"And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad."
TIME: YOUR CHILD'S RELIGION MAY BE 'MENTAL ILLNESS'
'Overzealous practice of family faith may be a sign of an underlying issue'
by DREW ZAHN
According to an article published this week on Time magazine's website, your child's "fastidiousness to religious practices" may be a sign of mental illness.
"Religion can be a source of comfort that improves well-being," begins the article by author Francine Russo. "But some kinds of religiosity could be a sign of deeper mental health issues."
In the article titled "Can Your Child Be Too Religious?" Russo continues, "If your child is immersed in scripture after school and prays regularly throughout the day, you may breathe a sigh of relief. She's such a good girl. ... Or maybe not. Your child's devotion may be a great thing, but there are some kids whose religious observances require a deeper look. For these children, an overzealous practice of their family faith - or even another faith - may be a sign of an underlying mental health issue."
The article explains therapists report seeing children and teens who dive into excessive religiosity as an unhealthy coping mechanism, a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, that's "no more spiritual than fanatical hand washing."
The article describes a type of OCD called scrupulosity, where children "obsessively worry that they have committed blasphemy, been impure or otherwise sinned" and warns against religious delusions or hallucinations that parents may be less attuned to "when it occurs under the guise of faith."
Russo suggests parents evaluate whether faith is a "source of strength" in their children or whether "religious practices and rituals seem to be overtaking their daily lives and displacing their normal activities."
If the latter, she lists a few guidelines recommended by "experts" for guiding your child through a discussion on faith and seeking counseling, if necessary.
Though the article affirms religion "can be a positive force in the lives of children, just as can be for adults," Ken Shepherd of the media-bias watchdog organization Newsbusters argues Russo and her list of parental guidelines neglect the true place and power of faith.
"Oddly missing from that list of suggestions was attending religious services with your teen and/or talking to his/her pastor or rabbi to get his perspective on how your child is walking in his/her religious devotion," Shepherd commented. "It's also telling how religion is seen as primarily about what the practicing teen is 'getting out of it' or 'makes him feel' rather than an experience whereby the teenager is seeking to worship God and discover eternal truths about His character and will."
Shepherd also criticized Time for running the article only a few days before the Easter holiday.
"On some level, this sort of foolishness is to be expected from liberal secular publications," he continued, "but it's rather telling that on the holiest week in the Christian calendar that Time magazine is trying to stoke fear in parents - and presumably a predominantly secular parenting demographic, given the magazine's readership - that teens who are religious, particularly those in more conservative denominations, might not be so right in the head."
WND Columnist Dr. Lee Hieb also has joined the conversation on the issue.
"I see this one coming. This is a one-two sucker punch let loose in the name of civil society and treatment of poor mentally ill people. The government lets us Second Amendment people keep guns, but only if we are not mentally ill - and it is the government which will define 'mentally ill.'"
She continued, "Psychiatry is a dangerous weapon in the hands of the state. We cannot cede to the government authority to define mental health, nor allow mental health 'experts' to decide our fitness to exercise our constitutional rights."
The Huffington Post
America, Catholic Magazine, Calls For Repeal Of Second Amendment In Controversial Editorial
By Meredith Bennett-Smith
A respected and popular Catholic weekly magazine has made a landmark -- and certainly controversial -- call in its latest editorial.
America is a national Jesuit weekly, founded in 1909 and based in New York. The magazine has an online edition and still maintains a print subscription. It is also the only national Catholic weekly magazine in the United States, according to the America website.
In the Feb. 25 edition of America, the editors argue that the only way to start a real conversation on guns is to first get rid of the Constitutional Amendment that guarantees the right to bear them.
"It is time to face reality," the editorial reads, in part. "If the American people are to confront this scourge in any meaningful way, then they must change. The Constitution must change. The American people should repeal the Second Amendment."
Father Matt Malone, 40, America's editor-in-chief, who stepped into his current role last summer, told The Huffington Post that the eight-member editorial board did not make this claim casually.
