Category: Environmental


Genetically engineered crops banned in Jackson County, Oregon in landslide victory against GMOs

Oregon
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

(NaturalNews) A ban on the growing of all genetically engineered plants appears to be a landslide victory in Jackson County, Oregon. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting and a huge voter turnout of over 50 percent, nearly 66% of voters elected to ban all genetically engineered crops from being grown in the county.

The vote ran 39,489 to 20,432 in favor of the ban, and it sends a clear signal that the People of Jackson County, Oregon — a largely agricultural area of the country — absolutely do not want genetically engineered crops to be growing anywhere near them. (Click here to see county election results.)

This is on top of the recent victory in Vermont where lawmakers passed a mandatory GMO labeling law that requires foods to be honestly labeled with their GMO content. (The evil biotech industry and its Grocery Manufacturers of America front group plant to sue Vermont to keep consumers in the dark.)

“Destroy all genetically engineered plants”

This ordinance in Oregon requires everyone to “destroy” all genetically engineered plants except those grown under indoor laboratory conditions (i.e. those which are safely isolated from the wild). This will allow scientists to continue to study GMOs without risking the lives of everyone else in the process.

Click here to read the full text of the ordinance (PDF).

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Oregon counties ban cultivation of GMO crops

Published time: May 21, 2014 16:37
Edited time: May 22, 2014 11:18

Reuters/Ints Kalnins

Reuters/Ints Kalnins

Despite the flood of corporate money poured into two small Oregon counties, local residents voted on Tuesday to ban genetically engineered crops from being planted within their borders.

Although Jackson County itself is home to less than 120,000 registered voters, the measure to ban genetically modified crops (GMOs) made headlines around the nation when it was revealed that large biotech companies like Monsanto were pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the area in order to affect the vote’s outcome.

As RT reported previously, Monsanto and five other corporations spent at least $455,000 in an attempt to defeat the initiative, and opponents of the GMO ban had gained an eight-to-one spending advantage as of April. According to the Associated Press, nearly $1 million of the $1.3 million spent during the campaign was used by opponents.

When the results were tallied, however, 66 percent of Jackson County residents voted in favor of the ban.

“We fought the most powerful and influential chemical companies in the world and we won,” local farmer and anti-GMO advocate Elise Higley told the Oregonian.

“It’s a great day for the people of Oregon who care about sustainability and healthy ecosystems,” added the group GMO Free Oregon on its Facebook page.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Environmental Pollution  –  Oil Spill

 

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Environment Pollution USA State of California, Atwater Village Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Environment Pollution in USA on Thursday, 15 May, 2014 at 12:53 (12:53 PM) UTC.

Description
The Los Angeles Fire Department says a ruptured oil pipe near the suburb of Glendale has spilled about 50,000 gallons of crude oil onto streets. According to the Fire Department, the leak from a 20-inch pipe was reported at about 12:15 a.m. Thursday in Atwater Village and the oil line was remotely shut off. No injuries were reported. Oil spilled over approximately half a mile and is knee-high in some areas. Firefighters and hazardous materials crews are on the scene. A handful of commercial businesses are affected, including a strip club that was evacuated. Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says there’s no “visible evidence” that the oil has entered storm drains, which empty into the Los Angeles River. But he says it’s possible that oil has seeped under manhole covers.

 

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TEN THOUSAND gallons of crude oil covers half a mile of Los Angeles after pipe bursts amid fears of environmental disaster

  • Oil covers a huge area near the Atwater Village suburb and is said to be knee-high in many places
  • Leak occurred after a 20-inch above-ground pipe burst outside The Gentleman’s Club strip bar
  • Flow to pipe was shut off remotely just after midnight local time – but leak continued for 45 minutes
  • Two workers at nearby industrial plant were taken to hospital to be treated for ‘respiratory concerns’

By John Hall

 

The Los Angeles Fire Department says a ruptured oil pipe has caused about 10,000 gallons of crude oil to spill on to the city’s streets.

The oil – which covers a half-mile area and is knee-high in some places – escaped after a break in an above-ground pipeline outside 5175 West San Fernando Road in the Atwater Village suburb.

According to Los Angeles Fire Department, oil was spurting 15 to 20 feet into the air from a burst 20-inch pipe, with the leak reported shortly after midnight local time.

 

Clean up: Hazardous material specialists are also working at the scene amid concern that the massive spill could cause an environmental disaster. Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says there is currently no 'visible evidence' that the oil has entered storm drains

Clean up: Hazardous material specialists are also working at the scene amid concern that the massive spill could cause an environmental disaster. Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says there is currently no ‘visible evidence’ that the oil has entered storm drains

Sweep: Workers try to prevent the vast quantities of crude oil flowing into storm drains. The drains empty into the Los Angeles River and there is concern the spill could cause serious harm to wildlife if the oil gets into the water supply

Washed away: The clean up operation is focusing on storm drains and manhole covers amid concern that the crude oil could seep into the water supply and cause public health problems and damage to wildlife

Washed away: The clean up operation is focusing on storm drains and manhole covers amid concern that the crude oil could seep into the water supply and cause public health problems and damage to wildlife

 

Spill: The oil - which covers a half-mile area and is knee-high in some places - escaped after a break in an above-ground pipeline outside 5175 West San Fernando Road in Atwater Village

Spill: The oil – which covers a half-mile area and is knee-high in some places – escaped after a break in an above-ground pipeline outside 5175 West San Fernando Road in Atwater Village

Evacuated: Five commercial businesses - including The Gentlemen's Club strip bar - were affected after LAPD completely shut down the Atwater Village area

Evacuated: Five commercial businesses – including The Gentlemen’s Club strip bar – were affected after LAPD completely shut down the Atwater Village area

The flow of oil to the pipe was remotely shut down shortly within 10 minutes of the burst being detected, but the leak continued for another 45 minutes.

A 20-inch oil pipeline is medium-sized by industry standards and would generally transport about 200,000 barrels per day based on average rates. There was no immediate information about the specific capacity or throughput of the line.

‘This oil comes from the Bakersfield area, this is a pumping transfer station and pumping transfer station then transfers the oil to a storage facility in Long Beach,’ Batallion Chief David Spence said.

Four workers at the nearby Baxter industrial plant were reportedly evaluated for general illness and respiratory concerns, with two of them taken to hospital, according to NBC Los Angeles,

Oil was seen shooting towards the sky and on to a nearby strip bar, The Gentlemen’s Club at around 1am local time. The Gentlemen’s Club was subsequently evacuated, Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Four other commercial businesses are known to have been affected after LAPD completely shut down the Atwater Village area.

 

Read More  and Watch Video Here

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Earth Watch Report  –  Environmental Pollution  –  Oil Leak

 

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College, pictured, in Wiltshire

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College, pictured, in Wiltshire

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Environment PollutionUnited KingdomEngland, Marlborough [Esso pipeline, Wiltshire]Damage levelDetails

 

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RSOE EDIS

Environment Pollution in United Kingdom on Thursday, 15 May, 2014 at 11:05 (11:05 AM) UTC.

