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Why Bill Nye Is Not A ‘Science Guy’: What He Gets Wrong About GMOs

Michelle Blair

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When I first found out that ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’ was making a comeback, I was stoked! My inner child surfaced and I immediately started reminiscing over watching episodes of his old show in my science classes in junior high school. I could see the potential for positive change by having someone so many people knew and loved during their childhoods host a show on science. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the new series was less of a science lesson and more of a political propaganda piece. 

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Instead of presenting his viewers with science, he takes a biased, unscientific stance on many subjects. Not only that, but he blatantly makes fun of spirituality, other cultures, and ideas that have been scientifically proven as well. His tone is condescending and many of his “scientific claims” are simply incorrect, which begs the questions: Who is funding this propaganda campaign, and where did the science in this once iconic show go? 

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Because of these misleading statements, we were inspired to educate the public on the truth behind the subjects about which he is so misinformed. This article will be one of several that focuses on his new series, Bill Nye Saves the World. These articles aren’t meant to attack Nye’s character or his fans, but rather to inform the public on these subjects in a factual, scientific manner. 

This first article will focus on human health and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which is the subject discussed on episode four of the series.

Bill Nye’s Stance on GMOs

The episode begins with him explaining his personal journey on deciding whether or not he thinks GMOs are safe to consume. After what he felt was a “skeptical” analysis, he concluded that “the positives outweigh the negatives” and “science shows that GM crops are not riskier than other farmed crops.” He even claims that there are no studies that prove they are unsafe to eat. All of these statements are incorrect, and the science shows it. 

Nye says, “I have been eating genetically modified foods for decades and I’m fine, look at me.” This is a poor argument when it comes to human health, as everyone’s bodies are different. Just because you consume lots of refined sugar and never get cancer doesn’t mean that refined sugar isn’t linked to cancer. The same can be said about GMOs: Just because Bill Nye isn’t visibly sick and he eats GMOs doesn’t mean that GMOs won’t negatively affect other people’s bodies. Plus, human health is not the only issue when it comes to GMOs anyways.

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Nye then goes on to compare “naturally genetically modified” foods to Monsanto’s creations in our supermarkets. He uses a sweet potato as an example, which was, in a way, “genetically modified” thousands of years ago. This type of artificial selection (or genetic modification, if you want to call it that) is not the kind we are concerned with in this particular article, as it is completely different. That was a natural process; it wasn’t completed in a lab but occurred in nature itself, and does not pose the same threats to the ecosystem and our bodies as mainstream GM foods do, which is why Nye’s comparison makes no sense.

The sweet potato argument has been made by many corporations who benefit off the widespread use of GMOs, including Monsanto. People hear “natural” and “GMO” being used in the same sentence, and so it’s easier for corporations to convince people that GMOs are natural because consumers don’t understand the science behind them.

As Dr Lieve Gheysen, a researcher involved with the recent study on sweet potatoes being “natural GMOs,” explained, “The natural presence of Agrobacterium T-DNA in sweet potato and its stable inheritance during evolution is a beautiful example of the possibility of DNA exchange across species barriers.”

“It demonstrates that genetic modification also happens in nature.”

The study suggests that the bacterial DNA may have allowed sweet potatoes to naturally adapt for thousands of years, but this process is very different from current GMO technology. It didn’t require monoculture, excessive pesticide usage, a science lab, or seriously risking human health, meaning that it greatly differs from conventional GMOs in our food system.

What Nye Gets Wrong About Glyphosate and the Risks Associated With GMOs

Nye also discussed glyphosate in the episode, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, but failed to address any of the health and environmental risks associated with it. In order to understand the relationship between Monsanto, glyphosate, and GMOs, we’ll need to explore the history of GMOs and the food industry first. The original purpose of GMOs was to generate super crops with superior traits (for example, drought resistance) to increase efficiency and solve certain issues such as the growing global food demand as population rises.

