Wednesday, October 27, 2010
"CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a witness at Tuesday's hearing
The issue was the focus of the CNN special "Toxic America"
Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey is holding hearing in his home state"
"The Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), a California-based pro-pesticide, big agriculture group, has gone on the attack. It makes the bizarre charge that Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides has influenced people to eat fewer vegetables. In fact, conventional produce consumption is flat -- but demand for organic fruits and vegetables is booming.
We were shocked when the California Department of Food and Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture handed $180,000 of your money to this front group -- specifically to counter "claims by activist groups about unsafe levels of pesticides."
If you think financing attacks on non-profit food safety watchdog groups like EWG is an outrageous way to spend your tax dollars, the USDA needs to hear from you today.
Fill out the form below the petition to add your signature.
As a California produce consumer and supporter of Environmental Working Group, I do not want my federal tax dollars spent to discourage consumers from buying organic or low-pesticide residue food. If major users and vendors of agricultural chemicals want to try to convince consumers that pesticides aren't a problem, they should do it on their own dime.
The federal Specialty Crops Block Grant was designed to support research, marketing and nutrition programs to help make produce, nuts and flower crops more competitive, accessible and, in the case of research, more sustainable. I want this program used to promote greater consumption of organic, locally-grown, and sustainably produced fruits and vegetables. Awarding a federal grant to large conventional agribusiness for a pro-pesticide public relations campaign undermines the country's growing organic industry and public health.
Please investigate who approved a $180,000 grant for the Alliance for Food and Farming and ensure that the USDA does not rubber stamp more outrageous grants like this one."
"Johnson & Johnson, Mattel Inc. and other manufacturers of children's products would be required to report whether toys, cosmetics, jewelry, apparel and other items contain certain harmful chemicals, under new rules proposed by Washington state."
"Top-selling scented products including those that claim to be "green" emit many chemicals not listed on the label, including some considered toxic and possibly carcinogenic, a study today says."
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
"Neural tube defects are a common type of birth defect that originate within the first four weeks after conception. In the affected fetus, the nervous system the brain and spinal chord does not form properly. Spina bifida and anencephaly are two well-known types of neural tube defects.
Infants with these birth defects experience a host of short and long-term health consequences, including paralysis, stillbirth and death. While taking folic acid before and during pregnancy can prevent the condition, the cause of these severe defects, in most cases, remains a mystery to doctors and scientists."
"Pregnant again after two miscarriages, Molly Gray was desperate for answers that could help prevent losing a third baby.
When she heard about a small study to test the blood of pregnant women for chemicals, she signed up. The result was shocking: Gray's blood tested high for mercury, a heavy metal that can cause brain damage to a developing fetus."
"Veterinarians around the country are reporting a strange phenomenon: spayed dogs and cats, even some puppies and kittens, are suddenly becoming hormonal.
In female pets, the symptoms resemble heat: swollen genitals, bloody discharge and behavioral problems. Male animals are showing up with swollen breast tissue and hair loss. Standard treatments and even repeated operations have had no effect.
Now vets have identified the culprit. The pets were all owned by women who used hormone creams on their hands, arms and legs to counter symptoms of menopause. Animals who licked or cuddled their owners, or rubbed up against their legs, were being inadvertently exposed to doses of hormone drugs."
University of Washington
(NOTE: researcher contact information at end)
For Immediate Release
Oct. 26, 2010
"The products emitted more than 420 chemicals, collectively, but virtually none of them were disclosed to consumers, anywhere," Steinemann said.
Because product formulations are confidential, it was not possible to determine whether a chemical came from the product base, the fragrance added to the product, or both.
Steinemann is currently a visiting professor in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. Co-authors are Ian MacGregor and Sydney Gordon at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio; Lisa Gallagher, Amy Davis and Daniel Ribeiro at the UW; and Lance Wallace, retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The research was partially funded by Seattle Public Utilities.
For more information, contact Steinemann at 206-616-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Steinemann is currently at Stanford University as a visiting professor in civil and environmental engineering.
