Government Shutdown Curtails F.D.A. Food Inspections
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has stopped routine food safety inspections of seafood, fruits, vegetables and many other foods at high risk of contamination because of the federal government’s shutdown, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the agency’s commissioner, said on Wednesday.
Tree biotechnology company ArborGen is requesting an unprecedented USDA approval: a genetically engineered (GE) “freeze tolerant” eucalyptus. If approved, this will be the first-ever GE forest tree to be commercially grown in the U.S., allowing ArborGen to plant massive, unregulated GE tree farms that will wreak havoc on the environment by destroying natural forests, polluting and depleting water, and endangering biodiversity. Paper and biofuel companies are planning on growing these trees on intensively managed monoculture tree plantations. Unfortunately, the Trump USDA has now formally proposed the approval of these dangerous GE trees.
Today, Saturday, April 22, 2017 is Earth Day. On this day we all should embrace our environment and take time out to do something for our environment. I’m not referring to the one in a shopping mall, nail salon, or in your bed. I’m referring to Mother Nature. Earth day is a special day too. The founder Gaylord Nelson, who was a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin got the idea after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. That catastrophe brought out many people, mostly students who supported the anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that same energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected for Earth Day.
On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. This is the day we honor our land, sea, and climate. Doing nothing is worst. Look at Earth Day like any other special day like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even Christmas. We honor our love ones by doing something special for them. Well, on Earth Day do something special for the earth. Here are some great ideas:
“German chemicals giant Bayer has confirmed its record-breaking $66bn takeover of GM seeds business Monsanto – a deal that would create the world’s biggest seeds and pesticides company.” This doesn’t surprise me at all. By the way, genetically modified seeds are killing us, if you didn’t know. Bayer purchased of Monsanto might propell them in the number one spot for the biggest and most profitable pharmaceutical company. That just means more people will die from drugs and GMO products. Support the organic movement and buy organic and NonGMO foods.
Agriculture of all types produces greenhouse gases that warm the planet, but meat production is especially harmful – and beef is the most environmentally damaging form of meat. Some methods of cattle production demand a lot of land, contributing to destruction of forests; the trees are typically burned, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Other methods require huge amounts of water and fertilizer to grow food for the cows.
The cows themselves produce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that causes short-term warming. Meat consumption is rising worldwide as the population grows, and as economic development makes people richer and better able to afford meat.
This is worrisome: Studies have found that if the whole world were to start eating beef at the rate Americans eat it, produced by the methods typically used in the United States, that alone might erase any chance of staying below an internationally agreed-upon limit on global warming. Pork production creates somewhat lower emissions than beef production, and chicken is lower still. So reducing your meat consumption, or switching from beef and pork to chicken in your diet, are both moves in the right direction. Of course, as with any kind of behavioral change meant to benefit the climate, this will only make a difference if lots of other people do it, too, reducing the overall demand for meat products.”
This writing is an excerpt from Justin Gillis’s New York Times article titled, Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change, November 28, 2015. I coheartedly believe a diet that’s rich in organic whole food plant-base (WFPB) or vegan is the healthiest way of eating and not only for our bodies but, for the planet too.
To learn more about global warming and greenhouse gases please visit the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) website; and also, please check out their Take Action site for awesome ways to advocate for clean sustainable living for the planet. Thinking of adapting a WFPB diet, check out Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s site for the scientific researches behind this diet and why this way of eating prevents and cures diseases. It’s that powerful people! Spread the word and eat your greens😋
In 1980, the first report by the Dietary Guidelines (DG) Advisory Committee was authored by two friends of mine, the late Harvard School of Public Health Professor Mark Hegsted PhD (representing the McGovern Committee and the USDA) and Allan Forbes MD, formerly FDA Chief of Nutrition. I have remained keenly interested in the 5-year reports ever since.
Unfortunately, I have gradually lost much of my early enthusiasm for this advisory committee. During the past 35 years, I have seen little if any progress toward a better understanding of diet, nutrition and health. This is regrettable because these reports serve as guidelines for health education, government school lunch, WIC (women, infants and children), and other important public programs. I do not see how this report is any more progressive or insightful than its predecessors. Previous reports have included new words and phrases which unfortunately did not lead to any real change. Click here to continue reading original article.
Buying local honey supports beekeepers. Plus, it’s great for the environment. No one wants to deal with the middle-man, and that’s why I love my farmers market. Beekeepers travel from upstate New York and from right here in NYC to sell at local markets throughout the Five Boroughs. We have Beekeepers on rooftops and in many urban backyards. Locals areas like Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and all over. Many of them like Brooklyn Grange and Bronx Bees offer programs to help others. You will also find local honey at Whole Foods.
Compared to other sweeteners, raw honey contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. It is a potent anti-infection/anti-inflammatory bee product, which is a natural option to antibiotics. Plus, it is also great for building up your resistance to allergens. I’ve already started taking a teaspoon a day and I sprinkle some bee pollen in my food as well. The pollen is the male seed of flowers and it’s also rich in vitamins and minerals. But get this, bee pollen is rich in protein.
In addition to that, taking bee pollen may reduce the presence of histamine, which can ameliorate many allergies. It works for me. Around springtime my allergies starts to act up. My eyes are irritated, I sneeze constantly, and I basically feel and look like crap.
Last year, I started taking the bee pollen and it really build up my tolerance and reduced my attacks. You might want to research it. Also, if you’re allergic to bee stings or have sensitivities to foods, it’s best you consult with an alternative medical doctor or any other qualified healthcare professional before trying bee pollen.
Go out and support your local farm, and don’t forget the local beekeeper.
I’m fascinated by bees. During the summer they’re busy at work pollinating and stinging away. Many people are frightened by bees, and allergic to their sting as well. A bee sting can kill, if you’re not careful. Half of the people who die of bee sting anaphylaxis did not know they had an allergy. Those people who are severely allergic must use an Auvi-Q or Epi-Pen (epinephrine shot). I’m not allergic and thank goodness none of my three children are.
Many bees hibernate, though some, including honeybees, do not, said Scott McArt, a research scientist in the department of entomology at the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
“Most bee species in northern climates overwinter in dormant stages,” Dr. McArt said. “For example, queen bumblebees will mate in the fall, then crawl into a crevice and overwinter alone, protected from the elements.”
The queens emerge in spring and found new colonies, which are productive through the summer, Dr. McArt said. Then, in the fall, new queens are produced by the colony to find a mate and continue the cycle.
“Honeybees are different,” Dr. McArt said. “The major reason they produce so much honey is so the entire colony can survive through the winter by feeding on it.”
The colony forms itself into a tightly packed ball, he said, “shivering” to produce heat and using the honey for fuel.
“The bees on the outside of the cluster act as insulators,” he said, “while the innermost bees generate the heat. They continually rotate their position, alternating roles as heat producer and recipient.”
Bees play an intricate part in our food system. They are the most popular pollinating insects on earth and without them our food chain will suffer tremendously. They play a critical role in maintaining our ecosystem and it’s our duty to protect them.
According to Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA) bees have been dying off in droves around the world since the mid-1990’s. My favorite websites are Take Part and the Center for Food Safety. You could find more information on petitions and other ways you could support protecting bees and other environmental issues that are at risk.