Chinese government admits one-fifth of farm lands heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals like cadmium, arsenic and lead

December 26, 2016

http://www.naturalnews.com/044950_China_heavy_metals_soils_contamination.html

For the past few months, Natural News has been warning the world about toxic heavy metals found in foods, superfoods and dietary supplements grown in China. Our Natural News Forensic Food Lab has produced breakthrough results showing, for example, that rice protein imported from China is significantly contaminated with lead, cadmium and tungsten — all industrial heavy metals.

Some greed-driven promoters of rice protein initially insisted all these heavy metals were “naturally occurring,” but now the Chinese government has gone on the record confirming the truth: China’s farm lands are heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals, and this has now been scientifically documented and proven by Chinese researchers and publicly released by Chinese authorities.

19.4% of China’s farm lands contaminated with toxic heavy metals

According to this statement by the Ministry of Environmental Protection in China, 19.4% of the nation’s arable land has been heavily contaminated by toxic heavy metals.

82.8% of the contaminants found on farms are “inorganic” contaminants which include cadmium, mercury, arsenic, copper and lead — all toxic heavy metals we’ve been investigating in foods and superfoods at the Natural News Forensic Food Labs.

This confirms my detailed video explanation where I destroy the absurd “naturally occurring” argument being pushed by importers of contaminated foods and superfoods from China. Click here to watch the video now.

The false argument being made by heavy metals denialists was that when heavy metals are released by industrial smoke stacks, they begin as “pollutants,” but after they settle on farms, they become “natural.” Therefore, the deniers claimed, lead and cadmium in rice protein was “naturally occurring.”

I have personally conducted the scientific research to document cadmium levels at over 2.5 ppm in certified organic rice protein products sold in the USA (and imported from China) as “certified organic.” These levels have been independently confirmed by rice protein manufacturers. None of the lab results published at Natural News have ever been disputed. In fact, they have been confirmed by numerous third-party laboratories.

Now we know why: “China released a report April 17 disclosing that 16.1 percent of the country’s soil and nearly 20 percent of its arable land has been contaminated, largely by heavy metals such as cadmium, nickel and arsenic. This is the price the country is paying for its meteoric rise over the last 35 years, with little thought given to protecting the environment,” reports the Japan Times (1).

“The latest report suggests that the situation has greatly worsened since the 2006 report, with twice the amount of arable land now being contaminated… Clearly much of China’s soil is contaminated and heavy metals are entering the food chain, with dire consequences for consumers,” Japan Times added.

The BBC chimes in with the headline, “Report: One fifth of China’s soil contaminated.” (2)

Americans being poisoned by toxic heavy metals imported from China

To my knowledge, no one in America other than Natural News is currently sounding the alarm on this issue of heavy metals in organic superfoods and natural products. There are thousands of certified organic proteins, superfoods, herbal supplements and other products being imported into the United States and sold as “organic” even though they are heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals.

In my own ICP-MS laboratory, I’m seeing very high levels of lead and cadmium in all sorts of products imported from China, including rice protein and Ginkgo Biloba herbal supplements.

According to the Chinese government, 82.8% of the non-organic produce grown in China exceeds the government’s heavy metals limits. (You have to read the Chinese announcement to get this.)

That means four out of five fruits and vegetables grown in China are so toxic that they’re sold in violation of the government’s own limits!

These are the same soils in which “organic” herbs, superfoods and dietary supplements are grown before they are imported into the USA. And yet herbs, proteins and “superfoods” produced in China can be imported into the USA regardless of their heavy metals content. That’s because neither the FDA nor the USDA has any limits whatsoever on heavy metals contamination of foods. So products that are heavily contaminated with industrial heavy metals are imported into the USA every single day and sold on the shelves of health food retailers like Whole Foods.

Alarming levels of cadmium and lead found in products purchased at Whole Foods earlier this week

As part of my own scientific testing of heavy metals contaminants in the food supply, I purchased rice protein products from Whole Foods in Austin Texas on 4/28. Here are just the highlights of what I found (more details coming on this story in the next two weeks with full lab results):

• “Raw” Protein (Vanilla) at over .3 ppm lead and nearly 2.0 ppm cadmium

• “Truganic” Protein at over .3 ppm lead and nearly 1.8 ppm cadmium

• Grass superfood powder at over .4 ppm lead and over .8 ppm cadmium

• Brown rice protein powder at over .3 ppm lead and over 1 ppm cadmium

I’ve also found Ginkgo Biloba herbs grown in China and sold in the USA to contain over 5.0 ppm lead. (The Whole Foods brand of ginkgo capsules, however, turns out to be very clean with less than .04 ppm lead.)

The debate is over: Foods, superfoods, herbs and organics from China are heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals

There is no longer any debate on this issue of heavy metals in products imported from China. The Chinese government has now publicly admitted one-fifth of its farm lands are heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals.

Even the BBC has covered the story, reporting (2):

About 82.8% of the polluted land was contaminated by inorganic materials, with levels noticeably higher than the previous survey between 1986 and 1990… The report had previously been classified as a state secret because of its sensitivity. “Due to long periods of extensive industrial development and high pollutant emissions, some regions have suffered deteriorating land quality and serious soil pollution.”

That this information even came out was nothing short of a political miracle in China. As the New Straits Times is now reporting (3):

Premier Li Keqiang signed a directive ordering officials not to use “state secrets” as an excuse to avoid disclosing information that should be public knowledge. The release of the soil contamination report appears to be a direct result of this directive.

Awareness is rapidly spreading on this issue across the USA, too. Natural News has spearheaded this effort and has already worked with leading rice protein manufacturers to reach agreement on voluntary heavy metals limits for their products.

Companies like Jarrow Formulas, however, have so far refused to agree to those limits. The latest batch of Jarrow Formulas Brown Rice Protein, Lot# 50696014, shows lead at .312 ppm and cadmium at 1.015 ppm with the heavy metal tungsten also detected at significant levels.

