Claim: Genetically Engineered Plants Fight Global Warming

Methane lasts in the atmosphere for about 12 years before it is completely broken down into other molecules. Half of it breaks down in just 7 years. Thus, no matter how many ‘cow farts’ are released today, 100% of the methane will be naturally gone in 12 years. ⁃ TN Editor
 

Methane in the atmosphere is a very potent greenhouse gas. Over a 20-year period, methane traps 84 times more heat per mass unit than carbon dioxide. There is a distinct possibility that large increases in future methane may lead to surface warming that increases nonlinearly with the methane concentration. The concentration of methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and approximately a fifth of the warming the planet has experienced can be attributed to the gas.

According to Wikipedia; Multiple independently produced instrumental datasets confirm that the 2009–2018 decade was 0.93°C warmer than the 1850–1900 baseline period. A reasonable linear first approximation would predict that halving total atmospheric methane will reduce global average temperatures by 0.186 °C.

The biggest natural source of methane natural emissions is wetlands. Bacteria that live under low oxygen conditions in waterlogged wetland soils produce methane. Approximately 30% of atmospheric methane comes from that source.

The arctic permafrost and methane ice clathrates under the oceans contain huge amounts of methane.

Climate scientists are worried that as global air temperatures rise it will cause methane ice to vaporize, increasing the release of heat-trapping methane into the air that will in turn cause more methane ice to vaporize and release even more methane in a feedback loop that results in out of control greenhouse warming. The endpoint of that process might be a Venus syndrome scenario that destroys all life on earth but it is more likely that a new equilibrium will come about where temperatures won’t exceed the hottest temperatures of the cretaceous era when dinosaurs lived in steaming hot swamps at the north pole and the equatorial regions were vast deserts. Of course, that type of climate will be disastrous for the human race since desertification will cut the food supply and make vast stretches of land too hot to live in.

Cows, pigs and other ruminants have methanogenic bacteria in their stomachs that produce methane in their burps and farts. The manure they excrete contains those same bacteria and goes on producing even more of the greenhouse gas. There are 1.4 billion cattle in the world, and billions of other methane producing ruminant animals. The United Nations report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow” claimed livestock are responsible for 18% of Green House Gas emissions. Total agricultural methane releases come to 188 million tons.

Rice paddies are another big source of methane. The flooded swamp-like conditions have low oxygen levels that methane-producing bacteria thrive in. Methane from rice contributes around 1.5 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. It is not necessary to grow rice in flooded fields and there is a movement to grow rice under dry conditions that drastically reduce methane but that also lowers rice yield.

As it becomes clear that the effects of global warming are causing more and more deaths and costly destruction of the world’s infrastructure, some environmentalists are proposing radical solutions like restricting cattle farming and the sale of meat. However, there is work on finding feed additives that reduce the amount of methane generated by bacteria in the stomachs of ruminants.

A number of compounds from seaweed were found to reduce the amounts of methane they emit, but the bacteria mutate and adapt to the seaweed compounds and they lose their effectiveness. There are seaweed compounds in tests now that might keep their effectiveness over time, but there are no guarantees that strategy will work. 

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Dutch protest

Dutch Farmers Launch Massive Tractor Brigade Against The Hague Over Green Fascism

Farmers in The Netherlands are fed up with so-called ‘Green Fascists’ dictating farming policy from The Hague, and have launched a massive protest that is bringing transportation to a standstill. 

Thousands of large tractors formed a tractorcade to storm The Hague, the capital of The Netherlands. 

According to Dutch News NL:

The demonstration has been prompted by a suggestion from coalition party D66 that Dutch livestock farming should be slashed to meet commitments on reducing nitrogren emissions. Farming organisations say their members are sick of being described by politicians, the media and activists as pollutors and animal abusers.

The Dutch people are supporting the farmers by a margin of 80%.

The green fascist movement wants to destroy factory farming, eradicate the beef and pork industries and basically run farmers out of business. How people would sustain themselves without a robust food change apparently a non-issue with them. 

This type of protest might well spread to neighboring nations as well. 

 

 

 




australia

‘C02 Is Plant Food’: Australian Group Signs Int’l Declaration Denying Global Warming

In typical climate-shaming manner, the Guardian first notes what this group did, they ridicules them for ‘denying climate science’, when in fact they are denying anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming.

