EU dropped pesticide laws due to US pressure over TTIP, documents reveal

image

Chief EU negotiator Ignacio Garcia-Bercero (R) and chief US negotiator Dan Mullaney hold a press conference in Washington, DC after a new round of talks on creating a transatlantic free trade zone, 19 May. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Courtesy of Arthur Neslen @ The Guardian:

EU moves to regulate hormone-damaging chemicals linked to cancer and male infertility were shelved following pressure from US trade officials over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade deal, newly released documents show.

Draft EU criteria could have banned 31 pesticides containing endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). But these were dumped amid fears of a trade backlash stoked by an aggressive US lobby push, access to information documents obtained by Pesticides Action Network (PAN) Europe show.

On 26 June 2013, a high-level delegation from the American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham) visited EU trade officials to insist that the bloc drop its planned criteria for identifying EDCs in favour of a new impact study.

Minutes of the meeting show commission officials pleading that “although they want the TTIP to be successful, they would not like to be seen as lowering the EU standards”.

The TTIP is a trade deal being agreed by the EU and US to remove barriers to commerce and promote free trade.

Responding to the EU officials, AmCham representatives “complained about the uselessness of creating categories and thus, lists” of prohibited substances, the minutes show.

The US trade representatives insisted that a risk-based approach be taken to regulation, and “emphasised the need for an impact assessment” instead.

On 2 July 2013, officials from the US Mission to Europe visited the EU to reinforce the message. Later that day, the secretary-general of the commission, Catherine Day, sent a letter to the environment department’s director Karl Falkenberg, telling him to stand down the draft criteria.

“We suggest that as other DGs [directorate-generals] have done, you consider making a joint single impact assessment to cover all the proposals,” Day wrote. “We do not think it is necessary to prepare a commission recommendation on the criteria to identify endocrine disrupting substances.” Continue reading

Dramatic Correlation Shown Between GMOS and 22 Diseases – OPED

Courtesy of Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers @ Eurasia Review:

There is a growing movement for labeling of GMO crops, and many would go further and ban GMOs completely. Currently there is a close vote in Oregon on a GMO labeling initiative, with advocates for labeling 0.3% behind and raising money to check ballots (we urge your support). Those who profit from GMOs spent $20 million to prevent labeling in Oregon. Several states in the Northeast have put in place laws that will require labeling.

Vermont is about to be sued to prevent GMO labeling. GMO profiteers have an unusual marketing strategy. While most companies brag about their product, the GMO industry spends hundreds of millions to hide their product. The US does not requiring labeling of GMOs despite the fact that 64 countries around the world label GMO foods.

Millions have marched against Monsanto urging labeling or the banning of GMO products. There is a national consensus in favor of labeling but the government has been unable to respond. Indeed, President Obama’s food czar is a former Monsanto executive. The deep corruption of government is putting the health of the American people at serious risk.

The research highlighted below, “Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America,” was published in The Journal of Organic Systems this September and links GMOs to 22 diseases with very high correlation. We reprinted many of the graphs from the study that show an incredible correlation between the rise of GMO crops that use the herbicide glyphosate and a wide range of diseases.

Glyphosate was introduced to the marketplace in 1974 but data on its use is only available since 1990. Monsanto has genetically modified foods so that they are resistant to glyphosate, a herbicide Monsanto sells, resulting in a dramatic increase in the use of glyphosate. The study points out that research has shown that “glyphosate disrupts the ability of animals, including humans, to detoxify xenobiotics. This means that exposures to the numerous chemicals in food and the environment, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogens, could be causing levels of damage that would not occur if the body were able to detoxify them.” Continue reading

Humans Waste Enough Food to Feed 3.48 billion People Annually – GMOs Weren’t Developed to ‘Feed the World’

image

Courtesy of Ethan A Huff @ Natural News:

It isn’t a lack of food that is the driving force behind world hunger, but rather a lack of effective food distribution. An estimated 1.43 billion tons of food go to waste every single year around the world, according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates, which is enough to feed some 3.48 billion people in need.

During a recent UN forum, fixing this out-of-control problem was a primary topic of discussion. Entitled “Feeding the World: Food, Agriculture and Environment,” the gathering, which took place in Naples, Italy, focused on ways to reign in the waste problem and develop new ways of conserving the food that we already have.

“We need a transformative change in our food and agricultural policies to have sustainability,” explained Ren Wang, Assistant Director-General of FAO’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department.

