GMOs, terminator seeds, and a European cover-up?

‘Seeds of destruction’ by William Engdahl is a must-read book for anyone remotely interested in their health and especially that of their children, grandchildren and so on. It is available on Amazon.

Here is part 1 of our review on the book, in which we focus on GMOs and terminator seeds:

Engdahl starts with the famous 2012 ‘Caen Study’ by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini (1), where more than 200 rats were divided into two equal groups, one a control, the other fed with GMO NK603 Maize. Pictures of the tumours in the GMO-fed rats shocked the world.

The original Monsanto research ‘proving’ safety showed that the measured period was just 90 days – in Seralini’s research tumours only started to appear after 4-7 months!! Where Roundup was used, the female rats died 2-3 times more quickly. While mammary and pituitary tumours were more prevalent in female rats, liver and kidney tumours were 2.5-3 times more likely in males and overall GMO-fed males had 4 times the levels of tumours of the control groups. Monsanto seeds are genetically modified to resist the weed-killing effects of Roundup. The seeds can accumulate Roundup (glyphosphate) throughout their life.

Monsanto has repeatedly refused requests to publish the exact formula and contents of Roundup claiming ‘Trade Secret’ status. Research however has shown that it can affect human embryo cells in doses far lower than used in agriculture (2).

In both the USA and Europe, scientific testing on GMO seeds had uniquely been left to the seed company. Animal research was never conducted beyond 90 days.

The European Regulatory body (the EFSA in Brussels) had passed the seeds in 2009 whilst conducting little research of its own and never for more than 90 days.

The EFSA response was to question the credibility of the Seralini study and dismiss it. More than half of the EFSA panel members had conflict of interest with the very companies they should have been protecting the EU population from, according to a study by the Corporate Europe Observatory. A Spanish Study (which was little more than an endorsement of GMO from the Spanish Government) was often cited as corroboration for the EFSA view. Worse, the EFSA commissioned no study to check out the Seralini findings.

In 2001 Monsanto, along with Coca Cola, Kraft, Nestle and ADM, another GMO company, helped form the ‘independent’ Washington-based ‘International Life Sciences Institute’, or ILSI. A scandal erupted when Professor Diana Banati who was on the EFSA board went to take up a simultaneous position on the European arm of ILSI. Public interest groups have noted this ‘revolving door’ effect in Brussels on many occasions.

Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser to the EU, has gone on record as saying that there is no substantiated scientific evidence against GMOs.

All this with different European public polls showing almost 80% public rejection of GMO foods.

Monsanto is currently being fused with the giant European Bayer Corporation, also advocates of GMO.

Terminator Technology

In 2007, Monsanto took over a company called Delta and Pine Land. This company had been a long-term recipient of US Government funding. It had been developing Genetic Use Restriction Technology, or GURT. This is also called ‘Terminator Technology’. Seeds grow their plants for one season, and that’s it. Never again. So if you are a farmer, you have to come back and buy more the next year. This is the very antithesis of what seeds are all about!
The Terminator Technology was protected by a patent (No: 5,723,765), owned jointly by the company AND the US Government.

Clearly, it could be used to control farmers and their crops from Mexico to Iran. So, it also could control whole countries and their food production. But, at the same time, it endangers all living crops in all countries as the spread of the seeds is difficult to control.

It would not be the first time that America has sought to use food this way. Henry Kissinger called it ‘Food as a Weapon’, when regime change was brought about in Chile by American pressure. As Kissinger said in 1970, “Control Oil and you control continents; control food and you control the people”.

The USA has openly said it wants to encourage use of its seeds around the World. And by developing the World Trade Organisation, individual countries signing up, cannot impose a restriction on ‘Free Trade’ because they are concerned about ‘health risks’. That would constitute an ‘unfair trade barrier’ and bring the threat of trade sanctions. Second and third world countries are potentially in big trouble.

Monsanto and Syngenta have publically declared that they will not use Terminator Technology. The US Government has refused to drop its involvement in Terminator development.

Ref:

1. Gilles-Eric Seralini et al, Genetically modified crops safety assessments: present limits and possible improvements, Environmental Sciences Europe 2011, 23:10, accessed in http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10.

2. Aris, A., Leblanc, S., Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada, Reproductive Toxicology, 2011 May;31(4):528-33. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

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Johns Hopkins: cancer is primarily ‘bad luck’

Two scientists at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Dr. Bert Vogelstein, the Clayton Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and ‘bio-mathematician’ and assistant Professor, Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D. published a study on January 2nd in the journal Science, which concluded that two-thirds of adult cancer incidence across tissues can be explained primarily by ‘bad luck’.

The scientists created a mathematical model by searching the scientific literature for information on the cumulative number of divisions of stem cells among 31 tissue types during an average individual’s lifetime. They then charted the number of stem cell divisions in these tissues and plotted them against the incidence of cancer. For example, in colon tissue there are 4 times more cell divisions than occur in the small intestine, and cancer is more prevalent in the former. QED.

“It was well-known that cancer arises when tissue specific stem cells make random mistakes, or mutations during cell replication”, said Vogelstein.

