Article by Maddy Harland: Monsanto buys up heirloom seed suppliers

https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/monsanto-buys-heirloom-seed-suppliers

Monsanto Buys Up Heirloom Seed Suppliers

Maddy Harland
Monday, 30th June 2014

Monsanto is buying up heirloom seed companies and trademarks. Maddy Harland discovers who is buying what and how to avoid Monsanto. She explores why what we buy can be a form of positive activism.

The NM Tree and Garden Center located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico has discovered that Monsanto is buying heirloom seed companies. They are also buying the trademarks to a number of heirloom seeds. This means that you may think you are supporting an heirloom seed company but in reality the company is owned by Monsanto. The seeds themselves are still non-GMO and heirloom and they can be saved at the end of the harvest and resown next season, but you are still giving money to Monsanto.

Monsanto are also buying trademarks so that no matter where you buy certain seeds, they get money from it. Here is a LINK to the trademarks and seed companies Monsanto supply and ones that they do not supply in the USA.

Here’s some tips on how to avoid Monsanto.

We need to all do our research when buying seeds (or any organically labelled product for that matter).

In Europe we have witnessed a proactive corporate programme to buy up ethical/organic companies. L’Oreal now own The Body Shop and have a poor record for animal testing. Green and Blacks fair trade chocolate were bought in 2006 by Cadbury who were then acquired by Kraft Foods, one of the huge food multi-nationals. Rachel’s Organic, founded by Welsh farmers, is now a subsidiary of French company Lactalis.

This is a deliberate strategy – so much so that Triodos Bank actually have a European fund to help small organic companies stay independent and resist being bought up.

Why are small organic/heirloom marques being acquired by the big global corporates? Firstly, there is a commercial market for them. Secondly, what you own you can control. Thirdly, if you are a vast industrial magnate and own one of these companies you can marginalise its market if you wish.

Ethics in Action

As consumers we have the power to first support our local producers and make sure they stay in business. Then we need to support larger ethical, organic companies like Yeo Valley who produce organic dairy products and still remain independently owned by the family who started the company. Sometimes this means spending more money on a product. But we have a choice: Do we want to eat a chocolate bar with cacao picked by children in a system that pays the farmer a subsistence wage or do we want an artisanal bar that costs much more but tastes better and is fairly traded? Do we buy yoghurt from a large corporate who is trading under an acquired organic brand or from a local supplier or a family owned national organic supplier?

Permaculture is all about Earthcare, Peoplecare and Fair shares. It is therefore not only about what we grow but what we buy. Shopping is a form of activism. We all do it to a greater or lesser degree. We have to activate our consciences.

About The NM Tree and Garden Center

The NM Tree and Garden Center is a small nursery located in Rio Rancho. NMT & GC is owned by a husband and wife partnership who have always loved gardening and growing. Everything they grow is organic and sustainable. All their seeds are heirloom and will never be GMO. We hope this blog will inspire you to start growing your own food and planting trees. Contact us with any questions and for ordering information.

Monsanto Takeover in Europe

Europe may have opened the gates to Monsanto to grow genetically modified crops. Due to an accepted proposal by the EU Environment Council last week, GM crops could be planted across Europe as soon as next year.

Even worse, the proposal could give Monsanto and other biotech giants the power to overturn decisions made by democratically-elected governments to ban GM crops.

The European Parliament can still reject this decision. With MEPs voting on the issue soon, we need to make sure they hear from citizens across the continent to reject this Monsanto-backed proposal. Sign THIS PETITION to show our MEPs this is not what Europe wants.

Further Resources

Watch: Patrick Whitefield’s tips for seed saving and making compost

FREE downloadable Guide to Seed Saving, Seed Stewardship & Seed Sovereignty

Top tips for seed saving

Collecting summer seeds

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Artikel om Michael Pollan om vår kost, från SvD

http://www.svd.se/michael-pollan-hela-varlden-har-en-atstorning?utm_source=SvDNYH1D&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2016-06-18

Av Henrik Ennart 18 juni 2016

Professor: Hela världen har en slags kollektiv ätstörning

Det finns ingen brist på kalorier på jorden. Dagens och framtidens hälsoproblem hänger ihop med något helt annat – ett slags kollektiv ätstörning, anser den amerikanske författaren, New York Times-kolumnisten och journalistprofessorn Michael Pollan.

Michael Pollan är allmänt ansedd som en av de absoluta förgrundsfigurerna i de senaste decenniernas folkliga uppror mot processad snabbmat och för en återgång till lokalproducerad mat baserad på färska råvaror.

Genom sina böcker – däribland The omnivores dilemma – som blivit till både filmer och tv-serier har Pollan i vida kretsar uppnått närmast ikonstatus.

SvD möter honom i den enda intervju han ger i samband med förra veckans EAT-konferens i Stockholm som tillkommit på initiativ av Stordalen foundation, Welcome trust och Stockholm resilience center.

Konferensens tema är hur vi skapar en uthållig livsmedelsförsörjning som klarar klimathotet och jordens växande befolkning, men Michael Pollan vill nyansera den gängse bilden av att det är en fråga om volym.

– Det finns många som tjänar på att säga av att vi måste producera mer mat: de stora jordbruksföretagen, kemikalieindustrin, de bolag som tar fram utsäde. Men i verkligheten produceras närmare 4 000 kilokalorier per individ på jorden om dagen. Det är nästan dubbelt mot vad vi behöver. Problemet är inte att vi äter för lite utan alldeles för mycket, men samtidigt att vi äter fel saker.

Michael Pollan påminner om att stora delar av den bästa åkerarealen används till att producera foder till djur trots att vi redan äter mer kött än vad som är hälsosamt.

Dessutom slänger vi massor av mat.

– Även i utvecklingsländerna är övernäring i dag det dominerande hälsoproblemet med fetma, diabetes och hjärtsjukdomar. Kina är det land i världen som har flest diabetiker, säger Michael Pollan.

Problemen, för sådana finns, ligger enligt honom i att människor äter fel mat, mat som är processad industriellt, mat som innehåller för lite mikronäringsämnen och som baseras på alldeles för få råvaror.

– I århundraden har all växtförädling gått ut på att få grödor att väga mer, inte en tanke har ägnats åt att få dem mer hälsosamma att äta, säger Michael Pollan.

Han påpekar att vår planet har producerat ett överskott av kalorier i mer än hundra år. På en mogen marknad måste företagen hitta nya sätt att tjäna pengar och det sker via förädling, vilket sällan ger nyttigare produkter, eller genom att få kunderna att äta mer än de mår bra av. Man kan också genom att dumpa priserna locka kunder från konkurrenter.

