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Why VPN Access Is So Important & How It’s Helped Give A Voice To Millions

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Back in the mid-90s, Microsoft invented the Virtual Private Network, also known as the VPN. This breakthrough technology was developed so that remote employees could securely access their work network. Since then, VPN use has reached the consumer masses, allowing expats around the world to connect to a private network and access the web they know and love from back home.

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But the benefits of a VPN go far beyond content access, extending into such philosophical issues as human rights and freedom of speech and expression. VPN technology has given a voice to millions. Here’s how.

How Does a VPN Work?

What is a VPN?

A VPN functions very much like it sounds. It allows you to set up a completely private, secure connection to another network, generally in another country. This enables you to browse the web as if you were in that country, while also creating an encrypted tunnel for your data so it can’t be intercepted by snoopers, hackers, and third parties.

Initially used as a way for employees to remotely and safely access their office network, consumer VPNs make the same benefits easily available to anyone, on any device.

Generally when you connect to a consumer VPN, you can select from a wide range of international servers and change your IP address — essentially a string of numbers that identifies your device’s location on the web.

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When you connect to an international VPN server, your actual IP address is masked and one of the VPN’s IP addresses is what faces the world, mimicking an IP address of the country you’ve selected, and that’s what allows you to experience the web as if you were actually sitting in your location of choice.

VPN Benefits

The major benefits of a VPN are four-fold and include the ability to: bypass online geo-restrictions and access otherwise restricted content and sites; protect your personal data from hackers and snoopers over unsecured Public Wi-Fi networks; conceal your digital footprints from government agencies, advertisers, and website owners; and last but not least, avoid online price discrimination to save considerable money on flights, rental cars, and software subscriptions.

VPN usage became especially popular in 2013 after the well-known Snowden leaks. Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee, leaked classified NSA documents that revealed the agency’s extensive internet and phone surveillance.

For many of us, VPN benefits are undoubtedly invaluable. But for some, these benefits are essential — especially for citizens living in closed, highly censored societies.

Online Censorship Throughout the World

Over 65 countries around the world censor the Internet to some extent, and according to The Freedom House’s “Freedom on the Net” 2015 report, the level of Internet Freedom is steadily declining.

The Great Firewall of China

China is the most notorious example. Commonly known as the Great Firewall of China, China’s vast web of Internet censorship is among the most extensive in the world. The most popular and beloved social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, YouTube, and Instagram, are completely blocked.

In addition to social networks and social networking apps, the world’s leading search engine, Google, along with its many helpful utilities like Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Drive, is also unavailable. So is Duckduckgo, a search engine that doesn’t track your online activity.

But even if you’re on an approved search engine, many terms and keywords are still censored. For instance, spiritually-related topics like Falun Gong and of course, topics related to controversial political events such as Tiananmen Square are completely off limits.

Ironically, even some terms which could be potentially harmless like ‘jiang,’ which means river, are banned due to their association. Jiang is a common surname which happens to be tied to the rumours about the death of Jiang Zemin, former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.

Along with social networks, popular search networks and specific search terms, international new sources, like the New York Times, and a number of photo and file sharing sites, like Dropbox and Flickr, are blocked as well. China’s Great Firewall is so restrictive that China’s Great Firewall inventor, Fang Binxing, was forced to use a VPN to bypass his very own creation when he gave a lecture on Internet safety.

Twitter Silenced in Turkey

But China is certainly not alone. In Turkey, apps and sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube have all been blocked at one point or another.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has even gone so far as to say that he is “increasingly against the Internet every day.” In March of 2014, when discussing Facebook and YouTube to a rally of supporters, he stated: “We will wipe out all of these.”

Two weeks later, prior to local elections and following the leak of potentially incriminating audio recordings, Twitter was blocked for several hours. One week later, YouTube was blocked as well.

Then in April of 2015, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were all blocked after photos of a prosecutor that was taken hostage and killed by militants began circulating on social media. The government demanded these networks remove these photos, and shortly after they complied, the sites went back online.

Most recently, social network outages occurred during both the Istanbul airport terror attack and military coup.

twitturkey

In the case of the airport attack, the Turkish government maintained the blocks were for “national security and public order.”

Mother Russia’s Rutnet

Russia is no friend of Internet freedom either. To more effectively censor, the country’s controversial blogging law requires bloggers with more than 3,000 readers to register with the authorities and publish content under their real names. In May of 2015, international sites and social networks, including Google, Twitter, and Facebook, all came close to being blocked for their refusal to hand over the names of bloggers and remove content the Russian General Attorney deemed to be “extremist.”

