All I can say right now is that I’m in a period of “Not trying to ‘figure anything out’”, and letting go of all possible paths or outcomes that tonnes and tonnes of other people and pundits are talking about.
Probably this is just a short period of time thing, but I’d rather share it and let loose of it, internally, than continue to try to listen to a voice that says, “JUST FIND SOME THINGS TO POST AND POST THEM, DAMMIT!!!!”
So not much more to say than that. Maybe you can understand, maybe not.
I just caught and released (without harm) a tiny (1/2″) grasshopper that was on my TV screen. There’s probably something significant about that.
So for now, I’ll just drink my Kauai Mundo Novo dark roast coffee, and (perhaps) call it a night.
Syrian government forces have now secured most of the eastern Ghouta enclave, the last remaining rebel-held area near Damascus, the capital and the largest city of the Syrian Arab Republic.
With Syrian forces nearing full control of the war-torn region, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley recently warned, Washington “remains prepared to act if we must,” if the United Nations Security Council fails to act on Syria for its assault on eastern Ghouta.
Participants of a march against Merkel’s immigration policy in Kandel have been attacked by Antifa counterprotesters. On Saturday, the protest movement “Kandel is Everywhere” organised another demonstration in the city were a German teen girl was murdered by an Afghan migrant.
This second post in our series on the malevolent affects of the big Foundations concerns the medical industry. In 1908, the Rockefellers went to Andrew Carnegie, who then located one Abraham Flexner (1866-1959). The Jewish Flexner […]
As gene-editing technology becomes more advanced, the idea of “designer babies” being created in a lab for those who can afford them is no longer a plot relegated to Hollywood films. It’s becoming a backdrop to the 21st century, bringing with it tough questions about whether it’s ethical to tinker with a baby’s genes and, perhaps even more controversial, whether it’s immoral not to.
At the heart of this issue is CRISPR, or Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat, a technology that allows scientists to go into your DNA and essentially cut and paste it at specified places. Progress is being made in tackling genetic diseases such as sickle-cell anemia and certain forms of blindness and muscular dystrophy, particularly with particularly with the invention of CRISPR-Cas9.1
Will Parents Become Mandated to Gene-Edit Their Babies?
By modifying an enzyme called Cas9, the gene-editing capabilities are significantly improved, in some cases reducing the error rate to “undetectable levels.” While experts have previously said CRISPR and Cas9 should not be used on human babies, a report released in February 2017 by the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine stated DNA in germline cells, such as embryos, eggs and sperm, may be altered to eliminate genetic diseases.2
The stipulation was that the technology be used only to correct disease or disability, not enhance health or ability.3 Many, including retired bioethicist Ronald Green of Dartmouth College, support the use of gene-editing technology for the purpose of eliminating genetic diseases, but what about nondisease conditions like poor impulse control to increase a child’s opportunities in life?
Julian Savulescu, an ethicist at the University of Oxford, told Science News he believes parents would be morally obligated to use gene-editing technology to keep their children healthy.
“If CRISPR could … improve impulse control and give a child a greater range of opportunities, then I’d have to say we have the same moral obligation to use CRISPR as we do to provide education, to provide an adequate diet …”4 Still, there are many concerns with germline gene therapy, which allows inserted genes to be passed on to future generations.
Who will decide, for instance, what conditions are deemed abnormal or worthy of gene editing? Further, the technology can only be done via in vitro fertilization (IVF), putting it out of reach of many people financially and potentially expanding inequality gaps. On the other hand, some argue that countries with national health care could provide free coverage for gene editing, possibly helping to reduce inequalities.5
And where will the proverbial line be drawn? Will people one day choose to create babies with greater intellectual ability, improved physical fitness or a certain color of eyes or hair? Creating genetically enhanced people could also lessen people’s tolerance for those who are different.
Iceland Brags About ‘Eliminating’ Down Syndrome
In Iceland, Down syndrome births are becoming increasingly rare, with just one or two children born with the condition each year, a statistic that’s reported much as a triumph. It’s not, however, that the country has discovered a “cure” for the condition, but rather that they’ve succeeded in nearly eliminating this population of people from the country, a phenomenon some may describe as genocide.
In essence, Down syndrome is disappearing in Iceland, but not by nature or happenstance. In Iceland, up to 85 percent of pregnant women receive prenatal screening tests to detect chromosome abnormalities, including Down syndrome. Close to 100 percent of women who receive a positive result end up terminating their pregnancy, CBS News reported.6
Other countries also have high termination rates for fetuses with Down syndrome: 67 percent in the U.S., 77 percent in France and 98 percent in Denmark, for instance. “Heavy-handed genetic counseling” has been said to play a role in Iceland’s high elimination rate of Down syndrome pregnancies, with one counselor stating, “We don’t look at abortion as murder … We look at it as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had huge complications.”7
In the U.S., some states, including North Dakota, Ohio, Indiana and Louisiana, have passed laws prohibiting doctors from performing abortions for the sole reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis. Yet others maintain it’s a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy.
