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Thousands of people in cities across Germany protested against the ongoing lockdown in response to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic yesterday.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Provides Media and Politicians Ground Cover for Destroying Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The idea that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a bioweapons laboratory is gaining traction. May 3, 2020, The New York Times reported1 that during an ABC “This Week” interview Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had stated “the coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan.” Pompeo also accused China of covering up the leak.
“Mr. Pompeo, the former C.I.A. chief and one of the senior administration officials who is most hawkish on dealing with China, said that ‘there’s enormous evidence’ that the coronavirus came from the lab, though he agreed with the intelligence assessment that there was no indication that the virus was man-made or genetically modified,” The New York Times writes.2
Now, if you’ve been following this newsletter, you’ve likely seen my interviews with bioweapons expert Francis Boyle and molecular biologist Judy Mikovits, both of whom have cited evidence that strongly points toward SARS-CoV-2 being a laboratory creation. So, the assessment that there’s “no indication” that the virus has been modified seems dubious at best. Most likely, we’re not just dealing with scientific interpretations here, but with political games as well.
Bioweapon Labs Must Be Shut Down and Scientists Prosecuted
As noted by Boyle — professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of the book, “Biowarfare and Terrorism,”3 who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 — what’s needed is a ban on biosafety level (BSL) 3 and 4 labs.
Time and again, serious safety breaches have been identified at laboratories working with the most lethal and dangerous pathogens in the world.4,5,6,7,8,9,10 For example, in 2014, six glass vials of smallpox virus were accidentally found in a storeroom in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s lab at the National Institutes of Health.11
It was the second time in one month mishandling of potential deadly infectious agents was exposed. One month before this shocking discovery, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention12 realized as many as 84, and possibly 86, of its scientists had been exposed to live anthrax.13,14
The live pathogen had been sent from another, higher-security facility, which failed to follow biosafety protocols. The anthrax sample was supposed to have been inactivated prior to transfer, but for a variety of reasons it wasn’t dead on arrival.
The next year, in 2015, the Pentagon realized a Dugway Proving Ground laboratory had been sending incompletely inactivated anthrax (meaning it was still live) to 200 laboratories around the world for the past 12 years. According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report15 issued in August 2016, incompletely inactivated anthrax was sent out on at least 21 occasions between 2003 and 2015.
Asia Times16 lists several other examples as well, as does a May 28, 2015, article in USA Today17 and an April 11, 2014, article in Slate magazine.18 In 2017, the BSL 4 lab on Galveston Island was hit by a massive storm and severe flooding, raising questions about what might happen were some of the pathogens kept there to get out.19 As recently as 2019, the BSL 4 lab in Fort Detrick was temporarily shut down after several protocol violations were noted.20
In October 2014, a U.S. moratorium on experiments on coronaviruses that might make the viruses more pathogenic and/or easy to spread among humans took effect.21
The ban came on the heels of “high-profile lab mishaps” at the CDC and “extremely controversial flu experiments” in which the bird flu virus was engineered to become more lethal and contagious between ferrets. The goal was to see if it could mutate and become more lethal and contagious between humans, causing future pandemics. However, the federal moratorium on lethal virus experiments in the U.S. was lifted at the end of December 2017.22
Fauci Backed Dangerous Coronavirus Research
In 2015, researchers announced that in their labs they had created a hybrid coronavirus similar to that of SARS that was capable of infecting both human airway cells and mice.
The NIH had allowed the controversial research to proceed, despite the moratorium, because it had begun before the moratorium was put in place — a decision criticized by Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at Pasteur Institute in Paris, who pointed out that “If the [new] virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory.”23
Others, such as Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist and biodefence expert at Rutgers University, agreed, saying “The only impact of this work is the creation, in a lab, of a new, non-natural risk.”24
In 2017, Tim Trevan, a Maryland biosafety consultant, expressed concern about viral threats potentially escaping the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory.25 As reported by The Washington Post26 and Business Insider,27 diplomatic cables sent in 2018 also warned about “possible safety breaches at a lab in Wuhan.”
Backing dangerous coronavirus research was none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci, who now leads the White House pandemic response team. As reported by Newsweek, April 28, 2020:28
“Just last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID], the organization led by Dr. Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.
In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.
Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.”
NIAID Funded Coronavirus Gain-of-Function Research
According to Newsweek,29 the NIAID research in question was conducted in two parts. The first, which began in 2014 and ended in 2019,30 focused on “understanding the risk of bat coronavirus emergence.” Initial findings31 were published in Nature Medicine in 2015.
The program, which had a budget of $3.7 million, was led by Wuhan virologist Shi Zheng-Li and sought to catalogue wild bat coronaviruses. As noted by Boyle in our interview, it also involved U.S. scientists from the University of North Carolina and Harvard.32
The second phase began in 2019 and included additional surveillance of coronaviruses along with gain-of-function research to investigate how bat coronaviruses might mutate to affect humans. This second phase “was run by EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit research group, under the direction of president Peter Daszak, an expert on disease ecology. NIH canceled the project Friday, April 24, 2020” Newsweek reports, adding:33
“The project proposal states: ‘We will use S protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential.’
