This update gives more detail on what Hal Turner discovered about the MEU “Lanfing at Langley” (apparently they didn’t). Since I’m not at all really in any loops regarding these sorts of things, who knows exactly what happened and what this was for.
There was a Roy Potter livestream today, which had some other information about this.
Thanks to LL for this one.
“Yes, a group of military aircraft approached and circled the CIA Headquarters in Virginia for upwards of 30 minutes on Saturday. They did NOT land and did NOT enter CIA HQ forcibly – or otherwise. There is apparently an ongoing and gigantic problem between the Military and the CIA insofar as the Military is engaged in implementing President Trump’s policies, while elements within the CIA are still INTENTIONALLY carrying out the failed policies of the Obama regime.
“The Military has repeatedly and strenuously told the CIA the old Obama policies must stop. The CIA failed to stop.
“So someone in the Pentagon/Military . . . . no one will say who . . . made a direct show of force to the CIA on Saturday. It was, for lack of a better description, the sending of a message from the military to the CIA: knock it off.
“This is utterly unprecedented. To have one agency of the US Government make a show of force to another entity of that same government is unheard of. It smacks of a sort of internal civil war heating up inside our own government!… things are quickly “coming to a head” between competing policies and the military is tired of its people being injured or killed by the unintended consequences of the old policies…”
I have now spoken to almost ALL of my former colleagues in the Intelligence Community and here’s what took place:
Yes, a group of military aircraft approached and circled the CIA Headquarters in Virginia for upwards of 30 minutes on Saturday. They did NOT land and did NOT enter CIA HQ forcibly – or otherwise.
There is apparently an ongoing and gigantic problem between the Military and the CIA insofar as the Military is engaged in implementing President Trump’s policies, while elements within the CIA are still INTENTIONALLY carrying out the failed policies of the Obama regime.
Specifically, these failed Obama-era policies include supplying weapons and logistical support to so-called “freedom fighters” inside Syria , many of whom are actually Al-Nusra, Al-Qaida and ISIS terrorists.
The support being provided by elements in the CIA is being used against certain units of the US Military who are also inside Syria.
The Military has repeatedly and strenuously told the CIA the old Obama policies must stop. The CIA failed to stop.
So someone in the Pentagon/Military . . . . no one will say who . . . made a direct show of force to the CIA on Saturday. It was, for lack of a better description, the sending of a message from the military to the CIA: knock it off.
It was done over a weekend apparently because most of the bigshots in the Pentagon are at home, and by the time they heard something was going on, it was pretty much over . . . . the aircraft returned to wherever they came from.
This is utterly unprecedented. To have one agency of the US Government make a show of force to another entity of that same government is unheard of. It smacks of a sort of internal civil war heating up inside our own government!
Apparently, things are quickly “coming to a head” between competing policies and the military is tired of its people being injured or killed by the unintended consequences of the old policies and the CIA’ stubborn refusal to stop backing the so-called “Freedom Fighters” in Syria.
No one will tell me who gave the order to “buzz” CIA HQ. No one will tell me who inside CIA is causing the trouble. But there istrouble . . . and given the activities over the weekend, one can only hope this thing goes away very quickly and quietly.
In the meantime, as far as the public is concerned: “Nothing took place. Everything is fine. Nothing to worry about.”
Hezbollah media unit: Islamic State leader reported in Syrian town
10 November 2017
REUTERS — A Hezbollah-run media unit said on Friday Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reported to have been in the Syrian town of Albu Kamal during the Syrian army and its allies’ operation to clear it.
The military unit did not say what had happened to Baghdadi, give further details or identify its sources.
The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State said on Friday it had no “releasable information” on Baghdadi’s whereabouts.
Syria’s army declared victory over Islamic State on Thursday, saying its capture of the jihadists’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their three-year rule in the region. […]
More and more of the troubled nation’s farms are become killing fields.
9 November 2017
THE TRUMPET — Thousands of black-clad farmers blocked South African highways with slow moving caravans on Monday, October 30, to draw attention to a recent surge in brutal attacks on the country’s white farming population.
The peaceful #BlackMonday protests, leading from farming areas to Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg, were backed by AfriForum, an “Afrikaner interest organization and civil-rights watchdog.” The group reports that more than 70 white farmers have been slaughtered in 341 farm attacks in 2017 so far.
Among the recent attacks that spurred protesters to take to the streets was that of Joubert Conradie, a 47-year-old wine farmer, who was fatally shot after responding to a noise at his residence. During Monday’s demonstrations, another farm murder occurred: Near his farm in KwaZulu-Natal, 70-year-old Bokkie Potgieter was hacked to death with a machete.
Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s head of community safety, told African News Agency, “A farmer has 4.5 times more chance of being murdered in South Africa than an average South African. That means a farmer is three times more likely to be murdered in South Africa than a police officer in this country, at the moment.” […]
For many years, public health advocates have vainly urged the CDC and WHO to conduct studies comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations to measure overall health outcomes.Now a team of Scandinavian scientists has conducted such a study and the results are alarming.That study, funded in part by the Danish government and lead by Dr. Soren Wengel Mogensen, was published in January in EBioMedicine.Mogensen and his team of scientists found that African children inoculated with the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine, during the early 1980s had a 5-10 times greater mortality than their unvaccinated peers.
The data suggest that, while the vaccine protects against infection from those three bacteria, it makes children more susceptible to dying from other causes.
