“The agrichemicals industry is most likely responsible for more death and disease than the combined efforts of the tobacco companies ever were.”
The agrichemicals industry wallows like an overblown hog in a cesspool of corruption. With its snout firmly embedded in the
trough of corporate pro t to the detriment of all else, it is most likely responsible for more death and disease than the combined e orts of the tobacco companies ever were. It indulges in criminality that hides behind corporate public relations,1 media misrepre- sentations,2 and the subversion3 of respect- able-sounding agencies that masquerade as public institutions.
Dominated by a handful of powerful parasitical corporations with a global reach,4 the message from this sector is that its syn- thetic biocides are necessary to feed billions who would otherwise go hungry. Often ac- companying this public relations-inspired tale is the notion that organic agriculture is not productive enough, or is a kitchen-table niche, and that agroecology is impractical.
Of course, as any genuinely informed person would know that, as numerous high-level reports have suggested, organic farming and agroecology could form the mainstay of agriculture if they were ac- corded su cient attention and investment. Unfortunately, big agribusiness players, armed with their chemicals or GMOs, seek to marginalize e ective solutions that threaten their markets and interests.
Armed with a compulsion to dominate and to regard themselves as conquerors and owners of nature,6 they require more of the same: Allegiance to neoliberal fundamentalism7 and an unsustainable model of farming that is so damaging to soil that we could have at most just 60 years of farming left8 if we don’t abandon it.
Since the end of the Second World War,
we have had to endure our elds and food being poisoned in the manner Rachel Car- son highlighted decades ago.9 These compa- nies sell health and environment damaging products,10 co-opt scientists,11 control public institutions12 and ensure farmers are kept on a chemical treadmill.13 From CEOs and scientists to public o cials and media/ PR spin doctors, speci c individuals can be identi ed and at some stage should be hauled into court for what amounts to “crimes against humanity.”
In his 2014 book, Poison Spring: The Se- cret History of Pollution and the US EPA,14 E.G. V allianatos (who worked for the EP A for 25 years) says:
“It is simply not possible to understand why the EP A [Environmental Protection Agency] behaves the way it does without appreciating the enormous power of Amer- ican’s industrial farmers and their allies in the chemical pesticide industries, which currently do about $40 billion per in year business. ... Today, it seems the entire gov- ernment is at the service of the private inter- ests of America’s corporate class.”
New UN Report
As recently reported in The Guardian, a new report delivered to the UN Human Rights Council says pesticides have cat- astrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole, in- cluding an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning.15 The Report’s au- thors say: “It is time to create a global pro- cess to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.”
Authored by Hilal Elver, special rappor- teur on the right to food, and Baskut Tun- cak, special rapporteur on toxics, the report states, “Chronic exposure to pesticides has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and Par- kinson’s diseases, hormone disruption, de- velopmental disorders and sterility.”
Although the pesticide industry argues that its products are vital for protecting crops and ensuring su cient food supplies, Elver says “It is a myth.”
Elver adds that using more pesticides has nothing to do with ridding the World of hunger. She argues that, according to
the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), we are able to feed nine billion peo- ple today. Food production is increasing; but she attributes the problem to poverty, inequality, and distribution.
Moreover, Elver says many of the pes- ticides are used on commodity crops, such as palm oil and soy, not the food needed by the World’s hungry people. She argues that the corporations are not dealing with world hunger, they are dealing with more agricultural activity on large scales.
The new report says, “While scienti c research con rms the adverse e ects of pes- ticides, proving a de nitive link between exposure and human diseases or conditions or harm to the ecosystem presents a consid- erable challenge. This challenge has been exacerbated by a systematic denial, fueled by the pesticide and agro-industry, of the magnitude of the damage in icted by these chemicals, and aggressive, unethical mar- keting tactics.”
Elver says, “The power of the corpora- tions over governments and over the scien- ti c community is extremely important. If you want to deal with pesticides, you have to deal with the companies.”
The report recommends a move to- wards a global treaty to govern the use of pesticides and a shift to sustainable prac- tice based on natural methods of suppress- ing pests and crop rotation and organically produced food.
Dr. Rosemary Mason’s New Open Letter
The Report comes at a timely point. Campaigner Dr. Rosemary Mason has just written an “Open Letter to the Global Pes- ticide Regulatory Authorities and the UK and US Media.”16 To make her case, Dr. Mason draws on that report as well as new ndings and revelations that have emerged thus far in 2017.
Over the past few years, in her numer- ous documents, Mason has described the devastating e ects of agrochemicals and has singled out certain individuals who should be standing in the dock to answer for their roles they have played in poison- ing the environment and damaging public health.17 She has supplied strong evidence to highlight how agrochemicals are kill-
ing us and how public institutions and governments collude with the industry to frame legislation and polices to further that agenda.
Early in her letter, Mason reminds her intended readership that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is ex- tending its remit to include ecocide. The ICC announced in September 2016 that it would prioritize crimes that result in the “destruc- tion of the environment,” “exploitation of natural resources,” and the “illegal dispos- session” of land. Environmental destruction and land-grabs could possibly lead to gov- ernments and individuals being prosecuted for crimes against humanity by the ICC.
Over the years, Mason has written a great deal on glyphosate (active ingre- dient in Monsanto’s Roundup®) and has described the massive environmental and health problems associated with its use. Con icts of interest within public agencies and scienti c fraud, which Mason has de- scribed many times before, have resulted in glyphosate entering and remaining on the market. A day or two after Mason wrote her letter, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced its decision in favor of re-licensing glyphosate, which may not come as much of a surprise to many given the conflicts of interest that may have swayed the decision in favor of industry interests.
