Roundup causes Plant, Soil Disease

The heavy use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide appears to be causing harmful changes in soil and potentially hindering yields of the genetically modified crops that farmers are cultivating, a government scientist said on Friday.

by Carey Gillam
Reuters
August 15, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – The heavy use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide appears to be causing harmful changes in soil and potentially hindering yields of the genetically modified crops that farmers are cultivating, a government scientist said on Friday.

Repeated use of the chemical glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup herbicide, impacts the root structure of plants, and 15 years of research indicates that the chemical could be causing fungal root disease, said Bob Kremer, a microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

Roundup is the world’s best-selling herbicide and its use has increased as Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed company, continues to roll out herbicide-tolerant “Roundup Ready” crops.

Roundup Ready corn, soybeans and other crops are beloved by farmers because farmers can spray the herbicide directly onto their crops to kill surrounding weeds, and Roundup Ready corn and soybeans varieties make up the vast majority of those crops grown in the United States.

But as farmers have increased their use of Roundup Ready crops and Roundup herbicide, problems have started to rise. One of the biggest problems currently is spreading weed resistance to Roundup. But Kremer said the less visible problems below the soil should also be noted and researched more extensively.

Though Kremer said research to date has not shown that glyphosate directly causes fungal diseases that limit crop health and production, but the data suggests that could be the case.

“We’re suggesting that that potential certainly exists,” Kremer said in a presentation to the annual conference of the Organization for Competitive Markets, held Friday in Kansas City.

As well, Kremer said that research shows that these genetically altered crops do not yield more than conventional crops, and nutrient deficiencies tied to the root disease problems is likely a limiting factor.

Kremer said farmers should take heed and consider more crop rotations and tighter monitoring of glyphosate usage.

Kremer is among a group of scientists who have been turning up potential problems with glyphosate. Outside researchers have also raised concerns over the years that glyphosate use may be linked to cancer, miscarriages and other health problems in people and livestock.

Monsanto had no immediate comment on Friday, but has said in the past that glyphosate binds tightly to most types of soil, is not harmful and does not harm the crops.

The company has said that its research shows glyphosate is safe for humans and the environment.

Neither the USDA nor the Environmental Protection Agency, which is reviewing the registration of glyphosate for its safety and effectiveness, have shown interest in further exploring this area of research, Kremer said Friday.

 

‘Delayed-Action Biological Weapons’

By Frank Whalen

Is a blueprint being carried out in Japan to reduce its population, one whose success could very easily be implemented in America if a similar agenda continued to creep forward?

On June 13, 2008 The New York Times reported on the passage of an anti-fat law in Japan in which both men and women between the ages of 40 and 74 will be required to have their waistlines measured in an attempt to end obesity. Those found to be overweight will be given three months of “dieting guidance,” and after six months they will receive “further re-education.”

In America, we have a healthcare reform plan yet to be fully implemented that could also require annual checkups to control weight.

We often hear that being overweight is a disease and a drain on healthcare funds. It could also be taken to a different level involving young people. If children are consistently overweight, could that be construed as child abuse, resulting in children being taken into government custody?

Increasingly, people are eating foods that contain added hormones to increase production. Since the early 1990s, cows have been given recombinant bovine growth hormone—a Monsanto corporation innovation— to boost milk yields. Synthetic estrogen given to both cows and chickens increases the size of the animals and would clearly affect all resulting food products that humans consume.

On July 30, 2007 The Kansas City Star reported on “hormone fluctuation” causing males to experience gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts. As a result, some of these men have undergone breast reduction surgery.

Considering the widespread use of genetically modified crops, it stands to reason that such things would affect the human body and even genetic structure. On Oct. 27, 2005 the Russian Pravda news website reported on a study in which rats exclusively given genetically modified foods showed a severe and pronounced weakness in their offspring resulting in a birth mortality rate of more than 55 percent. It seriously affected the behavior of the rats themselves, leading the Pravda reporter to conclude that genetically modified foods are “in fact a delayed-action biological weapon.”