– Bönderna har pressats att överproducera mat vilket förstås lett till lägre priser och att bönderna inte får sin ekonomi att gå ihop. Resultatet är utslagning och dagens enorma storjordbruk med monokulturer som varken är bra för människor eller miljön.

– I butikerna ser det ut som att vi har stor valfrihet men det är en chimär. Läser du på etiketterna består nästan allt av majs och soja, säger Michael Pollan, som efterlyser ett jordbruk som producerar en mycket större mångfald av grödor.

I hans ögon är en jämlik distribution av mat ett mycket större framtidsproblem än att lyckas hålla uppe den totala livsmedelsproduktionen för att i framtiden föda nio miljarder människor.

I tredje världen leder odlingen av monokulturer till skogsskövling och till att människor i byarna blir av med sina egna täppor och småjordbruk. Om de inte får jobb som lönearbetare på storjordbruket har de varken egna grönsaker eller pengar att handla bra livsmedel för.

– Vad Afrika behöver för att klara livsmedelsförsörjningen handlar om att stimulera små och medelstora lokala jordbruk som är fristående från de stora leverantörerna av utsäde och bekämpningsmedel, och att ge stöd till dessa småjordbruk genom att skapa en lämplig infrastruktur, säger Michael Pollan.

– Tidigare stödinsatser då väst dumpat enorma mängder spannmål i fattiga länder har tvärtom slagit ut lokala odlare som inte längre kunnat få betalt för sin skörd, tillägger han.

Michael Pollan menar att människor i USA, liksom stora delar av världen, lider av en nationell ätstörning som grundar sig i att vi förlorat kontakten med matlagning och den jord som föder oss. I stället blir vi enkla offer för ständigt nya trenddieter och blir besatta av att försöka leva hälsosamt.

I grunden är människan en allätare och runt om i världen har olika ursprungsbefolkningar anpassat sig till helt olika dieter utifrån sina egna förutsättningar, påminner han. Massaierna i Kenya åt kött och blod och inte mycket mer, Grönlands inuiter levde på valspäck och Amerikas urinvånare livnärde sig på bönor och majs.

– Den franska paradoxen är att de har bättre hjärthälsa än vi, trots att de smaskar i sig ostar, dricker vin och äter gåslever. Den amerikanska paradoxen är att vi är ett folk som grubblar osannolikt mycket över vad vi ska äta och ändå har den värsta kosthållningen i världen.

I sina böcker har Michael Pollan gått hela vägen från trädsgårdsodling, över en lång rad granskande reportage av jordbruket och livsmedelsindustrin till en personlig guide om vad man egentligen bör äta. Den kokar ner till det smått klassiska rådet: ”Ät mat. Inte för mycket. Mest växter.”

Med mat menar han allt som hans egen farmor skulle kunna identifiera som mat – grönsaker, frukt, fullkorn, fisk och även lite kött – men som inte innehåller vad Michael Pollan beskriver som ”ätliga matliknande substanser”.

Glöm alltså alla de senaste decenniernas högprocessade matliknande produkter som uppfunnits i ett laboratorium och fyllts på med en eller annan för tillfället populär vitamin.

Tongivande kritiker av processad mat

Michael Pollan är författare, mångårig kolumnist i New York Times magazine och professor i miljö- och vetenskapsjournalistik vid Berkeley-universitetet.

Mest känd är han dock som tongivande kritiker av de multinationella jordbruksföretagens inverkan på miljön och den mat vi äter. Han är också en förgrundsfigur i den globala rörelsen bort från processad industrimat till förmån för mat lagad av färska närproducerade råvaror.

Fem av hans böcker har blivit New York Times bestseller och 2010 rankades Michael Pollan av Time Magazine på listan över världens 100 mest inflytelserika personer.

Michael Pollan är född 1955 och är bosatt utanför San Francisco.

Böcker i urval

• Second nature (1991)

• A place of my own (1997)

• The botany of desire (2001)

• The omnivores dilemma (2006)

• In defense of food (2008)

• Cooked: A natural history of
transformation (2013)

Maten som ger jordens friskaste människor

SvD:s Henrik Ennart har de senaste åren besökt de så kallade blå zonerna, där flest 100-åringar lever runt om i världen. Utifrån mötena med världens äldsta människor har han sammanställt de viktigaste råden kring just maten. Samtliga reportage finns på samlingssidan Planetens blå zoner.

Article: Why Processed Foods May Promote Gut Inflammation

http://www.livescience.com/54839-food-additives-gut-bacteria.html

Why Processed Foods May Promote Gut Inflammation

By Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer | May 23, 2016 02:13pm ET

SAN DIEGO – Certain food additives may interfere with your gut bacteria, causing changes that boost inflammation in the intestines and potentially promote the development of some chronic diseases, a new study suggests.

In the study, researchers looked at ingredients called emulsifiers, which are added to many processed foods, including ice cream and peanut butter, to improve those foods’ texture and extend their shelf life.

The researchers used a special piece of lab equipment that’s intended to simulate the human gut, including its bacteria, and consists of a series of pumps and glass containers. The scientists added two emulsifiers called carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) and polysorbate-80 (P80), to a simulation of normal gut contents.

Adding the emulsifiers led to a dramatic increase in a marker of gut inflammation, said study co-author Benoit Chassaing, an assistant professor of biomedical science at Georgia State University. Chassaing presented the study here on Saturday (May 21) at Digestive Disease Week, a scientific meeting focused on digestive diseases.

The researchers then took the altered community of gut bacteria out of the lab equipment and implanted it into mice that didn’t have any gut bacteria of their own. These mice also developed intestinal inflammation and showed signs of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes obesity, high blood sugar and insulin resistance.

The study shows that emulsifiers directly affect gut bacteria, Chassaing said. However, the researchers still need to test whether emulsifiers have the same effect in people, and so the investigators are already planning a study, he told Live Science. [5 Ways Gut Bacteria Affect Your Health]

The new findings add to those of a 2013 study by the same group of researchers, which found that emulsifiers promote the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in mice that are genetically predisposed to the condition. The 2013 study also found that emulsifiers were linked with inflammation in normal mice (that were not genetically predisposed to gut diseases). However, at the time, the researchers didn’t know if the emulsifiers directly affected the gut bacteria, or if they instead affected the mouse’s own cells.

The new study was able to rule out any impact of the mouse’s own cells, because the simulator used is a mechanical model of the gut, the researchers said.

In the upcoming study in people, the researchers will likely put participants on an emulsifier-free diet for a month, and then switch some of the participants back to a diet that includes emulsifiers, Chassaing said. The researchers will then examine whether the two groups show differences in gut inflammation and changes in bacteria, he said.

Emulsifiers are listed on ingredient labels, but the additives go by many different names, Chassaing said. This makes it hard to avoid emulsifiers simply by reading food labels. The best way to keep from eating emulsifiers is to avoid processed food, he said.

