statism watch

Bee decline could be down to chemical cocktail interfering with brains

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Related: Indian Scientists: Mobile phones responsible for disappearance of honey bee | Bee population feels sting of cold, parasites as N.B. population drops | Bee expert takes issue with dated UN data minimizing honeybee deaths | Bayer on defensive in bee deaths

Alok Jha, The Guardian
June 22, 2010

£10m Insect Pollinators Initiative will look at the multiple reasons thought to be behind devastation of bees, moths and hoverflies

A cocktail of chemicals from pesticides could be damaging the brains of British bees, according to scientists about to embark on a study into why the populations of the insects have dropped so rapidly in recent decades. By affecting the way bees’ brains work, the pesticides might be affecting the ability of bees to find food or communicate with others in their colonies.

Neuroscientists at Dundee University, Royal Holloway and University College London will investigate the hypothesis as part of a £10m research programme launched today aimed at finding ways to stop the decline in the numbers of bees and other insect pollinators in the UK.

Insects such as bees, moths and hoverflies pollinate around a third of the agricultural crops grown around the world. If all of the UK’s insect pollinators were wiped out, the drop in crop production would cost the UK economy up to £440m a year, equivalent to around 13% of the UK’s income from farming.

Pollinators are also crucial for the quality of fruits and vegetables. Perfectly shaped strawberries, for example, are created only if every single ovary has been pollinated by an insect. And the number of seeds in a pumpkin depends on the number of species of insects that have pollinated the plants. “If you’ve got 10 pollinators, you’ll get more seeds in the pumpkin than you would have got if you’ve just got one pollinator,” said Giles Budge of the Food and Environment Research Agency. “It is important to have that diversity in a pollinating population.”

According to the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, three of the 25 British species of bumblebees are already extinct and half of the remainder have shown serious declines, often up to 70%, since around the 1970s. In addition, around 75% of all butterfly species in the UK have been shown to be in decline. The new £10m Insect Pollinators Initiative (IPI), the largest programme to date of its kind, will look at the multiple reasons thought to be behind this devastation in insect population.

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Federal product safety seizure bill C6 back from the dead

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Bill c6 is back. And so are the questions around who deems natural health products to be safe or unsafe and why Health Canada – which apparently does get funding from industry – will be given broad new powers to storm home offices and regulate . While the point has been made that some of the criticism of Bill C6′s predecessor, Bill C51 may have been a little overblown owing to the funding of one major opposition campaign by a supplements company, there are real concerns which can’t simply be waved off despite the obvious package dealing being employed (which rolls supplements into food safety into concerns about toxic Chinese products). Just recently, it was determined by administrative fiat that vitamins would be removed from the shelves of pharmacies, underscoring the natural health product industry’s fears that various traditional remedies would be persona non grata under the new regulatory regime.

While the Canadian Senate was able to water down some of the powers of Health Canada inspectors to storm homes and places of business in search of ‘dangerous’ and unsafe products, much of that language survives in this new incarnation. There’s a new warrant provision for search, great, but it doesn’t mean Health Canada has to go before a judge to get a warrant – all they have to do is pick up a phone. Last year, the National Post’s blustering indignation at Senate resistance to the bill which would “harmonize” Canadian legislation with American and EU regulation spoke volumes. This is really about Codex, after all. UN Codex Alimentarius guidelines present ‘guidelines’ (which compliant nations go on to enshrine in regulation) which suggest WTO partners ban the sale of food products that claim health benefits and regulate their potency. That’s the loophole that has brought you a wide range of herbal products, allowing you to make up your own mind about their efficacy. Is this a right we want to see vanish as Health Canada proceeds to micromanage all such products under the pharmaceutical model?

Related: Stop selling unlicensed natural health remedies: pharmacy regulators | Passage of Bill C-6 Imminent, Gives Health Canada Warrantless Search and Seizure Powers | US House approves sweeping new food powers for FDA | Listeriosis report urges cleanliness and — increased federalization of food safety | New Ontario regulations forcing local butchers out of market | SWAT Teams raiding Amish, Food Co-ops in Rural US | Ottawa to revive bill restricting natural health products | Naturopaths Fear Proposed Bill C-51 | Canada’s C-51 Law May Outlaw 60% Of Natural Health Products | Codex Alimentarius Commission adopts more than 50 new food standards

CBC News
June 9, 2010

The federal government is taking a third shot at passing a new consumer protection law to replace the 40-year-old Hazardous Products Act.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq told a news briefing in Ottawa Wednesday that the new legislation will ban the manufacturing, import or marketing of any product considered unsafe.

