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Sep 18, 2015

Russia Ends Production of Genetically Modified Food (GMO)

Russia's government has decided against producing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the country's Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Friday.

The deputy orime minister underscored the need to draw a "clear distinction" between this decision and science and research projects in fields such as medicine.

"As for genetically modified organisms, we have decided against the use of GMO in food production," Dvorkovich said.

A law requiring manufacturers to label products whose GMO content is higher than 0.9 percent has been in effect since 2007. On December 31, 2014, President Vladimir Putin signed a federal bill imposing fines up to $6,000 for violating the GMO labeling rule.


Sep 2, 2015

Peru: Indigenous Seize 11 Oil Wells Demanding Spill Clean UP

The Achuar communities say foreign oil companies pollute their lands and their clean water. They demand compensation and clean up of oil spills.

Peruvian indigenous protesters seized oil wells in an Amazonian oil block Tuesday to press the government to respond to demands for compensation due to the pollution caused by the petroleum operations.

The protesters from the Achuar indigenous communities said they also plan to halt output in a nearby concession.

The indigenous demonstrators shut down 11 wells and tood control of an airdrome in oil block 8 to demand clean water, reparations for oil pollution and more pay for the use of native land, said Carlos Sandi, chief of the indigenous federation Feconaco.

Achuar leader Carlos Sandi observes the damage left behind by extractionist oil companies.| Photo: Reuters   

Argentine energy company Pluspetrol operates block 8 and said daily output of about 8,500 barrels per day had stopped. The firm called on protesters in block 8 to seek dialogue.

"So far, however, they insist on holding control of installations," Pluspetrol said in a statement.

Sandi said the Achuar in oil block 192 would also soon seize wells there following a dispute with the government over proceeds for communities in a new contract awarded to the Canadian company Pacific Exploration and Production Corporation.

Both oil blocks are in Peru's northern region of Loreto.


"The decision (to seize wells) has been made, we just need to wrap up some coordination," Sandi said.

Peru signed a last-minute deal with Pacific for the rights to tap oil block 192 for the next two years after an open auction for a 30-year contract failed to draw any bids last month.

The government included benefits for some indigenous communities in the new contract but a stalemate with others over their share of oil profits left many out.

Representatives of Pacific could not be reached outside of regular business hours.

Block 192's operations have been halted on various occasions in recent years. The protesters have demanded the government clean up spills and give them more compensation. Peru has declared several environmental emergencies there because of oil pollution.

The Latin American country is rife with conflicts over mining and energy projects.

Earlier on Tuesday, an assembly of social organizations in the Amazonian region of Loreto voted to carry out another 48-hour strike starting Friday to protest the government's privatization move to allocate an oil lot to the Canadian company for two years instead of the country's state-owned company.

Lot 192 is the source of 17 percent of the national crude production.

The region's president of Patriotic Front Americo Menendez said the Canadian oil firm is a “mafia company,” saying that for example in Colombia they hire gunmen to deal with social leaders who oppose exploitation.

Nevertheless, he added, the assembly also voted in favor of maintaining the talks with the government, in order to negotiate various demands, including the creation of a compensation fund of about US$112 million, in addition to an inversion of about US$625 million in the area.

In Colombia, Pacific Stratus Energy allegedly hires killers against social leaders who oppose the exploitation, claimed President of Federation of Native Communities from the River Tigre Fernando Chuje.   

Minister of Mines and Energy Rosa Maria Ortiz has indicated that the state company PetroPeru will start a process of restructuring and modernization in the next 270 days to prepare it to compete against the Canadian company in two years, when the concession ends.

Lot 192 is comprised of areas inhabited by the communities of the river basins of Pastaza, Tigre, and Corrientes.

The leaders of the Apus Indigenous people in the area have been protesting for years, demanding respect for their people and reparations for environmental destruction caused by oil companies.

Source : Telesur

Aug 25, 2015

Germany Moves to Ban GMO Seeds

Germany will invoke new legislation banning the growing of genetically modified crops in country – even those varieties that have been approved as being safe.

German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt plans to make use of new "opt-out" rules to stop GMO crop cultivation, a letter from the agriculture ministry seen by Reuters shows.

"The German government is clear in that it seeks a nationwide cultivation ban. There's resistance from all sides, from the public to the farmers," Agriculture Ministry Spokesman Christian Fronczak said in a phone interview with Bloomberg.

In March, a new EU law meant GMO crops could be approved. But the law also granted each country the right to opt out by banning GMOs even after they have been approved as safe by the European Commission.

Previously, when the EU approved crops as safe to produce they had to be permitted for cultivation in all EU states, Reuters reported.

In its letter, the Agriculture Ministry asked for the backing of state ministries. Germany gave state governments until September 11 to reply. If it hears no objections from the states, it will ask that companies exclude Germany from their applications to sell GMO seeds, Bloomberg reported.

Despite assertions by companies like Switzerland's Syngenta AG and US rival Monsanto Co. that the seeds are safe, GMO crops have divided opinion in Europe. England is among those in favor of them, while France and Germany are among those opposed. Scotland banned GMO crops under the new EU measures earlier this month.

The new EU rules give countries until October 3 to inform the Commission that they wish to opt out of new EU GMO cultivation approvals, according to the ministry letter.

Source : SputnikNews

Jul 2, 2015

GMO Corn Makes Rats Infertile, New Study Finds

Still think GMOs and their non-GMO counterparts are equivalent? Think again. Unlike GM corn, non-GMO corn doesn’t cause sterility. A new study released by Egyptian scientists found that rats fed a GMO diet suffer from infertility, among other health issues.

Researchers from the Food Technology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Anatomy and Embryology, and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt, have found that several unsavory changes occur when rats were fed GM corn.

The rats’ organs/body weight and serum biochemistry were altered, indicating potential adverse health and toxic effects.
“GM corn or soybeans leads to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice, particularly in livers and kidneys. In addition they found other organs may be affected too, such as heart and spleen, or blood cells. The kidneys of males fared the worst, with 43.5% of all the changes, the liver of females followed with 30.8%”
Additionally, by day 91, many of the rats fed a GM diet were completely sterile.

As reported by Sustainable Pulse:
In the third study, histopathological examination was carried out on the rats fed the GM maize, and the results were compared with rats fed non-GM maize. The study found clear signs of organ pathology in the GM-fed group, especially in the liver, kidney, and small intestine. An examination of the testes revealed necrosis (death) and desquamation (shedding) of the spermatogonial cells that are the foundation of sperm cells and thus male fertility – and all this after only 91 days of feeding.”
Read: GMO Soy Linked to Sterility, Birth Defects, Infant Mortality

How long do you think this effect will take to show up in human beings who eat GM food?

The study abstract reads:
“This study was designed to evaluate the safety of genetically modified (GM) corn (Ajeeb YG). Corn grains from Ajeeb YG or its control (Ajeeb) were incorporated into rodent diets at 30% concentrations administered to rats (n= 10/group) for 45 and 91 days…General conditions were observed daily…and serum biochemistry were measured. The data showed several statistically significant differences in organs/body weight and serum biochemistry between the rats fed on GM and/or Non-GM corn and the rats fed on AIN93G diets. In general, GM corn sample caused several changes by increase or decrease organs/body weight or serum biochemistry values. This indicates potential adverse health/toxic effects of GM corn and further investigations still needed.”
This study simply corroborates previous findings, proving the same deleterious effects. Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov and his colleagues found that Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction – in many cases, causing infertility. Animals who ate GM soy were sterile by the third generation.

Years ago, Natural Society unveiled proof that hamsters fed Monsanto’s GM soy for two years had growth and development abnormalities, and also – became sterile.

If you don’t see a pattern here, you might need to look again.

Source : NaturalSociety

Jun 19, 2015

Japan : Fukushima Fallout - Bird Mutation and Possible Evacuation of Tokyo

The real picture of the seriousness of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan is being covered up by governments and corporations putting people's lives further at risk.

Fukushima will most probably go down in history as the biggest cover-up of the 21st Century as citizens are not being informed about the actual risks and dangers. The real picture of the seriousness of the situation is being covered up by governments and corporations, according to Robert Hunziker, an environmental journalist.

Tens of thousands of Fukushima residents fled the area after the horrific disaster of March 2011. Some areas on the peripheries of Fukushima have reopened to former residents, but many people are hesitant to return home because of widespread distrust of government claims that it is safe.

One reason for such reluctance has to do with the symptoms of radiation. It is sinister because it cannot be detected by human senses. People are not biologically capable of sensing its effects, according to Dr. Helen Caldicott, as reported by Global Research.

