From Toxic Food to Agrarian Disaster: Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap – Global Research

from-toxic-food-to-agrarian-disaster:-dirty-deals-done-dirt-cheap-–-global-research

18-06-20 06:34:00,

During the early days of the coronavirus lockdowns, in some quarters there was a certain degree of optimism around. Although millions of people were suffering, the hope was that the Covid-19 crisis would shine light on societal and economic systems across the world, exposing some of the deep-rooted flaws of capitalism. There was a belief that people working together with their respective governments could start building a fairer capitalism and more sustainable economies.

However, we see exactly the opposite taking place. In the UK, we now witness a post-Brexit trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors with the US that could see a lowering of food and environment standards, despite the Conservative government pledge that it would not compromise on standards in these areas. The government now proposes that chlorine-washed chicken, beef treated with growth hormones, pork from ractopamine-injected animals and many other toxic foods produced in the US will be allowed into the UK. Sanctioning the entry of (chemical-resistant) GM crops and GM food are also likely to be part of any deal.

It would effectively mean sacrificing UK farmers’ livelihoods, the environment and the nation’s health to suit the bottom line of US agribusiness corporations.

The UK isn’t the only country that US agribusiness has set its sights on. World Bank Group President David Malpass has stated that poorer countries will be ‘helped’ to get back on their feet after the various coronavirus lockdowns. This ‘help’ will be on condition that neoliberal reforms are implemented and become further embedded. Ranil Salgado, mission chief for India at the IMF, says that when the economic shock passes, it’s important that India returns to its path of undertaking such long-term reforms.

But haven’t ordinary Indians already had enough of these ‘structural adjustments’ and their impacts? Rural affairs commentator P Sainath has highlighted the desperate plight of migrant workers in India. He notes that millions of rural livelihoods have been deliberately snuffed out over a period of many years, sparking an agrarian crisis. As a result of lockdown, tens of millions went back to their villages but there is no work there because rural jobs have been extinguished – the reason for urban migration in the first place.

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Toxic Agriculture and the Gates Foundation – Global Research

toxic-agriculture-and-the-gates-foundation-–-global-research

27-02-20 11:24:00,

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was launched in 2000 and has $46.8 billion in assets (December 2018). It is the largest charitable foundation in the world and distributes more aid for global health than any government. One of the foundation’s stated goals is to globally enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty.

The Gates Foundation is a major funder of the CGIAR system (formerly the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research) – a global partnership whose stated aim is to strive for a food-secured future. Its research is aimed at reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition and ensuring sustainable management of natural resources.

In 2016, the Gates Foundation was accused of dangerously and unaccountably distorting the direction of international development. The charges were laid out in a report by Global Justice Now: ‘Gated Development – Is the Gates Foundation always a force for good? According to the report, the foundation’s strategy is based on deepening the role of multinational companies in the Global South.

On release of the report, Polly Jones, the head of campaigns and policy at Global Justice Now, said:

“The Gates Foundation has rapidly become the most influential actor in the world of global health and agricultural policies, but there’s no oversight or accountability in how that influence is managed.”

She added that this concentration of power and influence is even more problematic when you consider that the philanthropic vision of the Gates Foundation seems to be largely based on the values of ‘corporate America’:

“The foundation is relentlessly promoting big business-based initiatives such as industrial agriculture, private health care and education. But these are all potentially exacerbating the problems of poverty and lack of access to basic resources that the foundation is supposed to be alleviating.”

The report’s author, Mark Curtis, outlines the foundation’s promotion of industrial agriculture across Africa, which would undermine existing sustainable, small-scale farming that is providing the vast majority of food across the continent.

Curtis describes how the foundation is working with US agri-commodity trader Cargill in an $8 million project to “develop the soya value chain” in southern Africa. Cargill is the biggest global player in the production of and trade in soya with heavy investments in South America where GM soya monocrops (and associated agrochemicals) have displaced rural populations and caused health problems and environmental damage.

