Thursday, October 19, 2017

Report: Suspected Carcinogen from Farm Runoff Fouls Drinking Water Across Rural America

© midwestenergynews
WASHINGTON – Drinking water supplies for millions of Americans in farm country are contaminated with a suspected cancer-causing chemical from fertilizer, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.

The contaminant is nitrate, which gets into drinking water sources when chemical fertilizer or manure runs off poorly protected farm fields. Drinking water supplies for more than 200 million Americans in 49 states have some level of nitrate contamination, but the highest levels are found in small towns surrounded by row-crop agriculture. Major farm states where the most people are at risk include California, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kansas.

Nitrate can be fatal to babies who ingest too much of it, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s legal limit for it in drinking water was set 25 years ago to protect infants from so-called blue baby syndrome. But the new report, Trouble in Farm Country, details the previously undocumented adult cancer risk posed by drinking water polluted with nitrate at only half the EPA’s legal limit.

Data in the report comes from EWG's Tap Water Database, compiled from test results of almost 50,000 local water utilities in all 50 states. The data show that relatively few U.S. water supplies had nitrate levels in 2015 above the EPA’s legal limit of 10 parts per million, or ppm. But more than 1,600 systems serving small towns had levels above 5 ppm, which studies by the National Cancer Institute have found to increase the risk of colon, kidney, ovarian and bladder cancers.

“Farmers can take often simple steps to keep fertilizer and manure out of drinking water sources,” said Craig Cox, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at EWG. “But far too few farmers are taking action and federal farm policy doesn’t do enough to help them. The result is that rural Americans are burdened with the health risks and cleanup costs of unchecked farm pollution, when it makes more sense to keep nitrate and other contaminants from getting in the water in the first place.”

The risk is acute in small towns like Pretty Prairie, Kan., population 672, where for more than 20 years tap water has been contaminated with nitrate exceeding the EPA’s legal limit. In 2014 and 2015 the level was twice the legal limit.

In Pretty Prairie, parents with infants under 6 months old, and nursing or pregnant women, can get free bottled water. But that does nothing to protect other residents from cancers that may not show up for years or decades. A new water treatment system to lower nitrate levels could cost $2.4 million – well over $3,000 for every person in town.

Farmers are largely exempt from federal or state regulations that could stem water pollution. The Department of Agriculture pays billions of taxpayer dollars a year to farmers who adopt conservation practices to control runoff. But EWG’s report shows that much of the money does not support the most effective practices in areas where drinking water is most at risk.

The upcoming federal farm bill, which Congress is beginning to consider, is a remarkable opportunity to help local communities secure clean and safe drinking water by keeping nitrate and other contaminants out of water in the first place.

“Under the new farm bill, Congress should insist on an iron-clad quid pro quo with farmers,” said Cox. “Farmers and landowners who receive federal farm and crop insurance subsidies, courtesy of taxpayers, must agree to take simple steps to keep fertilizer and manure from getting into our water. Department of Agriculture conservation programs should be surgically targeted to areas where drinking water is most threatened.”


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Do you have Hep C? Big Pharma hopes so

SOTT | Oct 11, 2017 | Martha Rosenberg

© Wall Street Journal
Alternet - The sicker you get, the richer they become.

The campaigns are everywhere. On ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, Animal Planet, the Game Show Network and Syfy. In People, Popular Mechanics and Better Homes and Gardens magazines. On the radio and along subway lines. If you were born between 1945 and 1965, you could have Hep C, screams Gilead Sciences, which makes the Hep C drug Harvoni.

The campaign seeks to sound like a message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addressing public health. But the Hepatitis C "facts" resulting from an internet search are paid searches from Pharma, not from public health agencies.

Is there new information that shows baby boomers are newly prone to Hep C? Why have we not heard from the "CDC" about this pressing public health threat until now? There is new information--sales information that Gilead Hep C drugs are "plummeting" and new markets are needed.