For weeks following the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn., Malone said he and his fellow editors discussed what the appropriate response -- both spiritually and policy-wise -- should be. And time and time again, he and his fellow Jesuits found themselves stymied by the Supreme Court's sweeping 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which affirmed citizens' right to bear arms for "traditionally lawful purposes."
"We thought the fundamental question here is, is the Second Amendment in the 21st century still useful law," Malone told the HuffPost. "At first we were kind of reluctant to ask that question, because no one wants to in any kind of casual way talk about changing the Bill of Rights. But you know what, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are excellent laws, but they are human law. And it seems to us, that if they are the laws of a self-governing country, then the people have an obligation to ask, is it indeed still good law for the times were are living in."
Vanity Fair columnist Kurt Eichenwald penned a similar proposal in January, writing that, while he believes people "have the right to arm themselves," he also believes that "for a variety of reasons, the Second Amendment has been twisted and bastardized in ways that could never have been conceived at the time of the nation's founding." He goes on to state that "the amendment has nothing--nothing--to do with modern America."
The America editorial is not a call for the wholesale scrapping of the country's guns. Rather, the editorial looks at the way the Second Amendment has shaped, or impeded, efforts at potentially necessary or appropriate reforms:
Americans must ask: Is it prudent to retain a constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms when it compels our judges to strike down reasonable, popularly supported gun regulations? Is it moral to inhibit in this way the power of the country's elected representatives to provide for the public safety? Does the threat of tyranny, a legitimate 18th-century concern but an increasingly remote, fanciful possibility in the contemporary United States, trump the grisly, daily reality of gun violence?
Father Malone said that the editorial was motivated by the magazine's Catholic principles. Catholic bishops in the United States have consistently spoken out in favor of gun control, according to Malone, who points in particular to the U.S. bishops' conference in 1975.
"At the conference, a committee identified 'the easy availability of handguns in our society' as a major threat to human life and called for 'effective and courageous action to control handguns, leading to their eventual elimination from our society' with 'exceptions...for the police, military, security guards' and sporting clubs."
While the American Catholic hierarchy may historically come down on the side of strict reforms, it should be noted the same cannot be said for all American Christians, or rank-and-file Catholics, for that matter. For one, Vice President Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, is a vocal supporter of the Second Amendment. There is also the argument by the National Review's David French, who wrote recently that bearing arms is a God-given right that Jesus would have approved of.
In January, a survey from the National Association of Evangelicals showed that nearly three-quarters of evangelical leaders support increasing restrictions on guns, while still pledging their support for the Second Amendment. This dichotomy is consistent with Americans in general, who in the summer of 2012 said they supported the Second Amendment by a two-thirds majority, with a smaller majority also supporting gun-control laws, according to a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.
Malone said that America magazine knew the editorial would be deeply unpopular with a large portion of American readers. Indeed, the response has begun already.
Malone has been monitoring comments posted by readers, as well comments made about the topic on other Internet forums. He said the range of responses has been broad, with some people objecting very strongly. Some have also written in to thank the magazine for "naming the elephant in the room," while others have threatened to cancel their subscriptions. A select few even claimed the editorial proves an ancient, Dan Brown-esque conspiracy theory involving a secret brotherhood of Jesuits who run the world.
Ultimately, Malone said that the original aim was simply to spark a civil conversation.
"Our goal is to raise the question," he said, "And to do it in a way that was thoughtful and charitable, and to invite people to re-imagine our relationship to our fundamental law."
Canada Free Press
Intelligence insider: Obama administration agenda to "kill U.S Dollar"
Is there any defensible scenario for this administration to want to "kill the dollar?"
By Douglas J. Hagmann
April 1, 2012
This week, I had a series of very sobering discussions with my highly-placed source within the intelligence world. The information he provided hit me like a proverbial tons of bricks. It connects everything we are seeing play out across the world, from the economic problems in Europe to the U.S. DHS ammunition acquisition orders and even the "gun control" debate. If you're like me, you're looking for clarity, context and focus with regard to all of the events we're constantly hearing about but seem to lack legitimate explanation. I believe this report will provide the context and clarity we are all seeking, but I must warn you that the picture is not pretty.
