Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Trichocereus Potency Project

Trichocereus macrogonus 'Tipz' a very potent San Pedro cacti.
Unfortunately, Trichocereus potency and alkaloid content has been a taboo subject in all too many online forums and online groups. Despite some of these forums or groups allowing the open discussion of other species of plants and at the same time profiting monetarily from Trichocereus and San Pedro use, hypocritically.. I personally find this to be counter productive for protecting these plants and more akin to people attempting to protect their business interests, putting money over people.. What we need is education, not regulation. Lore, not law. For far too long, fear based mentalities have allowed those who would control us to keep these important subjects in the dark, making research even harder for those who are interested, especially those who are new to the field.

The use of Trichocereus species by humans is not and has never been shameful, wrong or outside of our natural rights as free humans. We simply cannot allow our minds to be caged by fear or others greed, especially in our modern times where there is already far too much of that going on. The more we educate people, help people and talk openly about these subjects, the safer usage will be for those new to the experience and for those looking for genuine healing. The benefits of using sacred plant medicine like San Pedro safely, for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health far out way any concerns over legality. As has been evidenced by the Medical Marijuana community, educating people about the benefits of plant medicine and their safe usage is far more effective in achieving law reform than hiding in the shadows thinking wishful thoughts..

Trichocereus pachanoi 'PC' widely regarded as being weak to inactive.
So, I call upon the ethnobotany and specifically the Trichocereus community to please contribute to this project by commenting below, this can be done anonymously if you so desire. My hope is that thousands of people from all around the world will contribute and share the knowledge that they have in regards to Trichocereus potency, alkaloid content as well as safe and effective usage. Hopefully we can create an extensive list of known potent clones, species, alkaloid contents and various growing and extraction techniques for getting the most out of the plants we have. If this is something you would be interested in contributing to, please comment below so that we can create a compendium of useful information, all in the one place, for people who are interested in actually using these miraculous plants for their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. Thank you.

* Also please click on the following links for more information~

The Trichocereus Appreciation Group: Where you are free to openly discuss these subjects!

Trichocereus Potency: A basic guide for getting the most out of San Pedro

How Shamanic Plant Medicine Works: Interview with Ross Heaven

Scientific Shamanism: Shamanic Plant Medicine Meets New Science

Sacred Cacti: Exclusive Interview with Keeper Trout

Flavonoids: The Over Looked Ingredient in Potency

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Poisoned Fields: What Glyphosate is doing to us and the environment.

 This article first appeared in New Dawn issue 161 March - April 2017. © Brett Lothian.

Poisoned Fields; What Glyphosate is doing to us and our environment.

I want to start out this article by saying that this is a very sensitive subject for myself personally. I grew up on the land, dairy farming predominately but also growing crops and raising animals for food production. I used to be a part of the problem, perhaps the most serious problem we today as humans face. I realize that is a big statement, but it is all too true. I have been intimately involved in almost every stage of our food production throughout the years, from growing up on farms, to owning and operating my own market garden, supplying the major super markets with vegetables and even working for a time as a chef and managing restaurants. I thought I knew the problems of the industry inside and out, but it wasn’t until I began researching for this article that I discovered just how far the problems go, that it literally affects every single one of us in so many different ways, and will continue to do so until we as consumers demand better from our primary producers, our scientists and our governments who are allowing this to continue. In short, we are slowly but surely being culled for profit, and destroying the very environment that sustains us.

In defense of our hard working primary producers, we just didn’t know any better. We believed what we were told by the industry experts, the scientists, by our regulatory bodies and by our governments. We were told by the experts that substances such as Monsanto’s Roundup and the active ingredient Glyphosate, were perfectly safe if used according to the specifications outlined. I remember undertaking an officially approved chemical handler’s course many years ago, that only reinforced that these types of products are safe if used correctly. Sadly, that is just not the case, not anywhere near it. I guarantee you that if our primary producers knew what these types of products are doing to us and to our soil, they would be the first ones up in arms and demanding change. No farmer wants to be a part of the problem, we take great pride in providing high quality food for the masses, but I and my fellow primary producers have been led down the garden path by our industry scientists, our regulatory bodies and by our corrupt governments for decades. You may say that ignorance is no excuse, but is it really ignorance when we have been lied to? I don’t think so, we were simply misinformed. The blame lies with Monsanto, the supposed experts, the regulatory bodies and the governments who told us all the lies and allowed this to happen, lies that are killing all of us for profit and the New World Order depopulation agenda.

