Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

artificial fat little britain as boris will perform a miracle in the brexit desert...

bread and fishes

Boris Johnson, GMOs and Glyphosate: Irresponsible, Negligent and Criminal?


from Colin Todhunter


In his first speech to parliament as British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:

Let’s start now to liberate the UK’s extraordinary bioscience sector from anti-genetic modification rules and let’s develop the blight-resistant crops that will feed the world.”

Johnson reads from a well-rehearsed script. The ‘GM will feed the world mantra’ is pure industry spin. There is already enough food being produced to feed the global population yet around 830 million are classed as hungry. 

Feeding the world effectively, sustainably and equitably involves addressing the in-built injustices of the global food system.

The never-ending push to force GM on the public under the guise of saving humanity is a diversion that leaves intact the root causes of world hunger and undernutrition: neoliberal deregulation and privatisation policies, unfair WTO rules, poverty, land rights issues, World Bank/IMF geopolitical lending strategies and the transformation of food secure regions into food deficit ones, etc.

Even in regions where productivity in agriculture lags behind or concerns exist about climate change, numerous high-level reports have recommended that (non-GMO) agroecological practices should be encouraged to enhance biodiversity and deal with food and climate crises.

However, pro-Brexiteer Conservative politicians talk of the essential need for Britain and the world to adopt GM is little more than an attempt to justify a post-Brexit trade deal with Washington that will effectively incorporate the UK into the US’s regulatory food regime. 

The type of ‘liberation’ Johnson really means is the UK adopting unassessed GM crops and food and a gutting of food safety and environmental standards.

It is no secret that various Conservative-led administrations have wanted to break free from the EU regulatory framework on GM for some time. 

Back in 2014, Genewatch exposed collusion between the government and transnational corporations to force GM into Britain above the heads of the public. 

This is despite numerous surveys over the years showing that most of the British public remain sceptical of GM, do not see a need for it or reject the technology outright.

ROSEMARY MASON WRITES TO JONATHAN JONES

It would be reasonable to ask why GMOs are even on the market in the first place given that, in his book ‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truths’ (2015), US lawyer Steven Druker set out in detail how GM could well be based on the greatest scientific fraud of our age. 

This is something environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason points out in a recent open letter to Dr Jonathan Jones, Head of the Sainsbury Laboratory in the UK, and his colleague, fellow US-based plant scientist Jeffrey Dangl.

In April, Jones received the go-ahead from the British government to carry out field tests on GM potatoes in fields in Suffolk and Cambridge. He was given permission to proceed despite Druker’s findings and Caius Rommens, former GMO potato scientist with Monsanto, raising serious concerns about genetic engineering.

In a new report by Mason, which she has sent with her letter to Jones, Rommens is quoted as saying:

We also assumed that theoretical knowledge was all we needed to succeed, and that a single genetic change would always have one intentional effect only. We were supposed to understand DNA and to make valuable modifications, but the fact of the matter was that we knew as little about DNA as the average American knows about the Sanskrit version of the Bhagavad Gita. We just knew enough to be dangerous, especially when combined with our bias and narrowmindedness.”

If that was the state of knowledge (or lack of it) at Monsanto, then what of glyphosate-based Roundup, the company’s weedicide widely used in conjunction with GM crops? 

We already know from the ‘Monsanto Papers’ that ghost writing, cover-ups and duplicity seemed to be the order of the day as the company sought at all costs to protect its multi-billion-dollar money-spinner from being taken off the market.

If genetically engineered ‘Roundup ready’ crops – are introduced to fields in Britain, the use of glyphosate could accelerate even further. In her various reports over the years, Mason has shown the massive increase in the use of the weedicide in farming and the correlation with a huge spike in various diseases and conditions in the UK.

Mason wants to make it clear to Jones that when plant physiologists like him say that that glyphosate/Roundup only affects plants, fungi and bacteria and doesn’t affect humans, they are wrong.

