supplies. Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities have borne the brunt of the fumigation programs, prompting protests against both coca production and glyphosate use that has been displacing people from ancestral lands [8]. Colombia is not alone.

Bermuda, the British overseas territory in the Atlantic also banned glyphosate imports with immediate effect following the WHO assessment, as announced by their Minister of Health, Jeanne Atherden, whose decision was supported by local farmers [9]. The Minister said she believes the “action we are taking today is prudent and in the best interests of a safe environment….Like any area of science, there are competing studies and a wealth of information on both sides of the argument….  I am satisfied that this action is warranted and we are committed to conducting an open and thorough investigation” [10].

Sri Lanka is the latest country to declare an outright ban. The decision follows the election of the new president, a farmer and previously the Health Minister, Maithripala Sirisena taking the decision due the epidemic of chronic kidney disease [11].The spread of kidney disease highlights the wide-ranging toxicity of glyphosate not limited to carcinogenicity. The country’s battle to ban the chemical precedes the WHO declaration, coming after studies by Sri Lankan researchers linked the chemical to hard water, heavy metal contaminants and glyphosate use (see [12] Sri Lanka Partially Bans Glyphosate for Deadly Kidney Disease Epidemic, SiS 62). This prompted an initial ban, which was later restricted to certain regions of the country following intense lobbying pressure. With the government paying for healthcare of over 25 000 residents and supplying them with fresh water, the latest decision for an outright ban could not come soon enough.

Imminent bans, protests, and fresh calls for bans

Brazil is facing growing pressure to follow suit, with the country’s public state prosecutor writing to Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) asking it to urgently re-evaluate their stance on glyphosate and also revoke authorisations on glyphosate-tolerant GM crops [13]. He has even gone as far as launching an investigation into whether regulatory authorisations are legal for the GM crops. ANVISA are stalling their decision however, until the full report by the WHO is published.

In Argentina, 30 000 health professionals belonging to the union of doctors and health professionals (FESPROSA) have come out in support of the WHO decision [14], claiming that glyphosate “not only causes cancer. It is also associated with increased spontaneous abortions, birth defects, skin diseases, and respiratory and neurological disease.” The statement continues: “Health authorities, including the National Ministry of Health and the political powers, can no longer look away. Agribusiness cannot keep growing at the expense of the health of the Argentine people. The 30,000 health professionals in Argentina in the FESPROSA ask that glyphosate is now prohibited in our country and that a debate on the necessary restructuring of agribusiness is opened, focusing on the application of technologies that do not endanger human life.”

Similarly, the Society of Paediatric Haematology-Oncology (SAHOP) issued a statement calling for an immediate ban of glyphosate fumigation, signed by the President of the Paediatric society Pedro Zubizarreta.  They objected to the massive use of toxic products being sprayed in ever increasing concentrations in combinations of both insecticides and herbicides, and being sold as ‘technological advancements’. They also warned of storing the grains in plastic bags, which leaves grains teeming with aflatoxins, categorised by the WHO’s IARC as a known carcinogen since 1993 [15]. Glyphosate has already been previously linked to the growth of these fungi in scientific studies, along with many other crop diseases [16].

Successful protests in Argentina were also recently mobilised to prevent Dr Medardo Ávila Vázquez from losing his job after the agribusiness-funded university threatened to sanction him for conducting and disseminating studies showing the high levels of cancers affecting his region as a result of agrichemical spraying [17]. These protests are a tribute to his work in exposing the toxicity of glyphosate, as well as the groundswell of opposition to glyphosate spraying in the country despite support by the national government. Local residents are gaining strength to voice their concerns following the WHO news as well as the recent decision by the Ministry of Production in the province of Santa Fe to ban aerial spraying of 2,4-D within 6 km of residents, confirming the health risks of the chemical agricultural system that leaves children covered in chemical and dust particles as they walk to school [18].

In Europe, the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) (an influential body with member organizations in 27 countries) has written to officials at the EU parliament and Commission asking for an immediate ban of glyphosate herbicides and for insecticides also judged by the WHO to be carcinogens, without exceptions [19]. A member of the EU commission stated in the 2015 GMO-free conference 2015 in Berlin, Germany that they will include the WHO assessment in their re-evaluation procedures that is due to be completed later this year. However the corrupt process of reassessment that was led by a consortium of chemical companies (see [20] Scandal of Glyphosate Re-assessment in Europe, SiS 63) means that EU campaigners will have to push hard to force the EU to have some semblance of integrity in their final decision making.

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Ending GMOs Now

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 Dr Mae-Wan Ho   Institute for Science in Society     04/21/15

Global rejection sent Monsanto profits plummeting, farmers abandoning GM crops in record numbers, reclassification of glyphosate as probable carcinogen triggering fresh calls for bans and restrictions; GMOs failing old and new, while organic and non-GMO markets continue booming; the days of GMOs are numbered, let’s hasten the demise.

