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20 Million Schoolchildren Have Been Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs Known to Cause Suicidal Thoughts

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A news article published in 2017 reported that, according to the latest data, a staggering 12.7 percent of all US citizens over the age of 12 were taking antidepressants.

  • Reflect On:

    With so many studies, information and evidence that there is such a big problem here, why are many doctors and parents still allowing children to take this kind of medication?

This article was written by Christina England for Greenmedinfo.com. This work is reproduced and distributed here with the permission. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here.

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“For many, antidepressants have been a long-term course of medication: 68 percent of people in the most recent survey said they’d been taking them for two or more years, and 25 percent had been taking them for more than a decade.” (source)

In reality, more children are being prescribed these drugs than the public are aware of. This fact was highlighted by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) in their film, Psychiatry: an Industry of Death. They stated that currently around 20 million school children are being prescribed stimulants and psychotropic drugs.

https://www.cchr.org/videos/psychiatry-an-industry-of-death/introduction.html

This information is extremely worrying, especially when you consider that professionals worldwide have been linking the use of antidepressants to suicide, suicidal thoughts, and attempted suicide, for many years. Studies Prove that Antidepressants Can Lead Patients to Die by Suicide

In 2016, in her article titled 7 Facts About Depression That Will Blow You Away, holistic women’s health psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan, M.D., stated that:

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Despite what you’ve been led to believe, antidepressants have repeatedly been shown in long-term scientific studies to worsen the course of mental illness—to say nothing of the risks of liver damage, bleeding, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and reduced cognitive function they entail. The dirtiest little secret of all is the fact that antidepressants are among the most difficult drugs to taper from, more so than alcohol and opiates. While you might call it “going through withdrawal,” we medical professionals have been instructed to call it “discontinuation syndrome,” which can be characterized by fiercely debilitating physical and psychological reactions. Moreover,antidepressants have a well-established history of causing violent side effects, including suicide and homicide. In fact, five of the top 10 most violence-inducing drugs have been found to be antidepressants.” (Emphasis added)

Worryingly, Brogan highlighted the fact that the majority of prescriptions being written for antidepressants were actually being written by general practitioners and not psychiatrists, as one would expect. She wrote that:

Seven percent of all visits to a primary care doctor end with an antidepressant and almost three-quarters of the prescriptions are written without a specific diagnosis. What’s more, when the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health did its own examination into the prevalence of mental disorders, it found that most people who take antidepressants never meet the medical criteria for a bona fide diagnosis of major depression, and many who are given antidepressants for things like OCD, panic disorder, social p

Many different physical conditions create psychiatric symptoms but aren’t themselves “psychiatric.” Two prime examples: dysfunctioning thyroid and blood sugar chaos. We think (because our doctors think) that we need to “cure” the brain, but in reality we need to look at the whole body’s ecosystem: intestinal health, hormonal interactions, the immune system and autoimmune disordersblood sugar balance, and toxicant exposure.” (Emphasis added)

hobia, and anxiety also don’t qualify as actually having these conditions.” (Emphasis added)

In fact, according to Brogan, many individuals suffering with a physical condition can also display symptoms similar to those suffered by those patients with psychiatric disorders. If this is correct, then young children may be diagnosed with mental illness when they are not mentally ill but physically sick.

She stated that:

Brogan concluded that:

Depression is a message and an opportunity

It’s a sign for us to stop and figure out what’s causing our imbalance rather than just masking, suppressing, or rerouting the symptoms. It’s a chance to choose a new story, to engage in radical transformation, to say yes to a different life experience.”

If she is correct, then her paper is extremely worrying, as, according to research, children as young as one-year-old are being prescribed antidepressants.

One-Year-Old Prescribed Antidepressants

In 2016, it was reported that the Scottish National Health Service (NHS) had been prescribing antidepressants to children for many years.

