Archive for the ‘Health, Nutrition & Food’ Category

Get Monsanto out of the White House

In 2009, President Obama appointed the infamous Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto lawyer-lobbyist, as Food Safety Czar in the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), and Tom Vilsack, Iowa’s former Biotech Governor of the Year (an award from the industry organization representing Monsanto and the other genetic engineering companies), as Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture.

Sign Food Democracy Now’s Petition to Stop “Pink Slime”

What are some of the consequences of having Monsanto’s foxes guarding our food safety hen house? The following alerts are a couple of examples of Taylor & Vilsack’s worst crimes, followed by an action link to put pressure on President Obama to drop these guys before the 2012 election.

Pink Slime is the process of keeping these leftover trimmings, spinning them around to break up the meat from the fat, and then dousing the lean meat with ammonia to kill the E. Coli. This process also thins the beef, creating about 15% more meat. It has been estimated that almost 70% of the beef in America includes this ammonia treated filler. Read more: McDonald's No Longer Selling "Pink Slime" Beef Treated With Ammonia | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Read the rest of this entry »


Monsanto – bringing agent orange back from the dead

Next week, the USDA will decide whether to allow Monsanto and Dow to introduce one half of the chemical mixture Agent Orange into our food supply. Widescale use of Roundup has led to a new generation of resistant weeds, and the next step in the pesticide arms race is 2,4-D — a chemical linked to cancer, Parkinson’s and reproductive problems.

Stop Agent Orange and Monsanto

Monsanto - bringing agent orange back from the dead.

Farmers that sign up to use genetically-engineered 2,4-D-resistant corn will be required to spray down their fields with both 2,4-D and Roundup, double-dosing our food, our soil and our waterways with the toxins. Some experts estimate this will increase the use of 2,4-D 50-fold, even though the EPA says the chemical is already our seventh-largest source of dioxins — nasty, highly toxic chemicals that bioaccumulate as they move up the food chain and cause cancer, developmental damage, and birth defects.

We can stop this. The use of 2,4-D is banned entirely in parts of Canada and Europe, and right now the US Department of Agriculture is accepting public comments on 2,4-D to decide whether or not to approve the widespread industrial use of the toxin.

Add your name to our letter to the USDA urging them to deny approval for Dow’s 2,4-D-resistant GMO corn.

This is part of a growing problem, an escalating herbicide war going on across America’s heartland. From 1996 to 2008, herbicide usage increased by 383 million pounds. Nearly half of this took place between 2007 and 2008 after the introduction of another strain of herbicide-resistant plant pushed by Dow. Like Roundup before it, 2,4-D is only a temporary solution that will require more and more tons of toxins and more and more potent chemicals leaching into our food supply.

2,4-D is nasty stuff and has been linked to a number of health problems, such as tripling the rates of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in Nebraska farmworkers exposed to it and causing reproductive problems — birth defects and high rates of miscarriage — in both mice and men exposed to it in the lab and field.

Tell the USDA – we don’t want Monsanto’s toxic pesticide.

-Kaytee, Claiborne Taren and the rest of the team


Rebuilding a Home for the Homeless in Pittsburgh

January 16th is Martin Luther King’s Birthday – that means our annual benefit for the homeless! This the 23rd year of celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. Musicians have donated their time and talent. Life would be different if Dr. King were still alive and an elder statesman among us. This is an attempt to honor his life, and belief in non-violent change in an era that only knows war and indifference. funds raised will go to a new house for the homeless in pittsburgh.
— vincent scotti eirene

During this evening we will have music and poetry, as well as speeches by Dr. King.
1. Bob Ziller
2. Renee Alberts
3. Mike and Laura, from Soft Money
4. Jonnyflower
5. Paul Labrise
6. Ben Hartlage
7. Chris Serra and friends
8. PhatManDee (and Miguel)
9. The Grifters
10. The Stillhouse Pickers
11. The BEATLESs
12. Dylan Rooke


Bank of America Biggest Funder of Mountaintop Removal! Change Banks!!!


Mat McDermott/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Though the majority of Occupy Wall Street‘s demonstrators marched up from Liberty Plaza to Times Square yesterday, a smaller group of perhaps 40 environmentalists began at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Why? Because they’d be making a quick stop on first, just one block away, at the New York City headquarters of Bank of America — one of the biggest funders in the nation of mountaintop removal coal mining.

