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June 04 2012

Blanch Your Weeds, Study Suggests

You don't need to spray weedkiller to remove the weeds between your paving stones. Six treatments throughout the summer with either boiling water, steam or careful flaming will dispatch even the hardiest of unwanted plants. This is the conclusion of a new PhD project from the University of Copenhagen.

Weeds can be killed off with repeated treatments, but it is important that each treatment is dosed correctly.

Basically, every single plant needs to be burned lightly -- or blanched -- and treated frequently.

However, little is achieved if you just treat the weeds superficially by running quickly over the paving stones. The leaves must collapse completely -- and the plant's stem must also be struck by the flames.

Six times a season

Treatment must be repeated up to six times a season. A regime of fewer treatments encourages grass weeds to regrow, while more treatments are not necessarily more effective:

"We have conducted several kinds of experiments since 2004. Controlled field experiments, experiments where we have planted weeds in hard surfaces and then burned them, as well as experiments with 'real' weeds on stones. We have observed that the treatments work. It does not really matter whether you use flaming, steam or boiling water. However, if we only give a few treatments or if we use low doses, the weeds quickly reappear. Very low doses can even stimulate grass growth. This is also the case with many herbicides," says Anne Merete Rask, PhD from Forest & Landscape, Faculty of Life Sciences at the University ofCopenhagen.

Read More:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531102340.htm

Alexis Baden-Mayer - G8 Gives Monsanto Power to End Hunger in Africa

At the Group of 8 (G8) meetings this past weekend, President Obama and the leaders of the rest of the world’s richest nations abandoned their governments’ previous commitments to donate $7.3 billion a year to end hunger in Africa, after disbursing only 58 percent of the total pledge of $22 billion and giving less than 6 percent in new money they pledged three years ago.

Instead, rich nations will leave the problem in the hands of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition where private corporations will invest $3 billion over 10 years — Monsanto has committed $50 million – beginning in three countries, Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia.

Human-rights activists have questioned the inclusion of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, noting that his authoritarian government has jailed dissidents and banned media access to hunger zones. The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a letter to President Obama that the Ethiopian government “routinely downplays the extent of the crisis by denying journalists access to sensitive areas and censoring independent news coverage.”

Read More:

http://wakeup-world.com/2012/05/31/g8-leaves-monsanto-in-charge-of-ending-hunger-in-africa/

June 01 2012

Michael A. Smith, MD - Is Processed Fructose Stealing Your Smarts?

A new study from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) shows that what you eat can influence how you think.

Specifically, the researchers were worried about all of the fructose in the American diet. They reported that eating a diet heavy in processed fructose over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information.

Let’s start by looking at fructose itself. What is it, and is it ever okay to eat it?

Fructose is a Natural Fruit Sugar

Fructose in its natural form is called fruit sugar. It’s a simple sugar found in many plants and is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose. These simple sugars are absorbed directly into the bloodstream during digestion and can be used for immediate cellular energy.

From plant sources, fructose is found naturally in honey, tree and vine fruits, flowers, berries and most root vegetables. In plants, fructose may be present naturally as the monosaccharide or as a component of sucrose.

Here’s the point we’re trying to make: Fructose in its natural form is not the problem. In nature, sugars can be found in foods that are also rich in antioxidants and fiber. And those accompanying nutrients can help minimize the impact of natural sugar. 

Read More:

http://blog.lef.org/2012/05/processed-fructose-brain-power.html

Exercise and a Healthy Diet of Fruits and Vegetables Extends Life Expectancy in Women in Their 70s

Women in their seventies who exercise and eat healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables have a longer life expectancy, according to research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University studied 713 women aged 70 to 79 years who took part in the Women's Health and Aging Studies. This study was designed to evaluate the causes and course of physical disability in older women living in the community.

"A number of studies have measured the positive impact of exercise and healthy eating on life expectancy, but what makes this study unique is that we looked at these two factors together," explains lead author, Dr. Emily J Nicklett, from the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

Researchers found that the women who were most physically active and had the highest fruit and vegetable consumption were eight times more likely to survive the five-year follow-up period than the women with the lowest rates.

Read More:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120530100512.htm

Exercise and a Healthy Diet of Fruits and Vegetables Extends Life Expectancy in Women in Their 70s

Women in their seventies who exercise and eat healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables have a longer life expectancy, according to research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University studied 713 women aged 70 to 79 years who took part in the Women's Health and Aging Studies. This study was designed to evaluate the causes and course of physical disability in older women living in the community.