In a report written by Harry Cockburn, published by the Independent in 2016, Cockburn stated that between January and May, the Tayside and Dundee National Health Service (NHS), prescribed antidepressants to approximately 450 children under the age of 18.

Furthermore, he continued with the extremely worrying statement that:

In 2014, the trust prescribed antidepressants to a one-year-old boy, according to figures obtained by the Dundee Evening Telegraph.” (Emphasis added)

Cockburn also stated that:

A spokesperson for NHS Tayside told the Evening Telegraph the drugs could be used to treat a number of different conditions beyond their most common use as a treatment for clinical depression.”

This being said, should antidepressants be given to children under the age of 18 at all? Cockburn continued his article by revealing that:

In January this year, the largest ever review of clinical study reports compiled by drug companies found teenagers were twice as likely to commit suicide if they were taking antidepressants.”

Concerned by what we had discovered, we decided to ask leading child psychiatrist Dr. Sami Timimi  what he believed was happening to our children.

Dr. Timimi is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Director of Medical Education in the National Health Service in Lincolnshire, Training Programme Director for East Midlands Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and a Visiting Professor of Child Psychiatry and Mental Health Improvement at the University of Lincoln, UK.

In an exclusive interview, we asked Dr. Timimi whether or not he believed that young children should be prescribed antidepressants.

He replied:

I believe that they should not. Doctors prescribe them because they can and we deal with difficult situations, but this leads to massive overprescribing and creation of long-term patients on medications that, according to the research, have little to no advantage over a sugar pill (placebo) but come with a range of side effects and withdrawal problems.”

Given his reply, we asked him whether or not there was a known link between antidepressants and suicide?

He told us that:

You are about twice as likely to experience suicidal impulses and behaviours if you are prescribed an ‘antidepressants’ compared to placebo in under 18s.”

We asked him if, over the years, he had noticed a rise in the number of children being labelled as mentally ill.

He replied:

Yes, and it has accelerated in the last ten years or so (possibly in connection with post financial crash austerity putting greater pressures on families and schools and therefore young people).”

We asked him if he believed that too many children were being labelled as mentally ill.

He replied:

I reject the notion that what they have is a mental illness/disorder, as most of what we call this is simply understandable reactions to life events and family circumstances. No one has demonstrated that any neurological or genetic abnormalities are connected with any of the so-called diagnoses we make. I think this is an unhelpful way of thinking about distress or behavioural difference, as it assumes something is wrong with the internal working of the child, and often, by accident, leads to creating more long-term patients. To make progress in how we help those who experience mental distress/behavioural difference as youngsters, we must first dispense with unscientific notions such as psychiatric diagnosis/disorders.”

Finally, we asked him what he believed were the alternatives to prescription drugs.

He replied that:

Everything else you can think of, from the variety of therapies (family, group, systemic, individual) to lifestyle (diet, exercise etc.), to focus on routines and social functioning, to everyday stuff like hobbies and spending more time with friends, etc.”

Given the fact that, according to Dr. Timimi and many others, there are many alternative therapies that professionals could be offering their patients before prescribing them antidepressants. We need to ask ourselves why so many young children are being prescribed these drugs in the first place, especially since research indicates that they can cause some children to have suicidal thoughts.

Latest Research Once Again Links Antidepressants to Suicide

In 2018, S.Stübner et al, conducted a study carefully analysing paperwork collected from 81 psychiatric hospitals during the period from 1993 – 2014. The team documented all single cases of suicidal ideations or behavior that had been judged as adverse drug reactions to antidepressant drugs.

They stated that:

Among 219,635 adult hospitalized patients taking antidepressant drugs under surveillance, 83 cases of suicidal adverse drug reactions occurred (0.04%): 44 cases of suicidal ideation, 34 attempted suicides, and 5 committed suicides were documented. Restlessness was present in 42 patients, ego-dystonic intrusive suicidal thoughts or urges in 39 patients, impulsiveness in 22 patients, and psychosis in 7 patients. Almost all adverse drug reactions occurred shortly after beginning antidepressant drug medication or increasing the dosage. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors caused a higher incidence of suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior as adverse drug reactions than noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressants or tricyclic antidepressants, as did monotherapy consisting of one antidepressant drug, compared to combination treatments.”

