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Falkland Islands chose to remain British

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 12, 2013

Almost 100% of the Falklanders who voted in the referendum on 10 and 11 March endorsed the idea for the archipelago to remain under UK jurisdiction.

The Government of the Falklands carried out a plebiscite in response to the territorial claims of Argentina, which presses the UK to start a negotiation process to resolve the territorial dispute in the South Atlantic islands.

After the counting of votes held in the City of Port Stanley, the head of the polling station, Keith Padgett, announced that the percentage of voters who said “yes” to continue as a UK dependent territory was of 98.8 %. The number was later corrected to 99.8%.

The participation of the people of the Falklands in this referendum was of at least 92%, a figure much anticipated given the high expectations that this query generated in this small community.

According to data released by the electoral board, 1,518 people voted in this consultation, of which 99.8% chose to remain under British rule, and only and 0.2% chose not to do so.

The result of the referendum was widely expected by the inhabitants of these islands in the South Atlantic, whose government had decided to convene as a way to make clear the desire to continue under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.

The hall of the City of Port Stanley burst into a cheer where a group of legislators of the islands gathered to hear the result. A few meters from the municipal building, other islanders sang and danced after hearing the result.

The Government had provided four legislative polls fixed in the two main islands, West Falkland and Soledad. Besides those polling places, the local government also enabled five “mobile”polling booths and one small plane to visit the most remote villages in the archipelago.

The inhabitants of the Malvinas (Falklands in Spanish) had to respond with a “yes” or “no” to the question whether they wished to continue  as a dependent territory of the UK.

For this referendum, the first of its kind held in the islands, ten observers from several countries monitored the vote to try to assure that the process was fair and transparent.

After learning the result, the head of the observer delegation, American Brad Smith, said the vote was “free and fair” and reflected the “will” of the people of the Falkland Islands.

Meanwhile, the Argentine Government had indicated it was not going to accept the result of the plebiscite, which it deemed as illegal and irrelevant. Argentina’s government claims that the islands belong to its territory, and has been calling for its return since 1833.

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Wealth Redistribution Hugo Chavez Style

According to Guillermo Chochez, a former Panamanian Ambassador to OAS, Chavez has been dead for at least 7 days after he was disconnected from respirators. Chochez cites Venezuelan government sources, which he said he could not reveal because he gave his word as a journalist that he would not.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 5, 2013

According to all Socialists, Marxists and Communists, their ideology is better than others because what it was at its core is the proper redistribution of wealth. They explain that the rich must pay their share in taxes to support the poorest and that the government must be the sole giver and taker to promote social justice.

Hugo Chavez’ death is certainly not news now. But perhaps the news is the way he went about redistributing Venezuelan wealth to himself and his family. That’s right, if corporate Fascism is well-known by its goal of amassing power and stealing everything else later in back door, under the table, secret dealings, Marxists, Socialists and Communists are easily identified with hoarding resources for themselves.

As it turns out, Hugo Chavez’ death leaves Venezuela worse than it was back in 1999, when Chavez came into public light. The country is more divided than ever, and current vice-president Nicolas Maduro has deployed police and military to the streets as a preventive measure in case riots break out. But behind all the spectacle composed by social network reactions from friends and foes, people lose the opportunity to know another side of the Bolivarian Revolutionary’s way to do business.

Much like the Castro family in Cuba, the Chavez family managed to accumulate billions of dollars in cash that Chavez diverted while in power. According to Criminal Justice International Associates (CJIA), Hugo Chavez stole and redistributed about $2 billion from the country’s oil trade and has left it as an inheritance to his family. CJIA estimates that Venezuela’s former leader amassed a fortune just as oligarchs amass power and control through their monopoly oriented business model.

“The personal fortune of the Castro brothers has been estimated at a combined value of around $2 billion,” says Jerry Brewer, President of CJIA. “The Chávez Frías family in Venezuela has amassed a fortune of a similar scale since the arrival of Chávez to the presidency in 1999,” he added. His assessment is part of a complete report published by CJIA on its website.

Besides stealing $2 billion from the Venezuelan people, Chavez also made sure that his dear friend Fidel Castro and his family received a nice chunk from Venezuela’s oil sales. Brewer estimates that Castro’s loyalty cost Venezuelan’s around $5 billion per year, which includes oil shipments and other resources. That my friends is wealth redistribution Chavez style.

The CJIA President went even further to say that behind the transfer of Venezuelan funds to Cuba and other Chavez’ allies, there is an organized mafia composed by criminal groups which have defrauded Venezuela of about $100 billion in the last 12 years.

