Food Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Food Corruption News Stories in Major Media
This comprehensive list of food corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
When Anthony Myint and his wife Karen Leibowitz opened their San Francisco restaurant The Perennial in 2016, they had big ambitions: They wanted it to be the first carbon-neutral restaurant in the world, and they succeeded. From the recycled floor tiles and reclaimed lumber to the aquaponic herb garden and compostable paper menus, the culinary duo designed every part of the diner with the climate in mind. “We shifted the menus, reduced food waste, switched to renewable energy, started composting and bought carbon offsets,” Myint says. They were motivated by the knowledge that agriculture and food systems contribute nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The Perennial’s menu championed sourdough loaves baked with perennial Kernza grains, and the chefs bought their steaks from regenerative ranches associated with the Marin Carbon Project, the country’s foremost center for regenerative farming. The more Myint learned about regenerative agriculture, the more he became convinced that this was the global solution he needed to champion. “It became clear to me that this is the future of food, similar to the way renewable energy is the future of energy,” he says. “The whole food system needs to gradually transition.” Zero Foodprint is asking restaurant customers and other participating businesses to give one percent of their sales to a pool that funds regenerative agriculture. More than 80 businesses have signed up.
Note: We've summarized a handful of stories about the power of regenerative agriculture practices to reverse and heal global ecological destruction. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
"Before the Appleton
Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria's processed foods with wholesome,
nutritious food, the school was described as out-of-control. There were weapons
violations, student disruptions, and a cop on duty full-time. After the change
in school meals, the students were calm, focused, and orderly. There were
no more weapons violations, and no suicides, expulsions, dropouts, or drug
violations. The new diet and improved behavior has lasted for seven years,
and now other schools are changing their meal programs with similar results."
~~ Jeffrey M. Smith, Author of Seeds of Deception
The informative article below clearly demonstrates the importance of a healthy school diet for our children. Diet is being shown to clearly influence both behavior and mood. A healthy diet fosters calmer, healthier, more focused behavior. Studies like the one below demonstrate that excessive amounts of fast food can lead to severe behavior changes, and suggest that avoiding genetically modified foods may be a very healthy option. Links at the bottom of the article provide lots more information on this topic for those interested.
Two excellent, humorous videos also reveal important health-related information. First, "Store Wars" is hilarious! This incredibly well done, five-minute spoof on the movie Star Wars is available here. Have fun watching Cuke Skywalker battle Darth Tater and lots more. A second fun one is a spoof on the Matrix called "The Meatrix," available here. A little humor goes a long way in delivering a great message. Spread the humor and spread the news by forwarding this great information to your friends and family. Have a great day, and may the force be with you!
Why Schools Should Remove GE-Tainted Foods from Their Cafeterias
for Responsible Technology
Newsletter on GM Foods, Spilling the Beans
By Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception
Before the Appleton Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria's processed foods with wholesome, nutritious food, the school was described as out-of-control. There were weapons violations, student disruptions, and a cop on duty full-time. After the change in school meals, the students were calm, focused, and orderly. There were no more weapons violations, and no suicides, expulsions, dropouts, or drug violations. The new diet and improved behavior has lasted for seven years, and now other schools are changing their meal programs with similar results.
Years ago, a science class at Appleton found support for their new diet by conducting a cruel and unusual experiment with three mice. They fed them the junk food that kids in other high schools eat everyday. The mice freaked out. Their behavior was totally different than the three mice in the neighboring cage. The neighboring mice had good karma; they were fed nutritious whole foods and behaved like mice. They slept during the day inside their cardboard tube, played with each other, and acted very mouse-like.
The junk food mice, on the other hand, destroyed their cardboard tube, were no longer nocturnal, stopped playing with each other, fought often, and two mice eventually killed the third and ate it. After the three month experiment, the students rehabilitated the two surviving junk food mice with a diet of whole foods. After about three weeks, the mice came around.
