Thursday, February 11, 2016

Super Bowl 2016























We had big fun!  Our normal gang arrived Sunday afternoon and the fun lasted until almost 4am.

I had an 18# Country Ham, assorted breads, cheeses and mustards for sandwiches, loaded potato salad, bacon wrapped meatballs, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, bacon candy, balsamic deviled eggs and mini antipasto cups.

Everything was delicious!

And YES.  I realize that the Christmas decorations are still up.  We like 'em!



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Monsanto’s Roundup Kills and Damages More than Weeds




Protests against Monsanto’s Roundup, with its poisonous, weed-killing glyphosate, have spread around the globe. An arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a probable cause of cancer in 2015. California’s Environmental Protection Agency (CA EPA) recently decided to label it as such.

Environmental groups and activists in Northern California, a region known for its wines, advocate a moratorium on this herbicide as health concerns mount. Roundup is the world’s most widely used pesticide.

Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, was the focus of a January 28 informational event. It was initiated by the Watertrough Childrens Alliance as a fundraiser for a lawsuit against winemaker Paul Hobbs for converting an apple orchard into a vineyard adjacent to schools, thus putting the health of around 500 children at risk by spraying Roundup. The Sierra Club, Sonoma Group, co-sponsored the evening.

Sebastopol Mayor Sarah Glade Gurney welcomed a panel of three experts and around 60 people from Sonoma and Napa counties attended and moderated an active discussion. Attorney Jonathan Evans of the Tucson, Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity, organizer Ella Teevan of the Washington, D.C.-based Food and Water Watch (FWW), and former Petaluma Vice-Mayor and City Council member Tiffany Renee spoke.

Monsanto also makes Roundup Ready, which are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). “93% of soy beans and 80% of corn in the U.S. are grown with Monsanto GMO seeds,” reported Teevan. “Food and Water Watch wants a moratorium on more GMOs and their labeling.”

“Our food system and how we interact with our environment is broken. Instead of serving people, profit is served. We need to fix our food system,” Teevan added.

“Glyphosate has become a pervasive presence in the environment. 65% of water in some countries has traces of it,” said Evans. “Exposure can create a number of problems, including liver and kidney damage. It can even change ones DNA. Our goal is to protect health and keep these products out of the market.”

“After the CA EPA decision to label Roundup, Monsanto filed a lawsuit against them. They claimed that their First Amendment rights to free speech were being violated,” Evans reported.

“BECOME EDUCATED CONSUMERS”

“We need to become educated consumers and not buy these products. We need to empower elected officials to act, Evans suggested. “We need to get involved in grassroots actions and push for a just food system,” added Teevan. “Become active participants in democracy.”

“The California city of Richmond banned all pesticide a year ago,” reported RenĂ©e. “We advocate such a ban in Petaluma, which must include neonicotinoids. Portland, Oregon has banned neonicotinoids, systemic pesticides that damage bees. Glyphosate is a public health threat. The many costs are suffered by humans, animals, and plants. The benefits are only to a few humans,” she added.

“The highest use of glyphosate in Sonoma County is for winegrapes, yet non-toxic alternatives are available,” said Evans. “Monsanto is a bad actor. They sue farmers when GMO seeds blow onto their lands from neighbors,” he said.

The Huffington Post’s January 26 article “8 Reasons to Avoid Doing Business with Monsanto,” by business editor Alexander C. Kaufman, reports that the giant bioengineering firm has been dubbed “the world’s ‘most evil corporation.’”

Mounting criticism of Monsanto’s “litigious, secretive, and combative” practices have made it financially vulnerable, asserts Kaufman. It plans to cut 3,600 jobs, which would be 16% of its global workforce. Roundup and Roundup Ready constitute 90% of Monsanto’s revenue. “Several countries, cities, and retail chains worldwide have banned or severely limited glyphosate products,” notes Kaufman.

“Hundreds of Moms Across America groups exist nationwide,” he adds, and “more than 2 million people in 52 countries internationally took to the streets to ‘March Against Monsanto.’”

Monsanto is desperately seeking a merger, according to the January 25 issue of GMWatch from the United Kingdom (www.gmwatch.org). One of their goals seems to be to abandon their tarnished name.

CITIZENS SPEAK UP

When Mayor Gurney opened the discussion to the crowd, more than a dozen people promptly came to the microphone. The first speaker quoted a study of seven wines from Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake counties conducted by the Biochemical Working Group in Ukiah. It documented that traces of glyphosate exceeding EPA safe levels were found in all of them. People are drinking Roundup in their wine. Glyphosate has been banned in Europe.

“We’re tired of our children and babies being damaged by Roundup. We need to mandate a real school protection zone,” declared Janus Matthes of Wine and Water Watch (www.winewaterwatch.org). Instead, “the vineyards are being protected,” she added.

“It is so easy to use Roundup. The breads that you eat that are not organic have glyphosate in them,” noted geologist Jane Nielson, Ph.D.