The economic agenda: In plain sight
Some might be surprised to learn that the fate of America's economy has already been determined, verified and announced by the Obama White House. Yet, it has received scant attention from the corporate media. In 2011, economist Kyle Bass interviewed a senior member of the Obama administration about its planned solutions for fixing the US economy and trade deficit[i].
Among the questions he asked was about U.S. exports and wages, but the question itself was not nearly as important as the response he received from this senior administration official. In fact, this single, seven word response clarifies everything, explains everything, and leaves little else to discuss: "We're just going to kill the dollar."
There it is, the entire agenda in one short sentence. It explains everything we've been seeing domestically and globally. That one statement makes every other question irrelevant, or otherwise answers all economic questions and explains everything. Nothing else matters. I urge you to ponder that statement and all that it implies. Doing so will provide you with the clarity to understand not only what is taking place today, but what is yet to come.
Murder & High Treason
It is important to note the specificity of the word "kill." Stated in the active voice, it means an unambiguously intentional and deliberate act. The murder of our national currency, the United States Dollar (USD), is the ultimate agenda to be implemented under Obama. To "kill" our national currency will subvert the United States and destroy it from within. This begs a number of questions, including what type of Americans would actually have, as their objective, the destruction of our national currency? To whom do they hold their allegiance, if not to the American people whose life's work as well as the toil of our ancestors is represented in the form of wealth held in U.S. dollars? Does this make any sense to us, as Americans? The answer of course is "no."
By its very definition, to kill our national currency is an act of high treason by those engaged in this activity. It undermines the very sovereignty and survival of our nation, and will have a life-changing impact on every citizen in the U.S. It will also impact every nation and the people of every nation on the planet, as the USD is presently the world's reserve currency. It is an act that should result in the filing of criminal charges against the conspirators, a trial of their peers and if convicted, a death sentence. It's that serious.
According to my source, we are past the point of no return. We will not be able to stop what is coming, but must be wise enough to prepare and "get out of the way." The murder plot involving the death of the dollar did not begin with Obama, but he and other conspirators have accelerated the plans, plots and schemes for its demise.
The ultimate objective
The ultimate objective is to implement an international currency in tandem with a system of global governance. The problem is that most people are not thinking large enough, nor do they understand the magnitude of the lie. They are not seeing the larger picture as their focus is diverted elsewhere. For example, they focus on various tentacles of the octopus such as the gun confiscation initiative, the DHS armament acquisitions and economic woes as independent and unrelated events. They are not.
Meanwhile, others continue to adhere to, or even perpetuate the dual party meme of governance, holding dearly to the notion that there is a practical difference between the Republican and Democrat parties. Have we not seen sufficient evidence that they are now of one party acting in concert with each other? They cannot see the collusion and backroom deals, and continue to hope that the next election will finally change the unchangeable continuity of agenda.
Most of the elected officials are onboard with the subjugation of the United States to a global system of governance. Some are actively facilitating this agenda, while others are making nominal objections on the stage of political theater while hoping to earn a seat at the global table. It's entertainment for the globalists, distraction of the masses, and diversionary fodder for the talking heads in the media.
America has become a captured operation - captured from within. Think of the Vichy French, internal collaboration with the enemy, or softening the ground for a full takeover from within. The takeover of America has already happened, the collaborators have already been installed, and we are now on a path to complete subjugation of a larger global system of governance. If you continue to doubt this, how else would you explain the numerous examples of our dual-party governmental acquiescence of self destruction?
"Signs, signs, everywhere signs..."
Those who are pleased about the new record setting stock-market highs and various other manipulated statistics that indicate our economy is improving will be the most vocal critics of this report and who will attempt to discredit the validity of the information offered here. The more intellectually astute will look beyond the statistics offered for mass consumption not only to identify the deliberately manipulated data, but to understand what is actually driving these false hopes, figures and data. It is a magic show, and many are still captivated by the magicians' many diversions, failing to realize that we are engaged in a global war while being simultaneously hobbled by enemy infiltrators from within.
