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10 Problems Genetically Modified Foods Are Already Causing

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Genetically modified foods (GMOs) have been getting a bad rep for years now as studies continue to come out revealing the dangerous nature of GMOs. Whether it be the harm they cause to people eating them, or the environment, many believe GMOs have no place in our world. On the flip side, many state there are no real concerns we have to worry about yet when it comes to human consumption, and in many ways GMOs help to feed the world. The ‘feed the world’ claim has always been refuted by pointing to the amount of food waste that exists as well as the current farming methods available that could feed the world without GMOs.

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Nonetheless, people are not sold on GMOs and they have good reason. Here are 10 problems genetically modified foods are already causing in our world. No need to keep waiting for the science, it’s already in.

They Kill Bees & Butterflies

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It was a debate before but that debate is now over as a Harvard study confirmed that what is killing the bees in such large numbers is pesticides. Now one could argue that GM crops aren’t the cause of all the deaths as there are other pesticides being sprayed, but Monsanto’s Roundup has been linked to killing off the Monarch Butterflies. In the end, this is just adding to the insane amounts of pesticides that will increase greatly every year as a result of how these crops are being engineered. It’s a problem that will be huge even just a few years down the road.

Although some have been suggesting that more food for the world is better than a few bugs dying, the reality is that the bees are a huge part of pollinating our food plants in order for us to even be able to enjoy their fruits.

Cross-Pollination Contaminates Regular Crops

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This could prove to be one of the biggest issues once the rest of North America realizes GMOs shouldn’t be grown any longer and we finally stop producing them. GMO seeds are very tough to contain.

Unfortunately they are finding that seeds can travel much farther than initially anticipated (up to several kilometers) and are creating cross-pollination on farms that are not and do not wish to be GMO. Farms that have accidental cross-pollination and are organic could lose their organic status as a result of this.

They Create Superbugs & Superweeds

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It appears great. You design a plant that is already resistant to pests and therefore you can grow food without the bugs tearing away at it. The problem is, in the process you create superweeds and superbugs as well as less nutritious food.

What most people don’t realize about GM crop farming is that while farmers may experience a lower need for chemicals in the first few years of growing, it increases greatly as the crops, weeds and pests develop an immunity to the chemicals. Operating costs, pollution levels and herbicides/pesticides on your food increases as well.

In 2011, scientists studied 13 major pests and found that five were immune to the poisons genetically bred into GM plants like Bt corn and Bt cotton. On top of that, farmers found that they were regularly battling with superweeds as a result of glyphosate found in RoundUp. According to the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe, GM crops cause herbicide use to increase 25 percent per year.

It’s Illegal To Accidentally Grow A GM Plant

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This is very much coupled with the problem above. When seeds can fly everywhere, there can be a lot of accidental growing – which is still illegal. In a number of cases, seeds found on farmers who were not growing GM crops caused huge court cases in which Monsanto sued these farmers for illegally growing large amounts of seeds they did not buy. Meanwhile the seeds may have blown onto their land, could have come in second generation seed sales without farmers noticing, or could have come from farmers buying cost-effective bags of seeds where sources are unknown.

The bottom line is these seeds are hard to track and with something as simple as a seed being illegal to plant, it’s bound to create issues.

Farmers Are Not Able To Harvest Seeds

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Many may not realize but, Monsanto does not allow farmers to use second generation seeds. They must buy new seeds every year which increases the cost for farmers as Monsanto’s “premium seeds” don’t come cheap. This takes many of the fundamentals away from farming. Instead of the typical plant seeds, grow crops, harvest them and harvest the seeds for next year, Monsanto’s you must buy again next year.

In the Supreme court case between Bowman v. Monsanto, the 70-year-old farmer was unanimously found guilty of patent infringement for buying second generation Monsanto seeds. It’s another move by Monsanto that illustrates their lack of care for food and people and their clear-cut obsession with control and profit.

Little Government Oversight

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Remember the superbugs and superweeds? The reality is it’s possible this could have all been avoided if farmers were required to go through training for safe GM farming practices. For example, farmers who follow GM guidelines and plant “refuges,” which are not Bt-crops, adjacent to their GM fields, have much lower rates of pest resistance. Many farmers did not follow these strict guidelines which could be contributing to the problems.

