Monday, February 25, 2013

Polluted America

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Paul Craig Roberts
Activist Post

In the United States everything is polluted.

Democracy is polluted with special interests and corrupt politicians.

Accountability is polluted with executive branch exemptions from law and the Constitution and with special legal privileges for corporations, such as the Supreme Court given right to corporations to purchase American elections.

The Constitution is polluted with corrupt legal interpretations from the Bush and Obama regimes that have turned constitutional prohibitions into executive branch rights, transforming law from a shield of the people into a weapon in the hands of government.

Waters are polluted with toxic waste spills, oil spills, chemical fertilizer run-off with resulting red tides and dead zones, acid discharges from mining with resulting destructive algae such as prymnesium parvum, from toxic chemicals used in fracking and with methane that fracking releases into wells and aquifers, resulting in warnings to homeowners near to fracking operations to open their windows when showering.

The soil’s fertility is damaged, and crops require large quantities of chemical fertilizers. The soil is polluted with an endless array of toxic substances and now with glyphosate, the main element in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide with which GMO crops are sprayed. Glyphosate now shows up in wells, streams and in rain.

Air is polluted with a variety of substances, and there are many large cities in which there are days when the young, the elderly, and those suffering with asthma are warned to remain indoors.


All of these costs are costs imposed on society and ordinary people by corporations that banked profits by not having to take the costs into account. This is the way in which unregulated capitalism works.

Our food itself is polluted with antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, and glyphosate.

Glyphosate might be the most dangerous development to date. Some scientists believe that glyphosate has the potential to wipe out our main grain crops and now that Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack, has approved genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa, maintaining sustainable animal herds for milk and meat could become impossible.

Alfalfa is the main forage crop for dairy and beef herds. Genetically modified alfalfa could be unsafe for animal feed, and animal products such as milk and meat could become unsafe for human consumption.

On January 17, 2011, Dr. Don Huber outlined the dangers of approving Roundup Ready alfalfa in a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack. Huber requested that approval be delayed until independent research could evaluate the risks. Vilsack ignored Huber’s letter and ten days later deregulated Roundup Ready alfalfa on January 27, thus accommodating Monsanto’s desire for monopoly profits that come from the company’s drive to control the seed supply of US and world agriculture by approving Roundup Ready alfalfa.

Who is Don Huber, and why is his letter important?

Huber is professor emeritus at Purdue University. He has been a plant pathologist and soil microbiologist for a half century. He has an international reputation as a leading authority. In the US military, he evaluated natural and manmade biological threats, such as germ warfare and disease outbreaks and retired with the rank of Colonel. For the USDA he coordinates the Emergent Diseases and Pathogens Committee. In other words, he is high up in his scientific profession.

You can read online what Huber told the Secretary of Agriculture. Briefly, the outcome of many years of Roundup Ready GMO corn and soybeans has been a decline in nutritional value, the outbreak of new plant diseases resulting in widespread crop failures, and severe reproductive problems in livestock, with some herds having a spontaneous abortion rate that is too high to maintain a profitable business.

Glyphosate is a powerful biocide. It harms beneficial soil organisms, altering the natural balance in the soil and reducing the disease resistance of crops, thus unleashing diseases that devastate corn, soybean, and wheat crops, and giving rise to a new pathogen associated with premature animal aging and infertility. These developments, Huber told the Agriculture Secretary, “are threatening the economic viability of both crop and animal producers.” The evidence seems to be real that genetically modified crops have lost their genetic resistance to diseases that never previously were threats.

There is evidence that the new pathogen is related to a rise in human infertility and is
likely having adverse effects on human health of which we are still uninformed. Like fluoride, glyphosate might enter our diet in a variety of ways. For example, the label on
a bottle of Vitamin D says, “Other ingredients: soybean oil, corn oil.”

Monsanto disputes Huber’s claims and got support for its position from the agricultural extension services of Iowa State and Ohio State universities. However, the question is whether these are independently funded services or corporate supported, and there is always the element of professional rivalry, especially for funding, which comes mainly from agribusiness.

The Purdue University extension service was more circumspect. On the one hand it admits that there is evidence that supports Huber’s claims: “The claim that herbicides, such as glyphosate, can make plants more susceptible to disease is not entirely without merit. Research has indicated that plants sprayed with glyphosate or other herbicides are more susceptible to many biological and physiological disorders (Babiker et al., 2011; Descalzo et al., 1996; Johal and Rahe, 1984; Larson et al., 2006; Means and Kremer, 2007; Sanogo et al., 2000; Smiley et al., 1992). . . . Although some research indicates there is an increase in disease severity on plants in the presence of glyphosate, it does NOT necessarily mean that there is an impact on yield.”

