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Here’s Why 19 Countries In Europe Just Completely Banned Genetically Modified Crops

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By Arjun Walia

The global resistance against Genetically Modified Crops is growing at an exponential rate. A few years ago, you were almost ridiculed for suggesting that GM foods could be a problem, and now scientists and researchers are presenting information that has 19 new countries joining an already long list of nations to completely ban, or have severe restrictions on, GMOs — as well as the pesticides that go with them.

These countries will not allow genetically modified crops to be grown in their country. The opt-out countries are requesting that biotechnology companies exclude their territories from GMO seed sales, and some countries, according to RT news, are simply putting things to a halt until more research is conducted.

For those of you who do not know, GMO crops have had their DNA artificially altered, which is a process that would not happen in nature. This is done by introducing genes from a completely different species in order to boost the plant’s resistance to pests or herbicides, or create some other desired effect.

Again, we are talking about 19 countries. That’s more than half of the countries within the European Union, some of which include: Germany, France, Scotland, France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Poland, and Belgium. The magnitude of this resistance cannot be ignored.

Health/Environmental Concerns Mixed With Scientific Fraud

So why are these countries doing this? Two of the main reasons have to do with environmental and health-related concerns. Alongside all of these troubles (according to Reuters), some countries simply want to take time to do proper research — flying in the face of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) decree that GMOs are completely safe. There are many who disagree with this assertion:

“As part of the process, they portrayed the various concerns as merely the ignorant opinions of misinformed individuals – and derided them as not only unscientific, but anti-science. They then set to work to convince the public and government officials, through the dissemination of false information, that there was an overwhelming expert consensus, based on solid evidence, that GMOs were safe.” – Jane Goodall

A great example is a study that was published in the journal Evironmental Sciences Europe. The WHO has never cited any long term studies that prove the safety of GMOs. When a study was finally conducted, it found severe liver and kidney damage, as well as hormonal disturbances, in rats fed GM maize in conjunction with low levels of Roundup — levels that were below those permitted in most drinking water across Europe. The rats also developed large cancer tumours.

Other studies have found instances of adverse microscopic and molecular effects of some GM foods in different organs or tissues. They also determined that no standardized methods to evaluate the safety of GM foods have been established. Many studies have emphasized that more scientific effort is needed in order to build confidence in the evaluation and acceptance of GM foods.

Studies have also linked GMO animal feed to severe stomach inflammation and enlarged uteri in pigs.

Here’s what Irina Ermakova, VP of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, said last year when Russia was mulling over the decision to ban GMOs:

“It is necessary to ban GMOs, to impose moratorium (on) it for 10 years. While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed. It has been proven that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMOs are dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, all GMOs are dangerous. Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals. Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped…. [We] should stop it from spreading.”

Keep in mind that we are talking about GM crops, which are sprayed with billions of pounds of toxic chemicals every year. These chemicals have been linked to a number of diseases, ranging from autism, to cancer, to Alzheimer’s disease and more.

“Children today are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Our assessment of the latest science leaves little room for doubt; pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.” October 2012 report by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)

A new study recently published in the Journal of Organic Systems last September examined US government databases, researchers searched for GE (Genetically Engineered) crop data, glyphosate application data, and disease epidemiological data while performing a “correlation analysis” on a total of 22 different diseases.

Researchers reached an alarming conclusion:

“These data show very strong and highly significant correlations between the increasing use of glyphosate, GE crop growth and the increase in a multitude of diseases. Many of the graphs show sudden increases in the rates of diseases in the mid-1990s that coincide with the commercial production of GE crops. The probabilities in the graphs and tables show that it is highly unlikely that the correlations are a coincidence. The strength of the correlations shows that there is a very strong probability that they are linked somehow.”

Correlation doesn’t mean causation, but using the Bradford Hill criteria, it’s easy to see why so many scientists/countries are opposing GMOs.

The shift towards organic food is strong and growing; it’s what consumers are demanding. After all, who wants a bunch of pesticides accumulating in their body, especially ones which have been incontrovertibly linked to several diseases?

For example, a recent study conducted by researchers from RMIT university, published in the journal Environmental Research, found that an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide exposure in adults by 90 percent.

