Project Censored: 40 Years of Reporting the Truth.

by Jerry Alatalo

“Instead of monopolizing the seat of judgment, journalism should be apologizing in the dock.”

– OSCAR WILDE (1854-1900) Irish writer

superior555-1The California-based media watchdog organization Project Censored is close to celebrating 40 years of reporting the truth since its founding by Dr. Carl Jensen in 1976. Their annual book identifying the year’s most censored news stories just came out, and its title is “Censored 2016: Media Freedom on the Line”. On the cover of the book author Naomi Wolf says “Project Censored is a lifeline to the world’s most urgent and significant stories”, and she is 100% correct.

While it’s certainly important to disseminate the censored stories reported in “Censored 2016” and promote the book, an equal intent of this posting is to honor the efforts of men and women who’ve been associated with Project Censored since its beginnings in 1976 until today. One can only imagine the cumulative and immense digging and investigating carried out by university students, professors and average citizens during the organization’s 40-year existence, especially in the early years where, unlike in 2015 and instant global information discovery on computers, research could only be carried out through time-consuming arranging of inter-library loans of important books.

One hopes that plans are underway for a well-deserved Project Censored 40-year reunion and celebration in the months ahead. If such a celebration plan is in the works one can imagine an event schedule which includes remembrance of early years’ men and women contributors who’ve passed away, talks from those involved during the late 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000-2010, and 2010-2015, plus a film highlighting the special moments during Project Censored’s honorable 40-year existence.

Who can know when the day will come where Project Censored and all the other fine independent media groups on Earth keeping check on powerful people who abuse their power will become unnecessary because truth prevailed and lies became universally unacceptable? One can only pray and hope that glorious day arrives very soon, but in the meantime Project Censored and other serious media organizations dedicated to truth continue their highly admirable and respected efforts – the “good fight”.

At this time, the World Championship of baseball playoffs are in high gear, and one becomes reminded of the old sports saying “may the best team win”. If there were such a thing as “World Championship of Truth Media”, it is entirely possible that Project Censored is “the best team” and surely deserves to win the champion’s trophy. Through the organization’s 40-year existence there have no doubt been many men and women “clutch hitters”, “star players” and “MVP” teammates.

One could compare today’s Project Censored Director Mickey Huff to sports legend, +100mph fastball-blazing pitcher and strikeout king Nolan Ryan, leading the “team” of men and women researchers and writers who contribute to Project Censored during the “World Championship” media playoffs, and, with truth as their greatest competitive weapon, winning it all.

For those who are unaware of the tremendous amount of work done by Project Censored over 40 years, it is strongly suggested to spend significant time on their website: http://www.projectcensored.org/ . It is truly a “goldmine” for those who have a strong loyalty to truthful reporting of the most important world events, conditions and news stories. After investing some time at their website, it might become impossible not to mention Project Censored and/or it’s web address to friends, relatives or others during discussions on world events – that is how distinctively excellent the organization’s research and reporting are.

To those already having an awareness of Project Censored, remember to keep their website a staple of your internet routine and stop there regularly. Do not hesitate for an instant to support, recommend to others, or otherwise credit the outstanding and serious journalism work done by the organization’s men and women over its 40 years of existence from 1976 and continuing until today in late 2015.

There are a number of excellent websites around the Earth devoted to the truth worthy of high praise and well-deserved gratitude for their efforts, but Project Censored belongs to a select handful of media organizations which are leading the way in the important and necessary work of delivering accurate information to the people.

****

Among the top censored stories of 2015 in the just-published book “Censored 2016: Media Freedom on the Line” discussed by PC Director Mickey Huff and MintPress News’ Mnar Muhawesh in their recent interview,  they explore the continuing global trend toward greater wealth inequality, growing concern around the world over privatization of water, the harmful and deadly effects of pesticides, the United States’ military encirclement of Russia and China, record numbers of people on Earth – more than 50 million – who’ve become displaced and/or refugees as corporate media fails to “connect the dots”,  and the ongoing crisis of radioactive contamination coming from Fukushima, Japan.

