Tag Archives: myths

The Coronavirus Outbreak: What The World Health Organization Isn’t Telling You

Dr. Rath Health Foundation – Feb 7, 2020 – Paul Anthony Taylor

An outbreak of a new coronavirus was identified in the city of Wuhan in China in early December 2019. A large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious ones such as ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome’ (SARS), coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people. With the mainstream media stoking up panic over the outbreak and government reactions growing more dramatic by the day, advice for the public provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) has once again failed to make any mention of the safety and effectiveness of natural therapies against viral diseases.

Designated 2019-nCoV, the new coronavirus was declared a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ by the WHO on 30 January 2020. Under international health regulations adopted in 2005, such a declaration gives the WHO enhanced powers to coordinate a global response.

On 3 February, with China accusing the United States of causing panic and spreading fear over the outbreak, shares on the Chinese Shanghai stock market suffered their biggest fall in four years. Financial analysts began appearing in the media claiming the virus could result in a global economic slowdown.

On 6 February the WHO reported there were 28,276 confirmed cases of the virus. The vast majority of these (28,060) were in China, where there had been 564 deaths. The remaining 216 cases came from a total of 24 additional countries and had resulted in one death.

Is the coronavirus panic justified?

In reality, many people who contract the new coronavirus will experience only mild symptoms, such as fever, coughing and respiratory problems. Many may be unwell and not even realize they have the virus. This essentially makes it impossible to know for sure how many cases of the virus there really are. In all likelihood the actual number of people affected globally could be significantly higher than that quoted by the WHO.

Despite the dramatic headlines in the mainstream media, most people who contract the virus can expect to make a full recovery. However, it can pose a risk for the elderly and people suffering from pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, cancer and immune-related problems.

By means of a comparison, the World Health Organization’s own estimates show that annual influenza epidemics result in a global total of up to 5 million severe cases of illness each year, causing up to 650,000 deaths.

At national level, estimates from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that between 1 October 2019 and 25 January 2020 there had been up to 26 million cases of influenza in the United States alone. These may have resulted in up to 310,000 hospitalizations and 25,000 deaths.

Clearly therefore, both in terms of the number of cases and the resulting deaths, the scale of the threat posed to human health and life by influenza is far greater than that posed by the new coronavirus.

Natural ways to protect yourself from viral diseases

It is a scientific fact that all viruses that have been investigated can be blocked by specific micronutrients. In particular, vitamin C is known to decrease or completely block the replication of all viruses it is applied to. Even in cells chronically infected with HIV, vitamin C has been shown to reduce viral replication by more than 99 percent. It is also known that all viruses spread in the body using enzymes known as collagenases. Such enzymes can be partially or completely blocked by means of the amino acid lysine. The effectiveness of micronutrients in improving immune function is already part of every textbook of biology.

Dr. Rath’s research has shown that a specific combination of micronutrients can support and enhance the immune system. In addition to vitamin C, they include vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, iron, magnesium and calcium.

 VITAMIN CVitamin C has proven beneficial effects on immune function.
 VITAMIN A – Studies show that having a sufficient amount of vitamin A is essential for immunity.
VITAMIN E Vitamin E is an important micronutrient for maintaining the immune system.
VITAMIN B6Vitamin B6 has been shown to increase immune responses, even in critically ill patients
VITAMIN B12Vitamin B12 plays a key role in cellular immunity.
FOLIC ACID – Folic acid is proven to assist normal immune cell function.
IRON – A lack of iron negatively affects immune response.
CALCIUM – A properly balanced

Why the WHO isn’t telling you this

Given the existence of scientific knowledge on safe and effective natural ways to control viral epidemics, we have to ask ourselves why it is that the WHO is failing to share this lifesaving information with the people of the world. The answer is simple: the WHO primarily serves the interests of the trillion-dollar-a-year pharmaceutical industry.

For anyone who doubts this, consider the fact that multinational pharmaceutical companies and their investors figure prominently among the WHO’s donors. Multibillionaire Bill Gates’ foundation is now the WHO’s second largest funder after the United States government. The Gates Foundation spends billions of dollars on drug research. Tellingly, it is also closely involved with the pharma industry in a billion-dollar research initiative to prepare for future viral epidemics.

By failing to share scientific knowledge on safe and effective natural ways to control viral epidemics, the WHO has failed to live up to its claimed mission of promoting health, keeping the world safe, and serving the vulnerable. Ultimately, therefore, to achieve a world in which all peoples attain the highest possible level of health, the WHO will eventually have to be replaced with a new global body tasked with making natural preventive health approaches a human right. Such a global body will see promoting science-based natural health education as one of its highest priority tasks.

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Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

The Conversation – Apr 3, 2017

David R. Montgomery – Professor of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington

Planting a diverse blend of crops and cover crops, and not tilling, helps promote soil health. Catherine Ulitsky, USDA/FlickrCC BY

One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the world using fewer agrochemicals.

When I embarked on a six-month trip to visit farms around the world to research my forthcoming book, “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life,” the innovative farmers I met showed me that regenerative farming practices can restore the world’s agricultural soils. In both the developed and developing worlds, these farmers rapidly rebuilt the fertility of their degraded soil, which then allowed them to maintain high yields using far less fertilizer and fewer pesticides.

Their experiences, and the results that I saw on their farms in North and South Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ghana and Costa Rica, offer compelling evidence that the key to sustaining highly productive agriculture lies in rebuilding healthy, fertile soil. This journey also led me to question three pillars of conventional wisdom about today’s industrialized agrochemical agriculture: that it feeds the world, is a more efficient way to produce food and will be necessary to feed the future.

Myth 1: Large-scale agriculture feeds the world today

According to a recent U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, family farms produce over three-quarters of the world’s food. The FAO also estimates that almost three-quarters of all farms worldwide are smaller than one hectare – about 2.5 acres, or the size of a typical city block.

