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20 Million Americans Likely Infected With Retrovirus At The Root Of Multiple Chronic Diseases

20 million American’s are likely harbouring a retrovirus that can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and parkinson’s disease.

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*The information in this article comes from Dr. Judy Mikovtis and Kent Heckenlively’s book, Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases. For study sources and references, please refer to the book for more detailed information.* 

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On July 22, 2009, a special meeting was held with twenty-four leading scientists at the National Institutes of Health to discuss early findings that a newly discovered retrovirus was linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), prostate cancer, lymphoma, and eventually neurodevelopmental disorders in children.  

Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, was one of the presenters at the meeting. For thirty years, Mikovits had built a name for herself in cancer and chronic disease research — she had extensive knowledge of immunology, natural products chemistry, epigenetics, virology, and drug development, she was a long-time member of the National Cancer Institute, collaborating with one of the founding fathers of human retrovirology, Dr. Frank Ruscetti, and she was Research Director at the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), a chronic fatigue syndrome research organization and clinic in Reno, Nevada.

Mikovits’s passion for chronic disease research began early in life, after watching both her grandfather and stepfather succumb to the perils of cancer. This personal connection to chronic disease would later fuel her with a vigorous empathy to help others suffering from chronic disease.

She worked closely with patients suffering from the mysterious and debilitating symptoms of CFS, treating them like family in most cases and quickly earning herself a well-respected name within the chronic disease communities. She was their knight in shining armour, being one of the few scientists who cared enough to believe, contrary to what most doctors were saying, that their symptoms were not in fact psychosomatic.

Since its initial emergence in medical literature in the mid 20th century, CFS was for many years a conundrum, shrugged off as a “yuppie flu” or “hysterical type A women,” brought about by stress or other emotional factors. But the patients suffering from CFS did not agree with their diagnosis. They knew, from the extent of their excruciating pain and bedridden state, that something else was at play, a knowing that Mikovits was on to as well. 

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Dr. Judy Mikovits faced persecution from the science community after her discovery that millions of people around the world are infected with a retrovirus causing havoc on our health.

Dr. Judy Mikovits faced persecution from the science community after her discovery that millions of people around the world are infected with a retrovirus causing havoc on our health.

In her presentation at the 2009 meeting, Mikovits revealed her findings from an article published (and later retracted) in the journal Science, which showed that a recently discovered retrovirus, XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus related virus), had been found in 67% of CFS patients and at 3.75% in healthy patients.

Mikovits and her research team claimed that 6% of Americans were harbouring this retrovirus, which was appearing in a very high percentage of people with diseases such as prostate cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, autism, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, treatment resistant Lyme’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease. 

If Mikovits’s findings held true, it would mean that a substantial portion of the population were harbouring a retrovirus that was secretly wrecking havoc on their bodies. It meant that the millions of people diagnosed with the “psychological” disease CFS were in fact suffering from a disease similar to HIV/AIDS. Even more troublesome, however, was the possibility that this widespread retrovirus was the culprit at the root of today’s most common chronic illnesses.

The next pressing question, then, was how did so many people become infected with this retrovirus? The answer, to Mikovtis’s dismay, would ignite a fire among the scientific community that would change the course of her career forever.

How Did XMRV Get Introduced To The Public?

In the early 20th century, many research labs were deep into cancer and HIV/AIDS research. Some of these facilities also seconded as vaccine manufacturing labs, using genetically engineered mice as their study subjects. The mice were engineered to have immune deficiencies, meaning that they were susceptible to certain diseases when exposed to specific pathogens and toxins.

When researchers injected the GE mice with human viruses in order to attenuate or weaken the virus strain, they did not know that mouse viruses posed a threat to humans.mouse

Scientists didn’t realize that the way they managed their mouse colonies and managed the production of their human cell lines created conditions in laboratories where viruses could unexpectedly mutate and recombine with one another. Even more troublesome was the fact that these retroviruses could easily reproduce and travel through the air.

