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Fukushima: Your Days of Eating Pacific Ocean Fish Are Over

Are you still eating sushi or any seafood from the Pacific Ocean? Well you might want to reconsider after reading this article. When it comes to environmental disasters, the nuclear fallout at Fukushima has to be amongst the worst that has happened in the past few decades. Andrew Kishner, founder of http://www.nuclearcrimes.org has put together a great resource of information that tracks what has been developing over time in Fukushima as it relates to the nuclear incident. You can check out his research further using the links below.

“The heart-breaking news from Fukushima continues to get worse -a lot worse. It is, quite simply, an out-of-control flow of death and destruction.

TEPCO is finally admitting that radiation has been leaking to the Pacific Ocean all along and it’s not showing signs of stopping just yet.

It now appears that anywhere from 300 to possibly over 450 tons of contaminated water that contains radioactive iodine, cesium, and strontium-89 and 90, is flooding into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daichi site everyday.

To give you an idea of how bad that actually is, Japanese experts estimate Fukushima’s fallout at 20-30 times as high as as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in 1945.

There’s a lot you’re not being told. Oh, the information is out there, but you have to dig pretty deep to find it, and you won’t find it on the corporate-owned evening news.”
world-ocean-current-flowLATEST: TEPCO says they believe 10 trillion becquerels of strontium-90 (and also 20 trillion becquerels of cesium-137) have leaked into the ocean from the crippled reactor complex since 5/11. (source). This is a ridiculously low estimate. Also, radioactive tritium levels in the sea (seaport) at Daiichi are creeping up and up and up (we knew that was gonna happen).RECENT: In the latest mess at Fukushima, one or more of the hundreds of storage tanks at the nuclear complex holding EXTREMELY radioactive liquid waste are leaking. The radioactive liquid waste is flowing into the soil and standing puddles are ‘hot,’ measuring, at surface, about 10 Rem/Hr. Even taken out of context of the ongoing ‘level 7′ Fukushima nuclear disaster, these disastrous spills are considered BAD. As it turns out, the leak crisis has received a distinct crisis categorization, classed ‘a level 3′ on an eight point international scale (INES).https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7UQXfN-J4E#t=125

Natalie-Marie Hart Interviews Charlotte Iserbyt

Biography:

Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America‘s classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa. Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America’s Latest Education Fad which covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. She is a freelance writer and has had articles published in Human Events, The Washington Times, The Bangor Daily News, and included in the record of Congressional hearings.

Website:

http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

Flaw found in French nuclear reactor

Flaw found in French nuclear reactor
By Rob Broomby, British affairs correspondent, BBC World Service, July 15, 2015
 
A weakness has been discovered in a French nuclear reactor of the type set to be built at Hinkley in the UK.
 
France‘s nuclear safety regulator told the BBC the flaw in the steel housing the reactor core at the nuclear plant being built in Normandy is “serious”.
 
He added that unless he was satisfied with the plans to put it right, he could stop the project.
 
The fault in the French reactor is thought to be a construction fault, not an inherent weakness in the design.
 
The troubled European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) under construction in France is one of the standard bearers for the next generation of nuclear power plants.
 
It is of the same design as that planned for Hinkley C in Somerset and its collapse would deliver a major blow to the so called nuclear renaissance.
 
“It is a serious anomaly affecting a crucial component of the nuclear power plant,” said Pierre-Franck Chevet, President of the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN).
 
“We have observed a bad chemical and mechanical characteristic,” he said.
 
ASN has ordered the loss-making French state owned reactor manufacturer Areva to conduct a further round of destructive testing on a similar component which will see the 116 tonne pressure vessel head or lid once earmarked for the planned reactor at Hinkley C destroyed in the process.
 
Safety and quality
 
A statement from the French state-owned EDF Group which is behind both projects confirmed new tests are planned intended to “provide the safety authority with all the necessary information to demonstrate the safety and quality of the corresponding equipment”.
 
The problem affects the steel making up the dome-like vessel head and bottom of the structure which has to withstand enormous heat and pressure from coolant water circulating around the core of reactor itself. The pressurised water is then pumped to a steam generator which indirectly turns a turbine creating electricity.
 
