Category Archives: Environmental

Cannabis Pesticide Regulations Need Rethink

(Catching up on old news…It’s here because it’s important!)

Lack of pesticides regulation in the cannabis industry

By Adrian Devitt-Lee on May 05, 2017

As cannabis is legalized for medical and recreational use on a state-by-state basis, safety regulations regarding cannabis products are becoming increasingly important. One aspect of safety regulations involves setting maximal allowable limits on pesticides. Such regulations are particularly significant given that medical populations, including young and immunocompromised patients, are among the intended consumers of cannabis products.

The cannabis industry has a pesticide problem – actually, many problems. A number of studies have reported high levels of pesticides on cannabis samples taken from the medical markets in Washington and Colorado [Russo p66, Sullivan]. There have been cannabis product recalls in both states and in Canada because of pesticide infractions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets pesticide standards and tolerance levels nationally. But the EPA has not approved any pesticides specifically for use on cannabis because it is a federally illegal substance. So, as of now, it’s up to each state to decide on a single “action limit” for each pesticide applied to cannabis. An action limit refers to the maximal allowable level of a pesticide. This limit is reported in units of parts per million (ppm). A 1 ppm limit on a pesticide means that up to 0.0001% of the product’s weight can be from the pesticide.

A state cannot set a pesticide action limit that is more permissive than regulations for general use on food crops established by the EPA. In some cases, the EPA’s limit for food products is adopted by state marijuana regulators. But in other cases a stricter limit is determined by the level of quantification that can be “reasonably achievable by analytical chemists” [APHL p15]. In other words, action limits are often based on the ease of detecting chemicals rather than a prioritization of their dangers.

The same limit for a particular pesticide applies whether a product is meant to be smoked, vaporized, or ingested – even though different modes of administration can dramatically change the toxicity of the pesticides. Cannabis is still consumed primarily by smoking. Yet there is next to no information on the health effects of burning pesticides. This information vacuum is likely attributable to lobbying by the tobacco industry. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the “EPA does not assess intermediate or long-term risks to smokers because of the severity of health effects linked to use of tobacco products themselves” [GAO].

In other words, because cigarette-smoking is already known to be harmful, federal officials decided that it’s not important to understand the adverse health effects of inhaling combustible pesticides. Consequently, state regulators are lacking crucial information about many pesticides. Two pesticides used in the cannabis industry, myclobutanil (generally sold as Eagle 20) and pyrethrins, underscore the inconsistency of current pesticide regulations.

Pyrethrins

Pyrethrins are a natural family of six pesticides produced by chrysanthemum. They break down quickly in sunlight or heat. They are highly toxic to aquatic life but have low toxicity to warm blooded animals, including humans. The EPA maintains that pyrethrins do not pose a chronic risk for mammals (including humans), except potentially for people who regularly spray them on crops [EPA p9]. In commercial products, pyrethrins are generally sold with piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a compound that synergizes with pyrethrins, allowing them to be effective at lower doses. Pyrethrins should not be confused with pyrethroids, synthetic chemicals that are as different from pyrethrins as THC is from synthetic “spice” or “K2” bath salts.1

The action limit for pyrethrins is 1 ppm in every state that has set pesticide regulations for marijuana. California recently released proposed regulations, setting the pyrethrin limit at 0.7 ppm for edibles and 0.5 ppm for other cannabis products.2 Hearings will be held on this proposal four times in the month of June. The regulations can be found here.

But the European Food Safety Administration (EFSA) has concluded that it is safe for humans to ingest up to 0.4 mg pyrethrins per kg bodyweight every day [EFSA]. By this estimate, an average 135 pound human consuming state-approved cannabis could ingest 55 pounds of product in a day without toxicity due to pyrethrins.3 This calculation can be inverted, and an action limit can be determined from the maximal amount of cannabis products used in a day. For example, if one assumes that no one ingests more than 1% of their body weight in cannabis products (about 1.1 pounds for an average human), then 40 ppm is a stringent enough action limit to prevent pyrethrin toxicity, according to the EFSA.

While the European Food Safety Administration’s limit for pyrethrins does not take into consideration the synergistic toxicity between pesticides, it does provide a viable starting point to base action limits on safety.

Burning pesticides

The toxicity of myclobutanil highlights the importance of considering how a cannabis product is consumed. When heated myclobutanil decomposes into hydrogen cyanide, a toxic compound that causes neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular, and thyroid problems at concentrations of 0.008 ppm [MSDS]. Smoking or vaping cannabis tainted with myclobutanil residue is a bad idea. This pesticide is now banned for use on cannabis in Oregon [Farrer p11]. However, in Nevada up to 9 ppm of myclobutanil is allowed on cannabis as of January 2017 [DPBH].

Since smoking is still the most preferred method of consuming cannabis, it is essential to know the safety of pesticides when heated. Vaporization leads to temperatures around 200˚C, while burning causes temperatures above 400˚C. Unlike myclobutanil, pyrethrins likely break down into two safer chemicals when heated without burning: chrysanthemic acid and a rethrolone. This breakdown may be reduced in the oily solution of a concentrate. When smoked it is not clear how pyrethrins will decompose and how dangerous these chemicals will be.

There’s ample reason for state officials to be cautious and to err on the side of safety with respect to pesticide regulations. But being stringent without a basis in science may have the unintended effect of pushing cannabis cultivators to use harder-to-detect pesticides that are more toxic.

It is paramount to study the effects of heating pesticides. Lacking pertinent data, regulations should at least be geared toward reducing the use of pesticides that we know burn to highly toxic compounds, and regulations should give some leeway to pesticides and growing practices that are safer. Moreover, regulations need to be malleable, so that as research provides us with a better understanding of pesticide toxicity, regulations follow suit.

Adrian Devitt-Lee is a Project CBD research associate and contributing writer.

Copyright, Project CBD. May not be reprinted without permission.

Footnotes:

1 Pyrethroids account for 30 percent of global pesticide use, according to Chinese researchers at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. Known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, pyrethroids have been linked to early puberty in boys, which can stunt growth and cause behavioral problems. Exposure to pyrethroids also increases the risk of testicular cancer in men and breast cancer in women.

2 California’s proposed regulations do account for some differences between ingesting and vaporizing pesticides. However, this is because compounds enter the bloodstream through the lungs much more easily than they pass through the digestive tract. They do not consider the effect of heating solvents or pesticides. Moreover, in their reference to exposure limits for solvents regulators confuse two different units. The short-term exposure limit (STEL), applicable to acute inhalation, can be measured in ppmv or mg/m3. Ppmv stands for parts per million by volume, which is sometimes written “ppm”. Limits on cannabis are given in ppm by weight, which is measured as the grams of adulterant per million grams of cannabis product, or µg (microgram) of adulterant per gram product. The relevant ppmv in the lungs is not simply the ppm contamination on cannabis. The relationship between ppmv and ppm depends on the volume of the lungs and the amount of cannabis product inhaled. The concentration (in mg/m3) of adulterant inhaled is approximately L*c/V, where L is the limit in ppm, c is the amount of cannabis used in grams, and V is the volume of the lungs in liters.

3 The relationship is as follows: Let b be the individual’s body weight in kg, L the regulatory limit in ppm, A the acceptable daily intake in mg pyrethrins/kg bodyweight, and C the maximum amount of cannabis consumed by any individual per day in grams. 1 kilogram is equal to 2.2 lbs. Safety would mean that these variables satisfy:

A * b ≥ 10-3 * L * C

Substituting b = 62 [kg], L = 1 [ppm], and A = 0.4 [mg/kg], we see that C ≤ 24,800 [g] or C ≤ 54.7 lbs.

