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Mar 12, 2008
Focus: Health
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

The Beginning of the End for Compulsory Vaccines and Drugging?

I just love it when the other side is so outrageous that any thinking person finds their actions and rationalizations totally unacceptable, don't you? If they were subtle, reasonable or clever, we would have a harder battle. But the vaccine makers and their supporters are so over-the-top that even the mills of science are beginning to grind their grain into dust! Breaking news just in tells us that the other side is so filled with their own sense of invincible power that they literally know no bounds. Having succeeded in making New Jersey the first state to create an ongoing market for flu shots by requiring every child to be vaccinated against a disease that poses little danger to kids, the marketeers have their sights set on bigger markets: every child in the US. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=551) to read what's in store if we let them get away with this atrocious profiteering in New Jersey. Then click here (http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/t/1128/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=21833) to tell your legislators that you will not accept any such medical fascism.
Where to begin? So much is happening to strengthen our side that it is hard to know where to start.
Although we are still facing the specter of increasing numbers of compulsory vaccination scenarios on both the State and Federal levels, we have great forward movement to counter them from international science and the law. The US Congress, in the persons of Congressmen Bart Stupak and John Dingle are calling for the resignation of the head of the FDA for his "lack of leadership". Not only that, but 18 states are suing manufactures of the so-called 'atypical' antipsychotic drugs-the most toxic harm-producing psychotropics-for off-label marketing. To make things even more interesting for our side, France has opened a manslaughter investigation into the manufactuers of the Hepatitis B Vaccine because they failed to disclose side effects and dangers! Click herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=536) to read more. Imagine that! Holding drug companies accountable for suppressing negative information. Of course, that is not possible under current policy and law in the US but if the profit goes out of the vaccine industry through law suits, the industry will fold.
That's why the Natural Solutions Foundation's Citizens Petition (a legal action to compel the government to take action) to the Federal Trade Commission to prevent vaccine-related false and misleading advertising is so important. For example, the FDA says that vaccines are safe and safely made. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=522) to have a look at just what's in some of those vaccines.
To find out more, and get involved in the No Forced Vaccine movement, join the 326 members of the No-Forced-Vaccination Forum, (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/no-forced-vaccination/join) and get the latest on compulsory vaccination and how to stop it.
One of the clearest incidents of the malfeasance of the FDA is the case of rotovirus vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline's [GSK] rotavirus vaccine, called Rotarix, is associated with an increased risk of convulsions and pneumonia-related deaths in children taking it, according to a review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Rotovirus kills babies through viral diarrhea, at least in the developing world. Why it is being recommended for babies in the US where sanitation and virus free water are available is not quite clear to me, but it is. In fact, 3 doses of the Rotovirus vaccine are authorized (at 2, 4 and 6 months). FDA is in the process of approving the vaccine despite its serious, and sometimes-lethal impact on babies. I assume that the fact that GSK has no liability for damage or deaths from Rotarix, and the frequent financial interests of the reviewers on the FDA advisory boards in the products they are reviewing may be significant factors here. Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=525).
In line with the lack of liability conferred on the vaccine manufacturers by the FDA and Congress, it is worth noting Robert Kennedy's report on the secret meeting at the Simpsonwood Conference Center at Norcross Georgia in which the real story on government cover-ups of the relationship between autism and mercury in vaccines is told. If you have not read this report, you may want to click herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=524) to read it now. And if you are familiar with this callous and shameful cover-up, please send this information to the parents of young children considering vaccination.
Perhaps you are saying, "Wait a moment! Aren't vaccines helpful in producing a healthier public and eliminating the diseases we all fear?" If the mythology of the effective, safe and helpful vaccine still seems reasonable to you, take a moment to read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=534) and see if vaccines look so useful and safe once you've examined some vital, but rarely examined facts about immunization. You might want to click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=549) to check out the cold hard facts about vaccination: the reality might surprise you!
Here in the US we had some astonishingly good news from the Court system about the link between vaccines and autism. The FDA actually conceded that autism could result from vaccination in a case involving a 4 year old child who collapsed into autism following vaccination with 9 different vaccines at the same time. The US Government agreed to settle the case by conceding that the child's autism was brought about by vaccination although it states that she had a biological problem which made her vulnerable to developing autism. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=540) to read more about this settlement and why it means that perhaps the other 4900 similar cases now in court may take the same turn of events. Remember, though, that drugs, vaccines and now, because of a recent Supreme Court decision, once approved by the FDA for any purpose whatsoever, are immune from consumer liability suits.
As is typical, the much vaunted flu vaccine, so eagerly pressed upon our children and our elderly, and often containing mercury, is not only dangerous, but ineffective as well. Hard on the heels of the New Jersey decision to make annual flu vaccinations mandatory for children 6 months and older, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an acknowledgement that the very same flu vaccine was effective substantially less than half the time BECAUSE THE VIRUSES IT WAS MADE TO COMBAT WERE THE WRONG ONES! In fact, that's the general rule and, buried in the article is the admission that the whole thing is a dismal failure and next year the World Health Organization is going to completely change its method of making its vaccines up. You see, each year, the CDC and the WHO literally guess what the viruses causing next year's flu will be. And they usually get it wrong. That does not deter the US and other nations from touting, urging and, in New Jersey, forcing this dangerous, inaccurate and ineffective vaccine on children, the elderly and other vulnerable populations. Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=530).
What about dangers to other groups beside the young? What about the elderly, for example? Vaccines are a significant hazard for them as well. Here is what Russell Blaylock, MD, CCN, has to say:
"With the elderly already having increased inflammatory cytokine levels both systemically and in their brain, stimulating these primed microglia so that a chronic overstimulation of the brain's immune system is triggered, will not only increase their risk of developing one of the neurodegenerative diseases, but will also substantially increase their risk of developing major depression. Remember, this also increases their risk of suicide, and even homicide, dramatically." Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=545). And click herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=550) to read why distinguished researchers from the NIH and other major institutions conclude that flu vaccination of the elderly is NOT associated with the decline in their death rates due to flu.
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), whose members are advised to jab and jab and jab (read their statement on what to do when parents refuse vaccination herehttp://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=547), are undergoing a slight, but very interesting change of heart. Four percent of their members do not vaccinate their own children!
I do not have this information in hand, but it would not surprise me one bit if the vaccine-loving American Academy of Pediatrics was supported to a large extent by the makers of vaccines. Their institutional blindness is so massive that little else could account for it. (If you have that information, please write to me at dr.laibow@gmail.com with "AAP Funding" in the subject line). Read, for example, an account of their latest [mis]statement about the LACK of a link between autism and mercury! Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=520).
And think about this article and the others contained in this Health Freedom eAlert the next time you ask a pediatrician for advice about your child's health. He or she is probably a nice person, but where is his/her information coming from? And is he/she really examining data, or swallowing profit-driven propaganda hook, line and sinker that could harm (or kill) your child?
Pediatricians know well, for example, that their own organization changed its recommendation in 1997 from Oral Polio Vaccine (a live virus vaccine) to the killed virus (injectable form) because the live virus vaccine causes polio. In making this change in their directions to their members, they were actually admitting, in an official sort of way, that vaccines can cause the disease they are supposedly protecting against.
Of course, even after all this time, not everyone gets the idea. Parents in Belgium have been fined and jailed for 5 months because they refused polio vaccination for their child. Read more (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=542).
Vaccination is, in fact, a burning health issue and may, through the pressure to impose medical martial law and compulsory vaccinations, become the factor that sparks a freedom push back of immense power. Click here (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?p=535) to see if you agree that Health Freedom could precipitate a revolution in the US.
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Posted: Mar 12, 2008 8:26am
Jan 28, 2008