Prior to this, in April of 2014, Facebook, Gmail, and Skype came close to being banned due to the country’s “anti-terror” data snooping laws, which threatened to block the services unless they stored data on Russian soil.

The Roskomnadzor, the Russian government’s top Internet regulator, is very sensitive to several topics of choice including: political protest, profanity, drugs, suicide, “gay propaganda,” and extremism. Because of this, pages like Reddit, GitHub, and Wikipedia have all been temporarily blocked. Youtube has also been in hot water. The entire site was almost blocked temporarily after hosting unauthorized copies of local Russian TV shows.

VPN Access & Freedom of Expression for All

In the face of online censorship, VPNs have proven to be a powerful tool for providing invaluable freedom of expression.

Fighting for Democracy: Uganda 2016 Elections

In February of 2016, the Ugandan presidential and parliamentary elections took place. This was a highly anticipated election for many who hoped to end the oppressive 30 year run of 71-year-old president Gen Y. K. Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.

But when citizens took to the polls, they discovered that their access to social media services, including Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp, had been completely cut off.

According to Museveni, these were temporary measures to stop people from “creating trouble” and “telling lies.”

Left with no access, many Ugandans turned to VPNs. Over the course of the four-day ban, nearly 1.5 million citizens downloaded VPN software — 15 percent of the internet-using population.

With 77 percent of the population under 30 years old, Uganda is a country with the youngest population in the world, and so it’s no surprise that social media, and the lack thereof, played such a pivotal role in this election.

On social media, citizens were able to express their views regarding the corruption and unjust practices surrounding the election that included the deaths and arrests of innocent people, the use of tear gas, and the complete absence of ballot papers and boxes in certain locations. The hashtags #UgandaDecides and the satirical #MuseveniDecides began trending on Twitter.

Although Museveni was ultimately declared the winner, with just over 60 percent of the vote, young Ugandans were victorious in their own right. Their determination combined with VPN technology allowed them to bypass unjust censorship, speak out, and exercise their right to freedom of expression.

Protecting the Environment: Protests in Vietnam

On May 16th of this year, the Vietnam government shut down Facebook and Instagram as dissidents tried to protest an environmental disaster that caused millions of dead fish to wash up on shore.

Citizens believe the disaster was caused by the Vietnamese government and Taiwan’s Formosa plastics, specifically the wastewater with toxic discharge coming from the company’s steel plant. Meanwhile, Formosa denied wrongdoing and the Deputy Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources claimed the fish deaths were caused by toxic algae bloom or industrial waste.

In an effort to speak out and protest, hundreds of people poured out into the streets to protest in cities including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang, and more. They often used Facebook to organize the protests — hence the social media block.

Following suit, VPN providers experienced a surge in activity from Vietnamese users. One free proxy service, Hola, reported 200,000 Vietnamese users turning to their service over the course of one weekend.

For Vietnamese civilians, VPNs played a remarkable and pivotal role in their ability to speak out against environmental injustice and advocate on behalf of the natural world.

The Freedom to Communicate in Brazil

You know all those very useful calling apps you use to stay in touch with loved ones while you travel, or save on your phone bill? Well, you’d be surprised just how many countries censor and block them completely.

VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) apps, like Skype, Whatsapp, and Viber, are or have been blocked in numerous countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Pakistan, Egypt, and even Brazil — a country considered to be much more open and more moderate when it comes to Internet freedom.

Whatsapp has already been blocked three times in the country. The latest block took place on July 19th, but fortunately lasted only several hours. One block, however, in early May, took place over the course of 72 hours. Judge Marcel Mai Montalvão of the Sergipe state ordered the block as pushback after demanding Whatsapp turn over chat records related to a drug investigation. Yet Whatsapp, which now offers end-to-end encryption for 100 percent of the messages on its service, maintained they don’t keep such data, nor would they be able to decrypt the messages even if they did.

The result was a ban that had an immense impact on the larger Brazilian public.

JanKoum

Whatsapp is hugely popular in Brazil. In a country of 200 million people, it is the second most used app with over 100 million users, many of whom had to turn to VPNs or other encryption apps, like Telegram, to continue their normal communications.