“I’m going to be blunt here: That was not the child I wanted,” wrote one woman who says she would have chosen abortion had genetic testing revealed Down syndrome during her pregnancy. “That was not the choice I would have made. You can call me selfish, or worse, but I am in good company. The evidence is clear that most women confronted with the same unhappy alternative would make the same decision.”8
On the other hand, a study that asked people with Down syndrome about their self-perception stated “they share similar hopes and dreams as people without DS [Down syndrome]” and “overall, the overwhelming majority of people with DS surveyed indicate they live happy and fulfilling lives.”9 As the prevalence of not just genetic testing but also the ability to do something about the outcome increases, the questions of which diseases and conditions count as life-threatening or worthy of intervention will only continue to grow.
Synthetic Biology Is the ‘Holy Grail’ of Genetic Engineering
We are better learning how to engineer living systems, for better or worse. In what’s being described as the “holy grail” of genetic engineering, synthetic biology has been used to create a semi-synthetic organism that stores and retrieves increased genetic information. Researchers wrote in the journal Nature:10
“Since at least the last common ancestor of all life on Earth, genetic information has been stored in a four-letter alphabet that is propagated and retrieved by the formation of two base pairs. The central goal of synthetic biology is to create new life forms and functions, and the most general route to this goal is the creation of semi-synthetic organisms whose DNA harbors two additional letters that form a third, unnatural base pair.”
In 2014, researchers including Floyd Romesberg of the Scripps Research Institute, created the first semi-synthetic organism by recreating the genetic material for a strain of E. coli, although the microbe wasn’t stable. In the latest triumph, the researchers were able to create a semi-synthetic organism that not only was stable but could produce artificial proteins similarly to its “unmodified parents.”
The creation brings with it potentially limitless possibilities that semi-synthetic organisms could one day access a range of functions that are not attainable by natural organisms. “In the near term, he [Romesberg] said, scientists could harvest such proteins from synthetic cells and use them to assist with drug delivery, or to make protein therapeutics, like insulin, more effective.” He continued to The Washington Post:11
“But an even more distant — and more enticing — application involves not just the proteins, but the lab-made microbes that produce them: ‘What if you allow the bacteria to harbor this unnatural information retrieve the protein and use it for something interesting?’ Romesberg mused. ‘Could you develop organisms that have new properties’ — like the ability to siphon up oil spills or eat cancer cells? ‘Could we develop cells that can do things their natural counterparts can’t?’”
Technology Will Proceed Despite Unanswered Ethical Questions
Gene-editing technology is moving so fast that innovations are occurring before their full implications are known or fully understood. In 2015, Chinese researchers used CRISPR/Cas9 to edit human embryos — a first.12 That same year in the U.S., the National Institutes of Health does not provide funding for studies on gene-editing technologies in human embryos, stating:13
“The concept of altering the human germline in embryos for clinical purposes has been debated over many years from many different perspectives, and has been viewed almost universally as a line that should not be crossed. Advances in technology have given us an elegant new way of carrying out genome editing, but the strong arguments against engaging in this activity remain.
These include the serious and unquantifiable safety issues, ethical issues presented by altering the germline in a way that affects the next generation without their consent, and a current lack of compelling medical applications justifying the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in embryos.”
Yet, the scientific consensus seems to be changing, such that a number of prominent scientists now agree that clinical trials of human germline editing should proceed, provided they are for purposes of treating series diseases or disabilities. Meanwhile, research has progressed, with researchers correcting a pathogenic gene mutation in human embryos 67 percent of the time in one study14 and, in another, using CRISPR/Cas9 to investigate gene function in the earliest stages of human development.15
A CRISPR clinical trial in people with cancer has also taken place in China, and the technology has been used to edit human embryos made from sperm from men carrying inherited disease mutations. The researchers successfully altered the DNA in a way that would eliminate or correct the genes causing the inherited disease.16 If the embryos were implanted into a womb and allowed to grow, the process would result in the first genetically modified children — and any engineered changes would be passed on to their own children.
So far no one has attempted to take the next step — creating pregnancies with genetically engineered embryos, but the early studies are paving the way for it to one day happen. “We can be certain that, within a few years, gene editing technology will become safe enough for doctors to correct a mutation for cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease in a human embryo, and from that embryo produce a healthy child who won’t have to worry about passing on a devastating disease to her children,” Pacific Standard reported.17
“But once we begin correcting genetic diseases with germline editing, there will be no technical barrier to using this technology for less medically urgent needs, as long as would-be parents of genetically enhanced children are willing to conceive by in vitro fertilization.
By that point, advances in the technology will have almost certainly outpaced any ethical debate over how to use it … Even if certain types of germline edits wind up banned in the U.S., they will certainly be available elsewhere in the world.”18
What Does the Future Hold?
