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Buying Organic Food May Not Always Mean Non-GMO, Here’s What You Need To Know

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After the negative environmental and health implications of producing and consuming genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were revealed, many consumers started boycotting GMOs. The non-GMO movement gained significant momentum, enough so that many governments banned GMOs and some companies publicly announced their support for GMO labeling (click here to learn more).

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At the consumer level, many choose to purchase organic goods rather than conventional items that may contain GMOs. However, the distinction between non-organic and organic food becomes blurred when it comes to biotechnology.

At a produce level, organic means it cannot be GMO, but for other food items things get more tricky.

Genetic modification is essentially the process of altering the DNA of a given plant or animal to give it a favourable characteristic. GMOs were originally introduced into the food system to generate positive externalities, creating super-crops which could potentially help solve the growing global food demand.

But as with many other industries, once corporations recognized the potential for profitability in GMOs, they went from being a way to better society, in this instance to curb starvation, to a new source of revenue. As a result, most GMOs do not possess multiple desirable characteristics but rather only one, resistance to Monsanto’s incredibly toxic herbicide, RoundUp. Farmers can spray their GM crops with RoundUp without harming the plants, but this added convenience comes with serious implications.

Environmental and Health Issues Associated With GMOs

Monsanto quickly monopolized the seed industry, thus rapidly increasing the production of GMOs worldwide. As a result, farmers started producing single, uniform crops, known as monoculture, which decreases biodiversity by disrupting population dynamics and ecosystem roles. Increased usage of RoundUp also causes weeds to develop immunity to the herbicide, creating super-weeds, which threaten both the environment and the crop.

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GM crops have contributed significantly to the rapid decline in bee population, commonly referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Research has shown that when bees consume Monsanto’s insecticide for GM corn crops, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), it attaches to receptors in the stomach lining and prevents bees from eating. This breaks down the stomach wall, rendering bees more susceptible to spores and bacteria and ultimately weakening their immune systems. One study confirmed that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, compromises honeybees’ long-term performance and learning capabilities. Although bees don’t die immediately upon contact, glyphosate can be transferred between bees and eventually result in colony-wide death if passed down through generations.

The correlation between CCD and GMOs is indisputable, but how does this relate to our society? The United Nations stated that bees pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that represent 90% of global food supply. Without bees, we could not satisfy current global food demand let alone reach the capacity required to meet rapidly increasing projected demand levels due to population growth.

Not only are GMOs harmful to bees and other wildlife, they pose a serious threat to human health as well. One study showed that traces of RoundUp are often found in soybean products. Although small, these traces are potent to three human cells (umbilical, embryonic, and placental) in dosages far less than the concentration typically used in farming.

Human consumption of GMOs has also been linked to gluten disorders, birth defects, breast cancer, autism, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Despite the detrimental effect GMOs have on our health, the FDA approves GMO production and consumption. This is in part due to the regulations governing safety testing, which are inadequate and lacking substantial scientific support. To read more about the health risks associated with GMOs and why governments support them, check out our articles here and here.

Does Buying Organic Mean Non-GMO?

By law, the answer is yes. The United States and Canadian governments prohibit companies from labeling their products “100%/Certified Organic” if they contain GMOs. On the other hand, products that claim to be “made with organic ingredients” only require 70% of those ingredients to be organic under the USDA. Thus the remaining 30% could be genetically modified. Of course there are also some loopholes; for example, the casing around a “USDA Organic” sausage could be from traditionally farmed animals that are fed antibiotics and GM foods, and the hops found in organic beer could be grown inorganically.

Although the number of organic farms is growing as demand rises, they still only hold a small portion of the farmer’s market (no pun intended). It is estimated that 95% of canola oil and sugar beets grown in Canada is GM and in 2013 the European Union estimated that 90% of soybeans and 98% of corn grown in Canada was GM. Other statistics from the Canadian and US governments vary widely; there are contradictions and little transparency in the amount of GMO crops. The comparison between the number of GMO and non-GMO crops in the US is similar, as the US is the leading producer of GM foods globally. Since so many of the crops grown in North America are GM, cross-contamination can easily occur between GMO and non-GMO crops.