The Fight for Freedom of Expression: #UnblockTheWeb

Certain VPN providers, recognizing the power of their platforms, have stepped up to the plate to advocate, fight for, and offer freedom of expression and speech. SaferVPN is one of them.

“Shortly after we founded SaferVPN one of the first emails we received was from a mother from Azerbaijan, ” said Sagi Gidali, Co-Founder and CPO of SaferVPN. “Her son was murdered in the army. She expressed to us that without our service she wouldn’t have been able to fully access the web to tell his story.”

“Thanks to the VPN,” said Sagi, “she was able to bypass strict online censorship and express herself freely.”

This got the Co-founders of SaferVPN really thinking about the value of their service and how they could make a greater change. So, together with the human rights crowdsourcing platform Movements.org, they established #UnblockTheWeb, an initiative to offer free VPN service to activists and dissidents who need it most.

Most recently the partnership provided much needed online anonymity and freedom to a coalition of online bloggers writing on behalf of cultural freedom and secularism in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, countless bloggers, atheists, and secular freethinkers have been the target of brutal attacks and murders by Islamic extremists. The need for such individuals to be able to speak out and express their views safely is absolutely essential.

“We realized we could offer much more than a premium service that allows expats to access their favorite streaming entertainment from back home — we could also serve the greater good with a service that has some really crucial benefits and value. Now, in the effort to further social justice and human rights, we see the very real impact of our technology.”

Want to join us in the fight for freedom of online expression? Get involved with the cause at Unblock The Web.

Help Support Collective Evolution

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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BBC Producer Blows The Whistle & Admits The “Gas Attack” Footage From Syria “Was Staged”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Riam Dalati, who is a well known BBC Syria producer recently put out a tweet stating that the supposed gas attacks in Douma were "staged."

  • Reflect On:

    How many whistleblowers, documentation and examples do we need to see the truth here? How many examples of mainstream media completely making up stories and aiding the global elite (their owners) will we believe? Why do we continue to watch?

“The problem of fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee, but rather because we as citizens, we as users of these services, help each other. We talk and we share and we point out what is fake. We point out what is true. The answer to bad speech is not censorship, the answer to bad speech is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters, now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting more popular.” –Edward Snowden (source)

It’s truly amazing what’s happening in regards to information today. It’s being heavily censored. News browser extension NewsGuard is one of the latest examples, which promises to help readers pick out fake news. However, NewsGuard is funded and run by individuals tied to the CFR, Atlantic Council, and prominent elite figures who own mainstream media. You can read more about that here.

There is a war on information right now, especially any information that threatens the elitists’ and globalists’ agendas or corporate profits. It’s not morally right to have government authorities step in and determine for the population what is real and what is fake, and what to censor and what not to censor. Our free speech is being shut down, and this is evident by Facebook’s recent deletion and mass censorship of multiple alternative media outlets acting as a new ‘ministry of truth.’ It’s truly Orwellian-like.

Truth, however, cannot be stopped, and it’s mainstream media that’s recently been outed as promoting the most ‘fake news,’ which is evident by the multiple award-winning mainstream media journalists who’ve ‘blown the whistle,’ so to speak, about mainstream media and how they are paid by corporations, governments and intelligence agencies to spread and alter the news they share. There are also some very telling documents that go into detail regarding mainstream media’s relationship with multiple governments, and how it’s used to alter the perception of the masses and keep a tight grip on the information that’s disseminated through academia and journalism. I provide many examples within this article if you’re interested, which includes access to those documents. The article is about William Arkin, a well-known military and war reporter who is best known for his groundbreaking, three-part Washington Post series in 2010, who just went public outing NBC/MSNBC as completely government run agencies.

But let’s get to this latest example regarding Syria.

It comes from Riam Dalati, who is a well known BBC Syria producer that’s been reporting from that region for a long time. He shocked his nearly 20,000 twitter followers a few days ago, as well as other mainstream media journalists from major outlets like the BBC, when he concluded after a “six month investigation” that he “can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged.”

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As his twitter states, he is also a close colleague of the well known BBC Middle East Correspondent, Quentin Sommerville.

Below is a picture of the tweet posted last Wednesday.

The thread went on to include these words:

Truth is James Harkin got the basics right in terms of Douma’s “propaganda” value. The ATTACK DID HAPPEN, Sarin wasn’t used, but we’ll have to wait for OPCW to prove Chlorine or otherwise. However, everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect.

