Elephants Found To Hold Possible Cure To Cancer While Humans Continue To Poison Herds To Feed Chinese Ivory Market

220px-African_Bush_ElephantThe irony is truly crushing. Elephants may be the key to eradicating cancer in humans, according to new research. Yet, humans continue to wipe out elephants to fuel Chinese ivory and herbal medicine markets. More elephants were poisoned this week and four rangers protecting them were murdered. These same criminals like the recently arrested Chinese “Ivory Queen” could well benefit from the cancer key found in elephants . . . assuming they leave any alive for study.

The study by Joshua Schiffman, M.D., a pediatric oncologist at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the University of Utah School of Medicine and the Primary Children’s Hospital appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association. They looked at why elephants rarely get cancer and zeroed in on a cancer-destroying mechanism involving a gene that encodes for the tumor suppressor protein p53. It could lead to a true miracle cure. The cancer mortality rate in elephants is less than 5 percent as opposed to 11–25 percent in people.

Elephants have at least 40 copies of genes that code for p53 while humans have just two. Two other animals that are nearly cancer-free are the naked mole rat and the bowhead whale.

In the meantime, humans seem to be continuing a determined effort to wipe out the remaining elephants. Fourteen elephants were poisoned by poachers with cyanide in Zimbabwe. The poachers also killed a variety of other animals who also ate the poison. Five have been arrested.

In the meantime, four rangers and an Army colonel were killed in the Congo when they tracked the radio collar of a killed elephant to the camp of the poachers.

It makes one wonder if the elephants would think we were really worth saving from cancer.

23 thoughts on “Elephants Found To Hold Possible Cure To Cancer While Humans Continue To Poison Herds To Feed Chinese Ivory Market”

  1. This is exactly why I want the lobbying and campaign finance laws completely overhauled.

    Take the money out of politics, and you’ve cut the feet out of cronyism. That holds true for all the big donors – Wall Street, Unions, Big Ag, Chemical Companies, Big Oil . . . All of it interferes with the democratic process.

    And if voters actually stood by their values and punished their politicians when they so blatantly disregard their interests, then perhaps politicians would take us more seriously.

    1. Karen – it is estimate that it will take $1 billion dollars to elect the President in 2016. I am assuming that includes the primaries, etc. Convincing the hoi poli to contribute that amount is unrealistic. Major donors have to become involved.

  2. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-most-americans-want-labels-on-genetically-modified-foods/
    (reads that nationally 66 percent of voters favor GMO labeling, and 7 percent are opposed and 24% neutral)

    As one commenter noted the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to enact a law prohibiting the states from requiring GMO labeling, despite the fact that Americans as a whole want this labeling.

    For something as fundamental to humanity as food and water the House ignores the peoples’ wishes to be informed as to what they eat. So, to me it seems that if they cannot allow us to be informed about our basic needs of life, we have to ask if they can be trusted with other matters?

  3. I think most of us can agree we want to know what is in our food and where it comes from. Too bad our legislators don’t think it’s important enough. Money speaks, it seems.

  4. We featured an article on the GMO issue and corporate takeover of the Washington State initiative process.


    There were less than 10 actual human persons who donated money to the opposition of the GMO labeling issue but millions poured in by corporate food. Thousands of individuals donated to the Pro Labeling camp.

  5. U.S. House votes to ban state GMO food labeling laws in overwhelming vote
    The bill prohibits state laws that make food producers disclose genetically modified organisms.

    “This House was bought and paid for by corporate interests, so it’s no surprise that it passed a bill to block states and the [Food and Drug Administration] from giving consumers basic information about their food,” said Scott Faber of the group Just Label It.

    Three states — Vermont, Connecticut and Maine — have passed mandatory GMO labeling laws. GMO labeling initiatives are being considered in several other states, including Minnesota.

    Vermont’s law, which has survived legal challenges by the food industry, is set to take effect in 2016. But if the bill passed Thursday by the House passes the Senate and is signed into law, that labeling requirement will be voided.

    Land O’Lakes CEO Chris Policinski, who testified against GMO labeling in a March House agriculture committee hearing, said Thursday that a voluntary non-GMO labeling regime envisioned by the House-passed bill is sufficient to inform and protect consumers.

