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Friday, September 30, 2016

GMO crop use shows widespread environmental damage

From the largest GMO crop study yet (soon to be demonized by Monsanto), GMO crops cause the increase of pesticides and that leads to more and more pesticide-resistant weeds, causing more and more problems for farmers. The study data was gathered from 1998-2011.
From the study: On average, adopters of GE glyphosate-tolerant (GT) soybeans used 28% (0.30 kg/ha) more herbicide than nonadopters, adopters of GT maize used 1.2% (0.03 kg/ha) less herbicide than nonadopters, and adopters of GE insect-resistant (IR) maize used 11.2% (0.013 kg/ha) less insecticide than nonadopters...  For both soybean and maize, GT adopters used increasingly more herbicides relative to nonadopters, whereas adopters of IR maize used increasingly less insecticides. The estimated pattern of change in herbicide use over time is consistent with the emergence of glyphosate weed resistance.
And this is also telling:
“In the beginning, there was a reduction in herbicide use, but over time the use of chemicals increased because farmers were having to add new chemicals as weeds developed a resistance to glyphosate,” Ciliberto said.

Sustainable Pulse. Sep 18, 2016.
Science Advances. Aug 31, 2016. Open access article.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Nina Conti: Ventriloquist

Nina Conti puts a new spin on ventriloquism. There are several videos on Youtube, try this one here.

Cotton grower sees better crop after dropping GMO seeds

African cotton grower sees better harvest ahead after he stopped using GMO seeds. The grower stopped using GMO seeds because the short fibers were ruining his reputation and revenue.

Agweb. Sep 19, 2016.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Norwegian study shows more Roundup in food

This article describes the nutrient and elemental composition, including residues of herbicides and pesticides, of 31 soybean batches from Iowa, USA. The soy samples were grouped into three different categories: (i) genetically modified, glyphosate-tolerant soy (GM-soy); (ii) unmodified soy cultivated using a conventional “chemical” cultivation regime; and (iii) unmodified soy cultivated using an organic cultivation regime. Organic soybeans showed the healthiest nutritional profile with more sugars, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose and maltose, significantly more total protein, zinc and less fibre than both conventional and GM-soy. Organic soybeans also contained less total saturated fat and total omega-6 fatty acids than both conventional and GM-soy. GM-soy contained high residues of glyphosate and AMPA (mean 3.3 and 5.7 mg/kg, respectively). Conventional and organic soybean batches contained none of these agrochemicals. Using 35 different nutritional and elemental variables to characterise each soy sample, we were able to discriminate GM, conventional and organic soybeans without exception, demonstrating “substantial non-equivalence” in compositional characteristics for ‘ready-to-market’ soybeans.
The study goes on to break down and show the nutrients for the different classes of soybeans (Roundup Ready, conventional pesticides, organic). Differences between organic and other soybean crops:
  1. The organic soybeans had significantly more barium but no other statistically significant variations were found in the other nutrients measured.
  2. The organic soybeans had significantly more glucose, fructose, sucrose, and maltose (all types of sugars). 
Other notes:
  1. Glyphosate has been found in all parts of the plant. It cannot be washed off. Thus, people are ingesting glyphosate wherever glyphosate is sprayed.

Rodale's Organic Life. April 25, 2014.
The study: "Compositional Differences in Soybeans on the Market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM Soybeans." Food Chemistry. June 2014.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

GMO industry co-opts the concept of sound science

The concept of sound science means the results are not skewed or hidden by vested interests, or are influenced by dogma or profits.

Corruption, payoffs, and hiding poor science abounds in the GMO industry. So people have less trust in GMO science than ever before.

Read the article and see for yourself.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Maker charges $600 for EpiPen, EpiPencil is $30usd

The maker of the EpiPen charges $600usd retail for one pen. There were some coupons floating around for a discount, but I don't know if they are still around.

So, make your own equivalent, called the EpiPencil.