She further added that radiation slowly accumulates over time without showing effects until it is too late.

It was reported by Ben Mirin that bird species around Fukushima are in sharp decline, and it is getting worse over time. Some of the developmental abnormalities of birds include cataracts, tumors, and asymmetries. Birds were spotted with strange white patches on their feathers, Smithsonian reported.

Dr. Helen Caldicott, co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, writes that Fukushima is literally a time bomb in dormancy and right now the situation is totally out of control.

According to Dr. Caldicott, “It’s still possible that Tokyo may have to be evacuated, depending upon how things go.”

The highest radiation detected in the Tokyo Metro area was in Saitama with cesium radiation levels detected at 919,000 Becquerel (Bq) per square meter, a level almost twice as high as Chernobyl’s ‘permanent dead zone evacuation limit of 500,000 Bq’, media reported.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) attends a press conference of the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria on June 8, 2015
Furthermore, there have been quite a few accidents and problems at the Fukushima plant in the past year causing anxiety and anger among residents there. Earlier it was reported that TEPCO is struggling with an enormous amount of contaminated water which continues to leak into the surrounding soil and sea.
 But despite the severity of the Fukushima disaster, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed an agreement with Japan that the US would continue importing Japanese foodstuff. Therefore, Dr. Caldicott suggests that people not vote for Hillary Clinton.

“The US government has come up with a decision at the highest levels of the State Department, as well as other departments who made a decision to downplay Fukushima. In April, the month after the powerful tsunami and earthquake crippled Japan including its nuclear power plant, Hillary Clinton signed a pact with Japan that stated there is no problem with the Japanese food supply and we will continue to buy it. So, we are not sampling food coming in from Japan,” Arnie Gundersen, energy advisor told Global Research.

However, unlike the United States, Germany is shutting down all nuclear reactors because of Fukushima. In comparison to the horrible Chernobyl accident, which involved only one reactor, Fukushima has a minimum of three reactors that are emitting dangerous radiation.

Source : SputnikNews

Jun 9, 2015

Fracking Has Contaminated Drinking Water in Eleven States, EPA Study

After years of asserting that hydraulic fracturing has never tainted drinking water, the Obama administration issued a long-awaited study of the controversial oil and gas production technique that confirmed “specific instances” when fracking “led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells.”

The conclusion was central to a nearly 1,000-page draft assessment issued Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency to address public concerns about the possible effects of fracking on drinking water.

In the past, top Obama administration officials such as former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz maintained that there was no evidence fracking had fouled drinking water, despite findings to the contrary by EPA’s own scientists in several highly publicized cases. The acknowledgment of instances of fracking-related contamination marks a notable reversal for the administration.

“Today EPA confirmed what communities living with fracking have known for years: fracking pollutes drinking water,” said Earthworks policy director Lauren Pagel. “Now the Obama administration, Congress and state governments must act on that information to protect our drinking water, and stop perpetuating the oil and gas industry’s myth that fracking is safe.”

Still, the EPA determined that the number of contamination cases “was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.”

“We did not find evidence that these mechanisms [of possible contamination] have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” the study said.

Oil and gas companies have also consistently contended that fracking has never contaminated drinking water. In the face of the EPA study results, industry groups such as Energy in Depth seized upon the conclusion that contamination did not appear to be widespread to argue that fears over fracking were unfounded.

“With this new report, it couldn’t be clearer that shale development is occurring in conjunction with environmental protection—and the claims by anti-fracking activists have been thoroughly debunked,” wrote Katie Brown on Energy In Depth’s website.

But EPA officials said the study is not meant to provide a comprehensive tally of water contamination incidents. There is no national database of the number of wells fracked or contamination incidents at oil and gas sites. For 40 years, Congress and successive administrations have exempted the oil and gas sector from a host of federal pollution rules that would require detailed reporting of its activities.

As a result, the report stitches together a piecemeal picture of fracking-related incidents. It relies on several case studies involving a handful of major incidents, such as a well blowout in Killdeer, N.D., that state regulators investigated. It also uses state data for possible contamination events, such as spills of fracking fluid at well pads, which EPA acknowledges provides a limited scope of the problem.

“The spills occurred between January 2006 and April 2012 in 11 states and included 151 cases in which fracturing fluids or chemicals spilled on or near a well pad,” the study said. “Due to the methods used for the EPA’s characterization of spills, these cases were likely a subset of all fracturing fluid and chemical spills during the study’s time period.”

The study notes that the small number of contamination incidents included in the report might not be due only to their rarity but “to other limiting factors,” including the lack of pre- and post-fracking data about drinking water resources; the dearth of long-term studies; and “the inaccessibility of some information on hydraulic fracturing activities and potential impacts,” most likely held by companies.

“This is a study of how we can best protect our water resources,” said Dr. Thomas A. Burke, EPA’s science adviser and deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Research and Development, which conducted the study. As far as fracking goes, Burke said during a press conference, “it’s not a question of safe or unsafe.”

Launched five years ago at the behest of Congress, the water study was supposed to provide critical information about the method’s safety “so that the American people can be confident that their drinking water is pure and uncontaminated,” said a top EPA official at a 2011 hearing.

But the report was delayed repeatedly, largely because the EPA failed to nail down a key component: the prospective, or baseline, sampling of water before, during and after fracking. Such data would have allowed EPA researchers to gauge whether fracking affects water quality over time, and to provide best industry practices that protect drinking water. EPA had planned to conduct such research, but its efforts were stymied by oil and gas companies’ unwillingness to allow EPA scientists to monitor their activities, and by an Obama White House unwilling to expend political capital to push the industry, an InsideClimate News report from March showed.

As a result, the study does not offer new empirical data gathered by the EPA about fracking’s effects, said several scientists who research oil and gas development’s impact on water. Rather, the EPA report provides an overview of existing literature and of cases of fracking-related water pollution investigated by state regulators.

“It’s comprehensive in its treatment of the literature, but it’s not very comprehensive in bringing new research or data from the field,” said Robert Jackson, professor of environment and energy at Stanford University. “That’s my biggest disappointment: They didn’t do prospective studies, they didn’t do well monitoring, they didn’t do much field research. I don’t feel like we have a lot of new information here.”

Despite its conclusion that fracking has not led to systemic water contamination, the report nonetheless catalogues risks to drinking water at every step of the process: from acquiring water to use in stimulating the well and mixing the fracking chemicals with the water to constructing wells, injecting the fracking fluid into the well, and handling of fracking waste water that flows back up the well.

Further, the study confirmed problems that independent researchers have identified over the last five years in peer-reviewed scientific literature. The EPA cited the high number of chemical spills on well pads in places such as Colorado, where fracking fluid could leach into the water table. It confirmed the migration of methane into some people’s drinking water in Pennsylvania. Moreover, it noted that oil and gas companies, especially in the West, frack in underground sources of drinking water––or USDWs––formations where pockets of water and hydrocarbons weave through each other.

Industry has denied such types of fracking. But Jackson and his Stanford colleague Dominic DiGiulio presented research at a conference last year that said oil and gas companies are fracking at much shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through the underground water sites.

The draft report now goes to the EPA’s Science Advisory Board for review and it will be open for public comment after June 5.

Source : InsideClimateNews

Jun 8, 2015

Former BP Executive Acquitted of Charges from 2010 Gulf of Mexico's Oil Spill

On Friday, June 5, former BP executive David Rainey was found not guilty of one count of lying to federal investigators about the true extent of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The acquittal of Rainey, the only executive charged with a crime over the spill, means not a single BP executive will be held to account for the worst environmental disaster in American history, which left 11 oil rig workers dead and devastated the Gulf’s ecosystem.

From the beginning, BP executives systematically underreported the true extent of the spill and were aided and abetted by the Obama administration. The company initially claimed, without any evidence, that only 1,000 barrels per day were flowing from the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig.

When this figure came under sustained criticism, BP and the Obama administration later settled on the somewhat higher figure of 5,000 barrels per day, based on a faulty government study. The actual estimated figure turned out to be an order of magnitude higher, at approximately 62,000 barrels per day, for a total of 4.9 million barrels. The resulting oil slick spanned 2,500 square miles and could be seen from space.

Through the entire duration of the spill, which lasted three months, the government routinely blocked attempts by journalists and independent investigators to determine and document the real extent of the spill. The administration supported BP’s refusal to allow independent estimates of the size of the spill or even to release footage of the leak, and backed the deployment of local law enforcement and the Coast Guard along the Gulf Coast to harass the media.