The scientists term the study a “natural experiment” since a birthday-based vaccination system employed for the Bandim Health Project (BHP) in Guinea Bissau, West Africa had the effect of creating a vaccinated cohort and a similarly situated unvaccinated control group.In the time period covered by this study, Guinea-Bissau had 50% child mortality rates for children up to age 5.Starting in 1978, BHP health care workers contacted pregnant mothers and encouraged them to visit infant weighing sessions provided by a BHP team every three months after their child’s birth.Beginning in 1981, BHP offered vaccinations at the weighing sessions.Since the DPT vaccine and OPV (oral polio) immunizations were offered only to children who were at least three months of age at the weighing sessions, the children’s random birthdays allowed for analysis of deaths between 3 and 5 months of age depending on vaccination status.So, for example, a child born on January 1st and weighed on April 1st would be vaccinated, but a child born on February 1st would not be vaccinated until their following visit at age 5 months on July 1st.
In the primary analysis, DTP-vaccinated infants experienced mortalities five times greater than DTP-unvaccinated infants.Mortalities to vaccinated girls were 9.98 times those among females in the unvaccinated control group, while mortalities to vaccinated boys were 3.93 times the controls.Oddly, the scientists found that children receiving the oral polio vaccine simultaneously with DTP fared much better than children who did not.The OPV vaccine appeared to modify the negative effect of the DTP vaccine, reducing mortalities to 3.52 times those experienced among the control group.Overall, mortalities among vaccinated children were 10 times the control group when children received only the DTP.
Mogensen and his colleagues hypothesize that the DTP vaccine might weaken a child’s immune system against non-target infections.They conclude, “Though protective against the target disease, DTP may increase susceptibility to unrelated infections… DTP was associated with 5-fold higher mortality than being unvaccinated.No prospective study has shown beneficial survival effects of DTP.”
The Mogensen study supports the conclusions of previous investigations into child survival following vaccination.An earlier study by Dr. Peter Aaby, of the introduction of DTP in rural Guinea-Bissau, indicated a 2-fold higher mortality among vaccinated children (Aaby et al. 2004a).The Aaby report is one of several early studies that documented vaccination status and followed children prospectively.All of them indicated that DTP-vaccinated children died at rates far exceeding mortality amongst the control group.A meta-analysis of all eight known studies found a two-fold higher mortality for DTP-vaccinated compared to DTP-unvaccinated (Aaby et al. 2016) (Appendix A).
In 2014, The World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) conducted its own literature review of the potential non-specific effects (NSEs) of several vaccines, including DTP, and found that the majority of studies reported a detrimental effect of DTP (Higgins et al., 2014; Strategic Advisory Group of Experts of Immunization, 2014) due to its penchant for increasing susceptibility to unrelated infections.SAGE recommended further research.
Moreover, Mogensen and his colleagues observe that the studies reviewed by SAGE probably underestimated the lethal effect of the DTP vaccine because of unusually high mortality in the control groups, ”Unvaccinated children in these studies have usually been frail children too sick or malnourished to get vaccinated and the studies may therefore have underestimated the negative effect of DTP”.The Mogensen study sought to avoid this pitfall by using controls selected by birthday and by eliminating underweight children and orphans from both the study group and the control group.It included only children who were breastfed.All the infants were healthy at the time of vaccination.Nevertheless, the Mogensen authors point out that, even in their study, the unvaccinated children had slightly worse nutritional status and travelled more – biases that would tend to increase mortality. They conclude that, “The estimate from the natural experiment may therefore still be conservative.”
The significance of the Mogensen study findings is underscored by the observation that, “Unfortunately, DTP is the most widely used vaccine, and the proportion who receives DTP3 is used globally as an indicator of the performance of national vaccination programs.”
The authors close with a bracing rebuke to public health regulators, “It should be of concern that the effect of routine vaccinations on all-cause mortality was not tested in randomized trials.All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis.Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.”Those words should serve as a cold water wake-up call to the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC and other public health officials.The public in both poor and rich countries has a right to scientifically-based evidence that international vaccine programs are as safe as possible and that they have been thoroughly safety-tested.The best metrics for measuring safety are studies comparing health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated cohorts.Yet, both the CDC and the WHO have aggressively discouraged the pursuit of such studies.
Finally, it’s important to note that the DTP vaccine used in Guinea-Bissau in the early 1980s almost certainly contained high concentrations of both mercury and aluminum. Vaccine makers first created the combined diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine in the 1940s, mixing in an aluminum adjuvant and a mercury preservative (thimerosal) from its inception.At that time, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended DTP for mass use in children. Prior to 1990, DTP was the only thimerosal-containing vaccine recommended for infants.
Five manufacturers supplied UNICEF with the DTP vaccines used in West Africa in the late 1970s and early 1980s.One of these, Biken of Japan, described the industry standard in its 1987 lab report: “Outline of Method of Manufacture—The preparation [of DTP] also contains thimerosal as a preservative.”
By the early 1980s, a cascade of lawsuits filed across the United States on behalf of vaccine-injured children were driving DTP manufacturers from the market and threatening to shut down production of the DTP shot and other vaccines. That threat led the U.S. Congress to bestow legal immunity on vaccine makers via the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Program in 1986, followed in December, 1987, by the rollout of “Vaccine Court.”Following the recommendation by the Institute of Medicine, vaccine makers removed thimerosal from the American DTaP between 2001-2003.However, multi-dose DTP vaccines given to tens of millions of children across the African continent continue to contain massive doses of thimerosal (25mcg of ethylmercury per injection) that exceed the EPA’s maximum exposure levels by many times. Neither the CDC nor the WHO has ever published a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study that would be necessary to determine the overall health impacts of this potent toxin on African children.The Mogensen report is a loud call for such a study.