Click to Download the Full List of 500 Signatories

TN Editor

 

A group of 75 Australian former and current business figures – including mining engineers and retired geologists – have signed on to an international declaration targeting the UN and the EU and claiming “there is no climate emergency” and that “CO2 is plant food”.

Several of the signatories to the group – which described itself as Clintel – have high-level links to conservative politics, industry and mining.

They include Hugh Morgan, a former president of the Business Council of Australia, and Ian Plimer, a director on Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill Holdings iron ore project.

The move was designed to coincide with the UN’s climate action summit and general assembly in New York.

Also signing the declaration is Dr Peter Ridd, the former James Cook University scientist who claims that devastating bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef are not driven by climate change.

Ridd was backed by Queensland’s beef and sugar cane industries to deliver a speaking tour in an attempt to undermine the science linking run-off from farms and poor water quality to coral declines. His views have helped force a Coalition-backed Senate inquiry into reef science.

The former chief scientist Ian Chubb compared Ridd’s efforts to the misinformation campaigns run by the tobacco industry on the impacts of cigarettes on public health.

The Clintel group describes itself as “a new, high-level global network of 500 prominent climate scientists and professionals” but it bears similarities to at least one previous network.

In an open letter addressed to the UN secretary general, António Guterres, and the UN’s chief climate negotiator, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, the group describes the benefits of cutting greenhouse gas emissions as “imagined”.

One “ambassador” of the group is a Queensland-based coalmining veteran, Viv Forbes. Another is the well-known British peer Christopher Monckton, who once likened the leading Australian economist and climate adviser Prof Ross Garnaut to a Nazi.

The letter repeats well-worn and long-debunked talking points on climate change that are contradicted by scientific institutions and academies around the world, as well as the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The letter says: “Scientists should openly address the uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real benefits as well as the imagined costs of adaptation to global warming, and the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of mitigation.”

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Technocrat Feds Seeking Data On All Grocery Stores In America

Requirement #3 from the 1934 Technocracy Study Course states: “Provide a continuous inventory of all production and consumption.” Technocrats in 2019 are casting their dragnet. ⁃ TN Editor

The Agriculture Department wants access to comprehensive data across all America’s food retailers—with specific details down to the individual store level—to assess issues around the viability and availability of the nation’s nutritional resources and inform the agency’s future research efforts.

“In recent years, concerns about the availability of healthful, affordable foods by households in low-income neighborhoods has resulted in the need for detailed information on the kinds and locations of retail food stores in relation to such vulnerable populations,” agency officials said in a recently published sources sought solicitation. “More broadly, detailed store-level data and information are needed to assess the economic performance of the food retailing industry and its ability to serve the changing needs of consumers.”

For deliverables, the agency wants data and an all-inclusive list of supermarkets that span the country, including those that have annual total sales of $2 million or more, “suprettes” or stores that make between $1 and $2 million in annual sales, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, drug stores and convenient stores that are not associated with gas stations.

More specifically, for each defined location, Agriculture wants detailed information on a variety of elements including the stores’ names and addresses, geographic identifiers, annual sales, size of selling areas, information on the items that they sell and market area identifiers. The agency is also particularly interested in specific “entry and exit” insights on the new stores that are entering the market for the first time, as well as the stores that have shut their doors and closed for good. Changes of ownership are also of interest to Agriculture.

Vendors will also be expected to provide information on their data sources, collection procedures, estimation methods, data dictionary, data quality and limitations and other relevant components.

Agency insiders are especially interested in using the data to study how firm characteristics and entry and exit influence households’ shopping preferences.

“[Agriculture] will use the data for projects that support economic and policy research,” the solicitation also notes. “The research projects are often undertaken in collaboration with external experts, including but not limited to economists, researchers, and survey and data methodologists at non-governmental organizations.”

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keto

Climate Shaming: Keto Dieters Are Called ‘Irresponsible’ Stewards Of The Planet

Virtually every major publication in the world is promoting anti-meat rhetoric to ‘save the planet’ but now it’s getting really personal as Keto dieters are pointedly shamed as ‘irresponsible’ stewards of earth. ⁃ TN Editor

The world cannot run on bacon and butter.

Aside from the fact that there are not enough pigs and cows on the Earth to feed every person in such a high-fat way, this kind of meaty diet is dangerous for both human health and our planet’s future.

