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France bans the sale of glyphosate

(NaturalNews) France is the latest country to ban the private sale of Monsanto‘s favorite carcinogen – glyphosate. France has been in the alternative news quite a bit lately, asking the makers of Nutella to stop using palm oil, insisting all new rooftops be covered in solar panels or plants, and mandating the donation of all supermarket food waste. This new move by their Ecology Minister is the latest result of their forward thinking.

The French aren’t the only people around the world waking up to the effects of Roundup. Governments are now more likely to look for independent research to explain the uptick in the rates of diseases like cancer. Monsanto continues to bleat about the safety of glyphosates and their inability to harm humans, claiming that “the dose makes the poison.” With the levels of glyphosates on the rise in our food, our soil, our air, and water, at what magic point does the saturation of our environment turn from harmful to poison? Are we willing to wait until that switch has been flipped with no hope of going back?

The List of Governments Waking Up Keeps Growing

The fight against GMOs and Monsanto has made waves the world over, and as the United States deals with a food system where 80 percent of products now likely contain GMOs, Europe continues their crackdown against the damage caused by Monsanto and all of their products. While most of the focus has been on Monsanto crops, the tremendously influential study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer has caused many to consider banning all of their products. The Netherlands, Bermuda, and Sri Lanka preceded France in banning over the counter sales of Roundup. It is worth noting that Bermuda and Sri Lanka have prohibited the use of glyphosates in all applications, including commercial ones, unlike the Dutch and the French.

Monsanto Maintains the Same Response as Always

It’s business as usual for the PR department of Monsanto, as they continue to refine their denial skills. Glyphosate was introduced as Roundup in the 1970s, and in that time it has expanded to become the most produced weed killer is the world. As Monsanto is a company willing to throw their financial weight around, it’s been easy for government institutions to look the other way, and it was easy to keep the public in the dark before the Internet. In 1985, the Environmental Protection Agency listed glyphosate as a possible carcinogen. Six years later the memo had been changed, despite several scientists supporting the original classification. With it officially listed as a 2A carcinogen, it’s become more difficult to accept Monsanto’s manipulation in the face of growing public outrage.

Monsanto’s variations on the theme that “glyphosate is non-toxic” are endless. They frequently argue that studies that find any fault with their products ignore important information. Some statements have referred to Roundup as low risk to human health, but that has been the extent of any admission of guilt.

It’s time to acknowledge that Monsanto is an irresponsible corporation with enough money, power, and manipulation to sway government agencies. Nothing will change until the public steps up and says, “Enough!” The tipping point is near – that point at which our planet is too saturated with environmental disruptors. Groups like Occupy Monsanto and March Against Monsanto are great place to start if we are ready to step up and heal our environment.

It is also important to address personal exposure to Monsanto’s toxic products. See how to detoxify from GMOs, and check out the first two sources for more on GMOs and your health.

English: Glyphosate 3D balls.
English: Glyphosate 3D balls. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cori Brackett from Sweet Misery: A poisoned world talks about Human trafficking

Biography:

As President of Sweet Remedy Films: Embracing Community toward an Authentic Life, Cori’s work is geared toward empowering individuals to make intelligent and healthy choices for themselves and their loved ones. She is passionate about helping society return to a focus on fulfilling a need rather than the current corporate structure which has become about creating a need. Her two documentaries are Sweet Misery and Sweet Remedy, and she has a multi-media memoir called Through the Shadows.

Cori Brackett is the globally recognized documentary filmmaker of Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World.

A close examination of the artificial sweetener, aspartame, Sweet Misery examines both its chemical breakdown components and the corporate and governmental collusion and neglect of the public health. The documentary also travels with Cori, as she makes discoveries about the underpinnings of the world she inhabits, as well as the truth behind her own diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

Today, Cori lives a vibrant and happy life, free of the debilitating symptoms of the disease with which she was diagnosed in 2002. Sweet Misery has become a cult classic, winning numerous awards. It has been translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Russian.

On Sweet Remedy Radio, Cori investigates this Poisoned World, by interviewing doctors, naturopaths, authors and innovators to put a magnifying glass in front of both the problems and solutions. Cori is known for her ability to interweave such seemingly disparate icons as Noam Chomsky and Larry Hagman, cutting through the hype and disinformation to get to what’s honest and real.

With 6500 Twitter followers and a worldwide fan base, Cori is a voice to be listened to, a voice full of curiosity, honesty and integrity.

Guests have included Jim Turner, Esq., Dr. Russell Blaylock, Spice William-Crosby, Jsu Garcia, Betty Martini, Kimberly Carter-Gamble, Natalie-Marie Hart, Dr. Edward Group, Bob Wall, Howard Straus, Jeffrey Smith and many others.

Previous to her diagnosis, Cori worked as a Shakespearean Actress, as a copy editor, and for ten years as President/CEO of Sound and Fury Productions, Inc. She holds a BA in English/Performing Arts from Colby College and and MFA in Poetry with an emphasis in playwriting and directing from The University of Arizona.

Websites:

Listen to our most recent interview here:

 

 

 

 

Interview with Cori Brackett about human cloning and human trafficking

Check Out Education Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Crystal Kids Network on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with Cori Brackett

Check Out Education Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Crystal Kids Network on BlogTalkRadio
 
USAID Human Trafficking Symposium, Sept. 16, 2...
USAID Human Trafficking Symposium, Sept. 16, 2009 — Actress and UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu spoke out against human trafficking and lauded USAID efforts to increase awareness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster left 10.7 million 1-ton container bags with radioactive debris

Let’s remember the poor people who died because of Fukushima. It is five years since this has happened.

Five years after a powerful earthquake and tsunami sent the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan into multiple meltdowns, cleaning up the mess both onsite and in surrounding towns remains a work in progress. Here’s a look, by the numbers, at the widespread effects of radiation from the March 11, 2011, disaster:

164,865: Fukushima residents who fled their homes after the disaster.

97,320: Number who still haven’t returned.

49: Municipalities in Fukushima that have completed decontamination work.

45: Number that have not.

30: Percent of electricity generated by nuclear power before the disaster.

1.7: Percent of electricity generated by nuclear power after the disaster.

3: Reactors currently online, out of 43 now workable.

54: Reactors with safety permits before the disaster.

53: Percent of the 1,017 Japanese in a March 5-6 Mainichi Shimbun newspaper survey who opposed restarting nuclear power plants.

30: Percent who supported restarts. The remaining 17 percent were undecided.

760,000: Metric tons of contaminated water currently stored at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

1,000: Tanks at the plant storing radioactive water after treatment.

10.7 million: Number of 1-ton container bags containing radioactive debris and other waste collected in decontamination outside the plant.

7,000: Workers decommissioning the Fukushima plant.