Battelle media contacts: Katy Delaney at 614-424-7208 or email@example.com and T.R.
Massey at 614-424-5544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on the project is at http://depts.washington.edu/exposure/
More information on volatile organic compounds is available from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html) and the National Library of Medicine
Monday, October 25, 2010
Vini G. Khurana, Lennart Hardell, Joris Everaert, Alicja Bortkiewicz, Michael Carlberg, Mikko Ahonen
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Vol 16, No 3 (2010)
Human populations are increasingly exposed to microwave/radiofrequency (RF) emissions from wireless communication technology, including mobile phones and their base stations. By searching PubMed, we identified a total of 10 epidemiological studies that assessed for putative health effects of mobile phone base stations. Seven of these studies explored the association between base station proximity and neurobehavioral effects and three investigated cancer. We found that eight of the 10 studies reported increased prevalence of adverse neurobehavioral symptoms or cancer in populations living at distances < 500 meters from base stations. None of the studies reported exposure above accepted international guidelines, suggesting that current guidelines may be inadequate in protecting the health of human populations. We believe that comprehensive epidemiological studies of longterm mobile phone base station exposure are urgently required to more definitively understand its health impact.
"Small, airborne particles released from vehicles may within days of exposure spark lupus symptoms in those with the disease. Certain key markers of the autoimmune disease increased in lupus patients when particulate air pollution levels were elevated in their city of Montreal, Canada. This is the first study to link fine airborne particles to this specific autoimmune disease and adds to prior research that indicates air pollution can trigger autoimmune disorders."
"Despite lots of media attention, "chronic" Lyme disease is only recognized by a small group of doctors in Connecticut, where the tick-borne infection was first discovered."
"Advocates of fluoridated water insist that the chemical additive is good for teeth, but actual science routinely shows otherwise, including a new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association confirming fluoride as a toxic substance that actually destroys teeth, particularly those of developing young children and babies."
Association of glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 gene polymorphism with oxidative stress in diabetic and nondiabetic chronic kidney disease.
Department of Biochemistry, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, (University of Delhi), Delhi, India.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Three groups of patients (50 in each): diabetics without CKD (DM), diabetic CKD (DM-CKD), and nondiabetic CKD (NDM-CKD) and 50 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were recruited. Genotyping was done for GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes using a multiplex polymerase chain reaction. Serum GST and malondialdehyde (MDA) as a marker of oxidative stress were measured spectrophotometrically.
RESULTS: Based on genotyping, subjects were categorized as GSTM1+/GSTT1+, GSTM1-/GSTT1+, GSTM1+/GSTT1-, and GSTM1-/GSTT1-. Serum GST levels were lower among subjects with deletion in one/both GST genes, whereas MDA levels were found to be correspondingly raised. A negative correlation for MDA versus GST levels was observed among genotypes with one/both gene deletions. Presence of GSTM1+/GSTT1- and GSTM1-/GSTT1- was significantly higher among patients with CKD in both diabetics and nondiabetics. Interpretations and
CONCLUSIONS: GSTM1 and GSTT1 deletions singly or together were associated with lower GST levels and higher oxidative stress in both diabetic and nondiabetic CKD. Interestingly, GSTT1 deletion appears to be associated with both diabetic and nondiabetic CKD irrespective of the GSTM1 status.
PMID: 20954980 [PubMed - in process]
Sunday, October 24, 2010
"This Cantonment Tom Thumb convenience store was evacuated Saturday evening due to a strong, irritating odor that turned out to be perfume. NorthEscambia.com photo by Kristi Smith, click to enlarge."
This video is in Spanish, but even in Spanish, this video speaks loud and clear. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a devastating disease. The way people with MCS are treated is disgraceful, and even more devastating than the disease itself.
Key Words: multiple chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivity, chemical sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivities, MCS, EI, environmental illness, sick building syndrome, idiopathic environmental intolerance, fibromyalgia, chronic fatiuge, FM, CFS, mold illness, clinical ecology, alternative medicine, environmental medicine, neuropathy, encephalopathy, toxic, chemical
"The rows of freezers in a new metal building near the Richland airport hold tissue samples from the women who used radioactive radium in the 1920s to paint the glow-in-the dark dials of watches and clocks.