That doesn’t stop people from trying.

“Eating a keto diet that’s especially high in red meat will be undermining the sustainability of the climate,” Harvard nutrition professor Dr. Walter Willett told Business Insider. “It’s bad for the person eating it, but also really bad for our children and our grandchildren, so that’s something I think we should totally, strongly advise against. It’s — in fact — irresponsible.”

Keto diets run on all different kinds of fat

Trendy keto diets are designed to make people run on fat, strictly limiting a person’s carbohydrates,so that the body switches into a fat-burning state called “ketosis.” In practice, this usually means no sugar, no wheat, no beans, and very little alcohol. Sometimes, it also means a lot of red meat.

But there isn’t a lot of evidence about whether fueling up on more saturated fats — bacon, butter, and cream are traditionally linked to health conditions like heart disease and higher cholesterol— might harm the long-term health of keto dieters. (That hasn’t stopped the keto diet market from exploding: annual keto-friendly food sales are projected to skyrocket to a $12.35 billion market worldwide by 2024, and butter sales, especially of fancy versions like those from grass-fed cows, are on the rise too.)

Willett says he thinks people can be healthy on a keto diet, and that one of the best ways to go high fat may be to model the Greeks.

“It’s pretty easy when you’re in some place like Israel or Greece with so many good vegetables and healthy oils and fish to have a pretty healthy low carbohydrate diet,” he said.

Beef consumption isn’t good for the Earth

Both keto aficionados and Willett agree: there’s something wrong with the way most people are eating. We could all stand to replace refined carbohydrates like white bread, snack cakes, and sugary drinks with more good fats and fresh produce.

But replacing carbs with more saturated fats doesn’t always align with a planet-friendly way of eating.

Unlike olive oil, many fat sources that are solid at room temperature, like bacon fat, butter, and beef tallow, come from animals, not plants. To cultivate those fat sources, farmers need a fair amount of real estate for cows and pigs to roam.

A United Nations report released just last week suggests the world’s beef-heavy consumption patterns are taking a serious toll on the health of our planet: food systems are now responsible for 37% of greenhouse gas emissions, and cow manure is a major part of that equation, as it releases large amounts of climate-changing nitrous oxide and methane into the air.

“Diets that are rich in plant-based food emit lower greenhouse-gas emissions than diets that are very heavy in red meat consumption,” UN report co-author Cynthia Rosenzweig said during a press conference.

There are things eaters can do to change that. A report Willett himself authored for the EAT Lancet commission earlier this year suggested that people around the globe should double their intake of “fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes ” while cutting red meat and sugar intake by at least 50% in order for the globe to remain healthy and well-fed.

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drone

FAA Approves Food Delivery Drones In North Carolina

Technocrats who would gladly replace human delivery drivers with drones are populating the skies with noisy and intrusive drones. Convenience aside, people will consider them a massive nuisance.  ⁃ TN Editor

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted Israeli drone maker Flytrex and North Carolina-based drone services firm Causey Aviation Unmanned approval for a drone-based food delivery pilot, according to a press release emailed to Supply Chain Dive.

The team will deliver food via drone in Holly Springs, NC, as part of the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) program in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Town of Holly Springs.

The drones will travel along a single fixed route from a distribution center to an outdoor recreational area over mostly unpopulated areas, though the route does cross a highway. The FAA approved this route. Flytrex drones have been delivering food in Iceland in partnership with a local e-commerce site since 2017.

With this plan, drones are beginning to show similarities to other introductions of autonomous vehicles into supply chains. Repeated fixed routes, or “milk runs,” are quickly becoming a hallmark of early autonomous vehicle applications. Walmart, for one, is moving groceries between a Walmart grocery pickup location and a Walmart Neighborhood Market, in Bentonville, AR, via autonomous van.

Fixed routes substantially decrease the variables the vehicle may encounter, and in the case of the North Carolina flight plan, minimizes the number of people the drone will fly over. Another player looking to deliver food via drone is Uber Eats.

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University Of London Bans Burgers To Help Save The Planet

A clever movie plot is coming to life when the lunatic inmates take over the insane asylum, while throwing the legitimate staff into the padded cells. ‘Carbon-shaming’ is the new meme, and is patently anti-human and anti-civilization.

Why? Because carbon is absolutely essential to human life on earth.

