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Archive for October, 2015

Settlement: EPA to Analyze Impacts of World’s Two Most Widely Used Pesticides on
1,500 Endangered Species

Historic Settlement Means Harms of Atrazine, Roundup Will Be Assessed

WASHINGTON— The Environmental Protection Agency will analyze the impacts of atrazine and glyphosate — the two most commonly used pesticides in the United States — on 1,500 endangered plants and animals in the United States under the terms of a settlement reached today with the Center for Biological Diversity. The EPA will also analyze the impacts of propazine and simazine, two pesticides that are chemically similar to atrazine. It has committed to completing the assessments by June 2020.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/pesticides-06-23-2015.html

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Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) causes rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure

http://www.ehjournal.net/content/14/1/70/abstract
Robin Mesnage1, Matthew Arno2, Manuela Costanzo3, Manuela Malatesta3, Gilles-Eric Séralini4 and Michael N. Antoniou1*

Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) are the major pesticides used worldwide. Converging evidence suggests that GBH, such as Roundup, pose a particular health risk to liver and kidneys although low environmentally relevant doses have not been examined. To address this issue, a 2-year study in rats administering 0.1 ppb Roundup (50 ng/L glyphosate equivalent) via drinking water (giving a daily intake of 4 ng/kg bw/day of glyphosate) was conducted. A marked increased incidence of anatomorphological and blood/urine biochemical changes was indicative of liver and kidney structure and functional pathology. In order to confirm these findings we have conducted a transcriptome microarray analysis of the liver and kidneys from these same animals.

Our results suggest that chronic exposure to a GBH in an established laboratory animal toxicity model system at an ultra-low, environmental dose can result in liver and kidney damage with potential significant health implications for animal and human populations. (more…)

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International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics opinion on reproductive health impacts of exposure to toxic environmental chemicals

Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals during pregnancy and breastfeeding is ubiquitous and is a threat to healthy human reproduction.

There are tens of thousands of chemicals in global commerce, and even small exposures to toxic chemicals during pregnancy can trigger adverse health consequences.

Exposure to toxic environmental chemicals and related health outcomes are inequitably distributed within and between countries; universally, the consequences of exposure are disproportionately borne by people with low incomes. Discrimination, other social factors, economic factors, and occupation impact risk of exposure and harm. Documented links between prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals and adverse health outcomes span the life course and include impacts on fertility and pregnancy, neurodevelopment, and cancer. The global health and economic burden related to toxic environmental chemicals is in excess of millions of deaths and billions of dollars every year. On the basis of accumulating robust evidence of exposures and adverse health impacts related to toxic environmental chemicals, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) joins other leading reproductive health professional societies in calling for timely action to prevent harm. FIGO recommends that reproductive and other health professionals advocate for policies to prevent exposure to toxic environmental chemicals, work to ensure a healthy food system for all, make environmental health part of health care, and champion environmental justice.

For example, prenatal exposure to lead, methyl mercury, or the pesticide chlorpyrifos interferes with one or more critical periods of human development leading to developmental neurotoxicity [34]. Consequently, even small exposures during a window of vulnerability can trigger adverse health consequences that can manifest across the life span of individuals and generations

http://www.ijgo.org/article/S0020-7292%2815%2900590-1/fulltext

Gian Carlo Di Renzo, Jeanne A. Conry, Jennifer Blake, Mark S. DeFrancesco, Nathaniel DeNicola, James N. Martin Jr., Kelly A. McCue, David Richmond, Abid Shah, Patrice Sutton, Tracey J. Woodruff, Sheryl Ziemin van der Poel, Linda C. Giudice
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgo.2015.09.002 (more…)

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Genetically Modified Foods explained by American Academy of Environmental Medicine
According to the World Health Organization, Genetically Modified Organisms(GMOs) are “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in such a way that does not occur naturally.”1 This technology is also referred to as “genetic engineering”, “biotechnology” or “recombinant DNA technology” and consists of randomly inserting genetic fragments of DNA from one organism to another, usually from a different species. For example, an artificial combination of genes that includes a gene to produce the pesticide Cry1Ab protein (commonly known as Bt toxin), originally found in Bacillus thuringiensis, is inserted in to the DNA of corn randomly. Both the location of the transferred gene sequence in the corn DNA and the consequences of the insertion differ with each insertion. The plant cells that have taken up the inserted gene are then grown in a lab using tissue culture and/or nutrient medium that allows them to develop into plants that are used to grow GM food crops.2

https://www.aaemonline.org/gmo.php (more…)