Aside from the cocktail of various other biocides that end up in our bodies and in the environment, Mason has documented at length the destructive consequences of gly- phosate in Wales, where she resides, as well as elsewhere, from the United States and the EU to Argentina. It is killing us as well as birds, insects, and plants, thus destroy- ing the ecosystem. She has also produced a great deal of evidence to indicate how gly- phosate has ruined her nature reserve. Yet, despite her ongoing extensively researched and referenced open letters to key o cials and agencies, she notes that corporate pro t comes before human health and the environment and it is a case of “business as usual.”
In her letter, Mason quotes Katherine Paul, the associate director of the Organic Consumers Association, who in the piece “Monsanto Isn’t Feeding the World, It is ports add to the already large and convinc- ing body of evidence, accumulated over more than half a century, that agricultural pesticides and other toxic chemicals are poisoning us. Both reports issue scathing indictments of US and global regulatory systems that collude with chemical compa- nies to hide the truth from the public, while they ll their co ers with ill-gotten pro ts.”
Ms. Paul is referring to a new WHO re- port19 (and companion report) that argues exposure to pollution kills millions of chil- dren.
Events Catching Up with Monsanto
As far as Monsanto is concerned, events seem to be catching up with the company. According to Mason, Monsanto is trying to conceal evidence of close relationships with the U.S. EPA and glyphosate causing cancer. She describes how Monsanto led a lawsuit in January 2016 against California’s O ce of Environmental Health Hazard Assess- ment in an attempt to block the Agency’s stated intent to list glyphosate as a possi- ble human carcinogen. Monsanto wrote, “Monsanto would be required to provide a warning on the labels to consumers that the chemical is a recognized carcinogen. Mon- santo says this is a violation of their First Amendment rights and, according to the complaint, ‘would cause irreparable dam- age to Monsanto and the public and nega- tively a ect the reputation of Monsanto for making safe and reliable herbicides would be potentially a loss of sales and force the company to spend large sums of money to re-label their products.’” Reputation and corporate pro t trump all else.
Mason writes about U.S. Right to Know (U.S. RTK) suing the U.S. EPA for docu- ments on glyphosate. She quotes journalist Carey Gillam:
“The litigation against Monsanto has been led by people from around the United States who allege that exposure to Monsan- to’s Roundup herbicide caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system and has been on the rise in recent decades.... The transcript of a recent court hearing20 reveals that Judge Vince Chhabria,21 the Federal judge who is
overseeing a combination of more than 55 lawsuits led against Monsanto in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, warned Monsanto that many documents it is turning over in discovery will not be kept sealed despite the com- pany’s pleas for privacy. He threatened to impose sanctions if Monsanto persists in ‘overbroad’ e orts to keep relevant docu- ments out of public view.”
In 2015, Monsanto Vice President Robb T. Fraley asked on Twitter why people doubted science,22 Perhaps he should read Carol Van Strum. Mason refers to Van Strum who wrote a piece in 2015 about the US EPA’s failure to regulate biocides.23 Van Strum states:
“Within the rst decade of the EPA’s ex- istence, it became obvious that nearly all the ‘safety’ tests supporting pesticide registra- tions were faked, with either fraudulent or nonexistent data. The massive lab fraud un- covered at Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories (IBT) revealed that 99 percent of long-term studies (for cancer, birth defects, mutagen- icity, reproductive damage, etc.) support- ing some 483 pesticide registrations were invalid. For 25 years, in what US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) o cials called ‘the most massive scienti c fraud ever com- mitted in the United States, and perhaps the world,’ all major chemical and pharmaceu- tical companies had paid IBT to produce the test data they needed to register their prod- ucts. All but forgotten now, the IBT fraud shook the chemical and pharmaceutical in- dustries and regulatory agencies around the world. In 1983, a six-month-long criminal trial resulted in the convictions of three IBT o cials. The trial revealed a vast, lucrative business of deceptive safety testing.”
Van Strum goes on to note that almost all of the products tested by IBT, including 2,4-D, glyphosate, atrazine, and many of the 66 products banned on California red- legged frog habitat, are still on the market today. IBT, it turned out, was but the tip of a huge iceberg. Subsequent audits of 82 other testing laboratories found that more than half – 47 labs – had serious “de ciencies,” including some 22 labs that had destroyed all lab reports and raw data, making audits impossible and conclusions unsupported.
Maybe Fraley should also start sifting
through Mason’s numerous documents pertaining to scienti c fraud and the cap- turing and subverting of public bodies by Monsanto and others that belong to his sector.
Monsanto and the Corpo- rate Media in the Dock
The verdict of the International Mon- santo Tribunal will be announced on 18 April 2017. Mason states that the goal of the Monsanto Tribunal is to evaluate whether Monsanto’s activities are comply- ing with international law. Through the case of Monsanto, the Tribunal considers an example of a multinational corporation whose behavior ignores the damages its decisions cause to health, environment, and scienti c independence. The aim of the Tribunal is to give a legal opinion on the environmental and health damage caused Monsanto. This process will use existing international law but also contribute to the international debate to include the crime of ecocide into international criminal law. It will also give people all over the World a well-documented legal le to be used in lawsuits against Monsanto and similar chemical companies.
Mason’s letter is 42-pages long and cov- ers a good deal of ground that she has pre- viously highlighted. However, by writing an open letter whose intended readership includes the U.S. and UK media, she wants the corporate media to stop colluding with the agrochemicals sector and to cease from conveying a misleading narrative about ill- ness and disease. That narrative places the onus on individual responsibility for spi- raling rates of illness and disease. Mason wants the media to report honestly about the role of the agrochemicals sector and its intimate relationship with governments, of- cial bodies, and health agencies.
Originally from the UK, Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer who specializes in food, agriculture, and devel- opment. He is a former social-policy researcher and has spent many years in India. Reprinted with permission of Colin Todhunter, Indepen- dent Writer/Analyst, and rst published on March 16, 2017, at http://www.colintodhunter. com/?m=1.