Jarrow Formulas, like nearly every other rice protein manufacturer, is right now selling products that contain toxic, cancer-causing heavy metals contaminants. This fact is irrefutable. The Chinese government’s admission that its farm lands are widely contaminated with toxic heavy metals explains where much of this is coming from.

Natural products retailers remain in a state of total denial

The natural products industry, encompassing many independent online retailers as well as brick-and-mortar stores, remains in a state of total denial about the toxic heavy metals they are selling to their customers.

To my knowledge, not one retailer has yet pulled any of these contaminated products off their shelves. Where there’s money to be made by moving products contaminated with heavy metals, there’s one thing you can count on from natural products retailers: SILENCE.

Fearful of a wave of refunds (or even class action lawsuits), everyone’s lips are sealed on this hidden epidemic of heavy metals poisoning. And through this silence, retailers continue to sell contaminated products containing alarming concentrations of known poisons without alerting their customers to the facts.

It seems that every retailer currently selling rice protein in the USA is, knowingly or unknowingly, complicit in this cover-up. The toxic metals they are selling are fully known to cause kidney damage, heart disease, skin disorders, cancer, bone disorders and brain disorders. The lead found in these products is widely known to damage developing brains and lower IQs. Virtually no one in the industry seems to think their customers should be alerted to this fact. To me, that’s disgusting and grossly immoral.

Right now, I believe that every retailer of contaminated products from China has an ethical and social obligation to stop selling contaminated products and warn their customers about products which are contaminated.

Continued denial of this industry-wide problem is highly unethical and possibly even legally negligent. Those who continue selling these heavily contaminated products should be heavily pressured by the health-conscious community to clean up their act!

How the cover-up continues

Sadly, there is no law in the USA requiring herbs, supplements, proteins or other products be labeled with their country of origin.

Manufacturers routinely import raw materials from China, then label them with amazing-sounding descriptions that often mislead consumers.

Case in point: Take the Warrior Food product from Warrior Force, a company I really admire for their positive intentions, by the way. They are also working hard on improving their formula and I expect they will have substantially cleaner product available soon. But their current label on their current product is simply misleading, claiming the product is “NON-TOXIC” and “100% TruGanic” with the claim that it is “a purist, hard-core, quality standard significantly beyond Organic standards, with much more stringent criteria and actual verification via testing that Organic does not have.”

Yet when I tested Warrior Food Lot #31105010, purchased from Whole Foods on 4/28/2014, I found this product to contain:

• .3 ppm lead
• 1.791 ppm cadmium
• Substantial levels of tungsten

On the good news side, the great people at Warrior Force are working hard on new formulations and I expect to see these numbers drastically improve in the near future. Warrior Force has enthusiastically signed on with our voluntary heavy metals limits, and I fully expect they will be one of the first manufacturers to introduce a low-metals rice protein into the marketplace.

Yet, at the same time, I have to honestly and authentically ask how could these levels of contaminants exist in their product in the first place if they have “a purist, hard-core, quality standard significantly beyond Organic standards, with much more stringent criteria and actual verification via testing” as they claim?

It doesn’t add up. Somewhere along the line, someone made a decision that these levels of lead and cadmium were okay for customers to eat. That’s a huge error and it strongly contradicts the stated philosophy of the company. This is NOT okay! If it’s so much better than organic, why does it still contain heavy metals at such levels?

If you bought products from China, take action now

There are all sorts of products you’ve probably been purchasing from China without knowing it. Rice protein is just one, but China also produces a huge percentage of the herbs, vegetable powders, grass powders and even many superfruits sold across the natural products industry. Most of the grass powders sold in the USA, for example, are actually grown in China. Many of the “bulk herbs” sold on Amazon.com and other retailers are also heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals because they are imported from China.

For example, when I tested Ginkgo Biloba herbs grown in the USA, lead and cadmium levels were near zero. But when I tested Ginkgo imported from China, it showed an alarming 5 ppm of lead, a level that would raise alarm with anyone educated in food contamination issues.

The bottom line in all this? If you don’t want to poison yourself with toxic heavy metals from China, you need to immediately start taking these steps on the foods, proteins, supplements and herbs you consume:

STEP 1) Ask the manufacturer for the country of origin.

STEP 2) Ask the manufacturer for heavy metals lab results for YOUR lot number (printed on every bottle).

STEP 3) Reject retailers that continue to sell heavily contaminated products. Demand that retailers set quality control standards which encompass heavy metals contamination issues.

What levels are okay? A good starting place is the site I created, LowHeavyMetalsVerified.org which offers a generous grading system for heavy metals concentrations. I personally reject all raw materials worse than grade “A.” Many rice proteins sold today are grade “B” which is entirely unacceptable given the huge quantities that people consume (serving sizes are typically around 23 grams).

Right now, just one scoop of contaminated rice protein can expose you to over 15 – 20 times the daily lead limit of Proposition 65 in California. That’s unacceptable. Rice protein companies need to be at grade “A” or better, in my view as a food science researcher.

The good news is that companies are rapidly moving in that direction, and I fully expect to see some cleaner rice proteins on store shelves by this August (and possibly even in July).

Until then, I strongly recommend you switch to some other protein. 365 brand Whey Protein Powder from Whole Foods contains almost zero lead or cadmium, and a brand called “Tera’s Whey” was super clean, clocking in at just .012 ppm lead and .078 ppm cadmium (with zero tungsten detected). These are about the best numbers you’ll ever find.

Life’s Basics Plant Protein Mix (from LifeTime) sold at Whole Foods (Lot #3793) was also remarkably clean for a plant-based protein, turning in lead number of just .023 ppb and cadmium of just .068 ppm. Both are extremely low — among the lowest you’ll find in plant protein.