The case against David Rainey, then BP’s vice president for exploration in the Gulf and a top member of the company’s disaster response team, stemmed from his lying to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment in May of 2010, which was investigating the spill at the time. It also arose from false statements he made during a subcommittee briefing and in a written letter to Ed Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts), the chair of the committee. He was later charged with two counts of making false statements to Congress and one count of making a false statement to a federal agent.

Given the fact that Rainey was accused of telling the government the same lie, that only 5,000 barrels of oil were flowing from the well, that the administration itself was pushing at the time, federal prosecutors’ case against Rainey was always shaky. “Not a strong showing for the government,” Rainey’s attorney Brian Heberlig told NPR following the verdict. “But that’s because they had nothing to work with.”

The trial proceedings were obviously politically motivated. The obstruction of Congress charges were dropped in 2013 by federal judge Kurt Engelhardt using an absurd technicality. The judge ruled that the investigation was carried out not by a “committee” but a “subcommittee” and therefore the law was not applicable. Congressman Markey responded in a statement that Engelhardt’s “narrow and off-the-wall” reasoning was “deeply troubling.”

The charges were later reinstated by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, but Engelhardt threw them out again on June 1 at the beginning of the trial phase, less than an hour after seating the jurors for the trial. This time, Engelhardt justified his ruling by quashing the defense’s subpoena for three former congressmen and six congressional staffers, and then declaring that because of this Rainey would be unable to receive a fair trial. When the jury read their verdict acquitting Rainey of the remaining, secondary charge, Engelhardt declared his agreement with the ruling in open court, a step that the Times-Picayune called “unorthodox.”

Such open bias is nothing new in Engelhardt’s courtroom. In 2013, Engelhardt threw out the convictions of five New Orleans police officers stemming from the murder and subsequent cover-up of two people in the infamous Danizger Bridge incident shortly after Hurricane Katrina, on the basis of anonymous comments posted to the Times-Picayune s web site by a federal prosecutor who was not involved in the case. The year prior, in the sentencing phase of the trial, Engelhardt delivered a rambling two hour rant praising the police department and attacking the federal prosecutors in the case, accusing them of inserting an “air of mendacity at this trial.”

The whitewash of BP, however, is not the result simply of a particularly reactionary judge. The verdict continues a lengthy run of favorable treatment for the multibillion-dollar energy conglomerate in court cases stemming from the 2010 oil spill. In January, BP’s fines under the Clean Water Act were potentially cut by billions of dollars when a federal judge in the same district as Engelhardt ruled that only 3.17 million barrels were released during the 2010 spill, far lower than the 4.19 million sought by prosecutors. If BP was fined the maximum amount for this figure, it would only be liable for $13.7 billion, a drop in the bucket for one of the world’s largest corporations. Even this sum could fall even lower, to $9.5 billion. In 2012, BP reached a settlement in the criminal case for $4.5 billion in fines, less than its profits for a single quarter.

From the beginning, a concerted effort was made to bring forward only a handful of scapegoats to face criminal charges in order to shield the company as a whole from any responsibility. However, even the cases against these few individuals are unraveling. Last year, the obstruction conviction of low-ranking BP engineer Kurt Mix was thrown out over juror misconduct. In March the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out 11 counts of Seaman’s Manslaughter in the case of “well site leaders” Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine on the technicality that they were not “ship” officers.

Meanwhile, the federal government has been eager to run interference for the company. BP’s ban on bidding for new leases in federal waters was lifted last year just in time for it to participate in a new round of bidding to the fanfare of government and business officials. Meanwhile, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement decided last month to allow drilling in the reservoir from the Deepwater Horizon spill for the first time. LLOG Exploration, a relatively small oil firm based in the New Orleans area, will drill a new well a mere three miles from the former site of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

The Gulf ecosystem continues to feel the effects of the spill. On May 20 the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a study linking the 2010 spill to the longest-running dolphin die-off ever recorded.

The researchers claim that severe respiratory ailments in the dolphins were likely caused by ingesting the oil as they surfaced to breathe. “These dolphins had some of the most severe lung lesions I’ve ever seen in wild dolphins,” lead veterinary pathologist Kathleen Colegrove told the media. As usual, BP disputed the findings, without providing any contrary evidence.

Source : WSWS

Fukushima : Researcher warns that 800 Tera Becquerel of Cesium-137 will Reach West Coast of North America by 2016

About 800 tera becquerel of Cesium- 137 is going to reach West Coast of North America by 2016, equivalent to 5 percent of the total Cs-137 amount discharged to the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a Japan researcher was quoted by Kyodo recently.

Michio Aoyama, a professor from Japan’s Fukushima University Institute of Environmental Radioactivity said about 3,500 tera bq of Cs-137 have been released to the sea and 1.2 to 1.5 tera bq of Cs-137 released to the air, then fell to the sea from the crippled nuclear plant.

Part of the radioactive substances have been observed to move eastward at a speed of 7 kilometers and 3 kilometers one day before March and August 2012 respectively, Aoyama said.

However, Cs-137 levels detected at U.S. beaches were 1 to 2 bq per cubic meter, much lower than the safety limit for cesium levels in drinking water by the World Health Organization.

“Even if all the 800 tera bq Cs-137 have arrived, the radiation levels will stay at relatively low level that aren’t expected to harm human health,” said Aoyama.

[GR editor: This statement contradicts a number of studies. It needs to be qualified in relation to the broader issue of radiation levels on the California coastline, including the impacts on marine life. Prof. Aoyama presents the official version. His assessment tends to underestimate the impacts of radiation]
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution of America has announced early April that they detected Cs-134 for the first time in a seawater sample from the shoreline of North America. Cs-134, with a half-life of only two years, is an unequivocal marker of Fukushima ocean contamination, said researchers.

Source : ShanghaiDaily
 

Jun 3, 2015

New Study Confirms BP Linked To Dolphin Deaths in Gulf of Mexico

A new study published in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE hypothesizes that dolphins are dying in mass directly because of BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Though BP denies the validity of the scientific data, it indicates that impairment caused by the toxic oil is causing widespread death in the bottlenose dolphin population.

The study was conducted from June 2010 to December 2012 on 46 dead dolphins that stranded near Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama. 22 were from Barataria Bay, the hardest hit area in the spill. All were labeled UME dolphins (unusual mortality event). They were studied in reference to deceased dolphins from a separate region that was not exposed to oil.

Lead researcher, veterinary pathologist Kathleen Colegrove, said,
“We found that dolphins that stranded and died after the oil spill were more likely to have distinct adrenal gland and lung abnormalities compared to other dolphins that were not exposed to oil. These abnormalities, importantly, are very consistent with abnormalities that have been seen in other animals following petroleum oil exposure.”
Though the study examined various systems and organs, the most significant differences between subject and control dolphins were in the lungs, adrenal glands, and lymphoid system.

Whereas 7% of reference dolphins presented a thin cortical lining of the adrenal gland (adrenal cortical atrophy), 33% of UME dolphins did. 50% of Barataria Bay dolphins displayed this disorder. The researchers noted that to their knowledge, adrenal cortical atrophy had not previously been found in free-range cetaceans.

The study explained that death was likely caused directly by:
“1) affected adrenal gland cortices, causing chronic adrenal insufficiency, 2) increased susceptibility to life-threatening adrenal crises, especially when challenged with pregnancy, cold temperatures, and infections, and 3) increased susceptibility to primary bacterial pneumonia, possibly due to inhalation injury, aspiration of oil, or perturbations in immune function.”
As Stephanie Venn-Watson, veterinary epidemiologist at the National Marine Mammal Foundation and lead author of the study clarified,
“Animals with adrenal insufficiency are less able to cope with additional stressors in their everyday lives…and when those stressors occur, they are more likely to die.”
Further, Colegrove remarked that
“These dolphins had some of the most severe lung lesions I have seen in the over 13 years that I have been examining dead dolphin tissues from throughout the United States.”
The lesions are caused by severe pneumonia, which according to the study, was often caught because of adrenal cortical atrophy.

Additionally, the analysis found that “UME dolphins had a higher prevalence of lymphoid depletion in either or both the spleen or lymph node than reference dolphins.”

The researchers acknowledged that there could have been other causes of death among the UME dolphins, including “combined oil exposure, an unusually cold winter during 2011, and fresh water infusions.”