Former Monsanto exec admits they faked data on Roundup studies

Former Monsanto Executive Admits Company Faked Scientific Data To Gain Regulatory Approval

  1. Former managing director of Monsanto India, Tiruvadi Jagadisan, is the latest to join the critics of Bt brinjal (eggplant).
  2. “The Central Insecticide Board was supposed to give these approvals based on the location and crop-specific data from India. But it simply accepted foreign data supplied by Monsanto" says Jagadison now age 84.

Mint News Press. Feb 9, 2016.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monsanto damn themselves in emails

2012 Seralini 2 year study with rats supported at last.


Perhaps most astonishing was the fact that the Seralini study was the first long-term study of the effects of a GMO diet in the world after almost two decades of widespread proliferation of GMO crops. No one else until then had made tests over the entire two year life span of rats—no government, no university, no food end-user like Nestle, Unilever, Kellogg or Kraft Foods or any such mega food concerns using GMO in their products. All previous studies were merely a brief three months or less, far too short a time to determine the possible effects of a GMO diet, as Seralini’s study dramatically confirmed. (The study here was retracted after pressure from pro-Monsanto industry.)
Seralini’s 2012 study also independently confirmed carcinogenic effects of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide paired with the GMO corn.
Keep in mind that GMO corn, containing Roundup, is also used to make corn syrup, which is in 90%+ of packaged products in the US. And GMO corn is not the only problem. Many other non-GMO crops are sprayed with Roundup to kill them all at the same time to make harvesting easier.
On 19 September, 2012 according to the emails seen by Foucart, Nebraska University professor Richard Goodman, a former Monsanto employee who continued research work that was primarily funded by Monsanto and the agribusiness industry, informed Monsanto about the publication of the Séralini’s article. Goodman wrote his Monsanto contact that he “would appreciate” it if Monsanto could provide him with criticisms against the Seralini piece. Monsanto replied to Goodman, “We’re reviewing the paper. I will send you the arguments that we have developed.” A few days later, Goodman was named “associate editor” responsible for biotechnology, i.e. GMO, a specially-created post at Food and Chemical Toxicology journal, by Wallace Hayes, then editor.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Is consuming aluminum toxic?

What's the link to Alzheimers?

This post looks for reliable studies and reliable sources to figure out if there is a link to aluminum exposure and intake, and Alzheimer's disease.

- From Medscape, updated Apr 15, 2015:
  1. Dietary aluminum is ubiquitous but in such small quantities that it is not a significant source of concern in persons with normal elimination capacity.
  2. Approximately 95% of an aluminum load becomes bound to transferrin and albumin intravascularly and is then eliminated renally.
  3. Toxic effects are dependent upon the amount of metal ingested, entry rate, tissue distribution, concentration achieved, and excretion rate.
  4. At physiological pH, aluminum forms a barely soluble Al(OH)3 that can be easily dissolved by minor changes in the acidity of the media.
  5. In healthy subjects, only 0.3% of orally administered aluminum is absorbed via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and the kidneys effectively eliminate aluminum from the human body.
  6. If a significant aluminum load exceeds the body's excretory capacity, the excess is deposited in various tissues, including bone, brain, liver, heart, spleen, and muscle. This accumulation causes morbidity and mortality through various mechanisms.
  7. Aluminum brain concentrations should be lower than 2 μg/g. (2 micrograms of aluminum per gram of brain tissue.)
  8. Aluminum causes an oxidative stress within brain tissue. Since the elimination half-life of aluminum from the human brain is 7 years, this can result in cumulative damage via the element's interference with neurofilament axonal transport and neurofilament assembly.  
  9. A possible etiologic link between aluminum exposure and Alzheimer disease emerged from a 1965 study showing that aluminum causes neurofibrillary tangles in the brains of rabbits (this was not a human study). Subsequent research has largely failed to support this hypothesis, however. For example, the clinical manifestations and underlying neuropathology of aluminum-induced encephalopathy in dialysis patients bear no resemblance to those of Alzheimer disease.
  10. Excess aluminum has caused anemia, which looks similar to lead poisoning.  
  11. Aluminum toxicity is usually found in patients with renal impairment.
 Summary: No, aluminum does not cause Alzheimer's.