Description
Up to 150,000 litres of fuel leaked into farmland in Marlborough after thieves drilled through a major Esso pipeline. The attack on the pipeline running through the estate of the late multi-millionaire Robert Sangster in Manton happened on April 2, causing a high risk of an explosion. News of the incident, in which a tapping device was used to break into the pipeline 8ft underground, has only just emerged. It pumps fuel from the Fawley Refinery in Hampshire to a distribution terminal in Birmingham. A hose had been connected to the pipe, which carries a range of fuels, and was then hidden with soil. It was disturbed by a farmer, resulting in the leak. Esso does not yet know how much fuel has leaked but says 150,000 litres would be the worst case scenario. A spokesman said: “The pipeline was quickly repaired and has resumed operation and there is no indication of any impact on human health as a result of the leak. “We remain committed to resolving the situation fully. At the moment we are trying to determine whether there has been a leak and if there has, where the fuel has gone.” A 500-metre safety cordon was put into place while the scale of the incident was established and people living nearby moved as a precaution. Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service fire engines, from Marlborough, Calne and Devizes, together with an operational support unit and an incident command vehicle from Swindon. A fire crew remained at the scene for 32 hours as a precaution. Police and the fire service said this week that they didn’t release details of the incident because they were acting on behalf of the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum, a body including fire, police and ambulance, Wiltshire Council and Public Health England, and it was up to the forum to make the incident public. Town councillors were sent an email marked confidential by town clerk Shelley Parker giving brief details of the incident days afterwards. At a full council meeting on Monday Carl Barber, the Marlborough fire crew manager, told councillors: “It’s extremely dangerous. That is an extremely pressurised line at times and it can be a danger.”It was brought to our attention by the police as some was seen to be leaking and it did take 32 hours and seven appliances because our attendance was required while they isolated and dealt with the issue.” Esso has depressurised the pipeline to limit leaks. It says there is still a quantity of diesel and petrol mixture in a hole approximately 1.4 metres deep on the Manton estate. The firm contacted Action for the River Kennet to identify suitable monitoring points along the river in case of pollution. The Environment Agency is working with Public Health England to evaluate the impact on water courses. An Environment Agency spokesman said: “At present there is no impact to the River Kennet, but we continue to monitor the situation closely.” Police in Hampshire are investigating a large quantity of diesel found in a large industrial unit in East Wellow on April 17. It is believed that the tanks found were being filled from a sophisticated system which had tapped into a main fuel line. Two men, aged 32 and 34, from the Salisbury area, were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to steal fuel. They are on bail pending further inquiries. Detectives from Lyndhurst CID in Hampshire are working with other police forces, including Wiltshire, as part of a wider investigation into breaches of fuel lines in the south of England.

 

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Thieves drill down 8ft into Esso pipeline – and spark major pollution alert at top fishing river

  • 150,000 litres of fuel contaminated soil close to River Kennet in Wiltshire
  • Thieves drilled underground pipeline causing the leak near fishing spot
  • Attack on Esso refinery pipe believed to be first of its kind in Britain

By Alun Rees

Petrol thieves have drilled into an underground pipeline and caused a leak of thousands of litres of fuel next to a popular fishing river, sparking a major environmental alert.

About 150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, just upstream from top public school Marlborough College in Wiltshire.

Police are investigating the attack on the Esso refinery pipeline, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.

150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, pictured, in Wiltshire

150,000 litres of fuel have contaminated soil close to the River Kennet, pictured, in Wiltshire

 

A Wiltshire Police source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We’re used to fuel being stolen from farms by rural criminals but this is quite a step further. Two men have been detained in the Somerset area with a large amount of illicit fuel but at this stage we don’t know if the two incidents are linked.’

The theft was from the Midline pipeline, which carries fuel from the Fawley Refinery near Southampton to the Birmingham Fuels Terminal.

 

Read More Here

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Prevent Disease

 

May 6, 2014 by JOHN SUMMERLY

Pepsi and Coca-Cola Used As Pesticide In India Because They’re Cheap and Get The Job Done

Besides being an effective poison to the human metabolism, it seems Pepsi and Coca-Cola have another popular function in other parts of the world. One of India’s leading voluntary agencies, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said that soft drinks manufactured in India, including those carrying the Pepsi and Coca-Cola brand names, contain unacceptably high levels of pesticide residues and consequently many farmers have used the beverages to combat pests because of low costs compared to conventional pesticide brands.

It’s cheaper and easier to buy Coke in some third world countries than it is to access clean water. Coke uses “public relations propaganda” to convince consumers and entire nations that it is an “environmental company” when really it is linked to pollution, water shortages, and disease.

Coke has been tested in many cleaning scenarios and can even compare to high strength brands to clean everything from oil stains, tile grout and even strip paint off furniture.

In 2003, the CSE analyzed samples from 12 major soft drink manufacturers that are sold in and around the capital at its laboratories and found that all of them contained residues of four extremely toxic pesticides and insecticides–lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos.

“In all the samples tested, the levels of pesticide residue far exceeded the maximum permissible total pesticide limit of 0.0005 mg per liter in water used as food, set down by the European Economic Commission (EEC),” said Sunita Narain, director of the CSE at a press conference convened to announce the findings.

The level of chlorpyrifos was 42 times higher than EEC norms, their study showed. Malathion residues were 87 times higher and lindane- banned in the United States-21 times higher, CSE scientists said.

They added that each sample was toxic enough to cause long-term cancer, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, birth defects, and severe disruption of the immune system. Samples from brand leaders Coca-Cola and Pepsi had almost similar concentrations of pesticide residues in the CSE findings. Contaminants in Pepsi samples were 37 times higher than the EEC limit while its rival Coca-Cola exceeded the norms by 45 times, the same findings showed.

The chiefs of the Indian subsidiaries of Coca-Cola and Pepsi were quick to refute the charges. Sanjeev Gupta, president of Coca-Cola India, called the revelations made by CSE “unfair” and said his company was being subjected to a “trial by media”.

Cheaper

Farmers in the Durg, Rajnandgaon and Dhamtari districts of Chhattisgarh say they have successfully used Pepsi and Coke to protect their rice plantations against pests.

It is a trend that has been seen in other parts of India, with farmers also using Indian brands of colas.

The practice of using soft drinks in lieu of pesticides, which are 10 times more expensive, gained so much popularity that sales of the drinks increased drastically in remote villages.

Farmers say the use of pesticides costs them 70 rupees ($1.50) an acre.

By comparison, if they mix a bottle of Pepsi or Coke with water and spray it on the crop it costs 55-60 rupees less per acre.

Old Practice

Agricultural specialist Devendra Sharma says farmers are mistaken in thinking that the drinks are the same as pesticides.

He says the drinks are effectively sugar syrups and when they are poured on crops they attract ants which in turn feed on the larva of insects.

Mr Sharma says using sugar syrup for pest control is not a new practice.

“Jaggery made from sugar cane has been used commonly for pest control on many occasions. Pepsi and Coca-Cola are being used to achieve the same result,” he says.

Fellow scientist, Sanket Thakur, has a different explanation: “All that is happening is that plants get a direct supply of carbohydrates and sugar which in turn boosts the plants’ immunity and the plantation on the whole ends up yielding a better crop.”

Coke in the United States contains high fructose corn syrup which may even prove to be a more effective pesticide since it is a concentrated cocktail of the simple sugars fructose and glucose.

Anupam Verma, Pepsi sales manager at the time in Chhattisgarh, said sales figures in rural areas of the state increased by 20%.

Not Only Cola, But Water Is The Problem

CSE scientists H. B. Mathur and Sapna Johnson said their basic inference was that, as with the bottled mineral water, the soft drink manufacturers were drawing their water supplies from groundwater that is heavily contaminated by years of indiscriminate pesticide use.