In layman’s terms, ‘spillover potential’ refers to the ability of a virus to jump from animals to humans, which requires that the virus be able to attach to receptors in the cells of humans. SARS-CoV-2, for instance, is adept at binding to the ACE2 receptor in human lungs and other organs.
According to Richard Ebright, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers University, the project description refers to experiments that would enhance the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells and laboratory animals using techniques of genetic engineering. In the wake of the pandemic, that is a noteworthy detail.”
Fauci Defended Gain-of-Function Research on Bird Flu
Fauci also defended and promoted gain-of-function research on bird flu viruses a decade ago, saying such research was worth the risk because it allows scientists to prepare for pandemics.34 In reality, this kind of research does not appear to have improved governments’ pandemic responses.
If anything, it’s a curious coincidence that the very viruses undergoing gain-of-function research are the ones causing pandemics. As noted in an interesting April 24, 2020, Salon article35 written by independent journalist and analyst for the Institute for Public Accuracy Sam Husseini, dangerous pathogens are made even more so in laboratories around the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic really “exposes the threat of a biowarfare arms race.”
“Regardless of the source of this pandemic, there is considerable documentation that a global biological arms race going on outside of public view could produce even more deadly pandemics in the future,” Husseini writes, adding:36
“Governments that participate in such biological weapon research generally distinguish between ‘biowarfare’ and ‘biodefense,’ as if to paint such ‘defense’ programs as necessary. But this is rhetorical sleight-of-hand; the two concepts are largely indistinguishable.
‘Biodefense’ implies tacit biowarfare, breeding more dangerous pathogens for the alleged purpose of finding a way to fight them. While this work appears to have succeeded in creating deadly and infectious agents, including deadlier flu strains, such ‘defense’ research is impotent in its ability to defend us from this pandemic.”
‘Natural Leap’ Explanation Is Weak at Best
Husseini goes on to discuss a widely-cited study37 published March 17, 2020, which claims to disprove a lab origin for SARS-CoV-2. He writes:38
“That journal article,39 titled ‘The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2,’ stated unequivocally: ‘Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.’
This is a subtly misleading sentence. While the scientists state that there is no known laboratory ‘signature’ in the SARS-Cov-2 RNA, their argument fails to take account of other lab methods that could have created coronavirus mutations without leaving such a signature.”
One way to manipulate viruses without genetically engineering them per se is by growing them in a series of animal tissues. This is a process used in vaccine development to speed up evolution of the virus. As explained by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in our recent interview, the way they accelerate evolution of bat coronaviruses is by taking it from the anus of the bat and replicating it in animal tissue such as pangolin kidney tissue.
Next, the grown viruses are placed on feral monkey kidney cells, followed by mouse brain tissue. Each time you transfer the virus to another animal tissue, you increase the risk of zoonotic animal virus contamination in addition to mutations. According to Kennedy, six years of evolution can be accomplished in a matter of days using this accelerated evolution process. Through this process, extremely viral forms of the virus can be rapidly created. Husseini also points out that:
“… there is also the question of conflict of interest in the Nature Medicine article. Some of the authors of that article, as well as a February 2020 Lancet letter40 condemning ‘conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin’ … have troubling ties to the biodefense complex, as well as to the U.S. government.
Notably, neither of these articles makes clear that a virus can have a natural origin and then be captured and studied in a controlled laboratory setting before being let loose, either intentionally or accidentally — which is clearly a possibility in the case of the coronavirus.”
Mainstream media are now trying to squash conversations about the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was man-made by insisting scientists wouldn’t have chosen a harmless coronavirus to work with. Live Science, for example, tried debunking the man-made virus theory, saying:
“Scientists have studied how SARS-CoV differs from SARS-CoV-2 — with several key letter changes in the genetic code. Yet in computer simulations, the mutations in SARS-CoV-2 don’t seem to work very well at helping the virus bind to human cells.
If scientists had deliberately engineered this virus, they wouldn’t have chosen mutations that computer models suggest won’t work. But it turns out, nature is smarter than scientists, and the novel coronavirus found a way to mutate that was better — and completely different— from anything scientists could have created …”
Similarly, a Scripps Research press release41 states that, “If someone were seeking to engineer a new coronavirus as a pathogen, they would have constructed it from the backbone of a virus known to cause illness.”
‘Natural Leap’ Theory Is Not Believable in Face of Evidence
Meanwhile, a recent article42 in the Great Game India Journal of Geopolitics & International Relations points out that Radiotelevisione Italiana exposed China’s coronavirus work in a November 2015 broadcast, raising serious questions about the ethics involved. An English transcription of the Italian broadcast reads, in part:43
“Chinese scientists have created a pulmonary super virus from bats and mice … It is a group of Chinese researchers attaching a protein taken from bats to the SARS virus, Acute Pneumonia, derived from mice. The output is a super coronavirus that could affect man.
