The world’s insect population has declined by three quarters in the last 30 years and many species have become extinct. And it’s all man’s fault. This documentary looks at the dramatic consequences of this hitherto unrecognized catastrophe.
The results of long-term monitoring published in 2017 have confirmed that as much as 75 percent of the world’s insect population has disappeared in the last 30 years. The extent of species extinction is so vast that many researchers fear that it will knock the entire natural cycle of life out of balance. Not only the decline of the bee population but mass insect mortality as a whole will have devastating consequences for all the Earth’s inhabitants. Top scientists from around the globe are warning that the developments are much more widespread and serious than anyone had realized. Many animals feed on insects. Insects also help to convert dead tissue into nutrient-rich soil. In addition, they even regulate each other. Species that humans see as pests are often the preferred prey of useful predators. But massive human intervention has thrown the functioning balance in the insect world out of whack. Chemical poisons, the progressive sealing of soils and the widespread use of fertilizers are affecting the world’s most species-rich animal class. This documentary looks at current studies and explains what is going wrong and where urgent action is needed. There’s still some hope: although many species have been irrevocably lost, mass extinction in the insect kingdom could still be stopped – but only if humans finally begin to act against it. And we’re running out of time.
Natural News – Thursday, April 04, 2019 by: Earl Garcia
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, which affects more than 18 million Americans, may be something that is all in the mind, a new study claims. Australian scientist Peter Gibson, who ironically confirmed in a 2011 study that patients without Celiac Disease can otherwise be sensitive to gluten, now refutes his previous findings with his new research.
Gibson examined 37 self-identified patients with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) who were given gluten-containing meals at varying levels for two weeks. Research data revealed that gluten-specific effects were observed in only 8% of respondents. However, these gluten-specific effects were not reproduced, suggesting that there is no evidence linking dose-dependent gluten intake and gastrointestinal discomfort in self-identified patients with NCGS. “In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten,” Gibson said.
Glyphosate-contaminated wheat might be behind gastrointestinal issues
While current research debunks the correlation between gluten consumption and NCGS-related discomfort, the bigger issue at hand might be the culprit for such occurrence –glyphosate contamination.
The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) classifies glyphosate as an herbicide and is used to help promote plant growth. It was first registered in the U.S. in 1974 and has since become the most widely-used herbicide on the market. According to the NPIC, glyphosate is not likely to evaporate after being sprayed. It is considered a probable human carcinogen according to the World Health Organization’s Agency for Research on Cancer.
Glyphosate is sprayed directly on crops – including soy, corn, canola and sugar beet – that are genetically modified to resist it. The toxic chemical is also being sprayed on staple crops such as wheat, barley and oats, ahead of harvest. Wheat in all its forms – such as cold cereals and bagels – is a readily available breakfast fix for most parts of the world. Alarming reports of glyphosate contamination has been raising food safety concerns for years.
An April 2016 report by the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) USA revealed that 10 of 24 breakfast foods examined tested positive for some levels of glyphosate. Included in these breakfast items were whole-wheat bagels and oatmeal, as well as eggs, yogurt and coffee creamers. The ANH said the results show that the toxic herbicide is entering the market in many ways, either being sprayed directly on crops like wheat or through livestock feed. “The fact that it is showing up in foods like eggs and coffee creamer, which don’t directly contact the herbicide, shows that it’s being passed on by animals who ingest it in their feed,” Gretchen DuBeau, executive and legal director of ANH-USA stated.
Nonprofit organizations Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project also released a report in November 2016, which compiled a list of food products that contain glyphosate residue. Included on the list are wheat-based products such as a cold cereal and whole-wheat crackers. The testing was carried out at Anresco, an FDA-registered laboratory. “Frankly, such a high level of glyphosate contamination … [is] alarming and should be a wake-up call for any parent trying to feed their children safe, healthy and non-toxic food,” said Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!
Study is the latest evidence that glyphosate herbicides are so pervasive that residues can be found in foods not produced by farmers using glyphosate.
As U.S. regulators continue to dance around the issue of testing foods for residues of glyphosate weed killers, government scientists in Canada have found the pesticide in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.
The authors of the study, all of whom work for Agri-Food Laboratories at the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, said the prevalence of glyphosate residues in honey samples – 98.5 percent – was higher than what was reported in several similar studies done over the last five years in other countries.
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide and is the active ingredient in Roundup brands as well as hundreds of others sold around the world for agriculture and other purposes. Use has grown dramatically over the last 25 years and consumers have become concerned about residues of the herbicide in their food.
The data provides fresh evidence that glyphosate herbicides are so pervasive in the environment that residues can be found even in a food that is not produced by farmers using glyphosate. The researchers noted in their report that they ran into delays trying to calibrate their testing equipment “due to difficulties encountered in obtaining a honey sample which did not contain traces of glyphosate.”
Bees pick up traces of pesticides as they move from plant to plant, unintentionally transferring residues from crops or weeds sprayed with glyphosate back to their hives.
