We are close to knew website so please keep sharing truths posted here! March 11/18
EMF sensitivities supported in USA posted Mar 18/18
Written and shared by Sharon Noble, Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters www.stopsmartmetersbc.com
1) In the US there is an organization whose goal is helping people with environmental sensitivities live in a safe home. A very interesting group of people on their board.
2) In Maine, electricity bills are increasing dramatically. Are smeters to blame? Unless there is independent testing no one will know. The utilities there, like Hydro, “offer” to take the smeter into their pristine lab to test and, of course, the smeters always are just fine. Electrical engineers have said that these smeters are cheap computers and, like other computers, reboot when removed from the base. Their settings revert to factory settings. Any problems will disappear. They need to be tested in their base where they are, to test for interference among other things.
Time for Action on Outages, High Bills
“But this is not the most severe winter ever, so some huge increases seem to be caused by more than usage. CMP, for example, has removed the prior year’s monthly usage from the bill, making ready comparisons impossible. That deletion makes it more difficult to accept the explanation that it’s all a matter of usage.
One obvious culprit is the meter. Utilities have installed so-called “smart” meters, supposedly because they will allow customers to manage their usage better, obtaining greater efficiency and lower costs. While that promise mostly goes unfulfilled, it has worked well for utilities that can eliminate meter reader jobs.
During a major, recent nor’easter, smart meters turned out to be dumb. They could not highlight outage locations very well, nor did they provide good data to the central office, which would help it efficiently assign repair crews. Despite their shortcomings, a big part of the meter’s cost is recovered in a customer’s rates and will be for many years.”
3) Groups are organizing all over the US to fight the loss of control of public rights of way and the right to negotiate siting of microcells. This from Virginia. We need to organize rallies and protests outside MLA/MP constituency offices to make our voices and concerns heard.
“If either bill becomes law, telecommunication companies will have the right to place cell antennas on every utility pole. Right now they are installed on cell towers or building roofs. The result is your home will likely be subjected to wireless radiation day and night, and the antenna could be right outside your bedroom window. Your ability to escape wireless radiation will disappear in Virginia.”
4) A terrific letter by Oona McOuat in Prince Rupert’s paper about the advantages of internet access via fiber optic cable right to the home, and inside the home via hard wired cable. Please share widely.
Bringing fast and healthy internet to coastal communities
How will local officials, including First Nations leaders, connect their communities
5) Strong solar storms are occurring and could cause people who are sensitive to have problems, as well as others. Even people who are not normally sensitive may suffer some physical effects, e.g. dizziness.
6) Below in letters is additional information about disabling Shaw’s wifi’d modem, provided by one of our technical members.
My old non wireless modem failed after less than 5 years. Phoned shaw and arranged to pickup a new one. Unfortunately all new shaw modems are wifi equipped. Had a bit of a tussle with the service rep on the matter when I told him that my turning the wifi off at home was not good enough as I knew for firmware updates and software updates they make take everything back to the defaults with the wireless on. Finally he told me I could ask for the modem to be in bridge modem which you have to ask for and they can do at the office. So far the new modem does not seem to be transmitting but I have noticed the power supply is much dirtier and has an appreciable reading.
I assume all ISP have the ability to disable the wifi permanently if you ask for it – it may take a bit of words to get them to do it but I assume it is possible with all of the providers.
From a security from hacking perspective the new modem has a feature I will not use and recommend no one else does either. My old modem had only 1 ethernet (wired) connection the new modem/router has 4. One should never use more than 1 connection (yes connecting several home routers would be okay but why would you) to the ISP supplied modem and if more wired connections are needed use a home router. One may still be able to find a home router that does not radiate (usually a few $ cheaper). If only witless enabled ones are available make sure when you buy it you know how to turn the wireless off not all will let you turn it off, if in doubt ask the store to show you how. Only plug you computer(s) into your home router never the ISP supplied modem. Using a home router will increase you computer security but you still need a firewall.
I recommend using both the operating system supplied firewall and a separate one as hackers all know the way past the operating system firewall A separate firewall from some random source makes the work of the hacker harder as they have to get past the impediment of the home router, the complexities of the system firewall and then be versed on the complexities of you own firewall, most will give up and go for low hanging fruit and bother some other computer instead. This also will stymie the script hackers that use a purchased script to enslave hundreds or thousands of computers at a time.
Changing the private network address on one’s home router is also a good plan and there are additional tweaks depending on the router one can do to enhance security.
Each layer of security also adds a layer of complexity for the user and uses a bit of computer power so I do not recommend more than I mentioned here which will probably not impact ones computer use too much.
If you follow these recommendations it is relatively unlikely your computer will be hacked – no guarantees.