"Gilead's hep C blockbusters are in freefall, and its pool of eligible patients has shrunk dramatically thanks to the success of its meds," says FiercePharma. "If all baby boomers got tested for the virus, though? That could help stem the tide-and it's exactly the move the company is recommending with its latest awareness push." Just trying to help.

David Johnson, Gilead VP, U.S. sales and marketing for liver diseases, admits the shameless disease mongering.

"This has been a planned evolution of our disease awareness efforts, to reach a much broader audience once the pool of already diagnosed patients who often had advanced disease and were in need of curative therapy, had been treated," he says. "This staged approach was also important to ensure healthcare providers were equipped to support patients asking to be tested, as even for primary care providers, this disease was not something that was high on their radar due to the lack of scientific advances in the past to treat the disease."

Only a handful of drug classes have been advertised more aggressively than Hep C drugs, reports Stat News - drugs for erectile dysfunction and psoriasis "that afflict far more patients in the United States" than Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C drugs weigh in at $1000 a pill - $84,000 for a course of treatment-and have been sacking the taxpayer-funded budgets of state Medicaid programs. States have considered suing over the heisting of their dollars and a Senate committee has looked at the price gouging. "If Gilead's approach is the future of how blockbuster drugs are launched in America, it's going to cost billions and billions of dollars to treat just a fraction of patients in America," said Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon.

Congress is aware of the profiteering. The Senate's Special Committee on Aging released a 130-page report revealing how "four pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of our health care system to enrich themselves and their executives, harming patients and taxpayers," according to the New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson.

The chairwoman of the committee, Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, and Claire McCaskill, a ranking member, Democrat from Missouri, say they have only begun to scratch the surface. They seek to "stop bad actors who are acquiring drugs that have been off-patent for decades and driving up their prices solely because they can," they say.

Seeking to sell obscenely priced drugs paid for by the public's dime to patients with no symptoms is bad enough. But the Hep C meds are not even the wonder drugs they were billed as in the beginning. They were rolled out so fast to please Wall Street that Pharma did not know or care that patients with pre-existing, dormant Hepatitis B infections could experience reactivation of the infections on the drugs and even die.

A year ago, the FDA found that 24 patients with pre-existing, dormant Hepatitis B infections experienced reactivation of the infections while taking the Hep C drugs. Two patients died and one required a liver transplant. The FDA promptly added boxed warnings on the Hep C drug labels about the possible reactivation of Hep B infections.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices reported unintended liver effects with the aggressively marketed drugs. In one year, between June 2015 and June 2016, 165 people who took Sovaldi (an earlier drug) and Harvoni worldwide died, 524 had liver failure and 1,058 had severe liver injury. Could states have their money back?

Gilead's unethical ads are halfway right. A terrible thing does happen if baby boomers don't take its $1000 a pill: Gilead makes no money.

About the author

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter and the author of Born With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp the Public Health (Random House).

Also Read: Big pharma lobbyists creaming tens of billions out of the federal government in a variety of schemes
After an 18-month investigation into the high cost of Gilead's hepatitis C drug Sovaldi-initially listed at $84,000 for a course of treatment or $1,000 per pill-the Senate Finance Committee said the prices did not reflect the cost of research and development and that Gilead cared about "revenue" not "affordability and accessibility." That sounds like an understatement. Sovaldi and the related pill Harvoni cost Medicare and Medicaid more than $5 billion in 2014, charged senators.


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RT provider off-air in Palestine after Israeli regime takes down Palestinian broadcasters

The Duran | Oct 18, 2017 | Adam Garrie

In a surprise military and military-police raid, Israeli regime forces have broken into and stolen broadcasting equipment from eight Palestinian broadcasters, including Pal Media which provides RT broadcasts to viewers in Palestine.

Pal Media is one of the largest television providers in Palestine, carrying not only RT but also Al Mayadeen, TransMedia and western outlets BBC News and France 24.

The Israeli regime stated that the eight broadcasters whose offices were vandalised and whose expensive broadcasting equipment was either stolen or smashed, were carrying, among many other things, Hamas related media organisations.