It will also require manufacturers or importers to report any serious incident or death involving its products. They’ll also be obliged to present Health Canada with any test results if asked.

The bill also gives the federal government the power to initiate a product recall, even if a manufacturer or importer refuses. Under the current law, the government can request a recall but not order one.

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UK will open door to GMO frankenfoods, minister suggests

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Related: Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality | EU Embargoes Canada’s GMO-sabotaged Flax Industry | Monsanto’s GMO Corn Linked To Organ Failure, Study Reveals | Canada’s flax crop mysteriously contaminated by GM seeds | Britain will starve without GM crops, says major report | It is too late to shut the door on GM foods | Organic food no more nutritious, study finds | Meet — and eat — the modified Atlantic salmon | Researchers working on swine flu ‘vaccine corn’ | High-fructose sweeteners linked to obesity, diabetes | Doomsday seed vault’s stores are growing | Genetically Modified Seeds: Monsanto is Putting Normal Seeds Out of Reach | UK Environment minister calls for international food treaty, GM foods at Fabian Society address | GM Crops Climb to Nearly One-Tenth of Global Crop Production | Genetically engineered meal close to your table | The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops | Europe’s secret plan to boost GM crop production | Hunger in Africa blamed on western rejection of GM food | Are we already dining on clones? | GM crops could lead to ‘disaster’: Prince Charles | Small Farmers Pushed to Plant GM Seed | American thinktanks sowed seeds of food crisis | Agribusiness positions GM crops as panacea to predicted global food shortageMonsanto Plans to Save World with its Biotech Crops | | High-level UN task force to tackle global food crisis | Scientist who claimed GM crops could solve Third World hunger admits he got it wrong | Codex Alimentarius – An Emerging Threat | Codex Alimentarius Commission adopts more than 50 new food standards

James Chapman, The Daily Mail
June 4, 2010

Genetically modified crops were last night given enthusiastic backing by the Environment Secretary.

Caroline Spelman shocked colleagues by suggesting that the coalition government will take a more pro-GM stance than its Labour predecessor.

The Tories have traditionally taken a sceptical approach to so- called ‘Frankenstein foods’, and at present no GM varieties are cultivated commercially in the UK.

Labour ministers shied away from promoting GM foods in recent years over concerns about a public backlash.

But Mrs Spelman insisted last night they could bring ‘benefits to food in the marketplace’.

Her intervention drew fierce criticism from anti-GM campaigners, who accused her of getting her facts wrong and highlighted her background as a lobbyist for biotechnology.

Mrs Spelman set up a food and biotechnology lobbying company Spelman, Cormack and Associates with her husband, Mark Spelman, in 1989. Although she resigned as a company director last year, the firm remains in the hands of her husband.

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Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Look for organic soy if you must eat the stuff. Of course meat is being pumped full of hormones these days as well so you really have to be careful with just about everything you eat thanks to agribusiness.

Related: EU Embargoes Canada’s GMO-sabotaged Flax Industry | Monsanto’s GMO Corn Linked To Organ Failure, Study Reveals | Canada’s flax crop mysteriously contaminated by GM seeds | Britain will starve without GM crops, says major report | It is too late to shut the door on GM foods | Organic food no more nutritious, study finds | Meet — and eat — the modified Atlantic salmon | Researchers working on swine flu ‘vaccine corn’ | High-fructose sweeteners linked to obesity, diabetes | Doomsday seed vault’s stores are growing | Genetically Modified Seeds: Monsanto is Putting Normal Seeds Out of Reach | UK Environment minister calls for international food treaty, GM foods at Fabian Society address | GM Crops Climb to Nearly One-Tenth of Global Crop Production | Genetically engineered meal close to your table | The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops | Europe’s secret plan to boost GM crop production | Hunger in Africa blamed on western rejection of GM food | Are we already dining on clones? | GM crops could lead to ‘disaster’: Prince Charles | Small Farmers Pushed to Plant GM Seed | American thinktanks sowed seeds of food crisis | Agribusiness positions GM crops as panacea to predicted global food shortageMonsanto Plans to Save World with its Biotech Crops | | High-level UN task force to tackle global food crisis | Scientist who claimed GM crops could solve Third World hunger admits he got it wrong | Codex Alimentarius – An Emerging Threat | Codex Alimentarius Commission adopts more than 50 new food standards

Jeffrey Smith, The Institute for Responsible Technology
June 3, 2010

“This study was just routine,” said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.

