Recent studies estimate that worldwide, humans are using 129 billion face masks each month — about 3 million a minute. Most of them are disposable face masks made from plastic, non-biodegradable microfibers that break down into smaller plastic particles — micro- and nanoplastics — that become widespread in ecosystems.
The World Health Organization says an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID response each month, a trend likely to persist for some time.
At the start of the outbreak, U.S. officials estimated the country would need 300 million face masks to cope with the pandemic in 2020. U.S. manufacturer 3M made 550 million masks in 2019 and plans to produce 2 billion this year as long as the pandemic lasts.
“The enormous production of disposable masks is on a similar scale as plastic bottles, which is estimated to be 43 billion per month,”said environmental toxicologist Elvis Genbo Xu from the University of Southern Denmark, and professor Zhiyong Jason Ren, an expert in civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University. “But unlike plastic bottles, there is no way to recycle face masks, making them more likely to be disposed of in inappropriate ways.”
Common surgical masks have three layers: an outer layer with non-absorbent fibrous material (like polyester) that protects against liquid splashes, a middle layer with non-woven fabrics (like polypropylene and polystyrene) created using a meltblown process which prevents droplets and aerosols via an electrostatic effect, and an inner layer made of absorbent material like cotton to absorb vapor.
Masks contain many polymers, including fabric polypropylene. Polypropylene is one of the most commonly produced plastics and does not easily break down. Weathering from solar radiation and heat cause polypropylene to generate a large number of micro-sized polypropylene particles and nanoplastics.
Disposable face masks are made directly from microsized plastic fibers, which release plastic particles easier and faster than bulk plastics like plastic bags. A newer generation of masks, called nanomasks, releases even smaller particles creating a new source of nanoplastic pollution, according to the University of Southern Denmark.
The impacts of plastic as a solid waste and microplastics contamination in the environment have been investigated, validated and demonstrated by different researchers in various publications, according to a study in Marine Pollution Bulletin.
In the years prior to the pandemic, environmentalists warned about skyrocketing plastic pollution and its threat to oceans and marine life. As much as 13 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, according to a 2018 estimate by UN Environment.
According to a report by OceanAsia, roughly 52 billion face masks were manufactured in 2020 to meet the demand of the coronavirus pandemic and 1.56 billion were estimated to have entered the ocean, resulting in 4,680 to 6,240 metric tonnes of face masks. These masks take as long as 450 years to completely break down –– slowly turning into microplastics that negatively affect marine wildlife and ecosystems.
The environmental research community needs to move faster to understand and mitigate these risks, said researchers Xu and Ren. They proposed the following for dealing with the problem:
Set up mask-only trash cans for collection and disposal. Do not put masks in the recycling.
Consider standardization, guidelines and strict implementation of waste management for mask wastes.
Replace disposable masks with reusable face masks like cotton masks.
Develop biodegradable disposal masks with materials that are safe.
Article written by Megan Redshaw, a freelance reporter for The Defender. She has a background in political science, a law degree and extensive training in natural health.
Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.
A few years ago multiple media outlets began to report a new development designed by a man from Zimbabwe named Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso, who claimed to have successfully created an electric powered vehicle and system which runs on a battery that has the ability to charge itself, making it the first ever electric vehicle that never needs charging.
According to Maxwell’s claims, the energy to power the battery is taken from electromagnetic waves that exist all around us and are naturally present in our environment. The vehicle had 5 normal gel batteries which were sufficient enough to start the vehicle and charge the batteries, and from there on in, the batteries are constantly charging.
His story and developments began to make noise. For example, SABC News, a major news station owned by the South African Broadcasting Corporation picked up the story and relayed it to their viewers.
“The United States government has given Zimbabwe’s prolific inventor Maxwell Chikumbutso a new home in its populous state of California. Chikumbutso is the founder of Saith Holdings Inc. under which he made headlines for his serial innovations which include the world’s first ever green power generator which can produce electricity using radio frequencies, an electric powered car which doesn’t consume fuel, a fuelled helicopter and many more.”
When this story broke, a number of “fact-checkers” simply labelled it as false without any investigation. When I first saw this I thought to myself, why would multiple media outlets cover the story, film it and present it to the entire country if it was fake? And why did fact checkers simply label the story as false from the armchairs of their offices without providing any evidence showing that it was?
Despite fact-checkers labelling this information as false without any investigation, new energy enthusiasts and makers of one of the most viewed documentaries in human history, THRIVE: What on Earth Will It Take, Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble decided to actually go to Zimbabwe and vet the technology for themselves. Since Foster has been looking into and studying new energy technologies for more than 30 years, this was both an exciting moment but one filled with careful consideration, as the vast majority of claims like this are in fact false.
The Thrive team met Maxwell when they landed, and quickly sensed that Maxwell was a good hearted soul who has the desire the change the world. But did his technology truly work? The next morning, Maxwell took them to see a device, which uses the same technology behind the electric car mentioned above. The unit shown in the video clip below is ample enough to power 300 homes, continuously, forever. Likely with maintenance of course. Think about the implications of that…
The full story and more is covered in their new film, Thrive II: This Is What It Takes. You can see a brief clip from THRIVE II below and Foster and Kimberly’s interaction with Maxwell.
