Trump Administration Report Accepts Climate Change but Says It’s Too Late To Do Anything About It
With the media frenzy of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, you wouldn’t be blamed for missing some pretty big news regarding the state of our environment. A 500-page environmental impact report states the planet will warm a disastrous seven degrees by the end of this century. The statement by for Trump Administration was issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was written to justify Trump’s decision to end current federal fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. The report says that man-made climate change is inevitable at this point, with temperatures set to rise by seven degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. The report states that the emissions policy would be inconsequential.
Michael MacCracken served as a senior scientist for the U.S. Global Change Research Program from 1993 to 2002. Washington Post quotes him as saying,
The amazing thing they’re saying is human activities are going to lead to this rise of carbon dioxide that is disastrous for the environment and society. And then they’re saying they’re not going to do anything about it.”
A rise of seven degrees Fahrenheit will be ruinous for our way of life. Oceans will acidify, cities will be underwater, there will be mass extensions the likes of which we have never seen, and we will be dealing with record-breaking storms, droughts, and famines all over the world.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” – Donald Trump
US Genetically Altering Crops with Insects, Scientist Fear Biological War Plan
Darpa is developing virus-carrying insects to disperse genetically modified viruses that are engineered to alter the genetics of plants. They say that the plan is for bugs like aphids, leafhoppers, and whiteflies to spread a virus to plants like corn and tomatoes, that will impart genes that change the plants to become resistant to disease and drought. The program is called “Insect Allies” and researchers have more than $45 million budgeted to pursue the idea. So far, experiments have only been conducted in sealed greenhouses and labs.
An international team of scientists and lawyers believe the technology could be used for military applications, and they also warn that the spread of virus-carrying insects could be difficult to control. Guy Reeves, a biologist, and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology is quoted:
Easy simplifications … of the described work program could be used to generate a new class of biological weapons.”
“The program is primarily a bad idea because obvious simplifications of the work plan with already-existing technology can generate predictable and fast-acting weapons, along with their means of delivery, capable of threatening virtually any crop species.”
“We have viruses which can genetically modify a plant, or even a mouse. But no one’s ever proposed dispersing them into the environment. That’s the thing that makes Insect Allies unique.”
Concerned scientists also warn that even if the program is never used for such nefarious objectives that it could enable other countries to create similar technologies for the purpose of biological warfare under the guise of agricultural improvements.
Darpa doesn’t want us to worry.
Darpa created Insect Allies to provide new capabilities to protect the United States, specifically the ability to respond rapidly to threats to the food supply. A wide range of threats may jeopardize food security, including intentional attack by an adversary, natural pathogens and pests, as well as by environmental phenomena such as drought and flooding.” – Dr Blake Bextine, the Darpa program manager for Insect Allies.
Bees Benefit From Sunflower Pollen, Says New Study
It’s about time the bees get some good news! A new study finds that sunflower pollen can lower the rates of certain infections in two different kinds of bees, the bumblebee and the European honeybee. The pollen lowered the rates of Crithidia bombi (a particular pathogen) infection in bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) and also reduced another pathogen, Nosema ceranae, of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Bumblebees who consumed sunflower pollen also produced more eggs, larvae, and had a higher probability of pupating. Rebecca Irwin is a professor of applied ecology at NC State and one of the senior co-authors of the study.
We’ve tried other monofloral pollens, or pollens coming from one flower, but we seem to have hit the jackpot with sunflower pollen…None of the others we’ve studied have had this consistent positive effect on bumble bee health.”
Bad News for Bees
The bee crisis has been in headlines more than ever lately. Neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides acknowledged as particularly toxic to bees, damage bee’s immune systems, promote disorientation, disrupt gut microbes, and shorten their life cycles. Recent studies have also found that the problem may be more serious than previously thought. Bees can develop a preference for pesticides. These agricultural chemicals are also impairing bees’ ability to remember and learn things.
While sunflower pollen won’t be able to address the harm bees suffer from pesticides, the flower can still provide protection from certain infection.
Sunflower seeds have a plethora of nutrients, especially vitamin E. That might hold the key to sunflower’s ability to help the bees fight off disease. Vitamin E is a great source of antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, contains zinc for the immune system, and have even been shown to fight infections in human infants. A vitamin E deficiency can lead to neurological issues like balance problems and lack of coordination. These neurological problems also sound like things bees experience when they’re repeatedly exposed to sunflower seeds. Could vitamin E, through sunflower seeds, do even more for the bees?