After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.

And if this isn’t shocking enough, some in the third generation even had hair growing inside their mouths–a phenomenon rarely seen, but apparently more prevalent among hamsters eating GM soy.

The study, jointly conducted by Surov’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Association for Gene Security, is expected to be published in three months (July 2010)–so the technical details will have to wait. But Surov sketched out the basic set up for me in an email.

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Health Canada says BPA perfectly safe

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

This guy’s a good economic analyst but if he’s willing to believe whatever Health Canada says on its face there’s a problem. Health Canada is funded by industry. Mr. Corcoran is aware, we’re sure, of the concept of conflict of interest? The debate continues, review the history:

Related: Bisphenol A remains off toxic list as Ottawa reviews mystery complainant’s objection | BPA in womb linked to aggression in girls | Reduce fetal exposure to BPA and phthalates, experts say | Bisphenol A traces found in baby food: Health Canada | Elevated BPA levels in people drinking out of plastic bottles, study finds | Tests find Bisphenol A in majority of soft drinks | Chemical ban targets toys, rubber duckies | As in Canada, gender-bending chemicals in UK rivers grow more potent | Chemicals feminizing males, study suggests | Major report to reveal male gender under threat from pollutants | CBC broadcasts “The Disappearing Male”, an expose of hormone-disrupting plastics | Plastics ingredient linked to feminization in children | Health Canada adds bisphenol A to list of toxic substances | Scientists Note Hormones in Water, Feminization of Fish Downstream of Montreal | New study raises concerns Bisphenol-A could be related to heart disease | Air freshener chemicals could impact fertility: study | Bisphenol tied to lower brain function | Chemical Industry Source of Hyped FDA Study ‘Exonerating’ Plastic Bottles

Terence Corcoran, National Post
June 2, 2010

Junk-science battle over BPA ­continues, despite evidence of safety

Health Canada just released its latest findings in the never-ending saga of the chemical scare over Bisphenol-A. BPA, as it is known, is used in the production of a material used to coat the interior of food and beverage cans to protect food from contamination from metal. Using the latest technology, Health Canada conducted analyses of 78 canned food products, searching for parts per billion of BPA. Readers will be happy to learn here – since they are unlikely to read it anywhere else – that Health Canada found the minuscule levels of BPA in cans of tuna, soup, tomato paste and other products “do not represent a human health concern.”

All of which will do nothing to put the global chemophobia activist community off its junk-science campaign against BPA. Just the other week, two researchers at the University of North Carolina and British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University claimed to have evidence that the daughters of women exposed to BPA were more likely to show aggressive and hyperactive behaviours as two-year-olds.

“The girls showed a definite difference in temperaments,” said Bruce Lamphear, a professor of children’s environmental health at SFU. “Their behaviour was actually much more like boys at the same age.” That’s certainly counterintuitive, since BPA is an endocrine disruptor and the claim of activists has long been that endocrine disruptors can upset gonad production in males and lead to the production of “ demasculized” frogs. BPA, in others words, may turn males into gonad-free beings and females into aggressive males.

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Indian Scientists: Mobile phones responsible for disappearance of honey bee

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Related: Bee population feels sting of cold, parasites as N.B. population drops | Bee expert takes issue with dated UN data minimizing honeybee deaths | Bayer on defensive in bee deaths

Dean Nelson, The Telegraph
May 29, 2010

The growing use of mobile telephones is behind the disappearance of honey bees and the collapse of their hives, scientists have claimed.

Their disappearance has caused alarm throughout Europe and North America where campaigners have blamed agricultural pesticides, climate change and the advent of genetically modified crops for what is now known as ‘colony collapse disorder.’ Britain has seen a 15 per cent decline in its bee population in the last two years and shrinking numbers has led to a rise in thefts of hives.

Now researchers from Chandigarh’s Punjab University claim they have found the cause which could be the first step in reversing the decline: They have established that radiation from mobile telephones is a key factor in the phenomenon and say that it probably interfering with the bee’s navigation senses.