Sister Luigi Frigo repeats this experiment every year in her second grade class in Cudahy, Wisconsin, but mercifully, for only four days. Even on the first day of junk food, the mice's behavior "changes drastically." They become lazy, antisocial, and nervous. And it still takes the mice about two to three weeks on unprocessed foods to return to normal. One year, the second graders tried to do the experiment again a few months later with the same mice, but this time the animals refused to eat the junk food.
Across the ocean in Holland, a student fed one group of mice genetically modified (GM) corn and soy, and another group the non-GM variety. The GM mice stopped playing with each other and withdrew into their own parts of the cage. When the student tried to pick them up, unlike their well-behaved neighbors, the GM mice scampered around in apparent fear and tried to climb the walls. One mouse in the GM group was found dead at the end of the experiment.
It's interesting to note that the junk food fed to the mice in the Wisconsin experiments also contained genetically modified ingredients. And although the Appleton school lunch program did not specifically attempt to remove GM foods, it happened anyway. That's because GM foods such as soy and corn and their derivatives are largely found in processed foods. So when the school switched to unprocessed alternatives, almost all ingredients derived from GM crops were taken out automatically.
Does this mean that GM foods negatively affect the behavior of humans or animals? It would certainly be irresponsible to say so on the basis of a single student mice experiment and the results at Appleton. On the other hand, it is equally irresponsible to say that it doesn't.
We are just beginning to understand the influence of food on behavior. A study in Science in December 2002 concluded that "food molecules act like hormones, regulating body functioning and triggering cell division. The molecules can cause mental imbalances ranging from attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder to serious mental illness." The problem is we do not know which food molecules have what effect.
The bigger problem is that the composition of GM foods can change radically without our knowledge. Genetically modified foods have genes inserted into their DNA. But genes are not Legos; they don't just snap into place. Gene insertion creates unpredicted, irreversible changes. In one study, for example, a gene chip monitored the DNA before and after a single foreign gene was inserted. As much as 5 percent of the DNA's genes changed the amount of protein they were producing. Not only is that huge in itself, but these changes can multiply through complex interactions down the line.
In spite of the potential for dramatic changes in the composition of GM foods, they are typically measured for only a small number of known nutrient levels. But even if we could identify all the changed compounds, at this point we wouldn¹t know which might be responsible for the antisocial nature of mice or humans. Likewise, we are only beginning to identify the medicinal compounds in food. We now know, for example, that the pigment in blueberries may revive the brain¹s neural communication system, and the antioxidant found in grape skins may fight cancer and reduce heart disease. But what about other valuable compounds we don¹t know about that might change or disappear in GM varieties?
Consider GM soy. In July 1999, years after it was on the market, independent researchers published a study showing that it contains 12-14 percent less cancer-fighting phytoestrogens. What else has changed that we don¹t know about? [Monsanto responded with its own study, which concluded that soy¹s phytoestrogen levels vary too much to even carry out a statistical analysis. They failed to disclose, however, that the laboratory that conducted Monsanto¹s experiment had been instructed to use an obsolete method to detect phytoestrogens results.]
In 1996, Monsanto published a paper in the Journal of Nutrition that concluded in the title, "The composition of glyphosate-tolerant soybean seeds is equivalent to that of conventional soybeans." The study only compared a small number of nutrients and a close look at their charts revealed significant differences in the fat, ash, and carbohydrate content. In addition, GM soy meal contained 27 percent more trypsin inhibitor, a well-known soy allergen. The study also used questionable methods. Nutrient comparisons are routinely conducted on plants grown in identical conditions so that variables such as weather and soil can be ruled out. Otherwise, differences in plant composition could be easily missed. In Monsanto's study, soybeans were planted in widely varying climates and geography.
Although one of their trials was a side-by-side comparison between GM and non-GM soy, for some reason the results were left out of the paper altogether. Years later, a medical writer found the missing data in the archives of the Journal of Nutrition and made them public. No wonder the scientists left them out. The GM soy showed significantly lower levels of protein, a fatty acid, and phenylalanine, an essential amino acid. Also, toasted GM soy meal contained nearly twice the amount of a lectin that may block the body's ability to assimilate other nutrients. Furthermore, the toasted GM soy contained as much as seven times the amount of trypsin inhibitor, indicating that the allergen may survive cooking more in the GM variety. (This might explain the 50 percent jump in soy allergies in the UK, just after GM soy was introduced.)