There is one point I forgot to mention. For most it will make no difference but for super fast gamers if one wants fast connection speeds they will need to buy the more expensive home routers at 100+ if they want Gigabit connection speeds. My old and probably most other people’s home router is 1/10 that and works well enough for me to watch movies on my computer – gave up on tv over a year and don’t miss it. My connection is fast enough to watch 2 youtube movies simultaneously.
Also for those on a budget my Shaw connection is an old grandfathered connection that is about half the speed of the ones they offer now and much cheaper than their new victim price.
For those concerned about connection speed there are 3 pinchpoints a user can control
- most computers of the last 10 years are good for the maximum speed of 1 Gigabit and at this time there are no faster connections available
- Unless one pays a premium their router is only good for a 10th the speed the computer is. Unless I had 5 or 6 computers on the internet simultaneously or a gaming enthusiast the low price router is all one needs. If one looks around they will find a router for less than $20
3 Ones internet connection – the more you pay the faster the connection but no sense paying for a faster connection than your router can handle Most homes probably don’t need more than the lowest price options they can get. Don’t let your service providers talk you into a higher priced package if your home router/modem/computer are the pinch points, you will receive no benefit other than having less money to worry about.
“A government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.” Albert Camus
Weather manipulation admissions! posted Mar 17/18
Education on dangers of WIFI and phones posted Mar 15/18 ( I would like to say there are mind control programs on phones to get your addicted Tami)
Written and shared by Sharon Noble, Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters www.stopsmartmetersbc.com
Due to my being ill, there was no update on March. 13.
1) This article could be useful for those who want to get family members or friends to reduce time on “smart” phones, and fear of cancer isn’t doing it.
This is what your smartphone is doing to your brain — and it isn’t good
“But our bodies have a different view: These constant alerts jolt our stress hormones into action, igniting our flight or flight response; our heartbeats quicken, our breathing tightens, our sweat glands burst open, and our muscles contract. That response is intended to help us outrun danger, not answer a call or text from a colleague…
Brand new research on dozens of smartphone users in Switzerland also suggests that staring at our screens could be making both our brains and our fingers more jittery…
Checking Facebook has been proven to make young adults depressed. Researchers who’ve studied college students’ emotional well-being find a direct link: the more often people check Facebook, the more miserable they are.”
2) Childhood cancers and autism are rising… And many studies show a significant environmental toxin is microwave radiation. Too bad this article made no mention of it.
Childhood Cancers Rising Same as Autism – Cancer Now #1 Cause of Death in Children
For American children ages one through 14, cancer is the top disease-related cause of death, second only to accidents among all causes of childhood mortality. Leukemia and malignancies of the central nervous system are the most common types of childhood cancers.
A recent opinion piece in The Hill points out that autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have increased in lockstep with pediatric cancers.
One in thirty-six (2.76%) children aged three-17 had an ASD diagnosis as of 2016, compared to one in 10,000 children in the 1970s. The parallel rise in the two conditions is not a fluke—environmental toxins are widely known to “initiate or aggravate various neurological disorders [and] carcinomas.”
3) More reasons for having power lines underground. Why spend all the money replacing poles, repairing damages that cause outages, etc. when putting lines underground provides safer means of providing electricity that is less vulnerable to accident or weather.
4) Some good news from New York where people rallied after learning that the state budget included provisions weakening local control of right of ways, leading the way for 5G cell transmitters. In a very short time, public pressure has forced the “gutting” of this portion of the budget in the first chamber (the Assembly). Now they are preparing to put pressure on the Senate. This shows that organized effort can make a difference. It’s good to read about how they did it in case there’s some ideas we can used. Interesting that telecom Spectrum opposed this, too, because they are invested in using fiber optic cable.
“TED VII Part F- change to general municipal law that would have gutted local zoning and planning for 5G towers on municipal rights of way on utility poles and college campuses/ sporting arenas is GONE from Assembly version; however, we still need to deal with Senate version and the combined version so we are not home free yet, but this is a MAJOR POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT!
Please call (518) 455 Senators Boyle (3411) , Robach (2909), Flanagan (2071) and DeFrancisco (3511) to weigh in this week against TED VII Part F)
I was up in Albany lobbying with leadership yesterday and the word came down at 5:30 that they were going to take it out of the Assembly’s version, which was published today.
This is an ongoing joint effort by all concerned parties. First, Alissa Shields of Erie County found out about this budget provision, recognized the implications and informed people on February 28th. Also Marilynne Martin of Florida (formerly of Long Island) has been telling other New Yorkers about this.
