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Big Sugar's Sweet Little Lies

Big Sugar's Sweet Little Lies
Chris Buzelli On a brisk spring Tuesday in 1976, a pair of executives from the Sugar Association stepped up to the podium of a Chicago ballroom to accept the Oscar of the public relations world, the Silver Anvil award for excellence in "the forging of public opinion." The trade group had recently pulled off one of the greatest turnarounds in PR history. For nearly a decade, the sugar industry had been buffeted by crisis after crisis as the media and the public soured on sugar and scientists began to view it as a likely cause of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Their winning campaign, crafted with the help of the prestigious public relations firm Carl Byoir & Associates, had been prompted by a poll showing that consumers had come to see sugar as fattening, and that most doctors suspected it might exacerbate, if not cause, heart disease and diabetes. Precisely how did the sugar industry engineer its turnaround? The industry followed a similar strategy when it came to diabetes.

Labeling Issues, Revolving Doors, rBGH, Bribery and Monsanto Monsanto, For Labeling Before They Were Against It An issue of growing concern is the Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods [1]. Many have questioned why it is that while consumers in all of Europe and fifty other countries around the world including including Japan, India and even China have the right to know through strict labeling which foods contain GM ingredients and thus to make an informed choice [2] yet consumers in the United States, purportedly the bastion of freedom, democracy and the "free market" in the world are denied this same right. Polls indicate that the great majority of Americans who are aware of the issue want labels [3][4]. Interestingly, Former Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro, in a 1998 interview with the State of the World Forum, asserted unequivocally (in answer to a question about the labeling of GM foods) that: "One can make a reasonable argument that consumers and citizens have a right to know anything they wish to know. For more on the Act see [20][21]

Worms help compost almost anything - Laramie Boomerang Online By ALEXANDRA COCKAR / • Sunday, March 25, 2012 Erika Babbitt-Rogers used to go to the city landfill a couple of times a year to get rid of her household waste. Then, a few years ago, she read an article in a farmer’s magazine that inspired her to start a project that allowed her to recycle more waste. The article described a family farm that used worms to compost almost everything, with the exception of some recyclables — a process known as vermicomposting. “I thought that was pretty interesting. Since my family lives on a ranch, we thought at least it would keep a lot more out of the dump and help with the garden,” she said. She researched vermicomposting and bought a pound of worms to start up her worm farm. “And I thought I had it all figured out. Worm composting (also known as vermicomposting) involves the breakdown of organic wastes by worms and microorganisms, according to information from Red Worm Compositing’s Web site, www.redwormcomposting.

Press Statement For Immediate Release: September 19, 2012Contact: Stacy Malkan, 510-542-9224, Oakland: Genetically engineered corn was linked to mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage and other serious illnesses in the first ever peer-reviewed, long-term animal study of these foods. The findings were published today in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Read the study here: While numerous 90-day studies have already linked GMO foods to allergies and other health problems, today’s publication marks the first-ever long term animal study on the health effects of the most common type of genetically engineered corn, and comes as California voters consider the Proposition 37 Right to Know initiative to label genetically engineered foods In response to this study, Yes on Proposition 37 California Right to Know Campaign Manager Gary Ruskin released the following statement:

Eating ethically: a tree-hugging former vegetarian learns to hunt Cross-posted from The Last Word on Nothing. I don’t like guns. I’m almost universally opposed to killing things. So why then, did I spend a recent weekend learning how to handle a shotgun and rifle? It began with a dead elk. My first reaction upon seeing the dead elk was horror, then anger that this man had killed such a beautiful animal. I paused for a moment to digest this information. I’ve given a great deal of thought to meat eating. At the same time, I’ve come to believe that meat can have a place in a sustainable diet. I’ve butchered enough poultry with my own two hands to know that killing is stressful, sad and difficult work. Which brings me back to the elk. Hunting a deer or elk from my local community seems like the logical next step. So I’ve decided to try my hand at hunting. It’s possible I won’t be able to go through with it. Essays in the blog are not written by High Country News. Christie Aschwanden writes from western Colorado. Image courtesy the author.

GMO Food Is Actually Already Labeled If You Know A Few Rules Back in 1995, I was party to some discussions about whether about-to-be-released GMO crops should be labeled at the consumer level. It was clear that a failure to do so would look to some like a conspiracy, but we also realized that it would be far too expensive to track the great rivers of grain well enough to be able to label everything accurately. Practicality won the day and GMO foods were never labeled. 15 years later this decision is still being needlessly debated. Why You Can’t Really Track All Grain It does not normally make sense for a farmer to have his/her own harvesting equipment. A “May Contain” Label Might Have Been A Better Choice I actually supported the idea of a “may contain GMO” label, recognizing that things like corn and soybeans are turned into ingredients that are in just about any processed food (corn starch, HFCS, soy protein, soybean oil…). Fruits and Vegetables The “Biotech By Choice” Brand Concept Biotech Wine A Biotech Crop to Feed the World Conclusion

