Soyalism | DW Documentary – Video 42 min

DW Documentary – Feb 21, 2020 – Video 42 min

VIDEO 42 min

VIDEO Teaser 2:37

Industrial agriculture is increasingly dominating the world market. It’s forcing small farmers to quit and taking over vast swathes of land. This documentary shows how destructive the lucrative agribusiness is.

Whether in the USA, Brazil, Mozambique or China, agricultural giants rule the market. Food production has become a gigantic business as climate change and population growth continue. This is having devastating consequences for small farmers and for the environment. On the banks of North Carolina’s New River, there’s a vile stench. Clean water activist Rick Dove takes a flight to show us what’s causing the smell. Scores and scores of pigs are living upriver, in so many pens the farms look more like small towns. “We have eight to ten million pigs here. And the problem is that they are kept so close together and their excrement pollutes and threatens the water and natural life on the North Carolina coastline.” From above, you can see large cesspools everywhere, shimmering red-brown in the sun. Dove is giving us a bird’s-eye view of industrialized agriculture. In the late 1970s, companies in the US began to industrialize farming. Large corporations like Smithfield built entire value chains, from raising livestock to slaughter to packaging and sales. A Chinese holding company bought Smithfield a few years ago. Industrial meat production is supposed to support increased Chinese demand for meat as the country’s prosperity grows. Dan Basse is the head of a company analyses global agriculture. He says calorie demand will also increase in countries like India, Bangladesh and Nigeria in the next few years.” And with it, the demand for even more inexpensive meat of the kind agribusinesses produce and market.

Dr. Paul Connett on the Historic Trial That Could End Water Fluoridation – Video 29 min

The Conscious Resistance – Feb 24, 2020 – Video 29 min

Journalist Derrick Broze interviews Dr. Paul Connett

Journalist Derrick Broze interview Dr. Paul Connett of the Fluoride Action Network regarding the upcoming trial between FAN and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This trial could spell the end of the practice of water fluoridation. www.fluoridealert.org

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Deadly Waste from Raw Materials | DW Documentary – 42 min

DW Documentary – Feb 23, 2020 – Video 42 min

Deadly Waste from Raw Materials – Video 42 min

Huge quantities of raw materials are needed for mobile phones, copper pipes or wind turbines. Things that we Europeans naturally use are produced in South America under the harshest conditions. It’s a filthy business.

Latin American politicians are still relying on exports of raw materials to fuel unchecked economic growth – policies that go back more than 400 years to colonial times. The price is paid by the very same people who are affected by the consequences. The Europeans who benefit from the raw materials from South America are partly to blame. Cerro de Pasco in Peru is considered one of the dirtiest cities in the world because of its proximity to Swiss company Glencore’s gigantic open-cast mine, which extracts zinc, silver and lead for the world market. Anyone living in Cerro de Pasco absorbs heavy metals via tap water. The levels it contains are well above the World Health Organization’s threshold values. La Rinconada, what was once a small village 5,000 meters up in the Andes, has been gripped by gold fever for more than ten years and its population has exploded to more than 50,000 in that time. Gold from there is usually flown to Switzerland by courier. At the same time, La Rinconada itself has degenerated into a vast garbage dump, with rubbish piled up for miles at the entry to the town.

The greed for raw materials is growing and growing – and recently triggered a disaster in Brazil. At the Brumadinho iron ore mine in January 2019, a retention basin burst and buried more than 250 people in toxic sludge. Previously, Germany’s TÜV technical aid organization had classified the reservoir as safe. An earlier, similar accident didn’t result in tougher laws and the mine operators did not even pay the fines imposed on them by the courts. The new president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, also continues to focus on deregulation. Before the disaster, he even wanted to leave the safety controls to the mine operators themselves. The unregulated mining of raw materials is rapidly spreading across South America, even into what were largely undeveloped regions. Indigenous populations are putting up a fight – and often paying with their lives.

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US EPA Continues Glyphosate Cancer Cover Up with Regulatory Review Publication

Sustainable Pulse – Jan 31, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has continued its glyphosate cover-up by announcing Thursday that they have finished and published their regulatory review and found that glyphosate is ‘not a carcinogen’.

In a statement released Thursday the agency said; “EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen.”

The EPA’s findings contradict the findings of a working group of 17 experts from 11 countries from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), who in 2015 classified glyphosate as a ‘Probable Human Carcinogen’.

Also in 2015 Sustainable Pulse uncovered a 30 year cover up by Monsanto and the EPA, related to the probable carcinogenicty of glyphosate, the World’s most used herbicide and according to Sustainable Pulse Director, Henry Rowlands, “as expected the cover-up simply continues.”

Rowlands continued “One thing that helps the EPA continue to assist companies such as Bayer/Monsanto to harm public health, is the fact that there are a lack of independent comprehensive studies out there on the harm being caused globally by glyphosate-based herbicides, due to a lack of available funding. This is something that the Global Glyphosate Study is trying to put right.”