I must give all credit where credit is due though, if there was an opposite of the Nobel Prize, perhaps a Pol Pot or Hitler Prize, then certainly the nefarious and purely evil people behind all of this would win it, hands down. In its own way it is ingenious, Glyphosate literally is the perfect depopulation tool and the associated health issues it causes have created a multi trillion dollar industry. No wonder such luminaries as the admitted eugenicist Bill Gates are so heavily invested in Monsanto.  The really scary thing for me is that I have no doubt these people honestly believe they are doing the right thing, but then again so did the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. They will not be judged well by history, unless they get their way and are the only ones left to write the new history books. This, we must not allow. We simply must take back control of our food production if we are to survive, and we as the consumers are the ones with the real power of just what sells and what does not in the market place. With informed consumers, the poisoning of our foods and soil can be abated and even reversed. We can regain our health and prosperity, our fertility and abundance, when we are educated about healthy and safe food production and make informed choices with our money.

So just what is Monsanto, Roundup and Glyphosate doing to us unsuspecting consumers? Well, it’s more like what isn’t it doing to us. Almost every major health epidemic at the moment can be directly linked back to Roundup, Glyphosate and their associated Genetically Engineered Crops. According to a study published in the Journal of Organic Systems in 2014, Genetically Engineered Crops, Glyphosate and the Deterioration of Health in the United States of America by Nancy L. Swanson, Andre Leu, Jon Abrahamson and Bradley Wallet, within the last 20 years there has been an alarming increase in serious illnesses in the United States, along with a marked decrease in life expectancy. The US leads the world in the increase in deaths due to neurological diseases, there have been similar findings for obesity, asthma, behavior and learning problems, and chronic disease in children and young adults. Type II diabetes in youth is being called an epidemic. The rate of chronic disease in the entire US population has been dramatically increasing with an estimated 25% of the US population suffering from multiple chronic diseases. These findings suggest environmental triggers rather than genetic or age related causes. During this same time period, there has been an exponential increase in the amount of glyphosate applied to food crops and in the percentage of genetically engineered food crops planted.

Dr. Swanson states, “Prevalence and incidence data show correlations between diseases of the organs and the increase in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the food supply, along with the increase in Glyphosate based herbicide applications. More and more studies have revealed carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting effects of Roundup at lower doses than those authorized for residues found in Genetically Modified Organisms. The endocrine disrupting properties of Glyphosate can lead to reproductive problems: infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, and sexual development. Fetuses, infants and children are especially susceptible because they are continually experiencing growth and hormonal changes. For optimal growth and development, it is crucial that their hormonal system is functioning properly. The endocrine disrupting properties also lead to neurological disorders (learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Those most susceptible are children and the elderly.”

While Monsanto insists that Roundup is safe, a peer-reviewed report authored by Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant, and a long time contributor to the Vital Votes Forum, and Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), reveals how Glyphosate wrecks human health. They argue that Glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GM sugar, corn, soy, and wheat, “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.” Interestingly, your gut bacteria are a key component of Glyphosate’s primary mechanism of harm. Monsanto has steadfastly claimed that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which allows it to kill weeds), called the shikimate pathway, is absent in all animals. However, the shikimate pathway IS present in bacteria, and that’s the key to understanding how it causes such widespread systemic harm in both humans and animals. The bacteria in your body outnumber your cells by 10 to one. For every cell in your body, you have 10 microbes of various kinds, and all of them have the shikimate pathway, so they will all respond to the presence of Glyphosate! Glyphosate causes extreme disruption of the microbe’s function and lifecycle. What’s worse, Glyphosate preferentially affects beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogens to overgrow and take over, including the highly toxic Clostridium botulinum. It has been estimated that only 1 kilogram would be enough to kill the entire human population. At that point, your body also has to contend with the toxins produced by the pathogens. Once the chronic inflammation sets in, you’re well on your way toward chronic and potentially debilitating diseases.