On the other hand, the Purdue extension service maintains its recommendation for “judicious glyphosate use for weed control.” However, one of Huber’s points is that weeds are developing Roundup resistance. Use has gone beyond the “judicious” level and as glyphosate builds up in soil, its adverse effects increase.

A submission to the Environmental Protection Agency by 26 university entomologists describes the constraints that agribusiness has put on the ability of independent scientists to conduct objective research. The submission, in which the scientists are afraid to reveal their names because of the threat of funding cutoffs, is included as an item in one of the bibliographical references below. Here is the statement:

“The names of the scientists have been withheld from the public docket because virtually all of us require cooperation from industry at some level to conduct our research. Statement: Technology/stewardship agreements required for the purchase of genetically modified seed explicitly prohibit research. These agreements inhibit public scientists from pursuing their mandated role on behalf of the public good unless the research is approved by industry.

As a result of restricted access, no truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the technology, its performance, its management implications, IRM, and its interactions with insect biology. Consequently, data flowing to an EPA Scientific Advisory Panel from the public sector is unduly limited.”

Monsanto is not only sufficiently powerful to prevent any research other than that which it purchases with its funding, but also Monsanto succeeded last year in blocking with money and propaganda the GMO labeling law in California. I would tell you to be careful what you eat as it can make you ill and infertile, but you can’t even find out what you are eating.

You live in America, which has “freedom and democracy” and “accountable” government and ”accountable” corporations. You don’t need to worry. The government and responsible corporations are taking good care of you. Especially Obama, Vilsack, and Monsanto.


Short bibliography:

http://fhr.branditimage.com/hot-topic-letter-to-us-secretary-of-agriculture/

http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2011/apr/6/don-hubers-cover-letter-euuk-commissions/

http://vimeo.com/22997532

http://www.greenpasture.org/utility/showArticle/?objectID=7169

http://ourecovillage.org/2011/04/11/dr-hubers-cover-letter-to-secretary-vilsack/

http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/51-2012/14164-glyphosate-and-gmos-impact-on-crops-soils-animals-and-man-dr-don-huber

http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/may10/consequenceso_widespread_glyphosate_use.php

http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/huber-pathogen-roundup-ready-crops.aspx

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/time-for-usda-to-wake-up-to-weed-resistance-and-ban-agent-orange-corn-once-and-for-all/

http://southeastfarmpress.com/resistant-pigweed-plagues-central-georgia-cotton

This article first appeared at Paul Craig Roberts' new website Institute For Political Economy.  Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.


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10 comments:

Stephan Williams said...

Is it an indication of emotional instability to desire the excruciatingly painful death of the personalities behind these sociopathic corporations and their toadies in our governments and their agencies who are assisting in our destruction?

Or is it an indication of my sanity that I desire their removal from the gene pool in the most painful way possible?

Anonymous said...

This DEADLINE has yet to Be ENFORCED, either:
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (of 1972) is amended to read as follows:



TITLE I--RESEARCH AND RELATED PROGRAMS


SEC. 101 [33 U.S.C. 1251] Declaration of Goals and Policy

(a) The objective of this Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological
integrity of the Nation's waters. In order to achieve this objective it is hereby declared that,
consistent with the provisions of this Act--

(1) it is the national goal that the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters be ELIMINATED
by 1985.

Walking Turtle said...

Stephan Williams: I am not a Psych Doctor. I am a Self-Actualized Autodidactic Polymath and a Genuine Human Being instead. And glad of it! So with that transparency in place up-front, here goes:

I for one tend to think it IS a clear indication of your sanity that you strongly desire the removal of the Sociopathic Corporations from society.

I likewise think it is a clear indication of your utterly stymied humanity and resulting sense of sense of hopelessness that you desire this be done "in the most painful way possible".

However, I must now point out that WE the HUMANS are being systematically exploited on our way to utter EXTERMINATION in *the most painful way imaginable*. Moreover, the Psychopathic Corporations of this world are inventing and patenting NEW ones every day. (But clearly, you already know that.)

So one MUST ask, my friend, in all honesty: Do YOU really WANT to have ANYTHING in common with THAT torturin' thievin' greedy-guts lot?

Survival at THEIR expense, otoh, in order to see the day of their utter downfall and demise, is an entirely other matter imvh&tenacious_o. It therefore follows, Beloved, that any and all things one can do to make ones' own life into SAND in THEIR GEARBOX and SLUDGE in THEIR CRANK-CASE (slow-leaky tires, squelchy wet Driver's Seat and all) is what one MUST do.