"A number of studies have measured the positive impact of exercise and healthy eating on life expectancy, but what makes this study unique is that we looked at these two factors together," explains lead author, Dr. Emily J Nicklett, from the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

Researchers found that the women who were most physically active and had the highest fruit and vegetable consumption were eight times more likely to survive the five-year follow-up period than the women with the lowest rates.

Read More:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120530100512.htm

May 31 2012

Mike Barrett - Factory Farms Produce 100 Times More Waste than U.S. Population

If you thought you were a major contributor to pollution, just wait until you hear this. Factory farms produce 100 times more waste than every single person in the United States combined. The amount of waste produced by these factories is in such mass quantities that it is virtually impossible to clean up properly. Much of this waste is dumped into the water supply, drastically increasing overall water pollution as well as contributing to the pollution found in drinking water.

Back in 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made a decision that affected many factory farms. They stated that any confined animal feeding operation (CAFO), also known as factory farms, “designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in a manner such that the CAFO will discharge” animal waste must apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit under the Clean Water Act. The livestock industry ridiculed this notion.

There have been past rulings concerning this issue that forced farmers to have a permit to discharge waste and to have a set plan as to how the waste would be discharged, or they would face civil or criminal penalties. The 2008 ruling went further with the issue, putting even more criteria in place to follow.

Read More:

http://naturalsociety.com/factory-farms-produce-100-times-waste-us-population/

Blogger: State Agency Censored Online Health Food Advice Column

Steven Cooksey says all he wanted to do was help other diabetics get healthy, but a North Carolina agency tried to censor his online healthy food advice column, saying he was not a licensed dietitian.

Cooksey filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court, saying the state violated his free speech rights.

“When did it become illegal to tell people to eat meats and vegetables?” Cooksey said in an interview with The Associated Press. “How is it illegal to tell people not to eat grains? We’re talking about healthy eating. This is wrong.”

Read More:

http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/blogger-state-agency-censored-online-health-food-advice-column/

 

Blogger: State Agency Censored Online Health Food Advice Column

Steven Cooksey says all he wanted to do was help other diabetics get healthy, but a North Carolina agency tried to censor his online healthy food advice column, saying he was not a licensed dietitian.

Cooksey filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court, saying the state violated his free speech rights.

“When did it become illegal to tell people to eat meats and vegetables?” Cooksey said in an interview with The Associated Press. “How is it illegal to tell people not to eat grains? We’re talking about healthy eating. This is wrong.”

Read More:

http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/blogger-state-agency-censored-online-health-food-advice-column/

 

Joanna Blythman - Vandals! No, not protesters trashing crops but the GM lobby still trying to force increasingly discredited Frankenstein Food down our throats

Genetic modification was supposed to be the ground-breaking science of the future. Its magic wand would feed the world and make toxic pesticides redundant.

But, in reality, it has dismally failed to live up to the expectations of its cheerleaders.

The high crop yields the GM lobbyists promised us just haven’t happened. Farmers are having to use more pesticide, not less, on their GM crops.

Thanks to GM, vigorous new superweeds stalk the fields in countries such as the U.S., where controversial GM crops have been forced onto the market — against the wishes of citizens — at the behest of profit-driven corporations.

What’s more, we now have evidence that GM crops can cross-pollinate with non-GM crops, contaminating land for miles around.

Read More:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151380/GM-lobby-trying-force-increasingly-discredited-Frankenstein-Food-throats.html

Joanna Blythman - Vandals! No, not protesters trashing crops but the GM lobby still trying to force increasingly discredited Frankenstein Food down our throats

Genetic modification was supposed to be the ground-breaking science of the future. Its magic wand would feed the world and make toxic pesticides redundant.

But, in reality, it has dismally failed to live up to the expectations of its cheerleaders.

The high crop yields the GM lobbyists promised us just haven’t happened. Farmers are having to use more pesticide, not less, on their GM crops.

Thanks to GM, vigorous new superweeds stalk the fields in countries such as the U.S., where controversial GM crops have been forced onto the market — against the wishes of citizens — at the behest of profit-driven corporations.

What’s more, we now have evidence that GM crops can cross-pollinate with non-GM crops, contaminating land for miles around.

Read More:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151380/GM-lobby-trying-force-increasingly-discredited-Frankenstein-Food-throats.html

Joanna Blythman - Vandals! No, not protesters trashing crops but the GM lobby still trying to force increasingly discredited Frankenstein Food down our throats

Genetic modification was supposed to be the ground-breaking science of the future. Its magic wand would feed the world and make toxic pesticides redundant.