One reason we are seeing new stock market highs is the rush to the dollar from other currencies, especially in the Eurozone. Another reason is the monetization of our debt by the Federal Reserve, despite the previous denials of Ben Bernanke and others.
Simply put, the plan by the globalists, or the central bankers and those behind them, is to create this rush to the USD like passengers from sinking ships to lifeboats. Once the lifeboats are filled to capacity, they will be sunk, and the United States Dollar will be completely worthless. As in such a scenario, many will not make it. Many will die from what is coming. The level of evil behind this plan is incomprehensible to the normal human mind.
Russia, China, Syria and Iran
As I detailed in my multiple reports about Benghazi, we are at war with Russia. After removing Qaddafi from power in Libya, the Obama-Clinton black-ops plan was immediately put into action. Benghazi was the logistics hub for arming the anti-Assad terrorists by our own State Department covert operatives who were shipping millions of tons of weapons to Syria via Turkey and other staging areas. Russia was aware of our actions, and through the attack at the CIA operations center in Benghazi by proxy forces, exposed this operation to the world while putting a stop to this operation. It seems that everyone except the Western media reported what had taken place.
The "dirty little secret" that explains why we have not been told the truth about Benghazi is quite simple. The efforts to overthrow Assad from power are continuing, except the arms and munitions shipments are now originating primarily from Croatia. Overthrowing Assad would pose a direct threat to Russia, both militarily and economically. Are we to expect Russia's Putin to simply accept this without response? No. So what is Russia doing to subvert our efforts? He is waging war against America, striking at the weak underbelly of our economy which is the "oil backed" dollar as identified in Michael Reagan's article, Building on a Kernel of Truth.
Sadly, the Obama regime is doing nothing to protect us from this asymmetrical war. It's as if they are allowing it to take place.
Although it was reported in The New York Times, few have paid attention to last week's meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, but it was an extremely important event in terms of the planned murder of the U.S. dollar. An alliance is being forged between Russia and China to replace the USD as the reserve currency, already severely weakened by the policies of those in power, with a gold backed currency. Russia and China are hoarding gold to levels never before seen, while the U.S. issues worthless paper and digital currency backed by... nothing, save for the "oil-backed" scenario.
While reports do exist that cite the hoarding of gold by China and Russia, they are purposely under reporting their collective reserves. Meanwhile, Americans can't even get honest answers to the amounts of our own gold reserves held in Fort Knox or the Federal Reserve. Don't people find this reluctance for audit and inspection a bit curious if not outright suspicious?
The battle is being waged not only by military might but by a currency war. We are "being played" through our military involvement in the Middle East, including our covert operations against Syria at the behest of Saudi Arabia. Unlike Iraq, the war in Syria will explode, turn hot, and we will be engaged in an ominous battle that will quickly expand and turn deadly. Weakened militarily through the policies of the Obama regime, coupled with an already weakened economy, the U.S. will suffer consequences unlike anyone might imagine or is willing to address. It is a recipe for disaster planned and initiated by the global elite behind the central banking system, including those in our own government. We have been set up from within, lied to, and now, we are about to see exactly what this globalist system has in store for not only the United States, but every nation of the world.
It is critical to understand that the take-down of the U.S. will be the result of an asymmetrical war that includes the weakening of our military, our economy, and a direct assault on our ability to keep the dollar as the world reserve currency and protect the free flow of oil and energy to the United States.
Within the last week, China held a surprise naval exercise in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, Russia displayed their resurgent military night in the Black Sea. These exercises were conducted as U.S. military forces are spread thinly across many areas in the world. Is anyone paying attention here?
Just as certain a collapse of the dollar is coming, so will be chaos on the streets of America caused by this plan "to kill the dollar." The central bankers and the leaders selected to govern each country have effectively used the Hegelian Dialectic[ii] to implement their agenda. Just as stated by George H.W. Bush on September 11, 1990, their predetermined solution of a "New World Order" is being formed before our very eyes. They've told us what they are doing, but we have chosen not to listen or failed to understand what was being said.