If the government put in regulations to make sure large farms were planted correctly, this could have been avoided. Maybe the Bollworm problem in India could have been avoided as well considering many believe it has been the cause of the sudden increase.

Labeling has been another big argument. 64 countries–including China and the European Union–require labeling of genetically engineered foods. But, the US, the largest producer of GM foods does not have any labeling laws. Considering much of the informed public is steering well clear of consuming GMOs, it appears the US is afraid that if labelling was required, many wouldn’t bother to buy products that were GM and thus it would kill their business. This also illustrates the fact that the public does not want GMOs around and yet the government spends money and makes decisions to produce them without public support.

Increased Suicide Rates

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This is one that we may not be aware of but is actually quite a staggering fact. Many know that farming can be risky, especially in places like India. Farming in India requires a good monsoon season in order to have enough water to keep crops growing well. Since farms hope to keep up with production and are open to trying anything, they have opted to try out Monsanto’s GM seeds. The issue is that they require double the amount of water and there pest-free claims are not always the case. As Bollworms continue to eat their crops and monsoon seasons are weak, farmers struggle to make money and their debt takes over. This is leading them to commit suicide in large numbers. About 1000 per month or so are taking their lives.

A New York Times article concluded that the extremely high prices of GM seeds and pesticides are causing farmers to make less money than ever.

India’s Agricultural Ministry believes that Monsanto is partly to blame for the increased suicide rates (125,000 since GM inception.) In 2012, a panel of scientists commissioned by India’s Supreme Court recommended a 10-year moratorium on field trials for all GM crops until further testing was done and stricter regulations created.

GMOs Harm Biodiversity

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Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is all about having a variety of lifeforms in various regions on earth. It is part of a delicate balance nature maintains and each aspect of biodiversity plays a key role in the circle of life. Unfortunately, agribusiness is putting a huge damper on biodiversity due to its obsession with monoculture farming.

Monoculture farming is when land is cleared of all of its native plants and instead a single crop is grown. This is especially bad with GM foods because not only are farmers only growing one crop, but the plants themselves are all genetically the same and from the same source. No diversity whatsoever. This makes our food all very susceptible to changes in climate, pests and disease. Not only are we eating GM foods that are harming health and plant species, but we are also cutting out insects like bees and butterflies which will have an impact on not only other plants but other areas of the food chain. To continue down the wildlife path, herbicides are known to cause birth defects and population declines in amphibians, birds, soil organisms and marine ecosystems.

Monsanto is a business and they do not seem to be putting the earth, people and biodiversity ahead of their own profits. By buying up seed farms everywhere, removing tried and tested seeds and replacing them with higher-priced GM seeds, they are killing biodiversity and gaining ownership over nature. Some argue that Monsanto is helping to fix the world’s food supply, but there is nothing to back that up at this point. Instead, it appears as though they are putting food at risk.

Corruptions & The Revolving Door Between Government & Biotech Workers

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The fact is, there has been a large amount of ridicule pushed towards GMOs touting their lack of safety. But these companies respond time and time again that they are perfectly safe and seem to have studies in hand to prove it. But on the other side of the coin there are a plethora of studies to prove their lack of safety as well.  Regardless of all the contradictory information out there, it would be fair for anyone on an unbiased playing field to feel suspicious over the fact that the former vice president of Monsanto, Michael Taylor, is now the Deputy Commissioner at the United States Food and Drug Administration. This also isn’t the first time Taylor has held positions at the USDA. He has been criticized a great deal for being in the “revolving door” of the public and private sector.

Conspiracy or not, is it not odd that he took the position? Was he doing so for his love and passion for food and safety? Or was he placed there to help protect his agribusiness friends? This wouldn’t be the first time the FDA has been caught performing corrupt actions. Things get even more sticky when you consider that, back in the ’90s, FDA scientists warned that gene-sliced foods were significantly different and could lead to “different risks” as compared to conventional foods. Interestingly these findings were never added to official policy released.

Distract from Healthy, Environmentally Friendly Technologies

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Monsanto is trying to convince the world that the future of food is lab designed versus the proven methods of natural growing. When you take into account aquaculture food production where food grows in the plenty and is supported by other aspects of nature, we can quickly see that we can grow enough food for the world. Although Monsanto is trying to make a case for GM foods being the answer to world hunger, most places that would need it don’t even want to eat GM foods. This pretty much says it all:  24 delegates from 18 African countries told the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, “We strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly nor economically beneficial to us. We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia, and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves.”

