Gates to a Global Empire - over Seed, Food, Health, Knowledge and The Earth!

Navdanya International, created by world renowned scientist, environmentalist and activist, Dr Vandana Shiva, has been defending seed and food sovereignty for 30 years. The Navdanya movement has dedicated itself to new agricultural and economic paradigms and a culture of food for health, where ecological responsibility and economic justice replace the present greed, consumerism and competition which have become dominant in society. Wednesday 14th October saw the launch of a new global citizen's report and online conference by the authors. The report is entitled “Gates to a Global Empire” and deals with the dangers of philanthrocapitalism - which facilitates the corporate takeover of seed, agriculture, food, knowledge and global health systems, manipulating information and eroding democracies. The play on words in the title is deliberate, “…given the patterns of technocratic solutionism, powered by an unholy alliance between big-capital, science and technology institutions and states, are embodied by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and put into accelerated action through philanthropic development”. The report uncovers the intricate web of wide-ranging power and influence, largely obscured through the many separate strands in the Gates’ web of initiatives and funding mechanisms. From biopiracy through to GMOs, fake food and the media and lobby machine, Gates to a Global Empire offers essential enlightenment at a time when many citizens, disillusioned with the world we are currently experiencing, are committing to create a new world that truly nourishes people and planet.

Vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D for covid treatment and prevention

The first scientific support for the use of vitamin C in the treatment of covid-19 has been published. Vitamin C is already known to shorten the length of time critically ill patients have to spend on mechanical ventilation. Now, the same benefits have been shown for Covid-19 patients. Between February 14 2020 and March 29 2020, fifty-six patients were randomly assigned to two groups. One group received 24 g of vitamin C intravenously per day for 7 days, while the placebo group were given bacteriostatic water. Adding vitamin C to the treatment protocol almost halved the number of deaths overall — only 5 of the 26 patients (19%) in the vitamin C group died, whereas 10 of the 28 patients in the placebo group died (36%). Although a small sample size, the pilot trial demonstrates clear potential for benefit regarding the inclusion of vitamin C in treatment protocols for covid-19 patients. A new study has found that people with low levels of zinc are more likely to experience a severe response to covid-19. The researchers recommend zinc supplementation is considered as a preventative treatment to reduce the risk of becoming very unwell. In a new op ed for Orthomolecular Medicine News, Dr Damien Downing, puts forward a strong case for improving an individual's vitamin D status to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. Dr Downing’s publication comes as UK MPs, David Davis and Rupa Huq, call for health authorities and governments to recommend the use of vitamin D not only to support a healthy immune response to the virus and reduce the risk of being hospitalised, but as part of treatment protocols for those hospitalised as a result of the virus. Ultimately, our greatest protection against a wide range of pathogens is a robust and resilient immune system, which has seen us successfully navigate evolution as species thus far. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London are looking for 5,000 UK residents to take part in a new study, CORONAVIT, to see if taking vitamin D can help protect people from catching covid-19. For more information and how to take part click here. Breaking News! In a statement to the House of Commons (12:50) today Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary, said he would be asking government scientists to look again at the impact of vitamin D on immunity as new evidence has shown vitamin D to have a positive effect. The government will also increase public messaging to encourage the general public to take vitamin D to support their immune health.

UK MPs reject safeguards to uphold UK food standards

UK MPs have voted against a Lords’ amendment to the Agriculture Bill designed to safeguard food safety and animal welfare despite significant opposition. The Government said Ministers have already committed to maintaining existing standards, but opponents fear the lack of a legally binding commitment leaves the UK wide open to the future import of sub-standard products under Brexit negotiations with countries outside of the EU. The Government is also reported to be wriggling out of giving additional powers to a new watchdog, citing costs, amidst concerns the door will be left wide open to lower grade food imports from the US.

Lockdown hysteria grows

The UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland and Czech Republic are implementing yet more draconian citizen restrictions ostensibly to stamp out and suppress the coronavirus. However, these moves come despite evidence showing lockdowns don’t reduce overall mortality from the virus, merely increasing the spread and impact of the virus over a longer period of time, whilst mortally wounding economies, lives and health in the process. Increasing numbers of scientists and medical professionals are calling for a lighter touch approach to be taken to promote population immunity, while protecting the most vulnerable in society as warnings sound about the irrevocable economic and social impacts of such restrictions. In a recent interview, Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s Special Envoy on Covid-19 appealed to world leaders to “…stop using lockdown as your primary control method” to protect economies and the health of citizens overall. In the US, White House officials are being vilified by the mainstream media for supporting the notion of population (herd) immunity in order to prevent further damage to a faltering economy in what is rapidly becoming a global humanitarian disaster. In a televised address President Trump enforced the message saying, “The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself."