The U.S. has always been the firewall against the globalists. By their persistence, infiltration of global elitists into our government, and covert subversion from within, we are being led to slaughter. A view from space, looking at the larger picture of events for which many have questions, a clearer picture emerges. There will be some who dare to resist the pillaging of our bank accounts, the erosion of our rights, and the enslavement that comes with the dismantling of America.
The dust clouds visible on the far horizon that watchmen have been reporting for decades can now be seen as an attacking army of barbarians, whose fighters are now on the ladders and cannons are breaching our empire's outer walls. Who knows how long the inner walls of our empire will survive the next wave of their coming attack.
Perhaps Ernest Hemmingway said it best in referencing John Donne from his novel of the same name... "And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."
NEW CHALLENGE RATTLES ECONOMY'S FOUNDATION
Exclusive: Jerry Robinson on competitor to World Bank
Banks in Cyprus likely are going down, taking a portion of the assets in many accounts with them. But were other banks in the West feeling shudders just this week, too?
Perhaps it was because of the discussion about a new global financial player that would compete with the World Bank, and its Western influences.
Economist, columnist, radio host and international conference speaker Jerry Robinson on his "Follow the Money Weekly" program this week discussed the issue.
It is the financial plan being assembled by the members of BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
At the BRICS Summit 2013, held in Durban, South Africa, the top leaders of those nations discussed economic cooperation and integration - apart from Western influence.
Robinson, along with his co-host, Jennifer Robinson, talked about the BRICS development bank that seeks eventually to challenge the World Bank.
"While it will take years for such an institution to gain ascendancy, it is just another sign that emerging nations like China and India are on the rise as the West claims bankruptcy," they note in their podcast this week.
Another sign of trouble for the traditional? The large number of agreements signed by China and Russia, including a $30 billion currency swap that will remove the U.S. dollar from half the annual trade between the two countries.
AUSTRALIA DUMPS U.S. DOLLAR FOR CHINESE YUAN
Direct conversion to slash costs for thousands of business
Published: April 3, 2012
A month ago we pointed out that as a result of Australia's unprecedented reliance on China as a target export market, accounting for nearly 30% of all Australian exports (with the flipside being just as true, as Australia now is the fifth-biggest source of Chinese imports), the two countries may as well be joined at the hip.
Over the weekend, Australia appears to have come to the same conclusion, with the Australian reporting that the land down under is set to say goodbye to the world's "reserve currency" in its trade dealings with the world's biggest marginal economic power, China, and will enable the direct convertibility of the Australian dollar into Chinese yuan, without US Dollar intermediation, in the process "slashing costs for thousands of business" and also confirming speculation that China is fully intent on, little by little, chipping away at the dollar's reserve currency status until one day it no longer is.
Investment Watch -
Department of Homeland Security Can Seize Gold, Silver, Guns in Safety Deposit Boxes
March 31, 2013
Memo states DHS to make "periodic and unannounced" visits to banks and inspect contents of "selected safe deposit boxes."
Photo: EG Focus.
According to in-house memos now circulating, the DHS has issued orders to banks across America which announce to them that "under the Patriot Act" the DHS has the absolute right to seize, without any warrant whatsoever, any and all customer bank accounts, to make "periodic and unannounced" visits to any bank to open and inspect the contents of "selected safe deposit boxes."
Further, the DHS "shall, at the discretion of the agent supervising the search, remove, photograph or seize as evidence" any of the following items "bar gold, gold coins, firearms of any kind unless manufactured prior to 1878, documents such as passports or foreign bank account records, pornography or any material that, in the opinion of the agent, shall be deemed of to be of a contraband nature."
DHS memos also state that banks are informed that any bank employee, on any level, that releases "improper" "classified DHS Security information" to any member of the public, to include the customers whose boxes have been clandestinely opened and inspected and "any other party, to include members of the media" and further "that the posting of any such information on the internet will be grounds for the immediate termination of the said employee or employees and their prosecution under the Patriot Act." Safety deposit box holders and depositors are not given advanced notice when failed banks shut their doors.