The various conferences of mayors and supervisors, including Orange County, around the state have been weighing in. A couple of Assemblypeople were former mayors, like Steve Otis (Westchester) and John McDonald (Capitol Region) so they understand first-hand the importance of home rule and pressed this upon leadership.
Spectrum is also opposed to this because they have invested in non-radiation emitting wired cable infrastructure and don’t want the competition of 5G wireless tv being beamed in from poles into peoples’ homes.
Supervisor Bob Livsey and the Town of Highlands Town Board issued a strongly worded resolution, which can be used as a template for municipalities going forward as 5G purveyors try to do business there.
Grassroots Environmental Education produced www.TelecomPowerGrab.org and other literature and did a PR Blitz of major newspapers.
Of course, it helps that NYCOM (NY Conference of Mayors) has threatened to sue the State of New York if they pass this, although I understand that Governor Cuomo was unmoved by this comment.
Again, vigilance is required on the Senate side. And going forward, all need to be concerned about increasing radiation in homes, offices and public places. As stated, Lennart Hardell, whose work was the basis for the WHO/IARC Group 2b carcinogenicity determination, has sent an appeal with fellow scientists to the EU calling for a moratorium on 5G and calling it a violation of the Nuremberg Code. They are also calling for this radiation to be regulated as a 1A carcinogen based on evidence which exists.
(The young aides who sat in on meetings with members in Albany had never heard of the Nuremberg Code…. which is concerning from an education standpoint……)
Please read the Appeal here:
5G Appeal Scientist Appeal for 5G Moratorium 1 Scientists and doctors warn of potential serious health effects of 5G September 13, 2017 We the undersigned, more than …
Also, here is coverage from Buffalo:
From: Michael V. (name given with permission_
Sent: March 12, 2018 3:01 PM
To: Minister, EMPR EMPR:EX <EMPR.Minister@gov.bc.ca>
Subject: Re: BC Hydro’s meter choices program
Thank you for your time on this not quite considerate answer as you used a template inherited from previous government.
I thought in BC it is not quite practical while popular to use the term fairness while every tenth child in is living poverty and hunger.
BC Hydro used the least secure, and least safe infrastructure, and paid the most for it – the highest on a per meter basis in North America.
At the time when your quoted document was compiled BCUC had no control of what liberal government conspired within “Clean Energy Act”: all was based on closed doors arbitrarily made decisions. Do not you know yet that CEA was designed to wipe out any analogue meter, to leave no choice to opponents while their seal are “expired”?
So you say it is fair to leave people with no option, or say staged to expire “option” with the penalty “fee” that many could not afford? For many this “fee” is higher than actual energy consumption, does it make sense?
How do you see a fairness and balance while people who do not drive pay taxes for roads, people who do not have children pay taxes for schools, people who have property and have no children pay taxes for schools while those who rent and use public education system do not pay any taxes for schools infrastructure?
Do we all subsidize BC Ferry, ICBC, Translink itself while not all use it?
BC Hydro never disclosed the rationale behind their charging us the highest reading fee in entire N. America. How they can justify financially that “These fees enable BC Hydro to cover the cost of meter reading”?
“Rates are set based on the cost of service.” BCH never disclosed actual cost and what they do with this money collected.
Wireless AMI (Advanced Meter Infrastructure) is the least green smart meter and actually is not green technology at all. BC Hydro chose the least reliable, safe, and green path.
“BC Hydro supports energy conservation efforts for all customers” Do they really?
I need to conclude that you are perfectly repeating words of previous liberal “leaders”. And while you did not back up your words with anything I would dare say that NDP is set to continue the outrageous meter reading fee collection for its private interests.
Fairness and balance come when there is a dialogue and trust between communicating parties. We had none in BC as to AMI. If BCH, BCUC, and government wanted to serve people they would trust them using a balanced approach. In particular home owners could read their meters and submit readings via the Internet based application.
BCH could confirm accurate reading with checks once a year or so, if they trusted us. In reality they’d love us trusting them while BCH gave us no reason to.
You even did not dare to make a comparison of BC Hydro to IDAHO Power business cases.
For the sake of those of us who oppose unsafe and ineffective way BCH was allowed to choose wireless smart meters, spend a of couple minutes reading the IDAHO Power case. It is an obvious opportunity to correct all BCH/liberal wrongdoing with choosing Itron wireless AMI.
Do that favour for all people in BC including your family.
And how come Adrian Dix press release as to meter reading fees appeared to be another lie?
Did NDP forget their promise to be honest with British Columbians?
- Coleman is probably proud of you.
On Monday, 12 March 2018, 13:41:40 GMT-7, Minister, EMPR EMPR:EX <EMPR.Minister@gov.bc.ca> wrote:
Mr. Michael V
Dear Mr. V
Thank you for your February 15, 2018 email regarding BC Hydro’s meter choices program legacy fees, and for taking the time to write and share your views.