Furthermore, the BBC producer continued:

I can tell you that Jaysh al-Islam ruled Douma with an iron fist. They coopted activists, doctors and humanitarians with fear and intimidation. In fact, one of the 3 or 4 people filming the scene was Dr. Abu Bakr Hanan, a “brute and shifty” doctor affiliated with Jaysh Al-Islam. The narrative was that “there weren’t enough drs” but here is one filming and not taking part of the rescue efforts. Will keep the rest for later.

James Harkin is a journalist who has written for multiple mainstream outlets like the Guardian, and has also published books detailing information about ‘the war on terror’ and terrorist groups in the Middle East. Jaysh al-Islam is a rebel group that operates in the region that, like terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda, have connections to Saudi Arabia and the United States with regards to weaponry and funding.

This tweet was picked up by multiple media outlets, and a quick google search will yield those results.

Dalati made these statements in response to a lengthy and well publicized investigative report by Harkin in The Intercept. Harkin examined the scenes and physical environment of the alleged Douma attack and interviewed eyewitnesses on site. His report paints a picture of propaganda and deeply compromised rebel sources such as Saudi-backed Jaish al Islam, which had control of Douma amidst a Syrian government onslaught to retake the town.

Below is one of many pictures of children who have possibly been painted and staged for the purposes of such deception. Ask yourself: If this is not true, and the information we’re being fed is false, what does this mean for our world? Our reality? Who our leaders are? Who the media is? It may be a bit of a challenging thought to go down this path, but it’s important. And we explain why in our CE protocol you can check out here.

This story compliments a lot of other statements and investigations. An interesting report by Robert Fisk, a multi-award winning Middle East correspondent of The Independent and a journalist who has risked his life to visit the Syria clinic after the supposed attack, suggests that he has “serious doubts” about the situation.

He met with Dr. Assim Rahaibani, a doctor in the area, and shared his experience:

“The 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm.”

“He refers twice to the jihadi gunmen of Jaish el-Islam (the Army of Islam) in Douma as “terrorists” – the regime’s word for their enemies, and a term used by many people across Syria. Am I hearing this right? Which version of events are we to believe?”

He goes on to explain,

“Readers should be aware that this is not the only story in Douma. There are the many people I talked to amid the ruins of the town who said they had “never believed in” gas stories – which were usually put about, they claimed, by the armed Islamist groups.”

Russian news outlets have jumped on this story.  Vladimir Putin flat out said that:

“We have reports from multiple sources that false flags like this one – and I cannot call it otherwise – are being prepared in other parts of Syria, including the southern suburbs of Damascus. They plan to plant some chemical there and accuse the Syrian government of an attack.”

This was before the attack in Douma as well, so he did indeed call it correct.

Putin has long called out the “imaginary” and “mythical” threats used by the elite to force their agenda onto mainstream perception.

However, this type of sentiment is often criticized. As mainstream media was blaming Syrian President Assad for the attack (allegedly attacking his own people), it’s understandable that the minds of the masses would instantaneously follow, as mainstream media has the ability to completely convince its viewers that something is true when it’s really not. It’s complete manipulation of perception.

It’s far from ‘Russian propaganda,’ as the western military alliance has a long history of ‘faking’ attacks in order to justify the infiltration of other countries for ulterior motives.

This is Nothing New

For example, the CIA actually began meddling in Syrian politics as far back as 1949, only a year after the agencies existence was publicly disclosed. Syria’s democratically elected president, Shukri-al-Kuwaiti, hesitated to approve the Trans Arabian Pipeline, an American project intended to connect the oil fields of Saudi Arabia to the ports of Lebanon via Syria. As a result, the CIA engineered a coup, replacing al-Kuwaiti with the CIA’s handpicked dictator, a convicted swindler named Husni al-Za’im. Al-Za’im barely had time to dissolve parliament and approve the American pipeline before his countrymen deposed him, 14 weeks into his regime. This was outlined in detail by Tim Weinter, a CIA historian in his book Legacy of Ashes.

It’s no surprise now that Dick Cheney, James Woolsely, Rupert Murdoch, and more are currently drilling in Syria for oil with “Genie Energy.”