Although their statistics could be seen by many to be somewhat limited, the team concluded that “their findings supported the view that antidepressant drugs can, in rare cases trigger suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour.”

The team stated that:

Special clinical features (restlessness, ego-dystonic thoughts or urges, impulsiveness) may be considered as possible warning signs. A combination therapy might be preferable to antidepressant drug monotherapy when beginning treatment.”

We believe that these statistics are extremely worrying, especially when you consider the fact that children as young one are being prescribed antidepressants.

However, according to evidence that we have uncovered, these links appear to have been known for many years, because, according to a special report published in 2006 by medical expert Dr. Peter R. Breggin, the FDA now require the manufacturers of antidepressants to highlight the potential risk of increased suicidality in children on their labels. He stated that:

As of 2005, the FDA now require the drug manufacturers to place elaborate warnings on their labels concerning the potential of these drugs to cause stimulating effects, including agitation, anxiety, irritability, emotional lability, aggression, hostility, and mania. The labels must also include a warning about increased suicidality in children.”

Furthermore, in his report, which highlights the lengths that drug companies can go to conceal crucial evidence from the public, Breggin explained in detail how, after being asked to give evidence in a trial concerning the widely used antidepressant Paxil, he was “empowered by the court to examine hundreds of cartons of drug company files contained in GlaxoSmith Klines’s sealed record room.” He wrote:

These files included Food and Drug Administration (FDA) correspondence and all of the company’s worldwide clinical trials and adverse drug reports for Paxil.

On July 21, 2001, my report in the form of an affidavit was sent to the judicial arbitrator in the case. It addressed GSK’s practices in the development and marketing of Paxil, and in particular its alleged withholding or manipulation of information about the drug’s dangerousness. Based on GSK’s proprietary files that have to this day never been made public, my report examined many factors, including (a) how quickly after the first dose can Paxil cause severe adverse reactions; (b) the actual rates of akathisia; (c) the actual risk of overstimulation causing agitation, irritability, and manic-like symptoms; (d) the actual rates of suicidality in adults; and (e) promotional claims made for the drug.”

He stated that:

The case against GSK was eventually “resolved” to the satisfaction of GSK and the Lacuzong family. GSK denied and continues to deny all of the allegations of negligence in developing and marketing Paxil. My impression is that a substantial amount of money was involved in the resolution of the case, although the amount was not disclosed. GSK at that time refused to unseal its records or to allow me to make public my findings, regardless of their significance for the FDA, medical profession, and public health.” (Emphasis added)

He concluded his report by adding several sections of his full report, which he has stated, can be found on his website. He stated that the sections that he had added to this report focused largely on Paxil-induced suicidality in adults.

Having read this report and his evidence, plus the evidence that we have highlighted in this article, leads us to conclude that too many young children are being prescribed dangerous, mind-altering drugs before their problems have been fully investigated.

For further research please read:

Psychiatric Drug Facts by Peter R. Breggin M.D. https://breggin.com/

CCHR: Exposing the Dangers of Antidepressants and Other Psychotropic Drugs—

Despite FDA/Psychiatric- Pharmaceutical Cover-Ups

Vested Interests Inventing “Chemical Imbalance” Theory to Sell Drugs https://files.ondemandhosting.info/data/www.cchr.org/files/Exposing_the_Dangers_of_Antidepressants_Despite_Cover-Ups.pdf

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Alternative News

The Medical Journals’ Sell-Out—Getting Paid to Play

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[Note: This is Part IX in a series of articles adapted from the second Children’s Health Defense eBook: Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health. The first eBook, The Sickest Generation: The Facts Behind the Children’s Health Crisis and Why It Needs to End, described how children’s health began to worsen dramatically in the late 1980s following fateful changes in the childhood vaccine schedule.]