High pesticide residues were reported in groundwater around Delhi at the time when the government’s Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) carried out a study which also reported excessive salinity, nitrate and fluoride content besides traces of lead, cadmium and chromium.

Significantly, the CSE laboratories tested samples of soft drink brands popularly sold in the United States as control–and found that they did not contain any pesticide residue. Although more than 95% of all soft drink brands in the United States are made with municipal water supplies containing all of the same toxins and pharmaceuticals in our drinking water including fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, atenolol, atrazine, carbamazepine, estrone, gemfibrozil, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim.

CSE found that the regulations for the powerful and massive soft drinks industry are much weaker, indeed non-existent, as compared to those for the bottled water industry. The norms that exist to regulate the quality of cold drinks are inadequate, leaving this “food” sector virtually unregulated.

So pampered is the lucrative soft drink sector that it is exempted from the provisions of industrial licensing under the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.

Sources:
bbc.co.uk
ipsnews.net

John Summerly
is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary therapies for health and prevention.

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Could Dangerous Underwater Volcano in Caribbean Cause a US Tsunami?

PHOTO: View from "Hercules," a 5,000-pound submersible used by Robert Ballard and his team.
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A team of scientists is exploring the darkest corners of a huge underwater volcano in the Caribbean in hopes of better understanding the mysteries of earthquakes and tsunamis, ultimately saving lives.

Kick’em Jenny is a dangerous and active volcano sitting roughly 6,000 feet below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, and located off the coast of the island of Grenada, south of St. Lucia.

Robert Ballard, famous for discovering the Titanic 12,000 feet below the surface of the icy North Atlantic in 1985, set his sights on exploring the Kick’em Jenny to study its eruption history and learn more about how underwater volcanoes can pose a threat.

Ballard, the president of The Ocean Exploration Trust and the director of the Center for Ocean Exploration at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, said the Kick’em Jenny volcano has a history of explosive eruptions, which could have the potential to trigger tsunamis, the effects from which could be felt as far away as the northeastern United States.

 

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1987 photo of Mark 149 Mod 2 20mm depleted uranium ammunition for the Phalanx CIWS aboard USS Missouri (BB-63).

1987 photo of Mark 149 Mod 2 20mm depleted uranium ammunition for the Phalanx CIWS aboard USS Missouri (BB-63).

Gunner’s mates inspect linked belts of Mark 149 Mod 2 20mm ammunition before loading it into the magazine of a Mark 16 Phalanx close-in weapons system aboard the battleship USS MISSOURI (BB-63). (Uploader’s note, those are probably Firecontrolman, the maintainers of Phalanx, not Gunners mates.)

ID:DNST9400420

Service Depicted: Navy
Camera Operator: PHAN BRAD DILLON

Wkimedia.org

Depleted Environment, Depleted Lives

Uranium Weapons Still Making Money, Wreaking Havoc

by JOHN LAFORGE

The US Army has awarded General Dynamics a $12 million contract to deconstruct and dispose of 78,000 depleted uranium anti-tank shells. The Pentagon’s May 6 announcement calls for “demilitarization” of the aging shells, as newer depleted uranium rounds are added to the US arsenal.

In the perpetually profitable business of war production, General Dynamics originally produced and sold some of the 120-millimeter anti-tank rounds to the Army. One of the richest weapons builders on earth, General Dynamics has 95,000 employees and sells its wares in 40 countries on six continents.

The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons in Manchester, England, reports the armor-piercing shells to be disassembled are thought to be the large 105-millimeter and 120-millimeter anti-tank rounds.

Depleted uranium, or DU, weapons are made of extremely dense uranium-238. More than 700,000 tons of DU has been left as waste in the US alone from the production of nuclear weapons and nuclear reactor fuel rods. The urankum-238 is left when fissionable uranium-235 is separated for H-bombs and reactor fuel. DU is only ‘depleted’ of this U-235. It is still a radioactive and toxic heavy metal. A tax and ecological liability, DU is given away free to weapons builders.

 

Read More Here

 

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NYU EDU

Sources

Depleted uranium is a byproduct of the enriching of natural uranium for use in nuclear reactors. When most of the fissile radioactive isotopes of uranium are removed from natural uranium, the residue is called depleted uranium. A less common source of the material is reprocessed spent reactor fuel. The origin can be distinguished by the content of uranium-236,[1] produced by neutron capture from uranium-235 in nuclear reactors.

As a toxic and radioactive waste product that requires long term storage as low level nuclear waste, depleted uranium is costly to keep but relatively inexpensive to obtain. Generally the only real costs are those associated with conversion of UF6 to metal. It is extremely dense, 67% denser than lead, only slightly less than tungsten and gold, and just 16% less dense than osmium or iridium, the densest naturally occurring substances known. Its low cost makes it attractive for a variety of uses. However, the material is prone to corrosion and small particles are pyrophoric. [2]

History

Depleted uranium was first stored in stockpiles in the 1940s when the U.S. and USSR began their nuclear weapons and nuclear power programs. While it is possible to design civilian power reactors with unenriched fuel, only about 10% of reactors ever built utilize that technology, and both nuclear weapons production and naval reactors require the concentrated isotope. Originally, DU was conserved in the hope that more efficient enrichment techniques would allow further extraction of the fissile isotope; however, those hopes have not materialized.

In the 1970s, The Pentagon reported that the Soviet military had developed armor plating for Warsaw Pact tanks that NATO ammunition couldn’t penetrate. The Pentagon began searching for material to make denser bullets. After testing various metals, ordnance researchers settled on depleted uranium. DU was useful in ammunition not only because of its unique physical properties and effectiveness, but also because it was cheap and readily available. Tungsten, the only other candidate, had to be sourced from China. With DU stockpiles estimated to be more than 500,000 tons, the financial burden of housing this amount of low-level radioactive waste was very apparent. It was therefore more economical to use depleted uranium rather than storing it. Thus, from the late 1970s, the U.S., the Soviet Union, Britain and France, began converting their stockpiles of depleted uranium into kinetic energy penetrators.

Photographic evidence of destroyed equipment suggests that DU was first used during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Various written reports cite information that was obtained as a consequence of that use.[1]

However, while clearing the decades-old Hawaii Stryker firing range, workers have found chemical weapons from World War I era and depleted uranium ammunition from the 1960s [3].

The U.S. military used DU shells in the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War (Associated Press, August 12, 2006, free archived copy at: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0812-06.htm most recently visited November 1, 2006).

Production and availability

Natural uranium metal contains about 0.71% U-235, 99.28% U-238, and about 0.0054% U-234. In order to produce enriched uranium, the process of isotope separation removes a substantial portion of the U-235 for use in nuclear power, weapons, or other uses. The remainder, depleted uranium, contains only 0.2% to 0.4% U-235. Because natural uranium begins with such a low percentage of U-235, the enrichment process produces large quantities of depleted uranium. For example, producing 1 kg of 5% enriched uranium requires 11.8 kg of natural uranium, and leaves about 10.8 kg of depleted uranium with only 0.3% U-235 remaining.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) defines depleted uranium as uranium with a percentage of the 235U isotope that is less than 0.711% by weight (See 10 CFR 40.4.) The military specifications designate that the DU used by DoD contain less than 0.3% 235U (AEPI, 1995). In actuality, DoD uses only DU that contains approximately 0.2% 235U (AEPI, 1995).