More food is being produced now compared to 60 years ago, and the overall percentage of people who are considered undernourished has dropped from 18.7 percent two decades ago to about 11.3 percent today. But the sheer volume of food that ends up in dumpsters and landfills is shockingly high, and more can be done to save it.

Based on the data, about one-third of the food produced globally ends up in the trash can. In monetary terms, this represents losses of about $680 billion annually in developed countries and $310 billion in developing countries, according to the SAVE FOOD initiative.

Meanwhile, some 805 million people across the globe suffer daily from a lack of adequate nourishment. This is despite the fact that everyone on the planet could consume about 2,800 calories every day based on current output levels — that is, if all the food currently produced was distributed evenly. Continue reading

Boosting Your Immune System: What NOT To Eat

image

Courtesy of The Sleuth Journal:

Tis the season for the flu shot propaganda machine to rev into high gear, as Big Pharma, the CDC, and the mainstream media urge people to roll up their sleeves and have toxins like mercury and formaldehyde injected into them, all in the name of “staying healthy this winter.”

There’s a much easier way to stay healthy that also involves toxins – the ones in our food supply. Only I recommend avoiding them instead of injecting them directly into your body.

If you consume processed foods on a regular basis, you’re forcing your immune system to work to protect you against the things you are ingesting, instead of fighting off viruses and germs.

Many people thoughtlessly poison themselves every single day. They have some white sugar and fluoride in the morning coffee. They have some MSG-laden, highly salted saturated fat at lunch and wash it down with a neurotoxic, artificially sweetened drink. Dinner gets picked up at a convenient drive-thru window, and it’s enriched with more MSG and some GMO high fructose corn syrup. Don’t even get me started on that late night snack in front of the TV. Most of what typical Americans eat can hardly even be considered actual food.

This isn’t just some far-fetched conspiracy theory. A recent study published in the Nutrition Journal focused on the effects of a junk food diet on the human immune system. Dr. Ian Miles, a physician at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, concluded that ingredients such as refined sugars, salt, saturated fat, artificial sweeteners, gluten, and genetically modified foods, all negatively impacted the human body, and led to to increased inflammation, reduced control of infection, increased rates of cancer, and increased risk for allergic and auto-inflammatory disease. On top of that, beneficial gut bacteria is disturbed, leading to a more vulnerable immune system.

The bottom line is, when you’re poisoning your system instead of nourishing it, you are working at cross-purposes with your body.

Here are the things to avoid if you want to stay healthy:

Hydrogenated fat Continue reading

Pesticides Threaten Birds and Bees Alike, Study Says

image

Courtesy of Phys.org:

Neurotoxic pesticides blamed for the world’s bee collapse are also harming butterflies, worms, fish and birds, said a scientific review that called Tuesday for tighter regulation to curb their use.

Analysing two decades of reports on the topic, an international panel of 29 scientists found there was “clear evidence of harm” from use of two pesticide types, neonicotinoids and fipronil.

And the evidence was “sufficient to trigger regulatory action”.

“We are witnessing a threat to the productivity of our natural and farmed environment,” said Jean-Marc Bonmatin of France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, co-author of the report entitled the Worldwide Integrated Assessment.

Far from protecting food production, these nerve-targeting insecticides known as neonics were “imperilling the pollinators, habitat engineers and natural pest controllers at the heart of a functioning ecosystem.”

The four-year assessment was carried out by The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, which advises the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s watchdog on species loss.

Neonics are widely used insecticides whose effects can be instant and lethal, or chronic. Exposure can impair smell and memory in some species, curb procreation, reduce foraging, cause flight difficulties and increase disease susceptibility.

Used for insect pest management in farming, but also in pet flea control, they have been fingered in the recent decline in bees—crucial pollinators of human food crops—in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

The latest study says these pesticides, absorbed by plants, are also harming other insect pollinators, fish and birds as they leach into soil and water.

The most affected species were terrestrial invertebrates such as earthworms, which are crucial soil-enrichers, said a press statement. Continue reading

Huge GMO News

Courtesy of Ocean Robbins in the Huffington Post:

It hasn’t been a good week for Monsanto and the rest of the biotech industry.

Just three days ago, Mexico banned genetically engineered corn. Citing the risk of imminent harm to the environment, a Mexican judge ruled that, effective immediately, no genetically engineered corn can be planted in the country. This means that companies like Monsanto will no longer be allowed to plant or sell their corn within the country’s borders.

image

At the same time, the County Council for the island of Kauai passed a law that mandates farms to disclose pesticide use and the presence of genetically modified crops. The bill also requires a 500-foot buffer zone near medical facilities, schools and homes — among other locations. Continue reading