An environmental activist group has filed a legal petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking new rules that would enhance job protection for government scientists whose research questions the safety of farm chemicals. …
According to the petition, some scientists working for the federal government are finding their research restricted or censored when it conflicts with agribusiness industry interests. …
Research into glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, and neonicotinoid insecticides, which have been linked to honey bee and monarch butterfly endangerment, face particular scrutiny, [Jeff] Ruch said.
One senior scientist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service told Reuters he has experienced harassment and censorship.
words are changed, your papers are censored or edited or you are not allowed to submit them at all," said the scientist, who asked not to be named.
“Ever wonder how your food would be without any human intervention over the course of agriculture history? For thousands of years, farmers have manipulated their crops to get the best yields and have resulted in many of the produce you see today. Also, it’s informative to note that more than 3000 grains, fruits and vegetables have been “created” in a laboratory by subjecting them with gamma rays and/or highly toxic chemicals to artificially scramble their DNA–and have since been marketed as organic, including Ruby Red grapefruits and almost of the most flavorful and top selling organic Italian pasta. Read about that here: Pasta? Ruby grapefruits? Why organic devotees love foods mutated by radiation and chemicals.”
TL;DR: Because the California Fish and Game Commission decided that GMO fish are bad and GloFish® are “immoral.”
I don’t think these fish are scary. I think GloFish® look kind of like fun, swimming Skittles and Mentos. Glofish are for the most part just like other tropical pet fish, but they glow under blacklight. As cute as they are, they’re more illegal than machine guns in California, the only U.S. state that has banned the pets.
"WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children."
Bill Nye changed his mind about GMOs after reading the science. You should too.
Over the years, as peer-reviewed scientific studies on GMOs have piled up, scientific organizations ranging from the National Academy of
Sciences to the World Health Organization have analyzed them and reached
similar conclusions: GMOs on the market today are no riskier for your health than their non-GMO equivalents.
A recent analysis of the scientific literature also found that GMO crops haven’t been worse for the environment than their non-GMO counterparts and, in some cases, have been better,
for instance by reducing pesticide use. That finding echoes a 2010 NAS
report that said GMO crops, generally speaking, “have had fewer adverse
effects on the environment than non-GE crops produced conventionally.”
A British company’s plan to unleash hordes of genetically modified
mosquitoes in Florida to reduce the threat of dengue fever and other
diseases has sparked an outcry from fearful residents.
As of Friday, more than 145,000 people had signed a petition
at change.org urging regulators to “say no” to allowing the
tourist-friendly fishing and diving haven to become “a testing ground
for these mutant bugs.”
The company, Oxitec, said it wants to try the technique there in
order to reduce the non-native Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in south Florida
"They are more than just a nuisance as they can spread serious diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya,” Oxitec said on its website.
The process involves inserting a gene into lab-grown, male Aedes
aegypti mosquitoes. The added DNA makes it impossible for their
offspring to survive. Since the males do not bite—only the females do—the lab-grown males
would be released to mate with wild females. These releases would take
place a few times per week.
"Both the released mosquitoes and their offspring will die—they do
not stay in the environment," Oxitec said, describing the approach as "a
new tool in the fight against mosquitoes."
Trials conducted in the Cayman Islands and Brazil showed a more than
90 percent drop in mosquito populations, according to the company. Based on those results, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District
agreed to work with Oxitec, which has built a breeding lab in the
Florida Keys. But the project still needs approval from the Food and Drug Administration to move forward. If it does get the green light, the mosquito releases could begin in a few months.
While the technique has many benefits, such as curing genetic diseases, it can also be used to enhance qualities like beauty or intelligence – something ethicists believe should not be done.
The biologists are also concerned that the technique is so easy to use that doctors may push ahead with it before it’s clinically safe to do so, they say in a paper on the subject, which was published in the journal Science.
Hey! I saw you posted about GMOs being safe for consumption. Shouldn't people's main problem with GMOs be the fact that they are controlled by companies such as Monsanto, who tend to "bully" local farmers.
No. This is an issue of democracy, not science.
Young people need to learn how to participate in the public process (and forget about protesting - it doesn’t work). Vote; join a local board; participate in town hall meetings, where lobbyists always show up but the public doesn’t; draft a bill and submit it to your legislator (yes, you can draft a bill); comment on environmental impact statements (EIS); learn how to influence bills in your own state; discover the powerful Federal Register, etc.
