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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

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Awareness

Johnson & Johnson Found To Have Knowingly Allowed Asbestos In Their Baby Powder

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Johnson and Johnson have recently lost lawsuits for negligence in knowingly allowing carcinogenic substances in their talc-based hygiene products.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we starting to turn the page on an era where human health and safety are not the prime considerations in the manufacturing of consumer products?

We are starting to awaken to the fact that it seems to be the rule, and not the exception, that large Western corporations put profits above human health considerations. The only time they seem to give any regard to human health concerns is when their forecasts of potential lawsuits down the road would likely exceed the cost measures needed to ensure the safety of their product.

Johnson & Johnson is just one of a long line of corporate perpetrators who believed that covering up and lying about known health concerns would make better business sense than taking the time and resources to actually address those health concerns within their products.

Contaminated Baby Powder: The Height Of Indignity

One would think, regardless of an understanding that the bottom line is a priority for most private companies, that the health and safety of a nursing mother and her newborn child would be sacrosanct for any industry. The reality is that this is simply not the case, even though J&J could have mitigated this problem from the start.

Companies that mine talc are required to take extra steps to ensure the absence of asbestos in their talc. Instead, J&J allegedly went to great lengths to fake it.

Not only did the company know about the asbestos contamination, evidence suggests, but J&J also failed to warn its customers about the link between Baby Powder and cancer or replace its talc with a safer alternative. As a result, J&J guaranteed its customers’ exposure to asbestos.

And regardless of their size or numbers, asbestos fibers are lethal at any capacity. As the World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed repeatedly, there is no safe level of exposure. (source)

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The Testimony of Scientist James Webber

Baby Powder’s contamination with asbestos (a mineral that naturally occurs near talc) has long been the subject of lawsuits. But only in recent years has evidence begun to unravel J&J’s defense – that the company had no idea – and threatened its success in lawsuits to come.

In March, a California jury awarded $29 million to Terry Leavitt, a woman who said that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-powder-based products caused her terminal mesothelioma. Environmental scientist James Webber testified in her high-profile California trial and made these observations:

During several hours on the stand, Webber explained how he ran tests that showed “clear” evidence of asbestos contamination in the mines from which J&J sourced talc.

“The testing I have seen [shows] that it was present at least as early as 1971 and up through the late 1990s,” said Webber, who ran an asbestos laboratory in New York state.

Despite denying it publicly, J&J had observed this contamination in internal memos. Its notes dismissed the amount of asbestos in its talc as “but a trace,” Webber alleged. But that was just an optimistic interpretation of superficial testing, he said: the tests used methods too weak to detect microscopic asbestos fibers. Webber insisted the actual tests results revealed there could be millions of asbestos fibers per gram of talc.

And J&J’s inaccurate reports were allegedly only the tip of the iceberg. In some instances, Webber said, photos attached to J&J’s reports revealed that “they had been seeing it and not reporting it.”  (source)

And It’s Getting Worse

The $29 million verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, was the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate facing more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide. And things may be getting even worse for J&J, according to ZeroHedge:

Johnson & Johnson shares are down over 5% after Bloomberg reports that, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether Johnson & Johnson lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder…

Now, a grand jury in Washington is examining documents related to what company officials knew about any carcinogens in their products, the people said.

The Takeaway

It seems as though corporations have long been willing to take the calculated risk of short-cuts and denials instead of ensuring that their products are safe for public use. My suspicion is that a part of our collective awakening process will be issuing in a new business paradigm in which human health and safety become paramount.

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Awareness

Prescription Infant Formulas Found To Be Contaminated With Aluminum

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple brands of prescription infant formula were found to contain high levels of aluminum.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be questioning the quality of products that come from pharmaceutical production? Do we veer away from natural methods of raising children more than we should? At what cost?

You may not think aluminum is a big deal, but it is. For anybody who has looked into aluminum toxicology, it’s quite clear and apparent that it has no place inside of any living biological organism. Putting it simply, it wreaks havoc on our biology. High amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, with experts in the field believing that aluminum brain accumulation may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s also been discovered within the brains of MS patients, and some of the highest aluminum content ever recorded in brain tissue has also been discovered in people with autism. Aluminum is associated with several diseases. But an adult body can do a great job of flushing out aluminum.

Despite the fact that aluminum has no place within earth’s biota, it’s still present in many of our medications, our food, and even in the water that we drink due to contamination since the industrial revolution. Aluminum inside the body is a new phenomenon and still understudied. Again, there is a threshold, and aluminum that is injected via vaccines doesn’t exit the body–there is strong evidence that it remains inside the body and ends up in distant organs and eventually inside of the brain. If you want to access more studies on that topic, you can read this article I published that provides them and goes into more detail. You can also watch this interview with Christopher Exley, where he also points to that fact.

A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shown that multiple popular infant prescriptions are contaminated with aluminum. You may be asking how much aluminum, but the authors make it a point to stress that there are no safe amounts of aluminum levels that can be inside of a human body, let alone a newborn baby. That being said, the amounts found are listed within the abstract of the study:

Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium.