1. Gary Ruskin, “What the agrichemical and tobacco industries have in common: PR firms, operatives, tactics,” excerpted from Chapter 4, “Seedy Business: What Big Food is hiding with its slick PR campaign on GMOs,” U.S. Right to Know; at https://usrtk. org/what-the-agrichemical-and-tobacco-in- dustries-have-in-common-pr-firms-opera- tives-tactics/.
2. Colin Todhunter, “The Toxic Relation- ship Between Agrochemicals And The Media,” The Hu ngton Post Canada, posted 08/12/2016 and updated 08/12/2016 at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/col- in-todhunter/the-media-and-agrochemi- cals_b_11450750.html.
3. F. William Engdahl, “Cancer of Corrup- tion, Seeds of Destruction: The Monsanto GMO Whitewash,” Global Research, Decem- ber 19, 2012; at http://www.globalresearch. ca/stench-of-eu-corruption-in-monsanto- gmo-whitewash/5316294.
4. Colin Todhunter, “Resisting the corpo- rate stranglehold on food and farming – is agroecology enough?” The Ecologist, 4 March 2016; at http://www.theecologist. org/essays/2987346/resisting_the_corpo- rate_stranglehold_on_food_and_farming_ is_agroecology_enough.html.
5. Colin Todhunter, “Global Agribusi- ness, Dependency and the Margin- alization of Self-Sufficiency, Organic Farming and Agroecology,” Coun- terPunch, March 29, 2016; at http:// www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/29/ global-agribusiness-dependen- cy-and-the-marginalisation-of-self-su cien- cy-organic-farming-and-agroecology/.
6. Vandana Shiva. “Two Myths that Keep the World Poor,” Ode Magazine, Issue 28; at http://www.odemagazine.com/article. php?aID=4192.
7. Colin Todhunter, “Double Whammy On Farmers: On Top Of Demonetisation India Scraps Wheat Import Duties!,” Counter Cur- rents, December 10, 2016; at http://www. countercurrents.org/2016/12/10/double- whammy-on-farmers-on-top-of-demoneti- sation-india-scraps-wheat-import-duties/.
8. Tom Newmark & Steven Farrell, “Beyond Wetiko Agriculture: Saving Ourselves from the Soil Up
The diagnosis is clear. Now what are we going to do about it?” Common Dreams, March 15, 2017; at http://www.commondreams. org/views/2017/03/15/beyond-wetiko-ag- riculture-saving-ourselves-soil?utm_cam- paign=shareaholic&utm_medium=face- book&utm_source=socialnetwork.
9. Mercola, “The Story of Rachel Car- son: How One Woman’s Love for Nature Changed the Way Humans View the Envi- ronment,” Mercola, March 4, 2017; at http:// articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/ar- chive/2017/03/04/renowned-environmen- talist-rachel-carson-story.aspx.
10. Colin Todhunter, “They Pro t, We Die: Toxic Agriculture and the Poisoning of Soils, Human Health and the Environment,” Global Research, October 23, 2015; at http://www. globalresearch.ca/they-pro t-we-die-toxic- agriculture-and-the-poisoning-of-soils-hu- man-health-and-the-environment/5483932.
11. F. William Engdahl, “Cancer of Corrup- tion, Seeds of Destruction: The Monsanto GMO Whitewash,” Global Research, Decem- ber 19, 2012; at http://www.globalresearch. ca/stench-of-eu-corruption-in-monsanto- gmo-whitewash/5316294.
12. F. William Engdahl, “WTO, GMO and Total Spectrum Dominance, WTO rules put free-trade of agribusiness above national health concerns,” Global Research, March 29, 2006; at http://www.globalresearch. ca/wto-gmo-and-total-spectrum-domi- nance/2202.
13. Colin Todhunter, “Streams Of Pro t And Rivers Of Poison: Big Agritech’s Last- ing Legacy,”Countercurrents.org, September 24, 2014; at http://www.countercurrents. org/todhunter240914.htm.
14. E.G. Vallianatos, Poison Spring: The Se- cret History of Pollution and the EPA, April 8, 2014; at https://www.amazon.com/ Poison-Spring-Secret-History-Pollution/ dp/1608199142.
15. Damian Carrington, “UN experts de- nounce ‘myth’ pesticides are necessary to feed the world,” The Guardian, 7 March 2017; at https://www.theguardian.com/ environment/2017/mar/07/un-experts-de- nounce-myth-pesticides-are-necessary-to- feed-the-world.
16. Dr. Rosemary Mason, “Open Letter to the Global Pesticide Regulatory Authorities
and the UK and US Media,” Real Indepen- dent News and Film; at http://rinf.com/ alt-news/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ Open-Letter-to-the-Global-Pesticide-Regu- latory-Authorities-and-the-UK-and-US-Me- dia.pdf.
17. Rosemary Mason, “Open Letter to the European Chemical Agency about Scienti c Fraud and Ecocide.pdf,” Epub at https://in- dependent.academia.edu/RosemaryMason
18. Ian Johnston, “Environment EU experts accused of con ict of interest over herbicide linked to cancer,” Independent, 7 March 2017; at http://www.independent.co.uk/envi- ronment/glyphosate-roundup-weedkill- er-cancer-bees-farming-greenpeace-echa-eu- ropean-chemicals-agency-a7614736.html.
19. Jia Naqvi, “Exposure to pollution kills millions of children, WHO reports find,” Washington Post, March 5, 2017; at https://www.washingtonpost.com/ news/to-your-health/wp/2017/03/05/ exposure-to-pollution-behind-millions-of- childrens-deaths-who-reports-find/?utm_ term=.72c7ac1dae15.