As was the case with genetic engineering of food, the technology will continue to progress beyond the reaches of regulation and ethics. Even with barriers in place, the creation of a gene-edited person is likely to be attempted, some say “at any moment.”19 It’s both an exciting and frightening prospect, especially since the technology isn’t perfect and may accidently hit other parts of the genome.
One study searched for unintended mutations, based on a separate study that used CRISPR-Cas9 to restore sight in blind mice by correcting a genetic mutation. The researchers sequenced the entire genome of the CRISPR-edited mice to search for mutations. In addition to the intended genetic edit, they found more than 100 additional deletions and insertions along with more than 1,500 single-nucleotide mutations, with unknown consequences.20
Further, former director of national intelligence James Clapper listed genome editing on the list of “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation,”21 which goes to show what could happen if such technology is misused. While it stands to be a game-changer in the future of human health, in the big picture such gains do not come without potentially catastrophic risks.
Judging by the buzz at the annual Expo West organic trade show, regenerative agriculture is where it’s at,1 and it’s heartening to finally see a tidal change for the better. According to data presented at the show, conventional food brands lost more than $19 billion in revenue between 2009 and 2014, as consumers have become increasingly aware of the many problems associated with conventional food and farming.
Projections suggest the natural and organic sector may reach $107.7 billion in sales by next year. However, traditional organics have developed a number of increasingly pressing problems, thanks to manipulation by large food companies. In recent years, many trusted organic brands have been swallowed up by multinational corporations that, by and large, lack a historical interest in organic farming.
As a result, organic standards have been significantly watered down, in some cases to the point of no longer fulfilling even the most basic criteria. Case in point: The acceptance of hydroponics for organic certification. According to organic regulations, an organic grower’s crop rotation plan must maintain or improve soil organic matter, yet hydroponics grow food without any soil at all. Without soil, how can their operations improve soil health?
Regenerative agriculture is a return to what organic was originally all about — the protection and rebuilding of topsoil and ecological biodiversity. Unfortunately, Big Food is acting quickly this time around. Companies are already trying to cash in on the burgeoning trend, and it becomes rather problematic when junk food is paraded as flagship products for regenerative agriculture.
The Latest Marketing Ploy — ‘Supporting Regenerative Farming Practices’
Cookies and other processed snacks do not suddenly become health foods simply because they’re made with ingredients that weren’t doused with toxic chemicals.
Take Annie’s (a division of General Mills), for example, which touts “advancing regenerative farming practices” with a limited edition organic Mac & Cheese and organic Bunny Grahams, made with ingredients grown according to “regenerative farming practices.”2 The products will be exclusively sold at Sprouts Farmers Market this spring. According to Carla Vernon, Annie’s president:
“As part of the food industry, our biggest opportunity for impact is at the farm level, where we have a critical role to play in advancing regenerative practices that generate positive impact. At Annie’s, we recognize the urgency of this, and we are more committed than ever to champion projects, big and small, to preserve the planet for generations to come.
Through these new limited edition products and direct-farm partnerships, we are showing consumers that food choices matter and can make a positive impact on the planet.”
It’s important to remember that without actual certification, regenerative claims such as those made by Annie’s are just a marketing ploy, like “all-natural” before it. There’s a range of farming practices that could be referred to as “regenerative,” even though they’re only slightly different from or better than conventional, chemical farming.
The fact that General Mills is partnering with Ben & Jerry’s to promote their brands with regenerative agriculture for highly processed junk food like mac n’ cheese, cookies and CAFO ice cream is a strange path forward.3 While it will take farmers, businesses and customers to advance regenerative practices, you have to be skeptical with this alliance of junk food products to promote regenerative agriculture.
Ben & Jerry’s has been one of the worst offenders when it comes to environmental pollution, supporting CAFOs while knowingly harming the environment and maximizing profits. These products are as likely to regenerate diabetes as they are to regenerate the soil.
What most Americans really need is to start eating real food. That’s what’s going to save the planet and improve their health. Pesticide avoidance will only get you so far. It’s an important part, for sure, but if you continue eating a diet chockful of processed foods, even if they’re organic and regeneratively grown, your health is still going to suffer from nutritional imbalances.
Then there’s McDonald’s, which recently announced it is replacing frozen beef with fresh, cooked-to-order beef patties for two of the items on its burger menu4 — as if avoiding freezing will make that CAFO beef any healthier. What’s next? Regeneratively grown french fries?
The beef is still coming from factory farms where the cattle are given drugs and antibiotics to quell disease and encourage growth. As a result, such meat is more prone to be contaminated with drug-resistant pathogens and has a poorer nutritional profile compared to organic grass fed beef. Aside from improving flavor, the shift to fresh beef is really inconsequential in terms of overall food quality and nutrition.