26,000: Laborers on decontamination work offsite.

200: Becquerels of radioactive cesium per cubic meter (264 gallons) in seawater immediately off the plant in 2015.

50 million: Becquerels of cesium per cubic meter in the same water in 2011.

7,400: Maximum number of becquerels of cesium per cubic meter allowed in drinking water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Credit:

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news.php?id=72359

Chernobyl – 30 Years After – April 26 2016

Gordon Edwards is interviewed on the 30th anniversary of the event that the IAEA has called “the worst industrial disaster on record”: the explosion, fire and core meltdown at Chernobyl reactor unit 4 in the Ukraine near the border with Belarus. Canada AM.

 

 

An Act of Kindness for the Holidays Surprise tip from church to a Pizza delivery guy

A pizzeria owner in Windsor, Ont., was shocked by the sizable tip he received when he delivered a pie to a local church this week.

An act of kindness for the Christmas holiday’s for a local business man.

Bob Ristovski, who owns the small downtown diner Bob O’s Pizza, received a $1,697 tip from the congregation at Celebration of Praise International church Wednesday night.

The moment was captured on video and posted to YouTube.

“It was shocking, and it was an overwhelming experience and it was one of the best experiences of my life,” said Ristovski.

Mel Freeman, the church’s pastor, also appears in the video, microphone in hand, describing what was happening to Bob Ristovski and the congregation.

In a telephone interview, Freeman said a member of his church suggested that the congregation take part in a “random act of kindness.”

The pastor liked the idea.

“We took advantage of the opportunity to really be a blessing to somebody here this Christmas season,” Freeman said.

That led to the moment on Wednesday night, when he, his wife and other members of their church sprung the surprise on the unsuspecting Ristovski.

Freeman said the church put a bunch of pizzeria names in a hat, before one was selected randomly by a member of the congregation.

The name that was pulled was Bob O’s Pizza, a small independent pizzeria opened by Ristovski more than a year ago.

A pizza was ordered and the stage for surprise was set at an evening holiday service held by the church Wednesday.

“When Bob came in, he didn’t know what was going on,” Freeman said. “We brought him up to the front of the church, introduced myself to him and then we let him know this is what we want to do.”

‘Just overwhelmed’

Ristvoski said that when he arrived with the pizza, he was brought inside and led to the front of the congregation.

“From then on, I was basically just overwhelmed with everything,” said Ristovski, who told CBC News that he had not met Freeman before that night.

In the video, Freeman talks about the church, the belief of its membership and its intent to give him a tip.

“We said, ‘Let’s bless somebody,'” Freeman says to Ristovski in the three-minute, 41-second video.

When Ristovski is told the tip totals $1,697, collected by the congregation. He ends up hugging Freeman and appears at a loss for words as the congregation roars.

“I’m speechless,” he says on the video.

The video ends with Ristovski blowing kisses to the crowd before walking off camera.

A day later, when asked to describe how he was feeling, Ristovski said very much the same thing.

“I’m still in awe about it,” said Ristovski.

Both Freeman and Ristovski insist the act of kindness is random and the video is genuine, and that neither had met before.

Credits: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/pizza-delivery-big-tip-1.3371176

 

Known Facts and Hidden Dangers

By Dr. Gordon Edwards

Uranium

What do we know about uranium? Well, uranium is the heaviest naturally occurring element on earth. It is a metal, like all other metals, except that it had no commercial value before the mid-twentieth century. Until the last fifty years it was produced only as a byproduct. Thus the entire history of the mining of uranium has taken place during my lifetime. Moreover, a great deal of it has occurred in my homeland, Canada, which was the first country to produce and process uranium as such.

The first uranium processed by Canada was used to produce nuclear explosives for the atomic bombs dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Indeed, the beginning of the nuclear weapons program marked the beginning of the uranium industry. By 1956, uranium had become the fourth most important export from Canada, after pulp, lumber and wheat; and every ounce of it was used to produce A-bombs and H-bombs for the American — and, to a lesser extent, the British — nuclear weapons programs. It was the only use uranium had at that time.

Today, Canada remains the world’s largest producer and exporter of uranium, ostensibly for peaceful purposes; that is, as fuel for civilian nuclear reactors. Canada is also one of the very few countries in the world in which uranium mining is currently expanding. In the province of Saskatchewan, there are environmental assessment hearings going on now, this year, having to do with the potential opening of five new uranium mines. This, despite the fact that the price of uranium is lower today than it has ever been. The price has been falling steadily for more than fifteen years, and is now at an all-time low.

I hope that those attending this conference will write to the Prime Minister of Canada (c/o House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0A6) and to the Premier of Saskatchewan (c/o Saskatchewan Legislature, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) asking them not to continue the expansion of this industry. Why? Because uranium is the deadliest metal on earth. As you will see, the scientific evidence fully bears out this conclusion. I would now like to explain why.

Both the commercial value and the dangers of uranium are based on two extra-ordinary characteristics which it possesses. First of all, uranium is radioactive. Secondly, uranium is fissionable. These are two quite different properties, however, and they should not be confused.

Radioactivity

The phenomenon of radioactivity was accidentally discovered in 1896 when Henri Becquerel put a rock in a drawer. The rock contained uranium, and the drawer contained a photographic plate, which was well-wrapped and shielded from the light. Some weeks later, when Becquerel unwrapped and developed the plate, he found rays of light on the photograph emanating exactly from the point of contact where the rock had been resting on it. Being a scientist, he was astounded. He could think of no possible way in which an inert rock could spontaneously be releasing energy — especially such a penetrating form of energy. Moreover, the energy release had taken place in total darkness, in the absence of any external stimulation — there was no chemical reaction, no exposure to sunlight, nor anything else. Becquerel had discovered radioactivity.

Marie Curie decided to pursue the mystery further. She got some uranium ore from the Erz mountains, not very far from here. She chemically separated the uranium from the rest of the crushed rock (she had to crush the rock and dissolve it in acid to get the uranium out, which is what we still do today in mining uranium) and she found that even after the uranium had been removed, the crushed rock remained very radioactive — much more so than the uranium itself. Here was a mystery indeed. Why is it that eighty-five percent of the radioactivity stays behind in the crushed rock?

Starting with many tons of rock, Madame Curie proceeded to separate out all the chemical elements she knew. It was painstaking work. Finally she was left with a small beaker of concentrated, highly radioactive liquid. By evaporating the water, she felt sure she would discover whatever was causing this intense radioactivity. But when the liquid was evaporated, the beaker was, apparently, completely empty. She was deeply disappointed. She couldn’t fathom what had gone wrong. But when she returned to the laboratory late at night, she found the beaker glowing brightly in the dark, and she realized that it wasn’t empty after all. In this way, Marie Curie discovered two new elements: radium and polonium. We now know these are inevitable byproducts of uranium.