The $100 billion extracted by Chavez and his cabal of thugs from the pockets of the Venezuelan people is, however, a penny in the bucket compared to what Republicans and Democrats steal from the American people, for example, or how many millions of dollars in taxes are not paid by international corporations who close back room deals with governments to evade the payment of taxes.

Facebook recently got a tax exemption from the American government that amounts to $429 million. Other powerful political donors to both parties like Google, Apple and Microsoft are also allowed to send their profits abroad, which enables them to evade tax collection. Google alone cut its tax payments by $3.1 billion between 2007 and 2010. Meanwhile, Apple hides $1 billion a week in profits the company should pay taxes on. According to a U.S. Congressional memo, Microsoft uses subsidiaries in places like Bermuda, Singapore and Puerto Rico to save itself some $6.5 billion in taxes.

As it is abundantly clear, neither the Socialist nor the crony Capitalist wealth redistribution style is ‘just’ as supporters blindly believe them to be. While Chavez’ detractors celebrate in his death in abundance, his supporters are surely mourning his departure in equal or worse social and economic condition than they were before Chavez came into power.

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Beware, there may be bacterial feces in processed milk

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 26, 2013

In this case, it is not human excrement, human tissue or horse DNA, but artificial sweeteners.

Back in 2009, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition requesting that the Food and Drug Administration of the United States changed the way in which processed milk ingredients are identified, so that they could include “safe” and “suitable” additives.

As many remember, the FDA, among other government organizations waged war against raw milk and those who consume, sell or gift people with raw milk. The FDA and armed police raided dozens of milk farms, stopped and detained cars or trucks that carried milk within states and to consumers in other states. After confiscation, the armed men proceeded to throw out all milk and other milk-derived products such as cheese and yogurt.

While the FDA criminally persecuted producers and consumers of raw milk and other natural products, the dairy industry requested the amendment of the way ingredients appear on milk labels to reflect details different from the real names and descriptions or to not appear at all. On its website, the Federal Register explains that “the petition requests that FDA amend § 131.110(c)(2) to allow the use of “any safe and suitable” sweetener in optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk.” A lot of attention must be given to the words “suitable” and “optional characterizing flavoring ingredients”, which are the ones the dairy lobby intends to have unregulated.

Along with deregulating the standards for sweeteners in milk, the petition also asks for the amendment of standards for another 17 dairy  products. According to the Registry, the petition would include “additional dairy standards” for acidified milk (§ 131.111), cultured milk (§ 131.112), sweetened condensed milk (§ 131.120), non-fat dry milk (§ 131.125), non-fat dry milk fortified with vitamins A and D (§ 131.127), evaporated milk (§ 131.130), dry cream (§ 131.149), heavy cream (§ 131.150), light cream (§ 131.155), light whipping cream (§ 131.157), sour cream (§ 131.160), acidified sour cream (§ 131.162), eggnog (§ 131.170), half-and-half (§ 131.180), yogurt (§ 131.200), low-fat yogurt (§ 131.203), and non-fat yogurt (§ 131.206).

Although at the beginning of its request the dairy lobby talks about “safe” ingredients, the truth that after reading the fine print, it becomes clear that there will be more than a few substances they want to include that would not fall under the “safe” label. In the text posted by the Registry, the organization explains that the dairy lobby is asking for amendments on the optional characterizing flavoring ingredients used in milk which enable them to use “non-nutritive sweeteners” such as aspartame.

As most readers are aware, Aspartame is nothing less than bacterial excrement which is included into artificial sweeteners. The substance was accepted as a food additive after former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld lobbied on behalf of the chemical industry to get the ingredient approved for human consumption.

As it has been widely explained, Aspartame is responsible for serious damage to the brain. The substance is proven to cause brain lesions by leaving traces of Methanol in the blood. Aspartame manufacturers usually lure consumers with their low calorie products which they sweeten with an ingredient which is some 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. How does Aspartame achieve this level of bitter sweetness? It is made of 3 different substances: aspartic acid, phenylalanine and a methyl ester bond or Methanol. As explained before, the Methanol manages to travel through the body via the blood stream.

The Methanol has the capacity to break the blood-brain barrier and once it turns into formaldehyde, it causes brain damage in humans and animals. Fortunately for animals, they do have the ability to get rid of the formaldehyde before it accumulates, but humans lack that ability. Another government entity, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has determined that Methanol destroys a tissue called myelin tissue, which normally protects the nerves while they emit and receive electric signals.