The vaccine industry and its government and scientific partners routinely block meaningful science and fabricate misleading studies about vaccines. They could not do so, however, without having enticed medical journals into a mutually beneficial bargain. Pharmaceutical companies supply journals with needed income, and in return, journals play a key role in suppressing studies that raise critical questions about vaccine risks—which would endanger profits.

Journals are willing to accept even the most highly misleading advertisements. The FDA has flagged numerous instances of advertising violations, including ads that overstated a drug’s effectiveness or minimized its risks.

An exclusive and dependent relationship

Advertising is one of the most obviously beneficial ways that medical journals’ “exclusive and dependent relationship” with the pharmaceutical industry plays out. According to a 2006 analysis in PLOS Medicinedrugs and medical devices are the only products for which medical journals accept advertisements. Studies show that journal advertising generates “the highest return on investment of all promotional strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies.” The pharmaceutical industry puts a particularly “high value on advertising its products in print journals” because journals reach doctors—the “gatekeeper between drug companies and patients.” Almost nine in ten drug advertising dollars are directed at physicians.

In the U.S. in 2012, drug companies spent $24 billion marketing to physicians, with only $3 billion spent on direct-to-consumer advertising. By 2015, however, consumer-targeted advertising had jumped to $5.2 billion, a 60% increase that has reaped bountiful rewards. In 2015, Pfizer’s Prevnar-13 vaccine was the nation’s eighth most heavily advertised drug; after the launch of the intensive advertising campaign, Prevnar “awareness” increased by over 1,500% in eight months, and “44% of targeted consumers were talking to their physicians about getting vaccinated specifically with Prevnar.” Slick ad campaigns have also helped boost uptake of “unpopular” vaccines like Gardasil.

Advertising is such an established part of journals’ modus operandi that high-end journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) boldly invite medical marketers to “make NEJM the cornerstone of their advertising programs,” promising “no greater assurance that your ad will be seen, read, and acted upon.” In addition, medical journals benefit from pharmaceutical companies’ bulk purchases of thousands of journal reprints and industry’s sponsorship of journal subscriptions and journal supplements.

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In 2003, an editor at The BMJ wrote about the numerous ways in which drug company advertising can bias medical journals (and the practice of medicine)—all of which still hold true today. For example:

  • Advertising monies enable prestigious journals to get thousands of copies into doctors’ hands for free, which “almost certainly” goes on to affect prescribing.
  • Journals are willing to accept even the most highly misleading advertisements. The FDA has flagged numerous instances of advertising violations, including ads that overstated a drug’s effectiveness or minimized its risks.
  • Journals will guarantee favorable editorial mentions of a product in order to earn a company’s advertising dollars.
  • Journals can earn substantial fees for publishing supplements even when they are written by “paid industry hacks”—and the more favorable the supplement content is to the company that is funding it, the bigger the profit for the journal.

Discussing clinical trials, the BMJ editor added: “Major trials are very good for journals in that doctors around the world want to see them and so are more likely to subscribe to journals that publish them. Such trials also create lots of publicity, and journals like publicity. Finally, companies purchase large numbers of reprints of these trials…and the profit margin to the publisher is huge. These reprints are then used to market the drugs to doctors, and the journal’s name on the reprint is a vital part of that sell.”

… however, even these poor-quality studies—when funded by the pharmaceutical industry—got far more attention than equivalent studies not funded by industry.

Industry-funded bias

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), nearly three-fourths of all funding for clinical trials in the U.S.—presumably including vaccine trials—came from corporate sponsors as of the early 2000s. The pharmaceutical industry’s funding of studies (and investigators) is a factor that helps determine which studies get published, and where. As a Johns Hopkins University researcher has acknowledged, funding can lead to bias—and while the potential exists for governmental or departmental funding to produce bias, “the worst source of bias is industry-funded.”

