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Life Expectancy Falters in the UK Slow Death but Fast Profits for the Agrochemical Sector

Colin Todhunter

A special report in the Observer newspaper in the UK on 23 June 2019 asked the question: Why is life expectancy faltering? The piece noted that for the first time in 100 years, Britons are dying earlier. The UK now has the worst health trends in Western Europe.

Aside from the figures for the elderly and the deprived, there has also been a worrying change in infant mortality rates. Since 2014, the rate has increased every year: the figure for 2017 is significantly higher than the one in 2014. To explain this increase in infant mortality, certain experts blame it on ‘austerity’, fewer midwives, an overstrained ambulance service, general deterioration of hospitals, greater poverty among pregnant women and cuts that mean there are fewer health visitors for patients in need.

While all these explanations may be valid, according to environmental campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason, there is something the mainstream narrative is avoiding. She says:

We are being poisoned by weedkiller and other pesticides in our food and weedkiller sprayed indiscriminately on our communities. The media remain silent.”

The poisoning of the UK public by the agrochemical industry is the focus of her new report – Why is life expectancy faltering: The British Government has worked with Monsanto and Bayer since 1949.

What follows are edited highlights of the text in which she cites many official sources and reports as well as numerous peer-reviewed studies in support of her arguments. Readers can access the report here.

Toxic history of Monsanto in the UK

Mason begins by offering a brief history of Monsanto in the UK. In 1949, that company set up a chemical factory in Newport, Wales, where it manufactured PCBs until 1977 and a number of other dangerous chemicals. Monsanto was eventually found to be dumping toxic waste in the River Severn, public waterways and sewerage. It then paid a contractor which illegally dumped thousands of tons of cancer-causing chemicals, including PCBs, dioxins and Agent Orange derivatives, at two quarries in Wales – Brofiscin (80,000 tonnes) and Maendy (42,000 tonnes) – between 1965 and 1972.

Monsanto stopped making PCBs in Anniston US in 1971 because of various scandals. However, the British government agreed to ramp up production at the Monsanto plant in Newport. In 2003, when toxic effluent from the quarry started leaking into people’s streams in Grosfaen, just outside Cardiff, the Environment Agency – a government agency concerned with flooding and pollution – was hired to clean up the site in 2005.

Mason notes that the agency repeatedly failed to hold Monsanto accountable for its role in the pollution (a role that Monsanto denied from the outset) and consistently downplayed the dangers of the chemicals themselves.

In a report prepared for the agency and the local authority in 2005 but never made public, the sites contain at least 67 toxic chemicals. Seven PCBs have been identified, along with vinyl chlorides and naphthalene. The unlined quarry is still leaking, the report says:

Pollution of water has been occurring since the 1970s, the waste and groundwater has been shown to contain significant quantities of poisonous, noxious and polluting material, pollution of… waters will continue to occur.”

The duplicity continues

Apart from these events in Wales, Mason outlines the overall toxic nature of Monsanto in the UK. For instance, she discusses the shockingly high levels of weedkiller in packaged cereals. Samples of four oat-based breakfast cereals marketed for children in the UK were recently sent to the Health Research Institute, Fairfield, Iowa, an accredited laboratory for glyphosate testing. Dr Fagan, the director of the centre, says of the results:

These results are consistently concerning. The levels consumed in a single daily helping of any one of these cereals, even the one with the lowest level of contamination, is sufficient to put the person’s glyphosate levels above the levels that cause fatty liver disease in rats (and likely in people).”

According to Mason, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Commission colluded with the European Glyphosate Task Force and allowed it to write the re-assessment of glyphosate. She lists key peer-reviewed studies, which the Glyphosate Task Force conveniently omitted from its review, from South America where GM crops are grown. In fact, many papers come from Latin American countries where they grow almost exclusively GM Roundup Ready Crops.

Mason cites one study that references many papers from around the world that confirm glyphosate-based herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup are damaging to the development of the foetal brain and that repeated exposure is toxic to the adult human brain and may result in alterations in locomotor activity, feelings of anxiety and memory impairment.

Another study notes neurotransmitter changes in rat brain regions following glyphosate exposure. The highlights from that study indicate that glyphosate oral exposure caused neurotoxicity in rats; that brain regions were susceptible to changes in CNS monoamine levels; that glyphosate reduced 5-HT, DA, NE levels in a brain regional- and dose-related manner; and that glyphosate altered the serotoninergic, dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems.