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Toxic chemicals stole 160 million IQ points from American kids and it’s costing the US trillions of dollars – study

toxic-chemicals-stole-160-million-iq-points-from-american-kids-and-it’s-costing-the-us-trillions-of-dollars-–-study

15-01-20 06:22:00,

Shocking new research indicates that not only do pesticides and flame retardants cause unprecedented levels of irreversible childhood brain damage, but the knock-on effects have cost the US economy trillions of dollars.

The latest research from New York University indicates that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were the greatest contributor to IQ loss and intellectual disability among American children, resulting in a total of 162 million IQ points lost and over 738,000 cases of intellectual disability. 

Many children were likely exposed in utero – though many household objects are known to contain at least trace amounts of these harmful toxins – and this exposure is proven to be harmful to the developing nervous system.

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The study examined the effects of exposure to lead, mercury, pesticides, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (otherwise known as flame retardants) among children in the US between 2001 and 2016. 

“Kids’ brain development is exquisitely vulnerable,” said Leo Trasande, a paediatrician and public health researcher at NYU. “If you disrupt, even with subtle effects, the way a child’s brain is wired, [it] can have permanent and lifelong consequences.”

According to the research, lead exposure cost American children 78 million IQ points, with pesticides taking 27 million and mercury losing them 2.5 million. 

Flame retardants can be found in household furniture and electronics, while pesticides can linger on unwashed produce. And according to Trasande, there is “no safe level of lead exposure” to what he dubs “hit and run chemicals.” 

The researchers estimated that each IQ point is worth two percent of a child’s lifetime economic productivity. For example, assuming a modest economic productivity of $1 million over a lifetime, each IQ point lost would equal $20,000. 

“If a child comes back from school with one less IQ point, maybe mum or the parent might not notice. But if 100,000 children come back with one less IQ point, the entire economy notices.”

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How US regulators embrace toxic pesticides & the corporations that make them

In a rather stunning claim,

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Brazil’s toxic pesticides ‘affecting people all over the world’ through agricultural exports

brazil’s-toxic-pesticides-‘affecting-people-all-over-the-world’-through-agricultural-exports

30-07-19 11:03:00,

Brazil’s embrace of highly toxic pesticides – the government has approved 262 so far this year and loosened regulations on what is considered “extremely toxic” – is affecting people far outside its borders, an expert tells RT.

EU-banned pesticide[s are] being manufactured in the EU, and then coming back to citizens in the EU, in the food we eat,” environmental journalist and founding member of the Green Economic Institute think tank Oliver Tickell told RT, explaining that as one of the largest soy exporters in the world, Brazil supplies a significant quantity of the feed that cattle and other livestock worldwide consume. European consumers tucking into a juicy steak have no idea that the creature they’re eating might have been nourished on soy sprayed with highly toxic pesticides.

This is not just a problem for Brazil and Brazilian people and people exposed in the countryside to these pesticides and consumers and farmers,” Tickell warned. “It is actually affecting people all over the world through Brazil’s agricultural exports.” 

ANVISA, the Brazilian public health regulatory agency, relaxed pesticide regulations last week so that only those chemicals with lethal potential can be classified as “extremely toxic,” triggering a massive backlash from environmental groups, human rights organizations, and food safety advocates. The fervently pro-business government of President Jair Bolsonaro has already approved 262 pesticides this year, 82 of which are classed as “extremely toxic,” as he follows through on campaign promises to demolish environmental regulations and open up protected rainforest lands to mining and agriculture.

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Greenwald calls Brazil’s Bolsonaro a ‘wannabe dictator’ after threats of ‘jail’ for explosive leaks

Dozens of pesticides banned or strictly regulated in the EU, including paraquat and chlorpyrifos, were already permitted for use in Brazil before Bolsonaro took power, and the country uses approximately 400,000 tons of pesticides per year, according to Human Rights Watch. While Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina has flatly denied Brazil uses any more pesticides than any other country, attributing such allegations to “data manipulation” and accusing critics of “terrorism,” EcoWatch claims the country consumes more pesticides per capita than any other nation.