With Hamas and Fatah, the two main Palestinian parties, formalising a unity agreement, Tel Aviv continues to vocalise strong disapprobation, stating that they refuse to negotiate with the organisation in any guise, even though journalists have exposed the fact that Israel covertly helped to found Hamas in the 1980s.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has condemned the move by Tel Aviv in the following statement,
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemns in the strongest terms the aggression by the Israeli occupying forces against the headquarters of a number of Palestinian media institutions in the occupied west bank, and the ministry asserts that such piracy is in the context of ongoing attempts to conceal its daily crimes and acts of aggression. It represents a failed attempt to terrorise and prevent media institutions from doing their part in exposing violations by the occupiers and settlers”.
RT further reports,
“Pal Media and RT offices have already fallen victim to the Israeli forces’ raids. In 2014, they broke into the Ramallah office and seized hardware and videotapes as well as breaking a computer and office furniture. In June 2017, Israeli military raided Pal Media’s headquarters in the city, targeting the Palestinian Al-Quds channel.

Israel has previously raided TransMedia, which runs several offices across the country, including two offices in Jerusalem, the area disputed by Palestinians and Israelis, and an office in Hebron in the West bank”.

In an age of internet and satellite global inter-connectivity, the Israeli regime continues attempts to deprive Palestinians of the most peaceful weapon available to mankind: the endlessly important, yet non-violent weapon of information. In attempts to continually oppress Palestinians, the information war has become as important a tool as military occupation.

This move by the Israeli regime should be condemned by all journalists and free speech advocates who stand for open, uncensored and multi-dimensional political and social discussions between peoples.

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Military Industrial Complex Needs More Fear and Death - Plan Another 9/11-style Big Deal

RT | Oct 19, 2017

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) and Al-Qaeda terrorists are plotting to take down a plane and carry out a devastating explosion on the scale of 9/11, senior US security official Elaine Duke warns.

“The terrorist organizations, be it ISIS or Al-Qaeda or others, want to have the big explosion like they did on 9/11. They want to take down aircraft, the intelligence is clear on that,” the acting US secretary of homeland security said during a visit to the UK, as cited by British media.

On September 11, 2001, (aka 9/11) terrorists hijacked aircraft and carried out the deadliest attack in history, killing almost 3,000 people.

“The threat is still severe,” she stated on Wednesday in London following her meeting with Home Secretary Amber Rudd, where the officials discussed terrorist content online.

The terrorist groups are using smaller attacks to keep their members “engaged,” remain visible and provide the flow of finances, according to Duke.

At the same time smaller plots can be followed with major ones, she warned.

“Creating terror is their goal. A bladed weapon attack causes terror and continues to disrupt the world, but that does not mean they have given up on a major aviation plot,” she said.

Tough internet control is necessary to prevent terrorists’ propaganda from spreading online, Duke said. She added that while tech firms are already cooperating on these issues with the authorities, there is still much to be done.

“We will continue to push as far as we can go. I think that we have the cooperation of those companies and we just need to work on that,” she said. Social media firms joining a meeting of G7 interior ministers to discuss the issue this week “is a positive sign,” she said.

“There has been a shift and for us somewhat with the Charlottesville incident,” said Duke, adding that tech companies are under “social pressures” and have “to balance between keeping their user agreements and giving law enforcement what they need.”

The UK has seen a wave of deadly terrorist attacks this year, which have killed a total of 36 people. Responsibility for the attacks has been claimed by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The bombing in the Manchester Arena last May killed 23 people and injured more than 100 others, making it the deadliest attack of its kind in the UK since 2005. The latest terrorist attack occurred on September 15 at Parsons Green tube station, where a partially-exploded bomb injured 30 commuters.

After the series of jihadi attacks, British Prime Minister Theresa May called on“allied democratic governments” to “regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorism planning.” 

Just one day before the US security chief’s warnings, Andrew Parker, director general MI5, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, said that Britain was under unprecedented threat from Islamist terrorists.