Little wonder, Mason concludes, that we see various degenerative conditions on the rise. She turns her attention to children, the most vulnerable section of the population, and refers to the UN expert on toxicity Baskut Tuncak. He wrote a scathing piece in the Guardian on 06/11/2017 on the effects of agrotoxins on children’s health:

Our children are growing up exposed to a toxic cocktail of weedkillers, insecticides, and fungicides. It’s on their food and in their water, and it’s even doused over their parks and playgrounds. Many governments insist that our standards of protection from these pesticides are strong enough. But as a scientist and a lawyer who specialises in chemicals and their potential impact on people’s fundamental rights, I beg to differ.

Last month it was revealed that in recommending that glyphosate – the world’s most widely-used pesticide – was safe, the EU’s food safety watchdog copied and pasted pages of a report directly from Monsanto, the pesticide’s manufacturer. Revelations like these are simply shocking.

…Exposure in pregnancy and childhood is linked to birth defects, diabetes, and cancer. Because a child’s developing body is more sensitive to exposure than adults and takes in more of everything – relative to their size, children eat, breathe, and drink much more than adults – they are particularly vulnerable to these toxic chemicals. Increasing evidence shows that even at “low” doses of childhood exposure, irreversible health impacts can result.

…In light of revelations such as the copy-and-paste scandal, a careful re-examination of the performance of states is required. The overwhelming reliance of regulators on industry-funded studies, the exclusion of independent science from assessments, and the confidentiality of studies relied upon by authorities must change.

Warnings ignored

It is a travesty that Theo Colborn’s crucial research in the early 1990s into the chemicals that were changing humans and the environment was ignored. Mason discusses his work into endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), man-made chemicals that became widespread in the environment after WW II.

In a book published in 1996, ‘The Pesticide Conspiracy’, Colborn, Dumanoski and Peters revealed the full horror of what was happening to the world as a result of contamination with EDCs.

At the time, there was emerging scientific research about how a wide range of man-made chemicals disrupt delicate hormone systems in humans. These systems play a critical role in processes ranging from human sexual development to behaviour, intelligence, and the functioning of the immune system.

At that stage, PCBs, DDT, chlordane, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, toxaphene, heptachlor, dioxin, atrazine+ and dacthal were shown to be EDCs. Many of these residues are found in humans in the UK.

Colborn illustrated the problem by constructing a diagram of the journey of a PCB molecule from a factory in Alabama into a polar bear in the Arctic. He stated:

The concentration of persistent chemicals can be magnified millions of times as they travel to the ends of the earth… Many chemicals that threaten the next generation have found their way into our bodies. There is no safe, uncontaminated place.”

Mason describes how EDCs interfere with delicate hormone systems in sexual development. Glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor and a nervous system disruptor. She ponders whether Colborn foresaw the outcome whereby humans become confused about their gender or sex.

She then discusses the widespread contamination of people in the UK. One study conducted at the start of this century concluded that every person tested was contaminated by a cocktail of known highly toxic chemicals that were banned from use in the UK during the 1970s and which continue to pose unknown health risks: the highest number of chemicals found in any one person was 49 – nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of the chemicals looked for.

Corruption exposed

Mason discusses corporate duplicity and the institutionalised corruption that allows agrochemicals to get to the commercial market. She notes the catastrophic impacts of these substances on health and the NHS and the environment.

Of course, the chickens are now coming home to roost for Bayer, which bought Monsanto. Mason refers to attorneys revealing Monsanto’s criminal strategy for keeping Roundup on the market and the company being hit with $2 billion verdict in the third ‘Roundup trial’.

Attorney Brent Wisner has argued that Monsanto spent decades suppressing science linking its glyphosate-based weedkiller product to cancer by ghost-writing academic articles and feeding the EPA “bad science”. He asked the jury to ‘punish’ Monsanto with a $1 billion punitive damages award. On Monday 13 May, the jury found Monsanto liable for failure to warn claims, design defect claims, negligence claims and negligent failure to warn claims.