By 1906, all the basic facts of radioactivity were known, except for the central mystery as to “why”; this we do not understand. Indeed, science doesn’t really understand why anything is the way it is. All science can do is describe how things behave. Science tells us, for example, that all material things are made up of tiny atoms. The atoms found in most substances are remarkably stable, but in the case of radioactive materials, the atoms are unstable.

Consider the water in this glass. It is made up of stable atoms. Pure water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, and these atoms are, as far as science can determine, eternal and unchangeable. The very same atoms of hydrogen and oxygen that are in this glass of water were around, in some other combinations, in the days of the dinosaurs.

But radioactive substances have unstable atoms which can and will explode microscopically, and when they do, they give off a burst of energy. This process is called “radioactive disintegration” or “radioactive decay”. When radioactive atoms explode, they give off highly energetic charged particles of two types: alpha and beta. These are particles, they’re not invisible rays. They are like pieces of shrapnel from an explosion. And this microscopic shrapnel does great damage because of the high energy of the particles which are given off.

Decay Products

When a radioactive atom explodes, that atom is changed permanently into a new substance. And radium turns out to be one of the results of exploding uranium atoms. So wherever you find uranium on the earth, you will always find radium with it because it is one of about a dozen so-called “decay products” of uranium.

To be more precise, when uranium disintegrates it turns into a substance called protactinium, which is also radioactive. And when that disintegrates it turns into a substance named thorium, which is likewise radioactive. When thorium disintegrates it turns into radium; when radium disintegrates it turns into radon gas. And when radon gas atoms disintegrate, they turn into what are called the “radon daughters”, or “radon progeny”, of which there are about half a dozen radioactive materials, including polonium.

Finally, in this progression, you end up with a stable substance, which in itself is highly toxic: lead. But because the radioactivity of the other materials is so much more dangerous than this toxic heavy metal, people don’t even talk about the lead at the end of the chain. They think that once all the radioactivity is gone, what’s left is perfectly safe. It isn’t — but the lead that remains is just a whole lot less dangerous than the radioactive materials that produced it.

So all the radioactive decay products of uranium remain in the crushed rock when uranium is separated from the ore. That’s why Marie Curie found most of the radioactivity left behind in the residues, including all the radium and all the polonium.

Radium

Well, how did the story of uranium progress? Because uranium was less radioactive than its daughter products, it was not valued commercially. But radium was. And radium began to be used principally for two purposes. One was to burn cancerous growths. I should tell you that both Henri Becquerel and Marie Curie suffered grievous burns which were very difficult to heal and which left permanent scars just as a result of handling radium. Other scientists got the idea that if they embedded a needle containing radium inside a cancerous tumor, it would burn the cancer — and indeed it did. That was the beginning of cancer therapy using radiation, wherein the harmful effects of atomic radiation are directed against cancerous cells instead of healthy cells. Of course, atomic radiation does similar damage to healthy cells.

Now, the other main use for radium was as a luminous paint, because of the glow-in-the-dark phenomenon that Marie Curie had observed. Believe it or not, the price of uranium in the 1920s was $100,000 a gram — and this is using dollars of the twenties! It was a very expensive commodity, but only very little was needed for any given purpose. Some of it was used to make luminous paint, with which they would paint dials so they could be read even in the dark.

Now the young women who painted these things began to get sick. This was first reported by an American dentist called Blum, who said that he had some very young women — 19 years old, 18 years old, 20 years old — coming into his dentistry office. Their teeth were falling out, their gums were badly infected and bleeding profusely, they were anemic, their bones were soft, and in some cases their jawbones had spontaneously fractured. Some of them died of severe anemia.

The only thing these women had in common was that they worked in a radium dial painting factory in New Jersey. Blum called this phenomenon “radium jaw”. A few years later, the women who had recovered from these symptoms started developing problems in the rest of their skeleton. They suffered weakening of the bone, spontaneous fractures of the hip and of other bones, and growths — tumors, some of which were cancerous — in the bones themselves. Now, bone cancer is such an exceedingly rare disease, that there was little doubt that this cancer was caused by exposure to radium.

It was discovered that simply by wetting the tip of the brush in order to get a nice clean figure on the dials, these women were ingesting minute quantities of radium. And that was sufficient to cause all these symptoms. When autopsies were performed on the corpses of these women, doctors discovered that in their entire skeleton there were only a few micrograms of radium. This quantity was so small, that no conventional chemical analysis could detect it. Nevertheless, this tiny amount of radium had distributed itself so thoroughly through their skeleton, that you could take a picture of any one of their bones just by laying it on a photographic plate in a dark room, It is called an auto-radiograph — that is, an x-ray picture with no x-ray machine.

So this was our first introduction to the harmful effects of even minute quantities of such substances. By the way, many of the women who survived this phase of the assault later on developed cancers of the head — cancer of the sinuses, cancer of the soft palate, and other types of head cancers. We now know how these were caused. Remember, radium is radioactive — even inside the body. As I told you earlier, when radium atoms disintegrate, they turn into radon gas. So radon gas was being produced inside the bodies of these women. In fact, one test for radium contamination is to check a person’s exhaled breath and see if it has radon gas in it; if it does, that person must have radium in his or her body. In the case of the radium dial painters, the radon gas was being produced in the bones, dissolved in the blood, and pumped by the heart up to the head where it collected in the sinus and other cavities. And there it was irradiating the delicate living tissues and causing head cancers.

Radon

Now, it so happens that for hundreds of years, going back to the 15th century, there had been reports that miners working in the Erz mountains had been dying at a tremendous rate from some unknown lung diseases. We’re talking here about 75 percent mortality in some cases. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the principal disease was diagnosed and found to be lung cancer. At that time, lung cancer was virtually unknown among the surrounding population; yet these miners were experiencing in some cases up to 50 percent lung cancer mortality. The other lung ailments were not lung cancer, but other types of debilitating lung damage.

By the 1930s it had been established that this epidemic of lung cancer and other lung diseases was caused by breathing radioactive materials in the atmosphere of the mine. In animal experiments, radon gas was identified as the main killer.

Uranium finally acquired commercial value in 1942, when we discovered that we could make atomic bombs with it. Only then did we start mining uranium for itself and not as a byproduct of something else. A few years earlier, in 1938, it was discovered that uranium is not only radioactive, it is also fissionable, which makes it unique among all naturally occurring radioactive materials. When uranium atoms undergo the fission process, large amounts of energy are released. Unlike the process of radioactive decay, which cannot be turned on and off, nuclear fission can be controlled. The energy release caused by fission can be speeded up, slowed down, started or stopped. It can be used to destroy cities in the form of nuclear weapons, or to boil water inside a nuclear reactor.