Nevertheless, the study concluded that “… contaminants from the DWH oil spill contributed to the high numbers of dolphin deaths within this oil spill’s footprint during the northern GoM UME following the DWH oil spill.”

Though BP was ordered to pay a $13.5 billion fine (less than expected) as punishment, the sum amounts to the cost of doing business with a government that creates hegemonic systems of oppression by colluding with corporations.

The fine parallels the futility of recent DOJ fines on big banks that perpetrated the financial collapse. In spite of billions of dollars in slaps on the wrist, the corporations forced to pay maintain full power.

Naturally, BP refused to accept responsibility for the spill’s effects on dolphins—in spite of the fact that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the largest in history. The 200 million gallon spill endangered countless animalsand still pollutes the region. Even so, BP said last week that
“The data we have seen thus far, including the new study from NOAA, do not show that oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident caused an increase in dolphin mortality.”
The study was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and “other federal and state trustees,” but it was also funded by BP itself. In response to BP’s statement, Colegrove stressed a rigorous peer-review process.

Whether or not BP admits it, dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico continue to suffer the harmful effects of the company’s disaster. As other marine animals also struggle to survive, it is time to hold the perpetrators accountable not only financially, but by lessening the power the corporation wields over the system.

Source : GlobalResearch

United States : Very Toxic Algal Bloom in Monterey Bay - Seafloor Littered with Dead Fish

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary: Mass die-off could happen – “We are beginning with continuing coverage of that algae bloom in the Monterey Bay. Scientists say they’re seeing the highest levels of red tide in more than a decade, and they’re worried it will have grave impacts on marine life… [It] spreads all up and down the West Coast. Researchers in Santa Cruz have already recorded a mass die-off of anchovies and they expected more species could follow.”

KSBW, May 29, 2015: Scientists with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary arepredicting a mass die-off on the Central Coast… Up and down the West Coast, a large algal bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia is growing rapidly.

Chris Scholin, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), May 28, 2015: Very Toxic Algal Bloom in Monterey Bay — I wanted to let you know we have been following a very big bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia over the past couple of weeks here in the bay, and the amount of associated domoic acid is really extraordinary… Yesterday I noticed anchovies washing upon the beach in front of MBARI as far as I could see. There’s also lines of fish scales (anchovy?) marking the high tide line… One of the staff went snorkeling off the beach here, and saw the seafloor littered with anchovies… keep an eye out for seizuring sealions, sick birds, maybe sick otters… We think this is a very large event… Don’t eat shellfish or forage fish from MB — very nasty right now!!!

KSBW, May 29, 2015: “New tonight… researchers say a large algae bloom has taken over the Monterey Bay“… Jim Birch, MBARI: “We’re seeing these really high domoic acid levels in both locations, which isvery, very unusual“… “Scientists with MBARI say the toxins from the algae bloom are going to have a chain reaction on marine animals,and they’ve already seen more dead seabirds on Central Coast beaches… It has started to really grow in the last few days.

KSBW, May 29, 2015: Raphael Kudela, a researcher at [UCSC] said the bloom… is being foundfrom Washington to Santa Barbara… reports of dead seabirds are already coming in.

Monterey Herald, May 28, 2015: A mysterious neurotoxin… returned with a vengeance… “This is an unusual one,” said Raphael Kudela… “We haven’t seen a bloom this big in 15 years.”… why the toxin periodically blooms in Monterey Bay is still a marine mystery… scientists are getting closer to pinning down the reason for the blooms, with human impacts among the range of possibilities… Domoic acid is also suspected in a recent spate of bird deaths.

UC Santa Cruz, June 2, 2015: The toxin was first detected in early May, and by the end of the month researchers had detected some of the highest concentrations of domoic acid ever observed in Monterey Bay. “It’s a pretty massive bloom. The domoic acid levels are extremely high right now… the event is occurring as far north as Washington state. So it appears this will be one of the most toxic and spatially largest events we’ve had in at least a decade,” said Raphael Kudela, [UCSC] professor of ocean sciences.

MBARI, Jun 1, 2015: Researchers measured some of the highest concentrations of harmful algae and their toxin ever observed in Monterey Bay… During a normal [bloom] 1,000 nanograms per liter would be considered high… [It's] reached 10 to 30 times this level. On May 27, 2015, very high levels… were found in dead anchovies… The researchers do not know if the anchovies died because of domoic acid poisoning.

Source : ENENews

May 21, 2015

Global Sea Ice Back to 1979 Levels … Ice Has “Moved” from Arctic to Antarctic

New charts from the University of Illinois’ Department of Atmospheric Sciences (based upon data provided by NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Prediction) show something odd.

Specifically, the new data shows that global sea ice is back to 1979 levels … but that that sea ice has “moved” from the Arctic to the Antarctic (in the sense that sea ice has increased in the Antarctic but decreased in the Arctic):




What does this mean?

We spoke with the head of Stanford University’s Atmosphere and Energy Program (Mark Jacobson) last year, and asked him to explain. Here’s what he said

WASHINGTON’S BLOG:  [Why is] the Arctic is experiencing more ice loss than the Antarctic … ?

JACOBSON:  The Arctic is closer to the melting point, so you get feedbacks because – when that ice melts – then you’re uncovering the dark surface below.
The Antarctic is harder to melt, so – even if you raise the temperature – it doesn’t change the albedo [the ability to reflect sunlight].  So there’s not this positive feedback.

WASHINGTON’S BLOG: Part of the debate between global warming believers and global warming skeptics is that Antarctic ice has increased during certain recent years recently.

Is that the explanation … that it doesn’t have the “warming feedback”  you mentioned?

JACOBSON:  There are two things operating. First, when you have global warming, you have a lot more water vapor in the air.  And – in the polar regions – that water precipitates out as ice, if you’re at freezing temperatures.   So if you’re not melting the ice, then you expect an accumulation with global warming.

You’d normally get an accumulation of ice at the North Pole.  But since there’s a lot of melting there (because it’s closer to the melting point than the Antarctic), and the ice is very thin – it’s only one to three meters thick – compared to the Antarctic glaciers that are three kilometers thick.

So you’ve got this accumulation at both poles, but the accumulation in the Arctic is melting. Because you’re evaporating all this water from the oceans, that’s got to go somewhere, and once you get to subfreezing temperatures, it’s going to deposit it as ice or snow at the Antarctic.

[Indeed, the mean summer temperature at the North Pole is right at the melting point (32 degrees Fahrenheit).  In sharp contrast, the mean summer temperature at the South Pole is negative 18 degrees Fahrenheit. So any extra temperature in the Arctic could melt a whole lot of ice during the summer; but you’d need almost 50 degree higher summer temperatures in the Antarctic to get up to the melting point.]

Postscript:  Do you think Dr. Jacobson is right? Or do you think something else is going on?

Source: Washington'sBlog

Dolphin Deaths in Gulf Of Mexico Caused By Injuries from Petroleum Exposure

According to a recent government-backed study, the health complications, injuries, and deaths suffered by dolphins in the Northern Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill are largely sparked by petroleum exposure.
Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, also called Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010,  largest marine oil spill in history, caused by an April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig—located in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 41 miles (66 km) off the coast of Louisiana – and its subsequent sinking on April 22.”
So begins one of the most recent articles cataloguing yet another series of marine animal deaths which have occurred since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The April through July 2010 massive oil spill has left a legacy of dead and injured marine life that never seems to end.
“The scientists found most of the animals had lesions in their lungs and adrenal glands that caused many to die by disturbing their ability to regulate metabolism and blood pressure, and weakening their ability to fight infection.
“The animals all had “significant life-threatening abnormalities” that were “consistent with the effects of petroleum products,” said Kathleen Colegrove, a veterinary pathologist from the University of Illinois who participated in the research. [1]
Terrible: Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Now Size of Connecticut

In spite of the indisputable scientific evidence, BP continues to deny any connection between their oil spill and the dead dolphins that washed up at Grand Isle, Louisiana. The oil company has consistently refused to accept evidence linking many other mass animal deaths on or near the coast of Louisiana to the historic Gulf oil spill.

Some environmental activists have observed that, were the true correlations revealed between the unparalleled spill and the toxicities found in seafood as well as other marine life, BP would face massive financial liabilities. Other health advocates have asserted that the many adverse health effects and medical conditions suffered by residents on the GOM coastline would also present an unprecedented degree of legal exposure for BP.
“The study is part of a process led by NOAA called Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment. If studies find a link between the spill and any damage, BP will be expected to pay compensation, though the company can appeal findings in court.”
It’s no wonder that BP denies that “Lesions In Lungs Are Indicative of Oil Toxicity.” 