On the other hand, if we suppose that b ≥ 0.1 C (that the individual consumes less than 1% of their bodyweight in cannabis each day), the limit must satisfy L ≤ 40 [ppm].

Sources:

PLEASE CONTINUE READING AND TO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THRU THIS LINK!

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Monsanto to face ‘tribunal’ in The Hague for ‘damage to human health and environment’

Published time: 5 Dec, 2015 06:08

© Mal Langsdon

A global group of professionals, scientists and environmentalists – the Monsanto Tribunal – are preparing a trial for the GMO seed giant in The Hague. They say the crowdfunded action, determined to charge Monsanto with “ecocide,” is more than a symbolic move.

READ MORE: Putin wants Russia to become world’s biggest exporter of Non-GMO food

The Monsanto Tribunal’s goal is to research and evaluate all of the allegations made against Monsanto in connection to all the damages its products have caused to human health and the environment. It is scheduled to be held at The Hague from October 12 to 16 in 2016. The trial will wrap up on next year’s World Food Day.

One of the main goals the broad group of signees [ABOUT US] wants the tribunal to achieve is establishing “ecocide” as a crime. “Recognizing ecocide as a crime is the only way to guarantee the right of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected,” The International Monsanto Tribunal says on its website.

The Tribunal will look into a range of charges, including what it says are Monsanto’s crimes against nature and humanity.

“The Tribunal will rely on the ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ adopted at the UN in 2011. It will also assess potential criminal liability on the basis of the Rome Statue that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether a reform of international criminal law is warranted to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense, so that natural persons could incur criminal liability.”

Several bodies and groups are supporting the initiative, including the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, as well as dozens more farming and environmental groups.

The decision to proceed with the tribunal was announced by the groups shortly before the Sustainable Pulse report was published, which was part of the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change that runs until December 11 in Paris.

“The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment. We are in Paris this month to address the most serious threat that humans have ever faced in our 100-200,000 year evolution—global warming and climate disruption,” the president of the Organic Consumers Association, Ronnie Cummins, said at the press conference.

Meanwhile, president of IFOAM and member of the RI Steering Committee Andre Leu accused Monsanto of ignoring the human and environmental damage created by its products. Leu added that the transnational is able to maintain its devastating practices “by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, and by manipulating the press and media.”

“Monsanto’s history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet,” Leu stressed.
The American-based company has enjoyed a good reputation in the US media and is known for its strong ties on Capitol Hill.

The Monsanto Tribunal argues that the company is responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction, and declining biodiversity, as well as the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide.

Farmers in certain countries have been taking these developments very hard. In India, an alarming wave of suicides tied to Monsanto’s practices has been registered among farmers.
Instead of traditional crops, farmers have been forced to grow GM cotton, which is more expensive and requires additional maintenance. In the last 20 years, this trend has driven some 290,000 farmers to commit suicide due to bankruptcy, according to India’s national crimes bureau records.

READ MORE: GMO that kills: GM-cotton problems drive Indian farmers to suicide

Subjecting Monsanto to real legal consequences will be a challenge, though, as the corporation has never lost a case.

The company is notorious for routinely suing farmers, which has earned it the reputation of a legal bully in the eyes of critics. According to Food Democracy Now, the GMO corporation has filed 145 lawsuits since 1997, because farmers had reused their seeds in a manner inconsistent with Monsanto policies. This even includes cases where the farmers themselves had sued Monsanto for the inadvertent cross-pollination of their organic crops with GMO seeds.

One lawsuit representing 300,000 farmers was thrown out of court – for the mere reason that the farmers had already been sued by Monsanto. According to Food Democracy Now, the judge called the farmers’ case “unsubstantiated.”

Untold damage has also been caused to the ecosphere by the dying-off of 970 million Monarch butterflies since 1990. The herbicides Monsanto sells eradicate a range of the prolific pollinators’ natural food sources. The statistic was released by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in February.

READ MORE: Monsanto monarch massacre: 970 million butterflies killed since 1990

People demonstrated in over 400 major cities across the world in May to tell the GMO giant they do not want its produce in their food. It was the third global March Against Monsanto (MAM).

CONTINUE READING…

Phytoremediation of Urban Brownfields: a Case for Industrial Hemp

Phytoremediation of Urban…

Phytoremediation of Urban Brownfields: a Case for Industrial Hemp

Brownfield land , Phytoremediation , Environmental remediation

Phytoremediation of Urban Brownfields:
A Case for Industrial Hemp
By: Jeff Lemon Thursday, June 21, 2012
Brownfields
Brownfield Phytoremediation
Page 2 Page 4
A Case for Industrial Hemp?
Page 5
Executive Summary
There are a number of reasons why we should care about brownfields. From encouraging urban sprawl through the ‘development’ of greenfields to their environmental impacts on soil, air and ground water, these properties are a drain upon the urban environment. Redevelopment of brownfields are complicated by the potential contamination of hazardous waste, heavy metals and pollution that has been left behind in the soil. Although this land can be used once the soil has been cleaned, landowners are not financially incentivized to do so and inevitably ‘sit’ on these properties due to the current tax policies. The last decade has spawned a number of methods of remediating these potentially contaminated properties. One approach that has been gaining a lot of press of late, is phytoremediation. This approach to brownfield remediation works in favour for all the stakeholders involved. For the landowner, bioremediation not only offers a cheap solution to the decontamination of their land, but it also allows them to continue to utilize current tax incentives by creating a ‘green space’. For the urban farmer, phytoremediation gives the urban farmer access to valuable land, while allowing for the potential cultivation of certain cash crops. With the number of brownfields in Metro Vancouver growing, it is imperative to understand how increasing awareness and responsible redevelopment can transform environmentally damaged properties into productive lands, which can result in environmental, economic and social community benefits.
Purpose of Research
The purpose of this report is to examine the benefits of using industrial hemp as a potential cash crop in the practices of phytoremediation for the reclamation of Vancouver’s urban brownfields. Through…

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Topics in this document

Brownfield land , Phytoremediation , Environmental remediation , Bioremediation , Urban agriculture , Hemp , Groundwater , Pollution , Urban sprawl , Affordable housing , Ministry of Environment (South Korea) , Wetland , Soil , Water resources , Heavy metal (chemistry)

THAI CANNABIS CORP.

THAI CANNABIS CORP.

Welcome to Thai Cannabis Corporation
TCC is a co-operative, agricultural-based, medicinally and spiritually inspired, research, and development effort.

Objectives:
*To set the International standard for medicinal Cannabis.
*To encourage it’s propagation, distribution,
and it’s use as a tool for healing the human condition.
*To inspire and define the future of humanity.
*To create an agrinomically based economic engine
for the futherance of Thailand’s stated goals
to become the greenest nation on Earth…

ayutthaya_wat_phanan_choeng_buddha

  Wat Panang Choeng
Ayutthaya, ancient Royal Capital

U.S. House of Representatives Votes to Legalize Industrial Hemp

 

 

WhiteHouse

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 225-200 on June 20 to legalize the industrial farming of hemp fiber. Hemp is the same species as the marijuana plant, and its fiber has been used to create clothing, paper, and other industrial products for thousands of years; however, it has been listed as a “controlled substance” since the beginning of the drug war in the United States. Unlike marijuana varieties of the plant, hemp is not bred to create high quantities of the drug THC.

