People the world over angry at the chemical giant Monsanto, a huge multinational biotech corporation, have scheduled more than 250 marches around the globe on May 25 in response to the group Anonymous’ call for action against genetically modified (GMO) crops.
Here in Washington State marches are planned in eight cities including Seattle. See list at right.
The group claims Monsanto is altering “the nature of our food supply without concern about long tern effects on human health, because they are creating a monopoly on the supply of seeds for farmers and because of increasing evidence of long term environmental damages,” according to an Anonymous video announcing the day of action.
Many people around the world believe that for too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism and that organic and small farmers continue to suffer losses while Monsanto, they allege, continues to “forge its monopoly over the worldâs food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup,” according to one website promoting the protest events.
For background on why so many the world over are angry at Monsanto check these storiesÂ hereÂ andÂ here
The film below paints a much more vivid picture of why so many people in so many countries are up in arms against Monsanto.
Finnish researchers unveiled new data Thursday to link the Pandemrix flu vaccine to a higher risk of the sleeping disorder narcolepsy in adults.
Other studies had already shown a link between the drug used in the 2009-10 âswine fluâ outbreak and a higher incidence of narcolepsy in vaccinated children, teens and people under 30.
The new research, conducted by Finlandâs National Institute for Health and Welfare, found that Pandemrix-vaccinated adults between the ages of 20 and 64 had a three-to-five times higher risk of contracting the disease than non-vaccinated people.
Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder of the nervous system that causes excessive drowsiness, often causing people to fall asleep uncontrollably.
Pandemrix was the main vaccine used to fight the 2009-2010 outbreak of H1N1, which infected an estimated fifth of the worldâs population but turned out to be as dangerous as normal âseasonalâ flu.
In Finland, 25 adults developed narcolepsy from 2009 to 2011 â 23 of them under 40 and none over 64, said the new study.
Eighteen had been given Pandemrix.
âThe increased risk of narcolepsy attributed to vaccination with Pandemrix in adults was 1/100,000, whereas in children it was 6/100,000,â the institute said in a statement.
The disorder normally occurs among 25-50 of every 100,000 people, although figures are sketchy, according to a recent British study.
In March, Swedish research linked the vaccine to a higher risk of narcolepsy among under-30â˛s, not just children and teens as previously thought.
Swedenâs Medical Products Agency found the risk was three times higher among under-20s given Pandemrix, and twice as high in those aged 21 to 30 years.
Neighbours Finland and Sweden recommended their populations of some five and 10 million people respectively, to take part in mass vaccinations during the swine flu scare.
Both governments have since agreed to provide financial compensation for affected children.
Pandemrix, made by British drug company GlaxoSmithKline was the only vaccine used in both countries â it was given to about 60 percent of the Swedish population.
About 200 children under the age of 19 developed Narcolepsy in Sweden, and 80 in Finland.
But the institute said Pandemrix also prevented an estimated 80,000 swine flu infections in Finland and about 50 deaths.
In February, British research said Pandemrix boosted the narcolepsy risk among four-to-18-year-olds by a factor of 14.
Last September, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said evidence from sleep centres in Finland and Sweden pointed to an added narcolepsy risk of one in 20,000 for Pandemrix-vaccinated children and teenagers.
Just days before the massive worldwide event know as March Against Monsanto, the Senate has once again sided with Monsanto by overwhelmingly voting against a bill that would have allowed individual states to choose whether or not to label GMO foods.
With a vote count ofÂ 71 to 27, the Senate denied the right of the people to know what is in the food they eat. The Senate also took a direct shot at the 10th Amendment in denying individual states the right to make their ownÂ decision in regards to GMO labeling.
Shortly before the vote, sponsor Senator Bernie Sanders said that, “the concept we’re talking about today is a fairly commonsense and non-radical idea.
“All over the world, in the European Union, in many other countries around the world, dozens and dozens of countries, people are able to look at the food that they are buying and determine through labeling whether or not that product contains genetically modified organisms.”
Sanders also noted that in the past he has helped pass laws in his home state of Vermont that would require GMO labeling but hasn’t seen those laws actually be enacted over fears that Monsanto would sue the state. This bill would allow states to do what they want without fear that the company that brought us agent orange could end up having more power than an entire state government.
Opponents of the bill were also vocal, with one Senator claiming that there was no evidence that there is any difference between GMO and non GMO despite known facts that point to the exact opposite.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the chair of the Agriculture Committee, argued that the measure “is not germane to the farm bill” in the first place. She also said the labels run counter to science and the public interest in healthy food.
“This particular amendment would interfere with the FDA’s science-based process to determine what food labeling is necessary for consumers,” Stabenow said.
“It’s also important to note that around the world now we are seeing genetically modified crops that have the ability to resist crop diseases and improve nutritional content and survive drought conditions in many developing countries,” she added.
“We see wonderful work being done by foundations like the Gates Foundation and others, that are using new techniques to be able to feed hungry people,” she said, although it was not clear how labeling would affect such efforts.
Either Stabenow is so naive she is literally just repeating Gate Foundation/Monsanto talking points or she is (like many in Congress) in the pockets of big agriculture.
At this point it seems that attempting to make GMO labeling a reality by going through Congress may be impossible and a more grassroots type of movement is needed. Luckily, that may actually be happening.
The vote against GMO labeling came just two days before the worldwide event known as March Against Monsanto.Â While the mainstream media hasÂ largelyÂ stayed quiet about the now viral worldwide movement against GMO’s and Monsanto, tens of thousands of people are planning to rally across the country.
March Against Monsanto has announced that on May 25, tens of thousands of activists around the world will âMarch Against Monsanto.â
Currently, marches are being planned on six continents, in 36 countries, totaling events in over 250 cities, and in the US, events are slated to occur simultaneously at 11 a.m. Pacific in 47 states.
Many have questioned what the overall goals of the movement are and spoke about the need for a clear message as to why they are marching. The official March Against Monsanto website has outlined this.
On May 25, activists around the world will unite toÂ March Against Monsanto.
Why do we march?
Research studies have shown that Monsantoâs genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel thatâs a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-led research on the long-term effects of GM products.
Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed âMonsanto Protection Actâ that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsantoâs genetically-modified seeds.
For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the worldâs food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
Monsanto’s GM seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have contributed to Colony Collapse Disorder among the world’s bee population.
What are solutions we advocate?
Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
Repealing relevant provisions of the US’s “Monsanto Protection Act.”
Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto’s secrets.
Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won’t take these injustices quietly.
We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. Thatâs why we March Against Monsanto.
Daniel Jackson is a seasoned journalist with a passion for exposing corruption and the lies of the global elite. DJ has a passion for truth and liberty that is shown through his extensive reporting on numerous globally significant topics not normally covered by the corporate controlled media. He is is a writer, researcher and editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!
Note: I hosted a special radio show on Â 5/22/13, on The Anti-Media Radio where we went into more depth on all of these fundamental building blocks of the Food Revolution which included a panel of experts from each field I listed in this article. Please listen here:Â http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjxS7QJbmCY&feature=youtu.be
How The March Against Can And Will Change The World
TheÂ March Against MonsantoÂ was started by a handful of millenials with a passion for change, a passion that we all have within us. Many people make the mistake of looking for someone to make change for them when the real change in this world comes from within.
The top-down approach for making the world a better place, i.e. electing politicians to do our bidding has come and gone, with little success. There’s a revolution happening right before our eyes, and before I had the opportunity to help with the world-wide March Against Monsanto, I was largely oblivious to this sea change that is coming.
The rules of change, of activism, of consciousness, and of helping people are being rewritten by you and me, one connection at a time. The new revolution of good is coming from the grass-roots and making its way upward; this bottom-up effect is exactly what those who would like to see us silent are afraid of.
This new way of media and activism cannot be controlled by the likes of corporations or governments; these are ideas and they cannot be stopped. This new paradigm shift starts with you, your friends and family, and the way you can connect with people around you; the way information is disseminated makes all the difference in this new paradigm.
The mainstream mediaÂ controls 95% of the informationÂ that we see, from television to newspapers, to magazines. This is the top-down technique, where you have no choice but to consume what’s being served, making for a fickle population that was manipulated by commercials and where money made the major difference between a bill passing or failing, and a politician being elected or losing.
TheÂ new mediaÂ Â is a media of choice, where people can choose to get information on a topic that they choose. What does this mean? This means that a person that participates in the new media is more passionate, better informed, in turn a much more valuable asset to a social movement. These people are well versed in the information, founded in fact, and immune to the manipulation of a mainstream media establishment that is 90% owned by 6 monopolistic corporations. These new activists are warriors for truth and justice, and for those currently controlling the agenda, this can be a scary situation.
You see, the government and corporations areÂ ingrainedÂ into the establishment; they’re comfortable in their positions. This will be their downfall. History and science have shown that the comfortable devolve and the oppressed evolve; struggle is the essence of innovation and of change. This is why good always prevails over bad.
The March Against Monsanto has grown beyond my wildest dreams; a few months ago it was just an idea. It has grown into a full blown movement and the people that started itÂ wouldn’tÂ be able to stop if they wanted. You see,Â the peopleÂ have taken over the March, the decentralization has come in a natural way, an intuitive way. Movements can no longer be over-centralized, asÂ over-centralizationÂ is detrimental to any organization, institution, business and government. The new paradigm which is forming will be driven by people who care, not people who care for power. The old idea of inorganic manipulation, which used to be the norm, has fallen to the side in favor of this new movement of information: this new Revolution. Information is spreading in grass-roots, open source fashion, all the old rules are being thrown out.
How the March AgainstMonsanto can and will change the world. The beginning of the Food Revolution.
The March does not and cannot end on May 25, 2013. For many of the participants in the March Against Monsanto, this is their first protest or march that they have ever taken part of. This movement has awakened a very large group of people that care about their food supply and care about other peopleâs food supply. These courageous marchers have put aside all of their political and ideological differences to stand in solidarity for what is right.
How do we carry on this March Against Monsanto, this new food revolution passed the 25th?
Capture the momentum of this movement and harness it at the local level. Keep your local march network alive and growing.
All of the connections that you are making in your local areas, all of the people you are meeting through the organizing, planning, and marching process must be kept active for this march to have a lasting effect. If we just march on the 25th and nothing more, then the movement ends right then and there. Each event page for each local city is full of great contacts, activists, and people that care. Compile these lists, make email lists, start a newsletter, make a local Facebook page and keep the pressure on to continue this fight. Pass around signup sheets at your local marches to collect emails. Even if you don’t have a plan of action for what to do with the emails you compile, put them into a spread sheet and save them until you figure it out. I recommend that once your march is over on Saturday evening that you change the Date of your local Facebook event to 5/24/14; this will keep the event page up and will make it easier to access your local food revolutionaries.
Use open source organizing techniques to lower the burden and to keep your local movement decentralized. Using an open platform will make it easier for your local community and activists to add information into your spread sheets, email lists, and other data rich documents.Â MonsantoÂ is notÂ going away without a fight:Â They’veÂ been around for over 100 years and deeply entrenched in the political establishment of both parties.
After the March, take real steps to improve your food fate locally. Remember that people on a low or fixed income donât have a choice to eat organic with their given incomes.
Itâs not enough to simply tell people to eat organic, or vote for initiatives that will label GMOs. The very first thing you can do is plant your own garden. If you have the space, plant a garden larger than what you need to feed your family and help someone that is less fortunate with some fresh homegrown food from your garden. What if you donât have a yard to plant in? One option is growing indoors. There is a growing industry of indoor gardeners that are starting to change the way we think about gardening through the use of
Hydroponics. You should be able to find a local hydroponics store near you and get it all set up and growing food for a couple hundred dollars. There are also plenty of online retailers of indoor growing equipment; try Craigslist if you’re on a tight budget. What if you donât have a yard and growing indoors in not an option for you? At this point we need to look to our fellow local activists from the March Against Monsanto.
Community gardensÂ are a great way to bring in a fresh and organic food source into an urban area. Find a plot of land that is vacant or belongs to the local city, find out who is on charge of it and get the ball rolling on starting a community garden. Enlist some people that you have met though the march to help you physically, technically, and financially. Look to the local community toÂ crowd source labor and resources. If none of these are an option for you, thereâs still hope for you within the food revolution. Share cropping is a way of getting some space to grow a garden that you can secure for free or a very low cost.
ManyÂ urban sharecroppersÂ will offer free food from the garden to the land owner in exchange for offering them some space to grow a garden. Share cropping is just like a community garden on a smaller scale. If you live in an area where there are many small yards with space available, think about setting up a sharecropping co-op where food can be traded and shared for little or no money. Always remember that the low income community is at the highest risk of GMO and chemical exposure from their food. Look into new technologies and techniques when setting up your new gardens.Â Vertical gardeningÂ is great way to maximize limited space a make your garden virtually maintenance free. Thereâs an ancient technique of hydroponics that is just being rediscovered and developed: Aquaponics.
Aquaponics is arguably the most efficient way to grow organic vegetablesâŚand edible fish at the same time. This technique has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, but new attention is being brought to aquaponics because of its efficiency and ability to grow both edible fish and vegetation. AÂ Wisconsin manÂ was able to grow over one million pounds of food in one year by utilizing these new and innovative growing techniques.
There are many forms of activism that we can use to improve our food fate and continue the food revolution. The March Against Monsanto is a perfect example of a mass movement that disseminates information to millions of people, awakening the masses to the injustices of the world. Activism can be done on a much smaller scale and many different ways. As I detailed earlier, the networks are being rebuilt in a new, more just way.
Utilize your new local network of activists to keep pressure on local politicians and hold them to their promises. Organize mass emailing and mass calling to their offices when a critical vote is about to be made. Let them hear your voice amplified by your entire network. Build relationships with other activists from other causes, reach out to other interests and help support them, and they will support you. Spreading awareness is key to the food revolution; many people don’t know what GMOs are, let alone know the negative effects on their health and environment that they cause.
Mobilize your local activist network often and keep them engaged in the community; you are the leaders of this movement! It’s up to you to let your neighbors know what’s in their food and how they can make real world progress to take their food back. These techniques can also be replicated on the national and global level, which is why it’s important for you toÂ stay connected to the national MAM campaign. We can find and spot things like theÂ Monsanto Protection ActÂ before they are passed into law and put out a call to action to all the local networks to help us get them stopped.
Support alternative media
Remember seeing the warnings about the dangers of the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ on MSNBC and FOX News before it became a law? Me neither. That’s because there was no warning from the mainstream media; in fact very few have even covered it to this day. We did find out about this bill when it was only a proposal from multiple reports by independent journalists, includingÂ SpreadLibertyNews on 12/17/12.
The pattern that we see from the mainstream is a dangerous one. As I noted earlier, over 90% of the media is owned by 6 companies, and just like Monsanto, these companies have also slipped into bed with the government.
ComediansÂ have become the only mainstream media sources that are willing to challenge the establishment’s political and economic might. Yet pundits likeÂ Jon StewartÂ who have been shown in polls to be more trusted for news than some major news outlets, only bring light to these harmful pieces of legislation after they are already passed into law.