She says to Jones:

You claimed, together with Monsanto and global pesticide regulators, that Roundup only affects plants, fungi and bacteria because they had the shikimate pathway which is absent in humans and animals. But humans and animals have trillions of bacteria in their gut: the gut microbiome, the collective genome of organisms inhabiting our body.”

Mason states that obesity is associated with low diversity of bacteria in the microbiome and glyphosate destroys most of the beneficial bacteria and leaves the toxic bacteria behind. In effect, she argues, Roundup (and other biocides) are a major cause of gross obesity, neuropsychiatric disorders and other chronic diseases including cancers, which are all on the rise.

Her report refers to numerous studies, including a paper in Nature to argue that obesity is associated with low bacterial richness in the gut (Chatelier, E.L. et al. Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers: Nature, 2013). 

Mason also draws attention to a multi-author study (Wang, Y. et al, The Gut-Microglia Connection: Implications for Central Nervous System Diseases: Frontiers in Immunology, 2018) which postulates the microbiome has relevance for both gastrointestinal and brain disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease and even demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system.

She adds:

Glyphosate disrupts the shikimate pathway within these gut bacteria, without which we cannot survive. Glyphosate is a strong chelator of essential minerals, such as cobalt, zinc, manganese, calcium, molybdenum and sulphate… Two key problems caused by glyphosate residues in our diet are nutritional deficiencies, especially minerals and essential amino-acids, and systemic toxicity.”

Mason refers to Dr Don Huber, an expert on glyphosate and a senior US plant scientist, who explains that Roundup, as a mineral chelator, probably causes cancer.

Some years ago, Huber wrote to the US Secretary of Agriculture about a pathogen new to science that could significantly impact the health of plants, animals and probably human beings. He argued it is widespread, very serious and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready soybeans and corn – suggesting a link with Roundup.

Rosemary Mason’s 20-plus page report is wide raging in scope and refers to various published peer-reviewed papers to support her arguments (it can be read in full on the academia.edu site). 

Aside from the effects of (the widespread prevalence of) glyphosate and other agrochemicals on human health – especially and disturbingly the exposure and impacts on children and child development – she discusses the environmental costs, including pesticide run off into seas and oceans, the ongoing destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, algae blooms and the fungicidal action of Roundup which is destroying the means by which trees communicate and look after each other.

In relation to sanctioning the continued use of glyphosate in Europe, Mason notes that it was totally unacceptable, possibly negligent or even criminal, for the European Union to have allowed a group of plant scientists on the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) – whose knowledge of human physiology was so lacking that they did not recognise that glyphosate has effects on humans – to make decisions that affect human health.

PAFF’s role was pivotal in the decision to re-licence the use of glyphosate in the EU in 2017. Although a list of its members is not made public, as a phytopharmaceuticals committee involved in the authorisation of pesticides, Mason presumes plant physiologists were amply represented and held sway.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that in the UK between May 2010 and the end of 2013, the Department of Health had 130 meetings with representatives of the agrochemicals/GM sector.

If Mason’s letter to Jones tells us anything, it is that the British public need to think long and hard about whose interests are really being served when Boris Johnson and others in high office extol the ‘virtues’ of GM agriculture and its associated chemical inputs.

 

Read more:

https://off-guardian.org/2019/08/26/boris-johnson-gmos-and-glyphosate-ir...

they had enough with agent orange...

Vietnam, one of Australia's largest markets for wheat exports, has banned the use of the widely-used herbicide glyphosate. 

Key points:
  • Australian grain growers value Vietnam as a trading partner
  • Glyphosate is one of the world's most widely used and rigorously tested chemicals
  • Australia's grain growing peak body says the safety of glyphosate is well-established

The Vietnam Government's decision to ban glyphosate means all herbicides containing glyphosate will not be imported into the country, according to Vietnam's Plant Protection Department.

Vietnam is Australia's fourth largest grain trading partner overall and any change to the glyphosate restrictions on imports could have an impact on Australian growers.