“Roundup is an antibiotic that kills gut bacteria,” said Amy Martenson of Label GMOs Napa County. She added that “we are having problems with the vineyards. Napa County has the highest rate of cancer in California.”

“We want a GMO free zone up and down the coast. Most counties on the North Coast have prohibited growing GMO crops,” explained Pam Gentry of Citizens for Healthy Farms and Families. They are collecting signatures to place an initiative on this year’s ballot that would ban growing genetically engineered crops in Sonoma County

Monsanto controls an area in South America larger than California called “soybean republic.” Jim Stoops noted, “Sixty doctors have complained about higher cancer rates in that area.”

Meanwhile, GM Watch reported the following: “Monsanto’s attempts to build its GMO seed plant in Argentina have met with three years of unflinching popular opposition. Protesters received an eviction notice, but local activists mobilized to strengthen the blockade, and a prosecutor suspended the order. The demand was, ‘Monsanto, get out of Latin America!’

Back in the U.S., GM Watch reports the following: “Campbell Soup Company said it supports the enactment of federal legislation for a single mandatory labeling standard for GM foods. The company said, ‘Printing a clear and simple statement on the label is the best solution for consumers and for Campbell.’ Campbell says its prices will not increase as a result of labeling.”

The article “Half of All Children Will Be Autistic by 2025” appears in the December 23, 2014, newsletter of the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), with the subtitle “Warns Senior Research Scientist at MIT.”

MIT’s Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., “noted that the side effects of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity. Children with autism have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate, including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate, seizures, and mitochondrial disorder.”

ANH describes “the revolving door between Monsanto and the federal government, with agency officials becoming high-paying executives—and vice versa! Money, power, prestige: it’s all there. Monsanto and the USDA scratch each others’ backs.”

Food and Water Watch’s booklet Monsanto: A Corporate Profile, further documents this: “Monsanto’s board members have worked for the EPA, advised the U.S. Department of Agriculture and served on President Obama’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.”

Renee concluded that “we need activism. Eat locally, hopefully organic or biodynamic. Grow part of your own food.”

link

Friday, January 29, 2016

Our War of Shame (a letter to the editor)

To the Editor

Since our elected U.S. Legislators, Congress and Senate do not to seem to care about our Vietnam War Veterans who are sick from the herbicide Agent Orange Dioxin, I can say I am not proud of our government in the manner in which our Veterans are treated. However, we did our job and did not question our orders. We believed the Vietnam War was to free a country from communistic oppression. This is what America is about, freedom.

Freedom is not free; it is costly in lives and dollars. There is no dollar amount I know of that can replace a life. The real cost are those who died on both sides. The dollars mean nothing. Where the dollars do come into play are the dollars to care for those who came home broken and sick and those who came home in a box.

How do we get these dollars from the American taxpayer? Congress sets dollar amounts to pay for war, to pay for those who come home in a box, plus the wounded. What about those who are sick and broken? Now we have a new set of rules for those who fought the war and lived. Legislative bills must be introduced and dollar amounts agreed on to pay for the needs of the sick and broken who came home alive. It can take years and more legislation. In the meantime, these sick and broken war veterans die off one by one with no resolve from our government who sent them to war. Many get little to no health care and no compensation. A perfect example is the Vietnam War, our War of Shame.

I have often wondered, what if our Legislators were sent to war and had to defend themselves just like our troops on land, sailors at sea and airmen in the sky? A novel thought indeed!

John Bury, U.S. Navy, retired, Vietnam War Veteran Media

http://www.southphillyreview.com/opinion/Our_war_of_shame-366855621.html

Friday, January 22, 2016

Agent Orange impacting descendants of Vietnam veterans?

The United States in 1991 established that Agent Orange was responsible for a number of medical conditions found in Vietnam veterans. These veterans now want the government to fund research on how their children and grandchildren have been affected.

Chairing a Vietnam veterans national Agent Orange committee is 68-year-old Montgomery, Minnesota, resident Maynard Kaderlik. His exposure to Agent Orange while stationed in the Mekong Delta led to him getting prostate cancer years later.

But Kaderlik also wants to tell the story of his son Josh, 37,  who was born with a dislocated hip and has a severe learning disability, and his 10-year-old granddaughter, Jada, who was diagnosed with autism seven years ago.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Campbell's Decision to Label GMOs Destroys Monsanto's Main Argument Against Labeling

Monsanto claims food manufacturers will pass the cost of mandatory GMO labeling on to consumers. Campbell's says otherwise.

Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have long defended their die-hard positions against mandatory GMO labeling laws, often by feigning concern about the financial impact labeling laws would have on consumers. Labeling will be costly for manufacturers, who will pass those costs on to consumers, they argue (despite studies suggesting otherwise). As if concern for consumers’ wallets had anything to do with Big Food’s determination to deceive.

So the first question we asked the Campbell Soup Co. following the announcement that Campbell's will label all of its products that contain GMOs, was, will you charge more for these products after you label them?


In an email to OCA, company spokesman Tom Hushen wrote, “To be clear, there will be no price increase as a result of Vermont or national GMO labeling for Campbell products.”

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