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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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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.

Gagged by Big Ag: How Exposing Abuse Became a Crime

17 Jun
Illustration by Tim O'Brien

Illustration by Tim O’Brien

Horrific abuse. Rampant contamination. And the crime is…exposing it?

by Ted Genoways / Mother Jones

Shawn Lyons was dead to rights—and he knew it. More than a month had passed since People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had released a video of savage mistreatment at the MowMar Farms hog confinement facility where he worked as an entry-level herdsman in the breeding room. The three enormous sow barns in rural Greene County, Iowa, were less than five years old and, until recently, had raised few concerns. They seemed well ventilated and well supplied with water from giant holding tanks. Their tightly tacked steel siding always gleamed white in the sun. But the PETA hidden-camera footage shot by two undercover activists over a period of months in the summer of 2008, following up on a tip from a former employee, showed a harsh reality concealed inside.

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Armed Permaculturists Explain Strategy of Seed Bomb Explosives

12 Jun

from Earth First Newswire

This beautiful short documentary sheds some light on a little-known international perma-eco-terra-ist group calling itself SLF-NAG (Seed Liberation Frontier-North Aegean Guerrillas). The mysterious organization has gone public to explain the motives behind their seed-bombing campaign:

“Seed control is an issue of growing importance not only for the consumers, but also for the producers. The current state of affairs endangers not only the public health but also the freedom of the people. Hence, there is an urgent need for innovative and radical means of reaction.

“In our days it is the mass media which shapes the reality. Documentaries, on the other hand, often act as key instruments for deconstructing the ‘”reality” and unveil the truth behind. Therefore, documentaries should also be used to inform the public, challenge well-established views of reality and, subsequently, to turn the propaganda upside down.”

Wait a minute… Do those accents sound a little fishy to anyone else?

Putting the Culture Back in Agriculture: Reviving Native Food and Farming Traditions

10 Jun

by Tory Field and Beverly Bell / Toward Freedom

A family on the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners area of the Southwest makes kneel down bread, a traditional food made with blue corn. Photo: Brett Ramney.

A family on the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners area of the Southwest makes kneel down bread, a traditional food made with blue corn. Photo: Brett Ramney.

“At one point ‘agriculture’ was about the culture of food. Losing that culture, in favor of an American cultural monocrop, joined with an agricultural monocrop, puts us in a perilous state…” says food and Native activist Winona LaDuke.[i]

Her lament is an agribusiness executive’s dream. The CEO of the H.J. Heinz Company said, “Once television is there, people, whatever shade, culture, or origin, want roughly the same things.”[ii] The same things are based on the same technology, same media sources, same global economy, and same food.

Together with the loss of cultural diversity, the growth of industrial agriculture has led to an enormous depletion in biodiversity. Throughout history, humans have cultivated about 7,000 species of plants. In the last century, three-quarters of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops have been lost. Thirty crops now provide 95% of our food needs, with rice, wheat, maize, and potato alone providing 60%. Eighty-five percent of the apple varieties that once existed in the US have been lost. Vast fields of genetically identical crops are much more susceptible to pests, necessitating increased pesticide use. The lack of diversity also endangers the food supply, as an influx of pests or disease can wipe out enormous quantities of crops in one fell swoop.    Continue reading

Monsanto Says Opponents May be to Blame for GMO Wheat Escape

10 Jun

by John Upton / Grist

monsanto-wheat-280x250A week after word got out that unapproved GMO wheat was found growing on an Oregon farm, Monsanto has announced the results of an internal investigation into the mysterious outbreak. The results can be summarized thusly: “Nothing is wrong at our end and everybody’s crops are safe. Maybe our opponents planted our freak wheat to try to hurt us.”    Continue reading

Oh Damn, Chuck Norris Fights Monsanto and GMO Crops

3 Jun
Better watch out Monsanto!

Better watch out Monsanto, the Golden Haired Dragon has his sights on you!

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

Ok, weird but true: Say you wanted to know real, real bad what ole Chuck Norris, the black belt actor that once fought Bruce Lee, thinks about genetically modified foods. You can actually just ask him. That’s right, you canwrite to Chuck Norris with your questions about health and fitness.” Some guy named Tobias D. from California raised the question with Chuck thusly:

Chuck, did you hear about the 2 million people who marched around the world against genetically modified foods? And what’s the truth about genetically modified organisms, seeds and crops?

And I’ll be damned if Chuck (despite being a Republican hack from time to time) didn’t give it some thorough thought and a pretty darned decent response condemning GMOs, which you can read below.  But first, a few gratuitous Chuck Norris facts. Continue reading