Global Health Problems Reflect Our Disconnection from the Earth

earthStory at-a-glance −

The film “Origins” shows how our modern lifestyle has caused us to lose our connection with the earth, resulting in so many of our global problems from environmental destruction to hunger and disease Continue reading

Dramatic Increase in Kidney Disease in the US and Abroad Linked To Roundup (Glyphosate) ‘Weedkiller’

global_kidney_disease_roundup(2)Last month, we reported on a mysterious global epidemic of fatal kidney disease, focusing on a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health1 that laid down evidence showing the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) is responsible for an epidemic of kidney-related deaths Continue reading

Coffee Grounds Make Great Supplements, a Study Shows

Coffee is currently in the crosshairs of a lot of scientists as they have come to realize that coffee, particularly coffee grounds, contains a lot of antioxidants that could be harnessed and placed into supplements. It is estimated that about 20 million tons of coffee grounds are used in a year as millions of people consume many cups of coffee daily. Continue reading

Fighting Microbes with Microbes

Story at-a-glance

  • Microflora in soil influences plant health, helping to provide nutrients and suppress disease; there are more than 30,000 varieties of microbes in soil
  • In humans, antibiotics are often overprescribed, killing off beneficial bacteria and promoting the formation of antibiotic-resistant ”super germs”; Continue reading

GE Crops and Unsustainable Agricultural Practices are Destroying our Planet’s Soil and Food Supply

Story at-a-glance

  • Genetically engineered crops and food products pose a threat to your health, resistance to disease, soil, and the global food supply
  • GE seed wars in India have resulted in a group of Indian scientists being found guilty of infecting and hiding the fact that indigenously created Bt cotton contained a Monsanto gene in a rush to get the seed to market Continue reading

Gladiolus

gladiolusIntroduction:
Most Europeans are under the wrong impression on the origins of this wonderful plant. The Gladiolus was first discovered near the end of its range in KwaZulu Natal in the late 1820’s. The name G. natalensis was then used for species farmed in Holland. Professor C.G.C. Reinwardt at Leyden distributed plants under this name to growers. No other species of the genus has caused so much taxonomic confusion and misunderstanding. Continue reading

Normally Harmless Bacteria Might Kill Cancer

Doctors Health Press prides itself on reporting on front- line, groundbreaking treatments for the diseases that run through society. On that note, we bring now a glimpse of future cancer therapy — using a strain of bacteria found in the soil. Intriguing health news with intriguing possibilities.

Now, these aren’t the bacteria commonly used as natural supplements or found in yogurt. Those would be probiotics. Instead, these are “Clostridium sporogenes,” harmless bacteria that are widespread in the soil. This type of bacteria is expected to be tested in cancer patients in the coming years, as it seems to specifically target tumors.

The method goes like this: spores of the bacterium are injected into cancer patients, only growing inside solid tumors. An anti-cancer drug is injected separately into the patient in an inactive form, called a “pro-drug.” When that pro-drug reaches the tumor, the bacteria activate the drug, allowing it to destroy only the cancerous cells around it. Continue reading

Alternative Food Sources that Bestow Availability, Nutrition and Other Uses

Alternative food sources in a world of shrinking resources are those that offer a diverse profile in terms of availability, nutrition and other important uses. Some food plants grow well in marginal soil, offer high nutrition, and have medicinal uses that could make them high priority in years to come. Easy propagation, tolerance of diverse growing conditions, multiple uses of its products, and beneficial nutrition would be earmarks of life-saving food crops. Another food source already utilized in other countries is insects. An online search for nutritious foods yields results such as broccoli, kale, avocadoes, bee pollen and others equally well-known. While these all-stars undoubtedly have a place in the pantheon of nutritious foods, a few other candidates could nose them out.

Moringa oleifera, also known as horseradish or drumstick tree, is a miracle tree grown throughout the tropics that can nevertheless withstand frost and frozen soil. It propagates easily from stumps, seeds, direct sowing, cuttings or natural regeneration. It is drought-resistant and fast-growing.  Continue reading

Phytoremediation Uses Plants to Detoxify Soil from Radiation

Concerns about radioactive materials accumulating in soil and water since the nuclear accident in Japan this year have led individuals to look at natural ways to clean their property of possible radiation. One method worthy of examination is phytoremediation. Phytoremediation uses plants to detoxify areas contaminated by the accumulation of hazardous substances, heavy metals and pollutants such as radioactive material.

Remediation using various plants relies on the plants ability to draw material out of the soil through their roots and up into their stalks, leaves and flowers. Some plants are particularly adept at leeching heavy metals and radiation from soil and water. The prospect of using plants to clean up radioactive messes is attractive because plants are a natural, economical means to restore areas contaminated by radiation. In the face of nuclear accidents like the  Continue reading

Nanoparticles Damage Healthy Soil Bacteria

Though some might argue that nanotechnology offers benefits not afforded by normal molecules, the environmental and human health consequences of this “breakthrough” technology appear dire, to say the least. New research published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials explains that nanoparticles damage beneficial soil bacteria and ultimately ruin plants’ ability to uptake necessary nitrogen.

