Aletho News


Lavrov: Recent Sanctions Unlikely to Be Lifted, This Is What US Is Telling Allies Behind Closed Doors

Samizdat | May 29, 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that the latest Western sanctions against Russia were prepared long ago and are unlikely to be lifted.

“The speed with which they were introduced and their volume indicate that they were not created overnight, they were being prepared for quite a while. It is unlikely that these sanctions will be lifted,” Lavrov said in an interview with French broadcaster TF1.

“At least, the US, not publicly but during contacts with its allies, says that when all this [the crisis in Ukraine] is over the sanctions will remain anyway,” Lavrov added.

Lavrov noted that in the wake of these revelations, it’s clear the West’s main priority isn’t defending the Ukrainian regime, which he described as a mere “bargaining chip,” but about curbing Russia’s development. According to the diplomat, the US considers Russia an obstacle to its goal of establishing a unipolar world – a vision “which Washington proclaimed with the submissive consent of Europe.”

According to him, the West was also indifferent to the fact that Ukraine publicly refused to comply with the UN Security Council resolution urging the implementation of the Minsk Accords signed by France and Germany.

At the same time, Lavrov noted that liberating Donbass remains a top priority.

Russia launched a military operation last month with the stated goal of putting an end to war crimes committed by Ukrainian troops against civilians during an eight-year offensive against Donbass. President Vladimir Putin said that for eight years, people in Donbass have been subjected to what he called a “genocide” by the Kiev regime.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 3 Comments

Fresh produce industry urges caution over gene editing

Grower’s association criticises “disconnect” between GMO-developing scientists and food industry

GMWATCH | May 26, 2022

An article in The Grocer reports criticism of the UK government’s “Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill”, which was introduced into Parliament yesterday.

It notes that both growers and campaigners are cautioning against the rapid adoption of new gene-editing technology.

The article quotes Philip Morley, technical executive officer of the British Tomato Growers’ Association, as saying that there had been a lack of consultation with the food sector on the government’s plans – leading to “a disconnect between the scientists, who are doing the research in their labs, and the growers, retailers and consumers”.

He said, “I know it is interesting and it sounds really sexy but this is a major national conversation we need to have if we are going to be pioneers in that technology, not just for fresh produce.”

Morley added, “This is the beginning, and is the foot in the door, the opening conversation and if we make a mistake now then that is a mistake that we live with forever.”

Morley said, “It is a huge topic, and it will involve every crop, every livestock sector, every human being ultimately when we get into the realm of gene editing humans.”

On the topic of GM tomatoes, a GM vitamin D-containing variety of which was hyped in the government’s publicity around the new bill, Morley stressed there were still many opportunities to look at natural processes in tomato production to boost nutritional values – something many growers were doing, particularly when it came to using light.

He told The Grocer that these natural explorations could potentially deliver far more benefits than any chemical intervention for human health.

Liz O’Neill, director of GM Freeze, is quoted as warning that unregulated gene editing is “a food crisis in the making” as “gene editing is GM with better PR”.

Soil Association policy director Jo Lewis told The Grocer that the decision to prioritise the bill over the food bill meant the government was “casting about for silver bullets”. She said, “We are deeply disappointed to see the government prioritising unpopular technologies rather than focusing on the real issues – unhealthy diets, a lack of crop diversity, farm animal overcrowding, and the steep decline in beneficial insects who can eat pests.

“Instead of trying to change the DNA of highly stressed animals and monoculture crops to make them temporarily immune to disease, we should be investing in solutions that deal with the cause of disease and pests in the first place.”

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

Africa objects to US proposal on controversial IHR amendments

Meanwhile India discovers irregularities in WHO financial audit

By Shabnam Palesa Mohamed | Take Back Power | May 27, 2022

Africa Day, 25 May, has made an impact. In a rare show of African power and solidarity, several African member states objected to proposed International Health Regulations amendments, discussed at the World Health Assembly 75 this week – a move many believe might shake up the World Health Organization’s dominance.

A well placed source shared: “The resolution on IHR amendments was not passed at the WHA, as African countries were concerned that there was inadequate consultation amongst member states, and the process was being rushed. Botswana read the statement on behalf of the 47 AFRO members and I was personally present.”

According to Reuters, “if Africa continues to withhold support, it could block one of the only concrete reforms expected from the meeting, fraying hopes that members will unite on reforms to strengthen the U.N. health agency’s rules as it seeks a central role for itself in global health policy.”

The IHR seeks to define and detail WHO members’ obligations around public health emergencies and other health matters. The United States government proposed 13 controversial IHR amendments, which give the WHO DG Tedros unilateral power to declare actual or potential health emergencies and expect a response in 48 hours.

The draft proposal yet to be formally decided also aims to change article 59 of the IHR, and would accelerate the implementation of future amendments.

Bear in mind, a few countries at the WHA submitted draft resolutions to the IHR, which would need, at least according to the WHO process, four months to be considered. These countries are Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, European Union and its Member States, Japan, Monaco, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the United States of America.

The African #WHA75 delegation expressed reservations about these IHR amendments, saying all reforms should be tackled together as part of a “holistic package” at a later stage.

“The African region shares the view that the process should not be fast tracked…,” Moses Keetile, deputy permanent secretary in Botswana’s health ministry, told the assembly on Tuesday on behalf of the Africa region.

“We find that they are going too quickly and these sorts of reforms can’t be rushed through,” said a concerned African delegate in Geneva. The U.S. mission in Geneva did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

BRIMI emerges: Brazil, Russia, Iran, Malaysia and India

Brazil and Russia form part of the BRICS initiative with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Iran and Malaysia are reported to have also expressed reservations to the proposed IHR amendments, while Russia and Brazil seem set to make big moves on international health policies, or possibly even exit the WHO. Meanwhile, India raised audit concerns on irregularities with WHO financials.

