Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Schmallenberg Virus: DARPA and The Fraunhofer Society?

from The Schmallenberg virus is the name that has been given to the collective cases of lamb, sheep, goat and cattle still births and birth deformities that have spread at an alarming rate across a large part of Europe.  The spread of the so called virus is suspected to be from a group of insects known as midges.  The virus is named after Schmallenberg, the largest town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, from where the first definitive sample was derived.  After Germany, it has also been detected in Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

Schmallenberg, Germany is the home of the Applied Ecology half of the Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME(MBAE) section of the Fraunhofer Society, which is a German research organization with 60 institutes spread throughout Germany, each focusing on different fields of applied science.  The Fraunhofer Society was founded in Munich on March 26, 1949 by representatives of industry and academia, the government of Bavaria, and the German Federal Republic.  In 1956 it began working with German military research organizations.  In 1994, the Society had expanded and founded a US-based subsidiary, Fraunhofer USA, Inc., to extend the outreach of the Fraunhofer' R&D network to American clients.

The US-based subsidiary, Fraunhofer USA, Inc., on their website, describes their projects and reveals many of their funding sources for their projects.  The list of core platforms includes vaccines development, molecular farming, directed evolution and functional genomics.  Their list of funding sources includes the United States Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, iBio, University of Delaware, and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute just to name a few.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Maple syrup-pocalypse arrives 20 years early

from Maple syrup farmers have “never seen a season like this,” and as a result, maple syrup production has cratered. If you like the stuff, it’s time to start stockpiling it. Scientists have been saying that maple syrup production could be devastated in 20 to 30 years, but this season’s warm temperatures are so extreme that we’re getting a taste of that state of the climate now. Or maybe climate change is two decades ahead of schedule and we are even more screwed than we thought.

Well, probably not the second one — the heat wave we’re experiencing now could easily be followed next year by a cold snap, bringing syrup production back to normal. But it’s useful as an analogy for what future climate change will be like, says climate scientist Matthew Huber. In addition to letting us practice wearing shorts in March, it’s a dry run for climate impacts like this one. Long story short: If you like waffles with the good stuff, no harm in tossing a couple bottles in the freezer, because someday your kids will see it in a movie or something and ask you what it was like and you’ll probably start blubbering like a big old wrinkly walrus.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

#Video: Episode015 - Homeless Virus, Tacocopter

#Audio: Episode015 - Homeless Virus, Tacocopter
On Thursday nights, Media Monarchy joins Corbett Report Radio live on Republic Broadcasting to go over all the latest stories from the world of food, environment and health. This week's menu features Homeless Virus, Tacocopter and more...


Previous Video:
Episode014 - Climate Change, New Chapter

#Audio: Episode015 - Homeless Virus, Tacocopter

#Audio: Episode015 - Homeless Virus, Tacocopter
On Thursday nights, Media Monarchy joins Corbett Report Radio live on Republic Broadcasting to go over all the latest stories from the world of food, environment and health. This week's menu features Homeless Virus, Tacocopter and more...

Episode015: MP3/Feed\Archive

Previous Audio:
Episode014 - Climate Change, New Chapter

#BingeAndPurge: Pre-Chewed, Tacocopter and Strange Booms

Annie's Leaps in IPO As Investors Clamor for Mac And Cheese*
Annie's Leaps in IPO As Investors Clamor for Mac And Cheese
Solera Capital-backed Annie’s raises $95m through IPO*
US Suspends Food Aid to N. Korea Over Missile Plans*
Study: Disorientation from pesticides a clue to bee disorder*
CDC sees autism rate rise 25%*
SCOTUS throws out human gene patents*
Beef industry braces for loss of 'pink slime' filler*
Video: Beef Company Suspends 'Pink Slime' Production*
Video: Execs Say Product Is 100% Beef, Not "Pink Slime*
‘Hamburglar’ steals food bag of food from customers at Maine McDonald’s*
Biden Says "Thank You, Dr. Pepper"*
Alicia Silverstone Chews Food For Her 11-month-old Child, Bear Blu*
The Mad World Of 'Mad Men' Food*
American Porters: Ale to Usher in Baseball Season*
Use the C-word all you want: they're still GM potatoes*
The Park Slope food co-op boycott, explained*
Indiana food bank reaches compromise on prayer*
Tacocopter would deliver tacos via unmanned drone*
Audio: Future of robotics in confectionery packaging with Bosch*
Scientists Find Serious Illnesses in Gulf Dolphins*
Death and Disarray at America's Racetracks*
Beyonce the tiny puppy fit into spoon at birth*
Fear Of Radiation Treated as “Psychiatric Disorder” In Fukushima*
Escobar on Fukushima email leak: 'Deleting data a cover-up'*
Just In: Fukushima monthly fallout total higher now than 9 months ago in June*
Video: Strange Booms Rattle Clintonville Again*

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Michigan to Destroy Ranch Livestock Based On Hair Color?