If people have their emergency money in a safe deposit box or an account in a bank that closes, they will not be allowed into the bank to get it out. They can knock on the door and beg to get in but the sheriff's department or whoever is handling the closure will simply say "no" because they are just following orders.
CONGRESS TAKES SNEAKY ACTION ON YOUR FOOD
'Monsanto Protection Act' slipped into continuing resolution spending bill
Published: April 1, 2012
by STEVE ELWART Email | Archive
Steve Elwart, P.E., Ph.D., is the executive research analyst with the Koinonia Institute and a subject matter expert for the Department of Homeland Security. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
With a rising global population and less arable land available for cultivation, scientists have been looking for ways to obtain more and better food supplies, and many believe that genetic engineering holds the key to solving the problem.
Now Congress has put its oar into the water, with a special provision that protects those companies producing genetically modified food from all sorts of liabilities.
Genetically modified foods are derived from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. When a gene from one organism is manipulated to change another organism, the result is a new, genetically modified organism. The organism is also sometimes called "transgenic," because of the transfer of genes.
Many insects have been subject to gene-transfer research, due to their short life cycle and the relatively simple genome structure. The genome contains all of an organism's genetic information. The word comes from the combination of the words "gene" and "chromosome."
Gene transfer is also making its way into the commercial market. The GloFish is a patented genetically altered brand of red, green and orange fluorescent zebrafish. In 2003, the GloFish became the first genetically modified animal to become publicly available as a pet. The fish was quickly banned for sale in California.
The California Department of Fish and Game explained why it banned the fish:
"Moving a gene from one species to an entirely different species is an awesome display of human ingenuity and power over nature and should not be done for trivial purposes. ... In instances where a transgenic organism can help feed the hungry, heal the sick or clean up the environment, the benefits may justify some level of risk. But creating a novelty pet is a frivolous use of this technology. No matter how low the risk is, there needs to be a public benefit that is higher than this. "
An increasing chorus of researchers believes that the benefits of genetically modified organisms do not justify the inherent risks.
Nowhere does the concern become more apparent than in genetically modified foods.
Genetically modified foods, or GM Foods, have been used for centuries, whether in yeast to make bread rise or using rennet to make cheese.
But today, genetically modified foods have short-cut the process to enhance or even eliminate particular characteristics in food. GMOs have been used to create crops that are resistant to infestations and are cheaper to produce - all by making a few changes in the plants' DNA coding.
Plant geneticists can isolate the gene responsible for drought tolerance and insert the gene into a different plant, making it possible to grow the second, newly modified plant in areas that previously could not support agriculture.
GM techniques have also been utilized to transfer genes from plant organisms to non-plant organisms. The best known example of this is the use of the Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) into corn and other crops.
B.t. is a naturally occurring bacterium that produces proteins that are lethal to insect larvae. The bacterium has been transferred into corn, enabling the corn to produce its own pesticides against insects such as the European corn borer.
P>Monsanto (Monsanto Company Inc.) has been in the forefront in GM technology. Monsanto has also been at the forefront of controversy about the perceived dangers of GM food productions.
The commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr GM tomato. This version of tomatoes was engineered to delay its ripening time to optimize its "fresh off the farm" look in grocery stores. It was also the first GM food that was licensed for human consumption.
In 1997, in a move to expand its biotechnology and food science businesses, Monsanto bought the remaining shares of Calgene Inc. it did not already own for $240 million, acquiring the full ownership of the company. The move was part of Monsanto's strategy of transforming itself from a chemical company into a life sciences company, with agricultural, food ingredient and pharmaceutical holdings.
Since then, its research on and production of GM foods have increased dramatically.
On its website, Monsanto boasts that more than 2 billion acres of farmland worldwide converted to GM crop production.
It also claims a "proven economic and environmental benefits, a solid record of safe use and promising products for our future." The company also claims that "opponents of GM crops often describe them as 'untested' and 'unsafe.' This is simply untrue."
That is a statement open to debate.
The Ohio State University Extension Center's Family and Consumer Sciences Department has outlined some of the nutritional concerns of consuming GM Foods.