Mat McDermott/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

As you get a glimpse of it in the photos, each protestor carried a small sign or death certificate, representing the myriad negative health and environmental effects of mountaintop removal coal mining.

Mat McDermott/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Once at the Bank of America building, blocked off by police barricades and maybe a dozen police officers (who previously blocked traffic so marchers could make it across busy Sixth Avenue, it should be said), the protestors began coughing, wheezing, and, well, doing their best to imitate dying from the various ailments that both using and mining coal causes.

Mat McDermott/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

The group had previously decided that no one wanted to get arrested at this particular demonstration. So after a few minutes playing dead on the sidewalk — during which Bank of America’s support for MTR was read out to the small crowd which had assembled and the passersby — when a police supervisor asked everyone to stop blocking the sidewalk, the protestors complied and proceeded onward towards Times Square.

For those not up to speed on what the big deal is with mountaintop removal coal mining, and why it’s so bad for human health and the environment, TreeHugger has covered it extensively.

Check out some of these links:
Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Significantly Increases Birth Defects
See 25 Years of Mountaintop Removal Mining Destruction in 10 Seconds
Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Stream Damage Could Take 1,000 Years To Fix
EPA Data Shows Streams Near Mountaintop Removal Coal Mines Toxic
Climatologist James Hansen Urges Obama to Ban Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining


We’re all the 99%

We're all the 99%

But we, the 99%, will occupy worldwide until justice, freedom and equality are restored. 1%, we are coming for you.

To fellow citizens occupying Wall Street and peoples protesting across the world:

We stand with you in this struggle for real democracy. Together we can end the capture and corruption of our governments by corporate and wealthy elites, and hold our politicians accountable to serve the public interest. We are united – the time for change has come!


Keystone XL Oil Pipline – Disaster in the making…

The Keystone XL pipeline would pass over the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides drinking water for millions of Americans and supplies 30% of our nation’s agricultural water.

Stop Tarsands Pipeline

Additionally, an oil spill along the pipeline – which would cut through Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas – would be potentially disastrous to our environment and our economy, especially since the Keystone XL pipeline would pass over a number of environmentally-sensitive areas. Read the rest of this entry »


18 Billion Dollars just to Plant Grass Over What Used to Be a Forest— Stop Tar Sands.

Large numbers of protesters were recently arrested in Washington, D.C., in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, earning them the record for the largest act of non-violent civil disobedience since the Vietnam War.

The more than 1,700-mile pipeline would cut through the Ogallala aquifer, the nation’s largest, and through Texas’ Corrizo-Willcox aquifer among other waterways between Canada and the Texas Gulf Coast. As any engineer could tell you, no pipe is 100-percent leak-proof. The existing pipeline has had 13 leaks since June 2010, and the “extra-large” pipeline extension poses extreme risks to our freshwater resources and croplands. Additionally, tar sands — the crude product being transported — involves tearing down many acres of pristine forestland so it can be tediously strip-mined, leaving a wrecked ecosystem and vast amounts of toxic waste that goes into tailings lakes that can be seen from space. Read the rest of this entry »


The Dark Side of the Industrialized Food Chain

The World According to Monsanto:
Watch Full Documentary Online Free »
There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it – it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.


Monsanto: Evil of the evilest….

Monsanto has been suing small family farmers, contaminating crops, destroying natural seeds, promoting chemically laden food sources (scientifically proven to be linked to cancer). See a list of Monsanto’s Crimes »

Monsanto: War crimes against us and the planet

Monsanto: Poisoning us and our planet

Genetically engineered crops are causing an economic disaster for farmers in the U.S. Up to 90% of U.S. soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets are now genetically engineered and routinely inserted into human and animal foods with no labels or safety testing.

Approximately 80% of current grocery food items contain GMOs; while according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, the majority of beef, pork, poultry, dairy, and eggs come from CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations).

Organic Consumers Action Group »


Millions Against Monsanto Campaign 2011

Genetically modified foods – increases in Cancer rates – Get Involved

Organize an action in your local area today! Contact the OCA for more information or visit

Protests will continue, leading up World Food Day, which will be the largest day of action in US history on October 16th, 2011. Read the rest of this entry »