I’ll be bringing you more official, detailed reports on all this in the coming weeks. Watch for many more explosive reports on heavy metals during the month of May.

See all lab results we’ve published so far at:
http://labs.naturalnews.com

Sources for this article include:
(1) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/05/…

(2) http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-270…

(3) http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/chin…

Also see this report from China (PDF):
http://www.mep.gov.cn/gkml/hbb/qt/201404/W02…

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Protein hype: shoppers flushing money down the toilet, say experts

December 26, 2016

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/26/protein-hype-shoppers-flushing-money-down-the-toilet-say-experts

Consumers fuelling demand for high-protein products unlikely to see any benefits as people already eat more protein than they need, say dietitians

The UK’s rocketing demand for high-protein products is being fuelled by consumers buying foods unlikely to deliver the benefits they are seeking, experts have said.

Weetabix, Shreddies, Mars, Snickers and Batchelors Cup a Soup were among the brands that launched enhanced protein versions this year as the trend hit the mainstream.

Many supermarkets have introduced dedicated sections for higher-protein products and, according to Euromonitor, the market for sports protein products alone – which excludes most of the mainstream brands – is expected to hit £413m this year and almost £750m (in today’s money) in five years’ time.

But experts have warned that consumers, particularly gym-goers, are falling victim to clever marketing.

Anna Daniels, a dietitian and British Dietetic Association spokeswoman, said: “People have a misconception they do need more protein whereas actually the majority of us are getting adequate protein – our requirements are quite low. If you’re an athlete you will have higher requirements but you can still get it from eggs, yoghurt, meat. The majority of us who go to the gym for an hour a couple of times a week, there’s no need to be having additional protein we [already] get from a balanced healthy diet.”

Public Health England (PHE) guidelines suggest a protein intake for 19- to 64-year-olds of 55.5g for men and 45g for women, although experts say this will vary according to weight (the US Institute of Medicine stipulates a minimum of 0.8g per kg of body weight per day).

The PHE guidelines equate to getting approximately 11% of the recommended number of calories from protein, whereas according to the National Diet and Nutrition survey, the actual figure for adults is 17% to 18%.

Dr Alison Tedstone, PHE chief nutritionist, said: “The majority of people are consuming much more than the recommended daily allowance of protein through their everyday diet. So even if you hit the gym regularly, spending money on protein supplements is unlikely to bring any additional benefit.”

According to the Euromonitor figures, which cover ready-to-drink beverages, protein powders and protein bars with a minimum of 20g of protein, the sports nutrition market has grown by about 160% since 2011. Another market analyst, Nielsen, said there was a 63% rise in sales of protein bars in 2015, compared with the previous 12 months, while Mintel figures, published in August, said there had been 40% more launches of high-protein products this year compared with 2015.

Tom Sanders, professor emeritus of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, said people were being taken in by “nutri-babble”. “There’s been a lot of hype in gyms pushing high-protein shakes, there’s also a need to get rid of a waste product from the dairy industry, which is whey protein,” he said. “It’s a lot of crap, a way of selling a cheap product at a high price.”

Danny Commane, a lecturer in nutritional science at the University of Reading, said while there was some evidence suggesting that eating more protein could help increase muscle mass, the fact that people were already eating so much more than they needed made supplements unnecessary. He has worked with the successful GB rowing team, some of whom he said do not take protein supplements despite consuming 6,000 calories a day.

It’s clever marketing,” said Commane. “Unless you’re doing extreme exercise or pursuing extreme lifestyle goals, you don’t need extra protein.”

As excess protein is excreted through urine, people who are consuming too much are effectively flushing their money down the toilet, according to the experts.

This also makes it unlikely that they are doing themselves harm – unless they already have kidney disease – but it could be problematic if high protein consumption replaces other foods important for good health such as fruit, vegetables and wholegrains, they said. “A lot of the products are high in sugar, low in fibre, they’re not healthy choices for consumers,” said Daniels.

Darren Beale – founder of musclefood.com, which specialises in lean meats but also sells high-protein pizzas, chocolate and even beer – said gym-goers increasingly want to control what they put in their body.

“Are people eating too much protein? Depends on their health or fitness goal,” he said. “There’s research showing that a diet high in protein can help build muscle mass, but there has to be a macro balance with carbs and fat. Our entire aim is to provide products which make it easier for customers to stick to their healthy eating plan.”

None of the manufacturers of products mentioned in the article addressed the issue of the high amount of protein already in UK diets when contacted by the Guardian.

A Food and Drink Federation spokesman said: “Food manufacturers are responding to an increasing demand from consumers for high-protein food and drinks, which can be consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle. There is also some evidence that foods high in proteins can help us feel full for longer – increasing satiety and aiding appetite control – and this may be helpful for people trying to balance their energy intake. Protein content will always be clearly labelled, usually alongside how much of an adult’s recommended intake this represents, to help consumers make informed choices.”

A Mars spokeswoman said its bars were designed to be “a post-workout treat, to be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet”. Weetabix said protein at breakfast “helps regulate appetite and daily food intake”.

From A Taste of Creole

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Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops

November 7, 2016

The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.

Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.

Graphic

Broken Promises of Genetically Modified Crops

About 20 years ago, the United States and Canada began introducing genetic modifications in agriculture. Europe did not embrace the technology. This is how it has played out.

OPEN Graphic

At the same time, herbicide use has increased in the United States, even as major crops like corn, soybeans and cotton have been converted to modified varieties. And the United States has fallen behind Europe’s biggest producer, France, in reducing the overall use of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides.

One measure, contained in data from the United States Geological Survey, shows the stark difference in the use of pesticides. Since genetically modified crops were introduced in the United States two decades ago for crops like corn, cotton and soybeans, the use of toxins that kill insects and fungi has fallen by a third, but the spraying of herbicides, which are used in much higher volumes, has risen by 21 percent.