We don't know all the changes that occur with genetic engineering, but certainly GM crops are not the same. Ask the animals. Eyewitness reports from all over North America describe how several types of animals, when given a choice, avoided eating GM food. These included cows, pigs, elk, deer, raccoons, squirrels, rats, and mice. In fact, the Dutch student mentioned above first determined that his mice had a two-to-one preference for non-GM before forcing half of them to eat only the engineered variety.
Differences in GM food will likely have a much larger impact on children. They are three to four times more susceptible to allergies. Also, they convert more of the food into body-building material. Altered nutrients or added toxins can result in developmental problems. For this reason, animal nutrition studies are typically conducted on young, developing animals. After the feeding trial, organs are weighed and often studied under magnification. If scientists used mature animals instead of young ones, even severe nutritional problems might not be detected. The Monsanto study used mature animals instead of young ones.
They also diluted their GM soy with non-GM protein ten- or twelve-fold before feeding the animals. And they never weighed the organs or examined them under a microscope. The study, which is the only major animal feeding study on GM soy ever published, is dismissed by critics as rigged to avoid finding problems.
Unfortunately, there is a much bigger experiment going on one which we are all a part of. We're being fed GM foods daily, without knowing the impact of these foods on our health, our behavior, or our children. Thousands of schools around the world, particularly in Europe, have decided not to let their kids be used as guinea pigs. They have banned GM foods.
The impact of changes in the composition of GM foods is only one of several reasons why these foods may be dangerous. Other reasons may be far worse (see http://www.seedsofdeception.com).
With the epidemic of obesity and diabetes and with the results in Appleton, parents and schools are waking up to the critical role that diet plays. When making changes in what kids eat, removing GM foods should be a priority.
Note: For an inspiring video showing the dramatic results from a change in school diet, click here.
The above article about genetically modified foods was written by Jeffrey Smith. Individuals may subscribing to his excellent, free newsletter. For a powerful, engaging, ten-page summary of Jeffrey's book on GM foods, Seeds of Deception, click here. For more, see our information-packed Health Information Center.
A new peer-reviewed study released by a group of scientists in Taiwan has revealed an astonishingly strong link between severe depression, cognitive decline and exposure to the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate. The study was fully published on Aug. 22 in the highly respected Elsevier Journal, Environmental Research. It was met with silence by the manufacturers of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Bayer/Monsanto, who produce the infamous weedkiller Roundup. The study authors stated that they: “Conducted analyses on existing data collected from 1532 adults of the 2013–2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to explore the possible relationship between glyphosate exposure and cognitive function, depressive symptoms, disability, and neurological medical conditions.” The proportion of individuals with detectable levels of glyphosate was 80.4%. The scientists concluded: “Our study provides important evidence of an association between urinary glyphosate levels and adverse neurological outcomes in a representative cohort of U.S. adult population. “Specifically, we observed lower cognitive function scores, greater odds of severe depressive symptoms, and increased risk of serious hearing difficulty in individuals with higher glyphosate exposure.” Some other recent independent studies ... suggest that both glyphosate alone and glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup are neurotoxins.
Note: A 2019 study found that glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.
Gardening and community gardens can be ways for immigrant and refugee communities to supplement their pantries by growing their own food, especially culturally appropriate food that is not readily found in grocery stores. It also helps people send literal roots down into a new place while maintaining a connection with their homeland. The Arab American National Museum (AANM) has created a new heritage garden on its roof with donated seeds, cuttings, and plants from local Arab American community members around Dearborn, Michigan. These include plants with a connection to the Arab world, but also plants from Michigan that have become meaningful to the Arab American community here. Accompanying the plants in the garden are oral histories of those community members about what gardening means to them, collected by the museum’s community historian. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Phimmasone Kym Owens ... said, ‘Why don’t I create a garden for refugees?’” In 2021, Owens reached out to Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County. They formed a partnership to create an innovative refugee-to-refugee community garden program ... and to work with refugees and grow culturally appropriate vegetables. “What sold this as being different is giving autonomy to the clients,” Owens said. “So we had a vote. They voted [for] Freedom Garden. And that’s a name that says it all. The fact that they chose Freedom Garden says exactly what you know, being a refugee, what you want.”
