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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Indian court blocks GMO mustard!

India leads the way with blocking GMO seeds and plants and this latest decision by an Indian court blocks GMO mustard seed from being grown. Indians are committing suicide due to the high cost of GMO seed. When they use GMO seed they have to buy seed every year, they cannot save seed on their own. The Indian farmers are having so many financial problems with GMO seed they are committing suicide in record numbers from the crushing Monsanto debt.

This site says GMO seeds are not linked to suicides and there is no good source for this statement. This statement was traced back to Vandana Shiva, who is an Indian environmentalist who has said repeatedly that Monsanto’s “suicide seeds” have triggered a “genocide” in India.

More info
  1. More stories on mustard seed in India.
  2. "Rising rates of suicide blamed on GMO seed". Smaller farms suffer the most. The problem with GMO seeds in India is that they are often “not bred for that area, for rain-fed agriculture, so they fail more frequently,”

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Pacific Gyre

The Pacific Gyre, or Great Garbage Patch, is a patch of floating plastic debris about the size of Texas. It affects the food chain because plastics absorb pollutants and the fish higher up the food chain become too toxic for human consumption. It is north of Hawaii approximately between Japan and San Francisco. The garbage patch was discovered by Capt. Charles Moor in 1997.

This garbage patch is a problem for many reasons.
  1. It's growing non-stop. Both tsunamis and ships dump garbage into the ocean.
  2. Plastic particles get smaller but never change their chemical composition. As the particles get smaller, the plankton eat the particles, fill their stomachs with plastic (which they can't digest), and starve to death as they can't get any real food into their stomachs.
  3. Plastics attract and concentrate several poisonous compounds like DDT. As the animals get bigger, they concentrate more pollutants in their system, to the point where top predators die from poisoning. 
  4. Hanging nets floating around can trap air breathers, like dolphins and turtles, and drown them. 
  5. About 70% of the debris actually sinks to the ocean floor. Source
  6. About 705,000 tons of the debris are fishing nets that have broken and floated away. Source.
  7. Since the garbage patch is so far from any country's coastline, no country wants to take responsibility for it.
  8. About 80% of the garbage comes from land-based sources in the US and Asia. Source.
There are actually several garbage patches in the Pacific alone. Click the image for a larger size.


Below is the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch.


Below is a graphic of the structure of one of the Pacific Garbage Patches.

The garbage patches above only include floating plastics. Some plastics sink and those aren't even counted here.

Animals eat the plastic and slowly starve to death, because they think it's food. Notice the plastic parts in the bird's stomach below.
The garbage patch is so big, and so much is added to it every day, that it might be impossible to clean up. For more information see the videos and links below.


Videos for more info
  1. Part 1 of 3 of a video from Vice. Total time is 60 minutes.
  2. Let's Talk Trash. About 50 minutes.
  3. Plasticized. A feature film. About 48 minutes.
  4. Capt. Charles Moore on TedX talks about the garbage patch.
  5. Youtube search for 'garbage patch'. LOTS more videos here.

More info
Nat Geo article on Pacific Garbage Patch.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Study: How glyphosate affects gut bacteria

Recently, a study, called "The Effect of Glyphosate on Potential Pathogens and Beneficial Members of Poultry Microbiota In Vitro", was done on the effects gut bacteria and pathological bacteria when exposed to glyphosate. The study is in Curr Microbiol. The abstract is here. The abstract is also on SpringerLink for free. The full study is paywalled (meaning, you have to pay to see the whole study).
  1. Highly pathogenic bacteria highly resistant to glyphosate. 
  2. Beneficial bacteria are moderate to highly susceptible to glyphosate exposure. That means one doesn't have to ingest much glyphosate to have a problem.

The abstract:
The use of glyphosate modifies the environment which stresses the living microorganisms. The aim of the present study was to determine the real impact of glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro. The presented results evidence that the highly pathogenic bacteria as Salmonella Entritidis, Salmonella Gallinarum, Salmonella Typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum are highly resistant to glyphosate. However, most of beneficial bacteria as Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus badius, Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Lactobacillus spp. were found to be moderate to highly susceptible. Also Campylobacter spp. were found to be susceptible to glyphosate. A reduction of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract microbiota by ingestion of glyphosate could disturb the normal gut bacterial community.

Below is a partial table of the study results on different bacteria.


Sources
Full study as PDF.
Full study online. PDF available.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Download all Gutenberg English books

How to download all Project Gutenberg English books

This link talks about some ideas. But the question is from 2011.

