Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Round ‘em Up Boys

 
Well, I knew Monsanto was a big bad B’org cowboy, but what I heard this evening in a video with Jeffrey Smith interviewing Dr Stephanie Seneff PhD, a Senior Research Scientist at MIT was still news.  It’s on YouTube and called Monsanto's Roundup Herbicide—Featuring the Darth Vader Chemical.  The chemical is glyphosate.  There are lots of chemicals out there in our man-made environment and I’ve written about a few such as chlorine, formaldehyde, and alkyldimethylbenzlammoniumchloride (in floor cleaners).  But glyphosate seems to be top of the class in the havoc it can cause to human health.
 
In this video, Dr Seneff explains how glyphosate is linked to autism, gastrointestinal issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn's disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, cancer, cachexia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and ALS.  That’s a big claim and I found one source that called this discussion loony.  Well, it may be loony, but so is the fact that so many people are ill today.  But I don’t think it’s loony that scientists have discovered that glysophate interferes with a pathway that destroys the gut flora which, of course, affects our well-being on a number of levels.
 
Round 'em up B’org boys, one by one as they succumb to these modern diseases that are being caused or at least aggravated by Roundup, the common name used for glyphosate, and send the casualties into the medical arena for prodding, cutting and pumping full of more chemicals that further disrupt the natural functioning of the human body.
 
If it’s not a conspiracy, it’s sure doing a good impression of one.
 
The main message in the video though is to avoid glyphosate and GMOs that are heavily reliant on glyphosate, by eating organic foods.  I hope the organic standards continue to ban this chemical (and GMOs), but I don’t think there is any guarantee.  If you’re not convinced there's a problem with GMOs or using Roundup, just consider the prevalence of it’s use, and you can begin to understand that there are bound to be problems.  Here are some statistics from Wiki regarding the US, which is not unique in the world by any means.  I think it’s loony to think that using this much of a hazardous chemical in our food supply will have no detrimental effect when it gets inside our bodies!
 
“In 2007 glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States agricultural sector, with 180 to 185 million pounds (82,000 to 84,000 tonnes) applied, and the second most used in home and garden market where users applied 5 to 8 million pounds (2,300 to 3,600 tonnes); additionally industry, commerce and government applied 13 to 15 million pounds (5,900 to 6,800 tonnes).[4]
 
Glyphosate residues get into food products that are grown with use of this chemical and can remain there for months.  However, it’s not just the glyphosate that is the problem; other ingredients in Roundup Ready magnify the damaging effects.  And it’s not just the issue of whether or not to consume food produced using Roundup because animal products can also be contaminated if the animals consume food produced with these chemicals.  Using Roundup in your garden though is probably a sure way to get a nice regular dose.
 
For more information of how Roundup messes with our natural biology, do watch the video: Monsanto's Roundup Herbicide—Featuring the Darth Vader Chemical.  Or look into the paper Stephanie co-authored with Anthony Samsel for a technical rundown, Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases.
 
 
Personally, I believe that any chemical that can harm aquatic life can harm me.  Glyphosate clearly harms aquatic life and is labelled as such (see pictogram).  My belief is that the beneficial bacteria in my gut that keep me healthy live in an aquatic environment just like fish.  And just like fish, they will be harmed by the same chemicals, such as glyphosate.  But Stephanie and Anthony go to a lot of trouble to explain it on a scientific basis.  Thanks to them, Jeffrey, and a friend of mine, for bringing this all to my attention.  I’m happy to have the chance to pass on this information here.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Stuck in the Middle with B’org

Psychological Profile of Middle Management
 
I often hear people making assurances about corporate management and government officials ... claiming that they are humans with children too and so will undoubtedly do their best for everyone and the planet.  They say this despite everyday evidence to the contrary.  I’m sure everyone can think of at least one example where a company director, a politician or government official has done something glaringly wrong.  Anyone who needs examples can just look around my blogs though.  But never mind if you don’t want to be bothered thinking about it because what I have to say in this article is all one needs to understand the dilemma that many working people find themselves in.
 
One of my grandfathers was a company director.  He was pretty high up in a big corporation.  He wasn’t directly involved in the production of food as it was an energy company, but of course, energy is a vital component of today’s food market and I think he is a good example of what’s affecting our food industry.  Today, lots of energy is needed to run all the machinery involved in production, processing, storing, transporting and even selling the stuff.  I write this article, and I know my grandfather would have approved, to show how management in particular, is stuck in the middle of the big organisations (the B’org) with chains binding their options.  Like my grandfather, these men and women were/are probably nice people. They do care about the world and their friends and families, but they are incapable of performing outside of the system that doesn’t care about the world, care about any friends or care about families.  That system, of course, is based on cold hard cash and the corporate world.
 