This is why supporting and finding alternative news sources is so important: Do you want to find out about harmful legislation before it’s passed while we still have time to mobilize and try to stop them, or do you want to find out about it on TV when it’s too late? Find and support independent journalists on sites likeÂ TheAnti-Media.orgÂ that aggregate news from many diverse sources, find the ones you like and subscribe to their posts.
The mainstream media has major interests in other industries, including military adventurism and yes you guessed it, GMOs. In aÂ court ruling in 2003, it was determined that news companies can legally lie to their viewers and readers. The case was brought about when two FOX News journalists tried to publish a report about the negative health effects of Monsanto’sÂ bovine growth hormone (BGH)Â and were subsequently fired when they refused to censor their story to fit FOX’s agenda.
Supporting alternative media is key in decentralizing our supply of unbiased information and getting news from sources that do not have billion-dollar agendas, findingÂ like-mindedÂ activists, and keeping the pressure on politicians who seek to only enrich themselves and their corporate lackeys.
It was initially believed that the virus could only be transmitted to humans who have had direct contact with poultry. After 36 H7N9 deaths and 131 of infectionsÂ officiallyÂ reported since the virus was first identified, the worst case scenario that many feared may now be on the horizon.
The H7N9 bird flu virus can be transmitted not only through close contact but by airborne exposure, a team at the University of Hong Kong found after extensive laboratory experiments.
Though the virus appears to have been brought under control recently, the researchers urged the Hong Kong authorities to maintain strict surveillance, which should include not only poultry but humans and pigs.
In the study, to be published today in the journalÂ Science, ferrets were used to evaluate the infectivity of H7N9. It was found the virus could spread through the air, from one cage to another, albeit less efficiently.
Inoculated ferrets were infected before the appearance of most clinical symptoms. This means there may be more cases than have been detected or reported.
“People may be transmitting the virus before they even know that they’ve got it,” Zhu said.
It’s important to note that the Chinese government has never been very straight forward about statistics, especially if they involve negative perceptions of their country, so in all likelihood the H7N9 virus has infected countless others.
Though it’s been called one of the most lethal flu viruses in history by WHO, Chinese scientists have downplayed the threat by claiming the effects are “mild,” and the U.S. government has up until now made no decision on whether to move forward with a vaccine for this particular strain. Earlier reports indicate that the virus is resistant to Tamiflu, a drug commonly used to treat most flu symptoms.
H7N9 is reportedly now under control in China, but we know for a fact that the virus jumped to Taiwan in April, and it may have spread elsewhere. Given that research shows the virus can spread through the air before symptoms appear, it’s certainly possibly that an outbreak is in its preliminary phase right now.
Curiously, the United Nations reports that the virus has already cost the global economy some $6.5 billion in losses. Those are massive numbers given that only 131 official cases have been reported.
We’ll know soon enough if the Chinese government has controlled the outbreak among its one billion population, and if it’s taken hold in other countries. If it’s airborne, the contagion will spread like any common cold or flu.
Pandemics have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of people throughout history, and once they start they are very hard to control. With H7N9 having a mutation rate that is eight times faster than other flu viruses, it could very well become even deadlier than it is now. Moreover, it could become even more contagious over time.
When it hits the fan, don’t say we didn’t warn you. Mac Slavo is the editor of SHTFplan.com, a resource hub for alternative news, contrarian commentary and strategies that you can take to protect yourself from the coming global paradigm shift.
It is being reported that commercial labs are applying for patents on the Novel Coronavirus that is currently killing 50% of the people who contract it.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged countries with possible cases of novel coronavirus to share information.
The move comes after Saudi Arabia said the development of diagnostic tests had been delayed by patent rights on the NCoV virus by commercial laboratories.
Twenty-two deaths and 44 cases have been reported worldwide since 2012, the WHO says.
NCoV is from the same family of viruses as the one that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).
An outbreak of Sars in 2003 killed about 770 people. However, NCoV and Sars are distinct from each other, the WHO says.
The virus first emerged in Saudi Arabia, which is where most cases have since arisen.
Saudi Deputy Health Minister Ziad Memish raised his concerns at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.
“We are still struggling with diagnostics and the reason is that the virus was patented by scientists and is not allowed to be used for investigations by other scientists,” he said.Â I think strongly that the delay in the development of … diagnostic procedures is related to the patenting of the virus.”
WHO chief Margaret Chan expressed dismay at the information.
“Why would your scientists send specimens out to other laboratories on [sic] a bilateral manner and allow other people to take intellectual property rights on a new disease?” she asked.Â Any new disease is full of uncertainty.”
She urging the WHO’s 194 member states to only share “viruses and specimens with WHO collaborating centres… not in a bilateral manner.”
She added: “I will follow it up. I will look at the legal implications together with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. No IP (intellectual property) should stand in the way of you, the countries of the world, to protect your people.”
WHO’s assistant director-general for health security, Dr Keiji Fukuda, said his agency had also been “struggling with diagnostics” because of property rights concerns and ill-defined international rules for sharing such materials, AP news agency reported.
Cases of novel coronavirus have been detected in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the UK and France.
Twenty-two of the 44 cases reported worldwide have been in Saudi Arabia, WHO says.
Out of the 22 deaths, 10 of them have been in the kingdom.
March Against Monsanto
May 25 âMarch Against Monsantoâ planned for over 30 countries
SEATTLE, Wash. (May 1, 2013) â March Against Monsanto has announced that on May 25, tens of thousands of activists around the world will âMarch Against Monsanto.â Currently, marches are being planned on six continents, in 36 countries, totaling events in over 250 cities, and in the US, events are slated to occur simultaneously at 11 a.m. Pacific in 47 states.
Tami Monroe Canal, lead organizer and creator of the now-viralÂ Facebook page, says she was inspired to start the movement to protect her two daughters. âI feel Monsanto threatens their generationâs health, fertility and longevity. I couldnât sit by idly, waiting for someone else to do something.â [The full March Against Monsanto mission statement can be readÂ here.]
An organizer for the march in Athens, Greece, Roberta Gogos, spoke about the importance of the events in austerity-impacted South Europe. âMonsanto is working very hard to overturn EU regulation on obligatory labeling (questionable whether itâs really enforced in any case), and no doubt they will have their way in the end. Greece is in a precarious position right now, and Greeceâs farmers falling prey to the petrochemical giant is a very real possibility.â
Josh Castro, organizer for Quito, says he wants to protect Ecuador against Monsantoâs influence, too. âEcuador is such a beautiful place, with the richest biodiversity in the world. We will not allow this Garden of Eden to be compromised by evil multinational corporations like Monsanto. Biotechnology is not the solution to world hunger. Agroecology is.â
For media inquiries, contact Emilie Rensink at email@example.com. To schedule an interview or for general information, contact Tami Monroe Canal at firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship inquiry, contact Nick Bernabe at email@example.com.
In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsantoâs Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nationâs 25,000 organic farms and ranches, Americaâs organic consumers and producersÂ are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded byÂ Whole FoodsÂ Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided itâs time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsantoâs controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for âcoexistenceâ with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.
In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week,Whole FoodsÂ Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and âseed purity,â gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the âconditional deregulationâ of Monsantoâs genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa. Beyond the regulatory euphemism of âconditional deregulation,â this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soilÂ foodÂ web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.
âcompensation.â In exchange for a new assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workersâ and rural residentsâ risk of gettingÂ cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment for a new broad spectrum attack on the soilâs crucial ability to provide nutrition forÂ foodÂ crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases (recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of St. Louis to agree to pay âcompensationâ (i.e. hushÂ money) to farmers âfor any losses related to the contamination of his crop.â
In its email of Jan. 21, 2011 WFM calls for âpublic oversight by the USDA rather than reliance on the biotechnology industry,â even though WFM knows full well that federal regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) do not require pre-market safety testing, nor labeling; and that even federal judges have repeatedly ruled that so-called government âoversightâ of Frankencrops such as Monsantoâs sugar beets and alfalfa is basically a farce. At the end of its email, WFM admits that its surrender to Monsanto is permanent: âThe policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well True coexistence is a must.â
Why Is Organic Inc. Surrendering?
According to informed sources, the CEOs of WFM and Stonyfield are personal friends of former Iowa governor, now USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, and in fact made financial contributions to Vilsackâs previous electoral campaigns. Vilsack was hailed as âGovernor of the Yearâ in 2001 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and traveled in a MonsantoÂ corporate jetÂ on the campaign trail. Perhaps even more fundamental to Organic Inc.âs abject surrender is the fact that the organic elite has become more and more isolated from the concerns and passions of organic consumers and locavores.
The Organic Inc. CEOs are tired of activist pressure, boycotts, and petitions. Several of them have told me this to my face. They apparently believe that the battle against GMOs has been lost, and that itâs time to reach for the consolation prize. The consolation prize they seek is a so-called âcoexistenceâ between the biotech Behemoth and the organic community that will lull the public toÂ sleepÂ and greenwash the unpleasant fact that Monsantoâs unlabeled and unregulated genetically engineered crops are now spreading their toxic genes on 1/3 of U.S. (and 1/10 of global) crop land.
WFM and most of the largest organic companies have deliberately separated themselves from anti-GMO efforts and cut off all funding to campaigns working to label or ban GMOs. The so-called Non-GMO Project, funded byÂ Whole FoodsÂ and giant wholesaler UnitedÂ Natural FoodsÂ (UNFI) is basically a greenwashing effort (although the 100% organic companies involved in this project seem to be operating in good faith) to show that certified organicÂ foodsÂ are basically free from GMOs (we already know this since GMOs are banned in organic production), while failing to focus on so-called ânaturalâÂ foods, which constitute most of WFM and UNFIâs sales and are routinely contaminated with GMOs.
From their âbusiness as usualâ perspective, successful lawsuits against GMOs filed by public interest groups such as the Center forÂ FoodÂ Safety; or noisy attacks on Monsanto by groups like the Organic ConsumersÂ Association, create bad publicity, rattle their big customers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Supervalu, Publix and Safeway; and remind consumers that organic crops andÂ foodsÂ such as corn, soybeans, and canola are slowly but surely becoming contaminated by Monsantoâs GMOs.
Whole Foodsâ Dirty Little Secret: Most of the So-Called âNaturalâ ProcessedÂ FoodsÂ and Animal Products They Sell Are Contaminated with GMOs
The main reason, however, whyÂ Whole FoodsÂ is pleading for coexistence with Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and the rest of the biotech bullies, is that they desperately want the controversy surrounding genetically engineeredÂ foodsÂ and crops to go away. Why? Because they know, just as we do, that 2/3 of WFMâs $9 billion annual sales is derived from so-called ânaturalâ processedÂ foodsÂ and animal products that are contaminated with GMOs. We and our allies have tested their so-called ânaturalâ products (no doubt WFMâs lab has too) containing non-organic corn and soy, and guess what: theyâre all contaminated with GMOs, in contrast to their certifiedorganic products, which are basically free of GMOs, or else contain barely detectable trace amounts.
Approximately 2/3 of the products sold byÂ Whole FoodsÂ Market and their main distributor, UnitedÂ Natural FoodsÂ (UNFI) are not certified organic, but rather are conventional (chemical-intensive and GMO-tainted)Â foodsÂ and products disguised as ânatural.â
Unprecedented wholesale and retail control of the organic marketplace by UNFI andWhole Foods, employing a business model of selling twice as much so-called ânaturalâfoodÂ as certified organicÂ food, coupled with the takeover of many organic companies by multinationalÂ foodÂ corporations such as DeanÂ Foods, threatens the growth of the organic movement.
Covering Up GMO Contamination: Perpetrating âNaturalâ Fraud
Many well-meaning consumers areÂ confusedÂ about the difference between conventional products marketed as ânatural,â and those nutritionally/ environmentally superior and climate-friendly products that are âcertified organic.â
Retail stores like WFM andÂ wholesale distributorsÂ like UNFI have failed to educate their customers about the qualitative difference between natural and certified organic, conveniently glossing over the fact that nearly all of the processed ânaturalâÂ foodsÂ and products they sell contain GMOs, or else come from a ânaturalâ supply chain where animals are force-fed GMO grains in factory farms or Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
A troubling trend in organics today is the calculated shift on the part of certain large formerly organic brands from certified organic ingredients and products to so-called ânaturalâ ingredients. With the exception of the âgrass-fed and grass-finishedâ meat sector, most ânaturalâ meat, dairy, and eggs are coming from animals reared on GMO grains and drugs, and confined, entirely, or for a good portion of their lives, in CAFOs.
Whole Foods and UNFI are maximizing their profits by selling quasi-natural products at premium organic prices. Organic consumers are increasingly left without certified organic choices while genuine organic farmers and ranchers continue to lose market share to ânaturalâ imposters. Itâs no wonder that less than 1% of American farmland is certified organic, while well-intentioned but misled consumers have boosted organic and ânaturalâ purchases to $80 billion annually-approximately 12% of all grocery store sales.
The Solution: Truth-in-Labeling Will Enable Consumers to Drive So-Called âNaturalâ GMO and CAFO-Tainted Foods Off the Market
There can be no such thing as âcoexistenceâ with a reckless industry that undermines public health, destroys biodiversity, damages the environment, tortures and poisons animals, destabilizes the climate, and economically devastates the worldâs 1.5 billion seed-saving small farmers.
There is no such thing as coexistence between GMOs and organics in the European Union. Why? Because in the EU there are almost no GMO crops under cultivation, nor GM consumer food products on supermarket shelves. And why is this? Because under EU law, all foods containing GMOs or GMO ingredients must be labeled. Consumers have the freedom to choose or not to choose GMOs; while farmers, food processors, and retailers have (at least legally) the right to lace foods with GMOs, as long as they are safety-tested and labeled.
Of course the EU food industry understands that consumers, for the most part, do not want to purchase or consume GE foods. European farmers and food companies, even junk food purveyors like McDonaldâs and Wal-Mart, understand quite well the concept expressed by a Monsanto executive when GMOs first came on the market: âIf you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.â
The biotech industry and Organic Inc. are supremely conscious of the fact that North American consumers, like their European counterparts, are wary and suspicious of GMO foods. Even without a PhD, consumers understand you donât want your food safety or environmental sustainability decisions to be made by out-of-control chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont â the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, PCBs, and now global warming.
Industry leaders are acutely aware of the fact that every single industry or government poll over the last 16 years has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on GMO foods. Why? So that we can avoid buying them. GMO foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards. This is why Monsanto and their friends in the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations have prevented consumer GMO truth-in-labeling laws from getting a public discussion in Congress.
Although Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio) recently introduced a bill in Congress calling for mandatory labeling and safety testing for GMOs, donât hold your breath for Congress to take a stand for truth-in-labeling and consumersâ right to know whatâs in their food. Especially since the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the so-called Citizens United case gave big corporations and billionaires the right to spend unlimited amounts of money (and remain anonymous, as they do so) to buy media coverage and elections, our chances of passing federal GMO labeling laws against the wishes of Monsanto and Food Inc. are all but non-existent.