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
In May, the World Health Organization issued an alarming report that declared widely used non-sugar sweeteners like aspartame are likely ineffective for weight loss, and long term consumption may increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and mortality in adults. A few months later, WHO declared aspartame, a key ingredient in Diet Coke, to be a “possible carcinogen”, then quickly issued a third report that seemed to contradict its previous findings – people could continue consuming the product at levels determined to be safe decades ago. That contradiction stems from beverage industry corruption of the review process by consultants tied to an alleged Coca-Cola front group, the public health advocacy group US Right to Know said in a recent report. It uncovered eight WHO panelists involved with assessing safe levels of aspartame consumption who are beverage industry consultants who currently or previously worked with the alleged Coke front group, International Life Sciences Institute (Ilsi). Aspartame was first approved for use in the US in the early 1980s over the objection of some researchers who warned of potential health risks. In recent years, as evidence of health threats has mounted, industry has ramped up a PR campaign to downplay the issues. Ilsi representatives have sought to shape food policy worldwide. [Gary Ruskin, US Right to Know’s executive director], characterized the aspartame controversy as a “masterpiece in how Ilsi worms its way into these regulatory processes”.
Note: Explore a comprehensive overview of key scientific studies on aspartame harms, and how they were covered up by the sugar industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.
Hollie Fallick looks over Brading on the Isle of Wight, at a patchwork of fields bordered by ancient oaks. She farms with her best friend, Francesca Cooper. The friends ... are part of a growing global movement practising regenerative agriculture – or regen ag for short. “Regenerative agriculture is nature-friendly farming,” says Fallick. “It’s thinking about the health of soil, animals, humans and how they all link together.” On Nunwell home farm, which sits alongside land the pair manage for the Wildlife Trust and produces meat and eggs for their direct-to-consumer business, chickens peck away alongside belted Galloway cows, nomadic pigs graze on grass as well as kale and bean “cover crops” sown to boost nutrients in the soil. The idea is that by following the basic principles of regen ag – not disturbing the soil, keeping it covered, maintaining living roots, growing a diverse range of crops and the use of grazing animals – they can regenerate tired and depleted soil and produce nutritious food. The work, they argue, is urgent. Up to 40% of the world's land is now degraded by industrial and harmful farming methods, according to the UN. Barnes Edwards, co-director of the Garlic Farm ... argues that regen ag farmers recognise the “hideously negative impact” of badly managed livestock farming. But they also argue “it’s the how, not the cow”, and say that cows pooing and trampling in diversely planted fields boosts soil health, micronutrients and attracts insects, birds and butterflies.
Note: Don't miss Kiss the Ground, a powerful documentary on the growing regenerative agriculture movement and its power to build global community, reverse the many environmental crises we face, and revive our connection to the natural world. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
Each year for the last 26 years – nearly his entire tenure in the US Congress – Earl Blumenauer has advocated for a law that would utterly transform US agriculture. Nearly every time, though, his proposals have been shut down. Even so, he persists. Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, wants to see a version of US agriculture that centers people, animals and the environment, rather than the large-scale, energy-intensive commodity crop farms that currently receive billions of dollars in subsidies. Blumenauer’s newest plan, the Food and Farm Act, was introduced earlier this year, as an alternative to the farm bill – the package of food and agricultural policies passed every five years that is up for renewal this fall. His proposal would redirect billions of dollars away from subsidies for commodity farms towards programs that support small farmers, climate-friendly agriculture and increasing healthy food access. “Most of us don’t even know that the public dollars initially designed to protect farmers and keep supply managed to feed a hungry nation in the Great Depression are now reinforcing wealthy agribusiness corporations to grow commodities that are not even meant for human consumption,” said Joshua Newell, a policy analyst. Most of the farms excluded from subsidy payments are those using sustainable growing methods that preserve soil and benefit the climate. Blumenauer’s bill would ... ensure more funding goes toward sustainable farming practices.