 


Depleted Uranium Stocks as of end of 1999
Holder Country Approximate DU Stocks [t U]
as UF6 as U3O8 as metal TOTAL
DOE external link, USEC external link USA a) 470,000 10,000 480,000
Russia b) 450,000 10,000 460,000
COGEMA external link, EURODIF France 50,000 140,000 190,000
BNFL external link United Kingdom 30,000 30,000
Urenco external link Germany, Netherlands, UK 16,000 16,000
JNC external link, JNFL external link Japan c) 10,000 10,000
CNNC external link China d) 2,000 2,000
KAERI external link Rep. of Korea 200 200
South Africa 4 69 73
TOTAL 1,028,204 160,069 1,188,273

t = metric tonne
a) As of mid-2000. See also: Compostion of the U.S. DOE Depleted Uranium Inventory (70k PDF).
For more recent and detailed data, download Inventory of depleted uranium tails, Oct. 2, 2007 external link (PDF – U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce)
b) Estimate based on: Depleted Uranium from Enrichment, Uranium Institute, London 1996
c) As of February 2001
d) As of end of 2000
Source: OECD NEA 2001

Source: WISE Uranium Project

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 P R O G R E S S I V E  R E V I E W

Depleted uranium
Recycling death
 

URANIUM MEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER

 

NEW YORK TOWN PROVIDES EVIDENCE OF TRUE DANGER OF DEPLETED URANIUM 

Parrish’s team has found that DU contamination, which remains radioactive for millions of years, is in effect impossible to eradicate, not only from the environment but also from the bodies of humans. Twenty-three years after production ceased they tested the urine of five former workers. All are still contaminated with DU. So were 20 per cent of people tested who had spent at least 10 years living near the factory when it was still working. . .

MORE DAMAGE FROM DEPLETED URANIUM FOUND

GUARDIAN, UK – Depleted uranium, which is used in armor-piercing ammunition, causes widespread damage to DNA which could lead to lung cancer, according to a study of the metal’s effects on human lung cells. The study adds to growing evidence that DU causes health problems on battlefields long after hostilities have ceased.0508 05 1DU is a byproduct of uranium refinement for nuclear power. It is much less radioactive than other uranium isotopes, and its high density – twice that of lead – makes it useful for armor and armor piercing shells. It has been used in conflicts including Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq and there have been increasing concerns about the health effects of DU dust left on the battlefield. In November, the Ministry of Defense was forced to counteract claims that apparent increases in cancers and birth defects among Iraqis in southern Iraq were due to DU in weapons.

Now researchers at the University of Southern Maine have shown that DU damages DNA in human lung cells. The team, led by John Pierce Wise, exposed cultures of the cells to uranium compounds at different concentrations. The compounds caused breaks in the chromosomes within cells and stopped them from growing and dividing healthily. “These data suggest that exposure to particulate DU may pose a significant [DNA damage] risk and could possibly result in lung cancer,” the team wrote in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology. . . Prof Wise said it is too early to say whether DU causes lung cancer in people exposed on the battlefield because the disease takes several decades to develop.
“Our data suggest that it should be monitored as the potential risk is there,” he said.

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/08/1059/

DEPLETED URANIUM BACK IN THE NEWS

AUDREY PARENTE, DAYTONA BEACH HERALD, FL – Lori Brim cradled her son in her arms for three months before he died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Dustin Brim, a 22-year-old Army specialist had collapsed three years ago in Iraq from a very aggressive cancer that attacked his kidney, caused a mass to grow over his esophagus and collapsed a lung. The problems she saw during her time at Walter Reed, including her son screaming in pain while doctors argued over medications, had nothing to do with mold and shabby conditions documented in recent news reports. What this mother saw was an unexplainable illness consuming her son.

And what she has learned since her son’s death is that his was not an isolated case. Lori Brim has joined other parents, hundreds of other sick soldiers, legislators, research scientists and environmental activists who say the cause of their problems results from exposure to depleted uranium, a radioactive metal used in the manufacture of U.S. tank armor and weapon casings.

Health and environmental effects of depleted uranium are at the heart of scientific studies, a lawsuit in the New York courts and legislative bills in more than a dozen states (although not in Florida). . .

Despite a 1996 U.N. resolution opposing its use because of discovery of health problems after the first Gulf War, the military studies have concluded there was no evidence that exposure to the metal caused illnesses. . .

To the military, the effectiveness of weapons and armor made with depleted uranium outweighs any residual effects. Their bottom line: Depleted uranium saves soldiers’ lives in combat. . .

But Brim and others think there will not be enough known until soldiers are tested for exposure. They compare the debate over depleted uranium to the controversy surrounding Agent Orange, the toxic herbicide used to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam. Speculation over its effects continued for more than two decades before the Defense Department agreed to compensate veterans who suffered from ailments linked to its use. . .

http://www.news-journalonline.com/special/uranium/DUFOLO041507.htm

CANADIAN REPORT: U.S. USE OF DEPLETED URANIUM RAISED RADIOACTIVITY 300 TIMES

MNA – Canadian research centers have reported that during the war against Iraq the U.S. military used depleted uranium weapons which caused the radiation level to rise at least 300 times above normal, and the weapons caused similar effects in Afghanistan.

U.S. troops have recently begun removing contaminated topsoil in Iraq, taking it to an unknown location. Scientists believe the next generation of children of citizens of both countries exposed to DU will suffer from higher rates of birth defects and cancer.

The Uranium Medical Research Center issued a report based on a 13-day survey throughout the primary conflict zones in urban and rural areas of central and southern Iraq on October 2003, according to Risq News. . .

The most disturbing circumstance was observed in the U.S. occupied base in southwestern Baghdad in the Auweirj district. It is close to the international airport and hosts one of the largest coalition bases around Baghdad, occupying the operational headquarters of the Iraqi Special Republican Guard. . . Departing the coalition-occupied base was a long, a steady stream of tandem-axle dump trucks carrying full loads of sand, heading south away from the city. Returning from the south was a second stream of fully loaded dump trucks waiting to enter the base. As the team passed the base’s main entrance, the gates were opened to reveal bulldozers spreading soil while front-end loaders were filling the trucks that had just emptied their loads of soil (silt and sand). The arriving trucks were delivering loads of sand into the base while the departing trucks were hauling away the base’s topsoil.

DEPLETED URANIUM FOUND IN TROOPS

JUAN GONZALEZ, NY DAILY NEWS – Four soldiers from a New York Army National Guard company serving in Iraq are contaminated with radiation likely caused by dust from depleted uranium shells fired by U.S. troops, a Daily News investigation has found. They are among several members of the same company, the 442nd Military Police, who say they have been battling persistent physical ailments that began last summer in the Iraqi town of Samawah. . . A nuclear medicine expert who examined and tested nine soldiers from the company says that four “almost certainly” inhaled radioactive dust from exploded American shells manufactured with depleted uranium. Laboratory tests conducted at the request of The News revealed traces of two manmade forms of uranium in urine samples from four of the soldiers.

 

CARD GIVEN BRITISH TROOPS IN IRAQ 

 


NOTE: THE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE WEB PAGE HAS BEEN TAKEN DOWN 

 

BRITISH ISSUE DEPLETED URANIUM WARNING CARDS TO ITS TROOPS IN IRAQ 

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION SUPPRESSED STUDY ON DEPLETED URANIUM

ROB EDWARDS, SUNDAY HERALD, UK – An expert report warning that the long-term health of Iraq’s civilian population would be endangered by British and US depleted uranium weapons has been kept secret. The study by three leading radiation scientists cautioned that children and adults could contract cancer after breathing in dust containing DU, which is radioactive and chemically toxic. But it was blocked from publication by the World Health Organisation, which employed the main author, Dr Keith Baverstock, as a senior radiation advisor. He alleges that it was deliberately suppressed, though this is denied by WHO.

Baverstock also believes that if the study had been published when it was completed in 2001, there would have been more pressure on the US and UK to limit their use of DU weapons in last year’s war, and to clean up afterwards. Hundreds of thousands of DU shells were fired by coalition tanks and planes during the conflict, and there has been no comprehensive decontamination. Experts from the United Nations Environment Program have so far not been allowed into Iraq to assess the pollution.

U.S. LEFT 75 TONS OF DEPLETED URANIUM TO POLLUTE IRAQ

U.S. FORCES UNLEASHED at least 75 tons of toxic depleted uranium on Iraq during the war, reports the Christian Science Monitor. An unnamed U.S. Central Command spokesman disclosed to the Monitor last week that coalition forces fired 300,000 bullets coated with armored-piercing depleted uranium during the war. “The normal combat mix for these 30-mm rounds is five DU bullets to 1 — a mix that would have left about 75 tons of DU in Iraq,” wrote correspondent Scott Peterson. Peterson measured four sites around Baghdad struck with depleted uranium munitions and found high levels of radioactive contamination, but few warnings to this effect issued among the populace at large. While the Pentagon maintains that spent weapons coated with the low-level, radioactive nuclear-waste are relatively harmless, Peterson notes that U.S. soldiers have taken it among themselves to print leaflets or post signs warning of DU contamination. “After we shoot something with DU, we’re not supposed to go around it, due to the fact that it could cause cancer,” said one sergeant requesting anonymity.

DEPLETED URANIUM

PAUL KRASSNER, NY METRO – The officer came around a row of missiles, and Ethan asked him the question he had for him about his TAD request, and then asked him, “What the hell kind of missiles are these?”

“Those aren’t missiles; they’re cobalt jackets.”

“What are they for?”

“Well, this is ‘need to know,’ so keep your mouth shut, but they are designed to slide on over most of our conventional ordinance. They’re made out of radioactive cobalt, and when the bomb they’re wrapped around detonates, they contaminate everything in the blast zone and quite a bit beyond.”

“So they turn regular ordinance into nukes?”

“No, not exactly. The cobalt doesn’t detonate itself. It just scatters everywhere.”

“Well, what? Does the radiation kill people?”

“Not immediately. Cobalt jackets will not likely ever be used. They’re for a situation where the U.S. government is crumbling during a time of war, and foreign takeover is imminent. We won’t capitulate. We basically have a scorched earth policy. If we are going to lose, we arm everything with cobalt ­ and I mean everything; we have jackets at nearly every missile magazine in the world, on land or at sea ­ and contaminate the world. If we can’t have it, nobody can. . .

I emailed the anecdote to no-nukes activist Harvey Wasserman, author of The Last Energy War and co-author of The Superpower of Peace. I asked him to comment in a couple of hundred words:

“This nightmare has now essentially come true with the use of depleted uranium on anti-tank and other shells in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. The military rationale is that the super-hard depleted uranium helps shells penetrate tanks and other hard structures. But the long-term effect is that the uranium vaporizes upon explosion and contaminates everything for hundreds of yards, if not miles.”

STUDY FINDS DEPLETED URANIUM USED IN AFGHANISTAN

IRAQI CITIES HOT WITH DEPLETED URANIUM

SARA FLOUNDERS, COASTAL POST, CA – In hot spots in downtown Baghdad, reporters have measured radiation levels that are 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal background radiation levels. It has also opened a debate in the Netherlands parliament and media as 1,100 Dutch troops in Kuwait prepare to enter Iraq as part of the U.S./British-led occupation forces. The Dutch are concerned about the danger of radioactive poisoning and radiation sickness in Iraq. Washington has assured the Dutch government that it used no DU weapons near Al-Samawah, the town where Dutch troops will be stationed. But Dutch journalists and anti-war forces have already found holes in the U.S. stories, according to an article on the Radio Free Europe website. . .

In this year’s war on Iraq, the Pentagon used its radioactive arsenal mainly in the urban centers, rather than in desert battlefields as in 1991. Many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people and U.S. soldiers, along with British, Polish, Japanese and Dutch soldiers sent to join the occupation, will suffer the consequences. The real extent of injuries, chronic illness, long-term disabilities and genetic birth defects won’t be apparent for five to 10 years.

By now, half of all the 697,000 U.S. soldiers involved in the 1991 war have reported serious illnesses. According to the American Gulf War Veterans Association, more than 30 percent of these soldiers are chronically ill and are receiving disability benefits from the Veterans Administration. Such a high occurrence of various symptoms has led to the illnesses being named Gulf War Syndrome.

DEPLETED URANIUM: DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL

JAY SHAFT, COALITION FOR FREE THOUGHT IN MEDIA – In three separate interviews a U.S. Special Operations Command Colonel admitted that the U.S. and Great Britain fired 500 tons of DU munitions into Iraq. He has also informed me that the GBU-28 BLU 113 Penetrator Bunker Buster 5000 pound bomb contains DU in the warhead. Until now, as far as I know, the materials used to make the warhead of the GBU-28 have remained shrouded in mystery. He admitted that privately the Pentagon has acknowledged the health hazards of DU for years. . .

J.S.: What about the cities? Did you deliberately use DU on them?

U.S.C.: Let’s just say that we didn’t do anything to avoid using DU in cities or heavily populated areas. I know that I selected some DU bunker busters because of the fact that they have a high penetration factor. I used DU weapons exclusively on some targets so as to ensure maximum damage on those targets. You don’t want to just halfway destroy some targets, you want maximum damage. . .

J.S.: What about the health risks that are associated with DU? Or do you deny there are any?

U.S.C.: You are determined to get me to make a statement about the health risks aren’t you?

J.S.: If you will, I want to see what the behind the scenes view of DU is in the Pentagon.

U.S.C.: Well. . . (long pause, followed by heavy profanity). . . Okay, I’ll give you some dirt if that’s what you’re looking for. The Pentagon knows there are huge health risks associated with DU They know from years of monitoring our own test ranges and manufacturing facilities.

There were parts of Iraq designated as high contamination areas before we ever placed any troops on the ground. The areas around Basra, Jalibah, Talil, most of the southern desert, and various other hot spots were all identified as contaminated before the war. Some of the areas in the southern desert region along the Kuwaiti border are especially radioactive on scans and tests.
One of our test ranges in Saudi Arabia shows over 1000 times the normal background level for radiation. We have test ranges in the U.S. that are extremely contaminated; hell, they have been since the 80’s and nothing is ever said publicly. Don’t ask don’t tell is not only applied to gays, it is applied to this matter very heavily.

I know at one time the theory was developed that any soldier exposed to DU shells should have to wear full MOP gear (the chemical protective suit). But they realized that just wouldn’t be practical and it was never openly discussed again.

J.S.: So the stories that they know DU is harmful are true?

U.S.C.: Yes, there is no doubt that most high level commanders who were around during the 80’s know about it.