It rates the top concern as the risk of allergic reactions. It states that transference of allergens from one food protein to a GM modified food is extremely low and that in response to this concern, the FDA requires that each genetically modified organism be proven not to have incorporated an allergenic substance into it.
If that proof cannot be demonstrated, the FDA does not ban the GM food, it merely requires a label on the product to alert the consumer of its possible allergic reaction.
As to the fact that the FDA does not require clinical trials before approving a GM food, the agency gives the rationale that any GM modified protein in the food is digested the same as other foods and rendered harmless.
The FDA states that "the human body cells cannot discern whether a gene is from a 'natural' or genetically modified organism because they are completely unbound from the original plant."
The FDA also notes that "clinical trials would be difficult to perform because 60-70 percent of food products in groceries are already genetically modified."
"It would be extremely difficult to get a large enough control group (people who consume no GMOs) to conduct a valid study," the agency says.
The reports from the government and government-sponsored studies, however, have not settled the matter. - In his 2003 book, "Seeds of Deception," author Jeffery Smith revealed that efforts to inform the public have been repressed. Smith said reliable science reports have been buried, and researchers that have warned about the dangers of GM foods have been maligned. The researchers, he said, have been threatened with funding cuts, and one researcher was fired for publishing his findings.
When eminent scientist Arpad Pusztai, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, went public about his accidental discovery that genetically modified potatoes severely damage the immune system and organs of rats, he was suspended from the prestigious Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, where he had worked for 35 years. He was then silenced with threats of a lawsuit
The resulting controversy became known as the Pusztai affair.
Because of the rising chorus of skeptics railing against GMOs, Monsanto is apparently taking no chances, protecting itself from any liability regarding its products.
As is frequently done in the world of "corporate welfare," there was a small provision slipped into the HR 933 Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill. The provision (Sec. 735 shown on pp. 35-36 of the bill) essentially gives GM foods, of which Monsanto is the biggest player, a free pass from liability for any harm the crops may cause.
The rider, officially called the "Farmer Assurance Provision," states that any company, primarily Monsanto, is beyond the reach of the judicial system. The courts cannot stop the "movement, planting, cultivation or introduction into commerce" of a GMO until a disposition of its safety is determined by the secretary of the agriculture "in a timely manner." Why the paragraph was hidden in a 240-page appropriation bill has never been explained.
The provision is now commonly called the "Monsanto Protection Act."
What also has not been explained is why President Obama has never fulfilled his 2007 campaign pledge to require labeling of GMO-derived products. The pledge seemed heartfelt, especially given Michelle Obama's famous organic garden on the White House lawn and her public commitment to healthy eating choices.
Even after more than 250,000 people signed a petition opposing the provision after its passage, the White House has been silent on the issue.
Equally troubling is that Monsanto helped craft the language in the rider that protects it from liability.
Not all countries are embracing GMO as is the U.S.
In 2012, Russia suspended imports of Monsanto's GMO corn after a French study linked the corn to cancer. In September 2012, France extended its temporary ban on Monsanto's MON810 corn. MON810 is the same sweet corn sold in the U.S. for human consumption after it was quietly approved by the USDA.
Ireland has banned the growing of GMO crops for the last four years. Japan and Egypt have also banned the cultivation of GMO crops. In 2010, Switzerland extended a moratorium on genetically modified animals and plants, banning GMOs until November 2013.
Tasmania is getting ready to renew its moratorium on GMOs. Tasmania's dairy farmers are warning that the ban could disadvantage their sector over the next few years, while Tasmania's fruit growers have warned there will be consequences if the state's blanket ban on genetically modified organisms is revoked. Besides the suspected risks inherent in GMOs, Lucy Gregg of Fruit Growers Tasmania says the state's GMO-free status is vital to overseas marketing campaigns, particularly in Japan and Korea.
GM foods have been removed in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Madeira, New Zealand, Peru, South Australia and Switzerland.
In the U.S., the cry to ban or at least label GM foods is growing.
Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety," charged that in the Senate's "hidden backroom deal," Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., "turned her back on consumer, environmental and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto."