As They Go, So Do We
Bees are crucial to our food supply. Thirty-five percent of the world’s crops depend on pollinators like bees. The bees needed for that are disappearing at a rapid rate. A survey of beekeepers found that 33 percent of their bees died in 2016 and 2017. Our food system depends on them. The discovery of sunflower pollen as a potential support for bees is a step in repairing the massive damage inflicted on these insects.
BPA Linked to Insulin Resistance, Diabetes in Humans
A new study now links “safe” levels of Bisphenol-A (BPA) and the development of type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and other metabolic disorders. The Food and Drug Administration considers BPA safe at oral exposure levels of 50 micrograms per every kilogram of body weight every day. Published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, researchers based at the University of Missouri wanted to determine if humans exposed to BPA exhibited the same symptoms as mice. Frederick vom Saal, an endocrinologist at the MU College of Arts and Science and co-author on the study, thinks this study provides a compelling argument that they might.
This exploratory study needs to be replicated because it suggests that BPA exposure at a dose considered safe by U.S. regulators could alter glucose-stimulated insulin responses in humans…Our study is an initial step toward investigating whether exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as BPA, contributes to insulin resistance and eventually Type 2 diabetes.”
For this study, researchers gave non-diabetic men and postmenopausal women oral doses of the FDA’s safe level of BPA. They also administered a placebo. Those who were given the BPA had altered insulin responses. Those results occurred both when scientists used an oral glucose tolerance test and a hyperglycemic clamp.
Most people know BPA is bad, even if they don’t know why it’s bad. In addition to insulin resistance, the chemical has been associated with inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, cancer, and a whole host of hormonal issues. It’s been banned in the majority of children’s products, but the alternatives to BPA aren’t much better. A recently released Washington State University study found that BPA alternatives like bisphenol-S caused genetic abnormalities similar to those caused by the product they’re replacing.
Even something as simple as a cash register receipt can be a big deal. The BPA found in register receipts is unbounded, meaning it is loose and more readily absorbed through the skin. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency conducted receipts tests in 2014 and found that the thermal paper used in 18 hospitality business had from 54–79 micrograms of BPA per square centimeter of paper. That’s more than the accepted safe oral dose of BPA.
Death By a Thousand Cuts
At this point, it’s plastics. There are several different types of plastic, and not all of them have inspired a cause for concern. Part of that can be attributed to a desire from good enough by plastics manufacturers and government officials. But good enough has so far led to a steady increase in mystery illnesses that linger and seriously impact a person’s quality of life.
Glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide in the world and, according to a recent study, it has been found in the urine of 93% of Americans tested. Genetically modified foods like corn, soybeans, canola, and sugar beets contain the highest concentrations of glyphosate, but there’s another source of glyphosate exposure that we should be concerned about. Articles about glyphosate and grains frequently refer to the herbicide as a desiccant. Desiccants are sprayed on crops right before harvest to kill them and dry them out, making the crop uniformly ready for harvest when the farmer needs them to sell the crop – no need to wait for mother nature. These non-GMO grains will likely have high levels of glyphosate sprayed on them. But organic grains have also tested positive for glyphosate.
Although most EPA -registered pesticides are prohibited in organic production, there can be inadvertent or indirect contact from neighboring conventional farms or shared handling facilities. As long as the operator hasn’t directly applied prohibited pesticides and has documented efforts to minimize exposure to them, the USDA organic regulations allow for residues of prohibited pesticides at or below 5 percent of the EPA tolerance.” – USDA
Non-organic and non-GMO wheat, barley, buckwheat, millet, and oats are frequently sprayed with glyphosate as a desiccant shortly before processing.
A few years ago Tropical Traditions did some research on glyphosate levels in wheat. Commercially available conventional wheat products from Canada, Montana, and South Dakota all tested positive for glyphosate. These are not genetically modified crops. “The range was from 0.07 mg/kg to 0.09 mg/kg.” For a GMO crop, “the range is typically between 3.3 and 5.7 mg/kg.”