There are many inconvenient truths that BP has refused to acknowledge about the Gulf oil spill and the millions of gallons of the dispersant Corexit that the company applied to the affected GOM waters. Some of those scientific facts concern the intensified toxicities associated with oil-treated with Corexit. Of course, the toxicities of petroleum and Corexit alone have also been well-documented for years.
As follows:
(1) 10.72 parts per million (ppm) of oil alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.
(2) 25.20 parts per million of dispersant (Corexit 9500) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.
(3) 2.61 parts per million of dispersed oil (Corexit-laden) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.
(Source: A Special Update On The BP Gulf Oil Spill)
Very few realize, but powerful transnational oil companies like BP will always hide behind the corporate shield of limited liability even though they have been scientifically proven responsible for environmental damage or injury to human health.

In the case of the BP Gulf oil spill the widespread and profound destruction to coastal habitats and GOM ecosystems are still being assessed and documented. Some of the evidence of environmental devastation are only now being observed for the first time.

Likewise, time-delayed harm and injury to both marine and plant life are slowly emerging the further we get away from the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal

May 11, 2015

United States : Nuclear Fire Spills Unknown Volume of Oil into NY Hudson River

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the incident “obviously raises concerns” given the nuclear plant's close proximity to New York City.

Environmental concerns loom large after oil leaked into New York's
Hudson River Sunday from nuclear transformer damaged in a fire at Indian Point nuclear plant north of New York City Saturday evening.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has previously called for the
plant's shutdown, stated the spill covered a considerable area. Though
the exact amount of leaked oil is not yet clear to emergency officials,
the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimates the spill volume to
be thousands of gallons of oil.

"If you are on site, you see an oil sheen all over the area where the
transformer went on fire, and it was a significant area that was covered
 by oil, foam and water," Cuomo explained.

Oil spilled into the river and onto its banks when the holding tank
containing the explosion overflowed. Emergency measures to contain the
spread of the leak included placing booms in the river to keep the
spilled oil within a 300-feet-wide area.

The plant operator Entergy Corp reported the facility was stable and did
 not pose a threat after the fire was extinguished and Unit 3 reactor
was shut down. The plant's second active reactor remained operational.

Cuomo, however, said any irregularities at the nuclear plant, located
just 40 miles (65 km) north of the U.S.'s most populous metropolis New
York City, “obviously raises concerns” for public safety, particularly
if the fire damage leads to further issues.

While emergency response crews initially extinguished the fire, the heat
 reignited the blaze, which was again contained. No one was injured.

Clean up of the oil slick is expected to last a couple of days as the
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation aims to minimize
 the impact of the spill on the Hudson River and the community.

New York's Indian Point nuclear power plant, opened in 1962, also
spilled oil into the Hudson River in 2010 when a nuclear transformer
explosion and fire triggered a leak. The New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation deemed the spill was caused by structural
shortcomings of the containment system that could have averted an
overflow. Nuclear operator Entergy agreed to pay US$1.2 million for the
incident.

Indian Point provides 25 percent of New York's and Westchester County's
electricity, servicing millions of homes and facilities.

Source : Telesur

May 8, 2015

Climate Change a 'Hoax', Claims Adviser to Australia's Prime Minister

The head of the Abbott government's Business Advisory Council claims climate science is a new world order conspiracy involving the United Nations, democracy-hating environmentalists and Chinese communists.

The scientific consensus on climate change is the product of a global
conspiracy to stamp out democracy and impose a totalitarian new world
order, according to dubious claims made Friday by a senior Australian
government adviser.

The scientific consensus on climate change is “not about facts or
logic,” according to Maurice Newman, the chairperson of Prime Minister
Tony Abbott's Business Advisory Council.

“It’s about a new world order under the control of the U.N.,” he argued.

Newman's council is Abbott's top advisory group for business affairs,
and has played a key role in formulating government policy since 2013.

The senior government adviser claimed Australia should “resist”
international calls for action on climate change, accusing the United
Nations of secretly steering a global agenda aimed at “concentrating
political authority.”

“Global warming is the hook,” Newman argued.

The comments were made in an op-ed printed by The Australian. The
newspaper is the flagship publication of Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd
empire in Australia. It's also Australia's largest national newspaper.

In the op-ed, Newman also lashed out at Christiana Figueres, the
executive secretary of the UN’s Framework on Climate Change. He claimed
Figueres idolizes “Communist China,” and cited this as evidence of the
global conspiracy against democracy.

“In her (Figueres') authoritarian world there will be no room for debate
 or disagreement,” Newman claimed.

The chief executive of the independent Climate Council, Amanda McKenzie,
 responded to Newman's article by calling for his resignation.

“He is either intentionally misleading the public or he is incapable of
understanding scientific consensus, in which case he has no business
advising the government,” she said, according to AFP.

Climate scientists overwhelmingly say climate change is real, and being
exacerbated by human activity. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change says global temperatures could increase by 4.8 degrees
Celcius by the end of the century, which would spell disaster for much
of the world's population.  

The Climate Council is largely comprised of former members of the
government-funded Climate Commission, which was abolished by Abbott's
government.

Prior to coming to power in 2013, Abbott once described climate change
as “absolute crap.” Since coming to power, Abbott has been accused by
critics of not taking climate change seriously. Along with appointing
Newman as a top adviser, Abbott has also tapped former oil company
chairperson Dick Warburton to lead a review of Australia's renewable
energy target.

Warburton is a self declared climate skeptic, and his review called for
the government to slash renewable energy subsidies, and adopt policies
that would increase the value of coal-fired power plants. Warburton
claimed neither his history in the fossil fuel industry or his rejection
 of climate science influenced the outcome of the review.

Newman's article was published just hours before a long awaited
government meeting on the renewable energy target. According to reports
in the Australian media, the Abbott government is expected to reach a
compromise deal between the hardline demands for heavy cuts to the
renewables target suggested by Warburton, and calls from the opposition
Labor party for shallower cuts.

Source : Telesur

May 5, 2015

United States : New Evidence Shows Fracking Chemicals Drinking Water

Advocates for the industry, to which there is a strong opposition movement, have long tried to claim that the compounds used for drilling pose no risk to humans or the environment.

Traces of chemicals commonly used for fracking were found in drinking
supplies of three homes in Bradford County in the U.S. state of
Pennsylvania, a study revealed Monday.

The investigation, which appeared in scientific paper Proceedings of the
 National Academy of Sciences, proved the long-held worry of damaging
underground drinking water sources from the method of extracting gases
known as hydraulic fracturing.

The report explicitly links the practice with the affected water
systems.

“This is the first case published with a complete story showing organic
compounds attributed to shale gas development found in a homeowner’s
well,” said Susan Brantley, one of the study’s authors and a
geoscientist from Pennsylvania State University.

Advocates for the industry, to which there is a strong opposition
movement, have long tried to claim that the compounds used for drilling
pose no risk to humans or the environment. Now, they claim that the
study's findings are unsubstantiated.

This is not the first time that scientists have found evidence of the
damage caused by fracking. In April this year, researchers at the U.S.
Geological Survey released a report finding that fracking has lead to
increased seismic activity in the U.S., especially the states of
Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma and
Texas.

At the end of 2014, New York State led the field in a state-wide ban due
 to the health risks, a move the campaigners said had “great
significance.”

Across the Atlantic, the United Kingdom's top scientist Mark Walport
agrees and warns of the potential health risks.

“History presents plenty of examples of innovation trajectories that
later proved to be problematic — for instance involving asbestos,
benzene, thalidomide, dioxins, lead in petrol, tobacco, many pesticides,
 mercury, chlorine and endocrine-disrupting compounds, as well as CFCs,
high-sulphur fuels and fossil fuels in general,” Walport warned in an
annual report on innovation at the end of last year.

