Daily Archives

China food scandals spark new safety fears

AFP — A wave of tainted-food scares has renewed fears in China over continued product-safety problems despite a government promise to clean up the food industry following a deadly 2008 milk scandal. Tainted pork, toxic milk, dyed buns and other dodgy foods have surfaced in recent weeks, sickening consumers and highlighting the government’s apparent inability to oversee China’s huge and under-regulated food industry. The litany of stomach-turning headlines has caused officials to scramble to contain the damage and sparked an anguished lament last week from Premier Wen Jiabao about unscrupulous food producers.
“These virulent food-safety incidents have revealed a grave situation of dishonesty and moral degradation,” Wen Jiabao said in a speech to government officials. Read article

Do You Know How Many Genetically Modified Foods You’re Eating? 8 to Pay Attention To

Huffingtonpost – Do you have any idea how much of what you eat each day has been made from genetically modified organisms? Though I try to eat organic, like most Americans I’ve been consuming genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GMO) foods for the past 15 years.  It’s hard not to: 70 percent of our corn farmland and 93 percent of soy farmland are planted with crops genetically engineered to resist pests and herbicides and increase crop yields. And in the next few years new science may provide genetically modified apples that don’t turn brown, rice that helps build up vitamin A, even an “Enviropig” which produces less phosphorus in its manure.  Read Article

China detects 30 radioactive contamination cases

Xinhuanet – China has detected 30 cases of radioactive contamination in passengers, vessels and containers that have entered the country since March 16, quarantine authorities said on Friday.  The contamination cases were reported after China’s quarantine bureaus started to monitor radiation levels at nine entry ports including Beijing, Liaoning and Zhejiang, said Li Yuanping, a spokesman for the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.  Read Article

Changes In Great Lakes Threaten Transplanted Fish

NPR – Forty years ago, fisheries biologists in Michigan dazzled the nation when they took salmon from the Pacific Ocean and planted them in the Great Lakes. Their success transformed the lakes into a sport-fishing paradise and created a multi-billion dollar industry. But now invasive species have changed the food web in the lakes. Salmon are struggling to find food, and the state might end one of its stocking programs.  Read Article

Bahrain deploys tanks in Diraz

Press TV – Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have deployed tanks and armored vehicles in Diraz, shortly after attacking a peaceful protest march in the western village of Karzakan. Witnesses say regime forces fired live bullets and tear gas at anti-government protesters and that army helicopters have been flying over protesters in Karzakan on Friday. There were no immediate reports of casualties or arrests. Also on Friday, the regime forces besieged the northwestern village of Diraz with tanks and heavy military vehicles. Meanwhile, pro-regime thugs backed by police stormed Dair village. Read Article

U.S. Treasury: China Has Decreased Its Holdings of U.S. Debt

CNSNews – Mainland China has decreased its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities since last October, according to a report updated today by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Since September 2008, when they eclipsed Japan, entities in mainland China have been the largest foreign owners of U.S. government debt. But, … Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities peaked in October 2010 and has declined in each of the four most recent months reported by the Treasury Department. Read article

Yuan Strengthens to Post-’93 High Against Dollar as China Fights Inflation

Bloomberg – China’s yuan strengthened beyond 6.5 per dollar for the first time since 1993, supported by speculation the central bank will allow appreciation to help tame the fastest inflation in more than two years. The currency’s seventh weekly gain, its longest winning streak since July 2008, may damp U.S. criticism of China’s exchange-rate policy before Vice Premier Wang Qishan heads to Washington next month for talks with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Read article

Gitmo Doctors Hid Evidence of Torture

Wired – They explained away the bone fractures, didn’t ask what caused the lacerations, and called the hallucinations routine. Rather than blowing the whistle, medical professionals entrusted with the care of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay turned a blind eye when there were clear indications of abuse. That’s according to a newly published report from two physicians with unprecedented access to the medical records of nine Gitmo detainees. Writing in the online journal PLoS Medicine, Physicians for Human Rights senior medical adviser Vincent Iacopino and retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist now in private practice, found that medical personnel at Guantanamo concealed mental and physical ailments that signaled abusive treatment. Read article

Feds sting Amish farmer selling raw milk locally

Washington Times – A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area. The product in question: unpasteurized milk. It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. Read article

New images show Japanese nuclear reactor appears stable

Maternal obesity puts infants at risk

Medical Express – Babies born to obese mothers are at risk for iron deficiency, which could affect infant brain development, according to a study to be presented Saturday, April 30, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver. In nonpregnant adults, obesity-related inflammation hinders the transport of iron through the intestine, increasing the risk of iron deficiency anemia. When a woman is pregnant, iron is transferred through the intestine to the placenta, but it is not known how maternal obesity affects newborn iron status. Fetal iron status is important because 50 percent of the iron needed for infant growth is obtained before birth. Read article

Madhya Pradesh minister bans ‘non-veg’ GM seeds

Times of India – The Madhya Pradesh government has banned genetically modified (GM) seeds in the state with agriculture minister Ramkrishna Kusmariya saying that scientifically re-engineered foodgrain and vegetables will become “non-vegetarian” and “end” Indian culture. The same minister had blamed crop destruction because of heavy winter rains three months ago on the “sins of the farmers”. Kusmariya told reporters in Damoh on Thursday that his department won’t permit use of GM seeds in the state because “use of GM seeds would make every grain and vegetable non-vegetarian and end our vegetarian culture”. He claimed that “nothing will remain vegetarian if genes and bacteria are infused in the DNA of grains and vegetables”. Read Article

Mexico authorises trials for GM maize ignoring threat to its biodiversity

FnBnews – Mexico has authorised a field trial of genetically modified (GM) maize that could lead to commercial use of the crop, sparking debate about the effects on the country’s maize biodiversity.  Although Mexico already commercially grows some GM crops such as cotton, GM maize is controversial because the country is home to thousands of the world’s maize varieties that originated there.  Read Article

Syria: ‘Six killed’ in Deraa as troops seize key mosque

BBC – The army has seized control of a mosque which had become a centre for anti-government protests in the southern Syrian city of Deraa, witnesses say. Soldiers are now stationed on the roof the Omari mosque in the city centre, after an assault supported by tanks. Activists said six people had been killed in the city. On Friday, they reported at least 66 protester deaths in Syria, most of them in Deraa. Officials said the number of dead was far lower, and included four soldiers. Read Article

Lorry-sized boulders spew from Ecuador volcano as 300 people flee for their lives

Mail Online – Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano hurled lorry-sized pyroclastic boulders more than a mile in a powerful eruption that prompted at least 300 people to flee their homes, authorities said.  Schools were closed for a third straight day as ash showered down on a dozen towns in the sparsely populated area surrounding the 16,480-foot volcano.  Thundering explosions could be heard miles from Tungurahua, which is on the Andes cordillera 84 miles southeast of Ecuador’s capital, Quito.  Read Article

Pakistan tests nuclear-capable cruise missile

Xinhau - Pakistan has successfully conducted a flight test of its homegrown air launched cruise missile. The Pakistani military says the missile can deliver nuclear and conventional warheads with pinpoint accuracy. The Cruise Missile has a range of 350 kilometers and has been developed exclusively for launch from aerial platforms. The missile has low detection probability due to stealth design and the materials used in creating it. Analysts say the weapon gives the country much improved defensive capabilities. Read Article

Court reverses US funding ban on embryonic stem cells

New Scientist – US government cash for research on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is safe for now, thanks to a ruling by judges sitting in the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC. Read article

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Deliberate inaction judged as immoral as wrong action

New Scientist – Doing nothing to stop a crime can be seen by others to be as bad as committing the crime directly.  So says Peter DeScioli at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, who presented students with a number of scenarios that led to a fatality. An actor whose hesitancy to act led to the death was seen as less immoral than an actor whose direct actions led to the death. But the students judged deliberate inaction that led to the fatality as equally immoral as direct action that caused the death (Evolution and Human Behavior, DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2011.01.003).  DeScioli thinks the results show we see inaction as less immoral only because we typically lack proof that it was deliberate.  Read Article

Climate Fact Of The Day – Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover 1995-2011

Source: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/nhtime-4month.jpg

Video Of The Week: David Icke – The Falling Pawns on the Illuminati Chessboard

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Quotation Of The Week

“Some would argue that ignorance is bliss. I say that they are wrong. Ignorance is slavery. Slavery for you, and slavery for your fellow man”

- James Fairbairn, Editor of Open Your Eyes News

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Investigational agent shows promise in reducing spread of prostate cancer

Medical Xpress – A drug developed to treat Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare childhood cancer, may also help prevent human prostate cancer from spreading, as seen in new lab studies say researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). Published online April 29 in PLoS ONE, the researchers report that if the agent continues to work well in further laboratory and preclinical studies, it may be the first prostate cancer drug specifically designed to stop cancer spread, or metastasis. Read article

Tornadoes whipped up by wind, not climate: officials

France 24 – US meteorologists warned Thursday it would be a mistake to blame climate change for a seeming increase in tornadoes in the wake of deadly storms that have ripped through the US south.  “If you look at the past 60 years of data, the number of tornadoes is increasing significantly, but it’s agreed upon by the tornado community that it’s not a real increase,” said Grady Dixon, assistant professor of meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University.  Read Article

Monsanto-tied scientist abruptly quits key USDA research post

Science – Roger Beachy, the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is leaving his post next month after serving less than 2 years. “What a huge loss,” says Karl Glasener, director of science policy for the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. The decision was announced in a USDA memo (see below) this morning. Read Article

Two Russian Volcanoes Spew Ash

Earthweek – Ash from Shiveluch soared nearly five miles high near some key trans-Pacific aviation routes.  RIA Novosti reports an eruption of Kizimen volcano brought hazardous conditions to areas inhabited by wild animals, including some endangered species.  The news agency said reindeer were leaving their normal habitat because their usual winter food supply of moss was buried beneath a thick crust of ash-covered snow.  Experts from the Krontosky Nature Reserve told reporters that reindeer numbers may be reduced to less than 1,000 as a result of the eruption.  Read Article