GMOs, Health & Disease — by Jonathan Latham January 23, 2013
by Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson. Originally published on Independent Science News.
Cauliflower Mosaic Virus
How should a regulatory agency announce they have discovered something potentially very important about the safety of products they have been approving for over twenty years?
In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance.Comments (6)
It turns out that living a natural life on the land with regular contact with other living beings is healthier than living in a disinfected urban bubble. Who’da thunk it?
See also.Comments (3)
Health & Disease — by George Monbiot January 8, 2013
Could an astonishing explanation for the rise and fall of violent crime be correct?
UK riot in the early 1980s
It seemed, at first, preposterous. The hypothesis was so exotic that I laughed. The rise and fall of violent crime during the second half of the 20th century and first years of the 21st were caused, it proposed, not by changes in policing or imprisonment, single parenthood, recession, crack cocaine or the legalisation of abortion, but mainly by … lead.Comments (1)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Geoff Lawton January 7, 2013
- A Farm for the Future (BBC video)
- The Rodale Institute’s 30-Year Farming Systems Trial Report
- Biodiverse Systems are More Productive
- The Food Crisis: “A Perfect Storm” – and How to Turn the Tide
- Orchestrating Famine – a Must-Read Backgrounder on the Food Crisis
- Food Futures Now – Feeding People & Place Without Fossil Fuels
- The Looming Food Crisis and the ‘Food 2030′ Report
- The Story of Soil
- A ‘New’ Discovery – Soluble Nitrogen Destroys Soil Carbon
- Which Came First – Pests, or Pesticides?
- Soil – Our Financial Institution
Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Economics, Education, Health & Disease, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 12, 2012
Editor’s Preamble: Despite the title, I’m no longer in Ladakh. Indeed, it was way back in August 2009 when I was there, so this article has been a long time coming (thanks to work on the WPN keeping me too busy, amongst other things!). I keep the ‘Letters from…’ part of the title to make my international reports easier to find.
I came to Ladakh with the purpose of profiling positive solutions for the Sustainable (R)evolution book project (still a work-in-progress, for those wondering), but quickly discovered that the kind of ‘development’ I found in Ladakh was more suitable to profile for another kind of book instead — one steeped in lessons gleaned from mistakes, rather than one focussed on shining examples of solutions in action…. This is another reason I haven’t written this article until today….
A Ladakhi woman and her barley.
What’s wrong with this picture? Read on to find out….
All photos copyright © Craig Mackintosh
High up in the Himalayas, in India’s disputed and militarised northernmost state, Jammu & Kashmir, lies the sparsely populated region of Ladakh (map). It is one of the highest inhabited places on the planet, and also one of the driest. One of Ladakh’s claims to fame is that it hosts the highest drivable road in the world — where it crosses the Ladakh Range at 5578 metres. And, despite its high altitude, the dryness ensures the upper parts of the region barely see snow cover over the long, cold winter months.
Sometimes known as ‘Little Tibet’ (the ancient Ladakhi dynasties came from a Tibetan lineage), Ladakh is a worthy subject for permaculture discussion, as despite its inhospitable terrain and cold-arid desert climate, the Ladakhi people, historically, not only survived amidst their high altitude elements, they had actually improved the landscape over centuries of habitation and agricultural use, whilst living in (mostly) peaceful habitation with each other.Comments (19)
Biological Cleaning, Conservation, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Urban Projects, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Susie Spies December 11, 2012
In permaculture design we look at the inputs and outputs of various components, and try to connect things to each other so that the supply from one thing meets the demand of another. We can grow our own food, and thus meet the nutritional needs of the family, and the organic waste is looped back into the system. Any waste is seen as a resource that can re-enter the system without causing harm or damage.
What about Zone 0? How can we minimise the pollution of our household space and still keep it clean? Since becoming more aware of the chemicals that are around us; in our air, water, food, household chemicals, office supplies, furniture and just about everything else, I have become a compulsive reader of labels. I may be on the extreme end of the spectrum, but a walk down the cleaning aisle of a supermarket feels like a visit to a toxic waste facility — and the smell is unbearable. I shudder to think of the lethal cocktail people take home in tubs, jars, cans and bottles. Despite the warning labels, these items end up in millions, if not billions, of homes around the world.
How, then, does one clean a house without poisonous household cleaning agents?Comments (10)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 10, 2012
As permaculturists, we have a great many solutions for the water crisis. From water harvesting to reed bed grey water systems, to watershed rehabilitation, there are common sense approaches to holistically restore eco-system services, rehydrate our landscapes and stabilise water flows and the climate. In the video above, however, we come face to face with forces that can undo the work of thousands of enthusiastic permaculturists with a few signatures on a market based, industrial contract.
We need to know the enemy if we’re to defeat it.Comments (1)
Health & Disease, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by I-SIS December 5, 2012
Licit and illicit drugs
Until the mid-2000s, the emerging study of pharmaceuticals in the environment inexplicably excluded illicit drugs. Illicit drugs are a structurally diverse group of chemicals used in enormous quantities worldwide that are very likely to affect humans and other non-target organisms; and just like pharmaceuticals, can enter the environment via many pathways. It had been known for decades that illicit drugs and their breakdown products are excreted in urine, faeces, hair, and sweat; but this was ignored until 1999 when the United Nations included illicit drugs in its scope of concern.Comments (3)
Aid Projects, Compost, Conservation, Health & Disease, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 4, 2012
In June of this year, SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) won the new UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) ‘Land for Life Award‘ and received $40,000 to support their excellent practical educational work in biologically based sanitation — aka: composting toilets.