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Toxic Tech: How Social Media Is Making Us Dumb, Angry, & Addicted

toxic-tech:-how-social-media-is-making-us-dumb,-angry,-&-addicted

16-07-19 12:59:00,

Authored by Glenn Reynolds via The College Fix,

The following is adapted from “Social Media Upheaval,” a recently published book by University of Tennessee law Professor Glenn Reynolds.

A few years ago, I noticed that I really enjoyed reading on airplanes and wondered why. After a bit of reflection, I realized that it was because I wasn’t distracted by the temptation to check a device every now and then, allowing reading to be the kind of immersive experience I once took for granted.

Now I make a point of semi-disconnecting every night, sitting down with a novel and a glass of wine, with my computer and phone out of reach. I try to do the same thing when I’m reading for work instead of pleasure, setting my devices aside so that I can read deeply and really think about things, but it’s always a struggle. And I don’t think that I’m alone.

I’m not suggesting something as simplistic as books good, Internet bad. There’s nothing inherently good about books as such – Das Kapitaland Mein Kampf are both books with murderous consequences, and books that obviously did nothing to improve their readers’ critical thinking abilities.

But the capacity for deep reading and deep thinking is a valuable one, and one that is being tossed aside for no particular reason. As Fulford notes, “Universities report that students now avoid signing on for classes in 19th century literature. They realize they can no longer work through Dickens or George Eliot.”

In his classic The System of Freedom of Expression, Yale First Amendment scholar Thomas Emerson wrote:

Freedom of expression is an essential process for examining knowledge and discovering truth. An individual who seeks knowledge and truth must hear all sides of the question, consider all alternatives, test his judgment by exposing it to opposition, and make full use of different minds.

The kind of deep, wide ranging, multipolar community debate that Emerson envisioned as key to our system of freedom of expression is at odds with the surface skimming, tribal, catch phrase-based nature of social media.

It’s unfortunate that social media not only makes such debate more difficult on its platforms,

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Mapping the Toxic Fluorinated PFAS Contamination across America: New Data Show 610 Sites in 43 States – Global Research

mapping-the-toxic-fluorinated-pfas-contamination-across-america:-new-data-show-610-sites-in-43-states-–-global-research

08-05-19 08:50:00,

The known extent of contamination of American communities with the highly toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS continues to grow at an alarming rate, with no end in sight. As of March 2019, at least 610 locations in 43 states are now known to be affected, including drinking water systems serving an estimated 19 million people.

The latest update of an interactive map by EWG and the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, at Northeastern University, documents publicly known PFAS pollution in public water systems and military bases, airports, industrial plants and dumps, and firefighter training sites. The map and Northeastern’s PFAS Contamination Site Tracker are the most comprehensive resources available for tracking PFAS pollution in the U.S.

When the map was last updated, in July 2018, it showed 172 sites in 40 states. However, the data used for this latest update are not directly comparable to last year’s. We are now using more comprehensive data from the federal Safe Drinking Water Information System, which shows PFAS contamination in the tap water supplies of 446 communities. Information about other locations on the map come from the Defense Department and from news reports collected by Northeastern. (Details about our sources and methodology are here.)

PFAS compounds are a family of thousands of chemicals used in a wide array of consumer and industrial applications – nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, grease-resistant food packaging, firefighting foam and many more. The most notorious PFAS compounds are PFOA, formerly used to make DuPont’s Teflon, and PFOS, formerly an ingredient in 3M’s Scotchgard.

PFOA and PFOS were phased out under pressure from the Evironmental Protection Agency, after studies linked them to cancer, thyroid disease, weakened childhood immunity and other health problems. They have been replaced by PFAS compounds with a slightly different chemical structure, which were not adequately tested for safety before the EPA or the Food and Drug Administration allowed them on the market. PFAS chemicals pollute the blood of virtually all Americans, including newborn babies, and they persist forever in the environment.

