Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

World’s Number 1 Herbicide Discovered in US Mothers’ Breast Milk

• Pilot study shows build-up of glyphosate herbicide in Mothers’ bodies

• Urine testing shows glyphosate levels over 10 times higher than in Europe

• Initial testing shows Monsanto and Global regulatory bodies are wrong regarding bio-accumulation of glyphosate, leading to serious public health concerns

Testing commissioners urge USDA and EPA to place temporary ban on all use of Glyphosate-based herbicides to protect public health, until further more comprehensive testing of glyphosate in breast milk is completed.

In the first ever testing on glyphosate herbicide in the breast milk of American women, Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse have found ‘high’ levels in 3 out of the 10 samples tested. The shocking results point to glyphosate levels building up in women’s bodies over a period of time, which has until now been refuted by both global regulatory authorities and the biotech industry.

The levels found in the breast milk testing of 76 ug/l to 166 ug/l are 760 to 1600 times higher than the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides. They are however less than the 700 ug/l maximum contaminant level (MCL) for glyphosate in the U.S., which was decided upon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on the now seemingly false premise that glyphosate was not bio-accumulative …

Read more here

• Dr Alison Bleaney:

Tasmania of course elected several years ago to stop testing for glyphosate in any of its waterways including its drinking water.

In Tasmania, RoundUp and glyphosate are used by agriculture, forestry, local councils (on streets and paths – anywhere really that there are weeds), DIER (along roadsides and railway lines), Mums and Dads in their gardens and backyards; shall I go on?

This article shows the reality of how little we know of what we are doing to our ecosystems and ourselves.

We must just love to know that history is repeating itself!

Vladimir Putin: Russia Must Protect Its Citizens from GMOs

AND,

• Editorial by two leaders in reproductive health

A significant opinion piece was published today in the influential online news site The Hill about importance of environmental reproductive health and why chemical policy reform is needed to protect the most vulnerable. Read the editorial here: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/202835-real-reform-can-curb-exposure-to-toxic-chemicals

The editorial is co-authored by PRHE founder and Immediate Past President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Linda Giudice, MD, PhD, and by the President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Jeanne Conry, MD, PhD. The editorial follows a congressional briefing held yesterday in Washington, DC on preventing toxic environmental exposures which featured testimony from Dr. Conry along with Rebecca Z. Sokol, M.D., M.P.H., President of ASRM, and Jerome A. Paulson, M.D., F.A.A.P., Chair of American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health.

Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH
Professor and Director
Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment
Division of Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Department of Ob/Gyn and PRL Institute for Health Policy Studies
UCSF

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]
20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. T.Slade

    May 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Dr. Bleaney, the following link is to an article by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists:

    http://www.icij.org/project/island-widows/mysterious-kidney-disease-now-top-priority-central-america

    Best wishes.

  2. Alison Bleaney

    April 27, 2014 at 10:25 am

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.02.079
    Roustan et al; Genotoxicity of mixtures of glyphosate and atrazine and their environmental transformation products before and after photoactivation
    “This study established that enhanced cytogenetic activities could be observed in pesticide mixtures containing glyphosate, atrazine, and their degradation products AMPA and DEA. It highlighted the importance of cocktail effects in environmental matrices, and pointed out the limits of usual testing strategies based on individual molecules, to efficiently estimate environmental risks.”
    “Results observed in the present study clearly established that enhanced cytogenetic activities due to cocktail effects could be observed in pesticide mixtures containing glyphosate, atrazine, and their degradation products AMPA and DEA. They also demonstrated that light-irradiation, corresponding to a few minutes of solar exposure, greatly potentiated this cytogenetic impact. Due to the persistence of the widely used pesticides glyphosate and atrazine in soils, such mixtures are certainly present in several environmental compartments. As a consequence, they represent an additional genotoxic risk for ecosystems and human health.
    Today, the ability of pesticides to cause DNA damage represents an important issue for their approval, and toxicology studies, mainly based on the testing of individual molecules on rodents, have been developed to predict their genotoxic potential in human.”
    “In the present study, in vitro experiments showed that the genotoxic impact of pesticides greatly depended on their physico-chemical environment, and that pesticide mixtures could reveal genotoxic properties at concentrations which were far lower than those of the individual molecules. As a consequence, they pointed out the limits of usual testing strategies to efficiently estimate environmental risks, and suggested that the Directive Standards for Pesticides in Drinking Water should be re-evaluated according to these under-estimated factors of risk (Dolan et al., 2013).”