A civil society World Health Assembly monitor shared “Just for your interest, from the external audit done by India team, who yesterday during the financial comittee stated that they feel very disappointed that their audit has been ignored by WHO.”

Time line, duplication, and waste of funding resources

The IHR amendments discussions are parallel to talks on a potential new pandemic treaty (#PandemicAccord) , raising concerns over duplication and waste of funding handed to the WHO.

Given the trajectory, it appears that both the IHR amendments and the new pandemic accord, if successful, will converge on the world in 2024, unless countries decide to curtail the WHO’s power and take charge of their health.

This 2024 date was highlighted in the working group on IHR amendments: “Delegates welcomed the final report of the Working Group on strengthening WHO preparedness and response to health emergencies which, among other things, proposed a process for taking forward potential amendments to the IHR (2005). They agreed to continue the group, with a revised mandate and name (the “Working Group on IHR amendments” (WGIHR)) to work exclusively on consideration of proposed IHR amendments. Member States also requested the Director-General to convene an IHR Review Committee to make technical recommendations on the proposed amendments that may be submitted. The Working Group will propose a package of targeted amendments for consideration by the Seventy-seventh Health Assembly.”

“Several developing countries have said that the WHO has too many platforms for negotiation, and it is simply not manageable,” said Nithin Ramakrishnan, consultant for the Third World Network.

US senators start to push back on WHO overreach

According to the Daily Caller 

Republican senator Ron Johnson … introduced legislation Thursday that would push back against the World Health Organization’s (WHO) overreach and ensure the Senate has power over its pandemic treaty.

The Daily Caller first obtained the legislation, titled the No WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Without Senate Approval Act, which was spearheaded by Johnson and has 15 cosponsors. The bill mentions the WHO creating an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) and, if passed, would require any agreement produced by the INB to be submitted to the Senate as a treaty in an effort to provide more transparency on the administration.

The lawmakers believe they need to start fighting to prevent the WHO from creating an INB.

“The World Health Organization, along with our federal health agencies, failed miserably in its response to COVID-19. Its failure should not be rewarded with a new international treaty that would increase its power at the expense of American sovereignty. What the WHO does need is greater accountability and transparency,” Johnson told the Daily Caller prior to officially introducing the legislation.

“This bill makes clear to the Biden administration that any new WHO pandemic agreement must be deemed a treaty and submitted to the Senate for ratification. The sovereignty of the United States is not negotiable,” Johnson continued.

Also in the US, Senator Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is introducing legislation aimed at curtailing the power of the World Health Organization (WHO). This is welcome but ironic, as the amendments were proposed by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The bill, introduced Thursday, would prevent U.S. officials from being bound to orders or Republican directives given by the WHO or it’s branches. “In addition, it would require U.S. officials to oppose changes to the WHO charter until the House and the Senate agree to adopt the change in a joint resolution of Congress.”

Fact checkers spinning denial of sovereignty threat

Meanwhile, there is a clear spin attempt from establishment media against opposition to the IHR amendments and the WHO in general. A FactCheck article states “The World Health Organization can make recommendations after the declaration of a global emergency, but it has no control over any nation’s decisions. Yet conservatives in the U.S. falsely claim that amendments proposed by the Biden administration to existing global health regulations, and a new WHO pandemic treaty, will threaten U.S. sovereignty.”

It is not clear whether the writer fully understands the implications of the proposed IHR amendments, a new #PandemicAccord, sanctions for non-compliance, or the clear erosion of personal autonomy, national sovereignty, and democratic values.

The WHO and the IHR were spotlighted at the World Council for Health’s successful Better Way Conference, and a video presentation by WHO expert Dr Astrid Stuckelberger will soon be released. Dr Stuckelberger reminded the audience that the WHO is a small part of a much bigger UN/WEF machine.

Two years after the disastrous mismanagement of Coronavirus, it’s time the world thinks about and acts on a better way for health than giving power away to the WHO, which ignores its own standards on necessity, reasonableness, and proportionality.

That time is now. KeNako.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 2 Comments

Scientists genetically engineer mother hens to kill their own male chicks before they hatch

Transgenic chickens made with CRISPR gene editing are touted as an animal welfare boon – but could result in animal suffering and health and environment risks 

By Claire Robinson and Dr Michael Antoniou | GMWATCH | May 25, 2022

A concept patent has been filed for a method that includes the use of CRISPR/Cas-mediated gene editing to generate transgenic birds so that no male offspring are able to hatch. Israeli scientists led by Dr Yuval Cinnamon (named as an inventor on the patent) are proposing this method to be used in chickens, so that only female chicks will hatch, which will then go on to become laying hens for egg production.

Currently male chicks of egg-laying breeds are killed when young as they are of no use to the egg or chicken meat industries. Even then, hatching the male chicks and keeping them alive until they are killed is viewed by the industry as a waste of energy and other resources.

More seriously, the practice of killing the male chicks is an animal welfare issue. In this light, the transgenic CRISPR-edited chickens are being hyped as a boon for animal welfare, on the grounds (in the BBC’s words) that the technology could “prevent the slaughter of millions of male chickens in the UK, which are culled because they don’t lay eggs”.

But our investigation shows that such claims are disingenuous in the extreme. In fact, the technology forces mother hens to pass on a lethality (killer) gene, which is intended to kill all male embryos before they hatch from the egg.

The genes that are most reliably lethal, and therefore most likely to be used, produce highly toxic proteins. The hen should only produce the toxic protein under the influence of blue light, according to the patent. However, if the technology doesn’t work perfectly, the founder breeder hens and their egg-laying daughters could produce a toxin at low levels in their bodies, leading to health problems in these chickens. The male chick embryos killed successfully with the lethality gene could, depending on the particular gene used, effectively be toxic waste and could not be put into the animal feed supply – the current destination for unwanted male chickens. And the lethality gene could escape into the environment or into bacteria, and again, depending on the gene used, could endanger humans, animals, and wildlife.

