Bill Passed: EPA Must Only Take Advice from Industry Shills, NOT from Independent Scientists

Organic Prepper
by Daisy Luther

The Environmental Protection Agency is a federal agency that is charged with the responsibility of writing and enforcing legislation to protect human health and the environment. Established under Nixon in 1970, the EPA is another one of those agencies that sounds like a good idea, until you peel off the shiny friendly top layer to discover the stench of corruption underneath. Up until now, they at least pretended to be there to serve as watchdogs, but it seems like they’ve decided to give up on that silly illusion.

Since they are looking after all things environmental, they need unbiased specialists to advise them on policies and issues.

Silly me, I always thought that sounded sort of…I dunno…science-y.

Our estimable House of Representatives disagrees.

Apparently they feel the EPA should not take advice from independent scientists at all. In fact, they believe it so strongly that they just passed a bill barring the freaking ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY from taking the advice of independent scientists. They are now expected to take their advice from people who are “industry affiliated.” Oh – and those people don’t actually have to be scientists at all.

Yeah. Because that’s not a conflict of interest.

Certainly people who work for companies like Monsanto or Dupont will be diligent in ensuring a healthy environment, even if it costs their companies extra money, right? I’m sure those folks that work for companies that indulge in fracking will absolutely halt it if it seems like it’s causing problems with the groundwater or something. No matter what the cost to their companies, we can all feel confident that they’ll stringently do what’s right.

A bill passed through the US House of Representatives is designed to prevent qualified, independent scientists from advising the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They will be replaced with industry affiliated choices, who may or may not have relevant scientific expertise, but whose paychecks benefit from telling the EPA what their employers want to hear.

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established in 1978 to ensure the EPA uses the most up to date and relevant scientific research for its decision making and that the EPA’s programs reflect this advice. It has served in this role, most often uncontroversially, through 36 years and six presidents. If the new bill passes the Senate and wins presidential approval, however, that is about to change.

The bill would prevent scientists from voting on the release into the environment of a chemical by their employers. Nevertheless, they would be allowed to vote to release a nearly identical chemical, Grifo notes, including some that would set a precedent that would be very useful to the company in future decisions.

More insidiously, research scientists are barred under the act from advising on any topic that might “directly or indirectly involve review and evaluation of their own work”. In other words, the only people barred from advising the EPA on a particular chemical are those who have actually studied its toxicity or effect on the environment. (source)

How does it even make the slightest bit of sense to have the foxes that financially benefit in charge of this particular hen house? How can they possibly justify this decision?

One controversy after another can be attributed to the EPA, an agency charged with protecting the air we breathe, the soil in which we grow our food and the water that we drink. Despite irrefutable proof that glyphosate causes cancer, the EPA increased the amount allowed to be used agriculturally. They regulate everyday folks, forcing upgrades of woodstoves, while allowing big businesses to pollute in far more spectacular an amount than a self-sufficient family could ever create.

When the radiation from Fukushima became alarmingly high on our shores, the EPA was right on top of things with their response. First, they promptly closed down 8 of 18 radiation measuring stations in the hardest hit area, California. Then, to further calm the good people of the nation, the EPA magically changed the numbers. They’ve raised the amount of radiation that we can safely absorb and ingest. It wouldn’t do for the large factory farms to be unable to sell their tainted produce or for the huge dairies to be stuck with all that radioactive milk. In fact, the radiation in our food supply was of so little concern to the EPA that they began to tell us that a little bit of radiation is good for us. According to a report citing the EPA, a bit of radiation can prevent cancer, instead of causing it.

At the bottom of each controversy can be found ties to the conspiracies of the big businesses that really run the country. Decisions are being auctioned off to industry lobbyists with the most money and influence.

And now, the elected officials in the House of Representatives have just sanctioned a blatant corporate takeover of the EPA. They aren’t even pretending to be protecting the environment now.

Genes Are Not The Problem, It’s The Food Genius

Prevent Disease
by Karen Foster

Two-thirds of disease would vanish if society could revert to the way it did certain things just 100 years ago. The emphasis on faulty genes is misplaced and a misguided attempt to cast blame on a culture that has lost its way in terms of survival. Genes are not the problem since their products are largely dependent on lifestyle choices. Our quality of food, activity levels and family structure is essentially killing this generation of human beings.