Despite the “Organic” sticker on your food, there is still risk of GMO contamination in some crops. GMO contamination can happen in several ways:

  1. cross-pollination between GMO and non-GMO crops
  2. trace amounts of GMO ingredients found in animal feed
  3. seeds traveling by wind
  4. migratory birds taking root in the soil of an organic farm
  5. ingredient suppliers that co-mingle various sources.

Supplier integrity is a murky area, as the seed industry is controlled largely by “The Big 6” corporations: BASF, Bayer, Monsanto, Dow, DuPont, and Syngenta. These corporations have rapidly increased acquisitions since the 1990s, including organic seed companies, particularly in the past five years. Not surprisingly, Monsanto leads this industry and has formed relationships with all of the other Big 6 players, holding cross-licensing agreements with each. This diagram provides a visualization of corporate ownership in the seed industry.

There’s no questioning whether GMO contamination takes place; at least 25% of organic feed corn and 6% of organic soybean contain traces of GMOs. There are some preventative measures farmers can take such as building barriers between neighboring crops, but there are no rules governing this and it isn’t a foolproof solution.

I am not suggesting you do not purchase organic products. Organic foods are typically more sustainably produced and considerably healthier than conventional foods because of reduced pesticide use. However, it is important to read past the bolded labels and understand what you’re buying. Although organic foods are often GMO free, it is clear that this cannot always be guaranteed. If you’re trying to reduce your intake of GMOs, in addition to eating organic you could also buy products verified by the Non-GMO Project, a North American NPO that offers third-party verification and labeling for non-GMO foods and other products.

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Antidepressants Cause Severe Withdrawal Symptoms Like Hallucination, Mania, & Anxiety, Study Reveals

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Another study has emerged outlining the harmful health consequences of taking antidepressant drugs. Not only do pharmaceutical companies lie about their benefits, but they also conceal their harm.

  • Reflect On:

    There are other ways to deal with depression that are more effective than medication. Placebo, for example, exercise, a plant-based diet, meditation etc.

This article was written by Sayer Ji, founder of Greenmedinfo.com. Posted here with permission. You can sign up for their newsletter here.

A concerning new study published in the journal Addictive Behavior and titled, “A systematic review into the incidence, severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal effects: Are guidelines evidence-based?,” reveals that antidepressants are far more addictive and harmful than previously assumed, and vindicates the long time activism on this issue spearheaded by American psychiatrists like Kelly Brogan, MD and Peter Breggin, MD.

Highlights from the paper are as follows:

  • More than half (56%) of people who attempt to come off antidepressants experience withdrawal effects.
  • Nearly half (46%) of people experiencing withdrawal effects describe them as severe.
  • It is not uncommon for the withdrawal effects to last for several weeks or months.
  • Current UK and USA Guidelines underestimate the severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal, with significant clinical implications.

This study aimed to assess the veracity of the the U.K.’s current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the American Psychiatric Association’s depression guidelines which state that withdrawal reactions from antidepressants are ‘self-limiting’ (i.e. typically resolving between 1 and 2 weeks).

In order to accomplish this goal the systematic review used the following methods:

“A systematic literature review was undertaken to ascertain the incidence, severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal reactions. We identified 23 relevant studies, with diverse methodologies and sample sizes.”

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The results were reported as follows:

“Withdrawal incidence rates from 14 studies ranged from 27% to 86% with a weighted average of 56%. Four large studies of severity produced a weighted average of 46% of those experiencing antidepressant withdrawal effects endorsing the most extreme severity rating on offer. Seven of the ten very diverse studies providing data on duration contradict the UK and USA withdrawal Guidelines in that they found that a significant proportion of people who experience withdrawal do so for more than two weeks, and that it is not uncommon for people to experience withdrawal for several months.”

Side effects were wide-ranging, lasting several months or longer (including permanent dysfunction), such as: 

“Typical AD withdrawal reactions include increased anxiety, flu-like symptoms, insomnia, nausea, imbalance, sensory disturbances, and hyperarousal. Dizziness, electric shock-like sensations, brain zaps, diarrhoea, headaches, muscle spasms and tremors, agitation, hallucinations, confusion, malaise, sweating and irritability are also reported (Warner, Bobo, Warner, Reid, & Rachal, 2006, Healy, 2012). Although the aforementioned symptoms are the most common physical symptoms, there is also evidence that AD withdrawal can induce mania and hypomania, (Goldstein et al., 1999; Naryan & Haddad, 2011) emotional blunting and an inability to cry, (HolguinLew & Bell, 2013) long-term or even permanent sexual dysfunction (Csoka & Shipko, 2006).”

