Health Thailand wants to ban three pesticides

But US government says no

The Trump administration is pressuring Thailand not to ban three pesticides that scientific research has shown to be particularly dangerous to children and other vulnerable populations.

You know it’s a dark day for America when foreign leaders have to lecture US officials about the importance of prioritising public health over corporate profits.

Thailand’s leaders have said that as of 1 December, a ban will take effect on the use of the following farming chemicals: chlorpyrifos, an insecticide made popular by Dow Chemical that is known to damage babies’ brains; Syngenta’s paraquat, a herbicide scientists say causes the nervous system disease known as Parkinson’s that has been banned in Europe since 2007; and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide, which is linked to cancer and other health problems.
Dow, Syngenta and Monsanto have each merged their way to become bigger corporate behemoths in recent years, wielding their power in Washington to keep their money-making pesticides on the market. They are not having as much luck keeping foreign leaders in line, however, amid growing global awareness of the risks many pesticides spell for human health.

Thailand joins dozens of countries that have already banned or are planning bans on paraquat, chlorpyrifos and/or glyphosate. Thailand’s national hazardous substances committee voted last month to ban all three due to the dangers established by scientific evidence.

Thailand’s leaders were motivated in part by research showing that use of these chemicals in agriculture not only puts farm workers at risk, but also endangers consumers because the bug and weed killers’ residues persist in fruits, vegetables, grains and other foods.

In the United States, pesticide residues are so common in domestic food supplies that a Food and Drug Administration report issued in September found more than 84% of domestic fruits, 53% of vegetables, and 42% of grains sold to consumers carried pesticide residues.

US regulators parrot industry talking points as they insist that dietary exposures to pesticides are nothing to worry about and say any risks to farm workers can be mitigated with proper training, protective clothing and other measures.
According to Thai news reports, US officials have also been warning that the ban will interfere with lucrative trade. The US is especially upset about a glyphosate ban, arguing that it could limit hundreds of millions of dollars in Thai imports of US grains, which are often laced with glyphosate residues.

Outraged Thai officials say they have been forced to “clearly explain” to US officials that Thailand’s priority is the health of Thai consumers. “Our job is to take care of the people’s health,” the public health minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, told the press.

If only US leaders had such moral clarity.

It may be disgraceful, but it’s certainly not surprising that the Trump administration is working to protect glyphosate and other pesticides that bring profits to big corporations. The agrochemical industry players are devoted donors to the political machinery that runs Washington and they expect a return on their dollars.

Chlorpyrifos was scheduled to be banned two years ago from US agricultural use but when Trump came into office the EPA decided to delay any action until at least 2022. The agency is currently updating its risk assessment of paraquat, seeking public comments through 16 December; but it appears poised to allow continued use, albeit with restrictions. And earlier this year the EPA affirmed that it continues to find no health risk associated with glyphosate.

One example of the US government's fealty was laid out in an internal Monsanto consultant’s report made public through litigation against the company. The report quotes a White House policy adviser as saying: “We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation. We are prepared to go toe-to-toe on any disputes they may have.”

There is no shortage of scandal to alarm and divide Americans. It is often easiest to simply ignore the headlines and convince ourselves the partisan battles don’t actually affect us. But when it comes to the food we eat and feed our families, we only harm ourselves when we ignore policies that literally promote the poisoning of our children for profit. We can’t afford to look away from this.

Global Food Movement Rejects 'Gene drive' Technology

World Food Day (Oct/18) ...

Over 200 global food movement leaders and organisations representing hundreds of millions of farmers and food workers set out their clear opposition to “gene drives” – a controversial new genetic forcing technology.

Their call for a stop to this technology accompanies a new report, Forcing the Farm: How Gene Drive Organisms Could Entrench Industrial Agriculture and Threaten Food Sovereignty, that lifts the lid on how gene drives may harm food and farming systems.

Unlike previous genetically modified organisms (GMOs) these gene drive organisms (GDOs) are deliberately designed to spread genetic pollution as an agricultural strategy – for example, spreading "auto-extinction" genes to wipe out agricultural pests. Agri-research bodies now developing these extinction-organisms include the California Cherry Board, the US Citrus Research Board and the private California company Agragene Inc. Next month, the United Nations Biodiversity Convention will meet to discuss measures to control this technology, including a possible moratorium.

Those launching the call for a moratorium on gene drives in food and agriculture include all past and present UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food; the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements; IUF (the International Union representing Food and Farmworkers); La Via Campesina, the largest network of peasant movements representing 200 million peasants in 81 countries; and GMWatch. Signatories also include well-known commentators on food matters including seed activist Vandana Shiva, World Food Prize winner Dr Hans Herren, International President of Friends of the Earth International Karin Nansen, activist and food entrepreneur Nell Newman, and environmentalist and geneticist David Suzuki.

Applying gene drives to food systems threatens to harm farmers’ rights and the rights of peasants as enshrined in international treaties,” said Dr Olivier De Schutter, who served as the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food from 2008-2014. “Gene drives would undermine the realisation of human rights including the right to healthy, ecologically-produced and culturally appropriate food and nutrition

The much-touted Bt-cotton leaves the party

India's 2018 cotton harvest was devastated by swarming armies of bollworms

In India, 90 per cent of the land under cotton uses a GM Bt-seed variety cotton supplied by Monsanto. But the main pest it was meant to safeguard against is back, as a virulent pesticide-resistant species.