Michigan to Destroy Ranch Livestock Based On Hair Color?
from The state of Michigan is only days away from engaging in what can only be called true "animal genocide" -- the mass murder of ranch animals based on the color of their hair. It's all part of a shocking new "Invasive Species Order" (ISO) put in place by Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This Invasive Species Order suddenly and shockingly defines virtually all open-range pigs raised by small family farms to be illegal "invasive species," and possession of just one of these animals is now a felony crime in Michigan, punishable by up to four years in prison. The state of Michigan has issued a document describing nine "traits" of what they call "feral pigs" which they claim should be destroyed on April 1... potentially by raiding local farms with government-issued rifles, then shooting the pig herds while arresting the members of the family and charging them with the "crime" of raising pigs with the wrong hair color. This may truly be a state-sponsored serial animal killing spree. Yet these are the very pigs that farmers and ranchers in Michigan have been raising for decades. The state doesn't seem to care about this, and there are indications that this ISO may have been nudged into position by the conventional pork industry as a tactic to wipe out its competition of local, specialty ranching conducted by small families and dedicated farmers who don't work for the big pork corporations. (The Michigan Pork Producers Association.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crackdown On Feeding the Homeless Goes Nationwide

Crackdown On Feeding the Homeless Goes Nationwide
from All over the country, major cities are banning the feeding of homeless people. The excuses they use to ban the feeding of the poor range from assessing the nutritional content of donated food to beautifying downtown areas and neighborhoods. In New York, Mayor Bloomberg is worried about the sodium content. Really? No salt or no food? Talk about kicking people when they're down.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Researcher Now Claims 'Doomsday Virus' Not as Lethal as Feared

Researcher Now Claims 'Doomsday Virus' Not as Lethal as Feared
from In the continuing controversy over the 2011 experiments with an ‘mutant’ strain of avian flu (H5N1) virus — making it airborne and potentially contagious to humans — lead virus researcher of growing notoriety, Ron Fouchier, told an audience of microbiologists that he did not believe that either the wild-type avian flu virus or his lab’s strain of the H5N1 flu were as lethal as others have supposed. The fatality rate is exaggerated, he believes, because most cases that do not cause serious illness go undetected or unreported. This comes in contrast to previous statements made by Fouchier, such as his statement to the journal Science in November of 2011: [This is] “probably one of the most dangerous virus you can make.”

Update: H5N1 Bird Flu Research Is Safe to Publish, Panel Says*

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Vintage Weight Loss Ads: A Look at Health Advice of Yesteryear

Vintage Weight Loss Ads: A Look at Health Advice of Yesteryear
from Would Don Draper approve these messages? With Mad Men's season five premiere bringing everyone's favorite vintage show back to television on Sunday, we decided to take a look back at the ads that influenced our dieting styles and body images over the years.

It's easy to think of the current glut of half-baked weight loss solutions as a modern phenomenon. But these vintage advertisements for the wacky weight loss "cures" of yesteryear prove that snake oil and pseudo-science are not a 21st century invention. But from "obesity soap" to soda for infants, we can appreciate how far we've come over the past century in terms of understanding what our bodies need to function healthfully

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Monsanto Pushes Outrageous Lies to Kids, Calls It Science