Moreover, there appears to be no proof that the technology will work as intended, as there is no evidence in the public domain that a live transgenic breeder hen has actually been produced. The experiments described in the patent are all done on cells in test tubes/flasks (in vitro) or on the egg (in ovo).

In spite of all this, the European Commission has rushed to assure the German regulatory body, the BVL, that the egg-laying hens and their eggs are not GMOs and can therefore be sold without safety checks and GMO labelling.

The method

CRISPR/Cas gene editing is used in an SDN-3 (gene insertion) procedure to target integration of a transgene (a foreign gene, in this case, the lethality gene) into the male sex Z chromosome, with the egg-laying hen passing on that transgene to all male embryos of the next generation of chickens. On exposing the eggs to blue light, the lethality gene is activated and kills the male embryos before they hatch.

Lethality gene is likely to produce highly toxic protein

In order to ensure reliable killing of the male chick embryos at an early stage of their development, the lethality gene that the developers insert will have to be highly toxic. The various lethality-inducing proteins mentioned in the patent that are supposed to work by inhibiting growth/development (paragraphs 0156, 0157) or essential signalling pathways, such as “bone morphogenetic protein antagonist” or “RNA-guided DNA endonuclease enzyme” (paragraphs 0159, 0160), may be too uncertain in their effects.

Therefore the developer will almost certainly choose to use a known highly toxic element – such as genes encoding for diphtheria toxin or ricin toxin, both of which are specifically mentioned in paragraph 0158 as possible candidates for the lethal gene. The fact that the authors illustrate their concept using a diphtheria toxin lethality gene, albeit within the context of in vitro tissue culture cell experiments (Figure 24A), supports this line of thinking.

A gene encoding cholera toxin, another highly toxic poison, could conceivably be used, as the patent does not restrict the lethal gene to certain named types.

This raises the question of how “tight” and foolproof the expression of the lethality gene cassette is – in other words, whether it is completely silent as desired until activation by blue light illumination, or whether there is some low but significant expression prior to blue light illumination. Indeed, evidence of lethality gene expression leakiness is provided in Figure 13 of the patent (upper panels). It is common experience and knowledge that all transgenic systems are leaky – it’s only a question of degree. Thus the optogenic (blue light) activation system linked to the lethality gene cassette will almost certainly be “leaky”. This means that in the female founder breeding hens, even in the absence of blue light, the lethal gene may not be silent. So these female founder breeding hens and their egg-laying female offspring could express the lethality gene at a low level. This would mean that these hens would be producing a lethal toxin inside their bodies. As a result they could suffer health problems.

This possibility (which is far from unlikely) raises welfare questions about the health of the female founder hens and their female offspring. Their health status will depend on the nature of the lethality gene and to what extent it expresses in their bodies. This is a major ethical issue, beginning with the action of genetically engineering a mother hen to pass a killer gene to all her male offspring.

The lethal toxin-generating gene could escape into the environment or into bacteria. If it gets into bacteria, it could transfer from the bacteria into people or animals, with potentially serious consequences to their health.

Any male embryos that are killed using a toxic lethality gene will need to be treated as toxic waste and could not be used, for example, as animal feed, which is the usual destination for rejected male embryos or chicks in the non-GMO egg industry.

Proof-of-concept only

It is important to note that the experimental data presented in the patent application only attempt to demonstrate the feasibility of the various components of the method. They have tested all these components separately, but do not actually demonstrate that they can be brought together to produce a female transgenic founder chicken that can be used for breeding egg-laying hens. A search of scientific databases also failed to identify a transgenic breeding hen of the type that the method aims to generate. Thus based on current publicly available information, a transgenic live breeder chicken of the type described in the patent does not exist.

The patent is a method patent that tries to provide proof-of-concept and only describes in vitro and in ovo experiments. At most, these experiments show that exposure to blue light can activate gene expression as desired in vitro and in ovo. They also show killing of tissue culture cells using the lethality gene system. They show protein synthesis inhibition from expression of the diphtheria gene (but not strictly cell or embryo death) in ovo – but not through activation by blue light. They show killing of tissue culture cells with a diphtheria or caspase (cell death-inducing) genes, but again, not via blue light activation. At best they show that in ovo injection of a growth inhibitor protein (noggin) can arrest embryo development at an early (blastomere) stage. No doubt the idea is that if you can express these toxic proteins from a gene via blue light illumination, then it could work. But there’s no proof that it does.

EU Commission claims the laying hens and their eggs are not GMOs

The EU Commission wrote to the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) in July 2021, stating that the laying hens resulting from this genetic modification process and their eggs are not GMOs and would not fall under the EU’s GMO regulations.

The EU Commission reaches its conclusion based on the supposed absence of the transgene (or fragments thereof) in the female hens. However, and crucially, the EU Commission is grossly misinterpreting the law. The EU definition of a GMO is not an organism that contains transgenes, but an organism “in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination”. The law does not state that transgenes have to be present in order for an organism to be classed as a GMO.

There is no proof that the female hens in question are free from such unnatural genetic alterations, as described in this legal text. Therefore the Commission appears to be acting against the law.

Do the female laying hens contain transgenes?

Let’s suppose for a moment that the EU law was worded completely differently from how it is, and that it does define a GMO as an organism containing transgenes. Even in this imaginary scenario, it is not valid for the Commission to assume that the female hens do not contain unintended transgenes in part or in whole. Scientific evidence in plants and human cells shows that fragments of foreign DNA from the gene-editing tool can inadvertently integrate into the genome during the gene editing process and end up scattered across the genome.