Suddenly, uranium was in demand. We sent miners into the mines in North America at a permissible level of radiation exposure which was comparable to the levels that those miners in the Erz mountains had been getting back in the 19th century. And of course, the results were entirely predictable: an epidemic of lung cancer and other lung diseases. One has to ask therefore: Why were these consequences not predicted and prevented?

Radon Daughters

The answer is, in part, that the scientists refused to believe that such a small amount of radon gas could cause such a huge increase in cancer. As it turns out, the scientists were wrong. One of the basic things they overlooked, is that if you take a sample of radon gas — right now, if I filled a tube with radon gas in front of your eyes, and measured the radiation in that tube — within three hours, the level of radioactivity would increase by a factor of about five. Why?

As the radon atoms disintegrate, they produce other radioactive substances. And so, in fact, you have a multiplication of new radioactive materials which weren’t there to begin with. This is one of the things the scientists overlooked. So that when the miners go into a mine where the radon has been collecting for several hours, it’s five times as radioactive as radon in the laboratory. And those other substances — the radon daughters — are extremely dangerous. The worst of the radon daughters, by the way, is a substance called polonium — the same polonium that Marie Curie discovered so many years ago. Recent scientific evidence shows that polonium is, in many circumstances, at least as toxic as plutonium, and in some cases more toxic.

Nuclear Fission

Now, what is that property that made uranium commercially valuable? It’s called fissionability. More precisely, uranium is called a “fissile” material. Let me explain what that means.

Yes, uranium atoms are radioactive, and so they will disintegrate if you just leave them alone; but what happens if you poke them? What happens if you bombard uranium atoms with tiny particles called neutrons? It turns out that in that case, you can force a much more violent disintegration of the atom, which is called fission. When fission occurs, the uranium atom doesn’t just disintegrate, it actually breaks apart into two or three large chunks. In the process it gives off some extra neutrons, and it also gives off about 400 times as much energy as is produced by a radioactive disintegration event.

Now, the fact that fission is triggered by a neutron makes it quite different from normal radioactivity. Radioactivity is not triggered, and therefore science does not know how to control it. We have no mechanism for speeding up, slowing down, starting or stopping radioactivity. That’s why radioactive wastes are such a problem. But with fission, we can start it, stop it, and control it, just by maintaining control over the extra neutrons that are produced at each stage. Starting with just one neutron, we can split one uranium atom, and the extra neutrons can go on to split two more uranium atoms, giving even more neutrons which can then split four atoms, which can then split eight atoms, and so on. In this way, forty quintillion uranium atoms can be split with only sixty generations of splittings, all triggered by a single neutron. [A quintillion is a billion billion, or a million million million.] This whole “chain reaction”, as it is called, takes place in less than a thousandth of a second. That is really what constitutes the atomic bomb.

Fission Products

You may now realize that all of the radioactive materials which escape from an atomic bomb when it explodes, are basically the broken bits of uranium atoms. These are new radioactive materials, called “fission products”, which are created by the splitting of uranium atoms. There are hundreds of them. They all have different names, and different chemical and biologically properties. Most of them did not exist in nature before the advent of nuclear technology.

You see, uranium travels in many disguises. In every sample of uranium ore, one finds radium — but radium is, in a certain sense, just a transformation of uranium. Speaking loosely, one could say that it is a disguised form of uranium. It is just one of the many elements in the chain of decay. Similarly with polonium. Similarly with radon gas. These are all just different manifestations of uranium, so to speak, resulting from radioactive decay.

And similarly with the fallout from atomic bombs; all those radioactive materials which are released by nuclear explosions — such as iodine-131, strontium-90, cesium-137, krypton-85, and all the rest — they are all broken bits of uranium atoms. They are additional disguises for uranium, resulting from nuclear fission.

The radioactive poisons that were released from the Chernobyl reactor are also broken bits of uranium atoms. Incidentally, 80 percent of the total radiation dose delivered by the Chernobyl accident worldwide was caused by the escape of just a couple of kilograms of radioactive materials from the damaged nuclear plant. It doesn’t take much…. To this day, the sheep in Wales are unsuitable for human consumption because of contamination by one particular by-product of the Chernobyl accident called cesium-137. But every atom of cesium-137 from Chernobyl started out as an atom of uranium.

These radioactive materials, which are called fission products — the ones in the bomb fallout and which in nuclear reactors — should not be confused with the other radioactive materials I told you about earlier, which are the decay products of uranium. The decay products of uranium are due to radioactive disintegration. They are about two dozen in number, and they occur in nature because uranium does. When you talk about fission products, however, you are dealing with completely different substances. They are created only inside nuclear weapons or nuclear reactors. They are the leftover pieces of uranium atoms which have been violently broken apart by the fission process. There are over 300 of them altogether, when you consider that — being radioactive — each of the fission products also has its own decay products!

Health Effects of Radioactive Materials

And so this one material, uranium, is responsible for introducing into the human environment a tremendously large range of radioactive materials which are all very inimical to biological organisms. These are not invisible rays, they are materials. They get into our water, our food, and the air we breathe. They’re exactly like other materials except for the fact that they’re radioactive.

Take, for instance, radioactive iodine. It behaves just like ordinary iodine, which is not radioactive. Why is there iodine in our table salt? Well, it’s one of the few examples of preventative medicine we have. The iodine, when it’s eaten in the table salt, goes to the thyroid gland, and there it helps to prevent a disease of the thyroid gland called “goiter”. Radioactive iodine does exactly the same thing. If a child or an adult gets radioactive iodine in the diet, the radioactive iodine goes to the thyroid too, and it also helps to prevent goiter. But while it’s there, the atoms explode, and the shrapnel rips through the cells of the body, and in the process breaks thousands of chemical bonds randomly.

It’s like throwing a grenade into a computer. The probability of getting an improvement in a computer by throwing a grenade into it is very small, and similarly with radiation events and human cells. Now, the cells that die are really no problem, as long as not too many of them die. They can be replaced. The ones that are particularly dangerous are the ones that survive. Those damaged cells can develop into cancers. You can also have damage to germ cells — eggs and sperm — leading to genetically damaged children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren.

As Alice Stewart mentioned in her talk, there are two categories of human illness that everyone agrees can be caused by exposure to atomic radiation even at very low levels. They are (1) cancers of all kinds, and also (2) genetic mutations — which can be caused right down to the lowest levels of radiation exposure. Most scientists believe that these harmful effects are linearly related to the dose, so that if the dose is doubled, the number of cancers and genetic defects will also be doubled, and if the dose is cut in half, only half as many cancers and genetic defects will be seen. It is important to realize that if a damaging dose is spread out among a very large population, so that each individual receives only a very small portion of the total dose, the number of cancers and genetic defects is in no way diminished. Thus, in the case of radioactive pollution, dilution is no solution at all.