    “It provides the opportunity for food manufacturers to give information to consumers about where their food comes from through an orderly, federal labeling standard, similar to the USDA certified organic labeling program,” he said in a statement.


  6. Capitalism means people vote with their dollars for what they want.

    Preventing consumers from being informed about their products is actually interfering with the free market economy.

    Think about it. Don’t we all want to decide what we want to put into our mouths? Don’t we get a say in what we buy? That’s the free market.

  7. RWL:

    I remember when the food labeling law died in CA. The commercials Monsanto sponsored were atrocious. It said nothing about labeling GMOs, and just called it a food labeling scheme that would increase the cost of food for everyone. Most voters never knew the initiative had anything to do with labeling GMOs.

    That list was a who’s who of GMO, chemical companies, and processed food companies.

  8. Karen S,

    Yes. Look at the companies fighting against GMO Labeling (this is a copy and paste job):

    Companies Against GMO Labeling

    companies against gmo labels

    Washington State, 2013:

    GMO Labeling Ballot Initiative (I-522) would mandate clear labeling of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients on food packages. The bill will be voted on in Washington State Nov. 5, 2013. Those companies who are fighting genetic labeling, and money they have spent on the ‘No on 522’ campaign are:

    Monsanto = $4,834,000.
    DuPont = $3,420,000.
    PepsiCo Inc. = $1,600,000.
    Coca-Cola = $1,047,000.
    Nestle USA = $1,052,000.
    General Mills = $598,800.
    Bayer CropScience = $592,000.
    Dow Agrosciences = $592,000.
    BASF Plant Science = $500,000.
    ConAgra Foods = $286,000.
    Campbell Soup Co. = $265,000.
    Hershey Company = $248,000.
    Kellogg Co. = $222,000.
    Land O’ Lakes = $100,000.
    Cargill & Co. = $99,000.
    Bimbo Bakeries (Sara Lee and Ball Park) = $94,000.
    Del Monte = $86,000.
    Ocean Spray Cranberries = $55,000.
    Hormel Foods = $53,000.

    California, 2012:

    Numerous large food and seed corporations sunk over $46 million into the fight to defeat Proposition 37 in California, which would have required food companies to list genetically modified ingredients on the labels of its products sold in retail stores. It would have also prevented the labeling of GMO foods as “natural.” The law would would have affected California, but because Californians make up 12% of the U.S. population, those Californian labels would have spilled over to other states as well. Currently food processors list ingredients, calorie, nutritional value and peanut content. Adding GMO ingredients to that list will benefit those who wish to steer clear, until GMO foods are deemed safe and healthy into the long term (yet many feel certain GMOs will never be proven healthy).

    The record keeping necessary for the added labels will also help keep track of ecological issues such as gene flow between GMOs and the surrounding ecology, weed killer’s affects, pest and superweed resistance and a host of other ecological issues that could potentially arise with rampant GMO use. This bill would have slowed down the influx of GM crops and help keep track of GMOs impacts.

    Currently Europe, Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, Australia and numerous other countries require that food labels list genetically modified ingredients. Why hasn’t the the U.S. insisted on this labeling? Because many large corporations are fighting to keep the U.S. consumer in the dark. Let us know, if there are GMOs. We should have the right to know!

    Companies and their donations to keep GMO off of labels in California:

    Ironically most of the companies lobbying against Prop 37 have a stake in the organic industry. See that list below, it might surprise you.

