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Your Favourite Brand of Orange Just Tested Positive For High Amounts of Glyphosate Herbicide

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Cheerios, Quaker Oats, and other breakfast cereals are contaminated with Glyphosate, among other things. It was also recently discovered that some of the most popular brands of Orange Juice are also chock full of this herbicide.

  • Reflect On:

    Did we not learn from DDT? How, after so many publications that clearly show multiple causes for concern with regards to human health and environmental impacts

(Posted with permission from the Children’s Health Defence team). In August, news broke that Cheerios, Quaker Oats, and other breakfast cereals were contaminated with glyphosate weed killer. Just this week, more news of glyphosate in snack bars. Parents across the nation became concerned about their family’s breakfast foods and snacks. Now we learn we must also be looking at the most popular breakfast beverage, orange juice, as well.

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The sample from (Florida’s Natural) showed results almost 3 times higher than the previous year’s test results provide to another organization, showing an increase, rather than a decrease of the use of glyphosate herbidies.

Over one year after initial tests, Moms Across America sent America’s most popular orange juice brands to be tested again for the carcinogenic chemical glyphosate. The new test results, ranging from 2.99 ppb to 17.16 ppb, are not promising. Although the different brands, Tropicana, Minute Maid, Costco’s Kirkland Signature, and Stater Bros. had slightly lower levels of glyphosate weed killer than the first tests conducted a year ago, all still had detectable levels of glyphosate. In addition, Moms Across America added another sample, Florida’s Natural, and the results were not only among the highest of all the brands tested for glyphosate residues, the sample from the brand showed results almost 3 times higher than the previous year’s test results provided to another organization, showing an increase, rather than a decrease of the use of glyphosate herbicides.

Florida’s Natural glyphosate testing in 2017 showed the following results: glyphosate amount detected: 2.14 ppb; AMPA amount detected: 1.98 ppb, the effective glyphosate level was 5.11 ppb. In 2018 the test results showed an effective level of glyphosate at 14.42.

Recently plaintiff Alexandra Axon, represented by Richman Law Group, sued Florida’s Natural for misleading the public by claiming their product is natural when in fact it contains glyphosate. The lawsuit is still pending.

The use of glyphosate in orange production and in Florida is controversial for many reasons. Moms Across America founding executive director states, “Orange growers have known for over 3 years now that the World Health Organization branch of the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate a definite animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen, and yet they continue to use this harmful herbicide in the growing of oranges. We do not want harmful chemicals in the beverages we give our children and families every day. We have asked these brands to make changes and received no favourable response. We are releasing these test results and we are publicly asking again. Please, stop sourcing oranges from farmers who use glyphosate, and be a part of reducing the exposure of glyphosate to children.”

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Glyphosate, Citrus Greening and Poor Crop Health

Many orange growers will insist they need glyphosate herbicides to prevent weed growth. They also complain of citrus greening, a plight impacting their livelihood. According to Frank Dean, crop consultant with a BS Biological and Physical Sciences from the University of Houston, who works with orange growers in Florida, commented for this article,” I can say every visual symptom of citrus greening can be induced with an application of glyphosate; that includes asymmetric chlorosis, short internodes, tiny leaves, abnormal flowers and flowering events. When a grove reduces, or, eliminates the use of glyphosate and the organic substances and minerals blocked by glyphosate are applied, the sick trees begin to recover. Over time, the soil has the sub-lethal dose of glyphosate reduced with organic amendments and the indicator of the disease cannot be found with CT Scans for 16S rDNA.”

In other words, the use of glyphosate contributes to citrus greening and reduction of soil quality.Dr. Don Huber, 50 year plant pathologist has pointed out that lower soil quality also mean lower water retention, resulting in higher water usage, less nutrients in the produce, and decreased quality of the crop. Discontinuing the use of glyphosate herbicides in orange groves, and all farming in Florida, would not only reduce exposure to children, but improve the health, productivity and profits of the crop.

