Posts Tagged Environmental Protection Agency
by: Dr. Mercola
August 7, 2012
Scientists in Norway have released results from experimental feeding studies carried out over a 10-year period, and the verdict is in: If you want to avoid obesity, then avoid eating genetically engineered (GE) corn, corn-based products, and animals that are fed a diet of GE grain.
As reported by Cornucopia.org1, the project also looked at the effects on organ changes, and researchers found significant changes that affected weight gain, eating behaviors, and immune function.
How Genetically Engineered Corn and Soy Can Wreak Havoc on Your Health
According to the featured article2:
“The results show a positive link between GE corn and obesity. Animals fed a GE corn diet got fatter quicker and retained the weight compared to animals fed a non-GE grain diet. The studies were performed on rats, mice, pigs and salmon, achieving the same results.
… Researchers found distinct changes to the intestines of animals fed GMOs compared to those fed non-GMOs. This confirms other studies done by US researchers. Significant changes occurred in the digestive systems of the test animals’ major organs including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, genitals and more.”
Their findings (which were published July 11, 2012 in Norway by Forskning.no, an online news source devoted to Norwegian and international research3) showed that animals fed genetically engineered Bt corn ate more, got fatter, and were less able to digest proteins due to alterations in the micro-structure of their intestines.
They also suffered immune system alterations. The impaired ability to digest proteins may be of particular concern as this can have far-reaching implications for your health. If your body cannot digest proteins, your body will be less able to produce amino acids, which are necessary building blocks for proper cell growth and function.
As noted by Cornucopia.org:
“This not only may relate to a rise in obesity, but to increases in many modern diseases. These diseases include diabetes, digestive disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) (ADD), autoimmune diseases, sexual dysfunction, sterility, asthma, COPD and many more.
…[Lead author] Professor Krogdahl explains: “It has often been claimed that the new genes in genetically modified foods can’t do any damage because all genes are broken down beyond recognition in the gut. Our results show the contrary; that genes can be taken up across the intestinal wall, is transferred to the blood and is left in the blood, muscle and liver in large chunks so that they can be easily recognized… The biological impact of this gene transfer is unknown.”
Bt Toxin Found in Blood of Women and Fetuses
This is not the first time scientists have revealed significant biological impacts and related health problems as a result of eating a diet of genetically engineered foods. More often than not, unless the research is tainted by industry ties, studies into the effects of genetically engineered foods demonstrate that it is anything but safe. This isn’t so surprising when you consider that simple logic will tell you it’s probably not wise to consume a plant designed to produce its own pesticide, for example.
So-called “Bt corn” is equipped with a gene from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis(Bt), which produces Bt-toxin—a pesticide that breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them. This pesticide-producing corn entered the food supply in the late 1990’s, and over the past decade, the horror stories have started piling up.
Monsanto and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) swore that the toxin would only affect insects munching on the crop. The Bt-toxin, they claimed, would be completely destroyed in the human digestive system and would not have any impact on animals and humans. The biotech companies have doggedly insisted that Bt-toxin doesn’t bind or interact with the intestinal walls of mammals, and therefore humans.
The featured research proves all such claims false.
- 93 percent of pregnant women tested
- 80 percent of umbilical blood in their babies, and
- 67 percent of non-pregnant women
Bt-toxin breaks open the stomach of insects. Could it similarly be damaging the integrity of your digestive tract? If Bt-toxins can damage the intestinal walls of newborns and young children, the passage of undigested foods and toxins into the blood from the digestive tract could be devastating to their future health. Scientists speculate that it may lead to autoimmune diseases and food allergies. Furthermore, since the blood-brain barrier is not developed in newborns, toxins may enter the brain causing serious cognitive problems. Some healthcare practitioners and scientists are convinced that this one mechanism for autism.
If Bt genes are colonizing the bacteria living in the digestive tract of North Americans, we might expect to see an increase in gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and childhood learning disorders since the advent of Bt crops in 1996, and that’s exactly what’s being reported. For example, between 1997 and 2002 the number of hospitalizations related to allergic reactions to food increased by a whopping 265 percent. One out of 17 children now has some form of food allergy and allergy rates are rising.
Genetically Engineered Foods Trigger Adverse Immune System Responses
There’s plenty of evidence showing that the Bt-toxin produced in genetically modified Bt crops like corn and cotton plants is toxic to humans and mammals andtriggers immune system responses. For example, in government-sponsored research in Italy5, mice fed Monsanto’s Bt corn showed a wide range of immune responses, such as:
- Elevated IgE and IgG antibodies, which are typically associated with allergies and infections
- An increase in cytokines, which are associated with allergic and inflammatory responses. The specific cytokines (interleukins) that were found to be elevated are also higher in humans who suffer from a wide range of disorders, from arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, to MS and cancer
- Elevated T cells (gamma delta), which are increased in people with asthma, and in children with food allergies, juvenile arthritis, and connective tissue diseases.