Retroviruses that were in mice were being released into the air and travelling through their facilities to other labs where human cell lines were being cultivated. Once there, they were able to infect human cultures. They became part of the cells and part of the products that were made from the activity of the cell lines, such as the antigens used in vaccines.

This meant that for decades, vaccines contaminated with mutated viruses were being injected into the greater population, causing a whack load of life threatening ailments.

Retroviruses In Humans – Russian Roulette For Disease

Retroviruses are stealthy creatures, and their presence in the body does not always cause disease. Sometimes they can stay dormant for a person’s entire lifetime.

Other times, though, they are activated through a perfect storm of events, such as when there are co-infections, when there is severe shock or trauma, when hormones are dysregulated, when there are genetically modified organisms and glyphosate in the diet, when there are pesticides and other toxic substances in food and the environment, and when there are genetic susceptibilities.

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If some or all of these conditions occur together, then the immune system will be weakened to the point where the perfect storm occurs and chronic inflammation develops into chronic disease.

*See Dr. Mikovits’s personal powerpoint presentation on retroviruses and chronic disease HERE.*

Mikovits Drops Data Bombshells

At an international workshop on the XMRV retrovirus, held in September of 2010, Dr. Mikovits and a group of other scientists presented valuable research involving rhesus macaque monkeys that were exposed to XMRV. It showed that the XMRV retrovirus quickly disappeared from the bloodstream after exposure — presumably going into tissue.

The virus would reappear in the blood after the immune system was activated, showcasing how the XMRV virus mimicked the behaviour of HIV. The study Mikovits presented used bolus peptides that mimicked a vaccination, provoking the virus and causing it to replicate to detectable levels.

Source: Plague (book)

Source: Plague (book)

The next study Mikovits looked at involved analyzing the blood of 37 parents and 29 children across 11 different states. 17 children had autism, a pair of twins had Niemann-Pick Type C (a neurodegenerative disorder), and 10 children were healthy siblings. XMRV was detected in 55% of the people in the study. The age range of the infected children was 2 to 18 years. 17 of the children (including the twins) were positive for XMRV (58%) and 20 of the 37 parents (54%) were positive for XMRV. 14 of 17 autistic children were positive for XMRV (82%). They noted that autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ME/CFS, and childhood neuroimmune disorders share common clinical features.

The study revealed how children harbouring an undetected retrovirus in their immune cells could have had the virus activated by vaccination or even by a simple fever, causing inflammation of the brain and leading to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

Mikovits’s colleagues found that 6.8% of a healthy control population showed evidence of infection by a wider group of murine leukemia viruses, meaning that eleven to twenty-one million individuals in the United States were potentially infected by a group of related viruses that came from mice. America wasn’t alone either, as Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, indicated that 5% of control samples taken from the London Blood Bank were positive for XMRV.

Mikovits’s findings were both groundbreaking and urgent, and after so many years of hard work, she was excited to finally have some answers for her friends and patients. What Mikovits did not foresee coming, however, was a crusade by the science establishment to take her down.

Science Community Refutes Mikovits’s Work

Following Mikovits’s presentation at the international workshop, the National Institutes of Health mandated a multi-center study that would be directed by Dr. Ian Lipkin, known among the science community as the “World’s Most Celebrated Virus Hunter.”

Dr. Ian Lipkin

Dr. Ian Lipkin

But the study contained a few significant flaws — it left out the patient population most likely infected with the retroviruses — patients with evidence of infection with HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, Treponema pallidium (syphilis), B burgdorferi (the Lyme disease spirochete), medical or psychiatric illnesses associated with fatigue, abnormal serum characteristics, and thyroid disease.

Due to the latter, the study found no association with chronic disease, but the Lipkin center did confirm that 6% of the U.S. population is carrying retrovirus infections. The study confirmed the findings from more than two decades of research, which consistently presented evidence of retroviruses in 4-6% of the population, 20 million Americans alone.

