Posts Tagged ‘chemicals’

Monday Moaning

This is about Hawaii.

But it’s also about the rest of the world.

The Ghost in the GMO Machine

While independent research shows that Chlorpyrifos, a Dow Chemical insecticide used in Kaua‘i’s GMO fields, can cause significant harm to children nearby, Dow is intent on convincing the EPA otherwise.

The bodies and minds of children living on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i are being threatened by exposure to chlorpyrifos, a synthetic insecticide that is heavily sprayed on fields located near their homes and schools.

For decades, researchers have been publishing reports about children who died or were maimed after exposure to chlorpyrifos, either in the womb or after birth. While chlorpyrifos can no longer legally be used around the house or in the garden, it is still legal to use on the farm. But researchers are finding that children aren’t safe when the insecticide is applied to nearby fields.

Like a ghost drifting through a child’s bedroom window, the airborne insecticide can settle on children’s skin, clothes, toys, rugs, and furnishings.

In fact, it’s likely that the only people who needn’t worry about exposure to chlorpyrifos are adults living far from the fields in which it is sprayed. That includes civil servants who work for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates the stuff, and executives with Dow Chemical, the company that manufactures it.

In a regulatory process known as re-registration, the EPA will decide in 2015 whether it still agrees that chlorpyrifos is safe for farming, or whether it will order a complete ban, as Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Pesticide Action Network have demanded in lawsuits filed in 2007 and in 2014.

Dow has long insisted that its chlorpyrifos products are safe, despite tens of thousands of reports of acute poisoning and multiple studies linking low-level exposures to children with lower IQ. The company also has a long history—going back decades—of concealing from the public the many health problems it knew were linked to chlorpyrifos.

In 1995, the EPA found that Dow had violated federal law by covering up its knowledge of these health problems for years. In 2004, then-New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer found that Dow had been lying about the known dangers of the pesticide in its advertising for nearly as long. Together, the EPA and the State of New York have levied fines against the company approaching $3 million.

On Kaua‘i, subsidiaries of four transnational chemical companies—Dow Chemical, DuPont, Syngenta, and BASF—spray chlorpyrifos and several other potent pesticides to protect their experimental genetically engineered crops (GMOs) against a wide variety of bugs and weeds. Because of the heavy pesticide use, Kaua‘i’s GMO testing fields are among the most toxic chemical environments in all of American agriculture. The island, with its precious ecosystems and diverse wildlife, seems particularly ill-suited to be a laboratory for such experiments.

Source: Cascadia Times Read more

Opinion:

Makes me sick that these companies are allowed to continue to manipulate and thwart the regulatory system.

Sure they are censored and fined… But how about some of these decision makers going to bloody jail?

When are the government going to start protecting the people?

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Make you Fink on Friday

This is about a subject that I have often espoused as ‘bullshit’.

8905112_origLiterally, the crap that we have been led to believe comes from manufacturers that want to sell you another product.

It’s the old butter vs margarine debate again; which is healthier for you?

Basically, you have been fed manufacturers crap for so long it’s taken as gospel.

Now it appears as though the truth is coming out.

Why almost everything you’ve been told about unhealthy foods is wrong

Eggs and red meat have both been on the nutritional hit list – but after a major study last week dismissed a link between fats and heart disease, is it time for a complete rethink?

The evidence that appears to implicate red meat does not separate well-reared, unprocessed meat from its factory farmed, heavily processed equivalent.’ Photograph: Mike Kemp/Getty Images/Rubberball

Could eating too much margarine be bad for your critical faculties? The “experts” who so confidently advised us to replace saturated fats, such as butter, with polyunsaturated spreads, people who presumably practise what they preach, have suddenly come over all uncertain and seem to be struggling through a mental fog to reformulate their script.

Last week it fell to a floundering professor, Jeremy Pearson, from the British Heart Foundation to explain why it still adheres to the nutrition establishment’s anti-saturated fat doctrine when evidence is stacking up to refute it. After examining 72 academic studies involving more than 600,000 participants, the study, funded by the foundation, found that saturated fat consumption was not associated with coronary disease risk. This assessment echoed a review in 2010 that concluded “there is no convincing evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease”.

Neither could the foundation’s research team find any evidence for the familiar assertion that trips off the tongue of margarine manufacturers and apostles of government health advice, that eating polyunsaturated fat offers heart protection. In fact, lead researcher Dr Rajiv Chowdhury spoke of the need for an urgent health check on the standard healthy eating script. “These are interesting results that potentially stimulate new lines of scientific inquiry and encourage careful reappraisal of our current nutritional guidelines,” he said.

