Tag Archives: Germany

Fukushima… everything under control?

From Maggie Koerth-Baker on Boing Boing:

Nuclear Aftershocks is a new FRONTLINE documentary, airing tomorrow, January 17, at 10:00 pm Eastern. Maggie watched an advance screener yesterday. Photo via Boing Boing blog.

“About halfway through Nuclear Aftershocks, a new FRONTLINE documentary about the physical and social fallout of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, it becomes clear that correspondent Miles O’Brien and his production team are really going to piss some people off. In the best possible way. Continue reading


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Serious crop losses expected in Europe

From Jeremy Lovell and Climate Wire in the Scientific American:

“LONDON — One of the driest spring seasons on record in northern Europe has sucked soils dry and sharply reduced river levels to the point that governments are starting to fear crop losses and France, in particular, is bracing for blackouts as its river-cooled nuclear power plants may be forced to shut down.

French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire warned this week that the warmest and driest spring in half a century could slash wheat yields and might even push up world prices despite the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s predicting a bumper global crop due to greater plantings. Continue reading

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Bubonic plague DNA in e.coli O104:H4?

From Food Freedom blog:

Food Freedom has deliberately refrained from posting any suggestion that Germany’s superbug is related to biowarfare, until further evidence emerged.

Various sources now corroborate this story, including The Atlantic:

“On Tuesday [May 31], the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that [leading German E. coli researcher Helge] Karch had discovered that the O104:H4 bacteria responsible for the current outbreak is a so-called chimera that contains genetic materia from various E. coli bacteria. It also contains DNA sequences from plague bacteria, which makes it particularly pathogenic.” Continue reading

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Bumbling E.coli investigation is an embarrassment to German officials

From “The Local — Germany’s News in English”:

After mistakenly blaming Spanish cucumbers and organic sprouts for a deadly E. coli outbreak, criticism of the German authorities is mounting. The Local looks at who’s handling the health crisis.

State agriculture ministers rarely make the news in Germany, but Gert Lindemann from Lower Saxony recently gained international attention by announcing contaminated sprouts might be responsible for killing at least 24 people and sickening thousands. Continue reading

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Fox news reports that the new strain of E.coli (O104:H4) which ravaged Europe is now reaching the United States

Fox news reports:

Click image to go to source -- MSNBC news site

“Health officials said Thursday three people in the United States are suspected to have fallen ill from E. coli bacteria after traveling to Germany where the mystery outbreak has led to the deaths of 18 people and sickened at least 1,600. Continue reading


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E. coli O104:H4 disaster rocks Germany

From Alan Cowell and William Neuman of the New York Times, via theStar.ca:

A machine destroys iceberg lettuce on a field near Cappeln, Germany, as investigators continue to seek the source of an E. coli bacterial outbreak. Photo: CARMEN JASPERSEN/EPA

“BERLIN—An unusually lethal strain of E. coli bacteria has infected more than 1,500 people in Germany, mystifying public health officials, ravaging Spain’s agricultural heartland, and touching off panic in Europe as people weighed whether it was safe to eat raw vegetables.

The source of the outbreak, similar to the bacteria involved in the Walkerton, Ont., tragedy 11 years ago, remained unknown. It has killed at least 16 people, 15 in Germany and a Swede who visited there recently. Continue reading


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E-coli deaths across Europe were not caused by Spanish cucumbers after all

By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog

LONDON — Cases of E. coli-related illness are springing up around Europe, particularly in northern Germany, causing 16 deaths so far and infecting more than 1,000 people, according to the Guardian.

The bacteria are commonly linked to raw or undercooked meat or to unwashed vegetables and fruit. Cucumbers imported into Germany from Spain had initially been blamed for this outbreak, but new evidence suggested that isn’t the case.

The deaths have been attributed to hemolytic-uremic syndrome, which can occur after infection with some especially virulent strains of E. coli. The World Health Organization has warned countries about the severity of the condition, one of the more dangerous complications of E. coli poisoning. Continue reading


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Raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt and the right to “eat what we want”

From a recent story about raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt on The Waldorf News site, WaldorfTeachers.com:

Picture via Waldorf Teachers.com

“Michael Schmidt talked with us during a regional biodynmamic conference in January [in Wisconsin]. He told us about his raw milk campaign and shared the recently released documentary about his work entitled “Milk War.”

Michael Schmidt’s grandfather was part of the Agriculture course with Rudolf Steiner in 1924, his family fled their ancestral biodynamic farm in Germany in the middle of the night from occupying Russian troops at the end of World War II, and he has fought tirelessly for the rights of farmers and consumers in Ontario for the better part of a generation. Continue reading


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Raw milk’s role in engendering forces within the human being that can then be used for “psychic” healing

The subject of spiritual healing is a huge topic. While perusing a book on the subject recently (“Spirit Healing” by Bob Woodward) I was intrigued to encounter the following passage, attributed to Rudolf Steiner, who is otherwise known for his role in founding Biodynamic farming:

From a lecture titled “Problems of Nutrition“:

“Weak as well as strong organisms can gain support from milk. If a person were to live exclusively on milk for a time, then not only would his regular forces be awakened but it would also go beyond this. He would receive from it an influx of forces giving him additional strength. A surplus of forces would be acquired that could be developed into healing forces. In order to possess a force, it must first be acquired, and in milk we see one means of developing certain forces in ourselves. Those who are moved by the earnestness of life to develop certain psychic healing forces, can train themselves to attain them. Naturally we must remember that what is suitable for one, is not suitable for all. This is a manner for the individual. One person is able to do it, another not.” Continue reading


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Cheap food versus quality of life

Tom Philpott, writing on Grist.org:

Graphics above via Grist.org

“For decades, the federal government has watched idly while a few gigantic companies grabbed ever-greater control of the food industry. As big players gobble smaller ones, they concentrate power at the top of the food chain — and apply relentless pressure to cut costs, giving rise to many of the things I hate about the food system. Workers, farmers, the environment, animals, public health — all get abused so that mega-retailers like Walmart, meat producers like Smithfield, and corn processors like Cargill can keep costs down while profitably selling cheap food. Continue reading

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