The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis, with more than 91 Americans fatally overdosing on the powerful drugs every day.1 The statistic includes prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl, but many of the deaths stem from prescription drug use. In fact, of the more than 33,000 Americans killed by opioids in 2015, nearly half of them involved a prescription for the drugs.2 Even the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states:3
“In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.”
Fast-forward about two decades later, and it was estimated that, in 2015, 2 million Americans suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers.4
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also highlights the fact that overdoses from prescription opioids, in particular, “are a driving factor in the 15-year increase in opioid overdose deaths,” noting, “The amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2010, yet there had not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans reported.”5
Prescription opioids are considered standard care for treating severe pain following surgery or injury or due to illnesses such as cancer, although they’re now increasingly prescribed for many types of pain, including chronic back pain or pain from osteoarthritis. Even in the former case, however, research is now questioning whether the dangerous drugs work better than safer options.
Non-Opioid Pain Relievers Work Just as Well to Treat Pain in ER Patients
If a person comes to the emergency room with severe acute pain, most physicians would prescribe them an opioid to relieve pain. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests, however, that less risky opioid-free options may work just as well.6
The study evaluated the effects of four different combinations of pain relievers — three with different opioids and one opioid-free option composed of ibuprofen (i.e., Advil) and acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol) — on people with moderate to severe pain in an extremity, due to bone fractures, shoulder dislocation and other injuries. The patients had an average pain score of 8.7 (on a scale of zero to 10) when they arrived.
Two hours later, after receiving one of the pain-relief combinations, their pain levels decreased similarly, regardless of which drug-combo they received. Specifically, pain scores fell by:7
4.3 in the ibuprofen and acetaminophen group
4.4 in the oxycodone and acetaminophen group
3.5 in the hydrocodone and acetaminophen group
3.9 in the codeine and acetaminophen group
“For patients presenting to the ED with acute extremity pain, there were no statistically significant or clinically important differences in pain reduction at 2 hours among single-dose treatment with ibuprofen and acetaminophen or with 3 different opioid and acetaminophen combination analgesics,” the researchers concluded.8
Speaking to Vox, the study’s lead author, Andrew Chang of the department of emergency medicine at Albany Medical College, Albany, New York, said, “Some (not all) physicians reflexively think fractures require opioids, but this study lends evidence that opioids are not always necessary even in the presence of fractures.”9
Even Non-Opioid Pain Relievers Come With Risks
It’s worth noting that while ibuprofen and acetaminophen are generally safer options than opioids, they’re not without risk. So when choosing an option for pain relief, it’s important not to assume that, because a drug is available over the counter, it’s automatically safe. Ibuprofen, for instance, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which have been linked to kidney problems, heart attack, stroke, gastrointestinal disorders, miscarriage and hearing problems.
Acetaminophen, meanwhile, is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.10 and can also cause kidney dysfunction, especially if taken with alcohol.11 Unbeknownst to many, acetaminophen may also cause three serious skin reactions, two of which typically require hospitalization and can be fatal. This isn’t to say that ibuprofen and acetaminophen aren’t generally safer than opioids, but rather to point out that caution is warranted no matter what type of drug you take.
Pain relievers are clearly valuable medications in many instances, and even opioids have their place (such as for treating severe pain in end of life care), but do use caution, no matter which kind you take. And if you do use an opioid, be aware that there’s a high risk for addiction and, with that, overdose death.
Drug Overdose Is the Leading Cause of Death in Americans Under 50
Up to 29 percent of people prescribed opioids for chronic pain end up misusing them, and 4 percent to 6 percent of them will transition to using heroin.12 Even when taken as directed, prescription opioids can lead to addiction as well as tolerance, which means you need an increasingly stronger dose to get the pain-relieving effects.
Physical dependence, in which you suffer withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the drugs, can also result along with other issues like increased sensitivity to pain, depression, low levels of testosterone and more.13
“Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted to them. In fact, as many as one in four patients receiving long-term opioid therapy in a primary care setting struggles with opioid addiction. Once addicted, it can be hard to stop,” the CDC notes.14 Alarmingly, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, with the deaths being driven by synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which can be anywhere from 500 percent to 1,000 percent more potent than morphine.15
Did You Know Some Doctors Get Bonuses for Prescribing Opioids?
It’s shocking that, in the midst of this epidemic of opioid overdose deaths, the pharmaceutical industry would be making payments to physicians to prescribe more opioid products, but this is precisely what’s occurring, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.16 More than 375,000 non-research opioid-related payments were made to more than 68,000 physicians, totaling more than $46 million, between August 2013 and December 2015.
This amounts to 1 in 12 U.S. physicians who have received money from drug companies producing prescription opioids. The top 1 percent of physicians received nearly 83 percent of the payments, and fentanyl was associated with the highest payments. Many of the states struggling with the highest rates of overdose deaths, such as Indiana, Ohio and New Jersey, were also those showing the most opioid-related payments to physicians.17
Also unsettling, family physicians received the most payments (close to 1 in 5 family medicine doctors were recipients18), which is “an indicator that opioids are being really heavily marketed for pain,” Scott Hadland, the study’s author, told The Washington Post.19 “The next step is to understand these links between payments … and prescribing practices and overdose deaths,” he said. “It’s very common that the first opioid … [many people are] ever exposed to is from a prescription.”20
Adding insult to injury, with the opioid epidemic being declared a public health emergency, it allows state governments to access certain resources that might otherwise be out of reach outside of a declared emergency.