Robert F Kennedy Jr., another attorney fighting Bayer in the courts, says Roundup causes a constellation of other injuries apart from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:

Perhaps more ominously for Bayer, Monsanto also faces cascading scientific evidence linking glyphosate to a constellation of other injuries that have become prevalent since its introduction, including obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, brain, breast and prostate cancer, miscarriage, birth defects and declining sperm counts. Strong science suggests glyphosate is the culprit in the exploding epidemics of celiac disease, colitis, gluten sensitivities, diabetes and non-alcoholic liver cancer which, for the first time, is attacking children as young as 10.

In finishing, Mason notes the disturbing willingness of the current UK government to usher in GM Roundup Ready crops in the wake of Brexit. Where pesticides are concerned, the EU’s precautionary principle could be ditched in favour of a US-style risk-based approach, allowing faster authorisation.

Rosemary Mason shows that the health of the UK populations already lags behind other countries in Western Europe. She links this to the increasing amounts of agrochemicals being applied to crops. If the UK does a post-Brexit deal with the US, we can only expect a gutting of environmental standards at the behest of the US and its corporations and much worse to follow for the environment and public health.

Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

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Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

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mark mcdougall
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mark mcdougall

Is there any research on Vaccination rate and life expectancy? I’ve seen some on infant mortality.

Sackerson
Reader
Sackerson

Without dismissing your concerns about chemical pollutants, I wonder whether some of the reduction in life expectancy is down to poor nutrition – in childhood and even during and prior to pregnancy. Also, lack of exercise and opportunities for active play.

crank
Reader
crank

@BigB
Said I would write a review of Bastani’s book FALC.
On the back of Bastani’s tweet today about falling life expectancy I read this review (below) that is far more informed than anything I could write.
Gareth Dale points out the rather obvious omissions in Bastani’s book, and reveals it as ‘an imaginary of magical sustainability that, in its techno-fetishism, bears the stamp of “the same fossil-fuel dependent system that it seeks to criticize” ‘
https://theecologist.org/2019/may/29/climate-communism-and-age-affluence

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

https://roundup.injurysurvey.com/3?request_id=6967265

Roundup has been declared as ‘cancer causing’ very clearly by the WHO !

Therefore, if you’ve been exposed to this appalling chemical & have suffered already, not just from Cancer, I strongly recommend that you follow the link above, in order to initiate Legal proceedings,
with many others.

jenny 234
Reader
jenny 234

The current UK regime has an unwritten code to decimate the population. It bega with the state abuse of disabled people back in 2010 and continues to this day. The DWP has even admitted 21000 people waiting for benfit claims have died before those claims were met.

https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/01/14/the-dwp-has-admitted-21000-people-died-waiting-for-benefits/

Today, as I speak, thousands of people over 60 are being denied health care provision and being placed on waiting lists of over a year to see a consultant. What are those people supposed to do in the meantime? Thousands of disabled people have been killed by having to go through a system of abuse, losing benefits, being denied mobility vehicles and very few people in this country even care about it. The arrogance displayed by people who call things out but do absolutely nothing about it.

I myself had to endure a P.I.P consultation yesterday. I was told “I had 45 minutes and a ‘lot to get through’ so we had better get on with it”. Before I could answer one question I was being challenged with another. At no time was I able to complete a sentence about my circumstances before another comment was made by the interviewer. I felt awful afterwards, as if my humanity had been violated. The agenda of the interviewer took primacy over my response. I’s my life but not as I want it. These people are charlattons – and the evidence suggests it is known about – it is not altered because it is serving the purpose of killing as many people as possible. If you are 60 in the UK you’d better be aware, they’re gonna get you one way or another.

So the above topic may have a lot of relevance and may well be the slow burner – but there’s no doubt older people are being ‘got rid of’ directly by the british regimes policies. UK is a hateful place to live these days

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

Kill off the elderly and save lots of money on pensions and health care. The Tories do not care for the majority which is why we need a socialist government, ideally with Corbyn as PM as he can be trusted not to be corrupted.

Paul Carline
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Paul Carline

We need to add toxic chemtrails to the list – probably a bigger factor even than chemical farming. There has been a 34% increase in childhood cancer over the last decade in Scotland. Scientists blame “pollution and pesticides” – but the rapid rise in mobile phone and tablet use among even very young children is surely a factor. Leukaemia is the most common form of childhood cancer.