It remains closed in laboratories and it is only for study purposes, but is it worth the risk — creating such a great threat only for examination purposes? …
Here is an experiment in China, in which a group of scientists has managed to develop a chimera — an organism modified by attaching the surface protein of a coronavirus found in bats of the common species called the Great Horseshoe Bat, to a virus that causes SARS in mice, although in a non-fatal form.
It was suspected that the protein could make the chimeric hybrid organism suitable for affecting humans, and the experiment confirmed it.
It is precisely this molecule, called SHCO14, that allows the coronavirus to attach itself to our respiratory cells and to trigger the syndrome. According to researchers, the two organisms, the original and even more so the engineered one, can infect humans directly from bats, without going through an intermediate species like the mouse …”
In Great Game India’s “COVID-19 Files,”44 you can find data exploring the origin of SARS-CoV-2 from five different angles, including epidemiological investigations, virus gene comparisons, cross-species infection research, intermediate hosts and findings from the Wuhan lab.
Dr. Meryl Nass — who in 1992 published a paper45 in which she identified the 1978-1980 Zimbabwe anthrax outbreak as a case of biological warfare — also isn’t buying the all-natural argument. In an April 2, 2020, blog post, she wrote:46
“Why are some of the U.S.’ top scientists making a specious argument about the natural origin of SARS-CoV-2? … Prior to genetic engineering techniques being developed (1973) and widely used (since late 1970s), more ‘primitive’ means of causing mutations, with the intention of developing biological weapons, were employed …
They resulted in biological weapons that were tested, well-described, and in some cases, used … These methods can result in biowarfare agents that lack the identifiable signature of a microbial agent constructed in a lab from known RNA or DNA sequences.
In fact, it would be desirable to produce such agents, since it would be difficult to prove they were deliberately constructed in a lab. Here are just a few possibilities for how one might create new, virulent mutants:
- Exposing microorganisms to chemical or radiological agents that cause high mutation rates and selecting for desired characteristics
- Passaging virus through a number of lab animals or tissue cultures
- Mixing viruses together and seeking recombinants with a new mix of virulence factors”
Tracking Down Origin of SARS-CoV-2 Is Crucial
As noted by the National Review,47 getting to the bottom of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is indeed important if we want to prevent a similar pandemic to erupt in the future.
“If it originated from a person eating bat or pangolin at a wet market, then we need to take steps to ensure that bat and pangolin consumption and trade stops …” the National Review writes.
“Bat guano is used as fertilizer in many countries, and that guano can be full of viruses … If this is the source of the virus, we need to get people to stop going into caves and using the guano as fertilizer …
In a strange way, the ‘lab accident’ scenario is one of the most reassuring explanations. It means that if we want to ensure we never experience this again, we simply need to get every lab in the world working on contagious viruses to ensure 100 percent compliance with safety protocols, all the time.”
Do You Live Near a Bioweapons Lab?
Many are unaware of just how many BSL 3 and 4 labs there are in the world. According to the National Review,48 BSL 4 laboratories are found in the U.S., China, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, The Czech Republic, France, Gabon, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
In testimony49 about high-containment biosafety laboratories presented to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in October 2007, Keith Rhodes, chief technologist at the Center for Technology and Engineering, points out that BSL4 labs in the U.S. increased from five to 15 between 2001 and 2007 alone, and that no one is actually responsible for tracking the proliferation of BSL 3 and 4 labs in the U.S. or determining the risks associated with them.
On top of that there are dozens more BSL 3 laboratories. The map below was published in the journal Science50 in 2007 and reprinted in Asia Times51 April 6, 2020, showing the proliferation of high-containment labs in the U.S. A USA Today investigation published in 2015 put the number of BSL 3 and 4 labs in the U.S. around 200,52 and Boyle estimates there are about 400 worldwide.53
The Danger Outweighs Any Potential Benefit
As long as we are creating the risk, the benefit will always be secondary. By taking dangerous pathogens and making them even more lethal through gain-of-function research, scientists and those who fund them are playing a high-risk game of Russian Roulette.54 Any scientific or medical gains made from such research pales in comparison to the incredible risks involved. This sentiment has been echoed by others in a variety of scientific publications.55,56,57,58
Considering the potential for a massively lethal pandemic, I believe it’s safe to say that BSL 3 and 4 laboratories pose a very real and serious existential threat to humanity. U.S. biowarfare programs employ some 13,000 scientists,59 all of whom are hard at work creating ever-deadlier pathogens, while the public is simply told to trust that these pathogens will never be released, either involuntarily or voluntarily.
