2,4-D needs a public health warning

A World Health Organization research unit, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has determined that a key ingredient in a new herbicide, known as 2,4-D, "possibly" causes cancer in humans. The herbicide is made by Dow AgroSciences and joins Monsanto’s popular herbicide glyphosate in the "possibly carcinogenic to humans" classification. Environmental and consumer groups are lobbying US regulators to tightly restrict its use, as, although IARC classifications can influence regulators, they do not carry regulatory requirements. Dow has naturally commented that the IARC's classification was flawed and was "inconsistent with government findings in nearly 100 countries", but that response is understandable when they are using both glyphosate and 2,4-D in an herbicide called Enlist Duo that received US approval last year.

‘Fast Track’ trade bill passes US Senate

In a shameful move, 13 senate democrats joined republicans to ensure that the Fast Track bill, or Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), got voted through chambers. The bill makes it easier for presidents to negotiate trade deals.“The vote today—pushed by multi-national corporations, pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street—will mean a continuation of disastrous trade policies which have cost our country millions of decent-paying jobs,” said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who campaigned vigorously against Fast Track. The legislation is now expected to pass, and will then become law. Another opponent, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), accused Congress of turning on its “moral” obligation to assist the working class, while Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch described it as "the most important bill that will pass the Senate this year".

GM lamb ends up in food chain

In a potentially malicious act by two employees, a lamb injected with jellyfish DNA to give it see-through skin has ended up being sold to a buyer for human consumption. The lamb was slaughtered after the experiment and supposed to be incinerated, but was accidentally sold for slaughter by a French research institute. The lamb had been part of a series of 'therapeutic research' gene experiments on large mammals by the country's National Agricultural Research Institute, or INRA. The institute insists that the meat poses no threat and France's Le Parisien newspaper have revealed that the INRA has ordered an investigation into the scandal.

Multiple chemical exposures can trigger cancer

The consensus from 174 scientists from 28 countries examining 85 chemicals believed previously to have no link with cancer, is that through combined exposure they can trigger cancer. Out of the 85 chemicals studied, the investigators concluded that at current exposure levels, mixtures of 50 of those chemicals could lead to cancer. Lead author William Goodson III, a senior scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, said, “We are definitely concerned that we are now starting to see evidence of a wide range of low-dose effects that are directly related to carcinogenesis, exerted by chemicals that are unavoidable in the environment.” Study co-author Hemad Yasaei, a cancer biologist at Brunel University in London, England, said similar to Goodson III and also added, “We urgently need to focus more resources to research the effect of low-dose exposure to mixtures of chemicals in the food we eat, air we breathe and water we drink.”

Autism researcher dies in questionable circumstances

Very sadly dedicated and long-time autism researcher, Dr Jeff Bradstreet, has been found dead in the Rocky Broad River in North Carolina. Found by a fisherman, it was reported that he died of a gunshot wound to his chest. Bradstreet became a target for criticism by mainstream medics for his use of so-called ‘unorthodox’ methods to treat autism, and also for treating patients for mercury toxicity. However, he’s long been hailed a hero in the autism community. Since the news of his death many have taken to posting their appreciation, gratitude and sadness online, saying that he had “saved their children’s lives” and that he was a “champion for the movement to cure autism.” His death has been publicised as a suicide but those who knew and supported him have many questions about his untimely death still unanswered.

Lancashire says no to fracking!

Positive news from Lancashire in the UK; Lancashire County Council has rejected an application from Cuadrilla to frack a site at Little Plumpton. The rejection came after "listening carefully to many hours of evidence" and was on the grounds of "unacceptable noise impact" and the "adverse urbanising effect on the landscape". This joins another rejection within Lancashire, at a site called Roseacre Wood. The Little Plumpton site was rejected 10–4 but the Roseacre Wood application was rejected unanimously. It’s reported that Cuadrilla was "surprised and disappointed" and would consider its options regarding an appeal. Dr Adam Marshall, from the British Chambers of Commerce, said the decision was "perverse, short-sighted and timid" and that "the government now needs to step in". However the huge roar of approval, and tears of joy at the result says otherwise. Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner Daisy Sands said the decision was a "triumph for local democracy" and that the “decision sends a powerful signal to other councils that the fracking juggernaut can indeed be stopped." 

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