With them are organs waiting to be processed and tissue samples from their more recent counterparts -- former DOE nuclear weapons workers, including those at Hanford, who were exposed to radioactivity on the job and later volunteered to donate their bodies to science when they died."
"Gas drilling near Argyle schools making kids ill, residents tell board"
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Commonwealth Club Program on Health Effects of Cell Phones, Wireless Technologies & Electromagnetic Fields
Commonwealth Club of California
595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105
Tel.: 415-597-6700 415-597-6700 or www.commonwealthclub.org
NOVEMBER 18, 2010 – 11:15 a.m. Registration and Light Lunch.
Program: 12:00-4:30 p.m. ($20 members/$32 non-members/$10 students)
Friday, October 22, 2010
This conference will be a streamed videoconference in Spanish, except the presentation by Dr. Monro Breakspears Clinic which will be in English and then translated into Spanish. For more information, please see: http://www.asquifyde.es/noticia-detalle.aspx?noticia=697
Next on 4, 5 and 6 November, will be held at the University of Alicante (Salon Alfredo Orts Optics Building) the conference "THE EFFECTS OF CHEMICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE IN WOMEN'S HEALTH. THE CASE OF MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY SYNDROME AND OTHER DISEASES ASSOCIATED (FIBROMYALGIA, CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME ELECTROHIPERSENSIBILIDAD) "in which the collaborating organization Interuniversity Institute for Social Development and Peace and the Department of Community Nursing, Preventive Medicine and Public Health and History Science from the University of Alicante, and ASQUIFYDE. To attend pre-registration is required.
These scientific conferences are aimed at updating knowledge on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome, a condition estimated to affect approximately 500,000 people in our country. It also will address the diseases that are normally associated as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Electrohipersensibilidad. The title has been referred to the women because they presented more risk factors, however, are diseases that also affect men.
Through the presentations there will be an interdisciplinary approach, addressing both aspects of its etiology and mechanism, as the clinical and therapeutic approach. In each of these aspects with the participation of some of the most qualified experts.
Also contemplate the consequences of these diseases are for the sick person from a family perspective, social, occupational, legal and economic.
The Conference will include the participation of associations and affected patients, who may interact with professionals and researchers who act as rapporteurs.
Another aspect that should be high on the agenda of the Conference is the official presentation of the Environmental Management Guide: An Alternative Fitness.
Interested persons unable to attend may continue the conference by video conferencing via the following address:
Alicante University is making an effort to maintain the highest possible environmental control in the spaces with which they can have contact those affected by these diseases. Among other precautions have been taken into account a few weeks before spraying is not on campus.
For the same reasons, those responsible for the organization at the University of Alicante beg the audience to come without any fragrances and turn off cell phones before entering the classroom.
For more information about this news can be accessed at the website of the association co-organizer of this event: www.asquifyde.es or contact:
Francisca Gutiérrez Clavero
Cristina López Fernández
Sociology professor and member of the Interuniversity Institute for Social Development and Peace
Sequencing the "Exposome": Researchers Take a Cue from Genomics to Decipher Environmental Exposure's Links to Disease
"Technological and analytical advances are helping to take environmental exposures the route of genetic profiles in predicting a person's disease risk with greater precision."
Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2010;304(15):1653-1656. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1421
"A study linking chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in humans to a family of retroviruses that cause leukemia in mice appears to validate a controversial study published last fall. But far from settling the debate about the role of viruses in the disease, the new findings raise a host of questions about why other scientists, including a team from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have failed to find such a link, and about the potential clinical and public health implications. The study was published in August in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Lo S-C et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi:10.1073/pnas.1006901107 [published ahead of print August 23, 2010]).
"These results raise as many questions as they answer," said Steve Monroe, PhD, director of the Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology at the CDC."
"Battling the phone companies to save their scenic vistas is not untraveled territory for the residents of Vernon Township. Earlier in the year, the community fended off a proposed cell tower on Silver Spruce Drive in the Glenwood area."