J.S.: So how do you feel about the fact that you exposed your own men to DU?

U.S.C.: F…k you!! What do you know about my job? I did what I had to do to take out the targets I was given. If it was necessary to use DU, than I put it in my target analysis reports. I didn’t actually fire the rounds myself; I work in a remote office.

J.S.: So you’ll never have to worry about being exposed to DU huh? Very brave.

U.S.C.: (lot’s of profanity) this interview is over with (more profanity, followed by the phone slamming down)

U.S. TO USE DEPLETED URANIUM AGAIN

BBC – A United States defense official has said moves to ban depleted uranium ammunition are just an attempt by America’s enemies to blunt its military might. Colonel James Naughton of US Army Materiel Command said Iraqi complaints about depleted uranium shells had no medical basis. “They want it to go away because we kicked the crap out of them,” he told a Pentagon briefing.

If war starts, tons of depleted uranium weapons are likely to be used by British and American tanks and by ground attack aircraft. Some believe people are still suffering ill health from ammunition used in the Gulf War 12 years ago, and other conflicts. In the House of Commons in London on Monday, Labor MP Joan Ruddock said a test of the UK Government’s pledge to keep civilian casualties to a minimum in an attack on Iraq would include not using depleted uranium weapons.

Apparently anticipating complaints, the US defense department briefed journalists about DU – making it plain it would continue to be used. . .

Cancer surgeons in the southern Iraqi port of Basra report a marked increase in cancers which they suspect were caused by DU contamination from tank battles on the farmland to the west of the city. . . Depleted uranium is mildly radioactive but the main health concern is that it is a heavy metal, potentially poisonous. The likelihood of absorbing it is increased significantly if a weapon has struck a target and exploded because the DU vaporizes into a fine dust and can be inhaled. . .

A 1995 report from the US Army Environmental Policy Institute, for example, said: “If DU enters the body, it has the potential to generate significant medical consequences.”

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Environmental Pollution

du_rounds

US allegedly poisoned Iraqi village with lethal radioactive material - local official

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Environment Pollution Iraq Province of Missan, [Karima village area] Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Environment Pollution in Iraq on Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 at 03:07 (03:07 AM) UTC.

Description
The official environmental authority in the Iraqi governorate of Missan, which is located 390 kilometres away from Baghdad, has announced the discovery of dangerous radioactive contamination that is attributed to the 2003 US-led war on Iraq. The director of the general authority for the environment in Missan, Samir Kadim, told the New Arab news website that the authority’s specialised staff found radioactive material, mainly in military equipment and the skeletons of cars, in a small village south of Missan known as Karima. Kadim explained that the ministry’s authority is cautiously entering the three areas where radioactive material was discovered and is taking strict procedures to remove it. The village witnessed one of the fiercest battles between the former Iraqi army and the US-led coalition forces in 2003. “Unfortunately, we have discovered it late, after a number of the village’s residents have been diagnosed with various diseases,” Kadim said.One of the village’s residents told the New Arab in a phone interview that: “Cancer has spread among us, in addition to birth defects among new-born babies and other diseases that doctors cannot explain.” “But it is only now that we have discovered the cause �” it is the US,” said 45-year-old Abboud Moussa. Moussa described how a number of Karima’s villagers, including children and his own mother, died as a result of this radioactive material. Doctors diagnosed his mother with skin cancer and bone disease, and they told him that she needed to receive medical treatment abroad, but she died very fast before she could travel. The village’s mayor Mahmoud Abtan told the New Arab that a routine visit to the village by officials from the Ministry of Environment encouraged the villagers to ask them to examine a number of areas that had a bad smell. “A number of animals grazing near those areas have died … people even thought that those areas were possessed. Then it turned out that they are not possessed at all, and our murderer is the US,” he said.According to Missan’s environment authority, Karima is the third place in the governorate where radioactive material has been discovered amid primitive treatment and an American refusal to take responsibility. Any US assistance in handling the radiation would be an acknowledgement of its use of internationally banned weapons in Iraq. Abdel Khalek Mahmoud, an environmental expert, told the New Arab that “radioactive contamination in Iraq is divided into two types: The first, which is rarely found in Iraq, is high-level radioactivity that can be discovered by electronic devices. The second is low-level radioactivity, which is more difficult to discover. It was caused by the waste of depleted uranium that was used by the US in its 2003 war on Iraq. This is abundantly found and it has caused a lot of lethal damage in the country.” “We have often said that the reason why thousands of Iraqi soldiers went missing is that their bodies burnt as a result of uranium-saturated bombs. But the country’s new leaders, who were empowered by the US, were not willing to bother the Americans,” Mahmoud added.

 

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US allegedly poisoned Iraqi village with lethal radioactive material – local official

US allegedly poisoned Iraqi village with lethal radioactive material - local official

© Photo: Voice of Russia/Michael Shepetkov

The official environmental authority in the Iraqi governorate of Missan, located 390 kilometers away from Baghdad, has discovered radioactive material attributed to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, Global Research reports. The director of the general authority for the environment, Samir Kadim, explained that dangerous contamination was found in military equipment left at a small village south of Karima that saw severe fighting between the Iraqi army and the US-led coalition forces in 2003.

Kadim laments that the contamination was not discovered soon after the military operation ended. Since then several people have been diagnosed with various serious diseases, from cancer to birth defects. “Unfortunately, we have discovered it late, after a number of the village’s residents have been diagnosed with various diseases.”

Many need professional medical help only available abroad. Some succumbed to the disease without receiving any treatment.

Abboud Moussa told the New Arab: “Cancer has spread among us, in addition to birth defects among new-born babies and other diseases that doctors cannot explain.”

“But it is only now that we have discovered the cause – it is the US.”

Reportedly, this is the third case that radioactive material has been discovered in that area.

The village’s mayor Mahmoud Abtan told the New Arab that a routine visit to the village by officials from the Ministry of Environment encouraged the villagers to ask them to examine a number of areas that had a bad smell. “A number of animals grazing near those areas have died … people even thought that those areas were possessed. Then it turned out that they are not possessed at all, and our murderer is the US,” he said, as quoted by the Global Research.

Abdel Khalek Mahmoud, an environmental expert, told the New Arab that allegedly depleted uranium was used in Iraq by the US in 2003. “This is abundantly found and it has caused a lot of lethal damage in the country.”

 

 

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 nuclear-news

USA, UK, France will not admit the growing radioactive pollution of Iraq, due to depleted uranium weapons

du_roundsThe health effects are disputed by the US and UK governments, who joined with France and Israel to vote against a resolution calling for “a precautionary approach” to the use of DU weapons at the United Nations general assembly in December; 155 countries voted in favour of the resolution.

Iraq’s depleted uranium clean-up to cost $30m as contamination spreads  guardian.co.uk,  6 March 2013 Report says toxic waste is being spread by scrap metal dealers, and describes its ‘alarming’ use in civilian areas during Iraq wars Cleaning up more than 300 sites in Iraq still contaminated by depleted uranium (DU) weapons will cost at least $30m, according to a report by a Dutch peace group to be published on Thursday.

The report, which was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warns that the contamination is being spread by poorly regulated scrap metal dealers, including children. It also documents evidence that DU munitions were fired at light vehicles, buildings and other civilian infrastructure including the Iraqi Ministry of Planning in Baghdad – casting doubt on official assurances that only armoured vehicles were targeted. “The use of DU in populated areas is alarming,” it says, adding that many more contaminated sites are likely to be discovered.