Bayer / Monsanto, which produces the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, is currently facing more than 75,000 court cases in the U.S., some of which have already proven that Roundup is carcinogenic and specifically that it causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Dr. Charles Benbrook, Project Coordinator of the Heartland Study, reacted to the EPA’s announcement; “I am flabbergasted at this decision. There is NOTHING — ZERO — in the EPA decision to reduce worker exposures and risks.

How can the EPA ignore the thousands of comments highlighting the need for EPA to recover its spine and require Bayer/Monsanto and other registrants to take out the high-risk surfactants in glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs), so the GBHs sold in the US are as safe as the reformulated products now sold in Europe?

And why did the EPA not require registrants to add onto labels a requirement for mixer-loaders and applicators to wear gloves, long sleeve pants, chemical-resistant shoes (aka  rubber boots), especially for applicators using hand-held equipment and spraying a GBH for several hours per day, over many days per year, as part of their job, or in keeping up with weeds on their rural property, homestead, or farm?

This irresponsible action by the EPA sets the stage for a concerted campaign by activists and public health advocates to ban all uses of GBHs. For obvious reasons, their prime target won’t be this EPA, and will instead focus on major food companies.”

Food companies are already reacting in the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe by signing up to The Detox Project’s Glyphosate Residue Free certification for their products, which is now one of the fastest growing certifications in North America.

“It is time for consumers to show our industry-supporting government regulators that it really doesn’t matter if they try to hide the truth, we can all make a difference by forcing change at the check-out,” Rowlands concluded.

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“We don’t want to be activists” – African organic expert’s message to Biofach audience

Natural Products – Feb 20, 2020 – Jim Manson

Dr. David M. Amudavi, executive director of the Nairobi, Kenya-headquartered Biovision Africa Trust, told a session on global trends in organic that while conventional agriculture remained the major focus across the continent, more interest was now being shown in organic. 

“The space for organic has historically been limited, but research has demonstrated very effectively that organic farming can contribute to increased yields and lower cost of inputs of production,” Amudavi said. He added that “important new initiatives|” were also demonstrating organic “important contribution to climate change mitigation”.

Amudavi said that the amount of organic farming in Africa remains modest. Organic land in the 10 countries on the continent with the highest amount of organic farming totals around 2 million hectares, world by 789,000 producers (with Tunisia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Keyna taking the top five positions). 

Amudavi says the that more research and improved data capture is needed. “We need the type of research effort that made the Green Revolution happen. We don’t want to be activists – we want to present the research evidence, the economic argument for organic. If the case is strong and supported by research we are less vulnerable to criticism. We need to get beyond the question that policy-makers so often ask, ‘can organic feed the continent?’.”

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Which milk alternative should we be drinking?

BBC Future – Feb 10, 2020 – Kelly Oakes

Plant based milk

Milk drinkers are turning their backs on dairy in favour of plant-based milks billed as kinder to the planet. Are they all more sustainable than cow’s milk?

You don’t need to go far today to find some kind of plant-based milk. Soy and rice milk are no longer confined to the dusty shelves of health food stores, and other substitutes like oat, coconut, and even hemp milk are now widespread in coffee shops and supermarket aisles.

While in the past those who opted for almond rather than dairy milk might have done so to take a stand for animal rights or because they’re lactose intolerant, many people are now switching to plant-based milks in response to the growing climate crisis. So which one is actually best for the environment? And how do they stack up against dairy in terms of nutrition?

The good news is that most – perhaps all – non-dairy milks come out better than cow’s milk when you look at their carbon emissions, how much land they take up and how much water they use.

Joseph Poore, a researcher at the University of Oxford, published a study in 2018 which looked at the environmental footprint of some food and drink. Later he extended the analysis to include plant-based milks, looking at the impact of soy, oat, rice, and almond milk on the environment. He found that all of those plant milks fared better than cow’s milk.

In terms of carbon emissions, almond, oat, soy, and rice milk are all responsible for around a third or less of the emissions dairy milk puts out, with almonds the lowest of the bunch at 0.7kg per litre, followed by oat (0.9kg), soy (1kg), then rice (1.2kg). Dairy milk is responsible for 3.2kg of emissions per litre of milk.

Land use shows an even more dramatic split, with nine square metres of land needed to produce just a litre of dairy milk, compared with less than a one square metre for plant-based milks, ranging from 0.3 sq m for rice milk to 0.8 sq m for oat milk.

Even almond milk, a notorious water-hogger, takes less water to produce than dairy – needing on average 371 litres of water per litre of milk produced, compared to dairy milk’s 628 litres. Rice milk follows shortly behind, needing 270 litres of water per litre of milk. Soy and oat, on the other hand, need just 28 and 48 respectively.

In fact, for some plant milks, the environmental impact of the crop itself is almost negligible in comparison to dairy. “The environmental impact of the milk itself, the soy milk and the oat milk for example, is so small that it is actually the packaging and the transport that becomes the dominant component,” says Poore.

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