Thank you to all the honorable men and women, past and present – 1976-2015,  associated with the distinctively outstanding organization Project Censored. These people and the millions around the Earth doing similar important, solutions-focused work deserve all the respect, gratitude, support and love they might receive.

(Thank you to MintPressNews at YouTube)

Advertisements

What About ‘Glyphosate Kills’ Don’t America’s Politicians Understand?

by Jerry Alatalo

459Alphabet Thierry Vrain is a retired biologist and genetic engineer who since his retirement has focused on raising public consciousness of the link between genetically modified organisms (GMO) – especially Roundup herbicide whose active ingredient is glyphosate – and dramatic increases in negative health events since GMOs became approved for cultivation in 1996.

GMOs were specifically engineered to become sprayed with Roundup herbicide, essentially to allow farmers to deal with weeds in a much less labor intensive manner. Once genes become discovered through trial and error, which when combined with organic genes of corn, soy, etc. resist applications of Roundup and – unlike all plants which die after being sprayed with the herbicide – can then be cultivated, the technologically created new form of plant becomes patented. The creation is “Roundup ready”.

GMOs represent nearly all corn, soy, sugar beets, canola and other crops/foods grown on agricultural land in America.  Because they are “Roundup ready”, farmers can spray their fields as often as they feel necessary with the herbicide, as the crops are resistant and do not die, like, as mentioned, every plant sprayed with Roundup.

Glyphosate was first used as for descaling of pipes and boilers starting in the 1960’s, then bought by Monsanto in 1969 and patented as a herbicide. When pipes, boilers etc. became sufficiently descaled using glyphosate, the process of replacing the now polluted glyphosate wastewater with fresh water occurred, and the waste water was disposed of. When it became disposed of on fields containing plant life, glyphosate became recognized as a herbicide, because it killed all plants it came into contact with.

It wasn’t until 1996 and the go-ahead for GMOs that Roundup herbicide production, sales and widespread application to crops and farmland took off. Since what many describe as the “fateful year of 1996” GMO cultivation with the accompanying liberal applications of Roundup has grown to astonishing levels, producing enormous profits for Monsanto and other bio-tech giants, while stirring up an increasingly intensified worldwide debate over health concerns and the wisdom or ignorance in continuing to allow the technology.

Mr. Vrain’s presentation should produce great concern among any man or woman who would like to have confidence that the food they buy at their grocery store is totally safe for themselves and their children.  His presentation points out the connection between very small, ingested quantities of glyphosate and a range of diseases which, coincidentally, have risen in near perfect measure to increased applications of Roundup/glyphosate on millions of acres of farmland in America and those nations around the planet who still allow GMOs.

Those millions of acres of farmland have literally become drenched with Roundup since 1996. Glyphosate residue is literally everywhere in the environment. In the human body, glyphosate in very small concentrations has highly negative health – both physical and mental health – consequences. When glyphosate destroys each human beings’ beneficial, God-given bacteria numbering in the hundreds of trillions, among the significant poor health results are decreases in levels of serotonin.

When a person’s serotonin levels drop to a certain level, depression results. If a person’s serotonin levels become even lower, mental illness results. Has anyone noticed the increasing number of advertisements on television for antidepressants?

Boiling down Thierry Vrain’s presentation, his message of warning is that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the hugely successful herbicide Roundup, has been proven through scientific investigation by respected scholars as dangerous to human health. Glyphosate does not simply pass through a person’s digestive system; it “sticks” and accumulates – in the human body, animals, plants, forests, waterways, and nearly everywhere in the environment.

How many seconds, minutes or hours of mainstream media time has been solely devoted to discussion/debate over the safety of GMOs and/or Roundup? The unfortunate answer is zero. To what extent are GMO and Roundup a destabilizing factor in international relations, when “secret” and massive trade deals may contain legalese allowing agricultural, genetic technology unwanted by a nearly unanimous majority of citizens in nations potentially signing on to those trade agreements? To what extent are GMOs a factor in the “bread basket of Europe”, agriculturally rich country of Ukraine’s current negative situation?