What does the excessive intake of Methanol do to the humans body? In layman’s terms, it destroy neurons in various regions of the brain, causing the death of most neural cells, which are killed before the consumer feels any symptoms or detects signs of  illness.

Why is Aspartame still being used in food and drinks? Why is the FDA even considering a request from the dairy lobby to allow them to put this neuro-chemical in the food? Because as in many other examples of how big corporations control government agencies, the IDFA and NMPF argue that the amendments to the standards will promote healthful eating practices while reducing childhood obesity “by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products.”

Both lobbying organizations say that lower-calorie flavored milk would benefit school children because they are more likely to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school. Right now, food products such as milk and milk-derived products can contain only nutritious sweetening agents. Non-nutritious or unsafe elements can also be added as long as they are properly included in the product’s description. What the processed milk lobby intends to do is, among other things, remove the requirement to include those dangerous substances on the food product, so that people don’t become aware of the toxic chemicals they are ingesting.

Just yesterday, The Real Agenda published an extensive report on how the World Health Organization admits that humans, animals and the environment are being exposed to thousands of chemical poisons used to manufacture food products. Most of those products contain substances such as Aspartame, which are responsible for the highest incidence in endocrine disease. Among the diseases created by chemicals in the food are Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, and affections of the neurological system.

As pointed out in our report, the case of Aspartame is similar to that of DDT, Genetically Modified Organisms, nicotine, PCBs, fluoride and other industrially produced chemicals which are now part of almost everything people consume. At first, they were deemed as safe for everyone and everything, only to be identified as heavily toxic decades later.

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British Government has nukes in Falkland Islands, says Argentina

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 26, 2013

Argentina accused the United Kingdom of sending submarines carrying nuclear weapons to the Falklands and thus violating international treaties that establish that this region should be nuclear free. “We are in a precarious stage of implementation of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which prohibits nuclear weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. This precarious implementation is challenged by the UK,” said Eduardo Zuain, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Argentina to the Conference on Disarmament of the UN.

Argentina also blamed the United Kingdom of an unjustified and disproportionate military presence in the South Atlantic, “which includes movement of submarines capable of carrying nuclear weapons on a nuclear-free zone.” The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, which took effect on April 25, 1969, is an international agreement that establishes the denuclearization of the territory of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Argentina is particularly concerned about the possibility, confirmed for the first time by the British Government in 2003, that the state was introducing nuclear weapons in the South Atlantic,” said Zuain, adding that the Argentine government deeply regrets that the United Kingdom ignores the complaints about this situation.

“We regret that the British Government has not provided clarifications requested on reported incidents. The UK has offered no information to corroborate or refute recent displacements of nuclear submarines capable of carrying nuclear weapons,” he said.

Furthermore, Zuain criticized the fact that the Falklands is among some of the world’s most militarized territories, with more than 1,500 British soldiers and 3,000 civilians. “This deployment includes the presence of a powerful naval fighter aircraft, an important center of command and control, and an electronic intelligence base that allows ‘monitoring’ of air and sea traffic in the region,” he added.

Zuain said the important British presence in disputed areas of the South Atlantic concerns not only to Argentina, “but also countries in the region and beyond, as evidenced by statements of the Ibero-American Union of Nations (UNASUR) , Mercosur, the Rio Group and the Summit of South America and Arab Countries (ASPA). ”

Argentina urged the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, to overcome the impasse in which it has been for 15 years so they can advance on different topics including the ones raised by the Government of Buenos Aires.

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World Health Organization sees ‘weak evidence’ of human poisoning by endocrine disruptors in chemicals

While admitting humans are experiencing the highest incidence of disease and that thousands of dangerous chemicals are used in products people consume, a World Health Organization report says there is only weak evidence that human health has been adversely affected by the abundance of those chemicals in food and other products.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 25, 2013

There are two facts that are undeniable when it comes to human health. First, despite great advances in science and technology, humans are sicker beings today –both mentally and physically–, when compared to half a century ago, for example. Even worse, the incidence of previously unknown or inexistant diseases has grown exponentially due to ‘inexplicable’ reasons. Second, those who were charged with verifying the safety of the production processes and the goods that are mass-produced for human consumption, failed to point out the dangers, and the side effects of thousands of substances used in the manufacture of industrial products.

The reason for the failure to properly guard human health and the environment from toxic chemicals varies, and it needs to be investigated on a case to case basis, but generally it occurred either due to lack of knowledge or because those watching out for our safety overlooked clear evidence that certain chemicals posed a direct threat to humanity and the environment. Three cases in point: DDT, fluoride in the water, mercury in vaccines, pesticides and herbicides.