A major denier of this assessment would be the University of Florida, which is funded by Monsanto, and who puts out the majority of the information about citrus greening. They claim it is an insect, and therefore call for more pesticides, likely produced by Monsanto.

Glyphosate and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The use of glyphosate herbicides is also a hot topic due to the recent Johnson v Monsanto Trial verdict, in which a California jury awarded millions to a school groundskeeper stricken with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in connection to using Roundup®️ and Ranger Pro – both glyphosate herbicides. Monsanto was found responsible for its role in producing and selling the carcinogenic substance when the Judge upheld the jury’s ruling of guilty on all counts.

A new French study showed an 86% lower incidence of non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when participants ate organic food, which does not allow the use of glyphosate.

Glyphosate and Marine Life Losses

In addition, environmentalists have long been linking glyphosate to toxic green algae, which has plagued Florida for months.  Scientists from many studies are finding that so-called blue-green ‘algae’ are actually not algae but rather a type of primitive bacteria called ‘cyanobacteria.’ They have a special skill that is rare among all species to be able to fully metabolize glyphosate and use its phosphorus atom as a source of phosphorus. So they obtain a competitive advantage against other species in the presence of chronic glyphosate exposure. Phosphorous levels are a serious issue, as documented in the Lake Erie’s cyanobacteria blooms in 2017- “It turns out that many cyanobacteria present in Lake Erie have the genes allowing the uptake of phosphonates, and these cyanobacteria can grow using glyphosate and other phosphonates as a sole source of phosphorus.” stated George Bullerjahn of Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

As shown in this Mercola article, scientists and environmental leaders have long been linking the chemicals (the most widely used chemical is glyphosate herbicide) used in factory farm runoffs in Florida to Red Tide which has devastated millions of marine life. Glyphosate residues are found at very high levels in animal feed and presumably then the animal feces, creating pollution which runs off into the waterways. These same chemicals are used in sugar and orange groves. The blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) are able to convert free nitrogen from the air into nitrates. Thus, they cause an excess of nitrates in the water, in addition to those nitrates that come from excess run-off from nitrate-based fertilizers. The excess nitrates provide essential nutrients for the red algae (Karenia brevis), that then grow to large numbers offshore, which can cause Red Tide.

In other words, glyphosate FEEDS cyanobacteria…or…another perspective is that mother nature’s way of cleaning up glyphosate is with cyanobacteria blooms. These blooms can then encourage the growth of Red Tide…which has devastated marine life, tourism, local restaurants and business along thousands of miles of Florida’s coastline.

Glyphosate Overuse in Florida

The amount of glyphosate that is used in Florida on orange groves, sugar cane fields, and on city streets is enormous. Over 3.5 million lbs per square mile of glyphosate was sprayed in Florida according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) between 2000-2012.

In addition, glyphosate herbicide AquaMaster was permitted to be sprayed directly in waterways such as Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades, a nature reserve. Local environmentalists are outraged by the lack of action from their governor and local authorities to discontinue the use of glyphosate herbicides and protect marine life.

Glyphosate herbicides are sprayed to prevent weed growth in the Florida Everglades. Glyphosate feeds the growth of cyanobacteria, or “green algae,” and then copper is sprayed to combat the green algae. Copper is a known spermicide.

Glyphosate Test Results in Florida’s Water

Lake Okeechobee water test result:

Moms Across America commissioned the testing of water in Lake Okeechobee and off the coast of Cape Coral. Lake O results, where cyanobacteria was present, showed levels between half the amount and  2 times higher than is allowed in European drinking water. Because cyanobacteria digests glyphosate it would be expected that where cyanobacteria is present the water would sometimes test for lower levels of glyphosate.

ape Coral, FL water test result:

The test results off the coast of Cape Coral, at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River where cyanobacteria was present* showed levels of glyphosate 12 times higher than is allowed in European drinking water.

