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

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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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Awareness

The Physicians For Informed Consent Ask If The MMR Vaccine Is More Dangerous Than The Measles

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What Happened: The Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) are a group of doctors and scientists from around the world who have come together to support informed consent when it comes to mandatory vaccine measures. Their information is based on science. Their mission is to deliver data on infectious diseases and vaccines, and to unite doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals, attorneys, and families who support voluntary vaccinations. Their vision is that doctors and the public are able to evaluate the data on infectious diseases and vaccines objectively and voluntarily engage in informed decision-making about vaccination. 

You can check out their directors, advisors, and founding members here.

The organization itself is much bigger than the founding members, and includes a coalition of organizations, doctors and scientists.

On their website, they’ve put out some excellent downloadable PDF’s with regards to the MMR vaccine. There are four of them that all present different points.

  1. MEASLES: What Parents Need To Know
  2. MMR VACCINE: Is It Safer Than Measles? 
  3. Waning Immunity & The MMR Vaccine 
  4. FAQ’s: The MMR Vaccine versus the Measles

One of them deals with “what parents need to know about the measles vaccine” and another one presents the information that has them questioning if the MMR vaccine is safer than the measles. They point out that the chances of dying from measles and make many comparisons to the vaccine.

According to a MedAlerts search of the FDA Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database, as of 2/5/19, the cumulative raw count of adverse events from measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines alone was: 93,929 adverse events, 1,810 disabilities, 6,902 hospitalizations, and 463 deaths. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid out approximately $4 billion to compensate families of vaccine-injured children. As astronomical as the monetary awards are, they’re even more alarming considering HHS claims that only an estimated 1% of vaccine injuries are even reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

The PDF’s are well-sourced and laid out in an easy to read and understand type of manner, and quite detailed. Their arguments are quite compelling, and it would be interesting to present this information to a physician on the opposite end of the spectrum in order to hear or read their rebuttal. So feel free to take a look at them if interested!

Why This Is Important: When it comes to both our individual and collective health, all of us simply want what’s best. Nobody can really deny that, especially for our children. The issue is, many people have been made to believe that vaccines are for the greater good of everybody. We are made to believe that children, for example, who are not vaccinated are actually a danger to the vaccinated children.

The Physicians for Informed Consent are well aware of this argument, and they present a lot of information on why that’s not true. At the end of the day, in order to produce “herd immunity” from vaccines, the vaccines must be 100 percent effective for everybody, all of the time. We already know that that’s not the case and that a large majority are susceptible to vaccine injury. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury act alone is enough to argue against mandatory vaccination and the idea that the unvaccinated are a risk to the vaccinated. In fact, vaccines have been known to spread diseases. This has happened with polio as well as the measles.

For example, during the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences. The media (Pharma-owned) generated high public anxiety. This fear-mongering led to the demonization of unvaccinated children, who were perceived as the spreaders of this disease. Rebecca J. McNall, a co-author of the published report, is a CDC official in the Division of Viral Diseases who had the data proving that the measles outbreak was in part caused by the vaccine. It is evidence of the vaccine’s failure to provide immunity. (source)

There are actually decades of examples when it comes to the measles.

The Takeaway

Vaccinations are quite a controversial topic, and vaccine hesitancy continues to increase among not only the global citizenry, but among doctors and physicians as well, which was also expressed at the recent World Health Organization vaccine summit. You can read more about that here.

In today’s day and age, it’s important to ask ourselves if measures taken under the guise of goodwill are really necessary and good for us. Take terrorism, for example, the idea that those who fund the problem, arm the problem, and in some cases create the problem then propose the solution of foreign infiltration, again, under the guise of goodwill.

So what were the real intentions, to stop the terrorists or to take over the country for natural resources and economic power and control?

Are people capitalizing off of the coronavirus? Not just for profit but for control, like Edward Snowden mentioned?

It’s also important to note that pharmaceutical companies hold tremendous lobbying power, even more so than big oil. (source)

Ask yourself, should we not have the right to decide for ourselves what goes into our body? Especially when there is a tremendous amount of flawed logic with the idea of mass vaccinations? Should we not have access to appropriate double blind placebo controlled safety studies? How come there are none for vaccines?