In the case of the transgenic chickens, in order to produce the founder hens, integration of the lethality gene is targeted into the male sex-determining Z chromosome, using the CRISPR/Cas gene-editing tool. But this process may not go as planned. While the lethality gene cassette may end up in the intended location on the Z chromosome, fragments of the lethality gene or the plasmid DNA molecules encoding the CRISPR/Cas tool may also integrate in other regions of the genome – that is, on chromosomes that will be passed down to both male and female chicks. As a result, both the founder hens and their female egg-laying offspring could inadvertently contain fragments of the CRISPR gene-editing tool and/or fragments of transgenes in their genomes.

There appears to be no published evidence showing that this procedure does not give rise to inadvertent transgene fragment integration and that the resulting transgenic founder hens and their female offspring are free from such foreign DNA. Moreover, existing evidence suggests that this is highly likely to happen.

The way to find out if it has happened is to do a genomics (whole genome sequencing) analysis of the founder hens and their female egg-laying offspring. But this basic investigation may not at present be possible if, as appears, the desired transgenic founder hen does not exist in actuality.

So until evidence is provided to the contrary, we can assume that fragments of the CRISPR gene-editing tool and/or fragments of transgenes may have integrated into their genomes. If this is the case, then the founder hens and their offspring, the female egg-laying hens, will be transgenic, as will be the eggs of the laying hens. Therefore even under a hypothetical law that defined a GMO as an organism that contains transgenes, all three would have to be labelled as GM. The Commission would therefore be acting against this hypothetical law – and against its own incorrect interpretation of the law – in stating that the laying hens and their eggs are not GMOs.

Under EU law, the egg-laying hens and their eggs are certainly GMOs, though not because of the possible presence of transgenes. As Testbiotech explains, “In the case of the laying hens, they are the direct female offspring (F1) of the transgenic chickens. They inherit (regardless of whether the transgene works as supposed) genetic material from the mother hens which also will be transferred to the eggs. Thus, there can be no doubt that the laying hens and the eggs produced, are products of GMOs and consist of GMOs. As can be seen with oil, starch or sugar produced from GM plants, it is the production process which is the decisive criterion for the implementation of EU law and not the presence of genetically modified material [e.g. transgenes] in the end product.”

The Commission’s action in sending the BVL a letter stating that these animals are non-GMO shows not only its misinterpretation of EU law, but also that it accepts GMO industry self-declaration of transgene-free status, without requiring any proof.

Unintended genetic changes

The gene-edited founder breeding hens are likely to have unintended changes in their genome, such as insertions, deletions or rearrangements of DNA, at both the intended edit site (on-target) and at other locations in the genome (off-target). This could lead to disturbances in patterns of gene function which could lead to health or welfare issues in the chickens. Even if at the site of insertion of the lethality gene, all is as intended without any unwanted mutations, unintended genetic alterations at off-target sites will be passed on to the egg-laying daughters of the founder breeding hens.

It is not known how carefully the developers will look for such unintended effects – only long-read whole genome sequencing and subsequent “omics” molecular analysis of the chickens will suffice – and how carefully they will try to breed them out. Any unintended effects that are not bred out will be passed down to the egg-laying hens. Without strict regulation requiring such examinations, it is uncertain that they will be undertaken.

What is the Commission actually deregulating?

In sum, there appears to be no available information on how any live GM chickens were generated and indeed if they were generated at all. So the Commission appears to be acting beyond its expertise, as well as beyond its mandate, in its rush to deregulate something that may not work; may not exist in a utilizable form, and if it does, will likely not be as free from transgenic material as the Commission assumes; and may cause serious public health and environmental problems, as well as severe health or welfare issues for the chickens themselves.

Alternatives are available

While unwanted male chick embryos are commonly killed by gassing them or grinding them up alive, more humane alternatives are available. These alternatives seem to be preferable to a potentially dangerous gene editing route using lethality genes.

One such alternative technology is egg screening using the Sellegt method, which enables producers to sex the chick embryos at day nine of incubation and select out the unwanted males. Eggs produced using this method are already being sold by supermarkets under the label “Respeggt”, which promises that the eggs are “free of chick culling”. Other already-available sex determination methods are described on the Wikipedia page on in ovo sexing.

It may be argued that the patent for the gene-edited birds allows male embryos to be killed using exposure to blue light before the nine-day point at which the Sellegt method becomes viable – though this raises the question of whether a nine-day-old embryo is any more sentient than a 1-8 day-old embryo and therefore if there is any moral gain in using the gene editing system because it theoretically allows for earlier killing.

The problem with this argument is that the patent hedges its bets and also claims that the killing point can be any time between one day and the full 21-day egg incubation period. So it cannot be assumed that killing a male embryo with a lethality gene is in any way more humane (on the grounds that it takes place at an earlier stage) than existing alternative non-GMO methods – and the latter do not result in a potentially toxic product.

This patent is under consideration by the European Patent Office but has not yet been granted. In deciding whether to grant patents, patent offices must consider three things: novelty, a non-obvious inventive step, and utility. If the toxic lethality gene is only activated at 10–21 days of incubation, as is provided for in the patent, then the Patent Office would be justified in refusing the application, as the technology described is not an improvement on existing technologies and therefore has no utility.

Dual use chickens: A more humane and sustainable option?

For those who object to any killing of male chick embryos on the grounds of animal welfare or waste, but wish to see chicken meat production continue, another option is available that would enable the raising to maturity of the males. That is dual use chickens, in which the females serve as egg layers and the males as meat. Such chickens are commonly available but are not commonly used in the chicken meat industry because males do not put on weight as quickly as females. So by separating out breeds between egg laying and meat-producing, productivity is arguably being prioritized over animal welfare and sustainability.