Monsanto Pushes Outrageous Lies to Kids, Calls It Science
from The claims made in a book from the biotechnology industry are laughable. But these blatant lies are passed off as ‘science’ for schoolchildren. It’s not enough that the biotech industry — led by multinational corporations such as Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, BAS, and Dupont — is poisoning our food and our planet. It’s also poisoning young minds. In a blatant attempt at brainwashing, the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has widely circulated what it calls a Biotechnology Basics Activity Book for kids, to be used by “Agriculture and Science Teachers.” The book — called Look Closer at Biotechnology– looks like a science workbook, but reads more like a fairy tale. Available on the council’s Web site, its colorful pages are full of friendly cartoon faces, puzzles, helpful hints for teachers — and a heavy dose of outright lies about the likely effects of genetic engineering on health, the environment, world hunger and the future of farming. CBI’s lies are designed specifically for children, and intended for use in classrooms. Brainwashing children. It’s a new low, even for Monsanto.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Neurosurgeon issues public challenge to vaccine zealots: Inject yourselves with all shots you say children should get!

from Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon, author and expert on "excitotoxins," has issued a public challenge to vaccine pushers everywhere to put their money where their mouths are. During a recent interview with Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, about the fraudulent science of the vaccine industry, Dr. Blaylock challenged Dr. Paul Offit, vaccine manufacturer CEOs, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientists, and others who insist today's childhood vaccine regimens are safe to publicly receive these same regimens themselves.

You can watch the full interview between Dr. Blaylock and Mike Adams here.

The CDC and state health agencies all across the country are persistent in telling the public that childhood vaccine regimens, which now include dozens of vaccines administered all at once, are completely safe. And Dr. Offit, of course, made the brazenly arrogant and astounding claim several years ago that healthy infants "could safely get up to 100,000 vaccines at once".  Well, if these claims are true, then those making them should have no problem publicly demonstrating their validity by getting publicly vaccinated with the very same vaccine schedules, right?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

#Video: Episode014 - Climate Change, New Chapter

#Audio: Episode014 - Climate Change, New Chapter
On Thursday nights, Media Monarchy joins Corbett Report Radio live on Republic Broadcasting to go over all the latest stories from the world of food, environment and health. This week's menu features Climate Change, New Chapter and more...


Previous Video:
Episode013 - Cancer Cola, Hunger Games

#Audio: Episode014 - Climate Change, New Chapter

#Audio: Episode014 - Climate Change, New Chapter
On Thursday nights, Media Monarchy joins Corbett Report Radio live on Republic Broadcasting to go over all the latest stories from the world of food, environment and health. This week's menu features Climate Change, New Chapter and more...

Episode014: MP3/Feed\Archive

Previous Audio:
Episode013 - Cancer Cola, Hunger Games

#BingeAndPurge: Cinnamon and Slime With Your GM Fetal Soda?

Cinnamon Challenge YouTube Craze Gains Millions of Viewers,
Frightens Health Professionals as the Copycat Effect Kicks In

Cinnamon Challenge YouTube Craze Gains Millions of Viewers, Frightens Health Professionals as the Copycat Effect Kicks In
USDA to Americans: You'll Eat Pink Slime Whether You Want It or Not*
Obama agency rules Pepsi's use of aborted fetal cells in soft drinks constitutes 'ordinary business operations'*
Del Monte Fresh Produce Drops Lawsuit Threat against Oregon*
Raw Milk Killed 48 in Boston Outbreak - 100 Years Ago*
Why legalizing raw milk sales will significantly boost local, rural economies*
USDA green-lights field trials of Monsanto drought-resistant corn after admitting it performs no better than natural corn*
Proposed UN Environmental Constitution For The World Would Establish An Incredibly Repressive System Of Global Governance*
The Department of Homeland Security plans to build a high-risk virus research center in the heart of America*
Strawberry lovers rejoice: Methyl iodide off the market for now*
Blue Strawberries Raise More GMO Questions*
Women and Marketing: Does Our Data Define Us?*
PDF: Viterra sale helps global agribusiness, not farmers, says NFU*
Watch out for radioactive tissue boxes*
Heart surgeon openly admits low-fat diets recommended for years by mainstream medicine cause heart disease*
Toddler’s rare condition highlights need for universal cholesterol screening in kids*
Wendy's takes No. 2 spot from Burger King*
Spanish town wants to grow cannabis to pay off debt*
Video: Weed to the rescue?*
Zeroing In on Mystery of an Old Site Called Hades*
Few injuries despite strength of Mexico earthquake*
Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe*
Should Science Pull the Trigger on Antiviral Drugs—That Can Blast the Common Cold?*
Highest Radiation in L.A. Air Yet*
Sugar seeks sweet revenge against competition from corn*
New Study Links Honeybee Die-offs to Insecticide*
Kraft Foods says name of snacks food business after spinoff will be Mondelez International*
Supreme Court Rejects Key Biotech Patents*
Gut Brain Manipulation: Meal of the Week: March 22, 2012*