I don’t remember how I got a copy of the 1950 confidential report containing a psychological profile analysis of my grandfather, as I’ve had it for years.  But I’m glad to be able to review it now with new insight.  My grandfather went on to become the director of public relations for fifteen years based on this report.  Here are some highlights from the report:
 
My grandfather scored 97% in mental ability and 99% in vocabulary.  He possessed “very high basic mental facility for engaging in abstract reasoning processes such as are required for literary and authorship activities” (maybe I’m so lucky to have inherited some of this ability?).
 
He is conventional in his viewpoint.  BUT  He enjoys the fantasy involved in assisting leadership elements in the organization to achieve broad purposes with his public relations work.  ALSO  He does not desire to have, nor is he particularly adaptable for senior line management responsibility in an organization (i.e., not a threat to the establishment).
 
His humanist attitude is a desirable balance to have in an organization which must keep in tune with broader social trends as well as immediate organization efficiency and profit objectives.

 
From this, it is evident that my grandfather cared about people very much and I’m proud of that.  Yet, he was involved in promoting nuclear power which I don’t believe is in humanities best interest.  He hired Ronald Reagan in 1962 to publicise the Big Rock Point Nuclear Plant for Consumers Power Company.  The photo is from 1981 with my grandfather on the left and Ronald Regan in the centre just before he became president. The man on the right was another one stuck in the middle with Consumer B'org.  My grandfather was instrumental in the development of nuclear power and expansion of the company because he sold it to the public. (PS, it's a strange coincidence that Ronald McDonald has the same first name as Ronald Regan and my grandfather's first name was Donald, Donald Mc... and Ronald McDonald came into existence around the same time as these two were making the film to promote nuclear power.)
 
 
Why was my grandfather’s expertise as a public relations man so important to this company?  Because the enterprise was bound to create pollution and do things that the ordinary man in the street would otherwise protest against.  This is evident in the report with the comment that my grandfather’s nature was to keep in tune with people while the corporation’s immediate needs were based on efficiency and profit (which have nothing to do with people).  We all know that machines and robots are taking over work because they are more efficient and therefore able to create more profit.  Logically, this trend will develop to a point where people are eliminated from the equation, and I have touched upon this possibility in my blogs already.
 
However, it all ties into the modern lifestyle which, besides money, is based on energy consumption.  The name of my grandfather's company has actually changed to Consumers Energy.  Why is it that a lifestyle that requires producing toxic waste is the preferred one?  Why is it that caring is equated with consuming?
 
To keep this article short, I won’t go into the extent of environmental damage or the dubious toxic waste storage due to energy companies that has occurred over the years since my grandfather worked for Consumers Power.  After all, it doesn’t take much effort to remember a nuclear disaster or two (Chernobyl or Fukushima Dai-ichi) or look stuff up online (e.g., Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingston_Fossil_Plant_coal_fly_ash_slurry_spill).
 
Granted, it’s the system that is to blame.  I call it the B’org, an abbreviation for big organisation.  In this blog, my focus is on the B’org in the food/medical industry, but all industry is susceptible to the corruption because it is built into the system.  In other words, middle management does not have any choice but to comply.  They are unreliable as sources of protection for any interests except those of the corporation (or governmental agency) that employs them.  The corporation (B’org) does not and cannot care about anything except money.
 
This has been said many times before, especially lately, but money continues to make the world go round.  We cannot trust those who are bound up with corporate/big organisation responsibilities.  All the propaganda coming from public relations geniuses like my grandfather cannot be allowed to veil our eyes from the truth that we can witness ourselves if we just free our minds and look around.  We all need to re-evaluate our priorities to make a better world, not just seek a so-called more convenient life, or more wealth (based on money as opposed to happiness for example) for our own little individual worlds.  If this means changing jobs and exiting B’org middle management (or any other level really), so be it.  There’s a lot more to life than the B’org and money.
 
Nature provides everything we need to live a full and happy life and we have every right to it as much as any B’org.  We need to reclaim it and discard the things we don’t need especially those things that tie us into the money system.
 