Madrid leader resists lockdown

A Spanish court has ruled against the Spanish Government’s attempt to impose a new lockdown on the Madrid region to suppress the spread of the virus as ‘cases’ increase in a bid to protect its economy. In retaliation to the push back from regional authorities, the Spanish Government invoked emergency powers and declared a 15-day state of emergency to maintain the lockdown. Madrid residents took to the streets on Spain’s National day to protest against the restrictions bringing roads in the city to a standstill. The Spanish prime minister insisted he was following the ‘science’ even though there are many who are questioning the ‘science’ that governments appear to rely on as justification for enforcing draconian and damaging measures.

Apathy towards coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

A report from the World Health Organization warns that European citizens are showing signs of “pandemic fatigue” due to the severity and ongoing invasive measures implemented by governments to combat the pandemic. The public’s willingness to comply with ongoing rules and regulations is declining alongside their trust in authorities who insist such measures are the only way to tackle the virus. The report sets out a framework to maintain and reinvigorate public support for such strategies. Amongst the strategies is to allow people to live their lives but reduce risk, an approach the much-maligned group of health professionals supporting the Great Barrington Declaration are proposing. Given the apparent failure of lockdowns and ongoing restrictions, as so-called ‘cases’ of coronavirus continue to increase, now is the time for governments and health authorities to change the narrative and think outside the box allowing the virus to run its natural course, whilst protecting the most vulnerable in society. But will they?

Pesticide harms

A recent rat study highlights the harms to health from mixtures of pesticide residues on foods, even when levels of the individual pesticides were within approved limits. Analysis showed the growth of microbes in the gut was reduced and the function of 257 genes was impacted. In a new report, Friends of the Earth, raise concerns over a new breed of ‘gene-silencing pesticides’ being developed to replace neonicotinoids and the risk to surrounding ecosystems and beneficial insect populations from their use. The new pesticides are designed to switch off or ‘silence’ genes that are essential for the survival of insects – in turn, killing them. The potential for such pesticides to indiscriminately harm non-target species is unknown and could be yet another blow to currently at-risk insect populations. Rather than developing ever more harmful synthetic pesticides, we fervently need the focus to shift to develop regenerative agroecological methods of farming that will nurture and protect the health and wellbeing of humans, plants, animals, insects and the environment at large.

In Brief

Senior citizens cycle the world

Senior Citizens around the world are competing to see who can cycle the furthest. Road Worlds for Seniors, organised by Norwegian company, Motitech, is a cycling competition like no other. It’s a competition for senior citizens and those with dementia in care homes, activity centres and adult day care centres across the world. First held in 2017 the number of competitors in 2018 more than doubled. Competitors use specially adapted exercise bikes, linked to screens, that enable users to revisit familiar places from their childhoods and other important points in their lives, so it doesn’t feel like exercise. Not only is the competition helping older people to exercise where they wouldn’t normally, it’s also reducing competitors’ levels of anxiety, frustration and confusion, helping them to sleep better and reducing their need for medications. We’d call that a win/win all round (but then we are a bit cycling mad ourselves!).

Acupuncture reduces need for pain medication after surgery

A new pilot study has concluded that using acupuncture prior to surgery can reduce a patient’s need for opioid based pain medication following surgery. The Detroit-based researchers used Battlefield Acupuncture and Traditional acupuncture compared to sham acupuncture. The results show that acupuncture is a low-cost, safe method that can reduces post-operative pain, opioid use and anxiety.

Irish GP forced to resign

More and more medical professionals are coming together and speaking out against the restrictions being imposed on citizens by authorities under the guise of fighting the coronavirus. All who speak out risk being dismissed for their views and losing their livelihoods. In Ireland, yet another GP who has chosen to speak out has been forced to resign after he was threatened with suspension for sharing his views.

Air pollution puts young people at greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Children and young adults living in Mexico City exposed to air pollution have been found to exhibit early markers of neurodegenerative disease. According to new research from researchers at Lancaster University, the brainstems of young people who were a part of the study showed the “neuropathological hallmarks” of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS. They also had high levels of nanoparticles found in air pollution in their brainstems. The study authors warn such damage could presage a pandemic of neurological disease in the future as these young people age.