However Australia's grain growing peak body, GrainGrowers, said the safety of glyphosate was well-established and it was confident the ban would not affect the export of grain to the country.

GrainGrowers chairman Brett Hosking said there had been rumours for some time that Vietnam was looking at banning the chemical.

"They're a really valuable trading partner and so we respect their right to make decisions about how they manage things like glyphosate in their country," Mr Hosking said.

"There is already a standard around the world for residue limits and all grain exported out of Australia is tested and we know very confidently that the grain we export meets those thresholds for residues."

"Glyphosate isn't a product that commonly finds itself in grain residues," Mr Hosking said.

Glyphosate is one of the world's most widely used and rigorously tested chemicals and Mr Hosking said he wasn't aware of any other country where there was a glyphosate ban in place.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-04-12/vietnam-glyphosate-ban/1099...

 

Glyphosate is the most used herbicide or pesticide in the world, with hundreds of millions of pounds being used every year across the globe. While the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that glyphosate is probably a cancer-causing agent in humans, the chemical remains in widespread use.

Still, several countries around the world have taken steps to limit glyphosate use or ban it altogether. The legal status of glyphosate and Roundup is ever-evolving, so check back frequently for updates to this page.

In This Section

Read more:https://www.weedkillercrisis.com/topics/countries-that-ban-weedkiller-and-glyphosate/

I certainly banned any weedkiller in my uncertified organic garden...

shutting down democracy...

The Queen will be asked by the government to suspend Parliament days after MPs return to work - and a matter of weeks before the Brexit deadline. 

The BBC's political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, says it will make way for Boris Johnson's new administration to hold a Queen's Speech - laying out the government's future plans - on 14 October.

But it means MPs are unlikely to have time to pass any laws that could stop the prime minister taking the UK out of the EU without a deal on 31 October. 

A No 10 source said: "It's time a new government and new PM set out a plan for the country after we leave the EU." 

The idea of shutting down Parliament - known as prorogation - has caused controversy, with critics saying it would stop MPs being able to play their democratic part in the Brexit process. 

Laura Kuenssberg said only a small number of government ministers knew about the plan and it was going to cause a huge row.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49493632

 

 

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enjoy summer for a bit longer...

The prime minister's decision to suspend Parliament has prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit.

It sparked protests across the country, a legal challenge and a petition with more than a million signatures.

The government said the five-week suspension in September and October will still allow time to debate Brexit.

But critics said it was an "undemocratic" attempt to stop MPs from blocking no deal.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove told the BBC the suspension, which was approved by the Queen on Wednesday, was "certainly not" a political move to obstruct opposition to the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49504526

 

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"a political move to obstruct opposition to the UK leaving the EU without a deal?"

Nah... It was a move to let MPs enjoy summer for a bit longer...

 

destroying democracy with a ballsy move...

ballsy move...

Demonstrations have been taking place across the UK against Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament in the run-up to Brexit.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities including Manchester, Leeds, York and Belfast. 

Parts of central London were brought to a standstill, as people chanted: "Boris Johnson, shame on you."

A small group of counter-protesters, marching in support of the prime minister, also arrived in Westminster.

Mr Johnson's plan to prorogue Parliament prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit when he announced it on Wednesday.

If the prorogation happens as expected, Parliament will be closed for 23 working days. 

Critics view the length and timing of the suspension - coming just weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31 October - as controversial.

 

Read more:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-49534940

 

 

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boris is a little broken teapot...

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday did not win the approval of enough members of parliament to go ahead with an early election.

298 MPs voted in favour of an early election, while 56 lawmakers voted against it. At least 434 UK lawmakers needed to vote in favour of early election for it to go ahead.

After the vote, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn is the first opposition leader in UK's history to refuse an election and urged Corbyn's colleagues to think about "unsustainable nature" of their position.

Johnson also suggested Jeremy Corbyn consider the election idea once again.

Earlier, the UK House of Commons has adopted a piece of legislation to delay Brexit beyond 31 October in the absence of an agreement with the EU, that has now been submitted to the House of Lords for approval.