In British Columbia, energy utilities are regulated by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC). Rates are set based on the cost of service. The fees and charges related to BC Hydro’s meter choices program were reviewed and approved by the BCUC. A copy of BCUC’s decision can be found at http://www.bcuc.com/Documents/Proceedings/2014/DOC_41266_04-25-2014_BCH%20Meter%20Choices_Decision_G-59-14.pdf.
We understand that some customers continue to have concerns about the monthly fee for retaining a legacy meter. Their concerns, however, must be balanced with fairness to other customers. Fairness suggests customers who choose to retain a legacy meter instead of accepting the standard meter in British Columbia should cover the costs associated with their choice. These fees enable BC Hydro to cover the cost of meter reading and the cost of the additional infrastructure needed for the smart grid to operate around the non‑communicating meters, including the cost of maintaining the old system.
BC Hydro supports energy conservation efforts for all customers. Details regarding a variety of opportunities to save and obtain rebates, including those opportunities available to customers who choose to retain a legacy meter, are available online at https://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/residential/savings-and-rebates.html.
Once again, thank you for writing. I appreciate the opportunity to hear from you about these important issues. It helps inform my work within the Ministry, and your engagement is crucial to our democracy.
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.
Shaw Wifi treachery example! posted Mar 13/18
Written and shared by Sharon Noble, Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters www.stopsmartmetersbc.com
1) I had internet problems that prevented me from using my computer until this evening and through this experience I’ve learned something you should know. We use Shaw and have always had a wired router, having the wireless capability turned off by Shaw. You might have a modem if you only have one computer hooked up. We have a router that serves both Dennis’s and my computer. This morning our router was dead, so Dennis took it to Shaw for a replacement. The woman there looked at our file, saw that we do not use wireless access and said she had turned it off. Dennis came home, hooked everything up, but only his computer worked. I called Shaw and was told that wired routers allowed only 1 connection, the others had to be wireless. I objected and said we had always had 3 wired ports, two for our computers and another for our homeplug which allows us to use Netflix, streaming, etc on our TV. After a lot of back and forth, the fellow eventually agreed to allow 3 ports to be active on a wired router. He worked for perhaps 20 min before saying he had managed to do it. I hung up, went to my computer and turned on my HF Analyzer to see if all was ok — it went crazy. The wifi was on full blast. I called Shaw again, and after about an hour of back and forth convinced the techies that this could and must be done. Finally I was given a way to turn off the wifi myself and to check to see if it had come on again, which can happen if there is some factory reset. Go to google, and on the line with the URL, instead of a www address type in 192.168.0.1 and hit enter. The login box shows and the password is the serial number on your modem or router. Then a page comes up for the 2 frequencies that Shaw uses, 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz. Go into each and disable the wifi.
I’m sure that each provider has the same ability to give you a way to ensure that your wifi is disabled.
I believe the Shaw people just took the easy way out and figured we’d never know we had wifi. Not unlike Telus…
2) Warning re. hackers, especially for those using a WordPress website, blog, etc. Everyone needs good anti-virus protection and to keep it updated. This type of hacking could eventually damage a computer.
‘Cryptojacking’ hacker trend turns Canadian web surfers into cryptocurrency miners
“Segura said what’s striking about this latest trend is that it affects virtually any kind of device that can access a website. In the past, many consumers thought they were safe from viruses and malware on their mobile phones or Apple computers.
“It’s platform agnostic in the sense that it doesn’t matter if you have a Windows computer, or a Mac, or even a mobile device, if you’re visiting that website your device will start mining regardless,” he said.
He added there is a possible risk of damage to an overworked device if it were to be left mining endlessly for an extended period of time.”
3) An attorney in Seattle is fighting to have smeters banned. He has written an extremely long demand to the Utilities Commission (I must admit to reading less than half!)
DEMAND THAT THE UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION BAN THE INSTALLATION AND REQUIRE THE REMOVE OF SO-CALLED ADVANCED METERS
INCLUDING A REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS
“The Coalition opposes so-called advanced meters and points out their defects, the physical harms they cause, the damage they cause to property, their failure economically, their eavesdropping and surveillance capabilities, and their failure to qualify according existing regulations. So-called advanced meters and all electronic meters are a Consumer Protection Act case waiting to happen.”
4) Finally, 2 years after “phonegate” was revealed, where it was learned that many cell phones tested in Europe emit higher levels of RF than allowed, the data has been released. Dr. Arazi will review the 20,000 pages and report on the results. As Wendy Mesley reported, cell phones in No. America are not tested realistically and people are exposed to extremely high levels of RF – probably, at times, exceeding even the very high limits allowed by Safety Code 6.