The amendment’s sponsor, Jared Polis (D-Colo.), noted in congressional debate that “George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. The first American flag was made of hemp. And today, U.S. retailers sell over $300 million worth of goods containing hemp — but all of that hemp is imported, since farmers can’t grow it here. The federal government should clarify that states should have the ability to regulate academic and agriculture research of industrial hemp without fear of federal interference. Hemp is not marijuana, and at the very least, we should allow our universities — the greatest in the world — to research the potential benefits and downsides of this important agricultural commodity.”

The 225-200 vote included 62 Republican votes for the Polis amendment, many of whom were members of Justin Amash’s Republican Liberty Caucus or representatives from farm states. But most Republicans opposed the amendment, claiming it would make the drug war more difficult. “When you plant hemp alongside marijuana, you can’t tell the difference,” Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) said in congressional debate on the amendment to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013.

“This is not about a drugs bill. This is about jobs,” Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) countered King in House floor debate June 20. Massie, a key House Republican ally of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus, opposes marijuana legalization but had signed on as a cosponsor of the Polis amendment.

The amendment would take industrial hemp off the controlled substances list if it meets the following classification: “The term ‘industrial hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” The amendment would allow industrial farming of hemp “if a person grows or processes Cannabis sativa L. for purposes of making industrial hemp in accordance with State law.” Most states have passed laws legalizing industrial hemp, in whole or in part, but federal prohibitions have kept the plant from legal cultivation.

However, the annual agricultural authorization bill subsequently went down to defeat in the House by a vote of 195 to 234. Sponsors of the amendment hope that it will be revised in conference committee, where it has strong support from both Kentucky senators, Rand Paul and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The legislation, originally offered as the bill H.R. 525, was sponsored by Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who represent states where voters recently considered ballot measures that legalized marijuana within their states, a fact King pointed out in House floor debate. Voters in Colorado and Washington approved the ballot measures in 2012, but voters in Oregon rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized cultivation of marijuana.

Recent polls have indicated that most Americans want legalization of marijuana, as well as hemp. Though support for marijuana legalization is by only a slim majority of the public, there’s a larger divide among age groups, with younger voters more heavily favoring legalization.

None of the debate on the amendment related to the constitutional authority of Congress to ban substances. Nor did any congressman reference the first time Congress banned a drug — alcohol. At that time, Congress followed proper constitutional protocol to amend the U.S. Constitution first, giving it the legitimate power to ban alcohol (i.e., the 18th Amendment). No comparable constitutional amendment has been passed for hemp, marijuana, raw milk, or any other substance prohibited by the federal government.

Doing study on coal-hemp, calls on changes in fed law

January 31, 2013

Patriot Energy joins state hemp association

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer

Could industrial hemp be useful in reducing coal emissions and reclaiming mined coal fields in Kentucky?

And could the reclaiming bring a hike in southeastern and eastern Kentucky’s economy?

A bioenergy company with roots in the Tri-County thinks so.

Patriot Bioenergy Corporation recently became the first corporate member of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, a Lexington-based organization that wants to make industrial hemp legal in the state — something that hasn’t been done since it was last grown during World War II as part of the nation’s war effort at home.
Patriot’s CEO Roger Ford said Wednesday industrial hemp can be grown in a variety of areas, including hillsides, which would complement the growing of energy beets for a biofuel on the company’s energy facilities, including those in the Williamsburg-Whitley County area.

“The optimal planting method seeds the plants closely together, which encourages the stalks of the plant to grow while the leaves grow smaller, increasing per-acre yields. That would work hand-in-hand with our Whitley County facilities. The industrial hemp seed can be processed into bio-diesel while the stalks are a cellulosic material, which is useful for a variety of things.”
Ford added Patriot’s focus would be to produce a biomass-coal blend from hemp and coal that would be what he called “torrified” — an energy process producing feedstock for energy production.

“The overall economic impact would be to diversify and improve the local economy by the production of industrial hemp. It would help agriculture and our project in particular.”
Patriot, based in Pikeville, is discussing the potential for using industrial hemp with coal companies. Ford said testing would be done at a laboratory in Magoffin County, with Patriot funding the research, and the results expected to be released in the middle of March. 
“We are currently conducting a feasibility study that will blend coal and hemp to measure the BTU values, as well as measure the emissions’ reclamation potential to hemp growing forward.”

 

Ford also brought up the possibility industrial hemp in Kentucky could also be used for energy and horse bedding at horse farms in the state and around the nation. A consultant with Ford on hemp research told Business Lexington magazine earlier this week the use of hemp as horse bedding is “straightforward and has been done.”

“The next step, conversion of the hemp-manure mixture to methane, is certainly viable, has been optimized ad published as recently as 2012 by a Finnish group. … Besides material for co-combustion with coal, we can produce biodiesel from the seed oil, which can be used as is or converted to jet fuel. Likewise, the whole plant can be used as a feedstock for fermentation of ethanol or longer chain fuels — gasoline, jet fuel, the list goes on — with huge markets associated. The ability to capture even small percentages of markets on this scale would be a tremendous boost to Kentucky,” Dr. Katherine Andrews told the magazine.

The state’s Commissioner of Agriculture, James Comer, wholeheartedly supports bringing industrial hemp back to Kentucky. Ford stated Patriot is working with Comer and the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission on the issue. He’s also encouraged with support in Frankfort and Washington from both political parties.

“Thus far, we’re encouraged with the bi-partisan support in Kentucky. Senator Sara Beth Gregory is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and we are hopeful that the committee will vote to send SB (Senate Bill) 50 to the full Senate in the next couple of weeks. … In addition, we are encouraged by the strong support from Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Barr, Congressman Yarmuth and Congressman Massie. We would hope that Senator McConnell and Congressman Rogers would weigh in and support this issue. Their leadership is needed in Washington and the people of Kentucky need a change in federal law so businesses and farmers can produce this crop and create jobs,” said Ford.
In Frankfort, Senate Bill 50 provides procedures that would allow and facilitate cultivating industrial hemp, if there is a similar change in Washington. While it’s not a drug like marijuana, federal law still says hemp is illegal.

According to an Associated Press story on Monday, Senator Paul Hornback (R – Shelbyville), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, plans to bring the hemp bill up for a vote in his committee at a Feb. 11 hearing. U. S. Senator Paul is scheduled to appear in Frankfort and support the measure.

Ford noted that industrial hemp and marijuana cross-pollinates and diminishes the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in marijuana.
“In short, it ruins the narcotic value of marijuana. It would be similar to planting field corn and sweet corn in the same field. For law enforcement to object to the production of industrial hemp on the basis that it poses a risk to narcotics enforcement is disingenuous at best. The fact is the cross-pollination would aid in the eradication of marijuana. Businesses or farmers would not seek to plant industrial hemp and marijuana in the same field, because that would obviously be counterproductive,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article

Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Are Dropping Faster Than Atmospheric Carbon Levels Are Rising

Posted by Good German on January 27, 2013

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/Earth6391.jpg/128px-Earth6391.jpg

 

Forget rising temperatures and bigger storms, this is the big problem that neither side of the mainstream debate over environmental destruction is talking about.  Peter Tatchell reported for the Guardian back in 2008:

The rise in carbon dioxide emissions is big news. It is prompting action to reverse global warming. But little or no attention is being paid to the long-term fall in oxygen concentrations and its knock-on effects.