How many pregnant women use a wireless laptop or tablet which they place or hold on or near their stomach? How many place their mobile phone in the pram or buggy?

Why is the government not giving loud and clear warnings? Is it because they don’t want to scare people off 5G – because, as Jeremy Hunt let slip, it’s about “much more” than faster communication speeds?

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Exactafuckingmundo. It’s an agenda. The dates the author puts forward regarding infant mortality tie in perfectly with the release of 4G. The microwaves are particularly harmful to children.
Someone doing great work in this area and exposing what they are doing is the Fullerton Informer. He is a beacon a light and knows his onions.
Here is a link to his YT channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVt3STOc1XNEWOIWYW0UKaA
Here is one of many very important clips he has published
5G is a kill grid

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

“We are in the midst of a silent war. They’re not gonna fire a shot folks, they’re gonna cook you. They’re going to cook you with wireless EMF emissions that you’re addicted to and in love with.” The Fullerton Informer, Joe Imbriano

Mucho
Reader
Mucho

Hey William H Bonney, here’s a load more clowns for you to poke fun at:
https://www.emfscientist.org/index.php/science-policy/expert-emf-scientist-quotations

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

Life expectancy became 5 years shorter during the heady Oligarch years in Russia; not surprised the same is happening in Britain since Putin chased them out of Russia. “Newport, home of the Molewrench. London, home of the Oligarch”.

The other thing that happened to Russians in the heady years of the Oligarchy was, Natasha became the Turkish slang for prostitute. So I checked the correlation by googling “UK prostitution increase” — Bingo:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-28/rise-soft-prostitution

One advisory service for this bullish market claims a direct correlation with rise in student tuition fees.

Tim Jenkins
Reader
Tim Jenkins

Great link Vexarb: bag ’em young, like Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell did… sowing the seeds.

Capitalist Neoliberalism Softpornorama,

with hard landing later in life 🙁

vexarb
Reader
vexarb
Reg
Reader
Reg

Although I mostly agree with the approach of the article, I would like to point out one inaccuracy.
It is incorrect to suggest the EU supports the precautionary principle in practice, and is about to abandon it in principle with the full adoption of CETA that abandons the precautionary principle in favour of a more ‘science based approach where harm has to be proved, (p.9 &42 Making sense of CETA). CETA has been provisionally partially introduced since 2017 despite not being ratified by all member countries as a EU ‘mixed agreement’. EU legislation of EU sole competence does not require ratification by its member countries, mixed competence is partially of EU and partially the purview of its member countries under EU proportionality and subsidiarity guidelines. CETA has been provisionally introduced without its Investor State Dispute Mechanism (that will require ratification) that will allow investors to sue countries in the EU (and Canada) for projected loss of income without the precautionary principle. This is similar to the Investor State Dispute Mechanism contained in TTIP & TTP. 13 EU countries have so far ratified CETA including the UK, and any variation of Theresa Mays withdrawal agreement allows the EU to impose new State Aid regulations on the UK up to 4 years after the UK leaves the EU.

It is also worth noting that it is now a German Company Bayer that manufactures Roundup, since Bayer took over monasanto. Membership of the EU has proven no bar to high uses of pesticides in the UK. No high damages claims in the EU for the effects of roundup, unlike in the US.
This is not to suggest that environmental legislation is good in the US, but to suggest that it is more nuanced with governments of the UK, the EU and the US all damaging to the environment. After all under CETA US companies officed in Canada will (after ratification) be able to sue EU countries for projected loss of income without the precautionary principle, and Canada has Chlorinated Chickens.
It is also worth noting that the EU, whatever the background noise has yet to ban Glyphosate.

See “Making sense of CETA (2nd Edition)” below by the Canada based ‘Transnational Institute’ (TNI).