The study concluded:

“We recommend that U.K. and U.S.A. guidelines on antidepressant withdrawal be urgently updated as they are clearly at variance with the evidence on the incidence, severity and duration of antidepressant withdrawal, and are probably leading to the widespread misdiagnosing of withdrawal, the consequent lengthening of antidepressant use, much unnecessary antidepressant prescribing and higher rates of antidepressant prescriptions overall. We also recommend that prescribers fully inform patients about the possibility of withdrawal effects.”

The researchers also noted that the rising numbers of antidepressant prescriptions used throughout the world may be fueled by the antidepressant drug withdrawal side effects themselves:

“As the lengthening duration of AD use has fuelled rising AD prescriptions over the same time period, we must understand the drivers of such lengthening use. The evidence set out suggests that lengthening use may be partly rooted in the underestimation of the incidence, severity and duration of AD withdrawal reactions, leading to many withdrawal reactions being misdiagnosed, for example, as relapse (with drugs being reinstated as a consequence) or as failure to respond to treatment (with either new drugs being tried and/or dosages increased). This issue is pressing as long-term AD use is associated with increased severe side-effects, increased risk of weight gain, the impairment of patients’ autonomy and resilience (increasing their dependence on medical help), worsening outcomes for some patients, greater relapse rates, increased mortality and the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.”

The concerning implications of this study to millions around the world who are on antidepressants were immediately recognized by the media, as evidenced by mainstream reporting on the topic with the following headlines:

Thanks to a small but courageous group of professionals who have been raising awareness of the profound, unintended adverse effects of psychiatric drugs and the abject absence of objective criteria for determining “mental disease,” not only are there already resources available to the public today to better understand the dangers of psychiatric drugs, but there are also programs and protocols in place to help those who are on them to come off of them safely and with the support of others who have done the same already. For instance, the program put together by Dr. Kelly Brogan — Vital Mind Reset — has produced powerful outcomes. Take a look at the testimony wall here to learn from the first hand experiences of those who underwent the program and came out drug-free, often with their psychiatric symptoms and comorbid conditions reduced or completely put into remission.

A Quick Important Notice:

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In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Scientists Break Down How Aging Is “Plastic” & We Can Manipulate It To Slow Down Aging

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Slowing down the ageing process is not about looks, it's about health, and feeling good. Scientists have discovered multiple healthy ways to regenerate our immune systems and repair our DNA, and caloric restriction/fasting is one of them.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we told to eat three meals a day? Why are our national food guides more of a guide towards bad health rather than health? Why have many people stopped caring about health? To change the world, we have to change ourselves in multiple ways.

Can we reverse age regression, or slow it down? Given our research into Black Budget programs, it’s clear what we know in the mainstream scientific world differs greatly from the world of secrecy. We recently conducted an interview with a neuroscientist from the University of Arizona who also makes a clear distinction between mainstream science and Black Budget science.

From a mainstream scientific standpoint, it is reversible. At least in human cells and in mice. 

This is why it’s always interesting to ponder just how advanced the world might be. The U.S. air strike against Libya in 1986 used the F-111 fighter aircraft, for instance, but not the F-117A Nighthawk. The latter was still classified at the time, and keeping it secret was more important than using it for this mission. Then there’s the National Reconnaissance Office, which was founded in 1960 but remained completely secret for 30 years. What type of technology were/are they using? Does the NSA have computers that are far more advanced than ours? Can we teleport? Can we travel faster than the speed of light? Is there a secret space program? Can humans be cloned?

While these questions might conflict with many people’s belief systems, they represent valid concerns. Another question worth asking is, can we reverse age regression? We have no idea what military technology is capable of, or how far beyond us it has progressed. Considering the advancements in technology in the past century alone within the mainstream scientific/technical world, these things are hardly beyond our grasp.

But let’s take a look at what we do know. We are, after all, living in a world where science fiction is becoming a reality.

Aging Is Reversible

Today, scientists are actually able to tweak genes that turn adult cells back into embryonic-like ones. For example, it wasn’t long ago that researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies reversed the aging of human and mouse cells, in vitro. The study was published in the journal Cell

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According to Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, the study’s senior author and an expert in gene expression at Salk, “aging is something plastic that we can manipulate.” In living mice, they activated what are known as “Yamanaka factors,” which rejuvenated muscles that were damaged, as well as the pancreas in a middle-aged mouse. This extended the lifespan of the mouse, who also had a genetic mutation for Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, which causes rapid aging in children.