Rats fed another of Monsanto’s Bt corn varieties called MON 863, also experienced an activation of their immune systems, showing higher numbers of basophils, lymphocytes, and white blood cells6. These can indicate possible allergies, infections, toxins, and various disease states including cancer. There were also signs of liver and kidney toxicity.
by: Lisa Garber
July 13, 2012
There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold glass of rocket fuel on a summer afternoon. Perchlorate, a key ingredient in rocket fuel, can be found in almost everybody in America. Perchlorate in drinking water has been an issue for quite some time, and has been contaminates our ground and drinking water and everything quenched by it—people, lettuce, cows.
Perchlorate in Drinking Water – Rocket Fuel Contaminating Food and Water
This environmental pollutant and toxin is even changing the meaning of “organic.” The Journal of Environmental Science and Technology says that perchlorate contaminates 32 percent of organically grown produce—twice the number attributed to conventional produce!
That an ingredient used by the pyrotechnics industry ends up in your refreshing beverage (and your burger, and your salad) is no accident. Exxon Valdez was an accident. Perchlorate in our bodies is a result of negligence.
In most cases, perchlorate in drinking water occurs due to improper disposal at military bases, chemical plants, and rocket testing sites. Concerned citizens and representatives have rallied and pressured the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the toxin, but it took them almost 10 years to announce its first federal drinking water standard for perchlorate. One might guess that the EPA dragged its feet due to pressures from big businesses and the military, reluctant to spend more money on public health and being held fiscally respsonible for damages to organic farmers and the population in general.
A Cause of Hypothyroidism
Why should we worry about perchlorate in drinking water and subsequently, our bodies? Aside from the sheer insult of paying extra money for organic produce only to get a little extra rocket fuel in our suppers, perchlorate has been linked to hypothyroidism.
Perchlorate impedes iodide uptake, which is why doctors in the 1950s used it to treat hyperthyroidism. (While hyperthyroidism is gets its name from an overactive thyroid, hypothyroidism is the condition of the thyroid gland making insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones.) It may not be a coincidence that diagnoses of this condition is on the rise in our military-industrial nation.
Research your region’s perchlorate contamination to stay in the know. If you regularly drink from well water, consider testing it for perchlorate contamination.
Southern California seaweed tests over 500 percent higher for radioactive iodine-131 than anywhere else in US
Thursday, July 12, 2012
By: Jonathan Benson
[NaturalNews] High levels of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster reached Pacific shores just days after the catastrophe occurred, according to a recent study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Tests conducted on samples of Macrocystis pyrifera, also known as Giant kelp, revealed the presence of radioactive iodine-131 at levels 500 percent higher in Southern California than in any other area of the country tested.
Based on data collected from several different test sites, researchers from the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Department of Biological Sciences learned that the highest levels of radioactive contamination from Fukushima occurred in Central and Southern California. But the worst contamination of all, at least as far as iodine-131 is concerned, was found at Southern California’s Corona Del Mar Beach.
According to the figures, samples of Giant kelp pulled from the Santa Cruz area revealed 2.0 becquerels per gram dry weight (Bq/gdwt) of radioactive iodine-131, which can also be written as 2,000 becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg) of radiation. At Corona Del Mar, however, levels of radioactive iodine-131 were discovered at 2.5 Bq/gdwt, or 2,500 Bq/kg.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s established maximum contaminant level (MCL) for radioactive iodine-131 in milk is a mere 170 Bq/kg. This is the same maximum level established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for radioactive iodine-131 in food. (http://fukushimafaq.wikispaces.com/Radiation+Allowable+Levels)
This means that the levels of radioactive iodine-131 found in seaweed off the coast of Southern California in the days following the Fukushima disaster were nearly 15 times higher than these established maximums for food, an important fact that was not reported to the public at that time. Only now is this little portion of truth finally seeing the light of day.
“Although it is probably not harmful for humans because it was relatively low levels, it may have affected certain fish that graze on the (seaweed) tissue because fish have a thyroid system that utilizes iodine,” says Steven L. Manley, author of the study.
Meanwhile, radioactive debris is also slowly making its way across the Pacific from Fukushima to North America’s West Coast, which is presenting even more problems. A Japanese fishing vessel washed up from the disaster, for instance, was recently spotted off the West Coast of Canada (http://www.washingtonsblog.com), while all sorts of radioactive debris has reportedly washed ashore in Alaska and other places. (http://www.cbsnews.com)
Sources for this article include:
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 6, 2012
A study completed in 2009 and released by the U.S. government found that every single freshwater fish tested was contaminated with mercury. They tested fish from 291 different streams across the country and didn’t find a single mercury-free fish. What’s more, fish mercury levels were often alarming.
Fish Mercury Levels High Even in Freshwater Fish
According to the report, fish mercury levels in more than one-fourth of the fish tested contained mercury levels exceeding those set forth for people by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More than two-thirds exceeded EPA levels for other mammals.