What's the most you would pay for a bottle of water? Two dollars? Maybe $4 at a concert? How about $55?
bling h20
Photo courtesy Marsaili McGrath/Getty Images
 
Bling H20 -- the new (expensive) bottled water
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a bottle of water that costs $55. Kevin Boyd, a writer and producer from Hollywood, has developed a "luxury" bottled water called Bling H2O that costs an average of $55. Depending on the size, prices can range anywhere from $25 to as much as $75. What's so special about Bling H2O that makes it so expensive? Is the water treated differently than the bottled water you buy at the gas station? Does it at least come with vitamins?
Unfortunately, you won't find any vitamins in Bling H2O. The water inside, however, does receive more treatment than what's inside an average $2 plastic bottle. According to Bling H2O's Web site, the water is bottled from natural springs in Dandridge, Tenn. The company claims to use a "nine step purification process that includes ozone, ultraviolet and microfiltration." This sounds nice, but still -- does that really make it worth $55?
Take one look at the bottle itself -- it can answer any of your questions about cost. True to its trendy name, a bottle of Bling H2O is much more than a plastic container to hold mere water. The bottles are available in limited-edition frosted glasses and covered with Swarovski crystals. Even Bling H2O's Web site admits that the product is as much about image as it is taste. The company originally handed out the water only to actors and athletes -- celebrities such as Jamie Foxx and Ben Stiller have been spotted showing off shiny bottles, and Paris Hilton allegedly feeds the water to her dog. Now, the water is available to the public and showing up in fancy New York restaurants. The makers of Bling H2O also market the bottle as reusable and refillable -- you can flaunt it around town and show how trendy and environmentally friendly you are. 
Bling Taste Test
Blind taste tests in New York City put Bling H2O up against regular bottled water and Manhattan tap water. The reactions proved to be inconsistent and unpredictable -- most people proclaimed Manhattan tap water as the best-tasting, while Bling H2O was believed to be simple tap water. Watch this amusing video of the taste test from NPR.
Even wi­thout the cost that comes from the decorative bottle and its associated brand, Bling H20 would still be expensive.
 
Bottled Water Cost

If you got rid of the fancy Bling H2O bottle and lowered the price, would it still be worth it? What about the "regular" plastic bottles of water you find in the store? Are they even worth $2?
Bottled water has become so popular that 41 billion gallons are consumed every year around the world. Many people consider it safe and convenient. Over the past few years, however, many bottled water companies labeling their product as "purified" or "natural spring water" have confessed to filling their products with simple tap water. In July 2007, for instance, Pepsi admitted to filling bottles of Aquafina with public water, even though the packaging suggests the water comes from natural springs [source: Environmental Working Group]. Recent studies have concluded that bottled water is no safer than tap water, and the costs of producing the drink and its effect on the environment have caused some alarm [source: National Geographic News].
recycling plastic bottled water
Photo courtesy Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Critics point out the resources and waste that are
byproducts of bottled water.
To understand how expensive regular bottled water is, let's compare it with gasoline. With the price of oil rising, we typically think of gasoline as very expensive. On the other hand, some of us will barely blink an eye at picking up a few bottles of water from the same gas station. Here are the numbers:
A gallon of gas costs around $3. If we assume a one-liter bottle of water from the store costs about $2.50, a gallon of the same bottled water should cost about $10. Water, life's most necessary substance, costs about three times more than gasoline when it comes in a plastic bottle. If you wanted to fill up a car's 15-gallon tank with gasoline, it would cost you about $45. If you wanted to fill up that same 15-gallon tank with bottled water, it would cost you $150 [source: National Geographic News].
Tap water, on the other hand, costs a fraction of the price of bottled water. The same $2 you spend on a liter of bottled water will get you about 1,000 gallons of tap water [source: EPA].
So, even though it's cheaper than Bling H20, bottled water is still expensive. Next, we'll take a look at some of the other products on the market that seem to cost more than they're worth.