Monsanto, Cargill, BSF, etc., participate in the democratic process. Argue with this all you want, but they show up to public meetings. They plan strategies. They draft bills. They comment on EISs. They write legislators, draft bills, leverage the Federal Register - you should too.
The excruciating irritation of going through airport security could one day be as pleasant as walking through a garden. A genetically engineered garden, perhaps, but a garden nonetheless.
Plants are being increasingly seen as having the potential to replace
sensors and electronic devices, which sounds completely insane at first
June Medford, a pioneering synthetic biologist, says it’s time to start
harnessing plants’ natural sensing abilities and pair them with with
the power of genes in other organisms. This will allow us to churn out
bomb- and drug-detecting ficus plants, pollution detecting (and
fighting) ferns, and the like, she claims.
“The way we screen airports to get on a plane is, everyone goes through
detector systems and it’s slow. What would make much more sense, my
vision is that you would walk through a garden-like setting, with a
webcam looking down on plants, seeing if they detected anything,”
Medford told me in a phone interview.
“When engineering living organisms, Once you understand the rules, it’s like anything else“
"You wouldn’t be able to identify an individual, but if you go through
10 people at a time, well, if it detects something you can look through
those people in detail," she added.
For years now, Medford, a researcher at Colorado State University who
worked one of DARPA’s first forays into the field back in 2003, has been
reprogramming plants in her lab to serve as these “sentinels.”
Big Psychiatry: Eating Too Healthy is a “Mental Disorder”
Apparently not content with medicating more than one out of every five Americans with mind-altering and potentially dangerous psychiatric drugs, the Big Psychiatry and Big Pharmaceutical industries are working to promote their latest invented “mental disorder” supposedly requiring their benevolent and costly assistance: Being too concerned about eating healthy. Calling the proposed new “disorder” orthorexia nervosa, the increasingly discredited establishment press has so far been more than happy to unquestioningly parrot the notion that people deeply concerned with eating healthy and nutritious food are somehow “ill” and in need of expensive “treatment.” As public knowledge of toxins in processed food and genetic engineering spread, the “disorder” is apparently surging in tandem.
The dubious diagnosis of so-called “orthorexia,” which translates roughly into righteous or correct eating, was first proposed by Dr. Steven Bratman in 1997. He originally defined it as “an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food.” Outside of psychiatry, it was largely ignored or ridiculed. Even many psychiatrists balked as the whole industry faced increasing scrutiny over its accelerating efforts to expand the list “mental disorders” by just making more up — along with expanding the potential pool of “patients” in need of supposed “treatment.” A handful of articles discussed it over the years, including a 2005 piece in the state-funded BBC and a 2011 article in the Huffington Post.
Starting late last year, though, almost certainly with an expensive public-relations propaganda campaign operating behind the scenes, Bratman’s alleged “disorder” gained a great deal of traction in the establishment press. Indeed, inside a period of just a few months, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC News, and other media outlets all began hyping the supposed “disorder” as if it were a totally legitimate disease that had just been discovered and was fast becoming another scourge on mankind. All of the articles indicated that the alleged condition was on the rise, failing to mention growing awareness about widely distrusted genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and various toxins often found in processed foods. Just 37 percent of Americans think genetically engineered food is generally safe to eat, according to a recent survey.
In the media, though, “orthorexia” was treated as deadly serious. The Journal, for example, called it “a little-researched disorder,” and claimed that researchers were coming up with “criteria” for clinicians to “diagnose orthorexia.” ABC News even found an eccentric 23-year-old woman whose “perfectionism” surrounding food had supposedly “morphed into a full-blown eating disorder called ‘orthorexia nervosa.’” Not to be outdone, CNN claimed: “There’s now a name for people dangerously addicted to all things healthy — a sufferer of orthorexia nervosa.” Popular Science, Fast Company, and other media outlets also began hyping the supposed disorder. Despite all of the hysteria, however, there seems to be little agreement on what precise combination of seemingly arbitrary “symptoms” must be exhibited to qualify.