20. Transcript of Court Proceedings In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation, before Hon. Vince Chhabria, Case No. C 16-2741 VC, Feb. 27, 2017, at https://drive.google. com/ le/d/0B-pJR4cGo9ckWGF6bUR1N- k1kZmpHMTZ2cFkwVkVRT1ZTWmY0/ view.
21. U.S. District Court, Northern District of California website page on Hon. Vince Ch- habria, at http://cand.uscourts.gov/vc.
22. Colin Todhunter, “Monsanto Wants to Know Why People Doubt Science,“ Counter- Punch; February 27, 2015; at http://www. counterpunch.org/2015/02/27/monsanto- wants-to-know-why-people-doubt-science/.
23. Carol Van Strum, “Failure to Regu- late: Pesticide Data Fraud Comes Home to Roost,”Truthout, April 9, 2015; at http:// www.truth-out.org/news/item/30097-fail- ure-to-regulate-pesticide-data-fraud-comes- home-to-roost.
24. Colin Todhunter, “The Toxic Relation- ship Between Agrochemicals And The Media,” Hu ngton Post Canada, 08/12/2016; at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/col- in-todhunter/the-media-and-agrochemi- cals_b_11450750.html.
Iwould like to brie y describe how Katherine Carroll, Executive Director of the National Health Federation, came to nd my Open Letter to the
Global Pesticide Regulatory Authorities and the UK and U.S. Media. Colin Todhunter, one of a group of fearless freelance journalists who write articles in the alternative media exposing scandals, had written about my article. I had posted it on my Academia Edu website and Katherine Carroll got in touch. She explained to me that NHF is the oldest health-freedom organization in the World, founded in 1955, and the only one with a seat at Codex where guidelines and stan- dards are set for the World. NHF was pre- paring to attend the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues in Beijing in April 2017 and Katherine suggested pooling informa- tion; that it would be very helpful.
The Connection Was Made
In 2010, my life changed when Dr. Henk Tennekes and I traded books. His was The Systemic Insecticides: A Disaster in the Mak- ing, and mine was The Year of the Bumblebee: Observations in a Small Nature Reserve. Based in the Netherlands, Dr. Henk Tennekes was the rst independent researcher to recog- nise the extreme toxicity of low levels of sys- temic neonicotinoid insecticides that have become widespread in the environment. They cause a virtually irreversible blockage of postsynaptic nicotinergic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the central nervous system of insects (to which the human foe- tus is also exposed). He said the damage is cumulative, and with more exposure more receptors are blocked. He predicted that
there may be no safe level of exposure.
Dr. Tennekes asked me to market his book in the UK. I wrote to regulators and Ministers in the UK, in Europe, the U.S., and Australia. They all told me the same story – there was no evidence that neonico- tinoid insecticides were harmful to bees. So, by March 2011, Henk and I knew that the regulators were protecting the agrochemical
The Year of the Bumblebee was the photo-journal of our small Nature Reserve (one acre) in Wales, UK, which we had established in 2006 in response to the declines in birds and invertebrates (animals without backbones) such as bumblebees, butter ies, dragon ies, and moths. In the process of promoting Henk’s book, I became acquaint- ed with three beekeepers: John, Graham, and Eric, who started sending me information. All three were rebels – they knew
that the UK Beekeeping Associations were in the hands of the pesticides industry; they seemed to have taken payment for endors- ing “safe” pesticides.
In 2013, the biodiversity in our reserve started to decline. U.S. scientists Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Sene sent me an article about Glyphosate, so I immediate- ly knew that Roundup® had been destroy- ing our reserve. For an unknown number of years Monsanto’s contractor, Complete Weed Control, had been spraying Round- up® on Japanese knotweed in Swansea, South Wales, UK, until it had become Roundup®-resistant.
We compared our experiences and dis- covered that we had almost identical problems. Anthony pointed out to me the UK website on pesticide residues in food. Even though Britain was not, as yet, growing GM crops, some farmers had been spraying glyphosate pre-harvest since 1980 at the suggestion of a Monsanto scientist. Their colleague, Dr. Nancy Swanson, had created graphs from the Centers for Disease Control and found strong correlations between diseases that had been increasing over the last 30 years and GM Crops and Roundup®. These included obesity, autism, Type-2 Diabetes, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, liver and kidney failure, hyper- cholesterolemia, stroke, and various cancers such as kidney, liver, pancreas, thyroid, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Myeloma, and leukemia.
Glyphosate Reassessed and Challenged
Glyphosate is being re-assessed in Eu- rope and the U.S. Unfortunately, European Regulators have given glyphosate a “clean bill of health.” However, the U.S. EPA Spe- cial Advisory Panel (SAP) failed to reach an agreement about whether or not glyphosate is a carcinogen.
Encouragingly, though, in March 2017, a Los Angeles law rm and co-counsel Rob- ert F. Kennedy, Jr. led three complaints last week on behalf of 136 plainti s from across the United States who have alleged that ex- posure from Monsanto’s Roundup® weed killer caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The lawsuits were led in Mis- souri, but more than 50 lawsuits were also led against Monsanto in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
Carey Gillam, U.S. Right to Know veter- an journalist and Research Director, recent- ly reported that, “While those lawsuits are being handled together as “multi-district litigation” (MDL) in San Francisco, hun- dreds of other plainti s are making similar allegations in multiple state courts as well. And the teams of lawyers involved say they are continuing to meet with prospective ad- ditional plainti s.”
And on March 13, 2017, the U.S. Judge in that case ordered Monsanto to hand over to the plainti s a long list of key and incrim- inating documents, which can be found through links provided by another jour- nalist. To date, Monsanto has turned over
almost 10 million documents to plainti s’ lawyers.