- From "Aluminum and silica in drinking water and the risk of Alzheimer's disease or cognitive decline: findings from 15-year follow-up of the PAQUID cohort". NIH. Dec 8, 2008. (This was a study done in France.)
  1. Using a Cox model, a high daily intake of aluminum was significantly associated with increased risk of dementia. Conversely, an increase of 10 mg/day in silica intake was associated with a reduced risk of dementia. However, the geographical exposure to aluminum or silica from tap water was not associated with dementia. 
  2. Although knowledge of the pathophysiology of AD has greatly progressed over the past decades, its causal mechanisms are far from clear.
  3. Cognitive decline was greater in subjects with a high daily Al intake (greater than 0.1 mg/day or an increase of 0.1 mg/day). However, Al had no significant association with the values of the MMSE scores (a measure of global mental status) at inception in the cohort. (NOTE: "cognitive decline" is not Alzheimer's.)
  4. Among the 20 most influential subjects (about 1% of the sample) 7 had a high consumption of aluminum (> 0.100 mg/day). 
Summary: There might be an association of Aluminum intake from water, with dementia.

- World Health Organization paper from 2010. PDF here, about 23 pages.
  1. Airborne aluminium levels range from 0.0005 μg/m over Antarctica to more than 1 μg/min industrialized areas (WHO, 1997). 
  2. In drinking water systems in Canada that have surface water sources and use aluminium salts, the mean total aluminium concentration was estimated to be 101 μg/l.
  3. In a survey of 186 community water supplies in the United States of America (USA), median aluminium concentrations for all finished drinking-water samples ranged from 0.03 to 0.1 mg/l (30ug to 100ug); for facilities using aluminium sulfate coagulation, the median level was 0.1mg/l, with a maximum of 2.7 mg/l (2700 ug/l) (Miller et al., 1984). (Using the 2700 ug/l, and 0.3% is absorbed into the body, the body would be absorbing 8.1 ug/l of water of aluminum. Then 95% of that is eliminated through the kidneys so the body is left with .405 ug/l of aluminum.)
  4. In a study of 10 Sprague-Dawley rats, Aluminium did not accumulate in a dose-dependent manner in the organs and tissues examined.
  5. No adverse effects on body weight or longevity were observed in Charles River mice (54 males and 54 females per group) receiving 0 or 5 mg of aluminium (as potassium aluminium sulfate) per kilogram of diet during their lifetime (Schroeder & Mitchener, 1975a; WHO, 1989)
  6. Two groups of Long-Evans rats (52 of each sex) received 0 or 5 mg of aluminium (as potassium aluminium sulfate) per litre of drinking-water during their lifetime. No effects were found on body weight; average heart weight; glucose, cholesterol and uric acid levels in serum; and protein and glucose content and pH of urine. The lifespan was not affected (Schroeder & Mitchener, 1975b; WHO, 1989).
  7. Behavioural impairment has been reported in laboratory animals exposed to soluble aluminium salts (e.g. lactate, chloride) in the diet or drinking-water in the absence of overt encephalopathy or neurohistopathology. Both rats (Commissaris et al., 1982; Thorne et al., 1987; Connor, Jope & Harrell, 1988) and mice (Yen-Koo, 1992) have demonstrated such impairments at doses exceeding 200 mg of aluminium per kilogram of body weight per day. (This is far more than a person would get from city water treated from aluminum sulfate.)
  8. There is little indication that aluminium is acutely toxic by oral exposure despite its widespread occurrence in foods, drinking-water and many antacid preparations (WHO, 1997).
WHO summary:
On the whole, the positive relationship between aluminium in drinking-water and AD [Alzheimer disease], which was demonstrated in several epidemiological studies, cannot be totally dismissed. However, strong reservations about inferring a causal relationship are warranted in view of the failure of these studies to account for demonstrated confounding factors and for total aluminium intake from all sources.

