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What does gene editing, GMOs, glyphosate in Roundup formulations have to do with what you eat and the festive season?

The month of December is here and with it the festive season …and the feasting…for many, December is a celebratory month – the celebrations, invariably, include eating and drinking – the question is, what does gene editing, GMOs, Roundup and its various formulations have to do with our stomachs that should concern us?

  • There is increasing evidence that “ (healthy) food is medicine” and that unhealthy food causes disease” …the same “Father of Modern Medicine” Hippocrates, in 431 B.C, is said to have made this less known quote: “ all disease begins and ends in the gut”….
  • Here is the increasing evidence that bacteria and other “germs” in our gut aka stomach and intestines respond positively or negatively to what we eat, including during this festive season. https://www.nature.com/news/gut-microbes-can-shape-responses-to-cancer-immunotherapy-1.22938
  • What is gene editing and how is it related to GMOs? Gene editing is a new GMO technology: A good example is CRISPS cas9 which manipulates natural gene sequences, at DNA level, to change the sequences and combinations, using laboratory techniques, with the intent of achieving certain desired traits or outcomes in plants, animals and human beings.
  • The latest application of these technologies is the GMO mosquitoes, under the Target Malaria Project, discussed in some detail here: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/31/17344406/crispr-mosquito-malaria-gene-drive-editing-target-africa-regulation-gmo
  • If you think that GMO “madness” has spared modification of human beings, think again! Our worst fears have been confirmed - using CRISPR cas9, a gene editing technology has been used to manipulate human cell lines to create “patented designer babies”… a rogue Chinese researcher has “genetically engineered” via in-vitro fertilization(IVF) two twin babies, supposedly resistant to HIV!! This is the culmination of what we have been cautioning about the safety(and risks) from GMOs(and gene drives) – there is urgent need to apply the Precautionary Principle (CBD,Cartegena-Nagoya Protocols) on these genetically designed organisms(GDOs)– that someday, some reckless scientist will do the unthinkable – that is, play God:That day has happened! Here is the evidence. https://sustainablepulse.com/2018/11/27/global-anger-erupts-after-chinese-scientist-claims-first-gene-edited-babies/#.XAKbP9szbIX
  • Are GMO foods safe and healthy to consume? Their toxicity and harm to human health is well documented (refer to previous articles on the OCA blog series).
  • Do we have any evidence of damage to our guts from GMOs? Plenty. GMOs are patented and owned by global multinational seed and chemical corporations (e.g Bayer-Monsanto and Syngenta-ChemChina) with power and control of the food system as the intent. They serve as “Trojan Horses” for toxic herbicide use: HT GMO maize, for example, is manipulated to be tolerant to glyphosate aka Roundup formulations which are the most widespread trait of GMOs crops on the global market. Needless to state, the driving force is higher profits from higher sales(in billions of dollars!) and not health and safety.
  • The evidence? Here it is: https://www.gmoevidence.com/dr-judy-carman-evidence-of-gmo-harm-in-pig-study/
  • More evidence of the damage GMOs and Roundup formulations, in herbicide residues. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392553/

Way forward?

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Did you know that “photosynthesis” and soil microorganisms are key to soil health and prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)?

November is in sight and with it preparations for the holidays are in top gear. Increasingly, more and more people are concerned about the quality and safety of the food they consume, especially in the light of the increasing cases of non-communicable diseases; Cancer and diabetes, among others. Is there a connection between soil health and human diseases?

  • The answer to that question is YES. Not only is there a connection between soil health and human well being or lack of it, but also a direct connection with the cooling of the planet or the heating of the same. Agriculture and related activities contribute up to 30% or more of the Green House Gas(GHG) emissions: https://www.nature.com/news/one-third-of-our-greenhouse-gas-emissions-come-from-agriculture-1.11708
  • Increased use of inorganic fertilizers and synthetic agrochemicals, like glyphosate aka Roundup Weed Killer, are the main culprits as they destroy the soil microorganisms and bind essential minerals and hence make them inaccessible to plant root systems: file:///D:/User%20Documents/Downloads/sustainability-10-00950.pdf leading to a mineral deficiency which affects the health and nutrient content of plant roots and leaves. https://phys.org/news/2018-07-fertilizer-microbiome-ability-disease.html
  • What does soil health and climate cooling got to do with photosynthesis you may ask: the answer is best presented in a simple graphical manner: Photosynthesis is a plant leaves process that converts atmospheric carbon to biochemical energy using light energy, from the sun and releases oxygen as a by-product.