Compared to prehistoric times, the level of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere has declined by over a third and in polluted cities the decline may be more than 50%. This change in the makeup of the air we breathe has potentially serious implications for our health. Indeed, it could ultimately threaten the survival of human life on earth, according to Roddy Newman, who is drafting a new book, The Oxygen Crisis.

I am not a scientist, but this seems a reasonable concern. It is a possibility that we should examine and assess. So, what’s the evidence?

Around 10,000 years ago, the planet’s forest cover was at least twice what it is today, which means that forests are now emitting only half the amount of oxygen.

Desertification and deforestation are rapidly accelerating this long-term loss of oxygen sources.

The story at sea is much the same. Nasa reports that in the north Pacific ocean oxygen-producing phytoplankton concentrations are 30% lower today, compared to the 1980s. This is a huge drop in just three decades.

Moreover, the UN environment programme confirmed in 2004 that there were nearly 150 “dead zones” in the world’s oceans where discharged sewage and industrial waste, farm fertiliser run-off and other pollutants have reduced oxygen levels to such an extent that most or all sea creatures can no longer live there. This oxygen starvation is reducing regional fish stocks and diminishing the food supplies of populations that are dependent on fishing. It also causes genetic mutations and hormonal changes that can affect the reproductive capacity of sea life, which could further diminish global fish supplies.

Professor Robert Berner of Yale University has researched oxygen levels in prehistoric times by chemically analysing air bubbles trapped in fossilised tree amber. He suggests that humans breathed a much more oxygen-rich air 10,000 years ago.

Further back, the oxygen levels were even greater. Robert Sloan has listed the percentage of oxygen in samples of dinosaur-era amber as: 28% (130m years ago), 29% (115m years ago), 35% (95m years ago), 33% (88m years ago), 35% (75m years ago), 35% (70m years ago), 35% (68m years ago), 31% (65.2m years ago), and 29% (65m years ago).

Professor Ian Plimer of Adelaide University and Professor Jon Harrison of the University of Arizona concur. Like most other scientists they accept that oxygen levels in the atmosphere in prehistoric times averaged around 30% to 35%, compared to only 21% today – and that the levels are even less in densely populated, polluted city centres and industrial complexes, perhaps only 15 % or lower.

Much of this recent, accelerated change is down to human activity, notably the industrial revolution and the burning of fossil fuels. The Professor of Geological Sciences at Notre Dame University in Indiana, J Keith Rigby, was quoted in 1993-1994 as saying:

In the 20th century, humanity has pumped increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning the carbon stored in coal, petroleum and natural gas. In the process, we’ve also been consuming oxygen and destroying plant life – cutting down forests at an alarming rate and thereby short-circuiting the cycle’s natural rebound. We’re artificially slowing down one process and speeding up another, forcing a change in the atmosphere.

Very interesting. But does this decline in oxygen matter? Are there any practical consequences that we ought to be concerned about? What is the effect of lower oxygen levels on the human body? Does it disrupt and impair our immune systems and therefore make us more prone to cancer and degenerative diseases?

The effects of long term oxygen deprivation on the brain, called cerebral hypoxia, are known and some sound reminiscent of the general rise of stupidity in the industrialized world.

Professor Ervin Laszlo (quoted in Tatchell’s article) writes:

Evidence from prehistoric times indicates that the oxygen content of pristine nature was above the 21% of total volume that it is today. It has decreased in recent times due mainly to the burning of coal in the middle of the last century. Currently the oxygen content of the Earth’s atmosphere dips to 19% over impacted areas, and it is down to 12 to 17% over the major cities. At these levels it is difficult for people to get sufficient oxygen to maintain bodily health: it takes a proper intake of oxygen to keep body cells and organs, and the entire immune system, functioning at full efficiency. At the levels we have reached today cancers and other degenerative diseases are likely to develop. And at 6 to 7% life can no longer be sustained.

More specific details regarding the drop in atmospheric oxygen can be found here.

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Cancer of Corruption, Seeds of Destruction: The Monsanto GMO Whitewash

By F. William Engdahl

Global Research, December 19, 2012

Because of the power vested in the EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, with command over a space encompassing 27 nations with more than 500 million citizens and the largest nominal world gross domestic product (GDP) of 18 trillion US dollars, it’s perhaps no surprise in this era of moral promiscuity that powerful private lobby groups such as the tobacco industry, the drug lobby, the agribusiness lobby and countless others spend enormous sums of money and other favors—legal and sometimes illegal—to influence policy decisions of the EU Commission.

This revolving door of corrupt ties between powerful private industry lobby groups and the EU Commission was in full view recently with the ruling of the European Food Safety Administration (EFSA) trying to discredit serious scientific tests about the deadly effects of a variety of Monsanto GMO corn.

Cancer of Corruption

In September 2012, Food and Chemical Toxicology, a serious international scientific journal, released a study by a team of scientists at France’s Caen University led by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini. Before publication the Seralini study had been reviewed over a four-month period by a qualified group of scientific peers for its methodology and was deemed publishable.

It was no amateur undertaking. The scientists at Caen made carefully-documented results of tests on a group of 200 rats over a two-year life span, basically with one group of non-GMO fed rats, a so-called control group, and the other a group of GMO-fed rats.

Significantly, following a long but finally successful legal battle to force Monsanto to release the details of its own study of the safety of its own NK603 maize (corn), Seralini and colleagues reproduced a 2004 Monsanto study published in the same journal and used by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for its 2009 positive evaluation of NK603.

Seralini’s group based their experiment on the same protocol as the Monsanto study but, critically, were testing more parameters more frequently. And the rats were studied for much longer—their full two year average life-time instead of just 90 days in the Monsanto study. The long time span proved critical. The first tumors only appeared 4 to7 months into the study. In industry’s earlier 90-day study on the same GMO maize Monsanto NK603, signs of toxicity were seen but were dismissed as “not biologically meaningful” by industry and EFSA alike. It seems they were indeed very biologically meaningful.

The study was also done with the highest number of rats ever measured in a standard GMO diet study. They tested also “for the first time 3 doses (rather than two in the usual 90 day long protocols) of the Roundup-tolerant NK603 GMO maize alone, the GMO maize treated with Roundup, and Roundup alone at very low environmentally relevant doses starting below the range of levels permitted by regulatory authorities in drinking water and in GM feed.” [1]

Their findings were more than alarming. The Seralini study concluded, “In females, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs…Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls; the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3–2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls…” [2]

Four times meant four hundred percent more large tumors in GMO fed rats than in normally fed ones of the control group. Because rats are mammals, their systems should react to chemicals or, in this case GMO corn treated with Monsanto Roundup chemical herbicide, in a similar way to those of a human test subject. [3]

seeds_2.jpgIn their study the Seralini group further reported, “By the beginning of the 24th month, 50–80% of female animals had developed tumors in all treated groups, with up to 3 tumors per animal, whereas only 30% of controls [non-GMO-fed—w.e.] were affected. The Roundup treatment groups showed the greatest rates of tumor incidence with 80% of animals affected with up to 3 tumors for one female, in each group.” [4]

Such alarming results had not yet become evident in the first 90 days, the length of most all Monsanto and agrichemical industry tests to date, a clear demonstration of how important it was to conduct longer-term tests and apparently why the industry avoided the longer tests.