In conclusion, this gene editing application appears to be
* Of unknown efficacy in producing the intended gene-edited live chickens.
* Potentially dangerous for the chickens themselves, raising animal welfare concerns.
* Potentially dangerous for humans and other animals, who may be exposed to escaped lethality genes expressing highly potent toxic protein products (e.g., diphtheria, ricin, or cholera), due to the envisaged large scale use of this technology. These toxin-encoding lethality genes and their toxic protein products could also put at risk the environment as a whole.
* Ethically questionable. The developers are genetically engineering a mother hen to pass a killer gene to all her male offspring when there are already-available alternatives, such as egg sexing early in the incubation period.
* Of doubtful utility, since it seems not to provide any more humane or efficient system of preventing the birth of male chicks than is already available via other technologies.

In addition, the egg-laying hens and their eggs are GMOs under EU law. Therefore the European Commission should correct its advice to the German regulator and state that these GM products should be subjected to a risk assessment and GMO labelling.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 5 Comments

German Farmers Set To Lose Up to 3 Million Tonnes of Harvest Due to EU Ukraine-Related Sanctions

Samizdat – 29.05.2022

The European Union is currently working on a new wave of sanctions that might further limit fertiliser imports from Russia and Belarus despite the looming agricultural crisis that may affect millions.

German farmers are sounding the alarm over a potential contraction in their output and further price increases this year caused by the EU’s sanctions against Russia and Belarus, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten has reported.

EU sanctions imposed in the context of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine limit fertiliser imports, namely potassium chloride and potash fertilisers, which many European farmers rely upon.

German farmers expect that this year’s output may be 3 million tonnes less than previous years as a result of current measures. The fertiliser shortage will hit grain crops particularly heavily as countries already fear shortages in their global supplies due to the conflict in Ukraine and difficulties in maritime trading routes.

Another aftermath of the EU’s Ukraine-related sanctions targeting fertilisers may be the growth of consumer food prices, the German news outlet warned. In 2021, Europe imported 4.6 million tonnes of a total 13 million of fertilisers from Belarus and Russia. With shipments from these countries limited by April’s sanctions package, the supply shortage is set to raise already high fertiliser prices – and as such consumer prices – even more, farmers warned.

Boosting local fertiliser production in the EU and elsewhere in hopes of reducing prices is also scheduled to confront challenges posed by western sanctions, as manufacturing requires large power consumption and cheap energy sources, both areas which have been impacted by the Ukraine-related measures.

Despite these difficulties, EU countries continue to seek to do away with Russian gas even amid prospects of surging energy prices and unemployment. For his part, Germany’s Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil has gone on the record as stating that an immediate ban on Russian gas will lead to a notable reduction of jobs in Germany. Heil has called to avoid such an outcome.

EU countries are currently discussing their sixth package of sanctions against Russia and Belarus. With many member-states already experiencing negative economic results from earlier packages, the EU is struggling to negotiate conditions on banning or limiting oil imports from Russia due to the opposition of several countries within the bloc. The new sanctions package also reportedly includes proposals on further limiting fertiliser imports from Russian and Belarusian chemical companies, even as the threat of global hunger and the lack of grain and crops looms.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | , | 5 Comments

CDC study purporting to find substantial protective effects for school mask mandates fails to replicate

eugyppius – May 29, 2022

Last year, the CDC published a paper comparing Pediatric COVID-19 Cases in Counties With and Without School Mask Requirements. The authors looked at data from 520 United States counties, concluding that “Counties without school mask requirements experienced larger increases in … case rates … compared with counties that had school mask requirements.” Corona astrologers and face diaper fetishists everywhere have used the findings to argue for forcing healthy children who are at no risk to wear fasks masks for multiple hours each school day.

More county-level data on American infection rates and mask mandates has since become available, and two Toronto scientists have taken the opportunity to replicate the study, looking now at 1,832 counties. In a turn of events that will surprise nobody, they find that the larger dataset shows that mask mandates actually do zero, and that prior findings were almost surely an illusion.

Here are masked vs. unmasked case rates, using a smaller data pool similar to that from the CDC study:

Week 0 is the week of school reopening after the summer holidays.

Yes, the maskless counties seem to do worse! Yet the Toronto authors point out that the original CDC study only considered infection rates through the second week after schools reopened, which turned out to be “exactly the peak of school case numbers for [their] sample of counties.” This obscured the fact “that cases quickly declined in later weeks and did so faster in counties without mask mandates.” Even the smaller sample used by the CDC study, in other words, showed no difference in masked vs. unmasked counties by the six-week mark.

The replication, with a much bigger dataset, meanwhile, showed that maskless counties never led infections at all:

Note that, in the larger sample, the maskless start out with lower rates of infections and catch up; in the smaller sample, they started out with higher rates which collapsed more quickly.

The authors note that the CDC study, by ending their analysis on 4 September 2021, effectively excluded counties with a school-start date after 14 August, which entailed an oversampling of southern states. I’ll fill in the blanks here: Counties in the American south tend to have fewer school mask requirements, and also to experience late summer infection spikes related to high temperatures and extensive reliance on climatisation.

Although masks have become the most clearly discredited measure deployed against SARS-2 (which is saying something), they just won’t go away. Even in places that have lifted all Corona restrictions, a great many people continue to mask in public, and it seems likely that many countries – Germany among them – will retain vestigial mask requirements indefinitely, probably for years. Masking is a totally unsupported superstitious practice that does nothing against viral infection, and yet for precisely this reason, no amount of evidence will ever convince the maskers to stop.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

FDA announces updated schedule for the June meetings regarding five pivotal vaccine decisions

Who needs data when you’ve got regulatory capture?