Chemical and mechanical tests on the steel completed in late 2014 found “high carbon concentration, leading to lower than expected mechanical toughness” according to ASN.
 
The 12.7 meter high pressure vessel which without the head weighs 410 tonnes is designed to contain huge mechanical and thermal shocks.
 
But Pierre-Franck Chevet says the tests revealed the resilience of the steel was “far below the prescribed value”.
 
French standards require the vessel to withstand shocks of 60 joules but they found values as low as 30, meaning the component is in parts about half as strong as it should be.
 
Though there were aspects of the material which were good he said: “On this characteristic of the steel we have 50% of what we want.”
 
The flagship project for manufacturers Areva and the French state owned utility EDF is already way behind schedule and the costs has soared from £2.3 billion at the time of purchase to nearer £6 billion now.
 
ASN has said it will not give its verdict until early next year but EDF maintains work will continue in the meantime.
“It could be yes, it could be no; it could be yes with certain conditions,” Mr Chevet told the BBC.
 
Completion delay
 
The completion date for the Flamanville reactor in Normandy has already been shifted from 2012 to 2017 and the latest problem could make that worse. If they have to replace both the base of the reactor as well as the lid it could prove costly.
 
“If they would have to fabricate a new bottom and head and that is not going to be quick,” said Steve Thomas, professor of energy policy at Greenwich University who has written extensively about the EPR delays. “Removing the base would be more time consuming and could be prohibitively expensive.”
 
A spokesperson for the Office for Nuclear Regulation said ASN’s British counterpart said the two organisations were liaising closely: “ONR expects that any learning that is identified from Flamanville is applied to the Hinkley Point C project.”
 
The statement said: “If ONR is not convinced that an activity is sufficiently safe, it will not [give] permission for the activity.”
 
In an official statement, EDF Energy which has still to make its final investment decision regarding the reactors to be built at Hinkley in Somerset, said there was plenty of time to learn the lessons.
 
“The equivalent parts which will be used on Hinkley Point C have not yet been manufactured. The way in which they will be manufactured will ensure they meet all the requirements of the UK regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR),” it read.
 
Pierre Franck Chevet has won respect for his straight talking in an industry once prone to secrecy. “My job is not to reassure the public, my job is to control and regulate nuclear activities” he said, admitting his words were not always appreciated by the utilities.
 
In a written technical assessment, ASN confirms the two EPR reactors being built in Taishan China were cast at the same forge in Le Creusot in eastern France “using a process similar to that used for the Flamanville EPR reactor pressure vessel”.
 
Mr Chevet will fly to China in the coming weeks to speak to the Chinese regulator there. It could be a tense conversation given the growing interdependence of the two nuclear industries.
 
The international nuclear consultant Yves Marignac, director of Wise-Paris, who has been critical of the French nuclear programme for many years, said the problem would “raise serious issues of profitability”. In a recent analysis of the problems, he wrote: “Economic scenario assessments might show that abandoning the project is cheaper than repair or replacement options, when factors such as the financial costs of further delays, or savings on decommissioning costs if the reactor doesn’t go nuclear are included.”
 
He added: “It is serious enough to put the EPR at risk from a technical point of view and it raises big questions about the competence and integrity of the industry.”

Monsanto USDA Study: Mixing Non-GMO Seed with GMOs Not Helping Pest Resistance

Failure of ‘Refuge in a Bag’ Method of GM Crop Help

By Heather Callaghan

Did you know that farmers who plant genetically engineered crops need to also plant some non-GE crops in the same field? It is supposed to delay pest resistance to Bt corn crops.

Chemical and biotech companies like Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer et al. have a long history of blaming farmers for failures of genetically modified crops and herbicides. When crop yields don’t provide, when corn rootworm takes over, and when farmers have to hire extra help to hack down superweeds when they were promised an easier season – the companies will be the first to throw farmers under the tractor. They like to claim that farmers aren’t following proper pesticide management and planting “refuges.”

For a long time that reason was truly considered a factor. Then came RIBs – “refuge-in-a-bag.” That way, some non-Bt corn would be pre-included in the Bt seed mixture.