 ⁃ TN Editor

Beef burgers have been banned by a university as part of efforts to tackle the climate emergency.

Goldsmiths, University of London said it is to remove all beef products from sale from next month as the institution attempts to become carbon neutral by 2025.

Students will also face a 10p levy on bottles of water and single-use plastic cups when the academic year starts to discourage use of the products.

The college’s new Warden, Professor Frances Corner, said staff and students “care passionately about the future of our environment” and that “declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words”.

The move has been backed by Goldsmiths Students’ Union, with president Joe Leam saying that the university has a “huge carbon footprint” and that the promise to eradicate this in the next few years is needed.

As well as the beef ban and 10p levy on single-use water bottles and plastic cups, there are plans to install more solar panels across the college’s New Cross campus in south-east London and switch to a 100% clean energy supplier as soon as possible.

Officials said Goldsmiths will also continue to invest in its allotment area and identify other places where planting could help to absorb carbon dioxide, and will review how all students can access modules which cover climate change and the role of both individuals and organisations in reducing carbon emissions.

Prof Corner said: “The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore.

“Though I have only just arrived at Goldsmiths, it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible.

“Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words. I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organisations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use.”

Figures show that Goldsmiths emits around 3.7 million kg of carbon emissions each year, the college said.

Referring to the statistic in a blog, Mr Leam said: “It is clear our university has a huge carbon footprint. The promise to have ended this by 2030 at the latest, with the hope of doing so by 2025, is one which is needed.

“Whilst this plan/action is only the beginning, and much work is yet to be done, it is fantastic to see Goldsmiths taking responsibility and responding to its impact on the climate.”

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UN: Change Land Use To Avoid A Hungry Future

If global warming isn’t personal enough to scare you to death, the UN trots out the rabid notion that you are going to starve to death as a result of it. Coupled with rising sea levels and shortages of drinking water, mankind has no future unless… it adopts Sustainable Development. ⁃ TN Editor

Human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the Earth’s land and the way people use the land is making global warming worse, a new United Nations scientific report says. That creates a vicious cycle which is already making food more expensive, scarcer and less nutritious.

“The cycle is accelerating,” said NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a co-author of the report. “The threat of climate change affecting people’s food on their dinner table is increasing.”

But if people change the way they eat, grow food and manage forests, it could help save the planet from a far warmer future, scientists said.

Earth’s land masses, which are only 30% of the globe, are warming twice as fast as the planet as a whole. While heat-trapping gases are causing problems in the atmosphere, the land has been less talked about as part of climate change. A special report, written by more than 100 scientists and unanimously approved by diplomats from nations around the world Thursday at a meeting in Geneva, proposed possible fixes and made more dire warnings.

“The way we use land is both part of the problem and also part of the solution,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist who co-chairs one of the panel’s working groups. “Sustainable land management can help secure a future that is comfortable.”

Scientists at Thursday’s press conference emphasized both the seriousness of the problem and the need to make societal changes soon.

“We don’t want a message of despair,” said science panel official Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London. “We want to get across the message that every action makes a difference.”

Still the stark message hit home hard for some of the authors.

“I’ve lost a lot of sleep about what the science is saying. As a person, it’s pretty scary,” Koko Warner, a manager in the U.N. Climate Change secretariat who helped write a report chapter on risk management and decision-making, told The Associated Press after the report was presented at the World Meteorological Organization headquarters in Geneva. “We need to act urgently.”

The report said climate change already has worsened land degradation, caused deserts to grow, permafrost to thaw and made forests more vulnerable to drought, fire, pests and disease. That’s happened even as much of the globe has gotten greener because of extra carbon dioxide in the air. Climate change has also added to the forces that have reduced the number of species on Earth.

“Climate change is really slamming the land,” said World Resources Institute researcher Kelly Levin, who wasn’t part of the study.

And the future could be worse.

“The stability of food supply is projected to decrease as the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events that disrupt food chains increases,” the report said.

In the worst-case scenario, food security problems change from moderate to high risk with just a few more tenths of a degree of warming from now. They go from high to “very high” risk with just another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) of warming from now.

“The potential risk of multi-breadbasket failure is increasing,” NASA’s Rosenzweig said. “Just to give examples, the crop yields were effected in Europe just in the last two weeks.”