Nye actually brought this up, using population growth as an argument to support GMO usage. Public interest attorney Steve Druker perfectly sums up why this is a myth in a National Geographic article, explaining:

Several studies by the UN and World Bank also concluded that genetic engineering is not needed to meet the world’s food needs. One of the directors of these studies was asked, “What role do you see for GMOs in the future of food?” He said, “Actually none. They aren’t needed. They haven’t been boosting yields. Small scale, agro-ecological methods are what’s needed in the Third World.”

In 2008, the UN Conference of Trade and development supported organics instead of GMOs, saying that organic agriculture can be more conducive to food security in Africa than most conventional production systems, and is more likely to be sustainable in the long term. You can read that full report here.

Nevertheless, Monsanto used this argument as an opportunity to monopolize the farming industry, so now most GMOs only carry one “superior trait”: resistance to one specific and extremely toxic herbicide, Monsanto’s Roundup. Roundup is now used all over the world, which is why Monsanto holds so much control over the global food system. This “resistance” allows farmers to spray their GM crops with Roundup without harming the crop.

This process does not come without extreme consequences, however. Since Roundup rapidly became the most popular herbicide used, weeds began to develop immunity to the spray, creating “super weeds,” an outcome that can significantly damage both the environment and the crop. This monopoly promotes the cultivation of a single, uniform crop, otherwise known as monoculture, which can lead to a decline in biodiversity, as it can greatly impact population dynamics and ecosystem roles.

In addition, Roundup is directly linked with numerous health concerns. Over the years, many studies have been published proving that the active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, can cause cancer, miscarriages, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), revealed a disturbing fact: Glyphosate is possibly “the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies.” Another study suggested that glyphosate can cause celiac disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, kidney failure, miscarriages, infertility, birth defects, obesity, autism, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer.

A group of scientists put together a comprehensive review of existing data that shows how European regulators have known that Monsanto’s glyphosate causes a number of birth malformations since at least 2002. Regulators misled the public about glyphosate’s safety, and in Germany the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety told the European Commission that there was no evidence to suggest that glyphosate causes birth defects. (source)

The report read:

Our examination of the evidence leads us to the conclusion that the current approval of glyphosate and Roundup is deeply flawed and unreliable. In this report, we examine the industry studies and regulatory documents that led to the approval of glyphosate. We show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s and 1990s that glyphosate causes malformation – but that this information was not made public. We demonstrate how EU regulators reasoned their way from clear evidence of glyphosate’s teratogenicity in industry’s own studies to a conclusion that minimized these findings in the EU Commission’s final review report.

Even though many of the studies performed on Roundup focus on glyphosate, the herbicide as a whole is even worse. A study published in the journal Biomedical Research International showed that Roundup is 125 times more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation. The eye-opening abstract reads as follows:

Pesticides are used throughout the world as mixtures called formulations. They contain adjuvants, which are often kept confidential and are called inerts by the manufacturing companies, plus a declared active principle, which is usually tested alone. We tested the toxicity of 9 pesticides, comparing active principles and their formulations, on three human cell lines. Glyphosate, isoproturon, fluroxypyr, pirimicarb, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, tebuconazole, epoxiconazole, and prochloraz constitute, respectively, the active principles of 3 major herbicides, 3 insecticides, and 3 fungicides.  Despite its relatively benign reputation, Roundup was among the most toxic herbicides and insecticides tested. Most importantly, 8 formulations out of 9 were up to one thousand times more toxic than their active principles. Our results challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake for pesticides because this norm is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone. Chronic tests on pesticides may not reflect relevant environmental exposures if only one ingredient of these mixtures is tested alone.

There are countless more studies that prove the dangers of GMOs, yet Nye chose not to include any of them in his episode. Who knows whether this was a decision made by him or by whomever is funding this propaganda piece, but it’s clear that he did not present all of the facts.

So, Why Hasn’t the U.S. Government Banned GMOs?

Numerous countries have banned the use of Monsanto’s Roundup as well as growing or selling GMOs, including Russia, Sri Lanka, and much of Europe. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich announced that Russia had “made the decision not to use any GMO in food productions,” but the U.S. has not followed suit.

As many of you probably know, the U.S. government is largely controlled by corporations and the elite, and the situation with GMOs and the laws surrounding them is no different. The EPA even has close ties to Monsanto executives, which was exposed in a recent court case (read more about it in our CE article here).