However, there is one other effect of radiation at low levels which wasn’t mentioned in the previous talk, and I would like to just mention it here. It has now been confirmed by the scientific community — only in recent years, by the way — that mental retardation is caused by radiation exposure in the womb. This type of biological damage also seems to be linear, that is, proportional to dose, right down to the lowest levels of exposure. There doesn’t seem to be any cut-off point. And so we have now discovered yet a third category of documented and scientifically accepted harmful effects of radiation and that is mental retardation in children who were irradiated while still in the womb.

Uranium Tailings

Now, if I could just wrap up, I have to tell you something extremely important. The title of my talk was “Known facts and hidden dangers”. I’ve told you a bit about the known facts. Now for at least one of the hidden dangers.

When we extract uranium from the ground, we dig up the rock, we crush it and we leave behind this finely pulverized material — it’s like flour. In Canada we have 200 million tons of this radioactive waste, called uranium tailings. As Marie Curie observed, 85 percent of the radioactivity in the ore remains behind in that crushed rock. How long will it be there? Well, it turns out that the effective half-life of this radioactivity is 80,000 years. That means in 80,000 years there will be half as much radioactivity in these tailings as there is today.

You know, that dwarfs the entire prehistory of the Salzburg region which goes way back to ancient, ancient times. Even archaeological remains date back no further than 80,000 years. We don’t have any records of human existence going back that far. That’s the half-life of this material.

And as these tailings are left on the surface of the earth, they are blown by the wind, they are washed by the rain into the water systems, and they inevitably spread. Once the mining companies close down, who is going to look after this material forever? How does anyone, in fact, guard 200 million tons of radioactive sand safely forever, and keep it out of the environment?

In addition, as the tailings are sitting there on the surface, they are continually generating radon gas. Radon is about eight times heavier than air, so it stays close to the ground. It’ll travel 1,000 miles in just a few days in a light breeze. And as it drifts along, it deposits on the vegetation below the radon daughters, which are the radioactive byproducts that I told you about, including polonium. So that you actually get radon daughters in animals, fish and plants thousands of miles away from where the uranium mining is done. It’s a mechanism for pumping radioactivity into the environment for millennia to come, and this is one of the hidden dangers.

Conclusion

All uranium ends up as either nuclear weapons or highly radioactive waste from nuclear reactors. That’s the destiny of all the uranium that’s mined. And in the process of mining the uranium we liberate these naturally occurring radioactive substances, which are among the most harmful materials known to science. Couple this with the thought that nuclear technology never was a solution to any human problem. Nuclear weapons do not bring about a sane world, and nuclear power is not a viable answer to our energy problems. We don’t even need it for electricity. All you need for conventional electricity generation is to spin a wheel, and there’s many ways of doing it: water power, wind power, geothermal power, etc. In addition, there are other methods for producing electricity directly: solar photovoltaics, fuel cells, and so on. What we have here, in the case of nuclear power, from the very beginning, is a technology in search of an application.

So, I think that we as a human community have to come to grips with this problem and say to ourselves and to others that enough is enough. We do not want to permanently increase our radiation levels on this planet. We have enough problems already.

Thank you.

Credit: http://www.ccnr.org/salzburg.html

Monsanto and Dow raise $8 million to strip away Hawaiian locals’ right to ban destructive GMO farming

By Anita Hofschneider

Proponents of the initiative have spent under $83,000, far less than the $5 million spent by Monsanto alone.

 Seed companies and their allies have raised nearly $8 million to defeat a Maui County voter initiative that seeks to temporarily ban GMO farming, according to reports filed with the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission on Monday.

The money raised is along the lines of how much seed companies have been spending to battle GMO-related ballot initiatives across the country, but is unheard-of in Hawaii politics.

“This is historic,” said Tony Baldomero, associate director of the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission. “This is the highest (amount raised) that I have ever seen since I have been here, by any candidate committee, ballot issue committee, non-candidate committee, even super PAC.”

 

Monsanto Molokai field worker pollinates corn on July 3, 2014.
A Monsanto Molokai field worker pollinates corn.

Maui County’s ballot initiative seeks to impose a temporary moratorium on growing genetically engineered seeds until the county conducts a public health and environmental study of its impact.

The bill is the latest county measure seeking to crack down on Hawaii’s $243 million seed industry, which has been the target of growing activism statewide by residents who are worried about the consequences of pesticides sprayed on genetically modified crops.

According to campaign spending data detailing expenditures from Aug. 10 to Oct. 20 this year, a group called Citizens Against the Maui County Farming Ban has spent more than $6.3 million to defeat the Maui County initiative.

That’s nearly 10 percent of the $64.4 million that all Hawaii political candidates have spent on campaigns according to data from the Campaign Spending Commission that covers Nov. 8, 2006 to Aug. 9, 2014.

The group still had $1.5 million available as of Oct. 20.

Although the organization bills itself as a citizens group, the vast majority of its money comes from global seed companies Monsanto and DowAgroSciences, which have businesses on Maui and Molokai that would be affected by the measure.

In contrast, supporters of the ballot initiative spent a paltry $82,807.21 — or about 1.3 percent that opponents have spent — and have less than $6,500 left.

Big Biotech Bankrolls the Campaign

Campaign spending records show that Monsanto, the leading global producer of seed crops, has donated more than $5 million to Citizens Against the Maui County Farming Ban.

Monsanto, which brought in more than $14 billion in revenue last year, farms about 3,000 acres in Maui County and employs more than 500 workers.

Dow AgroSciences gave over $1.7 million to the political action committee. The company’s subsidiary, Mycogen Seeds, employs 100 people and farms about 400 acres on Molokai, one of three islands in Maui County.

The rest of the funding came from Washington, D.C.-based Council for Biotechnology Information and another group led by Bennette Misalucha, the executive director for the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, a trade group for seed companies including Monsanto.

The $7.9 million raised to defeat the Maui County initiative rivals the seed companies’ fundraising efforts in Oregon and Colorado, where residents are set to vote on bills that would require labeling on food products with genetically modified ingredients.

Anti-labeling groups, which have received major donations from seed companies like Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer, have reportedly raisedat least $11 million in Colorado and more than $16 million in Oregon.

But the fundraising is historic in Hawaii, where the most any candidate has raised is $6.7 million by Republican gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle in 2006, Baldomero said.

He couldn’t think of any county or statewide ballot initiatives that have even come close to the Maui County ballot initiative.

The amount of money that Citizens Against the Maui County Farming Ban has raised comes out to more than $90 per registered voter in Maui County, which has a population of just 160,000.