What are the answers for alleviating world hunger? To begin with, government subsidies used to grow GM crops could be used to grow good organic foods in Eco-friendly ways. These foods could be supplied to the local public or if need be shipped to countries at lower costs (due to subsidies) in order for them to have food. This model would encourage countries to help each other out as opposed to simply competing with one another. There are also a number of crops that currently grow well in harsh areas such as pearl millet, fonio and African rice.

We could also use creative tactics like grocery store rooftop gardens so produce can be grown local. Encourage greenhouses so foods that cannot grow year round can be grown and sold locally. Urban farming can take off and people would grow food in their own backyards. There are a number of ways we can bring real, local food back to our tables and to the tables of those who are in need.

What You Can Do

Plain a simple, vote with your dollar. When you spend money on GM foods or foods that contain GMOs you are sending the message that you support it. Instead buy organic foods or support local organic farmers. You can also begin growing your own food.

This information can also be spread to people so they become aware of the issues. The more we know, the more we can take action to make things change.

Sources

Listed throughout the article.

H/T

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‘Google Brain’ Implants Will Allow Access To All Information Instantaneously

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    AI technology is advancing at an extremely rapid rate. It will surpass human intelligence.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be wary of this technology and what it could potentially mean to the human species as we know it? Should we have a say in laws regarding the responsible use of AI?

As the lines between the use of technology and doing anything manually become increasingly blurred, the general public and policy makers don’t have time to consider the potential implications of too much technology, or more alarmingly, the merging of humans with AI. It’s like all of those great sci-fi movies are coming to life, right before our eyes. Some, especially those who are developing AI, are more optimistic, like Nikolas Kairinos, founder and CEO of Fountech.ai, who believes that this technology could improve our lives and completely change how we learn.

Who Needs School If Our Brains Are Computers Anyways?

During an interview with the Daily Star, Kairinos explained that he has been working on a game-changing AI to “personalize education” claiming “anyone can learn almost anything using AI.”

He believes that within the next 20 years our brainpower will be boosted with AI implants so you “won’t have to memorize anything.” Apparently, according to Kairinos, people won’t even have to bother typing any questions, as the moment the question comes to mind it will be answered via an AI implant. He believes this will result in the end of what he calls “parrot fashion” learning at schools.

While the current educational system could definitely use some work, should we be eliminating the process of learning altogether just because a chip can do it for us?

According to Fountech’s website: “For someone who doesn’t have an in-depth understanding of technology, AI may seem like an alien concept.”

“Yet, the basic crux of the term is simple – namely the ability of a computer or machine to think, learn and imitate intelligent human behavior.”

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“When it comes to AI in learning, we are only just scratching the surface… we shouldn’t think that tailored learning through AI is something that we won’t see for decades.”

Instant Artificial Learning, Should We Be Wary?

You know that famous movie that captivated the world, The Matrix? Well, just in case you’re not familiar with it, here is the synopsis:

Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans’ body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix.

Many of today’s popular researchers have claimed that The Matrix is actually more like a documentary than a movie as there is so much symbolism and so many metaphors embedded within the film that pertain to our current reality as we know it.

So, when we look at AI and how it is able to self-learn, shouldn’t we all at least be wary of it? There should be regulations on such technology before it’s too late… If it isn’t already. Sure, we can’t just assume that AI is innately evil or has bad intentions or plans to takeover humanity, but if it does surpasses natural human intelligence, how can we know what it will be capable of or what it could potentially try to do?

Even Tesla founder Elon Musk expressed his concerns over the rapid advancement of AI technology in a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

To Those Who Want The Latest & Greatest

I am aware that many people will brush off these concerns and say, you are ridiculous this will never happen, or have you been watching too many sci-fi movies? Or this is just the natural advancement of the human race, get with the times. Many consumers are always after the latest and greatest gadget, people marvel at the incredibly rapid development of new technology. And, yes! It absolutely has and will continue to benefit our lives in many ways. But what happens when it advances us?