In some cases, such as in Arizona, the emergency declaration allows for increased funding, which the state has used to train law enforcement officers on how to administer naloxone, the lifesaving opioid antidote.21 So, in essence, taxpayer funds are now being used to pay drug companies to fight the epidemic that they created.
Opioid Testing Scam Is Another Goldmine for the Medical Industry
The opioid epidemic has created a cash cow in the form of urine drug tests. According to data compiled by Kaiser Health News and researchers at the Mayo Clinic, reported by Bloomberg, “[S]pending on urine screens and related genetic tests quadrupled from 2011 to 2014, to an estimated $8.5 billion a year — more than the entire budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The federal government paid providers more to conduct urine drug tests in 2014 than it spent on the four most recommended cancer screenings combined.”22 With the rising rates of opioid abuse and overdose, entrepreneurs targeted doctors to increase urine testing for the drugs, resulting in a lucrative business for all parties involved:
“As alarm spread about opioid deaths and overdoses in the past decade, doctors who prescribed the pills were looking for ways to prevent abuse and avert liability. Entrepreneurs saw a lucrative business model: persuade doctors that testing would keep them out of trouble with licensing boards or law enforcement and protect their patients from harm. Some companies offered doctors technical help opening up their own labs.”23
Bloomberg highlights a network of pain clinics to show just how much money is at stake from the seemingly innocuous task of conducting urine tests on opioid patients. While its founder claims the tests are medically necessary to protect patients from addiction and be sure the patients are taking the drugs instead of selling them on the streets, you’ll quickly see that there are many people making a hefty profit all linked back to the prescription of drugs that are claiming far too many people’s lives:
“This [urine] testing process, driven by the nation’s epidemic of painkiller addiction, generates profits across the doctor-owned network of 54 clinics, the largest pain-treatment practice in the Southeast.
Medicare paid the company at least $11 million for urine and related tests in 2014, when five of its professionals stood among the nation’s top billers. One nurse practitioner at the company’s clinic in Cleveland, Tennessee, single-handedly generated $1.1 million in Medicare billings for urine tests that year, according to Medicare records.”24
Exploring Nondrug Options for Pain Relief
If you have chronic pain of any kind, please understand that there are many safe and effective alternatives to prescription and even over-the-counter painkillers. The pain remedies that follow are natural, providing excellent pain relief without any of the health hazards that pain medications like opioids often carry.
Astaxanthin: one of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known, astaxanthin has very potent anti-inflammatory properties. Higher doses are typically required and one may need 8 milligrams or more per day to achieve this benefit.
Ginger: this herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
Curcumin: curcumin is the primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice turmeric. In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added only 200 milligrams of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility.25 In fact, curcumin has been shown in over 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory activity, as well as demonstrating the ability in four studies to reduce Tylenol-associated adverse health effects.
Boswellia: also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which have been prized for thousands of years. This is one of my personal favorites, as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Bromelain: this protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful. Keep in mind that most of the bromelain is found within the core of the pineapple, so consider leaving a little of the pulpy core intact when you consume the fruit.
Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): this oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a “joint lubricant” and an anti-inflammatory. I have used a topical preparation for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards.
Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: these contain the fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.
Cayenne Cream: also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmit pain signals to your brain.
Dietary Changes and Additional Pain Relief Options
When physicians don’t know how to effectively treat chronic pain, they resort to the only treatment they know: prescription drugs, which will do nothing to solve the underlying reasons why you’re in pain. Toward that end, if you suffer from chronic pain, there’s a good chance you need to tweak your diet as follows:
Start taking a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil.Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, they positively influence prostaglandins.) The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in krill oil have been found in many animal and clinical studies to have anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for pain relief.
Reduce your intake of most processed foods as not only do they contain sugar and additives, but also most are loaded with omega-6 fats that upset your delicate omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. This, in turn, will contribute to inflammation, a key factor in most pain.
Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars (especially fructose) from your diet. Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are one of the most profound stimulators of inflammatory prostaglandin production. That is why eliminating sugar and grains is so important to controlling your pain.
Optimize your production of vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, which will work through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain. This satisfies your body’s appetite for regular sun exposure.
Finally, the natural pain-relief methods that follow are useful for ongoing and lasting pain relief and management:
Chiropractic adjustments: according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), patients with neck pain who used a chiropractor and/or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain-free in 12 weeks compared to those who took medication.26
Massage: massage releases endorphins, which help induce relaxation, relieve pain and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline.
Acupuncture: researchers concluded that acupuncture has a definite effect in reducing chronic pain such as back pain and headaches — more so than standard pain treatment.27
Exposure to pesticides, herbicides and insecticides has dramatically increased since the introduction of genetically engineered (GE) crops. Urine output of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, shot up by more than 1,200 percent between 1993 and 2016.1 Unfortunately, glyphosate is not the only chemical of concern.
Chlorpyrifos (sold under the trade name Lorsban) — an organophosphate insecticide known to disrupt brain development and cause brain damage, neurological abnormalities, reduced IQ and aggressiveness in children — is another.2 ,3 In adults, the chemical has been linked to Parkinson’s disease4,5 and lung cancer.6
Chlorpyrifos has been in use since 1965, and is commonly used on staple crops such as wheat and corn, as well as fruits and vegetables, including nonorganic citrus, apples, cherries, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower and dozens of others. Since the chemical has a half-life of several months and can remain on sprayed foods for up to several weeks,7 nonorganic foods are a major source of exposure.