In 2013, 41 years after its creation, the World Health Organization finally decided to publish a document where it expresses its concern about the adverse effects that toxic chemicals may have in humans; specifically on the human endocrine system. The document issued by the WHO titled Global Assessment of the State‐of‐the‐Science of Endocrine Disruptors, addresses what millions of people around the world, and thousands of health care practitioners have warned about for many years: chemicals put in the foods we eat, the water we drink and others used in industrial processes harm human health and gravely contaminate the environment.

Unfortunately, the report starts by playing down the role of industrial chemicals in the exponential appearance of disease among humans. The WHO cites as its final conclusion that “although it is clear that certain environmental chemicals can interfere with normal hormonal processes, there is weak evidence that human health has been adversely affected by exposure to endocrine-active chemicals.” As many other unaccountable global organizations, the WHO refused to look at independently gathered evidence that raised concerns about the poisoning of humans and the environment by the industrial process and how chemicals used in the production of food, for example, was the origin of previously unknown diseases.

It took 16 years for the WHO to accept and implement the advice provided by various health groups about the serious problem with the way food is produced as well as the way toxic chemicals are used in the production of the food we ingest. Back in 1997, the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety and the Environment Leaders of the Eight regarding the issue of EDCs, the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), a joint programme of WHO, UNEP and the International Labour Organization, began preparing the report issued in 2013.

Along with its general conclusion that its panel of scientists did not find enough evidence –despite all the evidence that exists– that human health is indeed adversely affected by exposure to endocrine disruptors found in toxic chemicals, the WHO report highlights just over a dozen other warning signs that humans, animals and the environment as a whole MAY be experiencing the consequences of systematic poisoning.

After explaining that life on Earth depends on its ability to reproduce and developed normally, the WHO report explains that there is a high incidence and a growing trend of endocrine-related disorders in humans; that there are observations of endocrine-related effects in wildlife populations; and that there is enough evidence that chemicals to which everyone is exposed to have endocrine disrupting properties linked to disease outcomes in laboratory studies. Amazingly, the WHO admits that there is more evidence to suggest that toxic chemicals DO cause endocrine disruptions on animals than on humans.

Endocrine Disruption

Figure 2. Overview of the endocrine system. Obtained from WHO report “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals”. 2013.

The report found that endocrine-related diseases and disorders are on the rise, especially on young men. It related that in some countries, up to 40% of young men show low semen quality, which translates in their inability to have children. In addition to infertility, the report calls attention to the incidence of genital malformations, adverse pregnancy outcomes, neurobehavioural disorders associated with thyroid disruption, an unexplained rise in endocrine-related cancers that include breast, endometrial, ovarian, prostate, testicular and thyroid, earlier development of the breasts in young girls and the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, which increased exponentially all over the world for the past 40 years.

The World Health Organization reports that some 800 chemicals are confirmed or suspected to interfere with hormone receptors, hormonal synthesis or conversion and that only a small amount of those chemicals have been properly studied to determine their negative effects on the organisms. That is to say, health watchdogs –both at the national and international levels– traditionally failed to test for the potential or demonstrated threats that toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of food products presented to humans and other forms of life. “The vast majority of chemicals in current commercial use have not been tested at all,” the study admits.

As many independent observations have previously warned, humans and all life on this planet are continuously exposed to Endocrine Disruptive Chemicals (EDC), which traditionally occurs in low but permanent levels. The WHO report confirms this fact by saying that evidence shows that humans and wildlife are exposed to more EDCs than just those found in persistent organic pollutants. The report also confirms that food and drinking water are two major contributors of human and animal poisoning, but that the list of those elements that poison us all is long.

“Children can have higher exposures to chemicals compared with adults—for example, through their hand-to-mouth activity and higher metabolic rate. The speed with which the increases in disease incidence have occurred in recent decades rules out genetic factors as the sole plausible explanation.”

Endocrine Disruption in Babies

Figure 3. Sensitive windows of development. Each tissue has a specific window during development when it is forming. Obtained from WHO report “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals”. 2013.

The statement above is damning evidence that most, if not all supposedly genetically transmitted diseases, are not really passed on to humans by their progenitors, but by their exposure to chemicals created or used during the production of food and other products. The report goes on detailing that chemicals such as DDT, PCB’s, diethylstilbestrol (DES) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), often used in pesticides and herbicides, or for controlling insect reproduction, are to blame for breast cancer, prostate cancer, non-descended testes.