Nanometals Induce Stress and Alter Thyroid Hormone Action in Amphibia at or below North American Water Quality Guidelines
Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology, P.O. Box 3055 Stn CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C., Canada, V8W 3P6, Pacific Environmental Science Centre, Environment Canada, 2545 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, V7H 1 V2, and School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, P.O. Box 3065 Stn CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8W 3V6
Nanometals are manufactured to particle sizes with diameters in the nanometer range and are included in a variety of consumer and health products. There is a lack of information regarding potential effects of these materials on aquatic organisms. Amphibians are regarded as environmental sentinels and demonstrate an exquisite sensitivity to thyroid hormone action, a hormone that is essential for human health. This present study assessed the effect of exposure to nanometals on stress and thyroid hormone signaling in frog tissue using a cultured tail fin biopsy (C-fin) assay derived from Rana catesbeiana tadpoles. The C-fin assay maintains tissue complexity and biological replication while multiple chemical responses can be assessed from the same individual. We tested the ability of nanosilver (0.06 μg/L−5.5 mg/L), quantum dots (0.25 μg/L−22 mg/L), and nanozinc oxide (0.19−10 mg/L) to alter gene expression in the presence or absence of 3,3′,5′-triiodothyronine (T3) using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results were compared to exposure to micrometer-silver, silver nitrate, and micrometer-cadmium telluride. Nanosilver (≥2.75 mg/L) and quantum dots (≥0.22 mg/L) altered the expression of transcripts linked to T3- and stress-mediated pathways, while nanozinc oxide had no effect. Lower concentrations of nanosilver (0.6 to 550 μg/L) perturbed T3-mediated signaling while not inducing cell stress. The observed effects were orders of magnitude below acute toxicity levels and occurred at or below the current North American water quality guidelines for metals, underscoring the need for evaluating nanoparticles separately from their constituent chemicals.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
#247, October 21, 2010
SOS 2010 - Save Organic Standards
In this issue:
Quote and Essay of the Week
SOS: OCA's Ongoing Campaign to Safeguard Organic Standards
"Over the last twelve years the OCA has been forced to organize a series of national campaigns to safeguard organic standards. While the OCA and our allies have basically been able to prevent the standards from being significantly watered down, constant vigilance and mobilization have been necessary... The new organic dairy regulations banning feedlots and requiring mandatory pasturing of cows are a good start, but we need to apply similar standards to poultry production. We need an independent National Organic Program Peer Review Board. We need to officially ban nanotechnology from organic production. And we need a number of currently allowed non-organic substances or inputs to be prohibited in organic products, as there are now organic options available. Over the next decade it will take constant vigilance and mobilization on the part of consumers, natural food stores, and farmers to uphold organic standards and prevent a takeover of the organic industry by corporate agribusiness."
- By Honor Schauland and Ronnie Cummins - October 20, 2010
Action of the Week
Safeguard Organic Standards
Chemical and energy-intensive industrial food and farming poses a mortal threat to life on the planet. Monsanto and Food Inc. are rapidly destroying the soil, contaminating water, reducing biodiversity, and destabilizing the climate. Meanwhile consumers are being stuffed with junk foods that make us fat and sick. Industrial agriculture's fatal harvest includes trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and filthy, disease-ridden factory farmed animal products laced with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, nano-particles and bacteria.
While a cornucopia of healthy food alternatives are available at the local level, from small organic farmers to urban gardeners to raw milk distribution networks and community supported agriculture projects, the USDA National Organic Program is the only system to provide certified national and global standards for organic food that is distributed regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Foods labeled "USDA Organic" are the gold standard for health and sustainability at the retail and wholesale level. Organics provide a beacon of light in grocery store aisles to guide consumers away from GMOs and chemical-tainted junk foods. Consumer demand for healthy and eco-friendly food has built the organic market into a $30 billion a year powerhouse, and has forced even the largest retailers, wholesalers and brand names to get into organics.