Importantly, nonorganic, non-grass fed meats are likely to be loaded with this chemical, since conventional feed consists primarily of genetically and/or conventionally-raised grains such as corn. This is yet another reason to make sure you feed your family grass fed meats and animal products, especially your young children. Chlorpyrifos is also a commonly found water contaminant, and has even been found in indoor air.8
Children experience greater exposure to chemicals pound-for-pound than adults, and have an immature and porous blood-brain barrier that allows greater chemical exposures to reach their developing brain. Needless to say, the results can be devastating and, indeed, many agricultural and industrial chemicals have been found to affect children’s brain function and development specifically.
Decadelong Effort to Ban Chlorpyrifos Fall Through
Permissible uses of chlorpyrifos was limited in the year 2000, at which time the chemical was banned for use in homes, schools, day care facilities, parks, hospitals, nursing homes and malls. However, agricultural use remained, and it can still be used on golf courses and road medians.
Scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually pushed for a complete ban on chlorpyrifos, as its dangers are well-documented, and the chemical is in fact classified as a neurotoxin, as it disrupts communication between brain cells. Research shows that living within 1 mile of chlorpyrifos-treated fields increases a woman’s risk of having an autistic child by 300 percent.9,10
A petition to ban chlorpyrifos on food was filed over a decade ago, and the lack of response from the EPA finally led to a federal court ordering the EPA to issue a decision.11 Forced to act, Scott Pruitt, President Trump-appointed head of the EPA,12 issued an order denying the petition to revoke all tolerances for chlorpyrifos on food in March 2017.13,14 As noted by NPR:15
“That’s despite the agency’s earlier conclusion, reached during the Obama administration, that this pesticide could pose risks to consumers. It’s a signal that toxic chemicals will face less restrictive regulation by the Trump administration. In its decision, the EPA didn’t exactly repudiate its earlier scientific findings. But the agency did say that there’s still a lot of scientific uncertainty about the risks of chlorpyrifos …
Patti Goldman, from the environmental group Earth Justice, calls the decision “unconscionable,” and says that her group will fight it in court … ‘Based on the harm that this pesticide causes, the EPA cannot, consistent with the law, allow it in our food.'”
87 Percent of Newborns Have Chlorpyrifos in Their Cord Blood
Considering Pruitt’s history of championing industry interests and the evidence showing other EPA officials have has taken an active role in protecting chemical giants against rulings that would impact their bottom line, his decision to keep chlorpyrifos on the market does raise suspicions. As noted by USA Today,16 Pruitt “filed more than a dozen lawsuits seeking to overturn some of the same regulations he is now charged with enforcing.”
Evidence also suggests Dow Chemical, the maker of chlorpyrifos, pressured government agencies to ignore incriminating studies (see next section). The EPA’s earlier conclusion that chlorpyrifos posed a risk to consumers was largely based on research17 showing that exposure to the chemical caused measurable differences in brain function. In one study, compared to children whose exposure to the chemical was negligible, children with high levels of exposure had lower IQ at age 7.18
Research19 published in 2014 showed that pregnant women exposed to chlorpyrifos during their second trimester had a 60 percent higher risk of giving birth to an autistic child. Studies have also shown that genetic differences can make some people far more vulnerable to chlorpyrifos than others.
Moreover, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chlorpyrifos is metabolized in the human body into 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy),20 which is even more toxic than the original insecticide. Disturbingly, California’s biomonitoring program found TCPy in 82 percent of Californians sampled in 2012, including pregnant women.21
Another 2012 study,22 which measured chlorpyrifos levels in maternal and cord plasma of women and children living in an agricultural community, found measurable levels in 70.5 percent of maternal blood samples and 87.5 percent of cord blood samples. According to the authors:
“Blood organophosphate pesticide levels of study participants were similar in mothers and newborns and slightly higher than those reported in other populations. However, compared to their mothers, newborns have much lower quantities of the detoxifying PON1 enzyme suggesting that infants may be especially vulnerable to organophosphate pesticide exposures.”
Dow Chemical Requested Evidence to Be ‘Set Aside’
Government-funded studies also reveal that chlorpyrifos poses serious risks to 97 percent of endangered animals in the U.S.23,24 This alone ought to be cause enough to ban this chemical, but it appears industry pressure worked its usual magic.
On April 13, 2017, a legal team representing Dow Chemical and two other organophosphate manufacturers sent letters to the three agencies responsible for joint enforcement of the Endangered Species Act25,26 — the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Department of Commerce — asking them to “set aside” these incriminating findings, as the companies believe they are flawed. As reported by USA Today:
“Over the past four years, federal scientists have compiled … more than 10,000 pages indicating the three pesticides under review — chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion — pose a risk to nearly every endangered species they studied. Regulators at the three federal agencies … are close to issuing findings expected to result in new limits on how and where the highly toxic pesticides can be used …
The EPA’s recent biological evaluation of chlorpyrifos found the pesticide is ‘likely to adversely affect’ 1,778 of the 1,835 animals and plants accessed as part of its study, including critically endangered or threatened species of frogs, fish, birds and mammals … In a statement, the Dow subsidiary that sells chlorpyrifos said its lawyers asked for the EPA’s biological assessment to be withdrawn because its ‘scientific basis was not reliable.'”
Pruitt claims he’s “trying to restore regulatory sanity to EPA’s work.” I would argue the definition of sanity is first not to abandon the EPA’s mandate to protect the public health and, further, not to give developmentally crippling toxins a free pass and ignoring loads of unbiased research documenting its toxicity.