https://www.tni.org/en/publication/making-sense-of-ceta-2nd-edition

https://www.politico.eu/article/glyphosate-future-europe-again-in-doubt-after-us-court-fines-monsanto/

betrayedplanet
Reader
betrayedplanet

We are drowning in toxicity in the England [not as bad in Wales and Scotland where the devolved governments know if they fuck up too much they are toast]. Toxic, greedy, lying and base politics, a government of the worst type of human, no conscience who uses hard earned taxes to kill people in the countries of our brown skinned brother/sister. A country where if you are not wealthy you are a walking target for cruel and inhuman policies with zero respect for ethics, decency and any form of fellow feeling. A country where your children, if they reach adulthood in one piece mentally and physically will be subjected to a lifetime of toxic food, toxic councils who in the main have no interest in their constituents apart from the money they can steal from you, insecure work, exorbitant rents [ you cannot own a property unless you are on a very high salary] and a government who will do its very best to keep your pension.
Sociopathy rules in England particularly which is the reason I pray daily to a nonexistent god in the sky that the populace cop on, grow up and realise they have been subjected to centuries of abuse, degradation and that they are an irrelevance to their political handlers who now are determined to turn the people into modern day serfs to the US who will cream the situation for all its worth.

William HBonney
Reader

Life expectancy is faltering because we have net immigration from countries without a national health service.

If it truly was pesticides, then that suddenly wouldn’t be an issue now…

different frank
Reader
different frank

Yeah its al them foreenors falt

William HBonney
Reader

I’m a foreigner myself, Frankie – baby, and that’s how I know, standards outside the UK aren’t what they could be.

Industry is what provides us with the life we lead now. Rose tinted glasses about some past where everyone lived healthily in some organic paradise are misplaced. You are tilting at windows for a paradise that doesn’t exist.

The best advice I can give is not to be an angry person, it sidelines you.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

Norwegian trolls also get sidelined.
There’s nothing for them here, yet still they show up quite regularly – to no one’s advantage, not even their own.

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

I thought that you might be an Israeli.

betrayedplanet
Reader
betrayedplanet

Oh my, you are surely a bright spark. If the fucking evidence is there from people of my much higher educational and ethical level than your ignorant self, well I would be liable to fall on the side of people who give a shit about our small defenseless and vulnerable children to myself and others like me who have fought unrelentingly for human rights and a modicum of decency, something you appear to lack, in spades.

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

Processed foods, take away foods and anything with animal products in (how many toxins, hormones, antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides are animals ingesting?)
‘Tis death by a thousand cuts.

Laugh or cry?
Reader
Laugh or cry?

“how many toxins, hormones, antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides are animals ingesting?”

Missing from the list, the animals which are caged and fed ‘genetically modified grains’ instead of being left to roam and feed on grass.

And that’s what we know, so far.

JudyJ
Reader
JudyJ

On a personal level, and some might say trivial, I had to have my much loved (11 years old, so not particularly old in border collie terms) pet dog put to sleep unexpectedly last week. He was found to have lesions on his liver which were causing internal bleeding and were probably cancerous.

I have since reflected on possible triggers for his sudden decline. Of course I shall never know – that is of course how malpractices in the pharmaceutical industry remain hidden – but I wondered about his regular consumption of water in a brook we pass by every day (we live in a semi-rural area), and the fact the vet prescribed a year ago a “new, revolutionary” anti-parasite tablet that is absorbed through the stomach, attacks fleas, ticks and worms and is active for two months. He only had one (which I had to force-feed him owing to his reluctance to be convinced by its ‘tasty flavour’) but I am sure I shall now eternally hold myself responsible for his early demise. I also now fear the outcome for my other collie who was also given one of these ‘wonder tablets’. I now consider myself extremely foolish and guilty for having been complicit in dosing my dogs in this way without question. I did have doubts about the possible side effects of such a strong medication, hence the fact I didn’t use it again, but had the damage been done by then?

Ben Trovata
Reader
Ben Trovata

our condolences

devil's advcate
Reader
devil's advcate

Fair dinkum, only you is complaining. Watch TV and see how people are enjoying glowing health. See how everyone has thick shiny blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. Look how perfectly the cheeks are rounded. You can see clearly how the biblically rounded prime minister cheeks are full of wealth accumulating ambition.

(from watching TV, you’d think only blue eyed people inhabit Australia, and they are all generously donating to help starving African children)

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

The ‘typical’ sun bronzed Aussie is in reality a hypertensioned, beer gutted, pill popping ignoramus.
Sad, ain’t it?

Question This
Reader
Question This

I hear transgenderism has quite infected ozzie culture.

Question This
Reader
Question This

Your problem is you watch to much TV init.

devil's advcate
Reader
devil's advcate

“Your problem is you watch to much TV init.”
don’t be so patronising. I had an upset stomach after eating in a restaurant, and was waiting in the doctor’s waiting room where you ‘must’ watch TV.