Water would appear to be a factor, as well. In 2006, the University of Colorado conducted a study to discover why fish were spontaneously changing gender. Studies have shown that estrogen taken in by women who use birth control is not properly filtered from wastewater during treatment of raw sewage, and is subsequently released with high hormonal levels back into the water supply.

In 2009, CNN reported that young Japanese men are now commonly referred to as “herbivores” as they seem “not interested in flesh,” meaning they evidently are not interested in sexual relationships with women, preferring a more platonic situation. This mentality has resulted in lower birth rates and even translated into less economic production as the aggressive business practices of previous generations have been replaced by a much more passive outlook.

In Japan, masculinity is on the wane, being replaced by a more feminized male. America has experienced something similar. The commonly used term “metrosexual” was coined in 1994 to describe a straight male who displays an almost stereotypically homosexual obsession with looks, grooming and clothing. The practice of men getting pedicures and their eyebrows waxed has become more common over the last few years.

While these trends could be attributed to hormone overload, perhaps social engineering programs encouraging men to be more in touch with their “sensitive” side, communicated through the media and education systems, are a contributing factor.

Other factors include long-standing internationalist concerns with planetary overcrowding, and a perceived need to force the entire population into conforming with health regulations for “the greater good.” All these factors are on display in Japan, resulting in an easily palatable form of population control. Like other successful products sent to the United States by the Far East, it’s not unreasonable to expect that similar programs have already been exported to America.

Mobile phones responsible for disappearance of honey bee

London Telegraph

Their disappearance has caused alarm throughout Europe and North America where campaigners have blamed agricultural pesticides, climate change and the advent of genetically modified crops for what is now known as ‘colony collapse disorder.’ Britain has seen a 15 per cent decline in its bee population in the last two years and shrinking numbers has led to a rise in thefts of hives.

Now researchers from Chandigarh’s Punjab University claim they have found the cause which could be the first step in reversing the decline: They have established that radiation from mobile telephones is a key factor in the phenomenon and say that it probably interfering with the bee’s navigation senses.

They set up a controlled experiment in Punjab earlier this year comparing the behaviour and productivity of bees in two hives – one fitted with two mobile telephones which were powered on for two fifteen minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed.

After three months the researchers recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phone, a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey.

The queen bee in the “mobile” hive produced fewer than half of those created by her counterpart in the normal hive.

They also found a dramatic decline in the number of worker bees returning to the hive after collecting pollen. Because of this the amount of nectar produced in the hive also shrank.

Ved Prakash Sharma and Neelima Kumar, the authors of the report in the journal Current Science, wrote: “Increase in the usage of electronic gadgets has led to electropollution of the environment. Honeybee behaviour and biology has been affected by electrosmog since these insects have magnetite in their bodies which helps them in navigation.

“There are reports of sudden disappearance of bee populations from honeybee colonies. The reason is still not clear. We have compared the performance of honeybees in cellphone radiation exposed and unexposed colonies.

“A significant decline in colony strength and in the egg laying rate of the queen was observed. The behaviour of exposed foragers was negatively influenced by the exposure, there was neither honey nor pollen in the colony at the end of the experiment.”

Tim Lovett, of the British Beekeepers Association, said that hives have been successful in London where there was high mobile phone use.  “Previous work in this area has indicated this [mobile phone use] is not a real factor,” he said. “If new data comes along we will look at it.”  He said: “At the moment we think is more likely to be a combination of factors including disease, pesticides and habitat loss.”

The UK Government has set aside £10 million for research into the decline of pollinators like bees, but the BBKA claim much more money is needed for research into the problem, including studies on pesticides, disease and new technology like mobile phones.

According to the University of Durham, England’s bees are vanishing faster than anywhere else in Europe, with more than half of hives dying out over the last 20 years.  The most recent statistics from last winter show that the decline in honey bees in Britain is slowing, with just one in six hives lost.  This is still above the natural rate of ten per cent losses, but a vast improvement on previous years.

There has been an increase in the number of thefts of hives across the world and in Germany beekeepers have started fitting GPS tracking devices to their hives.