GMWatch reports:

…previous studies have shown that refuges do not work well, for three reasons: farmers don’t comply with refuge requirements, pests are able to live and reproduce in Bt maize fields, and the non-Bt refuge plants become contaminated by cross-pollination with Bt toxin-producing genes (see “Refuge concept breaking down” in GMO Myths and Truths).

According to them, the study, “A challenge for the seed mixture refuge strategy in bt maize: impact of cross-pollination on an ear-feeding pest, corn earworm” – was actually funded in part by Monsanto and the USDA. This writer was unable to locate the full text. It was originally published in PLOS ONE, in November.

 

Researchers write:

A major concern in RIB is cross-pollination of maize hybrids that can cause Bt proteins to be present in refuge maize kernels and negatively affect refuge insects. Here we show that a mixed planting of 5% nonBt and 95% Bt maize containing the SmartStax traits expressing Cry1A.105, Cry2Ab2 and Cry1F did not provide an effective refuge for an important above-ground ear-feeding pest, the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie).

Cross-pollination in RIB caused a majority (>90%) of refuge kernels to express ≥ one Bt protein. The contamination of Bt proteins in the refuge ears reduced neonate-to-adult survivorship of H. zea to only 4.6%, a reduction of 88.1% relative to larvae feeding on ears of pure non-Bt maize plantings. In addition, the limited survivors on refuge ears had lower pupal mass and took longer to develop to adults.

GMWatch explains:

The study found that over 90% of maize kernels expressed at least one Bt protein. In addition, the surviving pests on the refuge plants did not thrive, meaning that no viable Bt-susceptible pest populations survived. (emphasis added)

This could mean that the lack of pest control was never the fault of farmers – that refuges simply do not work, and in the end show more complications from cross-pollination. Back to the drawing board for them. Please also see: Thanks for the Super Genes – Weeds Receive Transgenic Material From GMOs

Are Canada’s nuclear power plants ready in case of disaster?

The CANDU Bruce Nuclear Generating Station is ...
The CANDU Bruce Nuclear Generating Station is the second largest nuclear power plant in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Background:                        July 19, 2015

 
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Canadian nuclear establishment is turning a blind eye to serious unresolved safety issues. If uncorrected, these defects will affect adversely affect the behaviour of Ontario‘s CANDU reactors under severe accident conditions, likely leading to far greater radioactivity releases than those currently anticipated. 
 
According to testimony given at the recent Bruce licensing hearings by a nuclear engineer well-versed in CANDU technology, Sunil Nijhawan, there are about forty serious safety problems that are unacknowledged by OPG experts or by CNSC staff.
 
Example: Hydrogen Gas Explosions
 
One particular problem has to do with the generation of explosive hydrogen gas if there is a loss of regular cooling and emergency cooling to the reactor core.  Even if the reactor is totally shut down, the intense radioactivity in the irradiated fuel will drive the temperature upwards beyond 1000 degrees C in the absence of cooling. 
 
At such temperatures, the hot steam (H2O) reacts very rapidly with zirconium metal (Zr) to produce zirconium oxide (ZrO) and hydrogen gas (H2).  Since all nuclear power reactors use zirconium metal as a “cladding” for the uranium fuel, there is a rapid buildup of hydrogen gas mixed with radioactive gases and vapours from the damaged fuel (because the cladding is shot).
 
Many readers will recall the three violent explosions that occurred at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactors in 2011, blowing the outer shells of three of the six nuclear reactors to kingdom come, and releasing radioactive gases and vapours into the atmosphere.  If such violent explosions were to occur in an Ontario CANDU reactor, causing similar damage to the outer containment structures, the radioactive releases offsite will be considerably greater than those from Fukushima becuae of the fact that the CANDUs do not possess an inner pressure-resistant containment structure such as the Fukushima reactors had.
 
Accordingly, CANDU reactors have “hydrogen gas recombiners” inside the reactor buildings. These devices are supposed to reduce the explosion potential by recombining hydrogen gas (H2) with oxygen gas (O2) to produce non-explosive water (H2O). If these devices work as intended, the explosion potential should be averted and the reactor structure should be safe.
 