Question This
Reader
Question This

I do apologist for offending you.

Is the TV obligatory by contract or were you handcuffed? They have them propaganda boxes everywhere nowadays, there’s no escape.

devil's advcate
Reader
devil's advcate

“were you handcuffed?”

In a small room, there are 4 rows of seats bolted to the ground, all facing a large TV. Tell us about your Dr’s waiting room.

Question This
Reader
Question This

I haven’t been to a doctor for 35 years. I use common sense & still perfectly healthy.

Marianne
Reader

Rachel Carson was right way back in 1962. Rachel Carson quote: The most alarming of all man’s assaults upon the environment is the contamination…
The most alarming of all man’s assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials. This pollution is for the most part irrecoverable; the chain of evil it initiates not only in the world that must support life but in living tissues is for the most part irreversible. In this now universal contamination of the environment, chemicals are the sinister and little-recognized partners of radiation in changing the very nature of the world-the very nature of its life.

Rachel Carson

Willem
Reader
Willem

The increasing death rate is worrysome, but poison seems far sought as the increase in death rate is not that large. Austerity makes more sense to me, particularly because the increase in death rate happened after 2011 in the UK, that is after austerity cuts were implemented.

Willem
Reader
Willem

Here is the scientific article that I referred to in my previous and which makes quite a good case that the increase in death rate is due to austerity: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/11/e017722

What I find interesting is that the same phenomenon is seen in NL (stagnating life expectancy after austerity cuts were implemented in 2013)

nondimenticare
Reader
nondimenticare

The two may be closely related, both in effect and chronology.

Toby Russell
Reader
Toby Russell

Good comments to an important article.

The neoliberal / ‘free market’ premise is that profit via ‘free’ markets is the Invisible Hand that produces the best of all possible worlds. There’s a seductive charm to its logic: no one, especially politicians, is wise enough to know how to prescribe the right behaviours for entire populations and then nanny them, flawlessly, towards best outcomes. Let the organic, natural give-and-take of millions of buyers and sellers sort out the wheat from the chaff instead! Market knows best! Profit is the unbiased, blind God that will lead us to the promised land!

There’s a huge problem. Money is power – not a “neutral veil” – and so accumulates to itself via the profit motive: having more is better than having less, and having most is best. Logically enough, power accumulates with the money and ‘corrupts’ the so-called market, which, over time, cannot help but drift towards fascism with the state that is its primary backer. With money as our god, we all end up impoverished, even the so-called rich. (In my view, the state-market dichotomy is as false as many other neoliberal dichotomies, but it would take too long to explicate that here.)

I’m not one for throwing babies out with the bathwater, so see the challenge as one of establishing a new guiding principle to replace the poisonous profit-market variant. Why not health? For me, it should be something like: health wealth value, where health means total health of each individual’s body, mind and soul, their relationships, civic contributions, and of the supporting larger environment. And rather than governmental mandates and prescriptions about how best to be guided by such a principle, I would like to see local communities capable – via a revolutionised education system – of self-organising in cooperation and collaberation with others globally, using science and trial and error, transparently, not proprietorially. Something of the freedom mendaciously promised by market theology is in this proposed ethic, but it would be adult freedom, replete with grown-up obligations and responsibilities, not the smokescreen of adolescent ‘freedoms’ modernity has been so thoroughly seduced by.

We are a long way from choosing something like this as our path, but I suspect something like it will prove to be our best shot.

Toby Russell
Reader
Toby Russell

I used a symbol that got dumped by the posting process. I meant:

“For me it should be something like: health = wealth = value” …

(I hope the equals signs make it through!)

grandstand
Reader
grandstand

One of the areas where western governments and media like to “have a go at China” is in their social credit system.

https://www.wired.com/story/china-social-credit-score-system/

This article takes the usual MSM swipes at China’s human rights record and failure to respect privacy but has a less jaundiced view of its social credit system. If the most important reward for one’s actions is money then expect people to behave accordingly. Change the reward and you change the behaviour.