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Posted: Jan 28, 2008 4:46am
Jan 28, 2008

What's the most you would pay for a bottle of water? Two dollars? Maybe $4 at a concert? How about $55?
bling h20
Photo courtesy Marsaili McGrath/Getty Images
 
Bling H20 -- the new (expensive) bottled water
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a bottle of water that costs $55. Kevin Boyd, a writer and producer from Hollywood, has developed a "luxury" bottled water called Bling H2O that costs an average of $55. Depending on the size, prices can range anywhere from $25 to as much as $75. What's so special about Bling H2O that makes it so expensive? Is the water treated differently than the bottled water you buy at the gas station? Does it at least come with vitamins?
Unfortunately, you won't find any vitamins in Bling H2O. The water inside, however, does receive more treatment than what's inside an average $2 plastic bottle. According to Bling H2O's Web site, the water is bottled from natural springs in Dandridge, Tenn. The company claims to use a "nine step purification process that includes ozone, ultraviolet and microfiltration." This sounds nice, but still -- does that really make it worth $55?
Take one look at the bottle itself -- it can answer any of your questions about cost. True to its trendy name, a bottle of Bling H2O is much more than a plastic container to hold mere water. The bottles are available in limited-edition frosted glasses and covered with Swarovski crystals. Even Bling H2O's Web site admits that the product is as much about image as it is taste. The company originally handed out the water only to actors and athletes -- celebrities such as Jamie Foxx and Ben Stiller have been spotted showing off shiny bottles, and Paris Hilton allegedly feeds the water to her dog. Now, the water is available to the public and showing up in fancy New York restaurants. The makers of Bling H2O also market the bottle as reusable and refillable -- you can flaunt it around town and show how trendy and environmentally friendly you are. 
Bling Taste Test
Blind taste tests in New York City put Bling H2O up against regular bottled water and Manhattan tap water. The reactions proved to be inconsistent and unpredictable -- most people proclaimed Manhattan tap water as the best-tasting, while Bling H2O was believed to be simple tap water. Watch this amusing video of the taste test from NPR.
Even wi­thout the cost that comes from the decorative bottle and its associated brand, Bling H20 would still be expensive.
 
Bottled Water Cost

If you got rid of the fancy Bling H2O bottle and lowered the price, would it still be worth it? What about the "regular" plastic bottles of water you find in the store? Are they even worth $2?
Bottled water has become so popular that 41 billion gallons are consumed every year around the world. Many people consider it safe and convenient. Over the past few years, however, many bottled water companies labeling their product as "purified" or "natural spring water" have confessed to filling their products with simple tap water. In July 2007, for instance, Pepsi admitted to filling bottles of Aquafina with public water, even though the packaging suggests the water comes from natural springs [source: Environmental Working Group]. Recent studies have concluded that bottled water is no safer than tap water, and the costs of producing the drink and its effect on the environment have caused some alarm [source: National Geographic News].
recycling plastic bottled water
Photo courtesy Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Critics point out the resources and waste that are
byproducts of bottled water.
To understand how expensive regular bottled water is, let's compare it with gasoline. With the price of oil rising, we typically think of gasoline as very expensive. On the other hand, some of us will barely blink an eye at picking up a few bottles of water from the same gas station. Here are the numbers:
A gallon of gas costs around $3. If we assume a one-liter bottle of water from the store costs about $2.50, a gallon of the same bottled water should cost about $10. Water, life's most necessary substance, costs about three times more than gasoline when it comes in a plastic bottle. If you wanted to fill up a car's 15-gallon tank with gasoline, it would cost you about $45. If you wanted to fill up that same 15-gallon tank with bottled water, it would cost you $150 [source: National Geographic News].
Tap water, on the other hand, costs a fraction of the price of bottled water. The same $2 you spend on a liter of bottled water will get you about 1,000 gallons of tap water [source: EPA].
So, even though it's cheaper than Bling H20, bottled water is still expensive. Next, we'll take a look at some of the other products on the market that seem to cost more than they're worth.

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Posted: Jan 28, 2008 4:43am
Jan 21, 2008
Focus: Business
Action Request: Various
Location: United States
Dear Freeconomists,

As most of you will be aware, Saoirse sets off at the end of the month for
his pilgrimage to India.

While he is away promoting this community, it would be great to get as
much media attention as possible. Through this we can attract new members
and build local Freeconomy communities across the world.

To do this, I'm looking for some stories to support magazine and newspaper
articles. If any of you have had any amazing sharing experiences through
the Freeconomy community and would like to have your story printed in your
local newspaper (or maybe even the national press!), please email me.

I cannot promise to answer you all individually, but you can be assured I
will read every story and use many of them. However if we do decide to use
yours you will definitely be contacted beforehand.

If you could put the area you live in as part of the subject line, I would
be grateful (i.e. Manchester Freeconomy Story).

Please include your story, along with details of any local newspapers so
that I can build up a database of potential publications to contact.

Alternatively, if any of you have ideas for magazines and newspapers to
contact then please share them with me too. Any help with this is valued
and appreciated.

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to reading your uplifting stories.

Rae and everyone at the Freeconomy Community x
http://justfortheloveofit.org/
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Posted: Jan 21, 2008 12:56am
Dec 17, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Think About
Location: India
Diet for a Dying Planet
Air Date: Week of November 2 2007
http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=07-P13-00044&segmentID=6

GELLERMAN: It's Living on Earth. I'm Bruce Gellerman. In India, the benefits of modern agriculture come with a high price. It's been reported as many as 150,000 Indian farmers over the past decade have committed suicide - many by drinking the pesticides they put on their crops. According to physicist and social activist Vandana Shiva, the farmers' despair is due to the weight of overwhelming debt. They can no longer afford the escalating price of chemicals and bio-engineered seeds, like pest-resistant Bt cotton. Shiva says the suicides in India are only part of a global problem that can be traced to the way food is produced.