At present, the EPA is also in the process of reassessing atrazine, another pernicious and exceptionally toxic agricultural chemical. It remains to be seen whether the agency will finally take a firm stand against this pernicious toxin, or let it slide like chlorpyrifos and glyphosate.
Toxic Exposures Have Robbed Americans of 41 Million IQ Points
Problems with cognitive function that are not severe enough for diagnosis are becoming even more common than neurobehavioral development disorders. In 2012, David Bellinger, Ph.D., professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, published a study funded by the National Institutes of Health where he calculated the impact of toxic exposures on children’s IQ.27
He determined that based on a population of 25.5 million children, aged birth to 5, those born to mothers exposed to organophosphates, mercury or lead during pregnancy suffered a combined loss of 16.9 million IQ points. Researchers calculated a collective loss of 41 million IQ points in the U.S. from the same exposures.28 Conventional farmers are reluctant to stop using pesticides as this will put their crops at risk, and pesticide makers will not support a ban for obvious reasons.
But at what point do we say enough is enough? How many children have to be sacrificed for financial profits? Considering the lack of proactive measures from government and industry, it’s up to each and every one of us to be proactive in our own lives. One of the most effective ways to reduce your exposure to toxic pesticides, herbicides and insecticides is to buy certified organic foods, or better yet, foods certified biodynamic.
Environmental Toxins Kill 1.7 Million Children Annually, Worldwide
Untested chemicals should not be presumed safe.29 The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that environmental pollution, including but not limited to toxic exposures, kills 1.7 million children every year.30 The top five causes of death for children under 5 are related to their environment.
A recent report from CHEMTrust, a British charity working internationally to prevent man-made chemicals from triggering damage to wildlife or humans, found current chemical testing is not adequately picking up chemicals that cause developmental neurotoxicity.31 Their “No Brainer” report32 evaluated the impact of chemicals on the development of a child’s brain.
The report praised the European Food Safety Authority for work on risk assessment of pesticides and recommended their approach be expanded to include chemicals from other sources.33
They also recommended chemicals used for food contact material be routinely tested and screened for developmental neurotoxicity. The report also called for a taskforce to identify and develop better ways to screen chemicals before use. Without a doubt, the U.S. needs to follow suit and take a stronger stance against chemicals suspected of neurotoxicity.
How to Protect Your Family From Toxic Pesticides
According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on pesticide residues in food,34 in 2014, 41 percent of samples had no detectable pesticide residues. The following year, a mere 15 percent of all the food samples tested were free from pesticide residues. That just goes to show how rapidly and dramatically our pesticide exposure has increased.
Here’s a summary of commonsense recommendations that will help reduce your exposure to pesticides, and help you eliminate toxins you may already have been exposed to:
• As a general rule, your safest bet is to grow your own food, followed by buying certified organic or, better yet, biodynamic produce, and grass fed or pastured meats and animal products. See the listing below for sources where you can locate farm-fresh foods locally. If you cannot afford an all-organic/biodynamic diet, focus on buying grass fed and organic pastured meats first.
Next, familiarize yourself with average pesticide loads and buy (or grow) organic varieties of produce known to carry the highest amounts of pesticides. You can find a quick rundown in the Consumer Reports video above.35 Another excellent source, which is updated annually, is the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) shopper’s guide36 to pesticides in produce.
• Filtering your drinking water is also important. To remove pesticides, look for a filter certified by the NSF International to meet American National Standards Institute Standard 53 for volatile organic compounds reduction. This will ensure the filter is capable of significantly reducing pesticides.37 Most activated carbon filters will meet this requirement and get the job done.
• Carefully wash all nonorganic produce to remove surface pesticides. According to a recent study,38 the most effective cleaning method, by far, is to wash your produce using a mixture of tap water and baking soda. Soaking apples in a 1 percent baking soda solution for 12 to 15 minutes was found to remove 80 percent of the fungicide thiabendazole and 96 percent of the insecticide phosmet.
• Lastly, if you know you have been exposed to pesticides, eating fermented foods and/or using a low-EMF far infrared sauna can be helpful, especially if combined with an optimal supplemental detox regimen including binders to catch the toxins that are mobilized from the fats. The lactic acid bacteria formed during the fermentation of kimchi has been shown to help your body break down pesticides.
Where to Find Organic Farm-Fresh Foods
If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate wholesome farm-fresh foods in your area:
The goal of the American Grassfed Association is to promote the grass fed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing and public education.
Their website also allows you to search for AGA approved producers certified according to strict standards that include being raised on a diet of 100 percent forage; raised on pasture and never confined to a feedlot; never treated with antibiotics or hormones; born and raised on American family farms.
EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce raw dairy products as well as grass fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass fed products.
Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.
The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs and markets near you.
The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.
If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund39 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.40 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.
Apples genetically engineered to resist browning when sliced or bruised are on their way to about 400 grocery stores in the U.S. Midwest. Developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, the apples are engineered to suppress the production of the enzyme — polyphenol oxidase (PPO) — that causes browning. The first two varieties of the so-named Arctic Apple — Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny — were deregulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2015. A third variety, Arctic Fuji, joined the mix in 2016.1
Their arrival in stores is noteworthy for a number of reasons, the first being that this is the first Genetically modified organism (GMO) designed to have a perceived benefit for consumers. While people have been consuming genetically engineered (GE) foods for some time — often without knowing, since labels aren’t required — the GE products were designed to appeal to farmers.