From Project Gutenberg: How to get all ebooks.

PG: How to Mirror the site. They recommend using 'rsync', available for Linux and Windows.

PG: getting a certain file type (EPUB, HTML, MOBI, etc).
Ex: wget -w 2 -m -H "http://www.gutenberg.org/robot/harvest?filetypes[]=html"
Replace "html" with your filetype, which is one of these: epub.image, epub.noimages, txt, kindle.images, kindle.noimages, mp3 or html.

Or use wget and start with this URL: http://www.gutenberg.org/robot/harvest (most of these are zip files which contain txt files)

Download data to make a CD or dual-layer DVD. The most recent file is from 2010, so it's not updated often.

More info
The list of PG mirrors. Very wide text format.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Roundup linked to billions in healthcare costs

National Geographic reports that Roundup may account for billions of USD in healthcare costs. Some of the problems that glyphosate is suspected to cause, supported by study correlation, are kidney and liver damage, imbalances in the intestinal microbiome and intestinal functioning, cancer, genotoxicity, endocrine disruption, reproductive and developmental reduction, neurological damage, and immune system dysfunction. Glyphosate is thought to block or mimic hormones causing hormone-related problems. Even the Endocrine Society says EDCs (some pesticides act as an EDC) are a danger.(Their page has recent studies on how chemicals act as EDCs and their adverse effects.)

The researchers detailed the costs related to three types of conditions: neurological effects, such as attention deficit disorders; obesity and diabetes; and male reproductive disorders, including infertility. The researchers concluded that there is a greater than 99 percent chance that endocrine-disrupting chemicals are contributing to the diseases...
Some common  EDCs that are known to cause problems: bisphenol-A (BPA), used in hard plastics, food-can linings, and paper receipts; two phthalates used as plasticizers in vinyl products; DDE, the breakdown product of the banned insecticide DDT; organophosphate pesticides, including one called chlorpyrifos used on grain, fruit, and other crops; and brominated flame retardants known as PBDEs that were extensively used in furniture foams until they were banned in Europe and the United States.

Sources
NatGeo.
See this study from Andrology by L. Trasande.
This Google Scholar search shows studies showing issues affecting healthcare costs in Europe.
PDF of similar paper from env-health.org. 25 pages.



Saturday, October 22, 2016

Crops sprayed with Roundup just before harvest, more food found with glyphosate

Roundup/glyphosate is not just used on GMO crops, it is widely used on non-GMO crops. But for a product to be labeled organic it cannot have Roundup sprayed on it. When Roundup is sprayed on food crops it gets into the food system and glyphosate and its metabolites are found in urine. These are just a few examples of what crops are sprayed with Roundup and which foods have been found to have glyphosate in them.

Crop dessication: "Pre-harvest crop desiccation (also siccation[1] ) refers to the application of a herbicide to a crop shortly before harvest.[2] Herbicides used include glyphosate, diquat and glufosinate."

Glyphosate sometimes sprayed on wheat before harvest.

Oats, wheat, and flax are sprayed with Roundup. (I don't have evidence that Roundup causes cancer but this article shows what is being sprayed with Roundup. Rules will vary by country so different crops will be sprayed with Roundup.)

Anecdotal evidence: People who are intolerant to gluten in the US can go to Europe and eat bread with no problems, the rules regarding pesticides are more strict in Europe.

  1. Glyphosate residues regularly found in bread. HCGA 2008 report. PDF.
  2. FDA finds baby food contains glyphosate. (After years of pressure the FDA finally decided to start testing foods for glyphosate and they found it.)
  3. Glyphosate found in 11 of 24 breakfast foods.
  4. Norwegian study finds more glyphosate in foods.
  5. Glyphosate found in 51 streams. If it's in the streams, it can easily get into food plants. Some farms get their water from streams.
  6. Glyphosate found in wines that weren't even sprayed!
  7. 60% of bread in the UK found to contain pesticides. (2014, PDF from PAN.)

If pesticides are so safe why are biotech companies so against labeling foods? And why do biotech hide studies about glyphosate? Actions speak louder than words.

Human urine contains glyphosate

Glyphosate found in urine of ALL people studied. German study.

93% of people tested have glyphosate in their urine. "93% of the urine tested by the University of California San Francisco lab tested positive for glyphosate residues. No glyphosate was found in the tap water samples."