In the fight for transparency, it is a new victory against ANFR which, using multiple arguments, has repeatedly refused to make public these data that are essential to the health and safety of mobile phone users. For Dr. Marc Arazi who launched the alert on this new health and industrial scandal: “This is an important major victory but now the French and European people must be fully informed and governments must take measures of protection, in particular, ordering the removal of mobile phones that exceed the thresholds in contact with the body. The inertia of Ministers Nicolas Hulot and Agnès Buzyn is no longer acceptable. »…
Mr. Arnaud Durant, lawyer at the Paris Bar who is closely following this case, wishes to react : “The ‘alleged’ conformity advanced by ANFR for these mobile phones absolutely does not take into account the question of the existence of a possible safety flaw. In European law, a product is defective when it does not offer the safety that the consumer can legitimately expect. What other use can one reasonably expect from a ‘mobile’ phone? One certainly expects to be able to hold it against the cheek, in the hand, or even in a pocket, but certainly not to be subjected to a situation where the thresholds are being exceeded or a specific health risk such as the risk of carcinogenesis.”
Here is the press release in English.
5) A letter in a Montana paper about smeters being installed through threats, deception, without notice. If correct, there is a higher opt out fee — $75 – reported. I will check this out and will let you know if, in fact, this is true. Until I confirm, we are still # 1 in opt out fees !!
Are smart meters installed without consent?
“Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (YVEC) has installed new AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) “smart” utility meters without our informed consent. AMI Smart Meters could be an invasion of privacy and also a cyber-security threat. They are associated with a host of health conditions, and catch on fire and explode more easily due to their design.
YVEC has operated under a veil of secrecy and deception concerning these meters. For example, the manager of YVEC adamantly claimed that they did not use any government funding to install these surveillance capable devices. However, legal discovery documents show that YVEC did take government funding to deploy the Smart Grid and Smart Meters.”
6) And now for a change of pace : The Muppets explain why they don’t want cell towers in their yards.
“The truth is inconvertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it. But there it is” – Winston Churchill
Public powers to defend against companies like Monsanto to protect our children’s future! posted Mar 11/18
Added Comment: Be part of the Change: You can make a difference – even against the massive financial power of Big GMO and Chemical Corporations, that are corrupt to the core, with the sole aim of increasing monopoly control to protect financial gain.
To them, nothing else matters, including the health of people, animals or the environment, which they sacrifice in spades .
The progress in slowing down and reversing the “political clout of Monsanto money” is primarily due to “public awareness and public action – 1) education, and 2) voting with our shopping dollar.
When we as consumers DEMAND Scientific, Academic, Political and Media INTEGRITY –– when we DEMAND the TRUTH , educate others, and vote with our “shopping dollar” – corporations and farmers DO begin to pay attention when their sources of income disappear. shared by Inge Hanle email@example.com
Recent Successes and What’s in Store for Organic Industry in 2018
By Dr. Mercola
At present, there are 457 million acres of GMO crops growing around the world. The good news is this GMO acreage has remained largely unchanged for the last three years
The organic industry is also slowly introducing the next-gen in organics – regenerative organics, also known as biodynamic farming, which has far stricter rules than USDA organics. New grass fed certification rules are also being implemented
Our annual GMO Awareness Week is upon us, and in this interview, Ronnie Cummins, executive director and cofounder of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) details the current state of the opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A lot has happened since last year’s campaign.
At present, there are 457 million acres of GMO crops growing around the world according to the genetic engineering (GE) industry. That’s about 10 percent of the 4 billion acres of cropland in the world. The good news is this GMO acreage has remained largely unchanged for the last three years. There’s even some evidence of a slight decline. This lack of growth is undoubtedly a reflection of growing consumer awareness about GMOs and the toxic chemicals that accompany them.
Organic Sector Is Growing
Evidence of growing consumer awareness and concern about chemical hazards can also be seen in the growth of the organic and grass fed sectors. In the U.S., the organic food and products sector has grown to $50 billion a year and the certified non-GMO sector is now at $30 billion annually.
“It’s a healthy section in the marketplace that is not genetically engineered, and it’s growing,” Cummins says. “In response to consumer demand, more and more farmers are moving away from GMO crops in the U.S., either planting less or making the transition to non-GMO and organic [as] consumers are becoming aware of the fact that GMOs are really just delivery systems for toxic pesticides.
The whole reason why Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, DuPont and the rest are patenting and manufacturing GMO seeds is so they can sell their proprietary pesticides. There’s no such thing as a GMO crop that’s not accompanied by toxic herbicides or insecticides. They’re also always accompanied by massive amounts of chemical fertilizers.