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Chapter sells out to Procter & Gamble, part of the global corporate elite

from : Procter & Gamble, the global corporate conglomerate that sells a vast array of consumer products containing cancer-causing chemicals and petroleum derivatives, is now the proud owner of New Chapter, one of the more promising nutritional supplement companies we've seen in a while. New Chapter co-founder Paul Schulick announced, "For us, this has been a dream come true. This is what we have been wanting to do since we started doing this 30 years ago. The world and the United States need this."  Really? The world needs global corporate giants to buy up all the natural product brands? Or maybe Paul Schulick just wanted to cash in on all the positive publicity organizations like NaturalNews have selflessly lent him over the years. This is one of the many companies we helped publicize and promote, only to see them sell out to corporate giants who routinely take over these companies, cheapen their product formulations, and exploit name recognition to intentionally mislead consumers into buying watered-down, reformulated products.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Glow in the dark sushi made from genetically modified fish becomes the latest food craze to hit America

from Sushi that glows in the dark has become the latest must try food craze across America. Inspired by genetically modified fish first bred for scientific research, a video showing how to make the glowing sushi has become a huge hit online. The recipes use glofish, a brand of genetically modified (GM) fluorescent zebrafish sold by Yorktown Technologies, which are available to buy in pet shops. The modified fish were originally bred to help detect environmental pollutants. By adding a natural fluorescence gene to the fish, scientists planned to create fish that glowed when rivers became contaminated. First researchers perfected a fish that constantly glowed, which was then bred and sold in pet shops. The fish are available in a choice of bizarre colours - Starfire Red, Electric Green, Sunburst Orange, Cosmic Blue and Galactic Purple. Now, they have become the latest must-try cooking ingredient. However, not all of the US can enjoy them - the fish are currently illegal in California due to a regulation that restricts all genetically modified fish. For the even more adventurous food fan, the team is also working on recipes for cooking glowing mice, created using the same techniques.

Monday, March 19, 2012

At Center of Health Care Fight, a Farmer’s 1942 Case

from If the Obama administration persuades the Supreme Court to uphold its health care overhaul law, it will be in large part thanks to a 70-year-old precedent involving an Ohio farmer named Roscoe C. Filburn. Mr. Filburn sued to overturn a 1938 federal law that told him how much wheat he could grow on his family farm and made him pay a penalty for every extra bushel. The 1942 decision against him, Wickard v. Filburn, is the basis for the Supreme Court’s modern understanding of the scope of federal power. It is the contested ground on which the health care case has been fought in the lower courts and in the parties’ briefs. And it is likely to be crucial to the votes of Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Antonin Scalia, who are widely seen as open to persuasion by either side... To hear the Obama administration tell it, the Filburn decision illustrates just how much leeway the federal government has under the Constitution’s commerce clause to regulate the choices individuals make in matters affecting the national economy. If the government can make farmers choose between growing crops on their own land and paying a penalty, the administration’s lawyers have said, it can surely tell people that they must obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sweet Victory: When The Science Says The Farm Beats Pharma

Sweet Victory: When The Science Says The Farm Beats Pharma
from Some of the most powerful medicines provided to us are actually in our kitchen cupboard, “pretending” to be condiments, spices or foods. Some we are too familiar with to readily recognize them for their astounding health benefits, even though we may be consuming them daily. Honey, for instance, has too many traditional medical uses to name, with at least 60 confirmed and documented in the Western, “science-based” medical model, as well. Did you know, for instance, that certain honeys have the ability to destroy the much-feared MRSAsuper-germs” you may have been hearing about of late? We are actually only scratching the surface here, when it comes to natural substances that have been scientifically vetted to be superior to their would-be drug equivalents. contains an ongoing research project under the keyword “Superiority of Natural Substances versus Drugs,” which contains research on 140 natural substances that have been compared to drugs and been shown superior. We have another keyword called “Natural Substances versus Drugs” with an additional 167 studies showing a natural substance of at least equivalent efficacy vis-à-vis a drug.