Of course, the study did not want to find an association between the virus and disease, as that would mean admitting that the system designed to protect the population did the opposite, creating millions of sick patients, so they omitted the appropriate patient population. “It would be like trying to detect HIV in the 80s and omitting gay men and IV drug users,” Mikovits told CE.

Mikovits’s Career Destroyed

Amid the backlash from the science community about Mikovits’s work, 2011 would become hurricane for the rogue scientist.

"Plague" by Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, and Kent Heckenlively.

The book Plague, by Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, and Kent Heckenlively.

During the Fall of 2011, when it was realized that these MLV related retroviruses aerosolized and easily spread through laboratories, the head of the WPI institute that housed Mikovits’s research asked her to approve fraudulent expenditures of federal research monies from her grant to the diagnostic company RED Labs/VIDx, co-owned by the Whittemores and Vincent Lombardi. Mikovits took pride in her professional integrity, and the request by the WPI came as a shock.

This all happened at the same time Mikovits discovered that a retrovirus test created by Lombardi was producing inaccurate results. When Mikovits spoke out about the WPI’s deception, she was immediately fired for insolence and insubordination. “Apparently it was rude to refuse to misappropriate federal funds,” Mikovits said.

Six weeks later, Mikovits was falsely arrested and jailed for five days following her refusal to give up her private email notes to the WPI or sign a confession stating that her data on gammaretroviruses was false. In fact, Mikovits said that her freedom was ransomed for samples in the Lipkin study, an offer which Lipkin refused. Mikovits’s email contained her most recent retrovirus research, along with the names and addresses of all her research subjects. Her email contained proof of the existence of gammaretroviruses and their connection with ME/CFS that no one could deny, so Mikovits felt it was her ethical duty to withhold her private emails and would never sign such a confession.

Following her false arrest and imprisonment as a fugitive from justice, a fabricated mugshot was publicized in the journal Science right before the editors of the journal formally retracted her study. On top of the public humiliation, Mikovits was held under fabricated criminal charges dismissed without prejudice, rendering her silent under threat of incarceration. Mikovits says that her notes are still being held under a permanent injunction that prevents even her lawyers from seeing evidence. In what seemed like an instant, Mikovits’s thirty-five year career was shattered.

Since then, Mikovits has been unable to gather grant money to pursue further research. But while the crusade against her might have damaged her both professionally and financially, her drive to get the word out about her research is unruffled. After her gag order was lifted, Mikovits went straight to paper to tell her story. In 2014, Mikovits and colleague Kent Heckenlively released the book Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseaseswhich would rightfully tell her story in detail from beginning to end. 

The book gives readers an in-depth look into the inner politics of high-level science, exposing the often violated ethics of truth and the self-serving egos of the science community’s most well-respected names. Beyond all of that, though, the book is a story of one woman’s compassionate heart and her refusal to cower down to a long-established system built around fear and intimidation:

I won’t ever give up. There are a lot of doctors around the world who are trusting us. They have seen the same things themselves and who are energized by our book and by the revelations [that have happened] since. We will keep on addressing the science.

Today, Mikovits is continuing to help those in need, working along side the Institute of Pure and Applied knowledge, a public charity research institute dedicated to the reduction of human pain & suffering through non-bias knowledge. Mikovits says she is just one of many scientists and doctors who are starting to speak out about fraudulent science and deception within the scientific institutions, something Mikovits says is needed more than ever if we want to see change.

For anyone interested in learning more about the role of retroviruses and chronic disease, be sure to check out Dr. Judy Mikovits and Kent Heckenlively’s book, Plague

Have you read Plague? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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The Medical Journals’ Sell-Out—Getting Paid to Play

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[Note: This is Part IX in a series of articles adapted from the second Children’s Health Defense eBook: Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health. The first eBook, The Sickest Generation: The Facts Behind the Children’s Health Crisis and Why It Needs to End, described how children’s health began to worsen dramatically in the late 1980s following fateful changes in the childhood vaccine schedule.]