William HBonney
Reader

You cannot criticise Google and Facebook for their data collection, and then defend China using it as a tool of oppression (and not merely a means of providing free satnav)

Toby Russell
Reader
Toby Russell

Thanks for the link. What I took from it was a confirmation – if any were needed – that the devil is in the details, and that devolution of power to the local level spews up a lot of that devilish detail. Further, that the redefinition or establishment of a new relationship with wealth towards “health = wealth = value” is still an extremely long way away from most people’s thinking. The connotations of a shift at this depth of cultural reasoning and perception are as profound as they are broad.

Monobazeus
Reader
Monobazeus

Many pesticides including glyphosate (roundup) and Dicamba down regulate expression of P-450 enzymes by you liver. You cannot easily avoid injestimg glyphosate. It is in your bread, breakfast cerial, peas, apples, meat, eggs, water, beer, it is in everything.

Do yourself a first class favor and get yourself some Milkthistle (silybim marianum) tablets (40,000mg perday) and get some real live geuine Kefir grains. Grown your own Kefir. Whether it is water kefir or milk kefir grow it from grains. Don’t use some store bought powder or some crap thing concocted up and for sale in a shop. Commercial kefir starters and kefir drinks and kefir type yogurts are not the real deal.

Kefir uprates expression of the P-450 enzymes which are down regulated by Glyphosate.

Milk Thistle uprates expression of the P-450 enzymes which are down regulated by Glyphosate

Ash
Reader
Ash

First result from a web search disagrees with the last part: “Studies of milk thistle coadministered with various drugs in humans suggest it is unlikely to affect the most common cytochrome, the P450 (CYP450) isozyme.”

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

Life then: eat, shit and die.
Life now: eat shit and die sooner.

Question This
Reader
Question This

Eat to much wheat = Eat, don’t shit, die much sooner!

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

OK. In that case I’ll stick with rye, barley and spelt. Thanks.

Paul Carline
Reader
Paul Carline

But make sure they’re organic … Glyphosate is now routinely used to dessicate conventionally grown grain before harvesting, as well as being used as a pesticide. That means it’s also in beer and whisky!

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

I think you missed my supercilious point.
I don’t drink alcohol.

mark
Reader
mark

Glyphosate is the tobacco of the 1940s/ 50s.
It is already clear how dangerous it is.
I was surprised when I saw it for sale in Tesco. I spoke to a woman buying it and she put it back on the shelf.

Most of the food we eat is poisoned.
Two thirds at least of the products on the shelves of Boots and Superdrug are carcinogenic. About the only thing that is safe is neutral liquid soap.
The health implications of 5G are horrific. Forget Huawei, nobody should be working on it.

The wartime diet was probably the healthiest in history.
Reduced meat, fats and sugar. Wholemeal bread.

Question This
Reader
Question This

I still remember free milk & school dinners at school (that was before we joined the EU) & the dietary advice then, being eat plenty of cheese & meat. neo-liberals now would have you just eating glyphosate drenched wheat & barley products.

Don’t get me wrong i have great issue with the livestock industry & fully support animal rights issues BUT we are omnivores! I had been a vegetarian for many many years but developed IBS, since I started eating organically produced meat again & cut out wheat products my digestive health has improved dramatically.

George
Reader
George

My wife and I both do care work and there are an increasing number of older people with less support – and these are the ones who were lucky to be born into a world that still offered pension plans etc. The rising generations will have even less support as they get older. And the jobs available are becoming increasingly exploitative. The whole prospect facing the young is looking more and more brutal and hopeless. It is hardly surprising that there was a recent news article on the rise of mental health issues amongst primary school children. The younger generations know full well that the brightly presented scenarios of the media are bullshit. As John McMurtry once wrote:

“With increasingly diminishing job-prospects, the youth of the world approach the condition of a surplus population. For the young to become superfluous to their society is an inversion of the biological law of species living to reproduce themselves. It expresses the social disease pattern in the most basic parameter, the reproduction of humanity’s vital life capacities across the next generation.”

Jean Miller
Reader
Jean Miller

The view from Community Nursing is about as bleak as it could be. To say its hopeless, would not be overstating it.

Laugh or cry?
Reader
Laugh or cry?

Has there ever been more TOXIC civilisation than the present one throughout the history of mankind?!

William HBonney
Reader

The hysterical whining of someone who has never known real hardship.

George
Reader
George

…or alternatively someone who has just woken up.