When will American farmers understand that the world is increasingly rejecting genetic food and glyphosate, and that it would be in their best interests to stop planting GMOs? Not only in the best interests of their bottom lines; but perhaps much more importantly the health and well-being of their fellow American citizens.

Glyphosate kills, period. Why haven’t the men and women elected representatives in the United States Congress understood that scientific fact, and why hasn’t glyphosate been banned for use to produce the food Americans eat?

****

(Thank you to OrganicGrowersVideo at YouTube / Thank you to David Foster for his reference to Thierry Vrain’s powerful presentation)

Canadian Scientist Links GMO, Roundup, Depression.

Posted on May 29, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

keyboard7After university studies in North Carolina, Thierry Vrain began his scientific career as a soil biologist before entering the field of genetic engineering in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. This was the “heyday” of genetic engineering, and not only was Thierry Vrain a believer in the new technology, but a very committed enthusiast. He spent many years in Canada’s government agriculture department before retiring around twelve years ago.

A few years post-retirement he began to become concerned about GMO technology and Roundup/glyphosate herbicides, after becoming aware of uncertainties revealed in scientific studies that have been published since those “heydays.” In the interview with “Food Integrity Now” he does an outstanding job of explaining for those without scientific training the process of creating GMOs, in what he assures listeners is “more simple than most people realize.” The woman host does a fine job by asking short, straightforward questions then allowing Dr. Vrain to fully answer. All through the interview she never interrupts her guest, in the best of interviewing styles.

Genetic modification technology is changing a living organism through forcing bacterial genes into animal and plant chromosomes, basically taking new proteins (enzymes) and introducing them in cells, producing a new function – like herbicide resistance. If you want to modify, you look for bacteria that are resistant to Roundup through experimentation then, after finding a suitable one, insert that Roundup resistant bacteria into corn, soy etc., and you have a patentable product that won’t be killed/harmed by Roundup spraying.

The Roundup-resistant bacteria are shot into plant cells as the gene from that resistant bacteria enters the nucleus of the plant’s cells, similar to stem-cell technology, whereupon the “new” plant now has the foreign bacteria gene in every cell. If you want the “new” plant to become antibiotic-resistant, the same process of finding antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the lab is copied, as well as the same insertion process as that used to introduce Roundup-resistant genes.

Then you have created a plant that is both Roundup-resistant and antibiotic-resistant, which can then be patented. When bacteria that match the criteria you are looking for become identified during lab testing, then inserted into the target plant for modification, Dr. Vrain and genetic scientists call this a “successful event.”

The initial dream for genetic engineering of plants/crops was elimination of farmers’ need for pesticides. “BT” crops represent 10-15% of current GMOs over 500,000,000 acres on Earth, which are genetically engineered with bacteria, producing proteins in every plant cell that kill insects when they try to feed on the plant. Unfortunately, just as those in the medical profession have seen with antibiotic-resistant disease bacteria, insects have become resistant to the killing effects of BT crops, so after a few seasons pesticides became necessary to apply.

The other 85% of those 500 million acres of GMOs are Roundup-ready, by far Monsanto’s biggest “success” story, as Roundup is the world’s largest-selling pesticide/herbicide. So much Roundup gets applied to farmers’ crops/fields that glyphosate (Roundup’s active ingredient) residues are now found everywhere in the environment – polluting water, food, rain, soil, animals, and humans. In America’s supermarkets, 80% of the food products contain significant residues of glyphosate.

Thierry Vrain explains that there are certain “myths” which have grown up around the industry-touted benefits of GMOs. Industry sales claims about “increased yields” are what Vrain considers “having no bearing on genetic modification, a play on words, and not real.” Marketing slogans such as “feeding the world” he finds “pie-in-the-sky.”

