Monarch butterfly decline linked to spread of GM crops

June 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Farming, Green Living

The main cause of the monarch butterfly’s decline is the loss of milkweed — its food — in its U.S. breeding grounds, a new study has found. That all but confirms that the spread of genetically modified crops is indirectly killing the monarch.

This past winter, the number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico fell to its lowest since 1993, when records first started being kept, the World Wildlife Fund and Mexico’s Environment Department reported in January. That report blamed the loss of milkweed owing to genetically modified crops and urban sprawl in the U.S. and illegal logging in the butterflies’ Mexican wintering ground.

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Ten mother and baby homes carried out vaccine trials on almost 300 children – report

June 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Big Pharma

MORE THAN 298 children across ten mother and baby homes were subject to experimental vaccine trials during the 1960s and 1970s, reports Newstalk.

Newstalk Breakfast claims that vaccine trials were conducted at homes at Bessborough in Cork, St Peter’s in Westmeath, St Clare’s in Stamullen, and The Good Shepherd in Dunboyne, as well as six other Dublin homes.

It is believed the trials took place between 1960 to 1976.

While the state could not provide the information about the number of drug trials that were carried out on children, Glaxo SmithKline were compelled to supply documents in relation to the drug trials in 2000.

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U.S. egg industry rocked by consumer demand for healthier, cruelty-free eggs

June 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Farming, Food Watch

Rising consumer interest in healthy eating and animal welfare is beginning to scramble the US egg business.

The price of egg whites has nearly tripled to record levels since early 2013 following moves by McDonald’s and other fast-food giants to introduce egg-white menu items to appeal to cholesterol-focused customers.

Meanwhile, egg producers are spending millions of dollars to add more hens for producing organic and cage-free eggs. A catalyst behind that is a California law that takes effect in 2015 that aims to address inhumane conditions for the birds.

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Backyard chicken farmers cry fowl over bans

May 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Farming

HOWELL, N.J. — John Rivera-Ramos is finding out the hard way what happens when your chicken crosses the road — or in his case — a yard.

“Why don’t neighbors talk to each other these days?” said a disheartened Rivera-Ramos, 62, of Howell.

There has been a trend in recent years of chickens moving back into the yards of urban America neighborhoods. The appeal for many is the ability to be more self-sufficient and have more control over your food.

But with the hens comes complaints from neighbors. And in at least two New Jersey towns — Howell and Ocean Township — it’s also brought the threat of fines for keeping poultry in the backyard.

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Kentucky sues federal government over hemp seeds

May 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Farming

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Agriculture Department sued the federal government Wednesday, seeking the release of imported hemp seeds that have been held up by customs officials.

The state said it needs to get the seeds in the ground for the spring season and each day they are held up jeopardizes the yield.

The 250-pound shipment from Italy has been held for more than a week by customs officials in Louisville.

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Polio’s Return After Near Eradication Prompts a Global Health Warning

May 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Health News

Alarmed by the spread of polio to several fragile countries, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on Monday for only the second time since regulations permitting it to do so were adopted in 2007.

Just two years ago — after a 25-year campaign that vaccinated billions of children — the paralyzing virus was near eradication; now health officials say that goal could evaporate if swift action is not taken.

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Coca-Cola to remove controversial drinks ingredient

May 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Food Watch

The world’s largest beverage-maker, Coca-Cola, plans to remove a controversial ingredient from some of its drinks brands by the end of this year, following an online petition.

Brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, is found in Coca-Cola fruit and sports drinks such as Fanta and Powerade.

It will be replaced after concerns an element of the additive is also found in flame retardants.

Rival Pepsi removed the chemical from its Gatorade sports drink last year.

A Pepsi spokesman said it also had wider plans to stop using BVO and had “been actively working to remove it from the rest of our product portfolio”.

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Supreme Court: State can immunize children in its custody

April 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Big Pharma

The Department of Human Services can order children in its custody to be immunized, even if the child is in temporary custody and even if the parents object to the immunizations on principle, according to an Oregon Supreme Court ruling issued Thursday.

The state took custody of the eight children involved in the case — ages 1 to 10 — in January 2012 after finding their home “bestrewn with garbage and food, the children dirty, and the children’s educational needs barely addressed by mother’s home-school curriculum,” according to the court’s decision in Department of Human Services v. S.M. et al.

The state ordered the children be placed in foster care after several weeks of working with the family because “the condition or circumstances (of the children were) such as to endanger (the children’s) welfare or others’ (welfare),” the court opinion said.

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Will Vertical Farming Kill Monsanto Company and Help Whole Foods Market?

April 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Farming

Food production in the United States is currently dominated by two methods: organic farming and traditional farming that incorporates the benefits of engineered seeds. If early successes are any indication of the future, then it may soon be time to make room for a third: vertical farming. There are numerous benefits to vertical farms, which are springing up from Singapore to Pennsylvania, ranging from the elimination of pests to significant reductions in the amount of water used to irrigate crops. However, the disruptive shift in the way the world produces food will also reshape the battle between organic champions such as Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM ) and engineered seed producers such as Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON ) .

Consider that the conditions of enclosed vertical farms could be precisely controlled. Farmers wouldn’t need seeds that resisted droughts or pests. Pesticides use would be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, while water and energy use would also plummet. Does that set the stage for Whole Foods Market to throw its weight behind the new production systems? Will this mark the beginning of the end of GMOs and pesticides from Monsanto?

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8.0 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off Chile; Tsunami Strikes Coast

April 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Disaster News

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.0 has struck off the coast of Chile, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A tsunami warning was issued following the quake, which was centered 49 miles west-northwest of Iquique, Chile, and was 6.21 miles deep, the USGS said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a 6-foot tsunami that hit Pisagua, Chile, at 8:04 p.m. ET. No damage assessment has been made at this time.

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