Researchers Niraj Kumar and Virginia Walker from Queen’s University in Canada set out to investigate the effects of nanoparticles in the environment, comparing soil from the Arctic — which they believed would be the least contaminated with nanoparticles — to soil that was deliberately contaminated with various nanoparticles, including silver nanoparticles. Continue reading

This Could Threaten the Future of Food – Destroying the Entire Food Chain…

Roundup, Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide, is causing Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a serious plant disease, in many fields. Study after study shows that glyphosate is contributing not only to the huge increase in SDS, but also to the outbreak of numerous other diseases.

Glyphosate is the world’s bestselling weed killer; it was patented by Monsanto for use in their Roundup brand, which became more popular when they introduced “Roundup Ready” crops — genetically modified (GM) plants that can withstand applications of normally deadly Roundup.

But the herbicide doesn’t destroy plants directly; instead, it creates a unique perfect storm of conditions that activates disease-causing organisms in the soil, while at the same time wiping out plant defenses against those diseases.

The Institute for Responsible Technology reports:

“By weakening plants and promoting disease, glyphosate opens the door for lots of problems in the field. According to Don [Huber, a plant pathologist], ‘There are more than 40 diseases of crop plants that are reported to increase with the use of glyphosate …’

Some of the fungi promoted by glyphosate produce dangerous toxins that can end up in food and feed … They’ve ‘been linked to the plague epidemics’ of medieval Europe, ‘large-scale human toxicosis in Eastern Europe,’ esophageal cancer in southern Africa and parts of China, joint diseases in Asia and southern Africa, and a blood disorder in Russia.”

Sources:

Institute for Responsible Technology January 14, 2011

Dr Mercola’s comments

More than:

  • 75 percent of soybeans
  • 65 percent of cotton
  • 10 percent of corn grown in the United States

… Contain the genetically modified (GM) Roundup Ready gene, which allows farmers to spray Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide directly onto their fields, killing weeds without harming the crops … theoretically.

However, this convenience comes at a steep price, as evidence shows that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is actually devastating crops and human and animal health around the world, even when the exposure is restricted to residues leftover in the soil.

“The Perfect Storm” for Plant Devastation

Glyphosate is the world’s bestselling weed killer, and it’s found in more than 30 percent of all herbicides. While Roundup Ready crops can withstand the toxin because of GM genetic material from viruses and bacteria, the weed killer is thought to be contributing to Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), a deadly plant disease that causes plants to turn yellow and die.

As reported by GM expert Jeffrey Smith, numerous studies have linked glyphosate to increases in SDS, including in crops that have never been sprayed with the herbicide but were planted in a field that received an application the previous season.

As Smith points out:

“The herbicide doesn’t destroy plants directly. It rather cooks up a unique perfect storm of conditions that revs up disease-causing organisms in the soil, and at the same time wipes out plant defenses against those diseases. The mechanisms are well-documented but rarely cited.”

In fact, Roundup herbicide weakens plants and promotes disease in a number of ways, including:

  • Acting as a chelator of vital nutrients, depriving plants of the nutrients necessary for healthy plant function
  • Destroying beneficial soil organisms that suppress disease-causing organisms and help plants absorb nutrients
  • Interfering with photosynthesis, reducing water use efficiency, shortening root systems and causing plants to release sugars, which changes soil pH
  • Stunting and weakening plant growth
  • Promoting disease-causing organisms in soil, which then overtake the weakened crops

So the glyphosate in Roundup is not only weakening plants, it’s changing the makeup of soil and boosting the number of disease-causing organisms, a deadly recipe for crops around the globe.

As Don Huber, a plant pathologist at Purdue University, stated:

“There are more than 40 diseases of crop plants that are reported to increase with the use of glyphosate, and that number keeps growing as people recognize the association between glyphosate and disease.”

As the use of Roundup has increased, so too has the prevalence of potentially devastating plant diseases, which could threaten future food crops and the food chain that depends on them.

Dangers for People and Animals Too

It’s not only plant life that’s threatened by the use of Roundup — human and animal toxins are created too. As Smith reported, glyphosate promotes the formation of certain types of fungi that are dangerous to people and contaminate food and animal feed. One such fungus, the Fusarium fungus, has been linked to plague epidemics, cancer, infertility and animal diseases.

Residues of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide found in GM food and feed have also been linked to cell damage and even death, even at very low levels. Researchers have also found it causes membrane and DNA damage, and inhibits cell respiration.