But CANDU reactors have far more zirconium in the core of the reactor than other reactor types, so the hydrogen gas generation will be correspondingly greater.  Not only is the fuel cladding made of zirconium metal, but also the hundreds of pressure tubes and the thousands of fuel bundles inside the core.  The pressure tubes are connected to “feeder pipes” made of carbon steel, and at high temperatures there is even more hydrogen gas generated by the oxidation of the carbon steel feeders than there is by oxidization of the zirconium metal in the core.  
 
Mr. Nijhawan has performed these calculations and has demonstrated that Canada‘s nuclear experts have not provided adequate protection against the enormous quantity of hydrogen gas that can be generated under severe accident conditions — a situation far worse than that at Fukushima.  The existing hydrogen recombiners are not only inadequate to the task, but they become so hot in the course of operation that they may well provide the spark that will trigger the very hydrogen gas explosion that they are supposed to prevent.
 
Such a situation must never be allowed to develop, because there is no adequate recovery strategy after such a massive explosion.  Mr. Nijhawan has pointed out the need for more and larger hydrogen recombiners, much better positioning of the recombiners to prevent the accumulation of hydrogen gas near the roof of the plant, and a reliable external cooling system to prevent the recombiners themselves from overheating.
 
So far, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) have refused to take these concerns into account.  They stubbornly insist that they have done enough to make the plant safe and will go no further.
 
This is only one item in a list of dozens of other  equally serious safety concerns that Mr. Nijhawan has identified.  Instead of treating him as a welcome contributor the industry seems determined to ignore his concerns because, in their opinion, Ontario’s reactors are already safe enough and need not be made any safer.  Mr. Nijhawan’s concerns have received a more positive response from CANDU owners in some other countries, notably China and South Korea.
 
Gordon Edwards.
————————————-
 
Are Canada’s nuclear power 
plants ready in case of disaster?
 
Meltdown at Fukushima forced nuclear facilities 
across the country to review their fail-safe measures, 
but the modifications being put in place might still be inadequate.
 
By Kevin Bissett, Canadian Press via Toronto Star, Jul 18 2015
 
 
 
 
The Pickering Nuclear Generating Station -- Pi...
The Pickering Nuclear Generating Station — Pickering, Ontario, Canada — 2008 April (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima facility in Japan following an earthquake 

 

and tsunami in 2011 should be a warning to power plant operators that “new, more extreme weather 

events” must be a part of their disaster-mitigation capabilities.

 
FREDERICTON—More than four years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown of three nuclear reactors in Japan, lessons learned are still being put into place at nuclear power plants in Canada.
 
But one critic is questioning whether the industry and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission have gone far enough in preparing for potential disasters, particularly in light of climate change.
 
Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a nuclear industry observer with Greenpeace, said that, while the technical changes mandated by the commission are good, there also needs to be a new mindset in the nuclear industry after what happened at the Fukushima Dai-ichi facility.
 
Using a recent licence-renewal hearing for the Bruce nuclear plants in Ontario as an example, he said discussions on tornado strengths were inadequate and more severe weather must be considered as a result of climate change.
 
“Fukushima should be a warning that we should be looking at these new, more extreme weather events in the risk assessments of all plants globally, and we haven’t done that yet,” Stensil added.
 
Ramzi Jammal, executive vice-president of the commission, said it launched a review of Canadian nuclear power plants shortly after the March 2011 accident at Fukushima. Two years later, it produced a report and identified changes that must be completed by the end of this year.
 
“We need to expect the unexpected,” he said.
 
Before Fukushima, Jammal said the emphasis in the nuclear industry was on design and prevention, but now it’s on prevention and mitigation.
 
“Now we’re saying accidents are going to occur. We are going to design and put into place emergency measures to deal with off-site consequences,” he said.
 
The effort is to make nuclear power plants completely self-sufficient in situations that would stress a facility beyond most reasonable and probable scenarios, Jammal said.
 
He said that means making each facility able to provide its own backup power, cooling water and other key safety measures to protect a reactor in the event of earthquakes, tornadoes, blackouts and even terrorism. They need to be self-sufficient for three days to a week, depending on how remote the facility is located.
 
At New Brunswick’s Point Lepreau nuclear power plant, it has meant a number of measures including increasing the number of diesel generators to four from two, adding a new building for emergency equipment, installing a large diesel storage tank, and adding pumps and hoses to ensure a supply of water to maintain cooling of radioactive fuel.
 
NB Power president Gaetan Thomas said many of the changes began before Fukushima when Point Lepreau was going through a major refurbishment to extend its lifespan by at least another 25 years.
 
“We were able to do tens of millions (of dollars worth of work) in the refurbishment, specifically in response to some potential beyond-design-basis accidents, before Fukushima occurred,” he said.
 
That work included seismic upgrades to make sure piping and other equipment would be able to survive a strong earthquake.
Thomas said they’ve tried to take into account everything that could affect the facility.
 
“What would be the highest waves that could be generated on a tsunami at Point Lepreau? We look at wind. We look at a combination of events. We look at loss of power supply,” he said.
 
Jammal said similar reviews and work have been done at nuclear facilities across Canada and they’ve worked to standardize equipment, such as the fittings for water hoses so that crews from one plant can assist other facilities and have the right gear.
 
The investigation into the Fukushima accident determined that the direct causes were all foreseeable and that the plant was not capable of withstanding the earthquake and tsunami.
 
Stensil said the industry in Canada must not dismiss possible events because they have a low probability of happening.
 
There has also been little examination by the nuclear safety commission of an accident involving multiple reactors, said Stensil, who is based in Toronto.
 
“We have 10 reactors in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). They’ve never provided data on whether emergency planning can cope with that scale of accident,” he said.
 
The commission will present a report on Canada’s nuclear power plants in August, which includes status updates on each facility.
 
Point Lepreau is planning a major emergency-preparedness exercise in November that will be monitored by more than 30 departments and agencies.
 
“We will be testing a lot of these response capabilities and out of that, there will be some lessons learned and improvements that we will implement and also share with our partners in the industry,” Thomas said.
Schematic Diagram of a CANDU reactor: The prim...
Schematic Diagram of a CANDU reactor: The primary heavy-water loop is in yellow and orange, the secondary light-water loop in blue and red. The cool heavy water moderator in the calandria can be seen in pink, along with partially inserted adjuster rods. { (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Natalie-Marie Hart Interviews Pete Kennedy from Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

Pete Kennedy is an attorney in Sarasota, Florida who works on dairy issues for the Weston A. Price Foundation, particularly, the right of farmers to distribute raw milk and raw milk products direct to consumers. He has represented or assisted in the representation of dairy farmers facing possible state enforcement action in Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. He has helped farmers get started in the business of distributing raw milk and raw milk products in many other states. He has written articles for Wise Traditions Magazine on the interstate ban on raw milk products for human consumption and on the legality of selling raw milk interstate for animal consumption. He compiled the state raw milk laws and state raw milk summaries posted at www.realmilk.com. He is currently working with others to challenge the federal ban on the interstate shipment of raw milk for human consumption.

http://www.farmtoconsumer.org

 

 

 

 

The Happiest people in Countries Report

1. Switzerland

oberhofen castle switzerland 1
Switzerland, this year’s happiest country, ranks above average in subjective well-being, jobs and earnings, income and wealth, health status, social connections, environmental quality, education and skills, and personal security. There’s also a strong sense of community in Switzerland, where 96 percent of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need. The latter is the highest figure in the OECD, tied with #2 Iceland. Capital: Bern

2. Iceland

reykjaviknight getty r frederick
According to the Better Life Index, Iceland ranks at the top in jobs and earnings, and above average in social connections, subjective well-being, health status, environmental quality, personal security, civic engagement, and education and skills. Icelanders also measure among the highest in general satisfaction with life, rating an average of 7.5 on a 10 points scale, which is one of the highest scores in the OECD where the average is 6.6 Capital: Reykjavik

3. Denmark

denmark city
Denmark takes the third spot this year. The top country in work-life balance, with only two percent of employees reporting working very long hours, Denmark also ranks above average in environmental quality, civic engagement, education and skills, jobs and earnings, income and wealth, and personal security. Queen: Margrethe II of Denmark Capital: Copenhagen

4. Norway

norway 1
Norway is a well-rounded country, rating well in almost all the dimensions measured, with strong civic engagement, good social connections, environmental quality, housing, work-life balance, and more. A higher than average 82 percent of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education.