 

Video: Dr Peter Glidden, Chemotherapy is a Waste of Money

If the things Dr Peter Glidden talks about in this video is true (as they might be) then it’s really bad…
Laddades upp den 18 juli 2011

http://www.ihealthtube.com

Dr. Peter Glidden talks about the incredibly low success rate for chemotherapy as a cancer treatment. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all of your options before deciding on a cancer treatment path.

Artikel (Ulla Gabay) Industrikosten hotar människans inre miljö

Ytterligare en intressant artikel av Ulla Gabay:

http://newsvoice.se/2016/06/22/industrikosten-hotar-manniskans-inre-miljo-amnet-maste-in-i-den-politiska-agendan/

Industrikosten hotar människans inre miljö – Ämnet måste in i den politiska agendan

Bok av Ulla Gabay: Hälsofällan, om miljöbomben i magen (och vad du kan göra åt den)

Jag har postat flera artiklar om Ulla Gabay här förut, hon har en hel del vettiga saker att säga, här kan man hitta en bok av henne:

http://www.bokus.com/bok/9789187519277/halsofallan-om-miljobomben-i-magen-och-vad-du-kan-gora-at-den/

HÄLSOFÄLLA – om miljöbomben i magen och vad du kan göra åt den / Ulla Gabay
Följ med journalisten Ulla Gabay på en halsbrytande resa i ett kostlandskap där ett hälsostup lurar bakom varje smaktopp. Häng på och syna den industriella maten. Full av miljögifter, godkända livsmedelsgifter, kemikalier och syntetiska tillsatser.
Din inre miljö hotas på samma sätt som den yttre. Vinster sätts före din hälsa. Köpta forskare har fingret rakt i kostgrytan. I slutna rum gör regeringar och myndigheter upp om vansinnet med vår mat. Och läkemedelsindustrin tjänar pengar på konsekvenserna.
Samtidigt som svälten minskar i U-länderna, drabbas välfärdens övergödda befolkning av undernäring. I takt med att industrin har tagit över kostcirkeln har kroniska folksjukdomar, autoimmunitet och cancer ökat. Resultatet av den moderna synen på mat är ett stort livsmedelsexperiment inom jordbruksindustrin, matindustrin och biotekniken. Med oss vanliga människor som försökskaniner, utan att någon idag kan förutse hur hälsan påverkas på sikt. Eller vilka epigenetiska effekter det för med sig för framtida generationer.
Lösningen på problemet finns. Du måste själv ta ett större ansvar för din hälsa. Genom att skaffa dig kunskap om maten, matsmältningen och den näring din kropp behöver. Du måste sluta köpa industrins snabbmat och försurande hel- och halvfabrikat och istället välja äkta mat. Närodlad och ekologisk.
I Hälsofällan får du kunskapen du behöver, matnyttiga tips och en metod att kombinera maten, KombiMaxa, som underlättar din matsmältning.

Om författaren:
Ulla Gaby vet vad hon talar om. Hon har själv drabbats av sjukdomar på grund av felaktig kost, olika dieter och olika mediciner. Men hon har genom att äta rätt fått tillbaka sin hälsa. Det hon har att säga är värt att lyssna till om du själv vill hålla dig frisk och leva länge!

Sagt om Hälsofällan:
“Hälsofällan är den mest informativa bok i ämnet som hittills har skrivits på svenska av lekmän.” Professor Stig Bengmark

Article about “nutritional drinks and shakes”…

To eat nutritional, healthy food is really important, and even more important for people that are very sick – I can’t understand how this is allowed…

http://millionsagainstmonsanto.com/the-truth-about-ensure-nutrition-drinks/

“I WOULDN’T FEED THIS STUFF TO A DYING ANIMAL” – TERMINAL HOSPICE PATIENT EXPOSES TRUTH ABOUT ENSURE NUTRITION DRINKS

APRIL 12, 2016

Carrol Krause, a former reporter for the Herald-Times of BloomingtonIndiana, had to retire from her journalism career because of an ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2014. Before she passed away in February, she wrote a blog titled ‘Stories by Carrol’ highlighting the best and the worst of her last days.

A few months ago she started having digestive issues and could no longer eat normal food. What hospice workers brought her as meal replacements horrified her.

Krause writes: “Hospice had the very best of intentions, [but] the stuff they sent over was not real FOOD. In fact, I’m outraged at the idea that they feed this stuff to dying people.”

What the hospice provided to Krause was a bag full of products by Ensure: pudding, shakes, and a drink that pretends to be apple juice.

All three are full of chemicals with about as much actual nutritional value as most commercial junk food, and these drinks are meant to be the nutritional lifeline for people who are extremely sick.

Ensure is owned by Abbott Nutrition, one of the worst examples of a Big Food corporation masquerading as a healthy alternative you’ll ever see. The company has deep ties to the medical industry and as such you can find their products in just about every hospital today, which is bad news for millions of patients who are just trying to get healthier.

The Truth About Ensure

Ensure is a brand by Abbott that makes medical “nutritional shakes and drinks.” It makes big claims to customers such as “#1 Doctor Recommended”  and “Worldwide Leader in Nutritional Science” but in reality their products are as far away from a healthy meal as you can get. Sadly, these products are often given to patients in extremely poor health, who need proper nutrition the most. Instead, when consuming these products they are receiving the following: preservatives, fillers, and chemicals.

To make matters worse, Abbott Nutrition is a member of the notorious pro-GMO organization the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and to date has given nearly a million dollars to fight against GMO labeling in the United States.

Does this sound like the type of company whose products you should be feeding your loved ones? After you see these products and their ingredients you’ll have the answer.

Ensure Clear™ Therapeutic Nutrition

The front of the package for Ensure Clear portrays an orange drink with an apple next to it, the back of the package is quick to verify, however: this product “contains no apple juice” or any juice. Instead its two main ingredients are water and sugar. It also contains the following:

“I Wouldn’t Feed This Stuff to a Dying Animal” – Terminal Hospice Patient Exposes Truth About Ensure Nutrition Drinks

 

Toxins, Chemicals, and Pesticides

Corn Syrup Solids are made of dehydrated corn syrup, which is 100% glucose, a type of sugar that adds to the risk of obesity. Corn syrup is also almost always made from GMO corn, and has been linked to diabetes, and cancer.

Cupric sulfate is actually a pesticide and fungicide, that is toxic, and can cause gastrointestinal issues, anemia, and even death at high doses. It is also genotoxic, meaning it can cause the cells to mutate due to genetic damage.

Chromium chloride is toxic and has negative affects on the reproductive system for both men and women, stomach problems, abnormal bleeding, and ulcers.

Sodium Selenite is a toxic ingredient produced as a byproduct of copper metal refining. Yet, it is often labeled as a “nutrient.” The Environmental Protection Agency has classified it as dangerous.