In 2016, the American honey industry faced a crisis: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had found high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, in honey samples from Iowa. The National Honey Board (NHB), a honey industry-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, did what many businesses under fire have done: They hired a crisis management public relations firm, in this case to downplay the risks of glyphosate in honey. The PR firm, Porter Novelli, later worked with the NHB to deflect concerns about honey containing neonicotinoids. The insect-killing chemicals are tied to the collapse of bee colonies. At the same time, Porter Novelli was working for Bayer, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The PR firm’s work for Bayer included promoting the use of neonicotinoids and opposing regulations that would safeguard honey bees. CropLife America, the pesticide industry lobby group, has also hired Porter Novelli’s subsidiary, Paradigm Communications, to “lead the effort to shift how pesticide products were portrayed in search engine results,” according to the Intercept. Search terms compiled by CropLife America staff included “neonicotinoid,” “pollinators,” and “neonics.” As other countries responded to the science by banning neonics, in the U.S., “industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem." Studies show the insecticides are toxic to the brain and nervous system [of humans].
Note: According to the CDC, about half the U.S. population is exposed to at least one neonic on a regular basis, with children ages 3-5 years old having the highest levels. Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto that expose years of pesticide industry disinformation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption.
Geoengineering is a technological fix that leaves the economic and industrial system causing climate change untouched. The mindset behind geoengineering stands in sharp contrast to an emerging ecological, systems approach taking shape in the form of regenerative agriculture. More than a mere alternative strategy, regenerative agriculture represents a fundamental shift in our culture’s relationship to nature. Regenerative agriculture comprises an array of techniques that rebuild soil and, in the process, sequester carbon. Typically, it uses cover crops and perennials so that bare soil is never exposed, and grazes animals in ways that mimic animals in nature. It also offers ecological benefits far beyond carbon storage: it stops soil erosion, remineralises soil, protects the purity of groundwater and reduces damaging pesticide and fertiliser runoff. Yields from regenerative methods often exceed conventional yields. Likewise, since these methods build soil, crowd out weeds and retain moisture, fertiliser and herbicide inputs can be reduced or eliminated entirely, resulting in higher profits for farmers. No-till methods can sequester as much as a ton of carbon per acre annually. In the US alone, that could amount to nearly a quarter of current emissions. Ultimately, climate change challenges us to rethink our long-standing separation from nature. It is time to fall in love with the land, the soil, and the trees, to halt their destruction and to serve their restoration.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
The 2023 Farm Bill is projected to spend $700 billion over the next five years, with powerful industry lobbyists directing funds to enrich themselves at the expense of agricultural communities, human health, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. It's far from its original intention: to help struggling farmers and hungry citizens during The Great Depression and Dustbowl. Most Americans have never heard of this massive omnibus bill, which Congress reauthorizes every five or so years. It shapes our food system–from subsidizing factory farms to funding food and nutrition programs, and it is why burgers are artificially cheap and salads cost more than they should. How did this happen? After World War II, to meet the needs of a booming U.S. population and a growing export market, the Farm Bill invested heavily in monocrops, including millions of acres of corn and soy, used to feed animals on industrialized farms. We subsidize the overproduction of fat-laden animal products and highly processed foods, making unhealthy food cheap and accessible. This contributes to heart disease and other chronic diet-related illnesses that cost our nation billions of dollars annually in preventable health care costs. Nine out of 10 U.S. adults do not consume nutritionists' recommended fruits and vegetables. The Farm Bill should invest in enterprises that act with integrity, not unethical profiteers who lobby for unconstitutional "ag-gag" laws that prevent free speech, transparency, and accountability.
