Sep 21, 2007
The Protect Our Water Alliance (POWA) petition, "Re-Examining
Fluoridation", in its present form, is about 2 years old. It now has over
11,000 signatures and many enthusiastic comments. We want to thank you
again for your valuable signatures!
Many of you may have signed this petition assuming that, like most other
online petitions, it would be delivered to its destination in a very short
time. POWA updates that have gone out to signatories asking for their
further help in gathering signatures have stated that, when we have
sufficient signatures, and "when the time is right", we will submit them.
We feel that because so much time has lapsed since we first started
gathering signatures, we owe you a clear explanation of what our
intentions have been and are now.
POWA's purpose has always been to bring people together in a loose
alliance on issues pertaining to the protection of drinking water,
including, but not necessarily only, water fluoridation.
The small group of us activists who created our "Re-Examining
Fluoridation" petition always imagined that it would be a part of a much
larger national movement, one that would have caught the attention of the
general public, health and scientific personnel, and government officials.
We anticipated that several big events were imminent, and we were trying
to get poised to ride the wave with all the other efforts nationwide that
we assumed would occur as a result of these events.
We could not read the future, so we had no way of knowing: a) that some
very big events would, indeed, occur**; b) that these events would go
largely unnoticed by the media and public; c) that other activist efforts
would also be stymied by a disinterested media. Further, as stated on our
website, POWA is very small group of activist volunteers with other
commitments and never intended to mobilize and organize a huge national
outcry on our own, just be a part of it. After immediate success with the
petition, with the aid of Fluoride Action Network and other organizations
that helped the numbers grow quickly, the numbers have been increasing
steadily, but much more slowly than at first. We are thrilled that we
have reached over 11,000 signatures, but many more would be needed to have
a meaningful, stand-alone petition.
Meanwhile, Fluoride Action Network (FAN) recently decided to do a petition
drive of their own, with their petition reflecting the latest events, and
calling for an end to fluoridation as well as for a Congressional
investigation. In contrast, POWA's petition was designed to ask Congress
to "re-examine fluoridation", and to support the EPA Union's repeated call
for a Congressional investigation into the public policy of fluoridation
and a moratorium nationwide on fluoridation programs.
In view of the fact that recent significant events** have changed the
landscape and should be addressed, and in view of FAN's imminent petition
drive, WE HAVE DECIDED TO RETIRE THE "RE-EXAMINING FLUORIDATION" PETITION
AND TO FORWARD THE SIGNATURES TO THE EPA UNION, for them to use to support
their own efforts, possibly in a coordinated way with FAN's petition, if
this is what they choose to do.
Although we are retiring this petition, POWA will remain poised to contact
those on our mailing list about any significant changes regarding
fluoridation policy, or any action alerts we might suggest you follow on
this issue or any other drinking water-related issue. While we will
shortly be changing our website to reflect these developments, POWA itself
will not be fully retired. Meanwhile, you may be interested in signing
FAN's new online petition at www.fluoridealert.org .
We thank you again for your valuable signatures, for your comments on the
petition, and for your help toward bringing on what we hope will be a
major Congressional investigation into the public policy of water
fluoridation, ultimately leading to the demise of this outdated practice.
The POWA Team
** The important events that have occurred since our petition was
launched are: a) in March, 2006, the National Research Council of the
National Academies of Science released a report of their 3-year research
project concerning the toxicity of fluoride in drinking water. This
report was very damning of fluoride and recommended that the EPA lower
their safety level of fluoride in the water. This has not yet been done.
b) In April, 2006, the publication of Dr. Elise Bassin's research showing
a 5-7-fold rise in cases of osteosarcoma (a deadly bone cancer) in young
boys in fluoridated areas. c) As a result of these 2 important events, a
third event arose. In November, 2006, the ADA quietly issued an e-Gram
with a warning about mixing baby formula with fluoridated water and
recommended that unfluoridated bottled water be used. In spite of this
warning, they are still claiming that fluoride is safe and recommending it
Jul 24, 2007
1. Tea — One of the fastest-growing segements of hte Fair Trade market, US imports of Fair Trade tea increased an impressive 187 percent in 2005. Since then, herbal tea products like chamomile, hibiscus, peppermint, and spearmint have gained Fair Trade status. Tea lovers can find teas bagged, loose, and bottled.
Look for green, black, oolong, chai, rooibos, and much more in the National Green Pages™ »
2. Chocolate — The average American eats 12 pounds of chocolate a year, supporting an industry that saw retail sales of more than $16 billion in 2007. If you're among the 46 percent of Amreicans who say they can't live without chocolate, you can avoid the well-documented problem of child slave labor in the cocoa industry, and direct your share of that $16 billion toward chocolate that helps communities and the environment.