Post Summary

It's still not clear if Aluminum is corellated with dementia (or Alzheimer's, which is a different diagnosis) or if there is causation.

If you have any studies you would like me to add, put a link in the comments to this post and what you thought was interesting to add.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fecal bacteria transplant update

This is a longer post but well-worth reading as the information has effects on many diseases at once.

What is fecal transplant (FT)?

It's when feces from a healthy donor is given to an unhealthy person. FT is non-invasive. No cuts are made, sometimes it is given through a tube in the nose, a capsule form containing freeze-dried bacteria, enema, or other non-invasive ways. Side effects are few.

What are microbiota? 

Microbiota are all the bacteria and microscopic organisms that live in your gut. They help you turn food into vitamins that can be absorbed into the blood stream. There are good bacteria (which help you digest food), and bad bacteria. Under certain conditions, like a chronic lack of fiber, or eating too much sugar or processed foods, the bad bacteria out compete the good bacteria and this syndrome might be linked to diabetes and other illnesses.

Some bullet points:
  1. Fecal transplants have been used for at least 1700 years. Source
  2. 99% of the DNA inside us comes from bacteria. Source
  3. Limited cases show the treatment is effective in Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome.
  4. FT can be given by nasogastric or nasoduodenal tube, colonoscope, enema, or capsule. 
  5. Thinner people have a wider variety of Bacteroidetes, a large tribe of microbes that specialize in breaking down bulky plant starches and fibers into shorter molecules that the body can use as a source of energy. (Source)
  6. One bacterium associated with obesity might be a stomach bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. Research by Martin Blaser of New York University suggests that it helps to regulate appetite by modulating levels of ghrelin—a hunger-stimulating hormone, but the use of antibiotics has all but made H. pylori extinct in human stomachs.
  7. Since FT is so new, it's probably not covered by any medical insurance in the US.
In China they used to make "poop soup" containing fecal matter and fed it to newborns. This jump started the babies' immune systems and gut bacteria populations. They called it "yellow soup". Initial studies show fecal transplant (FT) works in treating Parkinson's disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, myoclonus dystopia, multiple sclerosis, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and autism.

What are the bad diets like?  What problems might bad diets cause?

At this point scientists have very reasonable theories on how this works, but the truth is they cannot claim they know everything about this issue.

But a bad diet is a diet consistently high in sugar, processed foods and low in fiber. The good bacteria need the fiber to survive. It's their food. So grab those prunes and munch with pride!

When would a person need a fecal transplant? 

Fecal transplants are not yet legal for humans in the US except under limited circumstances, like a persistent C difficile infection, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. But this link says the cure rate is "nearly" 100% out of 200 patients. More studies must be done on how to package, ship and ingest the bacteria so they live and can benefit the person.

