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Monsanto’s Dirty Dozen: The 12 Most Awful Products Made By Monsanto

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When it comes to pretty well every health-related alternative media platform, the agricultural mega-giant Monsanto is more than a recurring subject. On Collective Evolution alone you’ll find over nine pages worth of articles at least loosely addressing the company, simply by typing “Monsanto” into our embedded search.

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The reason this multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation has become such a hot topic is more than well-documented by this point. Indeed, an entire global protest, the March Against Monsanto, has been founded to fight the stance and actions taken by this company. This article, however, aims to call attention to some of the most harmful products that Monsanto has had at least a part in bringing to market, some of which they still stand by to this day.

Originally put together by GMO Awareness, here are the 12 most awful products made by Monsanto:

1. Saccharin

What is it? – Plain and simple, saccharin is an artificial sweetener. Around since the 1800s, saccharin did not become widely popular as an alternative to sugar until the 20th century, thanks in large part to the efforts of Monsanto, which intendeded to produce saccharin for Coca-Cola. (1)(2)

Why is it bad? – Initially praised for its ability to provide sweetness without the calories, saccharin fell under fire in the 1970s when a study revealed that it caused cancer in test rats and mice — leading it to be listed on the NIH’s carcinogen list. However, after mounting pressures, the study was disregarded as flawed in its conclusions, the sweetener was removed from the list, and can to this day be found in a lot of what we consume. (1)

Where is it being used? – Drinks, candies, cookies, medicines, gum, fruit spreads, toothpaste, and more.

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2. PCBs

What is it? – PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) belong to a family of manmade organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons. They were first used by Monsanto in the 1920s to produce coolant fluids for widely used electric transformers, capacitors, and electric motors. They were domestically manufactured from 1929 to 1979, at which point they were banned. (1)(3)

Why is it bad? – PCBs have been linked to causing cancer as well as contributing to a number of adverse health effects on the human immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems. (3)

Where is it being used? – Banned since 1979, PCBs are no longer being used, but their damage continues to persist, as a 2011 study showed that they are still being found in the blood of pregnant women. (1) Prior to the ban PCBs were found in widely used items such as, but not limited to: cable insulation, caulking, plastics, adhesives, and oil-based paints. (3)

3. Polystyrene

What is it? – Still widely used to this day, polystyrene is a synthetic polymer. Polystyrene production became a focus of Monsanto in 1941. (1)

Why is it bad? – Polystyrene is non-biodegradable and is responsible for the most total hazardous waste worldwide. Chronic exposure to it has also been tied to depression, headaches, fatigue, and weakness. (4)

Where is it being used? – Literally everywhere, but most commonly in food packaging, where it is known as styrofoam. It has solidified its place in the market as being more durable than paper products and more cost efficient than plastic (which isn’t much better for the environment).

styro

4. Nuclear Weapons

I don’t think these need much of an explanation as to what they are, why they are bad, or where they are being used, but it is interesting to look at Monsanto’s involvement. Shortly after they acquired Thomas & Hochwalt Laboratories, Monsanto developed a department that played a key role in the Manhattan project from 1943 to 1945, responsible for producing the first atomic bombs for the Second World War. (1)

5. DDT

What is it? –  DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was a commonly used pesticide designed to combat malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Monsanto just happened to be one of the first manufacturers of the insecticide that would later fall under heavy scrutiny. (1)(6)

Why is it bad? – Banned in 1972, DDT has been linked to damaging the liver, reducing reproductive success, and causing temporary damages to the nervous system, amongst other dangers. (6)

Where is it being used? – Unfortunately DDT can often take more than 15 years to break down and is still being found in some soils and many waterways. Our exposure to it would more than likely come through consuming contaminated fish and crops, or through atmospheric deposition. (6)

6. Dioxin

What is it? – Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that some see as amongst the most toxic chemicals known to science. Monsanto found themselves involved in 1945 when they began promoting the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture. (1)(7)

Why is it bad? – Dioxins are most notably dangerous for their ability to accumulate in the food chain, and an EPA report once confirmed dioxins as a cancer hazard to humans. (7)

Where is it being used? – Rather than used, dioxins are primarily being found in meat and dairy products due to how integrated they have become within the food chain. (7)

7. Agent Orange

What is it? – A herbicide/defoliant primarily used as a form of chemical warfare during the Vietnam War. Monsanto conveniently happened to be one of the two major manufacturers of the lethal weapon. (1)

Why is it bad? – Agent Orange is said to be responsible for over 400,000 deaths and 500,000 birth defects, with over a million suffering from health problems of some kind. Agent Orange’s issue lay in its dioxin contamination — something that Monsanto apparently knew about when it sold it to the U.S. government for use in war. (1)(8)