Below is a great, well known quote from Smedley D. Butler, the highest ranking (at the time) Marine General, which provides insight into how history hasn’t changed, and that this has been the way of the elite for a very long time:

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

Titled “Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change,” this document was written in July of 1986 by the Foreign Subversion and Instability Center, part of the CIA’s Mission Center for Global Issues. It states its mission was to analyze “a number of possible scenarios that could lead to the ouster of President Assad or other dramatic change in Syria.”

Mass propaganda is used to make the citizenry believe the government is fighting for the good of humanity and for peace, but the truth is that they are fighting for lies and for a globalization agenda that uses false-flag terrorism to justify attacks on foreign nations.

Many American patriots have admitted this. Former Four Star General, Wesley Clark, who was the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe of NATO from 1997-2000, is one of many examples. Clark said in an interview with Democracy Now that the U.S. had plans to invade countries in the Middle East, including Syria, for no justified reason at all.  He offered the sentiments of some within the American military that they have a “good military” and that they can “take down governments.”  He spoke of a memo that described how the U.S. had “plans to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing off, Iran.” (source)

When it comes to Syrian attacks, the issue received even more attention when Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters stopped a live concern to explain the false-flag chemical attacks in Syria with the aid of the White Helmets.

I recently published an article about the White Helmets (you can read it below), which includes more information that went completely unreported by western mainstream media outlets.

UN Panel Discusses ‘White Helmets’ Criminal Activities, Organ Theft & False Flag Terrorism

“I think we have to understand how this happened. This happened because of us. These 600,000 [dead] are not just incidental. We started a war to overthrow a regime. It was covert. It was Timber Sycamore. People can look it up. The CIA operation together with Saudi Arabia still shrouded in secrecy, which is part of the problem in our country. A major war effort shrouded in secrecy, never debated by Congress, never explained to the American people, signed by President Obama – never explained. And this created chaos, and so just throwing more missiles in right now is not a response.” – Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Colubmia University (source)

Everything in this article may be deemed as ‘fake news,’ and deleted and censored. How wrong is that?

The Takeaway

Often when I write about such topics, I always include the following quotation by Dr. Michel Chossudovsky, an award-winning author, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, and the founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization:

“The global war on terrorism is a US undertaking, which is fake, it’s based on fake premises. It tells us that somehow America and the Western world are going after a fictitious enemy, the Islamic state, when in fact the Islamic state is fully supported and financed by the Western military alliance and America’s allies in the Persian Gulf.” (source)

His outlet has also previously been put on a list of ‘fake news’ sites, but I’m hoping you can see through this trend now and recognize just how disturbing information censorship has become.

At the end of the day, the veil with regards to major global events is lifting. Reality is not always as it’s presented, and the chemical gas attacks in Syria, 9/11, and several other examples make this quite clear. Humanity has woken up, as these narratives previously weren’t even on most people’s radars. But times have changed, and our perceptions with regards to global events have shifted drastically. Just a decade ago, we were the minority. But now, it seems, we are in the majority. All one has to do is turn off their TV and think and conduct research for themselves. Those who do this often come to the same conclusion: We have been ‘bamboozled,’ and our own minds have been used to justify inhumane actions and prolong wars and states of conflict that benefit only a select few.

Help Support Collective Evolution

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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Big News: Costco To Become First Major Retailer To Stop Selling Roundup Herbicide?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to the non profit group Moms Across America, Costco is set to stop selling Roundup herbicide.

  • Reflect On:

    Despite the fact that harmful products continue to be approved across North America, the ultimate power to stop their use is us. When we become aware, we stop buying, and their profits drop. We are the ones that use it. Vote with your dollar.

It’s hard to even know where to start with the herbicide Roundup. Despite years of science exposing the inarguable health and environmental consequences of Roundup, federal health regulatory agencies in North America are still approving the herbicide, while multiple other countries have banned it and made its use illegal, citing various health and environmental concerns. Sri Lanka, for example, banned it five years ago due to its link to deadly kidney disease.

Furthermore, the countries approving it are doing so with massive amounts of corruption. These approvals come as a result of corrupt regulatory agencies here in Canada as well as the US, specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The list of examples is very long when it comes to corruption and government connections to corporations like Monsanto, the corporation that created and sells Roundup. This is the only way these products get approved. It’s not science, it’s simply because of lobbying efforts and shady politics.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

The latest approvals of glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup, came from within Canada as well as Europe.

EU regulators recently decided to relicense glyphosate, a decision that was based on an assessment plagiarized from industry reports. It’s quite backwards that, for years, health regulators have been relying on the scientific reports from the companies that manufacture these products instead of seeking out independent scientific studies.

