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Showing posts from December, 2013

Big News! The Arctic 30 have been granted amnesty

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B. McPherson
Greenpeace ship in international waters being boarded by Russians
The following is copied from a Greenpeace email.
Big news! The Arctic 30 have been granted amnesty. Earlier today the Russian government agreed to amend an amnesty bill to include the Arctic 30, and just now the bill was officially adopted by their parliament. This means legal proceedings against them will be halted and they should be home soon. I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief, but the Arctic 30 have said they’re not celebrating. They’ve all spent two months in jail for a crime they didn’t commit, and faced criminal charges that were absurd. As Pete Willcox, captain of the Arctic Sunrise, said: “There’s no amnesty for the Arctic.” By accepting the amnesty they are not admitting guilt, and once they have the necessary exit visas, they should be home with their families. When that will be is still in the hands of the Russian authorities, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Christm…

Antibacterial Soaps Under Scrutiny

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USFDA May Restrict Use of Antibiotics in Agriculture

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B. McPherson

The US Food and Drug Administration is proposing a change in how antibiotics are used in the agriculture industry. If accepted, sweeping changes will be made in the way food animals are raised in the USA. You may have noticed TV ads recently touting fast food outlets bragging about their meat being antibiotic and hormone free. Few people realize that the majority of antibiotics produced today are given to food animals, not because the animals are sick, but because the judicious application of antibiotics promotes faster growth and more efficient use of animal feed.
The constant low-level dosing of animals destined for the dinner plate has resulted in the gradual loss of effectiveness of medically important antibiotics. Bacteria are adept at adapting to changing conditions and dosed at low levels can fairly quickly develop resistant strains. Tetracyclines, penicillin, azithromycin are unable to curb many bacterial infections due to overuse, mainly in the agriculture indust…

Brazil Set to Legalize Terminator Seeds

B. McPherson

Brazil may be the first country to defy the 13 year UN moratorium on the commercial sale of terminator seeds. This would be the “thin edge of the wedge” to gradually collapse the ban on the engineered seeds.Terminator seeds are those engineered to produce a crop but the seeds from the crop will not germinate or sprout if planted. So if a farmer buys a GM seed that also has the terminator trait, he cannot save seed and avoid buying seed from the corporation next planting.
That is bad enough but many of the crops that are GM spread their pollen via insects, other animals and the wind spreading their traits to non-GM fields. The spread of terminator traits would be disastrous to organic and more traditional farmers, forcing them to purchase seed from corporations. It would eventually drastically reduce the biodiversity of food crops as seed houses sell what is commercially viable.
The Judicial Commission is meeting this week to review their decision about Terminators. Whatever …

Shell Oil Granted Expansion in Alberta Tar Sands

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B. McPherson
When you fill your gas tank, spare a thought for the consequences.
The Canadian Federal Government has granted permission to Shell Oil Canada to expand its oil sand extraction into its Jackpine holdings. This, in spite of the Minister of Environment, Leona Aglukkaq, acknowledging that it’s “likely to cause significant environmental effects”. The move is “justified under the circumstance”. One wonders what the circumstance is that would further degrade the Northern Alberta environment, putting at danger the health of the fragile environment and the people who live there.Perhaps the prospect of the multinational, foreign owned petroleum company pumping 100 000 barrels of oil a day from the area holds out the promise of too much money skimmed as taxes to pay attention to the damage done.

The local First Nation asked for and was granted an extension before the decision was made whether to grant Shell Canada permission to mine the area. The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation hav…

GM Fish Company Cited for Environmental Failures

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