[GMOs] are primarily grown to feed animals on factory farms and to produce ethanol or biodiesel. Animals in factory farms that are eating the GMOs with the pesticide residues in them are also being injected with or consuming antibiotics and other veterinary drugs to keep them alive under those hellish conditions. All in all, it doesn’t add up to a very attractive thing for consumers. That’s the reason why this first generation of GMO crops is leveling off.”
New Generation of GMOs Coming to Market
Unfortunately, we now face a new generation of GMOs, and they may be even more dangerous than the first generation of glyphosate-resistant and Bt-producing crops released in 1996. Glyphosate-resistant GE plants are designed to withstand otherwise lethal doses of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides, whereas Bt crops are engineered to produce their own insecticide — Bacillus thuringiensis — internally, inside each cell of the plant.
While these traits were touted as a godsend for farmers, the promise of weed-free fields didn’t pan out as promised. Instead, chemical-resistant superweeds and superbugs rapidly developed, necessitating the use of more and more chemicals to keep them in check. The illogical and ultimately devastating answer provided by the chemical technology industry is a new generation of crops engineered to withstand more toxic chemical combinations, such as 2,4-D and dicamba-resistant crops.
With the release of these next-gen crops, the devastation was near-immediate and undisputable. Dicamba is extremely toxic and prone to drift. It’s nearly impossible to apply it properly and avoid damaging non-target areas. Almost immediately, farmers started reporting severe crop damage caused by drift, and it quickly became apparent that the only way to avoid such damage is to grow dicamba-resistant crops.
By late September last year, 368 complaints had been filed in Illinois,1 and Iowa had received 258 reports — a “record number” – by early September.2 Farmers in Arkansas reported the same problem. The damage was so extensive, a number of states, including Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi, imposed temporary bans on the use of dicamba-containing pesticides last summer.3 In all, more than 3 million acres in the U.S. suffered dicamba damage last year.4
September 10, 2017, the law firm Morgan & Morgan filed a class-action lawsuit5 against Monsanto, BASF and DuPont, the three largest manufacturers of dicamba-based herbicide formulations in the U.S., alleging dicamba “is highly volatile and can travel considerable distances and cause injuries to plants several miles away,” and that dicamba makers “deceptively marketed their latest dicamba formulations as ‘low-volatility’ herbicides that would not be as prone to off-target movement.”
California to Require Cancer Warning for Roundup
Despite such ongoing struggles, other victories have been achieved. Early last year, a California judge decreed Roundup must indeed carry a cancer warning label in order to be sold in the state. Ever since the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research arm of the World Health Organization, reclassified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen” (Class 2A), there has been tremendous debate and upheaval in the world.
The IARC’s decision was based on “limited evidence” showing the weed killer can cause Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer in humans, along with “convincing evidence” linking it to cancer in animals.
“… Monsanto ,the biotechnology industry and certain members of U.S. Congress … are trying everything they can to prevent the implementation of this law. But it’s very unlikely they’re going to be able to prevent California Proposition 65 from going into effect, because it’s a very clear law. It’s been on the books since 1986. Glyphosate, the Roundup residue, meets the criteria … [so] it looks like California is going to go forward with the designation of Roundup as a carcinogen.”
Chemical Technology Industry Fails to Regain Popularity
California’s cancer warning on Roundup is expected to be implemented next year. Warning labels will not necessarily be required on food, unless they meet a certain threshold of contamination, but signage will be required anywhere Roundup is sold and used, such as in hardware stores, feed stores and in and around agricultural fields.
“It’s going to be a big black eye for Monsanto,” Cummins says. “That’s one of the reasons they’re starting to market a new generation of Frankencrops such as dicamba-resistant seeds …
[T]he controversy around Monsanto – probably the most hated corporation in the world – is also hampering Bayer Chemical’s attempt to buy out Monsanto for $66 billion. They’ve having great difficulties, especially in the European Union, around that. But I think Monsanto and the rest of the genetic engineering industry recognize that this first generation of crops are no longer working.
The weeds are developing resistance to Roundup. Consumers are getting aware of the fact that Roundup residues damage your health. It’s come out that the Bt crops are also not working – the pests they’re supposed to kill are developing resistance. Also, Bt damages your immune system …
Monsanto and Dow have developed a new generation of 2,4-D and dicamba-resistant seeds and crops but these are even more controversial in the marketplace. Dicamba has damaged thousands of farmers’ crops. It’s even banned right now in Arkansas. It spreads throughout the environment and kills any plant that’s not genetically engineered dicamba-resistant. These crops are not working either.”