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Health professionals join global call for ban of “Highly Hazardous Pesticides”

WE, TOXICOLOGISTS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, CALL FOR A GLOBAL ELIMINATION OF HIGHLY HAZARDOUS PESTICIDES

Many pesticides pose a threat to human health and the environment and result in heavy costs to societies. Due to their extensive use over a long period of time, highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs)[1] are now widely dispersed throughout ecosystems globally. Pesticides are found in human bodies and other living organisms, food and water, soil, and in the air.

Early statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicated that about 200,000 people were being killed worldwide and as many as 25 million agricultural workers in the developing world were suffering from occupational pesticide poisoning, every year. In the decades since that estimate, surveys have indicated that occupational poisoning is increasing.Official studies grossly underestimate these numbers. It is known that many children are poisoned by pesticides but there is no estimate of numbers.[4] UNEP’s Global Chemical Outlook report points out that “Acute chemical poisoning data are highly variable and depend on the surveillance infrastructure in place in individual countries or regions”.[5] WHO acknowledges that there are no reliable estimates of pesticide poisonings and that existing estimates likely significantly underestimate the global burden.

Nearly 120 concerned professors, toxicologists, epidemiologists and physicians from 24 countries signed the letter, citing the World Health Organization’s statistics on the serious, sometimes fatal, effects of pesticide exposure. Noting the health impacts on children, the signers said that “there is growing evidence that the health of future generations may be severely jeopardized” by highly hazardous pesticides, also known as HHPs.

“HHPs are a danger to both agricultural workers and people living near areas of application,” said Javier Souza, current Chair of Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International. “Some HHPs have the potential to move through water, air, soil and end up in food thereby affecting people living outside agricultural areas. There are many effective agroecological alternatives to replace these chemicals. We need to ban HHPs immediately.”

HHPs, according to WHO, are extremely difficult to use without significant risk to people or to the environment; exposure can damage a person’s nervous, reproductive and developmental systems or result in cancer. Even so, HHPs such as glyphosate (an active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular weed killer RoundUp), DDT and paraquat are still widely used around the world. Those commonly used in the U.S. include the herbicides atrazine, glyphosate and 2,4-D and the neurotoxic insecticide chlorpyrifos.

 http://pan-international.org/we-toxicologists-and-health-professionals-call-for-a-global-elimination-of-highly-hazardous-pesticides/

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Medications which may result in memory loss as a possible side effect

The list of 20 Medications which  follow which are suspected to possibly result in Memory Loss as a side effect was assembled by Richard C. Mohs, Ph.D., former vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

The article is by Deane Alban who has a degree in biology and has taught and written on a wide variety of natural health topics for over 20 years.

http://www.realfarmacy.com/beware-20-medications-cause-memory-loss/

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How SOME Corporations (such as Monsanto) Corrupt Science at the Public’s Expense

by The Scientific Integrity Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists

Methods of Abuse. Certain Corporations (such as Monsanto)  attempt to exert influence at every step of the scientific and policy-making processes, often to shape decisions in their favor or avoid regulation and monitoring of their products and by-products at the public’s expense. In so doing, they often attempt to fundamentally alter the decision-making process and exploit executive branch agencies, Congress, and the courts.

When funding their own studies, corporations may terminate or fail to report research with negative findings, tailor study designs to lead to desired out- comes, and overreport positive results. Companies may rely on the names of respected academics to publish corporate-funded research. And they may attack scientists whose research proves inconvenient.

Undue and inappropriate corporate interference in science is a large and growing threat, with tentacles in every aspect of federal science-based decision making. Addressing this interference will require overcoming difficult hurdles, but they are not insur- mountable. With strong leadership and a sustained commitment, both the federal government and the private sector can rise to the challenge.

Over the next four years, change is essential. Given the complex science-based challenges fac- ing our nation and our world, decision makers must have access to the best available science. While this report does not describe every avenue for reform,
it provides a stepping-stone for further efforts to expose and curb this threat to the nation’s future.

w.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/scientific_integrity/how-corporations-corrupt-science.pdf

Methods of Abuse: Some Corporations (such as Monsanto)  attempt to exert influence at every step of the scientific and policy-making processes, often to shape decisions in their favor or avoid regulation and monitoring of their products and by-products at the public’s expense. In so doing, they often attempt to fundamentally alter the decision-making process and exploit executive branch agencies, Congress, and the courts.

