Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BASF Gives Up Seeking Approval for GMO Potatoes in Europe

BASF said it will "discontinue the pursuit of regulatory approvals for the Fortuna, Amadea, and Modena potato projects in Europe because continued investment cannot be justified due to uncertainty in the regulatory environment and threats [over the destruction of crops]."

Environmental activists have destroyed genetically modified crops on fields in Europe for fears they might harm health and erode biological diversity.

BASF also said it will continue its crop biotechnology business in the U.S. and has added corn as a target crop under its fungal resistance research.

But the company has stopped its research and development activities into nutritionally enhanced corn in the U.S. "as part of a continuous review of the project portfolio."

The discontinuation will result in the closure of several BASF field sites in the U.S. with around 40 positions being eliminated, the company added.

Say NO to GMO!

Monsanto $93 Million Settlement with West Virginia Residents Approved

A $93 million settlement was reached last February with residents who said Monsanto polluted their community by burning waste from production of the defoliant Agent Orange.

St. Louis-based Monsanto had agreed to pay up to $84 million for medical monitoring and $9 million to clean up 4,500 homes. Monsanto also agreed to pay legal fees.

The Monsanto plant in Nitro produced herbicides, rubber products and other chemicals. The plant’s production of the defoliant Agent Orange created dioxin as a toxic chemical byproduct.

Dioxin has been linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities, endometriosis, infertility and suppressed immune functions. It builds up in tissue over time, so even small exposures can accumulate to dangerous levels.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Stem cell jab may aid stroke recovery: Study

LONDON: A stem cell jab given within half an hour of a stroke may aid in recovery from the fatal condition, a new study claims.

Researchers found that rats injected with stem cells 30 minutes after a stroke had almost normal brain function restored within a fortnight.

The Bolivian research team said the method has potential in human trials, 'BBC News' reported.

Current practices involve treating patients with "clot-busting" drugs in the "golden hour" after a stroke has taken place.

The study adds to other research which found that stem cells could aid stroke patients by boosting the body's ability to repair tissue damage.

Stem cells are the body's "master cells", with the potential to become many different cell types, and theoretically replace cells lost through disease or injury.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Monsanto's Dark History


New study may help treat patients with multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma, the second most common blood cancer in the United States, is an incurable malignancy involving the white blood cells that normally produce antibodies. As the disease progresses, the multiple myeloma cells accumulate in the bone marrow, causing painful bone lesions and preventing normal blood cell production.

"Our hope is that the fluorescent assay we have developed will help physicians monitor the newest treatment option for multiple myeloma patients and determine how well it is working," said Hawley.

Hawley and his team of researchers reported a test that could be used to detect the multiple myeloma cells that survive chemotherapy and are responsible for disease relapse (referred to as tumor-propagating cells).

Ben & Jerry’s Supports GMO Right-to-Know Labeling Movement

 — As the campaign to label food products made with GMO ingredients moves across the states, including Vermont, Ben & Jerry's is proud to stand with the growing consumer movement for transparency and the right to know what’s in our food supply by supporting mandatory GMO labeling legislation.
Ben & Jerry's has a long history of supporting transparency and a consumer's right to know. The ice cream maker led the fight that began in 1993 for the right to label its products rBGH free*, and the company has stood firmly in opposition to cloned and GMO animals, including cows and salmon.
“While a single, unified national standard would be preferred over a state by state approach, we believe success at the state level will ultimately lead to a national standard,” said Rob Michalak, the company’s Global Social Mission Director.
For products sold in all markets outside of North America, Ben & Jerry’s ingredients are sourced non-GMO. Currently in North America, 80% of ingredients by volume are sourced non-GMO. The company acknowledges that it still has some difficult work to do, but it plans to complete the transition by the end of 2013.
“All of us at Ben & Jerry's are proud to stand with the growing movement of citizens, farmers, suppliers, companies, and others, in demanding the right to know what's in the food we eat,” added Michalak.

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/01/24/4567268/ben-jerrys-supports-gmo-right.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ROBIN ROBERTS Testing the Water for 'GMA' Return

Robin Roberts returned to the NYC set of "Good Morning America" this morning -- the first time since undergoing a bone marrow transplant surgery -- for a private "GMA" test run to see if she's physically ready to come back to the show. 