The vaccine industry and its government and scientific partners routinely block meaningful science and fabricate misleading studies about vaccines. They could not do so, however, without having enticed medical journals into a mutually beneficial bargain. Pharmaceutical companies supply journals with needed income, and in return, journals play a key role in suppressing studies that raise critical questions about vaccine risks—which would endanger profits.

Journals are willing to accept even the most highly misleading advertisements. The FDA has flagged numerous instances of advertising violations, including ads that overstated a drug’s effectiveness or minimized its risks.

An exclusive and dependent relationship

Advertising is one of the most obviously beneficial ways that medical journals’ “exclusive and dependent relationship” with the pharmaceutical industry plays out. According to a 2006 analysis in PLOS Medicinedrugs and medical devices are the only products for which medical journals accept advertisements. Studies show that journal advertising generates “the highest return on investment of all promotional strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies.” The pharmaceutical industry puts a particularly “high value on advertising its products in print journals” because journals reach doctors—the “gatekeeper between drug companies and patients.” Almost nine in ten drug advertising dollars are directed at physicians.

In the U.S. in 2012, drug companies spent $24 billion marketing to physicians, with only $3 billion spent on direct-to-consumer advertising. By 2015, however, consumer-targeted advertising had jumped to $5.2 billion, a 60% increase that has reaped bountiful rewards. In 2015, Pfizer’s Prevnar-13 vaccine was the nation’s eighth most heavily advertised drug; after the launch of the intensive advertising campaign, Prevnar “awareness” increased by over 1,500% in eight months, and “44% of targeted consumers were talking to their physicians about getting vaccinated specifically with Prevnar.” Slick ad campaigns have also helped boost uptake of “unpopular” vaccines like Gardasil.

Advertising is such an established part of journals’ modus operandi that high-end journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) boldly invite medical marketers to “make NEJM the cornerstone of their advertising programs,” promising “no greater assurance that your ad will be seen, read, and acted upon.” In addition, medical journals benefit from pharmaceutical companies’ bulk purchases of thousands of journal reprints and industry’s sponsorship of journal subscriptions and journal supplements.

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In 2003, an editor at The BMJ wrote about the numerous ways in which drug company advertising can bias medical journals (and the practice of medicine)—all of which still hold true today. For example:

  • Advertising monies enable prestigious journals to get thousands of copies into doctors’ hands for free, which “almost certainly” goes on to affect prescribing.
  • Journals are willing to accept even the most highly misleading advertisements. The FDA has flagged numerous instances of advertising violations, including ads that overstated a drug’s effectiveness or minimized its risks.
  • Journals will guarantee favorable editorial mentions of a product in order to earn a company’s advertising dollars.
  • Journals can earn substantial fees for publishing supplements even when they are written by “paid industry hacks”—and the more favorable the supplement content is to the company that is funding it, the bigger the profit for the journal.

Discussing clinical trials, the BMJ editor added: “Major trials are very good for journals in that doctors around the world want to see them and so are more likely to subscribe to journals that publish them. Such trials also create lots of publicity, and journals like publicity. Finally, companies purchase large numbers of reprints of these trials…and the profit margin to the publisher is huge. These reprints are then used to market the drugs to doctors, and the journal’s name on the reprint is a vital part of that sell.”

… however, even these poor-quality studies—when funded by the pharmaceutical industry—got far more attention than equivalent studies not funded by industry.

Industry-funded bias

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), nearly three-fourths of all funding for clinical trials in the U.S.—presumably including vaccine trials—came from corporate sponsors as of the early 2000s. The pharmaceutical industry’s funding of studies (and investigators) is a factor that helps determine which studies get published, and where. As a Johns Hopkins University researcher has acknowledged, funding can lead to bias—and while the potential exists for governmental or departmental funding to produce bias, “the worst source of bias is industry-funded.”

