Glyphosate found in all organs of malformed piglets

A new study published in the Journal of Environmental and Analytical Toxicology has found that residues of the world's number one herbicide, glyphosate, could be found in different organs and tissues of malformed, euthanised one-day-old Danish piglets. The study was a result of Danish pig farmer, Ib Pedersen, taking live borne but malformed one-day-old piglets into a laboratory because of the extraordinarily high percentage of malformations in the piglets. He had been feeding them genetically modified (GM) soy. Examinations of the piglets showed glyphosate in all of their organs or tissues in different concentrations. The researchers believe that, “The detection of such glyphosate concentrations in these malformed piglets could be an allusion to the cause of these congenital anomalies. Further investigations are urgently needed to prove or exclude the role of glyphosate in malformations in piglets and other animals.”Consuming organic pork is the presently the best way of guaranteeting you won't be ingesting these residues yourself if you eat pork.

High salt diet doubles risk of heart disease in those with diabetes

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has found that a high intake of salt by those with type 2 diabetes may double their risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Japanese researchers looked at a nationwide cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes aged 40–70years old and investigated the relationship between dietary sodium intake and the incidence of diabetic complications, which up until now hadn’t been explored. Lead researcher, Chika Horikawa, said, “Although many guidelines recommend people with diabetes reduce their salt intake to lower the risk of complications, this study is among the first large longitudinal studies to demonstrate the benefits of a low-soduim diet in this populaton.”  Horikawa concluded, “Our findings demonstrate that restricting the salt in the diet could help prevent dangerous complications from diabetes.” 

Fracking application rejected by UK County Council

On Tuesday 22nd July 2014 the planning committee of West Sussex County Council voted unanimously to reject Celtique’s application to frack on a site in the heart of Sussex in the UK. Celtique had applied for temporary three year oil and gas exploration, but were refused on the grounds of it being an inappropriate choice of site, having unsafe highways access, and the adverse impact it would have on Wisborough Green as a conservation area. With 2,471 objections, the application was unpopular from the start – not helped by Celtique’s underestimation of the increase in HGV traffic by almost 600%. This is a monumental achievement for anti-frackers, but applications will be made elsewhere. Anyone in the South Downs area in the UK wanting help with having their say, visit the Greenpeace website. Also there are current applications in Lancashire that need your support.

Smart meters cause fires

The controversial ‘smart meter’ has been reported as being the reason behind fires, explosions and burned-out appliances in Australia, Canada and the US. What better reason to not have one now, excess radiation risks aside! UK organisation Electrical Safety First commented that, “Many existing electrical installations are likely to have inadequate or even non-existent earthing arrangement, putting the occupiers at risk of electric shock or fire should a fault develop.” They also stressed the need for checks to be made after installation as cables will be disturbed during the meter replacement process and any loose connections can and do cause fire. Smart meters are mandatory in many countries, but as of yet UK residents can opt out of having one installed. For more information of what can be done to keep your home smart meter free, read our previous article.

New EC ‘Food Tax’ report is inconclusive

In order to ensure that big food and big agri businesses don’t lose out from economics encouraging healthier eating habits, the European Commission (EC) (DG Enterprise and Industry) commissioned research on the impact of food taxes, and the results have just been published in a new report entitled “Food taxes and their impact on competitiveness in the agri-food sector”. The study aimed to “assess the impact that taxes levied on food and beverages would have on the competitiveness of the agri-food sector”. The report concludes “Non-harmonised taxes on high sugar, salt and fat products such as soft drinks, sweet and salty foodstuffs do induce a reduction of the consumption of the taxed products, but the exact impact on the competitiveness of the European agri-food sector needs to be further assessed.”

Dents in the profit margins of big food and agri businesses are spared for now though, as the report also concluded “To what extent changes in consumption resulting from a food tax actually lead to public health improvements is still widely debated and evidence from academic literature is inconclusive and sometimes contradictory. More research is needed as empirical health data becomes available over time.” The taxes may just result in consumers choosing cheaper brands, and may not necessarily lead to alternative choices of product that are lower in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats (around which government misinformation persists).

US Government denies GMOs pressure on El Salvador

Press reports are circulating that claim the US government is trying to force farmers in El Salvador to use GMO seeds from US agricultural companies such as Monsanto, by withdrawing foreign aid unless they do so. Concern is being expressed that El Salvador was “granted” 277 million dollars by the Millenium Challenge Corporation to “improve El Salvador’s competitiveness and productivity in international markets” — but only in return for certain “commitments and obligations, which included a commitment to ensure that the Ministry of Agriculture’s procurement of corn and bean seed would “be consistent with the provisions of the CAFTA-DR (Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement).” 

El Salvadorian farmers across the country are reported to have united “in order to stop this stipulation within this US aid package”, which, “indirectly requires the purchase of Monsanto genetically modified (GM) seeds”. However, the US Government is denying this, explaining that their “concern with the Ministry of Agriculture’s procurement program is completely unrelated to the purchase of genetically modified seeds”.

New Zealand: Water fluoridation would cause a ‘riot on the street’

It’s been reported that residents of Petone in New Zealand would “riot on the street” if the Ministry of Health decided to add fluoride to their water supply. The remarks were reportedly made by the community board chairman, Mike Fisher, who, it is claimed, said: “There was an outcry in the 1990s when Hutt City Council suggested adding fluoride to the supply and the reaction would be the same today. People would be rioting in the streets. They would be absolutely furious… We're very proud of our water the way it is". Along with their neighbours in Korokoro, Petone residents enjoy water from the same aquifer that “feeds the artesian water fountains in Buick St”.

The local council was said to have accepted the government view that fluoride was safe, but at the same time had respected the views of the residents. However, last week New Zealand’s councils voted strongly in favour of handing over decisions about water fluoridation to the Ministry of Health. Local Government Minister Paula Bennett is reported to have said “she was not considering a law change but Local Government New Zealand planned to lobby the government on the issue after the election, president Lawrence Yule said”.


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