  3. Alison Bleaney

    April 27, 2014 at 1:44 am

    Monsanto GM soy is scarier than you think.
    The findings of a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Chemistry show that Monsanto’s ubiquitous Roundup Ready soybeans, engineered to withstand its own blockbuster herbicide, contain more herbicide residues than their non-GMO counterparts. The team also found that the GM beans are nutritionally inferior.
    http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/t/2103427036099805652

  4. Alison Bleaney

    April 23, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Extracts from http://rt.com/op-edge/154000-toxic-herbicide-gmo-monsanto/
    It’s the toxic herbicide Roundup and glyphosates, stupid!

    Other Roundup studies show high toxicity
    In another review of published studies on the toxicity of the chemical herbicide used with almost all GMO plants, Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff in the US, have found more confirmations the Seralini warnings about the toxic dangers of Monsanto Roundup.
    Their review concluded, in regard to glyphosate, the main active component of Roundup herbicide, that, “Residues (of glyphosate-w.e.) are found in the main foods of the Western diet, comprised primarily of sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology, one of which is to detoxify xenobiotics. Thus, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.”\The conclusions, in short, are that Roundup, the most widely used weed killer in the world, is found in the main foods we eat—sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Its main component, glyphosate, inhibits the enzyme of the human body that plays a crucial biological role detoxifying xenobiotics, and thereby exaggerates the toxic effects of other chemical residues in our chemically-saturated industrial foods or other environmental toxins. Its damaging effects accumulate slowly so we do not realize until it is too late. Xenobiotics is the generic term referring to any foreign chemical substance found within an organism that is not normally naturally produced, such as antibiotics or other foreign chemicals.

  5. Robert LePage

    April 19, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Reporting the Dioxin Controversy
    The media played a major role in the early 1990s in changing public perceptions of dioxin from deadly poison to misunderstood and maligned chemical. The media generally downplayed the dangers of dioxins despite emerging evidence that indicated that it was in fact just as dangerous as had previously been thought.
    Ignoring the Evidence
    New studies indicating the danger of dioxin was in fact worse than previously realised were hardly reported in the US press. In fact, the New York Times and other papers continued to push the line that scientists no longer thought dioxin was so dangerous after all and gave the impression that the controversy over dioxin had in fact been resolved. Even after the EPA’s draft reassessment was leaked to the media in 1994 reaffirming that dioxin is a probable carcinogen but also concluding that other, non cancer health effects of dioxin and dioxin-like chemicals were far greater than previously thought, media coverage tended to suggest that the dangers of dioxin had all been exaggerated by emotional environmentalists.
    Vested Interests
    The reporting on this issue is not altogether surprising. All newspapers depend on large quantities of paper produced at pulp and paper mills that discharge dioxin contaminated waste. The newspapers benefit from the cheaper paper prices that result from paper mills not having to install new equipment to eliminate dioxins nor pay out large sums as a result of lawsuits over dioxin pollution. Moreover many newspapers also own shares in these paper mills. For example, the New York Times had major interests in four paper mills. At the time of the 1991 series on the harmlessness of dioxin one of the mills partly owned by the Times was the subject of a Canadian law suit claiming C$1.3 billion for polluting three rivers with dioxin (Lapp 1991, p.10).
    Other papers also have financial interests in paper and timber companies and “have taken editorial positions supporting relaxed dioxin standards without disclosing their ties to the industry.” Vicki Monks (1993), writing in the American Journalism Review, points to Central Newspapers, “owned by former Vice President Dan Quayle’s family”, which partly owns a newsprint mill and also owns the Arizona Republic and Indianapolis Star which have downplayed dioxin’s dangers in editorials. In a similar position is the Times Mirror Co and its paper the Los Angeles Times, as well as the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post. None have declared their conflict of interest in reporting on dioxin issues.

    http://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/STS218/media/ownership/dioxin.html

    http://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/STS218/dioxin/pr/banbury.html