Regarding anti-GMO activists’ worries and concerns, Dr. Vrain then mentions what he calls “genetic pollution”, where the two kinds of genes in every cell of GMO plants – antibiotic-resistant and/or herbicide/Roundup-resistant – are moving unabated in the natural environment. These genes/DNA are now everywhere in nature, raising more and more concern from both environmentalists and those in the medical profession.

Environmentalists’ concerns are clear and obvious, including spread of possibly toxic, dysfunctional proteins with unknown, because unstudied, negative health consequences. The medical establishment has concerns because intestinal bacteria of humans are perfectly capable of picking up technological byproducts of genetic engineering.

Thierry Vrain believes glyphosate is more dangerous and harmful than GMOs

While genetic engineering technologies have evolved with regard to understanding initially unidentified negative consequences from approval to production in the environment, Dr. Vrain feels that, although there have emerged uncertainties about GMOs, glyphosate – the molecule which makes Roundup “effective” – has a far greater potential of harming living things, and that includes men, women, and children.

Glyphosate is a very small molecule chemical which was first patented as an effective descaling agent. It became discovered that glyphosate also kills bacteria, then Monsanto patented it as a herbicide in 1969. When genetically modified organisms became approved for production, sale, and release into the environment on farmland in 1996, Roundup with glyphosate quickly became the largest volume selling pesticide in the world.

Glyphosate remove metal ions from plant proteins which are necessary for the protein – the plants – to survive. When Roundup gets sprayed/applied it kills every plant but the Roundup-resistant ones which are genetic engineered, not only killing plants but also all enzymes of every living cell. This has led Thierry Vrain to believe that glyphosate is more dangerous – perhaps much more dangerous – to life than GMO crops themselves.

Glyphosate in doses as low as 1 or 2 parts per million (PPM) kill exactly like an antibiotic, according to Vrain killing only the good bacteria in human digestive tracts, while having no effect on the bad ones in the gut which cause disease. This may explain the rising concerns in the medical professions over antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria recently. Medical research in the past 10 to 20 years is telling us that the bacteria in our intestines are not just there for a ride and being fed, are not parasitic at all, and are actually absolutely needed for good health.

The bacteria in our gut are now known as so important that a new name has been given for this newly discovered organ in our bodies – the “Microbion”. Each person has one hundred trillion bacteria in their Microbion, ten times the number of human cells in the body. These bacteria are responsible for many, many aspects of our functioning – of our health. They are responsible for our immune systems. If the Microbion gets damaged, through eating glyphosate for example, the person is going to get very sick because of a compromised immune system.

The Microbion is also responsible for our mental health

Bacteria in our guts are responsible for synthesizing and creating almost all the serotonin in our systems – our brains. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain – one of the important ones. A damaged Microbion equals a damaged mental state, and low levels of serotonin lead to depression. Can you say anti-depressant? If serotonin levels become lower still, persons will suffer from mental illness like schizophrenia etc.

“This is very real” said Thierry Vrain in this interview.

“The Microbion is primary; it’s just as important as your brain, heart, or liver. It is extremely important. Basically, to make it very simple, the toxicity of engineered crops is not necessarily from the engineered crops themselves, but is from the pesticide that is applied on all engineered crops. This is where the conversation should be. Food in stores is contaminated with residues of a pesticide that is incredibly toxic to the Microbion. This is reality.”

****

(Thank you to Food Integrity Now at YouTube)

Environmental Protection Agency: ‘Don’t Worry. Bee Happy.’

Posted March 14, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“The study of nature is intercourse with the highest mind. You should never trifle with nature.”

– Louis Agassiz (1807-1873)

smoky mt-1One third of the food humanity eats is directly dependent on pollinators like honey bees. In recent years beekeepers have become greatly concerned because of what has become known as “colony collapse disorder” (CCD), with large losses of honey bees due to previously undetermined reasons.

It has now become very clear that a new class of products called “systemic pesticides” are responsible for CCD as well as a variety of equally negative environmental consequences. Study of systemic pesticides goes to the heart of policies and rules of regulatory bodies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its process of registering (approving) products for public sale and use.