They set up a controlled experiment in Punjab earlier this year comparing the behaviour and productivity of bees in two hives — one fitted with two mobile telephones which were powered on for two fifteen minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed.

After three months the researchers recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phon, a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey.

The queen bee in the “mobile” hive produced fewer than half of those created by her counterpart in the normal hive.

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Agriculture Canada Report: Farming income gets hammered in 2010

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Save the cowboys. Oh, and our food supply.

Related: International World Bank ‘Farm-aid’ plan gets a modest start | Food summit offers thin pledges to hungry | Food prices set to rise? | Will recession spark global food crisis? | American thinktanks sowed seeds of food crisis | Agribusiness positions GM crops as panacea to predicted global food shortage | Billions needed annually to raise food production: UN chief | Monsanto Plans to Save World with its Biotech Crops | High-level UN task force to tackle global food crisis | Head of IMF says if food prices remain high, consequences are dire

The Canadian Press
May 16, 2010

By his own description, Norm Nordgulen is “just a poor cowboy” trying to adapt and survive on the farm.

The Saskatchewan man says he has made a lot of changes to save money. Nordgulen grows his own hay because it’s a cheaper way to feed about 125 head of cattle he has in his operation near Assiniboia. About a decade ago he switched to organic farming of lentils, peas, wheat, durum and flax.

“One of the big reasons I’m still here is I’m organic farming,” says Nordgulen. “I don’t have the chemical inputs. My biggest input is fuel [to run machinery], so I save tens of thousands on chemical inputs.

“I would not have been able to survive this long without that.”

Nordgulen’s feeling that “everybody’s got to adjust” seems fitting in light of the latest farm income forecast from Agriculture Canada.

The agency quietly released its 2010 predictions in late April, two months later than usual. It said realized net income for farmers across Canada is expected to total $291.5 million – a 91 per cent drop from 2009.

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Report: U.S. attempting global censorship of GMO food labeling at CODEX Conference

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Hopefully Mr. Jeffrey Smith will reemerge from the conference to provide more detail on this so far single-sourced report. It does, however, tie into expectations about the nature of the UN’s Codex Alimentarius food regime, a document they’re trying to build international consensus around. Qui bono? Regardless of whether a product is harmful or not, consumers have a right to know what they’re being sold.

Flashback: Fury as EU approves antibiotic resistant GM potato | Will This Little GMO Piggy Go to Market? | Monsanto’s GMO Corn Linked To Organ Failure, Study Reveals | Canada’s flax crop mysteriously contaminated by GM seeds | Britain will starve without GM crops, says major report | It is too late to shut the door on GM foods | Organic food no more nutritious, study finds | Researchers working on swine flu ‘vaccine corn’ | High-fructose sweeteners linked to obesity, diabetes | Doomsday seed vault’s stores are growing | Genetically Modified Seeds: Monsanto is Putting Normal Seeds Out of Reach | UK Environment minister calls for international food treaty, GM foods at Fabian Society address | GM Crops Climb to Nearly One-Tenth of Global Crop Production | Genetically engineered meal close to your table | The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops | Europe’s secret plan to boost GM crop production | Hunger in Africa blamed on western rejection of GM food | GM crops could lead to ‘disaster’: Prince Charles | Small Farmers Pushed to Plant GM Seed | American thinktanks sowed seeds of food crisis | Agribusiness positions GM crops as panacea to predicted global food shortage | Monsanto Plans to Save World with its Biotech Crops | High-level UN task force to tackle global food crisis | Scientist who claimed GM crops could solve Third World hunger admits he got it wrong | Codex Alimentarius – An Emerging Threat | Codex Alimentarius Commission adopts more than 50 new food standards

Mike Adams, NaturalNews.com
May 4, 2010

I received an urgent alert from Jeffrey Smith today about a dangerous situation taking place right now at the international CODEX conference. The U.S. is attempting to push its agenda to censor all GMO labeling of foods everywhere around the world. This would result in a global GMO cover-up as consumers are left in the dark about whether their foods and grocery products are genetically modified or not.

Your help is urgently needed to send a message to the Secretaries of State (Clinton), Agriculture (Vilsack), and Health and Human Services (Sebelius) to urge them to halt the USA’s nefarious attempts to install a global GMO deception.