The money raised even exceeds the $4.1 million spent by Pacific Resource Partnership in 2012. The super PAC waged one of the most notorious political campaigns in recent Hawaii history that successfully defeated mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano and helped put Mayor Kirk Caldwell in office.

Carmille Lim, an advocate for open government who leads Common Cause Hawaii, said the high contributions are part of a trend of out-of-state groups and money seeking to influence local elections.

“It’s really concerning when you have outside groups outweighing the voices of the people and changing the dynamic of the issues that affect the specific counties and individual districts,” Lim said.

TV Ads, Mailers and Signs

Even though the initiative is on Maui, Citizens Against the Maui County Ballot Initiative has been advertising statewide on TV stations, radio stations and in print.

The group has run a barrage of misleading ads that allege the ballot initiative would shut down all farming operations while increasing pesticide use.

Reports filed with the Federal Communications Commission show that so far, the group has contracts for more than $1.3 million worth of TV spots.

That makes the Maui County initiative among the top 20 most expensive ballot measures in the nation for spending on TV advertising, according to an analysis of statewide ballot initiatives by the Center for Public Integrity.

According to its campaign spending report, Citizens Against the Maui County Ballot Initiative paid $4.2 million to Target Enterprises LLC, a California-based company that manages advertising campaigns.

The group also spent more than half a million dollars sending direct mail, as well as more than $250,000 for research on public opinion. Other notable costs include more than $80,000 in legal fees and $30,730 for printing signs and sign-waving activities.

Over $12,000 was also spent on canvassing, in addition to more than $3,000 for canvassing software. The organization’s spokesman Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez declined to comment on how many people are canvassing and how much they’re getting paid.

John Hart, a communication professor at the Hawaii Pacific University, thinks that the statewide advertising could confuse some voters who may not live on Maui, and lead some to reject a statewide ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to provide more funding for agricultural businesses.

Proponents of that initiative are clearly concerned as well — their most recent mailers state “Not related to the Maui GMO initiative” in large block letters.

“It is a phenomenal amount of money for a county initiative,” Hart said.

So Far Behind

Given how much money is being raised to defeat the Maui County ballot measure, advocates for the bill are overwhelmingly outspent.

So far, they’ve amassed just over $89,000, and used nearly all of it.

The national nonprofit Center for Food Safety’s political action committee received and spent about $15,100, mostly on radio ads and print advertising.

Another $14,000 was raised by a group called Maui United that is run by Autumn Ness, a self-employed resident of Kihei, Maui.

The biggest political action committee supporting the ballot initiative is Maui Citizen’s Initiative for a Temporary Moratorium on GMO Crop Cultivation, which received more than $60,000 and spent more than $55,000 on advertising in TV, print and radio, as well as mailers.

The PAC was started by members of the SHAKA Movement, the organization that successfully gathered more than 9,000 signatures to get the bill on the ballot.

The SHAKA Movement also raised $70,000 through a crowdsourcing campaign called “Help Hawaii End GMO & Openair Chemical Experiments.”

Mark Sheehan, spokesman for SHAKA Movement, said the group did not note that money in its campaign spending disclosure because it was used by the nonprofit for educational activities separate from the Maui County ballot initiative.

Even if the money was included in the report, the group is still woefully behind. The organization hasn’t given up hope — it’s hosting an “ohana body prayer service” this weekend, complete with drummers, juices and crystal magic in return for a $12 “love donation.” But Sheehan is worried that the initiative will fail.

“This is the latest and most dramatic example of how corporations run these islands,” he said.

Source:  http://www.civilbeat.com

Natalie-Marie Hart Interviews Dr. Gordon Edwards about nuclear energy

Biography:

Gordon Edwards was born in Canada in 1940, and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1961 with a gold medal in Mathematics and Physics and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. In 1972, he obtained a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Queen’s University.

From 1970 to 1974, he was the editor of Survival magazine and in 1975 he co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and has been its president since 1978. Edwards has worked widely as a consultant on nuclear issues and has been qualified as a nuclear expert by courts in Canada and elsewhere.

Dr. Edwards has written articles and reports on radiation standards, radioactive wastes, uranium mining, nuclear proliferation, the economics of nuclear power, non-nuclear energy strategies. He has been featured on radio and television programs including David Suzuki’s The Nature of Things, Pierre Berton’s The Great Debate, and many others. He has worked as consultant for governmental bodies such as the Auditor General of Canada, the Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs, and the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning. In 2006, Edwards received the Nuclear-Free Future Award. He is a teacher of mathematics at Vanier College in Montreal.

Websites:

This interview talks about the 69th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima which happened on August 6th 1945 and the bombing of Nagasaki which happened on August 9th 1945. We also talk about the movie the China Syndrome.

Check Out Education Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Crystal Kids Network on BlogTalkRadio

Interview about Fukushima with Dr. Gordon Edwards

Check Out Environment Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Crystal Kids Network on BlogTalkRadio

Pope Francis, Neil Young, and 100,000 Beekeepers Take a Stand Against Toxic Agriculture

By Dr. Mercola

What do Pope Francis, Neil Young, and German beekeepers have in common? They’re all speaking out against genetically engineered crops and the excessive use of toxic pesticides.

Meanwhile, the chemical technology industry is feverishly trying to revamp its image by renaming itself and putting out new spins on words to disguise what they’re really all about.

The sad fact is, the chemical industry has to a large degree taken over the food industry, not to mention hijacked the federal regulatory process. In essence, most of the population is being fed by poison experts.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which has been instrumental in keeping Americans in the dark about what’s in our food, also admits it has played an integral role in shaping the draconian “DARK Act,” which delivers Monsanto everything they’ve ever wanted on a silver platter while obliterating the democratic process.

Pope Francis Calls for Radical Transformations to Confront Environmental Degradation

On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis’ 184-page long Encyclical letter1,2 was published, in which he calls for the transformation of lifestyles, politics, agriculture, economics, and business in general to tackle environmental degradation.

“The violence present in our hearts is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life,” he says.

And, while praising scientific advancements, he criticizes the use of novel technologies without adequate forethought, noting that: “our immense technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibility, values and conscience.”

To many people’s surprise, Pope Francis appears to have a fairly comprehensive grasp of the subject of genetically engineered food and its many inherent hazards, both to the environment and human health.

Far from coming from a strictly religious perspective, he comprehensively addresses the issue from the point of ecological and economical balance, noting:3

“The expan­sion of these [genetically engineered] crops has the effect of destroying the complex network of ecosystems, diminishing the diversity of production and affecting region­al economies, now and in the future.

In various countries, we see an expansion of oligopolies for the production of cereals and other products needed for their cultivation. This dependency would be aggravated were the production of in­fertile seeds to be considered; the effect would be to force farmers to purchase them from larger producers.