Another very important point made right off the bat by the authors:

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Human exposure to aluminium is a serious health concern. Aluminium exposure in infants is understandably a burgeoning issue. While infant exposure to aluminium continues to be documented, its consequences, immediate and in the future, have received only scant attention and research is required to understand the biological availability of aluminium through formula feeding. For example, how much aluminium is absorbed across the neonate gut and its subsequent fate, including excretion.

There is already too much aluminium in infant formulas and herein we have measured its content in a large number of prescription formulas, products which are fed to vulnerable infants in their first months of life. Many of these products are heavily contaminated with aluminium.

As for the specific infant formulas, you can refer to the study. The researchers obtained 24 prescription infant formulas via the Paediatric Clinic of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, United Kingdom. The ready-to-drink and powdered products were new, ready-to-be used and unopened samples. These formulas are for babies with some sort of growth restriction, like for preterm infants or infants who have poor weight gain. There were also powdered formulas for allergies and intolerances and powdered formulas with additional amino acids.

The authors contacted each manufacturer and expressed that they denied knowing that there was any aluminum in their products, which means it’s still a mystery as to their source. The authors hypothesize on a number of ways that aluminum could be entering into the formulas.

In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that:

Where possible, breast milk feeding should be prioritised, as the aluminium content of breast milk is invariably an order of magnitude lower than in formula feeds. Where infant formulas are the only source of nutrition for many infants in their first weeks and months of life, aluminium ingested in formula feeds will be the major contributor to their body burden of aluminium. The last thing that vulnerable infants fed specialised formulas for their specific nutritional/medicinal need is additional aluminium in their diet.

Detoxing

There is a lot of information out there on how a person can detox from aluminum and other heavy metals. There are multiple studies, and based on what I’ve looked into, water with high amounts of Silica are effective in draining aluminum out of your body and brain. Herbs like cilantro and substances like chlorella and spirulina are also great for removing some metals. The information is out there, so be sure to do your research.

The Takeaway

It’s concerning to think about what these corporations are doing. Again, aluminum should hold no place in our society, it should’ve remained well below our surface as part of the Earth’s crust for a reason. It wasn’t until humans began digging it out and using it for a number of things, irresponsibly I might add, that we started to see the health implications which still go largely ignored by the medical community.

In fact, heavy metal accumulation and detoxification of aluminum haven’t been addressed at all, which is odd given the fact that heavy metal accumulation is linked to a variety of diseases.

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Awareness

9 Studies You Should Be Aware of Before Trying The Ketogenic Diet

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Ketogenic diet is a popular fad diet that promotes quick weight loss and symptom management for bodies that are dealing with poor lymph, kidney and digestion health.

  • Reflect On:

    Based on the studies that are emerging, is our desire for quick weight loss more important than living a long and healthy life? Are we learning about these diets primarily through those with strong ties to upholding these diets?

The ketogenic diet has popped up as a popular approach to weight loss in the last few years. Is it successful at that? Sure, it is. I’ve experimented with the diet myself years ago when I was looking to lose some belly fat. I was entering into ketosis in a different way than most, as I was not eating any animal products, but it does in fact work.

But like any animal product based diet, what are the consequences of eating so much food that does not truly jive with our human bodies? Not only that, is fast weight loss more important than keeping our morality rate down?

In the last few years, we’ve reported a lot on the Keto diet and the various ways it can be done. We have explored the studies, the results and in some ways, we supported it. But lately, I have been thinking about how supporting this could actually be encouraging people to jump into these diets, including the paleo diet, when in reality these diets increase mortality rates and are not healthy for the human body.

It became a thought in the back of my mind, I have always strived to put the best information out that I can through this platform to promote good health. And so we must look at that, even if that means upsetting some people who currently are on paleo or keto and are seeing some good weight loss or symptom management. The truth is, like the many people I’ve seen crash on these diets after a few years, I want people to know the truth of what’s going on out there. And how we can get beyond diets that symptom manage, and instead get onto diets that truly heal.

Anytime we have fad diets, which paleo and keto are, we see products and bias pop up all over the place to support the continuation of these trends. It becomes less about health and more about upholding an identity or a business.

So as I recently looked into what experts are saying about these diets, I came upon two important videos I think everyone should check out. Both have been embedded below. Remember, it’s not that I care what you choose in your own life, or that I feel there is a right or wrong, it’s that I believe we should be informed and I wish to use this platform to promote as best a message as I can.

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The Videos

Thanks to Plant-Based News for creating such a good channel and resource of information on YouTube.

In this video, several plant-based health experts talk through 9 nutrition studies that would be of interest to low carb keto diet proponents. To read the 9 studies, click here.

Next up, Dr. Kim Williams (past President of the American College of Cardiology) shares his insights about the ketogenic.

Related Articles

Diabetic Shares Why He Quit ‘The Ketogenic Diet’

Doctor Explains Why She Never Recommends The ‘Ketogenic Diet’

The Biggest Misconception About The ‘Ketogenic Diet’…You Don’t Actually Have To Follow It

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