Take part in this online petition, go here:
http://www.seedsofdeception.com/GMF…

Please understand that the U.S. is attempting to outlaw non-GMO labeling of foods, thereby making it illegal for a non-GMO food product to even claim “non-GMO” on the label. If the U.S. succeeds in this global GMO cover-up, the FDA could seize any products in the USA that make “non-GMO” claims. Additionally, the USA could file lawsuits through the World Trade Organization against any country that allows non-GMO labeling or claims on its products.

Why is the U.S. pursuing such a devious and sinister course of action? Because, as you well know, virtually the entire federal government caters to the financial interests of powerful corporations — and these include the “Big Ag” giants like Monsanto that want to patent all seeds while destroying the no-GMOs movement. They want to turn non-GMO foods into violations of the law and thereby strip all such products from store shelves.

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International World Bank ‘Farm-aid’ plan gets a modest start

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Uh-oh. If Geithner and Zoellick are involved, this can’t be good. And there’s about as much chance of it being a ‘green’ revolution as there is of much of this money not being funnelled through the World Bank and the FAO and straight to American agri-tech concerns. This cynicism is practically mandatory: there’s no win-win to be found there, particularly if the fund is used to force GMO seed and monoculture farming practices on traditional African farmers in the same way these practices have been used by the banks to seize the land of Indian farmers. And they’re calling it ‘Farm Aid’. Maybe we should be asking ourselves: what would Willie do? Cause if this journal’s suspicions are correct, you can be shore this ain’t it.

Flashback: Food summit offers thin pledges to hungry | Food prices set to rise? | Will recession spark global food crisis? | American thinktanks sowed seeds of food crisis | Agribusiness positions GM crops as panacea to predicted global food shortage | Billions needed annually to raise food production: UN chief | Monsanto Plans to Save World with its Biotech Crops | High-level UN task force to tackle global food crisis | Head of IMF says if food prices remain high, consequences are dire

Paul Koring, The Globe and Mail
April 22, 2010

‘Canada, Spain, South Korea and the U.S. are stepping up,’ says Bill Gates, a fifth supporter

For the world’s poorest farmers, those scratching out survival on less than a dollar a day, it was hardly the $22-billion (U.S.) in aid promised by rich world’s leaders last year, but a rather more modest start of $880-million from four countries — including Canada — and Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist.

“Even if this is all that happens, this is a super-good thing,” said Mr. Gates, who has added germinating a new green revolution to his foundation’s far-reaching efforts on malaria and AIDS in the developing world.

“Canada, Spain, South Korea and the U.S. are stepping up,” said Mr. Gates, the founder of Microsoft, whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will pay $30-million into the new Global Food Security Trust Fund.

Mr. Gates said it was time for other countries to make good on the vague pledges of $22-billion for global food security made by the rich world’s leaders at last year’s G8 and G20 summits.

“Canada is pleased to be among the first to help fund such a valuable program,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in a statement. “Our $230-million contribution builds on Canada’s ongoing efforts to improve sustainable agriculture for the world’s poorest.

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‘Doomsday’ seed bank growing strongly

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Flashback: Fury as EU approves antibiotic resistant GM potato | Canada’s flax crop mysteriously contaminated by GM seeds | Doomsday seed vault’s stores are growing | Genetically Modified Seeds: Monsanto is Putting Normal Seeds Out of Reach | Small Farmers Pushed to Plant GM Seed | American thinktanks sowed seeds of food crisis

Ian MacDougall, Associated Press
March 10, 2010

Arctic vault now contains the world’s most diverse repository of crop seeds, operators say

Two years after receiving its first deposits, a “doomsday” seed vault on an Arctic island has amassed half a million seed samples, making it the world’s most diverse repository of crop seeds, the vault’s operators announced Thursday.

Cary Fowler, who heads the trust that oversees the seed collection, which is 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the North Pole, said the facility now houses at least one-third of the world’s crop seeds.

“In my lifetime, I don’t think we’ll go over 1.5 million. I’d be rather surprised if we go over a million,” Fowler told The Associated Press. “At that point, we’d have all the diversity in the world … and the most secure samples.”

Located in Norway’s remote Svalbard archipelago, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a safeguard against wars or natural disasters wiping out food crops around the globe. It was opened in 2008 as a master backup to the world’s other 1,400 seed banks, in case their deposits are lost.

War wiped out seed banks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and another bank in the Philippines was flooded in the wake of a typhoon in 2006. The Svalbard bank is designed to withstand global warming, earthquakes and even nuclear strikes.

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