In the film, Chikumbutso explains:
One of the painful realities I have seen in energy is this is a very dangerous game all together. Yeah, especially free energy, because you know they can try to kill it – using professional people and that has happened to me…I went through a lot, poisons, like I’m saying right now, I’m fighting it. They come to you then they say, No, you mustn’t do this.” When they see you’re not giving up, then they can just frame you, then they can so no, you’ve done ABC.” My prayer is this thing must see the light of day.
As far as those “fact checkers” go. As I mentioned above they simply labelled this development as false. For example, PolitiFact explained that “Three years ago, a man at a one-day event touted “inventions,” including a car that defies the laws of physics. Since 2015, his story has only found a home on false news blogs and conspiracy sites.”
Snopes did the same, also mentioning our article that was publishing covering the story:
On 25 April 2018, the conspiracy oriented, reality-adjacent website Collective Evolution picked up the story once again, this time citing the aforementioned Zambian Observer story and the 2015 video of that same event from South African television. As is often the case with Collective Evolution articles, the claims made there have been cloned and regurgitated ad infinitum by other dubious clickbait sites.
Again, there is absolutely no evidence or investigation by these fact checkers to vet the technology, and the common theme used to try and debunk Chikumbutso is that his invention breaks the laws of physics, the second law of thermodynamics to be exact, because it produces more energy than is put into the device. They also use ridicule to support their narrative.
We here at Collective Evolution would argue that the device does not at all break the laws of physics, and that the law is not well understood, or needs to be revised. Furthermore, if there’s one thing constant about physics it’s change.
Take, for example, prominent physicist Lord Kelvin, who stated in the year 1900 that, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”
It wasn’t long after this statement when Einstein published his paper on special relativity. Einstein’s theories challenged the accepted framework of knowledge at the time, and forced the scientific community to open up to an alternate view of reality.
It serves as a great example of how concepts that are taken to be absolute truth are susceptible to change. It’s also important to mention that if these fact-checkers actually did some investigation into this case, they would have a different opinion. How come fact checkers have the ability to label something as false without any actual investigation?
That’s why people like Foster and Kimberly are so important.
In fact, there are multiple inventions out there that appear to break the second law of thermodynamics which have received absolutely no attention. For example, renowned inventor and engineer Paramahamsa Tewari developed an electrical generator that put out more power than it takes in, achieving over-unity efficiency. He published a paper in Physics Essays titled “Structural relation between the vacuum space and the electron” in 2018 before he passed. The paper explains the concepts behind the make-up of what we perceive to be our physical material world, the concepts in there explain the the thoughts behind his generator. You can view a video of the generator here, and read more about it in an article I dive deeper about it, here.
Concluding Remarks: The fact that these technologies, and similar technologies that can provide “free energy” to the planet exist is very exciting. We here at Collective Evolution have also had the privilege of seeing some of these technologies with our own eyes, and it’s quite unfortunate that they always come under such a harsh resistance. What does that tell you about our world and the underlying stories that navigate our current thinking? The fact is, new energy technologies like the one mentioned in this article have the ability to completely collapse the biggest energy companies in the world. Just because this is true, does not mean we should not approach the conversation and determine how we can implement them and perhaps create further adjustments in our society along the way.
I started to examine the breakthrough solutions, and much to my surprise, these concepts have been proven in hundreds of laboratories throughout the world, and yet they have no really seen the light of day. If the new energy technologies were to be set free worldwide, the change be profound, it would affect everybody, it would be applicable everywhere. These technologies are absolutely the most important thing that’s happened in the history of the world. – Dr Brian O’Leary, Former NASA Astronaut and Princeton Physics Professor
Professor Emeritus at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire. He outlined the importance of these concepts in his paper titled Space and Terrestrial Transportation and Energy Technologies For The 21st Century.
There is significant evidence that scientists since Tesla have known about this energy, but that its existence and potential use has been discouraged and indeed suppressed over the past half century or more. – Dr. Theodor C. Loder, III (source)
Imagine a planet where we live in transparency and all developments are made public. Why does something that threatens power have to be kept a secret? Why is the excuse always to protect “national security.” Why is our planet like this, and why are we accepting and choosing to live the way we do when we have the potential to do so much better?
Of course, energy is a huge part of our existing economy, and thus it’s easy to see how disrupting energy is disrupting the entire economy. We would lose jobs, industries etc. Our progress as a species is held back by our love affair with our current ways of thinking and economy, even when it creates a world that is slowly destroying itself. So what’s the solution then? Transparent discussion ad a new conversation. We must begin realizing what it is that truly holds back these technologies, and it isn’t as simple as saying ‘the elite’ or ‘the deep state.’ It’s our ways of thinking and being, our collective story.
We talk about this in great detail in an interview with someone who has been working in the ‘new energy’ space for many years. Dive into this important conversation on CETV here.
Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline may need to slaughter half a million sharks to harvest squalene, an oil made in shark livers, to make a new line of COVID jabs. Glaxo mixes squalene with a witches’ brew of proprietary surfactants to produce its controversial AS03 vaccine adjuvant. Adjuvants are compounds that amplify immune response to hyperstimulate the immune system. They are associated with a variety of autoimmune diseases.
Scientific studies have linked squalene adjuvants to Gulf War syndrome and to a wave of debilitating neurological disorders including epidemics of narcolepsy caused by Glaxo’s H1N1 Pandemrix vaccine during the 2009 swine flu “pandemic.” One study showed a 13-fold increased risk of narcolepsy in children who received Pandemrix.
The devastating cascade of brain injuries to children and health care workers forced the termination of that Glaxo vaccine after European governments used only a small fraction of the jabs they had purchased from Glaxo. A recent study links squalene to carcinomas. In a bizarre and reckless twist, Glaxo has revived the dangerous adjuvant as its hall pass to the COVID-19 money orgy.
The company said it would manufacture a billion doses of this adjuvant for potential use in coronavirus vaccines. Around 3,000 sharks are needed to extract one ton of squalene.
Shark Allies, a California-based group, said Glaxo will kill around 250,000 sharks to make enough AS03 for the world’s population to receive one dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. If, as expected, two doses are needed, half a million sharks must die.
Glaxo declared that it would be producing 1 billion doses of AS03 “to support the development of multiple adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine candidates.”
Glaxo has developed partnerships with multiple companies, including its behemoth rival Sanofi, China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Innovax Biotech in the city of Xiamen. Glaxo has also agreed to make the technology available to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for COVID vaccines in Australia and elsewhere. Glaxo said it is focusing on what it considers a “proven technology” that will give the company “several shots on goal.”
Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is implementing many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.
For children in the U.S., cancer is the leading cause of death from disease. Worldwide, cancer has become so prevalent and devastating that some may use the phrase “like curing cancer” when describing something unfeasible or highly complicated. Yet in September, a team of more than 60 stakeholders and leaders in the health, science, business, policy and advocacy sectors collaborated to take a different, perhaps less flashy approach — preventing cancer, specifically by ending the use of toxic chemicals. Under the umbrella of the Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative (CCPI), this collection of organizations published a report examining the impact of different cancer-causing chemicals and calling for a “national plan” to address the rising incidence of childhood cancer.
In 2020, an estimated 1,806,590 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. and 606,520 people will die from the disease, including an estimated 16,850 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19 being diagnosed and 1,730 children will die of the disease. Researchers estimate that only 10% of all childhood cancers come from hereditary factors, meaning the lion’s share of childhood cancers come from environmental factors. To CCPI, this means 90% of all childhood cancer is preventable.
The authors of the report indicate that cancer charities and research organizations don’t devote enough resources to prevention.
“The vast majority of childhood cancer research funding goes towards studies of childhood cancer treatment and survivorship, leaving only a small portion for the critical work on prevention,” the report explains.
The CCPI report identifies pesticides, traffic-related air pollution and paints/solvents as the three groups of chemicals giving rise to the most common types of childhood cancer.
The report points out that the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has listed several U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved pesticides as either known, probable or possible carcinogens, including glyphosate. The report cites multiple studies that indicate increased risks of childhood leukemia and brain cancer with exposure to residential pesticides, including a recent study showing “increased risk of childhood leukemia associated with higher levels of the residential herbicide chlorothalonil and possibly alachlor, used as an agricultural herbicide.” It also explains that a child with parents working in the agriculture sector is more likely to have a brain tumor, because of their exposure to agricultural pesticides.
The IARC has classified many air pollutants as known, probable or possible carcinogens as well. CCPI describes one study demonstrating that “soot in air pollution, which is a mixture of known carcinogens … can cross the placenta and expose the developing fetus.”
The report explains that a third category, paints and solvents, can increase a child’s risk of leukemia, lymphoma and brain tumors. For example, benzene is a chemical present in many solvents and a known cause of leukemia. The CCPI report lists multiple studies documenting that a mother’s exposure to benzene during pregnancy puts the child at elevated risk for childhood leukemia.
The authors furthermore acknowledge that children living near industrial manufacturing, agricultural facilities, major transportation routes or hazardous waste sites are at a higher risk for chronic diseases.
CCPI also emphasizes a need for research into the more than 85,000 manufactured chemicals in use in the U.S. today. “Known carcinogens are used throughout the economy … but recent research suggests that many chemicals in addition to those known to be carcinogens may contribute to cancer,” the report reads. “Because most of these chemicals have never been tested for safety or toxicity, we do not have a comprehensive list of those that may cause cancer in children.”
In terms of solutions, CCPI wants the private sector and the government to work together towards what it calls a “common goal” of “enabl[ing] all children to thrive.”
The authors go on to contend that there is a “compelling business case” for ending the production of these chemicals and products. They note the examples of Lumber Liquidators, who saw a 25% decline in value after being exposed for selling flooring with formaldehyde, and Bayer, who’s stock value fell 44% after a lawsuit found that its glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup caused cancer.
