Today is the “International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.” Prayers around the world will lift up more than 215 million Christians facing extreme hostility in their own nations.
Nov. 5, 2017 Weekend essay by Jerry Carlson — The day of prayer, sponsored by Open Doors, reminds me how our family’s life has been blessed with friends who’ve endured consequences of historic genocides around the globe. Just two examples:
— Our extended “family” includes a heroic university student here at the University of Northern Iowa who risked his life to rescue three younger sisters from Rwanda. Their parents and all other siblings were murdered in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. He and his sisters are now wonderful American citizens. More than a million ethnic Tutsi people in Rwanda were murdered by vengeful Hutus. Another friend, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, was instrumental in pressuring our State Department into expediting their visa as refugees.
— Another of our close friends descends from survivors of the Turkish government’s genocide of Armenian Christians at the outset of World War I. The Turkish military slaughtered more than 1.5 million of its Armenian citizens. Less than 300,000 survived, many by fleeing their homeland. Our friend and his wife developed the Pursanova water treatment technologies which now helps farmers’ family health and crop productivity. By coincidence, last night my wife Jill and I watched a powerful movie, “The Promise,” dramatizing that 1914-20 genocide of Armenians.
— Along with several other families, we are helping a brilliant Syrian college student battle for refugee status in the United States. The student was in Iowa on a scholarship when atrocities of the Assad regime made it clear that returning to Syria would be a death sentence. The student is continuing advanced studies while working full-time in food retailing at a management level.
History’s tragic genocides ring a warning to vigilantly watch for a more subtle, but equally deadly “genocide” here in America. This threat is seeping into the fabric of our nation’s families. It’s the devastating and accelerating degeneration of Americans’ health and vitality. Meanwhile, a valiant fraction of the U.S. population is accelerating a “food revolution”— focusing on organic foods — avoiding toxic technologies as best they can — working for fitness. But the foundations of American health are crumbling under a parabolic rise of chronic diseases, obesity and soaring medical costs.
It’s worth noting that we can’t count on government agencies to protect against such stealth attacks. In fact virtually all of history’s genocides were driven by government power. Examples are China’s communist revolution under Mao, the Bolshevik Revolution and Stalin’s atrocities, Rwanda’s genocide of Tutsi people and multiple others. Our own Centers for Disease Control hasn’t pursued root causes of the U.S. accelerating death rate from chronic diseases. Such revelations typically arise from courageous individuals. A current example is pediatrician Michelle Perro’s new book, “What’s Making Our Children Sick?” Hopefully it will have an impact comparable with Rachael Carson’s “Silent Spring.”
A new wave of health-aware websites such as Moms Across America is attracting thousands of food-concerned families. The U.S. food revolution is gaining such momentum that major food firms are starting to pursue those new marketing opportunities. Here in our home town, a new Natural Grocers store opened a few months ago.
However, most of American agribusiness is fiercely opposing the phaseout of toxic crop “protection” technologies and patented, genetically engineered seeds.
So we stand virtually alone, as more than 60 other advanced nations have banned or severely restricted glyphosate and GMO crops. They’re careful to follow a “precautionary principle,” realizing that GMOs and their linked chemicals are not necessary to “feed the world.”
The multinational chemical/seed corporations have so thoroughly “educated” American farmers that many growers refuse to think of changing their production paradigm. Farm magazines and other ag media depend heavily on those corporations for ad revenue. Thus, most of them ignore health threats embedded in our production practices.
I watched one example of farmer resistance which illustrates this numbed-down attitude. Dr. Arden Andersen, now located in Kansas, is an agricultural consultant who also earned an advanced medical degree in public health. He is showing his patients how to heal their chronic illnesses with non-toxic foods and exercise. He knows the body is designed to heal—if given healthy nutrition. (Plus discipline propelled by desperation to survive.) At a Des Moines seminar, I watched Arden speaking to farmers—documenting his case against GMOs and glyphosate. An exasperated corn-soybean grower stood up and challenged Arden: “I’ve planted GMO crops and sprayed Roundup for more than 20 years. I’m still here. Personally, just what don’t you like about genetic engineering and glyphosate?
A ripple of tension rolled through the crowd. Arden returned the farmer’s gaze and calmly said, “Personally, just what don’t you like about your grandchildren?”
The audience went quiet. Except for five GMO seed-firm reps who were sitting together around one table. All five abruptly and angrily left the room.
Our concern for healthy soil, healthy crops and healthy people has compelled us to encourage farmers to be “among the survivors” by transitioning into non-GMO, less toxic technologies.
We’ve reported many times on the ominous health trends in America. GMOs and glyphosate are far from the “whole reason” for the parabolic rise in rates of chronic diseases. We’ve linked multiple times to the evidence of these health threats.
For example, we’ve regularly reported on presentations by Dr. Don Huber — the most eminent scientist we know in microbial ecology, nutrient-disease interactions and ag bioterrorism. Farmers and health organizations around the world are asking Dr. Huber to bring his vast array of evidence to them. Here’s a link to just one of Dr. Huber’s presentations, featured on YouTube. Dr. Huber has provided us with updated PowerPoint presentations, and we’re working to summarize them in easy-to-read form.
A statistical analysis of American health, compiled by researcher Nancy Swanson and others, shows a stunning relationship between America’s use of glyphosate and rising rates of chronic disease.
The array of evidence pointing to threats of transgenic technologies and related toxins is large, and multiplying. Many nations are using precautionary legal constraints. Meanwhile, American corporate pressures have successfully blocked our lawmakers from enacting a meaningful labeling law which would identify which retail foods contain GMO content.
History is laced with evidence that entire civilizations have vanished, typically by devastating their own ability to produce healthy food. North African nations, now so eroded they can’t produce enough food, were once breadbaskets for the entire Roman Empire. In South America, extinction of the Inca and Mayan civilizations points to their self-destruction of food productivity. Another vivid example is Easter Island, whose people stripped their island of coconut palms and let it erode until their civilization vanished in hunger and civil strife.
We’re counting on a positive outcome for America’s health and vitality — while realizing that Americans typically downplay a potential crisis until it’s forced on them. Meanwhile we’re delighted to work alongside enthusiastic, profitable growers who are tapping into the profits of raising real food for real health.