Japan closed all it's nuclear power plants?  Why if they're basically safe?  Why doesn't the rest of the world follow suit instead of building more?  Thanks to Wiki for this ...
 
Following the 2011 Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster, authorities shut down the nation's 54 nuclear power plants. As of 2013, the Fukushima site remains highly radioactive, with some 160,000 evacuees still living in temporary housing, and some land will be unfarmable for centuries. The difficult cleanup job will take 40 or more years, and cost tens of billions of dollars.[1][2]

Two years ago on 31 October 2011

A French study[256] by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety revealed that the Fukushima nuclear disaster caused the biggest discharge of radioactive material into the ocean in history. The radioactive cesium that flowed into the sea from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant was 20 times the amount estimated by its owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co.[257] Atmospheric releases were cited as amounting to 35,800 terabecquerels of cesium 137 by the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics journal—an estimate about 42 percent of that released into the atmosphere in the Chernobyl explosion in 1986. Cesium 137 has a half-life of 30 years.[257]

Mmm ... accident?  What risks are we willing to take to make money?  Why?  Public relations propaganda?  OR are we all just mad?  For further information and discussion on the latter possibility see a few of my other articles or a short video by David Icke:

Book review: Madness and Civilization, http://borgfoodchain.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/book-review-madness-and-civilization.html

B’org Mentality, http://borgfoodchain.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/borg-mentality.html

David Icke, The Lunatics have taken over the Asylum, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D9j8dJ8AZI

It’s all scary stuff for a Halloween’s night.  Hope you have a happy one!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Living Longer Commentary

I mentioned in my previous article called Brighter Future? how science is claiming the ability to help us live longer and how this ability is supposed to improve in the future.  However, in my view, science is changing humans into another species, especially with the aid of plastic.  But there is actually some truth to science helping people to live longer.  I see it every day where I work.
 
Science is aiding lots of people to live longer who otherwise normally would have died, such as those who have been in tragic accidents and sustain brain injuries.  Unfortunately, many of these people are, for all intensive purposes, dead.  In other words, they are what is called in the medical profession, in a vegetative state.  But, there are others in this state due to non-traumatic brain injuries such as having a stroke or those with brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  Many of these people are connected to B’org Feeding Tubes (aka PEG tubes) to keep them alive.  This affects lots of people, actually, and more every day.  I touched upon this theme in my Age of the Living Dead article, but thought a little clarification might be helpful here.
 
Dr Kaku believes that science is going to extend the human lifespan and that this is a positive thing.  The old saying “It’s not what you do but the way you do it.” comes to mind.  In other words, it’s not being alive that matters, but how you live your life, and even, how you die.  Of course, some people aim to live forever, at any cost.  Let’s go back to extending the human lifespan though.
 
When the human lifespan is measured, all statistics of living human beings are taken together and then averaged out.  So just being alive contributes to the figure.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in a wheelchair in a vegetative state, as long as you’re medically alive.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in a coma even.  As long as you are not pronounced dead, you are alive.  That is the scam in the “living longer” statistics.
 
Another factor in the "living longer" statistics is that infant mortality used to be greater.  That brought the average lifespan down, even though many people used to live to be a hundred.  In addition, we have to ask who is included in the statistics from the past.  The old statistics were not processed on a computer and all inclusive of the world population at large.  Even today, statistics do not include people who do not partake in the Western World society.  Some people in the world don't even know how old they are.
 
Anyway, regardless of who is in the past statistics, we know that today even very premature babies are kept alive and that, in itself, brings the average lifespan up.  But, all we have to do is look around us at all the illnesses in the world and look at how people are dying from these illnesses to know that the real average lifespan is actually getting shorter for most people.  The ones that are living longer are the ones who would have died but for medical (scientific) intervention, but mostly this continued life is of very poor quality.
 
It may even get to the point where science can keep a person alive indefinitely.  The dream of immortality may be achieved, but at what price?  I don’t think giving up privacy is the end of it.
 
In the long run, I think human beings who continue to follow the scientific plastic trail will develop into another species.  Furthermore, plastic and science are restrictive.  They are part of the control system.  Dr Kaku said that the price we’d pay for the development of science is loss of privacy.  This must mean loss of freedom as well.  This is why it is obvious to me that science is generally not in my best interest.  I like to know what science has done in order to be aware, but I do not embrace it as a preferred lifestyle choice.  I don’t like plastic food because it doesn’t keep me healthy.  I don’t like the plastic lifestyle because it’s uncomfortable.  I don’t want plastic in my body in any shape or form.  I could live without science.  In fact, I could live a lot longer without science and keep my privacy and freedom to boot.
 