More than 400 tonnes of DU ammunition are estimated to have been fired by jets and tanks in the two Iraq wars in 1991 and 2003, the vast majority by US forces. The UK government says that British forces fired less than three tonnes.

DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as wasteby the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons because it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armour.

 

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January 18, 2014 | 49,140 views

By Dr. Mercola

Cereal giant General Mills has announced that its original-flavor Cheerios will soon be made without the use of genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

It’s a major step in the right direction that also highlights the changing attitudes among the US public regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs)… increasing numbers of people simply do not want them in our food.

For some of you, the news that Cheerios even contained GM ingredients to begin with may come as a surprise, as GM ingredients are not required to be labeled in the US (the way they are in the European Union or EU).

Others may have assumed they were GM-free, since they’re made mostly from oats, not corn or soy, which are two of the most commonly used GMOs in the US. Unbeknownst to many, however, Cheerios were formerly made using GM cornstarch and sugar.

Most likely, though, General Mills’ move was made in response to recent consumer backlash, proving once again that the power to clean up the food supply lies in your hands.

 

Consumer Backlash Likely Drove General Mills to Drop GMOs from Cheerios

 

General Mills reported earlier this month that they’ve already begun producing Cheerios made without GMOs. To be clear, the change will only apply to its original-flavor cereal (not Apple Cinnamon or others), and the boxes will be labeled “Not Made with Genetically Modified Ingredients.”

There will also be a disclaimer that trace amounts of GMO ingredients may be present due to contamination during the manufacturing process.1 The move comes just weeks after General Mills’ Cheerios brand released a Facebook app asking “fans” to “show what Cheerios mean to them.”

The app allowed users to create their own placards using Cheerios’ trademarked black font on a yellow background, where dots and periods featured little cheerios. One day later, the app was abruptly pulled after thousands of angry “fans” expressed their disgust over the company’s betrayal. What betrayal, you ask?

General Mills donated more than $1.1 million to the “No on Prop. 37″ campaign to defeat California’s Proposition 37, which would have required GM foods to be labeled as such and prevented GM foods from being mislabeled as “natural.”

Proposition 37 was defeated back in November 2012 due to massive donations from multinational corporations, such as General Mills, which hide GM ingredients behind natural labels and “wholesome” advertising. Two of the first three ingredients in Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios are cornstarch and sugar—two ingredients that are often genetically engineered.

 

You Spoke… and General Mills Listened!

 

Many people are now waking up to the fact that there is an ever-growing number of genetically engineered ingredients in our food that we had no idea were there. As far as Cheerios goes, you’d never get the impression there might be anything unnatural about their cereal.

But when it came out that the company had been donating to efforts to keep GM labeling silent, their trust for providing “wholesome goodness” (as their Web site claims) was badly broken.

After all, they would rather pay millions to hide that their products contain GM ingredients rather than give you the choice to buy something else… or reformulate their product without GM ingredients (which would be the sensible thing to do if they were really concerned about children’s long-term health and well-being).

After all the backlash – remember, there were thousands of people speaking out against their GMO deception on their Facebook page – General Mills got proactive with damage control by removing the GM ingredients from their flagship product. Now, if they’ll extend it to their other products as well, we’ll be getting somewhere…

Monsanto Disses GMO-Free Cheerios as a Marketing Stunt

Monsanto, the world leader in genetically modified (GM) crops and seeds, dismissed General Mills’ move to make Cheerios GMO-free, calling it a ‘marketing’ move. CEO Hugh Grant focused his comments on the fact that oats are the main ingredient in original Cheerios, and there are no GM oats.

Still, there is GM corn and GM sugar, two other ingredients used in the cereal. Clearly Monsanto is keen on downplaying the positive press that General Mills is receiving over labeling their products as free from GMOs. Could this signal the beginning of the end for the unspoken partnership between biotech and the junk-food industry?

CEO Hugh Grant said:2

“The interesting thing with Cheerios over that particular brand is they’re made from oats, and there are no biotech oats in existence today. So I think we’ve talked for years about we would support voluntary labeling and that was up to companies to do. I think we saw last week was the first real life example of true voluntary labeling and probably a little bit of marketing as well.”

Monsanto is not going to let GM labeling happen without a fight, however. Last year the company donated nearly $5 million to the anti-labeling campaign in Washington State, and in 2012 they donated more than $7 million to help defeat California’s Proposition 37.

Curiously enough, Monsanto is more than willing to “support” GMO labeling once they run out of options. They even ran an ad in the UK letting British consumers know how much the company supports the mandatory labeling of their goods—even urging Britons to seek such labels out—ostensibly because Monsanto believes “you should be aware of all the facts before making a decision.”

 

Forbes Asks: Are GMO-Free Cheerios “The First Domino”?

 

The first white flag from the food industry has gone up, and even Forbes had to admit it. With increasing GMO-labeling initiatives on state ballots and regulators considering labeling changes on a national level, the food industry has been standing together to defeat this rising opposition … until now.

General Mills’ move sets it apart from the other industry giants in showing that they are responding to consumer demand. It’s a wise move that will win them major favor among the growing number of Americans seeking safer food while costing them little (the actual tweaking of their recipe to become GMO-free will be minimal). This may very well be the ‘first domino’ to fall …

In fact, Post Foods recently announced that they have released a non-GMO verified Grape Nuts cereal that is available on store shelves as of January 2014.. and they’re looking to add even more non-GMO verified products, noting that

We are always listening to our consumers…”

So it seems the dominoes are already beginning to fail. As for why General Mills’ made their move at such a pivotal time in GM-food history, Forbes hit the nail on the head:3

The answer is that public opinion is reaching critical mass. Ninety-percent of Americans believe that GMOs are unsafe, 93 percent of Americans favor stringent federal GMO labeling regulations, and 57 percent say they would be less likely to buy products labeled as genetically modified. When we shift the focus from General Mills motivations to the timing of its decision, we see why every food manufacturer ought to be taking notice, whether another brand-name kitchen table staple goes non-GMO or not.”

 

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Playing Keep Away From GMOs

SuperMarket News

 

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By Dr. Mercola

In a recent article titled “Monsanto GM Soy is Scarier than You Think,” Mother Jones1 went into some of the details surrounding our genetically engineered (GE) food supply.

Soybeans are the second-largest food crop grown in the US, and more than 90 percent of it is genetically engineered. Some have been modified to withstand the herbicide Roundup (i.e. Roundup-Ready soy), while other varieties have been designed to produce its own pesticide, courtesy of the Bt gene (so-called Bt soy).

As noted in the featured article, organic soy production is miniscule, accounting for less than one percent of the total acreage devoted to soy in the US. The rest is conventionally grown non-GE soy.

Even if you don’t buy soy products such as tofu or soy milk, you’re undoubtedly consuming plenty of soy if you’re eating any processed foods and/or meats from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). A large portion of the GE soy grown actually ends up in your meat, as soy is a staple of conventional livestock feed. Much of the rest ends up as vegetable oil.

According to the US Soy Board, soybean oil accounts for more than 60 percent of all the vegetable oil consumed in the US—most of which is used in processed foods and fast food preparation. As noted in the featured article:2

“Given soy’s centrality to our food and agriculture systems, the findings of a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Chemistry3 are worth pondering.