5. Canada

download
Canadians are healthy and happy. With 89 percent of people reporting being in good health—much higher than the OECD average of 69 percent—Canada is among the five happiest countries in the world.
Capital: Ottawa
Prime minister: Justin Trudeau
Governor-general: David Johnston

6. Finland

325818 svetik
Finland rates well in subjective well-being, civic engagement, environmental quality, housing, work-life balance, and social connections. The country also places a strong emphasis on education. The average student scored 529 in reading literacy, math and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is significantly higher than the OECD average of 497.

7. Netherlands

leidennetherlands2
The Netherlands ranks above the average in work-life balance, jobs and earnings, housing, income and wealth, education, subjective well-being, health, and social connections. The country also has a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation. Capital: Amsterdam

 

 
sweden 06
The top ranking country in environmental quality, Sweden also ranks above average in education, work-life balance health status, jobs, and housing. People in Sweden are living increasingly longer. The average life span is now 83.7 years for women and 80.1 years for men. This can be attributed in part to falling mortality rates from heart attacks and strokes. Capital: Stockholm King Carl XVI Gustaf

9. New Zealand

depositphotos 4687852 mt cook new zealand
New Zealand scored the highest in health with considerably lower than average tiny air pollutant particles (10.8 micrograms per cubic meter vs. the OECD average of 20.1), and 89 percent of whose citizens report being satisfied with the quality of their water. Capital: Wellington

 

10. Australia

sydney opera house australia 2
Australia ranked at the top in civic engagement and above average in environmental quality. 92 percent of people believe they know someone they could rely on in time of need. Capital: Canberra Prime minister: Malcolm Turnbull Governor-general: Peter Cosgrove

Increases prices in weak Canadian Dollar

Canada’s weak dollar and California drought blamed for price increase

The humble cauliflower wasn’t always a topic of dinner party conversation.

But the price of this cruciferous vegetable — elevated in recent years from the lowly veggie platter to high-end restaurant menus — has tripled in price since the fall.

It sold in some grocery stores for $7.99 this week. And people have noticed.

“Everyone is talking about the sticker shock,” said Sylvain Charlebois, food policy expert and professor of marketing and consumer studies at the University of Guelph.

The price has tripled in the GTA: at many Loblaws locations, Whole Foods and at independent grocer Fiesta Farms, a non-organic cauliflower costs $6.99. At downtown specialty shop Fresh & Wild, it sold out at $8.99.

Canada’s currency crisis is “probably the No. 1 driver” of increased food costs, he said. “Most of these products are off-season here in Canada and need to be imported and bought with American dollars.”

This week, the value of Canada’s loonie dipped below 70 cents U.S., for the first time in almost 13 years.

The ongoing drought in California, where most cauliflowers for sale in Ontario are grown this time of year, has also affected farming. The weather phenomenon El Niño has brought the parched U.S. state some relief in the form of powerful rain, but that has yet to affect prices.

Cold weather in the late fall also complicated matters, leading demand to outstrip supply so severely that U.S. produce consulting company Produce Alliance declared correcting the shortage would take an “act of God” in a December report.

“It’s just like a big, total disaster,” said Louie Collins, who has been in the business for four decades. He works as a supervisor at importer Stronach & Sons Inc., which regularly imports California-grown Dole cauliflower to sell at the Ontario Food Terminal. “This year it seems to be a little bit of everything.”

In a normal year, a case of 12 cauliflower cost around $22, but over the past two months a case of 12 heads of cauliflower nearly tripled to $64, Collins said.

That’s more than $5 per vegetable. He said two weeks ago, the cost of a case rose to around $74, but prices were on the way down. (At one Metro location Wednesday afternoon the price had dropped from $6.99 to $4.99.) Stronach’s markup is around 15 per cent, which, along with the retail markup, is passed onto the consumer.

So everyone is buying less.