For instance, Monsanto recently released Roundup Ready Xtend cotton and soybean seeds, designed to tolerate both Roundup and dicamba herbicides. Consumers wouldn’t go seeking out this type of soybean, but rather consume it by default, because it’s planted by farmers. This is changing with the release of GE Arctic Apples, which could prompt people to seek out the non-browning apples by name.
Arctic Apples to Serve as a Bellwether for Consumer-Geared GE Foods
Many companies dabbling in GMOs have their eyes on Arctic Apples, waiting to see if consumers accept or reject them. “If the apple sells, it will pave the way for others,” Yinong Yang, a plant pathologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, told Nature. He is among those keeping watch on the new apples, as he created a GE mushroom that resists browning, using CRISPR technology.2
Others waiting in the wings include Finless Foods, which is working on creating Bluefin-tuna fillets made from fish stem cells, and the creators of meatless burgers made from GE yeast. As for Okanagan’s GE apples, “The purpose of Arctic apples is definitely to promote healthy eating, boost apple consumption and reduce food waste, no matter what your age, income or any other factor,” the company’s president, Neal Carter, told Bloomberg.3
He stated that, in testing that occurred in 2017, 90 percent of consumers who tried them said they’d buy them if they were available, and the company cites statistics that 40 percent of apples are wasted, often due to browning.4 How valuable a non-browning apple proves to be to consumers remains to be seen, however. The first GE apples will be sold sliced, in 10-ounce bags — and they won’t be labeled as GMOs.
As of November 2017, there are about 280 acres of GE apple trees growing in Washington state. The company is hoping to increase this to more than 1,000 acres by 2020 and expanding to other countries and products.5 Despite the fact that this is one of the only whole-product GMOs on the market (as opposed to products sold that contain GE ingredients), there will only be a QR code on the package, which consumers can scan with a cellphone for more information.
As Bill Freese, science-policy analyst at the advocacy group Center for Food Safety, who is calling for the apples to be clearly labeled as GMOs, told nature, “Not everyone has a smartphone, and even if you have one, are you going to check every item with it?”6
Will Sliced Apples Increase Contamination Risks, Packaging Waste?
A non-browning apple may hold a certain allure for those looking for a ready supply of fresh-looking apple slices, but there are some variables that don’t appear to be particularly well thought out. Contamination risks certainly come to mind. The more you process a food — pre-peeling and slicing it, for instance — the more the risk of contamination increases.
The apples will be passed down the equipment line to be sliced and diced, losing any natural protection they would have from the skin and being exposed to any contaminants that may linger on the machinery. When consuming a whole apple, you bypass these extra sources of potential contamination. Plus, the peel can be washed, removing contaminants the whole apple may have come across, to some extent.
There’s talk of the GE apple slices being sold in vending machines and the like, which, on its surface, sounds like a great way to get kids to snack on apples instead of candy. But a whole non-GMO apple is already a perfectly portable snack. Packaging sliced apples into individual servings only serves to create more packaging waste.
Further, it takes only a minute to slice up an apple yourself and pop it into a reusable container to eat later — is the new product really that much more convenient? Not to mention, Carter noted, the GE Arctic Apples are expected to “fetch a premium in pricing,” according to Bloomberg, which also spoke to Jim McFerson, professor of horticulture at Washington State University in Pullman, who called the GE apples a “risky wager.”
“Because apples are seen as a quintessentially healthy product that parents provide for children, it’s a sensitive market,” he said.7 It’s true, too, that there could be unintended consequences. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said of the GE apples:8
“Many big apple buyers don’t want this. Consumers don’t want this. It’s not only an unnecessary product, but the risks have not been fully examined … Regulators have glossed over the possible unintentional effects of this technology, including the potential economic impacts on farmers, the potential of contamination for non-GMO and organic apple crops and the potential impact of the non-browning gene silencing, which could also weaken plant defenses and plant health.”
Why Do Apples Turn Brown? And Is It Such a Bad Thing?
The worth of the GE Arctic Apple is hanging on the notion that a browned apple is a bad apple. But is this really the case? Cutting an apple exposes the cells to oxygen, which allows the PPO enzymes to rapidly oxidize the phenolic compounds in the apple tissues into ortho-quinones (o-quinones).
O-quinones form a natural antiseptic that helps protect the apple from bacteria and fungi. While o-quinones have no color, they react with oxygen and amino acids to produce melanin, which turns the apple brown. Put another way by a study published in the journal HortScience:9
“The enzymatic browning is a consequence of the oxidation of polyphenols to their corresponding quinones by PPO. These quinones are then polymerized with other quinones or phenolics, originating brown pigments.”
Apples with higher levels of phenolic compounds are best for your health but also tend to brown faster than apples with lower levels. One study suggested that among the apple varieties studied, Fuji is the best for fresh consumption because of its higher phenolic content at harvest time. However, they suggested a variety known as “Aori27” is best for processing, as it had the lowest PPO activity and the lowest polyphenol content, and therefore the lowest potential for enzymatic browning.10
That being said, from a health standpoint, you’re better off choosing polyphenol-rich apples for your health and not worrying about it if they turn a little brown — they’re still safe to eat. If the brown color is too off-putting, you should know that there are simple methods to stave off browning (if you’re not planning to eat the whole apple at once, that is), none of which require resorting to a GMO. Among them:
Put cut apples in the refrigerator. This will slow down the chemical reactions and oxidation process that leads to browning.
Spray exposed areas of cut apples with pineapple juice or lemon juice, which will slow enzymatic browning.