“Businesses that avoid making needed changes risk millions in legal fees from consumer lawsuits, and even more if an accident occurs involving chemicals of concern that harms employees and local residents,” the authors argue. CCPI sees the companies who produce and use dangerous chemicals and emissions as a not only the problem, but a “potential source for solutions.”
Policymakers have a role to play too. CCPI advocates tight limits on both levels of pesticides in food and exposure to suspect environmental factors. CCPI also recommends that U.S. legislators protect the environmental regulatory programs that are “under attack.”
“Priority efforts should be given to environmental justice: restoring policies that protect communities of color and low-income neighborhoods, who are disproportionately harmed by polluting activities,” the report reads.
Overall, CCPI suggests the way forward includes vast levels of investment into a new economy without chemicals, products and technologies that contribute to cancer.
“Our work suggests that prevention is possible, via research, education, development of safer chemistries, business innovation and strong public policies. But the scale of investments in these areas must dramatically increase,” the report concludes.
CCPI sees its new report as a “first step,” and a demonstration of commitment by the 12 organizations to phasing out cancer-inducing chemicals and finding safer alternatives.
In this colourful time where humans are given the choice to evolve or stay the same, I am in humble ceremony and celebration for all that is unfolding. I use it as a stepping stone into TRUTH. I choose to see it as all serving personal and collective ascension, rather than labelling it as chaos, good/bad, right/wrong, and the path to a paralyzing apocalypse. I strive to lead my life with flow, and have been practising non-resistance, non-attachment, and non-judgment when stories and limited belief systems come knocking on my door.
I have held a sacred vision since I was young. A oneness commUNITY of the New Earth. A farm and forest “school” that has returned to the wisdom tradition. A shared living and learning eco-village holding space for both children and adults to connect, be curious, grow with awe, wonder, love and oneness consciousness. I see vast acreage with rolling hills, a farm and a forest, glass domes offering space for workshops, dancing, art creation, singing, gardening, drumming, woodworking, and yoga. Eco-spiritual beekeeping, herbalism, plant and spirit medicine live here. It is a space where children are raised together, a birthing hut is made to free birth in, biodynamic farming thrives, sacred ceremony to honour and celebrate our daughters’ first moon cycle, and space for boys and men to collaborate and share is created. This is a spot to land, where we return hOMe. I am in joy to know that others share the same vision. I am spearheading the gathering of souls who meet weekly to co-create this school and eco-village somewhere surrounding the Greater Toronto Area! I am so thankful and blessed to know and learn from each of these families.
I’m an educator in Ontario, and I’m grateful for my dance with the system. Truthfully, I could never squeeze my square-pegged Self in the system’s round holes, even with all of my teacher training. I have felt the fragmentation over the freedom. My children are age 7 and 2. I always knew that I would homeschool if I chose to be a mother. I feel so guided and blessed to have chosen homeschooling during all of their formative years. Our homeschooling days are comprised of wandering the woods with friends, learning the art of homesteading on our farm, self-sufficiency and minimalist living, reading, singing, dancing together, trusting intuition, growing food and learning to preserve it, studying with elders, making mud cakes, and breathing deeply together.
My offerings to the homeschool community in my seven short years of homeschooling are based on a passion for community development. I’ve hosted a weekly forest playgroup for three years. I’ve facilitated seasonal parent meetings to co-create homeschool cooperatives. It was beautiful to see parents to come together and offer their skills and experience to teach and guide their children, and so awe-inspiring to see sub groups form. I’ve organized adventurous field trips, and invited the remembrance of Self through holding space for women during monthly circles. In all of this, I’ve realized one simple thing. Everyone needs the freedom to play. The chance to connect, to embody love, to be seen, heard, and understood.
I’m hearing about the schools re-opening plan. In addition to polarity and judgment, I’m seeing the confusion and unsettlement on social media. The puzzle pieces are coming together. I see everything outside reflected within me, and I’m invited to transmute lower frequencies and an old way of life to zero point neutrality. We may feel we don’t have a choice, but there are so many pathways Source is offering us at this time to grow and advance. What is the plan for our children this year? Will they flourish in active co-creation of their educational experience, one filled with play, wonder, freedom, and awe? Or will they wilt because of a fear based environment, one that supports an old belief system that we must maximize safety, boundaries, and protection. It isn’t easy for the parent who must work, for the caregiver who chooses the remote school option, for the parent who agrees to homeschool. Out of the options available to everyone, I trust we will make informed choices, choosing that which resonates in our hearts, and not because of fear.
When was school introduced and why? What was the purpose of the institution? Can we carry our school system into the new world? Are we over-schooled and overloaded with unnecessary information? What really matters for humanity’s empowerment and expansion? Do institutions and workplaces embody Unity and Unconditional Love? Do they allow for expression of True Self, alignment with the wisdom tradition of the Universe? If we did away with money, the program that we need to get a job to earn money to survive, be successful, thrive in life, would we still send our children to school? Do we need to play with such systems anymore? How can we adjust the environments in our life to feel more natural?