A group of MEPs decided to commission an investigation into claims that Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (bFr) copy-and-pasted tracts from Monsanto studies. You can read more about that here.

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In addition, Monsanto colluded with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stifle cancer research that had any connection to their products.

The corruption is never-ending when it comes to the link between corporations and government agencies. In fact, only a few years ago, more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the Spider Papers.

Related CE Article: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Explains How Big Pharma Completely Owns Congress

Costco

The corruption that plagues our federal regulatory agencies runs deep, and no matter how obvious the science becomes, like the dangers of Roundup, products that negatively impact our health seem to often get approved anyways. But something special on planet Earth is happening, and that’s massive awareness. We are finally starting to see through the veil that’s been blinding the masses in so many different areas within human life.

Sure, these products may continue to get approved, but we are the ones who are constantly choosing to do so. We don’t have to buy them, and that is why awareness is key.

Zen Honeycutt, the leader of Moms Across America, announced this week that Costco will not be selling the glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup Ready.

In a live video update posted on Facebook, Honeycutt stated that she received word that Costco was no longer selling Roundup or glyphosate-based herbicides.

While she’s allegedly not received any official word yet from Costco, she stated that she has talked to various people at the headquarters and regional offices confirming this news. This is huge news because, according to a 2015 article in National Geographic, Roundup is the second-best-selling herbicide in the U.S. for home lawn and garden use. Under a lucrative contract with Monsanto, Scotts Miracle-Gro owns the exclusive right to market Roundup in North America and much of Europe. Scotts distributes about $154 million worth (5.5 percent of the company’s total sales) of Roundup each year to retail giants including Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart.

So let’s hope it’s true.

I asked for an official statement and was told that usually, Costco does not issue press releases, etc discussing which items they have discontinued. Despite not hearing back from the Costco PR department, I decided to announce the information anyway. I told them that the 89,000 people who signed a petition to Costco, Home Depot, and Lowe’s deserved to have an answer. I knew that they would be happy to know that Costco was doing the right thing. – Honeycutt (source)

It’s weird how this is even a debate in some circles. This has been known for a very long time, and we’ve seen similar happenings with DDT in the past.

“Children today are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Our assessment of the latest science leaves little room for doubt; pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.” – October 2012 report by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) (source)(source)

Glyphosate is really getting a bad name, as this new information regarding Costco is coming off the heels of some bad press for Monsanto (Bayer) as the case regarding school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit claiming that glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial. There are thousands upon thousands of similar pending cases. Any jury that reviews all of the scientific evidence will not be able to rule in favor of Monsanto, and Johnson’s case was a great example that showed glyphosate caused his cancer.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, it’s us who decide to use these products. Obviously, we’ve been misled and made to trust our federal regulatory agencies who are supposedly in charge of protecting us from these harmful products. It’s the complete opposite, and what these agencies do is actually quite criminal. This is why conscious media is so important. The same powers that control these corporations have a tight grip on mainstream media as well.

This is why this issue goes largely ignored, and the fact that so many people rely on mainstream media for information about what’s really happening in the world with regards to health, environment, finance, politics, etc. is why a lot of people are still completely unaware of important issues. This is also why governments have started a war on ‘fake news,’ which seems to be a cover for protecting corporate and government interests.

Help Support Collective Evolution

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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New Study Links Acetaminophen (Tylenol) To Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity

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Another damning study indicates it is simply time to pull the plug on this outdated drug.

The study just published in JAMA Pediatrics once again indicated that women who take acetaminophen during pregnancy are more likely to have a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The researchers also found that prenatal exposure to the medication was associated with a higher risk of having children who exhibit other emotional or behavioral symptoms.

Recent detailed analysis of clinical studies on acetaminophen (Tylenol) have concluded that this popular drug was ineffective for low back pain and provided no significant clinical relief of hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain, while quadrupling the risk for liver damage.

All together, the results from all of these analyses further calls into question whether this drug should still be on the over-the-counter market or at all.

Background Data:

Acetaminophen is the only remaining member of the class of drugs known as “aniline analgesics” that is still on the market, as the rest were discontinued long ago. Acetaminophen only blocks the feelings of pain and reduces fever, it exerts no significant anti-inflammatory or therapeutic action.