Fact: Our enemy badly NEEDS an ENEMA. Psycho corporations are SO FULL of $^it! The slim slick slithey hose goes (psst psst mumble mumble) {nudge nudge wink wink} think about it (say no more) don't be stupid don't get caught you know NOTHING and I know NOTHING...

Oh yes and WELCOME to the Other Machine... Gotta' run now so stay safe and keep the Faith. And that is all (for now). 0{;-|o[

Anonymous said...

This blanket statement, for me, will cover most issues facing any eater. "Is there anything good to eat?"

Anonymous said...

Stephan Williams: I am not a Psych Doctor. I am a Self-Actualized Autodidactic Polymath and a Genuine Human Being instead. And glad of it! So with that transparency in place up-front, here goes:

I for one tend to think it IS a clear indication of your sanity that you strongly desire the removal of the Sociopathic Corporations from society.

I likewise think it is a clear indication of your utterly stymied humanity and resulting sense of sense of hopelessness that you desire this be done "in the most painful way possible".

However, I must now point out that WE the HUMANS are being systematically exploited on our way to utter EXTERMINATION in *the most painful way imaginable*. Moreover, the Psychopathic Corporations of this world are inventing and patenting NEW ones every day. (But clearly, you already know that.)

So one MUST ask, my friend, in all honesty: Do YOU really WANT to have ANYTHING in common with THAT torturin' thievin' greedy-guts lot?

Survival at THEIR expense, otoh, in order to see the day of their utter downfall and demise, is an entirely other matter imvh&tenacious_o. It therefore follows, Beloved, that any and all things one can do to make ones' own life into SAND in THEIR GEARBOX and SLUDGE in THEIR CRANK-CASE (slow-leaky tires, squelchy wet Driver's Seat and all) is what one MUST do.

Fact: Our enemy badly NEEDS an ENEMA. Psycho corporations are SO FULL of $^it! The slim slick slithey hose goes (psst psst mumble mumble) {nudge nudge wink wink} think about it (say no more) don't be stupid don't get caught you know NOTHING and I know NOTHING...

Oh yes and WELCOME to the Other Machine... Gotta' run now so stay safe and keep the Faith. And that is all (for now). 0{;-|o[

Anonymous said...

Completely justified anger. You have many like myself who agree with you wholeheartedly

Hide Behind said...

I have little to no sympathy for those who were adults from 1970 that at are or will become ill due to corporate and private entitys polution.
I have little to no sympathy towards military men who get harmed or commit suicide that were born since 80's's as well.
In both cases the knowlege was out there about state of world in politics. economy. And industrial pollution as well.
Did you know cancer kills half a million people a year in US?
Think of it this way; Every two weeks more people die of cancer than the yearly total of murders.
Aspestos still after all these years of knowing about its dangers is still mined and yearly kills 20,000+.
THAT A CHEMICAL USED AS achemical weapon in WWI is used by the tons by commercial flower and nurserys.
4PARTS per million is deadly but yhe chemical chloropicrin isrelatively benighn compared todisulfoton that is deadly in dosages of around175 parts per billion and then they also usetons of metam sodium that can kill at 1 part per 1,000,000,000,000,.
Flowers to your loved ones or for christmas and Easter?
The average municipalitys monthly rate of impure water is 72 hours.
That we have twice as many radiated acers ss did Chernoble and Chernoble up close is not as radioactive as parts such as Hanford in WA or Rocky Flats in ColoradoThat Canada is one of most environmentaly destructive nations on earth and is destroying more rain forest per year than all of Amazons acers. ND THAT DOES NOT ICLUDE NON COASTAL FOREST WHERE NSTURAL GAS TSRSANDS AN OIL FUELDS HAVE RUINED MILLIONS OF ACRES? That thousands of miles of small streams and lakes cannot support fish now.
How about in 1970's the Gov upped the limits of heavy metals such as even traces of copper sulphates were found for tens of millions around great lakes drinking water.
A vast body of scientific thought is now beginning to think that in mid 1990's we may of crossed over the no turning back to survival of humans beyond. This century and that the few who do survive will be but a sad ruined remnant of geneticly altered humanity.

Anonymous said...

The internet is polluted with sites pretending to offer alternative news, that are really still pushing government propaganda.

mitchell miller said...

Is this a joke or what! Amid all this article about 'polluting of America' are ads for 'Roundup' & other herbicides.
what up w/that!!

about us said...

I am Chinese, I think this poll institution is great for everywhere, not only just US.

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