FDA finds glyphosate in baby foods

Earlier in 2016 the FDA began testing foods for glyphosate. It has recently found glyphosate in baby foods containing oats. Keep in mind that does not mean all baby foods were tested. The current "safe" level of glyphosate in oats, from the EPA, is 30ppm.

Link to FDA PDFBackup of PDF on archive.is.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Pro-GMO Soylent bar making people sick

There are many ingredients in this food bar that could make people sick, and no one knows if it's the GMOs or not. The food bar is a favorite among Silicon Valley techies but it's not rated high on tasted.

Source
Newyorker.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

PAN releases body of studies showing danger of glyphosate

Oct 11, 2016. The Pesticide Action Network released a body of studies showing the danger of glyphosate.
Adverse human impacts detailed in the review include acute poisoning, kidney and liver damage, imbalances in the intestinal microbiome and intestinal functioning, cancer, genotoxicity, endocrine disruption, reproductive and developmental reduction, neurological damage, and immune system dysfunction.
Glyphosate is sprayed on numerous crops and plantations, including about 80% of genetically engineered, or GE crops, as well as a pre-harvest desiccant, which results in high food residues.  
Scientists and regulators continue to give undeserved weight to studies paid for by Monsanto but not peer-reviewed. Science means being open-minded enough to entertain all possiblilities, regardless of how uncomfortable those possiblities are. Ignoring uncomfortable possibilities is not science, it's religion. And pandering to corporations is not science either.

The PDF file is here. http://pan-international.org/wp-content/uploads/Glyphosate-monograph.pdf 96 pages.Contents:


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tensions rise in Missouri Bootheel due to drifting GMO pollen

Malden, Missouri.Dicamba spray drift is killing crops of farmers who didn't plant dicamba-resistant GMO strains. Last year (2015) Monsanto released straings of dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton, but the form of dicamba used on these GMO crops has not been approved by the EPA yet.
The southeast region of the state is a part of a multistate swath where damage from suspected illegal herbicide drift has slashed yields for farmers who did not plant crops resistant to the herbicide, dicamba. Fallout from the damage is pitting neighbor against neighbor and straining, or simply ruining, relationships in the area’s tight-knit farming communities.
Insurance companies do not cover losses sustained from pesticide spray drift, meaning civil suits are the only way farmers can recoup losses. Losses can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD). The amount of coverage a farmer can buy is the average of crops harvested during the last 10 years. If overspray is killing their crops year after year, the insurance they can get drops, year after year.

Source
STL Today.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Charge your phone with a banana

Yes, this should work, given that you use 2 different types of metals, one for the positive lead one for the negative lead. Any acidic solution will work, whether it's from an orange, lemon, apple, or, I guess, even a banana.



Source
Device Byte.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Generate 1 kw of electricity with a 1C degree temperature gradient

Fujifilm has developed a thermoelectric material that will generate 1kw of electricity with a temperature difference of only 1 degree C. Peltier devices, available on Amazon and Ebay, can also generate electricity but generally require a thermal gradient of 100 degrees F or more to get 4-5 volts DC, and not that many milliamps.

I want one!

More thermoelectric gadgets on the market at Pinterest.

Info on a Tin-Selenide TE material.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Europe's food safety org to release studies on glyphosate

The EFSA said it will release studies to the public about glyphosate, from a news release recently. The European Food Safety Authority says transparency is an important part of its mission.

Sources
EFSA Website.
I think this is the EFSA page for this raw data, which others can double check.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Glyphosate and cancer risk, study graph

This graphic at Weedcontrolfreaks is interesting as it graphs the possibility of glyphosate causing cancer (or not) on an easy-to-read graph.

The graph is repeated below.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Phony "panel" misleads public into thinking glyphosate is safe

A panel was formed to refute the IARC's 2015 study that said glyphosate is a "probably human carcinogen". While they claim it's a peer-reveiwed study, there is no link to the study and no list of people who reviewed it. The study is here (Archive.is link). All panel members, and their CV, listed here (Archive.is link). 12 out of 16 panel members (75%) have worked for Monsanto before. Their objectivity is preposterous.

Remember how Monsanto lies about studies, hides EU studies, break the laws in India, steals farms, and has paid a scientist to preach for Monsanto.

And the EPA is still earning its bribes: "Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide, is not likely carcinogenic to humans, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday as it outlined its current position on the controversial chemical." Source: Reuters.com.