In 2009, researchers published a systematic review of several hundred influenza vaccine trials. Noting “growing doubts about the validity of the scientific evidence underpinning [influenza vaccine] policy recommendations,” the authors showed that the vaccine-favorable studies were “of significantly lower methodological quality”; however, even these poor-quality studies—when funded by the pharmaceutical industry—got far more attention than equivalent studies not funded by industry. The authors commented:

[Studies] sponsored by industry had greater visibility as they were more likely to be published by high impact factor journals and were likely to be given higher prominence by the international scientific and lay media, despite their apparent equivalent methodological quality and size compared with studies with other funders.

In their discussion, the authors also described how the industry’s vast resources enable lavish and strategic dissemination of favorable results. For example, companies often distribute “expensively bound” abstracts and reprints (translated into various languages) to “decision makers, their advisors, and local researchers,” while also systematically plugging their studies at symposia and conferences.

The World Health Organization’s standards describe reporting of clinical trial results as a “scientific, ethical, and moral responsibility.” However, it appears that as many as half of all clinical trial results go unreported—particularly when their results are negative. A European official involved in drug assessment has described the problem as “widespread,” citing as an example GSK’s suppression of results from four clinical trials for an anti-anxiety drug when those results showed a possible increased risk of suicide in children and adolescents. Experts warn that “unreported studies leave an incomplete and potentially misleading picture of the risks and benefits of treatments.”

Many vaccine studies flagrantly illustrate biases and selective reporting that produce skewed write-ups that are more marketing than science.

Debased and biased results

The “significant association between funding sources and pro-industry conclusions” can play out in many different ways, notably through methodological bias and debasement of study designs and analytic strategies. Bias may be present in the form of inadequate sample sizes, short follow-up periods, inappropriate placebos or comparisons, use of improper surrogate endpoints, unsuitable statistical analyses or “misleading presentation of data.”

Occasionally, high-level journal insiders blow the whistle on the corruption of published science. In a widely circulated quote, Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of NEJM, acknowledged that “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.” Dr. Angell added that she “[took] no pleasure in this conclusion, which [she] reached slowly and reluctantly” over two decades at the prestigious journal.

Many vaccine studies flagrantly illustrate biases and selective reporting that produce skewed write-ups that are more marketing than science. In formulaic articles that medical journals are only too happy to publish, the conclusion is almost always the same, no matter the vaccine: “We did not identify any new or unexpected safety concerns.” As an example of the use of inappropriate statistical techniques to exaggerate vaccine benefits, an influenza vaccine study reported a “69% efficacy rate” even though the vaccine failed “nearly all who [took] it.” As explained by Dr. David Brownstein, the study’s authors used a technique called relative risk analysis to derive their 69% statistic because it can make “a poorly performing drug or therapy look better than it actually is.” However, the absolute risk difference between the vaccine and the placebo group was 2.27%, meaning that the vaccine “was nearly 98% ineffective in preventing the flu.”

… the reviewers had done an incomplete job and had ignored important evidence of bias.

Trusted evidence?

In 2018, the Cochrane Collaboration—which bills its systematic reviews as the international gold standard for high-quality, “trusted” evidence—furnished conclusions about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that clearly signaled industry bias. In May of that year, Cochrane’s highly favorable review improbably declared the vaccine to have no increased risk of serious adverse effects and judged deaths observed in HPV studies “not to be related to the vaccine.” Cochrane claims to be free of conflicts of interest, but its roster of funders includes national governmental bodies and international organizations pushing for HPV vaccine mandates as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—both of which are staunch funders and supporters of HPV vaccination. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s president is a former top CDC official who served as acting CDC director during the H1N1 “false pandemic” in 2009 that ensured millions in windfall profits for vaccine manufacturers.