Glyphosate is not allowed to be sprayed on organic wheat, which Tropical Traditions also tested for glyphosate. They were contaminated, with a range “from 0.03 to 0.o6 mg/kg, just slightly lower than the conventional grains we tested.” Organic rye and organic millet tested clean at the time. But this was from December 2015. We’re guessing the situation has only gotten worse.
EWG tested more than a dozen brands of oat-based foods. Glyphosate was found to be present on most of the oat-based foods tested, including organic products. Another recent study of glyphosate an oat products found that 5 of 16 popular, organic oats or oat-based products contained glyphosate residue.
Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Flax, Sorghum
Traditionally these crops dry out and are then ready for harvest. A combine harvester is used to harvest the grains. Farmers used to own these, but now farmers are much more often renting them.
When they come by with the combine, you have to be ready. There ain’t no ‘this is ready, need you to come back next week for that section.’ No. You’ve got to have your whole field ready. That’s why they spray. If it’s a real organic farm, like one that ain’t bullshitting, you need to own your own combine. But that’s getting more and more rare.” – Anonymous farmer
According to Tom Ehrhardt, co-owner of Minnesota-based Albert Lea Seeds, sourcing grains not desiccated with glyphosate prior to harvest is a challenge. “I have talked with millers of conventionally produced grain, and they all agree it’s very difficult to source oats, wheat, flax, and triticale, which have not been sprayed with glyphosate prior to harvest,” he says. “It’s a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell policy’ in the industry.” – Non-GMO Report
Along with wheat and oats, glyphosate is used to desiccate a wide range of other crops including lentils, peas, non-GMO soybeans, corn, flax, rye, triticale, buckwheat, millet, canola, sugar beets and potatoes. Sunflowers may also be treated pre-harvest with glyphosate, according to the National Sunflower Association.” – EcoWatch
Quinoa, amaranth, wild rice, sorghum, and spelt are also likely candidates for glyphosate desiccation, but we don’t see any testing be done on them. Regardless, contamination from drift is likely a problem for all grains, and pretty much all foods grown outside.
Like grains, beans pods aren’t all dried and ready at the same time, a serious inefficiency if you’re selling large quantities of beans like chickpeas, lentils, peas, and white beans. But the need for uniform drying at the same time has also made legumes a target for glyphosate desiccation. Monsanto (now Bayer) recommends using Roundup as a desiccant for lentils and dry beans, and the CFIA found that roughly 47% of beans, lentil, and pea products tested had glyphosate residues.
Technically, peanuts should be in the legumes category. From an eating standpoint, they’re more like nuts. They’re also one of the most heavily herbicide/pesticide-treated crops, and a study of the popular Skippy brand natural peanut butter found that the product contained 11.7ppb (parts per billion) of glyphosate.
Almonds are another potential source of glyphosate exposure, especially once they’re processed into almond milk. A screening of glyphosate usage levels released in 2015 by the Environmental Protection Agency reported that 85% of almonds farmed in the U.S. were treated with glyphosate.
Canola seeds are harvested and crushed to create canola oil and canola meal. Canola crops are almost always genetically modified and contain high levels of glyphosate.
This section could easily be titled sugar beets. After all, 95% of sugar beets grown in the U.S. are genetically modified to withstand Roundup. Glyphosate is used on both sugarbeets and sugarcane extensively. Sugarcane is hit with a double dose of the chemical, both as an herbicide and as a ripening method. Glyphosate is the only sugarcane ripener approved for use in the United States, so any sugarcane grown in the U.S. likely comes with glyphosate residue.
10 out of 10 wines tested positive for glyphosate
An anonymous supporter of advocacy group Moms Across America sent 10 wine samples to be tested for glyphosate. All of the samples tested positive for glyphosate — even organic wines, although their levels were significantly lower.” – Healthy Holsitc Living
The majority of our conventional wheat is grown close to home in the Pacific Northwest, where growing seasons are typically longer and the practice of desiccation is as such rarely used. We’ve been told desiccation is not a practice used by our individual farmers.”
There is no bubble strong enough to protect you from glyphosate in 2018. Even a diet consisting entirely of organic products will have considerable levels of glyphosate residue due to pesticide/herbicide drift. Not all of us are able to dedicate the time and money needed to extensively research every single thing we eat. Other options include growing all of your own food or getting really good at detoxing. We also recommend shopping at your local farmer’s markets and finding farmers that care as much about this issue as you do.