I was working for a tech company a few years ago and was having a conversation with one of the founders who was telling me about the concept of this very thing–an implantable chip that will give instant access to all of the information in the world.

I said, “I will never get that.”

He replied, “So, what will you do when we are all sitting here having a super intelligent, advanced conversation and you have nothing to add?”

And this, my friends, is how they will get you!

Implementation of tech into our lives has evolved extremely rapidly–just look at our reliance on computers, then the Internet, and now smartphones. Next up is wearable tech including smart watches and fitbits, and then it will be implants. The merging of (wo)man with AI. These things happen so swiftly and are marketed to be huge advancements to us. We should at the very least be asking these important questions.

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Prime Minister Of Iceland Calls For Prioritizing “Well-Being” Of Citizens Over GDP

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Leaders from Iceland, Scotland and New Zealand join forces to prioritize a new agenda for the well-being of the citizens of these nations.

  • Reflect On:

    For decades, most developed nations of the world have been focused solely on GDP and economic growth, but what about the well-being of the citizens?

Prime Minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir is now urging governments to prioritize sustainability and family time over obsessing about economic growth — as most developed nations seem to do.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeion and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have teamed up with Iceland’s PM to promote an agenda focused on “well-being.” Jakobsdottir has called for “an alternative future based on well-being and inclusive growth.”

She feels that new social indicators are needed outside of the traditional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data.

It’s About Time

You’d think that the overall well-being of a nation, extreme regard to protecting the environment, and working towards global sustainability would be the top priorities for all nations of the Earth. However, for the most part, it is all about the economy: how can we support the economy, how can we grow the economy, how can we protect the economy? I love the following Cree Indian proverb, it fits nicely here:

“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

It’s about time someone started standing up for the people and the planet, and this stance is sure to turn some heads.

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 Prioritizing Mental Health

Back In August, Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland made a plea during a TED Talk for modern economies to consider mental health, childcare, parental leave and green energy.

  

“Iceland uses more antidepressants than neighboring countries,” she said. “We need to strengthen prevention [of depression], through sports and the arts.”

This is an amazing initiative put forth by leaders of these nations to do whatever it takes to support the citizens who are struggling with mental health disorders, particularly depression. They are able to see that the most important thing is not economic growth, because what difference does that make if so many people are unhappy?

She said the “well-being” initiative promoted by herself, Ms. Sturgeon and Ms. Ardern should not be seen as a gender-based backlash against populism.

“It’s very important to have all genders at the table – it affects the way you think, and then different decisions are made,” she told BBC.

Female Force?

It is interesting that the three members of this initiative are all women, and of course that fact alone will certainly turn some heads. However, this doesn’t take away from the legitimacy of their purposed agenda.

Perhaps the more nurturing side of women is what is bringing this all to the table, or just the knowledge that what we have been doing for so long is simply not working anymore. It’s time to prioritize what’s really important for each nation — the well-being of the citizens. Perhaps, if people are happier and feel more supported, they will be able to contribute more to their society, which in turn could very well increase GDP. Might as well give it a shot as we’ve got nothing left to lose at this point!

Now, let’s see if other nations’ leaders (Trump, Trudeau, ahem..) will follow suit and prioritize what’s really important.

Much Love

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‘Julian Assange Could Die in Prison Without Urgent Medical Care’ – More Than 60 Doctors Warn

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    More than 60 doctors have expressed their concern that Julian Assange may die in prison, and that he is in need of urgent care.

  • Reflect On:

    Never before have we seen the massive censorship of information, combine with the massive awakening of humanity. Our collective perception of the what's happening on our world

‘National Security’ has become an umbrella term to keep information ‘classified’ not truly for national security purposes, but rather to conceal information that threatens elitist agenda’s, be it corporate, political, or financial. Usually, they’re all intertwined. President Eisenhower warned us about the “military industrial complex” and the dangers it poses, after him John F. Kennedy warned us that “there is a very grave danger than an announced need for an increased need for security, will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of censorship and concealment.” Today, secrecy is out of hand, and it’s the backbone of un-just, immoral, and inhumane actions taken by not only the American empire and the Deep State, but by powerful global elitists as well.