Runoff from orange grove spraying and weed management with glyphosate in the Everglades contributes to the presence of glyphosate in Florida waterways. A 2013 study shows that glyphosate can remain viable in salt water for 315 days. Another 2016 study by Roy et al. has shown that glyphosate induces cardiac toxicity in fish. Harm from glyphosate upon marine life, pets, and humans living in Florida is a scientifically sound concern. Residents, an notable environmental proponents such as Erin Brockovich are increasingly justified in calling for action.

Glyphosate and Cancer

WFTX Fox 4 News reported in 2016 regarding South Florida, The result of one study explains that “compared with the state, there is a statistically significant 36% increased risk of childhood cancer.”

Although there is no conclusive evidence this increased risk is due specifically to glyphosate, author Warren Wright continues, “these findings are suggestive of environmental risk factors in our area.” Considering that glyphosate is widely and heavily used in this specific environment and has been deemed a definite animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen by theWorld Health Organization, residents are justifiably outraged that the spraying of glyphosate would continue on crops or waterways for any reason. Some local residents have taken action. Stuart and Miami, Florida have banned the use of glyphosate. Residents in Tampa are suing Monsanto. Florida residents want the entire state to be protected and are calling on Governor Scott to place a moratorium on glyphosate.

The conservation group Friends of the Everglades is frustrated that the Florida State Department of Health (FDOH) has yet to take any action.  “What I can say is that scientists who are fearful for their careers and have a hard time finding funding, would all say this is an area that needs much more serious investigation and follow-up by the state of Florida,” says chairman Alan Farago.

Glyphosate and Health Impacts, Especially on Children

Chemical farming proponents and even some food movement individuals have claimed that low levels of glyphosate are safe. This information is not only confusing but blatantly wrong. Peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that ultra-low levels of glyphosate herbicides cause, yes cause, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. According to the Liver Foundation, 1 out of 10 Americans now has liver disease. Some are children as young as 8 years old. Additional studies show that low levels of glyphosate herbicides can be endocrine disruptors, changing sex hormones. In addition, Andre Leu, president of IFOAM and author of The Myth of Safe Pesticides stated at the Monsanto Tribunal “Children do not have the enzymes in their livers to break down toxins, especially infants and unborn children. There are NO safe levels.” Clearly, ignoring the science and encouraging people to continue to consume glyphosate, especially children who are especially vulnerable to pesticides, a fact acknowledged by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is dangerous.

Millions of children often start their day with a glass of orange juice and eat oatmeal or Cheerios with high residues of glyphosate. By doing so, they may be increasing their risk of liver disease, cancer, and many other health issues connected to glyphosate. Too many, however, want to feel comfortable in eating what they want to eat. Too many farmers want to continue to spray chemicals they have been told are safe. And too many food manufacturers want to continue profiting from cheap food grown with chemical farming. The question is, when will there be too many sick children? And when will the harms from chemical farming be deemed too much?

Take Action to Ban Glyphosate

Take action today. Tell your Governor you do not want glyphosate herbicides used anywhere in your state. Sign petition.

Support the Organic Consumer Association’s call to action- click here: TAKE ACTION: Tell Florida’s Natural: Orange Juice with Roundup®️Weedkiller Isn’t ‘Natural’

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Awareness

Medical Medium: The Two Causes Of Chronic Illness & The Power Of Your Thoughts

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Medical Medium is one of the most influential figures in the alternative health movement, and he firmly believes that our thoughts and beliefs can play an integral role in our health and wellness.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or a loved one currently battling a chronic illness? If so, how do you view it and what are you doing to help your body overcome it?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, Anthony William (also commonly known as the Medical Medium) is the author of several New York Times bestselling books including Liver Rescue and Life-Changing Foods. He’s also the primary figure behind the now viral Global Celery Juice Movement–a subject that we covered in great detail earlier this year.