  6. Robert LePage

    April 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Dioxin becomes most dangerous man-made poison
    01.06.2005
    http://english.pravda.ru/science/tech/01-06-2005/8345-dioxin-0/
    Scientists have always been looking for the strongest poison. Dioxin has become one of such achievements: this substance ranks third on the list of most toxic poisons known to modern science. Dioxin made front pages of world’s leading newspapers and magazines last year, after the so-called orange revolution in Ukraine.
    Scientists discovered dioxins a short time ago. Specialists cannot boast of having a lot of information about the poison: the substance is quite complicated. There are quite contradictory opinions about dioxins too: scientists say that they can be found in fossilized relics as a product of burning, volcanic and even bacterial activities. The majority of dioxins appear in environment as a result of human life. Burning trash, smelting steel, making paper, chemicals and a variety of other products that human beings use in their every day live produces small, albeit dangerous, amounts of dioxins.
    Dioxins are formed as a result of incomplete combustion of organic materials in the presence of chlorine. The burning of fuel in a car engine produces dioxins as well. Our civilization produces only several kilograms of dioxins a year in the whole world. However, even such a small amount of the highly dangerous poison is enough to exert considerable negative influence on mankind.
    Dioxin is currently reputed to be the most dangerous toxic poison that has ever been made by the hands of man. It follows two poisons of natural origin: the botulism toxin and the diphtheria toxin. Dioxin is 60 thousand times more toxic than cyanide. A dose of only 50 micrograms of dioxin is lethal for a human being: the volume of the dose can be compared to a tiny microscopic piece of a 50-gram pill, cut into 1000 particles.
    Modern science does not have enough knowledge of dioxin’s toxic properties. There can be only several laboratories found on the territory of the former USSR, which can analyze dioxins. The poison affects human skin, deteriorates liver, stomach and ruins the nerve system. Dioxins are said to be strong carcinogens: scientists believe that the poison acts as an accelerating agent of cancer, the substance, which suppresses the human immune system, similar to AIDS virus. It is extremely difficult to remove dioxins from a living organism. Being lipophilic compounds, the poison accumulates in the adipose tissue and liver and may manifest its harmful effect in 15 or even 25 years.
    Furthermore, dioxins possess a horrible ability to alter the genetic structure of a living cell, which may lead to congenital disorders and defects. There were several occurrences in the Soviet Union and other countries of the world, when dioxins polluted the environment as a result of industrial breakdowns. The most recent criminal story with dioxins occurred during the presidential election in Ukraine, when Viktor Yushchenko, the incumbent Ukrainian president, suffered from the dioxin poisoning.

  7. Alison Bleaney

    April 19, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    One does wonder what the goal is for DHHS in regard to drinking water quality. Is it to contain costs above all else as this is the only conclusion one can draw. It does certainly not seem to be to ensure safe and non-toxic potable water to all customers that believed that that was what they were paying for.
    To discover that ‘safe’ drinking water’ is a relative term for DHHS and that there seems to be no impetus to re-connect/supply safe drinking water to customers with established un-safe drinking water seems at odds with the objectives of preventative health and population health initiatives. But then it is hard to know just how public health operates and what drives them, as articulated in the above comments etc.

  8. Naomy Young

    April 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Robert: TT has had many articles about toxins and pollutants and for all these articles and all these posts, I still can’t believe that you and others like you, show a child-like inability to see the difference between a small (non-toxic) dose and a large (toxic) dose. Not only is there alcohol (ta Sel), but there is fluoride and chlorine and immunisations and paracetamol and WATER – yes WATER contains damaging elements too so if you have had too much you won’t change sex -you will DIE!

    Why is this concept so difficult to understand?? The only toxin whereby there is no safe dose are those that are able to reproduce – such as bacterium and viruses – and dioxins do not fit into this category by any stretch of the imagination.

    In fact, not even all Dioxins are toxic – only about 30 out of almost 500 so to use the word dioxin is a gross oversimplification. So people use glyophosates – so WHAT?

  9. Robert LePage

    April 18, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    An interesting effect of dioxins on mammals is that they change the sex of males to females and make them unable to procreate.
    Now this could be a good thing if some of the people that post to some forums and are unconvinced of this, keep eating food that is contaminated by dioxins.
    Darwin’s law will thin out the population of these people and all done voluntarily.
    A sort of self administered culling.

  10. T. Slade

    April 17, 2014 at 2:43 am

    Well done, Dr. Bleaney.

    Furthermore, TasWater only test for 6 (six) of 700 (seven-hundred) chemical by-products caused by chlorine treatments [the number created in each catchment is dependent on each catchment’s unique make-up].

    According to TasWater’s own literature (‘Disinfection Technical Practices Paper’), these disinfection by-products, or THMs, are considered to be implicated with cancer – one need not look any further than this page – and yet, there seems not to be a regulator on the job with the gumption to get TasWater to perform according to a precautionary principle.

    It is all bare minimums, see what we can get away with, employ a public relations doctor, mislead community steering committees, hide sensitive data, ignore new water treatment technology… On and on it goes.