Dicamba and 2,4-D Have Long Been Known To Be Too Toxic to Use
Ironically, when Roundup Ready crops were brought to market in ’96, one of the justifications for the use of Roundup was that older pesticides such as 2,4-D (an ingredient in Agent Orange, a chemical warfare agent used with devastating effect during the Vietnam War) and dicamba were simply too dangerous, both to the environment and human health.
Meanwhile, Roundup was claimed to be biodegradable and nontoxic. Now that Roundup has been shown to be far from benign, causing chemical resistance in weeds, antibiotic-resistance in soil and damaging human health, the industry’s answer is to reintroduce the very chemicals previously discarded as being far too toxic to use! Clearly, they did not magically lose their toxicity over the past 20 years, yet the industry is pretending as if none of these concerns ever existed.
“Even farmers who would normally be pro-chemical or pro-biotech have been suing Monsanto, because when their neighbors spray dicamba, it kills everything around it,” Cummins says. “Monsanto likes to claim [they’ve] got this new formulation that is not as volatile [and] doesn’t travel as far under ordinary conditions. But that’s just not true.
It just shows that, in their desperation, they’re going to – in the case of dicamba – force every farmer to use it or else their crops are going to be killed by it. I think it’s going to be a hard sell for both dicamba and 2,4-D, especially with consumers becoming more aware of the fact that, for certain pesticides, there are no safe levels at all. We’ve simply must get rid of these pesticides.”
Strategic Plan for 2018
So, what’s the plan for reversing the spread of GMOs in 2018? Here’s a rundown of OCA’s strategy:
• OCA will continue to provide funding to the U.S. Right to Know organization (USRTK) which, while independent from OCA, has done a masterful job of creating media coverage about the dangers of Roundup residues and pesticides in general. Also, through freedom of information act filings, USRTK has exposed a number of deeply damaging truths about the industry’s use of academics to promote a corporate agenda while pretending to be independent experts.
• OCA will also continue educating consumers about the fact that GMOs are really just delivery systems for pesticides (i.e., their primary cause for being is to increase pesticide sales), and that the only way to avoid dangerous pesticide residues and GMOs is to buy organic food, both when shopping for your daily groceries and when eating out.
As noted by Cummins, evidence suggests there’s really no safe level for Roundup, so the fact that it’s the most commonly used pesticide in the world poses significant problems for public health. French researchers have demonstrated that even at 0.1 parts per billion, glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – severely damages the health of lab animals.
Glyphosate is detected in the urine of 70 to 80 percent of Americans right now (including some who eat mostly organic food) and is found in 90 percent of water samples. On the whole, glyphosate appears to be a significant contributor and driver of chronic disease, and anyone concerned about their long-term health cannot afford to ignore the potential impact of glyphosate any longer.
• This year, OCA will also ramp up independent lab testing of nonorganic products claiming to be “all-natural,” “natural,” “eco-friendly,” “free-range,” “grass fed,” and so on. As noted by Cummins, “There’s a huge fraud going on in the marketplace. Big food companies understand that consumers want organic … 57 percent of American consumers say they know that organic food is superior …
It’s against the law for them to call it organic unless it’s certified, but they’re using terminology … to convince consumers that if … it says all-natural, that means it’s just about like organic, but it’s a lot cheaper.” OCA estimates there are up to $400 billion worth of fraudulently labeled food in supermarkets across the U.S. This includes meat, dairy products, eggs and processed foods. OCA is sending samples of these products to independent labs for testing, to ascertain what’s really in them.
Ben & Jerry’s Still in the Hot Seat
Two of the most heinous deceivers out there are Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Sanderson Farms (the only chicken producer that obstinately refuses to even consider reducing its use of antibiotics). Ben & Jerry’s has since the very beginning presented itself as a company built on environmental values and all-natural ideals. Yet, testing of their products reveal they’re not so natural after all. It’s all just a well-crafted façade.
“When we look at [Ben & Jerry’s products], we’re finding Roundup residues in them, both in the United States and in Europe, where we’ve tested all of Ben & Jerry’s most popular ice cream brands,” Cummins says. “We’re also [assessing] the damage their dairy suppliers are doing to the environment, which is a disaster in Vermont and other areas. They’re basically factory farm-supplied, pesticide-intensive operations, where the cows are not grazing out on pasture.
They’re eating GE corn and grains. It’s showing up in the products. Since August, we have staged demonstrations and press conferences. We’ve done extensive testing. We’ve exposed the fact that Ben & Jerry’s is a fraud. Ben & Jerry’s is owned by Unilever (the third largest food corporation in the world).
We’ve told Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever, ‘If you want to get back in the good graces of consumers, because you’re quickly losing your reputation, you need to go organic as quickly as possible. Get those cows grazing on pasture, not eating GE corn sprayed with Roundup and atrazine.’
