Archive for July, 2015

Harvard Study indicates the many physiological benefits of meditation. An eight week study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brains grey matter in just eight weeks. It’s the very first study to document that meditation produces changes over time in the brain’s grey matter. (1)



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Ruthless power and deleterious politics: from DDT to Roundup
by  Evaggelos Vallianatos, Ph.D. former EPA analyst and  author of hundreds of articles and several books, including ‘Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA


Just as the chemical industry and its shills once proclaimed the safety of DDT, they are doing the same today with the herbicide glyphosate which has penetrated throughout the food chain, writes Evaggelos Vallianatos. And once again it is a toxic lie that threatens species, ecosystems and people. It’s time to demand a new kind of agriculture, and a future free of all pesticides.



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Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity by Dr Philippe Grandjean, MD , Philip J Landrigan, MD


Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene.

Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants—manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse. (more…)

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The need for a global health ethic by Tony L Goldberg, Jonathan A Patz


Fortunately, the idea of health as an interconnected entity is taking root. The “one health” and “planetary health” concepts capture this trend by emphasising the links between human health, animal health, and the environment, in accord with the report of The Lancet Commission on Planetary Health. (more…)

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Planetary health: a new science for exceptional action by Planetary health: a new science for exceptional action by Richard Horton, Selina Lo


What is planetary health? In the final report of The Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, it is defined it this way: “the achievement of the highest attainable standard of health, wellbeing, and equity worldwide through judicious attention to the human systems—political, economic, and social—that shape the future of humanity and the Earth’s natural systems that define the safe environmental limits within which humanity can flourish. Put simply, planetary health is the health of human civilisation and the state of the natural systems on which it depends”. (more…)

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Governance for planetary health and sustainable development by Helen Clarke, administrator of the United Nations Development Program


The landmark report of the Lancet Commission on Planetary Health  is a clear and compelling articulation of the inextricable link between human health and environmental change. The report explores an array of complex, interlinked elements of concern, from environmental tipping points to the impacts of invasive species and the importance of protected areas. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recognises planetary health as critical to achieving sustainable development across the economic, social, and environmental spheres—this ethos underpins our Strategic Plan for 2014–17.2 (more…)

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Roundup and birth defects Is the public being kept in the dark?  Concerns about the best-selling herbicide Roundup® are running at an all-time high. Scientific research published in 2010 showed that Roundup and the chemical on which it is based, glyphosate, cause birth defects in frog and chicken embryos at dilutions much lower than those used in agricultural and garden spraying. The EU Commission dismissed these findings, based on a rebuttal provided by the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, BVL. BVL cited unpublished industry studies to back its claim that glyphosate was safe. This report provides a comprehensive review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, documenting the serious health hazards posed by glyphosate and Roundup herbicide formulations. 

http://www.pan-europe.info/Resources/Reports/EOS%20-%202011%20-%20Roundup%20and%20birth%20defects%20-%20Is%20the%20public%20being%20kept%20in%20the%20dark.pdf Roundup and birth defects Is the public being kept in the dark? Michael Antoniou Mohamed Ezz El-Din Mostafa Habib C.Vyvyan Howard Richard C. Jennings Carlo Leifert Rubens Onofre Nodari Claire Robinson John Fagan 

The Commission has previously ignored or dismissed many other findings from the independent scientific literature showing that Roundup and glyphosate cause endocrine disruption, damage to DNA, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and cancer, as well as birth defects. Many of these effects are found at very low doses, comparable to levels of pesticide residues found in food and the environment. This issue is of particular concern now that Monsanto and other producers of genetically modified seed are trying to get their glyphosate- tolerant crops approved for cultivation in Europe. If the EU Commission gives its approval, this will lead to a massive increase in the amount of glyphosate sprayed in the fields of EU member states, as has already happened in North and South America. Consequently, people’s exposure to glyphosate will increase. All these concerns could be addressed by an objective review of Roundup and glyphosate in line with the more stringent new EU pesticide regulation due to come into force in June 2011. Just such a review was due to take place in 2012. However, shortly after the Commission was notified of the latest research showing that glyphosate and Roundup cause birth defects, it quietly passed a directive delaying the review of glyphosate and 38 other dangerous pesticides until 2015. This delay is being challenged in a lawsuit brought against the Commission by Pesticides Action Network Europe and Greenpeace. Delaying the review of glyphosate until 2015 is serious enough. But in reality, the Commission’s slowness in preparing the new data requirements for the incoming regulation mean that glyphosate may well not be re-assessed in the light of up-to- date science until 2030. The beneficiary will be the pesticide industry; the victim will be public health.

The need for a review of glyphosate is particularly urgent in the light of the shortcomings of the existing review of the pesticide, on which its current approval rests. In this report, we examine the industry studies and regulatory documents that led to this approval. We show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s and 1990s that glyphosate causes malformations – but that this information was not made public. We demonstrate how EU regulators reasoned their way from clear evidence of glyphosate’s teratogenicity in industry’s own studies (the same studies that BVL claimed show the safety of glyphosate) to a conclusion that minimized these findings in the EU Commission’s final review report. The German government and its agencies played a central role in this process. As the “rapporteur” member state for glyphosate, Germany was responsible for liaising between industry and the EU Commission and reporting the findings of industry studies. We show how Germany played down findings of serious harm in industry studies on glyphosate. It irresponsibly proposed a high “safe” exposure level for the public that ignored important data on glyphosate’s teratogenic effects. This level was accepted by the Commission and is now in force. Taken together, the industry studies and regulatory documents on which the current approval of glyphosate rests reveal that: ● Industry (including Monsanto) has known since the 1980s that glyphosate causes malformations in experimental animals at high doses ● Industry has known since 1993 that these effects could also occur at lower and mid doses ● The German government has known since at least 1998 that glyphosate causes malformations
 Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?
●  The EU Commission’s expert scientific review panel knew in 1999 that glyphosate causes malformations ●  The EU Commission has known since 2002 that glyphosate causes malformations. This was


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