Two months after publication of Cochrane’s HPV review, researchers affiliated with the Nordic Cochrane Centre (one of Cochrane’s member centers) published an exhaustive critique, declaring that the reviewers had done an incomplete job and had “ignored important evidence of bias.” The critics itemized numerous methodological and ethical missteps on the part of the Cochrane reviewers, including failure to count nearly half of the eligible HPV vaccine trials, incomplete assessment of serious and systemic adverse events and failure to note that many of the reviewed studies were industry-funded. They also upbraided the Cochrane reviewers for not paying attention to key design flaws in the original clinical trials, including the failure to use true placebos and the use of surrogate outcomes for cervical cancer.

In response to the criticisms, the editor-in-chief of the Cochrane Library initially stated that a team of editors would investigate the claims “as a matter of urgency.” Instead, however, Cochrane’s Governing Board quickly expelled one of the critique’s authors, Danish physician-researcher Peter Gøtzsche, who helped found Cochrane and was the head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre. Gøtzsche has been a vocal critic of Cochrane’s “increasingly commercial business model,” which he suggests is resulting in “stronger and stronger resistance to say anything that could bother pharmaceutical industry interests.” Adding insult to injury, Gøtzsche’s direct employer, the Rigshospitalet hospital in Denmark, then fired Gøtzsche. In response, Dr. Gøtzsche stated, “Firing me sends the unfortunate signal that if your research results are inconvenient and cause public turmoil, or threaten the pharmaceutical industry’s earnings, …you will be sacked.” In March 2019, Gøtzsche launched an independent Institute for Scientific Freedom.

In 2019, the editor-in-chief and research editor of BMJ Evidence Based Medicine—the journal that published the critique of Cochrane’s biased review—jointly defended the critique as having “provoke[d] healthy debate and pose[d] important questions,” affirming the value of publishing articles that “hold organisations to account.” They added that “Academic freedom means communicating ideas, facts and criticism without being censored, targeted or reprimanded” and urged publishers not to “shrink from offering criticisms that may be considered inconvenient.”

In recent years, a number of journals have invented bogus excuses to withdraw or retract articles critical of risky vaccine ingredients, even when written by top international scientists.

The censorship tsunami

Another favored tactic is to keep vaccine-critical studies out of medical journals altogether, either by refusing to publish them (even if peer reviewers recommend their publication) or by concocting excuses to pull articles after publication. In recent years, a number of journals have invented bogus excuses to withdraw or retract articles critical of risky vaccine ingredients, even when written by top international scientists. To cite just three examples:

  • The journal Vaccine withdrew a study that questioned the safety of the aluminum adjuvantused in Gardasil.
  • The journal Science and Engineering Ethics retracted an article that made a case for greater transparency regarding the link between mercury and autism.
  • Pharmacological Research withdrew a published veterinary article that implicated aluminum-containing vaccines in a mystery illness decimating sheep, citing “concerns” from an anonymous reader.

Elsevier, which publishes two of these journals, has a track record of setting up fake journals to market Merck’s drugs, and Springer, which publishes the third journal as well as influential publications like Nature and Scientific American, has been only too willing to accommodate censorship requests. However, even these forms of censorship may soon seem quaint in comparison to the censorship of vaccine-critical information now being implemented across social media and other platforms. This concerted campaign to prevent dissemination of vaccine content that does not toe the party line will make it harder than ever for American families to do their due diligence with regard to vaccine risks and benefits.


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Awareness

60% of Kale Samples Contaminated With Cancer Causing Pesticide – Organic Is Key!

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found a high level of Dacthal in non-organic Kale.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we justify the spraying of poison on our food? How does this make any sense? These substances have been linked to several diseases, how are they approved and marketed as safe in many countries? Why are they banned in so many others?

Do you still think organic is not necessary? A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research examined four families who eat conventional diets. Pesticide levels were measured via urine before switching to an organic diet for 6 days. A dramatic drop in pesticide levels was found. Another study conducted by researchers from RMIT University, published in the journal Environmental Research, found that eating an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide (commonly used in conventional food production) exposure in adults. This study found a dramatic 90 percent drop in pesticide levels. Both studies used urine samples to measure pesticide accumulation. You can access those studies and read more about them here and here.