It’s also possible that glyphosate is significantly altering the nutrient content of our food, through its chelating mechanism, leading to widespread mineral deficiencies in animals and humans. Smith writes:

“The same nutrients that glyphosate chelates and deprives plants are also vital for human and animal health. These include iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, boron, and others. Deficiencies of these elements in our diets, alone or in combination, are known to interfere with vital enzyme systems and cause a long list of disorders and diseases …

Glyphosate-induced mineral deficiencies can easily go unidentified and untreated. Even when laboratory tests are done, they can sometimes detect adequate mineral levels, but miss the fact that glyphosate has already rendered them unusable.

Glyphosate can tie up minerals for years and years, essentially removing them from the pool of nutrients available for plants, animals, and humans. If we combine the more than 135 million pounds of glyphosate-based herbicides applied in the US in 2010 with total applications over the past 30 years, we may have already eliminated millions of pounds of nutrients from our food supply.”

Roundup in the Environment

Monsanto long used the slogans, “It’s Safer than Mowing,” “Biodegradable,” and “Environmentally Friendly” to describe Roundup — until the real effects of this toxic herbicide were revealed and they were forced to discontinue their deceptive advertising.

The truth is Monsanto’s own tests showed that only 2 percent of the herbicide broke down after 28 days, which means it readily persists in the environment. Glyphosate is actually the most commonly reported cause of pesticide illness among landscape maintenance workers in California. Additionally:

  • The surfactant ingredient in Roundup is more acutely toxic than glyphosate itself, and the combination of the two is even more toxic.
  • Glyphosate is suspected of causing genetic damage.
  • Glyphosate is acutely toxic to fish and birds and can kill beneficial insects and soil organisms that maintain ecological balance.
  • Laboratory studies have identified adverse effects of glyphosate-containing products in all standard categories of toxicological testing.

In one animal study, rats given 1,000 mg/kg of glyphosate resulted in a 50 percent mortality rate, and skeletal alterations were observed in over 57 percent of fetuses!

And just so you understand, GM crops that are resistant to Roundup are the most widely sold GM varieties. So if you eat GM foods, there is a very good chance those foods contain Roundup residues — and possibly hefty amounts of them.

According to Smith, by 2004 farmers used an estimated 86 percent more herbicide on GM soy fields compared to non-GM. Higher levels of herbicide residue in this GM soy might cause health problems, and many symptoms identified in one UK soy allergy study are also related to glyphosate exposure.

The allergy study identified irritable bowel syndrome, digestion problems, chronic fatigue, headaches, lethargy, and skin complaints including acne and eczema, all related to soy consumption.

Symptoms of glyphosate exposure include nausea, headaches, lethargy, skin rashes, and burning or itchy skin. It is also possible that glyphosate’s breakdown product AMPA, which accumulates in GM soybeans after each spray, might contribute to allergies.

Again, the use of Roundup herbicide has increased dramatically since the GM Roundup Ready crops were introduced. In the first 13 years, American farmers sprayed an additional 383 million pounds of herbicide due to these herbicide-tolerant crops. And now the repeated exposures have given Mother Nature all she needs to stage her comeback in the form of devastating superweeds.

How Can You Avoid Roundup and Roundup Ready Crops?

Did you know that genetically modified foods are so prevalent in the United States that if you randomly pick an item off your grocery store’s shelves, you have a 75 percent chance of picking a food with GM ingredients?

It’s true. At least seven out of every 10 processed food items have been genetically modified, and there’s more to come.

The potential health ramifications of these world-wide experiments with our food supply are frightening to say the least. If you care about the health and future of your family, I strongly urge you to refuse to participate in this destructive trend.

How?

It’s actually simpler than you might think… By buying only non-GM foods.

The True Food Shopping Guide is a great tool for helping you determine which brands and products contain GM ingredients. It lists 20 different food categories that include everything from baby food to chocolate.

Additionally, here are four simple steps to decrease your consumption of GM foods as much as possible:

  • Reduce or eliminate processed foods in your diet. The fact that 75 percent of processed foods contain GM ingredients is only one of the many reasons to stick to a whole foods diet.
  • Read produce and food labels. Conventionally raised soybeans and corn make up the largest portion of genetically modified crops. Ingredients made from these foods include high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), corn flour and meal, dextrin, starch, soy sauce, margarine, and tofu.
  • Buy organic produce. By definition, food that is certified organic must be free from all GM organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed GM corn feed.

You can also get involved in helping to defeat GM crops at the regulatory level. Right now the USDA is considering the approval of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa, which would lead to the application of millions more pounds of Roundup herbicide each year.

You can urge U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to NOT approve Roundup Ready alfalfa, which would lead to the addition of more Roundup on U.S. fields and in our food, by using this action form from the Institute for Responsible Technology.

Courtesy of Dr Mercola