Dr Seneff raised plenty of eyebrows recently with a bold proclamation on autism at a special panel in Massachusetts about genetically modified organisms and other topics. “At today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic,” Seneff said at an event sponsored by the holistic-focused Groton Wellness organization. Seneff presented slides showing a remarkably consistent correlation between the rising use of Roundup (with its active ingredient Glyphosate) on crops and the rising rates of autism in the US. The slide notes presented by Dr Seneff show that the heaviest use of Roundup, Monsanto’s flagship weed killer, began in 1990 and continued to rise since. Meanwhile, the number of kids with autism has gone from 1 in 5,000 in 1975 to 1 in 68 today, a puzzling and frustrating stat that shows no signs of slowing down and one that correlates strongly with the rise in Glyphosate use. The rise in autism rates cannot be a result of genetics. These children have been poisoned. Genetic mutations sometimes occur over the course of one generation, but more often, the process of genetic variation occurs over multiple generations; for humans, this would be thousands of years. The most dramatic rise in autism has been in the past 30-35 years. Since our genome has been driven by reproduction over multiple generations (which works in a way that favors the higher order), the elimination of faulty genes that produce mutations that are not advantageous to the organism is one of the highest goals of the organism. Faulty genes are a major reason for miscarriage, with the fetus being not viable, the body will terminate the pregnancy. Many people want to believe that autism is genetic, but the rate at which autism has risen over the last 30 years cannot, and never will be explained by genetics. They were not born that way. They have been brain damaged. Parents of autistic children often report that the child was healthy, developing normally and regressed after some environmental exposure; most often vaccination, or pesticides such as Glyphosate.

To get a bit more in depth on just one of the chronic diseases highlighted by Dr. Seneff, consider the reports showing that glyphosate may stimulate hormone-dependent cancers even at extremely low “environmentally relevant” amounts. In a study published last year, researchers concluded that glyphosate is a xenoestrogen that is functionally similar to estradiol, the most potent human estrogen, and concentrations in the parts-per-trillion range had carcinogenic effects. Adding insult to injury, in light of the fact that more than 90 percent of soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified, they also found that the phytoestrogen genistein, naturally found in soybeans, heightened the estrogenic effects when combined with Glyphosate. According to the authors: “This study implied that the additive effect of Glyphosate and genistein in postmenopausal women may induce cancer cell growth. In this present in vitro study, they showed an estrogenicity of pure Glyphosate. Furthermore, this study demonstrated the additive estrogenic effects of Glyphosate and genistein which implied that the use of Glyphosate contaminated soybean products as dietary supplements may pose a risk of breast cancer because of their potential additive estrogenicity." The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) the World Health Organization’s cancer agency, said in 2015 that glyphosate was “classified as probably carcinogenic to humans”.

This wasn’t the first time this pesticide has been linked to cancer. In 2012, the first ever lifetime feeding study evaluating the health risks of GM foods was published. It found that rats fed a type of GM corn that is prevalent in the US food supply for two years developed massive mammary tumors, kidney, and liver damage, and other serious health problems. According to the authors: "The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1ppb in water), were studied for 2 years in rats, this level of Roundup is permitted in drinking water and GE crops in the US. In females, all treated groups died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5-5.5 times higher. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3-2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls, which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non-linear endocrine disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences." They really are not exaggerating when they say it caused massive tumors, some of the tumors weighed in at 25 percent of the rat's total body weight. In fact, the researchers had to euthanize some of them due to the profound pain and suffering these tumorous animals were observed to be experiencing.

The research was considered so "hot" that the work was done under strict secrecy. According to a French article in Le Nouvel Observateur, the researchers used encrypted emails, phone conversations were banned, and they even launched a decoy study to prevent sabotage. The findings were a nail in the coffin for the pesticide/biotech industry, but then the journal began to receive Letters to the Editor alleging fraud and calling upon the editors to retract the paper. After what the journal described as a “thorough and time-consuming analysis” of the study, they said they found “no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data.” All they could find “wrong” with the research was that it used a low number of animals for the study, even though it was the same number of animals Monsanto used in their study, so they quite outrageously, retracted this important paper. Even the retraction statement admits that the results presented are “not incorrect” but rather may be “inconclusive”! If every paper that could be considered inconclusive were retracted, there would scarcely be a published paper left! As reported by the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS): “the unsettling results of the Séralini study almost certainly lie behind its notorious retraction by the journal editor a year after it was published.” The most damning revelation of this debacle was that a former Monsanto employee, Richard E. Goodman, early in 2013, was appointed “Associate Editor for biotechnology” for the journal that retracted the study. The obvious question is, was Monsanto and their money behind the retraction?