Mikulski is chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
"This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Sen. Mikulski or the Democrat majority in the Senate," Kimbrell said in a statement to the International Business Times.
In the wake of the controversy surrounding the rider, many lawmakers are distancing themselves from the legislation. Many members of Congress who voted to approve the bill now say they were unaware the language existed. At a time in which bills such as Obamacare are rammed through a compliant Congress, this now seems to be a usual refrain.
Even though the provision will only live for the six months that the continuing funding measure is in effect, it sets a terrible president. The International Business Times notes "the message it sends is that corporations can get around consumer safety protections if they get Congress on their side."
"Furthermore, it sets a precedent that suggests that court challenges are a privilege, not a right."
Proof aspirin fights cancer
A REGULAR dose of aspirin can slash the risk of developing cancer by almost a quarter, research has revealed.
By: Jo Willey
Published: Sat, March 30, 2013
New research links regular aspirin use to reduction in head and neck cancer risks
Scientists have shown that the "wonderdrug" painkiller taken by millions to ward off heart disease and stroke could now be a powerful new weapon in fighting cancer.
A study discovered that taking a low-dose tablet as little as once a week or even once a month could have a "significant" impact in preventing the disease and save thousands of lives a year.
The findings suggest that a low-dose pill could be taken to help ward off cancer in the same way that aspirin is currently prescribed to protect against heart disease.
Experts at Queen's University Belfast used data from the National Cancer Institute Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer trial for a large scale investigation of the effect of aspirin and ibuprofen on head and neck cancer risk.
They concluded that people were 22 per cent more likely to avoid developing head and neck cancers if they took aspirin on a weekly and monthly basis.
It was most effective in throat cancer prevention.
For those aged 55-74, there was a "significant" reduction of head and neck cancer risk between weekly and monthly aspirin use.
Taking aspirin and ibuprofen daily was not significantly associated with a reduced risk.
The study, which was published in the British Journal of Cancer, concluded: "Regular aspirin use was associated with a significant 22 per cent reduction in head and neck cancer risk.
"No association was observed with regular ibuprofen use.
"Aspirin may have potential as a chemopreventive agent but further investigation is warranted."
More than 16,000 people in the UK are affected by head and neck cancers every year.
Mouth cancer claims more lives than testicular and cervical cancer combined.
Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: "Mouth cancer cases are increasing, so this piece of research is encouraging.
"Regular aspirin use has been linked to preventing a number of cancers, and if it is a particularly successful practice for warding off mouth cancer, it should act as a springboard for more research."
But he warned: "People should not be fooled into thinking that taking aspirin counteracts the dangers of mouth cancer.
"If you smoke, drink alcohol to excess, have a poor diet and are at risk from picking up the human papillomavirus (HPV), aspirin use will be irrelevant."
Aspirin blocks the effects of proteins involved in inflammmation
British Journal of Cancer study
The latest evidence further boosts calls for all middle-aged people to be prescribed aspirin to stop them from getting cancer later in life.
Previous research has shown that people who take it are less likely to develop bowel, breast and other types of cancer.
Aspirin blocks the effects of proteins involved in inflammation found at unusually high levels in several cancers.
Millions take aspirin to stave off heart attacks and strokes and it can be prescribed for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Hazel Nunn, head of health information and evidence at Cancer Research UK, said: "We would advise people to speak to their GP if they are considering taking aspirin for cancer prevention."
(The history of aspirin (also known as acetylsalicylic acid or ASA) and the medical use of it and related substances stretches back to antiquity, though pure ASA has only been manufactured and marketed since 1899. Medicines made from willow and other salicylate-rich plants appear in Egyptian pharonic pharmacology papyri from the second millennium BCE. Hippocrates referred to their use of salicylic tea to reduce fevers around 400 BCE, and were part of the pharmacopoeia of Western medicine in Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages. Willow bark extract became recognized for its specific effects on fever, pain and inflammation in the mid-eighteenth century. Wikipedia)
Until next week...keep on believing.
"He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters, and set it as a willow tree."