Perfectly dramatizing the âRevolving Doorâ between Monsanto and the Federal Government, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, formerly chief counsel for Monsanto, delivered one of the decisive votes in the Citizens United case, in effect giving Monsanto and other biotech bullies the right to buy the votes it needs in the U.S. Congress.
With big money controlling Congress and the media, we have little choice but to shift our focus and go local. Weâve got to concentrate our forces where our leverage and power lie, in the marketplace, at the retail level; pressuring retail food stores to voluntarily label their products; while on the legislative front we must organize a broad coalition to pass mandatory GMO (and CAFO) labeling laws, at the city, county, and state levels.
The Organic Consumers Association, joined by our consumer, farmer, environmental, and labor allies, has just launched a nationwide Truth-in-Labeling campaign to stop Monsanto and the Biotech Bullies from force-feeding unlabeled GMOs to animals and humans.
Utilizing scientific data, legal precedent, and consumer power the OCA and our local coalitions will educate and mobilize at the grassroots level to pressure giant supermarket chains (Wal-Mart, Kroger, Costco, Safeway, Supervalu, and Publix) and natural food retailers such as Whole Foods and Trader Joeâs to voluntarily implement âtruth-in-labelingâ practices for GMOs and CAFO products; while simultaneously organizing a critical mass to pass mandatory local and state truth-in-labeling ordinances â similar to labeling laws already in effect for country of origin, irradiated food, allergens, and carcinogens.
From the Trenches World Report is intent on uncovering more documented facts to bring to light that which the common man or woman is not meant to see. We are in a war for nothing less than our right to individual thought. We will be reporting on that war From the Trenches.
What is life going to look like as our precious water resources become increasingly strained and the western half of the United States becomes bone dry?Â Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the country in 1000 years, and now things appear to be reverting to their normal historical patterns.Â But we have built teeming cities in the desert such as Phoenix and Las Vegas that support millions of people.Â Cities all over the Southwest continue to grow even as the Colorado River, Lake Mead and the High Plains Aquifer system run dry.Â So what are we going to do when there isn’t enough water to irrigate our crops or run through our water systems?Â Already we are seeing some ominous signs that Dust Bowl conditions are starting to return to the region.Â In the past couple of years we have seen giant dust storms known as “haboobs” roll through Phoenix, andÂ 6 of the 10 worst years for wildfires ever recorded in the United States have all comeÂ since the year 2000.Â In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, “the average number of fires larger than 1,000 acres in a year has nearly quadrupled in Arizona and Idaho and has doubled in every other Western state” since the 1970s.Â But scientists are warning that they expect the western United States to become much drier than it is now.Â What will the western half of the country look like once that happens?
The wet 20th century, the wettest of the past millennium, the century when Americans built an incredible civilization in the desert, is over.
Much of the western half of the country has historically been a desolate wasteland.Â We were very blessed to enjoy very wet conditions for most of the last century, but now that era appears to be over.
To compensate, we are putting a tremendous burden on our fresh water resources.Â In particular, the Colorado River is becoming increasingly strained.Â Without the Colorado River, many of our largest cities simply would not be able to function.Â The following is from a recentÂ Stratfor article…
The Colorado River provides water for irrigation of roughly 15 percent of the crops in the United States, including vegetables, fruits, cotton, alfalfa and hay. It also provides municipal water supplies for large cities, such as Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas, accounting for more than half of the water supply in many of these areas.
In particular, water levels in Lake Mead (which supplies most of the water for Las Vegas) have fallen dramatically over the past decade or so.Â The following is an excerpt from an article posted onÂ Smithsonian.com…
And boaters still roar across Nevada and Arizonaâs Lake Mead, 110 miles long and formed by the Hoover Dam. But at the lakeâs edge they can see lines in the rock walls, distinct as bathtub rings, showing the water level far lower than it once wasâsome 130âfeet lower, as it happens, since 2000. Water resource officials say some of the reservoirs fed by the riverâwill never be full again.
Way before people run out of drinking water, something else happens: When Lake Mead falls below 1,050 feet, the Hoover Dam’s turbines shut down â less than four years from now, if the current trend holds â and in Vegas the lights start going out.
Ominously, these water woes are not confined to Las Vegas. Under contracts signed by President Obama in December 2011, Nevada gets only 23.37% of the electricity generated by the Hoover Dam. The other top recipients: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (28.53%); state of Arizona (18.95%); city of Los Angeles (15.42%); and Southern California Edison (5.54%).
You can always build more power plants, but you can’t build more rivers, and the mighty Colorado carries the lifeblood of the Southwest. It services the water needs of an area the size of France, in which live 40 million people. In its natural state, the river poured 15.7 million acre-feet of water into the Gulf of California each year. Today, twelve years of drought have reduced the flow to about 12 million acre-feet, and human demand siphons off every bit of it; at its mouth, the riverbed is nothing but dust.
Nor is the decline in the water supply important only to the citizens of Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. It’s critical to the whole country. The Colorado is the sole source of water for southeastern California’s Imperial Valley, which has been made into one of the most productive agricultural areas in the US despite receiving an average of three inches of rain per year.
You hardly ever hear about this on the news, but the reality is that this is a slow-motion train wreck happening right in front of our eyes.
Today, the once mighty Colorado River runs dry about 50 miles north of the sea.Â The following is an excerpt from an excellent articleÂ by Jonathan WatermanÂ about what he found when he went to investigate this…
Fifty miles from the sea, 1.5 miles south of the Mexican border, I saw a river evaporate into a scum of phosphates and discarded water bottles. This dirty water sent me home with feet so badly infected that I couldnât walk for a week. And a delta once renowned for its wildlife and wetlands is now all but part of the surrounding and parched Sonoran Desert. According to Mexican scientists whom I met with, the river has not flowed to the sea since 1998. If the Endangered Species Act had any teeth in Mexico, we might have a chance to save the giant sea bass (totoaba), clams, the Sea of Cortez shrimp fishery that depends upon freshwater returns, and dozens of bird species.
So let this stand as an open invitation to the former Secretary of the Interior and all water buffalos who insist upon telling us that there is no scarcity of water here or in the Mexican Delta. Leave the sprinklered green lawns outside the Aspen conferences, come with me, and Iâll show you a Colorado River running dry from its headwaters to the sea. It is polluted and compromised by industry and agriculture. It is overallocated, drought stricken, and soon to suffer greatly from population growth. If other leaders in our administration continue the whitewash, the scarcity of knowledge and lack of conservation measures will cripple a western civilization built upon water.
Further east, the major problem is the drying up of our underground water resources.
In the state of Kansas today, many farmers that used to be able to pump plenty of water to irrigate their crops are discovering that the water underneath their land is now gone.Â The following is an excerpt from a recent article in theÂ New York Times…
Vast stretches of Texas farmland lying over the aquifer no longer support irrigation. In west-central Kansas, up to a fifth of the irrigated farmland along a 100-mile swath of the aquifer has already gone dry. In many other places, there no longer is enough water to supply farmersâ peak needs during Kansasâ scorching summers.
And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains.
So what is going to happen to “the breadbasket of the world” as this underground water continues to dry up?
Most Americans have never even heard of the Ogallala Aquifer, but it is one of our most important natural resources.Â It is one of the largest sources of fresh water on the entire planet, and farmers use water from the Ogallala Aquifer to irrigate more than 15 million acres of crops each year.Â It covers more than 100,000 square miles and it sits underneath the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota.
Unfortunately, today it is being drained dry at a staggering rate.Â The following are a few statistics about this from one of myÂ previous articles…
1.Â The Ogallala Aquifer is being drained at a rate of approximatelyÂ 800 gallonsÂ per minute.
A mysterious respiratory illness has claimed the lives of two people in southeast Alabama, and caused five other hospitalizations. The illness has left health officials baffled, who have no idea what this disease is or where it originated.
The mysterious illness has sickened its victims with flu-like symptoms, including a shortness of breath, fever, and coughing. Of the seven people who were hospitalized with the new disease, two have died, Alabama Department of Public Health spokeswoman Mary McIntyre told AP.
While the cause is currently unknown, it’s interesting to note that Southeastern Alabama’s cotton fields are in full bloom this time of year – and that some of these crops areÂ BtÂ cotton.Â BtÂ cotton is a genetically modified cotton that contains aÂ BacillusÂ thuringiensisÂ (orÂ Bt)Â pesticide within the plant.
There is no proof that this is related to the mysterious illnesses in Alabama, however, history shows us that serious illnesses occurred in India whereverÂ BtÂ cotton was grown.
When Monsanto’s cottonÂ was planted in India, two stories were presented.
Workers exposed toÂ BtÂ cotton developed allergies
1. Agricultural laborers in six villages who picked or loadedÂ BtÂ cotton reported reactions of the skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract.
2. Some laborers required hospitalization.
3. Employees at a cotton gin factory take antihistamines everyday.
4. One doctor treated about 250 cotton laborers
Â Sheep died after grazing inÂ BtÂ cotton fields
1. After the cotton harvest in parts of India, sheep herds grazed continuously onÂ BtÂ cotton plants.
2. Reports from four villages revealed that about 25% of the sheep died within a week.
3. PostÂ mortemÂ studies suggest a toxic reaction.
If you are to believe the Monsanto PR folks, however, their seeds and Indian farms were a match made in heaven. They even createdÂ a page on their websiteÂ to celebrate ten years of partnership and to explain how Bt cotton improved the farmers’ standards of living:
Bollgard has been Indian farmersâÂ pragatiÂ kaÂ saathiÂ (partner in progress), as it has increasingly helpedÂ BtÂ cotton farmers enjoy a higher standard of living. With the combination of higher yields and reduced pesticide costs, Indiaâs cotton farmers have increased their incomes. And with this additional money, they are able toÂ purchase vehicles, provide education for their children, afford better housing for their families and purchase farm equipment. Additionally, because these farmers have additional income, they are able to put resources back into their villagesâ economies.Â Â Therefore, villages where farmers are plantingÂ BtÂ cotton have seen improvements in access to services, such as telephone systems, electricity, drinking water, better internet connectivity, banking services, and better access to markets â things many around the world take for granted.
Despite Monsanto’s glowing description of the partnership, cotton farmers in India began to commit suicide at a rate unheard of previously, as the crops failed and they could not pay their debts to Monsanto. Anthony Gucciardi ofÂ Natural Society wrote:
According to the mostÂ recent figuresÂ (provided by the New York University School of Law),Â 17,638 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009 â aboutÂ one death every 30 minutes. In 2008, theÂ Daily Mail labeledÂ the continual and disturbing suicide spree as âThe GM (genetically modified) Genocideâ.Â Due to failing harvests and inflated prices that bankrupt the poor farmers, struggling Indian farmers began to kill themselves. Oftentimes, they would commit the act by drinking the very same insecticide that Monsanto supplied them with â a gruesome testament to the extent in which Monsanto has wrecked the lives of independent and traditional farmers.
To further add backing to the tragedy, the rate of Indian farmer suicidesÂ massively increasedÂ since the introduction of Monsantoâs Bt cotton in 2002. It is no wonder that a large percentage of farmers who take their own lives are cotton farmers, the demographic that is thought to be among the most impacted…
…Many families are now ruined thanks to the mass suicides, and are left to economic ruin and must struggle to fight off starvation.
Regardless of PR efforts to debunk claims that the Indian farmer’s were suffering due to Monsanto’s practices, the Indian government last yearÂ cancelled the cotton license with Monsanto, citing unfair trading practices. “We have given fair chance to the company and all charges of unfair trade practice have been proved,” says Sudam Adsule, the director of inputs and quality control for Maharashtra, India’s biggest industrial region, in the ENS article. “Hence, under the existing cotton seed act, we have taken action and it can’t be revoked.”
Are the mystery illness victims casualties of this current experiment? If so, proving it will be difficult and because of the Monsanto Protection Act, it is unlikely that, even if proven, Â any penalty or charges will ever be forthcoming against the company.
Angelina Jolie has gone public and told the world she has had a double mastectomy because she carries a breast cancer gene. There are two genes BRCA and BRCA2 that are proven to cause breast cancer, and two other genes,TP53 and PTEN that can significantly increase a woman’s risk of developing the disease.
Debate rages on over if she, and other women who have undergone prophylactic mastectomy have done the right thing. Nobody has the right to tell an individual what they should or shouldn’t do in these situations but as gene research continues the question of how far we will go to avoid cancer comes into play.
Reports have made it into the media regarding men having their prostate gland removed because they carry the gene for prostate cancer, again, this has to be their choice but that question of how far to go still lingers, often unsaid in the background.
Cancer in some form will affect one person in every three on average in the UK at some time in their lives. It is indiscriminate even amongst those who have no known cancer encouraging habits. It crosses all barriers and affects all age groups.
Cancer, or to give it it’s correct medical name, malignant neoplasm is on the increase all across the western world and much of the rise is attributed to lifestyle. These correlations between cancer and modern living are not new. In recent decades smoking has been seen as one of the major causes of the disease, but it was only 30 years ago that it was common to see doctors smoking in their surgery whilst treating patients.
I am in no doubt that as time moves forward more and more lifestyle choices will be implicated in relating to or causing cancer. How we will deal with that is unclear and although I stand by my comment that an individual has the choice of removing parts of their body to prevent cancer, I am not sure where that will lead us as a species.
Will insurance companies start demanding gene testing before they will insure us? Will we be denied medical care if we make what is considered an incorrect lifestyle choice? Hopefully not, but nobody knows for sure how prophylactic amputations will impact all of our futures.
Let me take this opportunity to say good luck to the girls from Tune Hotel Kings Cross in their 5km Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Medically Speaking on the topic of preparedness.
A Tunisian man has died of the novel coronavirus that has claimed lives in the Middle East and Europe. It’s the first recorded case in Africa.
The Health Ministry said that the man, a 66 year old, had recently visited Saudi Arabia. So far the World Heath Organization Â has said only that they haven’t changed their risk assessment but it does show that the disease continues to spread.
Eight countries have now had cases, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates, France, Germany and the UK in addition to Tunisia.
The man who was a diabetic had felt unwell on his return from Saudi Arabia and was admitted to hospital in Monastir where he later died. He infected two of his children with the virus but they are said to be responding to treatment.
A new death in saudi Arabia has also been reported today bringing the death toll to 21.
Every day, their baby stopped breathing, his collapsed bronchus blocking the crucial flow of air to his lungs. April and Bryan Gionfriddo watched helplessly, just praying that somehow the dire predictions weren’t true.
“Quite a few doctors said he had a good chance of not leaving the hospital alive,” says April Gionfriddo, about her now 20-month-old son, Kaiba. “At that point, we were desperate. Anything that would work, we would take it and run with it.”
They found hope at the University of Michigan, where a new, bioresorbable device that could help Kaiba was under development. Kaiba’s doctors contacted Glenn Green, M.D., associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at the University of Michigan.
Green and his colleague, Scott Hollister, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering and associate professor of surgery at U-M, went right into action, obtaining emergency clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to create and implant a tracheal splint for Kaiba made from a biopolymer called polycaprolactone.