If we are serious about moving toward a conscious, loving, harmonious, peaceful and ecologically sustainable future, even greater collapse needs to happen and I believe we are on track for that. Our children are not our projects, the cogs in the assembly line. We will clearly see the social experiment that is the classroom, with concrete walls and on concrete playgrounds now with muzzles and shields and tape on the floor that directs us like prisoners. Power. Jurisdiction. Separation. All under the program of perceived safety and protection, belief systems that keep us small and confined.
We’re being ushered into a commUNITY of LOVE and oneness and many don’t even realize they signed up for this because they are still holding onto the OLD. Everyone wants true CHANGE, but have we tapped into the unlimited courage that allows us to be the change agents? We may expand our life experience and open up our potential to freedom and empowerment. And together in global flux, we are invited to be a part of the dismantling to co-create a loving, empowering, and evolving experience. Our world requires active co-creators and leaders who do the inner work and are connected to their True Essence, so that decisions and changes are made from the inside out, all of which uplifts and nurtures our planet.
I’m birthing this beautiful baby right now, choosing not to participate in the mainstream narrative and rule; and so co-creating The New Earth Village is an initiative near and dear to my heart, and one that is so much bigger than I am. It is the creation of a oneness community for us to create flourishing and harmony. The space will be free from hierarchy, competition, fragmentation, and separation. It’s a place full of peace, whereby we care and live and learn together in a loving and equal way, because we recognize we are ONE. Ego is on the back seat, as we lead from HEART-CENTRE.
Our intention is to gain support as we share our visions and initiative. We are passionate about connecting with other souls whose dream is to also create and support a oneness community for the New Earth. If you are interested in offering support and/or collaborating with us on the creation of The New Earth Village, please join us!
Natalie is a heart-spaced guide, a rebel, and a conscious wild woman. Her journey involves submergence in the realm of energy medicine, surrender, trust, unity, mysticism, ceremony, and celebration. She is a visionary, and her gift is in co-creating from pure source consciousness. Her passion is in community development and connecting like-minded souls. She is the catalyst and portal for spiritual expansion and deep change, and through her words and presence, she activates and awakens others to remember their wholeness, embody their Higher Self, and live out their soul’s purpose. She is here to help dismantle and collapse of all we have been told is right and true, and re-design the way we live and learn offering more freedom, fluidity, and flow. Her presence is her power, and she practises non-resistance, non-attachment, and non-judgment as she re-designs her life. These days you’ll find Natalie in ceremony with the Sun, harvesting her garden with love, curled up with nettle tea writing her book, offering guidance in coaching sessions, and hosting sacred ascension circles. @newearthnatalie
What Happened: A couple of months ago, British-based biotechnology company, Oxitec, received approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to release approximately one billion genetically modified male mosquitoes in Florida and Texas, the decision took a step closer to reality after state regulators then approved the idea, despite the objection of many environmentalists and scientists.
The purpose of the planned release is to supposedly help fight diseases that normal mosquitoes infect people with, like malaria, for example. For this specific release, the lab-altered patented bugs are members of the Aedes aegypti, the species of mosquito that spreads diseases such as yellow fever, malaria and chikungunya. They’ve been genetically altered to artificially reduce future mosquito populations.
We are being told that the plan is to unleash these insects so they can mate with female mosquitoes and produce weak offspring that never make it to adulthood, thus reducing the total population and in turn reducing the rate of disease spread. Male mosquitoes don’t drink human blood, and since all of the mosquitoes are male, there is apparently nothing to worry about, but this simply isn’t true. Releasing nearly one billion genetically modified mosquitoes into the environment raises multiple causes for concern, and a percentage of the released insects will still be genetically modified females that are capable of biting humans and other animals, more on that below.
Why This Is Important: It’s important to ask why the independent scientists who have been raising a cause for concern about this new technology are being ignored, and if federal health regulatory agencies like the EPA and biotech giants like Oxitec actually hold more power and influence when it comes to receiving such approval. Do we really know what goes on behind the scenes within these federal health regulatory agencies? The CDC SPIDER is one of many great examples that has emerged throughout the years. If history tells us anything, one common theme seems to be corruption and the deliberate destruction of data that hinders the corporations plans.
It’s also noteworthy to mention that these mosquitoes have already been released around the world. Multiple regions in Africa have been subjected to this, and from 2013 to 2015 Oxitec released millions of them into neighbourhoods in Jacobina, Brazil. In this case, some of the gene-edited mosquitoes passed their genes to the native insects, causing concerns that they created a more robust hybrid species.
They found that some of the genes from the genetically modified mosquitoes had transferred to the native population. In other words, some of the offspring had survived and were strong enough to reproduce. This new population is a hybrid of Brazilian mosquitoes and the genetically modified mosquitoes that were created from strains in Cuba and Mexico, according to the study, which was published Sept. 10 in the journal Scientific Reports.
In fact, the genes that were passed on weren’t the tweaked genes that were designed to kill and tag the mosquitoes but rather genes from the strains in Cuba and Mexico, according to Science magazine. The researchers also noted that this mixing of genes might have led to a “more robust population,” perhaps one that would be better able to resist insecticides or transmit diseases, Science magazine reported. (source)
Oxitec has always opposed science coming from independent scientist, and the science used to gain approval for the release of genetically modified mosquitoes into the environment comes straight from the corporation.