    Monsanto = $7,100,000.
    DuPont = $5,200,000.
    PepsiCo Inc. = $2,500,000.
    BASF Plant Science = $2,000,000.
    Bayer CropScience = $2,000,000.
    Dow Agrosciences = $2,000,000.
    Syngenta Corp = $2,000,000.
    Kraft Foods = $2,000,000.
    Coca-Cola = $1,700,000.
    Nestle USA = $1,315,400.
    ConAgra Foods = $1,200,000.
    General Mills = $1,200,000.
    Del Monte = $674,000.
    Kellogg Co. = $790,700.
    Smithfield = $671,000.
    Council for Biotechnology Information = $625,000.
    Heinz = $500,000.
    Hershey Company = $493,900.
    J.M. Smucker Co. = $555,000.
    Grocery Manufacturers Association = $375,000.
    Hormel Foods Corp. = $374,300.
    Unilever = $ 460,000.
    Mars Food North America = $370,280.
    Bimbo Bakeries USA = $422,900.
    Ocean Spray Cranberries = $326,500.
    Campbell Soup Co. = $320,455.
    Pinnacle Foods Group LLC = $266,100.
    Dean Foods Co. = $253,950.
    Biotech Industry Organization = $250,000.
    McCormick & Co. Inc. = $248,200.
    Abbott Nutrition (Infant Formulas / Similac) = $230,900.
    Rich Products Corp. = $225,500.
    Cargill Inc. = $226,800.
    Welch’s = $167,000.
    Knouse Foods Cooperative = $160,300.
    W.M. Wrigley Jr. Co. = $116,900.
    Sunny Delight Beverages Co. = $114,500.
    Tree Top = $110,300.
    Bumble Bee Foods = $98,000.
    Sara Lee Corp. = $96,800.
    Hillshire Brands (Ball Park, Jimmy Dean) = $86,000.
    McCain Foods USA = $50,600.
    Dole Packaged Foods Co. = $45,580.
    Goya = $ 56,100.
    Clorox = $33,000.
    S & W = $21,100.

    BASF, Bayer and Syngenta are subsidiaries of foreign pesticide companies.

  9. I happened to hear about this on the news last night. Fascinating. I only hope that there is sufficient funding and support for those who are researching this promising finding, which will permit the continuation of their efforts.

  10. RWL:

    Yeah! Damn Monsanto!

    They came out with GMO alfalfa, which has just contaminated our meat industry, as well as GMO sugar beets, which is now almost ubiquitous in our own food.

    It’s so absurd that anyone falls for Monsanto’s hard push against food labeling as driving food prices up. Manufacturers update food labels all the name; it’s the nature of their business. The only entity that labeling will hurt is Monsanto. In a free market economy, consumers have the right to the information, and we have the right to vote with our dollars.

  11. Tragic story. My prayers for the family of the military killed tracking the collared elegant. That entire region in steeped in violence, instability, and hunger.

    It’s a helpless feeling watching the elephant herds get decimated by poaching. What is especially tragic is that the individuals most targeted are those with the biggest tusks – the oldest and wisest. It is those individuals who are most important to the herd, and have the most valuable genes in terms of survivability to pass on. Elephant matriarchs teach younger members of the herd how and when to travel long distances to find food and water. Much of their behavior is learned, like ours. And the males with the biggest tusks have survived the longest in a harsh environment – it should be their genes passed on when the males go into musth.

    But poachers keep culling the best of the herd.

    And as for ruining our own chances of our cure for cancer – every time we slash and burn another acre of rainforest, we lose undiscovered flora and fauna, their medical potential gone. In addition, we’re dismantling part of the Earth’s oxygen factory and air scrubbing mechanism. When we remove species we can affect entire ecosystems.

    We need to remember that ecosystems, and their teeming life within, are interconnected.

  12. We need to make Fake Ivory. Then create etchings on the Ivory. Then, sell it to Chinese. Have some Nigerians get in on it as to give it credence.
    Credence Clear Water Survival would be the name of the company.

  13. Perhaps the Chinese have already discovered the “elephant” cure for cancer and the ivory trade is merely a ruse. They are really trying to kill all the elephants to keep the cancer-cure discovery away from the rest of the world.

  14. And Monsanto is laying off 12% of its’ staff due to the public finally uncovering how cancerous their GMO products are? Now, they even have GMO salmon? However, they are still waiting for Congress (Senate needs to pass the bill; the House gave it the green light) to pass the GMO Labeling Bill (code name: The Dark Act). If this bill passes, then companies like Monsanto, Dow Chemical, DuPont, will be able sell their products without telling us what is in them. So far, Monsanto is able to do this in 64 countries around the world.

    Currently, 19 countries in Europe have called for bans on planting GMO crops in their borders in order to protect not only their farmers and heritage, but also their soil.

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