Source : Telesur

May 4, 2015

Japan, Fukushima : “Caldrons of Hell”: More than 300 Tons of Highly Radioactive Water Generated Daily

Yauemon Sato, the ninth-generation chief of a sake brewery operating here since 1790 [and president of electric power company Aizu Denryoku] likens the crippled reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to “caldrons of hell.” In a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun, Sato said the nuclear disaster “continues to recur every day”… Excerpts from the interview follow: Question: What drives you to be so active, including in the use of renewable energy? — Sato: You know the caldron of hell? You will be sent to hell and will be boiled in that caldron if you do evil. And there are four such caldrons in Fukushima… And the disaster has yet to end. It continues to recur every day. More than 300 tons of water, contaminated with intense levels of radioactive substances, are being generated every day…
Hiroaki Koide, professor at Kyoto Univ. Research Reactor Institute (retired), Apr 24, 2015:

  • 11:30 – The Prime Minister [said Fukushima] had been brought to a close. My reaction on hearing his words was, ‘Stop kidding.’ Reality is, though 4 years have passed, the accident has not yet been brought to a close at all.
  • 15:15 – What is the situation within the core? How much has melted? Where is the fuel exactly? We do not know… This is an accident of a severity that cannot be imagined anywhere else… As you can see, we are facing a very, very difficult situation. The only choice that we have open to us is to somehow keep the situation from getting worse.
  • 30:30 – We are in a very terrible situation, I would even call it a crisis.
  • 55:30 – The Japanese government has issued a declaration that this is an emergency situation. As a result, normal laws do not have to be followed. What they are saying is that, in these very high radiation exposure level areas, they have basically abandoned people to live there. They’ve actually thrown them away to live there… The Cs-137 that’s fallen onto Japanese land in the Tohoku and Kanto regions, so much so that this area should all be put under the radiation control area designation [the Kanto region includes Tokyo and is home to over 40 million people].
  • 1:01:00 – I really do want to impress upon you that the accident effects are continuing.
  • 1:02:00 – Bahrain’s Ambassador to Japan: If you were the Prime Minister of Japan, what are you going to do with this very complicated situation?… Koide: When you have an emergency legally declared, regular laws are put on hold. What that means is people can be thrown away into areas where normally people should not be… The first thing I would do as Prime Minister is evacuate all the children that are in the contaminated areas.
  • Watch Koide’s presentation here 
Source : ENENews

Apr 29, 2015

Argentina : Over 30,000 doctors and health professionals ask to ban Monsanto

Doctors, scientists and environmentalists in Argentina, and across Latin America, are demanding a ban on Monsanto products. Over 30,000 doctors and health professionals in Argentina are the latest to add their voice to the fight against Monsanto, asking the federal government to ban its products after recent studies found they may contain carcinogens, press reports stated Tuesday.

Other social organizations and researchers across Latin America have also spoken out against Monsanto's products, signs of a larger and more ambitious campaign to ban the agrochemical company from the whole region.

The demands come after the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report last month with the findings that glyphosate, the active chemical in Monsanto product Roundup, “probably causes cancer.”    

The chemical is also sold by other companies under the names Cosmo Flux,  Baundap, Glyphogan, Panzer, Potenza and Rango.

According to Argentina's union of medical professionals, Fesprosa, glyphosate, “not only causes cancer. It is also associated with increased spontaneous abortions, birth defects, skin diseases, and respiratory and neurological disease.” 

“In our country glyphosate is applied on more than 28 million hectares. Each year, the soil is sprayed with more than 320 million liters, which means that 13 million people are at risk of being affected, according to the Physicians Network of Sprayed Peoples (RMPF),” said Fesprosa in a press statement earlier this month.

The union, which represents over 30,000 doctors and health specialists in the country, also asked for the chemical to be banned from the country, and force agribusinesses to change their structure in order to not be dependent on chemicals. This includes stop using genetically modified plants. 

Glyphosate is used mainly on genetically modified crops – which have been adapted to tolerate the chemical so farmers can spray it on their fields to kill weeds but not their crops.       

The product is common not only in Argentina, but all of Latin America.
According to Carlos Vicente, a representative of GRAIN, a non
governmental organization that promotes sustainable agriculture,
glyphosate was first introduced to the region in the 1970's and its use
spread rapidly through the use of Monsanto products.

According to Greenpeace Andino, the use of agrochemicals in Argentina in
 particular has increased by 858 percent over the last 22 years.

Today, there are some 50 million hectares of genetically modified soy
crops in Latin America, where 600 million liters of the chemical are
used each year, Vicente told Inter Press Service.

Roundup Ready crops are particularly common in Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. These five countries alone comprise of 83
 million hectares of genetically modified crops, according to Javier
Souza, coordinator of Latin American pesticide action network, RAP-AL.

“We believe the precautionary principle should be applied, and that we
should stop accumulating studies and take decisions that could come too
late,” Souza told Inter Press Service, referring to a principle that
precautionary measures sure be taken against a product that is believed
to pose a threat to health or environment, even if a definitive
cause-effect relationship has not been established. 

However, the pesticide is not only used on genetically modified crops,
but also on vegetables, tobacco, fruit trees and plantation forests of
pine or eucalyptus, as well as in urban gardens and flowerbeds and along
 railways.

Souza, who is also the head of the Argentine Center for Studies on
Appropriate Technologies, has called for an all out ban of the product
in the region.

“We advocate a ban on glyphosate which should take effect in the short
term with restrictions on purchasing, spraying and packaging,” said
Souza.

Greenpeace also demands a ban of the product in Latin America, which it
says is “damaging to both the soil and our health,” and advocates for
cleaner agricultural production techniques.

“We cannot allow the business interests of a North American
multinational to be more important than the health of the people of our
region. Governments should promote the technology and practices of
organic farming to protect growers, consumers and the environment,” said
 Franco Segesso, coordinator of the campaign at Greenpeace Andino.

Source : Telesur

Apr 19, 2015

Japan Scientist: “I’ve Never seen this Before”: White Lungs found in Dolphins that Died near Fukushima

Interruption of blood supply leading to death of tissue — Disease has been linked to radiation exposure.
  • Ibaraki Prefecture… for a large amount of dolphin which was launched on the shore… the National Science Museum… investigated… researchers rushed from national museums and university laboratory, about 30 people were the anatomy of the 17 animals in the field. [According to Yuko Tajima] who led the investigation… “the lungs of most of the 17… was pure white ischemic state, visceral signs of overall clean and disease and infections were observed”… Lungs white state, that has never seen before.
  • Systran: The National Science Museum… investigated circumstance and cause etc concerning the mass dolphin which is launched to the seashore of Ibaraki prefecture… the researchers ran from the museum and the university laboratory… approximately 30 people dissected 17… [Yuko Tajima] of the National Science Museum which directed investigation research worker [said] “the most lung 17 was state with true white, but as for the internal organs being clean”… The lung true white as for state, says… have not seen.
Fukushima Diary, Apr 12, 2015: According to National Science Museum, most of the inspected 17 dolphins had their lungs in ischaemia state… The chief of the researching team stated “Most of the lungs looked entirely white”… internal organs were generally clean without any symptoms of disease or infection, but most of the lungs were in ischaemia state. She said “I have never seen such a state”.

Wikipedia: Ischemia is a vascular disease involving an interruption in the arterial blood supply to a tissue, organ, or extremity that, if untreated, can lead to tissue death.

Many reports have been published on the links between ischemia and radiation exposure:
  • “It has been shown that the ionizing radiation in small doses under certain conditions can be considered as one of starting mechanisms of… IHD [ischemic heart disease].” -Source
  • “Radiation risks on non-cancer effects has been revealed in the [Chernobyl] liquidators… Recently, the statistically significant dose risk of ischemic heart disease… was published.” -Source
  • “Incidence of and mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) have been studied in a cohort of 12210 workers [at] Mayak nuclear facility… there was statistically significant increasing trend in IHD incidence with total external gamma dose.” -Source
  • “Numerous studies have been published concerning non cancer diseases in liquidators… Risk of ischemic heart disease… seems increased.” -Source
  • “In 1990 the International Chernobyl Project has been carried out under the aegis of the IAEA… It is known that the international experts who had taken part in the International Chernobyl Project were aware of the report by the Minster of the Ministry of Health Care of Belarus delivered at an informal meeting arranged by the IAEA… The Belorussian Minister reported about… the worsening of the general health state of the affected population… “Among adults in 1988 there was a two- to fourfold increase, in comparison with preceding years, in the number of persons suffering from… ischemic heart diseases” -Source
  • “In a study on a Russian cohort of 61,000 Chernobyl emergency workers… a statistically significant risk of ischemic heart disease was observed.” -Source
Source : GlobalResearch


Monsanto Knew of Glyphosate / Cancer Link 35 Years Ago

According to evidence unearthed from the archives of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the United States, it has been established that Monsanto was fully aware of the potential of glyphosate to cause cancer in mammals as long ago as 1981.