By contrast, in France, use of insecticides and fungicides has fallen by a far greater percentage — 65 percent — and herbicide use has decreased as well, by 36 percent.

Profound differences over genetic engineering have split Americans and Europeans for decades. Although American protesters as far back as 1987 pulled up prototype potato plants, European anger at the idea of fooling with nature has been far more sustained. In the last few years, the March Against Monsanto has drawn thousands of protesters in cities like Paris and Basel, Switzerland, and opposition to G.M. foods is a foundation of the Green political movement. Still, Europeans eat those foods when they buy imports from the United States and elsewhere.

In Rowland, N.C., a worker loads G.M. corn seed into a planting machine on Bo Stone’s farm. Mr. Stone values genetic modifications to reduce his insecticide use. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

Fears about the harmful effects of eating G.M. foods have proved to be largely without scientific basis. The potential harm from pesticides, however, has drawn researchers’ attention. Pesticides are toxic by design — weaponized versions, like sarin, were developed in Nazi Germany — and have been linked to developmental delays and cancer.

“These chemicals are largely unknown,” said David Bellinger, a professor at the Harvard University School of Public Health, whose research has attributed the loss of nearly 17 million I.Q. points among American children 5 years old and under to one class of insecticides. “We do natural experiments on a population,” he said, referring to exposure to chemicals in agriculture, “and wait until it shows up as bad.”

The industry is winning on both ends — because the same companies make and sell both the genetically modified plants and the poisons. Driven by these sales, the combined market capitalizations of Monsanto, the largest seed company, and Syngenta, the Swiss pesticide giant, have grown more than sixfold in the last decade and a half. The two companies are separately involved in merger agreements that would lift their new combined values to more than $100 billion each.

When presented with the findings, Robert T. Fraley, the chief technology officer at Monsanto, said The Times had cherry-picked its data to reflect poorly on the industry. “Every farmer is a smart businessperson, and a farmer is not going to pay for a technology if they don’t think it provides a major benefit,” he said. “Biotech tools have clearly driven yield increases enormously.”

Uncertain Harvest

Articles in this series examine the globe-spanning relationship of chemical companies, academics and regulators, and the powerful toxins and genetically modified seeds used to grow food in many parts of the world.

    Regarding the use of herbicides, in a statement, Monsanto said, “While overall herbicide use may be increasing in some areas where farmers are following best practices to manage emerging weed issues, farmers in other areas with different circumstances may have decreased or maintained their herbicide usage.”

    Genetically modified crops can sometimes be effective. Monsanto and others often cite the work of Matin Qaim, a researcher at Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany, including a meta-analysis of studies that he helped write finding significant yield gains from genetically modified crops. But in an interview and emails, Dr. Qaim said he saw significant effects mostly from insect-resistant varieties in the developing world, particularly in India.

    “Currently available G.M. crops would not lead to major yield gains in Europe,” he said. And regarding herbicide-resistant crops in general: “I don’t consider this to be the miracle type of technology that we couldn’t live without.”

    A Vow to Curb Chemicals

    First came the Flavr Savr tomato in 1994, which was supposed to stay fresh longer. The next year it was a small number of bug-resistant russet potatoes. And by 1996, major genetically modified crops were being planted in the United States.

    Monsanto, the most prominent champion of these new genetic traits, pitched them as a way to curb the use of its pesticides. “We’re certainly not encouraging farmers to use more chemicals,” a company executive told The Los Angeles Times in 1994. The next year, in a news release, the company said that its new gene for seeds, named Roundup Ready, “can reduce overall herbicide use.”

    Arnaud Rousseau holds non-G.M. corn seed, produced by Pioneer, a unit of DuPont. Credit Ed Alcock for The New York Times

    Figures from the United States Department of Agriculture show herbicide use skyrocketing in soybeans, a leading G.M. crop, growing by two and a half times in the last two decades, at a time when planted acreage of the crop grew by less than a third. Use in corn was trending downward even before the introduction of G.M. crops, but then nearly doubled from 2002 to 2010, before leveling off. Weed resistance problems in such crops have pushed overall usage up.

    To some, this outcome was predictable. The whole point of engineering bug-resistant plants “was to reduce insecticide use, and it did,” said Joseph Kovach, a retired Ohio State University researcher who studied the environmental risks of pesticides. But the goal of herbicide-resistant seeds was to “sell more product,” he said — more herbicide.

    Farmers with crops overcome by weeds, or a particular pest or disease, can understandably be G.M. evangelists. “It’s silly bordering on ridiculous to turn our backs on a technology that has so much to offer,” said Duane Grant, the chairman of the Amalgamated Sugar Company, a cooperative of more than 750 sugar beet farmers in the Northwest.

    He says crops resistant to Roundup, Monsanto’s most popular weedkiller, saved his cooperative.

    But weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup around the world — creating an opening for the industry to sell more seeds and more pesticides. The latest seeds have been engineered for resistance to two weedkillers, with resistance to as many as five planned. That will also make it easier for farmers battling resistant weeds to spray a widening array of poisons sold by the same companies.

    Growing resistance to Roundup is also reviving old, and contentious, chemicals. One is 2,4-D, an ingredient in Agent Orange, the infamous Vietnam War defoliant. Its potential risks have long divided scientists and have alarmed advocacy groups.

    Another is dicamba. In Louisiana, Monsanto is spending nearly $1 billion to begin production of the chemical there. And even though Monsanto’s version is not yet approved for use, the company is already selling seeds that are resistant to it — leading to reports that some farmers are damaging neighbors’ crops by illegally spraying older versions of the toxin.

    High-Tech Kernels

    Bo Stone, a sixth-generation farmer, in Rowland, N.C. The seeds on Mr. Stone’s farm brim with genetically modified traits. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

    Two farmers, 4,000 miles apart, recently showed a visitor their corn seeds. The farmers, Bo Stone and Arnaud Rousseau, are sixth-generation tillers of the land. Both use seeds made by DuPont, the giant chemical company that is merging with Dow Chemical.