Historical facts tell us accidental exposures and releases have already happened, and we only have our lucky stars to thank that none have turned into pandemics taking the lives of millions. Considering safety breaches at these labs number in the hundreds, it’s only a matter of time before something really nasty gets out. Consider the ramifications if a souped-up Ebola or Spanish flu were to get out, for example.
Regardless of the exact method behind its creation, it seems clear to me that SARS-CoV-2 has been modified and that its origin is being covered up by responsible parties. Why the cover-up? In short, to avoid life behind bars. The Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 states:60
“Whoever knowingly develops, produces, stockpiles, transfers, acquires, retains, or possesses any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system for use as a weapon, or knowingly assists a foreign state or any organization to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both. There is extraterritorial Federal jurisdiction over an offense under this section committed by or against a national of the United States.”
With sufficient evidence, many researchers and public health authorities stand to spend the rest of their lives behind bars, which is the penalty that the Anti-Terrorism Act calls for. This is why it is vital that we initiate immediate actions to start closing BSL 3 and 4 laboratories that are working with the most lethal pathogens known to man and prosecuting those involved in biowarfare-related research.
If we fail to start this process soon, and simply wait until something worse escapes, the COVID-19 pandemic will seem like a walk in the park and we could approach death rates more similar to the Spanish flu of 1918 or even the bubonic plague that wiped out 60% of Europe.
Underlying health conditions like obesity, heart disease and diabetes have emerged as key factors in fatalities due to novel coronavirus, COVID-19. In one study, more than 99% of COVID-19 fatalities — three out of 2003 — occurred among people who had underlying medical conditions.1,2
Among the fatalities, 76.1% had high blood pressure, 35.5% had diabetes and 33% had heart disease.3 What’s more, another study revealed that among 18- to 49-year-olds hospitalized due to COVID-19, obesity was the most prevalent underlying condition, just ahead of hypertension.4 Chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity have a lot in common, including the fact that they’re often fueled by poor diet.
Processed foods, junk foods and soft drinks are key culprits in the rise of such chronic diseases, and therefore have a key role to play in COVID-19 deaths. Yet, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, multinational food and beverage corporations are interfering with public policy and influencing the development of dietary guidelines.
In order to protect public health, this conflicted influence must be curbed, according to a report published by the campaign group Corporate Accountability.5 Meanwhile, health experts are calling out ultraprocessed foods as key players in COVID-19 deaths and calling on public health guidelines to warn the public of their risks.6
Junk Food Giants Stymying Public Nutrition Policies
According to Corporate Accountability’s report, more than half of those appointed to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) have ties to the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a not-for-profit organization established by a Coca-Cola executive 40 years ago.7
DGAC is supposed to be an independent committee, which reviews scientific evidence and provides a report to help develop the next set of dietary guidelines for Americans (2020 to 2025). However, its extensive ties to ILSI all but ensures the committee is anything but independent.
ILSI has been exposed as a shill for the junk food industry, and internal documents have revealed ILSI embedded itself in public health panels across Europe and the United Nations in an effort to promote its own industry-focused agenda to raise profits at the expense of public health worldwide.8
The Corporate Accountability report further examined ILSI’s “revolving doors and conflicts of interest” with critical government policy processes, including not only formulating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) but also updating national food composition databases. It explains:9
“The report also chronicles the front group’s deep connections with industry, its ties to research it has helped produce, and to individuals it has relationships with. The picture it paints makes a compelling case for Big Food to abandon ILSI and similar front groups in the interest not only of public health, but also a less deceitful relationship with its investors.”
DGA is essentially the go-to source for nutrition advice in the U.S., directing what more than 30 million U.S. schoolchildren eat at school and driving the nutritional advice given to new mothers, seniors, veterans and other beneficiaries of nutritional education and meals offered by the federal government.
“But the DGA’s mandate is even broader,” Corporate Accountability noted in their report. “It aims to promote health, prevent chronic disease, and help all U.S. residents reach and maintain a healthy weight.”10 Yet, by partnering with junk food corporations, it ends up doing the opposite:11
“Seventy-five percent of the individuals involved in formulating the U.S. government’s official dietary guidance have food industry ties. Fifty-five percent have ties to ILSI, which was founded by a former Coca-Cola executive and is funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, McDonald’s, General Mills, Cargill, Monsanto, the National Dairy Council, the International Tree Nut Council and a host of other global purveyors of junk food and drink.”