Our food supply has been completely adulterated over the past few decades alone, more drastically than during any other time in history. Although our genes have hardly changed, our culture has been transformed almost beyond recognition during the past ten thousand years, especially in the last century. We have strayed so far from our ancestral diets and lifestyles that the human metabolism has been unable to adapt and modern diseases have flourished.

Food is the raw material for our cells and even our very thoughts could not have arisen without these building blocks. Food even controls the very expression of our genes. We are connected to our food and where it comes from in ways that we have not yet fathomed. The ‘prophylactic’ removal of of body parts due to what is considered faulty genes is a disturbingly popular trend, and despite the lack of scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this approach, it is increasingly being celebrated in the mainstream media and medical establishments as a reasonable choice. But genes are not the problem…it’s the food!

Ancient peoples and even isolated hunter-gatherer cultures that still exist today ate wild, fresh foods in their natural state with minimal processing and certainly without synthetic chemicals. Their lifestyles were also very different from ours. They cooperated as family units to source and prepare food and with that came a level of activity that does not exist today. They did not suffer the same rates of degenerative diseases that plague modern society.

The majority of food we spend our money on is packaged, processed, sweetened, chemically-altered and genetically modified foods. It may resemble food, but it certainly is not real food. It is virtually devoid of nutrients. Food manufacturers oftentimes must add vitamins and minerals that have been lost during the processing back into the food. Enriched flour is really just refined flour that has had a few nutrients re-added to it, but not enough to make any food made from this nutritionally worthy. Enriched vitamins and minerals are artificial and unrecognizable by the body as nutrients that can be assimilated.

These synthetic vitamins and minerals, usually isolated from their natural forms, act more like anti-nutrients than nutrients in these foods, adding to the body’s chemical burden. Modern methods of food preparation and processing have effectively depleted many nutrients and co-factors necessary for the absorption and utilization of foods that in order for the body to process these modern foods, it must use its own store of nutrients.

When talking about our food system, we are referring to everything from the farm to the plate–food production, harvesting, processing, marketing and distribution. Industrialization describes the increasing tendency of economists, policymakers and agribusiness companies to treat farms as rural factories, with off-farm inputs (energy, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified seed) marshaled in the service of producing caloric energy (feed corn and starches, soybeans and refined flour). Industrialization also describes a system in which economic return is paramount–more important than concern for the public’s health, the potential health effects of pesticide exposure, the long-term resilience of the land where crops are grown, and the methods by which food is processed and delivered.

Most of the calories we consume come from the added fats, sugars and refined grains commonly found in highly processed foods and junk foods. These specific types ofl calories have overwhelmingly come from genetically modified sources including corn (corn starches, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, feed corn fed to livestock), soybeans (soy proteins, vegetable oils, salad oils, partially hydrogenated oils, and fryer oils in fast-food restaurants) and wheat (refined flour) which has been defined as the perfect chronic poison by experts. These three crops account for the vast majority of crop acreage planted in the United States.

Factory farms and monoculture are responsible for most of the food that makes it to your plate. Consider factory farms — the animals from these operations are given massive doses of drugs not only to stave off disease in such conditions but to increase their growth as well. They are fed unnatural diets and have little or no access to their natural environment leaving them prone to disease and suffering. Their meat is unhealthy and should not even be considered fit for human consumption. Agriculture has been around for thousands of years, but the way it exists now is a far cry from what has existed before this modern age. Intensive farming and monoculture has left our soil depleted resulting in poor quality plant foods, which then affect the nutrient composition of animal foods. Also, with today’s technology, we are able to manipulate the genes of plants and animals, something that nowhere near resembles selective breeding techniques used by our ancestors.

The hallmark of any system is that–for better or for worse–it functions as a complex whole, making it impossible to easily divorce one part from another. The plethora of problems in and related to our food system do not exist in isolation. They are intimately connected. Put another way, the healthfulness of our food, the health of the natural world (the soil, water, bacteria and genetic resources that gives rise to it), and the health of our patients cannot be considered apart from one another.