SHIVA: Chemical agriculture really is a theft from nature. Organic ecological farming is the only way we will be able to address the ecological crisis related to farming, the agrarian crisis emerging from industrial globalized agriculture, and the public health crisis coming from using war chemicals to produce our food.

GELLERMAN: Vandana Shiva is editor of a new book called "Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed." Living on Earth's Steve Curwood recently spoke with her about the problems, the politics, and the possibilities of food production.

CURWOOD: How did you first become aware of the relationships between the environment, the poor, and food?

SHIVA: The connections between the environment and agriculture, and food systems, and the issues of poverty really came home to me in the 80s, particularly 1984—and I don't [know] why George Orwell picked that as the title of one of his books. It was the year we had the worst terrorism and extremism in India. Thirty thousand people were killed in Punjab where the Green Revolution had been implemented—the Green Revolution had even received a Nobel Peace Prize for creating prosperity and through prosperity creating peace. And yet in the 1980s, there was the worst form of violence you could imagine. In December of 1984, we had the worst industrial disaster in Bhopal, which killed 3,000 people in one night, 30,000 people since then, and I was forced to wake up and ask the question: why are we involved in an agriculture that is killing hundreds of thousands, that is so violent, and pretends to be feeding the world? And I started to do scientific research on this. My book "The Violence of the Green Revolution" came out of the research that I was doing at that point for the United Nations. And increasingly, I have realized that if farmers in India are getting into debt and committing suicide, it's because of these industrially driven agricultural systems that are also destroying the environment. If children are going hungry today and are being denied food, it's because the money is being spent on buying toxic chemicals and costly seeds rather than being spent on feeding children, clothing them, and sending them to school. So chemical agriculture really is a theft from nature and a theft from the poor.

CURWOOD: In your book Vandana Shiva, you mention that 800 million people in the world who suffer from malnutrition, and the 1.7 billion who suffer from obesity. What is it that the underfed and the overfed have in common?

SHIVA: Both are suffering from consequences of corporate control over the food system, which has reduced food to commodities, manipulated it, got the farmers into debt. The farmers and farmers' children who are hungry today are the ones who have to sell what they produce in order to pay back credit for buying the chemicals they use to grow the food. The majority of the hungry in the world are rural people today. They could be growing their own food if the food system hadn't been converted into a market for sales of seeds and agrichemicals. And on the other hand, the obesity epidemic and other related epidemics of diabetes--and in Delhi, childhood diabetes, children with diabetes, has jumped from seven percent to 14 percent in the city of Dehli, as the staple diet of Coca-Cola and chips starts to enter our school system--both are victims. Three billion people on this planet are being denied their right to healthy, safe, nutritious food even though the planet can produce that food, and farmers of the world can produce that food, because agribusiness has turned that food into a place for highest returns on profits.

CURWOOD: Now, anyone who goes grocery shopping here in the U.S. can tell you that organically-produced foods are .. generally more expensive than conventional foods and yet, in your book you write that conventional food is not the key to feeding the poor. Tell me about what you call the 'myth' of cheap food?

SHIVA: The myth of cheap food is related first and foremost to the fact that cheap food is a result of our tax money being used to lure the prices of food that has been produced at very high cost financially, and in the process had driven farmers off the land, including the United States—the family farms are being destroyed because of this very artificial low price of food, the monopolies that grow with it, which creates a buyers market as far as farmers are concerned. And then, at every level, a subsidy given for manipulating food more and more to take away its nutrition and food value and to add hazards and risks to it. The entire food system is today serving corporations and not serving people or the planet. We need to reclaim the food system.

CURWOOD: Now, some of the companies will tell you that genetically modified foods help increase food production, making more food available. You've been opposed to genetically modified foods since they first came on the market. What do you see wrong with genetically modified crops?

SHIVA: Well, you know the first thing is if they were so productive, Indian farmers, who are using Bt cotton, wouldn't be the worst victims of farmer suicides. One scientist keeps churning out data about how $27 million additional income--if the farmers were making that additional income, they wouldn't be ending their lives. The recent Nobel Prize in biology has gone to biologists who have shown that the determinism on which genetic engineering is based doesn't work. Genes work in very complex interactions. This is why those of us who critique genetic engineering started to critique it as a very crude and primitive technology, based on very wrong assumptions of how life organizes itself. This idea of one gene, one expression doesn't work. Because of the crudeness of the technology, industry has so far managed to bring us, commercially, only two kinds of traits. One is herbicide-tolerant crops, which means spray more ground up, contaminate your ecosystems and food systems more. And the second is Bt toxin crops, where a toxin called Bt is engineered into the plant and now every cell is making that toxin every moment. It starts to kill nontarget species, the very big study of Cornell on the monarch butterflies is one example, 1,800 sheep in India dying by eating Bt cotton is another example, (inaudible) studies that shows that genetically engineered food fed to mice starts to create huge damage physiologically, immunity systems collapse, the brains shrunk. We need much more research of this kind. Unfortunately the industry censures the research, pretends that everything is fine and starts to target the scientists, who have brought some level of awareness to society of the risks of manipulating life at the genetic level or assessing the consequences adequately.

CURWOOD: In your book you include war as one of the unaccounted for external costs of corporate agriculture. What does war have to do with the food we eat?

SHIVA: Agrichemicals that have come into farming were war chemicals. They're products of war. When 30,000 people died in Bhopal, it's because those pesticides were designed to kill people. Herbicides were designed as chemical warfare. 243D was Agent Orange of the Vietnam War. So the tools of agriculture have become the tools of warfare. Secondly, the idea of creating food dependency is also an idea of warfare. It came out of the foreign policy of the United States the very word and phrase 'use food as a weapon.' It's being used against India today in friendship. The interesting thing is that the U.S. and India are very intimate today, but the U.S.-India agreement on agriculture is trying to create dependency of India on the United States. Supplies of food, even though we're growing 74 million tons. This is warfare by another means.