However, what really sets Anthony William apart in the alternative health world is that the source of his insights is far more “alternative” than most of his equally successful counterparts. You see, rather than regularly citing scientific studies or findings throughout each of his books, Anthony instead credits a higher source that he channels out of compassion and a desire to truly heal us all–something that many believe modern medicine struggles with. (To learn more about Anthony’s incredible story read this.)

Several of us connected to Collective Evolution, myself included, have put many of Anthony’s suggestions into practice and I can say from personal experience that I’m grateful to have done so. As just the adoption of daily morning celery juice alone has worked wonders at improving both my own health and the health of my mother in just a few short months.

As part of the upcoming Hay House Heal Summit, two new videos featuring Anthony have recently been released, both of which share a perspective on our health that is certainly worth considering.

The Two Causes Of Chronic Illness

As Anthony outlines in the video, chronic illness ultimately boils down to the presence of toxins and pathogens. Toxins are defined as poisonous substances that are products of the metabolic activities of a living organism, while pathogens are causative agents of disease.

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Whether it be through the food that we are eating, the air that we are breathing, the surfaces that we are touching, or the liquids that we are drinking, our bodies are regularly exposed to things that both build up toxins and/or present us with triggers of illness that are only made stronger by the existing toxins within our body for it to feed and thrive off of.

It therefore becomes imperative that we consider taking proactive measures–whether it be those recommended by the Medical Medium or otherwise–to both rid our body of existing toxins and minimize the amount of new toxins we expose it to. I’ve personally found being more conscious of the dietary choices that I make, and opting to make my own food with non-processed organic ingredients as often as possible, as incredibly helpful in doing exactly this, especially when paired with celery juice first thing in the morning to help flush out pre-existing and new toxins I’ve managed to take on.

The Power Of Your Thoughts

Within this video, Anthony touches upon an aspect of health that I’ve become particularly connected to over the past 3 years through my work with the documentary Heal. Heal is a film that features some of the greatest minds in the alternative health movement including Deepak Chopra, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Kelly Brogan and the Medical Medium himself in an exploration of the role that our thoughts can play in our ability or inability to heal from illness and disease. (Note: If you haven’t seen it, the film is available on Netflix.)

While toxins and pathogens may play the physical leading roles in the development of disease, many believe that our thoughts and beliefs may play just as critical a role.

Whether you or someone close to you is or has battled a chronic illness, we all know that they can be scary, frustrating, and a million other related adjectives making the development of negative beliefs seemingly natural. While completely controlling them may not be possible, as Anthony points out in this video, it’s certainly worth at least attempting to minimize them.

For proof of this, look no further than the integral role that placebos have played in many studies. It may not do all of the work when it comes to your healing, but cutting back on the less than pleasant beliefs and showing yourself some compassion can only help (even if just mentally) in your healing journey.


If the above videos resonated with you, I encourage you to sign up for the FREE Hay House Heal Online Summit taking place from October 23rd – 29th. It’s not only slated to feature the complete interview lessons with the Medical Medium that the above two clips were taken from, but it also features several other lessons with impactful health figures like Bruce Lipton, PhD., Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, Chris Wark, Dr. Joe Dispenza and many more all set on helping you empower the powerful healer that lies within us all.

Sign up now and receive immediate access to 4 free lessons (including one with the Medical Medium) before the Summit begins on October 23rd!

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Alternative News

Thousands Protest In Switzerland As The Population Is Now Exposed To 5G Wireless Radiation

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A large portion of the Switzerland population is now exposed to 5G, and thousands of people showed up on the Swiss house of Parliament in Bern to protest.

  • Reflect On:

    With undeniable evidence showing this type of technology has disastrous health effects, what's really going on? People are aware of this, but governments continue to ignore all of this information.

Frank Clegg, the former President of Microsoft Canada, has released an insider’s view educational video regarding the health and safety concerns of 5G and wireless technologies. You can watch that video here. The main takeaway of his video is that there are numerous health concerns concerning wireless radiation, especially with regards to 5G, and that this type of technology is linked to a number of diseases, and yet it’s being implemented without any safety testing.