    To the naked eye, the seeds looked identical. Inside, the differences are profound.

    In Rowland, N.C., near the South Carolina border, Mr. Stone’s seeds brim with genetically modified traits. They contain Roundup Ready, a Monsanto-made trait resistant to Roundup, as well as a gene made by Bayer that makes crops impervious to a second herbicide. A trait called Herculex I was developed by Dow and Pioneer, now part of DuPont, and attacks the guts of insect larvae. So does YieldGard, made by Monsanto.

    Another big difference: the price tag. Mr. Rousseau’s seeds cost about $85 for a 50,000-seed bag. Mr. Stone spends roughly $153 for the same amount of biotech seeds.

    For farmers, doing without genetically modified crops is not a simple choice. Genetic traits are not sold à la carte.

    Two Corn Seeds, but Very Different

    Manufacturing the corn seed on the left involves gene modifications by three additional companies. The seed on the right is created using only conventional breeding methods.

    A GENETICALLY

    MODIFIED CORN SEED

    A NONGENETICALLY

    MODIFIED CORN SEED

    Pioneer                                                          Pioneer Seed brand

    (serial no. P8613)

    Seed brand                                                    (serial no. P1916)

                                                                             Lumivia

                                                                          Coated with PPST 250 and DuPont Lumivia,

                                                                               an insecticide and fungicide.

    Also coated to protect the

    seed against soil-borne diseases and insects.

    $153   For about 50,000 seeds.

    Roundup Ready

    A gene resistant to Roundup, Monsanto’s main glyphosate-based herbicide.

    ~~~

    $85

    For about 50,000 seeds.

    YieldGard

    A genetically modified trait that is harmful to some insects.

    LibertyLink

    A gene that makes crops impervious to another herbicide.

    Herculex I

    A genetic trait developed by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer that breaks down the gut wall of insect larvae.

    Mr. Stone, 45, has a master’s degree in agriculture and listens to Prime Country radio in his Ford pickup. He has a test field where he tries out new seeds, looking for characteristics that he particularly values — like plants that stand well, without support.

    “I’m choosing on yield capabilities and plant characteristics more than I am on G.M.O. traits” like bug and poison resistance, he said, underscoring a crucial point: Yield is still driven by breeding plants to bring out desirable traits, as it has been for thousands of years.

    That said, Mr. Stone values genetic modifications to reduce his insecticide use (though he would welcome help with stink bugs, a troublesome pest for many farmers). And Roundup resistance in pigweed has emerged as a problem.

    “No G.M. trait for us is a silver bullet,” he said.

    By contrast, at Mr. Rousseau’s farm in Trocy-en-Multien, a village outside Paris, his corn has none of this engineering because the European Union bans most crops like these.

    “The door is closed,” says Mr. Rousseau, 42, who is vice president of one of France’s many agricultural unions. His 840-acre farm was a site of World War I carnage in the Battle of the Marne.

    As with Mr. Stone, Mr. Rousseau’s yields have been increasing, though they go up and down depending on the year. Farm technology has also been transformative. “My grandfather had horses and cattle for cropping,” Mr. Rousseau said. “I’ve got tractors with motors.”

    He wants access to the same technologies as his competitors across the Atlantic, and thinks G.M. crops could save time and money.

    “Seen from Europe, when you speak with American farmers or Canadian farmers, we’ve got the feeling that it’s easier,” Mr. Rousseau said. “Maybe it’s not right. I don’t know, but it’s our feeling.”

    Feeding the World

     Brazilian soybean plants at the end of their life cycle at Bayer’s research center in Durham, N.C. The plants have “stacked” traits, meaning they have been genetically modified for more than one specific trait, like bug resistance. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

    With the world’s population expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, Monsanto has long held out its products as a way “to help meet the food demands of these added billions,” as it said in a 1995 statement. That remains an industry mantra.

    “It’s absolutely key that we keep innovating,” said Kurt Boudonck, who manages Bayer’s sprawling North Carolina greenhouses. “With the current production practices, we are not going to be able to feed that amount of people.”

    But a broad yield advantage has not emerged. The Times looked at regional data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, comparing main genetically modified crops in the United States and Canada with varieties grown in Western Europe, a grouping used by the agency that comprises seven nations, including the two largest agricultural producers, France and Germany.

    For rapeseed, a variant of which is used to produce canola oil, The Times compared Western Europe with Canada, the largest producer, over three decades, including a period well before the introduction of genetically modified crops.

    Despite rejecting genetically modified crops, Western Europe maintained a lead over Canada in yields. While that is partly because different varieties are grown in the two regions, the trend lines in the relative yields have not shifted in Canada’s favor since the introduction of G.M. crops, the data shows.

    Stink bugs raised by Bayer for experimental purposes at its research center in Morrisville, N.C. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

    For corn, The Times compared the United States with Western Europe. Over three decades, the trend lines between the two barely deviate. And sugar beets, a major source of sugar, have shown stronger yield growth recently in Western Europe than the United States, despite the dominance of genetically modified varieties over the last decade.

    Jack Heinemann, a professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, did a pioneering 2013 study comparing trans-Atlantic yield trends, using United Nations data. Western Europe, he said, “hasn’t been penalized in any way for not making genetic engineering one of its biotechnology choices.”

    Biotech executives suggested making narrower comparisons. Dr. Fraley of Monsanto highlighted data comparing yield growth in Nebraska and France, while an official at Bayer suggested Ohio and France. These comparisons can be favorable to the industry, while comparing other individual American states can be unfavorable.

    Michael Owen, a weed scientist at Iowa State University, said that while the industry had long said G.M.O.s would “save the world,” they still “haven’t found the mythical yield gene.”