How can they then say that the evidence is weak when it comes to the relation between toxic chemicals and mass spread disease?

The assessment on endocrine disruptors clarified that much of the damage caused by toxic chemicals happens during pregnancy or early in human life. “Numerous laboratory studies support the idea that chemical exposures contribute to endocrine disorders in humans and wildlife.”

Again, where is the weak link then?

“Developmental exposures can cause changes that, while not evident as birth defects, can induce permanent changes that lead to increased incidence of diseases throughout life.

These insights from endocrine disruptor research in animals have an impact on current practice in toxicological testing and screening. Instead of solely studying effects of exposures in adulthood, the effects of exposures during sensitive windows in fetal development, perinatal life, childhood and puberty require careful scrutiny.”

The WHO report openly admits that organizations that are supposed to be vigilant about the adverse effects of poisons used in the industrial manufacture process have failed time after time to do that very task. “There has been a failure to adequately address the underlying environmental causes of trends in endocrine diseases and disorders.”

Is there room here for liability?

According to the WHO, disease risk induced by endocrine disrupting chemicals may have been significantly underestimated. That is to say, doctors and other health care practitioners who up until today follow the teachings of modern medicine as their base to diagnose disease while ignoring –sometimes purposely– the evidence presented by many studies on the adverse effects of EDC’s, are also to blame for current wave of ‘unknown’ or ‘untreatable disorders.

“We know that humans and wildlife are simultaneously exposed to many EDCs; thus, the measurement of the linkage between exposure to  mixtures of EDCs and disease or dysfunction is more physiologically relevant. In addition, it is likely that exposure to a single EDC may cause disease syndromes or multiple diseases, an area that has not been adequately studied.” Why not? Certainly nor because of lack of funding. Perhaps disinterest from the part of large pharmaceutical conglomerates who conduct their own studies with the ONLY intention to show whether a product is effective, but not to determine its safety or the long-term adverse effects on humans. The same is true for companies like Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and others which brag about their technological discoveries even though many independent tests prove, beyond reasonable doubt that their GMO’s, herbicides and pesticides are killing people all over the world.

Despite the mounting evidence presented in its own study, the skyrocketing incidence of disease in the last 50 years and the growing trends that show how EDC’s are more and more involved in causing adverse effects on human populations, the WHO again limits the relation between EDC’s and disease as a matter of association, instead of going beyond and calling it a matter of cause and effect. The report says that human studies can show associations only. But what happens when those associations continue to appear, study after study? Doesn’t that build a clear relationship of cause and effect?

Since most main stream corporate or government financed studies do not properly test for the effects of EDC’s on humans, because they are conducted with a very low number of subjects and for a very short time, the WHO has determined that this ‘association’ does not go beyond casual results that do not offer enough evidence to pose a cause and effect relationship. This is so, because although the mounting evidence, most tests are not designed to show that cause-effect relationship, which immediately invalidates them as reliable proof or evidence that toxic chemicals have –for a long time– caused disease in people and polluted the environment.

The report correctly points out that the shift already taking place from determining associations to testing for links –cause and effect– is the way to go to show what it deems as solid evidence that toxic chemicals indeed cause disease. But the WHO still fails to recognize what many studies have determined: that the adverse effects of early and continuous exposure to toxic chemicals are only detected late in life. Those effects, as explained before, are usually misdiagnosed by most doctors, who usually tell their patients that the origin of their illness is still unknown and that there is no way to treat the causes; only the symptoms. At this point, patients are condemned to taking pharmaceutical drugs for the rest of their lives, which eventually end up killing them due to their own adverse effects.

So, the state of human health today is equally bad from two different fronts. People are either killed by long-term exposure to toxic chemicals used in the production process of food or in the food itself, or they die while trying to ‘cure’ their diseases with industrialized pharmaceuticals whose own side effects are as deadly as those from the chemicals people are trying to get rid of. Either way, people die long, painful deaths.

So what is next? What needs to be done to end this vicious circle of disease? Can long-term studies be the solution? I think it is too little too late for that. Waiting another 10 or 20 years to see the result of long-term tests is not something a lot of people can afford now. That does not mean that those studies should not be done. It means that people need to find solutions by themselves. Now that the World Health Organization has finally confessed they have not done their job to protect people from dangerous substances –quite the opposite is true–  people need to understand that their nutrition is their responsibility. It always has been so. From the part of the organizations that are supposed to keep us safe from the dangers of toxic chemicals, it is time to stop talking and start walking.

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