Regenerative Organic Certification In the Works
There are a number of separate efforts to create standards and certifications for regenerative agriculture, and unless close attention is paid, there’s the risk of these standards being usurped by big business right from the start. Among the contenders is the Regenerative Organic Alliance, led by the Rodale Institute, the clothing company Patagonia, and Dr. Bronner’s. Its regenerative organic certification was launched at Expo West earlier this month. According to Politico:5
“Details of the Regenerative Organic Certification [ROC] are still fluid, but the basic idea is that USDA organic certification would be the baseline and requirements would be added on from there. The certification would also expand beyond agricultural practices to include animal welfare and worker standards …
Standards for ROC are still in the works, and a number of companies are going to be taking part in a pilot to test various systems. DanoneWave … has pledged to have its Vega One Organic line and its Horizon Organic grass fed offerings take part in the pilot. A number of other brands are also “allies” of the concept, including Maple Hill Creamery, Justin’s … and Patagonia Provisions (Patagonia’s food line).”
Biodynamic Certification Is the Gold Standard to Beat
It’s well worth noting that top notch “gold standard” certification for regenerative farming already exists. Biodynamic farming is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture initially developed by Austrian scholar Rudolf Steiner,6 Ph.D., (1861-1925). It’s an approach that can provide far superior harvests compared to conventional chemical-based agriculture, while simultaneously healing the Earth.
Biodynamic standards are both organic and regenerative, and then some. Not only does biodynamic farming provide superior crops both in volume and increased density of nutrients, but biodynamic farms are also completely self-sustaining — something that cannot be said even for most organic farms. For example, biodynamic standards do not simply require farmers to use organic animal feed. Most of the feed must actually originate from the farm itself.
And, while an organic farmer can section off as little as 10 percent of the farm for the growing of certified organic goods, to be certified as a biodynamic, 100 percent of your farm must be in compliance. In addition to that, 10 percent of the land must be dedicated to increasing biodiversity. This could take the form of forest land, wetland or insectary, for example. Biodynamic farming also has all of the features associated with regenerative agriculture, such as crop rotation, the use of cover crops and so on.
Having animals integrated on the farm, with a focus on animal welfare, is another core principle of biodynamic farming. In short, the farm is viewed as a living organism — a living, self-sustainable whole — and biodiversity of both plants and animals are viewed as integral. In my view, this is really as good as it gets, and buying foods produced by farms certified as biodynamic through Demeter offers the greatest assurance of food quality and environmental sustainability.
A catch-22 preventing biodynamic from spreading faster is the shortage of certified products in the national marketplace. Most Demeter members are small family farms that only sell locally or regionally. The best we could hope for is for farmers to embrace biodynamic certification in greater numbers, rather than trying to invent new regenerative standards to compete with organic. In reality, if there’s competition, it’s with biodynamic, and it’s difficult to imagine standards can go much higher.
Grass Fed Standards
The American Grassfed Association (AGA) has also introduced grass fed standards and certification for American-grown grass fed dairy,7 which allows for greater transparency and conformity. Prior to this certification, dairy could be sold as “grass fed” whether the cows ate solely grass, or received silage, hay or even grains during certain times.
Considering how important a cow’s diet is when it comes to the quality of its milk, especially when we’re talking about raw milk, I would strongly advise you to ensure your raw dairy is AGA certified as grass fed.
Also, be sure to look for the AGA’s grassfed label when buying grass fed meats. No other grass fed certification offers the same comprehensive assurances as the AGA’s grass fed label, and no other grass fed program ensures compliance using third-party audits. An alternative is to get to know your local farmer and find out firsthand how he raises his cattle.
Many are more than happy to give you a tour and explain the details of their operation. Barring such face-to-face communication, the AGA grass fed logo is the only one able to guarantee that the meat comes from animals that:
Have been fed a 100 percent forage diet
Have never been confined in a feedlot
Have never received antibiotics or hormones
Were born and raised on American family farms
The last bullet point is an important one. A vast majority of grass fed meats sold in grocery stores are actually imported, and without country of origin labeling, there’s no telling where it came from or what standards were followed. As noted by Feed Navigator8 last year, while the USDA has created a set of “best practices” to maintain the integrity of organic imports, they really do not go far enough to ensure the integrity of organic standards.
For example, organic grain shipments have repeatedly been found to contain nonorganic grains fraudulently labeled as organic, and this kind of fraud has severe repercussions for American organic farmers who already struggle to stay competitive. The same applies to the grass fed industry.
The Need for Regenerative Agriculture Has Never Been Greater
Chemical-based agriculture has resulted in the destruction of rural economies, water and air pollution, depletion of aquifers, destruction of pollinators and biodiversity, soil erosion and loss of soil fertility, climate destabilization, food contamination, nutrient degradation and the deterioration of public health. The U.S. now spends $3.5 trillion a year on health care, more than any other nation on Earth, yet public health just keeps getting worse.
