EC dismisses STOP TTIP European Citizens’ Initiative

The Lisbon Treaty introduced the 'European Citizens' Initiative' (ECI) making it possible for a million or more Europeans to have their voice heard by the European Commission. Many have felt this is a hollow nod to democracy, rather than a true ‘power to the people’ pledge. The first real test of the European Citizens Initiative has been brought about with the challenge to the US/EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) 'free trade' agreement, which is being negotiated in secret. The EC has dismissed the STOP TTIP ECI, prompting the organisers (The German NGO: ATTAC) to resort to the European Courts. According to EurActiv.com, the EC responded that, “the proposed citizens' initiative falls outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union”.

Up-coming events to raise awareness about the TTIP are being held in London on 6th October 2014, and across the UK and the EU on 11th October 2014, which is also the European Day of Action.

More GMO corn and soy approved in USA

Last week the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its decision to deregulate 2,4,D-Resistant (Enlist) genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybean varieties in the US. Dow AgroSciences are now awaiting approval of their accompanying herbicide — a blend of 2,4-D and glyphosate — by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ANH-USA is one of many organisations who have objected to the technology and the Organic Consumers Association have highlighted that approval went ahead despite "the objections of hundreds of thousands of citizens and more than 50 members of Congress".

The Center for Food Safety announced "it will pursue all available legal options to stop commercialisation". Their executive director said "2,4-D resistant crops pose a monumental threat to our nation’s agricultural, environmental and human health. With this approval comes millions of more pounds of toxic herbicides dumped onto our land; it’s an unacceptable outcome". Next up, the USDA is now considering approval of Monsanto’s new GE dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton. Have your voice heard on the new Center for Food Safety petition.

Vitamin D levels linked to increased mortality

A new British study published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition supports the hypothesis that "vitamin D status is associated with a range of important health outcomes including respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, fractures, and total mortality". The 13-year prospective study, in a "free-living, middle-aged and older British population" was carried out by researchers from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Institute of Public Health, the School of Clinical Medicine and the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge.

The highest mortality rates were found in those with the lowest serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D). The authors concluded "Within this observed population range, there was no evidence for increased mortality for 25(OH)D greater than 90 or greater than 120 nmol/L, suggesting that a moderate increase in population mean concentrations may have a potential health benefit for preventing deficiency without increasing risk".

Public comment needed to prevent US release GMO moths

The US Department of Agriculture is, until the 29th September 2014, inviting public comment on the environmental assessment "for the field release of diamondback moths which have been genetically engineered for repressible female lethality and to express red fluorescence as a marker". The Oxitec field release of the genetically engineered (GE) moths, proposed for New York State, aims to reduce the 'pest' populations of non-GE moths.

GeneWatch UK's response to the consultation has already been made public. The document highlights their deep concerns with both the company and the technology, which they investigated in connection with a proposed UK release of the same, back in 2011/2012. GeneWatch say the concerns have not yet been resolved, preventing formal application for the release of the GE moths in the UK. Other Oxitec GE insect releases have been withdrawn and delayed, respectively, in Spain and Brazil.


US CDC insider calls for Congress to take action over MMR fraud

Further to the revelations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist Dr William Thompson, about 13 years of MMR-autism fraud, and the 'head in the sand' stance being maintained at the agency, the Autism Media Channel has released a further video clip in which the CDC insider speaks of the need for Congress to take action. Entitled "Whistleblower Thompson's Call to Congress", the short clip describes the current situation with regard to autism research at the CDC. The Autism Media Channel urges US viewers to contact their Congressional representatives using the website autismactionnetwork.org. In addition, they encourage those who have personal stories to send these to [email protected], and they will be forwarded to Congressman Bill Posey.

B12 Deficiency campaign reaches UK medicines regulator

The UK "B12 Deficiency" awareness campaign, set up by nurse Tracey Witty has been continuing with its mission to ensure that injectable B12 is available over the counter. A campaign update reports that Ms Witty and a fellow B12 deficiency sufferer, have recently attended a meeting with the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The MHRA were made aware of issues and concerns around the condition, which is frequently undiagnosed, misdiagnosed and mismanaged by the medical profession. Patients fortunate enough to receive a correct diagnosis are then limited to a mere 4 injections of B12 per year, whereas those who have developed neurological symptoms may require doses every other day. The MHRA acknowledged that very important and valid points had been raised.