By Toby Rogers | May 29, 2022

I. The June FDA meetings

This week the Washington Post copied and pasted from a Pfizer press release to announce yet another scientific miracle(TM) that will completely fail in practice. In the process WaPo also got some quotes from the FDA who have now nailed down the schedule for the 4 meetings in June in which they intend to assemble the final pieces for Pharma’s permanent dominance over the American people.

The new schedule is as follows:

June 7, Novavax
June 14, Moderna in kids 6 to 17 years old
June 15, Moderna in kids 6 months to 5 years AND Pfizer in kids 6 months to 4 years
June 28, “Future Framework” (the plan to skip clinical trials in perpetuity)

There is a lot to parse in the WaPo’s brief article.

Contrary to the breathless headline, they still don’t have any data. 

Pfizer and BioNTech said the 80 percent efficacy finding was preliminary and based on 10 cases of Covid-19 in the study population as of the end of April. Once 21 cases have occurred, the companies will conduct a more formal analysis of efficacy… Pfizer and BioNTech said they plan to finish filing data with the FDA this week — and warned that the efficacy number was fluid because results are still arriving.

Let’s recap how we got here:

🚩 The Pfizer clinical trial in kids under 5 failed in December 2021.

🚩 So Pfizer added a third dose and that trial also apparently failed in February (which is why Pfizer was forced to withdraw its application on February 10).

🚩 Now Pfizer is describing a jerry-rigged trial of a third dose in 1,678 kids ages 6 months to four years old. Pfizer did not disclose how the kids were divided between the treatment and control group so it is impossible to run our own calculations on efficacy. Out of that sample, 10 developed Covid — although it is not clear how the 10 were distributed between the treatment and control group. (I suppose some quant on Twitter will figure out how to work backwards from Pfizer’s claims to calculate the numbers in each of these categories but needless to say, this is not the proper way to do science.) Of course Pfizer also failed to describe the contents of the “placebo.”

How exactly will Pfizer double the number of Covid-19 cases in the clinical trial in the next month given that 74.2% of kids already had natural immunity in February which means that nearly 100% of children likely have natural immunity by now?

Also, is the FDA seriously considering basing national policy, that impacts 18 million children, by relying a study with only 10 cases? It appears that the FDA is not even pretending to care about science anymore.

What little data they have will be based on antibodies in the blood, not health outcomes in the real world. That’s strange because the members of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously acknowledged on April 6 that there are “no correlates of protection” in connection with Covid-19 shots (this means that there are no valid proxy measures, such as antibody counts, that can determine whether someone who has received this shot is immune to the virus or not.)

WaPo continues:

While the adult trials recruited tens of thousands of volunteers and waited to see if vaccinated people were better protected, the children’s vaccine trials were primarily designed to measure immune responses using blood tests.

No they were not “primarily designed to measure immune responses using blood tests.” The studies were intentionally undersized to hide harms from the shots in addition to other tricks that they use to skew the results (such as kicking you out of the trial if you call 911 or go the the emergency room). But when one shrinks the sample size, surprise! it becomes impossible to detect actual health benefits from the shots (the signal would have been tiny if at all, but when one uses a sample that small then any positive signal can also disappear into statistical insignificance.)

II. The bigger picture

Tony Fauci and the NIAID funded the creation of a chimera virus that escaped a bioweapons lab and killed 6.3 million people worldwide.

Public health authorities have blocked access to safe and effective prophylaxis and early treatment throughout the pandemic in order to create the market for Covid-19 vaccines.

Covid-19 shots skipped essential safety steps (e.g. challenge trials in animals) and were rushed to market with no long term data.

In practice the mRNA shots suppress immune function for 6 weeks after the first shot, provide about two months worth of protection against coronavirus, then efficacy wanes quickly and becomes negative after six months. Meanwhile, these shots cause more side effects than any vaccine ever invented.

Popular support for the current regime has collapsed. More people have died of Covid under Mr. I Believe the Science(TM) than under Orange Man Bad. Only hypochondriacs in blue states seek out additional doses. Meanwhile Sudden Adult Death Syndrome stalks the true believers. In the past 48 hours alone actor Ray Liotta, Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode, British drummer Alan White (from the band YES), and comedian Phil Butler were all likely killed by Covid-19 shots. It’s impossible to hide all of the bodies at this point.

The FDA seems to know that their window is closing to implement the Final Solution. So they are rushing to put the finishing touches on their plans to inject this toxic junk into the littlest kids in America. The FDA knows that these shots cannot pass proper regulatory review so they’ve developed a plan to rig the process in favor of Pharma in perpetuity. On June 28, the FDA’s “expert advisory committee” will vote on a “Future Framework” whereby all future (reformulated) Covid-19 shots will automatically be deemed “safe and effective(TM)” without any additional clinical trials, on the theory that they are “biologically similar” to existing Covid-19 shots.

What this means is that by fall, the Covid-19 shots that they will be injecting into Americans of all ages will have a new formula that skipped clinical trials altogether.

Injecting people with genetically modified mRNA that skipped clinical trials is genocide. It’s slower than the Nazi Final Solution. But it’s genocide all the same. Indeed the slower pace of the FDA Final Solution (5% to 15% increase in all cause mortality every year) might be even more lethal in the long run. It’s sinister in that they are intentionally building in plausible deniability (‘the FDA said it was safe’) to help the medical establishment feel virtuous while participating in genocide.

I’ll just conclude by saying: be careful what you wish for FDA. The tide has already turned. The American people know exactly what you are doing. We have the receipts. It will be relatively easy to secure a conviction at Nuremberg 2.0 — we literally have you on video committing crimes against humanity. As a reminder, the courts have determined that “I was just following orders” is not a valid defense.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

After Summer, Europe to Target the Unvaccinated


Anyone who imagines that the suspension of Covid-related measures in much of Europe means that those measures, and hence the C-19 vaccination campaign, are things of the past should have a look at the recent pronouncements on the subject of the European Commission, starting with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s April 27 statement on the “next pandemic phase.”