On February 9, 2012, the specially-designed splint was placed in Kaiba at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The splint was sewn around Kaiba’s airway to expand the bronchus and give it a skeleton to aid proper growth. Over about three years, the splint will be reabsorbed by the body. The case is featured today in theÂ New England Journal of Medicine.
When thinking about survival prepping, most think of collecting as many dried foods as possible to last for as many years as possible, along with whatever other supplies will be needed to take care of oneself and family without having to visit the supermarket, which, in most scenarios, will not be functioning in a post-crash world.
To this discussion, I would like to add something a bit out of the box. And that is â a goat will keep you alive. Yes, itâs true, and I have spent the last several weeks proving just that.
The survival system that I decided on was geared towards providing me and mine with fresh, whole food that is renewable and sustainable. So, I purchased two milking goats to go along with my garden. One is an Alpine cross whom I named Sunny, and the other a Mini Mancha (La Mancha and Nigerian Dwarf cross) who goes by the name of Fiona. They were pregnant when I bought them, and almost ready to kid.
I have to admit that I knew Alpines were good milkers, but had no idea what a Mini Mancha would do, and was delightfully surprised when it came time for milking at the amount that my little gal produces. For such a small individual, she is a powerhouse.
So, with these two ladies by my side, I began my journey into food freedom. Could my ladies actually keep me alive and healthy? I would soon find out.
The babies were born the first week of February, and I did not milk until I weaned them at 2 months of age. After that, I started milking twice per day and get 1 â 1 Â˝ gallons per day. Since my ladies started producing I havenât eaten much of anything that doesnât come from the ranch and/or local sources.
Why a goat?
My first thought was nutrition. Could I really get the nutrition I need from a diet of goat milk, veggies and fruit? So, I looked up a bit of nutritional information:
Goat milk is also a healthier alternative to cow milk. Why? Cow milk has to be homogenized to be more easily digested, which is a process where the fat globules are broken down. However, this is not necessary with goat milk because it is naturally homogenized. Therefore goat milk is much more easily digested than cow milk is.
Goat milk has more of the essential vitamins that we need. Goat milk has 13% more calcium, 25% percent more B6, 47% percent more vitamin A, and 27% more selenium. It also has more chloride, copper, manganese, potassium, and niacin than cow milk. It also produces more silicon and fluorine than any other dairy animal. Silicon and fluorine can help prevent diabetes.
Scientist are not sure why, but people who are lactose intolerant can often drink goat milk without having to worry about side effects. Goat milk does not cause phlegm like cow milk does, so you can drink goat milk even when you have a cold or bad allergy problems.
For a complete nutritional breakdown comparing goat milk to cow and human milk, go toÂ Fias Co Farm.
Ease of upkeep
The next concern was how easy are they to keep? It turns out that they are the best bet for the money when it comes to dairy critters. Goats are less time consuming, eat less, and are less labor intensive than cows, making them much more economical. They are also browsers and not grazers, meaning that they will eat stuff that cows simply will not touch, and can be used to clear weeds. If you turn them out on your property to browse, they will eat brush and weeds, leaving you with cleared, fertilized land, sans the heavy machinery and spendy store-bought fertilizers. Just beÂ careful of the weedsÂ that they eat as the taste will end up in your milk.
Often the dairy goat has been called the âpoor manâs cow,â because good dairy goats do not cost near as much as good dairy cows do. You can raise more goats on a smaller amount of pasture than you can cows. While it takes an acre for a cow/calf, you can successfully raise six goats on one acre. Cows usually have only one calf per year, while goats have two kids (thatâs what you call a young goat) after their second year. Pound for pound a good dairy goat will produce more milk than a cow will. Unlike a cow, a good dairy goat can produce up to 10% of its body weight in milk.
There are several breeds to choose from, and what is right for one, might not be right for another.
The most frequently asked question that people ask me about goats is,Â âWhat is the difference in each breedâs milk taste, and how much milk do they average.âÂ And that is always one of the hardest questions to answer, simply because there really arenât any solid answers I can give! Each individual goat is going to have its own amount of milk itâs going to give, and itâs going to have its own taste. Think of it like a grab bag. You never know what youâre going to get.
But that sounds rather discouraging. How on earth is a body supposed to choose a goat breed if theyâre hesitant about each one? Over the years, Iâve had theÂ privilege to own almost all the dairy breeds out there, and then try the milk from countless of other goats. Through much experience (read: trial and error as we bought goats that gave horrid tasting milk!), Iâve gotten to know each breedâs quirks and histories, and Iâve come to realize that it actuallyÂ isÂ possible to give people an idea of what to expect from each breed.
Saanen, Alpine, Nubian, Toggenburg, Oberhaslis, La Mancha, Nigerian Dwarf, and combinations thereof are the main dairy breeds. I would rather not get hooked on buying a purebred since they are more expensive, and certain crosses yield excellent milk, in my opinion. My gals are both crosses and their milk is wonderful.
So, when you are looking for your milking goat, go with taste, volume, temperament, size of teats if you are hand milking, and orifice size. You can determine all of these things if you go to the place where you are considering purchasing your goat and observe the hands on experience. Watch the goats to see how they relate to each other, watch your prospect getting milked, ask questions, and taste her milk. I always recommend buying from a trusted source, and if in doubt, get a vet check before purchase.
Preparing for your goat
I asked the local goat-keeper what type of fencing my girls would need. He said that if I can make an enclosure that would hold water, I should be able to keep them in at all timesâŚ. Okay! A challenge. Well, I ended up with a 52â fence because I used large pallets. So far, it has worked. My friend uses 5â high woven wire fencing. That is optimal, but since the pallets were free, that is what I chose.
The feeder is outside of the pen, allowing them to put their heads through the holes and eat without trampling it on the ground and soiling it. Hay nets are another option, but if your goat has horns, she can get them caught in the hay net.
Large dog houses are excellent shelters, but just about anything can be used such as a raised camper shell, a-frame structures, etc. Basically, your goats need to have some place dry and out of the elements to get to. A good straw bedding inside will keep them warm, dry and happy, and provide a good kidding area.
They will also need a good supply of fresh, clean water. Goats do not like dirty water, and if you live in freezing conditions you will need to get a water heater. I use 5 gallon buckets that are cleaned regularly.
Keeping your goat healthy
You will want to get a good supply of high quality hay for your girls. I let the babies browse the ranch, but the milking mamas get a controlled feed so that the taste of the milk can be regulated. As I stated before, whatever they eat affects the taste of the milk. If you cannot get feed for your girls, they can be turned out to forage in an emergency and will do just fine as long as there is plenty of grass and other vegetation. ClickÂ HEREÂ for a list of edible and poisonous plants for goats.
Each goat needs 2 to 4 pounds of hay each day, although some of this need can be met by available pasture or other forage. Make it available free choice throughout the day when pasture is unavailable or feed twice a day when goats are also browsing.
You can feed alfalfa (and some grass hays) in pellet form if you donât have storage or if you want to mix it with grain. The goats donât waste so much alfalfa when itâs in pellets, and you can limit who gets it by combining it with their grain.
I am currently feeding a free-choice oat/pea hay combination along with aÂ non-GMO dairy goat pelletÂ , whole oats, rolled barley, alfalfa pellets, timothy grass pellets, and molasses. They also get free-choice loose minerals and baking soda.
When it is time to worm, I mix food grade diatomaceous earth with their grain ration along with a bit of warm water and molasses to coat everything so that it all gets eaten. Here is some info about diatomaceous earth:
Food grade diatomaceous earth makes a very effective natural insecticide. The insecticidal quality of diatomaceous earth is due to the razor sharp edges of the diatom remains. When diatomaceous earth comes in contact with the insects, the sharp edges lacerate the bugs waxy exoskeleton and then the powdery diatomaceous earth absorbs the body fluids causing death from dehydration.
Food grade diatomaceous earth has been used for at least two decades as a natural wormer for livestock. Some believe diatomaceous earth scratches and dehydrates parasites. Some scientists believe that diatomaceous earth is a de-ionizer or de-energizer of worms or parasites. Regardless, people report definite control. To be most effective, food grade diatomaceous earth must be fed long enough to catch all newly hatching eggs or cycling of the worms through the lungs and back to the stomach. A minimum of 60 days is suggested by many, 90 days is advised for lungworms.
Food grade diatomaceous earth works in a purely physical/mechanical manner, not âchemicalâ and thus has no chemical toxicity. Best yet, parasites donât build up a tolerance/immunity to its chemical reaction, so rotation of wormers is unnecessary.
Goats are hardy creatures, so a bit of prevention goes a long way. I keep Povidone Iodine around for minor cuts, along with hydrogen peroxide and colloidal silver. My medical kit is stocked with sterile cotton, vet-wrap, sharp scissors, an enema bottle, small bottles of hydrogen peroxide, colloidal silver and Betadine, cotton swabs, thermometer, and small towels.
Your milking stand can also be used to secure your goats for hoof trimming.
Comprehensive instructions along with pictures can be found by clickingÂ HERE. Also, remember to keep a bottle of blood-stop powder handy just in case you trim a little too deep and draw blood. If this happens, simply sprinkle a bit on, and that will stop the bleeding.
To horn or not to horn
Most goat people will insist on disbudding the babies. I donât. I know that this is a contentious subject, but clearly, goats are born with them and they serve a purpose. We disbud (remove) them for our own personal convenience, not theirs. The choice is yours, as I have already made mine. Here is an article that supports my belief:
Yes, horns get in the way. Yes, they can cause some damage. But did you know that in most countries, disbudding is considered akin to surgically removing a leg, or ears, or an udder? And Â well it should be, in my book. That said, goat owners have to take their individual circumstances into consideration. Maybe, if I had a lot of little kids around, I might think differently. But I would probably just do what I did when my kids were little and there were sharp pointy goat horns around: put tennis balls, or some sort of rubber, squishy thing, on the end of the horns.Worked great. Goats didnât care. No eyes got poked out. Â If I had a bajillion goats in a small space, maybe I would disbud. If I was going to show my goats, Iâd have to â itâs THE LAW. Hmmm. Im not showing. In my particular case, Iâm willing to make management changes in order to let my goats be goats.
If you decide to disbud, clickÂ HEREÂ for some instructions.
A happy goat is a good milking goat. At first arrival to a new home, your goat will take some time to get used to her surroundings. Since they are herd animals, they like company. So, a compatible goat buddy is better for your goat than being the lone stranger.
Goats can hold back their milk of they are unhappy, and if they are satisfied, can deliver it easily. It is really up to them. This means that developing a good relationship with them is paramount. When I started milking my mamas, I sang to them. Now that we are in a routine, and they love routines, I open the gate and they run to the milking stand. This took a bit of doing.
At first, Fiona didnât want to get on. She hadnât been milked on a stand before and would have none of it. I had to lift her up and place her on it. Well, that wasnât going to last for long, so I started only giving them grain when they were on the stand. Problem solved.Â They now associate the stand with grain, and the longer I milk, the more grain they get to eat, so they give me as much milk as possible.
ClickÂ HEREÂ for detailed instructions on how to hand milk a goat. I like to use a mild solution of warm water andÂ apple cider vinegarÂ for an udder wash and teat dip.
ClickÂ HEREÂ for detailed instructions on how to construct a milking stand.
If you have more than a couple of goats, and you will after kidding, you might want to invest in a milking machine. I invested in an aspirator purchased from an eBay seller for $109, some hose for $25, a couple of replacement batteries for $25, two fittings, a dosing syringe, and a gallon jar with lid that I had around the house. My friend had already made one, so she put the fittings and hose together for me, and showed me how to use it.
The main thing to remember about goat milk is that it will pick up the flavor of anything it comes in contact with. Therefore, cleanliness will yield the best tasting milk. Also, I donât let my milk come in contact with plastic containers. I use a stainless steel bucket and glass jars. Immediately after milking, I strain the milk into a glass jar and place it in the fridge to cool. No âgoatyâ taste for me! People who taste my milk say it tastes like creamy, sweet cowâs milk. They canât tell itâs from a goat.
FoodÂ and other stuff
When I say that a goat will keep you alive, I mean it. Here is a typical dayâs meal:
Goat milk smoothie â goat milk, whatever fruit is handy and honey placed in a blender and blended until smooth and creamy, or goat milk and homemade granola made with oats, fruit and nuts.
Goat cheese and spinach salad.
Vegetable soup and homemade bread made with whey from the cheesemaking process.
Goat ice-milk mixed with fruit, nuts, and any other flavors you like.
Here are pics of a couple of the cheeses that I make with stuff from the garden, goat milk and apple cider vinegar.
Walking Onion Goat Cheese
Wild Celery Goat Cheese
I also feed the whey and excess milk to the cats and chickens. It keeps them fat and healthy.
You can also make a very mild and gentle soap from goat milk.
Goats are also used for packing, and will leave a much more invisible footprint than other animals such as donkeys and horses.
The results of my experiment are that I am feeling strong, energetic, am definitely healthy, and do not feel one bit deprived. And what do I owe it to? My two milking mamas, fresh fruit, veggies, local honey and a penchant for independence. I am confident that if the store shelves run dry, I can still eat healthy, good tasting food and get the nutrition that I need. A goat will keep you alive.
With opposition to biotech giant Monsanto growing daily all across the world, the corporation, in what appears to be a response to the upcoming worldwide âMarch Against Monsantoâ event, has publicly stated that those against genetically-modified foods are guilty of âreverse elitism.â
Grant went on to blame social media as the main breeding ground for opposition to Monsanto and genetically modified foods while also accusing his opposition of wanting to âblock others from choosing more affordable optionsâ other than organic.
âI donât understand whatâs so âelitistâ about wanting to warn people that theyâre ingesting things that could give them cancer and make their progeny infertile. The notion that GMOs are somehow humanitarian is fallacious, dishonest PR,â said MAM International Co-Organizer Emilie Rensink.
âItâs another fallacy that eating healthy is expensive. You can actually save money on food by starting your own backyard garden and/or supporting your local farmers at farmers markets.â
The first ever peer-reviewedÂ studyÂ to examine the long-term health effects of eating Monsantoâs genetically modified corn (NK603), led by French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, discovered that lab rats that ingested the corn for a two-year period producedÂ massive tumors and kidney and liver damage, among other issues. Although Monsantoâs own studies never surpass 90 days, GM food supporters disputed the findings and still stood by GM food safety.
âThey like to pretend they are feeding the world, but this is a convoluted lie. Hunger is not a global production problem, itâs a global justice problem,â said International Co-Organizer and MAM Founder Tami Canal.
âElitism is what companies like Monsanto demonstrate by trying to monopolize the global food supply.â
âHow can a corporation that posts quarterly profits in the billions, a company the has perfected the art of wholesale purchasing of entire governments call grass-roots volunteers elitists?â said MAMâs Director of social media Nick Bernabe.