It’s quite clear why. We live in an increasingly toxic environment and eat cheap junk-filled foods. Even the government admits about half of all American adults now live with one or more chronic diseases, “many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns.”9
Approximately 85 percent of Americans do not consume the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommended intakes of the most important vitamins and minerals necessary for health;10 87 percent don’t eat the recommended 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day; 91 percent don’t get the recommended 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day.
What’s worse, what little fruit and vegetables are actually consumed are sorely lacking in nutrients, as today’s conventionally grown produce contain far less nutrition than their counterparts 50 years ago. Factory farmed, GMO grain-fed meat, eggs and dairy also typically contain lower levels of omega-3s, vitamin E, beta-carotene, antioxidants and conjugated linoleic acid than 100 percent grass fed and organic pastured products.
Research11 consistently shows that organic foods contain significantly higher amounts of antioxidants, especially in no-till regenerative systems,12 and an antioxidant-rich diet is associated reduced risks for chronic diseases, including heart and brain disease and certain cancers. So, to improve health we need to improve nutrition, and to do that we really have to address food at its literal roots.
Healthy microbe-rich soil associated with regenerative, soil-centered, organic practices produces crops with higher levels of nutrients, without which maintaining health is difficult if not impossible.
The Way Forward
As it stands today, organic certification is really the bare minimum when it comes to food quality, nutrition and environmental health. What we need to move toward is biodynamic farming on a much larger scale. You can help shape the future of our food system by being mindful of your own choices. Be sure to look and ask for biodynamic certified produce and AGA certified grass fed animal products.
In most cases, your best bet will be to buy directly from your local farmer once you’ve asked questions and received answers to your satisfaction about how the food is grown and raised. For resources that can help you locate organic and regenerative farms in your area, see the end of this article. In addition to that, consider:
• Boycotting GMOs, including every nonorganic packaged food product that displays a QR code. The easiest way to avoid GMOs is to buy organic, or look for the “Non-GMO Project” seal on food products. Keep in mind, however, that many “Non-GMO Project” labeled foods (unless they are also labeled organic) are produced using pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
• Boycotting factory-farmed meat, dairy and poultry (i.e., anything that isn’t labeled or marketed as organic or 100 percent grass fed or pastured). Factory farm production is characterized by GMO- and pesticide-tainted animal feeds, labor exploitation, false advertising, corporate corruption of government, and the use of massive amounts of dangerous pesticides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones and growth promoters.
Factory-farmed meat, dairy, poultry and fish are the No. 1 cause of water pollution, soil degradation, food system greenhouse gas emissions and human diet-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. We will never get rid of GMOs, chemical-intensive monocrops, antibiotic resistance, animal cruelty and agriculturally derived greenhouse gas emissions until we eliminate factory farms.
Exposure to hazardous substances while on the job is a reality for many occupations, from farmers and construction workers to firefighters — and dentists. In the latter case, the use of toxic substances like mercury for amalgam fillings is not only dangerous for patients but also for those working with the material in the office.
In fact, a cluster of eight dentists and one dental technician from Virginia were diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a chronic and progressive lung disease with no known cure, and sought treatment at the same specialty clinic in the state from 2000 to 2015.
One of the dentists contacted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in April 2016, concerned that a number of dentists were all being treated for the same relatively rare disease. While IPF has been associated with certain occupations in the past, especially exposure to certain dusty environments like those that may occur during agricultural work, textile manufacturing or exposure to wood dust,1 dentistry was an entirely new connection.
Dentists 23 Times More Likely to Develop IPF Than General Population
In June 2017, the CDC reviewed medical records from 894 patients diagnosed with IPF and treated at the above-mentioned specialty clinic from September 1996 to June 2017, looking for those with an occupation of dentist, dental hygienist or dental technician. Nine of the patients, or 1 percent, were dental personnel. Considering the small number of dentists in the U.S. relative to the overall population (0.038 percent in 2016), the fact that they represented nearly 1 percent of patients being treated for IPF at one clinic was noteworthy.
In fact, the CDC analysis revealed that the dental workers were 23 times more likely to develop IPF compared to the general population. Seven of the patients died during the study period, and only one of the remaining patients (the dentist who originally contacted the CDC) could be interviewed, which revealed that he had not worn protective equipment during much of his career and later transitioned only to a surgical mask. The CDC reported:2
“The interviewed patient, who had never smoked, reported not wearing a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-certified respirator during dental activities throughout his 40-year dental practice; he wore a surgical mask for the last 20 years of his dental practice. He reported performing polishing of dental appliances, preparing amalgams and impressions, and developing X-rays using film developing solutions.”
The CDC also queried the National Occupational Respiratory Mortality System for 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2007, which revealed 35 deaths from IPF or related pulmonary diseases in people working in the “office of dentists” and 19 categorized as having the occupation “dentist.” “These findings suggest that a higher rate of IPF might occur among dental personnel than among the general population,” according to the CDC, which also acknowledged:3
“This investigation revealed the first described cluster of dental personnel with diagnosed IPF. The eight dentists identified in this cluster exceeded the number of expected cases, consistent with National Occupational Respiratory Mortality System data regarding IPF mortality and the proportion of U.S. residents who are dentists.