Just last week, Roberts explained that she would be doing a series of doctor-approved "dry runs" before officially re-joining the show. 

"My doctors want me to see how many people I actually come in contact with," Roberts said ... "How my body reacts to the stimulation, that's code word for stress, of being in the studio environment."

She added, "My skin is very sensitive and so we have to see how it reacts to the studio lights. My vision is still a little blurry from the treatment. All of this is getting better day by day so that is the next step."

Last year, 51-year-old Roberts was diagnosed with MDS -- or myelodysplastic syndrome --  a disease of the blood and bone marrow that was once known as preleukemia.

Roberts vowed to return to the show ... and it looks like she's going to keep her promise.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dow's Controversial New GMO Corn Delayed Amid Protests

Your Voice Makes a Difference!

"Opponents have bombarded Dow and U.S. regulators with an array of concerns about Enlist, which is intended to replace Monsanto Co.'s successful Roundup Ready system. Genetically altered Roundup Ready corn and soybeans now dominate the U.S. corn and soybean market."

A controversial new biotech corn developed by Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical,, will be delayed at least another year as the company awaits regulatory approval amid opposition from farmers, consumers and public health officials.

Curly, Larry and GMO

A Final Small Batch of Christmas Pics

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Uncovered, the 'toxic' gene hiding in GM crops: Revelation throws new doubt over safety of foods

  • *EU watchdog reveals approval for GM foods fails to identify poisonous gene

  • *54 of the 86 GM plants approved contain the dangerous gene

  • *Gene found in food for farm animals producing meat, milk and eggs

  • *Biotech supporters argue there is no evidence that GM foods are harmful

  • A virus gene that could be poisonous to humans has been missed when GM food crops have been assessed for safety. 

    GM crops such as corn and soya, which are being grown around the world for both human and farm animal consumption, include the gene. 

    A new study by the EU's official food watchdog, the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA), has revealed that the international approval process for GM crops failed to identify the gene.

    As a result, watchdogs have not investigated its impact on human health and the plants themselves when assessing whether they were safe. 

    The findings are particularly powerful because the work was carried out by independent experts, rather than GM critics.

    It was led by Nancy Podevin, who was employed by EFSA, and Patrick du Jardin, of the Plant Biology Unit at the University of Liege in Belgium. 

    They discovered that 54 of the 86 GM plants approved for commercial growing and food in the US, including corn and soya, contain the viral gene, which is known as 'Gene VI'.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2266143/Uncovered-toxic-gene-hiding-GM-crops-Revelation-throws-new-doubt-safety-foods.html#ixzz2Ikin9oZ6
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    Monday, January 21, 2013

    Monsanto Kills

    Agent Orange Activist. Thanks, Dick Phenneger!

    One for the warrior
     Posted: Coeur d’Alene Press - Sunday, January 20, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 1:08 am, Sun Jan 20, 2013

    One man's war on the ravages of Agent Orange claimed a small but important victory recently during a trip to Washington, D.C.

    Dick Phenneger is a local veteran, pilot and businessman who has been working feverishly to raise awareness and, ultimately, responsibility for the devastating effects of Agent Orange on generations of U.S. military and their families. Phenneger's campaign to help veterans has been featured in The Press, including a story last June about Phenneger and his nonprofit organization, Veteran Services Transparency, launching a survey campaign in North Idaho that brought in more than 100 responses from local veterans who believe they suffer from the effects of Agent Orange.

    A number of those surveyed have been denied benefits for medical help, and that's the prime impetus for Phenneger's mission: He believes the federal government, starting with Congress, should be far more accountable in treating a host of Agent Orange-related diseases and illnesses that mounting medical evidence suggests should be the government's responsibility.

    Maybe U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, a former state legislator and governor now in the fifth year of his first term as a U.S. senator from Idaho, doesn't think so. For his trip to our nation's capital Jan. 8-12, Phenneger had a twice-confirmed personal appointment with Sen. Risch and a key member of his staff. Instead, a young underling was sent out to meet with Phenneger, who offered to come back later in the week to meet with the senator. The offer was declined and no effort was made by staff to apologize or attempt to reschedule.