Natural and Artificial Flavors can include a row of different chemicals, often derived from inorganic sources, and are harmful to health, adding to the contributions for illnesses in the whole body, including different types of cancers.

Synthetic Vitamins:

While our bodies, especially when sick, do require a lot of vitamins, there is a huge difference between natural vitamins derived from food or natural sources, versus synthetic vitamins. Unfortunately, the vitamins contained in Ensure products and other commercialized “health” foods and supplements are almost always synthetic, and are manufactured with chemicals. Generally speaking, when a new study comes out that claims that some vitamin is toxic at high levels, it is because only the synthetic version of it has been studied, yet it gets lumped together with natural vitamins.

Synthetics do not get absorbed by the body in the same way as natural vitamins, because they have been “isolated” – they are separated from the entire vitamin complex and trace minerals and enzymes. What a synthetic vitamin is lacking, the body tries to make up for by itself, and depletes its existing nutrients in the process, as explained byOrganic Consumers.

“This process results in an overall negative health effect while minimizing any gains that could have been achieved by the supplement,” according to “Nutri-Con: The Truth about Vitamins & Supplements” report by The Hippocrates Health Institute.

Other ingredients include:

Dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate is a synthetic kind of Vitamin E. Not only is the synthetic kind only 12% as effective as natural Vitamin E, it is often created as a byproduct of  a petrochemical dependent manufacturing process. It also has been associated with an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, DNA damage, and other adverse effects.

Ferrous sulfate: a synthetic from of iron, and can cause constipation, nausea, allergic reactions, and gastrointestinal issues.

Niacinamide is a synthetic form of vitamin B3 and its list of side effects includes a few dozen of conditions, including liver failure.

Manganese sulfate is made “from the reaction between manganese oxide and sulfuric acid” and is often is used in paints and varnishes, fertilizers and fungicides, and ceramic, besides medicines  (manganese itself is a mineral).

Calcium Pantothenate is a synthetic substance made from pantothenic acid, trying to mimic natural vitamin B5.

Vitamin A Palmitate is a synthetic form of vitamin A, which like many others above can cause liver damage and stomach issues.

Zinc Sulfate is in organic form of zinc, and can be toxic to cells, as well as dangerous to the environment.

Sodium molybdate is a chemical form of sodium, and it has shown to have negative effects on fertility in animals.

Other synthetic vitamins are also included, and additional ingredients are: Whey Protein Isolate (likely from cows fed GMO corn), Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (a synthetic form of vitamin C that is usually inorganic and hard for the body to digest), Folic acid, Biotin, and Vitamin D3.

This is just the ingredient list of one of Ensure’s top products, and as you can see it’s basically nutritionally worthless compared to real, honest food.

Carrol’s Call for Action

“Soup is good food. Pudding can be good food too, if it has real milk and egg in it… But this swill (I don’t know what other word to call it) from Hospice is completely vile,” Krause wrote in her blog in September 2015. “It’s not real food, only a collection of starches, sugars, artificial flavors and nutritional powders all mixed into water.”

Like many people are beginning to realize, to pretend that Ensure and similar drinks are real food can be dangerous to a person’s health, Krause wrote:

“Maybe someone who spends their life eating at fast-food joints wouldn’t object to eating Ensure products, but I do, because I know the difference between real food and fake food…

“I wouldn’t feed this stuff to a dying animal, let alone a dying human being. If you agree, let the hospital management know. Or snipe at them via social media until they begin to pay attention. I think it’s time for a food fight!

***

For information on the true history of cancer and natural treatment options, you can check out ‘The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest,’ airing for free online from April 12 – 20. Click here to sign up for free.

Original article and credits: althealthworks.com by 

Article: The Spin on Aspartame (Healthy holistic living)

I’ve been writing and re-posting a lot about aspartame, but a reminder about it is always good… and I’m always suspicious about those synthetic sweetener – if you really really need to use something sweet, use real sugar, or stevia (as in the green powder, powdered leaves..) This article is from the website healthyholisticliving.com – I couldn’t find out who’s the author, but I tagged the people I found listed on the website…

http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/spin-aspartame.html

The Spin on Aspartame

If you google “aspartame,” the results will take you literally days to wade through-believe me, I know. I’ve been sifting through it for days. There’s more than enough information, research, and speculation out there on the subject to fill volumes, and this is just a small article.

So rather than simply rehash everything that has been written about aspartame (I’ve included some links at the end of this article, and within it, for those who want more information), I wanted to take a different approach. I wanted to focus on a small part of the debate, and then follow it through to wherever it took me.

I wanted to look at the folks who keep assuring us that it’s safe: the experts. Experts in the government, experts in the medical field, the people who keep patting us on the head and telling us not to worry, that if aspartame was dangerous, they’d tell us.

The problem was, I’ve always been something of a skeptic. The more someone pats me on the head, the more I start looking for something up his sleeve.

But, as skeptical as I am, what I found startled me: a concerted effort, on the part of those at the highest levels of our government and those at the highest levels of the medical community, to mislead us about the safety of aspartame.

Let me be clear: We have been deceived about the safety of a dangerous product, and all in the name of corporate profits.

Before you read on, check out this video:

Where did aspartame come from? It was first developed by the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle. But Searle had difficulty getting their product approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency responsible for making sure our food and drugs are safe: Apparently, the monkeys and mice the substance was tested on developed brain lesions, tumors, and seizures, and even died from it. The company’s applications for approval were rejected for 16 years, but they persisted in offering their “proof” that aspartame was safe until the FDA finally asked the Department of Justice to prosecute G.D. Searle for submitting fraudulent test data in their efforts to get the substance approved. (An FDA senior toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, once told Congress, “Beyond a shadow of a doubt aspartame triggers brain tumors.”)

But then G.D. Searle, producer of aspartame, made Donald Rumsfeld its CEO-yes, that Donald Rumsfeld. When Ronald Reagan took office and brought Rumsfeld with him as part of his transition team, a new FDA commissioner was appointed immediately. In one of his first acts as head of the federal agency, the new FDA commissioner approved aspartame, the artificial sweetener made by the company that Donald Rumsfeld was now the head of, over the objections of the FDA scientific board.

And here’s a strange bit of trivia: When it looked like aspartame would be approved later on for use in carbonated beverages, the National Soft Drink Association itself objected, saying it wouldn’t be safe because aspartame is very unstable in liquid form and breaks down into, among other things, formaldehyde. Monsanto bought G.D. Searle and Co. in 1985, and the NutraSweet Company operated as part of Monsanto until 2000, when Monsanto sold it to J.W. Childs Equity Partners, where it remains today.