Dentists and other dental personnel experience unique occupational exposures, including exposure to infectious organisms, dusts, gases and fumes. It is possible that occupational exposures contributed to this cluster. After this analysis, another IPF case was diagnosed in a dentist treated at this specialty clinic.”
What Is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?
IPF is a disease that causes scar tissues to build up deep in your lungs. This starts in the lungs’ air sac walls, through which air passes into your blood. As the walls thicken with scar tissue, it causes your lungs to stop functioning properly, which means they can no longer get enough oxygen into your bloodstream, brain and body. People with IPF commonly experience shortness of breath, which may first only occur during exercise but eventually progresses to the point where you may feel short of breath even when you’re at rest.
IPF may also cause a dry, hacking cough or uncontrollable coughing, as well as weight loss, fatigue, aching muscles, rapid breathing and rounding of the tips of your fingers or toes, known as clubbing. Eventually, as the disease progresses it leads to respiratory failure, pulmonary hypertension and heart failure; most people survive only three to five years after being diagnosed.
Exposure to environmental pollutants, including inorganic dust (silica and hard metal dusts) and organic dust (bacteria and animal proteins), is known to cause pulmonary fibrosis, as are certain medications, including nitrofurantoin (an antibiotic), amiodarone (a heart medicine) and the chemotherapy drugs methotrexate and bleomycin.4 It’s estimated that 200,000 Americans have IPF.5
Is Exposure to Mercury and Other Toxins to Blame?
While the CDC report maintains an air of surprise about the findings, in reality, when you drill mercury in people’s mouths day after day, while you’re sitting above them inhaling everything, it’s probably going to affect your lungs, as well as your overall health. The fact that the American Dental Association (ADA) has historically defended mercury’s use for fillings, and continues to do so to this day, has surpassed the point of ignorance and reached that of malice.
Mercury is a known lung-damaging agent and, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is “toxic … through inhalation of mercury vapors.”
Acute inhalation of mercury is known to cause inflammation of the lungs and shortness of breath, as well as respiratory failure and death in extreme cases. Over the long term, mercury-induced lung damage may include “increased fibrous tissue in the lung (pulmonary fibrosis), restrictive lung disease and chronic respiratory insufficiency.”6 The World Health Organization (WHO) further states:7
“Mercury is highly toxic and harmful to health. Approximately 80 percent of inhaled mercury vapor is absorbed in the blood through the lungs, causing damages to lungs, kidneys and the nervous, digestive, respiratory and immune systems.
Health effects from excessive mercury exposure include tremors, impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, insomnia, emotional instability, developmental deficits during fetal development, and attention deficit and developmental delays during childhood.”
Meanwhile, mercury is but one lung toxin that dental personnel are exposed to on a near-daily basis. Others include silica, polyvinyl siloxane, alginate and “other compounds with known or potential respiratory toxicity,” the CDC stated.8 But because mercury is the most vaporous of the heavy metals, dental amalgam pollutes dental workplaces full of toxic air — which exposes dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and front office staff to eight to 10 hours of dangerous breathing every workday.
A clinic where the dentists regularly place amalgam is a hazardous workplace — but whose hazards are generally left unexplained to the dental staffs, even the pregnant women, which can and does have serious and horrible consequences to the reproductive systems of young women as well as others working in the office. Further, few dental workers employed by pro-mercury dentists are given protective garb or air masks to minimize their exposure to mercury and other toxins.
Air Quality in Dentists’ Offices Is Notoriously Bad
At industrial sites, employees must follow strict protocols to avoid exposure to even tiny amounts of mercury but at dental offices mercury levels may soar — and patients and employees are oblivious to the risks. Alex Hummell, CEO of Mercury Instruments USA Inc., a company that makes equipment to detect airborne levels of mercury, said he’s seen air contamination in dental offices that’s so high, it would be shut down if it were any other office. McClatchy DC reported:9
“‘They would be closing their doors and getting respirators on.’ Instead, [Hummell] said, ‘there are kids running around everywhere. It’s nuts. It’s the exact same toxin, and it’s being treated totally differently. Why is it being allowed to be so unregulated?'”
Despite the known risks, few dental offices monitor their air for mercury levels the way many industrial sites do. It’s so bad that Hummell, a father of five, says he won’t bring his children into just any dentist office, lest they be exposed to mercury even for a second.
In an experiment to determine mercury exposures at a dentist’s office, Hummell found mercury levels up to 30 times the OSHA limit could be released during a procedure to remove mercury fillings. He’s also found that mercury levels rise when a tooth with an old mercury filling is gently brushed. As you might expect, the ADA was not too thrilled to hear about Hummell’s findings. According to McClatchy DC:10
“He [Hummell] said he also showed dentists an American Dental Association pamphlet urging them to periodically monitor their offices for mercury, a circular that mostly drew chuckles and ridicule from the dentists.