According to another study published by Dr Seneff and her colleague Anthony Samsel, named Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance; celiac disease, and more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. They propose that Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic. Fish exposed to Glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of Glyphosate on gut bacteria. Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut. Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes. Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to Glyphosate's strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match Glyphosate's known depletion of these amino acids. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which has also been implicated in Glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by Glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest. They argue that the practice of “ripening” sugar cane with Glyphosate may explain the recent surge in kidney failure among agricultural workers in Central America.

“Producing more, conserving more, improving farmers lives.” These are the promises Monsanto India’s website makes, alongside pictures of smiling, prosperous farmers from the state of Maharashtra. This is a desperate attempt by Monsanto and its PR machinery to delink the epidemic of farmers’ suicides in India from the company’s growing control over cotton seed supply, 95 per cent of India’s cotton seed is now controlled by Monsanto. Control over seed is the first link in the food chain because seed is the source of life. When a corporation controls seed, it controls life, especially the life of farmers. Monsanto’s concentrated control over the seed sector in India as well as across the world is very worrying. This is what connects farmers’ suicides in India to Monsanto vs Percy Schmeiser in Canada, to Monsanto vs Bowman in the US, and to farmers in Brazil suing Monsanto for $2.2 billion for unfair collection of royalty. Through patents on seed, Monsanto has become the “Life Lord” of our planet, collecting rents for life’s renewal from farmers, the original breeders. Patents on seed are illegitimate because putting a toxic gene into a plant cell is not “creating” or “inventing” a plant. These are seeds of deception — the deception that Monsanto is the creator of seeds and life; the deception that while Monsanto sues farmers and traps them in debt, it pretends to be working for farmers’ welfare, and the deception that GMOs feed the world. GMOs are failing to control pests and weeds, and have instead led to the emergence of super-pests and super-weeds.

The entry of Monsanto in the Indian seed sector was made possible with a 1988 Seed Policy imposed by the World Bank, requiring the Government of India to deregulate the seed sector. Five things changed with Monsanto’s entry: First, Indian companies were locked into joint-ventures and licensing arrangements, and concentration over the seed sector increased. Second, seed which had been the farmers’ common resource became the “intellectual property” of Monsanto, for which it started collecting royalties, thus raising the costs of seed. Third, open pollinated cotton seeds were displaced by hybrids, including GMO hybrids. A renewable resource became a non-renewable, patented commodity. Fourth, cotton which had earlier been grown as a mixture with food crops now had to be grown as a monoculture, with higher vulnerability to pests, disease, drought and crop failure. Fifth, Monsanto started to subvert India’s regulatory processes and, in fact, started to use public resources to push its non-renewable hybrids and GMOs through so-called public-private partnerships. Monsanto’s seed monopolies, the destruction of alternatives, the collection of super-profits in the form of royalties, and the increasing vulnerability of monocultures has created a context for debt, suicides and agrarian distress which is driving the farmers’ suicide epidemic in India. This systemic control has been intensified with Bt cotton. That is why most suicides are in the cotton belt. An internal advisory by the agricultural ministry of India in January 2012 had this to say to the cotton-growing states in India — “Cotton farmers are in a deep crisis since shifting to Bt cotton. The spate of farmer suicides in 2011-12 has been particularly severe among Bt cotton farmers.” A Monsanto representative admitted that they were “the patient’s diagnostician, and physician all in one” in writing the patents on life-forms, from micro-organisms to plants, in the TRIPS’ agreement of the World Trade Organization. Stopping farmers from saving seeds and exercising their seed sovereignty was the main objective.

