Natural News

Monsanto Dealt Devastating Blow as California Declares Glyphosate Weed Killer a Cancer-Causing Poison

In a significant victory for consumer safety — and a devastating blow to Monsanto — California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has declared that glyphosate weed killer is a known, cancer-causing carcinogen that will be added to the scope of Proposition 65.

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Nine out of 10 People Are Breathing Polluted Air, Says the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization has released a new report that indicates that some 92 percent of the world's population is living in an area where air pollution exceeds the WHO's limits. This means that the majority of people reside in a place where just breathing the air can make you sick and increase your risk of developing diseases like lung cancer and heart disease.

BBC News reports: "[The WHO] said its latest data represented the most detailed study it has ever released. The analysis combined satellite measurements and more than 3,000 monitoring stations on the ground with air transport models."

According to the report, the Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions account for two-thirds of such deaths, with poorer nations increasingly bearing the burden of pollution-related illness and death. Outdoor air pollution is said to be attributed to approximately 3 million deaths annually worldwide. However, if indoor air pollution is considered, up to 90 percent of global deaths can be connected to poor air quality.

The WHO's country-by-country data revealed that Turkmenistan currently has the highest death rate associated with air pollution, though countries such as Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Egypt and Uzbekistan are not far behind, and make the top five for pollution. Dr. Carlos Dora from the WHO told the Associated Press: "Rich countries are getting much better in improving the quality of the air. Poorer countries are getting worse. That is the overall trend."

Of course, three out of the top five countries with the highest air pollution are also among the top 15 most corrupt nations in the world. None of these countries score very well on the corruption index; all of them are in the bottom half. The fact that their poor citizens are suffering tremendously seems relatively unsurprising when put into context. While the economic situation of a country certainly plays a primary role in pollution, corruption is also seriously problematic. A government that does not care about its people is not going to be inclined to help them, now are they?

Because Europe relies heavily on diesel fuel, North America has actually managed to out-do them in terms of air cleanliness. Europe also tends to use farming practices that create more ammonia and methane.

You may be wondering where China fell on this new report; the nation is renowned for their smog-filled cities, after all. China was found to have the sixth highest death rate related to air pollution, which is only surprising because they aren't in the top five. Despite China's wealth, their high amount of industrial activity has lead to mass pollution in the country. It's worth noting that the country is only just a few spots above Egypt on Transparency International's corruption index.

Air pollution has been an ongoing problem in China. Earlier this year, it was estimated that roughly 1.5 million people in China alone succumb to the effects of air pollution each year. Of course, dirty air does not just hurt people on the other side of the world; it affects everyone. For example, some estimates indicate that more than half of Americans breathe in enough polluted air to cause health problems.

The WHO is calling for global efforts to reduce pollution, and has pointed to more sustainable transportation, more efficient waste management and renewable energies as possible ways to help eliminate air pollution. Will their analysis and suggestions somehow spark countries with a history of pollution into action? Who knows.

The Zen Green Guide to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us, and many people are in a hustle to get food, prepare it, and prepare their homes for visitors, whether they’re invited or not. Thanksgiving is traditionally about food and family. Stress comes with preparing food and inviting a bunch of people over to eat it—Auntie has a gluten intolerance, Barbara hates sweet potatoes, and Jimmy just plain won’t eat turkey.

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Are You Eating Too Much Plant Poison?

In a world filled with toxic substances that have ruined the quality of air, water and food, the last thing someone wants to hear is that there may be "poison" lurking in what would ordinarily be clean, wholesome and nourishing food.

However, these poisons do exist in plant life and serve a definite purpose for the health of the plant. The problem occurs when the human physiology is compromised and does not have the ability to neutralize these poisons, which then causes all kinds of despair.

So what are these poisons, where do they lurk, who should avoid them, and what can be done to mitigate their effects?

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5 Superfoods to Maximize Your Plant-Based Protein Intake

While there are now more and more converts to veganism and vegetarianism, one of the main concerns of an herbivore is having sufficient protein intake.

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Medical Research Bought Off by Big Pharma

So what if cancer researchers have close financial ties to Big Pharma? Scientists have to disclose their associations with drug companies when they publish research in respected journals and they'd never let a little thing like financial ties influence how they interpret outcomes or run a study. Right?

Not exactly. In fact, a new analysis by University of Michigan (U-M) Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers just published in the online version of the journal CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, found that a very large number of clinical cancer studies published in well-known medical journals have financial connections to pharmaceutical companies. Most importantly, the study flat out concludes that conflicts of interest may cause some researchers to report results that are biased to be favorable to Big Pharma companies.

"Given the frequency we observed for conflicts of interest and the fact that conflicts were associated with study outcomes, I would suggest that merely disclosing conflicts is probably not enough. It's becoming increasingly clear that we need to look more at how we can disentangle cancer research from industry ties," study author Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., assistant professor of radiation oncology at the U-M Medical School, said in a media statement.

Entanglements and alliances between clinical researchers and companies that make medical devices and medications have become increasingly complicated, especially in the face of more and more scientists competing for fewer and fewer federal research funds. Out of necessity, scientists have turned to financial support from Big Pharma. But apparently there could be strings – and lures – attached.

For example, many researchers get additional consulting fees and also end up owning a part of a drug company themselves, through stock purchases and/or by holding salaried positions within medical industries. In other words, they profit from sales if the very products and drugs they test do well.

You don't have to be a business insider to figure out this type of conflict of interest should raise concerns and suspicions that research tied closely to industry might be biased and not designed to produce the most accurate test of medical therapies. That's why most medical journals now require investigators to disclose all potential conflicts of interest in the studies and reviews they submit for publication.

But is voluntary disclosure enough? And does that somehow make a conflict of interest less likely?

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