While acknowledging that the “emergency” phase of the pandemic is over – but apparently not, on her account, the pandemic as such – von der Leyen warns that “we must remain vigilant. Infection numbers are still high in the EU and many people are still dying from COVID-19 worldwide. Moreover, new variants can emerge and spread fast.” “But we know the way forward,” she concluded, “We need to further step-up vaccination and boosting, and targeted testing”. The emphasis is mine.

Note that von der Leyen does not merely say that vaccination and boosting should continue – say perhaps for particularly vulnerable groups – she says rather that they have to be “further stepped-up”! This in an EU in which, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, nearly 85% of the adult population has already been fully vaccinated!

In the Commission press release, von der Leyen’s call for “stepped-up” vaccination and boosting is the first of a series of measures that member states are called on to take “before autumn.”

A factsheet on “COVID-19 – Sustaining EU Preparedness and Response: Looking ahead,” which was published by the European Commission on the same day, April 27, reiterates von der Leyen’s point. The first section is entitled “Increasing uptake of COVID-19 vaccination” and the first bullet point reads:

• Member States should increase vaccination uptake and the administration of boosters and fourth doses for those who are eligible. They should also increase vaccination among children.

Here, the emphasis is in the original. The second bullet point continues:

• Member States should prepare COVID-19 vaccination strategies for the coming months taking into account the simultaneous circulation of seasonal influenza and incorporate COVID-19 vaccination into national vaccination programmes.

On May 12, The European Parliament’s recently created special committee on the Covid-19 pandemic (COVI) hosted a question-and-answer session with EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. (Full video here.) In a tweet, the French Member of the European Parliament Virginie Joron summed up the gist of Kyriakides’s remarks as follows (author’s translation):

PRIORITY: 100 million unvaccinated in EU who will have to be convinced and targeted without discriminating against them.
> combatting misinformation 
> next pandemic with new variants this winter

Like Kyriakides, incidentally, the Commission press release also identifies “intensify[ing] collaboration against mis- and disinformation on COVID-19 vaccines” as one of the priority actions for the fall.

Finally, in a more recent May 17 tweet, Virginie Joron shared the below photo of a Commission document that was distributed to the EU Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and that includes, in effect, a “vaccination strategy” for the fall. This document likewise “targets” the unvaccinated, its first bullet calling on EU member states to: “Strengthen efforts to increase the uptake or completion of the primary course among the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated including by continuously monitoring and analysing vaccine hesitancy to overcome it.”

The emphasis on “targeting” the unvaccinated is particularly puzzling given how rapidly vaccine-induced protection against Covid-19 is now known to wane. In immunological terms, once it has, there is, of course, no meaningful distinction to be made anymore between vaccinated and unvaccinated. Some studies and data even suggest that the vaccinated are at this point more prone to infection. Only the very recently vaccinated may perhaps enjoy some added protection.

Numerous observational studies have demonstrated how rapidly the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines wanes: in particular, that of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, which is by far the most widely-used vaccine in the EU. But there is no need to cite these studies here, since the very next bullet point in the Commission document tacitly acknowledges the rapid waning of vaccine efficacy, calling on member states to: “Increase efforts on the uptake of booster doses by all eligible adults, starting from three months after the primary course.” The emphasis here is again mine.

The third and last vaccine-related bullet-point specifically concerns child vaccination. It is truncated in the document photographed by Joron, but the full version is to be found in the Commission’s most complete statement of its Covid-19 strategy for the fall: a communication to the Parliament and other EU institutions that likewise dates from April 27. The full version of the recommendation reads as follows: “Before the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, consider strategies to increase vaccination coverage rates among younger children, e.g. by working with paediatricians and other health professionals who are trusted sources of information for many parents.”

It was considerate of Kyriakides to insist that the unvaccinated should not be discriminated against, even if they need to be “targeted.” But it should be noted that the April 27 communication, as reflected in Joron’s photo, also stresses the need to “[e]nsure the adoption of the Commission proposal to extend the application of the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulation.” The main effect and purpose of the EU Digital Covid Certificate, which has also served as framework and infrastructure for domestic “health” or “vaccine” certificates in EU member states, is, of course, precisely to reward the vaccinated and discriminate against the unvaccinated.

The European Commission’s April 27th documents thus clearly invoke a new rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in the fall, specifically targeting the hitherto unvaccinated and also children. Moreover, if the Commission gets its way – as it can be expected to – and the EU Digital Covid Certificate is indeed extended, they also raise the specter of this new rollout being combined with exactly the same coercive, discriminatory measures that turned Europe’s unvaccinated into social pariahs for much of the last year.

Robert Kogon is a pen name for a widely-published financial journalist, a translator, and researcher working in Europe. He writes at

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 3 Comments

Australia begins to reap what it has sown. It’s grim.

By Joel Smalley | Dead Man Talking | May 27, 2022

Apparently, it’s really difficult for our ONS to produce deaths by date of occurrence by sex and age until 7 months after year end. This means we won’t get any reliable death data for 2021 until July this year.

Fortunately, Australia is a little more timely with their data releases so we can get a little insight from down under.

Looking at both sexes and all ages, it is clear that things have gone really wrong for Australia since the week ending 11th April 2021. Between then and the end of Feb 2022, there have been 16k excess deaths.

There have been less than 4k COVID deaths in that same time with most of those coming since Sept 2021.

So, much like every other country of the world, Australia has had more COVID death since the COVID vaccine was introduced in Feb 2021 and substantially more excess death from other causes.

By the end of the period, more than 90% of the adult population has been jabbed.

What if we break it down by sex and age?

