Prince Charles’s Organic Farm

The Farmer and His Prince

Bertram Verhag (2014)

Film Review

The Farmer and His Prince is an English language film produced by German film director Bertram Verhag. It features an in-depth tour of His Royal Highness Prince Charles’s organic farm at High Gatehouse in Gloucestershire and substantive discussions with the Prince of Wales himself on industrial agriculture, factory farming, genetic modification, global warming and sustainable organic farming.

Prince Charles, the world’s most high profile organic farmer, converted his estate to organic agriculture in the 1980s. He raises sheep, dairy cows, rare breed pigs and a range of foot crops. Although he plays little role in the day-to-day management of the farm, he conducts tours there and is active in lobbying government policymakers and the food industry – both in Great Britain and internationally.

His farm supplies local hotels and markets and presently turns a small profit.

 

Roundup Linked to Autism and Alzheimers

monsanto

Recent research reveals the main toxic effects of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the Monsanto weedkiller Roundup, are identical to the typical biological markers for autism and Alzheimer’s disease. MIT researcher Dr Stephanie Seneff PhD is also alarmed by the correlation between growing Roundup use and a big increase in the incidence of autism.

Roundup Kills Off Intestinal Bacteria

Seneff is mainly concerned about the negative effect of glyphosate on the microbiome. This is the scientific name for the normal intestinal bacteria responsible for immunity, weight maintenance, healthy neuropsychological function and a host of other biological processes.

Monsanto argues that glyphosate is harmless to people because the shikimate pathway, which glyphosate is designed to inhibit, is absent in human cells. Unfortunately, as Dr Seneff points out, our gut bacteria do have this enzyme pathway. In fact, several studies show that glyphosate kills off beneficial gut bacteria, allowing pathogens to overgrow.

Glyphosate also interferes with the ability to synthesize cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, which are essential for gut bacteria to produce and process aromatic amino acids, methionine and sulfate. All these effects are linked to important diseases and conditions associated with the Western diet, including gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, infertility and Alzheimer’s disease.

Seneff isn’t the first researcher to link autism with a derangement in gut bacteria. Scientists have been studying this potential link for more than a decade

Autism Rate Skyrocketing

In a Powerpoint presentation she gives all over the US, as well as in Taiwan and France,  she particularly emphasizes the strong correlation (Pearson correlation coefficient=0.99)* between the skyrocketing incidence of autism and increasing use of Roundup starting in the early 1990s.

In 1975, 1 in 5,000 children were diagnosed with autism. The current rate is 1 in 68.

In her presentation, Seneff also discusses research showing that children with autism commonly have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate exposure, including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate and mitochondrial disorders. Similar markers are also found in Alzheimer’s disease.

Glyphosate in Breast Milk

Most of the GMO crops produced by Monsanto are “Roundup ready” and contain genetic modifications enabling them to withstand spraying with Roundup weed killer. In addition to large numbers of American farmers switching to GMO crops, the use of Roundup on each farm increases over time. This is because Roundup tends to create superweeds that are resistant to normal doses.

The US is unique in the extreme prevalence of foods containing GMOs (genetically modified organisms) that were likely treated with Roundup. Glyphosate can be found in soft drinks and candies sweetened by corn syrup, potato chips, chips, cereals and oil containing soy and cattle and chicken fed soy. According to Seneff, the only way to totally avoid glyphosate is to eat fresh organic food.

Unsurprisingly Americans have ten times as much glyphosate in their blood and European as Europeans. A study by Moms Across America showed that mothers across the US have excessively high levels of glyphosate in their breast milk.

Autism and Vaccines

In an interview with Age of Autism, Seneff was asked her opinion on the link between vaccines and autism. In reply, she talked about three other chemicals she believes are critical to the autism epidemic: aluminum, mercury and glutamate. All are found in specific vaccines. She adds that vaccines and glyphosate are synergistically toxic because the latter disrupts the body’s ability to metabolize glutamate, which is extremely toxic to the brain.

She advises if she were a young mother, she would try to avoid all the vaccines that contain aluminum, mercury and glutamate: DTaP, Hepatitis B, MMR, the measles vaccine, the flu shot, and Gardasil. For parents who feel reluctant to eliminate vaccines altogether, she recommends delaying them as long as possible. Infants have a very weak immune system.

When you look at the risk benefit ratio of the vaccines, it comes out short. You really have to think about whether it’s worth the cost. . . . Do you want your child to be permanently damaged in order to prevent it from getting measles? It doesn’t make sense. I think we really need to question whether the vaccines are an obligatory part of a child’s program. I certainly think they’re not, particularly because they are so dangerous. And in conjunction with the glyphosate, which is making them much worse.


*In statistics, the Pearson correlation coefficient is a measure of the linear correlation between two variables. It gives a value between +1 and −1, where 1 is total positive correlation.

photo credit: msdonnalee via photopin cc

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