In 2009, researchers published a systematic review of several hundred influenza vaccine trials. Noting “growing doubts about the validity of the scientific evidence underpinning [influenza vaccine] policy recommendations,” the authors showed that the vaccine-favorable studies were “of significantly lower methodological quality”; however, even these poor-quality studies—when funded by the pharmaceutical industry—got far more attention than equivalent studies not funded by industry. The authors commented:

[Studies] sponsored by industry had greater visibility as they were more likely to be published by high impact factor journals and were likely to be given higher prominence by the international scientific and lay media, despite their apparent equivalent methodological quality and size compared with studies with other funders.

In their discussion, the authors also described how the industry’s vast resources enable lavish and strategic dissemination of favorable results. For example, companies often distribute “expensively bound” abstracts and reprints (translated into various languages) to “decision makers, their advisors, and local researchers,” while also systematically plugging their studies at symposia and conferences.

The World Health Organization’s standards describe reporting of clinical trial results as a “scientific, ethical, and moral responsibility.” However, it appears that as many as half of all clinical trial results go unreported—particularly when their results are negative. A European official involved in drug assessment has described the problem as “widespread,” citing as an example GSK’s suppression of results from four clinical trials for an anti-anxiety drug when those results showed a possible increased risk of suicide in children and adolescents. Experts warn that “unreported studies leave an incomplete and potentially misleading picture of the risks and benefits of treatments.”

Many vaccine studies flagrantly illustrate biases and selective reporting that produce skewed write-ups that are more marketing than science.

Debased and biased results

The “significant association between funding sources and pro-industry conclusions” can play out in many different ways, notably through methodological bias and debasement of study designs and analytic strategies. Bias may be present in the form of inadequate sample sizes, short follow-up periods, inappropriate placebos or comparisons, use of improper surrogate endpoints, unsuitable statistical analyses or “misleading presentation of data.”

Occasionally, high-level journal insiders blow the whistle on the corruption of published science. In a widely circulated quote, Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of NEJM, acknowledged that “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.” Dr. Angell added that she “[took] no pleasure in this conclusion, which [she] reached slowly and reluctantly” over two decades at the prestigious journal.

Many vaccine studies flagrantly illustrate biases and selective reporting that produce skewed write-ups that are more marketing than science. In formulaic articles that medical journals are only too happy to publish, the conclusion is almost always the same, no matter the vaccine: “We did not identify any new or unexpected safety concerns.” As an example of the use of inappropriate statistical techniques to exaggerate vaccine benefits, an influenza vaccine study reported a “69% efficacy rate” even though the vaccine failed “nearly all who [took] it.” As explained by Dr. David Brownstein, the study’s authors used a technique called relative risk analysis to derive their 69% statistic because it can make “a poorly performing drug or therapy look better than it actually is.” However, the absolute risk difference between the vaccine and the placebo group was 2.27%, meaning that the vaccine “was nearly 98% ineffective in preventing the flu.”

… the reviewers had done an incomplete job and had ignored important evidence of bias.

Trusted evidence?

In 2018, the Cochrane Collaboration—which bills its systematic reviews as the international gold standard for high-quality, “trusted” evidence—furnished conclusions about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that clearly signaled industry bias. In May of that year, Cochrane’s highly favorable review improbably declared the vaccine to have no increased risk of serious adverse effects and judged deaths observed in HPV studies “not to be related to the vaccine.” Cochrane claims to be free of conflicts of interest, but its roster of funders includes national governmental bodies and international organizations pushing for HPV vaccine mandates as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—both of which are staunch funders and supporters of HPV vaccination. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s president is a former top CDC official who served as acting CDC director during the H1N1 “false pandemic” in 2009 that ensured millions in windfall profits for vaccine manufacturers.