Jess Rowland, head of the EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC), was specifically caught aiding Monsanto. A report by that committee was “accidentally” leaked to the public at a time that was favourable to Monsanto given its recent lawsuits, so there was significant debate over whether or not it was actually an accident.

According to court filings, the discovery “strongly suggests that Mr. Rowland’s primary goal was to serve the interests of Monsanto.” Rowland has yet to publicly address these allegations; however, he has since left the agency and retired.

Plaintiffs state that the litigation revealed documents proving that Rowland was “straining, and often breaking, ethics and rules to benefit Monsanto’s business.” Internal Monsanto communications exposed that the company pushed this report to be published immediately in order to “preempt other potential actions or inquiries about the dangers of glyphosate,” according to a court filing.

Further proof lies in the form of a letter from a former EPA scientist to Rowland stating that there were significant scientific grounds for the EPA to reclassify glyphosate from a “possible human carcinogen” to a “probable” cancer-causing agent, but clearly Rowland ignored this expert’s opinion (source).

This may not come as a surprise to many of you, as the EPA has held close ties to numerous companies that threaten the environment, not just Monsanto. For example, you can read about the head of the EPA’s close ties to various oil and gas companies here.

There has also been speculation that scientific literature on GMOs has been censored in North America. For example, the only long term study that has ever been conducted on GMOs was published in November 2012 in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology by Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team of researchers at France’s Caen University (source). The study found severe liver and kidney damage as well as hormonal disturbances in rats fed with GM maize in conjunction with low levels of Roundup that were below those permitted in most drinking water across Europe. Results also indicated high rates of large tumours and mortality in most treatment groups.

The study was retracted in North America, but then republished in multiple journals in Europe, one of them being Environmental Sciences Europe (source). The North American retraction was largely due to strong commercial pressure from North American biotech companies, like Monsanto. The republished studies in Europe were even more up-to-date and settled any concerns that were raised about the retracted study, yet North America chose not to republish it.

The retraction was likely a political decision, which unfortunately is a huge issue when it comes to modern science in North America. Scientists no longer have the same freedom they once enjoyed to study and publish whatever they want because of significant pressure from the government and corporations.

This fact was also made clear by WikiLeaks documents:

Resistance to the advent of genetically modified foods has been pronounced across Europe. The continent features some of the strictest regulations governing the use and cultivation of GMO products, and public skepticism about biotech goods is quite high—a fact not lost on American diplomats. In a lengthy report dating from late 2007, a cable issued by the State Department outlined its “Biotechnology Outreach Strategy,” which, among other things, recognized the European Union’s “negative views on biology” and committed as a national priority to limiting them (O7STATE160639). . . .

Initial attention paid to the State Department’s part in pushing industrial manufactures on its allies obscured the even bigger role it played in assuring a place for genetically modified agricultural products (GMOs) in a region that largely wanted nothing to do with them. The American campaign promoting biotech products was a worldwide effort. In all, some 1,000 documents from the Cablegate cache address this effort, a significant number of which originate in Europe. U.S. diplomats on the continent gave considerable attention to insuring the interests of American biotech firms in Europe—whether through “education” programs, government lobbying, or outright coercion—as well as stripping down European Union regulations designed to act as a bugger against them. Available cables published by WikiLeaks suggest that the United States invests considerable time, effort, and expense in its operations on behalf of the American biotech firms.

Read more about it from The WikiLeaks Files: The World According To U.S. Empire

Related article: Federal Lawsuit Forces The US Government To Divulge Secret Files On Genetically Engineered Foods

Final Thoughts 

It’s quite clear that Monsanto is responsible for many of the environmental effects and health risks associated with GMOs, which is why it was so shocking that Nye asked the Chief Technology Officer of Monsanto, Robb Fraley, to speak on the show. Instead of including an unbiased panel of scientists to discuss the subject, he chose a higher up from the main company that’s responsible for all of this controversy.

Nye actually asks him, “Why does everyone hate Monsanto?” As if he’d provide an honest answer. When it comes to GMOs, Monsanto is only concerned with profit, not the environmental or health risks that come along with them.