Systemic pesticides are a new type of pesticides taken up into the entire plant, and stay there for the life of the plant. Any insect, bird, animal, or human that eats any part of the plant then consumes the systemic pesticide. Companies that make systemic pesticides sell them by making claims about less costs for chemical inputs, one-time application (because the pesticide gets absorbed by plants), and less time spent by farmers in application.

But systemic pesticides are deadly to honey bees and all living things

Not only bees, but insects, birds which eat those insects, fish, frogs, and on and on. In essence, systemic pesticides are an extreme danger to all living things – including human beings. In addition, systemic pesticides are persistent (they stay on the soil, increasing with each application), and after killing all beneficial organisms in the soil, leave that soil essentially dead.

The types of systemic pesticides which have been identified as responsible for devastating honey bee die-offs are neonicotinoids. These were approved by the EPA in 2003 despite the fact that internal EPA memos admitted they were toxic to bees. EPA field tests became conducted by Bayer, the manufacturer of the systemic pesticide, in tests that years later the EPA, because of pushback from beekeepers and concerned scientists on the insufficiency of industry tests, admitted were not up to standards.

An odd and disturbing practice by the EPA is “conditional registration” where pesticides and other environmentally questionable products are being sold before long-term test results are known. Remember, the tests are most times conducted by the companies looking to register products. Bayer systemic pesticide clothianidan was already being sprayed in large quantities on corn and canola for 4 years before Bayer’s test said “clothianidan safe for bee populations”.

Independent tests later led one scientist to say, “nobody has any idea that it could be this large of a residue (clothianidan residue in bee samples) problem.” The biggest concerns of beekeepers and non-industry scientists is that EPA is not asking the kinds of questions it should be asking. The same highly questionable approval process of the EPA was present in 1996 when biotech/genetic modification companies like Monsanto conducted tests used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when coming to approve genetically modified organisms – GMO.

The same song and dance practiced by Monsanto and other GMO companies is mirrored by companies that produce systemic pesticides. “There are now over 7 billion people on Earth…”, and “these products will help feed a hungry world…”, and “nobody has proved these to be harmful…”, and “we continue to test/research…”, blah, blah, blah.

Colorado beekeeper Tom Theobald has been a leader in the battle to ban neonicotinoids. He finally wrote an article that destroyed the EPA’s process of approval for clothianidin, fact-by-fact dismissing the approval because it relied on “a mockery of science”. Because of the publicity generated by the article, Mr. Theobald received a phone call from an EPA employee, who told him the EPA was reviewing the registration, after the pesticide has been sprayed on tens of millions of acres of crops for over eight years.

The EPA failed to take the pesticide off the market, and beekeeper groups sent letter after letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson with their concerns – strongly suggesting stoppage of the pesticide as a precautionary measure.

A former EPA scientist spoke to the problem: “The public perceives that because a pesticide is registered, it is safe. That is not true.” EPA scientists have always been frustrated with EPA’s “risk-benefit analysis” that accompanies every product companies attempt to get approved/registered. The analysis looks at a number of factors for every product: economical, technological, political, social, and scientific.

Ultimate decisions get made by administrators and not scientists who review the safety data – those scientists have no idea of the process administrators use to approve products. The EPA’s website suggests a historical pattern of not taking their scientists’ warnings seriously.

A completely different story in Europe

Europe has kept systemic pesticides off the market until long-term studies for safety are completed. France, Germany, and Italy have banned neonicotinoids and beekeepers in those countries have seen a remarkable, rapid turnaround in the number of honey bees. In the meantime, the EPA has “decided” that a warning label on systemic pesticides is “good enough”.

A retired EPA scientist sums up an extremely worrisome state of affairs at the Environmental Protection Agency: “EPA judged the risks to not be as important as the benefits, without the data needed to properly assess those risks. They are not considering the collapse of the entire food chain”.

Systemic pesticides/neonicotinoids are being sprayed on over 200,000,000 (200 million) acres of farmland, school grounds, golf courses, residential property/lawns etc. – all across America.

The health and very significant environmental risks are being severely underestimated.

****