And in all this time, the FDA has compiled a list of 92 symptoms associated with aspartame consumption, including nausea, dizziness, blindness, deafness, weight gain, and even death. And aspartame is still here, and it’s showing up in more and more products.

In fact, the Aspartame Resource Center, at http://www.aboutaspartame.com, notes that it is found in more than 6,000 products worldwide. And they should know: the Aspartame Resource Center is actually a public relations and “information” arm of Ajinomoto, one of the world’s largest producers of aspartame, the other being the NutraSweet Company. (Ajinomoto is also known for its other additive, monosodium glutamate, or MSG.) The ARC site is full of cheerful information on the safety of aspartame, and they even have a section labeled “Meet the doctors,” which lists their “medical advisory board.”

In that section, the ARC says, “The Aspartame Information Center Expert Medical Advisory Board was created to help guide the Center’s communications to health professionals and the public about aspartame benefits, safety and role in a healthy diet. The board members provide counsel on current medical and nutrition science, as well as insight on tools that help address the needs of health professionals in their work. Their backgrounds span critical areas of medicine and science, and each has unique experience in health and nutrition.”

But, wait. Are they confused about who they are? What is this “Aspartame Information Center” they mention? I looked it up: http://www.aspartame.org. They, too, have a laundry list of “experts” they use to back up their claims that aspartame is safe, including our very own FDA and something called the Calorie Control Council. In fact, the Calorie Control Council owns the Aspartame Information Center site and is listed on the bottom of every page as the copyright holder.

But back to the ARC. The Aspartame Resource Center offers all sorts of “fact” sheets you can download, including one called “Straight Answers About Aspartame.” It was prepared by the American Dietetic Association . . . and the Calorie Control Council. At the bottom, the fact sheet notes that it has been sponsored by aspartame.org, that is, the Aspartame Information Center, a.k.a. the Aspartame Resource Center, a.k.a. Ajinomoto, one of the world’s biggest producers of aspartame.

Ajinomoto, in cahoots with the American Dietetic Association? Let’s see who’s behind the Calorie Calorie Control Council. Here’s what their own site, at http://www.caloriecontrol.org, says: “The Calorie Control Council, established in 1966 . . . represents 60 manufacturers and suppliers of low-calorie, low-fat and light foods and beverages, including the manufacturers and suppliers of more than a dozen different dietary sweeteners . . .”

Go further, and you’ll see another site connected to the Calorie Contol Council, called Calories Count, at http://www.caloriescount.com, which lists as its sponsors . . . wait for it . . . Ajinomoto, NutraSweet, Splenda, and Sweet ‘N Low. You can take a look at their sponsorship page here: http://www.caloriescount.com/support.html.

Because it’s hard to keep the players straight in the aspartame follies, let’s recap. The folks at the FDA thought aspartame was dangerous, so they wouldn’t approve it. They changed their minds when the president at that time and his buddy, Donald Rumsfeld, who just happened to be the head of the company that made aspartame, appointed a new head of the FDA. Miraculously, aspartame was approved not long afterward, after sixteen years of being rejected. And when we look for information on aspartame, to allay our concerns, we find Web sites full of comforting information showing us how safe the stuff is, written by reliable organizations like the American Dietetic Association, and sponsored by . . . aspartame.

Got that? Okay, but there’s more. Because I was trying not to get lost in the organizational rabbit hole, I backed out again to the Aspartame Resource Center and its expert medical advisors. After all, these were the medical professionals, the people who had the scientific knowledge, not to mention the connections with both the governmental agencies that protect our health and the largest medical and health organizations. Surely, they were to be trusted.

Skeptical, I started with the first name on the list, and I fell into yet another rabbit hole that seems, even now, to have no end. In fact, I never got past that first name.

The first name on the list? C. Wayne Callaway, M.D.


I went first to his own Web site. Once you get past the introductory quote from Hippocrates, you can find all sorts of interesting information there. In fact, he has very helpfully posted his entire curriculum vitae for all and sundry to see.

C. Wayne Callaway, M.D., received his medical training at Northwestern University, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and Harvard University. Very impressive. He’s board certified in Internal Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, and Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and has held academic appointments at Harvard Medical School, Mayo Medical School, and George Washington University.

He also works with the Mayo Clinic, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the USDA; he was an advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General and helped develop dietary guidelines for the USDA. He served as chair of the Public Information Committee of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition and the American Society for Nutrition Sciences, has been a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Nutrition, has been a committee member at the American Heart Association, has been an advisor to the American Medical Association.

And he’s served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, among other medical journals. Whew-busy man. Want more? His publications have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and the International Journal of Obesity, among others.

The separate biography on his site tells us that Dr. Callaway “has offered his expert views on nutrition on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, ESPN, and numerous affiliates, and has appeared on the McNeill-Lehrer Newshour, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Phil Donahue, Larry King Live, and other nationally syndicated news and talk programs.” His opinions on nutrition and health are “frequently published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and Wall Street Journal, as well as in numerous magazines (Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Business Week, Vogue, Elle, Glamour, People, Self, Health, Prevention, and others).” You know, the mainstream media.



Callaway’s bio says, “Dr. Callaway is a member of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition.” And remember, we also saw that he served as chair of the Public Information Committee of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition. But looking for the American Society for Clinical Nutrition takes you directly to the American Society for Nutrition, http://www.nutrition.org. They publish the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “the highest ranked peer-reviewed journal in nutrition and dietetics,” and the Journal of Nutrition, “which provides the latest research on a broad spectrum of topics of vital interest to researchers, students, policymakers and all individuals with interests in nutrition.”

Sounds impressive, until you start poking at it, as I did. If you keep going deeper down that particular rabbit hole, you find that the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, A.K.A. the American Society for Nutrition, is supported by what they call “sustaining members,” which, they say, “[provide] corporate financial support for the society’s activities in education/training, scientific programs and professional outreach.” The site says that sustaining members have “the ability to sponsor educational opportunities, grants and other items.” Oddly, they don’t specify what those “other items” might be, but I’d be willing to bet that research is one of them.

Would you like to know who some of the sustaining members are? Get ready: The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Cadbury Schweppes. Campbell Soup Company. ConAgra Foods. Dannon. Eli Lilly. General Mills. Gerber. GlaxoSmithKline. Kellog. Kraft. Mars. McCormick. Monsanto (of course!). The National Dairy Council. Nestle. PepsiCo. POM Wonderful (maker of those nifty pomegranate juices). Procter & Gamble. The Sugar Association. Unilever. Wrigley. Wyeth. 

To recap, because the players are getting a bit confusing now, Dr. C. Wayne Callaway is a recognized expert in nutrition, such an expert, in fact, that he testifies before Congress and appears on national television to expound on his views on food and nutrition. His views are published nationally, and frequently. He is, in short, a national expert, and his views are taken very, very seriously, and published in well respected medical journals. And he pats us on the back and tells us not to worry, aspartame is safe.