Scientists had long thought one of the few benefits of higher levels of carbon dioxide, the major heat-trapping gas, was that it made plants grow more and the world greener, Rosenzweig said. But numerous studies show that the high levels of carbon dioxide reduce protein and nutrients in many crops.

For example, high levels of carbon in the air in experiments show wheat has 6% to 13% less protein, 4% to 7% less zinc and 5% to 8% less iron, she said.

But better farming practices — such as no-till agricultural and better targeted fertilizer applications — have the potential to fight global warming too, reducing carbon pollution up to 18% of current emissions levels by 2050, the report said.

If people change their diets, reducing red meat and increasing plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and seeds, the world can save as much as another 15% of current emissions by mid-century. It would also make people more healthy, Rosenzweig said.

The science panel said they aren’t telling people what to eat because that’s a personal choice.

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World Resources Institute: Go Vegetarian To Combat Climate Change

The logical absurdity that a vegetarian diet will to anything to affect earth’s climate is deeply embedded into the radical green movement, which exclusively promotes the UN’s Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. Note that the study referenced is sponsored by the World Bank! ⁃

Unfortunately, the writer of this story suggests that inventing genetically modified food (GMO) is the future of feeding the world. – TN Editor

The World Resources Institute (WRI), which is supported in part by the U.N., is encouraging humans to give up eating meat. Doing so, they believe, will not only help with food supplies but will also combat climate change. Become a vegetarian or watch the world starve to death and burn is the messaging, I guess.

Writing in their report, the WRI project claims:

Consumption of animal-based foods to rise 68 percent between 2010 and 2050, with an 88 percent increase in consumption of ruminant meat (meat from cattle, sheep, and goats). These trends are a major driver of the food, land, and GHG mitigation gaps. For every food calorie generated, animal-based foods—and ruminant meats in particular—require many times more feed and land inputs, and emit far more greenhouse gases, than plant-based food.

After the begrudging acknowledgment that meat does provide some needed nutrients to people in developing countries, the WRI adds that the increase in meat consumption around the world “is both unnecessary and unhealthy.” Playing the spoilsport, WRI felt the need to then insert that science ” has now identified processed meats as carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic.”

We get it, leftists, things that humans enjoy are bad and should be taken away from us. Who cares that quinoa tastes like dirt, no matter what you do to it? Massive amounts of red meat might be carcinogenic and forests have to be cut down to accommodate the cows. We should stop eating delicious meat and eat more tasteless quinoa and kale instead.

Well, no thank you. I was once a vegetarian and I ain’t going back. I’m much smarter now than when I was a member of PETA.

I also grew up in the Florida Panhandle surrounded by tree farms, so I don’t buy the “we’re running out of trees” scare tactic. Acres and acres filled with rows upon rows of pine trees blanket the area. As a fun way to combat any leftist tendencies they may have, I love pointing out those tree farms to my kids whenever we visit my dad. I then ask, “So, kids, what do you say whenever your teachers complain about deforestation?” The correct reply, that they’ve learned by looking out of the windows of our car, is, “Trees are a renewable source of energy.”

Of course, raising more cattle to feed this world’s growing mouths will require some deforestation. So, what? There are more trees in this country than when the Pilgrims landed. There are also way more fields containing cattle, too. Lots of deforestation has happened as has even more reforestation. I understand that land is ultimately a limited resource, but we are far from coming close to that limit. Protecting virgin forests is all fine and dandy until it begins to threaten humanity’s ability to flourish. Cut trees down when and where needed, and plant and cultivate trees when and where needed.

Another way to help ensure that everyone has enough food is to put an end to the irrational attack on GMO food. The Green Revolution started by American scientist Norman Borlaug has been attributed with preventing billions of people from starving to death. Imagine how many future people could be fed if we’d stop demonizing big businesses that have the resources and incentives to develop more and better GMO crops.

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codex

Codex Alimentarius: Scott Tips Shreds The Use Of “Scientific Consensus” At CAC42 Meeting

Scott Tips, current head of the venerable National Health Federation, schooled delegates to the CAC42 meeting on using the phony propaganda phrase, ‘Scientific Consensus’, when in fact none existed.

Codex Alimentarius sets UN food safety standards as a joint Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization program. Scott is an example of what one person can do to turn the tide of discussion at the right time. ⁃ TN Editor

Styled as “CAC42,” the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) met in its 42nd session in Geneva, Switzerland this past week of July 8-12, 2019, and I attended the meeting as the National Health Federation’s sole delegate. Populated with 632 participants, this was a large meeting, but one carefully shepherded by CAC Chairman Guilherme Antonio da Costa, Jr. of Brazil and efficiently run by a small platoon of professionals fielded by the Codex Secretariat.