Recently the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a statement in which glyphosate (the main component of Roundup herbicide) was classified as “probably carcinogenic” to humans and as “sufficiently demonstrated” for genotoxicity in animals (1). This announcement of a change to toxicity class 2A was given vast coverage in the global media, causing Monsanto to move immediately into damage limitation mode. The corporation demanded the retraction of the report, although it has not yet been published! Predictably, there was more fury from the industry-led Glyphosate Task Force (2). This Task Force also sponsored a “rebuttal” review article (3) from a team of writers with strong links with the biotechnology industry; but because of the clear bias demonstrated in this paper (which suggests that glyphosate has no carcinogenic potential in humans) it is best ignored until it has been carefully scrutinized by independent researchers (4).

With Monsanto continuing to protest that glyphosate and Roundup are effectively harmless (5) if used according to instructions, in spite of accumulating evidence to the contrary, we undertook a search through Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) records with a view to finding out what was known about glyphosate at the time of its initial registration. This followed up earlier investigations by Sustainable Pulse which highlighted a sudden change in the EPA view on toxicity in 1991. What was discovered was very revealing. There were many animal experiments (using rats, mice and dogs) designed to test the acute and chronic toxicity of glyphosate in the period 1978-1986, conducted by laboratories such as Bio/dynamics Inc for Monsanto and submitted for EPA consideration. Two of these reports relate to a three-generation reproduction study in rats (6) (7), and another is called “A Lifetime Feeding Study Of Glyphosate In Rats” (8); but like all the other older studies they were and still are treated as Trade Secrets and cannot be freely accessed for independent scrutiny. That in itself is suggestive that the studies contain data which Monsanto still does not wish to be examined by experts in the toxicology field. It is also deeply worrying that EPA acceded to the routine Monsanto requests for secrecy on the flimsiest of pretexts.

However, archived and accessible EPA Memos from the early 1980′s do give some indications as to what the rat studies contain (9). Although the studies predate the adoption of international test guidelines and GLP standards they suggest that there was significant damage to the kidneys of the rats in the 3-generational study — the incidence of tubular dilation in the kidney was higher in every treated group of rats when compared to controls. Tubular dilation and nephrosis was also accompanied by interstitial fibrosis in all test groups and in some of the lumens the researchers found amorphous material and cellular debris. Less than a third of the control rats showed signs of tubular dilation. In the rat study results, the changes in the bladder mucosa are significant because metabolites, concentrated by the kidneys, have led to hyperplasia that could be considered as a very early and necessary step in tumour initiation.

EPA was worried in 1981 that these indications were sinister, and at first declined to issue a NOEL (no observed adverse effect level) — it asked for further information and additional research. In its 1982 Addendum, Monsanto presented evidence that minimised the effects and confused the data — and on that basis EPA accepted that glyphosate was unlikely to be dangerous.
But Monsanto knew that scrutiny of the data in the studies would potentially threaten its commercial ambitions, and so it asked for the research documents concerned to be withheld and treated as Trade Secrets. So there was no effective independent scrutiny. Monsanto and EPA connived in keeping these documents away from unbiased expert assessment, in spite of the evidence of harm. (It is clear that EPA was thinking about carcinogenic effects — it knew in 1981 that glyphosate caused tumorigenic growth and kidney disease but dismissed the finding as “a mystery” in order to set the NOEL for the chemical and bring it to market.)

In the rat studies, the glyphosate doses fed to the test groups were 1/100 of those used in a later mouse study (9). It is unclear why these very small doses were decided upon by Monsanto and accepted by EPA, since there must be a suspicion that the studies were manipulated or designed to avoid signs of organ damage. In its 1986 Memo, EPA remarked on the very low doses, and said that no dose tested was anywhere near the “maximally tolerated dose.” Then the Oncogenicity Peer Review Committee said: “At doses close to an MTD, tumours might have been induced.” A repeat rat study was asked for. However, BioDynamics (which conducted the research for Monsanto) used data from three unrelated studies, which they conducted in house, as historical controls to create “experimental noise” and to diminish the importance of the results obtained by experiment.

In a 1983 mouse study conducted by Bio/dynamics Inc for Monsanto (10), there was a slight increase in the incidence of renal tubular adenomas (benign tumours) in males at the highest dose tested. Malignant tumours were found in the higher dose group. However, “it was the judgment of two reviewing pathologists that the renal tumors were not treatment-related”. Other effects included centrilobular hypertrophy and necrosis of hepatocytes, chronic interstitial nephritis, and proximal tubule epithelial cell basophilia and hypertrophy in females. The EPA committee determined there was a “weak oncogenic response” — so evidence was suggestive of early malignancy. The EPA Science Advisory Panel was asked for advice, and they said the data were equivocal and called for further studies in mice and rats. A further report was delivered in 1985. Part of the reason for this dithering was the prevalent but false EPA belief that all physiological effects had to be dose-related: namely, the higher the dose, the greater the effect.

Even though pre-cancerous conditions were imperfectly understood 35 years ago, and cortical adenomas in kidney were not thought dangerous at the time, the evidence from the Memos is that Monsanto, BioDynamics Inc and the EPA Committees involved were fully aware, probably before 1981, of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate when fed to mammals. In the Memos there are references to many more “secret” animal experiments and data reviews, which simply served to confuse the regulators with additional conflicting data. Thus EPA publicly accepted the safety assurances of the Monsanto Chief of Product Safety, Robert W. Street, and the status of the product was confirmed for use in the field (11). But behind the scenes, according to a later EPA memo (in 1991), its own experts knew before 1985 that glyphosate causes pancreatic, thyroid and kidney tumors.

On the EPA website (last updated 31.10.2014) reference is made to five Monsanto studies of 1980 – 1985, and it is noteworthy that these studies have not been made public in the light of current knowledge about malignant tumours and pre-cancerous conditions (12). Neither have they been revisited or reinterpreted by Monsanto and EPA, although one 1981 rat study and one 1983 mouse study are mentioned in the recent review by Greim et al (2015) (3). Following the conclusion that glyphosate was “not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity” nothing in the EPA advice about this chemical has changed since 1990. Given the recent assessment by the WHO Panel, and given the flood of scientific papers relating to health damage associated with glyphosate (13) the EPA attitude smacks of complacency and even incompetence.

Speaking for GM-Free Cymru, Dr Brian John says:
“The evidence shows that by 1981 both Monsanto and the EPA were aware of malignant tumours and pre-cancerous conditions in the test animals which were fed small doses of glyphosate in the secret feeding experiments. Although concerns were expressed at the time by EPA committees, these concerns were later suppressed under the weight of conflicting evidence brought forward by Monsanto, some of it involving the inappropriate use of historical control data of dubious quality. None of these studies is available for independent examination (14). That is a scandal in itself. There has been a protracted and cynical cover-up in this matter (15). Glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen”, as now confirmed by the WHO Working Group, and no matter what protestations may now come from Monsanto and the EPA, they have been fully aware of its potential to cause cancer for at least 35 years. If they had acted in a precautionary fashion back then, instead of turning a blind eye to scientific malpractice (16), glyphosate would never have been licensed, and thousands of lives might have been saved.”
Retired Academic Pathologist Dr Stanley Ewen says:
“Glyphosate has been implicated in human carcinogenesis by IARC and it is remarkable that, as early as 1981, glyphosate was noted to be associated with pre neoplastic changes in experimental mice. This finding was never revealed by the regulatory process and one might therefore expect to see human malignancy increasing on the record in the ensuing years. John Little (personal communication) has demonstrated an unexpected and alarming 56% upsurge in malignancy in England in those under 65 in the past 10 years. Presumably British urinary excretion of glyphosate is similar to the documented urine levels in Germany, and therefore everyone is at risk. The effect of glyphosate on endocrine tissue such as breast and prostate, or even placenta, is disruptive at least and an increased incidence of endocrine neoplasia is likely to be seen in National Statistics. The Glyphosate Task Force denies the involvement of glyphosate in human malignancy despite their knowledge of many reports of lymphomas and pituitary adenomas in experimental animals dosed with glyphosate. On the other hand, Prof. Don Huber at a recent meeting in the Palace of Westminster, has warned of severe consequences if rampant glyphosate consumption is not reined in. I feel sure that the suppression of the experimental results of 1981 has enhanced the global risk of malignancy.”
Toxico-pathologist Professor Vyvyan Howard says:
“The drive towards transparency in the testing of pharmaceuticals is gathering pace with legislation in the EU, USA and Canada being developed. All trials for licensed drugs will likely have to become available in the public domain. In my opinion the case with agrochemicals should be no different. At least with pharmaceuticals exposure is voluntary and under informed consent. There are several biomonitoring studies which demonstrate that there is widespread exposure of human populations to glyphosate, presumably without informed consent. Given the clear level of mistrust over the licensing of this herbicide and the emerging epidemiological evidence of its negative effects there can, in my opinion, be no case whatsoever for keeping the toxicological studies, used to justify licencing, a secret. They should be put in the public domain.”
Research scientist Dr Anthony Samsel says:
“Monsanto’s Trade Secret studies of glyphosate show significant incidence of cell tumors of the testes and tumorigenic growth in multiple organs and tissues. They also show significant interstitial fibrosis of the kidney including effects in particular to the Pituitary gland, mammary glands, liver, and skin. Glyphosate has significant effects to the lungs indicative of chronic respiratory disease. Glyphosate has an inverse dose response relationship, and it appears that its effects are highly pH dependent. Both Monsanto and the EPA knew of the deleterious effects of this chemical in 1980 at the conclusion of their multiple long-term assessments, but the EPA hid the results of their findings as “trade secrets.” Monsanto has been lying and covering up the truth about glyphosate’s harmful effects on public health and the environment for decades. The increases in multiple chronic diseases, seen since its introduction into the food supply, continue to rise in step with its use. Monsanto’s Roundup glyphosate based herbicides have a ubiquitous presence as residues in the food supply directly associated with its crop use. Nations must stand together against Monsanto and other chemical companies who continue to destroy the biosphere. We are all part of that biosphere and we are all connected. What affects one affects us all.”