Sign the petition to ban glyphosate here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_dont_silence_science_loc/

The year 2015 is auspicious. It started with oil prices plunging to a five year low, sparking a downsizing wave in an industry desperate to rid itself of stranded assets as burgeoning renewable energies are making oil redundant and civil society grassroots movements are winning major campaigns to divest mega-investments from fossil fuels and leave oil in the ground (see [1] Age of Oil Ending? SiS 65).

Simultaneously, a remarkable conjunction of events is boding ill for GMOs (genetically modified organisms). There is superb synergy between the end of oil and the end of the heavily oil-dependent GMO monoculture for a truly sustainable world under climate change, which we made clear in a comprehensive report [2] Food Futures Now -Organic -Sustainable -Fossil Fuel Free published in 2008. So let’s read the signs, and do our best to hasten the end of GMOs.

Mass rejection of US GM corn exports and record losses

It began with China rejecting shipment after shipment of US corn imports that tested positive for Syngenta’s Agrisure Vipera GM corn released and deregulated in the US since 2011, but not approved in China. Between November 2013 and April 2014, 1.45 million tonnes of US GM corn were destroyed or turned back [3]. Farmers and farming businesses in 20 States in the US have filed more than 360 lawsuits against Syngenta and hundreds more are expected as a federal judge is organizing the complex case. Claims may be up to $3 billion [4]. Although China eventually approved Vipera in December 2014, sales have not improved for US corn growers [3]. One reason is that China has been importing Ukrainian non-GMO corn under a loan-for-grain deal [5]. Ukraine shipped nearly 1 million tonnes to China in 2014, 470 047 tonnes were shipped in January 2015, and more expected to follow.

The other more significant reason is that US farmers are abandoning GMO crops and returning to non-GMO or switching to organic crops (see later).

GMO labelling fight reaches national level in the US

The GMO labelling movement in the US has been inching forward, despite the fact that 64 countries worldwide now label food containing GMOs, including China, Japan, Russia, Australia and all the EU countries. Three states, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island have passed GMO labelling laws so far, but California, Colorado and Oregon have been defeated thanks to heavily-funded counter-campaigns by Monsanto, DuPont and the Grocery Manufacturers Association [6]. A total of 70 bills for labelling were proposed in 30 states within the past two years. Now, the battle has shifted to the national level. Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo introduced the ‘DARK’ (denying Americans the right to know) Act, which would pre-empt states from setting up their own GMO labelling systems and bar them from defining “natural” foods as free from GMOs. Food safety advocates and consumer groups are fighting back, supporting a national mandatory labelling bill called the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, re-introduced in February by a group of congressional Democrats. Read the rest of this entry »

Changing from GMO to Non-GMO Natural Soy Animal Feed: Farmers See Big Difference

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“Pilegaarden” (Willow Farm)

Changing from GMO to Non-GMO Natural Soy, Experiences from Denmark

Institute of Science in Society   Sept 10, 2014

Healthier, more productive pigs, more profit, and much less birth deformities; an important lesson for all farmers not to use GMO feed or glyphosate on their land

By Borup Pederson  Based on invited lecture at the 1st Forum of Development and Environmental Safety,
25 – 26 July 2014, Beijing
 
My farm “Pilegaarden” (Willow Farm) is an average Danish farm in the small village of Hvidsten. Our pigs are raised accordingly to United Kingdom regulations for pig housing, and exported to the UK for consumption. Inside the pig farm is a straw-based system for the sows as well as a standard farrowing house.

I had read about the effects that GM feed has on rats in lab experiments (see [1] GM Soya Fed Rats: Stunted, Dead, or Sterile, SiS 33), so I decided to change the feed from GM to non-GM soy in April 2011 without telling the herdsman on the farm. Two days afterwards, he said to me: “You have changed the food.” He always notices whenever there is any problem with the feed and tells me. This time was different. Something very good was happening with the food as the pigs were not getting diarrhoea any more. The farm was saving 2/3 of the medicine or £7.88 per sow; not just my farm but three other farms in Denmark that switched from GMO to non GMO feed have also seen the same. Medication after the changeover in the weaners barn also went down dramatically by 66 %, with one type of antibiotics not being used since.

The sows have higher milk production; we can tell because the sows are suckling 1, 2 or 3 more piglets and have more live born pigs, on average 1.8 piglets more per sow. They wean 1,8 pigs more pr. litter, and have more live born pigs. We have seen a certain aggressive diarrhoea disappear altogether that affected young piglets in the first week of life, killing up to 30 % of the pigs. It has completely gone for over 3 years. Sows no longer suffer from bloating or ulcers and they also live longer in high production, only dropping in effectivity after 8 layers compared to 6 on GM soy.

So, a change to non-GM soy makes the herd easier to manage, improves the health of the herd, reduces medicine usage, increases production and is very profitable.