Junk Food Corporations Control Academia, Nutrition Guidelines
The Corporate Accountability report presents several key findings that highlight ILSI’s concerning ties with industry, and how its research, government interference and other activities are negatively affecting public health policy. Among them:12
ILSI’s journal, Nutrition Reviews, does not always disclose ILSI affiliations and conflicts of interest. Further, nearly 40% of ILSI North America’s publications from 2013 to 2017 received support or funding from ILSI but did not disclose it. Of the approximately 60% of publications that did contain a disclosure statement, “no conflict of interest” was still sometimes declared
The DGAC chairs and vice chairs of the Pregnancy and Lactation Subcommittee are affiliated with ILSI
ILSI claims that it doesn’t lobby, but it gave direct guidance to the Argentine government regarding updates to its National Food Composition Database
ILSI India produced a study in partnership with government research institutions that disparaged and misrepresented health effects of traditional foods instead of focusing on the adverse health effects of soda and processed foods
ILSI North America’s board of trustees violates Principle 1 of its conflict of interest policy, as more than 50% of its board holds an affiliation with the private sector
Rather than dismantling ILSI Mexico after it violated the group’s code of ethics under a Coca-Cola executive’s leadership, it was absorbed by ILSI Mesoamerica in 2019, which is also under the leadership of a Coca-Cola executive
One example given of lack of disclosures in Nutrition Reviews was a 2017 review titled “What is the Appropriate Upper Limit for Added Sugars Consumption?”13
The researchers looked into the “significant restrictions on upper limits of sugars consumption” put forth by scientific organizations like the World Health Organization and American Heart Association, concluding that their findings “should inject a note of caution into restrictive guidelines” and noting that “the scientific basis for restrictive guidelines is far from settled.”14
One of the review’s co-authors, however, failed to disclose an important conflict of interest. James Rippe was affiliated with ILSI Mexico, leading a forum titled “Current Evidence on Sweeteners and Health,” which received $10 million in funding from the U.S. Corn Refiners Association to establish that sugar consumption had no impact on heart health.15
Another glaring example was published in Annals of Internal Medicine. The study, “The Scientific Basis of Guideline Recommendations on Sugar Intake,” was funded by ILSI and concluded, “Guidelines on dietary sugar do not meet criteria for trustworthy recommendations and are based on low-quality evidence. Public health officials (when promulgating these recommendations) and their public audience (when considering dietary behavior) should be aware of these limitations.”16
Although the journal did reveal that ILSI was the primary funding source for the study, according to Corporate Accountability:17
“Its findings were so self-serving, it prompted criticism from candy-maker Mars (then an ILSI member). Co-author, and 2010 DGAC member, Joanne Slavin did not disclose her financial ties with Big Food and Beverage, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé.”
Report: Governments, Academics Should Part Ways With ILSI
ILSI has been a key piece in how the junk food industry has grown and expanded globally, giving the junk food industry an in with policy makers and prestigious universities under the guise of scientific advancement.
While funding scientific research designed to support its own agenda, ILSI regularly fails to disclose conflicts of interest. “This lack of transparency has allowed industry’s ILSI a social license to produce and promote junk science the world over,” the report notes.18 Meanwhile, while claiming to be a non-lobbying organization, they play a role in policymaking processes regarding nutrition in the U.S., India, Argentina, Mexico and Taiwan.
Now that ILSI is being exposed, even junk food giants themselves, namely Mars and Nestlé, have cut ties with the organization. Corporate Accountability is calling on other corporations to do the same, and demands academic institutions to sever all ties with ILSI, including ILSI Research Foundation and ILSI’s Nutrition Reviews.
For governments, the report recommends prohibiting those with ties to ILSI from participating on the DGAC and publically disclosing direct interactions with ILSI with agencies such as the USDA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, US. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.19
As it stands, however, junk food giants are thoroughly intertwined with public health recommendations pertaining to food and nutrition — to the detriment of public health. “Even in times of crisis, such as today’s COVID-19 pandemic, ILSI’s backers feel no scruples lobbying for the bottom line,” Corporate Accountability stated, adding:20
“In India, despite potential consequences to the health and well-being of workers and the community, corporations including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé, have submitted letters to the government requesting food and beverage manufacturing be exempt from the lockdown, and be considered an ‘essential service.’
Not providing immune-suppressing sugar-sweetened beverages during this time may also prove the more essential service these corporations can provide in this time and beyond.”
How Americans Got Hooked on Processed Foods
According to investigative reporter Michael Moss, much of the responsibility for Americans’ increased consumption of junk food lies with the processed food industry. In addition to targeting kids who are “especially hardwired for sweet taste,” sugar, salt and unhealthy fats are the top three substances making processed foods so addictive.
Moss’ four-year investigation culminated in the book “Salt Sugar Fat,” which details how food scientists formulate products with just the right combination of sugar, fat and salt to pique your taste buds just enough, without overwhelming them, thereby overriding your brain’s inclination to say “enough.” He uses the example of potato chips, which combine salt and fat for instantaneous pleasure, along with the sugar in the starch of the potato itself, as the perfect addictive food.