Why are there massive ridicule campaigns against organizations, professionals and people who create awareness about vaccine safety? Is vaccine safety not in the best interests of everybody? Should we not be analyzing and questioning instead of simply believing?

We must ask ourselves if we want to continue to give our consciousness and perceptions about certain medications over to these global and federal health authorities or, is it time to start asking more questions and pointing out facts that don’t really resonate? Why is discussion being discouraged, censored and even punished?

Why is Julian Assange in Jail? Why do we jail those who expose crimes and identify with those who commit them?

At the end of the day, vaccines are not a one size fits all product, and that’s quite clear. There are risks associated with vaccines, and evidence suggests that they are nowhere near as rare as they’re made out to be.

If we can come together as billions and shut down for the coronavirus, imagine what we could do if we come together to oppose measures that we as a citizenry, and as an entire collective, do not desire.

 

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Alternative News

Soft Drink Companies Caught Using Big Tobacco’s Playbook To Lure Young Children

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Documents obtained by researchers clearly outline the unethical and immoral actions Tobacco companies used to 'hook' kids onto sugary drinks. They use the same tactics they did for smoking.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do and have our federal health regulatory agencies allow such products to be approved as safe for consumption when they are clearly linked to a variety of diseases, like cancer?

Many moves made by multiple big corporations are extremely unethical, immoral, and downright shocking. These corporations have completely compromised our federal health regulatory agencies, and it’s quite clear that they do not care about the health of the human race and will do anything when it comes to the success of the products they manufacture, including taking illegal and/or immoral actions.

One of the more recent examples comes from the tobacco industry. Companies within the industry used colors, flavors, and marketing techniques to lure and entice children as potential future smokers. They actually used and applied these same strategies to sweetened beverages starting as early as 1963, according to a study conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco.

As the Sugar Scientists point out:

The study, which draws from a cache of previously secret documents from the tobacco industry that is part of the UCSF Industry Documents Library tracked the acquisition and subsequent marketing campaigns of sweetened drink brands by two leading tobacco companies: R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris. It found that as tobacco was facing increased scrutiny from health authorities, its executives transferred the same products and tactics to peddle soft drinks. The study was published in the March 2019 issue of BMJ.

“Executives in the two largest U.S.-based tobacco companies had developed colors and flavors as additives for cigarettes and used them to build major children’s beverage product lines, including Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid, Tang and Capri Sun,” said senior author Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH, of the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Even after the tobacco companies sold these brands to food and beverage corporations, many of the product lines and marketing techniques designed to attract kids are still in use today.” (source)

The new papers, which are available in the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library, a subset of the UCSF Industry Documents Library, reveal the close and tight knit relationships between the big tobacco and big food industries. In fact, in the 60s and 70s, these companies conducted taste tests with mothers and their children to evaluate sweetness, colors and flavors for Hawaiian Punch product line extensions. The children’s preferences were prioritized.

Kool-Aid Joins Marlboro

Meanwhile, tobacco competitor Philip Morris had acquired Kool-Aid, via General Foods, in 1985. The company flipped its marketing audience from families to children, created its “Kool-Aid Man” mascot, and launched collaborations with branded toys, including Barbie and Hot Wheels. It also developed a children’s Kool-Aid loyalty program described as “our version of the Marlboro Country Store,” a cigarette incentives program. (source)

“The Wacky Wild Kool-Aid style campaign had tremendous reach and impact,” said first author Kim Nguyen, ScD, MPH, who is also with the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. “Lots of kids in the ’80s dreamed of getting swag from the Wacky Warehouse. What is really ‘wacky’ is that the Kool-Aid kid program was modeled after a tobacco marketing strategy designed to build allegiance with smokers.”

The tobacco giant also acquired Capri Sun and Tang, and used similar child-focused integrated marketing strategies to drive those sales.