As always, the main object of this meeting was to adopt (approve) all of the food standards and any guidelines already considered and adopted by the subsidiary (lower-level) Codex committees during their own meetings since the previous CAC41 session. And there were plenty to adopt: cadmium levels in chocolate, milk additives, a slew of pesticide levels, lead levels in wines and other commodities, and even quinoa grain size, among numerous others. Some of these agenda items were real snoozers while others were of keen interest and debated harshly. Regardless, the bureaucratic trajectory both underlying and driving this meeting was relentless – get the generally industry-driven standards adopted. To bureaucrats, procedure is everything, the outcome is nothing.

Out of Thin Air …

If you don’t get your way, just move the goal posts. Or at least invent a new term out of thin air. That is the way the Codex science officer decided to react to the unexpectedly stubborn resistance of 55 African countries to a standard for milk additives (emulsifiers and stabilizers), such as trisodium citrate, that the United States and a number of other countries and industry INGOs wanted adopted. With 55 stubborn African countries arguing against adoption, the Chairman could not find “consensus,” the preferred Codex method of reaching agreement to adopt or reject any standard. After all, when consensus is defined as “the absence of sustained opposition,” the Chairman could hardly find “consensus” in the face of 55 naysaying delegations.

So, Markus Lipp, the FAO/Codex science officer and former Monsanto employee, reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out the nearly freshly coined term of “scientific consensus.” First tried, to my knowledge, at the April 2018 Codex Committee on Residues of Vet Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF) meeting in Chicago – where Dr. Lipp sprinkled that pixie dust on the Codex delegates in a vain attempt to overcome the European Union’s and NHF’s strong objections to the adoption of a standard for Zilpaterol, the notorious vet drug that has no therapeutic purpose but to cure sick financial balance sheets – the magical phrase “scientific consensus” was not so magical since it failed to fool most of the delegates and the Chairman there.[1] The Zilpaterol standard went down to defeat.

But with a certain moth-like quality within him that kept him circling the flame that had burned him before, Dr. Lipp could not help but chance using the “scientific consensus” argument at this meeting as well in an attempt to out-maneuver the solid 55-African country roadblock. And the Codex Chairman echoed the phrase as if on cue. You see, if there could be found a “scientific consensus” in favor of the milk-additives standards, as dictated by the Codex Science Officer, then the Codex head table would argue that “scientific” consensus trumps “regular” consensus. Their logic behind this assertion is that since Codex is a scientific body, then scientific consensus is what counts. Forgotten by them, however, is that Codex also makes policy.

As Warren Buffet said once, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” Well, the tide went out and those at the head table who had staked their position on “scientific consensus” were soon enough exposed as swimming naked.

I spoke out at the meeting against the fake term “scientific consensus.” In fact, I was the only one. As NHF’s representative, I told them that: (1) I had spent a considerable amount of time reading through the Codex Procedural Manual and that nowhere in it does it use the term “scientific consensus”; (2) That the term “consensus” without any qualifiers appears in the Manual on page 8 and again on page 18 and should be given its ordinary and normal meaning; (3) a dangerous precedent would be set by using a contrived term to push through a standard so strongly opposed; and (4) you simply cannot make up terms as you go along and we either have integrity at Codex or we don’t. I concluded by hammering home the point that the milk-additive standard could not be adopted.

In the end, the Chairman called for a “side session” where the chairman of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene would mediate between the two sides and reach a general (not scientific) consensus. That was done and the following day the Commission agreed to put back for further study one of the milk-additive standards (trisodium citrate) while adopting the other standards for emulsifiers and stabilizers.

For NHF, though, the most important result to come out of this discussion was to put a stake through the heart of the concept of “scientific consensus.” Without a doubt, the Codex science officer was floating this concept once again so that delegates would start getting used to the concept. It would then be put to use at the next Vet Drug Residue committee meeting (May 2020) to adopt a worldwide standard for Zilpaterol. We cannot have that happen. By strongly challenging this biased and unsupported definition of consensus now, NHF was laying the groundwork for defeating the Zilpaterol standard next year. And interestingly enough, several Codex delegations thanked NHF for having spoken out against “scientific consensus.”