His words echo the message of thousands of scientists who have published numerous papers on not just 5G, but EMF radiation in general and how over-exposure from our computers, cell phones, cell phone towers and wifi signals are creating a disturbing health epidemic around the world.

You would think with more than 10,000 peer reviewed publications on the subject that the industry and our government health regulatory agencies would do some safety testing  before rolling it out, but no, they haven’t. To be honest, with so much science already making things quite clear, if they did any type of appropriate safety testing there is truly no way they would be able to rollout this technology. It would be a huge profit loss, which is why we don’t hear anything about the negative health consequences of this type of technology.

I’d like to point readers toward a fairly recent publication by Dr. Martin L. Pall, PhD and Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, who says the following in his report “5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health! Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct Types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposures and the Mechanism that Causes Them”:

“Putting in tens of millions of 5G antennae without a single biological test of safety has got to be about the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world.”

If you want to learn more about 5G technology and the health concerns regarding electromagnetic radiation of this kind, the Environmental Health Trust is a great place to start.

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Switzerland

What’s happening in Switzerland might go global–it’s something that seems to be rolling out in North America at least. Switzerland’s population is now officially exposed to the new 5G networks.

As a result, thousands of people showed up in protest.

Yahoo News reports:

The protesters, many carrying placards, gathered in front of the Swiss parliament building, in a bid to stop the construction of more 5G-compatible antennae.

“The fact that so many people turned out today is a strong sign against the uncontrolled introduction of 5G,” said Tamlin Schibler Ulmann, co-president of Frequencia, the group that organised the rally.

[C]ritics in Switzerland argue that the electromagnetic radiation the new system emits poses unprecedented health and environmental risks compared to previous generations of mobile technology.

Online petitions have helped persuade several Swiss cantons — in Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg and Neuchatel — to postpone the construction of antennae as a precaution.

The Swiss Federation of Doctors (FMH) has also argued for a cautious approach to the new technology.

The first injuries due to 5G are already being reported in Switzerland, according to Physicians for Safe Technology.

Paul Bischoff, a tech journalist and privacy advocate, recently compiled data regarding telecom’s political contributions to influence policies that benefit their industry.

Internet service providers in the United States have spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying since 1998, and 2018 was the biggest year so far with a total spend of more than $80 million.

Comparitech researchers compiled and analyzed 51 ISPs’ lobbying expenses from the US Senate’s Lobbying Disclosure Act database, which dates back to 1998.

Here are the highlights of our analysis:

  • 2018 was the biggest year yet for ISP lobbying at $80 million.
  • Top spenders include AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, which have amassed lobbying expenses of $341 million, $265 million, and $200 million, respectively since 1998.
  • Since 2011, yearly spending on lobbying across all ISPs hasn’t strayed below $72 million.
  • The largest amount spent by any provider in any year was AT&T in 1999, at almost $23 million. AT&T’s acquisition of Ameritech Corp accounted for much of this, and the merger eventually led to the creation of America’s largest telecom company.
  • Total spend from 2016 to 2019 is set to exceed lobbying expenses between 2012 and 2015, which totaled $295 million.
  • Lobbying in favor of mergers and acquisitions accounted for many of the biggest expenses for individual ISPs in a single year.
  • $1.2 billion has been spent by ISPs on lobbying since 1998.