Critics have accused Oxitec of a lack of transparency. Earlier this year, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany examined information regarding the release of modified insects into the environment in Malaysia and Grand Cayman, which were carried out by Oxitec. The scientists’ findings suggest that there are “deficits in the scientific quality of regulatory documents and a general absence of accurate experimental descriptions available before releases start”.
There are various concerns such as, what happens if someone receives a bite from one of these mosquitoes? The company had widely publicized that they were only releasing males, which don’t bite. But it turns out that their method of sorting males from females is flawed, and thousands of biting female mosquitoes are released. In addition, their method to create non-viable offspring is also incorrect. Between 3%-15% of the offspring survive and prosper. This can obviously equate to millions of biting females, born from a genetically engineered family tree.
The potential exists for these genes, which hop from one place to another, to infect human blood by finding entry through skin lesions or inhaled dust. Such transmission could potentially wreak havoc with the human genome by creating “insertion mutations” and other unpredictable types of DNA damage. (Joe Cummins, long time genetics professor at Western University, London, Ontario)
Todd Shelly, an entomologist for the Agriculture Department in Hawaii, said 3.5 percent of the insects in a laboratory test survived to adulthood, despite presumably carrying the lethal gene. (source)
Another factor to consider is this:
Tetracycline and other antibiotics are now showing up in the environment, in soil and surface water samples. These GM mosquitoes were designed to die in the absence of tetracycline (which is introduced in the lab in order to keep them alive long enough to breed). They were designed this way assuming they would NOT have access to that drug in the wild. With tetracycline exposure (for example, in a lake) these mutant insects could actually thrive in the wild, potentially creating a nightmarish scenario. (source)
It’s also important to note that there is there is no specific regulatory process for GM insects anywhere in the world. Oxitec seems to have infiltrated the decision making process around the world, and they have a close relationship with multinational pesticide and seed company, Syngenta. Oxitec has already made large-scale open releases of GM mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Brazil and is developing GM agricultural pests, jointly with Syngenta. (source)
Where have we seen this before? Not long ago I wrote an article about Glyphosate, an active ingredient within Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and how it was recently re-licensed and approved by the European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. This is just one of many examples. You can read more about that story here.
A report released as far back as 2012 from GeneWatch UK, Testbiotech, Berne Declaration, SwissAid, and Corporate Europe Observatory explains:
Regulatory decisions on GM insects in Europe and around the world are being biased by corporate interests as the UK biotech company Oxitec has infiltrated decision-making processes around the world. The company has close links to the multinational pesticide and seed company, Syngenta. Oxitec has already made large-scale open releases of GM mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Brazil and is developing GM agricultural pests, jointly with Syngenta.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is one of several examples showing how industry organises its influence. In EFSA´s GM insects working group, which was established to develop guidance for risk assessment of genetically engineered insects, there are several cases of conflicts of interest, including experts with links to Oxitec who only partially declared their interests. The draft Guidance on risk assessment of GM insects shows some significant deficiencies: for example it does not consider the impacts of GM insects on the food chain. Oxitec’s GM insects are genetically engineered to die mostly at the larval stage so dead GM larvae will enter the food chain inside food crops such as olives, cabbages and tomatoes.
Living GM insects could also be transported on crops to other farms or different countries. EFSA has excluded any consideration of these important issues from its draft guidance. Many other issues are not properly addressed. A World Health Organisation (WHO)-funded project has allowed the company to bypass requirements for informed consent for the release of GM mosquitoes. The WHO-funded Mosqguide project, which was supposed to be developing best practice, also allowed the company to gain approval from Brazilian regulators to release 16 million GM mosquitoes before draft regulations on the release of GM insects had been finalised or adopted, without publishing a risk assessment.
The report also outlines how Oxitec influences regulation around the world, which include:
Attempts to define ‘biological containment’ of the insects (which are programmed to die at the larval stage) as contained use, by passing requirements for risk assessments and consultation on decisions to release GM insects into the environment.
Attempts to avoid any regulation of GM agricultural pests on crops which will end up in the food chain.
Avoidance of any discussion of how GM insects can be contained at a site, or products produced using GM insects can be labelled
Exclusion of many important issues from risk assessments, including impacts of surviving GM mosquitoes on the environment and health, and impacts of changing mosquito populations on human immunity and disease
Failure to follow transboundary notification process for exports of GM insects correctly
Undermining the requirement to obtain informed consent for experiments involving insect species with transmit disease
Attempts to avoid liability for any harm if anything goes wrong
Pushing ahead with large-scale open releases of GM mosquitoes before relevant guidance or regulations are adopted
The amount of environmental, health and food-safety issues that this is creating among many scientists around the world in the field is quite overwhelming. There is a lot of information out there and many publications that clearly oppose these decisions. This ‘quiet’ release of genetically modified insects that has been happening for a few years now. The information presented in this article is simply a tidbit, and I really wanted to emphasize how the only one’s approving the release are the corporation, their science, and their claims. They do this by the power they (the corporation) exercise over federal regulatory agencies.