Let’s get real

1. Firstly, neither prostate nor breast cancer were covered in the research since the researchers could not obtain reliable data on stem cell divisions. So that would rule out almost one third of all cancers in the UK. And we are always being told by the UK ‘Brand leader’ Cancer Research, that these are largely hormonally driven, with factors such as oestrogen, lack of exercise and obesity playing a big part. If the new research is correct, and it were to apply to breast and prostate cancers as well, how has CRUK made such a big error? Just bad luck, perhaps?

2. Secondly, I will hazard a guess that the number of stem cell divisions in a tissue occurs in line with the number of overall cell divisions. And what the scientists actually showed was that there was a link between more cell divisions in a tissue and an increased risk of cancer. Hardly, new thinking really.

3. But if it is all about stem cells do the conclusions mean that someone in New York has many more stem cell divisions in their lungs than someone in China, or Kenya, where cancer incidence is considerably lower? The UK population must have 4 times the stem cell division of Thais; with almost exactly the same population we get four times the number of cancers they do. Why would that be?? Would the increased rate of stem cell division in New York or London not constitute a cause? Or are Thais just four times luckier than Londoners?

4. Next, having shown a link between cell division volumes and cancer volumes, our plucky duo made a mental jump: “It was well-known that cancer arises when tissue specific stem cells make random mistakes, or mutations during cell replication”, Well known to whom? In 2012 scientists were still arguing whether there was such a thing as a cancer stem cell.

And the idea that cancer is caused by mutations to the core DNA is quaintly old fashioned. Indeed the modern theory of cancer (being confirmed by scientists week in, week out) is that not much happens to the core DNA (and when it does the immune system easily spots it as rogue). Instead, chemicals like homocysteine build up in the blood stream and cause more methylation around the DNA coil. This holds histones in place, which in turn hold the integrity and shape of the DNA in the nucleus.

When the histones cover a gene responsible for, say, controlled cellular division, it cannot send out its messages, it is silenced, and the cell starts dividing randomly. It is important to note that this methylation and acetylation is believed to be reversible by literally thousands of scientists currently working for drugs companies and University Medical Schools. The science is called Epigenetics (Epi=around, the gene). Drugs companies believe they can affect the methylation and acetylation directly; or indirectly via the enzymes that cause it.

Other scientists believe that there are a host of natural compounds (from sulphoraphanes to carotenoids) that can do this, as can exercise hormones. Indeed, Epigeneticists argue that there are clearly 4 causes of DNA blockages – environmental toxins, stress, poor diet and hormones such as oestrogen.

So, are these epigenetic scientists all wrong?

Where hypotheses and statistics meet

A statistician is someone who will tell you that it’s better to have a watch that is broken (it is right twice a day), than one that loses 7 minutes a day (it is right once every thirteen days).

I have decided to look at road accidents in Britain (London and Manchester were excluded because there were no reliable statistics). Now, it is widely accepted that council road administrators allow too many non-UK-qualified lorry drivers to drive on the roads. And sure enough, we have found that the number of road deaths is proportional to the increases in foreign lorries on our roads. It doesn’t fit exactly (but to about an 80% level) and it differs by the 31 regions we looked at. So if you die in a road accident it has little to do with your skills as a driver, or how fast you were going, or the weather conditions. The number of foreign lorry drivers being allowed on our roads by a lack of legislation is behind it. Just bad luck really.

What is odd though is that this conclusion doesn’t hold true in Africa or China. So I’ll leave that out of my model.

Implications

So, thanks to Johns Hopkins, science has a new bed fellow: Bad luck. It’s the devil’s work. No need to feel guilty about your gluttony and sloth – just ‘eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow ye may die’.

No need for CRUK or the Government to feel guilty about failing to do anything serious in the way of Cancer Prevention Programmes in the community. You can’t legislate for bad luck. It would be pointless spending billions of pounds telling people to eat healthily, exercise and give up smoking if cancer occurs ‘for no particular reason other than randomness’ (according to Tomasetti).

If 65% of cancers are just bad luck, and we add on the 20% known to be caused by parasites and viruses (according to the WHO), then we certainly aren’t left with much that is to do with our sloth and gluttony. ‘50% of cancers are your own fault’ said CRUK 5 years ago. ‘30-50% of cancers are due to your poor diets’ said the WHO. ‘At least half of all cancers are preventable’. Oh no they’re not says a mathematical model (that left two of the biggest out).

Food companies that sell junk, have no case to answer. Lucky for them. What of the legal cases in the USA where people sue cigarette companies or mobile phone companies for not warning them that their products cause cancer? Presumably your bad luck is now lucky for these companies.

At CANCERactive we were helping a patient with oesophageal cancer. She had had bad acid reflux for ten years and been on a drug the whole time. A trip to the manufacturer’s website said that ‘on no account should the drug be prescribed for more than six months’. The woman asked her doctor what he thought caused her cancer. ‘Just bad luck’ was his reply. Johns Hopkins have vindicated him. His mis-prescription of the drug was irrelevant.