Can we afford to eat ethically? Last month, a report from England found sales of some organic food had fallen up to 31 percent. Ethical food advocates have been worrying about a similar trend in this country since the recession began: Just as the need for better food choices became more widely accepted, our economy fell apart, and consumers who once considered free-range, $5-a-dozen eggs a necessity may start eyeing the caged-hens carton for half that price. A recent National Review column argued that organic food was, in fact, “an expensive luxury item, something bought by those who have the resources.” I had wondered about the elitism of ethical eating ever since I started reading about the movement in books like “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” “Fast Food Nation” and “Food Politics.” When Alice Waters told Americans that they could dine better by forgoing “the cellphone or the third pair of Nike shoes,” my monthly cellphone bill totaled zero and I owned just one pair of sneakers. So what did we eat?

Uncovered, the 'toxic' gene hiding in GM crops: Revelation throws new doubt over safety of foods EU watchdog reveals approval for GM foods fails to identify poisonous gene54 of the 86 GM plants approved contain the dangerous geneGene found in food for farm animals producing meat, milk and eggsBiotech supporters argue there is no evidence that GM foods are harmful By Sean Poulter, Consumer Affairs Editor Published: 23:20 GMT, 21 January 2013 | Updated: 11:03 GMT, 24 January 2013 A virus gene that could be poisonous to humans has been missed when GM food crops have been assessed for safety. GM crops such as corn and soya, which are being grown around the world for both human and farm animal consumption, include the gene. A new study by the EU's official food watchdog, the European Food Safety Authority(EFSA), has revealed that the international approval process for GM crops failed to identify the gene. A new study conducted by the EU has shown that standard tests for GM foods may be missing a potentially poisonous gene for humans

Consolidation of seed companies leading to corporate domination of world food supply (NaturalNews) Throughout the history of agriculture across the globe, farming has always been a diversified sector of the economy. Small, self-sustaining, family farms were the order of the day in most cultures. Even as small farms grew larger and more specialized over time, many of them still saved seeds or purchased them from other farmers, which kept control of farming in the hands of the people. But today everything has changed, as large chemical and agribusiness firms have acquired or merged with seed companies and other agricultural input companies. They have successfully gained a foothold on genetically-modified (GM) crops with transgenic traits. These primary factors and several others have facilitated a crescendo towards the global domination of agriculture by corporations, and thus the world's food supply. The dismal state in which we find ourselves today did not come overnight, of course, but it did pick up rapid speed after the introduction of GM crops in the mid-1990s. Prof.

Survey Reveals Lack of Transparency on Antibiotic Use In Our Food This week, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York released the results from a survey of over 60 fast food, retail, production and grocery companies asking them about their policies on the use of antibiotics in meat and poultry production. The goal of the survey was to evaluate their level of transparency about antibiotic use and to reveal to consumers the extent to which antibiotics are used in their food. “Through my survey, the food industry has provided us valuable information, and with that knowledge we must act,” said Rep. Slaughter in a press release. “I urge consumers to consider today’s findings when shopping, and I urge the FDA and my colleagues in Congress to strengthen our laws in order to fight the growing threat of superbugs. Findings indicate that the majority of companies surveyed regularly feed antibiotics to their healthy animals to prevent illness and to promote faster animal growth. The survey data is presented in an easy-to-use color coded format. Rep.

New San Francisco legislation will jump-start urban farming The new San Francisco legislation could create more cooperative farms like Alemany Farm. (Photo by Brett Emerson.) Bay Area locavores and caterpillars rejoice: An edible urban jungle is poised to sprout in San Francisco. City supervisors approved legislation Tuesday that will help grassroots farming groups replace barren concrete and forests of weeds on vacant land and rooftops with veggie gardens, chicken coops, and honeybee hives. “[San Franciscans] are thought of as foodies, and environmentalists,” said Laura Tam, a policy director at the nonprofit San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR), which helped push the new rules forward. The legislation [PDF] follows zoning changes last year that made it easier to operate small farms and legal to sell food grown in San Francisco. A major focus of the bill is community gardening — neighbors coming together to organize, till, and cultivate plots of land in mini-farms that are managed cooperatively.

Why genetically engineered food is dangerous: New report by genetic engineers Earth Open Source press release 17 June 2012 Aren’t critics of genetically engineered food anti-science? Isn’t the debate over GMOs (genetically modified organisms) a spat between emotional but ignorant activists on one hand and rational GM-supporting scientists on the other? A new report released today, “GMO Myths and Truths”,[1] challenges these claims. The report presents a large body of peer-reviewed scientific and other authoritative evidence of the hazards to health and the environment posed by genetically engineered crops and organisms (GMOs). Unusually, the initiative for the report came not from campaigners but from two genetic engineers who believe there are good scientific reasons to be wary of GM foods and crops. One of the report’s authors, Dr Michael Antoniou of King’s College London School of Medicine in the UK, uses genetic engineering for medical applications but warns against its use in developing crops for human food and animal feed. Notes Key points from the report