“At a time when fake news is prevalent in our society, communication about science and restoring trust in the field has never been more important,” Fraley explained. “I was excited and honoured to be part of the show to help distinguish fact from fiction when it comes to GMOs. The fact is that GMOs are safe, effective and benefit the environment.”

So, now Bill Nye has associated fake news with questioning the safety of GMOs. This is precisely the issue with science in North America: We can no longer question it without being associated with fake news or conspiracy. However, isn’t that the point of science, to question everything in order to find the truth? Any scientist with integrity could look at these studies and admit that GMOs require a lot more testing in order to be deemed safe, if ever. This begs the question: Who is funding this episode of Bill Nye Saves The World?

Though the answer to this question is unclear, I’d like to point out that infamous investor and businessman George Soros reported at the end of 2015 that he owns 317,534 Netflix shares, which has an estimated worth of $32.79 million. If you’ve never heard of Soros, he is a key member of the elite, or the shadow government, disguised as a philanthropic billionaire.

Soros is well-known for financing and donating heavily to “left” groups in order to create further division and political turmoil, as he played a hand in creating the Black Lives Matter and Women’s March movements. Soros started making strategic political donations to essentially fund revolutions in different European countries and made a fortune amidst the chaos, and now he’s doing the exact same thing in the U.S. He also made a killing off European forced migration and other colour revolutions.

This isn’t the first time that Netflix has produced something that appears to be more propaganda than fact; for example, when Netflix launched The White Helmets, a fake documentary on the Syrian war. You can read more about that here. Though it’s unclear if Soros holds any ties to Nye’s show, it certainly makes you wonder whether or not the series falls under the elite’s agenda. Given the subject matter of many of the episodes and the extremely biased, unscientific stances Nye holds, this wouldn’t be surprising.

If Nye had presented a scientific argument on why he supports GMOs, that would be far more acceptable. Instead, he chose to only explore one side of the story, not giving his viewers the full picture. I hope that, if anything, this article taught you to critically think about everything you are watching or listening to. We can no longer simply trust news stations, scientists, doctors, and other people with “high-ranking” statuses. We need to learn to think for ourselves and to do our own research, because often times we aren’t being presented with both sides of the story.

To be clear, this article is not meant to vilify Bill Nye. For all we know, Nye could have no idea that he isn’t presenting all of the facts; he may truly believe he’s taking a scientific stance. At the end of the day, he’s also an actor and his show is doing pretty well, so he could see that as being successful. There’s no way to know what his motive here was, so there’s no point in hating on him.

What’s important is that we continue to spread knowledge, and seek the truth. Be open minded and critically think about everything, regardless of who’s presenting the information. Bill Nye may not be a ‘science guy,’ but the good news is that you can be! Educate yourself and keep an open mind — that’s the only way we can raise consciousness together.

 

 

 

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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

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Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

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Awareness

Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

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 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

To help make sense of what’s happening in our society today, we have released a course on overcoming bias and improving critical thinking. It’s an 8 module course and you can learn more about it here.

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Awareness

Lebanese Hospital Becomes The World’s First To Go 100 Percent Vegan (Food)

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A hospital in Lebanon has become the first in the world to adopt a completely vegan menu.

  • Reflect On:

    Are people aware of the physical and emotional torture the majority animals we eat go through? Are people aware that a diet free of animal products can be very beneficial for human health. Are people aware that animal agriculture is destroying Earth?

Before you begin...

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At the beginning of March, Hayek Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon became the first hospital in the world to serve 100 percent vegan only meals. Prior to this change, patients had a choice between animal based meals and vegan meals, and included with that was information about the health benefits of choosing plant-based foods versus the dangers of consuming animal products. The hospital made the announcement via their Instagram page, stating that “Our patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk, and eggs…the very food(s) that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.”

When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as a group 1A carcinogenic (causes cancer) same group as tobacco and red meat as group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in the hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital. When the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) declare that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious disease comes from animals. When adopting a plant based exclusive diet has been successfully proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them. We then, have the moral responsibility to act upon and align our beliefs with our actions. Taking the courage to look at the elephant in in the eye.