‘I got a call the day after the convention from the American Dental Association’s lawyer threatening to take me down if I didn’t stop using their publication,’ Hummell said. ‘I said, ‘I thought the dental association wanted them to know. Right after that, you couldn’t find that publication anywhere … It disappeared from the internet.'”
According to Charlie Brown of Consumers for Dental Choice, “Historically, the ADA has warned dentists about the dangers of mercury in dental offices, but only when the ADA stood to profit.” For example, Brown cites an ADA brochure titled You Owe It to Yourself! Protect Yourself and Your Staff Against the Hazards of Your Profession with the ADA’s Mercury Testing Service.” In the brochure, the ADA acknowledges:
“Office spaces may be contaminated with mercury from leaky amalgam capsules and from the lingering effects of accidental spillage. High speed handpieces and ultrasonic compactors that vaporize mercury can lead to unsuspected inhalation.”
For $75 per person per year, the ADA offered a “complete and confidential” mercury-testing service. There is no evidence that the ADA has continued this mercury testing program. “It appears that the ADA found it more profitable to deny the problem of high mercury levels in dental offices,” explained Brown. Even dental students are at risk, with studies showing dental institutions and hospitals in the Philippines and Pakistan to have hazardous levels of mercury pollutants in the air.
Why Choosing a Mercury-Free Dentist Is so Important
As the health risks of mercury are readily apparent, it’s in everyone’s best interest — patients and providers alike — to opt for mercury-free dental care. According to Consumers for Dental Choice, dental offices that opt to use mercury put dental professionals at risk, as they may come into contact with the poison both directly and indirectly; mercury can even contaminate carpeting and pipes. Exposure to mercury in the workplace has led to:11
Higher levels of mercury in dental workers compared to the general population
Increased health problems, including neurological, neuropsychological, respiratory, cardiac and kidney disorders, in dental professionals compared to the general population
More reproductive problems for female dental professionals compared to the general population
While other countries, including Sweden and Norway, have phased out the use of mercury amalgam fillings completely, in the U.S. only 32 percent to 52 percent of dentists are mercury-free. This means it’s up to you to find a mercury-free dentist when choosing a dental provider for yourself and your family.
Now that about half of American dentists are mercury-free, Consumers for Dental Choice has shifted its focus from supply to demand, and consumer demand for mercury-free dentistry is primarily held back by insurance companies and other third-party payers who mandate continued amalgam use. It’s time to drive home the message that consumers will no longer tolerate the use of mercury amalgams and will not settle for insurance plans and programs that mandate amalgam use. To participate:
1. Check the details of your dental insurance policy. If it fully pays for amalgam while limiting or denying coverage for mercury-free fillings, register your objections with this easy-to-fill-out online form, which you can then email to your insurance company. Please visit the Consumer for Dental Choice Demand Your Choice page to find additional details and tools to help you take a stand against your insurance company’s pro-mercury policies.
2. Next, find another insurance company or plan that pays for mercury-free fillings in all teeth, without exceptions or LEAT clauses.
3. If your current dentist is still using mercury in his or her practice — even if they also offer mercury-free options — seek out a dentist that offers only mercury-free fillings for all patients. And, be sure to inform your dentist about the reason you’re transferring.
The reason for this is because dentists who still use amalgam end up using it on people who rarely have any other choice, either because they cannot afford to pay the difference, or their state or government program dictates they can only receive mercury.
This unfair practice needs to end, and the quicker we can get all dentists to go 100 percent mercury-free, the sooner these programs will be forced to change. So, selecting a 100 percent mercury-free dentist is an altruistic choice on your part, which will help those whose voices are so often ignored. It will also lead to a safer office environment for the patients and staff.
4. If you have mercury fillings, be sure to consult with a biological dentist who is trained in the safe removal of amalgam.
5. Last but not least, spread the word, and urge your family and friends to challenge their insurance companies’ toxic policies and make the switch to a mercury-free dentist as well.
Within the past five years alone, it’s truly amazing just how many people have become aware of important information that was once, absurdly, labelled as a mere conspiracy theory. There are too many examples to list, with perhaps the latest being the UFO footage that was just released by the Pentagon, or perhaps, the Edward Snowden NSA surveillance leaks are better example. Prior to these leaks, if you told somebody that the government (intelligence agencies) were spying on you and that they were using your TV, phone, computer and more to do so, you’d probably get a few raised eyebrows.
So, on a positive note, it’s very encouraging to know that the world is waking up and another fact, which some people still enjoy placing in the conspiracy realm is that a few families, such as the Rotschild’s, completely control the World Bank and multiple federal governments. By control, we mean they basically own the money supply as well as having high ownership in global resources, thus controlling global geo-politics and more.