    Phenneger still made the most of his trip. He had what he described as productive meetings with key staff from U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo's and U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador's office. Phenneger's most promising contact, however, came with two committees of the nonprofit Vietnam Veterans of America organization. Leaders of the committees were so impressed with the data Phenneger has gathered and the manner in which he's running his grassroots campaign that they indicated an interest in creating a national program modeled after what the Post Falls resident is doing.

    We are disappointed that after having agreed to meet, Sen. Risch did not believe the message was worth hearing from a constituent who took the time and trouble to travel all the way across the country to meet with him personally. We encourage the senator to review the material Phenneger left behind and to discuss it earnestly with the rest of the Idaho delegation.

    Failure to do so won't dissuade Phenneger, but it's likely to disappoint Idaho's 136,000 or more veterans. And yes, they vote. 

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    New Years Eve and New Years Day

    Ric and I had a pleasant, quiet NY Eve.  We went to Applebee's for an early dinner, then returned home, sipped on bubbly and watched the Twilight Zone marathon.  (as per usual)

    New Year's Day was BIG FUN.  As the crispy roasted pig tails were such a hit with the kids last year, Dom brought over 6 pounds of them up for our dinner.

    We were hoping to have the entire gang over, but Tony had to work and Richard was sick.  So it was just the gals and their kids.

    I cooked our traditional pork loin roast, sauerkraut, country style ribs, mashed potatoes and baked apples.  (With pig tails coming out of the oven all day....I think that bro was getting nervous about all of the greasy little fingers!)

    So..... Ric headed back to work on the 2nd, and I flew home on the 3rd.  Had a lovely visit.  Thanks, Ricky!  xoxo

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    A Visit From Amy and her Gals

    Lifelong dear friend, Amy, drove down from Newbury (childhood hometown) with her 2 children on Friday.

    They picked me up at Ric's while he was at work.  We checked into the Holiday Inn Express about 5 miles away.

    Great price, great room, great pool, great location.  We had a view of a cornfield, which was loaded with Canadian Geese and rabbits.  The snowfall topped it off!

    Ric picked us up when he got off of work.  We went to a really cute place, Mimi's Cafe.  He thought I'd like it because of the New Orleans theme.  Like I said, "cute".  Period.  I'll never return.  Nevertheless, we had a very fun evening.

    We awoke Saturday morning to a surprisingly nice breakfast buffet.  Eggs, meats, yogurts, cereals, breads, the works.  Yummy.

    Spent some time in the pool, then hopped in Amy's car and went to Toot's for a pitcher of beer and nibbles for the little ones.  This joint is maybe 1/2 mile from Ric's place.  Have been stopping here for years.  Fun place.

    Later that night, we caught a cab to my favorite local Mexican restaurant, Abuelo's

    Had a wonderful dinner, margaritas and an uneventful cab ride back to our hotel.  (This was Ursula and Elsa's first taxi ride!)

    More snow, a little television, then awoke Sunday for another nice breakfast and sad goodbyes.

    Spent the day with Ric watching football all day.  'Twas a lovely weekend.

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Christmas Day

    Christmas day was very nice.  I cooked my traditional 22# Martha Stewart Turkey and all of the yummy sides for Ric and Dom.  Just the three of us.  Sipped on Merlot all day.  Dinner turned out great.  (Man, I make a helluva turkey!)

    Wednesday was alot of fun, too.  As Dom bought himself a new tractor, he told me to go ahead and pick out a new HD TV.  Found the one that the 3 of us loved at a local Best Buy and ordered it online.

    Then, headed into beautiful "OLD LOVELAND"  A charming little area on the river with antique shops, bike trails, train track.... very quaint.  

    We stopped at our favorite little joint in the neighborhood, Cindy's Friendly Tavern, for a couple of beers then headed home for leftovers.  Open faced turkey and gravy on rye.... my favorite!

    Dominic hit the road on Thursday.  His truck was happy to return to the Deep South.

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    Christmas Eve Photos

    The 3 of us headed to Jill's for Christmas Eve.  (Sadly, Our Tony had to work).  We stopped at a fun dive-bar right on the Little Miami River on the way....  The Train Stop Inn.

    Had a nice time at Jill's.  The gals put on a helluva spread of food.  Posting a zillion pics here for family and friends: