Monthly Archives: May 2012

Sen. Rand Paul’s FDA motion fails to gain enough support — now what?

From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:

“Lots of people were discouraged because Sen. Rand Paul’s proposed amendment to reign in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was overwhelmingly defeated last week. It would have prohibited FDA agents from carrying weapons and making arrests as well as liberalized the rule on advertising of various foods’ health benefits.  (The amendment’s text and the vote of individual senators is shown here.)

I have a different take. I find it encouraging, first, that a senator even made this sort of proposal and, second, that 15  per cent of the senators supported it. Continue reading


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GMOs to be forced on the French?

From Reuters news service:

“EU considers ordering France to lift GMO maize ban

May 22 (Reuters) – The European Union’s executive said on Tuesday it was considering ordering Franceto lift its ban on growing a strain of genetically modified maize, after EU science experts said there was no justification for it.

In March France reimposed a ban on Monsanto’s MON810 maize, an insect-resistant variety to protect chiefly against the European corn borer, after a previous prohibition was annulled by the country’s top court late last year.

An opinion issued by the European food safety watchdog (EFSA) on Monday concluded that France had offered no new scientific evidence to justify the ban. The European Commission said EFSA’s opinion confirmed its own initial assessment. Continue reading


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Are debates about the merits of raw milk overrated? — Michael Schmidt

From Ontario raw milk farmer and advocate Michael Schmidt:

Michael Schmidt (right) at a recent raw milk rally in Minnesota.

As Sustain Ontario is organizing a much anticipated debate about the benefits and risks of raw milk, I begin to wonder why not a debate about how to provide quality raw milk in the current regulatory climate in Ontario or in Canada.

As I said before, we cannot and should not try to explore such a political issue in a debate where there is absolutely no interest to resolve the basic rights issue. Continue reading


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Mickey Mouse pumpkins; and drugs that genetically modify your brain, on Disney’s Epcot Centre land exhibit:

Genetically modified Pumpkins resemble Mickey Mouse’s head. Photo via

“….The 6-year-old then asked our guide about genetic experimentation, and pretty quickly we all learn that most of the crops within the “Living With The Land” greenhouses are genetically modified. At this point in the tour I’m starting to think that perhaps EPCOT needs to give media training to their interns – because lots of talk about genetically modified crops and copious use of styrofoam “because its cheap and disposable” doesn’t exactly paint the rosiest of pictures for an exhibit supposedly about “Living With The Land” Continue reading

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So, is raw milk really dangerous?

From Chris Kresser, on his blog “Medicine for the 21st Century”:

“Back in February, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a study targeting raw milk as dangerous and unsafe for human consumption. The media jumped on it in typical fashion. You may have seen headlines like this:

“Raw Milk Causes Most Illnesses From Dairy, Study Finds.”
– USA Today

“CDC: Raw Milk Much More Likely to Cause Illness.”
– Food Safety News

“Raw Milk is a Raw Deal, CDC Says.”
– LiveScience

While two of these headlines are technically accurate – raw milk is responsible for more illnesses than pasteurized milk when the number of people who consume each is taken into account – the concern they convey about the risk of drinking unpasteurized milk is dramatically overstated. Continue reading


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Seattle creating massive edible forest filled with free food

Now here’s some good news, for a change. From Jill Ettinger, at Organic

“Taking the urban garden to the next level, Seattle, Washington has officially broken ground on a dedicated seven acre area of city land set to be converted into an “edible forest” that will produce free food for the city’s residents and visitors, human or otherwise.

According to the Beacon Food Forest’s website, the project’s mission is “to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.” The perennial permaculture forest project, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S., will eventually be self-sustaining, much like the way a forest in nature works. Creating the self-sustaining environment is reliant upon the types of soil, insect life and companion plants placed strategically within the environment. Continue reading


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U.S. Senator Rand Paul seeks a legal amendment to rein in FDA overreach

From Rand Paul’s blog:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today on the U.S. Senate floor, Sen. Rand Paul introduced an amendment to the Food and Drug Administration User Fee Reauthorization bill, which would curb the Food and Drug Associations overreach and abuse of power. Sen. Paul’s amendment, No. 2143, would disarm the FDA, put an end to raids on natural food stores and Amish farmers, and stop FDA censorship of truthful claims of dietary supplements.

Below is the video and transcript of his speech, as well as top-line points and background information regarding Sen. Paul’s amendment. Continue reading


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Proposed B.C. law to forbid disclosure of farm based disease outbreaks

From Doug Powell, via Jim Romahn, on Agri 007:

“When someone asks, What’s wrong with Kansas, I reply with, What’s wrong with Canada?
My journalism friends have long complained that the flow of information about public health – public anything – is a tinkle in Canada compared to other places.

According to a report in The ProvinceBritish Columbia.’s Liberal government is poised to further choke off the flow of public information, this time with respect to disease outbreaks. Continue reading


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CFIA’s May 2-4 lettuce warning

Lettuce pray… That no one notices the warning? That no one gets sick?

Agri007 has the scoop:

“May 2-4 warning

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency picked 3 a.m. Saturday morning of the May 2-4 weekend to warn the public of a serious risk involving lettuce that could be in a lot of salads at your favourite supermarket.

And then it provided an updated and expanded list on Sunday/Monday.

The following Compliments (Sobey’s, Food Basics) salads, product of USA, are affected by this alert. Continue reading

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June 4th webinar debate on raw milk

From, a promising debate about raw milk from a panel featuring raw milk advocates AND public health experts:

“Join us on-line for a free webinar.  Register online before June 4th at 11am.

June 4th, 12-2pm

As the debate around the safety hazards and potential health benefits of unpasteurized milk grows, so too does the need to understand the reasons for and against pasteurization.   Sustain Ontario has brought together a panel of experts to clarify some of the myths and facts about unpasteurized milk and begin an open dialogue between advocates on both sides.  We hope to cover the history and reasons for pasteurization in Ontario, the public health risks of unpasteurized milk, the health claims of unpasteurized milk and the impacts on dairy producers.   There will be a half hour for questions and answers. Continue reading


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