Two months after publication of Cochrane’s HPV review, researchers affiliated with the Nordic Cochrane Centre (one of Cochrane’s member centers) published an exhaustive critique, declaring that the reviewers had done an incomplete job and had “ignored important evidence of bias.” The critics itemized numerous methodological and ethical missteps on the part of the Cochrane reviewers, including failure to count nearly half of the eligible HPV vaccine trials, incomplete assessment of serious and systemic adverse events and failure to note that many of the reviewed studies were industry-funded. They also upbraided the Cochrane reviewers for not paying attention to key design flaws in the original clinical trials, including the failure to use true placebos and the use of surrogate outcomes for cervical cancer.

In response to the criticisms, the editor-in-chief of the Cochrane Library initially stated that a team of editors would investigate the claims “as a matter of urgency.” Instead, however, Cochrane’s Governing Board quickly expelled one of the critique’s authors, Danish physician-researcher Peter Gøtzsche, who helped found Cochrane and was the head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre. Gøtzsche has been a vocal critic of Cochrane’s “increasingly commercial business model,” which he suggests is resulting in “stronger and stronger resistance to say anything that could bother pharmaceutical industry interests.” Adding insult to injury, Gøtzsche’s direct employer, the Rigshospitalet hospital in Denmark, then fired Gøtzsche. In response, Dr. Gøtzsche stated, “Firing me sends the unfortunate signal that if your research results are inconvenient and cause public turmoil, or threaten the pharmaceutical industry’s earnings, …you will be sacked.” In March 2019, Gøtzsche launched an independent Institute for Scientific Freedom.

In 2019, the editor-in-chief and research editor of BMJ Evidence Based Medicine—the journal that published the critique of Cochrane’s biased review—jointly defended the critique as having “provoke[d] healthy debate and pose[d] important questions,” affirming the value of publishing articles that “hold organisations to account.” They added that “Academic freedom means communicating ideas, facts and criticism without being censored, targeted or reprimanded” and urged publishers not to “shrink from offering criticisms that may be considered inconvenient.”

In recent years, a number of journals have invented bogus excuses to withdraw or retract articles critical of risky vaccine ingredients, even when written by top international scientists.

The censorship tsunami

Another favored tactic is to keep vaccine-critical studies out of medical journals altogether, either by refusing to publish them (even if peer reviewers recommend their publication) or by concocting excuses to pull articles after publication. In recent years, a number of journals have invented bogus excuses to withdraw or retract articles critical of risky vaccine ingredients, even when written by top international scientists. To cite just three examples:

  • The journal Vaccine withdrew a study that questioned the safety of the aluminum adjuvantused in Gardasil.
  • The journal Science and Engineering Ethics retracted an article that made a case for greater transparency regarding the link between mercury and autism.
  • Pharmacological Research withdrew a published veterinary article that implicated aluminum-containing vaccines in a mystery illness decimating sheep, citing “concerns” from an anonymous reader.

Elsevier, which publishes two of these journals, has a track record of setting up fake journals to market Merck’s drugs, and Springer, which publishes the third journal as well as influential publications like Nature and Scientific American, has been only too willing to accommodate censorship requests. However, even these forms of censorship may soon seem quaint in comparison to the censorship of vaccine-critical information now being implemented across social media and other platforms. This concerted campaign to prevent dissemination of vaccine content that does not toe the party line will make it harder than ever for American families to do their due diligence with regard to vaccine risks and benefits.


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Awareness

60% of Kale Samples Contaminated With Cancer Causing Pesticide – Organic Is Key!

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found a high level of Dacthal in non-organic Kale.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we justify the spraying of poison on our food? How does this make any sense? These substances have been linked to several diseases, how are they approved and marketed as safe in many countries? Why are they banned in so many others?

Do you still think organic is not necessary? A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research examined four families who eat conventional diets. Pesticide levels were measured via urine before switching to an organic diet for 6 days. A dramatic drop in pesticide levels was found. Another study conducted by researchers from RMIT University, published in the journal Environmental Research, found that eating an organic diet for just one week significantly reduced pesticide (commonly used in conventional food production) exposure in adults. This study found a dramatic 90 percent drop in pesticide levels. Both studies used urine samples to measure pesticide accumulation. You can access those studies and read more about them here and here.