Why do we continue to be subjected to, and allow our environment to be subjected this type of ‘experimentation’ against our will? Are there other agendas at play here besides the ones we are told, the ones used to justify these actions? Why do corporations and government agencies have the authority and ability to do something that could have long lasting, and quite large health and environmental consequences? How are they able to sneak their way through any type of appropriate regulation and safety testing? Why are these decisions going forward despite the concerns raised by so many scientists, health and environmental organizations? Why are there always conflicts of interests? Why has the mainstream heard nothing of this, and why aren’t the concerns being addressed appropriately? What’s going on here?
We’ve created a pyramid system, we are on the bottom, the government is above us, and the corporations are above the government because they dictate government policy. The corporations get their money from the big banks, who sit above the corporation. Is this something we want to keep playing with? Why are the people and so many activists rendered completely powerless in their/our ability to stop these efforts. Why do we keep playing with and participating in the political process when all it does is hand our power over to people who don’t really have humanities best interests at heart, and have the ability to take such actions?
There are so many initiatives like this and many others that are being rolled out on the human population without our consent, and as a result many people are experiencing a shit in consciousness, a shift in the way they view our world. We have to ask ourselves, why do we live the way we do and think the way we think?
Recently, a country in West Africa, Togo has prohibited the ‘import, market or use of glyphosate and any other product containing it.’ This decision was finalized in December of last year by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Fisheries, Noel Kouerta Bataka.
If you are unfamiliar with glyphosate, it is a chemical pesticide made by none other than agricultural giant, Monsanto, Bayer. Glyphosate can be found in RoundUp and used on crops that have been genetically engineered specifically to resist its toxicity, allowing farmers to kill the weeds and pests without killing their crops. The problem is, it is extremely toxic not only for the consumer of products containing it, but for the land and soil as well where it is grown.
There have been numerous studies, many of which CE has reported on that link it to cancer, liver disease, autism, birth defects, brain damage and more.
“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)
After 2 years of political discussions in Togo, regarding the worlds most popular herbicide, many are celebrating the decision that was finally made to have it outright banned. Bataka has allowed a 12-month moratorium for all of the current glyphosate supplies to be either used or destroyed.
Ban Of Glyphosate Around The World
As awareness grows regarding the health concerns of glyphosate, so does government level support worldwide. Not only has Key West, Los Angeles, Miami and The University of California banned or restricted the use of this toxic chemical so, have 20 countries around the world. These countries are,
In Africa — Malawi and Togo.
In Asia — Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar.
In Central America — Bermuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica
In Europe — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands
So we still have yet to see bans in Canada, United States, Mexico and many other countries, but hopefully stories such as these will keep the awareness and momentum going and help others to see that this toxic chemical pesticide should not be anywhere near the food we are eating or on our precious Mother Earth.
One might believe that they simply have to avoid genetically engineered foods to avoid glyphosate, and while that is a good start, unfortunately it’s not that black and white. There are many non-GMO foods that are still sprayed with this chemical and thus have high concentrations of it.
In reality your best bet would be to grow all of your own fruits, vegetables and even nuts, but unfortunately in this day and age this is not very plausible for everyone.
The foods that are highest in glyphosate are: soy, wheat, almonds, peas, beetroot (including beet sugar), carrots, sweet potatoes, quinoa, peas, tea, meat and dairy, corn and oats. However, many other unsuspecting foods have also have tested positive for high levels of glyphosate including many fruits and berries such as: apples, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes (wine as well), lemons, olives, peaches, pears and more.
To avoid glyphosate altogether sticking to an all-organic diet is necessary. If this is an obstacle for you, consider locally grown produce where you can talk directly with the farmers about their growing practices. Many farmers grow organically , but cannot afford to obtain the organic certification. You can also wash your produce in baking soda and vinegar click HERE for instructions.
While it may seem hopeless at times to even try to avoid environmental toxins like glyphosate, we have to remember that the more we do, and the more we put our money where are mouths are and vote with our dollars, the less these chemicals will be used. We have already seen many big brands step away from using GMO ingredients because of consumer demand, so it may not be as far off as you think.
As countries like Togo step forward and do what is right for their citizens and the planet, awareness will continue to grow and it will assist others in seeing the truth about these chemicals and inspire others to make a change as well. We have more power than we realize and anything can change, with enough awareness.
What Happened: On Monday, A U.S. District Court ordered Energy Transfer LP to shut down and empty their pipeline, known as the Dakota Access Pipeline. It just so happens to be their largest one, and it also represents a big win for Native American’s and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, as well as citizens from all over the world who have fought the line’s route access through a critical water supply.
It’s amazing how many years have already passed since there was a mass gathering in North Dakota to stop this pipeline. Corporate America brought in the police to try and disperse the gathering. One night, a small plane spraying unknown substances flew over the gathering at night, I know this because I was there, along with CE founder Joe Martino. There were SWAT teams everywhere. All of this for a peaceful gathering? We spent days covering the story, and all we saw was intimidation, violence, and psychological warfare tactics in order to disperse the crowd so that the company could continue building their pipeline.