For some evidence of science making humans more plastic, see the programme How it Works: Plastic.  Near the end of the programme, the presenter, Mark Miodownik, discusses how plastic will interact with human cells with Professor Molly Stevens of Imperial College London.  She talks about insertion of “plastic scaffolding” into a damaged part of the human body which would dissolve and disappear somewhere after cells use it to regenerate.
 
It’s all about man thinking he can do better than nature though.  Therein lays the fallacy.  It’s also about the needs of the B’org to compete in a monetary system.  I believe that there is hope for human beings though.  I believe our survival as truly living beings is all about the enfolding awareness that is rippling through the human consciousness, despite those that are not allowed to die naturally and those in the science race.  I think we should remember to live with respect of our being alive on a living planet with a view that death is a part of this life, not live recklessly as if we will never die and there's no end to the Earth's resources.  Put another way, it doesn’t matter how long we live, it matters how we live.
 
Image credit with thanks:  How Plastics Work: Polymers

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Brighter Future?

“Science is the engine of prosperity.  All the wealth we see around us is due to science and science is going to continue to generate jobs, new industries, make life easier, and extend the human lifespan.  But, there’s always a price.  The price is privacy.  We’ll probably have less privacy in the future but we will have more abundance of wealth and we will have a more convenient life.”  Dr Michio Kaku
This quote comes from Dr Kaku speaking on a BBC television programme that was available on the iPlayer called Dara O’Briain’s Science Club, Future Fantastic.  He also said it was a “brighter future” that he anticipates, hence the title of this article.  Dr Kaku trained at Harvard University and “holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York, where he has taught for over 25 years.”  According to his website from which these quotes about him were taken, he is a “theoretical physicist, best-selling author, and popularizer of science. He’s the co-founder of string field theory (a branch of string theory), and continues Einstein’s search to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory.”
Obviously, Dr Kaku is very committed to science.  However, as is the case with most scientists today, he appears to have a very myopic view of life on Earth, and indeed, the Universe.
He sees a scientific engine powering prosperity.
I see a mechanical engine powering a destructive machine.
He sees wealth created by science all around him.
I see a small wealthy elite getting wealthier day by day while one third of the world’s population doesn’t have enough to eat.  In addition, about one sixth is malnourished even though they have plenty of food, and the rest of the world’s population is struggling to find healthy food to eat, water to drink and even air to breathe.  I’m a good example of the latter.  I don’t have much to speak of in terms of what we call material wealth even though I’ve been working for 40-odd years.  I spend a big chunk of my earnings on my food in small shops in hopes that it’s better than that on offer in supermarkets.  I lug big jugs full of spring water up a lane and up a flight of stairs in hopes that it’s cleaner and healthier than tap water.  And I breathe in toxic chemicals in my workplace and residence, day in and day out.  What is gold and jewels, or cars and yachts when you don’t have real food, clean water and fresh air!?
Dr Kaku, and many others like him, certainly has high hopes for science.  He believes that science is going to:
·        continue to generate jobs and new industries;
·        make life easier; and
·        extend the human lifespan.
I believe that science is going to:
·        be taken over by cyborgs and robots who will do all the work;
·        make life different, not easier; and
·        in the not too distant future, make human beings extinct.
When dealing with the B’org, there is always a price.  Dr Kaku says that the price for giving up our humanity is to give up our privacy.  I was thinking about this the other day before I watched this programme.  I was thinking that there is some sort of connection between privacy and humanity.  This was brought to my mind when I watched a programme about Royal Bedchambers.  Royalty are a breed unto themselves.  After all, they claim to have blue blood when the rest of us have red blood.  Throughout history, they have had little privacy.  So now they (as part of the B’org) want to share their predicament and take away our privacy too.
Dr Kaku says that if we give up our privacy, we’ll get more wealth and an easier life in return.  Sorry if this sounds rude, but he must be high.
I say, if we give up our privacy, we will become prisoners, prisoners of the B’org.  We will lose all semblance of freedom.  The methods of our total control are being rolled out before our very eyes.  We are under surveillance with cameras, GPS, mobile phones, and computers.  We have little or no control over these already.  Our lives are being more and more regulated and regimented, e.g., Health & Safety (need I say more?).  With all the evil in the world, why does Dr Kaku think new science is going to improve the situation we find ourselves in at this very moment?  It can only get worse if we continue on the same path.  Scientists are on the wrong path.  Scientists are buffoons.  Science can never produce, for any amount of money, what the earth provides for free.  I wish all scientists would move to Mars and stop trying to make life on Earth “more convenient,” another word for messed up.  Science is simply creating new and improved problems.
The future can never be brighter than the present.  Because, the present is the only moment we will ever have, and is by default, the brightest it can ever be.  Jennifer Wilson 
Photo credit:  Dr Michio Kaku