A lot of these agents were initially developed as nerve gases for chemical warfare, so we do know that they have toxic effects on the nervous system at high doses. Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, among many others, which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous systems of humans by blocking an important enzyme. Recent studies have raised concerns for health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels.

There is no question or doubt about it, organic food not sprayed with pesticides is much better for our health, and eating organic is a great way to prevent multiple diseases, including cancer. Despite all of the publications and research on this subject, it’s confusing how cancer awareness initiatives continue to focus on raising money without ever addressing the root causes of the disease, one of which is clearly exposure to herbicides and pesticides.

This is why the Environmental Working Group (EWG) advocates buying organic products. Since its inception in 1993, EWG has fought for consumers’ rights to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG’s very first report in 1993, “Pesticides in Children’s Foods,” played a pivotal role in Congress passing the Food Quality Protection Act two years later. They are a well known group of scientists and activists doing great work.

Recently, they discovered that approximately 60 percent of kale samples sold in the United States were contaminated with another carcinogenic pesticide, according to the  EWG’s analysis of the 2017 Department of Agriculture’s test data.

The pesticide is called DCPA, often marketed as Dacthal,  and it’s a substance that the EPA classified as a possible carcinogen in 1995. In 2005, its major manufacturer voluntarily terminated its registration for use on several U.S. crops, including artichokes, beans and cucumbers, after studies found that its breakdown products were highly persistent in the environment and could contaminate drinking water sources. This is why in 2009, the European Union prohibited all uses of Dacthal, enforcing a complete ban on it. With all this being said, the fact remains that it is still used in the U.S. on crops including kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, eggplant, turnips, and who knows what else.

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Even as kale’s popularity as a health food rich in vitamins and antioxidants has soared in recent years, the level and type of pesticide residues on kale has expanded significantly. EWG’s new analysis places it third on the 2019 Dirty Dozen™, our annual ranking of the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues. Recent EWG-commissioned tests of kale from grocery stores found that on two of eight samples, Dacthal residues were comparable to the average level reported by the USDA.

The USDA has not tested kale for pesticides since 2009, when it ranked eighth on the Dirty Dozen. Between 2007 and 2012, the acres of kale harvested in the U.S. grew by more than 56 percent, with more than 2.5 times as many commercial farms growing it.

Conventional kale farming relies heavily on the use of several synthetic pesticides, including Dacthal. The EPA’s 1995 classification of it as a possible carcinogen noted increases in liver and thyroid tumors. Dacthal can also cause other kinds of harm to the lungs, liver, kidney and thyroid.

According to U.S. Geological Survey data from 2016, about 500,000 pounds of Dacthal was sprayed in the U.S., mostly in California and Washington state. In California, the only state where all pesticide use must be reported, nearly 200,000 pounds were sprayed in 2016.

In states with high Dacthal use, concerns have grown about the capacity of its breakdown products to contaminate surface and groundwater. Not only can Dacthal contaminate areas near its use, but studies indicate it can also travel long distances in the atmosphere as well. (EWG)

You can read more from EWG on the subject here.

The Takeaway

Again, multiple agents can be found on non-organic produce, but this article just outlines one. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you whether or not you buy your fruits and vegetables organic. If you can afford conventional produce, you can afford organically grown produce as well. One helpful tip is to cut out junk food from your purchases if you have any, and that can make room for organic produce. Another way to look at it is spending the extra few bucks to invest in your health.

It’s unfortunate that organic food is more expensive, especially when organic food in general could be provided to the entire world if we actually utilized our fullest potential. It’s actually cheaper to produces, it’s just that governments subsidize convention farmers, not organic ones. At the end of the day, kale is extremely nutritious. It’s high in vitamins A, K and iron, and consumption of leafy greens is associated with reduced risk of various diseases. It’s best if we keep it that way by only growing organic kale.