But, in reality, it has dismally failed to live up to the expectations of its cheerleaders.

The high crop yields the GM lobbyists promised us just haven’t happened. Farmers are having to use more pesticide, not less, on their GM crops.

Thanks to GM, vigorous new superweeds stalk the fields in countries such as the U.S., where controversial GM crops have been forced onto the market — against the wishes of citizens — at the behest of profit-driven corporations.

What’s more, we now have evidence that GM crops can cross-pollinate with non-GM crops, contaminating land for miles around.

Read More:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151380/GM-lobby-trying-force-increasingly-discredited-Frankenstein-Food-throats.html

Groundwater Depletion in Semiarid Regions of Texas and California Threatens US Food Security

The nation's food supply may be vulnerable to rapid groundwater depletion from irrigated agriculture, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere.

The study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, paints the highest resolution picture yet of how groundwater depletion varies across space and time in California's Central Valley and the High Plains of the central U.S. Researchers hope this information will enable more sustainable use of water in these areas, although they think irrigated agriculture may be unsustainable in some parts.

"We're already seeing changes in both areas," said Bridget Scanlon, senior research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology and lead author of the study. "We're seeing decreases in rural populations in the High Plains. Increasing urbanization is replacing farms in the Central Valley. And during droughts some farmers are forced to fallow their land. These trends will only accelerate as water scarcity issues become more severe."

Three results of the new study are particularly striking: First, during the most recent drought in California's Central Valley, from 2006 to 2009, farmers in the south depleted enough groundwater to fill the nation's largest human-made reservoir, Lake Mead near Las Vegas -- a level of groundwater depletion that is unsustainable at current recharge rates.

Second, a third of the groundwater depletion in the High Plains occurs in just 4% of the land area. And third, the researchers project that if current trends continue some parts of the southern High Plains that currently support irrigated agriculture, mostly in the Texas Panhandle and western Kansas, will be unable to do so within a few decades.

Read More:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528154857.htm

May 30 2012

Ethan A. Huff - Exposed: Monsanto planted GM alfalfa before USDA approved it, federal agency knew all along

A little more than a year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made the disastrous decision to deregulate Monsanto's Roundup-Ready alfalfa, even though the agency's sham of an environmental impact report failed to prove that GM alfalfa is at all safe or necessary. It has now come to light that Monsanto released GM alfalfa into the wild years before it was initially deregulated in 2005 -- and the USDA was apparently fully aware of this, but did nothing about it.

Reporting for Activist Post, Cassandra Anderson and Anthony Gucciardi explain that a letter to the USDA dated April 5, 2007, from Cal/West Seeds, a California-based seed company, shows that Monsanto's GM alfalfa had been in cultivation years before the first deregulation of the crop in 2005. That letter reveals that Monsanto's GM traits were already turning up in conventional alfalfa seed in 2005, which means GM traits were in use at least two years before that in 2003.

"We first discovered the unintended presence of the Roundup Ready gene in our conventional alfalfa seed in 2005," says the letter. "It was identified in one of our foundation seed production lots grown in California. We tested the foundation seed lot prior to shipping it to a producer who intended to plant it for organic seed production.

Read More:

http://www.naturalnews.com/036023_Monsanto_GM_alfalfa_USDA.html

Sayer Ji - Eating Aluminum: Is It As Safe As Our Regulators Say?

Aluminum toxicity, a characteristically manmade problem, is now impossible to avoid, and has become a postmodern rite of passage. Our environment has become so polluted with the stuff, that even our crop plants are being threatened, with biotechnology firms now scrambling to genetically engineer aluminum-tolerance into them as a possible, though still desperate solution.

Not only are we being exposed, daily, through increasingly polluted water, soil and air, but many of our regulatory agencies consider it perfectly safe to intentionally consume or inject the stuff directly into our bodies.

While there is no known physiologic need or positive biological role for aluminum in the human body, the FDA is perfectly content with the population it is charged with protecting eating it as a "food grade" additive. This same "regulatory agency" promotes the mythical concept of a "safe" food grade petroleum, allowing food manufacturers to surreptitiously feed us over half a pound a year, which is likely why human autopsies have revealed that almost half of us have pathological deposits of the stuff in our livers and spleen.*

Technically, there are 8 forms of aluminum the government considers benign enough to receive GRAS, or Generally Recognized As Safe, status - a designation which basically exempts the substance from adequate safety testing. Those 8 forms are:

Read More:

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/eating-aluminum-it-safe-our-regulators-say

 

May 27 2012

Your rights or GMOs?