But there’s a get out clause in the model: “We found that the types of cancer that had a higher risk than predicted by the number of cell divisions, were precisely the one’s you’d expect” (lung cancer – linked to smoking; skin cancer – linked to sun exposure). So, other factors do cause deviation from their model. Lucky, I spotted that.

Junk science

The new science of ‘Bad luck’ is a dangerous concept. It removes the need for people to exert any self-control. The implication is that you can make little difference to prevent your cancer (and thus can make little difference to prevent it returning – so it is pointless doing anything to help treat your condition). Self-empowerment for patients goes out of the window. You might as well stay fat, not exercise, carry on smoking and just place your total faith in your good doctor’s hands. And luck.

Except, isn’t it lucky for us that The American Cancer Society have produced a 2012 report saying that since 2006 there has been an ‘explosion’ in research, and ‘overwhelming’ evidence that good diet, weight control and exercise can increase survival and even prevent a cancer returning.

Except, isn’t it lucky for us that the Karolinska Institute has produced straight line graphs on the links between cows’ dairy consumption and prostate, breast and ovarian cancers; or that Bristol University produced a meta-study on 52 research reports concluding that people who exercised regularly developed less cancers, and that those with cancer who exercised regularly, survived longer.

Watch out for the follow up study: ‘It is just bad luck that the chemotherapy didn’t work for you’. (Well it wouldn’t anyway because there is no drug available today that tackles cancer stem cells.)

What bad luck.

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Ebola – The Wolf of Main Street

So what are we supposed to make of Ebola?
On one hand we have seen SARS, bird flu, avian flu, epidemics that just didn’t happen. People wore masks in the streets and on planes (they only help if you have it, not if someone else does), stock markets fell, and governments like the UK were conned into buying vaccines they just didn’t need (and asked for their money back)– and probably would not have worked anyway.

And now we have Ebola; clearly a far worse proposition. Yet again it started as a virus in the food chain, the Liberian food chain. It’s a potential plague that had been coming for 30 years; there had been minor skirmishes every few years. Did the WHO and the Western world use their combined knowledge to isolate the plague quickly? No, they moved after about 4 months. Now the Americans and the UK have built field hospitals surrounded by barbed wire.

Back in the USA, the Americans did move quickly on one aspect. They patented the Ebola DNA. Now, theoretically, only they can interfere with that DNA. It is theirs by right. Only they can treat it.

In Thailand there was great news more than a month ago. Thai scientists had isolated an antibody to Ebola. It made the TV every day for a week. Worldwide news? A breakthrough? You’ll be lucky to find it on Google Search.

Then there’s ‘natural remedies’ like colloidal silver. Before skeptics choke while reading this consider three minor points – first, we have no treatment with a jot of research behind it from the orthodox medical profession. Two, there is research on colloidal silver treating respiratory viruses. Three, why not take a couple of hundred patients in Liberia and see if it offers anything? What is there to lose? Instead, Health Authorities would not even allow the parcel of colloidal silver on the plane to Liberia. Natural Health anti-viral compounds are many (astragalus, goldenseal, Pau d’Arco and more). Presumably all these and more are being tested with Ebola? Somehow, I doubt it; but if Pau d’Arco can work with South American rainforest Indians and their viruses, might it not possibly just do something for Liberians? With the world’s health at stake, who has the power to decide NOT to try it?

Meanwhile the CDC in America – who have been mired in scandals over cover ups and lies about vaccines – search for … a vaccine.

Next there’s the nurse in Texas who contracted the virus while helping a patient. The TV spokesperson called it a ‘serious security breach’, but declined to say what the nurse had actually done.

Nurses are, of course, kitted out like the average spaceman. No virus is about to penetrate those suits which are sprayed with disinfectant after use and thrown away. But the truth is that even after 30 years of knowing about Ebola, we are not certain how exactly you can catch it.

Hospitals already have plagues in them – MRSA and clostridium difficile kill more that 20,000 people entering American hospitals every year simply for routine and often minor operations. Surfaces in wards are sprayed with disinfectant as they were 100 years ago. But why? We have known for 40 years that UV kills viruses; it is used in water purification plants throughout the world. An American firm Xenex, even sells anti-viral UV-C ‘robot’ machines. You’d have thought similar hand held machines and machines disguised as floor mops would be commonplace in hospitals all over the world. We are talking here about saving more lives than mammography at a fraction of the price.

So where are we on Ebola?? We now have temperature checks at airports; but the patient in the USA had been wandering around with it for more than two weeks with absolutely no symptoms. There will also be a questionnaire. “Have you been in Liberia and eaten a bat in the last 21 days”, seems a good place to start. Spare me.

So is this another swine flu, or something that will kill 16 million people in the Western world and we need to send urgently for Brad Pitt?

Above all we’d like some honesty. And some genuine worldwide health co-operation. And while we’re about it, who on earth said you could patent a virus? Yet again big business side – lines main street health concerns.

And if only the Health Authorities had not cried wolf so many times before. The UK has 16 million phials of unused plague vaccine. Anybody want some? It didn’t work last time, but what the heck?

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