âIf Monsanto would have read our mission statement, or watched our interviews, they would have noticed that weâre all about helping the poor through decentralizing the food supply and bringing food democracy to the people with REAL organic food.â
Fresh off the heels of President Obamaâs signature of what has been deemed the âMonsanto Protection Act,â legislation thatÂ allows companies such as Monsanto to ignore court orders against selling genetically-engineered seeds, anti-Monsanto sentiment and awareness is at an all-time high.
âWeâre going to march against Monsanto, and thereâs nothing they can do to stop the tide thatâs turning against them,â said Rensink.
More than 200,000 people in over 50 countries are set to March Against Monsanto May 25.
The Monsanto Company likes to proclaim that they are the good guys, here to selflessly feed the world, help with sustainable agriculture, and, as if those lofty goals are not enough, champion human rights across the globe. All you have to do is look atÂ their commitments pageÂ to see how worthy they are of a shiny corporate halo:
At the heart of Monsanto is a very clear and principled code of conduct â one we expect all employees, contractors and management to live by every day. We operate under a genuine value systemâour pledgeâthat demonstrates integrity, respect, ethical behavior, perspective and honesty as a foundation for everything we do.
AÂ key part of fulfilling the promise of our value system is by engaging our communities in a significant and positive manner. Not only do we work hard to support the family farmer in a variety of ways, but we also:
provide extensive educational programs â particularly in science and agriculture â for students around the world
fund numerous research grants for graduate students
work in partnership with government bodies, non-profit agencies and advocacy groups to make agriculture more sustainable
If you happen to have your hip-wader boots on, you can delve even further into their purported goodness by reading, in it’s entirety,Â The Monsanto Pledge:
The Monsanto Pledge is our commitment to how we do business. It is a declaration that compels us to listen more, to consider our actions and their impact broadly, and to lead responsibly. It helps us to convert our values into actions, and to make clear who we are and what we champion.
At the risk of your breakfast, clickÂ HEREÂ to learn more about Monsanto’s commitment to integrity, dialogue, transparency, sharing, benefits, respect, actingÂ as owners to achieve results, and creating a great place to work.
Monsanto’s CEO, Hugh Grant, has long been of the opinion that the company is deeply misunderstood.
“From his point of view, the company is working on the side of angels, helping to create commodity crops to feed todayâs population and the 2 billion more people who might occupy the planet by 2030. He is proud that Monsanto scientists were among the first to have a patented genetically modified plant on the marketâRoundup Ready soybeans were introduced in 1996âand he is excited about new efforts to bioengineer wheat and vegetables, too, as well as the next generation of super beans and corn.” (source)
So why does such a noble, benevolent company require the services of the most notorious mercenary army of modern times? Why did Monsanto dish out half a million dollars to an arm of Blackwater called Total Intelligence (which now operates under the acronymÂ OODA)?
What is Blackwater?
Blackwater is now known as Academi. According toÂ Wikipedia, the company:
“…previously known asÂ Xe Services LLC,Â Blackwater USAÂ andÂ Blackwater Worldwideâis aÂ private military companyÂ founded in 1997 byÂ Erik PrinceÂ andÂ Al Clark.Â Academi is currently the largest of theÂ U.S. State Department’s three private security contractors. Academi provided diplomatic security services inÂ IraqÂ to the United States federal government on a contractual basis. Â Academi also has a research and development wing that was responsible for developing theÂ Grizzly APCÂ along with other military technology. The company’s headquarters is located inÂ Arlington County, Virginia.”
They have made numerous attempts to rebrand their hit squads, changing the company name (Xe and Academi) and creating subsidiaries (Total Intelligence, The Terrorism Research Center, and Greystone, to name a few). They have reportedly done business under the names of at leastÂ 30 shell companies.Â Because ofÂ Despite their tarnished reputation gained from, for one example, gunning down civilians, in 2010, CIA head Leon Panetta awarded them a classifiedÂ $100 million dollar security contract.
How are Blackwater and Monsanto connected?
While rumor had it that Monsanto had actually purchased Blackwater, that is not the case. Monsanto contracted with the mercenary group for “security services”. In 2010, an illuminating report calledÂ Blackwater’s Black Ops,Â written by Jeremy Scahill, of The Nation, revealed that Monsanto had given a contract worth up to half a million dollars to Blackwater.
According to internal Total Intelligence communications, biotech giant Monsantoâthe world’s largest supplier of genetically modified seedsâhired the firm in 2008â09. The relationship between the two companies appears to have been solidified in January 2008 when Total Intelligence chair Cofer Black traveled to Zurich to meet with Kevin Wilson, Monsanto’s security manager for global issues.
After the meeting in Zurich, Black sent an e-mail to other Blackwater executives, including to Prince and Prado at their Blackwater e-mail addresses. Black wrote that Wilson “understands that we can span collection from internet, to reach out, to boots on the ground on legit basis protecting the Monsanto [brand] name…. Ahead of the curve info and insight/heads up is what he is looking for.” Black added that Total Intelligence “would develop into acting as intel arm of Monsanto.” Black also noted that Monsanto was concerned about animal rights activists and that they discussed how Blackwater “could have our person(s) actually join [activist] group(s) legally.” Black wrote that initial payments to Total Intelligence would be paid out of Monsanto’s “generous protection budget” but would eventually become a line item in the company’s annual budget. He estimated the potential payments to Total Intelligence at between $100,000 and $500,000. According to documents, Monsanto paid Total Intelligence $127,000 in 2008 and $105,000 in 2009.
Reached by telephone and asked about the meeting with Black in Zurich, Monsanto’s Wilson initially said, “I’m not going to discuss it with you.” In a subsequent e-mail toÂ The Nation, Wilson confirmed he met Black in Zurich and that Monsanto hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and worked with the company until early 2010. He denied that he and Black discussed infiltrating animal rights groups, stating “there was no such discussion.” He claimed that Total Intelligence only provided Monsanto “with reports about the activities of groups or individuals that could pose a risk to company personnel or operations around the world which were developed by monitoring local media reports and other publicly available information. The subject matter ranged from information regarding terrorist incidents in Asia or kidnappings in Central America to scanning the content of activist blogs and websites.” Wilson asserted that Black told him Total Intelligence was “a completely separate entity from Blackwater.”
How does this affect the current wave of activism against Monsanto?
Although there is no clear evidence that Monsanto and Blackwater are working together against current activists, a recent spate of odd activity indicates that Monsanto is taking surreptitious action against the movement, whether on their own or through the use of “contractors”. They have engaged inÂ a social media war against activists. Mysterious things have been occurring on the social networks: posts have disappeared, some posts are hidden from the timelines of readers, and trolls abound on pages promoting this weekendâsÂ March Against Monsanto, happening worldwide on May 25.
After I wrote the article yesterday regarding the odd issues with social media, I was flooded with emails and comments from readers, verifying they, too, had difficulty sharing information related to the March. Accounts had been banned and blocked by Facebook. Videos had vanished from Youtube. I even heard from the editor ofÂ From the Trenches World Report, who had intercepted a comment that was allegedly from me, saying that the March had been cancelled.
Monsanto has a history of hiring an unscrupulous mercenary army. Be aware during this weekend’s activism that agent provocateurs may be afoot, particularly at the larger events. Don’t rise to the bait of those who would try to deflect protesters from their goal. The goal remains clear – we are there to peacefully spread awareness about Monsanto and about the health and environmental hazards of GMOs. Around the world, the movement for real food has created an enormous global awakening. Through the power of social media and alternative news, we are cresting a wave with this event. We must maintain our unity and momentum, and stay focused on the goal, because with every attack made against us, we may be reassured that Monsanto is on the run.
The level of immunity to the recently circulating H7N9 influenza virus in an urban and rural population in Vietnam is very low, according to the first population level study to examine human immunity to the virus, which was previously only found in birds. The findings have implications for planning the public health response to this pandemic threat.
The study used a new, high throughput method that allows blood samples to be analysed for antibodies to multiple human and animal influenza viruses at the same time and is easier to standardise than previous techniques. However, the assay is yet to be validated clinically for the H7N9 virus, and the researchers caution that the results must be interpreted with care.
Since the first case of H7N9 infection in humans was reported in February 2013, there have been 131 confirmed cases and 36 deaths, all in China apart from one case in Taiwan. All of the infections seem to have come from infected poultry and there is no evidence of sustained transmission between people. One of the first key pieces of information that officials need when considering how best to respond to the threat of a pandemic is how much, if any, immunity the human population has to this virus. This helps to predict where the virus is likely to affect first and how likely it is that the virus will spread further. Having this knowledge also helps to understand the risks of severe infection, as well as helping to target protective measures such as where to direct antiviral medication.
Itâs not a stretch to suggest that Americans are over medicated. In 2011 doctors across the nation wrote an astoundingÂ four billion medical prescriptions, amounting to an average of 13 prescriptions for every Â man, woman and child in the United States.
In the next few weeks the American Psychiatric Associations is releasing their updated fifth version their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); the so-called âbibleâ of psychiatric diagnoses. The new manual promises to take mental illness and the use of prescription drugs to a whole new level.
You may not be considered âcrazyâ or âmentally illâ today, but under the new guidelines experts sayÂ half of usÂ will be diagnosedÂ with a psychiatric condition in the future.
TheÂ odds will probably be greater than 50 percent, according to the new manual, that youâll have a mental disorder in your lifetime.
The increasing number of disorders comes about because some âproblemsâ that were not previously considered to be mental illness were reclassified as such by their inclusion in theÂ DSMâandÂ it is theÂ DSMÂ that functionally defines mental illness in the United States.
You see, in the DSM-5 the definitions for mental illness have been expanded to include a whole host of new symptoms and conditions.
For example, under the new guidelines if your 6 to 18 year-old child throws a temper tantrum from time to time or has a mood swing, a psychiatrist couldÂ diagnose the conditionÂ as a âDisruptive Mood Dysregulation DisorderâÂ requiring professional treatment. Keep in mind that in psychiatry âprofessional treatmentâ almost always means prescription drugs.
âThe reality shows have raised awareness, but they tend to sensationalize the patients, and they rarely talk about treatment.â
âThe big change,â Dr. Saxena said, âwill be an official recognition of hoarding as an important neuropsychic disorder that will increase screening, increase detection and diagnosis, and refer patients in for treatment.â
While the new hoarding guidelines donât specifically target âpreparedness,â the fact is that some âprofessionalsâ have already suggested that if you have any level of anxiety about the possibility of a major catastrophe, or your motivation for preparing forÂ unforeseenÂ events includes a distrust of the government, then youâve gotÂ psychologicalÂ problems.
Now, with the DSM-5, they can officially diagnose you as crazy.
Dr. Allen Frances, the author ofÂ Saving Normal,Â says thatÂ the new requirements will,Â âturn everyday anxiety, eccentricity, forgetting and bad eating habits into mental disorders.â
The changes being introduced by the DSM-5 are nothing short of a sweeping overhaul of our mental health care system, and they will have effects that many experts canât even fathom. But those behind the DSM, who work very closely withÂ governmentÂ experts, know exactly what theyâre doing.
Letâs connect the dots a little bit to get an idea of how this is going to have a direct impact on your life in the very near future.
Under the new regulations set forth by theÂ Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, certain groups of Americans like school children, seniors, those on government health plans, active-duty military personnel, and veterans will beÂ required to submit to mental health screenings.
Page 1137 of theÂ The Patient Protection and Affordable Care ActÂ provides grants for the operation of school-based health centers required to include âmental health and substance abuse disorder assessmentsâ for children and adolescents.
On page 1191 is found a section on Mental Health Screening that refers to a program called âHealthy Aging, Living Wellâ. Persons ages 55-64 are being targeted for screening activities that can include âmental health/behavioral health and substance use disorders.â
Obamacare requires mental health services for many other groups.
These include Medicaid recipients, addicts, mothers with postpartum depression, the elderly, and soldiers. Thereâs even has a section called âMental Health in Small Businessesâ which awards grants to small businesses willing to provide workplace wellness programs that encourage âhealthy lifestyles, healthy eating, increased physical activity and improved mental health.â
Are you starting to see where this is going?
Youâll be forced by your childâs school, by the government, and even your private employer to be Â involuntarily screened. And the psychiatrists whoâll be performing the diagnoses will be utilizing the criteria outlined in the DSM-5.
According to the afforementioned statistics, thereâs a 50% chance that those being screened will be found to have some type of mental health condition.
But thatâs just the beginning.
As we know, once diagnosed, failure to take the treatment (e.g. medication) prescribed could then be deemed unlawful behavior, especially in the case of children.
Earlier this year, administrators from the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school district called Albany County Child Protective Services,Â alleging child abuse when the Carrolls said they wanted to take Kyle off the drug.
As a result, the Carrolls are now on a statewide list of alleged child abusers, and they have been thrust into an Orwellian family court battle to clear their name and to ensure their child isnât removed from their home.Â âItâs beyond the point of whether he should be on it. Now itâs the point of them telling us what weâre going to do,â said Michael Carroll. âTheyâre telling me how to raise my child.â
âThe schools are now using child protective services to enforce their own desires and their own policies,â said David Lansner, a New York City lawyer who has seen cases similar to the Carrollsâ. âThe parentsâ authority is being undermined when people have to do what some public official wants,â Lansner added. âThis thing is so scary,â
Itâs already happening, and with nearly 4 million children every year being (mis)diagnosed with ADHD, we can expect the numbers to rise significantly under the new DSM guidelines.
Itâs important to understand, however, that theyâre not just targeting our children. Theyâre coming after all of us.
The DSM-5, coupled with Obama Care legislation, will allow the government unprecedented control over lives.
One such example is the targeting of Americaâs gun owners. Legislation is in the works in many states, as well as the U.S. Congress, that would require mental health screenings for firearms ownership. Should these bills pass, then aboutÂ half of Americaâs gun owners would immediately lose their right to bear arms for any manner of âdisordersâ that could include stress, anxiety, depressed mood or even poor eating habits!
And while gun control proponents would applaud the victory, what they fail to understand is that by green-lighting such a government intrusion, they are setting themselves up for future legislation that may restrict their own rights for activities that may include maintaining employment or caring for their children.
Once a diagnoses is made the government will then have the ability to enforce it at the barrel of a gun.
If your child is diagnosed with ADHD or separation anxiety disorder, and you refuse to feed them their prescription cocktail, then the government will step in and take your children under the guise of protecting themâŚ from you!
Likewise, you may one day be forced to be screened by your employer and found to be mentally ill (remember, 50/50 shot!). If you refuse the professional treatment thatâs recommended, you could lose your job as a result. And because the Department of Homeland Security has been busy creating aÂ Domestic No-Work ListÂ all prospective employers will know of your condition and your refusal to seek professional treatment.
The possibilities, now that the door has been opened, are endless.
When it hits the fan, don’t say we didn’t warn you. Mac Slavo is the editor of SHTFplan.com, a resource hub for alternative news, contrarian commentary and strategies that you can take to protect yourself from the coming global paradigm shift.
As the mercury in the thermometer starts to climb, you may be looking for different ways to keep your home a bit cooler without an exponential increase in your electric bill. That battle starts in the kitchen.
