From the Rep. Slaughter Antibiotics in Food Survey
The information supplied by the food industry, Rep. Slaughter, the only microbiologist serving in Congress, is urging consumers and the Congress to act now.
Editor’s comment: Beware of companies using antibiotics routinely in stock feed for “growth” of the stock when shopping. Congress must strengthen US laws in order to fight the excessive use of antibiotics in our meats and poultry production. Excessive antibiotics can make humans more prone to the growing threat of superbugs by decreasing our immune systems and intestinal flora.
Excerpts courtesy of foodsafetynews
Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGATA)
et al.vs.Monsanto — representing some 300,000 organic farmers
against biotech giant Monsanto can proceed to trial.
Will you help set farming on a safer healthier soil?
Watch the video produced by Food Democracy Now, and find out
how you can get involved locally, to help America’s Farmers
grow their crops in peace, without being sued for “infringing
on Monsanto’s patented seed”, of which trace amounts were
detected under inspection, and which pollinated naturally.
Please watch this video and share.
Image courtesy of progressivetimes
Marine scientists say they are concerned about radiation spewing from the crippled Japanese nuclear plant.
“Radiation from Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is accumulating in marine life off Japan’s coast above legal limits for food contamination, Greenpeace said Thursday.
The environmental group said its findings run counter to Japanese government reports and the WoodsHole report that radiation from the Fukushima plant, damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, is being diluted as time passes.
What is being released from the Fukushima reactors and how dangerous is it?
The Fukushima reactors have been primarily composed of two radioactive substances: iodine-131 and cesium-137. In large doses, both of these isotopes or radionuclides can cause long-term health problems.
Are there different types of radiation?
In general, there are two types of radiation, ionizing and non-ionizing. Non-ionizing radiation includes visible light and radio waves — things that, as the name implies, do not have the ability to form charged ions in other materials. Ionizing radiation, however, can and as a result presents a serious health threat because it can alter the atomic structure of living tissue. Ionizing radiation also comes in several different types, including alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, all with different degrees of concern and health impacts.
How long is the radiation from these substances a risk to humans and the environment?
Radioactive materials are, by their very nature, unstable and decline in strength over time -a long time. This change is measured in half-lives — the length of time it takes for the radiation to decrease by one-half. Every radioactive substance has a different half-life, ranging from fractions of a second to billions of years. Those with longer half-lives are potentially more difficult to deal with because they remain radioactive for longer periods of time. Cesium-137, for example, has a half-life of 30 years and so is a potentially serious health threat for decades or centuries. Iodine-131, on the other hand, has a half-life of just 8 days and so loses much of its potency after just days and effectively disappears after one to two months.
How far can radiation travel?
Ionizing radiation itself cannot travel very far through the air. Typically, dust and other particles, seawater and other liquids, or even gases become radioactive due to exposure to radionuclides and are then transported great distances. In the months and years after the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine scientists were able to track the spread of radioactive material in the atmosphere and the ocean around the globe. Within a week after the explosions at the Fukushima plant, there were reports of very small increases in the continental U.S.
How will the radioactive material released in Japan affect humans?
People who live near the plants were evacuated to a safe distance restrictions and other precautions recommended by the Japanese government and at-risk individuals needed to take suggested extra precautions such as taking potassium iodide to avoid thyroid problems.
Near the reactors, seafood and other products taken from the sea are not safe for human consumption. However, crops and other vegetation near the reactor site (including grass that cows eat to produce milk) that receive fallout from the atmosphere build up radioactivity can not be eaten even if washed. When these foods are consumed, a person receives much of this dose internally, often a more severe pathway to receive radiation than by external exposure.
Prevailing winds over from Japan blow east towards North America; ocean currents in the region also flow generally east into the North Pacific, though much slower than winds. Radiation from the plants have been found in milk in Phoenix, AZ USA and in the waters over the eastern coast of the US. The concept that this increasing radioactivity is not a point of cern is ridiculous. Drinking milk contaminated with more radiation then is already polluting are environment is not a problem makes no sense. It equates with someone saying well if you take a little more poison daily you won’t notice the difference in your health.
I am disappointed the Woods Hole has played down the dangers of this worldwide radiation increase.
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/jW7Jzx
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/loX0te
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/lkmWTY
For more than a decade, mycologist, inventor and researchers Paul Stamets has known
that mushrooms eat oil. Now he has to learn how to do it on a larger scale and get the US government’s blessing.