And he works with and writes for the folks who are “supported,” a.k.a. “paid by,” the food industry that uses aspartame. Indeed, he is a “medical expert” on the safety of aspartame, one hired by the aspartame industry to go before the mainstream media and tell us how safe aspartame is.



Dr. Callaway’s resume lists these as government agencies that he consults for: the Department of Health & Human Services; the National Insitutes of Health, or NIH; the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences; the U.S. Congress; the USDA, and, oddly, the U.S. Postal Service, to catch us, perhaps, if we try to send stevia through the mail.

Oh, and one more agency he consults for: the FDA. His Web site also helpfully lists the industry folks he consults for, a.k.a. “is paid by.” They include the American Institute of Wine and Food; Mars; Mead Johnson Nutritional Group; the Milk Industry Foundation; the Monsanto Corporation; Nabisco, Inc.; the National Dairy Council; the Nestle Foundation for Nutrition and Health; Ocean Spray; Parke-Davis; Proctor & Gamble; Quaker Oats; the United Dairy Industry.

Oh, and one more: NutraSweet.

To recap once again, a nationally recognized expert on nutrition who says, in his extraordinarily frequent public appearances, that aspartame is safe, is paid by Ajinomoto and NutraSweet, the two largest producers of aspartame, to say that aspartame is safe. (And, this may be helpful for some of you, he’s also spoken about the safety of Olestra. Just, you know, fyi.) I said earlier that we were being misled in the name of corporate profits. Where do the profits come in? It is projected that the U.S. market for artificial sweeteners, with aspartame leading the charge, will be about $1.1 billion by 2010. That’s in this country, only; worldwide, it’s projected to be over $3 billion. That’s a lot of money for an easily concoted chemical.

* * *So how do you know if a product contains aspartame? The Aspartame Resource Center says simply looking at the ingredient list will tell you if the product contains aspartame, and indeed, the FDA requires that aspartame be listed on the label. Right, that ARC, that FDA. But just in case a company hasn’t listed it, if the label mentions “phenylalanine” at all, which is a component of aspartame, then the product contains aspartame.

But you’ll need to be vigilant, especially given the tiny print on most ingredient labels. And given the propensity of aspartame to turn up where you least expect it, such as in the vitamins you give to your child, or your liquid antibiotics, or your Metamucil.

The bottom line is, your vigilance is the only thing standing between you and your unwilling ingestion of a dangerous product. Our government and our medical experts are in the very deep pockets of the industry that makes and sells that dangerous product, and no help is going to come from them. None.

* * *At the top of the home page for the Aspartame Information Center-which, don’t forget, is actually Ajinomoto, one of the two biggest producers of aspartame-we see this quote: “Few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated, close scrutiny, and the process through which aspartame has gone should provide the public with additional confidence of its safety.”

It’s attributed to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Pat, pat, pat.

If you would like to learn more you may want to read other articles on aspartame and the potential health risks associated with its use.

Looking for additional information? Check out this video:

Below is a list of links that you may find helpful in sorting out the facts:

-www.aspartamesafety.com

-http://aspartame.worldwidewarning.net/

-http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/

-http://www.sweetpoison.com/

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18495230

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18495230

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20884773

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097267

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22766026

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11408989

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22457081

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20886530

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17354619

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22509243

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097267

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16507461

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17805418

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9714421

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22385158

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18343556

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17673349

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11991085

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17119233

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22922192

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17805418

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21376768

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23088901

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16352620

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19896282

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18627677

-http://www.wnho.net/monkey_study.pdf

Want more information about the graphic? Check out Monsanto’s Dirty Dozen by GMO Awareness

 

Artikel av Stig Bengmark om majs och hirs (28 mars 2016)

Jag slutade äta gluten/vete för flera år sedan, och äter mindre och mindre av andra spannmålsprodukter, försöker hålla mig uppdaterad om vad som gäller, med hjälp av såna här artiklar… 

https://foodpharmacy.se/2016/03/nej-tack-till-majs-och-hirs-det-finns-battre/

NEJ TACK TILL MAJS OCH HIRS – DET FINNS BÄTTRE

Av alla plantor är kanske majs den som växtförädlarna förstört allra mest. Det är också den planta som allra oftast är förstörd av GMO.

Skärmavbild 2017-11-27 kl. 21.39.37.png

En gång i tiden var majskolven mycket liten och innehöll mycket mer av många olika nyttigheter än vad dagens ”överförädlade” majs gör. Som vanligt var det girighet och kravet på ökad avkastning som drev utvecklingen till den produkt vi har idag. Idag är, enligt min mening, majs otjänlig som föda för människor. Jag skulle gärna se att den inte ens används som djurföda – framför allt för miljöns skull. Varje år skövlas stora arealer av regnskog för att tillfredsställa behovet av majs som föda till djur, främst inom kött- och mjölkproduktionen.

Skärmavbild 2017-11-27 kl. 21.39.44

Som denna bild visar är världsproduktionen av majs redan mycket omfattande och den beräknas fortsätta öka i rask takt också under kommande år – detta till fortsatt tilltagande stor skada för miljön. En drastisk reduktion i efterfrågan av kött och mejerivaror är faktiskt det enda som kan stoppa denna utveckling.

Tomma kalorier – inget annat!

Majsmjöl är, liksom rismjöl och potatismjöl, bara tomma kalorier – ”skräpmjöl” – som vi alla gärna kan avstå ifrån. Dessa mjölsorter har alla oacceptabelt högt GI:

Majs och majsprodukter:
Majsmjöl 97, majsbröd 92, cornflakes 121, majschips/nachos 105, popcorn 79

Ris och risprodukter:
Riskakor 117, risnudlar 131, snabbris 128, råris 81, puffat ris 132

Potatisprodukter:
Chips 77, potatismos 118, potatismjöl 110

Oväntat och till min stora besvikelse så talar mycket för att också ett annat sädesslag skall undvikas, ett sädesslag som tyvärr många uppfattar som nyttigt: hirs. Hirs är tveksamt av flera skäl:

• Det har ett jämförelsevis högt GI – 101.

• Det innehåller rikligt med saponiner, känt för att öka tarmläckage och därmed tarmens genomsläpplighet av gifter t.ex. bakterietoxiner som endotoxin, men faktiskt också rester av eller t.o.m. hela bakterier.

• Det är rikligt på fytinsyra/fytat – en substans som är känd för att binda nyttiga mineraler som järn, kalcium, zink och magnesium – och minskar därmed kroppens förmåga till upptag av viktiga mineraler.

• Det framhålls också som nackdel att hirs har ett mycket lågt innehåll av den viktiga mineralen jod.

