How To Reverse Climate Change – We Need Grazing Animals For Regenerative Agriculture

Meat consumption is not the problem. It’s how we farm the animals. A Regenerative Secret is a short documentary video that that shows the benefits of regenerative agriculture and exposes how concentrated animal feeding operations are detrimental to our ecosystem. The video is sponsored by Joyce Farms, produced by Finian Makepeace of Kiss the Ground and featuring Dr. Allen Williams, Ph.D, Joyce Farms’ Chief Ranching Officer and a leading expert in soil health and regenerative agriculture.

We need grazing animals. Proper, truly sustainable animal farming methods are what we need to regenerate our soil, and I don’t see this happening if everyone became vegans. The soil needs their dung. Regenerative farming practices can completely restore soil health, and at a rate most do not even know is possible.

If we continue using industrial and even sustainable organic farming methods, we are threatening both the long-term availability of the land to farm as well as our overall health. Regenerative agriculture practices can quite literally regenerate the land by rebuilding the soil, leaving it far better than our generations found it.” – Joyce Farms

Of course, we should radically reduce our meat consumption, which we would have to do if we stopped factory farming. But this is exactly what we need to do to be able to feed the estimated 12 billion people that will inhabit the earth before human population numbers stabilize. We need a lot more soil to grow produce and grains, and that soil needs to be very healthy.

Also, check out this video below for a more indepth explanation. “Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory. He reports that “desertification is happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it.”

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Judge Upholds Monsanto Glyphosate Verdict But Cuts Award to $78 Million

It seemed as though Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos was about to overturn the infamous $289 million verdict against Monsanto’s weed killer, glyphosate. The good news is that the San Fransico judge has upheld the ruling. The bad news is that she cut the award down to $78 million.

The compensation damages were set at $39 million and the punitive damage awarded (punishment) by the jury was $250 million. Judge Bolanos cut the punitive damage from $250 million to $39 million, matching compensation damages for a total award of $78 million. Bolanos said punitive damages that are more than seven times the size of the compensatory award are not legally justified. She said the ratio should be 1-to-1. The judge set a December 7th deadline for the plaintiff to accept a total of $78.6 million. Johnson’s spokeswoman, Diana McKinley, says that they are reviewing the decision and are yet to decide. If this award is rejected, Bayer is entitled to a new trial on just the punitive damages, according to the judge. Reportedly, Diana McKinley also said,

Related: Foods Most Likely to Contain Glyphosate

Although we believe a reduction in punitive damages was unwarranted and we are weighing the options, we are pleased the court did not disturb the verdict.”

Bayer recently acquired Monsanto. It’s stock fell more than percent in Frankfurt trading yesterday, which is the biggest drop since the Aug. 13 jury verdict.

Related: How to Avoid GMOs in 2018 – And Everything Else You Should Know About Genetic Engineering

Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos rejected Bayer’s arguments that the jury didn’t have legal basis to conclude that glyphosate causes cancer. Bayer says it will appeal the August 13th ruling. Bayer is facing another 8,700 plaintiffs who are saying that glyphosate causes cancer.

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Judge Plans To Overturn $289 Million Jury Verdict Against Monsanto

Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos said in a tentative ruling that she would likely overturn $250 million in punitive damages because there was no convincing evidence that Monsanto had knowingly manufactured a harmful product or acted “despicably” toward the plaintiff, Dewayne “Lee” Johnson.

Bayer AG, who recently acquired Monsanto, is challenging the verdict in August that awarded Dewayne Johnson $289 million. Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos out of San Francisco indicated that she plans to hold back $250 million of the award. This ruling will be very good news to Bayer since the company is defending itself against thousands of U.S. lawsuits.

Related: Foods Most Likely to Contain Glyphosate

The judge said that even if she decides not to vacate the $250 million punishment damages she will likely still grant a new trial. She says the evidence against Bayer was insufficient. She also didn’t like Brent Wisner’s closing arguments from the trial. Brent told jurors that Monsanto executives were hanging out in a company boardroom, “waiting for the phone to ring” and that “behind them is a bunch of champagne on ice,” according to a court filing. The lawyer went on to say that “if the damages number isn’t significant enough, champagne corks will pop.”