In traditional medicine, objective biological diagnoses can be made because there are real medical problems being dealt with — a broken bone on an x-ray, a bacterial infection, and so on. With “orthorexia,” though, like virtually all of modern psychiatry, there are no objective criteria or biological tests. Indeed, psychiatrists actually vote regularly to literally invent or redefine supposed diseases, “symptoms” that go with their newly created “disorders,” and what drugs ought to be used to treat them. While what critics call the latest “quackery” has not yet been formally added to the ballooning “bible” of psychiatry known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the recent PR campaign appears to be setting the stage for its eventual inclusion.
Even the DSM, though, is coming under increasing fire. Duke University psychiatry professor Allen Frances, who served as the lead editor of the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM, explained that “there is no definition of a mental disorder.” In fact, “it’s bull****,” he said as he attacked the very foundations of psychiatry’s “diagnostic” tool. “I mean, you just can’t define it.” “The DSM is distinct from all other diagnostic manuals because it has an enormous, perhaps too large, impact on society and millions of people’s lives,” explained Dr. Frances, who also worked on previous editions of the manual. “Unlike many other fields, psychiatric illnesses have no clear biological gold standard for diagnosing them.”
In 2012, as the DSM was being updated and packed with new and improved labels, the problems only grew. In an unprecedented rebellion, 13,000 mental health professional from around the world were so outraged at what they saw that they attacked it publicly in an open letter calling for the manual to be put on hold and reconsidered. “[The DSM] is wrong in principle, based as it is on redefining a whole range of understandable reactions to life circumstances as ‘illnesses,’ which then become a target for toxic medications heavily promoted by the pharmaceutical industry,” clinical psychologist Lucy Johnstone with a Health Board in Wales told Reuters at the time. “The DSM project cannot be justified, in principle or in practice. It must be abandoned so that we can find more humane and effective ways of responding to mental distress.”
For the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries, however, the DSM and its perpetually mushrooming list of invented “disorders” means big money. In a widely reprinted report first published by the Natural Society, journalist and researcher Jefferey Jaxen lambasted the drive to label those concerned about healthy eating as mentally disordered. Suggesting it was an establishment attempt to curb growing consumer demand for healthy and nutritious food, Jaxen also attacked the psychiatric industry and its close relationship with the pharmaceutical industry as an unholy alliance aimed at fleecing consumers by inventing more “disorders” to be treated with their “toxic products” as the supposed answer.
“The cherry on top is that if you have the pseudo-science labeled disorder of orthorexia nervosa, you will be prescribed known toxic, pharmaceutical drugs from some of the same conglomerate corporations that you are trying to avoid by eating healthy in the first place,” he wrote, pointing out that efforts are underway to label even creativity as a mental disorder. “As the people continue to walk away from the broken medical and agricultural/food systems like any abusive relationship, the food makers are willing to do anything to maintain their waning control…. Perhaps some people to take it too far to the point of self-harm, but the problem we face with a toxic food system is a much larger threat.”
Indeed, beyond what critics say is wild overmedication and over-diagnosing of “mental disorders,” some experts have raised an even more troubling specter. As The New American reported in 2012, former U.S. Marine Brandon Raub was detained in a psychiatric ward by law enforcement over anti-government Facebook posts. “The police state is here,” explained John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, about Raub’s case. “For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon. This should be a wake-up call to Americans.” Of course, the mass-murdering regime ruling the Soviet Union became infamous for its use of “psychiatry” and quack diagnoses to disappear and discredit political opponents.
While there may indeed be a tiny handful of people who are what most would consider “too” concerned about healthy eating, critics of the effort to make “orthorexia” into a “mental disorder” said the issue highlights a growing and troubling trend. DSM-IV lead editor Dr. Frances, for example, warned years ago that the overly broad and vague definitions of “disorders” would create more “false epidemics” and increase the “medicalization of everyday behavior.” His motivation for speaking out, he wrote in Psychology Today, was to prevent “diagnostic inflation” that would result in the “mislabeling of millions of people as mentally disordered.”
As psychiatry increasingly seeks to label any and all emotions, beliefs, and actions as “disorders,” healthy eaters and the general public ought to be paying attention. If the industry and its Big Government allies are left unchecked, Americans may wake up one day to find that they, too, have some newly invented “mental disorder.”