Regulatory Collusion and Subter- fuge
A U.S. EPA o cial evidently bragged that he could kill o investigations into Round- up®. As part of the evidence in Roundup® lawsuits, emails were produced in which EPA o cial Jess Rowlands, who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Mon- santo’s Roundup®, allegedly bragged to a company executive that he deserved a med- al if he could kill another agency’s investiga- tion into the herbicide’s key chemical.
Also cited was an email from a Monsanto executive proposing to ghost-write parts of the 2015 report, saying, “we would be keep- ing the cost down by us doing the writing” while researchers “would just edit and sign their names so to speak.” Monsanto denies that it ghost-wrote any such report. This, however, has been contradicted by disclosed e-mails as well as the actual report.
A Haunting Letter of Indictment
The late Marion Copley, a U.S. EPA tox- icologist, wrote a letter to her colleague Jess Rowland, in which she said, “I have can- cer, and I don’t want these serious issues in HED [EPA’s Health E ects Division] to go unaddressed before I go to my grave. I have done my duty.” It has been four years since Marion Copley, a toxicologist who had worked for the EPA for 30 years, wrote those words and more to her then-colleague, Jess Rowland, accusing him of conniving with Monsanto to bury the Agency’s own hard scienti c evidence that it is “essentially cer- tain” that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup® weed killer, causes cancer.
The date of the letter comes after Cop- ley left the EPA in 2012 and shortly before she died from breast cancer at the age of 66 in January 2014. She accuses Rowland of having “intimidated sta ” to change reports to favor industry, and writes that research on glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup®, shows the pesticide should be categorized as a “probable human carcinogen.”
Meanwhile back in Swansea we appear
to still being sprayed with Roundup®. We are o to Denmark to escape it. So far we have only seen one butter y on our reserve (and a few around the cli s) and the UK Butter y Conservation Organization media representative has written a blog: Glum in the Garden!
Rosemary Mason worked for the UK National Health Service for
35 years as Consul-
siologist) to West
Authority. She also
served as Assistant
Editor of Anaesthesia 1990-2000, and received the Pask Certi cate for Services to Anaesthesia in the UK in 2001. She has spent seven years challenging global regulators and governments about pesticides. Rosemary was guided to write her rst article on glyphosate, “How Roundup® Poisoned my Nature Reserve,” by the late Dr. Maewan Ho who co-founded with her husband Professor Pe- ter Saunders the former Institute of Science in Society (I-SiS).
1. Anthony Samsel & Stephanie Sene , “Gly- phosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance,” Interdiscip Toxicol, 2013 Dec; 6(4): 159–184; published online 2013 Dec. doi: 10.2478/intox-2013-0026.
2. Baum Hedlund Press Release, “Hundreds of Monsanto Roundup Cancer Lawsuits Filed,” March 20, 2017, https://www.baumhedlund- law.com/monsanto-roundup-cancer-law- suits- led-missouri/.
3. Carey Gillam, “Judge Forcing Monsanto’s Transparency in Court,” Cornucopia Institute, March 15, 2017, at https://www.cornucopia. org/2017/03/judge-forcing-monsantos-trans- parency-court/.
4. Gary Ruskin, “MDL Monsanto Glyphosate Cancer Case Key Documents & Analysis,” U.S. Right To Know, April 14, 2017, at https://usrtk. org/pesticides/mdl-monsanto-glyphosate-can- cer-case-key-documents-analysis/.
5. Carey Gillam, supra.
6. Carey Gillam, “Questions about EPA-Mon- santo collusion raised in cancer lawsuits,” The Hu ngton Post, February 13, 2017, updated Feb- ruary 14, 2017, at http://www.hu ngtonpost. com/carey-gillam/questions-about-epa-mon- sa_b_14727648.html.
7. Tyler Durden, “Monsanto Colluded With EPA, Was Unable To Prove Roundup® Does Not Cause Cancer, Unsealed Court Docs Re- veal,” Zero Hedge, March 15, 2017, at http:// www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-14/court- docs-prove-monsanto-collusion-epa-kill-can- cer-study-admits-cant-say-roundup-do. See in particular, a cited e-mail from Bill Heydens on February 19, 2015, to Donna Farmer, “A less ex- pensive/more palatable approach might be to involve experts only for the areas of contention, epidemiology and possibly MOA (depending on what comes out of the IARC meeting), and we ghost-write the Exposure Tox & Genetox sec- tions...but we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak.” He also sug- gested that they add Greim and Kier or Kirk- land, “Contact Roger McClelland at CRC and see if they would be amenable to putting this publication into Crit. Rev. Toxicol. John said he knew that Roger had done such a publication in the past. David, since you have worked with Roger on other papers, would you be willing to contact him to judge his willingness to publish such a paper.”
8. Monsanto Blog, “Monsanto did not ghost- write the Williams et al. (2000) glyphosate pa- per,” March 14, 2017, at http://monsantoblog. com/2017/03/14/monsanto_did_not_ghost- write_glyphosate_paper/.
9. “A Review of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate by four independent expert panels and comparison to the IARC assessment” was published by Crit. Rev. Toxicology. It was re- ceived on April 8, 2016, and published on April 28, 2016, and the authors not only included Greim, Kier, and Kirkland but many who had worked for Monsanto in the past. See http:// www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10408 444.2016.1214677.
10. Marion Copley, Letter to Jess Rowland, Organic Consumers, March 4, 2013, at https:// www.organicconsumers.org/sites/default/ les/marioncopleyletter.pdf.
Merchant Accounts are getting hard to come by these days, as Bankers squeeze supplement companies
According to Whole Foods Maga- zine, health-food stores in 2016 enjoyed another growth year for their business. This one-of-
a-kind magazine has surveyed independent natural products retailers about their sales, profits, and expenditures for more than 39 years and its most recent survey shows 2016 independent retail sales up by more than 50 percent over 2015 sales.1 So, if business is good, why are some businesses complaining?