Last chance to Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto and Turn the Connecticut Massacre into the California Miracle!

Exactly 20 years ago today, Vice President Dan Quayle announced a new policy by the first Bush administration that declared genetically engineered foods to be “substantially equivalent” to foods that farmers had traditionally planted and bred for thousands of years.

With this single policy, the U.S. government radically altered the food supply, introducing novel genes into our food that have been genetically altered in laboratories and never before consumed by humans. While the technology of genetic engineering was brand new, corporate executives at Monsanto colluded with elected officials to make sure that their new “products” were place onto the market as quickly as possible.

The Bush/Quayle 1992 policy, crafted by former Monsanto attorney Michael Taylor, who had been hired by the Bush FDA to fill a new position of deputy commissioner of policy, was designed to fast track approvals of GMOs and guarantee the new seed technology avoid rigorous safety testing and labeling, or as stated, “burdensome regulation”.

Two decades later, Americans are still denied the basic right to know what’s in their food because of this infamous policy, despite the fact that polls regularly show that 90% of Americans believe in labeling GMOs.

But this fall, all that can change! With your help, you can make GMO labeling history by chipping in to make sure that the California Right to Know 2012 ballot initiative succeeds in November!

Chip in today to join the effort to end this 20-year pseudo-scientific policy and regain your basic right to Label GMOs!

http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/596?t=7&akid=559.419237.x4Gk_i

As we reported yesterday, the biotech industry and Big Food retailers are already pledging millions of dollars to attempt to defeat us this fall. Earlier this month in a secret meeting, industry lobbyists promised to raise between $40 to $50 million to kill the GMO labeling initiative in California and deny us our right to know what’s in our food.

But we’re not going to allow that to happen!

The movement to label GMOs in the U.S. has grown exponentially in the past year and now California is on the front lines for this important battle for our basic rights. In order to match Monsanto and the biotech industry’s millions of dollars, we need to run an effective campaign to counter the lies and propaganda that will soon hit the California airwaves.

This will take all of us chipping in what we can and working together for victory in November!

We can do this – with your help. With just two days left, we need about $50,000. We’re counting on small donations of $5, $10, $20 to get us there. Your donation could be the one that puts us over the top!

Please chip in today to tell Monsanto: We have a right to know if our food contains GMOs! Every dollar counts!

http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/596?t=10&akid=559.419237.x4Gk_i

To make this a memorable experience, we’re giving the first 100 people that donate more than $100 a free limited-edition Label GMOs t-shirt with the quote from President Obama’s famous promise to label GMOs on the back.

"Here’s what I’ll do as President. I’ll immediately implement Country of Origin Labeling because Americans should know where their food comes from. And we’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying."

Thank you for contributing what you can today - Together we can win!

Now's the time. Let’s drop the money bomb on Monsanto and take back our food supply!

Thanks for participating in food democracy,

David Murphy

President, Food Democracy Action!

P.S. All money raised for this campaign will go through Food Democracy Action!, a 501(c)4 allied organization of Food Democracy Now!, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Donations are not tax-deductible. Thank you for your support!

Tags: GMO Health

May 25 2012

John Atcheson - 'Faster Than We Thought': An Epitaph for Planet Earth

Sometime later this Century, a writer will sit down and attempt to document how his or her grandparents’ generation could have all but ignored the greatest disaster humanity has ever faced.

It won’t be a pleasant world she lives in. Cities and countries will be locked in an expensive battle with rapidly rising seas; but after spending trillions of dollars, most of the world’s ports will have been abandoned anyway.

Up to seventy percent of the planet’s species will be wiped out.  Gone. Vanished. Kaput. Songbirds will no longer serenade us.  Butterflies will no longer dazzle us.  The boreal forests – the largest belt of green in the world – will be gone. 

Brutal heat waves will be the norm. Off-the-chart hurricanes and storms will be the rule.  Deserts will have expanded.  Haboobs, giant black blizzards of dust will sweep across vast portions of the US’s high plains and the southwest. The Amazon rainforest will be a shrunken, wizened remnant of a once vast source of life. 

The once bountiful seas will be acidic crypts in which jellyfish and other primitive forms spread in vast sheets across the surface, covering the rotting hulks of the fish we used to eat. 

Agricultural productivity will collapse, famine will be widespread. 