A study: "The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Gut Microbiota and Human Health".
From NIH. (Lots of good info here!)
  1. Both short- and long-term dietary change can influence the microbial profiles. I.e. a little "cheating" in the diet can still be bad. 
  2. Most of the microbes are bacteria, the gut can also harbor yeasts, single-cell eukaryotes, viruses and small parasitic worms. Not all of these organisms are harmful by themselves, but they can make the populations of good bacteria decrease, which IS harmful. 
  3. The most common bacteria in adults are Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, Clostridium, Escherichia, Streptococcus and Ruminococcus. Approximately 60% of the bacteria belong to the Bacteroidetes or Firmicutes phyla.
  4. The Human Microbiome Project (Wikipedia page) shows that bacteria populations vary a lot among individuals. 
  5. Gut microbes produce a large number of bioactive compounds that can influence health; some like vitamins are beneficial, but some products are toxic.
  6. The use of a range of fibers, may be the best way of maintaining a healthy gut microbiota population. (Other studies say avoid sugar, and processed foods.)
  7. Bacteria such as Bifidobacterium can generate vitamins (e.g., K, B12, Biotin, Folate, Thiamine). B12 is very important for neurological function, and a lack of B12 can cause some symptoms of depression.  
  8. The Bacteroidetes phylum bacteria tend to dominate numerically during youth but numbers decline significantly by old age, whereas the reverse trend occurs for bacteria of the Firmicutes phylum.
  9. High fat diets induce increased circulating levels of bacteria-derived LPS in humans, possibly as a consequence of increased intestinal permeability (related to leaky gut syndrome?). LPS is an immune system modulator and potent inflammatory agent linked to the development of common metabolic diseases.

  1. "How gut bacteria make us fat and thin." Scientific American. June 1, 2014. READ THIS if nothing else.
  2. List of clinics that do FT here
  3. Wikipedia link to "fecal microbiota transplant".

Friday, September 9, 2016

Heterodox Academy wants to improve free speech

For 20+ years universities across the US and other countries have found their free speech limited by parties who want "safe spaces" because their fragile emotional state means they cannot deal with people who disagree with them. Not only that but PC people threaten speech and idea diversity, though they claim to be diversity themselves. The Hetrodox Academy wants to crush the PC madness and allow more dissenting viewpoints across more college campuses.
The resolutions urge (1) the Faculty Senate at schools to adopt the University of Chicago's Principles on Freedom of Expression, or (2) implement a non-obstruction policy against shouting down controversial speakers, or (3) asks the university to explicitly include viewpoint diversity in its faculty hiring and curriculum policies.
Speakers have been cancelled just because someone was "offended", and in the past many universities have supported this lack of diversity in viewpoints. The Hetrodox Academy attempts to remedy that.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Does the flu shot contain mercury compounds?

Yes, it does. Mercury is a highly toxic element which causes permanent neurological damage. Damage is even more severe for growing infants and children exposed to mercury. However, it is not clear if mercury compounds, like Thimerosal are safe.

The CDC says flu vaccines in multi-dose vials contain Thimerosal. This is what is normally given to the public en masse. Dr. Oz says Thimerosal is 49% mercury. This paper (PDF, 2006, from Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) says no flu vaccine should be given to any pregnant women, ever. Is that because of the toxicity of Thimerosal?

From Vaxtruth:
  1. 2 ppb is the maximum amount of mercury that deems water “safe” for drinking.
  2. Anything over 200 ppb mercury is considered TOXIC. Source: EPA website.
  3. There is up to 300 ppb mercury is in the “thimerosal-free” flu vaccine.
  4. There is 25,000 ppb mercury given in the flu shot containing 25 mcg of thimerosal as a preservative.

This link contains studies about the toxicity of Thimerosal.

TLDR: Thimerosal is not safe for humans.

No safe spaces for Univ of Chicago students

The University of Chicago warns students there will be no safe spaces where free speech is not tolerated. This includes "emotionally fragile" students, who also will not be given trigger warnings by the university. The university said they are supportive of free speech.

Source Aug 25, 2016.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Hepatitis from strawberries in Tropical Smoothies Cafe

There have been some cases of hepatitis from strawberries in Virginia at Tropical Smoothies Cafe. The strawberries were from Egypt.
There have been 23 confirmed cases of hepatitis A linked to frozen strawberries used at Tropical Smoothie Cafes across Virginia.
It's almost like you need your own tricorder to test for pesticides and disease in all US food now.


Friday, September 2, 2016

ChumBuddy sleeping bag is too funny!

The ChumBuddy sleeping bag looks like a shark is eating you. Great for Jaws fans. At $200usd your "Jaws" will probably drop.