It’s Obvious That 5G Technology Is Not Safe. Here Are Some Related CE Articles On The Topic With More Information

Ex VP of Microsoft Canada Explains How 5G Wireless Radiation Could Be A Huge Health Hazard

5G Is The “Stupidest Idea in The History of the World” – Says Washington State Professor

5G Technician Reveals The Damage He Believes 5G Will Cause

Brussels Becomes First Major City to Halt 5G Due to Health Effects

Devonshire, UK Halts The Installation of 5G Over Serious Health Concerns

Top Cancer Research Advisor Compares Wireless Radiation To Cigarettes

EMF Frequencies Used For Crowd Control Weapons Form The Foundation of 5G Network

The Takeaway & What You Can Do

Many of us have already started participating in protests, and many steps are being taken to stop 5G. Products and services are being banned, and the amount of awareness that’s been created within the past five years is promising. People are becoming aware of this stuff, and with awareness comes action, like the examples used in this article. Ten years ago, the world was silent on such issues. Today, we are making it difficult for services and products to make a profit, and approval processes have become stricter. We are definitely moving forward.

So, what can you do? You could purchase some EMF protective clothing and bedding, or you could even paint your home with EMF protective paint. You can unplug your computer when not in use, turn off your cell phone, and unplug all your electronic devices before you go to sleep. You could have a wired internet connection, which is actually much faster than any wireless connection. You can live a healthy lifestyle, and you can use mind-body healing techniques to help you.

Years ago many actions taken by governments and corporations went unnoticed. We are no doubt making things difficult for them, so let’s keep moving forward.

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Alternative News

The Mental Health Morass: Good for Pharma, Bad for Youth

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When several hundred Colorado high school students walked out of a post-school-shooting vigil last May to protest the event’s politicization, their departing chant was, “mental health, mental health.” While this response may have unsettled the event’s organizers, it was unsurprising in the context of widespread media accounts of an “epidemic of anguish” among American youth. According to this narrative, not only is “the increase in mental health issues among [U.S.] teens and young adults…nothing short of staggering,” but around the globe, mental illness is set to become the “next major global health challenge” and “pandemic of the 21st century.”

Without making light of the problem or minimizing anyone’s personal suffering, it is clear that one entity that stands to benefit mightily from a deepening mental health crisis is the pharmaceutical industry. Psychiatric medications have long been “growth superstars”—generating billions in sales for companies like Pfizer and Eli Lilly “as the U.S. became Prozac Nation, antipsychotics also became antidepressants, and ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder] a byword.” Already in the mid-2000s, a Harvard economist reported that spending on psychotropic drugs had substantially outpaced overall prescription drug spending—no mean feat given the drug market’s exponential growth.

Outsized drug company profits and clever marketing tactics have prompted many to question the industry’s “oversized role in determining how mental illness is treated.” Even in conventional medical circles, clinicians acknowledge the need for “radical change in the paradigm and practices of mental health care,” including interventions that emphasize prevention and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities. These sorts of recommendations are urgently needed—not least for the young people for whom there is scant evidence of psychotropic medication safety or efficacy.

Overlapping trends

Modern psychiatry situates an alphabet soup of diagnoses under the broad rubric of “mental, emotional and behavioral” (MEB) disorders. It is no longer uncommon for children and adolescents to receive one or more of these diagnoses: anxiety disorder; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; autism spectrum disorder; bipolar disorder; conduct disorder; depression; disruptive behavior disorder; drug abuse or dependence; eating disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorder; oppositional defiant disorder; pervasive developmental disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; and schizophrenia.

The proliferation of mental health diagnoses in young people overlaps considerably with trends in diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, mental health diagnoses frequently intersect with physical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, which are more often present in children with mental disorders than in children without such disorders. Pediatric hospital admissions for non-behavioral disorders result in higher costs and longer stays when they are comorbid with behavioral disorders.

One of the few large-scale surveys to focus on MEB disorders in children (rather than adults) was the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), conducted from 2001 to 2004. The NCS-A found that half of U.S. youth (ages 13-18) had been diagnosed with at least one MEB disorder—including one in five with behavior disorders and three in ten with anxiety disorders—with the impairments rated as “severe” in roughly one-fourth of the affected teens. For many of the young people, onset and diagnosis occurred well before adolescence. Reviewing the evidence, the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine reported in 2009 that “early MEB disorders should be considered as commonplace as a fractured limb: not inevitable but not at all unusual.”