This always seems to happen to peaceful protestors.
Corporate America eventually got what they wanted. Many people were thrown in jail, people were injured, all resulting from a peaceful protest. The gathering was shut down and the fight to stop the pipeline went to court, during which time the pipeline was in full operation.
Bloomberg is reporting that the pipeline must be shut down by August 5th.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said a crucial federal permit for Dakota Access fell too far short of National Environmental Policy Act requirements to allow the pipeline to continue operating while regulators conduct a broader analysis the court ordered in a previous decision. The ruling scraps a critical permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and requires the pipeline to end its three-year run of delivering oil from North Dakota shale fields to an Illinois oil hub. Judge James E. Boasberg said Dakota Access must shut down the pipeline and empty it of oil by Aug. 5.(source)
We will have to wait and see if The Army Corps and Justice Department intent to appeal the decision.
Why This Is Important
This goes to show what we can do when we come together. Despite the fact that it’s taken years, and damage has been done, look what’s happened, it’s been halted once again. That being said, at the time the pipeline was being built and during the period it was moving oil, it was quite clear that citizens around the entire planet were against this. So I ask you, do we live in a democracy? Do citizens really have any influence at all on decision making, or is our consciousness manipulated to accept certain measures, like pipelines, as necessary? Why doesn’t planet Earth come first? Why does it take cutting through so much red ape, and so much time to try and stop such measures? What kind of system have we created for ourselves? One that protects the corporations and punishes the citizenry and mother Earth?
We don’t have to accept this.
The coronavirus is another great example of what we are capable of. Despite the fact that we were forced into lockdown by governments, billions of people, together, still collectively did it. The point is, we can accomplish great things together, as one. Imagine if billions of people around the world decided the world should shut down for one week in order to, clean up our oceans for example.
Why don’t our governments do that?
We can do anything, we have unlimited potential. We just have to wake up and use our potential to create a human experience where everybody can thrive, including mother Earth. And yes, it’s possible, we have the solutions and they’ve been available for years. The only issue is human consciousness, and the barriers we’ve built that prevent these solutions from manifesting.
What Happened: Michael Shellenberger, a long time environmentalist who has been in the trenches helping to save the world’s last unprotected redwoods, co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal and led an effort to keep nuclear power plants operating in order to prevent a spike of emissions, has shifted his perspective on climate change. Prior to today, he was holding the perspective that we must be alarmed about the fact that the world will end in a short amount of time if we don’t act to reduce carbon emissions immediately.
He shifted his opinion based on exploring emerging science on the subject. He then went on to write a book called Never Apocalypse, which seeks to help explore what we can do to better our environment from a grounded and accurate point of view, as opposed to alarmism.
Why It Matters: The fact that Forbes removed an article that was grounded, calm, well written and explored new conversations illustrates the emerging culture of ‘censor anything that can get us in trouble’ or ‘censor anything that doesn’t agree with mainstream conjecture.”
We’ve come into a time where our collective lack of emotional intelligence is surfacing deeply for us to address. When we disagree on something, we struggle to explore things together. When a company says something they feel might get them in trouble, they run away in fear that the angry mob will come after them.
All that happened here was a man wrote an article that brought some new light to a conversation that has been very polarized and is causing people to react out of emotion instead of logic and the heart. Instead of listening and exploring, censorship ensues.
The Takeaway: I spoke at a high school here in Toronto last year. At the end of my talk, many students came up to me to talk, discuss ideas and share feedback. The vast majority of them explained to me that they were terrified that the world was going to end in just a few years. They felt they had no future because of the acts of generations prior who were causing CO2 levels to rise so high that the world would end.
I thought to myself, wow, an entire generation of kids being pushed into fear, anxiety and depression based on information that isn’t even accurate. This information was created by politicians and pushed out by media. Scientists categorically do not agree with the idea that the world is coming to an end as a result of CO2 emissions. Yet not enough people are telling people this, most of media is staying silent on other perspectives and censorship even shuts down opposing ideas.
What type of world will we create if we can’t discuss basic ideas? What type of world will we create when we choose to run, hide and censor as opposed to having important conversations? How can we stop identifying so deeply with positions, so that we can be more free to shift ideas when new information helps us understand things better?
I made a film last year called Regenerate: Beyond The CO2 Narrative. After 10 years of researching and investigating climate change, I came to many conclusions that I felt needed to be shared, yet were extremely rare in public discourse. One of the most important aspects of Regenerate was that we simply are looking at our environment from such a limited point of view that we can’t identify the real issues we face, and that our level of thinking, or consciousness, is completely disconnected from the solutions required to truly shift our relationship with earth. Thus, we are creating solutions that never truly address making the environment cleaner or better long term.
I encourage you to check out the film trailer below, and if you wish to watch the film, it’s available on our member platform called CETV. You can start a free 7 day trial to watch it if you like. We also discuss this story in more detail in episode 2 of The Takeway, an orignal show we have on CETV.