Glyphosate use has been associated with the increased incidence and/or severity of many plant diseases and the overall deterioration of plant functions such as water and nutrient uptake. Glyphosate causes the systemic chelation of metals, including manganese, magnesium, iron, nickel, zinc and calcium, many of which are important micronutrients. They act as co-factors for many plant enzymes including those involved in the plants’ immune system. While non-transgenic varieties are killed by Glyphosate, Glyphosate tolerant crops do not die; but their physiology can be compromised. Manganese is a co-factor for 25 known enzymes involved in processes including photosynthesis, chlorophyll synthesis and nitrate assimilation, and enzymes of the shikimate pathway. The shikimate pathway is responsible for plant responses to stress and the synthesis of defence molecules against pathogens, such as amino acids, lignins, hormones, phytoalexins, flavenoids and phenols. The virulence mechanism of some pathogens, including Gaeumannomyces and Magnaporthe (which lead to ‘take-all’ and root rot respectively) involves the oxidisation of manganese at the site of infection, compromising the plant’s defence against it. Glyphosate tolerant crops were found to have reduced mineral content, confirming glyphosates’ metal chelating activity.

Various plant diseases have reached epidemic proportions in the US, now in its fourth year of epidemics of Goss’ wilt and sudden death syndrome and eighteenth year of epidemic of Fusarium fungal colonization resulting in root rot and Fusarium wilt.  Not only does Glyphosate affect disease susceptibility, there is also evidence of increased disease severity. Examples include Take All, Corynespora root rot in soybean, Fusarium spp diseases, including those caused by Fusarium species that are ordinarily non-pathogenic. Head-scab caused by Fusarium spp of cereals increases following glyphosate application is now prevalent also in cooler climates when previously it was limited to warmer climates. Nine plant pathogens have been suggested to increase in severity as a result of Glyphosate treatment of crops, while some 40 diseases are known to be increased in weed control programs with glyphosate and the list is growing, affecting a wide range of species: apples, bananas, barley, bean, canola, citrus, cotton, grape, melon, soybean, sugar beet, sugarcane, tomato and wheat.

USDA scientist Professor Emeritus Don Huber presented detailed to the UK Parliament that Glyphosate tolerant crops are less healthy and yield less. They have a compromised immune system and require extra water, which are major problems as climate change is likely to increase infectious diseases and exacerbate water scarcity. As consistent with previous findings, GM crops are suffering heavy yield losses in the drought-stricken US in 2012. A farmer who has grown both GM and non-GM varieties of corn and soybean side by side reported an average of 100-120 bushels per acre harvested from non-GM corn compared to 8-12 bushels to 30-50 bushels per acre from GM corn. According to a recent report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, GM crops have certainly not succeeded in increasing yields; but there is as yet no comprehensive peer-reviewed study on GM crop yields. As with animal species, endocrine dysfunction has been suggested in plants exposed to Glyphosate, potentially affecting health as well as crop yields. Inhibition of auxins involved in plant growth and development, as well as reduced methionine levels have been observed; methionine is a principle substrate for fruit, flower opening and shedding of leaves.

Soil fertility is fundamental in maintaining plant health and yields. However, along with the rise in industrial agrochemical farming practices, there has been a general increase in the number of plant diseases in the past 15 to 18 years. Glyphosate has been shown to stimulate the growth of fungi and increase the virulence of soil pathogens such as Xylella fastidiosa which causes citrus variegated chlorosis, while also decreasing the presence of beneficial soil organisms. Four primary soil fungi, Fusarium, Phythium, Rhizoccccctonia, and Phytophthora, have become more active with the use of glyphosate; and concomitantly diseases caused by these fungi have increased, such as head scab in corn, or root rot in soybeans, crown rot in sugar beets. Fusarium head blight, which affects cereal crops, is a disease that produces a mycotoxin that could enter the food chain. Beneficial micro- and macro-organisms damaged by Glyphosate include earthworms, microbes producing indole-acetic acid (a growth-promoting auxin), mycorrhizae associations, phosphorus & zinc uptake, microbes such as Pseudomonads and Bacillus that convert insoluble soil oxides to plant-available forms of manganese and iron, nitrogen-fixing bacteria Bradyrhizobium, Rhizobium, and organisms involved in the biological control of soil-borne diseases that reduce root uptake of nutrients.