Beyond the addictive potential of the foods is the marketing, which further entices Americans to buy and consume more processed foods. This includes things like positioning junk foods at eye level on grocery store displays. In an interview with U.S. News & World Report, Moss revealed the food industry secrets that are most surprising, including that food execs may avoid junk food for the sake of their own health:21
“One, on a personal level, many food company executives don’t eat their own products for health reasons. And two, the companies themselves are more hooked on salt, sugar and fat than we are because they’re miracle ingredients that enable them to preserve and keep the products low cost along with being utterly tasty. The depth of the industry’s own dependence was really surprising to me.”
Junk Food Causing Increased COVID-19 Deaths
London-based cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra is among those warning that poor diet can increase your risk of dying from COVID-19. He tweeted, “The government and public health England are ignorant and grossly negligent for not telling the public they need to change their diet now.”22
He told BBC that ultraprocessed foods make up more than half the calories consumed by the British, and if you suffer from obesity, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure — all of which are linked to poor diet — your risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases tenfold.
On the brighter side, he also states that eating nutritious foods for even one month could help you lose weight, put Type 2 diabetes into remission and improve your health considerably, so you’ll have a much better chance of survival should you contract COVID-19.23 Malhotra also told the food industry to “stop mass-marketing and selling ultraprocessed food.”
Dr. Robert Lustig, Emeritus Professor of pediatrics in the division of endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, further stated:
“I’ve heard COVID-19 referred to a beast, because it doesn’t distinguish. In point of fact, it doesn’t distinguish who it infects. But it does distinguish who it kills. Other than the elderly, it’s those who are Black, obese, and/or have pre-existing conditions. What distinguished these three demographics?
Ultra-processed food. Because ultra-processed food sets you up for inflammation, which COVID-19 is happy to exploit. Just another way processed food kills. Time to rethink your menu.”
If you’re interested in eating better, I recommend adopting a cyclical ketogenic diet, which involves radically limiting carbs (replacing them with healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein) until you’re close to or at your ideal weight, ultimately allowing your body to burn fat — not carbohydrates — as its primary fuel.
This includes avoiding all ultraprocessed foods and also limiting added sugars to a maximum of 25 grams per day (15 grams a day if you’re insulin resistant or diabetic). This will improve your health in multiple ways and in so doing you may significantly reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is tasked with conducting inspections on U.S. meat supplies. This requires inspectors to travel to slaughterhouses, processing plants and other facilities across the U.S., many of which have been hotspots of COVID-19 outbreaks.
FSIS inspectors speaking to Government Executive criticized the agency’s handling of the inspection process during the pandemic, detailing unsafe working practices that are likely contributing to the spread of disease.1 Prior to April 2020, multiple inspectors said they were prohibited from wearing masks during inspections because it would create fear in the facilities.
While they’re now allowed to wear masks, FSIS is not providing them. Rather, the agency told inspectors they could use their own cloth face coverings and ask to be reimbursed up to $50 for the purchases.
Aside from the mask debacle, FSIS is shuttling inspectors around the U.S. from one COVID-19 exposed plant to another, with one inspector from Iowa, who tested positive for COVID-19, stating, “There is a less than robust approach to employee safety by the agency.”2
Meat Inspectors Exposed to COVID-19 Continue Inspections
Reports have emerged of potential disruptions to the food supply chain as meat plants, including facilities in Greeley, Colorado, and Columbus Junction, Iowa, closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks among employees and federal inspectors. However, before the closure, as inspectors in Greeley fell ill, the USDA sent another round of inspectors to the plant to supplement the workforce there.
FSIS also relocated employees from a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Smithfield plant that closed to a facility in Waterloo, Iowa, where inspectors were also testing positive for COVID-19. While inspectors questioned the strategy of moving employees potentially exposed to COVID-19 from one hot zone to the next, FSIS told inspectors to keep working. Government Executive reported:3
“In a town hall meeting by phone … FSIS told employees that anyone who has been exposed who has not yet developed symptoms should continue working. One inspector on the call summarized the message as, ‘So just wear gloves and a face mask and work until you feel the symptoms of being sick.’ Three FSIS employees confirmed the new policy.”
FSIS has not revealed how many inspectors have contracted COVID-19, but Buck McKay, an FSIS spokesperson, said “ensuring the U.S. supply chain remains strong is [the agency’s] top priority.”4
COVID-19 Cases Spike in Meatpacking Cities
According to The New York Times, more than 40 U.S. food processing facilities are facing coronavirus outbreaks, but Tyson, Smithfield and other companies have remained tightlipped about the details, such as how many have been infected.5
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that it’s already known that people working in crowded conditions like those in meat and poultry processing facilities are at increased risk of respiratory infections.
In an April 2020 report, the CDC said that COVID-19 cases among U.S. workers in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities were reported by 19 states.6 The facilities employ approximately 130,000 workers and have seen 4,913 cases and 20 deaths.