Billboard Dispenses Free Cakes To London Commuters In Bus Shelters

Billboard Dispenses Free Cakes To London Commuters In Bus Shelters
from First came the cupcake ATM, now there's a cake dispensing billboard. With just a touch of a button the automated fixture distributes up to 500 Mr. Kipling cakes per day, along with a sweetened aroma to tempt London commuters, reports Ad Age. The novel publicity stunt is part of a campaign by the British cake company to get customers to try one of their wrapped cakes, according to Media Week. The first cake machine debuted Wednesday at Tottenham Court Road in London's West End. The company will also be rolling out an additional 18 units in England and Scotland on Monday, March 19, while a "cakemobile" will roam and sweeten the streets of London from March 27 to May 9. TIME explains the campaign is similar to another London ad that filled bus shelters with a smell of potatoes last month.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Agricultural Markets Still Unbalanced and Unfair, Farmers Say

Agricultural Markets Still Unbalanced and Unfair, Farmers Say
from Two years ago this week, the USDA and U.S. Justice Department began a series of joint workshops on anti-trust issues in agriculture. More than 4,000 farmers participated, and 16,000 people submitted comments. (Civil Eats reported on these hearings here and here.) Yet at a press conference this week, marking the anniversary of the first workshop, a panel of farmers reported that little has changed. A handful of companies still control huge portions of livestock, dairy, and poultry markets, they said, and farmers continue to face abusive and unfair treatment. “There are some winners,” said Rhonda Perry, a livestock and grain farmer and director of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, “But those winners are clearly not farmers or consumers. Those who benefit have really been embarrassingly successful at convincing Congress and our leaders to do nothing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Monsanto Company Donates $100,000 on Behalf of Farmer Coalition for Support of Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

from On behalf of the National Black Growers Council (NBGC), Monsanto Company donated $100,000 to the Washington DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Foundation Project, Inc. in support of the recently dedicated Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The NBGC is a coalition of African American farmers whose mission is to improve the efficiency, productivity, and sustainability of Black, row-crop farmers. The coalition advocates for the 21st century policy needs and focuses on the future of Black growers.

How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Change

How Engineering the Human Body Could Combat Climate Changefrom From drugs to help you avoid eating meat to genetically engineered cat-like eyes to reduce the need for lighting, a wild interview about changes humans could make to themselves to battle climate change.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

#Video: Episode013 - Cancer Cola, Hunger Games

#Audio: Episode013 - Cancer Cola, Hunger GamesOn Thursday nights, Media Monarchy joins Corbett Report Radio live on Republic Broadcasting to go over all the latest stories from the world of food, environment and health. This week's menu features Cancer Cola, Hunger Games and more...


Previous Audio:
Episode012 - Monsanto, Lorax, Bird Flu

#Audio: Episode013 - Cancer Cola, Hunger Games

#Audio: Episode013 - Cancer Cola, Hunger GamesOn Thursday nights, Media Monarchy joins Corbett Report Radio live on Republic Broadcasting to go over all the latest stories from the world of food, environment and health. This week's menu features Cancer Cola, Hunger Games and more...

Episode013: MP3/Feed\Archive

Previous Audio:
Episode012 - Monsanto, Lorax, Bird Flu

#BingeAndPurge: Teen Tics, Viral Picks, Hunger Games

#Audio: The Curious Case of Teen Tics In Le Roy, NY -
The Mystery of 18 Twitching Teenagers in Le Roy*

The Curious Case of Teen Tics In Le Roy, NY - The Mystery of 18 Twitching Teenagers in Le Roy
Push to make Australia Asia's food bowl*
Bad Food: Illnesses from Imported Food Are on the Rise, CDC Says*
How do we avoid 'pink slime' in our ground beef?*
Why Americans Are Angry About Pink Slime*
The Science Is Clear:
Antibiotic Resistance and Food Animal Production
Gut Brain Manipulation: Fertility Fear Mongering*
Strange-smelling baby food recalled*
Got [Camel] Milk?*
Paula Deen - From the frying pan to the firestorm*
'Viral' Olive Garden Review Aftermath Continues*
Indiana Congressman Joins Food Fight After Pantry Loses Federal Items Over Prayer*
F. Sherwood Rowland, Raised Alarm Over Aerosols, Dies at 84*
A buffet of seed catalogs*
'The Hunger Games' Movie for Dummies*