“The industry claims that these tobacco-inspired marketing strategies are not actually targeting children and should be excluded from these industry-led agreements,” said Schmidt. “But the evidence cited in our research shows that these product lines and marketing techniques were specifically designed for and tested on children.” (source)

The UCSF Industry Documents Library was launched in 2002 as a digital portal for tobacco documents. Today, the library includes close to 15 million internal tobacco, drug, chemical and food industry documents used by scientists, policymakers, journalists and community members in their efforts to improve and protect the health of the public.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that government health authorities and the corporations we buy our food from, among other things, really don’t care about us. This has become extremely evident, as they are responsible for the sharp rise in numerous diseases. It’s not uncommon to see parents buy their children products similar to the ones listed above, and that’s due to mass brainwashing and the fact that we’ve been made to feel that these products are actually safe. This is why awareness is so critical.

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Awareness

Why A Growing Number of People Are Abstaining From Porn & Masturbation

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They are known as “fapstronauts,” and they are part of a growing community of hundreds of thousands of men and women who are abstaining from masturbation to internet pornography.

Their community is called “NoFap,” and its founder, Alexander Rhodes, is a man on a mission to educate and inspire the world about the damaging effects of masturbating to porn.

What could possibly be wrong with harmless masturbation, you might wonder? Aren’t we meant to enjoy the simple pleasure centres of our bodies?

According to Rhodes, masturbating to porn isn’t harmless at all. In fact, it is a silent epidemic of disastrous proportion.

“The emergence of internet pornography has changed the landscape of sexual development and relationships in a way never-before-seen in human history,” he said during his speech at the Out of the Shadows national press conference. “As a result, countless people are having their sexual tastes shaped by porn producers rather than real, human, experiences. These days, exposure to pornography seems to be a virtual certainty and young men [and women] are therefore automatically ‘opted-in’ to potential addiction, relational difficulty, porn-induced erectile dysfunction, and more,” he continued.

During his speech, Rhodes discusses the idea that porn is a relatively new variable in human evolution, and we are only beginning to see the repercussions of its use arise in the current generation of men and women.

He says exposure to porn is so rampant that it is practically mandatory for children to come into contact with some image or video before puberty. He quotes an Australian study which asked 258 male participants about their exposure to porn. Only one reported they’d never been exposed. Even more concerning, the median age of first exposure was 13 for males and 16 for females.

In this way, Rhodes says, kids are learning about sexuality through porn before their first kiss.

Frequent masturbation to porn is causing erectile dysfunction in a generation of men.

Today, a large community of “fapstronauts” is coming forward to talk about the impact this exposure has had on their lives. They report heavy reliance on porn and masturbation is manifesting in disturbing ways­ — erectile dysfunction (ED) and anorgasmia, the inability to orgasm during partnered sex, being a few of them.

According to a Kinsey report, in 1948 less than 1% of men under 30 had ED. In 2012, Swiss researchers found this number at 30%.

And the effects of watching porn span far beyond the physical, says Rhodes.

“Different studies on porn users are showing associations with sexual dysfunction, brain hypofrontality, desensitization, sensitization to porn cues, increased stress, less motivation, relationship problems, decreased sexual satisfaction, and other life-altering detriments.”
(For an extensive list of research articles on the effects of porn, click here.)

Numerous scientific studies have found that excessive porn use has biological and behavioural ramifications.

Rhodes also stresses that he and the NoFap community are in no way ‘sex negative’:

Being skeptical of pornography is not the same thing as being sex negative – there’s a huge difference between pornography and sex. In porn, the viewer is a voyeur, rather than a participant. It is on a screen. It is available in virtually endless amounts and pirated all over porn tube sites without monetary cost. It is always accessible, just a tap or click away. To our brain’s reward system, this can be an especially enticing quick and repeatable path to an orgasm, compared to partnered sex. In fact, many people who are quitting porn are doing so in the pursuit of better sex. Quitting porn is sex positive.

He notes many NoFap community members are there to improve their interpersonal relationships, whether it be for a marriage, a relationship, or single life. For others, it is simply a challenge of willpower — to seize control of your sexuality and turn it into superpowers.