    Few New Markets

    Battered by falling crop prices and consumer resistance that has made it hard to win over new markets, the agrochemical industry has been swept by buyouts. Bayer recently announced a deal to acquire Monsanto. And the state-owned China National Chemical Corporation has received American regulatory approval to acquire Syngenta, though Syngenta later warned the takeover could be delayed by scrutiny from European authorities.

    A research assistant at a Bayer center in North Carolina, where experiments are carried out to find new toxins to eradicate pests like stinkbugs, a problem at farms like Mr. Stone’s in Rowland. Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

    The deals are aimed at creating giants even more adept at selling both seeds and chemicals. Already, a new generation of seeds is coming to market or in development. And they have grand titles. There is the Bayer Balance GT Soybean Performance System. Monsanto’s Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete corn. Dow’s PhytoGen with Enlist and WideStrike 3 Insect Protection.

    In industry jargon, they are “stacked” with many different genetically modified traits. And there are more to come. Monsanto has said that the corn seed of 2025 will have 14 traits and allow farmers to spray five different kinds of herbicide.

    Newer genetically modified crops claim to do many things, such as protecting against crop diseases and making food more nutritious. Some may be effective, some not. To the industry, shifting crucial crops like corn, soybeans, cotton and rapeseed almost entirely to genetically modified varieties in many parts of the world fulfills a genuine need. To critics, it is a marketing opportunity.

    G.M.O. acceptance is exceptionally low in Europe,” said Liam Condon, the head of Bayer’s crop science division, in an interview the day the Monsanto deal was announced. He added: “But there are many geographies around the world where the need is much higher and where G.M.O. is accepted. We will go where the market and the customers demand our technology.”

    Correction: November 2, 2016
    A chart on Sunday with the continuation of an article about the unmet promises of genetically modified crops misstated the mode of action of Herculex I, a genetic trait developed by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer. It breaks down the gut wall of insect larvae; it does not create a bacterium that does so.

    More Than Half of U.S. Pipelines Are at Least 46 Years Old

    November 7, 2016

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/aging-pipelines-raise-concerns-1478128942

    I can’t get to the article due to a monthly limit, but you can read it at your leisure!

    ‘Excessive’ supermarket packaging is leading to higher council tax bills

    October 29, 2016

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/4640513/Excessive-supermarket-packaging-is-leading-to-higher-council-tax-bills.html

    Excessive supermarket food packaging is undermining householders’ efforts to recycle and adding to council tax bills, according to a new report.

    Almost 40 per cent of supermarket food packaging cannot be easily recycled, according to a study by the Local Government Association.

     

    The unnecessary packaging contributes to the estimated £1.8 billion councils will spend on landfill tax between 2008 and 2011, increasing the pressure for increases in council tax.

    Researchers assessed the packaging in a typical shopping basket at eight supermarkets.

     

    Waitrose had the heaviest packaging (802.5 grams) and Tesco the lightest (645.5 grams).

     

    Lidl had the lowest level of packaging that could be easily recycled and Sainsbury’s had the highest.

    Council leaders said that whilst people are recycling more rubbish their efforts are being held back by supermarkets.

    They said supermarkets should pay towards recycling services so that more packaging can be recycled and council tax kept down.

    Landfill tax costs councils £32 for every ton of rubbish they throw away, a figure that will rise to £48 a ton by 2010.

    At current rates of landfill that will mean councils paying an extra £360 million in landfill taxes over the next two years.

    Since the LGA first assessed the weight of food packaging in October 2007 it has been reduced overall, but the proportion that can be recycled has changed little.

    Marks & Spencer is now the second best supermarket in terms of the weight of its packaging, having been second to last in the previous survey.

    Cllr Margaret Eaton, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “At a time when we’re in recession and shoppers are feeling the pinch we have to move on from a world that tolerates cling filmed coconuts and shrink wrapped tins of baked beans.

    “Britain is the dustbin of Europe with more rubbish being thrown into landfill than almost any other country in Europe. “Taxpayers don’t want to see their money going towards paying landfill taxes and EU fines when council tax could be reduced instead.

    “If we had less unnecessary packaging it would cut costs and lead to lower prices at the tills.”

    Some other European countries already have a system under which companies contribute towards recycling services and household collections of food packaging.

    The National Federation of Women’s Institutes has called for shoppers to boycott stores that wrap goods in too much plastic and paper.

    However, the British Retail Consortium maintains that councils do not provide good enough recycling facilities.

    The food and drink industry cut food packaging by an estimated 70,000 tonnes last year.

    Examples included Britvic saving 1,670 tons of plastic a year by redesigning Robinsons squash bottles and Cadbury, Mars and Nestle cutting packaging on Easter eggs by a quarter.

     

    Juanita Broaddrick Provides Never Before Published Details On Bill Clinton’s Rape

    October 10, 2016

    Juanita Broaddrick has told this reporter that she was raped not once but twice by Bill Clinton during the same infamous encounter in 1978.

    Broaddrick has rarely discussed the actual details of the alleged incident due to the graphic and traumatic nature of the event.

    In August 2000, Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays told a local talk show that based on evidence to which he was privy from the Clinton impeachment trial, he found that Broaddrick had “disclosed that she had been raped, not once, but twice” to Senate Judiciary Committee investigators.

    “I believed that he had done it,” Shays continued. “I believed her that she had been raped 20 years ago. And it was vicious rapes, it was twice at the same event.”

    Now Broaddrick has for the first time publicly confirmed her account that Clinton raped her twice.

    She said that after the first round, in which the much stronger Clinton had her pinned down for a period of time, she was relieved when she thought it was over and was hoping he would leave the room.

    Instead, she says Clinton turned to her and told her words to the effect of “I am going to do it again.”

    And then he did, she says.

    Out of sensitivity to the nature of the alleged event and its impact on her, this reporter did not ask Broaddrick to further describe the scene during our latest interview.

    However, in an interview that broke nearly a decade of media silence, in November 2015 Broaddrick recounted some of the details to me.