The researchers believe that this study suggests it’s not just possible to slow the aging process, but actually reverse it.

“I fully agree with the conclusions. This work indicated that epigenetic shift is parr responsible for aging, and reprogramming can correct these epigenetic errors. This will be the basis for future exciting developments.”

– Manuel Serrano from the Spanish National Cancer Research Center In Madrid

Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by gene expression, and gene expression can change due to a myriad of factors.

But, as Scientific American points out“The study also showed how fine the line can be between benefit and harm. When the researchers treated mice continually, some developed tumors and died within a week. When the scientists cut the treatment to two days out of seven, however, the mice benefited significantly.” 

The lead author also told Scientific American that they “currently think the brain’s hypothalamus—known as the seat of control for hormones, body temperature, mood, hunger and circadian rhythms—may also act as a regulator of aging.”

According to the Telegraph, with the success of these animals studies, scientists predict human trials to commence within 10 years.

Caloric Restriction and Fasting 

Did you know that, in all animal model studies, caloric restriction reverses signs of aging, slowing it down, and reverses age-related diseases? Research has shown that it reduces what’s called the PKA enzyme, which has been linked to aging, tumour progression, and cancer.

According to a review of fasting literature conducted in 2003“Calorie restriction (CR) extends lifespan and retards age-related chronic diseases in a variety of species, including rats, mice, fish, flies, worms, and yeast. The mechanism or mechanisms through which this occurs are unclear.”

Fasting and caloric restriction have also shown to have a tremendous effect on the brain. As an article from John Hopkins Magazine reveals:

Dietary changes have long been known to have an effect on the brain. Children who suffer from epileptic seizures have fewer of them when placed on caloric restriction or fasts. It is believed that fasting helps kick-start protective measures that help counteract the overexcited signals that epileptic brains often exhibit. (Some children with epilepsy have also benefited from a specific high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.) Normal brains, when overfed, can experience another kind of uncontrolled excitation, impairing the brain’s function.

A plate, fork and knife

Fasting has also been shown to regenerate the immune system and our organs. With regards to the brain, fasting challenges it, and your brain responds to that challenge by adapting stress response pathways that help your brain cope with stress and disease risk. The same changes that occur in the brain during fasting mimic the changes that occur with regular exercise — both increase the production of protein in the brain (neurotrophic factors), which in turn promotes the growth of neurons, the connection between neurons, and the strength of synapses. This is why it’s been found to completely reverse age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

Here is an excellent  TEDx talk given by Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, and one of the foremost researchers of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying multiple neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

We’ve published many articles on fasting, and to find out more information on how to do it, different strategies, and more science, you can start here. Below are a select few related articles:

Neuroscientist Shows What Fasting Does To Your Brain & Why Big Pharma Won’t Study It 

The Complete Guide To Fasting & Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: A Special Inter Interview With Dr. Jason Fung

Why Researchers Are Seeking FDA Approval For Fasting & Caloric Restriction For Cancer Treatment 

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration & Fights Cancer

Reversing the Age of White Blood Cells

Elizabeth Parris, the CEO of Bioviva USA Inc, has become the very first human being to successfully, from a biological standpoint, reverse the age of her white blood cells, thanks to her own company’s experimental therapies. Bioviva utilizes intramural and extramural peer-reviewed research to create therapies for age-related diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart-disease), and now, they have reversed 20 years of ‘telomere shortening’ in a human for the first time.

Telomeres are short segments of DNA that cap the ends of every chromosome and act as a protective feature against wear and tear, which occurs naturally as the human body ages. As we age, these telomeres become shorter and shorter as our cells continue to divide more and more. Eventually, they become too short to protect the chromosome, which is what causes our cells to malfunction and age-related diseases to start setting in.

We published a story about this early last year, and you can read more about it here:

First Human Being Has Their DNA Manipulated To Make White Blood Cells 20 Years Younger

So, as you can see, even within the mainstream scientific world, we’re not too far off from reversing aging, or slowing it down to prevent age-related diseases. This research represents just the tip of the iceberg, and at our current rate of acceleration with regards to scientific and technological advancement, who knows where we will be in 20 years?