Seralini and associates continued to document their alarming findings: “We observed a strikingly marked induction of mammary tumors by R (Roundup) alone, a major formulated pesticide, even at the very lowest dose administered. R has been shown to disrupt aromatase which synthesizes estrogens (Richard et al., 2005), but to also interfere with estrogen and androgen receptors in cells (Gasnier et al., 2009). In addition, R appears to be a sex endocrine disruptor in vivo, also in males (Romano et al., 2010). Sex steroids are also modified in treated rats. These hormone-dependent phenomena are confirmed by enhanced pituitary dysfunction in treated females.” [5]

Roundup herbicide, by terms of the license contract with Monsanto, must be used on Monsanto GMO seeds. The seeds are in fact genetically “modified” only to resist the weed-killing effect of Monsanto’s own Roundup, the world’s largest-selling weed-killer.

In plain language, as another scientific study led by Prof. Seralini noted, “GMO plants have been modified to contain pesticides, either through herbicide tolerance or by producing insecticides, or both, and could therefore be considered as ‘pesticide plants’” [6]

Further, “Roundup Ready crops [such as Monsanto NK603 maize-w.e.] have been modified in order to become insensitive to glyphosate. This chemical, together with adjuvants in formulations, constitutes a potent herbicide. It has been used for many years as a weed killer…GMO plants exposed to glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup…can even accumulate Roundup residues throughout their life…Glyphosate and its main metabolite AMPA (with its own toxicity) are found in GMOs on a regular and regulatory basis. Therefore, such residues are absorbed by people eating most GMO plants (as around 80% of these plants are Roundup tolerant).” [7]

Suspiciously enough, Monsanto had repeatedly refused scientific requests to publish the exact chemicals used in its Roundup aside from one—glyphosate. They argued that it was a “trade secret.” Independent analyses by scientists indicated, however, that the combination of glyphosate with Monsanto’s “mystery” added chemicals created a highly toxic cocktail that was shown to toxically affect human embryo cells in doses far lower than used in agriculture.[8]

Mammary tumors that developed in rats fed GMO corn and/or low levels of Roundup. From the paper “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize,” published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.

What was more than alarming in the context of Seralini’s first long-term independent study of the effects of a GMO diet on rats was that it took place some twenty years after US President George H.W. Bush gave the commercial release of GMO seeds the green light and mandated no government safety tests before release. Bush did so following a closed-door meeting with top officials of Monsanto Corporation, the world’s largest GMO concern.

The US President decreed then that GMO seeds were to be permitted in the United States with not one single independent precautionary government test to determine if they were safe for human or animal consumption. It became known as the Doctrine of Substantial Equivalence. The EU Commission dutifully aped the US Substantial Equivalence Doctrine of “hear no bad effects, see no bad effects…hear no evil, see no evil.”

EFSA ‘science’ exposed

What the Seralini study has set off has been the scientific equivalent of a thermonuclear explosion. It exposed the fact that the EU “scientific” controls on GMO were nothing other than accepting without question the tests given them by the GMO companies themselves. As far as the irresponsible bureaucrats of the EU Commission were concerned, when it came to GMO, the Monsanto fox could indeed “guard the hen house.”

Suddenly, with worldwide attention to the new Seralini results, clearly the EU Commission and its EFSA was under fire as never in their history and how they reacted was worthy of a bad copy of an Agatha Christie murder novel. Only it was no novel but a real-life conspiracy that  evidently involved some form of collusion between Monsanto and the GMO agrichemical cartel, EU commissioners, the GMO panel members of EFSA, complacent major media and several member governments of the EU, including Spain and Holland.

The Brussels EU scientific food regulatory organization, EFSA, was under the gun from the damning results of the long-term Seralini study. EFSA had recommended approval of Monsanto’s NK603 Roundup-tolerant maize in 2009 without first conducting or insuring any independent testing. They admitted in their official journal that they relied on “information supplied by the applicant (Monsanto), the scientific comments submitted by Member States and the report of the Spanish Competent Authority and its Biosafety Commission.” EFSA also admitted that the Monsanto tests on rats were for only 90 days. Seralini’s group noted that the massive toxic effects and deaths of GMO-fed rats took place well after 90 days, a reason why longer-term studied were obviously warranted. [9]

The Spanish report cited by EFSA was itself hardly convincing and was anything but independent. It stated, “according to the current state of scientific knowledge and after examining the existing information and data provided by the Monsanto Company, the Spanish Commission on Biosafety could give a favorable opinion to the commercialization in the EU of maize NK603…” And the scientific comments submitted by Member States seemed to include Spain and Holland which applied to license the Monsanto seed in the first place. [10]

The EFSA concluded at the time of its approval in 2009 that, “the molecular data provided [by Monsanto-w.e.] are sufficient and do not raise a safety concern.” The Brussels scientific panel further declared amid scientific-sounding verbiage that, “The EFSA GMO Panel is of the opinion that maize NK603 is as safe as conventional maize. Maize NK603 and derived products are unlikely to have any adverse effect on human and animal health in the context of the intended uses.” [11]

Now, in September 2012, three years after the commercial introduction of Monsanto GMO maize in the EU, Seralini showed, complete with ghastly photos, that Monsanto’s GMO maize demonstrably caused severe rates of cancerous tumors and early death in rats.

The EU Commission in Brussels had guidelines that were as revealing for what they did not say as for what they did say about what precautions are taken to insure public health and safety from exposure to GMO plants and their paired toxic herbicides: “Toxicological assessments on test animals are not explicitly required for the approval of a new food in the EU or the US. Independent experts have decided that in some cases, chemical analyses of the food’s makeup are enough to indicate that the new GMO is substantially equivalent to its traditional counterpart…In recent years, biotech companies have tested their transgenic products (maize, soy, tomato) before introducing them to the market on several different animals over the course of up to 90 days. Negative effects have not yet been observed.” [12]

Because of US Government arm-twisting and of the obviously powerful lobby power of the Monsanto-led GMO agrichemical lobby in the US and EU, as of the time of the Seralini study, no regulatory authority in the world had  requested mandatory chronic animal feeding studies to be performed for edible GMOs and formulated pesticides. The only studies available were a tiny handful of 90 day rat feeding trials carried out by the biotech industry and no studies longer than that, apparently on the principle that conflict of interest in an area as important as the safety of food should not be taken as a serious matter.

Revealingly, the EU stated publicly their seemingly reassuring policy: “GMO critics claim that feeding studies with authorized GMOs have revealed negative health effects. Such claims have not been based on peer-reviewed, scientifically accepted evaluations. If reliable, scientific studies were to indicate any type of health risk, the respective GMO would not receive authorization.” [13] That was the EU official line until the 2012 Seralini bomb exploded in their faces.

EU Commission deception, coverup

Seeds of DestructionThe September 2012 Seralini study was peer-reviewed, and it was published in a highly respected international scientific journal after such review. What was the response of the EU Commission and the EFSA? Nothing short of fraudulent deception and coverup of their corruption by the Monsanto GMO lobby.

On November 28, 2012, only a few weeks after the study was published, EFSA in Brussels issued a press release with the following conclusion: “Serious defects in the design and methodology of a paper by Séralini et al. mean it does not meet acceptable scientific standards and there is no need to re-examine previous safety evaluations of genetically modified maize NK603.”   Per Bergman, who led EFSA’s work, said: “EFSA’s analysis has shown that deficiencies in the Séralini et al. paper mean it is of insufficient scientific quality for risk assessment. We believe the completion of this evaluation process has brought clarity to the issue.” [14] Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

At the very minimum, the precautionary principle in instances involving even the potential for grave damage to the human population would mandate that the EU Commission and its EFSA should order immediate further serious, independent long-term studies to prove or disprove the results of the Seralini tests. That refusal to re-examine its earlier decision to approve Monsanto GMO maize, no matter what flaws might or might not have been in the Seralini study, suggested the EFSA might be trying to cover for the GMO agrichemical lobby at the very least.