We all know that having a merchant ac- count is critical for both online and brick- and-mortar stores. In fact, before a store even opens its doors or website, it must open a merchant account rst if it wants to accept debit or credit cards in payment.2 In the case of online businesses, payments are made almost entirely through credit cards or debit cards and a payment gateway (which veri es that a customer actually has the funds that he or she says they have) is what allows the customer to make that pay- ment. With each transaction, the customer’s payment goes into a temporary holding account before it is then transferred on ei- ther a daily or weekly basis into the online store’s own bank account. The temporary account is called a merchant account.
The problem, however, lies not just in nding an a ordable bank or merchant-ac- count provider and then opening a mer- chant account but in keeping it open once you have one. It seems that bankers and merchant-account providers do not like the dietary-supplement industry.
Despite supplements’ very impressive safety record – a record that makes taking FDA-approved drugs and eating USDA-cer- ti ed foods look like you are jumping out of a plane without a parachute – the medical and disease-care establishment, which in- sidiously percolates throughout our entire economic structure, dictates that dietary supplements are “pseudo-pharmaceuti- cals” that are dangerous, unregulated, and not to be trusted. Banks in turn take their cues from this silly disinformation and thus rate any businesses selling dietary supple- ments as “high risk.” So, they are classi ed right up there with other high-risk busi- nesses such as porn sites, 1-800-type chat sites, and risqué women’s lingerie.3
Unfortunately, all too often, the result of being painted with this “high risk” tar brush is a sudden and abrupt rupture in merchant-account services when the igno- rant provider suddenly “discovers” that the business’ website has “unapproved” (by them) health claims. I say ignorant because usually the provider’s health-claims reviewer has only the barest sketch of an idea of what claims are truly legitimate or not. These ruptures in service usually go something like the following stories.
A gentleman with the initials KS posted the following story online: “After boot- strapping my new store with a lot of blood, sweat and tears for 3 months, I have now been informed by a gentleman in manage- ment that I cannot use the Shopify payment gateway to process debit/credit cards be- cause I am in violation of the TOS [Terms of Service]. He referred me to section B5 for “Prohibited Businesses” which reads: ‘Any product, service or activity that is deceptive, unfair, predatory or prohibited by one or more Card Networks.’
“Apparently vitamins, herbs, supple- ments, botanicals, etc. fall under the cat- egory ‘pseudo-pharmaceuticals’ which is ‘prohibited by one or more Card Networks.’ Now, my only option is to make a merchant account through my bank and use Autho- rize.net which conveniently charges a $49 set up fee and a $25/month gateway fee. I am extremely unhappy with this turn of events for a few reasons:
“1) You would think that the term “pseudo-pharmaceuticals” would be men- tioned under the long list of items in the TOS because you can read it until you’re blue in the face and nowhere does it men- tion any of the items I sell.
“2) You would think that Shopify, being such a popular platform, would have had other shop owners selling similar items and would have let me know upfront that this gateway isn’t an option instead of letting me set it all up and then ban me after I make my rst sale.
“3) You would think that having a list of prohibited item from guns, to tobacco, to timeshares, that they could throw in Vita- min B or Chia Seed Oil, after all the possi- ble liability from selling those items must be though the roof.
“Now, I am left with the prospect of moving my store to another platform be- cause as a new entrepreneur I can’t a ord to basically double my monthly expense just because Shopify wasn’t clear on their TOS. It seems the only ‘deceptive’ service was from Shopify. Had I known that to have a store with full payment gateway options was going to cost me $54/month instead of the basic $29/month plan, then I wouldn’t have wasted 3 months and 100s of hours of time on Shopify in the rst place. And a nal word, sorry for my rant, and yes I understand risk management, but the TOS is unacceptable.“
Health-researcher and author Bill Sardi recounts another horror story, “A dietary supplement company that had been doing business for over a decade online was in the middle of a December 2015 year-end sale when it ran out of the product. With the consent of consumers who wanted year-end pricing, orders were taken but not processed and a promise to ship in mid-Jan- uary 2016 was o ered.
“Three weeks went by before the com- pany could resume shipping. When they did, the huge jump in sales volume to make up for back orders caught the eye of a bank merchant account auditor. The merchant account service that processes all the online
“They are criminalizing the successful sale of dietary supplements arbitrarily via the online merchant rather than a regulatory agency.”
orders for this business called the company in question and wanted to know why the company was suddenly selling so much product.
“The bank, one of the biggest in the World, thought something fraudulent was going on and gave the vitamin company 10 days to nd another merchant account be- fore they would pull the plug. The dietary supplement company appealed but the bank merchant account service said they had reviewed the company’s website and found unsubstantiated advertising claims but refused to identify them. Their decision was nal. The company had been in good standing for over a decade and had never received a correction letter from the FDA or FTC.”4
As Sardi so aptly put it, “They are crim- inalizing the successful sale of dietary sup- plements arbitrarily via the online merchant rather than a regulatory agency.” I agree.
Sadly enough, these stories are just two of many. And they do not even take into account those start-up dietary-supplement businesses who applied for merchant ac- counts only to be turned down at because they were launching a “high risk” enter- prise.
Despite the pressure put by banks upon online and physical dietary-supplement and other such businesses, the merchant-ac- count business is still sufficiently com- petitive for businesses to be able to shop around, negotiate, and obtain better terms and conditions.
Possible Alternative Solutions
For those who absolutely cannot get reasonable merchant accounts, eChecks might be an alternative solution, or even an additional solution. In particular, many businesses are using Green Money (http:// www.green.money/echeck) for this online payment option for their customers. Along with Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies, this approach for making secure, online payments is growing rapidly.