Certainly, these issues require constant at­tention and a concern for their ethical implica­tions. A broad, responsible scientific and social debate needs to take place, one capable of con­sidering all the available information and of call­ing things by their name.

Discussions are needed in which all those directly or indirectly affected (farmers, consumers, civil authorities, scientists, seed producers, people living near fumigated fields, and others) can make known their problems and concerns, and have access to adequate and reliable infor­mation in order to make decisions for the com­mon good, present and future.

This is a complex environmental issue; it calls for a comprehensive approach which would require, at the very least, greater efforts to finance various lines of inde­pendent, interdisciplinary research capable of shedding new light on the problem.”

German Beekeepers Call for Nationwide Ban of GE Crops

The issue of GE crops goes hand-in-hand with the issue of rising pesticide use, and the effects these chemicals are having on soils, pollinating insects, and human health.

Bees can be viewed as “canaries in the coal mine,” and over the last decade beekeepers have grappled with bee colony collapse disorder (CCD). Bees are priceless as they pollinate one-third of the food we eat. Just about every fruit and vegetable you can imagine is dependent on the pollinating services of bees.

But bee die-offs have in recent years been so severe that many farmers were barely able to get enough bees to get the job done, and beekeepers are asked to deliver their bees over far greater distances than ever before due to bee shortages.

Toxic pesticides have long been suspected of being responsible for CCD, and GE crops are particularly contaminated. To protect these crucial pollinators, the German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which represents nearly 100,000 beekeepers, has called for a nationwide ban on genetically engineered (GE) crops.

GE crops are approved on the European Union (EU) level, but recently adopted legislation4 allows member states to opt-out of the cultivation of GE crops if it so chooses. According to a report by GM Watch:5

“Under the law, a member state can ban a GMO in part or all of its territory. But the law has come under heavy criticism for failing to provide a solid basis for such bans.

The beekeepers are urging Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) to implement a Germany-wide ban on cultivation. The Minister pleads, however, for letting each state decide individually.

The beekeepers counter that a piecemeal approach will not work. Bees fly up to eight kilometers in search of food, the DIB said, so a juxtaposition of GM crop cultivation zones and GMO-free zones within Germany would be ‘environmentally and agriculturally unacceptable.. ‘Bees know no borders,’ the DIB added.”

Neil Young Sings About ‘The Monsanto Years’

Neil Young’s latest album, The Monsanto Years, is all about Monsanto and “exposing the myth of progress,” to quote one of his musicians. Young has also made public statements decrying the hijacking of democracy by corporate interests, warning:6 “These Corporations were originally created to serve us but if we don’t appropriately prioritize they will destroy us.”

“I choose to speak Truth to this Economic Power,” he writes. “I support those bringing these issues to light and those who fight for their rights like Freedom of Choice. But Freedom of Choice is meaningless without knowledge. That’s why it’s crucial we all get engaged and get informed.

That’s why GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market. When the people have voted for labeling, as they have in Vermont, they need our support when they are fighting these corporate interests trying to reverse the laws they have voted for and passed in the democratic process.”

Don’t Be Confused by the Chemical Industry’s Word Games

Monsanto recently made a bid to take over Syngenta, the world’s largest pesticide producer. The $45.1 billion bid was rejected, but there’s still a chance for a merger, in which case Monsanto may assume the Syngenta name, or a new more “neutral” name—a move intended to dissociate Monsanto from its long list of atrocities and lies. The two companies are also floating ideas for relocating the merged chemical behemoth to a lower-tax region to avoid US taxes.7

Whatever happens, I sincerely doubt Monsanto will be able to escape its past as I am committed to relentlessly exposing their lies, frauds, and deceptions to the masses. We will make sure that its sordid history will quickly transfer over to whatever name it assumes next. Still, words and names can be powerful, and the chemical technology industry is busy renaming and rebranding itself and its toxic wares in an obvious effort to disguise their true nature.

Take the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), for example, which on June 17 renamed itself the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.8 Basically, they want to remove the idea of “industry” from the industry. Monsanto also recently started using the word “seed protectants” for pesticides.9

Do these chemicals “protect seeds”? You could argue that they do, but their main function is to kill insects and other plants. Yet it’s much harder to associate a “seed protectant” with toxic pesticide exposure that can cause harm to human health, isn’t it? Do not let them get away with it by adopting this ridiculous new verbiage.

 

Monsanto, a war chemical company that has been sued over toxic pollution multiple times, and been found guilty of lying and covering up evidence of their wrong-doing in virtually every case, is now looking to buy another giant chemical company, move their headquarters overseas to avoid US taxes, change their name, and rename their toxic bug and weed killers into nicer sounding things like “seed and crop protectants.”

At the end of the day, Monsanto is still just a chemical company that is now using many of the same war chemicals to grow our food. Why do we accept food from a poison expert? Toxins are rendered largely unnecessary using regenerative practices, which have also been shown to outperform chemical agriculture in terms of yield.

Monsanto’s president and chief operating officer Brett Bergemann recently stated that:10“We have the challenge of feeding 9.5 billion people by 2050. We need to meet that need in a sustainable way and we need to drive sustainable intensification of agriculture.” And yet everything Monsanto specializes in drives us in the polar opposite of regenerative agriculture. If you still believe Monsanto is concerned with feeding billions of people healthy nutritious food, then you simply have yet to objectively and carefully review their scandalous history.

They design and patent seeds that withstand the very herbicides they make and sell. They promised weeds would not develop resistance, but 10 million acres of superweeds stand witness to that lie. This has led to more Roundup being used to keep up with the weeds. Now crops resistant to even more toxic chemicals are being brought to market. Everything Monsanto has ever done has been centered around toxic chemicals, and now they’re trying to purchase the world’s largest pesticide producer.

Toxins and health do not go together, and anyone with impartial and rational motivations will quickly realize that Monsanto is not in the health-food business. They’re in the poison business, and with the bid to take over Syngenta, it should be crystal clear that Monsanto is not about to change their century-old track record anytime soon, no matter how many new words they invent to confuse you about the use of toxins on your food.

GMA Threatens to Take Away Vermont’s Twinkies

On April 27, 2015, a judge ruled against the food industry, spearheaded by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), upholding Vermont’s GMO labeling law. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2016. But the GMA isn’t done fighting against democracy and freedom and just about everything else the United States claims to stand for.

It recently sent a letter to Vermont, threatening to remove snack foods from the state lest Vermont drop its GMO labeling law. According to Politico:11 “The Grocery Manufacturers Association is warning Vermont officials that the cost to food companies to comply with the state’s GMO labeling law could exceed their sales revenue, forcing many of them to leave.” Should such a threat actually go through, it would surely be a magnificent experiment to see how residents’ health might improve compared to other states where snacks containing GMO corn syrup, sugar from GMO sugar beets, and vegetable oils from GMO soy and cottonseed are still sold.