    Broaddrick’s story begins when she was a nursing home administrator volunteering for then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton’s 1978 gubernatorial bid.

    She said Clinton singled her out during a campaign stop at her nursing home. “He would just sort of insinuate, you know when you are in Little Rock let’s get together. Let’s talk about the industry. Let’s talk about the needs of the nursing homes and I was very excited about that.”

    Broaddrick said she finally took Clinton up on that offer in the spring of 1978 when she traveled to Little Rock for an industry convention along with her friend and nursing employee Norma Rogers. The two shared a room at the city’s Camelot Hotel.

    Broaddrick phoned Clinton’s campaign headquarters to inform her of her arrival and was told by a receptionist that Clinton had left instructions for her to reach him at his private apartment.

    “I called his apartment and he answered,” she told me. “And he said, ‘Well, why don’t we meet in the Camelot Hotel coffee room and we can get together there and talk. And I said, ‘That would be fine.’”

    Clinton then changed the meeting location from the hotel coffee shop to Broaddrick’s room.

    “A time later and I’m not sure how long it was, he called my room, which he said he would do when he got to the coffee shop. And he said ‘There are too many people down here. It’s too crowded. There’s reporters and can we just meet in your room?’”

    “And it sort of took me back a little bit, Aaron,” she said of Clinton’s request.

    “But I did say okay, I’ll order coffee to the room, which I did and that’s when things sort of got out of hand. And it was very unexpected. It was, you might even say, brutal. With the biting of my lip.”

    Broaddrick said she did not want to rehash the alleged rape scene, explaining those painful details are fully available in previous news reports.

    She told NBC’s Dateline in 1999 that she resisted when Clinton suddenly kissed her:

    Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip. … He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. And then he forces me down on the bed. And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him “No,” that I didn’t want this to happen but he wouldn’t listen to me. … It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to “Please stop.” And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip. … When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment and he walks to the door, and calmly puts on his sunglasses. And before he goes out the door he says, “You better get some ice on that.” And he turned and went out the door.

    In our November interview, Broaddrick recounted the aftermath of the incident, when her friend Rogers came back to the room after Broaddrick failed to show up to the convention.

    “I was in a state of shock afterwards,” an emotional Broaddrick said, clearly still impacted by the event. “And I know my nurse came back to the room to check on me because she hadn’t heard from me. … She came up and it was devastating to her and to me to find me in the condition that I was in.”

    “We really did not know what to do. We sat and talked and she got ice for my mouth. … It was four times the size that it should be. And she got ice for me and we decided then I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to get out of there, which we did.”

    The detail about Clinton allegedly biting her lip is instructive. One woman who would later say she had a consensual affair with Clinton, former Miss America pageant winner Elizabeth Ward Gracen, would also reveal Clinton bit her lip when a tryst became rough.

    Broaddrick says Bill repeatedly called her after the alleged rape.

    Apparently that wasn’t the end of it.

    In January, Broaddrick told me that within a few weeks after Clinton allegedly raped her, he started to call her repeatedly with the aim of meeting again.

    “I was shocked to say the least that he would have the audacity to call me after what he did to me,” Broaddrick said.

    She said that just a few weeks after the 1978 alleged sexual assault, “He called the nursing home that I owned and they patched the call through to my office and I didn’t know that it was him. And he immediately said, ‘Hi, this is Bill Clinton. I was just wondering when you were coming back to Little Rock again.’

    “This just caught me so off guard. I had not expected anything like this at all. And I told him I would not be coming back to Little Rock again and definitely would not ever be seeing him again. And I hung up.”

    Broaddrick recalled that Clinton, the attorney general of Arkansas and candidate for governor at the time, called the nursing home where she worked on numerous occasions over the next six months.

    And you would think that would have been the end of it. But it wasn’t. About two or three weeks later, I was in a meeting and my administrator came into the meeting and she said, “You are wanted on the phone.” And she said it was Mr. Clinton. And I told her, I said, “Please tell him I’m not here.” She wasn’t aware of what had happened to me. Nor were the nurses. The two directors of nursings [sic] were the only two who had known what he had done to me. So she wasn’t aware, but she was very caught off guard why I wouldn’t speak to him.

    And I went into her office later and I said if there are ever any phone calls from him, I can’t explain but I do not want to have any phone calls from him. Whenever he calls please tell him that I’m not here.

    And then it happened a couple of more times. The board secretary answered the phone. And she said, “Mr. Clinton is on the phone.” And I just looked at her and I said please tell him that I’m not here.

    And I think there was probably a total of maybe four or five calls within a six-month period after the assault. And I think he finally figured out I wasn’t going to talk to him again.

    Broaddrick was asked what she thought Clinton wanted from her.

    She replied: “I think he thought, well this is just a usual occurrence. I probably was with him and I am wondering whether I can get with this woman again. I was shocked to say the least that he would have the audacity to call me after what he did to me.”

    ‘I felt responsible until Bill came back.’

    Broaddrick said the climate of women’s issues in 1978 was such that “I felt responsible. I don’t know if you know the mentality of women and men at that time. But me letting him come to my room? I accepted full blame.”

    “And I thought ‘This is your fault and you have to bear this. There’s nothing you can do. He’s the attorney general. And this is your fault.’”

    She states that all that changed in 1991, when she says she was at a meeting at the Riverfront Hotel in Little Rock and Clinton approached her there.

    Clinton found out she was at the hotel “and they called me out of the meeting and pointed to an area to go down around the corner by an elevator area. And I walked around the corner and there he stands.”

    “And he immediately comes over to me with this gushing apology. Like, ‘I’m so sorry for what happened. I hope you can forgive me. I’m a family man now. I have a daughter. I’m a changed man. I would never do anything like that again.’”

    Broaddrick said she thought Clinton was sincere until he announced his run for president the following week.