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It is well-known that acetaminophen is very hard on the liver. About 40% of regular acetaminophen users show signs of liver damage. Acetaminophen reduces the liver’s store of the important detoxifying aid and antioxidant glutathione. When acetaminophen is combined with alcoholic drinks or other compounds toxic to the liver including other medications, its negative effects on the liver are multiplied. It should definitely not be used in anyone with impaired liver function and given the stress the liver experiences during pregnancy, it appears unwise to use it while carrying a child for both mother and the developing fetus.

Acetaminophen is often the drug of choice in children to relieve fever. However, use for fever in the first year of life is associated with an increase in the incidence of asthma and other allergic symptoms later in childhood. Asthma appears to be another disease process that is influenced greatly by antioxidant mechanisms. Acetaminophen severely depletes glutathione levels not only in the liver, but presumably other tissues as well, and should definitely not be used in people with asthma.

Each year acetaminophen causes over 100,000 calls to poison control centers; 50,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and more than 450 deaths from liver failure. In addition, regular use of acetaminophen is linked to a higher likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease, infertility, and hearing loss (especially in men under 50 years of age). Acetaminophen use during pregnancy has also been linked to the development of ADHD confirming animal studies showing acetaminophen use in pregnancy can disrupt normal brain development.

New Data:

To more closely assess the associations between maternal prenatal acetaminophen use and behavioral issues in their children, researchers in the United Kingdom collected and analyzed data 7,796 mothers along with their children. The data included acetaminophen use and behavioral assessments of the children were 7 years old. From this data the estimated risk ratios for behavioral problems in children after prenatal exposure to acetaminophen was determined.

The results showed that prenatal acetaminophen use at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy was associated with a 42% increased risk of the child having conduct problems and hyperactivity symptoms, while maternal acetaminophen use at 32 weeks was also associated with a 29% increased risk of the child having emotional symptoms and a 46% increase in total behavioral difficulties.

Obviously, the researchers concluded “Children exposed to acetaminophen prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral difficulties, and the associations do not appear to be explained by unmeasured behavioral or social factors linked to acetaminophen use.”

Comment:

The results from this study and others are clear. Stay away from acetaminophen. Most people consider acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) as being an extremely safe pain reliever for both children and adults. The reality is that it can be extremely dangerous and causes significant side effects. The FDA has done a poor job alerting the public to the dangers of acetaminophen. In my opinion, it is a drug that serves no real medical purpose in the 21stcentury. Bottom line, it is time to pull it from the market.

As far as alternatives to acetaminophen during pregnancy, I would recommend ginger. Historically, the majority of complaints for which ginger (Zingiber officinale) was used concerned the gastrointestinal system as well as pain and inflammation. Several double-blind studies have shown ginger to yield positive results in a variety of gastrointestinal issues, especially those related to nausea and vomiting including severe morning sickness. In regards to pain and inflammation, dozens of clinical studies have supported this use with positive results in various forms of arthritis, chronic low back pain, muscle pain, and painful menstruation.

Ginger powder, ginger tea or a shot of fresh ginger juice added to any fresh fruit or vegetable juice is certainly a much better option to acetaminophen anytime, but especially during pregnancy.

My overall interpretation of the study is that depletion of glutathione caused by acetaminophen leaves cells, especially brain cells, susceptible to damage. I believe that future studies will not only show more evidence of a link to ADHD, but also autism as well. Glutathione is absolutely critical in protecting cellular function. Any factor that depletes glutathione is obviously going to alter proper development. In addition to acetaminophen, the following factors can deplete glutathione:

To boost your glutathione level it is important to focus on a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. Their rich source of antioxidant phytochemicals and nutrients spare the use of glutathione and help to keep cellular levels high.

For additional related research use the following links: 


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Reference

Stergiakouli E, Thapar A, Smith GD. Association of Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy with Behavioral Problems in Childhood. Evidence Against Confounding. JAMA Pediatrics. Published online August 15, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1775


Dr. Murray is one of the world’s leading authorities on natural medicine. He has published over 40 books featuring natural approaches to health. His research into the health benefits of proper nutrition is the foundation for a best-selling line of dietary supplements from Natural Factors, where he is Director of Product Development. He is a graduate, former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. Please Click Here to receive a Free 5 Interview Collection from Dr Murray’s Natural Medicine Summit with the Top Leaders in the Field of Natural Medicine. Sign up for his newsletter and receive a free copy of his book on Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia.

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