Comment: Obviously, the war on terror hoax must be infinitely fed to keep making profits and keep the sheeple giving up more freedoms which can be used as profits to sustain the hoax indefinitely.


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ISIS in Afghanistan is US tool to cause trouble in whole region – ex-Afghan President Karzai to RT

RT | Oct 19, 2017

The US uses the Islamic State insurgency as a tool in Afghanistan, aimed at destabilizing the whole region, the former Afghan president told RT, urging the international community to convince the US that it needs to actually fight terrorism.

No action was taken against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists despite their atrocious acts being well known “since the arrival of Daesh [an Arabic acronym for IS] on the Afghan scene,” former President Hamid Karzai said. He then mentioned reports of “unmarked foreign helicopters” providing support to the terrorists.

“From the two years onwards to today, every day the local people, the local elders, government officials, media and others began to report that unmarked helicopters, unmarked foreign helicopters, would go in and support extremists in all parts of the country,” the former president told RT on the sidelines of the Valdai Forum in Sochi, Russia.

“There’s a lot of evidence, unfortunately, that shows that these extremist forces are supplied from the foreign bases within Afghanistan,” Karzai said. “The question is, ‘Why? For what reason?’ And if it is continuing, if it doesn’t stop, of course the conclusion is they are being used as a tool.”

This tool is used by the US to pursue larger regional goals, according to Karzai.

“The support to Daesh in Afghanistan is not definitely meant for the purposes in Afghanistan. The US has already established itself in Afghanistan. It doesn’t need to have a reason to establish itself there. It must be for objectives beyond Afghanistan, to cause trouble in the region,” Karzai said.

While Afghanistan welcomes the US to provide help in the fight against terrorism, using the country as a puppet in a bigger regional game is unacceptable, the former president said.

“Afghanistan should not suffer for your larger, bigger objectives. Afghanistan should not be used against our neighbors or the major powers in our neighborhood,” he stressed, adding that the international community and regional powers should talk the US into seeing sense and help to restore the international cooperation against terrorism in the country.

“Otherwise things will [get] out of hand in Afghanistan and there will be troubles for all of us, including for the US,” Karzai concluded.

US knew about terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan for years, did nothing about it

The recent accusations voiced by top US officials against Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), of supporting terrorism include a fair share of hypocrisy, Karzai told RT.

 The Americans for years knew that there were [terrorist] sanctuaries in Pakistan. For the last 16 years they knew that. And they kept saying there were sanctuaries in Pakistan, President Obama said that, Secretary Clinton said that, other State Secretaries and Defense Secretaries of the US government said that,” Karzai said. “Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in 2010, I believe, just before his retirement, that the Haqqani network [a Taliban-affiliated Afghan insurgent group] was a confirmed, veritable arm of ISIS. Even then they continued their relationship and began to supplying Pakistan.”

“For the US now to come after 17 years to say, ‘We just woke up to this,’ is a bit dishonest in our view and counterproductive,” Karzai said.

The new round of US accusations against Pakistan began this summer, with US President Donald Trump claiming that Islamabad “often gives safe havens to agents of chaos, violence and terror” and promising to put pressure on the country.

The allegations were backed up by other top officials, namely US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who threatened Pakistan with cutting off US aid. The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, and US Defense Secretary James Mattis, however, somewhat softened the accusations earlier this month, putting the blame for the alleged Taliban links solely on the ISI, instead of Pakistan in whole.

It remained unclear whether Washington would actually take any steps against its major regional ally, however.

The US policy in Afghanistan, in the meantime, has not changed one bit with the new Trump administration, according to the former president of Afghanistan.

“I only see continuity of the US policy in Afghanistan,” Karzai stated.


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Why the Truth Is So Important to Me

TruthStream Media | Oct 18, 2017

Mel here. This is my own story of how I woke up and wound up here doing what I do. I guess I just have something more important I feel compelled to contribute than cat videos, let's plays, and makeup tutorials...

TruthStream Media links..


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