While we oppose the "Walmartization" of organic, we are happy to see that even our adversaries are being forced to market and sell organic products. While OCA's campaigns against worker abuses, GMOs, factory farming, and the many poisons used in industrial food production are aimed at tearing down a deadly system, our work to keep organic standards strong guarantees that even the big corporate players must "play by the rules" if they are to call their products organic.
Unfortunately the big players (Monsanto, Kraft, Wal-Mart, General Mills, et al.) keep trying to change the rules, which means we've got to keep fighting them.
This year, 2010, the biggest attacks on organic standards are coming from the following companies:
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is holding its twice-yearly standards-setting meeting in Madison, WI next week. Organic Consumers Association political director Alexis Baden-Mayer will be speaking at the meeting on behalf of our quarter-million active members and we need you to back up her testimony with letters to the NOSB on the topics that are most important to you.
Support the OCA! Save Organic Standards
We depend on your donations to preserve strict organic standards, to fight against Monsanto and GMOs, and to build a global climate justice movement based upon organic food and farming. Please send us a tax-deductible donation today and we'll send you a free "Millions Against Monsanto" bumper sticker so you can help spread the word in your community. Please be sure to put "sticker" in the comments field of your donation.
Climate Justice: Join the OCA at the Historic Global Climate Crisis Summit in Mexico
Please join OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and other OCA staff on a week-long escorted delegation to the historic teach-ins and rallies for climate justice and organic agriculture at Global Climate Crisis Summit in Cancun, Mexico Nov. 29-Dec. 6.
The OCA delegation, limited to 80 people, will include international experts on organic agriculture and climate justice, including OCA Directors Ronnie Cummins, Alexis Baden-Mayer, and Ryan Zinn; organic farm leader and author, Will Allen; noted blogger and food activist Jill Richardson, and renowned GMO specialist and critic Dr. Michael Hansen. Outstanding speakers at Cancun will include Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, Maude Barlow, Pat Mooney, and other global climate justice leaders.
OCA's seven-day escorted tour, starting Thanksgiving weekend, November 29 and extending through Dec. 6, includes all lodging, meals, and transportation costs (airfare not included). Early Bird Registration (before November 7) is only $750-$950.
It is also possible to stay for the entire 11 day event from November 29-Dec. 10.
For more information or to register for the OCA delegation to Cancun contact email@example.com; or call 415-307-8914.
Video of the Week
Scrambled Eggs: A New Video from the Cornucopia Institute
Imagine 80,000 laying hens in a single building, crowded in confinement conditions, on "farms" with hundreds of thousands, or even a million birds.
Is this organic?
How about a tiny enclosed concrete porch, accessible by only 3%-5% of the tens of thousands of birds inside a henhouse. Does that constitute "outdoor access" as required by federal organic law?
Industrial-scale egg producers are gaming the system with their so-called "livestock management" shortcuts and are placing family-scale organic farmers who play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage. Some pasture-based organic farmers have already been driven out of the organic egg business.
Turning Asphalt Into Edible Education -read more
Beef Industry Woes May Mean Poorer Meat -read more
Is the National Organic Standards Board Embracing Nanotechnology? -read more
For Organic Hops Farmers in Washington, Government Obstacles -read more
We are Facing the Greatest Threat to Humanity: Only Fundamental Change Can Save Us -read more
LOCAL HI NEWS OF THE WEEK
HI - Get Involved Locally
Message from our Sponsors
Dr. Bronner's is Celebrating Our 60th Anniversary!
Marking the 60th Anniversary of the company, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps is pleased to announce that all classic liquid & bar soaps are now not only certified under the USDA National Organic Program, but also certified Fair Trade! In addition, we are pleased to introduce a revolutionary new range of high-quality organic products, from hair rinses to shaving gels – all certified under the same USDA program that certifies organic foods.
Become an OCA Sponsor!
Every issue of Organic Bytes now goes to 250,000 organic consumers with a thousand new subscribers each week. Please help us and your business by letting our subscribers know who you are and that you support the work of the OCA. Please contact us if you want more information! (Note: select "Sponsorship Coordinator" from the dropdown menu)
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