Another study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, indicated that among individuals eating similar amounts of vegetables and fruits, the ones who reported eating organic produce had significantly lower OP pesticide exposure than those who normally consume conventionally grown produce. You can read more about that here.

Here is a great video showing what happens to your body when you eat organic.

These chemicals are manufactured by big bio-tech corporations like Monsanto, and the fact that they’ve been caught lying doesn’t help their credibility one bit. For example, a new study published in the journal Biomedical Research International shows that Roundup herbicide is 125 times more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation. Roundup was also (finally) linked to cancer recently by the WHO, although a number of scientists had already provided tremendous amounts of proof for this:

“There is convincing evidence that glyphosate also can cause cancer in laboratory animals. On the basis of tumours in mice, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) originally classified glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans. A US EPA report and several more recent positive results conclude that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Glyphosate also caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells, although it gave negative results in tests using bacteria. One study in community residents reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) after glyphosate formulations were sprayed nearby.”

This is precisely why so many countries are banning it; Sri Lanka recently did so after discovering a link to deadly kidney disease.

As for environmental concerns regarding GMOs and pesticides, “super-weeds” are one of many examples. You can watch a video about that here.

The list literally goes on and on, and despite all of the protest from international government scientists, independent scientists, and others, all clearly concerned about GM crops, Monsanto is still labelling their claims as “unscientific.”

If their concerns are so unscientific, then why are so many scientists around the world opposing these crops?

This move also shows the power of the people. For the past view years, the world-wide web and non-corporately owned media has been sharing information about GMOs that you will never see in the mainstream. Millions of people all over the world continue to gather to “March Against Monsanto.” It just goes to show what we are capable of and all come together.

There are also Wikileaks documents showing that the United States was ready to retaliate against countries refusing to accept GMOs. This is weird, you wouldn’t think that classified documents exist regarding our food, but they do. You can read more about that here.

For those who are looking to educate themselves further about GMOs, check out: Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.

“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth will stand as a landmark. It should be required reading in every university biology course.” – Joseph Cummins, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Genetics, Western University, London, Ontario

“This incisive and insightful book is truly outstanding. Not only is it well-reasoned and scientifically solid, it’s a pleasure to read – and a must-read. Through its masterful marshalling of facts, it dispels the cloud of disinformation that has misled people into believing that GE foods have been adequately tested and don’t entail abnormal risk.” –David Schubert, Ph.D. molecular biologist and Head of Cellular Neurobiology, Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Discover The Truth About Cancer You’re Not Being Told

The Truth About Cancer is a powerful docu-series that goes through groundbreaking research behind cancer, treatment and new information that we all should know.

The reality is, cancer is growing epidemic and it’s because of a number of factors, including the mainstreams reluctancy to want to talk about prevention and why mainstream cures don’t work well.

This docu-series is probably one of the most important around and was considered too controversial to air on TV.

source: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/10/07/heres-why-19-countries-in-europe-just-completely-banned-genetically-modified-crops/

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How Monsanto has Completely Invaded your Reproductive System

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Recent research has brought to light the danger that the herbicide glysophate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp, poses to the human reproductive system. From causing infertility to being present in the womb and now being found in breast milk, Monsanto has indeed infiltrated the reproductive system in a very dangerous way.

Glysophate Causing Infertility

In a study published in 2012, it was shown that RoundUp can affect and deform the formation of embryos of animals. Here’s an excerpt from the abstract:

The publication of a study in 2010, showing that a glyphosate herbicide formulation and glyphosate alone caused malformations in the embryos of Xenopus laevis and chickens through disruption of the retinoic acid signalling pathway, caused scientific and regulatory controversy. Debate centred on the effects of the production and consumption of genetically modified Roundup Ready® soy, which is engineered to tolerate applications of glyphosate herbicide.

A Russian study found that Hamsters fed GMO soy became infertile after two or three generations.

Pesticides Cause Birth Defects

Two recent studies found an increased rate of severe birth defects when the parents were exposed to high levels of pesticides before and during pregnancy. You can read the peer reviewed studies here and here.