The authors found that Monsanto’s ubiquitous Roundup Ready soybeans… contain more herbicide residues than their non-GMO counterparts. The team also found that the GM beans are nutritionally inferior.”

 

New Research Questions Quality and Safety of GE Soybeans

 

Three varieties of Iowa-grown soybeans were investigated in this study:4

  1. Roundup Ready soybeans
  2. Non-GE, conventional soybeans grown using Roundup herbicide
  3. Organic soybeans, grown without agricultural chemicals

All of the Roundup Ready soybean samples were found to contain residues of glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup, along with its amino acid metabolite, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA).

On average, GE soy contained 11.9 parts per million (ppm) of glyphosate. The highest residue level found was 20.1 ppm. Meanwhile, no residues of either kind were found in the conventional non-GE and organic varieties.

In terms of nutrition, organic soybeans contained slightly higher levels of protein and lower levels of omega-6, compared to both conventionally-grown non-GE and GE soy. Similar results were found in a 2012 nutritional analysis of GE corn, which was found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to zero in non-GMO corn.

It may be worth noting that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually raised the allowable levels of glyphosate5, 6 in oilseed crops such as soy, from 20 ppm to 40 ppm just last summer. It also raised the levels of permissible glyphosate contamination in other foods—many of which were raised to 15-25 times previous levels!

 

Why Glyphosate Contamination Matters

 

Nearly one BILLION pounds of Roundup are used each year for conventional crop production around the globe, but genetically engineered (GE) crops see some of the heaviest use. This is especially true for Roundup Ready crops, which are designed to withstand otherwise lethal doses of this chemical.

The issue of glyphosate contamination is well worth considering if you value your health. Recent research suggests glyphosate may in fact be an instrumental driver of many chronic diseases, and in my view, avoiding glyphosate is a major reason for buying organic, in and of itself.

Labeling GMOs could help you select products that are less likely to have heavy contamination, although you’d also avoid many other hazardous chemicals used in conventional farming by opting for products labeled 100% organic.

It’s important to understand that these glyphosate residues CANNOT be washed off, as the chemical is actively integrated into every cell in the plant. Dr. Don Huber, who is one of the most prominent scientific experts in plant toxicology, firmly believes glyphosate is FAR more toxic and dangerous than DDT. A number of other studies have raised serious questions about the safety of glyphosate, including but not limited to the following:

  • Research published in the International Journal of Toxicology7 in January revealed that glyphosate-based formulations like Roundup pose a threat to human health through cytotoxicity and oxidative effects. Such formulations were also found to be lethal to human liver cells
  • A 2012 study8 found that 3 ppm of Roundup in water induced morphological changes in frogs
  • A German study9 on poultry, published in 2013, showed that glyphosate tends to be more harmful to beneficial gut bacteria like Lactobacillus, while pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella entritidi tend to be largely resistant to the chemical. Subsequently, the microbial balance tends to shift toward pathogenic overgrowth when exposed to glyphosate, and can predispose the animal to botulism

Victory! Vermont Passes First Effective GMO-Labeling Bill

 

On April 16, 2014, the Vermont Senate passed the first no-strings-attached GMO labeling bill (H.112) by an overwhelming margin—28-2. The bill sailed through a House/Senate conference committee and was approved by the House of Representatives on April 23.

Governor Shumlin has already indicated he will be signing the bill into law—which will require any genetically engineered food sold in Vermont to be labeled by July 1, 2016.10 Food served in restaurants, alcohol, meat, and dairy products would be exempt from labeling however. Foods containing GMO ingredients would also not be allowed to be labeled “natural.”

“I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food,” Governor Shumlin said in a statement. “The Legislature has spoken loud and clear through its passage of this bill. I wholeheartedly agree with them and look forward to signing this bill into law.”

This is truly an historical moment that will likely reverberate across the US in coming years. As noted by Ronnie Cummins in a recent Huffington Post article:11

“Strictly speaking, Vermont’s H.112 applies only to Vermont. But it will have the same impact on the marketplace as a federal law. Because national food and beverage companies and supermarkets will not likely risk the ire of their customers by admitting that many of the foods and brands they are selling in Vermont are genetically engineered, and deceptively labeled as ‘natural’ or ‘all natural’ while simultaneously trying to conceal this fact in the other 49 states and North American markets. As a seed executive for Monsanto admitted 20 years ago, ‘If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.'”

The Burlington Free Press12 recently ran an excellent article on how the Vermont GMO labeling bill was won. I would highly encourage you to read it in its entirety, to get a real-world view of just how effective a grassroots campaign can be. It really boils down to letting your representatives know what you want. Despite the threat of a lawsuit from food manufacturers, Vermont legislators realized that their constituents were serious about wanting GMOs labeled. And they voted accordingly. Indeed, the chemical technology and food industry knows this, which is why they’ve fought tooth and nail to stop any and all GMO labeling efforts in the US. They’ve even threatened to sue any state that passes a labeling law—a threat taken seriously by Vermont.

 

Vermont Braces for Legal Challenge

 

Vermont Senate agreed to establish a state defense fund to pay for legal costs associated with defending the law against any legal challenge by the food industry, which will undoubtedly be spearheaded by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). It’s unlikely that the industry would win such a legal challenge, however. As reported by the Burlington Free Press:13

“Rep. Teo Zagar, D-Barnard, told House members that… changes the Senate made will help the state prevail in court. ‘This bill has been re-engineered to be more resistant to legal challenge,’ he said.”

As you may recall, after getting caught laundering money and narrowly defeating the Washington labeling campaign, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) sued the state of Washington, arguing they should be allowed to hide their donors—which is a direct violation of state campaign disclosure laws—in order to “speak with one voice” for the interests of the food industry.14 I subsequently named the GMA “the most evil corporation on the planet,” considering the fact that it consists primarily of pesticide producers and junk food manufacturers who are hell-bent on violating some of your most basic rights, just to protect their own profits.

The GMA was initially forced to reveal their donors, but has since removed their online membership list—again hiding their members to prevent consumer awareness of who is behind this radical front group. You can find the cached members list on web.archive.org15 however. Not surprisingly, Pepsi, Coke, and Nestle—top purveyors of chronic ill health—were the top funders trying to hide their identity during the Washington State GMO labeling campaign.

 

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201 dead in Turkey mine explosion, hundreds trapped

Published time: May 13, 2014 15:49
Edited time: May 14, 2014 02:47

People gather at a mine in the Soma district in the western Turkish province of Manisa on May 13, 2014.(AFP Photo / Ihlas News Agency)

People gather at a mine in the Soma district in the western Turkish province of Manisa on May 13, 2014.(AFP Photo / Ihlas News Agency)

A mine explosion in western Turkey has killed 201, according to Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, and the toll could rise with many more still trapped.

Yildiz told reporters 787 workers were in the Soma mine when the explosion hit a power unit, Reuters reported.

Most of the confirmed dead were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, Yildiz added.

An additional 80 people were injured and hospitalized, he said, four of them in critical condition.

AP reported that more than 200 miners are still trapped in the debris. More than 360 workers have been evacuated thus far.

Rescue workers pumped oxygen into the mine in an attempt to keep trapped miners alive, Reuters reported. A line of police held back thousands of family and fellow workers of the trapped miners who assembled outside of a Soma hospital.

“Fresh air, oxygen is being pumped into the mine. This is the most important thing for our workers down there,” Yildiz said.

 

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