After the Deep Water Horizon explosions last year, the EPA contacted him several times to request a proposal. They wanted to understand how mycoremediation—the reduction of toxic compounds into harmless ones by fungi—could work as a component of their cleanup strategy for the spill.
In fact, polishing the public image of fungus may be more important for Stamets than any decision to bring mushrooms to the Gulf spill. This is because he sees human partnership with fungi as essential to the broader project of creating a sustainable society. Like most other environmentalists, Stamets believes our society is hurting the earth and that the consequences of this damage will be severe. But he differs from the others in his conviction that fungi are the key to repairing that damage, healing the planet and accepting decay as part of nature as well.
Stamets calls fungi the “interface organisms between life and death” because their mic specialize in breaking indigestible substances down into smaller particles that other living things can use as nutrients. It is this ability to digest complex organic compounds that makes fungi so promising for cleaning up oil.
Stamets first tested the fungal appetite for oil in 1997, when he teamed up with researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to provide fungi for several lab-based experiments. The team selected mycelial strains and set them loose on diesel-contaminated soil.
After eight weeks, they found that the fungi had removed 97 percent of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)—heavy chemicals within oil that other forms of remediation had consistently failed to break down.
The next year Washington State Department of Transportation joined with Stamets and the Battelle Marine Science Laboratory to research the most effective bio-safenmethods for cleaning up a maintenance yard contaminated with diesel fuel. Workers scooped piles of the toxic soil onto tarps, and each of several piles were inoculated with, either with a form of oil-eating bacteria or with Stamets’ oyster-mushroom mycelia and wood chips mix.
There were also several control patches of soil.
Results showed that his patches were teeming with huge oyster mushrooms feasting happily on the diesel compounds while destroying more than 95 percent of the PAHs and the mushrooms were also free of any petroleum products. The control and the bacteria patches, were dead, dark, and stinky and the diesel compounds remained.
Because the contamination in the soil patches was very uneven, it was difficult to measure the precise concentration of contaminants both before and after remediation. However, researchers at the Department of Transportation eventually declared the fungi-cleansed soil pure enough to use for landscaping purposes along the highways of Washington. And in the years since, Stamets’s findings have been replicated by many other researchers, and further study has shown that various types of fungi are able to partially or fully detoxify oil and pesticides. T^he fungi have also been successful at breaking down depleted uranium from anti-tank shells by allowing it to bond with phosphates to form a more stable mineral.
Since the Deepwater Horizon spill in April 2010, Stamets has been testing his oyster mushrooms for tolerance to salt water and sun in preparation for a gig off the coast of Texas or Louisiana. So far, he’s managed to isolate a strain that can tolerate the salinity of Puget Sound, which is only slightly less than that of the Gulf. And he’s found ways to float the mushrooms cheaply on hemp “mycobooms” filled with straw and mycelia from which the mushrooms can metabolize oil on the surface of the sea.
Stamets has discovered is that the enzymes and acids that mycelium produces to decompose this debris are superb at breaking apart hydrocarbons – the base structure common to many pollutants. So, for instance, when diesel oil-contaminated soil is inoculated with strains of oyster mycelia, the soil loses its toxicity in just eight weeks
Creative solutions under pressure
Stamets says this new research is “very cool and unlikely to have been discovered if it were not for this disaster.” He believes it will be used in the near future and has applied for a provisional patent to prevent oil companies from stealing the research.
(Most likely the oil companies would not want to spend their profits on solutions, but maybe you could try using mushrooms to clean up any small oil soil caused by your car or truck..- Editor’s note)
Stamets says he would be happy to share it for free
with affected communities in the Gulf of Mexico.
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/lLQtR2
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/m7U7s3
BOCA Burgers Admits It Uses Genetically Engineered Ingredients to Organic Consumers Association (OCA)
– BOCA’s Frequently Asked Questions
BOCA Burgers is a popular so-called “natural” brand of veggie burgers owned by Kraft Foods. Companies like Kraft work hand-in-hand with Monsanto to lace common foods with GM (Genetically Modified) ingredients, with absolutely no labeling nor safety-testing required, and in many cases market these products as “natural.” Kraft, North America’s largest food company, has perfected the art of turning genetically engineered crops and animals raised in factory farms on GMO feed and injected with Monsanto’s (now Elanco’s) rBGH into “food.”
