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Ban on Milk Labeling Ruled Unconstitutional

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Live Link:  Food Safety News

by Helena Bottemiller | Oct 04, 2010

“This evidence precludes us from agreeing with the district court’s conclusion that there is no compositional difference between the two types of milk,” reads the opinion.

After more than two years of litigation, a federal court last week struck down an Ohio ban on labeling dairy products as “rbGH free,” “rbST free,” or “artificial hormone free” if produced by cows not treated with bovine growth hormone.   More

Label GMO Salmon? Consumers Get “Too Confused” Says BioFreakenomic Guru!

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Lynn Swearingen (c) copyright 2010 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

If one is going to make the statement that Genetically Modified Food is safe to consume in an AP article, then one should utilize studies that actually discuss that issue – right? Well according to the above article – which strings together various individuals statements both supporting and opposing consumption of GMO’s – that is not necessarily the case:

David Ervin of Portland State University in Oregon, who chaired the committee that wrote the report, said it found no large-scale environmental risks associated with the current genetically engineered corn, cotton and soybeans in the United States. As for future crops, “you just have to be very cautious,” depending on the nature of the plants, he says.

The report, which did not consider health impacts of eating genetically engineered crops, did recommend large-scale studies of ecological effects of such crops, Ervin said.

Including in the opening paragraphs is this statement:

Scientists have already determined that it is safe to eat. They are weighing other factors, including environmental risks, after two days of intense hearings.

I’d like to point out an Opinion Poll with some really valid comments/questions put forward. Over 70% of the individuals who chose to participate in this poll did not give a blanket “Yes – I’d chow down on GMO Salmon”. Questions raised included everything from concerns over hormones, eel DNA inserts, FDA truthfulness, environmental changes, population control, and some “interesting” facts thrown in to keep everyone guessing.

Of course depending on the Alphabet agencies to actually read the studies in reference to this issue is like expecting Congress to actually read the bills before they are voted on. Why should these “blue panelled committees” read about the issues when the ambiguous “Scientific Staff” has already chewed up and spit out the “facts” in digested form? In my world digestion produces fecal matter, not unlike the “facts” which are being sprayed about up on the Hill. More

Animal Factory: What are you really eating?

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The book Animal Factory, by David Kirby, takes a close look at factory farms and the problems they cause. In an interview with Time Magazine, Kirby talked about these farms and the appalling lack of government oversight and the outright refusal of government to address these issues.

Among the problems Kirby notes:

“… you’re often no longer feeding animals what they’re genetically designed to eat. CAFO cows eat a diet of milled grains, corn and soybeans, when they are supposed to eat grass.

The food isn’t natural because they very often put growth hormones and antibiotics in it. That becomes a problem when you put that manure on the ground.”

Can you say “agrobacterium”? 

Animal Factory also looks at the fate of the Neuse River in North Carolina, where waste runoff from pig farms caused massive fish die-offs.

Cows On Drugs

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(NY Times 4-17-10)    Op-Ed Contributor   By DONALD KENNEDY  Published: April 17, 2010  Stanford, Calif.

Donald Kennedy, a former commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration, is a professor emeritus of environmental science at Stanford.

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NOW that Congress has pushed through its complicated legislation to reform the health insurance system, it could take one more simple step to protect the health of all Americans. This one wouldn’t raise any taxes or make any further changes to our health insurance system, so it could be quickly passed by Congress with an outpouring of bipartisan support. Or could it? More

Ethicureans post The New USDA guidelines

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January 22, 2009   (this is from early in the year but quite relevant now)

NATURALLY RAISED.
smokingchicken.jpgIf you were told an animal was “naturally raised,” what would you imagine that meant? Is it evidence that they wandered a field? Felt the touch of sunlight? Ate their normal diet? Well, no. At least, that’s not what it means if you see “naturally raised” on a package of meat. The USDA released their guidelines for the marketing term this week. Grass, sunlight, and open space don’t enter into it. Rather, animals are “naturally raised” if they “have been raised entirely without growth promotants, antibiotics (except for ionophores used as coccidiostats for parasite control), and have never been fed animal by-products.”

Got that? No growth promotants or antibiotics — except, of course, for ionophores used as coccidiostats — or eating the ground-up remains of other animals. That’s what counts as a natural upbringing in our food production system. We have not medically accelerated your growth nor made you into an inadvertent cannibal nor crammed you into such unhealthful conditions that you needed to be pumped full of antibiotics to stay alive.

The problem with this label is not specifically how the animals are raised. Excising antibiotics and growth promotants from their diet is a good thing. The problem is what the USDA’s new guidelines say about, well, the USDA. These guidelines are a simple act of collusion with the marketing teams in the livestock industry. When a consumer sees “naturally raised,” they almost certainly don’t say to themselves, “Terrific! This chicken was raised entirely without growth promotants, antibiotics (except for ionophores used as coccidiostats for parasite control), and has never been fed animal by-products!” The implication of “naturally raised” is that the chicken lived the natural life of a chicken, not the life of a widget. But USDA has defined it as living the life of a widget, just not a particularly heavily medicated widget. And why have naturally raised” at all? The shrinkwrap enclosing a chicken breast has room for “No growth hormones or antibiotics!” They’re using “naturally raised” because it’s more efficiently misleading to consumers who want to do good by eating well, and the USDA is just gave its seal of approval to the practice.

See the Ethicureans for more.

Image used under a CC license from NukeIt1.

NOSB recommending untested genetically engineered vaccines

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Jackass Alert # 6:  Livestock Committee of the National Organic Standards Board

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getimageThe Livestock Committee of the National Organic Standards Board is recommending that genetically engineered vaccines be allowed in organic livestock production, with no review of the vaccines to determine if they meet evaluation criteria established in the Organic Foods Production Act.

In another round of what is coming to be viewed as absolute insanity in the wild world of genetically mutated agriculture, this “board” has now decided that it does not have to meet criteria for testing the efficacy or safety of,  genetically mutated vaccines to be used in livestock. 

We all need to remember that any vaccine, any growth hormone or antibiotic, remains in the meat even after processing.  These toxic concoctions are also present in the urine and feces of animals subjected to their use and as such, have rendered manure unfit as a fertilizer (this after thousands of years of use as the best fertilizer).  The manure produce by animals infected with these toxic chemicals is then leached into soil and water as the now, hazardous, waste breaks down.

And they still intend to call this “organic”?     Read the September 2009 report.

The NOSB will consider the issue when it meets Nov. 3-5, 2009, in Washington DC. Comments must be submitted by Oct. 19.

Here is a link for submitting comments:

http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=0900006480a1f227

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