Severe birth deformities in piglets

Deformities in the pigs used to be very rare and I used to be proud to send Siamese twins to schools for classes because it would only happen one in a million. But then they became too frequent. So I read a lot on the subject and my suspicion fell on glyphosate. I read how glyphosate had been shown in scientific studies (see [2] Lab Study Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth Defects, ISiS 48, [3]) to cause deformities and noted it was the same type of deformities that I was seeing in my pigs…   read more here

Written by laudyms

September 10, 2014 at 6:17 am

Marching against Monsanto

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Marching against Monsanto

Mae-Wan Ho  The Institute of Science in Society   May 27, 2014

It is wonderful to be here with all of you. I have been marching against Monsanto for close to 20 years now since GM crops were commercialized and I first warned of the dangers of GMOs and Roundup herbicides.

Unfortunately, all my predictions and more have come true. Over the years, farm workers and their families across the world have been seeing sharp rises in birth defects, cancers, allergies, lethal kidney disease and so on. Their livestock die, get diarrhoea, become sterile, cannot conceive, or give birth to dead and deformed animals.

Scientists had to get through tremendous hurdles and obstructions to do the research, not just from Monsanto, but also from corrupt and/or misguided governments, including the UK. For years, practically the only research on safety of GMOs was carried out by the companies themselves, and their raw data are kept from the public as commercially sensitive information.

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Teratogenic war: film shows how US is generating an epidemic of birth defects

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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:

Fallujah "Bush Baby"

Fallujah “Bush Baby”

“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:

see also:

Fear Not the Path of Truth from Ross Caputi on Vimeo.

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.

WHO Refuses to Publish Report on Cancers and Birth Defects in Iraq Caused by Depleted Uranium Ammunition

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who
By Denis Halliday
Global Research, September 13, 2013

The World Health Organisation (WHO)  has categorically refused in defiance of its own mandate to share evidence uncovered in Iraq that US military use of Depleted Uranium and other weapons have not only killed many civilians, but continue to result in the birth of deformed babies.

This issue was first brought to light in 2004 in a WHO expert report “on the long-term health of Iraq’s civilian population resulting from depleted uranium (DU) weapons”. This earlier report was “held secret”, namely suppressed by the WHO:

The study by three leading radiation scientists cautioned that children and adults could contract cancer after breathing in dust containing DU, which is radioactive and chemically toxic. But it was blocked from publication by the World Health Organization (WHO), which employed the main author, Dr Keith Baverstock, as a senior radiation advisor. He alleges that it was deliberately suppressed, though this is denied by WHO. (See Rob Edwards, WHO ‘Suppressed’ Scientific Study Into Depleted Uranium Cancer Fears in Iraq,  The Sunday Herald, February 24, 2004)

Almost nine years later,  a joint WHO- Iraqi Ministry of Health Report on cancers and birth defect in Iraq was to be released in November 2012. “It has been delayed repeatedly and now has no release date whatsoever.”

To this date the WHO study remains “classified”.

According to Hans von Sponeck, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations,

“The US government sought to prevent the WHO from surveying areas in southern Iraq where depleted uranium had been used and caused serious health and environmental dangers.” (quoted in Mozhgan Savabieasfahani Rise of Cancers and Birth Defects in Iraq: World Health Organization Refuses to Release Data, Global Research, July 31, 2013

This tragedy in Iraq reminds one of US Chemical Weapons used in Vietnam. And that the US has failed to acknowledge or pay compensation or provide medical assistance to thousands of deformed children born and still being born due to American military use of Agent Orange throughout the country.

The millions of gallons of this chemical dumped on rural Vietnam were eagerly manufactured and sold to the Pentagon by companies Dupont, Monsanto and others greedy for huge profits.

Given the US record of failing to acknowledge its atrocities in warfare, I fear those mothers in Najaf and other Iraqi cities and towns advised not to attempt the birth of more children will never receive solace or help.

A United Nations that is no longer corrupted by the five Permanent Members of the Security Council is what is needed.

Written by laudyms

September 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of our Lives

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From The Institute for Responsible Technology:   GMO birth defects

Are you and your family on the wrong side of a bet?

When the US government ignored repeated warnings by its own scientists and allowed untested genetically modified (GM) crops into our environment and food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health of all living things and all future generations were put at risk by an infant technology.

After two decades, physicians and scientists have uncovered a grave trend. The same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock, and pets that have been fed GM foods are now on the rise in the US population. And when people and animals stop eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their health improves.

This seminal documentary provides compelling evidence to help explain the deteriorating health of Americans, especially among children, and offers a recipe for protecting ourselves and our future.

The film is available for free online till Sunday Feb 3rd,

More information can be found at: http://geneticroulettemovie.com
and http://responsibletechnology.org

Order the DVD at: http://seedsofdeception.com/store/dvdcd?product_id=124

Donate to support the The Institute for Responsible Technology: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/donategr

Vote for this top transformational film here!