The one thing that adds the most ambient heat is cooking. Your choice of cooking methods can greatly increase the warmth that your air conditioner must then overcome. And if you have no air conditioner, it can make your home humid, muggy and miserable.
Now is the time to look to some different kitchen strategies. We can look back in history for a guideline, based on what our pioneer ancestors ate. Foods were lighter and required less cooking, since nearly all cooking was done on a wood-burning stove that would have made the house unbearable. As well, many people set up summer kitchens, consisting of either a separate building to keep the main house cooler, or an outdoor fireplace. We can take our cues from them and adapt their diets to our modern lifestyles.
Change your eating habits with the thermometer.Â As the weather warms up, the harvest from your garden will increase. Most summer vegetables require little, if any, cooking, and can generally be quickly steamed to perfection on the stove top. Look forÂ easy, no-cook recipesÂ andÂ fast non-processed foods.
Break out the kitchen gadgets.Â Instead of firing up the oven, or cooking something for hours on the stove top, pull out those dusty, seldom-used kitchen gadgets. Pressure cookers, toaster ovens, counter top grills, and crock pots can all make meals without heating up the house. If I am going to be gone for the day, I often put something in the crock pot for a nice meal to welcome us home. (I’ve included one of our favorite recipes below.) The low heat of the crock pot will not affect the temperature in your home, and it’s a great way to tenderize a less expensive cut of meat, to which you can add some fresh veggie sides at dinner time. Skip the roasting and baking during the summer.
Always make enough to have leftovers.Â Leftovers are a goldmine for speedy future meals. They generally require just a quick heat in the toaster oven or on the stove top, and some foods are delicious when compiled into a cold salad or rolled up in a flatbread.
Take it outside. Use a barbecue, a sun oven or an outdoor fireplace to cook your meals in the summer, keeping all of the cooking heat outdoors. If you are grilling meat outdoors, make extra to add some quick protein to your salads.
Focus on local abundance.Â Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still have delicious local produce. Hit your farmer’s market and plan your menus around the seasonal goodness found there. (Find farmers and markets in your areaÂ HERE!) Enjoy summer fruits and vegetables like berries, cucumbers, peaches, tomatoes, and much more! None of these requires much, if any, cooking time. Just wash and eat!
Try different protein options.Â Look for delicious plant-based sources of protein. Beans picked fresh from the garden won’t require nearly as much cooking time as the dry ones sitting in your pantry. If you consume animal products, look for quick-cooking proteins like fish, chicken cut into small pieces, and eggs. Save large oven-baked roasts for winter fare, or at the least, use an alternative cooking method.
Enjoy the health benefits of eating seasonally.Â Seasonal foodsÂ provide you with exactly what you need at different times of the year. For example, in the spring, those tender leafy sprigs like lettuce, kale, peas and pea shoots, and asparagus provide vitamins K and folate, which support blood health, bone health, and cell repair. The cool delicate foods are light, low in calories, and rejuvenating to the body as you gear up for the upcoming warm weather. Feasting on these waistline friendly foods is a great way to get rid of that insulating layer of fat that you may have acquired during the winter.
You’ll save money in more ways than one.Â Not only will your electric bill be reduced by adjusting your summer eating habits, but so will your grocery bill. Seasonal foods are less expensive by nature of their abundance at a given time. Farmers MUST sell them quickly or they’ll spoil. So you can often purchase them in large quantities at rock bottom prices. And if they come directly from your garden, it’s even better for your wallet!
Crock Pot Con Carne
As promised above, here’s a great summer recipe that you can make in your crock pot. Â Serve your conÂ carneÂ on a bed of rice or in soft tortillas.Â Top it with sour cream or plain yogurt, and garden fresh chopped lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes.
2 pounds beef or pork roast, or 2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken
4 cups of diced tomatoes
1 diced bell pepper
1 finely minced onion
Âź cup of fresh cilantroÂ orÂ 2Â tbspÂ dried cilantroÂ orÂ 2Â tbspÂ parsley
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4Â tbspÂ of chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1Â tbspÂ of brown sugar
In the crock pot, combine all ingredients except the roast.
Add the roast to the crock pot, being sure to submerge the meat completely.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Remove the meat from the crock pot and use two forks to shred it.
Place the meat back into the liquid in the pot and stir it together. Â Allow it to sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes before serving.Â
New research suggests that a compound abundant in the Mediterranean diet takes away cancer cells’ “superpower” to escape death.
By altering a very specific step in gene regulation, this compound essentially re-educates cancer cells into normal cells that die as scheduled.
One way that cancer cells thrive is by inhibiting a process that would cause them to die on a regular cycle that is subject to strict programming. This study in cells, led by Ohio State University researchers, found that a compound in certain plant-based foods, called apigenin, could stop breast cancer cells from inhibiting their own death.
Much of what is known about the health benefits of nutrients is based on epidemiological studies that show strong positive relationships between eating specific foods and better health outcomes, especially reduced heart disease. But how the actual molecules within these healthful foods work in the body is still a mystery in many cases, and particularly with foods linked to lower risk for cancer.
Parsley, celery and chamomile tea are the most common sources of apigenin, but it is found in many fruits and vegetables.
Congratulations for the birth of your child. Now bring him for his vaccinations!
It is interesting, just who is linked to whom, when it comes to vaccinations. Very often, what we as individuals perceive as one thing is something else entirely. This is because we are not in possession of the full facts, which make the larger picture. However, when we delve deeper, what we uncover can often be far more sinister than even we expected.
As we are aware, the governments and pharmaceutical companies are always searching for new ways to push vaccinations onto unsuspecting parents. The earlier they can target a childâs parents, the better they like it. One of the vaccination initiatives being used by twenty-seven states across the US is to send every new parent a âcongratulations on the birth of your babyâ card.
According to reports, governors from twenty-seven states across the US have teamed up with Hallmark Greeting Cards to send every new parent a card following the birth of their baby. The card includes a personal message from the governor of their state, a detachable growth chart and an up-to-date immunization schedule. This vaccination initiative attempts to make parents fully aware which vaccinations their newborn baby should receive.
The Healthy Home Economist, reporting on the story, stated, âHaving the cards actually come from state governors themselves is the new twist which gives the programâs âfriendlyâ pressure to vaccinate a more personal and authoritative touch.â 
With Love, From Your State Government
Although Mike Adams fromÂ Natural NewsÂ had covered this story back in 2011, as well asÂ many other sites, I have decided to revisit this issue in greater detail. I have uncovered some interesting facts that must be exposed.
Obviously, the state governors do not send these touching sentiments to parents out of the goodness of their hearts, so, what is the real reason behind these cards? It appears that their real agenda is to meet their vaccination targets.Â The Capital TimesÂ explains:
âWhen it began, the immunization rates for children up to age 2 in Missouri and Kansas were roughly 45 percent and 52 percent, respectively. Immunization rates for the youngest citizens in those states now hover around 76 percent, according to the programâs website.âÂ 
Beth Kaplan, a spokesperson with the state of Wisconsinâs Division of Public Health, whose state vaccination compliance rates have reached as high as 84 percent since the implementation of this program, believes that this initiative is just one way to create awareness about the importance of vaccinations for children. She says, âthe program is one of many things we do to encourage the vaccination of children.â
Your Tax Dollars At Work âŚ For Big Pharma
I am sure that one question on many peopleâs lips is, âWho exactly is paying for these cards?â
Sadly, you are.
According to reports, the taxpayers are footing the bill for the implementation of HallmarkâsÂ For Americaâs BabiesÂ project and it does not come cheap. Although Hallmark Greeting Cards is supplying the cards and paying for the printing costs, an initiative which they proudly boast on their website, the state of Florida alone has budgeted $10,000 for the distribution of these cards, which has been hailed as an excellent program. 
The cards are very attractive, in pastel colors, with added bunnies and flowers for effect. I am sure that most new parents would be very moved by this gesture. The Mid America Immunization Coalition has been so impressed by Hallmarkâs wonderful work that in 2010 they awarded HallmarkÂ theÂ Sending the Very Best Message Award.Â In presenting the award, coalition director Deb Bumgardner said, âHallmark is definitely one of the behind-the-scenes, unsung heroes in the fight to raise immunization rates in the United States.â 
Heroes is Not A Term I Would Use
Behind-the-scenes are definitely the real key words, and thatâs where we are going to take a look in order to tell you the whole story of these âunsung heroes.â
In 2006, Hallmark Cards joined forces with UNICEF to form a partnership. Today Hallmark Cards is the exclusive creator, manufacturer and distributor for all UNICEF greeting cards and gifts sold in the United States, giving UNICEF more than $10 million in royalty payments from the sale of their cards and gifts. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF receives 15 percent of every net wholesale shipment of UNICEF Hallmark products.
According to Hallmark Cards, UNICEF works in more than 150 countries to keep children alive and safe. The organization focuses on providing children with clean water, food, medicine, vaccines, and education. 
Remember, UNICEF is also responsible for testing vaccines on children in the developing world. This year I found them linked to forty children paralyzed in a small village in Africa after they received the test vaccine MenAfrivac.  UNICEF also was involved in the testing of the pentavalent vaccine Quinvaxem, which caused the deaths of 26 children across the developing world. 
In 2012, Hallmark, in partnership with UNICEF, won theÂ Fastest Growing Family Business Award, sponsored by Barclays, at the Family Business Awards. 
According to the Family Business Awards website, Hallmark made a record year turnover amounting to a massive ÂŁ4.4million, an increase of 83% since 2009. Hallmark also commissioned Nottinghamâs Together Agency to design the UNICEF UKÂ New RangeÂ catalog, which echoes Leo Burnettâs UNICEF international theme and promoted the charityâs new line of products in 2012. 
Look Who Else is Holding Hands with Hallmark
As well as their links to UNICEF, Hallmark Cards has interesting links to other organizations which need to be exposed. The chairman of Hallmark Cards is Donald J. Hall, and the current president and CEO of Hallmark Cards is David E. Hall. Both men are trustees to a company called MRIGlobal. [10, page 14]
MRIGlobal âoffers world-class expertise and experience in bioanalytical model development, testing, and validationâa complete array of services for the development and licensing of new vaccines.â They also supply âgovernment and industrial clients with high-purity, reference grade chemicals.â
Their website states:
âMRIGlobalâs work in the development and testing of human and veterinary vaccine candidates encompasses safety, toxicity, potency, efficacy, and vaccine formulation stability.âÂ 
This indicates that this company is in the business of testing vaccines on both humans and animals.
Interestingly, MRIGlobal also has been linked to PATH and the FDA.
One of MRIGlobalâs recent projects was in partnership with PATH.  The project involved providing support to biotechnology companies that are developingÂ influenza vaccines that can be âaccessible and affordable for low-resource countries.â Despite MRIGlobalâs noteworthy claim that their work âencompasses safety, toxicity, potency, efficacy, and vaccine formulation stability,â children who have received vaccines from their partner organizations, like PATH and UNICEF, are still suffering many adverse reactions from these vaccinations.
PATH, an organization which claims âto help communities worldwide break longstanding cycles of poor health,â was involved recently with the testing of tens of thousands of tribal girls in India, leaving them without appropriate follow-up care, as well as the vaccination trials in Chad, Africa, in which many children were paralyzed following vaccination. 
Selling Out to Survive
MRIGlobal is also involved in licensing medication and vaccinations for the FDA and the CDC, claiming to maintain âall necessary licenses and certifications to conduct safe, defensible studies on a host of diverse materials, from pharmaceuticals to chemical agents.â MRIGlobal operates laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Defense. The company has been granted numerous licenses by the US government as well as internationally. 
This leaves me asking two questions:
Why would Hallmark Cards form a partnership with UNICEF, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and many state governments?Â 
Why would the chairman and the CEO and president of a greeting card company also be trustees of a company which tests and licenses vaccines?
The only answer I can come up with is money, and lots of it.
The leaders of Hallmark, one of the largest privately owned companies in the US, may have found a unique way to survive in a troubling economic times, using their skills and knowledge to tap into the lucrative vaccine business, as their greeting card endeavors have suffered stagnant sales and declining profits for years. 
What appeared at first glance to be an act of charity on behalf of Hallmark Cards now appears to be something far more sinister. Hallmark Cards is doing more than making a tax-deductible donation to the government. In addition to recommending that parents keep up to date with their childrenâs vaccine schedules (because the corporate leaders will profit from increased vaccination rates), they are also heavily linked to the testing of vaccines on innocent animals and humans.
Once highly regarded as an organization of love and caring, Hallmark Cards now has tarnished its trademark crown with what can only be described as deep connections to several of the largest pharmaceutical organizations known to man. So, are Hallmarkâs intentions as charitable as they would like us to believe? It is clear that Hallmark Cards is affiliated with MRIGlobal, the US government and Canadian government, UNICEF, PATH, FDA and the CDC. The common denominator linking all of these groups together is vaccination.
Far from being the kindly souls they first appear to be and making sure that children stay strong and healthy, I believe that the leaders of Hallmark Greeting Cards are laughing all the way to the bank. Are you going to let them trick you into vaccinating your child, without doing any research, just because they sent you a card?
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute.
Update #3: CNN is reporting that the official toll of dead is 51 but at least 40 more are reported to have died.
Update #2: The total number of dead has risen to 51 with the number expected to continually rise throughout the night.
Update: A breaking news report that quoted the state medical examiner has revealed that at least 37 people have died, with at least 7 of them being children.
The report also confirmed that a third grade class with over 20 children was taking refuge in a hallway of one of the schools that was completely destroyed. Stories of teachers using themselves as human shields are so flooding the airwaves.
The Oklahoma State Medical Examinerâs Office says at least 37 people were killed, and the death toll is expected to rise, after a monstrous tornado as much as a mile wide with winds up to 200 mph roared through Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods and setting buildings on fire.
KFOR-TV reports that up to 24 children are believed dead at the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore and that it has turned into a search and recovery effort. The storm tore off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal. Several children were pulled alive from the rubble, however. Rescue workers passed the survivors down a human chain to a triage center in the parking lot.
At least seven of the children drowned after being found at the bottom of a pool at Plaza Towers, according to KFOR.
In a scene moreÂ reminiscentÂ of a warzone than an American city, parts of Oklahoma City and its outlying suburbs have beenÂ wreckedÂ by a mile wide tornado that leftÂ devastationÂ in its wake.
Local news outlets are reporting that two different schools were destroyed, with one being directly hit by the 200 mile per hour super tornado. One report claims that at least 15 children are still trapped in one of the damaged schools.
Oklahoma’sÂ local TV stationÂ KFORÂ is reporting that up to 15 children and staff members are trapped under an elementary school that has been directly hit by the massive tornado sweeping the area at the moment.
The station, who are at the school, said up to 75 people were sheltering when the tornado hit.
Children being rescued from Plaza Towers elementary. Preliminary report: 75 children taking shelter in school.FROMÂ @KFORÂ ON TWITTER:
KFOR news anchor: “We unfortunately think that some kids were still in those school buildings.”FROMÂ @NYCJIMÂ ON TWITTER:Â
KFOR’s Lance West: Firefighters trying to save kids in collapsed classrooms, at least 15 kids trapped; 75 were in there, status unknownÂ FROMÂ @ACARVINÂ ON TWITTER:Â
Whether or not the children are still stranded at the time of this writing is unknown, with news coming out of the area being extremely hard to confirm.