How Glyphosate Affects the Fetus

In a study conducted in 2008, researchers found that low levels of glyphosate and RoundUp had negative impacts on human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells. According to the study:

We have evaluated the toxicity of four glyphosate (G)-based herbicides in Roundup (R) formulations, from 105 times dilutions, on three different human cell types. This dilution level is far below agricultural recommendations and corresponds to low levels of residues in food or feed […] This work clearly confirms that the adjuvants in Roundup formulations are not inert. Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death around residual levels to be expected, especially in food and feed derived from R formulation-treated crops.

According to Dr. Mercola and backed up by at least two peer reviewed studies, the Bt toxin (Bacillus thuringiensis) – created inside of genetically modified Bt producing crops – has been found in the blood stream and in the umbilical cord of pregnant mothers:

This is not the first time scientists have suggested that glyphosate may have damaging effects on your health, and the health of your unborn baby. A 2011 Canadian study, published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, looked at the effects of fetal and maternal glyphosate exposure, with disturbing findings. This was the first study to show the presence of circulating pesticides from GE foods in women, both pregnant and non-pregnant.4 The study found Bt toxin in the bloodstreams of 93 percent of pregnant women tested, in both their circulating blood and placentas.

According to Monsanto, the Bt insecticide (which explodes the stomach of any insect that tries to eat it) fully breaks down in the digestive system. This research points to this claim as being false.

RoundUp Found in Breast Milk

Research just published a few weeks ago shows that up to 30% of breastfeeding women have dangerous levels of Glyphosate in their breast milk. According to TheAntiMedia.org:

Organizations ‘Mom’s Across America’ and ‘Sustainable Pulse’ recently released the results of their first ever test of breast milk contamination by glyphosate herbicides, showing that 3 out of 10 women tested were plagued with breast milk containing ‘worrying levels’ of poison. They basically put forth extremely strong evidence that glyphosate herbicides such as Round-Up are bio-accumulative, and build up in the human body without being excreted out, the complete opposite of what was told to the public by Monsanto and other advocates for GM crops and related herbicide.

Conclusion

While Monsanto runs around the world actively undermining scientists who disagree with industry funded research, the truth is that many countries have realized the deadly effects of glyphosate in food and water supplies. Levels of glyphosate in humans have proven to be much lower in Europe, where less people are getting glyphosate related illnesses because the chemical is strongly limited or outright banned. People living in the US generally have up to10 times higher levels of glyphosate in urine samples tested.

Americans seem to be the guinea pigs for Big Pharma and the biotech giants, where Monsanto has been a repeat offender against the environment, wildlife and human health. The quickly growing body of evidence that shows herbicides are negatively effecting our reproductive systems should lead people to avoid these chemicals by eating organic, while pressing for more transparency and oversight of these companies who push these chemicals as “safe”.

Fortunately, it seems that public pressure and realization that these GMO crops and pesticides are dangerous are taking effect on the food supply. Many consumers are choosing to eat organic, starting to grow their own food and sourcing locally grown foods that aren’t chemical laden. If you wish to join this movement then check out the March Against Monsanto happening on May 24th in many cities across the nation and the World. You can find the events list here.

P.S. The Netherlands Say NO to Glyphosate, Monsanto’s RoundUp Herbicide!

Following Russia, Tasmania, and Mexico, the Netherlands has banned Glyphosate-laced herbicide, Monsanto’s flagship product. Starting from now, farmers and people who treat their gardens and lawns will have to find an alternative form of pest control since glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, is linked to cancer, infertility, birth defects, nervous system damage, and kidney disease. Political parties PvdA, CU, 50+, GroenLinks, SP, and PVV Esther Ouwehand – one of the two Members of Parliament for the Party for the Animals, collectively, have been able to make their voices heard, essentially eliminating glyphosate from their local environment. From the end of 2015 onward the sale of Glyphosate-based herbicides to private people in Netherlands will be prohibited, and this is the path the rest of the world should closely follow. Dutch Lower House tried to ban glyphosate, aside from agricultural, use several years ago. It is only now, with parliamentary approval, that the ban has been approved due to the Dutch Cabinet´s review on the original proposal.

This study now proves that chronic, repeated exposure to glyphosate and GMO causes long-term and devastating harm to both animals and humans.