Where is it being used? – The implications of Agent Orange in Vietnam are still being felt, with a formal clean-up effort not beginning until 2012. A shocking side note is that some chemicals found in Agent Orange can still be found in certain herbicides being used today. (1)

8. Petroleum-Based Fertilizers

What is it? – As the name suggests, petroleum-based fertilizers are a type of material applied to soils or plant tissues to aid in their development. Monsanto got themselves involved in 1955 after purchasing a major oil refinery. (1)

Why is it bad? – Petroleum-based fertilizers have been known to destroy beneficial soil micro-organisms. This destruction eventually sterilizes the soil, making it fully dependent on an external stimulant to produce. (1)

Where is it being used? – In farms across the globe, since they are noted to give farmers a greater degree of control of what they grow and how it turns out. (9)

9. RoundUp

What is it?RoundUp herbicide, also known as Glyphosate (a major component of Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide), is the most widely used herbicide around the world. (10) It was in 1970 that Monsanto founded their agricultural chemicals division with RoundUp being their prized herbicide. (1)

Why is it bad? – Glyphosate has been linked to cancer in several studies due to its properties as a potential endocrine disruptor — chemicals that can interfere with mammalian hormonal systems. These disruptors can cause development disorders, birth defects, and cancerous tumours. (10)

Where is it being used? – RoundUp is approved and still widely used today to destroy and control weeds. It can be found in our groundwater, soil, streams, and even in the air. (1)(10)

10. Aspartame

What is it? – Like saccharin, aspartame is another artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in food and drinks. Monsanto managed to get themselves involved in 1985 when they acquired the primary company responsible for aspartame’s manufacture. (1)(11)

Why is it bad? – Rather than delve into this I highly suggest you check out any of the following articles related to aspartame that we have already released:

  1. Aspartame: The Bitter Truth Behind This Toxic Sweetener
  2. The Shocking Story of How Aspartame Became Legal
  3. Aspartame Damages The Brain At Any Dose

Where is it being used? –  Aspartame is still widely used and can be found in diet sodas, yogurts, gum, sauces, drink powders, cereals, and much more. (12)

11. Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)

What is it? – Developed by Monsanto, rBGH is a genetically modified hormone that is injected into dairy cows to produce more milk. (1)

Why is it bad? – By artificially increasing milk production, rBGH also raises the levels of pus, antibiotic residues, and a cancer accelerating hormone called IGF-1. When consumed by humans it continues to act as a cancer accelerator and has been linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancer. (1)(13)

Where is it being used? – rBGH is still being used to this day and is normally injected into dairy cows every other week. (13)

12. GMOs

What is it? – This certainly requires no explanation and it’s widely known that Monsanto lies at the foundation of these products. In the early 1990s, Monsanto began their initiatives that still continue to this day under the misguided assertion that they help “feed the world.”

Why is it bad? – As I did with aspartame, I will give you a series of articles to look at rather than delve into the depths of what make GMOs bad:

  1. 5 Myths That GMO Companies Want You To Believe
  2. 10 Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Can Be Harmful To Human Health
  3. New Study Links GMOs To Cancer, Liver/Kidney Damage & Severe Hormonal Disruption

Where is it being used? – GMOs are prevalent in many crops but most notably in sugar beets, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, squash, golden rice, soybeans, salmon, and animal feeds.

SOURCES:

(1) http://gmo-awareness.com/2011/05/12/monsanto-dirty-dozen/
(2)http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/reality-check-the-raw-truth-about-saccharin/article18871937/
(3) http://www.epa.gov/wastes/hazard/tsd/pcbs/about.htm
(4) http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/How_Styrofoam_is_Bad_for_the_Environment
(5) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/362098/Manhattan-Project
(6) http://www.epa.gov/pbt/pubs/ddt.htm
(7) http://www.ejnet.org/dioxin/
(8) http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/
(9) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-fertilizers-harm-earth/
(10)http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/03/04/roundup-herbicide-found-in-75-percent-of-air-rainfall-test-samples/
(11) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/16/aspartame-diet-soda.aspx
(12) http://www.naturalnews.com/035141_aspartame_worst_sources_products.html#
(13) http://www.ejnet.org/bgh/nogood.html

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues

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Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

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Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

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Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?

The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.

Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.

The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.

The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.

Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

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It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.

Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?

According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.

In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.

The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”

Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”

Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”

According to the WHO,

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much?

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
  • break up long periods of sitting with light activity

What is moderate aerobic activity?

  • Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball

What counts as vigorous activity?

  • Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts

What activities strengthen muscles?

  • lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?

  • circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.

Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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