Two elementary schools were destroyed, and an untold number of homes and businesses sustained heavy damage near the cities of Moore, Newcastle and Oklahoma City. CNN reported that rescue crews swarmed over Plaza Towers Elementary School, where 75 students and staff had sought refuge in a hallway.
Britane Diacon-Boese of Oklahoma City was worried about students she works with. “I have clients who can’t be found,” she said.
“I’m terrified; I’m completely terrified,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “There’s no power, it’s all down.”
The other school hit by the tornado was Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City. Local newscasters reported that children were trapped inside.
A spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of EmergencyÂ Management told the USA Today that officials are still assessing the damage and that they basically do not have an idea as to how bad it actually is besides what can be seen in the horrific images being transmitted on TV from helicopters on the scene.
Oklahoma authorities were still assessing damage but had no immediate reports of injuries or possible deaths, saidÂ Keli Cain, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.
Power was knocked out to more than 26,000 customers.
“Right now we really don’t have a good idea of the damage,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot of footage on TV of widespread damage in Moore, Okla., but it’s certainly too early to have any idea of the number of homes destroyed…. We know there are homes destroyed, businesses destroyed. … It’s very early.”
Stay tuned as we will be updating this report as more information comes in.
Daniel Jackson is a seasoned journalist with a passion for exposing corruption and the lies of the global elite. DJ has a passion for truth and liberty that is shown through his extensive reporting on numerous globally significant topics not normally covered by the corporate controlled media. He is is a writer, researcher and editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!
The following is an account of an elderly lady in the UK who went into a residential care home for a few weeks whilst the council house (social housing) she lived in was updated to better suit her needs as a disabled individual.
The fact that it happened in the UK does not mean it cannot happen wherever you are…it does happen, all over the world where low paid, badly trained, disinterested ‘care’ workers are employed to take care of our vulnerable people.
You can replace the word senior, with disabled, autistic, retarded, handicapped, anything you like. Across the globe vulnerable people are being sold short by incompetence and even worse, by lack of interest on the part of those looking after them.
I know this case intimately, Norma Spear was my Mother. I had taken care of her for a long time, but she had a fall, went into hospital and it was decided that it would be better for her to go into a residential home for a few weeks whilst her home was upgraded to suit her needs.
Oh how I have regretted that decision.
I nagged, cajoled and even outright screamed at the care staff to get help, to call a doctor, they lied repeatedly, said they had, said anti-biotics had been prescribed. Oh the drugs had, but the prescription was lying on the desk for days before someone finally decided to collect them.
For six days, at a formal court inquest I sat, with my eldest daughter, listening to lies, listening to learned council trying to shift the blame. When I gave my evidence they called me every type of liar without actually using the word liar.
But the truth came out, and I thank God for that.
What follows is part of the newspaper report of what happened at the inquest and how my mother came to die. Read it, digest it, think about it, watch for the signs that could tell you something is wrong with the care your loved one is getting.
Its too late for my mom, but there still might be time for your mother, or father, uncle, aunt, gran or any other relative who is receiving state care.
Birmingham care home left gran to die of thirst
Gross neglect by staff at a Birmingham care home led to a gran dying of dehydration, a coroner ruled in a damning inquest verdict.
Norma Spear, 71, died in Moseley Hall Hospital on November 6, 2010, three days after she was admitted from Druids Meadow residential home in Highterâs Heath.
Mrs Spear, from Harborne, developed a urinary tract infection in her five weeks at the home which stunted her appetite and led her to become dangerously dehydrated, the inquest heard.
Her daughter said her mumâs stay at the home, during which she lost 35lbs to weigh just over five stones, was only supposed to be temporary and that she was due to return to her house in Harborne once a new fire had been fitted.
Birminghamâs deputy coroner Sarah Ormond-Walshe identified 11 failures â five of them severe enough to merit gross neglect â by staff at the home to act on serious concerns about her health.
In reaching a verdict, following a six-day inquest at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, Mrs Ormond-Walshe said Ms Spear had âdied of natural causes to which neglect contributedâ.
âThe failures I found are gross because they were so terribly simple.Without one or more of these gross failures, Norma Spear would have survived. She was at risk of the very thing she died of and that risk had been told to staff by a social worker. It should have been obvious she was not drinking sufficiently for at least the last two weeks. It does not require medical training.â
Most of the errors cataloged centered around the staffâs failure to call a doctor, despite repeated requests from her daughter, and to properly investigate Mrs Spearâs worrying weight loss.
Mrs Ormond-Walshe also highlighted four criticisms against some of the GPs attached to Druids Meadow, including failures to establish Ms Spearâs medical history and to properly diagnose her dehydration.
Speaking after the verdict, her daughter said:
âItâs a bittersweet feeling really. Weâve got the decision that she would have lived longer and had that confirmed by medical experts. We feel vindicated but itâs an empty win.â
Normaâs granddaughter Becci, wept as the list of failures were read out in court.
The 32-year-old mum said:
âShe did nothing but care for other people and she died because she was not properly cared for by other people. Iâm disgusted with them and hope it affects them for the rest of their lives.â
Birmingham City Councilâs legal advisor, Edward Pepperall QC, said the coroner should feel comforted the home closed in 2011 and that the authority had replaced a large number of its care homes with four care centers. He said an internal review of how paperwork was updated and stored had taken place and that the Care Quality Commission had carried out subsequent inspections.
Those in charge of the home could still face disciplinary proceedings, he said.
The inquest had been told how Mrs Spear was taken to Moseley Hall on June 3, 2010, after suffering a fall at home.
She fully recovered from her injuries and despite needing encouragement to eat and drink, her weight was stabilized at around eight stone.
But her weight dropped and her health quickly deteriorated after she moved from the hospital into Druids Meadow on September 28. Her daughter, Mrs Bennett who now lives in Hampshire, told the court how she had repeatedly asked staff to arrange for a doctor to see her mum amid fears she was dangerously dehydrated and was losing weight.
Despite her concerns, exacerbated by Mrs Spearâs medical history, staff at the home did not arrange for a doctor to see Mrs Spear until November 1. She died five days later.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Medically Speaking on the topic of preparedness.
With new H7N9 cases waning, the worst thing humans can do right now is let their guard down about the potential dangers of this deadly new virus. TheÂ microbe is always mutating and evolving, as a virulent living force of nature and natural selection.
TAIPEI, Taiwan -Â The onlyÂ H7N9Â patient so far in Taiwan was carrying two strains of the same virus, with one being drug resistant and the other not, making it tricky to treat to him, doctors said. Huang Li-min, a doctor from National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH), explained that it was possible the avian flu virus was not drug resistant when the patient was first infected, but mutated later to become resistant to Tamiflu.
With Tamiflu failing, NTUH later switched to another intravenous drug, Huang said. Because of the presence of the two strains simultaneously, it was difficult for doctors to determine how much the virusâ drug resistance had undermined the therapy Chou Chi-hao, deputy director-general of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said it is natural for viruses to mutate, saying the H1N1 flu strain mutated after infecting human beings.
But Huang said H7N9 has limited chances of human-to-human transmission through respiratory secretions because the virus has difficulty surviving the environments of human upper respiratory systems. Patients do not have symptoms of a runny nose or sneezing. The patient, surnamed Lee, got sick on April 12, three days after returning from a business trip in China. His condition was initially critical, but has improved much.
He has already been transferred from the intensive care unit to an ordinary ward at NTUH. The findings by the NTUH and CDC about H7N9 are to be published in a local medical journal next month. Resistance is of concern in the scenario of an influenza pandemic (Wong and Yuen 2005), and may be more likely to develop in avian influenza than seasonal influenza due to the potentially longer duration of infection by novel viruses.
As Colorado, California and Washington including 16 other states enjoy freedom under state law to operate legal medical marijuana-cannabis businesses the owners are often faced with arrests and constant harrasment by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Though some states have legalized the sale of marijuana for medical purposes, the practice remains a felony crime under federal law.
Even if marijuana operators avoid arrests the almighty Feds inflict more damage by imposing astronomical âhigh taxesâ on a state-sanctioned marijuana-cannabis, taxes as high as 75-80 percent. Some dealers, unable to pay employees and overhead, combined with the burden of extra high taxes, must shut down, thus preventing sick patients, preferring cannabis treatment, from getting the care they desperately need.
Cannabis dealers argue that âhigh taxesâ imposed upon their businesses is the Feds political goal: to run them out of business and the bigger picture is to eliminate competition against the giant pharmaceutial industry which makes billions selling drugs to treat illnesses at a higher cost.
But evidence has proved that a person can purchase cannabis from a state legalized operator and receive effective treatment at a much lower cost.
With billions of dollars in the bank, the pharmaceutial companies pay millions for anti-marijuana lobbying efforts to sway Congress not to legalize marijuana under federal law. The smoking gun in this drama has raised the curtain on the pharmaceutial inustry now marketing an FDA approved cannabis medicine to undercut the growing market dominated by the states.
As the battle over taxation take center stage, a tax expert insists there is a loophole under 501(c)(4), that if used properly, the technique may eliminate excessive tax burdens,
threatening to ruin the medical cannabis businesses.
âIf these state-legal businesses were treated as any other legal business, these industries could realize itsâ full potential to create many, many more living wages, like retail, manufacturing and agriculture jobs that cannot be outsourced,â says Betty Aldworth, a deputy director with National Cannabis Industry Association. âAn industry that can provide thousands of jobs is being held back by these crazy tax rates.â
How is this number game legally possible? Thanks to a 1982 provisional tax code known as 280E, a federal law created as result of a drug dealerâs successful atempt to reclaim his yacht, weapons and even the illegal bribes he paid off as business expenses. 280E prohibit individuals involved with selling narcotics from deducting expenses expenses if federal income taxes are filed. Legal marijuana sellers have vigorously tried to avoid the draconian 280E law by arguing their businesses were charities promoting health benefits and should be exempt from income tax under section 501(c)(3).
IRS lawyers bullishly oppose 501(c)(3) status given to state sanctioned marijuana sellers by issuing a counter-point argument that because of a rule called the âpublic policy doctrineâ. This doctrine disqualify dispensaries as a charity because the Feds say these kind of businesses exist for illegal purposes under federal law.
Professor Benjamin Leff, a tax law expert at American University Washington College of Law, thinks he has a clever solution to free legit marijuana dealers from
the Feds insane tax laws.
âI donât know if anyone has applied or not but marijuana sellers should run their business as a social welfare organization under 501(c)(4).â
To qualify under this statute, Leff said, âA social welfare organization must have as its primary purpose the promotion of the common good and general welfare of the people in neighborhoods or communities.â
Leff wrote a compelling report on the practice that was hosted at a Harvard University seminar titled: Tax Planning For Marijuana Dealers.
In a email sent to this Chronicle contributor, Professor Leff said, âIt occurred to me the primary obstacle to tax-exempt status for marijuana sellers under 501(c)(3) called âpublic policy doctrineâ is that it just doesnât apply to social welfare organizations and the basic reasoning is this: âBecause of a provision that applies only to people trafficking in controlled substances under 280E. Marijuana dispensaries are required to pay taxes not on their profits(like other businesses) but pay IRS based on gross revenue after substracting the cost of marijuana they sell.â
Leff further said under this theory,
âlegal marijuana dealers have to pay more taxes than they would have if they were selling other products. And it is possible, the professor adds, a dealer would have to pay more taxes than they earn!â
âSo when taxes get too high, itâs possible to drive compliant dispensaries out of business.â
In 2009, the global pharmaceutical market was worth an estimated $837 billions and by 2014, the amount expected to rise at least $1 trillion dollars. What helps to keep state-sanctioned cannabis dealers in business so far is the fact the Big Pharma cannot legally patent the plant that makes marijuana. Medical marijuana is often referred as the worldâs wonder drug, a simple substance which provides effective treatment for pain, cancer, nausea, PMS, Lyme disease, ADD and other major ailments.
In a study conducted by Reiman, 66 percent of patients used cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs while 68 percent used cannabis as a subsitute for prescription drugs to treat chronic illness. And 85 percent of patients reported that cannabis had fewer side effects than other prescribed medicine.
Just how many other drugs are more effective?
âThereâs nothing in our current pharmacopedia that comes close,â says Michael Backes, owner of the Cornerstone Research Collectivee, an L.A. California-based medical marijuana dispensary.
Political Battles: Pharmaceutial Industry Competes With Marijuana Dispensaries By Marketing Prescription-based Cannabinoid Medicine?
Medical marijuana activists pinpoint the giant pharmaceutical industry as a driving force in helping the Feds overthrow their businesses. This theory may seem more of an overreacted imagination but there is substantial evidence that pharmaceutal companies are aggressively marketing cannabis products which is the backbone for marijuana dispensaries. Activists cite the fact that the cannabis they sell much cheaper to ailing patients as the reason the pharmacies are concerned this could easily cut into their high profits of selling similar conventional cures.
As mentioned earlier pharmaceutial companies has already marketed FDA-approved prescription-based cannabinoid medicines. Therefore it doesnât take a Harvard genius to realize that state-sanctioned marijuana dispensaries are competitive.
For instance, according to opensecrets.org, major pharmaceutial companies contributed millions of dollars during presidential and senate races. In 2004, pharmaceutial companies contributed $16 million into federal elections amongst Democrats and Republicans. In 2011, the industry spent $150 million on lobbying in Washington D.C. President Barack Obama received $1.2 million dollars from the pharmaceutial industry in 2008, a triple amount when compared to funds given to John McCain.
Research shows that since Obama took office, federal agents conducted more than 200 raids of medical marijuana operations nationwide. Around October 2012, the Feds sent over 300 letters to landlordâs that dispensaries rented from, threatening property owners with criminal charges if they did not evict their tenants. Research shows that the top five special interest groups lobbying to keep marijuana illegal are police unions, private prison corporations, alcohol and beer companies, prison guard unions and of course the pharmaceutial industry.
Professor Leff outlines his strategy for marijuana sellers to possibly avoid the Feds âpublic policyâ draconian tax law:
(1) Leff suggests the dispensaries employ persons who may be hard to employ (like former marijuana sellers) and provide career training and mentorship for those people.
(2) Marijuana stores should operate to improve the business conditions of a distressed neighborhood. That means both are trying to bring business into a neighborhood with less retail as well being a good neighbor to other businesses and residents. Ideally, Leff further says, marijuana sellers should partner with an existing organization that is already seeking to improve the neighborhood.
(3) The second restriction may also be a big one. A 501(c)(4) organization(social welfare) cannot be owned by anyone and cannot distribute its profits to anyone. So, if you have an exisitng financially invested dispensary, a person need to get legal advice to determine how to transform that investment into a type allowable for non-profits.