How Big Sugar, Glyphosate, and Climate Change Are Contributing to Florida’s Red Tide Disaster
Florida has declared a state of emergency. The latest outbreak of algae has been around for almost a year with no sign of reprieve. Marine life is dying, people are having trouble breathing, and the economy is being negatively impacted. Businesses from the most affected counties are reporting a loss of nearly $90 million. How is this happening and why is it so dangerous?
There are two separate issues. There is freshwater algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee, the state’s largest lake. It’s a recurring bloom, but this year the bloom came earlier in the year and it now covers 90% of the lake. This blue-green alga is actually a type of bacteria known as cyanobacteria. These bacteria proliferate rapidly in warm, slow-moving, nutrient-rich waters. It relies on sunlight to survive and normally it can’t be seen by the naked eye. But it’s so dense that it’s easy to see in Lake Okeechobee. The bacteria, at this potency, produce dangerous toxins that kill wildlife and can make humans very sick.
In the southwest coast of the Gulf of Mexico, there is also the red tide, a term generally used to describe many different kinds of harmful algal blooms. This phenomenon happens all over the world, but along the coast of Florida, the most plentiful culprit is said to be algae called Karenia brevis. Red tide occurs naturally. There’s evidence of this phenomenon from at least 500 years ago. In the last 50 years, the blooms have become more and more frequent, lasted longer, and the algae is in much higher concentrations.
This bloom is said to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of fish, 92 manatees, 300 sea turtles, and at least one whale shark. The odor from the algae and the dead sea creatures are reportedly still potent at least 10 miles away from the beach.
What’s causing both of these blooms today is a combination of environment and human activity.
The Farm Industry And Other Human Activities
The algae that cause Red Tide start growing dozens of miles offshore near the continental shelf. The blooms are not stimulated under normal conditions in open, well-circulating waters. But the conditions in the Gulf are not normal. Manmade chemical nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus-based fertilizers, glyphosate, and other herbicides and pesticides from farms are contaminating the Gulf. The fertilizers are feeding the algae, and the chemicals are shifting the balance to the kinds of algae that are damaging the ecosystem. These fertilizers would feed different types of algae and provide a balance that would not be a problem for marine life or for us, but the lack of current and the glyphosates are favoring the wrong type of algae. Also, a faster-moving current would draw those manmade chemical nutrients out into the ocean, but the slowing Gulf Stream current leaves those fertilizers closer to the coastline, bringing the algae to the shore.
Farm water runoff is also feeding the problem in Lake Okeechobee, and the lake’s ecosystem is also getting overwhelmed with runoff pollution from lawns (lawn fertilizer, weed killers) and septic systems from the surrounding communities. The lake provides the area with drinking water and it’s the source of agricultural irrigation for their $1.5 billion-a-year farming industry. Production includes sugar, vegetables, citrus fruits, and rice. More people are moving in and their agriculture business is growing.
Lake Okeechobee had already become a toxic petri dish for many strains of nasty microorganisms before Hurricane Irma caused flooding and which precipitated more pollution runoff into the lake, radically overwhelming the ecosystem.
For 6,000 years, water from Lake Okeechobee flowed through the Everglades and then out into the Florida Bay. The sugar industry needed more farmland so the excess water that drained into the Everglades was diverted into the east and west coasts.
The same fertilizer used to grow sugar cane and other crops feed algae in the lake and also runs off into the ocean on both sides of Florida.
Big Sugar says that they are not responsible for most of the nutrients in the lake, which is true. A government report traced 10 percent of the phosphorous in Lake Okeechobee back to sugar farms in 2011. But the problem is not so much their fertilizer usage as it is their use of the land in the Everglades. Environmentalists want the sugar industry to return the land to the state so that the water can flow through and naturally be filtered by the Everglades.
Wetlands are very good at taking up those nutrients, so you have nice clean water released out of the wetlands. The problem is now the northern third of the Everglades has been drained and turned into these sugar cane fields. That’s what forces engineers to release the water to the east and the west.” – Dr. Brand
It’s easier said than done. The everglade land is some of the most fertile soil in the United States. If sugar cane crops are grown elsewhere in the U.S. there would most likely be a significant increase in fertilizer usage. In addition, the federal sugar subsidy stops American companies from buying sugar from other countries.