Chowdhury went on to warn that replacing saturated fats with excess carbohydrates – such as white bread, white rice and potatoes – or with refined sugar and salts in processed foods, should be discouraged. Current healthy eating advice is to “base your meals on starchy foods”, so if you have been diligently following that dietetic gospel, then the professor’s advice is troubling.

Confused? Even borderline frustrated and beginning to run out of patience? So was the BBC presenter tasked with getting clarity from the British Heart Foundation. Yes, Pearson conceded, “there is not enough evidence to be firm about [healthy eating] guidelines”, but no, the findings “did not change the advice that eating too much fat is harmful for the heart”. Saturated fat reduction, he said, was just one factor we should consider as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Can you hear a drip, drip in the background as officially endorsed diet advice goes into meltdown?

Of course, we have already had a bitter taste of how hopelessly misleading nutritional orthodoxy can be. It wasn’t so long ago that we were spoon-fed the unimpeachable “fact” that we should eat no more than two eggs a week because they contained heart-stopping cholesterol, but that gem of nutritional wisdom had to be quietly erased from history when research showing that cholesterol in eggs had almost no effect on blood cholesterol became too glaringly obvious to ignore.

The consequences of this egg restriction nostrum were wholly negative: egg producers went out of business and the population missed out on an affordable, natural, nutrient-packed food as it mounded up its breakfast bowl with industrially processed cereals sold in cardboard boxes. But this damage was certainly less grave than that caused by the guidance to abandon saturated fats such as butter, dripping and lard, and choose instead spreads and highly refined liquid oils.

Despite repeated challenges from health advocacy groups, it wasn’t until 2010, when US dietary guidelines were amended, that public health advisers on both sides of the Atlantic acknowledged that the chemical process for hardening polyunsaturated oils in margarines and spreads created artery-clogging trans-fats.

Manufacturers have now reformulated their spreads, hardening them by chemical methods which they assure us are more benign. But throughout the 20th century, as we were breezily encouraged to embrace supposedly heart-healthy spreads, the prescription was killing us. Those who dutifully swallowed the bitter pill, reluctantly replacing delicious butter with dreary marge, have yet to hear the nutrition establishment recanting. Government evangelists of duff diet advice aren’t keen on eating humble pie.

But what lesson can we draw from the cautionary tales of eggs and trans fats? We would surely be slow learners if we didn’t approach other well-established, oft-repeated, endlessly recycled nuggets of nutritional correctness with a rather jaundiced eye. Let’s start with calories. After all, we’ve been told that counting them is the foundation for dietetic rectitude, but it’s beginning to look like a monumental waste of time. Slowly but surely, nutrition researchers are shifting their focus to the concept of “satiety”, that is, how well certain foods satisfy our appetites. In this regard, protein and fat are emerging as the two most useful macronutrients. The penny has dropped that starving yourself on a calorie-restricted diet of crackers and crudités isn’t any answer to the obesity epidemic.

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Opinion:

Take the egg problem, speaking from personal experience. I eat between six and a dozen eggs per week… my cholesterol is just great, perhaps a little on the low side. I also eat the fat on meat, I use lard for cooking and I don’t have margarine in the house and I don’t buy products made with it. I don’t drink soda, but sparkling mineral water, often with fresh juices added.

So, more than two years ago, I bucked the system and stopped believing manufacturers’ claims.

My advice, stop being a sheep and following the herd, think for yourself.

Make you Fink on Friday

Anti-bacterial soaps may not prevent the spread of germs, FDA claims

FDA said it is reviewing research suggesting chemicals used in common soaps and body washes may pose health risks

FDA is reviewing claims in response to concerns that widespread use of antibacterial soaps may be fueling a rise in superbugs. Photo: Mandel Ngan /AFP /Getty Images

After more than 40 years of study, the US government said Monday it has no evidence that the anti-bacterial chemicals used in countless common soaps and washes help prevent the spread of germs, and it is reviewing research suggesting they may pose health risks.

Regulators at the Food and Drug Administration said they are revisiting the safety of chemicals such as triclosan in light of recent studies that suggest the substances can interfere with hormone levels and spur the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.

The government’s preliminary ruling lends new support to outside researchers who have long argued that the chemicals are, at best, ineffective and at worst, a threat to public health.

“The FDA is finally making a judgment call here and asking the industry to show us that these products are better than soap and water, and the data don’t substantiate that,” said Stuart Levy of Tufts University School of Medicine.

Under a proposed rule released Monday, the agency will require manufacturers to prove that anti-bacterial soaps and body washes are safe and more effective than plain soap and water. Products that are not shown to be safe and effective by late 2016 would have to be reformulated, relabeled or removed from the market.