Pesticide Heaven

On another agenda item, NHF unfortunately did not score as well. The Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) had referred to the Commission a number of Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for pesticides that CCPR suggested be adopted at Steps 5/8 (Diquat, Imazalil, Oxamyl, Propamocarb, Propriconazole, Profenofos, Bentazone, Abamectin, Fenpyroximate, Kresoxim-Methyl, Pyriproxyfen, Cyprodinil, Pyraclostrobin, Fludioxinil, Mandipropamid, Spinetoram, Fluopyram, Sulfoxaflor, Fluxapyroxad, Benzovindiflupyr, Cyantraniliprole, Cyazofomid, Lufenuron, Isofetamid, Oxathiapiprolin, Ethiprole, Fenpicoxamid, Norflurazon, Pydiflumetofen, Pyriofenone, and Tioxazafen). The European Union, Norway, and Switzerland objected to the MRLs for a number of these toxic pesticides while Brazil objected to just one of them, Pyraclostrobin, due to acute risk concern for their consumers.

With solid research to back NHF’s objections at Codex – thanks to NHF Executive Director Katherine Carroll who spent a significant amount of time researching their toxicity – NHF supported the comments of the EU, Norway, and Switzerland but went even further and objected to the adoption of all of the named pesticides as health hazards for humans and animals.

So, I told the delegates that “the first problem not considered by the risk assessors is that these pesticides are cumulative. They accumulate in the body, even at low doses, and over time they accumulate greatly and detrimentally to humans. This has not been considered by Codex in setting the MRLs here. The second problem is essentially one of synergy. They are often used together with other pesticides and herbicides. And they have never been tested for safety when used together like this. We do not even know what harm their interactions can cause. We suspect these will be even more harmful than when they are used alone and, indeed, science points in this direction. And the third problem is that these pesticides are Endocrine Disruptors, “gender benders,” even at low levels. It has been demonstrated that fertility problems and birth problems result from their use. This is an increasing concern that we cannot let these problems continue. We must be especially cautious in approving any MRLs for endocrine disruptors.”

I continued, “One of our introductory speakers yesterday morning very correctly stated that We cannot have food security without food safety. We agree. The EU and others at CCPR and here at CAC – in written comments – have mentioned toxicological and similar concerns with a number of the pesticides up here for adoption. We agree with the concerns expressed by the EU and supported by Norway and Switzerland at CCPR, and for that very reason we ask that none of these MRLs be adopted but especially those for Diquat, Imazalil, Propiconazole, and Norflurazon not be adopted and that they be sent back to CCPR for further review and discussion.”

Naturally, the Codex science officer could not resist responding to my comments, claiming that the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Food Additives (JECFA) risk assessments considered all factors and were comprehensive. Never having seen an unhealthy standard that it did not like, the United States delegate spoke up and helpfully asked that the JECFA reply be put in the record.

Cadmium Standard Approved Despite Substantial Objections

Surprisingly, when it came to considering the Maximum Limit (ML) for cadmium in chocolates, there was a knock-down, drag-out fight. Proposed at 0.3 mg/kg, this ML for cadmium was approved by the CAC despite the fact that some 30 countries objected to it as being too lax and a health hazard to children especially. Others, such as Argentina and the United States, dismissed the health concerns in agreement with the JECFA Secretariat, who called any health concerns “insignificant.”

In the mêlée, the EU (representing 21 countries at this meeting) stood its ground opposing the ML of 0.3 mg/kg but was subjected to a short health lecture by the Chairman that there is never a zero risk. The Cameroon delegate responded by asking if it is Codex’s goal to place as many food products on the market with the highest levels of heavy metals as possible? In turn – and taking a page out of NHF’s playbook – the outspoken delegate for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) correctly challenged whether there was consensus on this standard and said we should not put too much faith in JECFA science. Plucky Finland pointed out that there were more delegations against the standard than in support and that it was bad form for the JECFA Secretariat to suggest that he might need to explain the science to a delegation. Cameroon supported Finland while ECOWAS reminded the delegates that “there is still room for improvement with JECFA.”

Papal Infallibility

The cadmium ML for chocolate passed despite strong objections by numerous delegates. Under Codex procedural rules on consensus, the standard should have been stopped. This procedural failure highlights the outsized influence wielded by the Codex “science” officer and overall by JECFA itself.