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Agriculture: Genetically and Non-genetically Modified Food


House of Lords

I recently wrote how agri-tech is moving up a notch.  Here is evidence to show how our tax money has been spent by the government in preparation for this move.  It proves that the common sense view that agri-tech has nothing (or very little) to do with natural food production is correct.  It also shows that a lot of work is being done to move in this B'org direction.

The Countess of Mar (Crossbench)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the breakdown of spending by (1) the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and (2) the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, in each of (a) genetically modified (GM) crops; (b) non-GM agricultural biotechnology; (c) marker-assisted selection; (d) home-grown protein sources for livestock; (e) agroecology; and (f) organic farming, in the past five years.

·         Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 10 July 2013, c43W)

Lord de Mauley (Whip, House of Lords; Conservative)

Over the last five years Defra has spent an average of £29m per annum on food and farming research out of a total of £400m spent by government, including research councils. However, it is not possible to provide a breakdown as requested. Agricultural biotechnology, marker-assisted selection and agroecology may all play a part in a variety of the research projects we undertake relating to farming systems.

The breakdown of the spending by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is as follows:

a) genetically modified (GM) crops

Annual Spend £M
2007/08
2008/09
2009/10
2010/11
2011/12
GM Crops (specific)1
5.7
3.8
4.8
4.4
3.3
GM Crops (direct)2
4.7
8.3
11.1
10.2
9.3
GM Crops (total)
10.4
12.1
15.9
14.6
12.5
Total Crop Science
40.5
45.5
50.5
49.8
49.3

1 research involving the use or the production of a GM crop, usually to enable enhanced agricultural traits (e.g. stress-tolerance or disease resistance in wheat).

2 crop research involving the use or the production of a GM crop to further biological understanding of the plant (e.g. genetically modifying a protein to understand its function in the plant).

b) non-GM agricultural biotechnology

No breakdown figure available for non-GM agricultural biotechnology.

Overall spend in agri-technology sector, based on spend on crop science, farmed animal health and welfare, and agricultural systems.

Annual Spend (£M)
2008/09
2009/10
2010/11
2011/12
Total for Agri- technology
79.6
82.1
80.8
83.3

c) marker-assisted selection

Estimated figure for crops only.

Annual Spend £M
2007/08
2008/09
2009/10
2010/11
2011/12
Marker assisted breeding, in crops1
8.9
10.0
11.1
11.0
10.8
Total Crop Science
40.5
45.5
50.5
49.8
49.3

1 An estimated figure calculated as 22% of the total crop science spend and based on analysis figures from 2007/08 and 2008/09. Note there is significant effort in marker assisted breeding in crops and livestock undertaken at BBSRC strategically funded institutes so estimated figures above are likely to be underestimated.

d) home-grown protein sources for livestock

No figures available. However, please note the BBSRC has provided funding to the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University in support of research on ryegrass and clover as feedstocks.

e) agroecology

Figure for agricultural systems1 which includes agroecology but no further breakdown available.

Annual Spend (EM)
2008/09
2009/10
2010/11
2011/12
Agricultural Systems1
9.2
8.0
8.0
9.5

1 Studies of agricultural landscapes and systems (including mathematical modelling) and effects of agriculture on ecosystems and the environment; soil science; interactions of crop farming practices with the environment (e.g. pollution of water supplies, effects on biodiversity); impacts of climatic and other environmental factors on agricultural systems (e.g. effects on productivity and pest and disease management; impact on biodiversity, soils and the aquatic environment, when set in an agricultural context; breeding of crops and livestock to circumvent negative effects of climate change; relevant factors include temperature, gases, water (drought and flooding), wind, sunlight and salinity.

f) organic farming

Estimated as approximately 1% of agri-technology spend (see response to part b), based on analysis data from 2006/07.

Please note that spend figures for 2012/13 are currently being processed and therefore unavailable.