Notes:
(1)  Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate (2015)
Kathryn Z Guyton, Dana Loomis, Yann Grosse, Fatiha El Ghissassi, Lamia Benbrahim-Tallaa, Neela Guha, Chiara Scoccianti, Heidi Mattock, Kurt Straif,  on behalf of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group, IARC, Lyon, France
Lancet Oncol 2015.  Published Online March 20, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ S1470-2045(15)70134-8
International Agency for Research on Cancer 16 Volume 112: Some organophosphate insecticides and herbicides: tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon and glyphosate. IARC Working Group. Lyon; 3–10 March 2015. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risk Chem Hum (in press).
(2)  Monsanto seeks retraction for report linking herbicide to cancer
By Carey Gillam, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/24/us-monsanto-herbicide-idUSKBN0MK2GF20150324
The response by the pesticide industry association, the Glyphosate Task Force, is here:
http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/28574811/statement-of-the-gtf-on-the-recent-iarc-decision-concerning-glyphosate
(3)  Helmut Greim, David Saltmiras, Volker Mostert, and Christian Strupp (2015)  REVIEW ARTICLE:  Evaluation of carcinogenic potential of the herbicide glyphosate, drawing on tumor incidence data from fourteen chronic/carcinogenicity rodent studies. Crit Rev Toxicol, 2015; Early Online: 1–24  DOI: 10.3109/10408444.2014.1003423
(4)  Not only is this paper written by authors who have strong industry links, but the 14 carcinogenicity studies assessed are carefully selected industry studies which have not been peer-reviewed and published in mainstream scientific journals.  All of the studies were conducted for clients (like Monsanto) who would have experienced gigantic commercial repercussions if anything “inconvenient” had been reported upon, with glyphosate already in use across the world.  Therefore the possibility of fraud and data manipulation cannot be ruled out.  The 14 studies are all secret, and cannot be examined by independent toxicology experts.  The fact that the review article in question reproduces (as online supplementary material) a series of tables and data sets is immaterial, since the data are useless in the absence of clear explanations of the laboratory protocols and practices of the research teams involved.
(6)  “A Three-Generation Reproduction Study in Rats with Glyphosate” (Final Report; Bio/dynamics Project No. 77-2063; March 31, 1981)  — submitted by Monsanto to EPA
(7)  “Addendum to Pathology Report for a Three-Generation Reproduction Study in Rats with Glyphosate.  R.D. #374; Special Report MSL-1724; July 6, 1982″ EPA Registration No 524-308, Action Code 401. Accession No 247793.  CASWELL#661A” — submitted by Monsanto to EPA
(8)  “A Lifetime Feeding Study Of Glyphosate In Rats”  (Report by GR Lankas and GK Hogan from Bio/dynamics for Monsanto.  Project #77-2062, 1981:  MRID 00093879) — submitted by Monsanto to EPA
and Addendum Report  #77-2063
(10)  Knezevich, AL and Hogan, GK (1983) “A Chronic Feeding study of Glyphosate (Roundup Technical) in Mice”.  Project No 77-2061. Bio/dynamics Inc for Monsanto.  Accession No #251007-251014  — document not available but cited in EPA 1986 Memo.
Follow-up study:  McConnel, R. “A chronic feeding study of glyphosate (Roundup technical) in mice: pathology report on additional kidney sections”. Unpublished project no. 77-2061A, 1985, submitted to EPA by BioDynamics, Inc.
(11)  Glyphosate was first registered for use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in 1974, and after various reviews reregistration was completed in 1993.
Glyphosate (CASRN 1071-83-6)
Classification — D (not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity)
Basis — Inadequate evidence for oncogenicity in animals. Glyphosate was originally classified as C, possible human carcinogen, on the basis of increased incidence of renal tumors in mice. Following independent review of the slides the classification was changed to D on the basis of a lack of statistical significance and uncertainty as to a treatment-related effect.
http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0057.htm
http://sustainablepulse.com/2015/03/26/who-glyphosate-report-ends-thirty-year-cancer-cover-up/
npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphotech.pdf
(12)  Monsanto Company. 1981a. MRID No. 0081674, 00105995. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
Monsanto Company. 1981b. MRID No. 00093879. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
Monsanto Company. 1985. MRID No. 00153374. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
Monsanto Company. 1980a. MRID No. 00046362. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
Monsanto Company. 1980b. MRID No. 00046363. Available from EPA. Write to FOI, EPA, Washington, DC 20460.
(13)  http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Scandal_of_Glyphosate_Reassessment_in_Europe.php
http://permaculturenews.org/2012/11/01/why-glyphosate-should-be-banned-a-review-of-its-hazards-to-health-and-the-environment/
Key studies showing toxic effects of glyphosate and Roundup.  Ch 4 in GMO Myths and Truths
http://earthopensource.org/earth-open-source-reports/gmo-myths-and-truths-2nd-edition/
Antoniou, M. et al. Teratogenic Effects of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides: Divergence of Regulatory Decisions from Scientific Evidence J Environ Anal Toxicol 2012, S:4
http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2161-0525.S4-006
http://www.earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/Roundup-and-birth-defects/RoundupandBirthDefectsv5.pdf

(14)  That having been said, Monsanto has allowed access to selected later reports to selected researchers (Greim et al, 2015).  It is still uncertain whether these selected reports are available in full, for detailed independent scrutiny — even though there can now be no possible justification for “trade secret” designation, following the lapse of the US glyphosate patent in 2000.
(15)  http://sustainablepulse.com/2015/03/26/who-glyphosate-report-ends-thirty-year-cancer-cover-up/
In 1985 the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate was first considered by an EPA panel, called the Toxicology Branch Ad Hoc Committee. The Committee then classified glyphosate as a Class C Carcinogen on the basis of its carcinogenic potential.  This classification was changed by the EPA in 1991 to a Class E category on the basis of “evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans”.  Mysteriously this change in glyphosate’s classification occurred during the same period that Monsanto was developing its first Roundup-Ready (glyphosate-resistant) GM Crops.  Not for the first time, commercial considerations were allowed to trump public health concerns.
The EPA scale of cancer-forming potential of substances:
Group A: Carcinogenic to humans
Group B: Likely to be carcinogenic to humans
Group C: Suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential
Group D: Inadequate information to assess carcinogenic potential
Group E: Not likely to be carcinogenic to humans
(16)  Wikipedia 2012:  Internal EPA Memos Document Fraud 1983 EPA Scientist on EPA’s public stance: “Our viewpoint is one of protecting the public health when we see suspicious data.” Unfortunately, EPA has not taken that conservative viewpoint in its assessment of glyphosate’s cancer causing potential.”
“There are no studies available to NCAP evaluating the carcinogenicity of Roundup or other glyphosate-containing products.  Without such tests, the carcinogenicity of glyphosate-containing products is unknown.”
“Tests done on glyphosate to meet registration requirements have been associated with fraudulent practices.”
“Countless deaths of rats & mice are not reported.”
“Data tables have been fabricated”
“There is a routine falsification of data”

Source: GM-Free Cymru


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