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Flesh-eating Bacteria Thrive in Tarballs

1 Aug

by Paige Brown / SciLogs

 Tarballs on the sand near Opel Beach, FL. Image by Brian Hart, Flickr.com.


Tarballs on the sand near Opel Beach, FL. Image by Brian Hart, Flickr.com.

Dr. Cova Arias, professor of Aquatic Microbiology at Auburn University, and two of her lab members had rather disturbing results published in the journal EcoHealth last December, 2011, on their discovery of high concentrations of Vibrio vulnificus, also known as a type of flesh-eating bacteria, in tarballs.

What is surprising is that Arias’ findings haven’t received more attention from public health officials, given the implications of the research. Findings involving V. vulnificus should be a concern for public health authorities in coastal areas, given that in addition to causing severe wound infections, this bacteria is the leading cause of seafood-borne fatalities nationwide.

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Wealthy Nations Thwart Hopes of World’s Landless Peoples

29 Jul

United States and EU nations frustrate Peasants’ Rights Declaration

by Gustavo Capdevila / Common Dreams

campesinaGENEVA – Staunch opposition by the U.S. delegation and, to one extent or another, by European countries has blocked the approval this year of a draft multilateral declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, which is backed by the developing world.

Bolivian diplomat Angélica Navarro, chair of the intergovernmental working group tasked with drafting the declaration, recommended that it meet again in mid-2014.

Navarro said that in the meantime, she would hold consultations with representatives of governments, civil society and the United Nations, which is promoting the initiative through its Human Rights Council.

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Ag-Gag Lawsuit Challenges Corporate Attempts to Criminalize Free Speech and Journalism

22 Jul

by Will Potter / Greenisthenewred.com

chickenThe first lawsuit against ag-gag laws will be filed in Utah today, arguing that it is unconstitutional to criminalize investigative journalists and animal welfare advocates who expose cruelty at factory farms and slaughterhouses.

The lawsuit brings together activists, academics, and journalists who are directly targeted by the law: the Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, Professor James McWilliams, Daniel Hauff, CounterPunchand myself.

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Paddlers Charge Silver River Protesting Expected Cattle Ranch

30 Jun
Paddlers charge the iconic Silver River, protesting Adena Springs Ranch

Paddlers charge the iconic Silver River, protesting Adena Springs Ranch. Photo: Matt Keene

By Matt Keene / Earth First! Newswire

Grassfed beef ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Take Adena Springs Ranch, a proposed cattle ranch being developed by billionaire Frank Stronach in Florida. The beef project is expected to span 10,000 acres and, according to their website, hold up to 15,000 cattle. Adena Springs Ranch plans to raise the cattle on a grassfed diet, calling their industrial farming practices “healthier” and “better for the environment.”

This past Saturday, individuals concerned with the proposed ranch gathered alongside the iconic Silver River, a river formed from the discharge of Silver Springs, one of the largest natural artesian wells in the world. Continue reading

Regaining Food Sovereignty: Neyaab Nimamoomin Mewinzha Gaa-inajigeyang

27 Jun

by John Ahni Schertow / Intercontinental Cry

Regaining Food Sovereignty explores the state of food systems in some Northern Minnesota Native communities; examining the relationship between history, health, tradition, culture and food. By reclaiming and revitalizing knowledge and practices around tradition, local and healthy foods, many communities and Tribal Nations are working toward a new model of community health and well-being for this and future generations.

Regaining Food Sovereignty is a co-production of Lakeland Public Television & The Indigenous Environmental Network.

FBI Chases Anti-GMO Activists While Ignoring Monsanto’s Transgressions

25 Jun
Hot on the trail of the bad guys — depending on your definition of “bad.”

Hot on the trail of the bad guys — depending on your definition of “bad.”

by John Upton / Grist.org

Some experimental GMO crops were torn out of a field in Oregon this month. That means it’s time for the federal government to freak the fuck out and do its best to clamp down again on eco-activism.

The sugar beet plants, which were genetically engineered by Syngenta to survive applications of the herbicide Roundup, were uprooted in the middle of the night from a couple of fields, presumably by anti-GMO activists. The destruction of the experimental crops occurred in the same state where a strain of Monsanto’s illegal herbicide-resistant wheat recently showed up in a farmer’s field, threatening America’s multibillion-dollar wheat export market.

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Experimental Geoengineering Could Create Food Scarcity

23 Jun

rabaulby Martin Lukacs / The Guardian

Two Harvard engineers are to spray sun-reflecting chemical particles into the atmosphere to artificially cool the planet, using a balloon flying 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

The field experiment in solar geoengineering aims to ultimately create a technology to replicate the observed effects of volcanoes that spew sulphates into the stratosphere, using sulphate aerosols to bounce sunlight back to space and decrease the temperature of the Earth.

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