This is exactly why Julian Assange is where he is now, because he was publishing secrets that had no justification for concealment, secrets that show how war, terrorism, and other actions by powerful people were undertaken for other reasons, and not those (reasons) that are commonly given in the form of mainstream media. One example would be the funding and arming and in some cases, creation of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda by agencies like the CIA in order to help destabilize countries in the Middle East so the United Stats could justify an intervention, supposedly to bring ‘democracy’ and ‘restore peace’ to those countries. This type of thing is well known, which is why current democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard introduced the ‘Stop Arming Terrorist Act,’  a proposed act that would stop the U.S. government from using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups who are allied with and supporting terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in their war to overthrow the Syrian government.

Julian Assange exposed nothing but lies and deception, and it’s truly a crime that he is not a free man, but this is the type of world we live in. A world where activists and journalists like Assange are silenced, a world where alternative independent media out lets like Collective Evolution are extremely censored and demonetized.

We are living in an ‘Orwellian’ type of time, where there is a ‘ministry of truth’ that claims to be ‘fact checking’ information when really, these organizations seem to simply be ridiculing credible information that is full of evidence and legitimate sources, simply for the purposes of, again, threatening powerful people.

Assange is a hero in this field, and those who make big leaps with regards to exposing such corruption are often vilified. Retired USAF lieutenant colonel Karen Kwiatkowski writes in an article posted at Lew Rockwell’s website that Julian Assange is receiving the same treatment as suspected terrorists while in captivity at “Her Majesty’s Prison Service” at Belmarsh, stating that he’s probably being tortured with psychotropic drugs.

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The FBI, Pentagon, and CIA are “interviewing” Assange. Kwiatkowski writes:

Interviewing is the wrong word.  I’d like to say doctoring him, because it would be more accurate, except that word implies some care for a positive outcome.  Chemical Gina has her hands in this one, and we are being told that Assange is being “treated” with 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, known as BZ. 

Not long ago, John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father, gave an interview to the Strategic Culture Foundation sharing the latest on Julian Assange and how he’s being treated, claiming that “they are murdering my son.” You can read that interview interview here.

Assange is a man who clearly knows a lot, and has information that probably goes well beyond what’s already been divulged by Wikileaks. The treatment of him and everything he is going through is horrific and heart-breaking, but not surprising. It’s truly jaw dropping and un-fathomable how such treatment and even such an arrest can in anyway be justified within the minds of anybody. And it goes to show how powerful people are capable of doing anything they want, no matter how immoral and illegal.

An article recently published in The Independent  written by Henry Vaughan states:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could die in prison without urgent medical care, according to an open letter signed by more than 60 doctors. The medics, from the UK, Australia, Europe and Sri Lanka express “serious concerns” about 48-year-old Assange’s fitness to stand trial in the letter addressed to Priti Patel, the home secretary.He is being held in Belmarsh prison, in south-east London, ahead of a hearing in February to fight extradition to the US, where he faces 18 charges, including conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer. Assange is accused of working with former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak hundreds of thousands of classified documents.The doctors are calling for Assange to be transferred to a university teaching hospital, where he can be assessed and treated by an expert medical team.

The letter, which has also been copied to shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, says: “From a medical point of view, on the evidence currently available, we have serious concerns about Mr Assange’s fitness to stand trial in February 2020. Most importantly, it is our opinion that Mr Assange requires urgent expert medical assessment of both his physical and psychological state of health. Any medical treatment indicated should be administered in a properly equipped and expertly staffed university teaching hospital (tertiary care). Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr Assange could die in prison. The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose.”

Doctors are warning if action isn’t taken that Julian Assange may actually die.

Below is a tweet from Australian journalist and BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker John Pilger, who made comments last month that shed some light on how Assange is being treated.

The Takeaway

What you read here is no surprise, for a long time Julian Assange was allowed no visitors, and now, it’s quite clear why. Those who have had access to visits have made it quite clear that he is in very poor health. It’s unbelievable how the powers that be can simply do as they please, illegally, with no consequence, and their power lies within the human population and in those who have been subjected to perception manipulation, believing that Julian Assange should actually be locked up and done away with.

A great quote by Edward Bernays, who was known as the father of public relations, comes to mind here:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. (source)

The ability for this powerful group to manipulate our minds is clearly fading, and Julian Assange has been a big part of that, but we still have a lot of work to do.

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