“Factors potentially affecting risk for infection include difficulties with workplace physical distancing and hygiene and crowded living and transportation conditions,” the CDC noted. Meanwhile, the Times reported that COVID-19 cases in small cities with large meatpacking industries are on the rise:7
“In the county that includes Green Bay, Wis., where there are outbreaks at three meatpacking facilities, cases more than quadrupled since April 21. In St. Joseph, Mo., more than 370 workers and their close contacts have tested positive. And in Cass County, Ind., where at least 900 Tyson workers tested positive, the number of known cases surged from roughly 50 to more than 1,200 over two weeks.
The outbreaks have proved devastating to the immigrant communities that often supply much of the labor at those plants, as well as to the farmers who depend on the facilities for their livelihoods.”
Meat Shortages a ‘Symptom of Consolidation’
Bracing for expected meat shortages, Costco began limiting the amount of meat each shopper could purchase in May 2020, while Kroger warned customers that it could soon have limited inventory.8 Tyson is among the major meat processing plants that has closed a number of facilities in recent weeks due to increasing COVID-19 cases among employees.
In an effort to force slaughterhouses to remain open, President Trump signed an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act, which compels meat plants to stay open in order to protect the functioning of the U.S. meat and poultry supply chain.9
The government stated it would provide protective gear for employees, but even billionaire John Tyson, of Tyson Foods, the largest meat processor in the U.S., put ads in newspapers warning about breaks in the food supply chain.10 According to Bloomberg:11
“While Tyson pointed out that the pandemic has affected businesses of all sizes, the producers, which also include Smithfield Foods Inc., have such a stranglehold on output that it leaves the supply chain with few remedies when even just a handful plants are down.
There have been about 12 closures at U.S. slaughter plants … [in April] because of coronavirus outbreaks among employees who are jammed together on processing lines. That’s wiped out roughly 25% of pork-processing capacity and 10% for beef — enough for analysts to say that the country was weeks away from shortfalls. Meat prices are already surging.”
The problem, however, isn’t one of supply but one of consolidation, according to Christopher Leonard, author of “The Meat Racket.” Speaking to Bloomberg News, and as reported by numerous news outlets, he said, “This is 100% a symptom of consolidation. We don’t have a crisis of supply right now. We have a crisis in processing. And the virus is exposing the profound fragility that comes with this kind of consolidation.”12
Tyson, JBS SA and Cargill Inc. control the majority of U.S. beef, most of which gets processed in a limited number of large plants. Because the processing is concentrated into a small number of large facilities, a statement for the White House noted, “[C]losure of any of these plants could disrupt our food supply and detrimentally impact our hardworking farmers and ranchers.”13
While the move to keep meat and poultry processing plants open was met with criticism from unions calling for increased protections for workers in the cramped conditions, the White House cited statistics that closing one large beef processing plant could lead to a loss of more than 10 million servings of beef in a day.
Further, the White House noted that closing one processing plant can eliminate more than 80% of the supply of a given meat product, such as ground beef, to an entire grocery store chain.14
Meat Processing Consolidation a Ticking Time Bomb
The problems caused by slaughterhouse consolidation have become a threat to the U.S. food supply amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but even under normal circumstances are problematic for small farmers specializing in organic and pastured meats. As noted by National Public Radio:15
“Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906, farmers who want to sell meat commercially across state lines must get their animals slaughtered and processed at a meat plant that has been approved by the USDA. Government meat inspectors are required to be on the floor anytime those plants are operating.”
Further, as the Washington Examiner aptly put it:16
“To add insult to injury, as our farmers bend over backward to create under the heavy burden of strenuous regulations on our own soil, the USDA continues to import beef from Brazil’s cheaper, unregulated marketplace instead. You wouldn’t know that, though, because in 2013, Congress abolished the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law that would have tipped consumers off.”
Now, there’s no shortage of livestock, and farmers are even facing the possibility of having to kill livestock en masse because they have nowhere to process the meat. Under current government regulations, the USDA, not individual states, has control over how meat is processed.
Small livestock producers are forced to drive long distances to have their animals slaughtered at slaughterhouses that meet federal inspection standards — the same slaughterhouses that are now being shut down because the giant facilities are breeding grounds for disease.
Small, custom slaughterhouses are not permitted to sell any of their meat, even though it could now prove to be a lifeline to states. These facilities can only be used by the owner of the animal and their family members, employees, nonpaying guests and customers who have purchased an entire animal prior to slaughter through a share program.
PRIME Act Could Stop Meat Shortages
The Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act would allow farmers to sell meat processed at these smaller slaughtering facilities, allow states to set their own meat processing standards and allow farmers to sell meat to consumers without USDA approval. As noted by the Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance:17
“These facilities meet state regulations as well as basic federal requirements. They are typically very small with few employees. The extensive and complicated federal regulations that apply to massive meatpacking facilities are neither needed nor appropriate for these operations, which might process as much meat in an entire year as the large facilities do in a single day.
Their small scale also means that they are better able to provide necessary social distancing and sanitation measures while safely continuing operations.”