A lot of these agents were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare, so we do know that they have toxic effects on the nervous system at high doses. Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, among many others, which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous systems of humans by blocking an important enzyme. Recent studies have raised concerns for health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels.

There is no question or doubt about it, organic food not sprayed with pesticides is much better for our health, and eating organic is a great way to prevent multiple diseases, including cancer. Despite all of the publications and research on this subject, it’s confusing how cancer awareness initiatives continue to focus on raising money without ever addressing the root causes of the disease, one of which is clearly exposure to herbicides and pesticides.

This is why the Environmental Working Group (EWG) advocates buying organic products. Since its inception in 1993, EWG has fought for consumers’ rights to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG’s very first report in 1993, “Pesticides in Children’s Foods,” played a pivotal role in Congress passing the Food Quality Protection Act two years later. They are a well known group of scientists and activists doing great work.

Recently, they discovered that approximately 60 percent of kale samples sold in the United States were contaminated with another carcinogenic pesticide, according to the  EWG’s analysis of the 2017 Department of Agriculture’s test data.

The pesticide is called DCPA, often marketed as Dacthal,  and it’s a substance that the EPA classified as a possible carcinogen in 1995. In 2005, its major manufacturer voluntarily terminated its registration for use on several U.S. crops, including artichokes, beans and cucumbers, after studies found that its breakdown products were highly persistent in the environment and could contaminate drinking water sources. This is why in 2009, the European Union prohibited all uses of Dacthal, enforcing a complete ban on it. With all this being said, the fact remains that it is still used in the U.S. on crops including kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, eggplant, turnips, and who knows what else.

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Even as kale’s popularity as a health food rich in vitamins and antioxidants has soared in recent years, the level and type of pesticide residues on kale has expanded significantly. EWG’s new analysis places it third on the 2019 Dirty Dozen™, our annual ranking of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues. Recent EWG-commissioned tests of kale from grocery stores found that on two of eight samples, Dacthal residues were comparable to the average level reported by the USDA.

The USDA has not tested kale for pesticides since 2009, when it ranked eighth on the Dirty Dozen. Between 2007 and 2012, the acres of kale harvested in the U.S. grew by more than 56 percent, with more than 2.5 times as many commercial farms growing it.

Conventional kale farming relies heavily on the use of several synthetic pesticides, including Dacthal. The EPA’s 1995 classification of it as a possible carcinogen noted increases in liver and thyroid tumors. Dacthal can also cause other kinds of harm to the lungs, liver, kidney and thyroid.

According to U.S. Geological Survey data from 2016, about 500,000 pounds of Dacthal was sprayed in the U.S., mostly in California and Washington state. In California, the only state where all pesticide use must be reported, nearly 200,000 pounds were sprayed in 2016.

In states with high Dacthal use, concerns have grown about the capacity of its breakdown products to contaminate surface and groundwater. Not only can Dacthal contaminate areas near its use, but studies indicate it can also travel long distances in the atmosphere as well. (EWG)

You can read more from EWG on the subject here.

The Takeaway

Again, multiple agents can be found on non-organic produce, but this article just outlines one. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you whether or not you buy your fruits and vegetables organic. If you can afford conventional produce, you can afford organically grown produce as well. One helpful tip is to cut out junk food from your purchases if you have any, and that can make room for organic produce. Another way to look at it is spending the extra few bucks to invest in your health.

It’s unfortunate that organic food is more expensive, especially when organic food in general could be provided to the entire world if we actually utilized our fullest potential. It’s actually cheaper to produces, it’s just that governments subsidize convention farmers, not organic ones. At the end of the day, kale is extremely nutritious. It’s high in vitamins A, K and iron, and consumption of leafy greens is associated with reduced risk of various diseases. It’s best if we keep it that way by only growing organic kale.