In a different study, researchers on the Hawaiian island of Kauai took honey directly from 59 bee hives and found glyphosate residues in 27 percent of them. The Hawaiian researchers said bee hives located near farming areas as well as golf courses where glyphosate is used had higher concentrations of the pesticide.
The Canadian report also comes amid growing evidence that glyphosate herbicides can cause cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. On Tuesday a jury in San Francisco unanimously found that Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide made popular by chemical manufacturer Monsanto Co., use was a “substantial factor” in causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in a California man. That echoed a similar unanimous jury verdict handed down in August in a separate case in which a cancer victim also alleged his disease was due to exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides.
Both verdicts came after plaintiffs’ lawyers presented evidence of multiple studies showing the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate herbicides, including one published last month in a journal whose editor is a senior scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Canadians’ decision to examine honey samples for glyphosate comes after a similar look at honey samples by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration chemist in 2017. That FDA scientist found all 28 honey samples he looked at had traces of glyphosate, with 61 percent of the samples having enough glyphosate to be measured. The other samples had residues of the herbicide too slight to measure.
On Contact: Chris Hedges interviews Vandana Shiva, Mar 30, 2019 – 27 min
This week Monsanto/Bayer AG was ordered by a California federal court to pay $80 million to Edwin Hardeman after a jury found its weed killer, Roundup, caused his cancer. The case is just one of thousands of lawsuits filed against the company over plaintiff’s use of the glyphosate-based herbicide. In 2015, the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans. The Food and Drug Administration has concluded the herbicide is not likely carcinogenic to humans. In August 2018, a jury in California state court awarded a school’s groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, nearly $289 million in damages. The verdict was later reduced to $78 million and is on appeal. In this conversation with Chris Hedges, environmental activist and author, Vandana Shiva, talks about Monsanto/Bayer AG and other big AG players interests in India and her fight to protect life forms, seed varieties and farmers.
Also, TVOntario has responded after CBAN’s on-air challenge. Many of you wrote to the TV station after CBAN’s coordinator Lucy Sharratt pointed out, on-air, that the three other panellists on the show about GMOs shared funding from the same huge biotech corporations, Bayer and Syngenta. In response, TVO has broadcast an interview with US professor Marion Nestle, discussing the impacts of industry influence over research, and the need for broadcasters to disclose the industry funding of guests.
VN Express International – By Phan Anh March 26, 2019
Vietnam has issued a ban on fresh imports of glyphosate-containing herbicides after a U.S. court ruled they are carcinogenic.
A U.S. court ruled last Tuesday that Roundup, a weed killer produced and sold by controversial American agrochemical giant Monsanto, causes cancer.
Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department has asked businesses to stop signing new import contracts for glyphosate-based herbicides.
Products already in circulation are not affected by this decision, however.
“As soon as we heard the second U.S. trial’s verdict that glyphosate is related to cancer, we have issued a document to ban new herbicide imports containing the active ingredient. The removal of this substance from the list of usable herbicides in Vietnam will also be issued in the near future,” a Tuoi Tre report quoted Hoang Trung, head of the Plant Protection Department, as saying.
The department also asked businesses, organizations and individuals to report back on the production, sales and storage of glyphosate-based herbicides.
Last Tuesday, the San Francisco federal court ruled that Roundup, a glyphosate-based weed killer produced by Monsanto, could cause cancer.
The finding was a unanimous jury decision, Reuters reported.
German pharmaceutical firm Bayer, which acquired Monsanto for $63 billion last year, has denied that glyphosate or Roundup causes cancer, and said that it was disappointed with the jury’s decision.
A study by researchers from the University of Washington last month said glyphosate raised the cancer risk of those exposed to it by 41 percent, CNN reported.
Specifically, the chemical increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
“All of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: exposure to GBHs (glyphosate-based herbicides) are associated with an increased risk of NHL,” wrote the study’s authors in a paper published by journal Mutation Research.
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used weed killer. Monsanto’s Roundup was the first glyphosate-based weed killer but is no longer patent-protected and many other versions are now available.
In Vietnam, glyphosate-based herbicides are also widely used, said Trung. The country uses about 30,000 tons of the chemical every year, in which 60 percent are from herbicides, local media reported. It is not clear what the remaining 40 percent of the chemical is used for.
This is not the first time Monsanto’s been accused of making products with adverse effects on human health. Vietnam has repeatedly asked that Monsanto and other U.S. firms compensate Vietnamese victims affected by Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant containing the gene-altering dioxin, during the Vietnam War.
Monsanto has also been in the news for spending millions of dollars to stop a regulation that would require mandatory labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
Monsanto has also been ordered by the U.S. courts several times to pay compensation to American plaintiffs who have suffered health issues from exposure to the company’s products.
A California man was awarded $289 million in August after a U.S. court jury found Roundup caused his cancer. That award was later reduced to $78 million and is on appeal, AFP reported.