In addition to soil microorganisms, Roundup but not Glyphosate alone, kills three beneficial food microrganisms (Geotrichum candidum, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus) widely used as starter cultures in the dairy industry. This may explain the loss of microbiodiversity in raw milk observed in recent years. It has been assumed that glyphosate is short-lived, degrading in two weeks, and has low accumulation and drift. However, this conventional view may only be applicable, if at all, in certain environments. Studies in northern regions of the globe have demonstrated that Glyphosate and its main metabolite AMPA can remain in the soil even years after the last spraying. That means the herbicide and its residues can remain active and accumulate in soils with increasingly devastating effects on soil ecology.

Glyphosate use impacts animal biodiversity and health either directly or indirectly through destruction of habitats. It is considered to be particularly toxic to aquatic and amphibian species, due to its high water solubility. Amphibians are considered the most endangered animal class on Earth. Recent studies have highlighted glyphosate’s toxicity to frog species, with exposure killing 78 % of animals in laboratory conditions. A 2012 study found enlarged tails in exposed tadpoles, similar to the adaptive changes seen in response to the presence of predators. Tadpoles adapt their body shape to suit environmental conditions, so any changes not suited to the environment could put the animals at a distinct disadvantage. Currently unpublished data from The Department of Herpetology at the Society of Sciences, Aranzad, Spain suggests that glyphosate concentrations below agricultural levels are sufficient to kill 10 species of amphibians in the Basque region of Spain.  As mentioned earlier, birth defects in frogs have also been detailed in laboratory conditions.

Various aquatic species including microalgae, protozoa and crustaceans are susceptible to Glyphosate, but more so to the surfactant POEA in Roundup formulations. Studies in aquatic microcosms and mesocosms found that Roundup at 8 mg glyphosate/L inhibited the growth of green algae at the expense of toxic bloom-forming cyanobacteria, with potentially drastic impacts on freshwater aquatic ecosystems. It also accelerates the deterioration of water quality, which is already jeopardizing global water supply. With all the described toxic effects of glyphosate, it becomes imperative to assess the level of contamination of the water supplies, our source of drinking water. Recent research in Catalonia, Spain, revealed widespread contamination of their groundwater. In the US, Glyphosate has been detected in rain and air samples. Research recently performed in Germany detected glyphosate in the urine of all tested Berlin city residents, including one person who had been eating organic food for over 10 years. Levels reached 5-20 times the established permitted level in drinking water in the EU. Even those who live away from farming areas are not protected. Glyphosate was previously found in urine samples of farm workers at concentrations shown to have caused endocrine disruption.

But it is not all doom and gloom, we can reverse the damage being done to ourselves and the environment. Firstly, we need to stop using all Monsanto products and put these murderers out of business. Secondly we must avoid all foods that have been exposed to Glyphosate. Thirdly, we need to repair our soil fertility through abandoning Glyphosate and mono culture agriculture, which only exacerbates soil sterility. Our farmers need to be educated about permaculture principles which have been shown to repair damaged soils and produce greater harvests without the need for herbicides and pesticides, through companion planting and crop rotation. In the meantime, we need to become more self-sufficient and grow our own food as much as is possible, it is the only way to ensure they have been grown chemical free, as “organic” does not necessarily mean the food does not contain poisons. A USDA study recently discovered that 43% of “organic” foods contained pesticides at levels higher than permitted by the EPA. Perhaps most importantly, we need to remove our corrupt politicians and the corruption from our regulatory bodies and scientific institutions, before they kill us all and the environment that sustains us. We simply must rise up now, today and take back control of our food production, our health, and our future, before it is too late.

About the author: Brett Lothian is an Australian author, professional arborist, market gardener and ethnobotanist. He is the author of the Tricho Serious Ethnobotany blog and creator of The Trichocereus Cacti Appreciation, Peyote Appreciation and Ethnobotany Appreciation Society groups on facebook.

Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America by Nancy L. Swanson, Andre Leu, Jon Abrahamson and Bradley Wallet.                      