Monsanto's response to the 2015 IARC report that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen:
Source: Monstanto's website.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

History of "safe" products list

For years and years these products were all declared safe in the US, that there were no problems at all. And then the lawsuits started, one after the other. Each link below links to a story about the substance.

  1. Asbestos.
  2. Aspartame.
  3. Bisphenol-A.
  4. Cigarettes.
  5. Food adulteration in the US.
  6. Lead.
  7. Thalidomide.
Other items the US gov't said was "safe": 2,4-d (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, a herbicide), acetamiprid, Agent Orange, asbestos, aspartame, cigarettes, DDT, DES, diazinon, epoxiconazole, flame retardant in the US, fluroxypyr, fracking, Glyphosate, imidacloprid, isoproturon, lead paint, malathion, mercury fillings, microbeads, organophosphates, parathion, PCBs, pirimicarb, prochloraz, tebuconazole, tetrachlorvinphos, thalidomide, Vioxx.

State told city mayors to keep Zika trap sites a secret

  1. Some states are spraying a neurotoxin called Naled, brand name Dibrom (morbid spelled backward) to kill the mosquitos.
  2. Florida Dept of Health used multiple meetings, phone calls and conversations, to hide trap sites, so no paper trail was made. That alone is suspicious.

Source
Health Nut News. Site also has daily Zika virus map animated update.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Database of glyphosate studies by disease studied

This list of studies by Greenmedinfo.com contains Roundup studies grouped by disease. You can also search on diseases to narrow your results. This database seems to link to the free NIH database of studies which often has the full studies to read for free. But you can sign up at the NIH if you want to bookmark studies via their site.

Some of the disease groups are: glyphosate toxicity, lymphoma, DNA damage, low testosterone, skin cancer, neurotoxicity.

The studies are also grouped by adverse reaction.

This looks interesting. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

German study found glyphosate in urine of ALL people studied

"When testing for glyphosate contamination in an urban population, a German university found significant contamination in all urine samples with levels 5 to 20 times above the legal limit for drinking water."

Source
Ithaca-Journal.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Books on food politics, and how the corporations keeps people unsafe

1. Books to buy

Food Politics by Marion Nestle.
Eat, Vote, Drink. An illustrated guide to food politics in the US. by Marion Nestle.
Safe Food, by Marion Nestle.

2. Free books

2.1 No registration necessary
Food Crimes Report. PDF.

2.2 Paywalled or registration required
At digitalbookindex.org, some of these books are free. Some links redirect to other sites.


2.3 Unknown or a mix of the above.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Toxic haze kills 100,000 in and near Indonesia

(It took some time to gather data on this 2015 event but here we go.)

Toxic haze deaths from July to October 2015 were concentrated in Indonesia, with deaths from cardiovascular disease, and some by respiratory disease. (I wouldn't call it "respiratory disease", disease takes longer than that to appear. I'd call it "severe/fatal respiratory distress".) Fires were set by farmers all over the region to clear land for agriculture.

Source
CNBC, Sep 19, 2016.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Study shows Roundup linked closely to disease

A study in Entropy by Dr. Stephanie Seneff and Anthony Samsel says Roundup leads to many common Western diseases like mood swings, stomach problems, heart disease and diabetes. The latter 3 are inflammatory disorders, and mood swings hasn't been shown to be an inflammatory condition (yet).

Glyphosate interrupts the metabolic pathway of helpful gut bacteria just like in plants. Glyphosate escapes into the bloodstream and disrupts neural pathways leading to mood swings, auto immune diseases, and digestive disorders.Chronic inflammation typically does not appear as pain, but the inflammation is still there, an unheard warning signal from your body. US medical schools don't teach much about the effect of diet on the body, much less GMOs and pesticides on the body. So the US medical profession is largely ignorant of such data, unless they investigated this on their own.

Remember, Roundup is not just used on GMO crops. It's used on many more crops. Spraying Roundup in the crops kills them all at the same time, which helps in harvesting.

Anecdotally, I've been on an organic diet for 5 months, especially avoiding non-organic corn, all gluten, and non-organic soy. My gut problems have improved significantly. But it takes time for the body to heal itself after decades of damage.

We really need a consumer-grade device to detect Roundup (phase 1) and the more commons pesticides (phase 2).

Related stories:
Glyphosate found in 11 of 24 breakfast foods.
93% of people studied have glyphosate in their urine.
Americans more exposed to glyphosate than Europeans.
Glyphosate found in 51 streams.
Glyphosate in your supplements and pills.


Source
Food Renegade.
Paper in Entropy. 2013.