There’s no reason similar cities in other areas of the world couldn’t do the very same thing. Millions of citizens have expressed their desire to ban GMOs in the US, but the FDA, USDA, and President don´t seem to want to do anything about it. U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has made a move to update nutrition labels on food packaging by proposing new rules. These rules don´t include any mention of GMOs.

sources: http://rawforbeauty.com/blog/how-monsanto-has-completely-invaded-your-reproductive-system.html
http://rawforbeauty.com/blog/the-netherlands-say-no-to-glyphosate-monsantos-roundup-herbicide.html

image credit: sustainablepulse.com

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Auto ban: How Hamburg is taking cars off the road

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“Green Network” for bicycles and public transport is designed to bypass vehicles within 20 years.

For a country which prides itself on having given the world the Mercedes and the Autobahn, it represents a major ideological U-turn: Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, is planning to ban all cars from its centre over the next 20 years and put thousands of commuters on bikes.

Under an audacious urban development scheme named “Green Network”, all vehicles will be verboten in Hamburg’s city centre by 2034. Instead people will move about the port city, either via public transport or on foot or bicycle along a series of idyllic green thoroughfares which are now being painstakingly created.

“We envision a network that doesn’t just help residents to get from point A to B in a sustainable fashion,” Hamburg city spokeswoman Angelika Fritsch told the ZME Science urban planning network.

“It will offer people opportunities to hike, swim, do water sports, enjoy picnics, restaurants, experience calms and watch nature right in the city.”

A glance at the map of the Green Network project helps to explain what Hamburg’s environmental planners have in mind. On paper, the port city resembles a 3D depiction of a human organ. The conurbation is surrounded by green spaces which spawn scores green artery-like paths leading to the city centre.

The impression is reinforced by the mighty river Elbe and its tributaries which feed into the city centre and beyond and in many cases function as additional green waterways also leading to the centre of town. Some 30 city planners are currently working full time on plans for the network which will cover some 17000 acres.

Hamburg’s planned Green Network will cover some 40 per cent of the city’s entire area and will connect parks, recreational areas, playgrounds cemeteries and gardens with a comprehensive network of green paths. “Cities like London have a green belt, but the Green Network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city centre,” Ms Fritsch insists, “ In 15 to 20 years it will be possible to explore the city exclusively by bike or on foot,” she added.

The only major European city to have attempted something similar is Copenhagen which is currently building a network of 26 so-called “bicycle superhighways” which spread out from the city centre to the outskirts. The project is part of the Danish capital’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.

In Germany, the exclusively green “Vauban” suburban development on the outskirts of the south western city of Freiburg has managed to completely ban cars. Residents can only walk or cycle about its streets. If they insist on keeping their vehicles they have to rent spaces in a multi-storey car park well outside the centre.

Jens Kerstan, the parliamentary leader of Hamburg’s Green Party describes the Green Network as an excellent idea. “But we are still in the early stages,” he adds. He says one of the main objectives is to adapt the city to climate change, an issue still overlooked by many politicians, who since Fukushima, he says, have been preoccupied with Germany’s commitment to abandon nuclear power.

“Our residents are quite progressive. Many Hamburgers are willing to give up their cars, which is very unusual in Germany,” he stresses.

Apart from making Hamburg a greener, quieter and more pleasant city to live in, the Green Network’s main ecological aim is to help the city absorb Co2 emissions and in the process, prevent storm flooding.

Germany’s Green Party has done much to raise public awareness about the challenge posed by global warming. Although it is a major North Sea port, Hamburg’s median temperatures have risen by 1,2 °C to 9 °C over the past 60 years. Sea levels have risen by 20 centimetres over the same period.

Hamburg has invested heavily in a comprehensive flood defence system which spared the city during the recent spate of hurricane force depressions which swept much of western Europe, but sea levels are expected to increase by another 30 to 110 centimetres by 2100.

For an economic standpoint, the Green Network has its critics. Some have argued that it could take up space that would be better suited for housing and business development. But Dr Sven Schulze of Hamburg’s Institute for International Economics says that the greening of Hamburg may also bring economic advantages “because it will help attract “highly educated and competent people” to the city, he claims.

source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/auto-ban-how-hamburg-is-taking-cars-off-the-road-9062461.html

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