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Awareness

A List of Children’s Foods That Are Contaminated With Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Roundup herbicide that was manufactured by Monsanto, has been found in multiple foods that've been marketed to children. You can view the list below.

  • Reflect On:

    With countless scientific publications and examples of fraud clearly showing that glyphosate is a major health and environmental hazard, how is it still on the market in multiple countries? Why? What is going on here?

It’s very confusing as to why poison is still being sprayed in our environment, and how anybody could ever justify the use of these poisons. Justification has come from mass brainwashing, marketing campaigns, and just downright deception. There are many examples of deception when it comes to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. A great example comes from Europe, where the product was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.  Another example would be the corruption that plagues our federal health regulatory agencies, which have been completely compromised by big corporations. There are several other great examples that illustrate this point, in fact there are decades of examples. One of the best would be the SPIDER papers. A group called the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, put a list of complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).

We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency.  It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors.

When it comes to glyphosate, there are currently more than 10,000 pending cases with regards to ailments it’s caused people, and we are now starting to see cancer cases go through courts of law. One of the latest examples would be school groundskeeper Dewyane Johnson, who was awarded a victory after a jury found Bayer (Monsanto) to be guilty of causing/contributing to his terminal cancer. You can read more about that story here.

This is why it’s a bit concerning that this substance is ending up in our food, and that includes food that’s being marketed to children.

For example, Moms Across America, a National Coalition of Unstoppable Moms, recently discovered glyphosate in multiple brands of popular orange juice. You can read more about that hereThe full report can be seen here. The testing methodology was “Glyphosate and AMPA Detection by UPLC-MS/MS.”

Furthermore:

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Major food companies like General Mills continue to sell popular children’s breakfast cereals and other foods contaminated with troubling levels of glyphosate, the cancer-causing ingredient in the herbicide Roundup. The weedkiller, produced by Bayer-Monsanto, was detected in all 21 oat-based cereal and snack products sampled in a new round of testing commissioned by the Environmental Working Group. All but four products contained levels of glyphosate higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health with a sufficient margin of safety.

The new tests confirm and amplify EWG’s findings from tests in July and October of last year, with levels of glyphosate consistently above EWG’s children’s health benchmark. The two highest levels of glyphosate were found in Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, with 833 parts per billion, or ppb, and Cheerios, with 729 ppb. The EWG children’s health benchmark is 160 ppb. –  Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor, and Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., Toxicologist for the Environmental Working Group (EWG)(source)

The EWG recently purchased a number of products via online retail sites, and then they packed and shipped approximately 300 grams of each of the products they purchased (listed in the chart below) to Anresco Laboratories in San Francisco. Glyphosate levels were analyzed using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method described here.

The Takeaway

Glyphosate is used mostly as a weedkiller on genetically modified corn and soybean crops. But it is also sprayed on oats just before harvest as a drying agent or desiccant. It kills the crop, drying it out so it can be harvested sooner, which increases the likelihood that glyphosate ends up in the foods children love to eat. It’s present almost everywhere and it’s a great example of how we don’t really live in a democracy, and how big corporations are operating without any concern for human health or the health of our planet. So far, more than 236,000 people have signed a petition directed at these food companies, calling on them to take action to protect consumers’ health.

The best way for you to combat something like this is to help share information like this in any way you can and go organic. Multiple studies have shown that pesticide exposure dramatically drops from consuming organic food. Just one week of eating an organic diet can drop pesticide levels in the body up to 90 percent in both children and adults. You can read more about that study here.

There are more concerns here, as it’s not just glyphosate, but also pesticides like organophosphates, which are sprayed on our food and have been linked to multiple diseases. A lot of these agents were originally developed as nerve agents for warfare.

Change starts with you, so you can go organic and spread awareness. Just five years ago not many people would have even known what glyphosate is, so things are definitely changing for the better.

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