CURWOOD: You want to build a new paradigm for food. What does that mean exactly?

SHIVA: I think the first element of the paradigm is that food is not a commodity. It's the very basis of life. Secondly, food production is not industrial activity. It is nurturing the land. It is conserving resources. It is giving livelihoods. It is shaping a culture. And it is much more than bringing corn and soya bean and wheat and cotton to the marketplace. We have to recognize that biodiversity is the real capital of food and farming and linked to it is cultural diversity--that we are richer to the extent we have diversified food cultures in the world. We are poorer as the biodiversity of our farms disappears and the cultural diversity of our food systems disappears.

CURWOOD: So what should the average person do in terms of a response to your call?

SHIVA: I think the average person should recognize that even though they are in cities they are connected to the land. That somewhere, somebody produced the food they're eating. And we will all be freer, if around every city are rural communities where small farmers are able to produce food of quality, make a living doing that, and there is a more intimate connection between the food people eat and the land it comes from and the producers who have made an effort to bring it. I think every city should have its own food shed. The creation of farmers' markets is a beginning. But I don't think we can leave the farmers' markers to be token symbols. We need to move the money of taxpayers from subsidizing corporations to bring us junk and poison, to bringing farmers' markets everywhere, to helping small producers everywhere connect to those who are looking for more secure food, more safe food, more tasty food, more quality food. The most important issue is to break the myth that safe, ecological, local, is a luxury only the rich can afford. This planet cannot afford the additional burden of more carbon dioxide, more nitrogen oxide, more toxins in our food. Our farmers cannot afford the economic burden of these useless toxic chemicals. And our bodies cannot afford the bombardment of these chemicals any more.

CURWOOD: Dr. Vandana Shiva is a physicist and environmental activist. Thank you so much.

SHIVA: Thank you, Steve.

GELLERMAN: Vandana Shiva is also the editor of a new book called, "Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed." She spoke with Living on Earth Executive Producer Steve Curwood.

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Posted: Dec 17, 2007 8:39am
Dec 16, 2007
Focus: Health
Action Request: Read
Location: Thailand
Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:31 pm    Post subject: Foreigner receives heart stem cell transplant in Bkk Reply with quote


Malcolm in the Middle - of Thailand for New Stem Cell Treatment
source: TransWorld news

New York Man No Longer Has Congestive Heart Failure, Thanks to Adult Stem Cell Therapy.

Malcolm Anderson, of Hudson, New York, reports that his ejection fraction (a measure of the heart's pumping function) has increased from 41% to 55%, thanks to a novel adult stem cell treatment that he received in Bangkok, Thailand.

Malcolm Anderson, 81, was very concerned when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He knew he was going downhill. Malcolm asked his doctor, "What can I do about congestive heart failure?" His doctor replied, "you can take lasix."

To Malcolm, that wasn't a great option. "Is that all I can do? I thought there must be something better than taking lasix the rest of my life" said Malcolm.

"I had an ejection fraction of 41%, not debilitating, but, long term, not good. I knew it would gradually get worse and worse."

Malcolm decided to search the internet and look for an alternative method of treating his congestive heart failure. He found that option in Theravitae, a biotechnology company in Thailand, that developed a procedure to treat congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease using a patient's own stem cells.

Theravitae's Vescell adult stem cell technology employs adult stem cells harvested from a small amount of the patient's own blood and does not require bone marrow extraction.

"I thought if it doesn't do any good, at least it doesn't do any harm," said Malcolm.

Malcolm was a little apprehensive before his arrival in Bangkok in March, 2007. "Once I got there, it was a piece of cake. They took great care of me from the moment I arrived at the airport."

Malcolm's own stem cells were implanted into his coronary arteries via catheter in a simple procedure very similar to an angioplasty.

Eight months later, the stem cell therapy has improved Malcolm's quality of life. "I recently visited my doctor - my diagnosis now is that I don't have heart failure anymore! My ejection fraction is 55%. That is a 30% increase! I'm feeling top shelf. I'm working again. I'm happy."
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Posted: Dec 16, 2007 10:41pm
Dec 9, 2007
Focus: Health
Action Request: Read
Location: United States
Germany Warns Citizens to Avoid Using Wi-Fi
    By Geoffrey Lean
    The Independent UK

    Sunday 09 September 2007
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/092807P.shtml

    People should avoid using Wi-Fi wherever possible because of the risks it may pose to health, the German government has said.

    Its surprise ruling - the most damning made by any government on the fast-growing technology - will shake the industry and British ministers, and vindicates the questions that The Independent on Sunday has been raising over the past four months.

    And Germany's official radiation protection body also advises its citizens to use landlines instead of mobile phones, and warns of "electrosmog" from a wide range of other everyday products, from baby monitors to electric blankets.

    The German government's ruling - which contrasts sharply with the unquestioning promotion of the technology by British officials - was made in response to a series of questions by Green members of the Bundestag, Germany's parliament.

    The Environment Ministry recommended that people should keep their exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi "as low as possible" by choosing "conventional wired connections". It added that it is "actively informing people about possibilities for reducing personal exposure".

    Its actions will provide vital support for Sir William Stewart, Britain's official health protection watchdog, who has produced two reports calling for caution in using mobile phones and who has also called for a review of the use of Wi-Fi in schools. His warnings have so far been ignored by ministers and even played down by the Health Protection Agency, which he chairs.

    By contrast the agency's German equivalent - the Federal Office for Radiation Protection - is leading the calls for caution.

    Florian Emrich, for the office, says Wi-Fi should be avoided "because people receive exposures from many sources and because it is a new technology and all the research into its health effects has not yet been carried out".