The pesticide companies Bayer and Syngenta have been excoriated in a European parliament hearing after failing to disclose studies on the brain toxicity of their products. European regulators said the companies had breached legal obligations and behaved unethically. The withholding of nine brain toxicity studies from European regulators over the last 20 years was revealed by the Guardian in June, reporting findings from Swedish academics. They discovered that these toxicity studies had been submitted to the US pesticide regulator but not to the EU authorities. Dr Axel Mie, of Stockholm University, who led the research ... told a special hearing in the European parliament on Tuesday: "If a company decides by themselves which studies to disclose and which ones to withhold, it is obvious that the decisions by the [regulatory] authorities become unreliable." He said risk management decisions had been delayed by 18 years in one case. MEPs were scathing about the companies. The Swedish MEP Emma Wiesner, a member of the European parliament's committee on the environment, public health and food safety, said: "The behaviour found in this study is really unacceptable. More than a quarter of the studies [sent to US authorities] were not sent into the European agencies – that is outrageous." Martin H¤usling, a German MEP and member of the agriculture committee, said: "This is a right old scandal. These [are] clear breaches of existing law and previous law. And yet there are no consequences."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the corporate world and in the food system from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden announced that his administration planned to scrutinize a Trump-era decision to allow the continued use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that can damage children's brains. The Environmental Protection Agency went on to ban the use of the chemical on food. Yet when officials from around the world gathered in Rome last fall to consider whether to move forward with a proposed global ban on the pesticide, chlorpyrifos had a surprising defender: a senior official from the EPA. Karissa Kovner, a senior EPA policy adviser, is a key leader of the U.S. delegation at a United Nations body known as the Stockholm Convention, which governs some of the worst chemicals on the planet. Kovner made it clear that the U.S. was not ready to support taking the next step through the convention to provide similar protections for the rest of the world. The U.S. is known for throwing a wrench into the international convention's efforts to restrict pollutants. "They're usually seen as a country that raises objections to the regulation of chemicals," said [attorney] David Azoulay. Chlorpyrifos is so harmful that the American government not only banned its use on food but also barred the import of fruits and vegetables grown with it. Persistent organic pollutants ... lodge in fat cells, allowing them to spread from contaminated animals to anything that eats them. Humans sit at the top of this polluted food pyramid, and we can pass the chemicals to our babies through the umbilical cord before birth and through breast milk afterward.
Note: Did you know that chlorpyrifos was originally developed by Nazis during World War II for use as a nerve gas? Read more about the history and politics of chlorpyrifos, and how U.S. regulators relied on falsified data to allow its use for years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.
New York state on Friday became the first state in the nation to pass legislation restricting neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) that are toxic to bees and other pollinators and wildlife. The Birds and Bees Protection Act would eliminate 80 to 90% of the neonics used in New York each year by banning applications that are either easily replaceable or do not give an economic boost to farmers. "Every year for the past decade, New York beekeepers have lost more than 40% of their bee colonies–largely due to neonic pesticides," bill sponsor State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said in a statement. "Today, in this landmark victory for our pollinators, economy, and farming industry, New York is working to reverse that trend." The bill ... bans the use of neonics to coat corn, soybean, and wheat seeds as well as for lawns and gardens. Neonics are a class of pesticides that work by attacking the nervous systems of insect pests. A lethal dose will cause paralysis and death, while non-lethal effects include memory, immune, navigation, and fertility problems. They are one of the deadliest pesticides out there, yet they are also the leading insecticide used in the U.S. This is a problem because about 95% of neonics used to coat seeds don't enter the plant at all, but instead spread into the environment via the soil, where they do not break down easily. They also harm the development of birds and mammals; and studies have linked ingredients of neoicotinoid insecticides with adverse human health outcomes as well.