Their various statements also point to the role that animal agriculture plays in spawning infectious diseases, citing the Centers for Disease Control’s estimate that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals. “We believe it’s well about time to tackle the root cause of diseases and pandemics, not just treat symptoms,” they note.

This was a great statement. The modern day medical industry only seems to be focused on medications, and only medications that can turn a hefty profit, to treat and cure disease instead of addressing root causes. It’s good to see things changing, but a big problem remains. If a plant that grows in abundance, for example, has the potential to cure a disease, will we ever hear about it? Will the medical industry be interested in it? Probably not, but when a drug is made and patented from that plant in a specific way, that’s when we will. This is not to say that modern day medicine is useless, but today now more than ever a big problem exists, and this problem may be killing more people than it’s helping.

Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), a Harvard professor of medicine and also a former Editor-in-Chief of NEMJ, was frustrated that “the medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” (source)

According to Forks Over Knives,

While Hayek is the first hospital to completely purge animal products from its menu, a number of hospitals have begun offering more plant-based options in recent years. Both New York and California have enacted laws requiring hospitals to offer a plant-based option with every meal. In 2018 NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue launched the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program to help patients transition to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle.

The American Medical Association passed a resolution in 2017 calling on U.S. hospitals to provide healthful plant-based meals to promote better health in patients, staff, and visitors. The American College of Cardiology has issued similar recommendations.

In my opinion, “veganism is a very fine form of nutrition” (Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, heart surgeon), and as mentioned above, there is plenty of science to back up that statement.  I’ve written about it many times before from a health perspective.

Here’s an article that goes into more detail and science if you’re interested, it also addresses history, and how our teeth and guts are designed and more. Here’s another one regarding a study that found a strong association between eating animal protein and a premature death from all causes, including multiple cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The studies cited in that article note that meat eating is strongly associated with up to a 75 percent increased chance of early mortality, and that protein from animals may cause harm, while protein from plants may help reverse disease and have a protective effect.

There are hundreds of these studies, and the ones I cite are just a few examples.

This is obviously a very controversial topic in the eyes of many, and it’s not hard at all to find conflicting information on the subject. I am no doubt bias in my beliefs and opinions here.

One thing is for certain, the way we treat animals on this planet is extremely heartbreaking and unnecessary. Animals are separated from their families, raised for slaughter and are kept in torturous conditions on a daily basis. It’s truly unbelievable and horrific. It’s the biggest genocide and example of both physical and emotional torture the world has ever seen. I don’t think anybody can witness what really goes on in most slaughterhouses can come out not being impacted.

On top of this, animal agriculture is one of, if not the greatest contributer to environmental degradation and pollution on our planet. Animal agriculture is actually the leading cause of deforestation. Every single day, close to 100 plant/animal/insect species are lost because of this practice.

Final Thoughts: At the end of the day it seems that, from a health perspective, processed meats, and other meats are no doubt harmful to human health. People can make the argument that other animal products may not be and that we are meant to consume them. People can also make the complete opposite argument. One thing that can’t be argued is, again, the torture, physical and emotional abuse that comprise the source of where animal products come from for the majority of people who eat them.

There is a big split, as with many other topics, amongst people on this issue. There are even vegan influencers who are creating splits within the ‘vegan community’ itself, which is unfortunate. I personally believe that, from a health perspective, animal products are not at all required for anybody and are again, overall, harmful to human health.

The more pressing issue, again, is the treatment of our animal brothers and sisters, and how we are constantly using and abusing them. It’s indicative of world that lacks empathy, compassion, understanding and love, as well as our inability to see ourselves in another. This can be seen in many aspects of the current human experience, be it war, human trafficking and more. That being said, it’s great to see human consciousness shifting towards a more compassionate, empathetic type of awareness. This is evident by the “vegan” movement alone, as it’s become quite large over the past few years and will continue to grow. Some of the biggest animal food producers have already gone out of business, and it’s great to see more people in the health community as well recognize that it’s a win for health, a win for environment, and most importantly, a win for the very emotional, intelligent, animals, who are similar to us in so many ways. We have so much to learn from them.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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