 


  

    Are Your Cell Phone and Laptop Bad for Your Health?
    By Stan Cox
    AlterNet

    Tuesday 31 July 2007

    In the wee hours of July 14, a 45-year-old Australian named John Patterson climbed into a tank and drove it through the streets of Sydney, knocking down six cell-phone towers and an electrical substation along the way. Patterson, a former telecommunications worker, reportedly had mapped out the locations of the towers, which he claimed were harming his health.

    In recent years, protesters in England and Northern Ireland have brought down cell towers by sawing, removing bolts, and pulling with tow trucks and ropes. In one such case, locals bought the structure and sold off pieces of it as souvenirs to help with funding of future protests. In attempts to fend off objections to towers in Germany, some churches have taken to disguising them as giant crucifixes.

    Opposition to towers usually finds more socially acceptable outlets, and protests are being heard more often than ever in meetings of city councils, planning commissions, and other government bodies. This summer alone, citizen efforts to block cell towers have sprouted in, among a host of other places, including California, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, North Dakota and north of the border in Ontario and British Columbia. Transmitters are already banned from the roofs of schools in many districts.

    For years, towers have been even less welcome in the United Kingdom, where this summer has seen disputes across the country.

    Most opponents cite not only aesthetics but also concerns over potential health effects of electromagnetic (EM) fields generated by the towers. Once ridiculed as crackpots and Luddites, they're starting to get backup from the scientific community.

    It's not just cell phones they're worried about. The Tottenham area of London is considering the suspension of all wireless technology in its schools. Last year, Fred Gilbert, a respected scientist and president of Lakehead University in Ontario, banned wireless internet on his campus. And resident groups in San Francisco are currently battling Earthlink and Google over a proposed city-wide Wi-Fi system.

    Picking Up Some Interference?

    For decades, concerns have been raised about the health effects of "extremely low frequency" fields that are produced by electrical equipment or power lines. People living close to large power lines or working next to heavy electrical equipment are spending a lot of time in electromagnetic fields generated by those sources. Others of us can be exposed briefly to very strong fields each day.

    But in the past decade, suspicion has spread to cell phones and other wireless technologies, which operate at frequencies that are millions to tens of millions higher but at low power and "pulsed."

    Then there's your cell phone, laptop, or other wireless device, which not only receives but also sends pulsed signals at high frequencies. Because it's usually very close to your head (or lap) when in use, the fields experienced by your body are stronger than those from a cell tower down the street.

    A growing number of scientists, along with a diverse collection of technology critics, are pointing out that our bodies constantly generate electrical pulses as part of their normal functioning. They maintain that incoming radiation from modern technology may be fouling those signals.

    But with hundreds of billions in sales at stake, the communications industry (and more than a few scientists) insist that radio-frequency radiation can't have biological effects unless it's intense enough to heat your flesh or organs, in the way a microwave oven cooks meat.

    It's also turning out that when scientific studies are funded by industry, the results a lot less likely to show that EM fields are a health hazard.

    Low Frequency, More Frequent Disease?

    Before the digital revolution, a long line of epidemiological studies compared people who were exposed to strong low-frequency fields - people living in the shadow of power lines, for example, or long-time military radar operators - to similar but unexposed groups.

    One solid outcome of that research was to show that rates of childhood leukemia are associated with low-frequency EM exposure; as a result, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has labeled that type of energy as a possible carcinogen, just as they might label a chemical compound.

    Other studies have found increased incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly called ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), higher rates of breast cancer among both men and women, and immune-system dysfunction in occupations with high exposure.

    Five years ago, the California Public Utilities Commission asked three epidemiologists in the state Department of Health Services to review and evaluate the scientific literature on health effects of low-frequency EM fields.

    The epidemiologists, who had expertise in physics, medicine, and genetics, agreed in their report that they were "inclined to believe that EMFs can cause some degree of increased risk of childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease, and miscarriage" and were open to the possibility that they raise the risks of adult leukemia and suicide. They did not see associations with other cancer types, heart disease, or Alzheimer's disease.

    Epidemiological and animal studies have not been unanimous in finding negative health effects from low-frequency EM fields, so the electric-utility industry continues to emphasize that no cause-and-effect link has been proven.

    High Resistance

    Now the most intense debate is focused on radio-frequency fields. As soon as cell phones came into common usage, there was widespread concern that holding an electronic device against the side of your head many hours a month for the rest of your life might be harmful, and researchers went to work looking for links to health problems, often zeroing in on the possibility of brain tumors.

    Until recently, cell phones had not been widely used over enough years to evaluate effects on cancers that take a long time to develop. A number of researchers failed to find an effect during those years, but now that the phones have been widely available for more than a decade, some studies are relating brain-tumor rates to long-term phone use.

    Some lab studies have found short-term harm as well. Treatment with cell-phone frequencies has disrupted thyroid-gland functioning in lab rats, for example. And at Lund University in Sweden, rats were exposed to cell-phone EM fields of varying strengths for two hours; 50 days later, exposed rats showed significant brain damage relative to non-exposed controls.

    The authors were blunt in their assessment: "We chose 12-26-week-old rats because they are comparable with human teenagers - notably frequent users of mobile phones - with respect to age. The situation of the growing brain might deserve special concern from society because biologic and maturational processes are particularly vulnerable during the growth process."

    Even more recently, health concerns have been raised about the antenna masts that serve cell phones and other wireless devices. EM fields at, say, a couple of blocks from a tower are not as strong as those from a wireless device held close to the body; nevertheless many city-dwellers are now continuously bathed in emissions that will only grow in their coverage and intensity.

    Last year, the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia closed off the top two floors of its 17-story business school for a time because five employees working on its upper floors had been diagnosed with brain tumors in a single month, and seven since 1999. Cell phone towers had been placed on the building's roof a decade earlier and, although there was no proven link between them and the tumors, university officials were taking no chances.