This natural biological process has informed the 4 per 1000 Initiative

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The good, the bad and the ugly: Organic foods versus GMO foods:

August is gone with “the bad and ugly” and September is here with the” good”

Let us start with the bad:

The ugly? INCREASED use of agro-chemicals harms human health: Any evidence of this? YES. The Case of Johnson Dewayne versus Monsanto: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/aug/10/monsanto-trial-cancer-dewayne-johnson-ruling

The good? Grow and consume agro-ecological organic foods: As the way forward, the month of September, which happens to be the authors birthday month, is the ORGANIC month:, the fair and healthy month: it’s also the month to celebrate the International Organic Day, September 22; https://www.facebook.com/InternationalOrganicDay/...

The first ever Kenya Organic Festival and Conference on the 21st, organized in conjunction the Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI) of Peace and Environmental Studies of the University of Nairobi and Organic Stakeholders, including Organic Consumers Alliance (OCA).Follow this link to register: https://www.facebook.com/events/2096834027242277

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Did you know that threats to Biodiversity and Ecosystem services are threats to Food Security, Environmental Health and Human health?

The month of October is here and with it an increased focus on matters environment and how the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) impact on food security and human health.

  • Let us start by asking the question; what is biodiversity and ecosystem services?

http://www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/thematic-sitemap/theme/biodiversity/en/

and https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/biodiversity-and-ecosystem-services-is-it-the-96677163

  • In summary, glyphosate aka Roundup weed killer, transgenic plants(GMOs) and gene editing techniques, like CRISPR, are key threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • What is the way forward? Increase awareness and educate stakeholders who include; policy makers, farmers and consumers, on the need to avoid these types of farm inputs and related chemical-industrial-monoculture-farming and food production systems which are a threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services and instead embrace agro-ecological organic food production and consumption systems (SDG no. 12); these increase and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services, which in turn, promote environmental and human health.

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Did you know that exposure of pregnant women to organophosphate herbicides/pesticides can reduce the IQ of their children?

July, with the sighting of the “red moon” on the 27th is now history and August is the present.

Unfortunately, unlike the “red moon” alignment phenomenon, many things are not in harmony with nature - humanity, in his pursuit for “technological advancement” has, increasingly, disconnected from Nature and is working against nature instead of working in harmony with natural cycles and systems…..it seems humanity is hell bent to destroy himself by increased use of agrochemicals , synthetic fertilizers and other environmental “toxins”; these “agricultural inputs” are destroying the health of the soil and by extension the health of plants and animals. These “ inputs” are also reducing the I.Q of the unborn child!

  • The aforementioned evidence (and more evidence from the references sections) is prove that the current industrial chemical model of food production is not only harmful to the environment and soil but also poses a serious threat to the sustainable existence of humanity.
  • The synthetic fertilizers, a product of the “warfare chemicals” from WWII ,which produce ammonia/nitrogen based fertilizers, especially the phosphate based fertilizers, contain heavy metal contamination, which are harmful to the soil and by extension human beings; they cause organ damage, especially kidney damage and a neurological damage: :https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21507776

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Going Organic in East Africa

What's causing cancer?

organic farmers
 

Organic Farmers

This is just a few names and contacts of organic farmers who work closely with OCA.

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Organic Markets

The retailers buy thei food from the organic farmers and sell them at various organic

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Restaurants

OCA works closely and directs traffic to the only organic restaurant in Nairobi so far.

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Processors

OCA closely works with one processor whose products are certified organic.

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About Us

Organic Consumers Alliance (OCA) focuses on promoting and creating awareness on

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ICIPE Complex, Kasarani Road

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P.O. Box 2398-00200
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 2610863
Cell: +254 722 435 758
Email: info@organicconsumers.co.ke