Immerse cut apples in pure water, which will keep oxygen from reaching the surface without affecting flavor. You can even add a dissolved vitamin C tablet to the water; the antioxidants will further stave off browning.11
Blanch apples in boiling water for four to five minutes (this should only be used for apples you plan on cooking, as it will affect the texture).
How to Seek Out the Healthiest Apples
There’s no doubt than an apple makes a near-perfect snack, even if it turns a little brown sometimes — all the more incentive to eat it right away. As mentioned, the browning serves a purpose, helping to protect the apple from bacteria, and the apples with the most beneficial phenolic compounds are those that brown the fastest. That’s just a little food for thought if you’re contemplating whether you should take the chance on GE apples just so they stay white.
As for why apples are so good for you, compared to other commonly consumed fruits, they ranked highest for the proportion of free phenolic compounds, which means they are not bound to other compounds in the fruit and therefore may be more easily absorbed into your bloodstream.12 Apple peels contain most of the healthiest components, including antioxidants like catechin, procyanidins, chlorogenic acid, phlorizin and more.
Compounds in apples are good for your brain, helping to protect neuron cells against oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity,13 and may lower your risk of stroke.14
Eating apples is associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease, an association that may be related to their content of antioxidant flavonoids,15 and they’re known to help regulate blood sugar.16 Like many whole foods, apples contain compounds that are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-mutagenic, which means they may also help fight cancer. According to the journal Planta Medica:17
“Apple products have been shown to prevent skin, mammary and colon carcinogenesis in animal models. Epidemiological observations indicate that regular consumption of one or more apples a day may reduce the risk for lung and colon cancer.”
Look for apples with shiny skin, which tend to be crisper than dull apples, and refrigerate them at 32 degrees F to keep them nice and crisp.18 It’s important to seek out organic apples, however, as they’re ranked No. 4 on the Environmental Working Group’s list of most pesticide-contaminated produce.19 Seeking organic apples will also ensure that they’re not GE.
If you’re purchasing conventionally grown apples, for now it’s only the sliced Arctic Apples that are GMO, so to avoid them, choose whole apples instead. Finally, no matter what type of apple you buy, keep in mind that they are a relatively high-fructose fruit, with 9.5 grams in a medium-sized apple. They should, therefore, be consumed in moderation.
In a quest to ease pressures on the Brazilian prison system, mental health workers have opted to give prison inmates the psychedelic brew ayahuasca, in the hopes of helping them to work through their deeply-rooted emotional traumas.
It is no secret that the current prison system lies in shambles. Overcrowded holding spaces, abusive staff, unsanitary living conditions — such environments rarely lead to redemption and rehabilitation, but instead almost always seed further violence, aggression, and feelings of alienation from society.
While some prisons are now offering holistic services such as yoga, meditation, and Reiki, prisoners’ rights advocacy group Acuda is taking it one step further, offering Brazilian prisoners a real shot at a new life through the use of the traditional Amazonian brew, ayahuasca.
Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew that combines a specific Amazonian vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) with a leaf (Psychotria viridis), creating an extremely pungent, orally-active cocktail of DMT, a powerful psychedelic known to induce mystical and life-changing experiences for its user.
At first, Acuda had trouble finding a place where the inmates could drink the ayahuasca, but they were finally accepted by an offshoot of Santo Daime, a Brazilian religion founded in the 1930s that blends Catholicism, African traditions, and the trance communications with spirits popularized in the 19th century by a Frenchman known as Allan Kardec.
“Many people in Brazil believe that inmates must suffer, enduring hunger and depravity,” said Euza Beloti, a psychologist with Acuda, to the New York Times. “This thinking bolsters a system where prisoners return to society more violent than when they entered prison. [At Acuda] we simply see inmates as human beings with the capacity to change.”
Supervisors at Acuda, who obtain a judge’s permission to take about 15 prisoners once a month to the temple ceremony, say they are mindful of the risks of ayahuasca, commonly called Daime in Brazil or referred to as tea. At the same time, Acuda’s therapists consume the brew with the inmates, as well as with the occasional prison guard who volunteers to accompany the group.
“This is how it should be,” said Virgílio Siqueira, 55, a retired police officer who works as a guard at the prison complex that includes Acuda. “It’s gratifying to know that we can sit here in the forest, drink our Daime, sing our hymns, exist in peace.”
But in a country where conservative views are ever-growing in response to continual violence and crime, not everyone is convinced this intervention is okay.
Darci Altair Santos da Silva, 43, who sexually abused a minor. Credit Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times
“Where are the massages and the therapy for us?” asked Paulo Freitas, a 48-year-old manager at a leather factory whose 18-year-old daughter, Naiara, a college student, was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in Porto Velho in 2013 by a group of men — a crime that stunned many people in this corner of the Amazon.
Whether or not we should be providing convicts with therapies that could be considered “luxury” is a justified question, no doubt. However, we cannot ignore the fact that many criminals eventually return to society after their sentence. Do we want to see these people as a product of years of violence and aggression, most likely repeating their offences, or would we rather have them come out of their sentence with new insights, a new perspective on their past choices, and a chance to do things differently?
“We are considered the trash of Brazil, but this place accepts us,” said Darci Altair Santos da Silva, 43, a construction worker serving a 13-year sentence for sexual abuse of a child under 14. “I know what I did was very cruel. The tea helped me reflect on this fact, on the possibility that one day I can find redemption.”
What are your thoughts on offering prisoners psychedelic therapy? Share with us in the comment section below!