The bollworm lays thousands of eggs and multiplies into millions of worms within days. Estimates based on surveys by the state revenue and the Maharashtra agriculture departments around November and then again in February-March indicate that the pink-worm infestation affected over 80 per cent of the 4.2 million hectares under cotton in the state. Each farmer reportedly lost 33 per cent to over 50 per cent of their standing crop.

Bt-cotton gets its name from bacillus thuringiensis, a soil-dwelling bacterium. The Bt seed contains cry (crystal) genes derived from the bacterium and inserted into the cotton plant genome (the genetic material of the cell) to provide protection against the bollworm.

Bt-cotton was meant to control the bollworm. But farmers will now find the worms surviving in Bt-cotton fields, Kranthi wrote in a series of essays in industry magazines and on his own CICR blog. Neither the ICAR nor the Union Agriculture Ministry seemed alert to the potential devastation at the time. The state and central government have since been aware of the extent of pink-worm devastation, but have not come up with a solution.

In 2006-7, Monsanto released BG-II hybrids, saying the new technology was more potent, more durable. These slowly replaced BG-I. And by now, BG-II hybrids occupy over 90 per cent of the around 130 million hectares under cotton across India, according to government estimates.

Where to now?

There is no new GM technology in sight now or in the near future that promises to replace BG-II. Neither is any technology available for more effective insecticides. India is in deep trouble on its fields of cotton, a crop that occupies vast stretches of land and creates millions of workdays in rural India.


The Ministry of Agriculture of the government of India acknowledges the problem, but has rejected the demand from Maharashtra and other states to de-notify Bt-cotton – a move that will change its status to regular cotton since Bt’s efficacy has gone.

Anti-GMO Media in Russia

Spreading Fears of the US Attempting a Global GMO Dictatorship

Researchers at Iowa State University expressed concerns that the activity of Russian media could harm the American GMO industry, by speculating upon how it intends to dominate the global food market.

"Russia is funding articles shared online that question the safety of GMOs in an effort hurt U.S. agriculture interests and bolster its position as the "ecologically clean alternative" to genetically engineered food, said Shawn Dorius, an Iowa State University assistant sociology professor. (Source - Feb. 2018)

The accusations are against Russian journalists trying to increase consumer interest in malicious technology take place against a backdrop of two trends. Firstly, the anti-Russian campaign launched by the Democratic Party in the US after the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential elections, and the US attempts to establish a GMO dictatorship across the world, which Russia is opposed to.

Seeds of Destruction (2007, F. William Engdahl)
This skillfully researched book focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread. “Control the food and you control the people.”
This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO. Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms.
The author cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. If the book often reads as a crime story, that should come as no surprise. For that is what it is.
Engdahl’s carefully argued critique goes far beyond the familiar controversies surrounding the practice of genetic modification as a scientific technique. The book is an eye-opener, a must-read for all those committed to the causes of social justice and world peace.

[fsbProduct asin=’0973714727′ size=’480′ align=’center’]


Author’s presentation (2014) —
GMO – Seeds of Destruction

Roundup Whitewash

Monsanto Now Wants to Defund the WHO

Monsanto anticipated that the World Health Organization scientists would find glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen.

They knew that this would happen and have been preparing to discredit them since March of 2015.

The UN for decades has been telling us what will cause cancer and what won’t cause cancer. In 2016 they came out and they say, “Roundup is a probable cause of cancer.” So rather than Monsanto saying, “Well, maybe we ought to warn people about that” instead they’re now trying to de-fund the World Health Organization because it said something that’s going to hurt their profits.

Apparently Monsanto have some friendly Republicans in Washington D.C. to push the message. They’re looking trying to de-fund IARC. A hearing was scheduled for 06/02/18 to take a look at some of these matters. It’s a really powerful move by a powerful company to try to take on these international cancer scientists.

In February 2018 Monsanto hit Avaaz, the international petition site, with a 168-page court subpoena about a petition they had just launched.


An interview with Carey Gillam, author of – Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science

Genetically engineered apples get the nod from US FDA

All ready for 2016-2017

In March 2015, two varieties of genetically-engineered apples and six types of genetically-altered potatoes claim to offer just as much nutrition and as little safety risk as their conventional relatives, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled.

The Arctic Granny Apple

The agency officials announced that the “Arctic Apples” by Okanagan Specialty Fruits and the “Innate” potatoes from J. R. Simplot Company passed the voluntary safety tests on Friday after the two products picked up approvals from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

What’s next?

Cancer-fighting pink pineapples from Del Monte, heart-healthy purple tomatoes and less fatty vegetable oils from Monsanto?

Such GE foods could receive U.S. government approval in the coming years. The companies and scientists which have created these foods hope that customers will be attracted to the health benefits and convenience and overlook any concerns about genetic engineering.

Questionable Developments

At least they have started to consider what’s in it for the eater-consumer. But the big question which arises is; if better health can already be gained by ordinary and obviously cheaper means then these products are marginal at best. So why should consumers trust this direction, especially with companies with a track record like Monsanto ?

 

Source: | New York Daily News

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