In addition to improving access to locally raised meat and reducing meat prices, the PRIME Act would support income for small farmers while also helping establish vital infrastructure in rural communities and reducing stress to animals caused by long-distance hauling.
As it stands, consumers who can’t pay for or store hundreds of pounds of meat from a share program are unable to access meat from a custom slaughterhouse. Farmers are also unable to sell locally raised meat processed at a custom slaughterhouse at local farmers markets.
This, however, would change under the PRIME Act, which could help solve short-term supply problems as well as prompt changes that are needed in the long term. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who introduced the act, tweeted May 3, 2020:18
“Thousands of animals will be killed & wasted today instead of feeding families. Meanwhile Congress takes an extended vacation. Pass the PRIME Act now to allow small American owned meat processors to catch the ball that the Chinese, Brazilian, & multinational processors dropped.”
Why Is Bill Gates Smiling So Big When The Reporter Says The Economy Is Going To Take A Long Time To Recover?
By Geoffrey Grider,
Cyber experts slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his proposal to’microchip children who return to schools and kindergartens as the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, Ynet reported on Friday.
I want to draw your attention to a really wacky thing he said these week about lifting the COVID-19 lockdown in Israel. He said that all children returning to school should receive a microchip to serve as a coronavirus warning system. That’s crazy, but he said it, and there it is. Now let me tell you the really scary thing you need to know about that.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13:16-18 (KJB)
Benjamin Netanyahu’s suggestion may have been shot down in Israel, and rightly so, but that is exactly what Bill Gates and the ID2020 Alliance envision not just for school children, but for the entire global population. Just as 9/11 was used as an excuse to deny American freedoms via the Patriot Act, so COVID-19 will be used as an excuse to give every, single person on earth a digital ID that will connect to a global database. Bill Gates is so sure this is coming, he is betting his entire fortune to make it happen. Pray for Benjamin Netanyahu, he needs it.
Benjamin Netanyahu suggests microchipping kids, slammed by experts
FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: While speaking at a press conference on Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu suggested the Health Ministry use new technology to help Israel adjust to its new routine as the state is lifting the coronavirus lockdown. “That is, technology that has not been used before and is allowed under the legislation we shall enact,” he clarified.
“I SPOKE WITH OUR HEADS OF TECHNOLOGY IN ORDER TO FIND MEASURES ISRAEL IS GOOD AT, SUCH AS SENSORS. FOR INSTANCE, EVERY PERSON, EVERY KID – I WANT IT ON KIDS FIRST – WOULD HAVE A SENSOR THAT WOULD SOUND AN ALARM WHEN YOU GET TOO CLOSE, LIKE THE ONES ON CARS,” PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAID.
“It will be hard to do it to more than a million schoolchildren who return to their educational institutions in order to ensure one student sits at the distance of two meters from another. It is fictional and dangerous,” cyber resilience expert Einat Meron told Ynet.
“Theoretically, I get the idea behind it,” she said. “But although such distance-sensitive microchips exist in vehicles, it is different in humans.” According to Meron, “a beeping sound telling me I got close to someone is not enough. Who says it will change anything? I would have gotten closer either way.”
The expert added that “the actual issue is the enforcement, and here everything changes.” Meron told Ynet that “microchipping children will not pass any test – both practically and legally.” Similar to Meron’s notion that notifying citizens on their distance will not affect their actions, many fear the state would make use of the information available from the sensors.
“IF THE INFORMATION WITH THE KIDS’ LOCATION IS UPLOADED TO THE INTERNET, A PEDOPHILE WITH SOME CYBER KNOWLEDGE MAY INVADE THE SYSTEM AND STALK THEM OUTSIDE THEIR SCHOOLS, FOLLOW THEM AND DISTRIBUTE THE INFORMATION ON OTHER PLATFORMS,” MERON SAID. “CAN THE STATE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT?”
The Prime Minister’s Office responded to the report, telling Ynet Netanyahu’s suggestion “is not to be implemented through databases, but through simple technology notifying [the citizens] about their distance. It is a voluntary option that is designed to help children keep their distance, like Mobileye with vehicles.”
The office added that the prime minister’s suggestion is “an idea that may help maintain social distancing, and there will not be any violation of privacy.”
On Wednesday, Walla reported the movements of all vehicles in Israel were tracked by police and stored in an unregulated database named Eagle Eye. A source cited by the media site said the information “may be kept for years on end.”
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) reportedly submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act that police disclose the extent of the operations of Eagle Eye, as well as the time the information on citizens’ movements is stored in the system.
Israel Police responded to ACRI, saying the system’s activity was not standardized internally despite several years of operations. “Either way, once finalized, the procedure will not be disclosed to the public,” police added. In late March, Yediot Aharonot reported a classified Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) database stored information on all Israeli citizens and most Palestinians from the West Bank. The data tracked by the security agency included movements, phone calls and text messages. READ MORE