In South Los Angeles, Crop Swap LA volunteers and staffers harvested bags of freshly picked produce from the front yard of a residence. "Everything we're growing is nutrient-dense and the food remains in the neighborhood," says Jamiah Hargins, who founded Crop Swap LA in 2018 as a small monthly swap of surplus produce. After spending years in finance and consulting, Hargins decided to create a local food distribution system to address the fact that his neighborhood was a food desert, meaning most residents have little access to healthy food. It's now one of many Bipoc-led groups across the US that are reclaiming their agricultural heritage and redefining the local food movement by growing on traditional farms and unconventional spaces such as yards, medians and vacant lots as a way to increase food security and health in their own communities. There are similar groups run by communities of color across the US. After the Chicora-Cherokee community in North Charleston, South Carolina, was left without a grocery store for more than 10 years, Fresh Future Farm stepped in. Founded in 2014, the non-profit transformed a vacant lot into a flourishing urban farm that grows bananas, sugarcane, meyer lemons, satsuma oranges, collard greens, okra and tomatoes, among other crops. Two years later, it opened a sliding scale grocery store on the same property – the first one in the area in 11 years. The non-profit also teaches home gardening classes, which is inspiring a new crop of home growers.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Every day, farms across the country use a potentially cancer-causing chemical that is in the world’s most common weedkillers. And data shows that it’s most used in the Midwest and parts of the South. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in many herbicides, has been in use for nearly 50 years. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded in a 2015 report that the chemical “is probably carcinogenic to humans.” Glyphosate’s main use is in agriculture. Weedkillers containing it are used on nearly half of all planted acres of corn and soybeans in the U.S. They’re also used on acres of farmland where wheat, oats, fruits and cotton are grown. Pesticide residue testing from the FDA found glyphosate residues on a wide variety of crops, including oats, soybeans, cranberries, grapes, raisins, oranges, apples, cherries and beans. A 2020 Department of Health and Human Services report notes that the greatest potential exposure is among farm workers and gardeners that use glyphosate-based herbicides and those who live near farms, manufacturing plants ... and hazardous waste disposal sites. For the general public, the report notes that exposure to glyphosate typically comes by touching or eating food or water containing residues. Some studies have found a link between increased cancer rates and higher levels of exposure. Several peer-reviewed studies have also suggested that herbicides containing glyphosate may disrupt hormones and alter the gut microbiome.
Note: Don't miss the interactive map of glyphosate usage available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health from reliable major media sources.
Recycled and reused food contact plastics are "vectors for spreading chemicals of concern" because they accumulate and release hundreds of dangerous toxins like styrene, benzene, bisphenol, heavy metals, formaldehyde and phthalates, new research finds. The study assessed hundreds of scientific publications on plastic and recycled plastic to provide a first-of-its-kind systematic review of food contact chemicals in food packaging, utensils, plates and other items and what is known about how the substances contaminate food. "Hazardous chemicals can accumulate in recycled material and then migrate into foodstuffs, leading to chronic human exposure," the study's authors wrote, noting bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic as a common example. The study ... identified 853 chemicals used in PET recycled plastic and many of those have been discovered during the last two years. The most commonly detected were antimony and acetaldehyde, while potent toxins like 2,4-DTBP, ethylene glycol, lead, terephthalic acid, bisphenol and cyclic PET oligomers were also most frequently found. The review also highlighted widespread "illicit" recycling in which industry uses non-food grade plastic made with flame retardants and other toxic compounds in recycled food packaging. Despite strict regulations on which types of plastic can be used for food contact, studies identified [contaminated materials from] recycled electronics in the US, South Korea and European markets.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has in effect ignored a 2020 federal court order prohibiting the use of Monsanto and other producers' toxic dicamba-based herbicides that are destroying millions of acres of cropland, harming endangered species and increasing cancer risks for farmers, new fillings in the lawsuit charge. Instead of permanently yanking the products from the market after the 2020 order, the EPA only required industry to add further application instructions to the herbicides' labels before reapproving the products. A late 2021 EPA investigation found the same problems persist even with new directions added to the label, but the agency still allows Monsanto, BASF and other producers to continue using dicamba. The EPA's pesticide office is included in allegations that career managers are influenced by or have colluded with industry, and in some cases falsified science to make dangerous substances appear less toxic. About one-third of the pesticide office's funding comes from industry fees. The agency in 2016 approved the dicamba-based herbicide developed by Monsanto, which was to be used on genetically modified soybean and cotton crops. The herbicide can damage or kill neighboring crops and plants that are not engineered to be dicamba-resistant. The results are "devastating" and destroying millions of acres as "as never before seen in the history of US agriculture", the plaintiffs said. In some cases, direct dicamba exposure can kill insects, mammals and other animals.