Majs – värstingarnas värsting

Majs är sällsynt kaloririk och ofta sätter man till stora mängder socker. En studie av kaloriinnehållet i bio-popcorn vid Londons många biografer visade att alla strutar/påsar utom en innehöll mer än 1000 kalorier – d.v.s. en kalorimängd som motsvarar hälften eller mer av rekommenderat daglig kaloriintag för t.ex. en femtonåring. Den mängd socker som ofta tillsätts ökar faktiskt inte bara mängden kalorier utan bidrar också till majsens förmåga att inducera förhöjd inflammation i kroppen. Tyvärr är det också så att popcorn inte längre bara äts av barn och vuxna vid enstaka biobesök, utan faktiskt ganska regelbundet hemma i TV-soffan – i många familjer är det ett uppskattat inslag i bl.a. fredagsmys.

Majs är rikt på proteotoxinet zein – mer känd som ingrediens vid framställning av plaster
Men, det är inte kaloriinnehållet som gör majs till en ”värsting” – den egenskapen har många andra livsmedel också. Nej, det som gör majs till en värsting är dess innehåll av ett gluten- och kaseinliknande proteotoxin, kallat zein. Zein är ganska okänt i hälsokretsar, men desto mer välkänt inom plastindustrin. Zein används bl.a. för tillverkning av diverse plastprodukter som t.ex. för beläggning för att hindra läckage i pappersmuggar, för tätning av tyger, till produktion av knappar och, precis som gluten i det förgångna, till klister.

Zein i kosten har visat sig ha katastrofalt inflytande på aktiveringen av signalsubstanser, speciellt serotonin och melatonin och faktiskt också epinephrin och dopamin – alla sammanfattade under begreppet monoaminer. Zein blockerar inlagringen i kroppens celler, speciellt i hjärnans celler, av den essentiella aminosyran tryptophan – en essentiell aminosyra är en substans som kroppen inte själv kan tillverka utan den måste tillföras via kosten.

Tryptophan finns rikligt i bl.a. linfrö, bovete, bananer, sura körsbär och mörk choklad. Det är välkänt att för att tryptophan skall fungera optimalt i kroppen så krävs också bl.a. rik tillgång på mineral som magnesium och vitaminer som vitamin B6. Källor till dessa är:

Skärmavbild 2017-11-27 kl. 21.39.55.png
Monoaminer som serotonin och melatonin är ytterst viktiga för välbefinnandet

Serotonin – ”den lugna själens signalsubstans” – och melatonin – ”dygnsrytmens och sömnen signalsubstans” – bildas bland annat i hjärnan. Det är välkänt att vid flera neuropsykiatriska tillstånd är aktiveringen av dessa monoaminer mycket bristfällig.

En mycket intressant studie på djur visar att inlagring i cellerna av den viktiga substansen tryptophan reduceras kraftigt av olika proteotoxiner: mycket starkt av zein, påtagligt av gluten (vete, råg och korn) och kasein (mejerivaror) men obetydligt av laktoalbumin. Intag av växtprotein däremot förbättrar om än ganska obetydligt (1) denna situation – se bild nedan. Minskning i tillgänglighet av tryptophan i hjärnan åtföljs alltid av motsvarande minskningar i syntes/aktivering av de ”livsviktiga” signalsubstanserna.

Skärmavbild 2017-11-27 kl. 21.40.03

Bristfällig monoamin-funktion har iakttagits vid bl.a. flera olika neuropsykiatriska tillstånd

Brist på/bristande balans av monoaminer – speciellt i hjärnan – är faktiskt välkänt vid en rak neuropsykiatriska sjukdomar som depression, ADHD, Schizofreni och Parkinsons sjukdom m.fl. – sjukdomar som dessutom är starkt associerade med dålig tarmfunktion (orsakad av dåliga matvanor) och dåligt upptag av en mängd olika substanser bl. a. vitamin D, vitamin K och tryptophan. Mitt hopp är att rekonditionering av tarmfloran med min synbiotika i framtiden skall bidra till ökad frisättning av viktiga substanser som magnesium, olika vitaminer och framförallt tryptophan, och därigenom påtagligt förbättra situationen.

Jag är övertygad att vi alla mår bra av att avstå från majs, majsprodukter och säkert också hirs. Särskilt bör det gälla de som har neuropsykiatriska sjukdomar,och kanske alldeles särskilt de som har bokstavssjukdomar. Amfetamin, som ofta användes i behandling av ADHD, har en molekylär struktur som faktiskt påminner mycket om tryptophan – kanske är det som tryptophan-ersättning som den har sina effekter.

Det nyttiga sitter i skalen

Att kvoten är hög mellan skal och mjöl är viktigt – det är främst i skalet som alla nyttigheter sitter. Mjölet är mest tomma kalorier och av det vill vi ha så litet som möjligt.  I Mariannes och mitt kök är t.ex. majs, hirs och ris ”portade”. Uteslutna är också gluten-stinna och överförädlade råg, vete och korn. Vi använder sedan länge bl.a. mycket quinoa och bovete. Men, tyvärr ser vi växtförädlarnas spår också på dessa – speciellt quinoa har genom åren blivit allt ”mjöligare”. Nu tågar våra förfäders säd in med stormsteg – ADT-konsortiet med Amaranth, Durra, Teff – urkraft! Vi, människan, homo sapiens, kommer ursprungligen från Afrika och nu, några tusen år senare, kommer också våra förfäders sädesslag till oss.

Kära växtförädlare, vi vet att ni redan idag har kastat er över också dessa sädesslag men får vi be er: låt dem för vår hälsas skull få vara i fred.

Referens:
• Choi S et al Physiol Behov 2009;98:156-162 (finns här)

Article: Why Is Glyphosate Sprayed on Crops Right Before Harvest?

http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/05/glyphosate-sprayed-crops-before-harvest/

 | March 5, 2016

Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is recognized as the world’s most widely used weed killer. What is not so well known is that farmers also use glyphosate on crops such as wheat, oats, edible beans and other crops right before harvest, raising concerns that the herbicide could get into food products.

Escalating Use of Probable Carcinogen

Glyphosate has come under increased scrutiny in the past year. Last year the World Health Organization’s cancer group, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified it as a probable carcinogen. The state of California has also moved to classify the herbicide as a probable carcinogen. A growing body of research is documenting health concerns of glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor and that it kills beneficial gut bacteria, damages the DNA in human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells and is linked to birth defects and reproductive problems in laboratory animals.

A recently published paper describes the escalating use of glyphosate: 18.9 billion pounds have been used globally since its introduction in 1974, making it the most widely and heavily applied weed-killer in the history of chemical agriculture. Significantly, 74 percent of all glyphosate sprayed on crops since the mid-1970s was applied in just the last 10 years, as cultivation of GMO corn and soybeans expanded in the U.S. and globally.