Overall, in the United States, online sales of dietary supplements represent 15.5% of overall sales and are climbing. Still, according to Bill Sardi, new online supple- ment companies “are scrambling to nd merchant account services that will accept their business.”5
As you have seen, solutions exist; but be aware that those who fear the online sup- plement industry are trying to dismantle it one vendor at a time. And by doing so, they are also attacking us, the consumers. Cut- ting o the lines of supply is the oldest trick in warfare and the supplement industry is in a war promulgated by the pharmaceuti- cal industry and its government hatchmen. Dietary-supplement businesses can ght back by using the free market to nd com- petitive bids for their merchant accounts and by running a clean business that is be- yond reproach.
1. Kaylynn Chiarello-Ebner, “2017 Whole- Foods Magazine 39th Annual Retailer Survey Overview,” Whole Foods Maga- zine, December 28, 2016, at http://www. wholefoodsmagazine.com/supplements/ features-supplements/2017-whole- foods-magazine-39th-annual-retailer-sur- vey-overview/.
2. For an excellent and detailed explanation of merchant accounts and credit-card pro- cessing, see Amad Ebrahimi, “The Com- plete Guide to Credit Card Processing Rates & Fees,” Merchant Maverick, January 21, 2016, at https://www.merchantmaverick. com/the-complete-guide-to-credit-card- processing-rates-and-fees/.
3. Amad Ebrahimi, “Are You a High-Risk Merchant,” Merchant Maverick, January 10, 2016, at https://www.merchantmaverick. com/highrisk-merchant/.
4. Bill Sardi, “Department of Justice Now Uses Bankers as Henchmen to Strike O Online Dietary Supplement Marketers,” LewRockwell.com, July 7, 2016, at https:// www.lewrockwell.com/2016/07/bill-sardi/ doj-banker-henchmen/.
An Alternative Explanation
If you search the Amazon website for books about coconut oil, you will encounter a list of at least 70 books and counting. Many of the books claim various health bene ts for
coconut oil, which I am not denying are likely true.
However, the biggest best sellers in the category are by Bruce Fife with his series of Coconut Oil Miracle books. The books by Dr. Mary Newport also suggest that co- conut oil can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, where she recounts a number of amazing case studies including one about her husband.
Are the Bene ts from its Chain Length?
What most, if not all, of these books have in common is that they suggest coco- nut oil’s health bene ts come from the fact that coconut oil consists mainly of medi- um-length chains of fatty acids (MFAs).
The theory is that somehow the body can process MFAs much more easily than the longer-chain fatty acids that are found in vegetable oils such as olive oil; and that these MFAs are readily converted to ke- tones, which the brain cells can more e ec- tively use as fuel. The underlying theory as to how ketones help Alzheimer’s patients is that supposedly their brain cells have a problem utilizing glucose as fuel while ke- tones are much more easily used as energy. Not likely if you ask me!
Or Is Alzheimer’s Helped by Other Means?
I was always suspicious of the ketone idea, especially given that coconut oil seems to dramatically help Alzheimer’s pa- tients. You see, I am the author of a book about other treatments that have been found to work on Alzheimer’s patients. My book is titled Alzheimer’s Treatments That Actually Worked In Small Studies! (Based On New, Cutting-Edge, Correct Theory!) That Will Never Be Tested & You Will Never Hear About From Your MD Or Big Pharma!
Big Pharma would rather continue sell- ing drugs that have basically no e ect at all, such as Aricept and Namenda, at high pric- es to make high pro ts rather than promote something that is e ective but unpro table.
As it turns out, the naturally-occurring human hormone melatonin, which declines with age, seems to have the e ect of halting or even reversing Alzheimer’s as will be de- scribed shortly. Another substance that has been found to positively alter the course of Alzheimer’s is Lupron, which acts by sup- pressing the two human hormones FSH and LH, which increase with age.
Melatonin will never be studied by the large pharmaceutical companies in a big, expensive trial because it cannot be patented and thus generate any pro ts. What are the indications that melatonin works in treating Alzheimer’s? First, there was a mouse study of Alzheimer’s that showed that melatonin plus exercise re- versed Alzheimer-like symptoms. There is another case study out of Brazil of two identical twins who got Alzheimer’s at the same time. One took 6 mg of melatonin per night to sleep, the other did not. The mel- atonin-taking twin’s illness did not prog-
ress over a several-year period while the non-melatonin taking twin declined rapid- ly to the point he could barely hold his head up or speak.
And nally, there was a recent trial at the Buck Institute of Aging out of UCLA where they reversed early Alzheimer’s in a group of ten patients with a complicated protocol of many di erent vitamins and supplements, one of which was melatonin.
So, because of these facts, I have always suspected that if coconut oil had any e ect on Alzheimer’s patients, then it had to be at the hormonal level and likely had noth- ing to do with the length of the fatty-acid chain involved. I will touch on this more at the end of the article where a great surprise awaits you.
The Ketogenic Diet
Now let’s take a look at the ketogenic diet as being helpful in Alzheimer’s. Is this a real phenomenon?
There are two ways to boost ketones – a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, or a pro- longed period of fasting where your body breaks down and releases its own fats into the blood for energy.
A study in mice showed that a high-fat diet does reduce amyloid beta, but it did not improve Alzheimer’s-like behaviors in mice. But how did they generate the ke- tones? Not by reduced calories from fasting, but rather from feeding them a high- fat, low-carbohydrate diet.
I believe that you need to reduce calories to most evectively alter hormone levels. It is the changes in hormones from fasting and the ketogenic diet that I expect are actu- ally bene ting Alzheimer’s patients.
Although the research in this area is spotty at best, there is some evidence that producing ketones by fasting bene cially al- ters hormones more substantially than just by pursuing a high-fat diet. I say this with the caveat that there might be a few unique fats such as coconut oil that may also confer some of the bene ts of a fasting diet on Alz- heimer’s su erers.