Following the decision, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that there must be an election on 15 October.

Since assuming office, Johnson has been pushing for withdrawal out of the EU by the 31 October deadline even without a deal. Since he lost the parliamentary majority, the prime minister can no longer guarantee that UK lawmakers will ratify any potential deal, should Brussels agree to renegotiate.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201909041076724990-uk-lawmakers-reject-pr...

 

The Europeans would be loonies (who knows!) to let the UK go yet with another proposal for shooting itself in the foot. The little English teapot has lots of dark cash statched away somewhere. See:

enact brexit, with a kick up the arse: the city of london corporation and its banks have done much damage to the world..

 

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bojo — living in hope...

(28 AUGUST 2019)


Boris Johnson’s letter to the House of Commons

 

 

 

Dear Colleague,


I hope that you had an enjoyable and productive summer recess, with the opportunity for some rest ahead of the return of the House.


I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the Government’s plans for its business in Parliament.


As you know, for some time parliamentary business has been sparse. The current session has lasted more than 340 days and needs to be brought to a close — in almost 400 years only the 2010-12 session comes close, at 250 days. Bills have been introduced, which, while worthy in their own right, have at times seemed more about filling time in both the Commons and the Lords, while key Brexit legislation has been held back to ensure it could still be considered for carry-over into a second session. This cannot continue.


I therefore intend to bring forward a new bold and ambitious domestic legislative agenda for the renewal of our country after Brexit. There will be a significant Brexit legislative programme to get through but that should be no excuse for a lack of ambition!


We will help the NHS, fight violent crime, invest in infrastructure and science and cut the cost of living.


This morning I spoke to Her Majesty The Queen to request an end of the current parliamentary session in the second sitting week of September, before commencing the second session of this Parliament with a Queen’s speech on Monday 14 October. A central feature of the legislative programme will be the Government’s number one legislative priority, if a new deal is forthcoming at EU council, to introduce a Withdrawal Agreement Bill and move at pace to secure its passage before 31 October.


I fully recognise that the debate on the Queen’s Speech will be an opportunity for Members of Parliament to express their view on this Government’s legislative agenda and its approach to, and the result of, the European Council on 17-18 October. It is right that you should have the chance to do so, in a clear and unambiguous manner.


I also believe it is vitally important that the key votes associated with the Queen’s Speech and any deal with the EU fall at a time when parliamentarians are best placed to judge the Government’s programme. Parliament will have the opportunity to debate the Government’s overall programme, and approach to Brexit, in the run up to EU Council, and then vote on this on 21 and 22 October, once we know the outcome of the Council. Should I succeed in agreeing a deal with the EU, Parliament will then have the opportunity to pass the Bill required for ratification of the deal ahead of 31 October.


Finally, I want to reiterate to colleagues that these weeks leading up to the European Council on 17/18 October are vitally important for the sake of my negotiations with the EU. Member States are watching what Parliament does with great interest and it is only by showing unity and resolve that we stand a chance of securing a new deal that can be passed by Parliament. In the meantime, the Government will take the responsible approach of continuing its preparations for leaving the EU, with or without a deal.


The Leader of the Commons will update the House in the normal fashion with regard to business for the final week. For now, I can confirm that on Monday 9 September both Houses will debate the motions on the first reports relating to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 (NIEFA). Following these debates we will begin preparation to end the Parliamentary session ahead of a Queen’s Speech.


The Business Managers in both Houses will shortly engage with their opposite numbers, and MPs more widely, on plans for passing a deal should one be forthcoming. Decisions will also need to be taken about carrying over some of the bills currently before the House, and we will look to work constructively with the Opposition on this front. If agreement cannot be reached we will look to reintroduce the bills in the next session, and details on this will be set out in the Queen’s Speech.


As always my door is open to all colleagues should you wish to discuss this or any other matter.


Boris Johnson



https://www.voltairenet.org/article207485.html

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See also: dying on stage like a bad yellow comedian...