Look for candy bars, baking cocoa, chocolate chips, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
3. Fresh Fruit — In Europe, where Fair Trade fruit has been available since the mid-1990s, Fair Trade bananas have reached a market share as high as 24 percent. In the US, Fair Trade tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, and pineapples became available in 2004, and their availaibility is growing, especially in natural foods stores and food co-operatives. Find a store near you selling Fair Trade fruit by using TransFair USA's store locator.
Sign our letter to major supermarkets asking them to start stocking Fair Trade bananas »
4. Sugar — Phosphorus run-offs from the conventional sugar industry in Florida have devastaed the ecosystem of the Everglades, and the sugar lobby has worked aggressively to avoid responsibility. Sustainabile alternatives to sugar like locally grown, organic maple syrup or honey can help you avoid the problems in the sugar industry, as can Fair Trade Certified™ sugar, introduced to the US in 2005.
Look for Turbinado sugar, ground cane sugar, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
5. Rice — While most of the white and brown rice consumed in the US was grown on US farms, most aromatic long-grain rice comes to our tables from small-scale farms in Asia where it was harvested by hand. Workers on these farms often find themselves squeezed by middle merchants and sickened by pesticides; Fair Trade rice—most of which is also organic—protects both workers and the environment.
Look for Jasmine, coral, Basmati, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
6. Vanilla — Working with a labor-intensive crop that yields a relatively low harvest, vanilla farmers are hard-hit when their market fluctuates, as it has since environmental disasters at key procuction centers in 2000. TransFair USA began certifying vanilla in 2006, and new Fair Trade Certified™ vanilla ice cream from Ben & Jerry's arrived in supermarkets in January 2007, joining their previous Fair Trade coffee and chocolate flavors.
Look for whole beans and vanilla extracts in the National Green Pages™ »
7. Spices — The European Fair Trade certifying body (FLO) approved standards for Fair Trade spices in 2005. In Europe, products like ginger cookies and lemongrass soap have begun to appear with Fair Trade spices among their ingedients, as hopeful sign for the future of Fair Trade spices in the US.
Look for pepper, ginger, lemongrass, nutmeg, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
8. Wine — Introduced to the US market in 2007, Fair Trade wine has been produced in South Africa since 2003, and in Chile and Argentina since 2004. The South African certification process requires vineyard workers to maintain a legally protected minimum 25 percent interest in the winery, in support of the South African government's policies promoting equal land ownerships following Apartheid.
Look for Merlot, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
9. Olive oil — The Canaan Fair Trade Association uses the fair trade concept to empower marginalized Palestinian rural communities caught in conflict so they can sustain their livelihoods and culture. Farmers are guaranteed a minimum price, and receivea 10 percent Fair Trade premium above market price, plus a 10 percent organic premium above market price.
Look for olive oil (plus capers, almonds, and more) in the National Green Pages™ »
10. Sports balls — When the European Fair Trade certification body (FLO) created standards for soccer ball production in 2002, it was the first time a non-agricultural commodity had received certification. Since then, five Pakistani and Thai producers have achieived certification, ensuring that no child lavor is involved, and that workers receive a living wage in a healthy work environment.
Look for soccer balls, volley balls, and more, in the National Green Pages™ »
11. Arts and crafts — Producers of unique, handmade, artisanal Fair Trade products like jewelry, baskets, textiles, and other handicrafts belong to trade associations that screen for internationally recognized Fair Trade standards. For example, our ally the Fair Trade Federation links low-income producers with consumer marketers that pledge to: pay fair wages in the local context, support participatory workplaces, ensure environmental sustainability and public accountability, and suppply financial and technical support.
Look for Fair Trade craft products in the National Green Pages™ »
12. Coffee — Available since the late 1990s, Fair Trae coffee is the most widespread and recognizable Fair Trade commodity. Currently, it is the fastest-growing segment of the $11 billion US specialty coffee maket, and about 85 percent of Fair Trade coffee is also organic.
Look for Fair Trade coffee in the National Green Pages™ »
Jul 24, 2007 6:07am
Apr 28, 2006
ANIMALS: OUR MORAL SCHIZOPHRENIA
Some animals are kept as pets and considered to be "part of the family." Other animals are slaughtered for food and used as a means to an end. Professors Gary L. Francione and Nicholas B. Katzenbach will discuss this phenomenon and the role that is played by moral and legal doctrine in reinforcing the notion that animals are either things or resources, Sun, April 30, 11am, FREE, Philadelphia Ethical Society, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., 215-735-3456.
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.
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