The Hidden Sources & Dangers of Glyphosate by Dr. Daniel Pompa, D.PSc.

Gut-Wrenching New Studies Reveal the Insidious Effects of Glyphosate by Dr Mercola

MIT Researcher’s New Warning: At Today’s Rate, Half of All U.S. Children Will Be Autistic (by 2025) by Nick Meyer.

Dr Stephanie Seneff - Vaccines, Glyphosate and Autism

Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff

The Seeds of Suicide: How Monsanto Destroys Farming by Dr. Vandana Shiva

Institute of Science in Society Special Report; Why Glyphosate Should Be Banned by Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Fraud or drift? USDA finds 43 percent of organic foods contain ‘prohibited’ substances by Andrew Porterfield

Friday, 16 June 2017

Book Review: Plant Spirit Gardener by Alanna Moore

This book review first appeared in New Dawn magazine issue161, March - April 2017. © Brett Lothian.

Book Review; Plant Spirit Gardener by Alanna Moore

Plant Spirit Gardener is a fantastic book for those interested in the more sacred and spiritual aspects of home gardening. The author Alanna Moore shares with the reader her expertise as a geomancer with over thirty years’ experience and lots of other practical and easy to follow techniques to gain a greater connection to the land, the spirits, devas, fairies and energies involved with bringing your very own magical garden into fruition.

Starting off with what plants give to us, including the benefits of plants from the varying knowledge traditions around the world and plant interactions with ancient cultures, to the health and wellbeing aspects of plants and forest therapy, the author explains why plants are so important, especially now in our modern industrialized world. Gardening has always been a field of expertise that is passed down through the generations and taking a look back at the ancient traditions (that have largely been forgotten) will give the home gardener a greater understanding of the healing and spiritual benefits that plants give to us when we care for them.

Moving through into discussing the plant spirits, we are taken on a journey into the more mystical aspects of plants themselves, from the plant gods, the green man, spirits and totems to house spirits and the traditions of ancient Europe, including the fairy trees of Ireland and encounters with the forest devas. This fascinating look into the vegetative soul will fill you with wonder and hope to have such magical encounters for yourself first hand. Luckily enough, the author also shows us numerous techniques of just how to connect and communicate with the subtle energies of the land and the plants themselves to achieve a happy and healthy garden that will reward you in many and varying ways.

Taking a closer look at the healing aspects of plant and herbal medicine the author delves into the realm of the shaman and the herb and fairy doctors of ancient lore, to show us an alternative to modern medicine that humanity has used successfully for eons. An alternative that you yourself can learn in the energetic surrounds of your own garden. This modality of healing and maintaining wellbeing has been sadly neglected in modern times and is something that almost all of us can do. Why buy pharmaceutical drugs that are made from plants, when you can grow and develop a personal relationship with the medicine yourself in your very own home?

Using modern scientific findings and as well as ancient techniques the author discusses the energetic aspects of plants and trees including the electrical nature of plants, diamagnetism and para-magnetism to the subtle anatomy of plants and tree emotions. Also looking into how plants communicate with each other and their animal helpers such as bees, you will be taken into the secret world of plants that most people do not realise exists. This is a very important part of learning to be a Plant Spirit Gardener, learning the relationships between plants, animals and the greater cosmos to achieve spectacular results and harmony for all life.
Sharing her expertise as a geomancer the author shows us how to dowse various plant energies using a number of different techniques that will help the reader to develop their sensitivity to the unseen forces at work in the plants and the garden in general to better grow and divine how to take care of the plants that take care of us. Developing your skills as a divine gardener will enable you to better direct energies around the garden to the benefit of the plants and the greater wellbeing of the garden and gardener as well. Learning specific rituals and ceremonies to perform in your home garden will greater your connection to the plant spirits and the land itself.

Once upon a time, all gardening was Plant Spirit Gardening and today with the modern disconnect from nature, real life and each other, our modern world needs this connection more than ever. Learn to become like the ancients who were intimately connected to all aspects of life and lived in harmony with nature, by reading this outstanding book and practicing the techniques outlined within. You too can become a Plant Spirit Gardener and reconnect to Mother Nature, in your very own little world you create at home, in your own back yard.

By Brett Lothian.