For almost five decades, [Dr. Vandana] Shiva has been deeply engaged in the fight for environmental justice in India. Regarded as one of the world's most formidable environmentalists, she has worked to save forests, shut down polluting mines, exposed the dangers of pesticides, spurred on the global campaign for organic farming, championed ecofeminism and gone up against powerful giant chemical corporations. Her battle to protect the world's seeds in their natural form – rather than genetically altered and commercially controlled versions – continues to be her life's work. "I couldn't understand why were we told that new technology brings progress, but everywhere I looked, local people were getting poorer and landscapes were being devastated as soon as this development or new technology came in," she says. "No one was stopping to ask: what will be the impact on the environment? What will this cost the farmers? They only wanted to win the race and control all the world's seeds." Currently more than 60% of the world's' commercial seeds are sold by just four companies, which have led the push to patent seeds, orchestrated a global monopoly of certain [genetically modified] crops such as cotton and soya and sued hundreds of small-scale farmers for saving seeds from commercial crops. Shiva considers her most important work to be her travels through India's villages, collecting and saving seeds ... setting up more than 100 seed banks, and helping farmers return to organic methods.
Note: The Seeds of Vandana Shiva is an excellent documentary that reveals the remarkable life story of Dr. Shiva, her significant influence in creating an international food justice movement, and how she stood up to the big players of industrial agriculture. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
More than half of the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035 unless governments take decisive action to curb the growing epidemic of excess weight, a report has warned. About 2.6 billion people globally – 38% of the world population – are already overweight or obese. But on current trends that is expected to rise to more than 4 billion people (51%) in 12 years’ time, according to research by the World Obesity Federation. Obesity among children and young people is on course to increase faster than among adults. By 2035 it is expected to be at least double the rate seen in 2020, according to the federation’s latest annual World Obesity Atlas report. It is expected to rise by 100% among boys under 18, leaving 208 million affected, but go up even more sharply – by 125% – among girls the same age, which would see 175 million of them affected. The federation is an alliance of health, scientific, research and campaign groups, and works closely on obesity with various global agencies. It wants governments to use tax systems; restrictions on the marketing of foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar; front-of-pack labels; and provision of healthy food in schools to address rising obesity. The federation’s report also highlights that many of the world’s poorest countries are facing the sharpest increases in obesity yet are the least well prepared to confront the disease. Nine of the 10 countries set to experience the biggest rises in coming years are low- or middle-income nations in Africa and Asia.
Note: Nutritional policy in the US is heavily influenced by processed foods manufacturers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
In 2013, the European Union called for a temporary suspension of the most commonly used neonicotinoid-based products on flowering plants, citing the danger posed to bees — an effort that resulted in a permanent ban in 2018. In the U.S., however, industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem. Lobbying documents and emails ... show a sophisticated effort over the last decade by the pesticide industry to obstruct any effort to restrict the use of neonicotinoids. Bayer and Syngenta, the largest manufacturers of neonics, and Monsanto, one of the leading producers of seeds pretreated with neonics, cultivated ties with prominent academics ... and other scientists who had once called for a greater focus on the threat posed by pesticides. A study published in peer-reviewed journal PLOS One found that the American landscape has become 48 times more toxic to insects since the 1990s, a shift largely fueled by the rising application of neonics. “Generally, we see the U.S. waiting longer than the EU to take action on a variety of pesticides and other chemicals,” said [Willa] Childress ... with Pesticide Action Network North America. Part of the divergence, Childress continued, stems from a regulatory system in the U.S. that assumes chemical products are generally safe until proven hazardous. In contrast, the EU tends to use the “precautionary principle,” removing products that may cause harm.
Note: Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto and their dangerous use of glyphosate. These revealing documents expose years of pesticide industry disinformation, attacks on scientists and journalists, and Monsanto’s deep influence on US regulatory agencies to manipulate science and prioritize profits over public health. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in science and in the food system from reliable major media sources.
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