Dr. Seneff says that the cyanobacteria causing the “algae” bloom in the lakes have the ability to break down glyphosate and use its phosphorus. This gives the cyanobacteria a competitive advantage against other species in a body of water contaminated with lots of glyphosates. In an interview she states:
There are a lot of sugar cane fields surrounding Lake Okeechobee in Central Florida, and they are being sprayed with glyphosate before harvest as a desiccant. There’s also lots of glyphosate being used on those well-manicured lawns of multi-million dollar homes.”
Blue-green algae are always present in the mix, but without glyphosate, they don’t grow to such huge concentrations compared to the competing flora.”
In that same interview, the interviewer says that officials claim that the blue-green algae have nothing to do with the red tide, and asks Dr. Seneff what she thinks of this.
No, I don’t believe this! Again, very straightforward. The blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) are able to convert free nitrogen from the air into nitrates. Thus, they cause an excess of nitrates in the water, in addition to those nitrates that come from excess run-off from nitrate-based fertilizers. The excess nitrates provide essential nutrients for the red algae (Karenia brevis), that then grow to large numbers offshore, causing the red tide.” – Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Mom’s Across Amarica Interview
Ecowatch also reported on this phenomenon in 2016.
“It turns out that many cyanobacteria present in Lake Erie have the genes allowing the uptake of phosphonates, and these cyanobacteria can grow using glyphosate and other phosphonates as a sole source of phosphorus,” George Bullerjahn of Bowling Green State University, Ecowatch inteview
According to a new study, an Atlantic Ocean current has slowed down, reaching a 1,000-year low. This reduces the movement of the water in the Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are becoming warmer and more stagnant. Warmer oceans also mean more torrential downpours with the potential for more frequent flooding and greater agriculture chemical runoff.
As the planet’s temperatures increase, many water systems become more hospitable to toxic algal blooms. The temperature of the ocean has increased by about 2 degrees since the year 1900. The temperature in the Gulf of Mexico is also climbing more rapidly, but it should be too warm for K. brevis, which thrives in water temperatures up to 83 degrees. The gulf can reach temperatures of 90ºF in warmer months like July and August. But new research shows that increased carbon dioxide allows the algae to grow and proliferate at higher temperatures. As anyone concerned with the state of our environment knows, we are massively increasing the levels of carbon dioxide in the air.
Experts say they have no idea when the toxic algae blooms will end. We also don’t yet know if this one will last longer than previous episodes. Many believe that the frequency of the red tide has increased, but historical records are not accurate enough to indicate for sure that the red tides are definitely more prevalent. This bloom Florida is dealing with now started in November of 2017. At the time of this article, it has lasted for a little more than ten months. From late 2004 to early 2006 there was a 17-month long red tide in southern Florida, and a few years previous there was one that lasted for 21 months.
Calling Meat Alternatives “Meat” Illegal in Missouri – First State To Pass Law
Missouri is the first state in the U.S. to ban the word “meat” on faux meat products like garden burgers and Tofurky. Using the term “plant-based meats,” and “vegan faux-meat” can find the business owner in jail for up to a year. This law was brought to you by The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.
The legislation defines meat as ‘any edible portion of livestock or poultry carcass or part thereof’ and requires that any labeled meat product is derived ‘in whole or in part, from livestock or poultry.’ Violators of this definition will henceforth be subject to up to one year in prison and fines of up to $1,000.” – Forbe’s
The law will also apply to “clean meat” which is produced by growing and multiplying cells in a lab. Animal rights organizations and environmental groups aren’t keen on the new law. It’s estimated that if we switched to eating lab-grown meat, we would cut agriculture emissions by 96%.
Missouri is the first state but not likely the last. The American beef industry has been lobbying to get “meat” banned from vegetable-based products for years, and meat industries want the ban to be nationwide.
The industry has cause for concern. TreeHugger says,
Americans ate 20 percent less beef in 2014 than they did in 2005. Veggie meat substitutes, by contrast, are a growing industry. And who knows what’ll happen when lab-based meats start making it into grocery stores.”