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Apr 30, 2010
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April 30, 2010

 


Time to get serious on atrazine: Send an LTE

atrazine chartApril - June is atrazine season. It's also birth defect season. Children conceived during this three-month period have a higher chance of being born with a serious birth defect like spina bifada, cleft palate or Down syndrome. According to neonatalogist Dr. Paul Winchester, birth defect rates have been steadily on the rise in the U.S. for the last two decades. Yet when faced with evidence linking birth defects to in uteroatrazine exposure during the spring planting season,Syngenta's chief scientist responded by positing that "rainfall, lightning strikes and tornadoes" might just as well be the cause. Statistically significant correlation does not determine causation, but neither is a 3% increase in serious birth defects something with which to play politics or hone talking points.

These are serious matters. And apparently Syngenta (the largest pesticide company in the world and atrazine's main promoter) needs to be reminded of this fact. You can do that with a letter to the editor. Your letter will come just as U.S. EPA convenes scientists to take a new look at the safety of the controversial weed killer, and as Representative Keith Ellison introduces a federal bill to ban atrazine. Last week, Syngenta issued another statement indicating a stunning lack of seriousness: "Earth Day is a good time to recognize the vital role the herbicide atrazine places in protecting the environment and promoting responsible land stewardship." Atrazine is the single most common pesticide water contaminant in the country and Syngenta is greenwashing. Meanwhile, Pesticide Action Network is working with farm groups like Minnesota's Land Stewardship Project to ensure health, democracy and scientific transparency triumph over corporate profit in the atrazine decision.. 

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Supreme Court opens  GE alfalfa case

GE researchThe Center for Food Safety (CF went head to headagainst agrochemical giant Monsanto on Tuesday of this week in the first-ever case involving genetically engineered crops to be heard by the Supreme Court. CFS lawyers are representing several farmers and environmental groups, including Phillip Geertson, an organic alfalfa seed grower from Adrian, OR. The case, which has major implications under the National Environmental Policy Act, centers on Monsanto's RoundupReady Alfalfa seed -- genetically engineered to tolerate increased application of Monsanto's Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide. CFS filed the suit after the USDA illegally deregulated without first completing an Environmental Impact Statement (EI. A federal judge agreed that the potential for cross contamination with organic (non-GE) farmers' alfalfa posed a grave risk of "irreparable damage" and placed a ban on all planting and sale of GE alfalfa until the Department of Agriculture completed the EIS.  The decision was upheld twice after appeals by Monsanto, who claims that their product poses "no risk of harm whatsoever" -- despite a 2009 study showing that GE crops have increased the use of pesticides by 383 million pounds over the last 13 years, despite their role in the creation of pesticide-resistant "superweeds," and despite the fact that alfalfa stands a particularly high likelihood of GM contamination because it is an open-pollinated crop that can be cross-pollinated by bees with fields several miles away. Alfalfa is the third most valuable and fourth most widely grown crop in the U.S., but Japan and South Korea, the largest customers of America's $480 billion worth of alfalfa export, have threatened to discontinue U.S. alfalfa imports if the GE variety is approved. According to CFS, seven separate amicus briefs have been filed in support of CFS by organic food companies, legal scholars, former government officials, scientists and environmental groups, including one by the Attorneys General of California, Oregon and Massachusetts, noting the  "'immense' ramifications for all environmental protection should Monsanto prevail." The court's decision will have far reaching implications for both GE regulation as well as other cases under the National Environmental Policy Act.

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Pesticide Dew - Exposure route for bees

dew dropHumans aren't the only ones whose drinking water has been contaminated by pesticides: in Europe, anew study finds that the insects already on the frontlines in the battle against toxic pesticides are consuming lethal doses of neonicitinoid pesticides in the droplets of dew they drink. Plants emit guttation droplets -- a source of morning dew -- as part of their respiration process. These droplets of water are a favorite source of moisture and nutrients for bees to drink from after leaving the hive in the morning. Germans scientists have found that seeds treated with neonicitinoid pesticides such as imidacloprid (Gaucho) and clothianidin (Poncho) show contaminated guttation droplets for as long as two months after germination. The study, which looked at corn, barley and canola plants, showed levels were highest during the ten days after germination -- as high as 100 parts per million (ppm). Two weeks after germination, levels were closer to 10 ppm. Levels of imidacloprid in the pollen of plants treated with commercial levels of the pesticide averaged around 3.4 ppm - 1,000 times lower than the levels found in the guttation droplets. Imidacloprid has been shown to affect bees with as little as 0.1 nanogram. A range of serious effects has been documented in the 1-20 nanogram per bee level. This means that a bee drinking a small fraction of a guttation droplet with 100 ppm of imidacloprid would be consuming a potentially fatal dose. The study's authors say that in light of their findings, strong and rapid action is needed to protect bee populations.

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Posted: Apr 30, 2010 8:54am
May 17, 2009
Despair in Detroit; Collapsing Auto Industry
Business  (tags: auto industry bailoutBig 3 automakersGMChrysler,Ford ) 
 Eric - 1 day ago - youtube.com 
Fault Lines looks at the collapsing auto industry in Detroit, with Ralph Nader and Ron Paul..
-----------------------------------------
Did you know that Chrysler did a deal with US auto plan unions to save all their US autoplant worker members jobs, but then cut those same jobs, all in secret, after the deal was done?
About 20,000 or more jobs are going overseas as part of the secret deal, reached at very high levels, (Geitner, etc.) and all of it was done in secret. Why? 
Financial companies OWN Congress, the White House, and the companies they control, incuding US autoworkers.  They make decisions good for them, not for autoworkers, not for the US, and not for US citizens. All of the top dogs in the present and former administrations are or were from financial companies like Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros, etc.

What is good for financial companies? Their goal is to break ALL the unions, ship all of the jobs overseas and make cheap cars using workers that only make about $500 a year and no benefits, like in China or Mexico... Then import those same cars and sell them for MUCH HIGHER PROFITS, minus all of the US worker costs. That is happening with Chrysler now. My prediction is it will also happen with GM and other auto plants as well, including Ford. 
Of course, this will tend to make the recession we are in now seem mild and tame with what is coming next, as a result of this.. Millions more will be out of work.. but that somehow is good for financial companies shipping all of those jobs overseas. 
So what will create jobs in the US, that cannot be exported? If I were king, I would concentrate on producing alternative and renewable energy sources, and compete with big oil... hydrogen, water, wind, solar, etc... They cannot be exported. Get trained in this, and start a business doing it.. 
Save America, which is drowning in red ink right now. Much of that debt is due to importing oil from nations owned by dictators or despots. 
  
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Posted: May 17, 2009 5:04pm

 

 
 
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