Farm-Free Food: It sounds like a miracle.

Replacing crops and livestock with food made from microbes and water

We are on the cusp of the biggest economic transformation, of any kind, for 200 years.

While arguments rage about plant- versus meat-based diets, new technologies will soon make them irrelevant. Before long, most of our food will come neither from animals nor plants, but from unicellular life. After 12,000 years of feeding humankind, all farming except fruit and veg production is likely to be replaced by ferming: brewing microbes through precision fermentation. This means multiplying particular micro-organisms, to produce particular products, in factories.I know some people will be horrified by this prospect. I can see some drawbacks. But I believe it comes in the nick of time.

Several impending disasters are converging on our food supply, any of which could be catastrophic. Climate breakdown threatens to cause what scientists call “multiple breadbasket failures”, through synchronous heatwaves and other impacts.

The UN forecasts that by 2050 feeding the world will require a 20% expansion in agriculture’s global water use. But water use is already maxed out in many places: aquifers are vanishing, rivers are failing to reach the sea. The glaciers that supply half the population of Asia are rapidly retreating. Inevitable global heating – due to greenhouse gases already released – is likely to reduce dry season rainfall in critical areas, turning fertile plains into .

global soil crisis threatens the very basis of our subsistence, as great tracts of arable land lose their fertility through erosion, compaction and contamination. Phosphate supplies, crucial for agriculture, are dwindling fast. Insectageddon threatens catastrophic pollination failures. It is hard to see how farming can feed us all even until 2050, let alone to the end of the century and beyond.


Monbiot's ideas have come in for heavy criticism from a variety of sources. Anyone who is interested in these issues should read the articles we cite in full, as they are wide-ranging and make a multitude of points.
Read more on the GMWatch website: gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/19282

Source: George Monbiot - Jan'20

Food production is ripping the living world apart. Fishing and farming are, by a long way, the greatest cause of extinction and loss of the diversity and abundance of wildlife. Farming is a major cause of climate breakdown, the biggest cause of river pollution and a hefty source of air pollution. Across vast tracts of the world’s surface, it has replaced complex wild ecosystems with simplified human food chains. Industrial fishing is driving cascading ecological collapse in seas around the world. Eating is now a moral minefield, as almost everything we put in our mouths – from beef to avocados, cheese to chocolate, almonds to tortilla chips, salmon to peanut butter – has an insupportable environmental cost.

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.

Glyphosate: links in a lot of nasty chains

Once glyphosate is gone from the agricultural landscape (as it must) it is unlikely to be replaced, and a lot of deep changes will have to happen - hopefully for the better.

After 30 years of systematically attempting to dominate the world’s food supply through deceit and tyranny Monsanto, in late 2018, scurried under the skirts of Bayer Crop Science Division. Though it may no longer exist legally its 4000+ lawsuits against RoundUp still do. Although court judgements against Monsanto were once unheard of the August/18 verdict of $78M damages seems to be a signal that that’s about to change.

Monsanto has always been a heavyweight in the game of nasty chemicals, as Bayer still is. It discovered and patented the compound glyphosate, a chemical which causes metabolic disruption in plants, killing them essentially through systemic malnutrition. Because the same metabolic pathway isn’t present in animals glyphosate was eventually cleared by the US EPA to be marketed as a herbicide. Monsanto’s brand-name is Roundup but these days it is sold under licence under various names.

Later, when Monsanto’s gene-scientists learned how to impart glyphosate resistance into plant DNA the RoundUp Ready story was born. The glyphosate-GMO combo went to market in 1996 as a whole new way to further intensify intensive farming. It allowed for bigger acreages with less work and bigger crops: it changed the face of big-scale farming but not for the better. Farmers loved it and Monsanto made dizzying profits. But within a few years cracks began to appear; super-weeds, nutrition, kidney dysfunction ... cancer! Deceit, fake science, intimidation and corruption were used to hide these unwanted side-effects. These issues are set out in an early documentary, see ...The World According to Monsanto (2007).

Those early concerns described in that documentary have since then only magnified, with mounting alarm about the long-term health and environmental issues. ... GLYPHOSATE is presently in the process of being banned in country after country. ... More significantly the GMOs associated with it must also go. At last, it looks like an end for this harmful product is in sight, but ... its unhealthy legacy will likely persist for generations to come, and in some aspect the damage done to the earth's genosphere has been done forever. Part of the legacy that remains with us is a GMO industry that is bent on justifying its own unnecessary existence, by any means possible. At least while there remains that alluring possibility of controlling the world's major seed supplies . (see ... Food Evolution, 2017).

Where to Now From Here

We could look back at the world before Monsanto and try to imagine it now as if their products had never occurred. But industrial-style farming was never sustainable: it always was a major cause of atmospheric change, of massive fertility deficits, of serious biodiversity losses. So instead, we should look back even further, to a time before WWI and WWII decimated rural populations, in order for a real glimpse at sustainable farming and the way food needs to be grown for optimal health.

Those chemical-based technologies that replaced manpower shortages have colonised the farming industry, displacing the accumulated wisdom of traditional land-use experience. But that was only for European cultures. In other parts of the world, amongst traditional peasant cultures, much of land-use wisdom has persisted though under severe threat from enterprise agriculture.