Watch the video to hear our good friend John D. Liu of the EEMP tell us all about it.
I’m sure you will all want to join me in congratulating the SOIL team for this fantastic achievement, and in thanking them for their life- and ecology-enhancing efforts. These simple permaculture solutions cost far less and are far more effective than the industrialised world’s high cost approaches (high cost in both economic and ecological terms) and bring important net benefits in soil rehabilitation, phosphorus and other nutrient cycling and food security.
Update: See longer, updated video here.
- Humanure Handbook – Free Download
- When “Eww” Turns to “Ooh!”
- Life at Zaytuna: Closing the Loop
- Phosphorus Matters
- Phosphorus Matters II – Keeping Phosphorus on Farms
GMOs, Health & Disease — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 3, 2012
Back in March I mentioned that Peru legislated a ban on GMO foods. I thought I’d follow up by letting you know that this legislation has now come into force:
A 10-year ban on genetically modified foods in Peru came into effect this week, state news agency Andina reported.
Peru’s executive has approved the regulations for the law that prohibits the importation, production and use of GMO foods in the country.
Violating the law can result in a maximum fine of 10,000 UIT tax units, which is about 36.5 million soles ($14 million). The goods can also be seized and destroyed, according to the norms.
The law, which was approved by President Ollanta Humala last year, is aimed at preserving Peru’s biodiversity and supporting local farmers, Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar Vidal said. — Peruvian Times
And in another blow to the biotech monopolisers, Kenya has also just banned the importation of GMOs into their African nation:Comments (0)
Biodiversity, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
Click to download (2.7mb PDF)
At bottom of my article GM Crops, Pesticides and the Poor I had made four previous ‘Who Benefits from GM Crops‘ reports available for download. As you’ll see in the subtitle for each of the afore-linked reports, each of these excellent reports, created by Friends of the Earth International, have their own specific niche angle on the GMO issue. Today I publish (overdue I know) their latest report, the subtitle of which is "An Industry Build on Myths". This report goes into detail to expose the GM industry hyperbole broadcast about their ‘products’.
This annual report analyses major new developments regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in various regions around the world, including new evidence and testimony from our member groups. In this 2011 edition, we focus particularly on pesticide use, increasing public and legal opposition to GMOs, and the biotech industry’s move into breeding and attempting to release genetically modified animals.
Further Reading:Comments (1)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Economics, GMOs, Health & Disease — by William Park November 30, 2012
Heritage varieties of Quinoa outside Alausí, Ecuador
Can consumer choice be a driver of change? The answer is yes, provided that consumers make informed decisions based on awareness of how their purchases impact others and our planet.
If, however, all the available products are produced by the same corporations using the same shortsighted and destructive methods and there is no meaningful labeling, then consumer choice amounts to nothing.Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 20, 2012
Filmmaker and environmentalist, John D. Liu from the Environmental Education Media Project team, takes us to Rwanda again (last time was here), showing us how the country is seeking to leapfrog the disastrous ‘development‘ route most of the countries of the North have gone down, to instead head more directly towards sustainability. Given the horrors this country were awash with during the 1990s, it’s certainly encouraging to see the nation making some good truly forward steps on several fronts.Comments (2)
Consumerism, GMOs, Health & Disease, Society — by Jon Rappoport November 13, 2012
Editor’s Note: Last week I posted We Don’t Want to Know, sharing the rather glum news that Californians had, somewhat inexplicably, voted against their own interests — deciding they didn’t actually care to have the right to know what they were eating. By all appearances, Proposition 37 was won by the corporates. However, since then we’ve learned that there may be more to this than meets the eye. Jon Rappoport, a 74-year old Californian who has been an investigative journalist for the last 30 years, also felt the results were rather inexplicable, and decided to take a closer look. Read on to find out why I think Californians might not be as daft as we were, last week, led to believe…. I also hope Californians will jump up and down about this issue — as they should be hopping mad…. At time of writing this, the Yes to 37 campaign is only half a million votes behind, and it appears there are at least 3.3 million votes still uncounted…. In short, we have hope yet — but we need to watch this very closely, and do what we can to ensure all votes are properly counted!
Did Prop 37 Really Lose or Was it Vote Fraud? (November 8, 2012)
On election night, not long after the polls closed in California, the announcement came out: Prop 37 was losing. A little while later, it was all over. 37 had gone down to defeat.
But is that the whole story? No.
As of 2:30PM today, Thursday, November 8th, two days after the election, many votes in California remain uncounted.
I tried to find out how many.
It turns out that the Secretary of State of CA, responsible for elections in the state, doesn’t know.
I was told all counties in California have been asked, not ordered, to report in with those figures. It’s voluntary.Comments (8)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Nuclear, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Paul Chefurka November 10, 2012
We are now well into a global crisis that may mark the end of this cycle of human civilization. In this note I present a summary of what’s going on as far as I can tell, as well as a scenario for how things might develop over the next 75 years or so.
The issue is enormous, so an overview like this is inevitably going to be skimpy on details. This is, after all, not an academic journal. However, like every other fact in the known universe, those details are just a Google away…
Because the global predicament manifests itself in some way in virtually every area of human endeavour, any useful approach to it must be massively cross-disciplinary. Fruitful areas for investigation include:Comments (12)