Glyphosate Used to Speed Up Wheat Harvest

Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., who published the paper on the mounting use of glyphosate, says the practice of spraying glyphosate on wheat prior to harvest, known as desiccating, began in Scotland in the 1980s.

“Farmers there often had trouble getting wheat and barley to dry evenly so they can start harvesting. So they came up with the idea to kill the crop (with glyphosate) one to two weeks before harvest to accelerate the drying down of the grain,” he said.

The pre-harvest use of glyphosate allows farmers to harvest crops as much as two weeks earlier than they normally would, an advantage in northern, colder regions.

The practice spread to wheat-growing areas of North America such as the upper Midwestern U.S. and Canadian provinces such as Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“Desiccation is done primarily in years where conditions are wet and the crop is slow to dry down,” Joel Ransom, an agronomist at North Dakota State University, said.

Ransom says desiccating wheat with glyphosate has been a useful tool for farmers.

“It does help hasten dry down and controls grain weeds and other material that slows down the threshing practice,” he said. “It has an important role in areas where it’s wet.”

Ransom says the practice has increased in North Dakota, which is the leading wheat-producing state in the U.S., over the past 15 years due to wetter weather.

While more common in Upper Midwestern states where there is more moisture, desiccation is less likely to be done in drier wheat growing areas of Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon.

All Conventional Farmers in Saskatchewan Desiccate Wheat

According to a wheat farmer in Saskatchewan, desiccating wheat with glyphosate is commonplace in his region. “I think every non-organic farmer in Saskatchewan uses glyphosate on most of their wheat acres every year,” the farmer speaking on condition of anonymity said.

He has concerns about the practice. “I think farmers need to realize that all of the chemicals we use are ‘bad’ to some extent,” he said. “Monsanto has done such an effective job marketing glyphosate as ‘safe’ and ‘biodegradable’ that farmers here still believe this even though such claims are false.”

The vast majority of farmers in Manitoba, Canada’s third largest wheat producing province, also use glyphosate on wheat, said Gerald Wiebe, a farmer and agricultural consultant. “I would estimate that 90 to 95 percent of wheat acres in Manitoba are sprayed pre-harvest with glyphosate; the exception would be in dry areas of the province where moisture levels at harvest time are not an issue,” he said.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy

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 said. “It’s a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell policy’ in the industry.”

Ehrhardt also says that crops grown to produce seed are not usually sprayed with glyphosate prior to harvest because this can damage seed germination.

Grain Millers, which has grain processing facilities in the U.S. and Canada, announced last year that it would not buy oats from Canada that had been desiccated with glyphosate. The company’s Canadian procurement manager, Terry Tyson, told Western Producer that glyphosate disrupts the natural maturing process and starch development, resulting in lower quality flakes and flour. He said the decision had nothing to do with health or safety concerns.

“Would Rather Not Eat a Loaf of Bread With Glyphosate In It”

Still, there are obvious concerns about glyphosate getting into food products.

“We are told these (glyphosate residues) are too small to matter but can we believe that?” the Saskatchewan farmer asked. “I think everyone, even farmers that use and love glyphosate, would rather not eat a loaf of bread with glyphosate in it.”

Wiebe shares similar concerns. “Consumers don’t realize when they buy wheat products like flour, cookies and bread they are getting glyphosate residues in those products,” he said. “It’s barbaric to put glyphosate in food a few days before you harvest it.”

Wiebe believes the use of glyphosate on wheat may be connected to the rise in celiac disease. “We’ve seen an explosion of gluten intolerance,” he said. “What’s really going on?”

“Can you imagine the public’s response if they knew that glyphosate is being sprayed on the oats in their Cheerios only weeks before it is manufactured?” Ehrhardt asked.

Residues of glyphosate have been found in wheat flour. Last year, Ransom reported to the U.S. Wheat Quality Council that tests on flour samples from the U.S. and Canada found that all had traces of glyphosate. However, Ransom said these were well below the maximum residue limits for glyphosate in wheat, which are 30 parts per million in the U.S.

Still, Ransom said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if someone repeated the test and found traces also.”

In response to mounting concerns over the escalating use of glyphosate, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently said it would begin testing foods for glyphosate residues.

Powerful Effect on Food System

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.

Benbrook says that a large portion of edible beans grown in Washington and Idaho are desiccated with glyphosate.

There are no statistics kept on the number of acres of wheat or other crops that are desiccated with glyphosate, according to Ransom.

While the pre-harvest use of glyphosate may account for a small amount of overall use of the herbicide, Benbrook says this still has a huge impact. “It may be two percent of agriculture use, but well over 50 percent of dietary exposure,” he said.

Further, he said: “I don’t understand why Monsanto and the food industry don’t voluntarily end this practice. They know it contributes to high dietary exposure (of glyphosate).”

Wiebe sees the situation in dire terms. “The most tragic thing is that industry is encouraging the use of glyphosate on wheat, farmers are using it, consumers are unaware of it and it’s having a powerful effect on the food system,” he said.

References

1. Romano RM, Romano MA, Bernardi MM, Furtado PV, Oliveira CA. “Prepubertal exposure to commercial formulation of the herbicide Glyphosate alters testosterone levels and testicular morphology.” Arch Toxicol. 2010;84:309-317.

2. Awad A. Shehata, Wieland Schrodl, Alaa. A. Aldin, Hafez M. Hafez, Monika Kruger. “The Effect of Glyphosate on Potential Pathogens and Beneficial Members of Poultry Microbiota In Vitro” Curr Microbiol. Dec 9, 2012.

3. Mañas F., Peralta L., Raviolo J., et al. “Genotoxicity of glyphosate assessed by the Comet assay and cytogenic tests.” Env Toxicol Pharmacol. 2009; 28:37–41.

4. Antoniou M., Habib MEM, Howard CV, et al. “Teratogenic effects of glyphosate-based herbicides: Divergence of regulatory decisions from scientific evidence.” J Env Anal Toxicol. 2012;S4:006. doi:10.4172/2161-0525.S4-006.

5. Benbrook, C. “Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally.” Environmental Sciences Europe (2016, 28:28) DOI: 10.1186/s12302-016-0070-0.

6. Arnason, Robert. “Oat buyer says no glyphosate pre-harvest.” Western Producer. April 22, 2015.

7. Gillam, Carey. “Fears Over Roundup Herbicide Prompts Testing Of Cereals, Breastmilk, and More.” Reuters News Service. April 10, 2015.

8. Gillam, Carey. “FDA to Start Testing for Glyphosate in Food.” Civil Eats. February 17, 2016.

9. “Preharvest Staging Guide.”

10. eu. “Clarification of Preharvest use of Glyphosate.”

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