More than 60% of disease would vanish if we would start focusing on food as our medicine. We don’t have to live in a medicated world, but we certainly choose to even though there are natural counterparts to almost every prescribed drug in the world. At one time, it was thought that cancer was a “disease of civilization,” belonging to much the same causal domain as “neurasthenia” and diabetes, the former a nervous weakness believed to be brought about by the stress of modern life and the latter a condition produced by bad diet and indolence. It turns out all may be true since our food convenience is at the root of our health woes.

But we cannot place all the blame on food manufacturers because we play a part in the food system. We demand convenience and cheaper foods and that’s what we got. We must examine the cultural and socio-economic factors that spurred the demand for convenience foods. For example, considering the busy lives most people have nowadays, it often becomes difficult to prepare homemade meals for the family (much less yourself) every breakfast, lunch and dinner. It ultimately boils down to our priorities. If we place high priority on our health and understand that what we eat determines and shapes not just our physical characteristics but also our personalities as well, we’d all take what we eat much more seriously.

We have an abundance of food that is easily accessible at any time of the day whereas our ancestors did not have this luxury. They hunted and gathered their food and farmed later on, allowing nature to do most of the work but they also expended a certain amount of energy in food preparation. The family meal may be more important than ever and mothers play a critical role. Researchers speculate that maternal attitudes towards the importance of family meals may reflect a broader respect for good nutrition. This might extend to practices such as keeping healthy foods in the house or limiting the amount of times their children can eat “junk food.” People who are more concerned about family meals are also more concerned about nutrition.

We have lost the family connection at it all starts there. A higher incidence of family meals is associated with a better nutrient intake and healthier meals. If we want to reverse the disease trend and stimulate a health trend, we must transform the food supply to one that relies on fresh nutrient dense foods free from chemical alteration, from start to finish, and place a greater emphasis on family which fosters a dependence on health rather than sickness.

6 Proofs Food Makers Don’t Care About Children (or You)

Natural Society
by Elizabeth Renter

If follow natural healing along with some truth news, you know all too well that processed and fast food giants care very little about the weight and overall wellbeing of children. As a health-conscious parent, you must fight tooth and nail to counteract the bombardment of advertising and marketing tricks these companies use to ensure their health-compromising products sell. But this is more than a parental issue, as unhealthy kids are everyone’s responsibility.

So, just how do food makers encourage ill health and obesity among the youngest of us? There are several ways. And all of it begins with marketing.

According to the Prevention Institute, fast food companies spend more than $5 million each day targeting kids with unhealthy foods. The food and beverage industry as a whole spends more than $2 billion each year on marketing to children. And these commercials, print ads, and colorful boxes aren’t being used to sell healthful foods.

Just 6 Ways the Food Industry is Hurting Our Children

Television advertisements for food directly affect a child’s food intake. Scientists found that a group of children eating in front of a television show with food advertisements ate 50% more calories than those who didn’t have any commercials. They determined that at this rate, the commercials could lead to a 10-pound weight gain throughout the course of a year.

The food industry invade the schools. School systems often aren’t necessarily wealthy, and when a giant corporation offers to help in exchange for advertising or vending machines, it’s hard for these educational institutions to pass up the offer. As a result, your child is targeted everywhere they go.

Despite pledging to do better, the companies simply don’t. A 2011 review of such pledges and promises made by food companies found that these vows are largely empty and fail to protect children at all. One recent pledge (sort of) brought forth by Coca-Cola deals with the company’s claims of fighting obesity and bettering the nation by offering low-calorie and sugar-free products. But in reality, they are fueling obesity and feeding disease with some of the most popular beverages on the planet.
About 98% of food advertisements that children see are for products that are high in fat, sugar, or sodium.

Food makers know that people identify them with nurturing. At a young age, American children identify food labels and company names with comforting feelings and these food companies seek to capitalize on this through feel-good commercials and filling foods devoid of nutritional integrity. This is equally true with the presentation of various symbols and characters such as the McDonald’s golden arches or Toucan Sam.

Using words like “wholesome”, “made with natural ingredients”, and “part of a good diet” are used despite having no real meaning. These words make parents feel like the prepackaged and prepared foods aren’t that bad after all, that they can feel okay about giving their children a meal in a box.