“I suspect there are a lot of consumers who assume that by using an anti-bacterial soap product they are protecting themselves from illness, protecting their families,” said Sandra Kweder, deputy director in the FDA’s drug center. “But we don’t have any evidence that that is really the case over simple soap and water.”

A spokesman for the cleaning product industry said the FDA already has “a wealth of data” showing the benefits of its products.

An FDA analysis estimates it will cost companies $112.2m to $368.8m to comply with the new regulations, including reformulating some products and removing marketing claims from others.

The rule does not apply to hand sanitizers, most of which use alcohol rather than anti-bacterial chemicals.

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Opinion:

It’s taken 40 years to get to this. The FDA must have had some heavy pressure to get to this. Which means that there is some valid evidence.

At last!

“a wealth of data” showing the benefits of its products. What a lot of corporate bullshit. You can guarantee that 100% of that evidence is from industry biased or related sources.

Triclosan has been used since 1972, and it is present in soaps (0.10-1.00%), shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, mouth washes, and cleaning supplies, and is incorporated into an increasing number of consumer products, such as kitchen utensils, toys, bedding, socks, and trash bags. It is also found in health care settings in surgical scrubs and personnel hand washes.Wikipedia

And they don’t really know if it’s safe or not!

 

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Monday Moaning

alittlebehindYes, I know it’s Tuesday, I’m running a little behind this week already.

Here’s something to think about.

canning-food-preserves-438295-l

If your pantry or larder doesn’t look like this, then you are not caring for your family.

90% of the groceries that you buy in the supermarket are CRAP!

They contain preservatives and poisons, and they are contaminated with farm chemicals and hormones that attack every organ in your body and diminish the mental faculties.

The only way to ensure that your family is eating healthy is to grow your own and preserve.

Too many people have abdicated their responsibilities and followed the corporate bullshit to an easy life.

The human race is not going to survive if we don’t get back to the old ways.

Monday Moaning

We’ve screwed up big time!

Drugs, chemicals, additives to food, cosmetics and medicines are all fine when they go ‘in’, but what happens when they go ‘out’?

Anxiety drug found in rivers changes fish behaviour

Normally shy perch became bolder and more independent when exposed to a drug called oxazepam for treating anxiety

The effect of the drug on European perch (above) was similar to its effect on people, with potential evolutionary and ecological impacts. Photograph: Alamy

Drugs to treat anxiety in people may alter the behaviour of fish when the chemicals are flushed into rivers, according to scientists. Swedish researchers found that European perch exposed to tiny concentrations of a drug became less sociable, ate more and became more adventurous – all changes in behaviour that could have unexpected ecological impacts on fish populations.

When scientists at Umeå University in Sweden screened rivers for pharmaceuticals they found that a drug for treating anxiety, called oxazepam, was accumulating in fish. Many drugs and other synthetic chemicals used by humans in everything from pesticides to cosmetics can pass through waste water treatment and end up in wildlife, potentially accumulating to toxic levels.

But until now scientists had never studied the behavioural impacts of small quantities of contaminants. Tomas Brodin led a team that mimicked in the lab the concentrations of oxazepam found in the wild – around a microgram per kilogram of fish body weight – and watched for changes in how bold, sociable and active the fish were.

“Normally, perch are shy and hunt in schools,” said Brodin. “This is a known strategy for survival and growth. But those who swim in oxazepam became considerably bolder.”

The results are published this week in Science and were announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

Jonatan Klaminder, an ecologist at Umeå University and an author of the paper, said the effect of the drug on fish was similar to its effect on people. “What the drug does is remove some of the fear that the very small fish experience,” he said. “[They] become less interested in staying close with others – staying close to others is a well-known defence system to avoid predators. They become less afraid of exploring new areas, so they just go out to search for food and become more effective in finding and consuming food.”

This change in behaviour could have evolutionary consequences. Adventurous or antisocial fish are more likely to be eaten by larger fishes but are also the ones that will explore new areas and, over time, alter the genetic diversity of future populations.

The solution, according to the researchers, is not to stop medicating people who need drugs such as oxazepam but to improve sewage treatment plants to capture the drugs and reduce their contamination of water systems in the wild.

The research also has implications for the way ecologists monitor pollutants in the environment, said Klaminder. “We’re still deeply rooted in what a pollutant is and it goes back to the 1970s and 1980s where we had heavy rain, acid rain, organic pollutants that definitely cause harm and physiological effects. When it comes to drugs, there is a new area of contamination research that doesn’t really fit with this old conceptual view.” Focusing on the potential negative physiological impacts of an environmental contaminant could miss the subtle behavioural changes that may also occur.