    Data on the health effects of cell or W-Fi towers are still sparse and inconsistent. Their opponents point to statistically rigorous studies like one in Austria finding that headaches and difficulty with concentration were more common among people exposed to stronger fields from cell towers. All sides seem to agree on the need for more research with solid data and robust statistical design.

    San Francisco, one of the world's most technology-happy cities, is home to more than 2400 cell-phone antennas, and many of those transmitters are due to be replaced with more powerful models that can better handle text messaging and photographs, and possibly a new generation of even higher-frequency phones.

    Now there's hot-and-heavy debate over plans to add 2200 more towers for a city-wide Earthlink/Google Wi-Fi network. On July 31, the city's Board of Supervisors considered an appeal by the San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna-Free Union (SNAFU) that the network proposal be put through an environmental review - a step that up to now has not been required for such telecommunications projects.

    In support of the appeal, Magda Havas, professor of environmental and resource studies at Trent University in Ontario submitted an analysis of radio-frequency effects found in more than 50 human, animal, and cellular-level studies published in scientific journals.

    Havas has specialized in investigating the effects of both low- and high-frequency EM radiation. She says most of the research in the field is properly done, but that alone won't guarantee that all studies will give similar results. "Natural variability in biological populations is the norm," she said.

    And, she says, informative research takes time and focus: "For example, studies that consider all kinds of brain tumors in people who've only used cell phones for, say, five years don't show an association. But those studies that consider only tumors on the same side of the head where the phone is held and include only people who've used a phone for ten years or more give the same answer very consistently: there's an increased risk of tumors." In other research, wireless frequencies have been associated with higher rates of miscarriage, testicular cancer, and low sperm counts.

    Direct current from a battery can be used to encourage healing of broken bones. EM fields of various frequencies have also been shown to reduce tissue damage from heart attacks, help heal wounds, reduce pain, improve sleep, and relieve depression and anxiety. If they are biologically active enough to promote health, are they also active enough to degrade it?

    At the 2006 meeting of the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety in Benevento, Italy, 42 scientists from 16 countries signed a resolution arguing for much stricter regulation of EM fields from wireless communication.

    Four years earlier, in Freiburger, Germany, a group of physicians had signed a statement also calling for tighter regulation of wireless communication and a prohibition on use of wireless devices by children. In the years since, more than 3000 doctors have signed the so-called "Freiburger Appeal" and documents modeled on it.

    But in this country, industry has pushed for and gotten exemption from strict regulation, most notably through the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Libby Kelley, director of the Council on Wireless Technology Impacts in Novato, California says, "The technology always comes first, the scientific and environmental questions later. EM trails chemicals by about 10 years, but I hope we'll catch up."

    Kelley says a major problem is that the Telecommunications Act does not permit state or local governments to block the siting of towers based on health concerns: "We'll go to hearings and try to bring up health issues, and officials will tell us, 'We can't talk about that. We could get sued in federal court!'"

    High-Voltage Influence?

    Industry officials are correct when they say the scientific literature contains many studies that did not find power lines or telecommunication devices to have significant health effects. But when, as often happens, a range of studies give some positive and some negative results, industry people usually make statements like, "Technology A has not been proven to cause disease B."

    Michael Kundi, professor at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria and an EM researcher, has issued a warning about distortions of the concept of cause-and-effect, particularly when a scientific study concludes that "there is no evidence for a causal relationship" between environmental factors and human health. Noting that science is rarely able to prove that A did or did not "cause" B, he wrote that such statements can be "readily misused by interested parties to claim that exposure is not associated with adverse health effects."

    Scientists and groups concerned about current standards for EM fields have criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) and other for downplaying the risks. And some emphasize the risk of financial influence when such intense interest is being shown by huge utilities and a global communications industry that's expected to sell $250 billion worth of wireless handsets per year by 2011 (that's just for the instruments, not counting monthly bills). Microwave News cited Belgian reports in late 2006 that two industry groups - the GSM Association and Mobile Manufacturers Forum - accounted for more than 40 percent of the budget for WHO's EM fields project in 2005-06.

    When a US National Academy of Sciences committee was formed earlier this year to look into health effects of wireless communication devices, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Sage Associates wrote a letter to the Academy charging that the appointment of two of the committee's six members was improper under federal conflict-of-interest laws.

    One of the committee members, Leeka Kheifets, a professor of epidemiology in UCLA's School of Public Health, has, says the letter, "spent the majority of the past 20 years working in various capacities with the Electric Power Research Institute, the research arm of the electric power industry."

    The other, Bernard Veyret, senior scientist at the University of Bordeaux in France, "is on the consulting board of Bouygues Telecom (one of 3 French mobile phone providers), has contracts with Alcatel and other providers, and has received research funding from Electricite de France, the operator of the French electricity grid." The NAS committee will be holding a workshop this month and will issue a report sometime after that.

    A paper published in January in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that when studies of cell phone use and health problems were funded by industry, they were much less likely to find a statistically significant relationship than were publicly funded studies.

    The authors categorized the titles of the papers they surveyed as either negative (as in "Cellular phones have no effect on sleep patterns"), or neutral (e.g., "Sleep patterns of adolescents using cellular phones"), or positive, (e.g., "Cellular phones disrupt sleep"). Fully 42 percent of the privately funded studies had negative titles and none had positive ones. In public or nonprofit studies, titles were 18 percent negative and 46 percent positive.

    Alluding to previous studies in the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries, the authors concluded, "Our findings add to the existing evidence that single-source sponsorship is associated with outcomes that favor the sponsors' products."

    By email, I asked Dr. John Moulder, a senior editor of the journal Radiation Research, for his reaction to the study. Moulder, who is Professor and Director of Radiation Biology in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Wisconsin, did not think the analysis was adequate to conclusively demonstrate industry influence and told me that in his capacity as an editor, "I have not noted such an effect, but I have not systematically looked for one either. I am certainly aware that an industry bias exists in other areas of medicine, such as reporting of clinical trails."