Many people opt for fish over other “meats” to avoid many of the toxins found in modern livestock, but this research sheds light yet again on the toxicity and contamination of fish, and that these creatures are often not healthful alternatives to other animals.
The EPA’s website cautions that a little mercury isn’t necessarily bad for the average person, that all fish naturally contain mercury. But if 25% of freshwater fish had more mercury than the FDA prescribed back in 2009, how many of them are over that limit now?
Mercury enters the water system through contaminants “spewed” into the atmosphere, according to Reuters. They say these emissions from industrial plants (particularly coal-fired plants) then settles into the water systems.
The most polluted areas were found in coastal “blackwater streams”. These streams are found in areas of the south east including: Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida, and Louisiana, where pine forests and wooded wetlands dot the undeveloped landscape.
It’s believed that these wooded wetlands somehow “enhance the conversion of mercury from its inorganic form in the atmosphere to a more toxic organic form,” called methylmercury.
Fish mercury levels rise and mercury contamination in fish becomes more concentrated as the fish move up the food chain. In other words, largemouth bass, for instance, which are bigger and feed on smaller fish, are likely to have greater mercury concentrations. Barbara Scudder of the USGS suggests people who are concerned about mercury might be better of eating smaller species like bluegill, crappie and perch.
A list provided by the Natural Resources Defense Council details some of the fish with the least amount of mercury contamination and those with the most. Catfish, anchovies, flounder, haddock, perch, tilapia and whiting are just a few with lower amounts. Bluefish, grouper, and salt water fish like shark, swordfish, mackerel and orange roughy have some of the highest concentrations.
You can see more fish and where they fall in the mercury scale here on the Natural Resources Defense Council website.
Monday, June 25, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
[NaturalNews] As the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to approve scores of drone applications for a range of federal, state and local agencies, concern among Americans and privacy groups is rising about the use of these drones for illegal surveillance.
The latest federal agency to potentially have violated constitutional protections against invasive, unauthorized drone surveillance is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a federal leviathan within a leviathan that is developing quite a reputation for flexing authority it doesn’t really have.
In fact, Congress recently launched a probe into whether this out-of-control, rogue agency has used drones to monitor the activities of farmers in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.
In early June, Nebraska’s congressional delegation submitted a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to express their concern about the heavily invasive actions and legality of such monitoring.
“Farmers and ranchers in Nebraska pride themselves in the stewardship of our state’s natural resources. As you might imagine, this practice [aircraft surveillance] has resulted in privacy concerns among our constituents and raises several questions,” said the letter from Reps. Adrian Smith, Jeff Fortenberry, and Lee Terry, and GOP Sen. Mike Johanns, as well as Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson.
EPA – a history of arrogant dismissive tendencies
As expected, the delegation got an arrogant, self-serving response: Yes, the agency is using drones because doing so is cost-effective and legal. As has been the case for decades, few officials working for the EPA appear to understand the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment privacy protections, as well as the Fifth Amendment’s protection against being deprived of liberty without due process.
Reports said the surveillance so far has covered EPA’s Region 7, which encompasses the Midwestern states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Still, much of the surveillance has focused on Nebraska and Iowa because of the high concentration of livestock feeding operations in a watershed area with a history of contamination.
Despite the region’s past problems, lawmakers concerned about the blatant privacy violation say farmers still deserve to be treated within the letter of the law, and the Constitution.
“Landowners deserve legitimate justification given the sensitivity of the information gathered by flyovers,” Smith, who said much of the surveillance takes place around farmers’ homes, told the New American magazine. “Nebraskans are rightfully skeptical of an agency which continues to unilaterally insert itself into the affairs of rural America.”
In response to questions raised by the Omaha World-Herald newspaper, EPA’s Region 7 argued that “courts, including the Supreme Court, have found similar types of flights to be legal (for example to take aerial photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility)” and that the EPA “would use such flights in appropriate instances to protect people and the environment from violations of the Clean Water Act.”
EPA says that, as of this writing, it has conducted dozens of overflights – seven flights have taken place over Iowa, and nine over Nebraska. And while the agency makes sure it notifies state environmental agencies when it plans to conduct the drone surveillance, officials don’t bother to alert farmers and ranchers.
States, not the Feds, should be handling this
Locals say the surveillance is not only illegal but unjustified.
“The state comes out and inspects us and watches us,” Chuck Folken, owner of a cattle feed yard in Nebraska, told the World-Herald. “They [EPA officials] are overstepping what the state is doing and I think it’s unnecessary.”
Adds Johanns of the agency, “They are just way on the outer limits of any authority they’ve been granted.”
More than that, argue critics, there is nothing in the Constitution requiring the federal government to legislate the environment. Given that the EPA was created by an act of Congress that argument might be tough to uphold. But what isn’t hard to figure out is that by simply defunding the EPA, Congress can curb the activities of the EPA.
Like a number of federal agencies, the EPA has grown far beyond its mandate and authority. It’s time to start eliminating these obstacles to freedom and liberty.