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Archive for May, 2016

GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. N Engl J Med 2015; 373:693-695                  http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1505660

GM foods and the herbicides applied to them may pose hazards to human health that were not examined in previous assessments. We believe that the time has therefore come to thoroughly reconsider all aspects of the safety of plant biotechnology. (more…)

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Dr. Marvin Herndon, PhD., a nuclear chemist, geochemist, and cosmochemist – most noted for deducing the composition of the inner core of Earth as being nickel silicide, not partially crystallized nickel-iron metal – has published a groundbreaking paper in the peer-reviewed journal Current Science (Indian Academy of Sciences) titled “Aluminum poisoning of humanity and Earth’s biota by clandestine geoengineering activity: implications for India.”

The paper goes on to discuss and cite publications which have detected heavy metals like aluminum, barium, strontium, and more in rainwater, fly ash, and more. For example, during the period between July 2011 and November 2012, 73 rainwater samples were collected and analysed for aluminum and barium; 71 were collected from 60 different locations in Germany, 1 from France, and 1 from Austria. Aluminum was detected in 77% of the rainwater samples, there was also a very high barium concentration and a very high Strontium concentration. It also discusses how these concentrations of metals are not the result of natural phenomenon, like volcanic explosions, for example.

Within the past couple of years alone, the concept of geoengineering has sparked a growing interest (which seems to be accelerating at a rapid rate) within the academic world. It’s also ignited a heavy interest in policy making, which is no surprise given the fact that we are talking about “geoengineering” the entire global climate in response to global climate change. That’s exactly what geoengineering is – a response to destructive human activity which we have yet to cease – and it involves injecting stratospheric particles/aerosols into the atmosphere to, again, reduce the effect of global climate change.

For example, SPICE is a United Kingdom government funded geoengineering research project that collaborates with the university of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Bristol to further examine the idea of Solar Radiation Management (SRM).

Some of the candidate particles to spray in the air proposed by SPICE (to name a few) are (source):

Sulphate/Sulphuric Acid/Sulphur Dioxide
Titania
Silicon Carbide
Calcium Carbonate
Alumina
Silica
Zinc Oxide

http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/108/12/2173.pdf

(more…)

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Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees Christopher Moffat, Stephen T. Buckland, Andrew J. Samson, Robin McArthur, Victor Chamosa Pino, Karen A. Bollan, Jeffrey T.-J. Huang & Christopher N. Connolly

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep24764#abstract
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 24764 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep24764

There is growing concern over the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoid insecticides and the long-term consequences of reduced numbers of insect pollinators to essential ecosystem services and food security. Our knowledge of the risk of neonicotinoids to bees is based on studies of imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and these findings are extrapolated to clothianidin based on its higher potency at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This study addresses the specificity and consequences of all three neonicotinoids to determine their relative risk to bumblebees at field-relevant levels (2.5 ppb). We find compound-specific effects at all levels (individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions). Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, indicating the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior. Bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid, and an increased vulnerability to clothianidin toxicity only occurred following chronic exposure to clothianidin or thiamethoxam. At the whole colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio (more males present) and only clothianidin increased queen production. Finally, both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed. Given these findings, neonicotinoid risk needs to be considered independently for each compound and target species. (more…)

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Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392553/

Manganese (Mn) is an often overlooked but important nutrient, required in small amounts for multiple essential functions in the body. A recent study on cows fed genetically modified Roundup®-Ready feed revealed a severe depletion of serum Mn. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, has also been shown to severely deplete Mn levels in plants. Here, we investigate the impact of Mn on physiology, and its association with gut dysbiosis as well as neuropathologies such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), depression, anxiety syndrome, Parkinson’s disease (PD), and prion diseases. Glutamate overexpression in the brain in association with autism, AD, and other neurological diseases can be explained by Mn deficiency. Mn superoxide dismutase protects mitochondria from oxidative damage, and mitochondrial dysfunction is a key feature of autism and Alzheimer’s. Chondroitin sulfate synthesis depends on Mn, and its deficiency leads to osteoporosis and osteomalacia. Lactobacillus, depleted in autism, depend critically on Mn for antioxidant protection. Lactobacillus probiotics can treat anxiety, which is a comorbidity of autism and chronic fatigue syndrome. Reduced gut Lactobacillus leads to overgrowth of the pathogen, Salmonella, which is resistant to glyphosate toxicity, and Mn plays a role here as well. Sperm motility depends on Mn, and this may partially explain increased rates of infertility and birth defects. We further reason that, under conditions of adequate Mn in the diet, glyphosate, through its disruption of bile acid homeostasis, ironically promotes toxic accumulation of Mn in the brainstem, leading to conditions such as PD and prion diseases.

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide on the planet, in part because of its perceived low toxicity to humans. In this paper, we propose that glyphosate’s chelation of Mn, working together with other known effects of glyphosate such as CYP enzyme suppression and depletion of derivatives of the shikimate pathway in microorganisms, may explain the recent increase in incidence of multiple neurological diseases and other pathologies. We have shown that glyphosate’s disruption of Mn homeostasis can lead to extreme sensitivity to variations in Mn bioavailability: While Mn deficiency in the blood leads to impairment of several Mn dependent enzymes, in contrast, excess Mn readily accumulates in the liver and in the brainstem due to the liver’s impaired ability to export it in the bile acids. This pathology can lead to liver damage and PD. Mn depletion in the gut due to chelation by glyphosate selectively affects Lactobacillus, leading to increased anxiety via the gut–brain access. Both low Lactobacillus levels in the gut and anxiety syndrome are known features of autism, and Lactobacillus probiotic treatments have been shown to alleviate anxiety. Increased incidence of Salmonella poisoning can also be attributed to glyphosate, through its impairment of bile acid synthesis. Low Mn bioavailability from the blood supply to the brain leads to impaired function of glutamine synthase and a build-up of glutamate and ammonia in the brain, both of which are neurotoxic. Excess brain glutamate and ammonia are associated with many neurological diseases. At the same time, impaired function of Mn-SOD in the mitochondria results in mitochondrial damage, also a hallmark of many neurological diseases. Mn deficiency can account for poor sperm motility and therefore low fertilization rates, as well as poor bone development leading to osteoporosis and osteomalacia. Sea star wasting syndrome and the collapse of coral reefs may in fact be an ecological consequence of the environmental pervasiveness of the herbicide. Many diseases and conditions are currently on the rise in step with glyphosate usage in agriculture, particularly on GM crops of corn and soy. These include autism, AD, PD, anxiety disorder, osteoporosis, inflammatory bowel disease, renal lithiasis, osteomalacia, cholestasis, thyroid dysfunction, and infertility. All of these conditions can be substantially explained by the dysregulation of Mn utilization in the body due to glyphosate.

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