Read More:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/23-5

May 23 2012

Jack Adam Weber - GMO Alert: Startling New Research

Time for a little GMO update and heckling of our nemesis, Monsanto and friends. New research demonstrates what most of us have suspected for years: GMOs and the poisons used on them are bad for everything on the planet. For ethical reasons, as well as the obstruction of research by Monsanto, little comprehensive GMO research has been done on humans. But finally, we are beginning to see more hard evidence showing the dangerous effects of the GMO industry.

A little over a year ago, the journal Reproductive Toxicology published the results of a study done In Quebec, Canada. It showed that Bt toxin, the pesticide now routinely genetically engineered into GE corn and cotton, was found in the blood of pregnant women and in their fetuses, as well as in non-pregnant women. This same study also discovered that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, was found in the blood of non-pregnant women. This is not good news.

Until recently, the Quebec study has been one of the few pieces of sound scientific evidence demonstrating the absorption of Bt-toxin into human blood, an occurrence Monsanto reportedly claimed would not occur when they proposed their nasty little invention for approval some years ago. Are we surprised that they were proven wrong? Not at all. Does this stop them? Not in the least. So we have to. Read on.

Read More:

http://wakeup-world.com/2012/05/18/gmo-alert-startling-new-research/

Jack Adam Weber - GMO Alert: Startling New Research

Time for a little GMO update and heckling of our nemesis, Monsanto and friends. New research demonstrates what most of us have suspected for years: GMOs and the poisons used on them are bad for everything on the planet. For ethical reasons, as well as the obstruction of research by Monsanto, little comprehensive GMO research has been done on humans. But finally, we are beginning to see more hard evidence showing the dangerous effects of the GMO industry.

A little over a year ago, the journal Reproductive Toxicology published the results of a study done In Quebec, Canada. It showed that Bt toxin, the pesticide now routinely genetically engineered into GE corn and cotton, was found in the blood of pregnant women and in their fetuses, as well as in non-pregnant women. This same study also discovered that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, was found in the blood of non-pregnant women. This is not good news.

Until recently, the Quebec study has been one of the few pieces of sound scientific evidence demonstrating the absorption of Bt-toxin into human blood, an occurrence Monsanto reportedly claimed would not occur when they proposed their nasty little invention for approval some years ago. Are we surprised that they were proven wrong? Not at all. Does this stop them? Not in the least. So we have to. Read on.

Read More:

http://wakeup-world.com/2012/05/18/gmo-alert-startling-new-research/

May 22 2012

Kendall likens GM activists to 1930s nazis

NFU President Peter Kendall has likened activists seeking to destroy the UK's first genetically modified (GM) wheat to Nazis in the 1930s.

A man who caused 'significant damage' at the trial site at the        Rothamsted Research institute on Sunday morning has been arrested by Hertfordshire police and charged with criminal damage.

In a statement Rothamsted said the man caused 'significant, random property damage but failed in his attempt to disrupt the experiment in this attack'.

In a speech to MPs at the House of Commons to launch the new NFU Farming Delivers for Britain campaign, Mr Kendall was expected to liken the damage to the Nazi book burners of the 1930’s.

He was due to say much of British agriculture was using cutting-edge technology and the application of science will determine our future.

“I have to condemn the scandalous attempts over the weekend to destroy the trials of GM wheat at Rothamsted. This is criminal, and must be dealt with as such. It’s worse than that. It is the wilful imposition of ignorance, directly comparable to Nazi book-burning in the 1930’s.

Read More:

http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/arable/kendall-likens-gm-activists-to-1930s-nazis/47112.article

May 10 2012

Christopher Wanjek - Salt a Leading Killer Worldwide, Scientists Say

Want to save a few million premature deaths each year? Regulate salt, said researchers at the World Nutrition Rio2012 meeting held here last week.

"Salt [added to food] is the major cause of high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is the major cause of death worldwide," said Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary, University of London. "The evidence for salt [in causing premature death] is overwhelming, equivalent to the onus of smoking."

Salt, or sodium chloride, is essential for human health; we need about 350 milligrams of sodium daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That's about the weight of half a raisin. Unfortunately, Americans consume on average about 3,500 milligrams of sodium daily.

Most of that sodium comes not from the saltshaker but rather from processed foods, in amounts unrealized by most consumers. A bag of potato chips might be an obvious culprit; one serving contains more than 250 milligrams of sodium. But so does a single slice of store-bought bread or a bowl of breakfast cereal. The bigger offenders are canned vegetables, canned soups and frozen dinners, each with around 1,000 milligrams of sodium.

Read More:

http://www.livescience.com/20179-salt-leading-killer-worldwide.html

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