Corrupting the Science. Some Corporations ( such as Monsanto)  that stand to lose from the results of independent scientific inquiry have gone to great lengths to manipulate and control science and scientists by:

Terminating and suppressing research. Certain Companies ( such as Monsanto)  have controlled the dissemination of scientific information by ending or withholding results of research that they sponsor that would threaten their bottom line.

Intimidating or coercing scientists. Certain Corporations ( such as Monsanto)  bury scientific information by harassing scientists and their institutions into silence. Scientists have been threatened with litigation and the loss of their jobs, have had their research defunded, have been refused promotion or tenure, and have been transferred to non-research positions, leading to self-censorship and changes in research direction.

Manipulating study designs and research protocols. Certain Corporations (such as Monsanto)  have employed flawed methodolo- gies in testing and research—such as by changing the questions scientists are asking—that are biased toward predetermined results.

Ghostwriting scientific articles. Certain Corporations ( such as Monsanto)  corrupt the integrity of scientific journals by plant- ing ghostwritten articles about their products. Rather than submitting articles directly, certain companies ( such as Monsanto) recruit scientists or contract with research organizations to publish articles that obscure the sponsors’ involvement.

Publication bias. Certain Corporations ( such as Monsanto)  selectively publish positive results while underreporting negative results. While not directly corrupting science itself, these publishing and reporting biases skew the body of evidence.

Shaping Public Perception Armed with public relations teams, private interests have launched campaigns that influence public opinion and undermine understanding of scientific consensus. Among their methods:

 Officials who shuttle between high-level government positions and regulated industries or companies undermine the integrity of federal science and public confidence in government. While sharing expertise among different sectors can sometimes be beneficial, there is serious risk that the revolving door will allow individuals with clear financial conflicts of interest to hold key decision-making positions. Predictably, revolving-door officials develop or direct policies that benefit a former or prospective employer. The legacy of political appointees with conflicts of interest lives on even after their departure—through both the policies they helped develop and the erosion of public trust in agency integrity.
Downplaying evidence and playing up false uncertainty. As scientific understanding of the health effects of products and substances such as tobacco and particulate emissions emerges, companies fight regulation by attacking the science, downplaying scientific consensus, exaggerating scientific uncertainty and spreading doubt.

Vilifying scientists. Scientists analyzing the health and environmental effects of products such as asbestos and lead, and phenomena such as climate change, are publicly criticized and attacked. These attacks and allegations of misconduct discredit the scientists and deter them from continuing their research.

Promoting experts who undermine the scientific consensus. Certain Corporations ( such as Monsanto)  promote individuals who overemphasize research that appears to cast doubt on the scientific consensus. Often their expertise is not in a relevant field, limiting their ability to effectively evaluate the scientific findings they are criticizing.

Hiding behind front groups or “capturing” organizations. Certain Corporations ( such as Monsanto) use front groups, public relations firms, and other paid consultants to covertly advance corporate interests while these entities maintain the illusion of independence.

Influencing the media. Certain Corporations ( such as Monsanto)  inaccurately portray science by feeding the media slanted reports and news stories, or biased spokespeople.

Restricting Agency Effectiveness. Certain Corporations ( such as Monsanto) engage in activities that undermine the ability of federal agencies to use independent sci- ence to regulate products. Companies also advocate for more layers of bureaucracy, and take advantage of inappropriate relationships with agency personnel, to hinder the development of policies that protect the public and the environment.

Attacking the science. Certain Corporations ( such as Monsanto)  have attacked the science used to inform federal policy making in an attempt to delay regulation.

Hindering the regulatory process. Certain Corporations ( such as Monsanto)  advocate for policies that limit the ability of agen- cies to use the best available science when mak- ing decisions. So-called “regulatory reforms” limit agencies’ resources, curb the role of science in decision making, or put an extraordinary burden of proof on agencies before they can act

For complete article from The Scientific Integrity Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists visit the link below

http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/scientific_integrity/how-corporations-corrupt-science.pdf

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