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Awareness

A List of Children’s Foods That Are Contaminated With Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Roundup herbicide that was manufactured by Monsanto, has been found in multiple foods that've been marketed to children. You can view the list below.

  • Reflect On:

    With countless scientific publications and examples of fraud clearly showing that glyphosate is a major health and environmental hazard, how is it still on the market in multiple countries? Why? What is going on here?

It’s very confusing as to why poison is still being sprayed in our environment, and how anybody could ever justify the use of these poisons. Justification has come from mass brainwashing, marketing campaigns, and just downright deception. There are many examples of deception when it comes to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. A great example comes from Europe, where the product was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.  Another example would be the corruption that plagues our federal health regulatory agencies, which have been completely compromised by big corporations. There are several other great examples that illustrate this point, in fact there are decades of examples. One of the best would be the SPIDER papers. A group called the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, put a list of complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).

We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency.  It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors.

When it comes to glyphosate, there are currently more than 10,000 pending cases with regards to ailments it’s caused people, and we are now starting to see cancer cases go through courts of law. One of the latest examples would be school groundskeeper Dewyane Johnson, who was awarded a victory after a jury found Bayer (Monsanto) to be guilty of causing/contributing to his terminal cancer. You can read more about that story here.

This is why it’s a bit concerning that this substance is ending up in our food, and that includes food that’s being marketed to children.

For example, Moms Across America, a National Coalition of Unstoppable Moms, recently discovered glyphosate in multiple brands of popular orange juice. You can read more about that hereThe full report can be seen here. The testing methodology was “Glyphosate and AMPA Detection by UPLC-MS/MS.”

Furthermore:

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Major food companies like General Mills continue to sell popular children’s breakfast cereals and other foods contaminated with troubling levels of glyphosate, the cancer-causing ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. The weedkiller, produced by Bayer-Monsanto, was detected in all 21 oat-based cereal and snack products sampled in a new round of testing commissioned by the Environmental Working Group. All but four products contained levels of glyphosate higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health with a sufficient margin of safety.

The new tests confirm and amplify EWG’s findings from tests in July and October of last year, with levels of glyphosate consistently above EWG’s children’s health benchmark. The two highest levels of glyphosate were found in Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, with 833 parts per billion, or ppb, and Cheerios, with 729 ppb. The EWG children’s health benchmark is 160 ppb. –  Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor, and Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., Toxicologist for the Environmental Working Group (EWG)(source)

The EWG recently purchased a number of products via online retail sites, and then they packed and shipped approximately 300 grams of each of the products they purchased (listed in the chart below) to Anresco Laboratories in San Francisco. Glyphosate levels were analyzed using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method described here.

The Takeaway

Glyphosate is used mostly as a weedkiller on genetically modified corn and soybean crops. But it is also sprayed on oats just before harvest as a drying agent or desiccant. It kills the crop, drying it out so it can be harvested sooner, which increases the likelihood that glyphosate ends up in the foods children love to eat. It’s present almost everywhere and it’s a great example of how we don’t really live in a democracy, and how big corporations are operating without any concern for human health or the health of our planet. So far, more than 236,000 people have signed a petition directed at these food companies, calling on them to take action to protect consumers’ health.

The best way for you to combat something like this is to help share information like this in any way you can and go organic. Multiple studies have shown that pesticide exposure dramatically drops from consuming organic food. Just one week of eating an organic diet can drop pesticide levels in the body up to 90 percent in both children and adults. You can read more about that study here.

There are more concerns here, as it’s not just glyphosate, but also pesticides like organophosphates, which are sprayed on our food and have been linked to multiple diseases. A lot of these agents were originally developed as nerve agents for warfare.

Change starts with you, so you can go organic and spread awareness. Just five years ago not many people would have even known what glyphosate is, so things are definitely changing for the better.

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