    And for the rocket-science stuff, like providing rainwater tanks to a Tasmanian community wherein heavy-metal contamination has made their drinking water undrinkable for the past 17 months (since November, 2012), the scientific method is see to it that more than half the town is yet to even have their home assessed for rainwater tanks: this they plan to do at the same time as the first round of residents’ tanks are installed. Nevermind that more than half the town are yet to, as a result of this cost-saving itinerary, have their individual contracts drawn and submitted to council so the tanks may be installed. Naturally, at the 17-month mark (now!), not one person has received, not even the lucky first round of residents, rainwater tanks for their home.

    It is a skeleton staff that TasWater has employed for the job (did you guess?). But TasWater indulge our humanity with good-time favourites such as: ‘We are doing our very best for you all’.

  11. John Maddock

    April 16, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    The following was lifted from”The Weeds News Digest”.

    I note that the tests were for glyphosate, not Roundup. The additives in Roundup may significant in themselves.

    JV

    Presence of glyphosate residues in animals and humans
    Zheljana Peric / WeedsNews4826 / March 19, 2014 / 10:24:01 PM EST / 0 Comments
    Abstract: In the present study glyphosate residues were tested in urine and different organs of dairy cows as well as in urine of hares, rabbits and humans using ELISA and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS). The correlation coefficients between ELISA and GC-MS were 0.96, 0.87, 0.97and 0.96 for cattle, human, and rabbit urine and organs, respectively. The recovery rate of glyphosate in spiked meat using ELISA was 91%. Glyphosate excretion in German dairy cows was significantly lower than Danish cows. Cows kept in genetically modified free area had significantly lower glyphosate concentrations in urine than conventional husbandry cows. Also glyphosate was detected in different organs of slaughtered cows as intestine, liver, muscles, spleen and kidney. Fattening rabbits showed significantly higher glyphosate residues in urine than hares. Moreover, glyphosate was significantly higher in urine of humans with conventional feeding. Furthermore, chronically ill humans showed significantly higher glyphosate residues in urine than healthy population. The presence of glyphosate residues in both humans and animals could haul the entire population towards numerous health hazards, studying the impact of glyphosate residues on health is warranted and the global regulations for the use of glyphosate may have to be re-evaluated. [Krüger M, Schledorn P, Schrödl W, Hoppe HW, Lutz W, et al. (2014). Detection of Glyphosate Residues in Animals and Humans. J Environ Anal Toxicol, 4: 210. doi: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000210] Comment

  12. Alison Bleaney

    April 16, 2014 at 2:14 am

    # 7 You ask whether science is heading in the general direction of improvement..the business of selling pesticides has not helped that process as a whistle blower in the US EPA has confirmed just recently.
    Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; First Edition edition (April 8, 2014)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1608199142
    ISBN-13: 978-1608199143

    Imagine walking into a restaurant and finding chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, or neonicotinoid insecticides listed in the description of your entree. They may not be printed in the menu, but many are in your food.

    These are a few of the literally millions of pounds of approved synthetic substances dumped into the environment every day, not just in the US but around the world. They seep into our water supply, are carried thousands of miles by wind and rain from the site of application, remain potent long after they are deposited, and constitute, in the words of one scientist, “biologic death bombs with a delayed time fuse and which may prove to be, in the long run, as dangerous to the existence of mankind as the arsenal of atom bombs.” All of these poisons are sanctioned–or in some cases, ignored–by the EPA.

    For twenty-five years E.G. Vallianatos saw the EPA from the inside, with rising dismay over how pressure from politicians and threats from huge corporations were turning it from the public’s watchdog into a “polluter’s protection agency.” Based on his own experience, the testimony of colleagues, and hundreds of documents Vallianatos collected inside the EPA, Poison Spring reveals how the agency has continually reinforced the chemical-industrial complex.

    Writing with acclaimed environmental journalist McKay Jenkins, E.G. Vallianatos provides a devastating exposé of how the agency created to protect Americans and our environment has betrayed its mission. Half a century after after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring awakened us to the dangers of pesticides, we are poisoning our lands and waters with more toxic chemicals than ever.