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SXSW Chronicles: 'Food Porn' Goes Digital

from In a foodie town like Austin where food truck masters rival BBQ venues, it would be a missed opportunity if SXSWi didn't place a spotlight on a national obsession: the digital sharing of food. You know what I mean, whether it's on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, people love photographing and then sharing their meals with friends. What is it that drives individuals to broadcast what is otherwise a tactile experience where smell, taste and environment are paramount to enjoying the experience? Anthony Bourdain quipped today that he wonders if people snap shots of their food to later "touch themselves," during his panel at SXSWi. Bourdain is both a culinary steward and entertainment personality who is seemingly obsessed with food, and technology. During his panel, which centered on his Emmy Award-winning program for the Travel Channel, No Reservations, Bourdain and others discussed what made the show digitally savvy. "Food porn works" is the main takeaway. People have a visceral response to food and, specifically, because Bourdain's program is about highlighting undiscovered gems around the globe, there's a sense of discovery that comes along with it that leads to the desire to share.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Still a 'Fast Food Nation': Author Eric Schlosser Reflects 10yrs Later

Still a 'Fast Food Nation': Author Eric Schlosser Reflects 10yrs Later
from More than a decade has passed since Fast Food Nation was published, and I’d love to report that the book is out of date, that the many problems it describes have been solved, and that the Golden Arches are now the symbol of a fallen empire, like the pyramids at Giza. Sadly, that is not the case. Every day about 65 million people eat at a McDonald’s restaurant somewhere in the world, more than ever before. The annual revenues of America’s fast-food industry, adjusted for inflation, have risen by about 20 percent since 2001. The number of fast-food ads aimed at American children has greatly increased as well. The typical preschooler now sees about three fast-food ads on television every day. The typical teenager sees about five. The endless barrage of ads, toys, contests, and marketing gimmicks has fueled not only fast-food sales, but also a wide range of diet-related illnesses. About two thirds of the adults in the United States are obese or overweight. The obesity rate among preschoolers has doubled in the past 30 years. The rate among children aged 6 to 11 has tripled. And by some odd coincidence, the annual cost of the nation’s obesity epidemic—about $168 billion, as calculated by researchers at Emory University—is the same as the amount of money Americans spent on fast food in 2011.

Nitrate Contamination Threatens California's Drinking Water

Nitrate Contamination Threatens California's Drinking Water
from Today, the Food & Environment Reporting Network–the first and only independent, non-profit, non-partisan news organization that produces investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health in partnership with local and national media outlets–published its third report, “Farming Communities Facing Crisis Over Nitrate Pollution, Study Says,” on Reporter Stett Holbrook takes a deep dive into a new study by UC Davis that reveals that nitrate contamination is severe and getting worse for hundreds of thousands of people in California’s farming communities. The most comprehensive assessment so far to date, the report also reveals that agriculture is the main source of 96 percent of nitrate pollution. The five counties in the study area–among the top 10 agricultural producing counties in the United States–include about 40 percent of California’s irrigated cropland and more than half of its dairy herds, representing a $13.7 billion slice of the state’s economy, Holbrook reports.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Better supplies to drive world food prices lower in 2012?

from reuters: Improved grain supplies will help lower food prices this year after sharp rises in 2011 and take the wind out of price volatility, easing inflation concerns, a senior official at the United Nations' food agency told Reuters on Monday. Over the next decade, however, prices are set to rise for major food and agricultural commodities, Abdolreza Abbassian, senior grain analyst and economist at the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit. "We do expect the food prices in 2012 to be averaging perhaps slightly below 2011. We expect also slightly less volatility this year compared to last year because of better inventories," Abbassian said in a telephone interview.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Uphill Struggle for Food Exporters on Fukushima's 1st Anniversary

Tokyo food radiation safety: It's personal*
An Uphill Struggle for Food Exporters on Fukushima's 1st Anniversary
from For many people around the world, food from Japan used to have an image of being among the healthiest around, let alone safe to consume. That changed after March 11, 2011, when the massive earthquake and tsunami triggered the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter of a century. The spread of radioactive materials and revelations that some beef cattle and crops grown in its vicinity were contaminated with higher than normal levels of radiation prompted more than 40 countries and territories to restrict imports of food and other agricultural products from Japan, where Fukushima Prefecture was an agricultural powerhouse. While a handful of the foreign governments have eased or lifted the restrictions and consumers abroad are beginning to think less about the fears of radioactive contamination, efforts to restore Japanese food exports to their previous levels still face an uphill battle a year later.