Before you continue, keep in mind that a number of politicians of high rank have brought up similar issues. Trayon White Sr (D-Ward 8) may not be a high-ranking politician, but he represents the awareness that’s creeping into the system and bringing up some important points.
In a Mayor’s Council breakfast on the 27th of February, he stated that “The Rotschild’s control the World Bank, as we all know….They really pretty much control the federal government, and now they have this concept called resilient cities in which they are using their money and influence into local cities.”
White’s comments have been painted as anti-Semitic, but they’re not at all…he is in no way insulting or discriminating against Jewish people.
You can view the footage of his comments from the Washington Post HERE.
Prior to these comments, he accused the family of weather manipulation. Media also branded these comments as racist, as they were directed towards Jewish bankers. The funny thing about his comments here, is that weather manipulation is quite a serious issue called geoengineering, and you can learn more about that from these articles, among others, that we’ve written about the subject:
As most of you reading this probably already feel, it’s hard to see how we really live in a democracy. With elections full of fraud and deceit, and the corporate stranglehold that currently plagues the American government, it’s quite clear that it’s not the people making the decisions, but a group of powerful people with specific interests.
Foster Gamble, heir to the Procter & Gamble corporation who took a different path then that of, as he puts it, “being groomed for the establishment,” puts it quite well:
“As difficult as it was for me, I’ve come to an inescapable and profoundly disturbing conclusion. I believe that an elite group of people and the corporations they run have gained control over not just our energy, food supply, education, and healthcare, but over virtually every aspect of our lives: and they do it by controlling the world of finance. Not by creating more value, but by actually controlling the source of money.”
This quote comes from Gamble’s documentary film, Thrive , which has now been viewed over 100 million times worldwide.
A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many, and various, and powerful interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks. – John C. Calhoun, 7th Vice President of the United States (source)
The following image outlines the structure of this ‘corporatocracy,’
And here is another great quote from John F. Hylan,
“The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its legs over our cities, states and nation…The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties…(and) control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in the country.” (source)(source)
And another that really gets this point across,
“Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great staffs, both of the old parties have ganged aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them in marshalling [sic] to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government.” – Theodore Roosevelt
This secretive and shadowy government represents the Deep State, a term now used to describe the stranglehold those who control this Deep State have on global politics and economics.
We’ve written a couple of articles that go a little more in-depth about the Deep State, they’re linked below for more information:
Who are the Rothschild’s? They’re a family, descending from a court factor, which was, long ago, a Jewish banker who dealt with the finances of European royalty and nobility, in the time when the land was full of states controlled by the Roman Empire. In exchange for their services they gained special privileges, including being considered as high nobility within society. The family was considered to be of high ranking by the Holy Roman Empire.
As you can see, the relationship between the Rotschild’s, the Roman aristocracy and Royal families has long been established, and remains till this day. They basically created and run international finance, along with a few other families like the Rockefeller’s. These are the names which control the where the money flows from, the World Bank as well as the Bank For International Settlements.
Perhaps it’s the Royal Families that sit above them?
Many people accuse these families of basically controlling the world, and it’s true. Today, corporations call the shots and work with governments, and, to some extent, actually dictate government policy. There are too many examples to name, the revolving door between Monsanto and the US Government is a great example.
Above these corporations we have the banks and ultimately, if we want to know what’s going on, we really have to look at who controls the resources that run our world and that’s money, and other things such as oil etc…
The results always come back to the same name, the Rothschild’s, who also have big time oil interests in places like the Middle East – Syria is a great example of this.
At Least We Are Starting To SEE
Within the past 10 years alone, the planet has experienced a massive shift in consciousness. By this, I mean the way we think, feel, and perceive the human experience, as well as the true nature of reality, is changing. New information and facts, some of which are almost unbelievable and conflict with many belief systems, are rapidly coming to light, forcing us to open up to alternative views of the human experience and what’s really happening on our planet.
One thing is for certain, not all is as it seems, and not all is as it’s presented. We’ve had to live and deal with a great deal of deception on this planet, but the moment we become aware of it (we are in the process), the moment it can not longer continue and begins to transform.
Joe Martino, founder of Collective Evolution made a film several years ago called The Collective Evolution III: The Shift. It is all about the shift in consciousness taking place, what’s going on and where humanity is headed. It’s presented in a way that can be passed across any group; those that view things through science, spirituality or who are on the fence. The purpose of the film was to bring these understandings to a grounded and practical space, where much of the human experience exists at this time. In the film, I go into great detail about the cosmic ray portion of the shift, which much of The Event refers to. I’d recommend watching the film for further understanding.
(Natural News) A strange thing happened as I was about to write this article today. I was planning on writing how the delusional anti-gun students who are currently demanding the government take away the Second Amendment rights of all Americans are now totally freaking out over a new, draconian rule that requires them all to…