He added: “Hopefully it will make researchers rethink what they are looking for.”

Check the links here

Check the links here

Opinion:

How much of this drug is being passed on to humans? Will we too become emboldened, will our behaviours change? Have our behaviours already changed?

What goes in, must comes out… and not all of it is treated; as a result we are polluting the waterways of the world worse than we thought.

Every time you pee or crap, the chemicals that you have used/consumed are passing directly into the planetary water system.

So you may think you are buying or eating organic, but the reality is that your precious organic products are tainted and poisoned by the very water that you think makes them organic.

What other chemicals are we passing on to people through the food chain?

Just think, every time you clean your face after you’ve used makeup, the gunk goes down the drain… and into the sewerage system… Is it treated, or does it just pass right on into the rivers and estuaries? We already know that many cosmetic products have harmful chemicals.

We’ve screwed up big time!

 

Saturday Satire on Eco-Crap

“I recently read that love is entirely a matter of chemistry. That must be why my wife treats me like toxic waste.”

David Bissonette

 

Chemicals, n: Noxious substances from which modern foods are made.

Unknown

 

“‘Growth’ and ‘progress’ are among the key words in our national vocabulary. But modern man now carries Strontium 90 in his bones … DDT in his fat, asbestos in his lungs. A little more of this ‘progress’ and ‘growth,’ and this man will be dead.”

Morris K. “Mo” Udall

Source: Funny Quotes

Change the World Wednesday – 29th Aug

I have never done this before, honest.

It wasn’t until I opened Eco to follow my link to Reduce Footprints that I realised I have not posted here for a whole week.

I have never done that before, I have never been so lazy, forgetful, inconsiderate, etc before (despite what my ex-wife says).

Now I am on my first coffee of the morning, but I still feel mortified that I had nothing to Fink about on Friday, no Saturday Satire, nothing to moan about on Monday. It’s not at all like me. And, to top it all off, I had my best day ever on the blog, 144 visitors; I’ve never broken 100 before and I did it in style.

Enough of the self-flagellation, today is my birthday, and I get to share it with you nice people. Sixty-one today; you can read my thoughts about it on Closer to Extinction, yesterday’s late night post on Life is a Labyrinth.

Last week’s CTWW post was an eye-opener. I was fully aware that we are often conned by the labels and ingredients on food, but to find the list of ingredients on a simple deodorant spray so extensive, did shock me; especially when I took up the Up the Ante and explored them.

Acerola berries – Crapemyrtle

A little side trip. Here I go off on my tangent. A couple of weeks ago, I was in my ‘new’ supermarket (I have changed for the bulk of my buying) and I spied a bottle of Orange & Acerola syrup, now I love Orange & Acerola combination. So a quick scan to make sure it didn’t have aspartame, and into the trolly. I might add that the label was surprisingly like another brand that I buy and trust; it wasn’t that brand on closer inspection at home. I made a jug. OMG, it was disgusting. It was only then that I put my glasses on and inspected the ingredients. Colour this, flavour that, preservatives, stabilisers… there wasn’t a single natural ingredient, it was just a chemical cocktail. Result, down the drain; lesson learned.

I used to have a large acerola bush in my yard producing fruit year-round, but I changed yards. I now have a small sprout growing from a seed that I found on the street.

On with this weeks CTWW:

This week share ideas on eating locally during the winter months. While “eating locally” may include meats, dairy, etc., for the purposes of this challenge we’re primarily talking about plant-based foods.

 

And then …

Come up with a plan, for your household, to eat locally throughout the year. This might include preserving produce which is currently available in your area, talking to farmers to see if they offer (or would be willing to offer) items during the winter, or growing a winter garden of your own.

This has always been a problem for me. Mainly because of the cost of getting to places where I can buy local produce. One of the very few times I miss having a car.

To top it off, my efforts to produce my own in my little backyard this year have not been as successful as the last season. However, I do have some little green tomatoes ripening, which is good because tomatoes are more than R$6 a kilo at the moment. So expensive, they have simply been off the menu. Now, USD1.50/lb may not sound expensive to you guys, but the normal price is USD0.25 – 0.40/lb. So I will have tomatoes in about two weeks. I still have dried cayenne peppers from my good year, and I have mint and ginger growing as well. Passionfruit will be good this coming year, a dead loss last year. My mamão trees (papaya) died.

So that’s it for this week. I am off to work, then I have a BBQ to prepare.

 

 

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