Instead of clarity, the EFSA statement once more fed EFSA critics who had long argued that the scientists on EFSA’s GMO Panel had blatant conflicts of interest with the very GMO lobby they were supposed to regulate. Corporate Europe Observer, an independent EU corporate watchdog group noted about the EFSA response, “EFSA failed to properly and transparently appoint a panel of scientists beyond any suspicion of conflict of interests; and it failed to appreciate that meeting with Europe’s largest biotech industry lobby group to discuss GMO risk assessment guidelines in the very middle of a EU review undermines its credibility.” [15]

More damaging for the shoddy EFSA coverup on behalf of Monsanto was the fact that over half of the scientists involved in the GMO panel which positively reviewed the Monsanto’s study for GMO maize in 2009, leading to its EU-wide authorization, had conflicts of interests with the biotech industry.[16]

A report by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) found that more than half of the GMO panel experts who signed the approval had conflicts of interest.

The conflicts ranged from receiving research funding from the biotech industry, being a member or collaborator in a pro-biotech industry association, to writing or reviewing industry-sponsored publications. Some conflicts revealed a conflict of scientific interests, with some panel members involved in working on the creation of transgenic plants – including potatoes – with antibiotic-resistant marker genes – including nptII.[17]

Secondly, although none of EFSA’s GMO panel members were medical experts in the use of antibiotics in human medicine, they decided that neomycin and kanamycin were antibiotics with “no or only minor therapeutic relevance”. The World Health Organisation (WHO) classified these antibiotics as “critically important” in 2005.

Dutch scientist Harry Kuiper, chair of the EFSA GMO panel who had close links to the biotech industry, played a key role in the framing of this disputed key scientific advice.

Kuiper himself is an open advocate of less controls on GMO seed proliferation in the EU. He has led the EFSA GMO panel since 2003, during which time EFSA went from no GMO approvals to 38 GMO seeds approved for human consumption. The criteria for approval were developed by Kuiper for EFSA in cooperation with Monsanto and the GMO industry and a Monsanto pseudo-scientific front group called ILSI, the Washington-based International Life Sciences Institute, between 2001 and 2003. The board of the noble-sounding ILSI in 2011 was comprised of senior people from Monsanto, ADM (one of the world’s biggest purveyors of GMO soybeans and corn), Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods (major proponent of GMO in foods) and Nestle, another giant GMO food industry user. [18]

One critic of the blatant conflict of interest in having the top EU food safety regulator in bed with the industry whose practices he is mandated to objectively assess noted, “During that period, Harry Kuiper and Gijes Kleter (both members of the EFSA GMO Panel) were active within the ILSI Task Force as experts and as authors of the relevant scientific publications. It is a scandal that Kuiper has remained as Chair of EFSA’s GMO Panel since 2003, and that he is still Chair in spite of the massive criticism directed at the Panel from NGOs and even from the Commission and EU member states.” [19]

The brazen conflicts of interest between Monsanto and the agribusiness lobby and the EFSA went further. In May 2012 Professor Diána Bánáti was forced to resign as Chairman of the EFSA Management Board when it was learned she planned to take up a professional position at the Monsanto-backed International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) in Washington. The same Diána Bánáti had been forced to resign, not as EFSA chairman but as a simultaneous Board Member of ILSI in 2010. Public interest groups made calls for her to resign from EFSA but to no avail. [20] At ILSI she will be able to use expertise and contacts gained from working for the EFSA to help GMO companies like Monsanto and other food industry companies influence policy across the world.

In sum, it came as no surprise to those familiar with the notorious “revolving door” in Brussels between the GMO industry and the regulatory body entrusted with making independent decisions on the risks of GMO in the EU, that EFSA condemned the Seralini study results. Most telling however of the brazen pro-GMO industry bias of EFSA’s GMO Panel members was the fact that the final ruling statement by the EFSA GMO Panel reviewing Seralini’s results announced, “Serious defects in the design and methodology of a paper by Séralini et al. mean it does not meet acceptable scientific standards and there is no need to re-examine previous safety evaluations of genetically modified maize NK603.” [21]

The EFSA is not the only source of blatant and reckless pro-GMO sentiment in Brussels. Some weeks before release of the embarrassing Seralini study, Anne Glover, chief scientific adviser of the EU Commission, said in an interview on 24 July, 2012, “There is no substantiated case of any adverse impact on human health, animal health or environmental health, so that’s pretty robust evidence, and I would be confident in saying that there is no more risk in eating GMO food than eating conventionally farmed food.” She added that the precautionary principle also no longer applies, which means the EU should not err on the side of caution on the approval of GMOs.[22]

Were there any pretense of scientific responsibility in the clearly corrupt EFSA panel, or Professor Glover’s office, they would have immediately called for multiple, independent similar long-term rat studies to confirm or disprove the Seralini results. They and the Monsanto GMO lobby influencing them clearly had no desire to do anything but try to slander the Seralini group with vague accusations and hope the obedient international media would take the headline and close the embarrassing story. It was typical of the entire history of the spread of patented GMO seeds and paired toxic herbicides like Roundup.

Notes:

[1] Seralini et al., Op. Cit.

[2] Ibid.

[3] WiseGeek, Why are Rats used in Animal Testing?, accessed in http://www.wisegeek.org/why-are-rats-used-in-animal-testing.htm

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Gilles-Eric Seralini et al, Genetically modified crops safety assessments: present limits and possible improvements, Environmental Sciences Europe 2011, 23:10, accessed in http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Aris, A., Leblanc, S., Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada, Reproductive Toxicology, 2011 May;31(4):528-33. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

[9] European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms on applications (EFSA-GMO-NL-2005-22 and EFSA-GMO-RX-NK603) for the placing on the market of the genetically modified glyphosate tolerant maize NK603 for cultivation, food and feed uses and import and processing, and for renewal of the authorisation of maize NK603 as existing product, The EFSA Journal (2009) 1137, 1-50.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] GMO-Kompass, Food Safety Evaluation–Evaluating Safety: A Major Undertaking, February 15, 2006, accessed in http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/safety/human_health/41.evaluation_safety_gm_food_major_undertaking.html

[13] Ibid.

[14] EFSA, Séralini et al. study conclusions not supported by data, says EU risk assessment community, EFSA Press Release, 28 November 2012, accessed in http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/121128.htm

[15] Corporate Europe Observatory, Op. Cit.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Corporate Europe Observatory,  Approving the GM potato: conflicts of interest, flawed science and fierce lobbying, CorporateEurope.org, November 7, 2011, accessed in http://corporateeurope.org/publications/approving-gm-potato-conflicts-in…

[18] ILSI, 2011 Annual Report, Board of Trustees, accessed in http://www.ilsi.org/Documents/ILSI_AR2011_rFinal.pdf

[19] Tore B. Krudtaa, Harry Kuiper Chair of EFSA GMO panel – Another regulator in the business of deregulation?, Monsanto.No, 22 September 2011, accessed in http://www.monsanto.no/index.php/en/environment/gmo/gmo-news/166-harry-kuiper-chair-of-efsa-gmo-panel-another-regulator-in-the-business-of-deregulation

[20] EFSA, FAQ on the resignation of Diana Banati as member and Chair of EFSA´s Management Board, accessed in  http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/faqs/faqresignationdianabanati.htm

[21] EFSA, Séralini et al. study conclusions not supported by data, says EU risk assessment community, EFSA Press Release, 28 November 2012, accessed in http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/121128.htm.