Food makers don’t care about children. They care about their bottom line. If they truly cared about health, we would see free toys offered with fruits and vegetables and exciting, high budget commercials for whole, natural foods. But we don’t.

Because the food makers could care less, it’s up to parents and role models to take the reins. If your child watches television, at least make them mute the commercials and do your best to fight the misinformation your child might be receiving from web-ads, billboards, food product placement in stores, and even their teachers.

FDA says you have no right to real food unless they give you permission first

Natural News, Apr. 2, 2011

In a response to a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF), the FDA has articulated its belief that there is no such thing as a right to health or to purchase or consume any given food.

The FTCLDF has sued the FDA for banning the interstate shipment or sale of raw milk products, alleging that the policy deprives consumers and a food buying group owner “of their fundamental and inalienable rights of (a) traveling across State lines with raw dairy products legally obtained and possessed; (b) providing for the care and well being of themselves and their families, including their children; and (c) producing, obtaining and consuming the foods of choice for themselves and their families, including their children.”

In a legal response, the FDA countered that “there is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to food of all kinds.” As evidence for this position, the agency cites “the dietary laws of biblical times.”

The FDA goes further, stating that “there is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular kind of food [because] comprehensive federal regulation of the food supply has been in effect at least since Congress enacted the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906. … Thus, plaintiffs’ claim to a fundamental privacy interest in obtaining ‘foods of their own choice’ for themselves and their families is without merit.”

Furthermore, the FDA says, “there is no generalized right to bodily and physical health.”

Full story

S.510 and Codex Link: Tracking, Tracing, and Monitoring Independent Food Production

Regulated Out of Existence by S.510

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post, Dec. 4, 2010

 Being honest, I must confess some slight personal agitation at the thought of writing another article on yet another “food safety” bill making its way through congress with the words “tyranny” and “Codex” written all over it. It seems that every legislative session, we are faced with the prospect of the same food bill cloaked in a different name. Invariably, this bill seeks to corral all food production into the hands of a few major corporations and essentially destroy the ability of the population to feed themselves. Here in late 2010, we have the new version of food imperialism known as S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act.

While it is true that S.510 contains new and improved tyrannical sections that are unique specifically to it, the truth is that it is merely a repackaging of past bills (See here and here ) and attempts to control people through food. It is also yet another attempt to implement Codex Alimentarius guidelines under the guise of domestic legislation.

One example of hidden Codex guidelines in the Food Safety Modernization Act are the overly broad provisions regarding “traceability.” The desire for enhanced traceability of food products is sold to the public as a desire to better respond to food-borne illnesses and follow them back to their source. However, as with almost anything that comes out of the mouth of government, there is a more sinister role that traceability programs have to play.

Essentially, traceability has little to do with food safety in this context. While no one could argue being able to trace food contamination back to the source is a bad thing, the fact is that these mechanisms already exist. Unfortunately, they are generally ignored and unused when it comes to adverse health effects related to food produced by multinational food corporations. While there is always an exception to the rule, it is a fact that international corporations are by far the source of food adulteration more often than small independent farms.

Full Article

“Unconstitutional” food bill driven by Big Food lobby dollars

Global Research, Dec. 4, 2010

While over 200 organizations lobbied on the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510), no one seemed to notice an unconstitutional section in the bill until after it passed on Tuesday. That day, Roll Call advised that the bill contained a provision, Sec. 107, allowing the Senate to raise revenues. This violates Article I, Section 7, of the U.S. Constitution, granting that power exclusively to the House. S.510 opponents now celebrate the House’s use of the “blue slip process” to return the bill to the Senate.
After S.510 passed, President Obama issued a statement: “I urge the House — which has previously passed legislation demonstrating its strong commitment to making our food supply safer — to act quickly on this critical bill, and I applaud the work that was done to ensure its broad bipartisan passage in the Senate.” Apparently, the Senate moved too quickly. Their overreach only supports the natural foods movement assertion that the entire bill is over-reaching as the federal government seeks complete control over local foods.

In an email, Canada Health whistleblower Shiv Chopra noted, “It is all about corporate control of food and public health.” He’s not alone in believing that a ‘hidden corporate agenda’ is driving the federal government to impose itself on local food production and distribution.

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