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The impact

Recent research has documented some of the impact of these “commonplace” diagnoses in young people. Between 2011 and 2015, for example, visits by U.S. youth to psychiatric emergency departments increased by 28%. By age group, the largest increase—54%—was seen in adolescents (as compared to younger children or youth in their early 20s), in whom the researchers also reported a 2.5-fold increase in suicide-related visits. As of 2010, mood disorders (which include both bipolar and depressive disorders) were the most frequent principal diagnosis given to hospitalized children ages 1-17—up 80% since 1997. The hospitalization rate for bipolar disorders increased fourfold between the two time points (1997–2010), especially in the 10-14 and 15-17 age groups.

Researchers describe comorbid ADHD as “nearly universal” among youth with bipolar disorder, with ADHD and anxiety disorders viewed as common precursors of bipolar disorder. The trend toward increased diagnosis of both ADHD and bipolar disorder has prompted increased use by young people of both inpatient and outpatient mental health services as well as an exponential increase in the prescribing of medication. In office-based settings, where mental health care for young people has increased more rapidly than for adults, psychotropic medication prescriptions for younger patients are often provided by physicians with no psychiatric training.

For both ADHD and bipolar disorder, pharmacologic treatment relies heavily on powerful psychostimulants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Reporting on data collected in 2011–2012, researchers noted that a large proportion (44%) of very young children diagnosed with ADHD (2- to 5-year-olds) were taking medication, most commonly central nervous system stimulants. Nationally, a survey of children with special health care needs conducted in 2009–2010 found that 74% of ADHD-diagnosed children ages 4-17 had received medication in the past week.

Both the scientific community and mainstream media have raised questions about whether widespread administration of mind-altering psychostimulants to young children is safe or “meaningfully beneficial.” In 2016, a Washington Post reporter cited CDC findings when noting that “The long-term effects of those [ADHD] drugs on a young brain and body have not been well studied, and the side effects can be numerous, including poor appetite, sleeplessness, irritability and slowed growth.” Other risks of these freely prescribed drugs include the potential to actually worsen mania, foster addiction or lead to further medication. In the push for increased treatment, clinicians have largely ignored these risks.

In some states, special education funding policies create financial incentives to actively identify and medicate children with ADHD. In those states, children are “about 15 percent more likely to report having ADHD and…about 22 percent more likely to be taking medication for ADHD.” As a medical ethicist has commented, these patterns raise questions about the “muddier” aspects of psychiatric diagnosis and the variability “as regards who and what drive [diagnostic] practices.”

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders have also raised serious concerns—particularly about their potential to promote suicidality, aggression or other unwanted outcomes in children and adolescents. In 2016, the Nordic Cochrane Centre systematically reviewed clinical study reports from 70 trials of SSRIs and similar drugs and described substantial under-reporting of harms. Even with the under-reporting, the reviewed evidence linked the drugs to a doubling in the risk of suicidality and aggression in children and adolescents.

Why is this happening?

Researchers have floated many hypotheses about the underlying causes of the burgeoning youth mental health crisis. But while the mainstream media have been more than willing to give airtime to social explanations such as smartphone use and academic stress, the public has seen far less discussion of other plausible factors such as the gut-brain connection. For example, there is a complex interplay between the gut microbiome, the immune response and vaccination—and experimental evidence links vaccines and vaccine adjuvants to adverse mental health symptoms. There is also ample experimental evidence showing that gut microbiota disruptions caused by subchronic and chronic exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides can increase anxiety and depression-like behaviors at virtually any age. Moreover, research findings are suggestive of potential transgenerational effects of both vaccines and glyphosate. Rather than acquiesce to the perpetuation of hair-splitting mental health diagnoses—and the pharmaceutical “solutions” that always seem to follow close behind—it would seem wise to scrutinize these pervasive environmental threats while keeping in mind the age-old question of cui bono.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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