  13. Alison Bleaney

    April 16, 2014 at 2:10 am

    #7 Thanks Mark
    Here’s some more refs.
    [i] Ethoxylated adjuvants of glyphosate-based herbicides are active principles of human cell toxicity. Mesnage R, Bernay B, Séralini GE Toxicology. 2013 Nov 16; 313(2-3):122-8. [PubMed] [Ref list]

    [ii] Seralini GE, Mesnage R, Defarge N, et al. Answers to critics: why there is a long term toxicity due to NK603 Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize and to a Roundup herbicide. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2013;53:461–468. [PubMed] [Ref list]

    [iii] Roundup inhibits steroidogenesis by disrupting steroidogenic acute regulatory (StAR) protein expression. Walsh LP, McCormick C, Martin C, Stocco DM Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Aug; 108(8):769-76. [PubMed] [Ref list]

  14. mark hawkes

    April 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    #4 Hi Dr Bleaney, I bet what became of the sea urchins wasn’t pleasant, all for the benefit of humankind no doubt. Your offered Abstract ended like this; ‘.. our results question the safety of glyphosate and Roundup on human health.’

    Of course it is poisonous – isn’t that the point? But don’t you agree science has made improvements and would only be heading in that direction? If there are folk using outdated stuff, then I am on your side. And I have no doubt there are such people.

  15. Martin Hay

    April 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    They have also detected fire retardant in US breast milk…..
    Then you get a Tasmanian pollie on ABC radio telling the world after a briefing by Gunns that Dioxin is to be found naturally in breast milk.
    Correct, but the difference lies in the fact that these man-made dioxins are produced to be ‘stable’.
    Sounds good does it not? ‘Stable’ actually means they are less likely to break down in the environment.
    Not to worry…. Gunns told me so.

  16. Harry Higgins

    April 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    The comments posted by #3 neatly illustrate what is happening in this state. Attitudes that display prejudice,ignorance,self interest and even denial are the problem. Take the time to read the latest research findings about glyphosate instead of trying to discredit those people attempting (mostly in vain)to raise awareness about this,and many other,insidious poisons that are turning Tasmania into a contaminated mess,riddled with cancer,autism etc. Scaremongering???, really do try some intelligent comment on a subject that deserves serious review.

  17. Alison Bleaney

    April 15, 2014 at 3:30 am

    Pesticide Roundup Provokes Cell Division Dysfunction
    at the Level of CDK1/Cyclin B Activation
    Julie Marc, Odile Mulner-Lorillon, Sandrine Boulben, Dorothe´e Hureau,†
    Gae¨l Durand,† and Robert Belle´*
    Station Biologique de Roscoff, Universite´ Pierre et Marie Curie (UFR 937), Centre National de la
    Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, UMR 7127), BP 74, 29682 Roscoff Cedex, France
    Chem. Res. Toxicol. 2002, 15, 326-331
    To assess human health risk from environmental chemicals, we have studied the effect on
    cell cycle regulation of the widely used glyphosate-containing pesticide Roundup. As a model
    system we have used sea urchin embryonic first divisions following fertilization, which are
    appropriate for the study of universal cell cycle regulation without interference with
    transcription. We show that 0.8% Roundup (containing 8 mM glyphosate) induces a delay in
    the kinetic of the first cell cleavage of sea urchin embryos. The delay is dependent on the
    concentration of Roundup. The delay in the cell cycle could be induced using increasing
    glyphosate concentrations (1-10 mM) in the presence of a subthreshold concentration of
    Roundup 0.2%, while glyphosate alone was ineffective, thus indicating synergy between
    glyphosate and Roundup formulation products. The effect of Roundup was not lethal and
    involved a delay in entry into M-phase of the cell cycle, as judged cytologically. Since CDK1/
    cyclin B regulates universally the M-phase of the cell cycle, we analyzed CDK1/cyclin B
    activation during the first division of early development. Roundup delayed the activation of
    CDK1/cyclin B in vivo. Roundup inhibited also the global protein synthetic rate without
    preventing the accumulation of cyclin B. In summary, Roundup affects cell cycle regulation
    by delaying activation of the CDK1/cyclin B complex, by synergic effect of glyphosate and
    formulation products. Considering the universality among species of the CDK1/cyclin

  18. Sel

    April 14, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1355685

    This systematic review which has been well peer reviewed – begs to differ. They only found herbicides/pesticides in urine – not breast milk, serum, semen etc but let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story eh? And so what if it WAS in the breast milk? It is only toxic if you drink the bottle (same as alcohol).

    And as for Putin – he also said gays need to stay away from children….

    One word – SCAREMONGERING

  19. mark hawkes

    April 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Dr Bleaney, rolling out ‘Sustainable Pulse’ may do your case more harm than good.

  20. Philip Cocker

    April 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    A wonderful opportunity exists for the environment to partner with the Sense-T project. It could allow real time chemical monitoring from anywhere anytime of our rivers without Government interference.

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