GMA Admits Playing Integral Role in ‘Denying Americans the Right to Know’ (DARK) Act

The GMA has also been a driving force behind Pompeo “DARK” Act (HR 1599, “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”)—a law that would not only preempt states’ rights to create their own GMO food labeling laws, it also preempts any and all state and local regulation of GE crops, and weakens federal oversight.12 In short, it’s a Monsanto dream come true, and a corporate fascism nightmare for the rest of us.

Not only would it nullify existing GMO regulation, it also prohibits future laws from even being considered! The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) admits playing an integral role in the creation of this draconian anti-democratic, anti-consumer bill.
In a June 17, 2015 email to the GMA board of directors, Pamela Bailey writes, in part:

“GMA knows that your companies are facing difficult decisions and monumental challenges implementing the Vermont mandatory GMO labeling law. Many of you have reached out to me and other GMA staff with your concerns. The federal legislation introduced in the House by Representatives Pompeo and Butterfield continues to gain very significant traction. Indeed, tomorrow there will be a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and GMA has been integral to the process.

One of the witnesses is the Assistant Attorney General of Vermont, and he will be responding to several tough questions. One of our expert witnesses in the Vermont litigation, President and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, will testify on the impact the Vermont law will have on food supply chain. Next week the House Agricultural Committee is holding a hearing, and we expect the only witness at that hearing to be USDA.” [Emphasis mine]

Not surprisingly, Monsanto is also on the board for the Supply Chain Management…13

Take Immediate Action: Tell Your Congressman to Vote NO on Pompeo’s Bill, HR1599

As noted by the Center for Food Safety (CFS),14 the latest changes to Pompeo’s bill “create an anti-democracy, anti-consumer, anti-environment mega-bill” that simply MUST be stopped. We need everyone to put pressure on your federal representatives, and demand they vote NO on the Pompeo bill. We need to do everything we possibly can to prevent it from passing, so please, take action now! Tell your representative to support consumer and state rights, and reject Rep. Pompeo’s bill, H.R. 1599.

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Do You Have a Victory Garden?

The idea of planting Victory Gardens goes back to World War I and II, and was advertised as a way for patriots to make a difference on the home front. Planting these gardens helped the citizens combat food shortages by supplying themselves and their neighbors with fresh produce.  

Planting your own Victory Garden can go a long way toward healthier eating, and in the long run, it can provide incentive for industry-wide change, and a return to a diet of real food, for everyone, everywhere. A great way to get started on your own is by sprouting. They may be small, but sprouts are packed with nutrition and best of all, they’re easy and inexpensive to grow.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/06/30/beekeepers-genetically-modified-crops-toxic-pesticide.aspx

Top universities want homeschoolers

I have been homeschool and now I am currently attending University at the age of 14 and my hook was my radio show.  This is my first year and I am enjoying it.  I am attending class with many students in my that have Masters and doctrines degrees.  What universities expect from students is to become self-directed learners.  It’s an easier a homeschooler to go through the transition from to post-secondary than it would be going from a mainstream school.

The homeschooling movement is growing in North America, and it’s no surprise. The home is a natural, rich soil for student learning. Even with public and private school students, parents remain a powerful force in the education of their children.

For most of history, children received vocational or advanced training in small, community settings such as apprenticeships or with home tutors. While regular teachers possess college and university degrees in specialized fields, evidence confirms that homeschool curricula, with the freedom of the homeschool environment along with the security and care of parent-teachers, consistently outperform classrooms taught by degreed professionals.

In short, the passion and dedication of parents seems to significantly outscore specialization. And of course, the disarray of public schools and the added expense of private schools only add to homeschooling’s appeal.

But what about after high school? The working world still presses job candidates for college degrees. College remains crucial for many North Americans. But for homeschoolers, some colleges fit far better than others. Below is TheBestSchools.org’s ranking of the 25 top homeschool-friendly colleges.

Like anyone else in the college-hunt, homeschoolers want academic excellence and rigor at a fair price—but in a healthy setting without the decadence prevalent in so much of North Americans higher education. In their search for the right college, homeschoolers have unique needs.

It is not enough to find a college that actively recruits homeschoolers; those schools might still fail to address the needs and interests of their homeschool applicants. All of the following schools have a history of accepting homeschool applicants. But we’ve gone farther in identifying three key features that commend these schools as “homeschool-friendly”:

It’s not that top universities are telling people directly to homeschool their kids. Instead, top schools are using a selection process that gives homeschooled kids a huge advantage. Here’s why:

1. Good grades are a commodity, so they don’t help in the admissions process. 
Girls are doing so much better than boys in both standard high school courses and in standardized tests that their good grades and good scores don’t get girls into good colleges. It’s not enough anymore. White girls especially need a hook.

A hook is, ironically, something you are passionate about and engaged in that is outside of school. Top schools like Harvard and Stanford have always required a hook. Because when you’re in a room full of smart people, smart suddenly doesn’t matter—interesting is what matters.

So Harvard, for example, makes a pile of all the applicants who have the grades and the scores to get into Harvard, and then they look for what they need: A violinist, a middle-hitter, a coxswain. Then they look for what else might be interesting. A ballerina, a professional actor, a published author, and so on.

It used to be you needed a hook only for the very top two or three schools. But now white girls need a hook for all the top schools.

2. Your kid will be evaluated on the stuff that is NOT school. 
What this means is that top colleges are devaluing standardized tests. They don’t care if you learn the national curriculum. They don’t care if you can get an high score on the SAT. These achievements are commodified in the way that learning has been commodified. What really counts now is showing passion, drive, and accomplishment outside of standardized learning.

But now things start to make sense.

In general, a college degree is simply a ticket to play. It doesn’t matter what school you went to, unless you go to a very top school, say, top ten. In that case, the vetting process is so tough that it’s a huge endorsement to you to have the school on your resume, and there is a great network of students that will help you go through all stages of your career.

It’s no coincidence that the only undergraduate degrees that really give you an edge are from the schools that require achievements that school does not provide. You get that special hook outside of school. Not in it.

3. Going to school undermines endeavours that really impress admissions officers.
In fact, most of the hooks that get kids into top schools are driven by ingenuity and creativity. This is why Stanford accepted 27% of homeschool applicants and 5% of traditional applicants. And it’s why Conrad Tao got into Columbia without any AP classes or SAT tutors. He just had his piano and a GED.

But the blog Marginal Revolution has a great summary of how teachers in school suppress creativity because teachers don’t like creative kids.

So the only colleges that are really worth a student’s time and money are colleges that don’t value time spent in school. This is one of the biggest endorsements of homechooling that I have found.

Source:  http://education.penelopetrunk.com/2012/04/27/top-universities-want-you-to-homeschool/

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