Related Updates: A Night for Japan -
Benefit Held in Southern Oregon

A year later, effects of Japan’s disaster still unfold*

Saturday, March 10, 2012

US Scientists Warn EPA About Monsanto Corn Rootworm

US Scientists Warn EPA About Monsanto Corn Rootworm
from A group of US plant scientists is warning federal regulators that action is needed to mitigate a growing problem with biotech corn that is losing its resistance to plant-damaging pests. The stakes are high – US corn production is critical for food, animal feed and ethanol production, and farmers have increasingly been relying on corn that has been genetically modified to be toxic to corn rootworm pests. “This is not something that is a surprise… but it is something that needs to be addressed,” said Joseph Spencer, a corn entomologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, part of the University of Illinois. Spencer is one of 22 academic corn experts who sent a letter dated March 5 to the US Environmental Protection Agency telling regulators they are worried about long-term corn production prospects because of the failure of the genetic modifications in corn aimed at protection from rootworm. Monsanto introduced its corn rootworm protected products, which contain a protein referred to as “Cry3Bb1,” in 2003 and they have proved popular with farmers in key growing areas around the country. Biotech corn sales are a key growth driver of sales at Monsanto. The corn rootworm product is supposed to reduce the need to put insecticides into the soil, essentially making the corn plants toxic to the worms that try to feed on their roots. But plant scientists have recently found evidence that the genetic modification is losing its effectiveness, making the plants vulnerable to rootworm damage and potentially significant production losses.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Coke, Pepsi Change Recipe to Avoid Caramel-Color Cancer Warning

Coke, Pepsi Change Recipe to Avoid Caramel-Color Cancer Warning
from Coca-Cola and Pepsi are changing the recipes for their soft drinks to avoid being forced by law to put a cancer warning on the label. The caramel colouring in the drinks will contain lower levels of 4-methylimidazole, which has been added to the list of carcinogens in California law. Coca-Cola's recipe is being changed across the US - but will not be changed in Britain or the rest of Europe.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

#Video: Episode012 - Monsanto, Lorax, Bird Flu

#Video: Episode012 - Monsanto, Lorax, Bird FluOn Thursday nights, Media Monarchy joins Corbett Report Radio live on Republic Broadcasting to go over all the latest stories from the world of food, environment and health. This week's menu features Monsanto, the Lorax, bird flu and more...

Previous Audio:
Episode011 - Nukes, Books, Syrian Seeds

#Audio: Episode012 - Monsanto, Lorax, Bird Flu

#Audio: Episode012 - Monsanto, Lorax, Bird FluOn Thursday nights, Media Monarchy joins Corbett Report Radio live on Republic Broadcasting to go over all the latest stories from the world of food, environment and health. This week's menu features Monsanto, the Lorax, bird flu and more...

Episode012: MP3/Feed\Archive

Previous Audio:
Episode011 - Nukes, Books, Syrian Seeds

#BingeAndPurge: Pink Slime, Satire, Coconut Cottage and more

Pink Slime for School Lunch:
Government Buying 7M Pounds of Ammonia-Treated Meat for Meals

Pink Slime For School Lunch: Government Buying 7M Pounds of Ammonia-Treated Meat For Meals
Campaign Against BPI's 'Pink Slime'*
Campbell's Soup Phasing Out BPA Use in Cans*
Disney retooling childhood obesity exhibit, critics say it's insensitive*
Chefs celebrate the Oreo on its 100th birthday*
Sodas Contain Animal Carcinogen, Study Finds*
ConAgra Foods Celebrates the History of Frozen Meals to Mark National Frozen Food Day - March 6*
Best Before and Expiration Dates on Foods: What Do They Mean?*
Cottage Food Laws: Selling Food from a Home Kitchen*
Do Coconut Oil and Coconut Water Provide Health Benefits?*
Too Many Going Gluten-Free?*
Petition targets FDA's deputy commissioner for foods*
#Audio #Satire: FDA Okays Every Drug Pending Approval, Takes Rest Of Year Off*
Video: Residents Seek Answers to Mystery Booms Shaking North Carolina Coast*