While Kraft/BOCA claims to offer what they describe as “non-GMO” versions of its soy foods, these products are neither certified organic (organic prohibits GMOs) nor monitored by the Non-GMO Project, so it’s impossible to verify BOCA’s non-GMO claims. Likewise, Back to Nature, another so-called “natural” Kraft brand, claims that some of the corn and soy ingredients in their non-organic foods are “non-genetically engineered,” but these claims are not verifiable either.
It is well-known by federal regulators that GMO bovine growth hormone produces milk that is less nutritious, is contaminated with pus, and has elevated levels of IGF-1. Elevated levels of IGF-1 are correlated with increased rates of cancer.
Boca is a processed veggie patty.
These hearty patties combine wholesome grains, rice and veggies with gourmet ingredients. Warm one up and you’ll feel like you’re eating at your favorite bistro in minutes.
Tell Kraft you’ll be boycotting BOCA Burgers, Back to Nature products, or any Kraft products that aren’t certified as organic.
Courtesy of http://bit.ly/gwyF7Y
Courtesy of http://bit.ly/fl0g8M
Image of http://bit.ly/hvIbOW
Having trouble deciphering labels organic, certified organic or natural?
After a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers have been sold out!
The Organic Giants lead by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, have decided to surrender to Monsanto! Don’t buy from them.
Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for “coexistence” with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.
In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa.
“The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must.” – Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011
Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.
In exchange for allowing Monsanto’s premeditated pollution of the alfalfa gene pool, WFM wants “compensation.” In exchange for a new assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers’ and rural residents’ risk of getting cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment for a new broad spectrum attack on the soil’s crucial ability to provide nutrition for food crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases (recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of St. Louis to agree to pay “compensation” (i.e. hush money) to farmers “for any losses related to the contamination of his crop.”
This merger would also silence the truth in labeling regulations in regard to true organic products. Please help.
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/hdBtBG
Don’t mess with Mother Nature
Researchers have found the genes that code for the production of the cocoa butter in Theobroma cacao, needed to make sweets, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Studying the genes of Mother Nature’s finest crop cacao, researchers are finding ways to make the best chocolate in the world “better”. Better means, increased disease resistance and increased profitability to the grower.
Researchers have found genes that code for the production of cocoa butter, a substance highly prized in chocolate making, confectionery, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Most cocoa beans are already about 50 percent fat, but these 84 genes control not only the amounts fat produced, but quality of the cocoa butter. Altering these genes might produce chocolate with better flavors, aromas and even “healthier” chocolate by influencing the production of flavonoids, natural antioxidants and terpenoids, hormones and pigments.
The team sequenced the DNA of a variety of Theobroma cacao, considered to produce the world’s finest chocolate. The Maya domesticated this variety of Theobroma cacao, Criollo, about 3,000 years ago in Central America, and it is one of the oldest domesticated tree crops. Today, many growers prefer to grow hybrid cacao trees that produce chocolate of lower quality but are more resistant to disease.
“Fine cocoa production is estimated to be less than 5 percent of the world cocoa production because of low productivity and disease susceptibility,” said Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology.
The researchers report in the current issue of Nature Genetics “consumers have shown an increased interest for high-quality chocolate made with cocoa of good quality and for dark chocolate, containing a higher percentage of cocoa, while also taking into account environmental and ethical criteria for cocoa production.”
Author: Mary Wolken, PhD., Ex. Dir CMA
Excerpts and Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/hrSLjG
The Sweetness of Biodegradable Plastics
Now all that is needed is the catalyst to jump start the chemical reactions. Prof. Moshe Kol of Tel Aviv University’s School of Chemistry and his team are working with the University of Aachen in Germany and the University of Bath in England are working to make these “green” plastics stronger and more heat-resistant, allowing them to be used in a variety of ways, from the automotive industry to Starbucks coffee cups.
The type of plastic the partners are working on, polylactic acid or PLA, is a kind of biodegradable plastic made from renewable plant sources such as corn, wheat or sugarcane. It’s already used in bottles, bags, and film, and like polyester can even be woven into clothes.
He aims to make sustainable corn-based plastics complement or replace the petroleum-based plastics which can take a millenium to degrade, leaving harmful pollutants in the soil and in water. Corn-based plastic wouldn’t cause any adverse health effects and would be expected to biodegrade in a compost bin in a matter of months.
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/hp4odD
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/dZttMJ
Do you have any of these symptoms after eating eggs?
The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems.The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said eggs from Wright County Egg in Galt, Iowa, were linked to several illnesses in Colorado, California and Minnesota. The CDC said about 200 cases of the strain of salmonella Continue reading “"228 million eggs after being linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning"”