Michigan is the state with the most locations on the map, with 192. The state’s PFAS contamination problem is severe,

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The “Toxic Mythology” of 9/11 is Destroying Humanity – Global Research

the-8220toxic-mythology8221-of-911-is-destroying-humanity-8211-global-research

11-02-19 08:15:00,

9/11 was a neo-con coup. To believe otherwise is to willfully suspend the laws of physics, and to reject historical facts and common sense. It requires a leap of misguided faith.

The mythology of 9/11 is destroying humanity primarily through an acceleration of permanent warfare and the normalized commission of supreme international war crimes, but also through a covert form of metastasizing totalitarianism, an inverted totalitarianism[1], that is suffocating North America with its war propaganda, its Homeland Security and Patriot Act, its ubiquitous spying, and the corruption of media messaging – all for the benefit of a publicly bailed-out “neoliberal” diseconomy.

David Griffin, in “BUSH AND CHENEY/ HOW THEY RUINED AMERICA AND THE WORLD” identifies and elaborates upon 15 miracles[2] implicit in the “official” narrative, and the Zelikow 9/11 Commission stories, that official narrative believers necessarily accept.  The list is as follows:

  1. The Twin Towers and WTC 7 were the only steel-framed high-rise buildings ever to come down without explosives or incendiaries.
  2. The Twin Towers, each of which had 287 steel columns, were brought down solely by a combination of airplane strikes and jet-fuel fires.
  3. WTC 7 was not even hit by a plane, so it was the first steel-framed high-rise to be brought down solely by ordinary building fires.
  4. These World Trade Center buildings also came down in free fall – the Twin Towers in virtual free fall, WTC 7 in absolute free fall – for over two seconds.
  5. Although the collapses of the of the WTC buildings were not aided by explosives, the collapses imitated the kinds of implosions that can be induced only by demolition companies.
  6. In the case of WTC 7, the structure came down symmetrically (straight down, with an almost perfectly horizontal roofline), which meant that all 82 of the steel support columns had to fall simultaneously, although the building’s fires had a very asymmetrical pattern.
  7. The South Tower’s upper 30-floor block changed its angular momentum in midair.
  8. This 30 floor block then disintegrated in midair.
  9. With regard to the North Tower, some of its steel columns were ejected out horizontally for at least 500 feet.

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Toxic Silence: Public Officials, Monsanto and the Media | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Toxic Silence: Public Officials, Monsanto and the Media | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

05-08-18 03:15:00,

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above

Featured image: Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is the most heavily-used agricultural chemical in history. (Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr/cc)

Are you being lied to or misled? Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason certainly thinks so and has provided much supporting evidence. She has been campaigning against the agrochemical industry for many years (all her work can be accessed here) and has borne witness to the destruction of her own nature reserve in South Wales, which she argues is due to the widespread spraying of glyphosate in the area.

In 2016, she wrote an open letter to journalists at The Guardian newspaper in the UK outlining how the media is failing the public by not properly reporting on the regulatory delinquency relating to the harmful chemicals being applied to crops (read it here). Her assertion was that not only humans and the environment are silently being poisoned by thousands of untested and unmonitored chemicals, but that the UK media are silent about the agrochemical industry’s role in this.

She has now sent a new ‘open letter’ to some major newspapers with a six-page document attached: ‘The British Government and Monsanto should stand accused of crimes against humanity’.

It has been sent to the editors-in-chief of The Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, the London Evening Standard and The Independent as well as the director general of the BBC and its senior executives. Channel 4 News (UK) reporters have also been sent the document, including senior presenter Jon Snow, and a number of prominent UK government agencies and ministers.

The document discusses the lawsuits that have recently been brought against agrochemical and seed giant Monsanto, issues surrounding the renewal of the licence for glyphosate (key ingredient in Monsanto’s multi-billion-dollar, money-spinning herbicide Roundup) in the EU, rising rates of illness and disease (linked to glyphosate and other agrochemicals), the increasing use of pesticides and the lack of adequate testing and epidemiological studies pertaining to the cocktail of chemicals sprayed on crops.

Mason feels the media should be holding officials and the industry to account.