Customers are wondering what ever happened to the cauliflower at Toronto restaurant Fat Pasha, where it was served roasted, drizzled with tahini sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. It quickly became a favourite among diners and critics, but was removed from the menu late last year as the price became prohibitive.

“For us to serve it the way we want to serve it, it would cost 40-plus dollars and I just couldn’t see the value … it’s such a shame,” said owner Anthony Rose.

“We’re hoping to bring it back to the menu as soon as we can, but that’s probably not until spring or the summer.”

While the increasing cost of food, including staples and other produce, has made headlines in the past few years, Charlebois said consumers should wait out the latest price spike and purchase alternatives such as frozen vegetables, especially in winter.

“If you see cauliflower at $8, you should not buy the cauliflower at $8,” he said.

 

 

English: cauliflower
English: cauliflower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Credits: thestar.com

Why do Bigfoot take and then return gifts?

By Mary Joyce, website editor

We’ve been leaving a variety of food at an isolated spot in Bigfoot territory in the high mountains of Western North Carolina since November 2015.  Periodically, we also have left nonedible gifts.  Of the five gifts we’ve left so far, only two were taken – an image of a butterfly wood burned on a thin disk of balsa wood and a mirror.

Then it became puzzling.  The butterfly was returned six weeks later and the mirror only a week after it was taken.  Why?

In an attempt to understand this Bigfoot take-and-return behavior, we contacted several people we thought might have insights into this. The best answer came from Joan Ocean,the world renowned dolphin expert who also has had face-to-face interactions with Bigfoot/Sasquatch in the West Coast Mountains.  Here is what she said:

“Yes, I have experienced on occasion the Sasquatch behavior where they return or comment on something I gave them.  Once a friend of mine gave them a rod for spearfishing. They were appreciative, but when we asked if they would like another one, they said, “No, we have enough.”

(R) Joan Ocean

“On other occasions my friend who communicated with them regularly and lived in close proximity to the Sasquatch family, made the female Sasquatch some moo-moo dresses to wear – very large ones!  They kept them for a while (don’t know if they tried them on) but then they gave them back.  My friend always kept a tent set up in the woods so when the Sasquatch wanted to give something back; they could put it in the tent.

“They once gave me a 7-inch plastic Sasquatch doll that had moveable arms and legs.  I kept it for a year and then I gave it back for them to give to the little one that had recently been born.  They kept it after that – or maybe they gave it to someone else.

“On some occasions when I gave them things they didn’t want, they chose the food they wanted and left the rest.  For example, one day they ignored an entire bag of apples I left for them on the picnic table.  Afterwards I thought that perhaps those apples from the grocery store were GMO apples and they preferred to pick their own apples from trees in the area.  They always liked jars of honey and sandwiches, and especially leftover vegetables that I cooked in foil on the grill.

t6“I actually learned about this ‘giving back behavior’ from the dolphins I swim with here in Hawaii every day.  Back in 1990, a dolphin swam to me with a leaf on his pectoral fin and right in front of me shook his fin and released it.  I was so amazed to see a ‘wild’ dolphin bring me a leaf that he had found.  So I tucked it into my bathing suit and brought it home to save forever – a gift from a dolphin!  

“Then on another day, the dolphins showed me how they play with leaves in the ocean. First, one dolphin caught it and then he released it for another to catch.  They played this catch-and-carry-the-leaf game for a long time.  That was when I realized I wasn’t supposed to take the leaf gift home; I was meant to play the game with them.  From that time on, I never took another one away. To this day, we pass the leaf back and forth, diving down, coming up, and often playing for hours with many swimmers and many dolphins. 

“The Sasquatch often left me special stones as gifts.  Only now am I realizing the inter-dimensional capabilities of some of these stones.  They are more than mere rocks.”

Learn more about Joan Ocean’s work at www.joanocean.com.

Credit: http://www.skyshipsovercashiers.com/bigfootet#take

Genetically Modified Moths Released In New York

The same company that releases GM mosquitoes

By Christina Sarich

Biotech company Oxitec has released genetically engineered (GE) diamondback moths at Cornell’s agricultural experiment station in Geneva, New York as part of an outdoor trial, and New Yorkers are more than just miffed.

