Tag Archives: health

Monsanto/Bayer moving to produce genetically modified fruits and more

by F. William Engdahl

Not surprising, Monsanto, today hidden behind the Bayer logo, as the world leader in patented GMO seeds and the probable carcinogenic Roundup herbicide with glyphosate, is attempting to quietly patent genetically modified or GMO varieties of fruits using controversial gene-editing. The “beauty” of this for Monsanto/Bayer is that in the USA, according to a recent ruling by the US Department of Agriculture, gene-edited agriculture needs no special independent testing. The developments are not good for human health or safety, nor will it do anything to give the world better nutrition.

The agrichemical and GMO giant Monsanto, which today tries to keep a lower profile inside the German agrichemical and GMO giant Bayer, is moving into the highly controversial domain of gene-editing of new crop varieties. In 2018 as the company was being deluged with lawsuits over its use of the probable carcinogen, Roundup, Monsanto invested $125 million in a gene-editing startup called Pairwise. The link is anything but casual.
Former Monsanto Vice President for Global Biotechnology, Tom Adams, has taken the post of CEO of Pairwise. In short, this is a Monsanto gene-editing project. In a press release, Pairwise says it is using the controversial CRISPR gene-editing technology to create genetically edited produce. Among their goals apparently is a super-sweet variety of strawberry or apples, just what our sugar-saturated population doesn’t need.
CRISPR gene-editing, a stealth attempt by the global agribusiness industry to promote artificial mutations of crops and, as the world was shocked recently to hear, even humans, as in China, is being advanced, much like GMO crops falsely were, as solution to world hunger. Pairwise founder, Keith Joung, told media that their CRISPR gene-edited fruits, “will speed innovation that is badly needed to feed a growing population amid challenging conditions created by a changing climate.” How sweeter genetically-edited strawberries will solve world hunger he leaves to the imagination. Pairwise also says that gene-edited fruits would somehow also cut down on food waste. One has to be also skeptical there as well, even if it makes nice promotion copy. In addition to super-sweet strawberries, Monsanto plans to use its work with Pairwise to develop new varieties of gene-edited corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and canola crops. And because the USDA unfortunately has given the green light, the new genetically modified foods will undergo no independent testing for health and safety.

Brazil | Brazilian doctors fail to report for duty to replace Cubans

Brazil has failed to replace nearly one third of the thousands of Cuban doctors who exited the country after a diplomatic spat, as many new recruits failed to turn up for work, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro had criticized Cuba’s involvement in a government healthcare program, saying that Cuban doctors were being used as “slave labor” because Havana took 75 percent of their salaries.

Low income explains poorer survival after a heart attack more than race, study finds

by Elizabeth Cooney

The deep divide between the health of black and white Americans has a long and painful history, drawing the attention of scholars from W.E.B. Du Bois in the late 19th century to public health researchers today who track seemingly intractable differences in health, medical treatment, life expectancy, and death.

The risks of alcohol (again)

by David Spiegelhalter

A recent paper published by the Lancet demonstrating the global impact of alcohol consumption was a huge exercise from the Gates Foundation-funded Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle. They built a large and complex statistical model from a vast range of data sources, and conclude that while moderate alcohol consumption may be preventive for some conditions such as ischaemic heart disease and diabetes, when combined with increasing risk of cancers and other outcomes there is a steadily increasing harm from alcohol consumption, as shown in Figure 5 from the paper reproduced below. This leads them to argue that there is ‘no safe level’ of alcohol.

‘Global care crisis’ set to affect 2.3 billion people warns UN labour agency

A “global care crisis” is looming which could affect 2.3 billion people by 2030, United Nations work experts warned on Thursday, highlighting the potential for greater inequality in a sector where women already perform “more than three-quarters” of all unpaid work.