The agrichemical industry is never going to accept that its chemical/GMO tricks against Nature always wear off - evolution always wins. Roundup has lost on the medical front, and has been losing on the farming front for a while, to more toxic (and expensive) 'solutions'. There is a host of them, all headed for a similar failure. The only long-term sustainable solution is in the re-peasantisation of farming, a re-populating of the rural landscape with smaller family farms. That seems a long way off, just for now.

The biotech industry's bid for global domination of the world’s food supply is faltering and a down scaling of farming is inevitable, if not imminent. Already farmers across America are facing a mortgage crisis. Industrial farming sows the seed of its own destruction, with potentially a food system collapse, and massive social and economic disruption.


New Evidence that Glyphosate is a Probable Carcinogen:

Recommended reading...

Election campaign – help stop National’s healthcare cuts this election

ActionStation (NZ) has started an election campaign to save our public healthcare system from National’s  plan to slash funding for public health, putting good health and peace of mind out of reach for hundreds of thousands of people.

Each cut the Government makes to our health budget represents a person who might not receive a hip operation, cancer screening, counseling service, or a hospital bed that can’t be funded.

The worst part? The Government could afford to fund healthcare properly. They choose not to. [1] Some speculate that this is how the National Government plan to pay for vote-bribing tax cuts next (Election) year. [2] We’re looking for people around New Zealand to help us pull it off.

Here’s what they’re going to do:

We’re going to build a community-led movement so powerful that whoever wants to win our vote in 2017 has to commit to at least $200 million in additional funding in our annual Health Budget. Two hundred million is the minimum amount we need to bring health care funding in line with inflation, population growth and an ageing population. It is a massive ask, and will take a serious re-prioritising in Government spending, but we believe if our movement can build grassroots popular community support for this, we can make health funding one of the key Election issues in 2017.

But we have to start now:

We’ve set up 20 local campaigns – one for each DHB in New Zealand – in the different regions. All 20 campaigns have petitions focused on pressuring local MPs to step up to invest in our health system. Five of these campaigns already have teams of people or individuals committed to making sure they gather community support. We’re now looking for people to step up and get to work for our public health system in the following areas:

  • Waitemata
  • Counties Manukau
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Gisborne
  • South Canterbury
  • West Coast
  • Wairarapa
  • Hutt
  • Waikato
  • Nelson-Marlborough
  • Rotorua
  • Whanganui
  • Otago
  • Taranaki
  • Canterbury

Ready to help save our public health system from under-funding?

Here’s what’s involved:
  • Second – if the fit is good, we’ll sign you up as a local leader of the campaign, send you a handy guide and give you a call to ensure you have all the information you need to start collecting signatures in your community. We’ll provide online and over the phone training in the key tactics for winning campaigns, like writing emails that inspire people to join your campaign, and getting media coverage for your effort.

  • Finally – we’ll support you to organise a petition delivery to your local MP – and help you get media coverage too.

This combination of community-led campaigning and widespread media coverage will ensure that health is a key election issue in 2017.

In order for this to work, we need ActionStation members in every corner of the country signing up to drive local campaign action. We’re looking for both leaders and people who can be part of a team, who will work with ActionStation staff to collect signatures online and in the community, and organise a petition delivery to your local MP. The best part? You’ll be supported every step of the way.

You don’t need expert skills to apply, just commitment to the cause, determination, and at least one hour a week to give to this. Apply here to help lead your local campaign today for health care … ActionStation campaigners will be just one email away.

This is a long-term strategy, and we can’t pull it off without your help, but I reckon together we can help lay the foundations for a strong and secure future where all New Zealanders can receive the quality healthcare they need.

PS. If you don’t want to be a petition leader, you can still find and sign your local petition by clicking here. Simply type in your address or region to be directed to your nearest campaign!

References:

  1.  ‘Funding New Zealand’s public healthcare system: time for an honest appraisal and public debate’, New Zealand Medical Journal (pay-walled)
  2. John Key hints he’ll fight election $3 billion package tax cuts (NZ Herald, 16 May 2016).

Another Big-Screen Movie Just Released Investigates Vaccines For Autism Implications

Hot on the heels of the CDC-whistleblower and vaccine-fraud-documentary VAXXED, a new feature length film – Man Made Epidemic – made its debut in London (UK) at the Curzon Cinema in Soho on Thursday, June 16, 2016!

Congratulations and thanks to filmmaker Natalie Beers, and other production crew members for taking on such an overwhelming project, and for having the fortitude to work on a much-needed investigation of vaccines, vaccinations and environmental issues relative to ever-increasing autism rates, particularly in the USA.

Man Made Epidemic” was earlier this month pulled from London’s East End Festival. That festival director decided to withdraw when another documentary VAXXED, which also dealt with vaccine safety, had earlier bowed to outside pressure and was pulled  from the Tribeca Film Festival.

Earlier, the movie VAXXED, which documents that embarrassing, conniving and fraudulent vaccine science story about how the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) attempted to destroy compelling evidence that the MMR vaccine caused autism in young black boys – only weeks before had failed to make its debut screening at the Film Festival due to intense industry pressure.


When you see (below) Dr Hilleman’s* nonchalant disclosure from the film, plus how cavalierly colleagues treated the information, you will realise why you really have to question vaccine ingredients …

* Dr Maurice Hilleman, MD, the head vaccine maker at Merck & Company for years.

Read: Why Doctors Don’t Vaccinate Their Children

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