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“A Toxic Coup Narrative”: Why Italy’s Political Crisis May Be About To Explode

“A Toxic Coup Narrative”: Why Italy’s Political Crisis May Be About To Explode

27-05-18 10:04:00,

On Friday Europe experienced an existentially terrifying “deja vu” moment straight from the 9th circle of Europe’s 2011/2012 sovereign debt hell, when first Italian, and then Spanish, yields exploded amid fears of political chaos in the Eurozone’s 3rd largest economy, coupled with the threat of an imminent collapse of the Rajoy government in Spain, the 5th largest economy.

But while Spain is a late entrant to Europe’s “political chaos” soap opera – although with both El País & El Mundo calling for an early general election, it is only a matter of time before this particular box of gunpowder also explodes, all eyes remain on Italy where not only have short-term rates blown out to levels that would send MF Global into Chapter 22…

… but the BTP-Bund spread exploded well beyond Goldman’s “contagion” threshold of 200bps

… while the scariest chart of all revealed that Italian redenomination risk is now at an all time high, reflecting the reality of Italy’s ‘Mini-BoT’ parallel currency concerns.

However, if it was the market’s intention into scaring Italy’s political system into submission, the same way it did in 2011 when the ECB got Sylvio Berlusconi to “quit” in just a few days as Italian bond yields exploded, it has failed, and according to the latest development in Europe, the Italian crisis may be about to get much worse.

Newly appointed Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte

For those who missed it, Italy entered the weekend with the country deadlocked in what may be a Euro-defining clash whether euroskeptic professor, Paolo Savona, strongly endorsed by the League party, is allowed to become the country’s next economy minister. Here are the latest troubling details from Leonardo Carella:

The nomination of the designated Finance Minister, Paolo Savona, is being held back by the President of the Republic – a prerogative he formally has but that has rarely been exercised – reportedly over Savona’s anti-EU views.

From President Mattarella’s point of view, Savona, an 82 year-old professor who served in Ciampi and Berlusconi’s administrations,

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Are Toxic Chemicals Turning Boys Into Girls? | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

Are Toxic Chemicals Turning Boys Into Girls? | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

23-12-17 04:56:00,

This article was written for Greenmedinfo.com, re-posted here with permission. It was written by Valerie Burke,  a Clinical EFT practitioner and freelance health writer in Olympia, Washington, with backgrounds in both allopathic and integrative medicine and a Master’s Degree in Nursing Science.  You can learn more about her at www.valerieburke.net.

A University of Washington study involving cheese products found endocrine-disrupting 

phthalates

 present in 29 of 30 samples tested. Boxed mac-and-cheese mixes scored the worst.

[i][ii]

 Phthalates are added to plastics to increase their flexibility and durability, and sadly they are making their way into our food supply.

Why cheese? Phthalates accumulate in fatty foods such as meat and dairy due to their fat-binding properties.

Phthalates migrate into food from packaging and equipment used in the food manufacturing process. Cheese products become contaminated from contact with plastic tubing, conveyor belts, gaskets, plastic packaging, and even the printing ink and adhesive on labels.[iii]

The results of this study are very troubling because these chemicals have been linked to genital birth defects in infant boys, as well as learning disabilities, aggression, hyperactivity, increased blood pressure, insulin resistance in older males, endometriosisin women, and a variety of other adverse effects. There is strong evidence that phthalates interfere with testosterone production, a hormone vital to normal reproductive development. Deficiency results in several reproductive abnormalities including genital malformation, low sperm count, and even increased risk for testicular cancer later in life.

Phthalates are clearly a health risk even at very low levels of exposure, especially for pregnant women, infants and children.

In the cheese study, researchers tested for 10 different phthalates in a variety of products, including 10 varieties of mac-and-cheese with some labeled as “organic.” High phthalate levels were found in every single mac-and-cheese product, and as many as six different phthalates were found in a single product. DEHP is the most widely restricted phthalate yet it was the most frequently detected.

Not only were these hormone-disrupting chemicals found in ever-popular boxed mac-and-cheese, but they were also detected in the other cheese products ranging from highly processed to more “natural” cheeses such as shredded cheese,

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