Why do I believe a fasting diet should be the best way to treat Alzheimer’s as opposed to a high-fat diet? It has nothing to do with ketones. What it has to do with are the dra- matic hormone changes that one experiences while fasting.
In my 1998 paper on aging and hor- mones, I describe what happens to your hormones after ve days of fasting. Keep in mind that fasting is similar to short-term caloric restriction, and caloric restriction has been shown to extend the mean and maxi- mum life span of mice by up to 40%!
Here is what I wrote then, which is just as applicable today:
“Melatonin: the famine and drought hormone. During famine conditions or ca- loric restriction one would expect that in addition to the increase in cGMP activity, that an increase in cGMP stimulating hormones would be seen. Also, one would expect a de- cline in cAMP stimulating hormones. In a study of human males undergoing 5 days of fasting, the following hormone level changes were seen ... :
cAMP stimulating hormones:
TSH declined by 67% - as expected
LH decreased by 33% - as expected
FSH decreased by 33% - as expected Cortisol increased by 110% - unexpected Estrogen increased by 10% - unexpected
cGMP stimulating hormones
Melatonin increased +/- 100% in rats - as expected
GH increased 200%-400% in men - as ex- pected
DHEA-S increased 100% - expected
Testosterone decreased 50% - unexpected.” With all these considerations in mind, and my extreme doubts about the validity of the coconut oil/ketone hypothesis, I was able to convince a 30-year-old male acquain- tance of mine who had never taken any vitamins or supplements to volunteer for an experiment. His levels of the hormones pregnenolone, progesterone, and Vitamin D3 were tested. He was then asked to eat three tablespoons of coconut oil per day for one month. At that time, his hormones were tested again. To my surprise his progester- one did not change signi cantly, nor did his Vitamin D3. However, to my even greater surprise, his pregnenolone levels increased by 250%! (Unfortunately there was no test available for melatonin as blood has to be drawn a few hours after sleep to determine
the nighty time peak.)
Pregnenolone and Melatonin
Given that pregnenolone is often de- scribed as “the memory hormone,” can be easily converted to progesterone in the body, and has been shown in studies to improve the memories of old rats to the equivalent of young rats, we can start to see the real reason why coconut oil might be helping Alzheimer’s patients. The real mechanism of action is likely not ketones, but hormone changes. Elevated ketones I believe are just a side e ect of fasting or a ketogenic diet. The real medicinal agents are the associated hor- mone changes.
So how does melatonin t in with all these facts? It turns out that taking mela- tonin will signi cantly boost one’s proges- terone levels. Similar to pregnenolone, pro- gesterone is good for the brain and is known as one of the most neuroprotective substanc- es known to man.
Additional interesting facts – fasting in the past was used to treat epilepsy, and also there are a number of case studies where pregnenolone provided dramatic relief for some people with intractable epilepsy. Al- though there is no research on this that I can nd, I would expect that fasting will be found to cause a large increase in one’s pregnenolone levels.
Coconut Oil is Easy to Eat
And, nally, eating coconut oil is not dif- cult at all. In fact, if you sprinkle a little salt on it, it tastes very much like butter. I person- ally enjoy a bagel with coconut oil and salt with cherry preserves many mornings. I have also switched to using coconut oil for all my cooking, and even gured out how to make a very healthy coconut-oil popcorn snack by placing several spoonfuls of coconut oil in a large bowl, sprinkling in a layer of popcorn and covering the bowl with a paper plate and two rubber bands and cooking for 3-1⁄2 min- utes. Delicious. Enjoy!
García-Mesa Y, et al., “Melatonin plus physical exercise are highly neuroprotective in the 3xTg-AD mouse,” Neurobiol Aging, 2012 Jun;33(6):1124.e13-29; doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolag- ing.2011.11.016; Epub 2011 Dec 16.
Brusco LI, Márquez M, Cardinali DP, “Monozygotic twins with Alzheimer’s disease treated with melatonin: Case re- port,” J Pineal Res, 1998 Dec;25(4):260-3.
Bredesen DE, Amos EC, Canick J, Ackerley M, Raji C, Fiala M, Ahdidan J, “Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzhei- mer’s disease,” Aging (Albany, NY), 2016 Jun;8(6):1250-8. doi: 10.18632/aging.100981.
Van der Auwera, et al., “A ketogenic diet reduces amyloid beta 40 and 42 in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease,” Nutrition & Metabolism, 20052:28 DOI: 10.1186/1743-7075-2- 28.
Fraser DA, Thoen J, Djøseland O, Førre O, Kjeldsen-Kragh J, “Serum levels of interleukin-6 and dehydroepiandroste- rone sulphate in response to either fasting or a ketogenic diet in rheumatoid arthritis patients,” Clin Exp Rheumatol, 2000 May-Jun;18(3):357-62.
Bowles JT, “The evolution of aging: a new approach to an old problem of biology,” Med Hypotheses, 1998 Sep;51(3):179- 221.
Veldhuis JD, Iranmanesh A, Evans WS, Lizarralde G, Thorne MO, Vance ML, “Amplitude suppression of the pulsatile mode of immunoradiometric LH release in fast- ing-induced hypoandrogenemia in normal men,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 76 (3). 1993. 587-593. Bu J, Zu H, “E ects of pregnenolone intervention on the cholinergic system and synaptic protein 1 in aged rats,” Int J Neurosci, 2014 Feb;124(2):117-24. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2013.824437; Epub 2013 Nov 11.
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Vuole rendere obbligatorie le vaccinazioni ai bambini e multare i genitori che si opporranno.
Il tasso di vaccinazione volontaria in Italia si aggira sul 90-95% ed è il tasso piu’ alto in Europa.
In Italia non ci sono emergenze epidemiche, ma il Ministro Lorenzin vuole forzare questa vaccinazione di massa sui bambini.
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