Related: How to Avoid GMOs in 2018 – And Everything Else You Should Know About Genetic Engineering

Bayer agrees with the court’s tentative ruling. The jury’s verdict was wholly at odds with over 40 years of real-world use, an extensive body of scientific data and analysis, including in-depth reviews by regulatory authorities in the U.S. and EU, and approvals in 160 countries, which support the conclusion that glyphosate-based herbicides are safe when used as directed and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.” – Bayer said in an emailed statement

The San Fransico Chronical reports that some of the jurors who awarded the $289 million verdicts are imploring the judge to reconsider her tentative decision to overturn most of the damages.

You may not have been convinced by the evidence but we were. I urge you to respect and honor our verdict and the six weeks of our lives that we dedicated to this trial.” – Juror Gary Kitahata said in a letter to Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos

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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.”

Related: How to Avoid GMOs in 2018 – And Everything Else You Should Know About Genetic Engineering

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.

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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.

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Benefits of Sunflowers

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.

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Foods Most Likely to Contain Glyphosate

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

Must Read: How to Avoid GMOs in 2018 – And Everything Else You Should Know About Genetic Engineering

Grains

Non-organic and non-GMO wheat, barley, buckwheat, millet, and oats are frequently sprayed with glyphosate as a desiccant shortly before processing.

Wheat

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.

Related: How to Heal your Gut

Oats

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.

Related: Stop Eating Like That and Start Eating Like This – Your Guide to Homeostasis Through Diet

Legumes

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.

Nuts

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.

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Canola

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.

Sugar

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.

Wine

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

What About Bob’s Red Mill?

On their website Bob’s Red Mill addressed the concerns on January 6, 2015:

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.”

But on September 5th of this year, Sustainable Pulse reported:

Bob’s Red Mill is facing a federal class action, filed in San Francisco Friday, after the world’s most used weedkiller, glyphosate, was discovered in both its organic and non-organic oats.

Related: How to Detox From Plastics and Other Endocrine Disruptors

Avoiding Glyphosate

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.

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Genetically Modified Salmon Sold As Sushi In Canada, Coming to the U.S. Soon.

The Cornucopia Institute reports that GMO salmon is being sold as sushi and sashimi in Canada. AquaBounty Technologies is a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company that produces genetically modified fish called “AquAdvantage,” that they say is “The World’s Most Sustainable Salmon.”

AquaBounty is the first and only company selling genetically engineered salmon. Scientists inserted a growth-hormone gene from Chinook salmon and genetic regulatory elements from the ocean pout into Atlantic salmon.

Although AquaBounty, the makers of engineered fast-growing salmon, have refused to tell the public where their product is being sold, their CEO recently bragged to investors that it is being used in the Canadian buyer’s “high-end sashimi lines, not their frozen prepared foods.” Consumers must continue to be wary of the origin of their food: know your farmer!” – The Cornucopia Institute

Ron Stotish, AquaBounty’s CEO, told investors last Thursday that they have sold 4.5 tonnes of it in Canada so far this year, and that,

The people who bought our fish were very happy with it. They put it in their high-end sashimi lines, not their frozen prepared foods.”

Related: How to Avoid GMOs in 2018 – And Everything Else You Should Know About Genetic Engineering

In Canada, GM fish does not have to be labeled as such. Consequently, customers may not know if the salmon they ordered is genetically modified.

AquaAdvantage Salmon is engineered to grow at twice the rate of regular salmon while consuming up to 2 percent less feed than regular farmed salmon.

This is an untenable situation. The fact that, once again, the company has let slip a piece of information to investors — but is information Canadian consumers need and don’t have — exposes how much it is that Canadians need labelling.” – Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network

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The FDA has approved AquAdvantage salmon for human consumption, but wild salmon is big business for Alaska, so Senator Lisa Murkowski and other Alaskan officials in Congress got the FDA to block AquAdvantage imports until new GMO labeling regulations are in effect for food labels.  Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced the amendment prohibiting the import of the GM eggs needed to produce AquaBounty’s salmon, and she co-sponsored legislation mandating the labeling of genetically engineered salmon.