    “But still I have to thank him for that day because the blame then went off of me and on to him. And I knew that it wasn’t my fault. I knew that I didn’t use good judgement, but I knew that the incident was no longer my fault.”

    Broaddrick, Willey, Jones to Bill Clinton’s Defenders: ‘These Are Crimes,’ ‘Terrified’ of ‘Enabler’ Hillary

    October 10, 2016

    In an exclusive video interview at the presidential suite of the historic Watergate Hotel, the victims of Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual assault  — Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, and Paula Jones — got together for the first time in person to express their personal fear of Hillary Clinton and to warn voters that Clinton does not stand for women’s issues.

    The three women, who say their lives were forever changed by their experiences with the Clintons, used words like “terrified” and “frightened” to describe their feelings about the prospects of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

    Watch the video here:

    When asked about the counter-argument that their allegations toward Bill Clinton only dig up past “infidelities,all three women attacked establishment media figures for using this language.

    “We were not willing participants,” Broaddrick said. “These were crimes.” In a separate interview, Broaddrick shared her own story of brutal sexual assault which she says Bill Clinton perpetrated against her.

    Willey called out NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell and CNN’s Jake Tapper by name, challenging them: “These are not infidelities. A rape is not an infidelity. These are crimes. Any other people would be in jail…

    “This is no longer about infidelities, indiscretions, girlfriends, sex, interns — none of those. This is about a serial rapist, a predator, and his wife who has enabled his behavior all of these years.”

    Later in this interview, Jones, Willey, and Broaddrick expressed fear at how a potential President Hillary Clinton would use the power of her office.

    “It terrifies me and it should terrify all women,” Jones stated about Hillary’s presidential ambitions.

    “It should terrify all men and women,” Willey added. “She will annihilate any enemy. All of her enemies. Anybody who has spoken against her. Across the board for I don’t know how many years. She will get rid of them.

    No woman who advocates for women attacks the victims of sexual assault be it by her husband or anybody else,” said Willey.

    The women argued that the term “enabler” best describes Hillary Clinton’s role in her husband’s alleged sexual crimes.

    “There is not a better word for any of this,” stated Broaddrick. “Especially when she threatened me personally.”

    Willey added, “She is complicit in everything that he has done.”

    “She had helped him do it,” asserted Jones.

    “She has turned a blind eye for decades against what he has done” stated Broaddrick. “And she has been the main one to help cover this up. And go after us.”

    Willey and Jones both accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, with Willey saying that she suffered acts of intimidation in what she has described as a campaign to silence her. Broaddrick says that Bill Clinton raped her, and recently stated in an interview with this reporter that she was raped twice during the same 1978 alleged assault. 

    Meet The Woman Who Makes Living By Stealing From Military Veterans and Conservatives

    October 9, 2016

    If you call yourself a “Conservative,” there’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with that title. Basic concepts like morals, integrity, and honesty, are just a few traits that come to mind. But there’s a woman on Facebook claiming to be a Conservative, who’s currently making a living from stealing from military veterans, and many other conservative journalists. But perhaps worst of all, is if you confront this lovely woman, she will simply block you, while continuing to make money off the content she steals from you.

    Meet Katie Bunney, the plagiarizer and thief. She claims to be a “journalist” writing under the pen name Katie McGuire, while working for Right Wing News. Hardly a “journalist,” unless you consider right clicking and pasting other people’s hard work onto your website as “journalism.”

    I was first introduced to this thief by my good friend and fellow journalist Dom (Dom the Conservative), who found out Katie Bunney was ripping off her stories word for word. Dom explained to me that as soon as she contacted Bunney about the stories she had stolen, that Bunney immediately blocked her. Below is the message that Dom sent to Bunney, shortly before being completely blocked.

    “Perhaps you need to be informed on what constitutes plagiarism. Quoting a line or even a few paragraphs is understandable as long as you’re citing the author. Copying and pasting entire articles, regardless of linking or citing, is plagiarism and making money from someone else’s work. You know very well that no one will click your link to the original source if they just got the entire story on your site.”

    When I contacted Bunney, the exact same thing happened to me. I messaged the thief on both her journalism page (where she goes by “GOP Katie”) as well as her personal profile. I told Bunney that she had exactly 24 hours to remove the content that she stolen from me.

    [Link to my article, Link to the one she stole from me]

     

    But immediately after contacting her, I too was immediately blocked, and my messages went unanswered. Here’s where she blocked me on Facebook:

    screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-7-29-06-am

    She blocked me from following her on Twitter also:

    screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-9-13-29-amBut Dom and I were not the only victims of Bunney’s thievery. A quick look at her “journalism” page shows something very disturbing. EVERY SINGLE STORY that’s on her page are ones that she has stolen from well-known Conservative sites. Her favorite place to loot as of lately, is Mad World News. Here’s the evidence I collected below.

    What’s hilarious though, is that shortly after making a video to collect evidence on Bunney’s thievery, she changed the date of the story she stole from me, in order to make it appear as though she had written it first!

    It must be nice making a living off of other people’s hard work. Here’s Bunney vacationing in Cabo, which I’m willing to bet wasn’t a cheap vacation.

    screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-8-39-41-am

    That’s a nice hotel. She must’ve made quite a nice little chunk stealing from me and other hard-working Conservative journalists.

    screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-8-44-07-am

    Here’s Bunney with her son. I wonder he knows that his mom makes a living from stealing from people?

    screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-8-45-46-am

    I warned you what would happen if you didn’t remove my stolen content from your website, Katie. Now you can enjoy being internet famous, since you obviously enjoy attention so much.

    If you would like to contact Bunney and let her know how you feel about her stealing from military veterans and Conservatives, there’s several ways you can contact her:

    Facebook profile===> LINK 

    Journalism page===> LINK

    Twitter===> LINK

    Email===> katiefmcguire@gmail.com