When asked if expenses are deductible if a dispensary run a business as a caregiver, Leff points out, âEven without doing any of the nonprofit stuff that Iâm talking about, a court has held that the costs incurred by a dispensary in providing caregiving services is not subject to 280E(which denies deductions for cost incurred in selling marijuana).â
âBut a dispensary that sells marijuana and also provides care giving services still must allocate its expenses between the two activities, and keep records sufficient to justify
âSo itâs not the case that a dispensary providing care giving services can deduct all of its expenses.â
Meanwhile, Congress Jared Polis(D-Colorado) and Earl Blumenauer(D-OR) introduced a bill to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and allow it to be taxed. This much needed legislation will remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act.
Bottom line: Until the tax code and the law governing federal controlled substances are firmly modified by lowering taxes and have dispensaries legally sanctioned under federal law, then the current marijuana businesses will continually face the onslaught of high taxes and possible arrests by the federal government, a tactic seemingly designed to undermine committed efforts of dealers selling legal weed to patients who use the substance to mitigate their pain and suffering.
Clay has been used throughout history for everything from pot making to house building, face packs to drain pipes.
Most preppers know about the beneficial properties of clay in soaking up toxins and acting as a system cleanse but researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute have taken things a huge step further.
They have discovered that clay can kill a whole range of pathogens that currently we struggle to treat, E.Coli and MRSA being just two of them.
This could have massive implications for our futureÂ well beingÂ at a time when we are fast running out of effective treatments for bacterial infections.
In the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson, and adopted by the British colonies in 1776, a clause appears that lays down a gauntlet of sorts, i.e., âwhen in the course of human events it becomes necessaryâŚâ Well, it seems that Dr. Andrew Wakefield has arrived at necessary crossroads and has issued challenges to British health authorities regarding the facts surrounding the MMR vaccine.
In Wakefieldâs most recent video, he discusses how sentinel cases of autism were reportedâas documented by Freedom of Information filingsâlong before he became aware of the situation or even before he co-authoredÂ The LancetÂ article that âattack dog journalistâ Brian Deer worked so diligently to have retracted, thereby disgracing Dr. Wakefield for reporting observations that were suspect with the MMR vaccine.
As a result of the British medical establishmentâs apparent collusion to protect all vaccine programs, a course of action was taken to disenfranchise Dr. Wakefield; make him anÂ exemplary professional scapegoat; but do nothing to prevent serious adverse vaccine events from occurring to infants, toddlers, and children.
Furthermore, Dr. Wakefield talks about how Dr. Maurice R Hilleman, MD, preeminent vaccine researcher at Merck & Company now deceased, came up with the mumps vaccine; the apparent collusion Hilleman used to get the mumps vaccine implemented in a stateâs vaccine program and how it became âmainstreamedâ; and why the mumps vaccine really is not efficacious. The last few minutes of this outstanding testimony may leave you speechless.
Nothing this writer could say would do Dr. Wakefieldâs video presentation about the evidence of whatfactuallyÂ happened in Britain regarding the MMR vaccine any justice. Therefore, I invite you to watch this 16 minute video of Dr. Wakefield laying out the facts and challenging British medical authorities to come clean about the MMR vaccine and autism in the United Kingdom. âOh, what the hell!â
As a multitude of hazardous wireless technologies are deployed in homes, schools and workplaces, government officials and industry representatives continue to insist on their safety despite growing evidence to the contrary. A major health crisis looms that is only hastened through the extensive deployment of âsmart gridâ technology.
In October 2009 at Florida Power and Lightâs (FPL) solar energy station President Barack Obama announced that $3.4 billion of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act would be devoted to the countryâs âsmart energy gridâ transition. Matching funds from the energy industry brought the total national Smart Grid investment to $8 billion. FPL was given $200 million of federal money to install 2.5 million âsmart metersâ on homes and businesses throughout the state.
By now many residents in the United States and Canada have the smart meters installed on their dwellings. Each of these meters is equipped with an electronic cellular transmitter that uses powerful bursts of electromagnetic radiofrequency (RF) radiation to communicate with nearby meters that together form an interlocking network transferring detailed information on residentsâ electrical usage back to the utility every few minutes or less. Such information can easily be used to determine individual patterns of behavior based on power consumption.
The smart grid technology is being sold to the public as a way to âempowerâ individual energy consumers by allowing them to access information on their energy usage so that they may eventually save money by programming âsmartâ (i.e, wireless enabled) home appliances and equipment that will coordinate their operability with the smart meter to run when electrical rates are lowest. In other words, a broader plan behind smart grid technology involves a tiered rate system for electricity consumption that will be set by the utility to which customers will have no choice but to conform.
Because of power companiesâ stealth rollout of smart meters a large majority of the public still remains unaware of the dangers they pose to human health. This remains the case even though states such as Maine have adopted an âopt outâ provision for their citizens. The devices have not been safety-tested by Underwriters Laboratory and thus lack the UL approval customary for most electronics. Further, power customers are typically told by their utilities that the smart meter only communicates with the power company âa few times per dayâ to transmit information on individual household energy usage. However, when individuals obtained the necessary equipment to do their own testing they found the meters were emitting bursts of RF radiation throughout the home far more intense than a cell phone callÂ every minute or less.
Americaâs Telecom-friendly Policy for RF Exposure
A growing body of medical studies is now linking cumulative RF exposure to DNA disruption, cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, and autoimmune diseases. Smart meters significantly contribute to an environment already polluted by RF radiation through the pervasive stationing of cellular telephone towers in or around public spaces and consumersâ habitual use of wireless technologies. In the 2000 Salzburg Resolution European scientists recommended the maximum RF exposure for humans to be no more than one tenth of a microwatt per square centimeter. In the United States RF exposure limits are 1,000 microwatts per centimeter, with no limits for long term exposure. Such lax standards have been determined by outdated science and the legal and regulatory maneuvering of the powerful telecommunications and wireless industries.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ceased studying the health effects of radiofrequency radiation when the Senate Appropriations Committee cut the departmentâs funding and forbade it from further research into the area. Thereafter RF limits were codified as mere âguidelinesâ based on the EPAâs tentative findings and are to this day administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
These weakly enforced standards are predicated on the alleged âthermal effectâ of RF. In other words, if the energy emitted from a wireless antenna or device is not powerful enough to heat the skin or flesh then no danger is posed to human health. This reasoning is routinely put forward by utilities installing smart meters on residences, telecom companies locating cellular transmission towers in populated areas, and now school districts across the US allowing the installation of cell towers on school campuses.
The FCCâs authority to impose this standard was further reinforced with the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that included a provision lobbied for by the telecom industry preventing state and local governments from evaluating potential environmental and health effects when locating cell towers âso long as âsuch facilities comply with the FCCâs regulations concerning such emissions.ââ
In 2001 an alliance of scientists and engineers with the backing of the Communications Workers of America filed a federal lawsuit hoping the Supreme Court would reconsider the FCCâs obsolete exposure guidelines and the Telecom Actâs overreach into state and local jurisdiction. The high court refused to hear the case. When the same group asked the FCC to reexamine its guidelines in light of current scientific studies the request was rebuffed. Today in all probability millions are suffering from a variety of immediate and long-term health effects from relentless EMF and RF exposure that under the thermal effect rationale remain unrecognized or discounted by the telecom industry and regulatory authorities alike.
Growing Evidence of Health Risks From RF Exposure
The main health concern with electromagnetic radiation emitted by smart meters and other wireless technologies is that EMF and RF cause a breakdown in the communication between cells in the body, interrupting DNA repair and weakening tissue and organ function. These are the findings of Dr. George Carlo, who oversaw a comprehensive research group commissioned by the cell phone industry in the mid-1990s.
When Carloâs research began to reveal how there were indeed serious health concerns with wireless technology, the industry sought to bury the results and discredit Carlo. Yet Carloâs research has since been upheld in a wealth of subsequent studies and has continuing relevance given the ubiquity of wireless apparatuses and the even more powerful smart meters. âOne thing all these conditions have in common is a disruption, to varying degrees, of intercellular communication,â Carlo observes. âWhen we were growing up, TV antennas were on top of our houses and such waves were up in the sky. Cell phones and Wi-Fi have brought those things down to the street, integrated them into the environment, and thatâs absolutely new.â
In 2007 the BioInitiative Working Group, a worldwide body of scientists and public health experts, released a 650-page document with over 2000 studies linking RF and EMF exposure to cancer, Alzheimerâs disease, DNA damage, immune system dysfunction, cellular damage and tissue reduction.
In May 2011 the World Health Organizationâs International Agency for Research on Cancer categorized âradiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless cellphone use.â
In November 2011 the Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), a national organization of medical and osteopathic physicians, called on Californiaâs Public Utilities Commission to issue a moratorium on the continued installation of smart meters in residences and schools âbased on a scientific assessment of the current available literature.â â[E]xisting FCC guidelines for RF safety that have been used to justify installations of smart meters,â the panel wrote,
âonly look at thermal tissue damage and are obsolete, since many modern studies show metabolic and genomic damage from RF and ELF exposure below the level of intensity which heats tissues âŚ More modern literature shows medically and biologically significant effects of RF and ELF at lower energy densities. These effects accumulate over time, which is an important consideration given the chronic nature of exposure from âsmart meters.ââ
In April 2012 the AAEM issued a formal position paper on the health effects of RF and EMF exposure based on a literature review of the most recent research. The organization pointed to how government and industry arguments alleging the doubtful nature of the science on non-thermal effects of RF were not defensible in light of the newest studies. âGenetic damage, reproductive defects, cancer, neurological degeneration and nervous system dysfunction, immune system dysfunction, cognitive effects, protein and peptide damage, kidney damage, and developmental effects have all been reported in the peerâreviewed scientific literature,â AAEM concluded.
Vermont seemed more likely than ever to become the first US state to mandate the labeling of genetically modified food (GMO) after a bill passed the state house, though legislators worry about a lawsuit threat from biotech giant Monsanto.
Similar bills seeking to provide consumers with labels at the grocery store that highlight what products contain GMOs have recently failed. In California, a ballot initiative which bypassed Congress after receiving 850,000 signatures was defeated in 2012 after a large consortium of biotech companies including Monsanto spent some $50 million on an ad blitz against the legislation.
As RT reported in late April, a new federal bill which would mandate the labeling of GMOs, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, was introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR). Though few expect such laws to pass on a national level, the bill was notable for its inclusion of a wider base of bipartisan support, with nine Senate co-sponsors and 22 cosponsors in the House.
Though sixty-four other countries, including EU members, China, Russia, Brazil, India and Japan already have existing regulations in place to label GMOs for consumers the issue is a highly contentious one in the US, both at the federal and state level.
According to Senator Boxer, more than 90 per cent of Americans support the labeling of genetically engineered products. Though the Food and Drug Administration requires the labeling of over 3,000 ingredients, additives and processes it does not consider GMOs to beÂ âmateriallyâÂ different as they cannot be tasted, smelled or identified by consumers by other means.
A demonstrator holds a sign during a rally in support of the state’s upcoming Proposition 37 ballot measure in San Francisco, California October 6, 2012. (Reuters / Stephen Lam)
Legally, part of the argument for labeling GMOs rests on the US Patent and Trademark Office determination that GMOs are in actually materially different and novel, at least for patents filed by the biotech companies that produce and sell these products.
As for Vermontâs bill, according to coverage by local public radio no state representatives had any opposition to transparency in food labeling, though some were concerned by a looming lawsuit by the biotech industry.
âNobody else has passed a similar bill. They all seem to be waiting for Vermont to go first and lead the nation,Â â said Representative Tom Koch (R-Barre).
âWhat they mean is they donât want to risk their taxpayersâ money; they want us to risk Vermontersâ money. That is a $5 million to $10 million risk, and one I am not willing to take,âÂ he added.
No representatives on Thursday argued against the concept of more transparent food labeling. The most frequent point of opposition voiced on the floor concerned a likely lawsuit from the biotech or food industries that the Attorney Generalâs Office estimates could cost the state more than $5 million.
Vermontâs legislation appears to have been watered down to partly guard against the threat of legal action taken by companies like Monsanto, exempting meat, milk and eggs from animals fed or treated with genetically engineered products, which would include GMO corn feed and the rBGH cattle hormone.
In the US genetically modified food is widely available. As much as 90 per cent of corn, sugar beet and soybean crops are genetically altered, and some 70 per cent of processed foods at a typical supermarket contain GMOs. Other common GMO items include tomatoes, potatoes and squash.
If passed by Vermontâs senate and signed into law, the new labeling requirements would likely not go into effect for another two years. Activists believe that the legislation stands a good chance, owing to its wide margin of support 107-37 in the house.
The so-called Monsanto Protection Act signed into law earlier this year caused such an outrage that people around the world are planning to protest the biotech company later this month. Now a United States senator is expected to try and repeal that law.
According to the Huffington Post, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) plans to introduce an amendment in Washington that would repeal Section 735 from the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, a provision that has put St. Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto in the sights of environmentalists around the world.
Deep within the nearly 600-page spending bill, Section 735 includes language that lets biotech companies that experiment with genetically-engineered and genetically-modified crops test and sell lab-made products even if legal action is taken against them.
âThe provision would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous GE crop while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses those potential hazards,â dozens of farmers wrote the House of Representatives before the bill was passed in March. âFurther, it would compel USDA to allow continued planting of that same crop upon request, even if in the course of its assessment the Department finds that it poses previously unrecognized risks.â
But despite pleas from agriculturalists around the world, both the Senate and House approved the spending bill â with Section 735 in tow â and the act wasÂ signedÂ into law just days later by US President Barack Obama.
Since being passed in late March, the spending bill has attracted immense criticism from all different sectors, including small-time farmers, Tea Party activists and even members of Congress. According to Huffington Post, however, Sen. Merkley is expected to be the first lawmaker in Washington to walk into the Capitol with a plan to repeal the amendment. HuffPo reported on Thursday that Merkley is planning to introduce an amendment on a separate farm bill going up to vote shortly that will reverse the so-called âProtection Act.â
Should the prediction prove correct, it would suggest a change of heart for Sen. Merkley. According to the Vote Smart Project, Merkley was one of 73 senators that voted in favor of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act when it went up for vote on March 22. Only 26 senators voted ânayâ during that hearing, and the HouseÂ approvedÂ it shortly thereafter.
Monsanto has called Section 735Â âa positive step to ensure US farmers and our food chain are shielded from supply disruptions caused by litigation over procedural issues unrelated to sound science or the safety of biotech crops.â
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) told Politico earlier this year that he co-authored the language of the amendmentÂ along with Monsanto. Previously, Blunt received $64,250 from Monsanto to go towards his campaign committee between 2008 and 2012.
Demonstrations are scheduled in 36 countries on six continents later this month for anti-Monsanto activists to come together and protest the company.
Speaking to Bloomberg this week, Monsanto CEO Hugh GrantÂ saidÂ his critics exercise a âstrange kind of reverse elitismâ fueled by social media campaigns to condemn his company.
âMost of the people that become motivated to engage the political issues have become convinced that going down the road of genetically engineered foods is not the way to meet the needs of a food insecure population,â Grant said. âThere is space in the supermarket shelf for all of us.â