“There are many, many different reasons to join but we’re all on NoFap with one goal – to help each other abstain from PMO (porn/masturbation/orgasm).”

Men And Women Report Incredible Life Shifts After Quitting Porn and Masturbation

Within the many pages of the NoFap forums, whether directly on the NoFap website or within the large and fast-growing Reddit community, it is easy to see the profound shifts taking place for people who’ve succeeded in the NoFap challenge, which consists of setting an intention to abstain from masturbation and watching porn for a certain amount of time and then riding it out.

The NoFap community is growing at a rapid pace.

Participants report diverse and overwhelmingly positive results from their efforts, like increased confidence, reduced anxiety, improved focus and memory, increased concentration, improved social skills, deeper sleeps, enhanced abilities to feel emotions, less brain fog, and even seemingly being more attractive to females.

While some might say these are rather normal powers, fapstronauts say that after years of feeling depressed, scattered. and unmotivated, the onset of these new changes feel as incredible as real ‘ superpowers‘ would.

One user, “borninthenorthwest,” said committing to NoFap altered his attitudes toward sex and women entirely:

My relationship with porn began at the age of 13 with nude Playboy photos of Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy. This was in the days of dial-up Internet, and I was initiated by my childhood best friend at the time. Although this did not seem pornographic, relative to what my peers were beginning to look at, I now see that this was the beginning. It began a cycle where every woman I met was judged by these photogenic standards, and felt no real attraction towards most girls in high school, despite being popular and well-liked for my prowess on the guitar.

He explained his warped attitude toward women posed issues in his sex life.

“None of the girls I met in college could compare to the standards in my own mind. What few girls I was attracted to, I felt incapable of asking out for a date, and often would simply fantasize about them instead.”

He admits he developed an addiction to porn, and at 31 he discovered the NoFap community.

“Since then my relationship with both pornography and far more innocent triggers is vastly different. I no longer use porn at all, and no longer place the celebrity notion of beauty on the pedestal either, and am interested in real life and real people, slowly but surely engaging in reality.”

“Fapstronauts” claim that abstaining from porn and masturbation improves their overall confidence and sex lives.

Here is what a few other fapstronauts had to say.

Thesexymountainman:

“Went to a dance last night and asked a bunch of girls to dance. Felt like a boss. A few months ago I would have been sweating and shaking doing that. I would’ve been looking at the floor with my head down like a whipped puppy trying to ask a girl to dance. Stay strong everybody! There’s life after PMO, and it’s awesome af!”

Amadadado:

“Today I am walking around with random erections all day long, like a teenager. I am in my 40s, so this feels strange.”

IronWide:

“Life is amazing and it’s only been two weeks! I have found out how much more confident I am in public, and how much more secure I feel about myself.”

TheGaurdian97:

“I finished a 300 page book in one sitting today. Before I would fall asleep or procrastinate and play on my phone. Now I can read and actually remember what I read.” 

The Most Important Takeaway

Today, Rhode’s mission is to get the message out to parents so that healthy conversations can start happening at an early age.

Educating children about sexuality and the effects of watching porn is a crucial component in preventing porn addiction and porn related side effects.

“Families need to educate their children about pornography – and they need to do so before the porn producers do, since right now minors are getting hooked on porn long before they are made aware of the potential negative effects.”

And for the ones currently suffering from porn related side effects, he offers that the treatment to these symptoms simply comes down to one thing— removing porn from their lives:

We simply want people to ask themselves the question, how is porn impacting my life and relationships? And if they do not know how porn is impacting them, they can simply take a quick break, changing one variable in a self experiment, to see what impact it might have on their lives and their relationships. Already, thousands have made the personal decision to leave porn in the past, and have gone on to live more fulfilling lives with improved interpersonal relationships. It’s time we think about and openly discuss our heavy usage of pornography. In the meantime more and more people around the world will continue to declare their autonomy and reclaim their sexualities from the porn production companies.

If you are struggling with porn addiction, or are simply curious about what others are reporting from abstaining from masturbation, join the NoFap communities through their website or on Reddit. NoFap offers many resources as well as a global support network to help you transition away from the addictive influence of porn.

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