Would age reversal be “playing God?” It’s impossible to say. Perhaps “God” meant us to discover our own intelligence and ability and use these findings for good. Perhaps manipulating our own genes is part of our natural process of human evolution and development. This, however, is a completely separate topic, worthy of another article.

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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22 Out Of 25 Popular Burger Chains Just Failed Their Antibiotic Use Report

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recent study was done examining how well top fast food chains actually implemented their antibiotic use policies in their beef. 22 of 25 failed including McDonald's, Sonic, Burger King and In-N-Out.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you still eat fast food? If so, why do you find yourself doing so? What healthier choices can be made instead? If we want to see a healthier world, population and animal kingdom, we have to choose what we support more wisely.

The modern-day food industry seems to pay no attention to health. Thankfully, global consciousness is shifting in several ways including how we live as humans, view our health, our economy, education, politics, and the environment. You could say that humanity is going through one MASSIVE change.

Today, billions of animals in the United States alone are raised, tortured, and slaughtered for human consumption. This reckless production and consumption, in turn, has created enormous environmental and health problems that continue to accelerate. That being said, awareness on this issue (food) in particular, has come along way. We are seeing changes in the food guide, a shift towards plant-based diets, and more corporations catering to new choices people are making around food and health. This is a good thing!

One common trend helping to create change is the continues ‘bad press’ unhealthy players in the food industry are getting.

The latest news to come out regarding food quality within fast food comes from a report recently released by six major consumer and environmental groups. They graded America’s 25 largest burger chains and their use of antibiotics in their beef supply.

22 popular fast food restaurants completely failed, including giants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Sonic and In-N-Out.  The evaluation looked at each chain’s antibiotic use policies and whether these policies were truly implemented in their product. They also examined how transparent the chains were with their antibiotic use.

The Problem With Antibiotic Use

Antibiotics given to farm animals can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, among other things. This is actually one of the top threats to global public health, which is exemplified by the fact that each year, more than 2 million Americans alone suffer from these infections.

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In September 1999, Albrecht and Schutte published “Homeopathy Versus Antibiotics in Metaphylaxis of Infectious Diseases: A Clinical Study in Pig Fattening and Its Significance to Consumers” in Alternative Therapies. The study compared outcomes for four randomly assigned groups of pigs that were given placebo, homeopathic treatment, a standard blend of antibiotics and other conventional drugs in a routine low prophylactic dose, or conventional drugs in a high therapeutic dose.

There were 1440 pigs involved in the study, which took place at an intensive livestock farm in Germany. The primary outcome measured was the incidence of respiratory disease, a common problem for pigs on such farms.

The results were astounding.

Homeopathic treatment was far superior to prophylactic doses of antibiotics in preventing respiratory disease. The prophylactic antibiotic treatment made it only 11 percent less likely (than placebo) that the pigs would become sick. But homeopathic remedies made it 40 percent less likely. When the antibiotics were raised to therapeutic levels, meaning a level that is only given when people or an animal was sick, it became 70 percent less likely that the pigs would become diseased.

The significance of this is that homeopathic treatment on animals would already be better than routine antibiotic treatment. When an animal is actually sick, the farmer would then have the choice to increase homeopathic or use a legitimately high-level dose of antibiotics. This, significantly less cost and significantly fewer antibiotics in meat.

The List

The Takeaway

Simple, avoid fast food. There are many out there who seem to believe that people will always consume this food, but we fail to recognize that it’s not just our choice. The “food” these corporations offer is highly addictive to people, and that’s done on purpose.

If we can connect with caring about our health, quality of life and well-being of animals and the planet, these are places you must steer away from. In general, eating meat does not support the health and wellbeing of us nor animals, but this is a choice we each make.

Recommended Articles

A Native American Perspective On Veganism

Plant-Based Protein VS. Protein From Meat: Which One Is Better For You? 

Doctor Explains How Humans Have A “Strict” Vegan Physiology

Vegan Activist James Aspey Beautifully Shows How To Consciously Inform People

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

Internal Medicine Physician Shares What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

Animals – Why Do We Love One But Eat The Other? 

The Heart Disease Rates of Meat-Eaters Versus Vegetarians & Vegans

Were Those Who Roamed The Earth Before US Nearly All Vegetarian?

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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