A Ugandan farmer transports bananas to market. Most food consumed in the developing world is grown on small family farms. Svetlana Edmeades/IFPRI/FlickrCC BY-NC-ND

Only about 1 percent of Americans are farmers today. Yet most of the world’s farmers work the land to feed themselves and their families. So while conventional industrialized agriculture feeds the developed world, most of the world’s farmers work small family farms. A 2016 Environmental Working Group report found that almost 90 percent of U.S. agricultural exports went to developed countries with few hungry people.

Of course the world needs commercial agriculture, unless we all want to live on and work our own farms. But are large industrial farms really the best, let alone the only, way forward? This question leads us to a second myth.

Myth 2: Large farms are more efficient

Many high-volume industrial processes exhibit efficiencies at large scale that decrease inputs per unit of production. The more widgets you make, the more efficiently you can make each one. But agriculture is different. A 1989 National Research Council study concluded that “well-managed alternative farming systems nearly always use less synthetic chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and antibiotics per unit of production than conventional farms.”

And while mechanization can provide cost and labor efficiencies on large farms, bigger farms do not necessarily produce more food. According to a 1992 agricultural census report, small, diversified farms produce more than twice as much food per acre than large farms do.

Even the World Bank endorses small farms as the way to increase agricultural output in developing nations where food security remains a pressing issue. While large farms excel at producing a lot of a particular crop – like corn or wheat – small diversified farms produce more food and more kinds of food per hectare overall.

Myth 3: Conventional farming is necessary to feed the world

We’ve all heard proponents of conventional agriculture claim that organic farming is a recipe for global starvation because it produces lower yields. The most extensive yield comparison to date, a 2015 meta-analysis of 115 studies, found that organic production averaged almost 20 percent less than conventionally grown crops, a finding similar to those of prior studies.

But the study went a step further, comparing crop yields on conventional farms to those on organic farms where cover crops were planted and crops were rotated to build soil health. These techniques shrank the yield gap to below 10 percent.

The authors concluded that the actual gap may be much smaller, as they found “evidence of bias in the meta-dataset toward studies reporting higher conventional yields.” In other words, the basis for claims that organic agriculture can’t feed the world depend as much on specific farming methods as on the type of farm.

Cover crops planted on wheat fields in The Dalles, Oregon. Garrett Duyck, NRCS/FlickrCC BY-ND

Consider too that about a quarter of all food produced worldwide is never eaten. Each year the United States alone throws out 133 billion pounds of food, more than enough to feed the nearly 50 million Americans who regularly face hunger. So even taken at face value, the oft-cited yield gap between conventional and organic farming is smaller than the amount of food we routinely throw away.

Building healthy soil

Conventional farming practices that degrade soil health undermine humanity’s ability to continue feeding everyone over the long run. Regenerative practices like those used on the farms and ranches I visited show that we can readily improve soil fertility on both large farms in the U.S. and on small subsistence farms in the tropics.

I no longer see debates about the future of agriculture as simply conventional versus organic. In my view, we’ve oversimplified the complexity of the land and underutilized the ingenuity of farmers. I now see adopting farming practices that build soil health as the key to a stable and resilient agriculture. And the farmers I visited had cracked this code, adapting no-till methods, cover cropping and complex rotations to their particular soil, environmental and socioeconomic conditions.

Whether they were organic or still used some fertilizers and pesticides, the farms I visited that adopted this transformational suite of practices all reported harvests that consistently matched or exceeded those from neighboring conventional farms after a short transition period. Another message was as simple as it was clear: Farmers who restored their soil used fewer inputs to produce higher yields, which translated into higher profits.

Soil building practices, like no-till and composting, can build soil organic matter and improve soil fertility David Montgomery, Author provided

No matter how one looks at it, we can be certain that agriculture will soon face another revolution. For agriculture today runs on abundant, cheap oil for fuel and to make fertilizer – and our supply of cheap oil will not last forever. There are already enough people on the planet that we have less than a year’s supply of food for the global population on hand at any one time. This simple fact has critical implications for society.

So how do we speed the adoption of a more resilient agriculture? Creating demonstration farms would help, as would carrying out system-scale research to evaluate what works best to adapt specific practices to general principles in different settings.

We also need to reframe our agricultural policies and subsidies. It makes no sense to continue incentivizing conventional practices that degrade soil fertility. We must begin supporting and rewarding farmers who adopt regenerative practices.

Once we see through myths of modern agriculture, practices that build soil health become the lens through which to assess strategies for feeding us all over the long haul. Why am I so confident that regenerative farming practices can prove both productive and economical? The farmers I met showed me they already are.

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Genetic Engineering Will Not “Feed the World” CBAN

Many supporters of genetic engineering (also called genetic modifications or GM) argue that GM crops are needed to stop global hunger. They say the technology will increase crop yields and allow us to produce enough food to feed the world’s growing population.

But the world already produces enough food to feed 10 billion people, which is the number our population is predicted to reach by 2050. And where there is hunger, it is mainly a result of poverty and inequality, not insufficient food production.

The reality is that people go hungry today because they lack the money to buy food or because they do not have access to the land, water and the other resources they need to grow food themselves.GM crops do not address these causes of hunger and, so far, they are not increasing global food production.

GM CROPS DO NOT INCREASE GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION

The evidence to date shows that genetic engineering has not contributed to an increase in crop yields. Overall, conventionally bred non-GM varieties remain more effective and are less costly to develop. It is these seeds – not the GM traits added to them – that account for yield increases seen in crops like soy and corn. This explains why yields for corn and canola in Western Europe, where GM varieties are not grown, have increased at a similar rate to, or higher rate than North America where production is dominated by GM varieties.

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