[22] EurAktiv.com, GMOs: “Anne Glover, you are wrong,” 27 July 2012, accessed in http://www.euractiv.com/cap/gmos-anne-glover-wrong-analysis-514185

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  • seeds_2.jpg
Seeds of Destruction: Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation
Author Name:
F. William Engdahl
ISBN Number:
978-0-937147-2-2
Year:
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Pages:
341 pages with complete index
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KELLY: Hemp vs. oil: How corporate & gov’t collusion perverted the free market

Travis Kelly

 

mmj2

Since the days of Cain and Abel, hemp has been one of the world’s largest and most versatile crops, used to make textiles, paint, soap, rope, building materials, fuel oil, protein supplements, and medicines. An acre of hemp produces far more paper than an acre of trees — and you would have to smoke an acre of it to get high, as industrial hemp, though similar in appearance to its close cousin, marijuana (cannabis), contains almost no THC.
Today, in only one industrialized nation in the world, is the cultivation of hemp illegal. You guessed it: Ours truly. And it makes as much sense as outlawing ALL mushrooms because some of them are psychoactive or poisonous. How this travesty came about in 1937 is a lesson in the collusion of big corporations with big government and big media to pervert the free market and stymie competition.
In the early 1930s, Henry Ford’s experimental biomass plant in Michigan extracted methanol, charcoal, tar pitch, and other distillates from hemp, demonstrating that it was an alternative to fossil fuels as an energy source, as well as a competitor to other petrochemical products then being introduced by the DuPont corporation, DuPont had a powerful ally in Washington — Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon, a banker who also had a controlling interest in the Gulf Oil Corporation.
Mellon appointed his loyal nephew, Harry Anslinger, as chief of the new Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1932. Anslinger promptly began lobbying Congress to outlaw “marihuana,” using a series of hysterical propaganda stories run by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst — that era’s Rupert Murdoch. Hearst owned vast timber lands in the Northwest that supplied the wood pulp for most of the American newspaper industry; DuPont chemicals were used to process that pulp. The “reefer madness” scare featured lurid, racist stories of “Mexicans and Negroes” going on murderous rampages while stoned; innocent white women seduced into ruin; teenagers going instantly insane after a puff; and other fearmongering fictions.
Anslinger told Congress that hemp — ALL hemp, whether smokable or not — was “entirely the Monster Hyde, the harmful effects of which cannot be measured.” The Marijuana Tax Act was rammed through Congress in secret committees controlled by DuPont allies. That same year, 1937, DuPont filed its patent on Nylon, which took over the textile and cordage markets that had been dominated by hemp. DuPont also supplied GM, which produced more than half of all American cars, with its petrochemical paints, varnishes, plastics and rubber, all of which could have been produced equally well from hemp. But no more. The competition had been criminalized.
The prohibition was suspended during WWII, with a Hemp for Victory campaign, then reinstated in 1955. Since then, our closest cousins, England, Australia and Canada (1998), have all legalized industrial hemp. China is the world’s number-one producer, exporting most of it to us — the world’s leading hemp importer — exacerbating our trade imbalance.
As global oil supplies continue to decline versus growing demand, and become harder to extract and import due to geological and political factors, domestic hemp could easily replace many petrochemical products with significant advantages.
Hemp is a renewable resource, one of the fastest growing and most productive plants on earth, yielding four crops and 25 tons of dry matter per hectare per year. It requires few pesticides and no herbicides. It is now being used as a building material, Hempcrete, and, combined with fiberglass and flax, to make body panels for automobiles. It has also proved excellent as a “mop crop” for cleaning up contaminated soil. In all these cases, hemp is carbon neutral or even carbon negative, scrubbing and sequestering CO2 from our warming atmosphere.
Several states have licensed the growing of industrial hemp — California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia — but have not yet grown a single plant due to continued resistance by the DEA, who is still stuck in 1930s “reefer madness” paranoia, despite now overwhelming evidence that hemp’s cousin, marijuana, is far less harmful than alcohol for both health and public safety. To grow industrial hemp, the DEA must issue a permit under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act — and it never does.
Colorado can join that roster on Nov. 6 by voting for Amendment 64. Eventually, we will budge the DEA from its archaic stupidity, end the virtual dictatorship of the petrochemical industry, and safeguard our national security by again realizing Thomas Jefferson’s maxim: “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.”
Travis Kelly is a web/graphic designer, writer and cartoonist in Grand Junction. See his work or contact him at www.traviskelly.com.

CONTINUE READING…

AFFIDAVIT OF FACT: HEMP

 RadicalJusticeMan

Monday, November 8, 2010

AFFIDAVIT OF FACT
AND NOTICE OF INTENT AND CLAIM OF RIGHT
TO CULTIVATE, POSSESS, USE, TRANSPORT AND DISTRIBUTE HEMP

Conrad Justice Kiczenski, herein known as Affiant, being first duly sworn upon oath does hereby declare and affirm the following facts:

1. You are hereby given lawful notice that the plant called Hemp (Cannabis genus) is a vital natural-resource for food, clothing, medicine, fuel, and paper; a religious sacrament, as well as being a “Strategic and Critical Material” for “military”, “essential civilian”, and “industrial” purposes as documented in Exhibits A, B, C, D, E, & F attached hereto, and as such is “accessible” and “protected” under International Law cited herein.
2. You are hereby given lawful notice of Affiants intent to cultivate, possess, use, distribute and transport the plant known as Hemp (Cannabis genus).
3. Affiant claims the right to carry out the foregoing intent under sanction of the following constitutionally ratified treaties (Pursuant to U.S. Const. Art. VI. Sec. 2):
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 11, Sections 1 & 2, Dec. 16, 1966,

International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Article 12, Section 1, Dec. 16, 1966, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cescr.htm
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 18, Section 1, Dec. 16, 1966, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm


United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide, Article II (c), Dec. 9, 1948, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/genocide.htm
4. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in Article 11, Sections 1 & 2, states:
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right…
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programs, which are needed:
(a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources;
(b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.
4a. The interpretation for the right to adequate food, as given by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in General Comment Number 12 states:
The right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child…has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement.
The Committee considers that the core content of the right to adequate food implies:
The availability of food in a quantity and quality sufficient to satisfy the dietary needs of individuals…Dietary needs implies that the diet as a whole contains a mix of nutrients for physical and mental growth, development and maintenance…Availability refers to the possibilities…for feeding oneself directly from productive land or other natural resources…
Violations of the right to food can occur through…adoption of legislation or policies which are manifestly incompatible with pre-existing legal obligations relating to the right to food; SEE: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/%28Symbol%29/3d02758c707031d58025677f003b73b9?Opendocument
4b. Affiant submit’s the following Exhibits as sufficient supporting evidence that Hemp qualifies as an “adequate food resource” and is therefore “accessible” under Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights:
Pursuant to Presidential Executive Order 12919, the “NATIONAL DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL RESOURCES PREPAREDNESS” order, Section 901 (e) & (l), attached hereto as Exhibit A, “Hemp” is defined as a “food resource” and qualifies as a ‘‘Strategic and Critical Material’’.
According to an excerpt from “Hempseed Nutrition” by Lynn Osburn, attached hereto as Exhibit B, a scientific analysis of hemp seed nutrition reveals that “Cannabis hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. No other single plant source provides complete protein in such an easily digestible form, nor has the oils essential to life in as perfect a ratio for human health and vitality. Hempseed is the highest of any plant in essential fatty acids.”.
4c. Affiant submit’s the following Exhibits as sufficient supporting evidence that Hemp qualifies as an adequate resource for “clothing”, “military”, “essential civilian” and “industrial” purposes, as well as other necessary resources for attaining an “adequate standard of living” including “paper” and biomass for “fuel” and is therefore further “accessible” under Article 11, Section 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights:
The transcript of a 1942 USDA film entitled “Hemp for Victory”, attached hereto as Exhibit C, states that “For thousands of years… this plant had been grown for cordage and cloth… For the sailor, no less than the hangman, hemp was indispensable…Indeed the very word canvas comes from the Arabic word for hemp…All such plants will presently be turning out products spun from American-grown hemp: twine of various kinds for tying and upholsters work; rope for marine rigging and towing; for hay forks, derricks, and heavy duty tackle; light duty fire hose; thread for shoes for millions of American soldiers; and parachute webbing for our paratroopers…hemp for mooring ships; hemp for tow lines; hemp for tackle and gear; hemp for countless naval uses both on ship and shore. ”.
According to a Popular Mechanics Magazine article, VOL. 69 February, 1938 NO. 2, pp. 238-240, entitled “NEW BILLION-DOLLAR CROP”, attached hereto as Exhibit D, states that “Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody “hurds” remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane…The natural materials in hemp make it an economical source of pulp for any grade of paper manufactured, and the high percentage of alpha cellulose promises an unlimited supply of raw material for the thousands of cellulose products our chemists have developed…All of these products, now imported, can be produced from home- grown hemp. Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope, overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed linen and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on American farms. ”.
According to an Excerpt from “Energy Farming in America,” by Lynn Osburn, attached hereto as Exhibit E, “BIOMASS CONVERSION to fuel has proven economically feasible, first in laboratory tests and by continuous operation of pilot plants in field tests since 1973. HEMP IS THE NUMBER ONE biomass producer on planet earth: 10 tons per acre in approximately four months.”
5. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in Article 12, Section 1, states:
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

5a. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in their General Comment Number 14, interprets the right to health to mean the following:
The right to health contains both freedoms and entitlements. The freedoms include the right to control one’s health and body… and the right to be free from interference… The entitlements include the right to a system of health protection which provides equality of opportunity for people to enjoy the highest attainable level of health… The Committee considers that indigenous peoples have the right to specific measures to improve their access to health services and care. These health services should be culturally appropriate, taking into account traditional preventive care, healing practices and medicines. States should provide resources for indigenous peoples to design, deliver and control such services so that they may enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals necessary to the full enjoyment of health of indigenous peoples should also be protected… In this respect, the Committee considers that development-related activities that lead to the displacement of indigenous peoples against their will from their traditional territories and environment, denying them their sources of nutrition and breaking their symbiotic relationship with their lands, has a deleterious effect on their health. By virtue of article 2.2 and article 3, the Covenant proscribes any discrimination in access to health care and underlying determinants of health, as well as to means and entitlements for their procurement. SEE: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/%28symbol%29/E.C.12.2000.4.En
5b. Affiant submits the following Exhibit as sufficient supporting evidence that Hemp qualifies as a “traditional healing practice“, “medicine“ and “vital medicinal plant” that is “necessary to the full enjoyment of health” and therefore is “accessible” and “protected” under Article 12, Section 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights:
Lester Grinspoon, M.D. and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, in an article entitled “History of Cannabis as a Medicine” published on August 16, 2005, attached hereto as Exhibit F, documents the historical, technical and scientific knowledge of Cannabis’s extensive use as a medicine. Grinspoon quotes DEA Administrative law Judge Francis L. Young in a decision rendered on September 6, 1988, which states: “marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man…”
6. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in Article 18, Section 1, states:
Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

6a. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, in their General Comment Number 22, interprets the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion to mean the following:
The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (which includes the freedom to hold beliefs) in article 18.1 is far-reaching and profound;
Article 18 is not limited in its application to traditional religions or to religions and beliefs with institutional characteristics or practices analogous to those of traditional religions. The Committee therefore views with concern any tendency to discriminate against any religion or belief for any reason, including the fact that they are newly established, or represent religious minorities that may be the subject of hostility on the part of a predominant religious community…
The freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching encompasses a broad range of acts. The concept of worship extends to ritual and ceremonial acts giving direct expression to belief, as well as various practices integral to such acts, including the building of places of worship, the use of ritual formulae and objects, also such customs as the observance of dietary regulations, the wearing of distinctive clothing or headcoverings, and participation in rituals associated with certain stages of life. SEE: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/9a30112c27d1167cc12563ed004d8f15
6b. Affiant believes that Hemp (Cannabis genus) is equivalent to the “plant of renown” mentioned in Ezekiel 34:29 and the “tree of life” mentioned in Revelation 22:1-2 of the bible, which state:
And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. — Ezekiel 34:29
On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit…And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. — Revelation 22:1-2

6c. Affiant believes in accordance with Genesis 1:29-30 of the bible, which states:
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food…everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” — Genesis 1:29-30
6d. Affiant believes that Hemp (Cannabis genus) is a sacred “plant of renown” and “tree of life” given by the Creator to be used for the feeding, clothing, and healing of the nations of the Earth.
6e. Affiant claims the right to manifest his foregoing belief in practice, through the act of cultivating, possessing, using, distributing and transporting Hemp (Cannabis genus).
7. The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide, in Article II (c), states:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
7a. The Report of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court of July 6, 2000, in Article 6 (c), interprets what elements constitute “Genocide“ through “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction”, and states:
The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.
SEE: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N00/724/27/PDF/N0072427.pdf?OpenElement
7b. You are hereby given lawful notice that the plant called Hemp (Cannabis genus) is a critical food staple in Affiants vegetarian diet, as well as being a vital resource for Affiants clothing, medicine, paper, fuel as well other central necessities to Affiants way of life, and is therefore indispensable for Affiants health, adequate standard of living, spiritual practice and long-term physical survival.
7c. Any action against Affiant and his family to confiscate Hemp harvests, blockade Hemp foodstuffs or other resources, any use of coercive measures to deter Hemp cultivation, possession, use, distribution, or transportation, including expulsion from homes or forced relocation into detention camps, will be considered a deliberate attack on Affiant and his families ability to sustain life and therefore an act of genocide pursuant to Article II (c) of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide.
8. You are hereby given lawful notice that Affiant grants you thirty (30) days to rebut the facts stated herein; If you fail to rebut the facts stated in this affidavit within the granted amount of time then Affiant will assume that you are in agreement with said facts, and that you acknowledge Affiants claim of right and intent to act as stated herein, as being valid and lawfully sanctioned.
9. Affiant affirms under the penalty of perjury under all constitutional Laws of the State of California and the 50 States of the American Union, that all that is written in this affidavit is true and correct to the best of Affiants knowledge and understanding.
Signed and Sealed:_____________________________ Dated:___________
Natural Person – In Propria Persona – Conrad Justice Kiczensk

i
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – WITHOUT PREJUDICE

State of California
Lake County
Subscribed and affirmed before me on this ____________ day of ______________, 20________, by Conrad Justice Kiczenski, who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the Person who appeared before me. Witness my hand and official Seal.
Signature:__________________________________
Seal:

 

Posted by RadicalJusticeMan at 9:28 AM

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