They have agreed to make nominal changes so far. Unilever announced in October – when we exposed their European brands as being contaminated with Roundup – [that] in 2018, 7 to 8 percent of their production will be organic. They said by the year 2020, two years from now, none of their added ingredients — wheat, chocolate and so on — will be sprayed with Roundup. They’re going to basically clean up their act over time.
But, we’ve seen Unilever’s behavior in the past. It’s easy to make promises. It’s easy to make nominal changes in your production, but we’re not letting up. We’re continuing to test their products for other contaminants. We’re continuing to work with people who are exposing the environmental damage they’re doing …
Roundup use in Vermont has doubled over the last few years. In large part due to the fact that all the corn nonorganic dairy farms feed their cows is genetically engineered. So, their brand image is being tarnished.”
OCA Takes Legal Action to Stop Deceptive Marketing Practices
As reported in previous articles, Sanderson Farms claims the antibiotic-free trend is nothing but a marketing ploy devised to justify higher prices. This, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence showing this routine practice is a major driver of antibiotic-resistant disease, which is already killing an estimated 23,000 Americans each year.
OCA is presently in negotiations with Sanderson Farms to cease and desist their false advertising. OCA has also taken legal action against General Mills, as their so-called natural granola bar, Nature’s Valley, is contaminated with Roundup, as well as baby food companies like Earth’s Best, which claims their baby food is organic even though it contains ingredients prohibited in organics.
“What we’re seeing across the board is that if companies are challenged in court – and in the court of public opinion – over their false advertising, they’ll realize at some point that they’re going to lose. They’re already losing their reputation. They will either go organic or they will stop claiming that their stuff is natural, all-natural or other misleading terms that are out there.
There’s a lot of meat being called grass fed that’s not grass fed. There’s a lot of beef that has labels on it that say ‘Product of the U.S.A.’ when it’s imported … Companies are resorting to fraud in their labeling and advertising because they understand that consumers want organic and they want grass fed. Until they can provide that, the only way to keep their profits up is to mislead consumers.”
While the chemical technology industry is rolling out their next-gen GMOs, the organic industry is slowly introducing the next-gen in organics – regenerative organics, many of the principles of which are embodied in biodynamic farming. Organic dairy products are certainly better than conventional factory farmed products, but just because something is certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) doesn’t mean the cows are 100 percent grass fed, as they should be.
Research shows there are clear nutritional differences between herbivores (such as cows) that are fed grain, especially pesticide-contaminated GE grain, and animals fed a wholly natural diet of grass. The American Grassfed Association and others have pioneered standards for grass fed beef. We’re now also starting to see those standards being applied to dairy products, and we’re starting to see 100 percent grass fed organic milk and yogurt products. Cummins adds:
“Across the board, we’ve always had Grade A and Grade B organics. A lot of consumers haven’t fully understood this, but they’re starting to. Biodynamic organic is the higher (A) grade. The way farms are certified under biodynamic is much stricter than the normal USDA organic. It’s been great to move from chemical agriculture, factory farms and GMOs into a situation where organic is a powerhouse now – it’s over 10 percent of all produce …
But we need to take it to the next step, where we focus on organics and traditional principles where you have to improve the soil every year on a continuous basis. You need to pay attention to soil health if you’re going to have optimum nutrition.
Now, people have also realized that … we can actually reverse climate change by making the soil healthier; producing plants that have a supercharged photosynthesis that actually suck down the excess carbon from the atmosphere and put it in the soil where it used to be.
Regenerative organic and regenerative food farming and land use, they’re starting to catch on. It appears it’s going to be a global phenomenon that’s going to make organic move from being just a niche market to where, in 10 years, the majority of food is going to be grown organically and regeneratively.”
Be Part of the Change
Ultimately, regenerative food and farming is the end goal. We not only want to identify and expose market fraud and deception, which the OCA does quite well, but we also want to encourage, inspire and catalyze the transition to regenerative agriculture practices that has stronger standards, such as those developed by the American Grassfed Association and Demeter, the latter of which provides biodynamic certification.
These are the things the annual GMO Awareness Week aims to achieve, and by contributing to this campaign, you support OCA’s work throughout the year. Changing an industry is a slow game, but over time, we see tremendous results.
You can make a difference, and we really appreciate your participation. Without your support, none of the changes we’ve seen over the past several years would have been possible.
So, please, consider making a generous donation to the OCA today.
As in previous years, I will more than match your gift and donate $3 for every dollar you donate.
Remember, OCA is a nonprofit organization and, as such, all your gifts are fully tax deductible.