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Michigan Lottery Winner Loses Government Food Aid

Michigan slow to crack down on big lottery winners*
from Michigan’s Department of Human Services has cut off $200 a month in food aid to Amanda Clayton in the wake of media reports that she had won $1 million in the state lottery in September. To make matters worse for Clayton, who lives in Lincoln Park near Detroit, her case has been turned over to state anti-fraud officials. "DHS relies on clients being forthcoming about their actual financial status,” Department of Human Services Director Maura D. Corrigan said in a prepared statement. “If they are not, and continue to accept benefits, they may face criminal investigation and be required to pay back those benefits.” Clayton, who has two children, won the lottery in September but never told state officials that her wealth status had changed. The 24-year-old woman used the jackpot money to buy a new home and car, but continued to get $200 a month from the state to feed her family, relatives have told local television and newspaper reporters. When WDIV-TV, a local television station, reported on the case, it played into an effort in the state capital to limit taxpayer-funded benefits to people who are eligible or to eliminate them for people who have had the good luck to move on. That effort was sparked by a similar case in which a man who won $2 million in the lottery in 2010 kept receiving food benefits until last spring.

Related Update: More Than 1 in 7 Use Food Stamps in US*

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More Foods Going to Pouch Packaging

Plus, there's no more pesky recycling!
from Packaged food makers are thinking outside the bottle and can. More to the point, they're increasingly partial to pouches. Kitchen staples from Campbell Soup Co. and H.J. Heinz Co. will be joining other consumer products in pouches this year. The trend is being driven by savings on packaging and shipping costs as well as aesthetics — an upscale pouch sporting elaborate graphics offers a modern look and premium appeal, marketers say. John Kalkowski, editorial director of Packaging Digest, said pouches also are becoming more prevalent because technology has improved, doubling average shelf life from one year to two.

Monday, March 5, 2012

U.S. Stands Firm Against Drug Legalization, Biden Says

from Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. delivered a blunt message on Monday to leaders in Latin America who are contemplating opening the door to the legalization of illicit drugs: The United States will not budge in its opposition. Mr. Biden, beginning a two-day trip to Mexico and Honduras ahead of a regional summit meeting next month, told reporters that he welcomed a debate over legalization, but then he knocked down the arguments in favor of it.

He said he sympathized with Latin American leaders who are frustrated over violence tied to the drug trade and with the consumption habits in its biggest market, the United States. But the few potential benefits from legalization, like a smaller prison population, would be offset by problems, including a costly bureaucracy to regulate the drugs and new addicts, Mr. Biden said. “I think it warrants a discussion. It is totally legitimate,” he said. “And the reason it warrants a discussion is, on examination you realize there are more problems with legalization than with nonlegalization.”...

The growing discussion about legalization comes largely from the struggles on the ground with organized crime and violence,” said Shannon K. O’Neil, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations who studies American relations in the region. “But in particular cases — that of Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, for instance — it also likely reflects at least in part the desire to increase U.S. aid to his country, and to lift the ban on weapons sales instituted in the 1970s.”

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Genetically Altered Bird Flu Virus 'Not Dangerous'

Genetically Altered Bird Flu Virus 'Not Dangerous'
from The scientist who made a deadly bird flu virus transmissible in mammals, touching off public fears of a pandemic, said Wednesday [Feb29] that the virus he created was neither as contagious nor as dangerous as people had been led to believe. His new revelations have prompted the United States government to ask that the experiments be re-evaluated by a government advisory panel that recommended in December that certain details of the work be kept secret and not published, for fear that terrorists could use them to make bioweapons. Critics of the work had also warned that the virus might leak out of the lab accidentally and start a pandemic. “We heard many times that this virus would spread like wildfire if it would come out of our facility,” said Ron Fouchier, the leader of the team that genetically altered the flu virus, at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. “We do not think this is the case.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he also thought that the danger might have been overstated. “There is a gross, pervasive misunderstanding out there,” he said, adding that he had recommended that the data be examined again by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, overseen by the National Institutes of Health. He said the board would probably reconvene in March. The experiments involve a type of bird flu virus known as H5N1.

Related Update: 'Bat Flu' Scare Hits Media Among Weaponized Bird Flu Release Debate*