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Archive for Health + Environment

In response to a plunge in sales of artificially sweetened sodas last week, Coca-Cola announced plans to roll out an ad campaign to win back popular favor for its aspartame-containing beverage, Diet Coke. (Diet Pepsi, which also contained aspartame, saw its sales fall 6.2 percent in 2012 while regular Pepsi sales fell little more than half that amount.)
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Why Safe Regulation of Fracking is a Fiction

Monday, February 18th, 2013

A New York State commissioned Health Review is central to the debate over whether fracking can be done safely in New York. The long awaited release of the Review findings, commissioned in September by the state Department of Health (DOH) at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s behest, will inform the Governor’s impending decision about whether or not to go forward with proposed fracking guidelines, the prelude to permits to frack New York State.

Listen to Fracking: NY Reprieve for Health with Larysa Dyrszka MD and Roger Downs of the Sierra Club on Connect the Dots on the Progressive Radio Network.

The the perennial promises of safer regulations fail to account for fracking as the next in an ever-growing and ever more toxic series of health-damaging industrial outputs that people inhale, eat, or absorb into their skin, guts, and brains. When industry has blocked the EPA from studying or regulating 70,000 chemicals, (from BPA and flame retardants to potent neurotoxins), since 1975, why would regulating fracking be possible? Read More→

Why 911 Survivors Fear Next Explosion

Friday, January 18th, 2013

When some 9/11 responders–many with health issues from that crisis–sought to regain their health, many settled in the small town of “Guns and Hoses,” the nickname of Minisink, N.Y. The many police and firemen who live there (in keeping with residency parameters imposed on NYC emergency service employees) never could have foreseen that within a few years, Minisink (located north of NYC) would become a high-risk zone for gas explosions and contamination, thanks to a plan to build a major compressor station for a gas pipeline–smack in the center of town.

Listen to Pramilla Malick of StopMCS and Tanyette Colon of MUST discuss Minisink on Connect the Dots on Progressive Radio.

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Oh, No! GMOs? What the Heck Are You Eating?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Back when President Obama was a Senator, he promised to label GMO foods, to support the consumer right to know “where their food comes from. Americans should know what they are buying,” he said  (see video here.) But despite these promises, it hasn’t happened. Family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations filed suit against Monsanto in New York court over six months ago, but still no action from the President. According to the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) which filed on their behalf, the plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from future accusations of patent infringement when Monsanto’s genetically modified seed contaminates their crops, something which cannot be prevented once GM seeds are released. Read More→

Hurricanes, Floods, and Climate Change: How Can Farms Survive?

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Even without grokking the science of climate change, it’s obvious that novel weather events have increased around the country and the world. Thanks to Hurricanes Irene and Lee, at summer’s end, torrential rains swept the Northeast region, flooding the areas where New York’s food comes from. In these upstate regions in Ulster, Sullivan, and Delaware counties, there’s a new breed of organic and sustainable farming. But will those farmers, their farms, and their food survive changing weather patterns to continue to grow and supply the foods health and environmentally conscious people prefer to eat? Read More→

New York’s Governor Cuomo issued his plan to fracking New York. Politicans cutting deals with powerful multinational companies wishfully believe that you can tell contaminated water to stay put in one place. They believe that if they prohibit fracking in the area surrounding the upstate NYC water reservoir, NYC’s water will be safe. Too bad water and air currents don’t stay within the electoral districts that politicians are accustomed to compromising about. Join the Sierra Club and take action here.

A newly discovered pathogen, visible only under an electron microscope, is destroying plants and undermining the health of livestock, thereby posing a deadly risk to the U.S. food supply, a senior plant pathologist warned USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. In a January 2010 letter to Vilsack, (a former Iowa governor and agribusiness champion, appointed by President Obama), Dr. Don Huber advised caution in introducing additional GMO crops. But just weeks later, the USDA approved expansion of GMO crops to include alfalfa, the most widespread animal feed crop. Read More→

Radiation Risk? Do Nothing ‘Til You Hear From Me

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

In this special blog, I’ll share with you what my 30-year survey of the most powerful, little known and guaranteed health interventions has revealed.

There is no pill you can swallow, food you can buy, nor gizmo that confers complete protection from pervasive toxicity, skewed societal consensus or invisible radiation. There’s no place you can go, nowhere you can hide and no authority — scientific, medical or spiritual — who can help you to escape what we’ve all created (or allowed to happen) here on planet Earth. Whether you are rich, poor, young, old, sick, healthy, right or left, no health manna, rural organic garden, island dwelling, nor spiritual belief can give you, me or us an out if we keep on screwing up. Read More→

Gasland Director Slurred by Pennsylvania Energy Official

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

In an on-line article, published in the Lancaster On-Line, Teddy Borawski, a geologist who is the Chief of the Minerals Section in the Bureau of Forestry, in the Pennsylvania State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), is quoted as making an anti-semitic comment about documentary film-maker, Josh Fox, whose film, Gasland, has won many awards and was an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary this year.

Fox’s film raises health, environmental, and human rights concerns with a gas drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing, which Borawski espouses. In his comments, speaking to the Pennsylvania Dutch Chapter of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society, in Nettsville, PA Borawski, reportedly told the audience that “Joseph Goebbels would have been proud,” of Josh Fox, who is the grandson of Holocaust survivors who fled Europe. Borawski further suggests that Goebbels “would have given (Fox) the Nazi Award.” Read More→

In a letter to President Obama, Congress, and all citizens, Josh Fox details recommendations on how to proceed safely with the myriad concerns about hydro-fracking. Still, the Obama Administration has up until now ignored the public health threat posed by hydraulic fracturing. In a letter to a Catskills Citizen, the Energy Department dismisses the risk of drinking-water contamination and compares the thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals used to frack a gas well to “household consumer products”! Read More→