    Moulder was lead author on a 2005 paper concluding that the scientific literature to that point showed "a lack of convincing evidence for a causal association between cancer and exposure to the RF [radio-frequency] energy used for mobile telecommunications."

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest has questioned Moulder's objectivity because he has served as a consultant to electric-power and telecommunications firms and groups. Moulder told me, "I have not done any consulting for the electric power and telecommunications industry in years, and when I was doing consulting for these industries, the journals for which I served as an editor or reviewer were made aware of it."

    A year ago, Microwave News also reported that approximately one-half of all studies looking into possible damage to DNA by communication-frequency EM fields found no effect. But three-fourths of those negative studies were industry- or military-funded; indeed, only 3 of 35 industry or military papers found an effect, whereas 32 of 37 publicly funded studies found effects.

    Magda Havas sees a shortage of public money in the US for research on EM health effects as one of the chief factors leading to lack of a rigorous public policy, telling me, "Much of the research here ends up being funded directly or indirectly by industry. That affects both the design and the interpretation of studies." As for research done directly by company scientists, "It's the same as in any industry. They can decide what information to make public. They are free to downplay harmful effects and release information that's beneficial to their product."

    Meanwhile, at Trent University where Havas works, students using laptops are exposed to radio-frequency levels that exceed international guidelines. Of that, she says, "For people who've been fully informed and decide to take the risk, that's their choice. But what about those who have no choice, who have a cell-phone tower outside their bedroom window?

    "It's the equivalent of secondhand smoke. We took a long time to get the political will to establish smoke-free environments, and we now know we should have done it sooner. How long will it take to react to secondhand radiation?"

    ----------

    For more information, visit Environmnental Health Perspectives; Microwave News; the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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Posted: Dec 9, 2007 8:13am
Oct 22, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

Make Your House a Green Home!

Up to this point, we've focused on the most basic features of your living space: those elements designed to keep you protected from the elements and comfortable. The places where we live, though, are more than shelter: they're also a reflection of ourselves. Now that you're in the process of greening your life, you'll want to choose furnishings, wall coverings, window treatments and other items that mirror your commitment to living well while living green.

You'll want to think about (and ask about) the following elements when choosing home decor:

Materials: Decor items often include a range of materials: wood, cloth, and metal are among the most common, In each case, find out what you can about:

  1. The source of these materials (i.e., Is the wood from a sustainably managed forest? Is cloth made from eco-friendly fibers like organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo.
  2. The amount of reused recycled materials (reclaimed wood from a variety of sources is very popular), and the amount of material that can be reused or recycled.

Durability: Quite simply, are the items made to last? Are they things that you could resell or give away, rather than throw away, if you decided you wanted to go for a different look?

Chemicals: What kinds of finishes and treatments are used on the materials? Will they offgas toxic fumes into the air in your home?

Your Action for Today:
Go Browsing for Green Furnishings and Decorative Items

You have lots of choices when it comes to greener decor. EcoBusiness Links has a comprehensive listing of green furniture makers, natural paint manufacturers, sustainable flooring retailers, and more. We've got more information in the Green Life Guide. Of course, you don't necessarily have to go online - you may have stores in your area that sell new green decor, or "vintage" items.

Find something you like? Make note of it in your Green Journal.

Tomorrow: We've got to get ourselves back to the garden...

Sincerely,

Green Options

The GO Team
GreenOptions.com

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Posted: Oct 22, 2007 5:29am
Oct 20, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

Is Your House Leaking?

Most American's use more energy for space heating than anything else, and if you've got air leaks in your house, that means energy and money are leaking out with that heat. When making choices about repairs and upgrades to make your home more energy-efficient, start off by looking for leaks.

Where should you look for leaks? According the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division of the US Department of Energy, start with the following:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Window frames
  • Baseboards
  • Weather stripping around doors
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Attic hatches
  • Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.

Some leaks you'll be able to feel easily. Others may require a few tricks. Try dampening your hand when feeling for leaks. Or, use the following method to increase the flow of air:

  1. First, close all exterior doors, windows, and fireplace flues.
  2. Turn off all combustion appliances such as gas burning furnaces and water heaters.
  3. Then turn on all exhaust fans (generally located in the kitchen and bathrooms) or use a large window fan to suck the air out of the rooms.

You may also want to burn incense while doing this: the smoke will float to spots where air is moving. You'll also want to check your home's exterior for leak points, such as:

  • All exterior corners
  • Where siding and chimneys meet
  • Areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet.

Of course, you don't want to seal your house so tightly that you create an unhealthy situation from indoor air pollution or "backdraft" from fuel-burning appliances (stoves, furnaces, etc.). According to EERE:

When sealing any home, you must always be aware of the danger of indoor air pollution and combustion appliance "backdrafts." Backdrafting is when the various combustion appliances and exhaust fans in the home compete for air. An exhaust fan may pull the combustion gases back into the living space. This can obviously create a very dangerous and unhealthy situation in the home.

In homes where a fuel is burned (i.e., natural gas, fuel oil, propane, or wood) for heating, be certain the appliance has an adequate air supply. Generally, one square inch of vent opening is required for each 1,000 Btu of appliance input heat. When in doubt, contact your local utility company, energy professional, or ventilation contractor.

Leak-hunting isn't just for homeowners or house renters: apartments can have leaks, too. If you rent, you'll probably want to report any leaks to your landlord.

Your Action for Today:
Go Hunting for Leaks

Using the methods and information above, go looking for leaks in your home. When you find them, you'll want to seal or fill them with the proper material: caulk or weather stripping will work in most cases.

Record your activities in your Green Journal. And keep in mind that you may want to call in a professional for some leaks and repairs.

Tomorrow: Inspect Your Insulation

Sincerely,

Green Options

The GO Team
GreenOptions.com

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Posted: Oct 20, 2007 8:12pm

 

 
 
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