Organic farmers, environmental groups, and New York citizens have sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball along with Cornell University President David Skorton and Agricultural School Associate Dean Susan Brown demanding that field trials stop and to provide information to the public about the release of these GM moths.

Oxitec proposed field trials of their GE diamondback moth in September of 2014 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is more than likely the first time you are hearing of it.

While Oxitec claims they have had a genetic engineering breakthrough with their GM moth, since the diamondback is indeed a huge agricultural nuisance which damages thousands of acres annually, costing farmers more than $1 billion, they have no idea if their GM moths will cause even more damage.

This Isn’t The First Oxitec Disaster
As Natural Society previously reported, GM moths look to be no better than the GM mosquitoes that are planned for release in the Florida Keys. Oxitec has ties to Syngenta, so it is likely that they aren’t trying to breed out a nuisance moth, but create a super-pest that will make it easier to sell even more pesticides and herbicides.

Furthermore, are we trust the premise for the GM moth’s creation? When Oxitec wanted to release GM mosquitoes I Panama and Florida it was supposedly to control dengue which is spread by the Aedes mosquitoes, but the US hasn’t seen but a handful of dengue fever cases in the past several decades. Oxitec’s GM mosquitoes have a genetic ‘kill switch’ but no one is sure if it will work on just the GM variety or also on the bugs that interbreed with the GM ‘test’ insects. This is likely what we can expect with their GM moths.

Speaking to a Key Haven, Florida resident recently, it became apparent that Oxitec didn’t listen to neighborhood surveys that overwhelmingly were against the release of GM mosquitoes, so it is unlikely that the biotech company will listen to a letter. But what other recourse does a New York resident have? Certainly Florida residents didn’t sign up to be inundated with millions of GM mosquitoes carrying kill switch genes, which not only affect their ecosystem, but likely human health.

In fact, Oxitec and the FDA seem to be working together to deny citizen’s rights altogether. The concerned Key Haven resident I spoke with, Beth Eliot, said that in the last Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Board Meeting which she attended, public comments which were allowed at the meeting were against the release of these GM bugs. However, the District reports support of the release, even when door to door surveys conducted by FKMCD have painted a very different picture.

The Public Is Repeatedly Ignored
It seems the decision to release these GM moths in New York is no different. Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch says:

“This release of genetically engineered autocidal moths is the first of its kind in the United States and it sets a very poor precedent that they were released with minimal environmental review and transparency. The USDA’s irresponsible management of this genetically engineered insect is putting the environment and agriculture at risk.”
It may be the first release of its kind regarding GM moths, but Oxitec has already set precedence for working with the FDA to ignore public opinion and go ahead with its master plan. There has been no press release, and no forum for public discourse on the subject – though it is largely assumed, that just as with the GM mosquitoes, no one is looking for more genetically modified pests to be let loose in their neighborhoods.

Similarly to the release of Oxitec’s first round of GM insects, the USDA did not contact the organizations who opposed this release to address their many concerns, and months later, the groups only found out about the impending release through unrelated correspondence with the USDA that the GE moth permit had been quietly approved.

Why The Secrecy?
The big question here is why the secrecy? If these GM insects are so harmless, then why not simply inform the public? When comments were open for the USDA to take preventative measures, the overwhelming outrage was simply ignored.

Jaydee Hanson, Senior Policy Analyst at Center for Food Safety says:

“The first use of GE insects in an agricultural setting should have required public consultations with potentially affected parties, as well as, trials in physically enclosed spaces before even considering open field trials. This violates one of the basic principles of biosafety for genetically engineered organisms—that they should be physically constrained in trials, not openly released.”
Oxitec’s Methods Have Already Failed
As Collective Evolution points out:

“Oxitec has already released a large number of GM olive flies that were used to kill off wild pests that damage crops. In the Cayman Islands, 3 million GM mosquitoes were released, and in this case over 90 percent of the original natural native mosquito population was suppressed. The same results were also seen in Brazil. (source)

Supporters of the GM insects, like Oxitec, claim that those who oppose the idea are simply fear mongering. This is currently the same response from the big biotech giants to opposers of genetically modified foods.”
I have one phrase for Oxitec and the USDA. Karma’s a B@#ch.

Natural Society

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