One of the biggest problems at Codex is delegate susceptibility to the “Papal Infallibility” complex when it comes to science. It doesn’t help that the JECFA Secretariat definitely believes in its own infallibility when it comes to scientific matters (despite frequently admitting large data gaps in available science from which to draw a conclusion). Any pronouncements on the safety of a food standard or pesticide standard that is handed down by JECFA is treated as if they are the stone tablets that Moses brought down from the Mount.

Yet, NHF’s written and oral comments in April 2015 after the Vet Drug Residue (CCRVDF) meeting in Costa Rica reveal that far from handing down stone tablets from the Mount, the JECFA Secretariat has clay feet instead. At that meeting JECFA had announced that recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBST) use had resulted in no increase in mastitis or in pus in milk. “Why then,” I asked, “after such a thorough and systematic literature review did JECFA miss the industry’s own data showing a 79% increase in mastitis from rbST use along with a 19% increase in pus and bacteria in the milk?” I then read from Monsanto’s own warning label for Posilac, its rbST injectable drug, expressly stating that cows injected with Posilac are at increased risk for mastitis. I again asked the Committee, how could JECFA’s supposedly systematic review have missed the industry’s own safety issues? So much for thorough and “systematic” reviews.

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone is not JECFA’s only scientific stumble. When it came to aspartame – the well-known artificial sweetener with less-known, but still-proven deleterious effects upon humans and animals, which can include seizures, brain tumors, dementia, and weight gain[2] – JECFA got it wrong. Notwithstanding the considerable and increasingly accumulating evidence of aspartame’s toxicity, JECFA declared aspartame “safe” in the early 1980s at a consumption level of 40 mg per kilogram of body weight.[3]

This happened too with glyphosate, ractopamine, and Zilpaterol, all of which JECFA pronounced safe to use at levels that are harming people and animals. In my article published last year about the Codex Vet Drug Residue committee victory over Zilpaterol, I describe in more detail JECFA’s scientific errors and how Codex delegates were and still are seriously mistaken to trust JECFA “science.”[4]

Yet, JECFA and most Codex delegates expect all of us to accept its scientific pronouncements without question. For a scientific body, Codex certainly has a congregation of religious adherents. Of course it is understandable that Codex delegates would want to defer on scientific issues to JECFA because it certainly saves those delegates from having to do their own scientific due diligence. Still, that is what they must do – their own independent inquiries, with an open mind as well. Part of the problem stems from what the JECFA Secretariat himself admitted matter of factly at CAC42 on July 10th, when he confessed that JECFA relies heavily on studies and data from the industry in order to make its safety assessments.

JECFA lacks credibility when it deems a systematic review as complete and yet misses important safety data plainly visible to even the general public. NHF keeps pointing this out to fellow delegates and finally it seems as if some other delegates are catching on, as shown by ECOWAS’ comments at CAC42.

At this most recent Codex meeting – the most important one of the year – the National Health Federation was there to remind fellow delegates that Codex science can be mistaken, misguided, and even corrupted, and that we should not blindly accept whatever swill we have been given to swallow.

NHF thanks its donors who made it possible for NHF to attend and to stop the drive towards twisting Codex procedure so that a new meaning of “consensus” would allow unhealthy standards to be adopted. Without its generous donors, NHF would not have been there to shoot down this stealth tactic that would have gained deceptive momentum in successive Codex meetings. Instead “scientific consensus” lays smoldering in the dust as a reminder to Codex to act with integrity.

© 2019 Scott C. Tips

[1] Scott Tips, “Victory at Codex Over Dangerous Vet Drug,” Health Freedom News, Summer 2018, pp 5-9, at https://thenhf.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Victory-at-Codex-Over-Dangerous-Vet-Drug.pdf.

[2] Mark D. Gold, Independent Analysis of “Opinion of the European Commission, Scientific Committee on Food: Update on the Safety of Aspartame / E951,” Feb. 3, 2003, at http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/scf2002- response.htm.

[3] See, e.g., InChem, “Aspartame,” undated, at http://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v15je03.htm. See alsoJECFA Evaluation Monograph, dated 2018, at http://apps.who.int/food-additives-contaminants-jecfadatabase/chemical.aspx?chemID=62.

[4] Tips, supra.