In the over 75s, the pattern is quite consistent, regardless of sex. There was modest excess death during 2020, the year of the plague, followed by significant excess starting exactly on 11th April 2021, just under two months after the mass COVID vaccinations began.

In the 65 to 74 year olds, the men have been dying at a steady excess pace since the start of 2020 with no obvious inflection like the older age groups. The women, on the other hand, were dying at a slightly slower pace but caught up after an inflection on 25th April 2021, two weeks after the older age groups.

Things to start to get interesting in the 45 to 64 year olds. The men have been dying less than expected since the start of 2020 but stop their decline when vaccination starts and rally in early September 2021.

Conversely, the women seemed to have a little spike Feb to May 2020 when COVID was pandemic before also declining in the run up to mass vaccination. But the biggest anomaly is that their death rally starts on 18th April, 1 week after the oldest groups but 1 week before the 65 to 74s and a massive 5 months before the men.

I’m not normally one to speculate, but in the absence of any better quality data from the expert public health authorities, I’m going to have a stab at an explanation – there are substantially more female health care workers, especially in care homes, who would have been “prioritised” over their male peers which is why they die from the jab sooner.

I could be wrong.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

What Really Happened in the Pandemic

By Justin Hart | Rational Ground | May 26, 2022

Every year humans endures a “flu season” – a period denoting the high-water mark of that year’s wave of respiratory viral pathogens. Believe it or not we still have strains of the 1889 Russian flu, the 1918 Spanish flu, the 1957 Asian flu, the 1968 Hong Kong Flu, the 2009 H1N1 virus – all these various strains of nasty bugs rear their head every single year.

In late 2019, a new “novel” pathogen appeared on the scene – a bug from the “Coronavirus” family (“corona” describing the spike-like structure of the particles.) The official title was SARS-CoV-2. SARS = “severe acute respiratory syndrome”; CoV-2 = “Coronavirus 2.” This particular virus can cause a disease called COVID-19 (“Coronavirus Disease 2019”). The disease is thought to have originated in China and found significant human-to-human transmission. It is thought to be “novel” because prior infections of other pathogens do not seem to create anti-bodies to tackle this newfound disease within the human body.

Officials raised alarms about the potential mortality witnessed from COVID-19. Governments across the world scrambled to address and protect their populations from what quickly became a pandemic. Efforts ranged from stringent to downright authoritarian. Results were mixed to say the least. In early 2022, it was thought that SARS-Cov-2 and COVID-19 would join the panoply of viruses and diseases we experience during the annual ebb and flow of life.

That’s the short sterile version of what transpired.

Here’s what actually happened:

  • Global elites had ramped up significant efforts to reshape the world to address a host of inequalities and imagined boogeymen like climate change.
  • These global elites were bolstered by a host of corrupt institutions which included the WHO (“World Health Organization”), big pharmaceutical companies, and world wealth and health players like Bill Gates.
  • With the emergence of a new virus these groups pounced at the vulnerable moment to put their plans into action and retool the world with a host of proposals – this was known as The Great Reset. The Coronavirus response was just the first sortie in this plan.
  • Governments across the world, under the threat of serious mortality (real or imagined), caved to the plan of action which utilized never-before imagined cram downs on individual rights, massive financial expenses, and enhanced authority overhauls to set the stage for a shift of power.
  • Free speech, right to assembly, right to bodily autonomy, representative government all fell within months of the first COVID-19 cases announced in almost every country.
  • This newfound power and framework allowed this movement to latch on the decaying carcass of fragile democracies, societal empathies, and eggshell-walking politicos anxious about upcoming elections.
  • Unprecedented global lockdowns of populations disrupted the entire flow of commerce and relationships.
  • Trillions of tax dollars flowed into the coffers of every connected and corrupt institution under the guise of “protecting” the global populace from this apocalyptic pathogen.
  • Disrupted businesses were “bought” off with zero-cost loans and grants to keep employees onboard and keep the money flowing so as not to destroy the economies all at once.
  • A massive global testing regime was set up to catch the widest number of COVID-19 infections possible. The chosen test array (the PCR test) could pick up remnants of a virus at 5 days after infection or even 75 days.
  • Hospitals were designated as the first point of care ensuring a massive wave of anxiety and alarming centralization of power still felt today.
  • Deaths were counted with the widest-possible latitude ensuring a prominent psychological impact at every turn prompting policies mirroring population concerns.
  • Governments bought and paid off new entities to ensure compliance. Threats of fines and operational shutdowns were made if new agencies failed to meet expectations.
  • A global deterrence was crafted to ward off any pre-hospitalization treatments. The endgame was focused on the ultimate prize: a “revolutionary” vaccination framework thought to be the next generation in global medicine and health.
  • An unprecedented wave of funding and government collusion was established to roll out a vaccine across the world.
  • Government mandates ranged from coercive inconvenience to full-on house arrest. You could lose your job, your bank account, and your freedom in one fell swoop.
  • Simplistic mechanisms of mask wearing were instituted as an outward sign of faith in the “new normal.” Politicians could then wipe their hands of outcomes by pointing to lack-of-use of such procedures.
  • Children were targeted for ripe propagandist approaches ensuring that most vulnerable parts of our society were utilized as a bludgeon against anyone going against the grain.
  • Wave after wave of virus variants proved a great excuse when vaccines didn’t perform as expected.
  • Strategic gaslighting was employed by health officials to distract from their massive failures.
  • War followed to cover up the disaster.

All of this was designed to latch onto a virus that many assert has unnatural origins. The ramifications of a man-made virus set loose upon the world by accident or on purpose should frighten us more than the virus itself. Someone was playing god and it appears they are just getting started.

My book, Gone Viral: How Covid Drove the World Insane comes out in September.

May 29, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Civil Liberties, Corruption, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 3 Comments