President Obama Signs the Disastrous Federal GMO-Labeling Bill, Putting the Future of Organic in Danger...

Aug 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Max Goldberg (To follow my day-to-day organic food adventures, please be sure to add me on Snapchat: maxorganic) On late Friday afternoon, President Obama signed the sham Stabenow-Roberts GMO-Labeling bill (S. 764) which will allow, among many other things, companies to use QR codes instead of clear GMO labels on a food product’s packaging. This bill is so discriminatory and so poorly written that it potentially violates several amendments of the Constitution. Additionally, it puts the integrity of the organic seal in real jeopardy. What is arguably the most troubling aspect of this bill is that while almost every single organic consumer organization fought this bill, the organic industry’s leading trade organization praised the bill and lobbied for it to pass. Here are the key points to understand, in terms of analyzing the...

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6 Chemical Food Additives That Are Legal in America and Banned Abroad...

Aug 12, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Thanks to inaction at the FDA, Americans get, among other potential ailments, anal leakage. By Ari LeVaux / AlterNet Unhealthy food: popped wheat seeds with lots of food additive chemicals Photo Credit: Szasz-Fabian Ilka Erika/Shuttetrstock There is a long list of food additives that are legal in the U.S., despite being illegal in other countries. To be fair, just because something is banned in one country doesn’t necessarily mean that the non-banning countries have it wrong. But for the most part, the influence that the food industry exerts on the Food and Drug Administration and a confusing bureaucratic process are at the heart of the problem. The FDA curates a list of food additives that are given the designation of “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS. The GRAS list is supposed to help...

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Are You Taking This Dangerous Antibiotic?...

Aug 8, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] You could even be ingesting it without your knowledge. By Martha Rosenberg / AlterNet “I was given the antibiotic Levaquin. After 5 pills my body was burning and my right arm and legs were weak,” a reader posted after an article about underreported prescription drug dangers. “I discontinued the drug and was told I would be fine. 1 month later my feet started hurting, my knees developed chronic pain and I had stabbing pain in my quads. 13 months later, I have floaters in my vision, tinnitus, flat and deformed feet, rotator cuff damage, knee grinding, hip snapping, tendonitis and I can only walk for a few minutes.” After taking Levaquin, another patient had “multiple areas of tendinitis in triceps, biceps, rotator cuff, hip flexor, feet and lower back,” he wrote on the...

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How One GMO Nearly Took Down the Planet...

Aug 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] New law deals major blow to GMO labeling. By Thom Hartmann / AlterNet   Genetically modified fruit Photo Credit: wellphoto/Shutterstock On July 29, President Obama signed bill S.764 into law, dealing a major blow to the movement to require GMO labeling. The new law, which food safety groups call the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” (DARK) Act, has at least three key parts that undermine Vermont’s popular GMO labeling bill and make it nearly impossible for Americans to know what’s in their food. The law claims to set a federal labeling standard by requiring food producers to include either a QR barcode that can be scanned with a phone, or a 1-800 number that consumers can call to find out whether a product contains genetically modified ingredients. But according to the Institute for...

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Obama’s New So-Called GMO “Labeling” Law Is a Gift to Industry...

Aug 4, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH TRUTHOUT On July 29, President Obama signed a bill that is a setback for our right to know about GMOs in food. (Photo: David Goehring) You may have read that President Obama signed a so-called GMO “labeling” law on July 29. Media outlets like ABC News reported that the bill “mandate[es] GMO labeling.” However, the reality of the new legislation is what Rick North, writing on the progressive commentary forum BlueOregon, calls a “sham”: It’s a major victory for Monsanto, the biotech industry and Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, all of whom know labeling could diminish their profits. Most polls found about 90% of respondents wanted on-the-package GMO labeling, an almost-unheard-of support level for any issue. True public advocates, like the Organic Consumers Association, Consumers Union, Center for Food...

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CHILDREN’S DRAWINGS SHOW WHAT HUNGER LOOKS LIKE IN VENEZUELA...

Aug 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The South American country’s failing economy has left schoolkids subsisting on water and corn cakes. A girl eats a tropical fruit called a ‘mamon’ on a street in La Fría, Venezuela, on June 2. (Photo: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters) Jul 31, 2016 Samantha Cowan is an associate editor for culture.   Arepas are a staple food item among Venezuelan families. The flat cornmeal cakes, often stuffed with grilled meat, beans, or eggs, are found at nearly every meal. But for many children in Venezuela subsisting solely on arepas, what was once just part of their cultural identity is now a symbol of growing food shortages in the struggling country. Primary school students in the capital city of Caracas are coming to school hungry, Reuters reports. After several students fainted from hunger, teachers at the...

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Solar powered floating farms: the new means of global food production?...

Jul 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by J HERMAN While the sharp growth in global population that continues to occur in the 21st Century is an indicator of many technological, economical and medical advancements our civilization has made, it presents quite a few challenges that will only grow in coming years. The largest of these? Producing enough food to feed a population that is predicted to exceed 9 billion by 2050. But one viable, creative solution is already floating around thanks to Barcelona-based design firm Forward Thinking Architecture. The company proposes that we make use of Earth’s oceans as a means of harbouring the farms of the future. A fully automated, self-sustainable system The company’s Smart Floating Systems (SFF) are designed to be smart and fully automated to make use of technological advancements in areas such as solar-power, aquaculture and hydroponics...

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HIGHWAYS CAN HELP POLLINATORS RETURN TO HEALTH...

Jul 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Compost-spreading tactics to encourage native plants that both control erosion and attract pollinators / Caltrans In the face of rapidly-declining honeybee populations, farms across the country are under threat. In California, officials are now pioneering new methods to boost the health of the honeybees and butterflies, according to a recent Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. To reiterate the importance of these efforts, Congressman Jeff Denham, who is also an almond farmer, said at the briefing: “making sure we have healthy pollinators is critical to a state like California.” There to discuss these pioneering methods was Keith Robinson, ASLA, principal of the landscape architecture program at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The purview of Robinson and the 240 landscape architects he leads is roadsides. Their primary job is to control erosion. But Robinson...

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The One Thing Hillary Cares About Most—When It Comes to Food...

Jul 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The Democratic Party platform doesn’t say much about food or farming, except on one major issue. Tom Philpott  MOTHER JONES Hillary Clinton enjoys some coffee while campaigning in an Iowa diner last year. Barbara Kinney/Hillary for America/Flickr If Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins in November, what kind of food and farm policy can we expect from her? Like most presidential campaign seasons, the current one has been lighter than a soufflé in terms of debate around food issues. Here’s what we know so far. (1) The 2016 Democratic Party platform is mostly short on food policy details. Farm programs get all of two paragraphs, under the rubric of “Investing in Rural America.” The section nods to “promoting environmentally sustainable agricultural practices” and “expanding local food markets and regional food systems,” a likely reference...

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Microfiber Madness: Synthetic Fabrics Harm Wildlife, Poison the Food Supply and Expose You to Toxins...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment With every wash, your synthetic fleece jacket releases microfibers that harm marine animals. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet Colourful Textile fleece sport shirts hanging in row at store Photo Credit: dvoevnore/Shutterstock Doing laundry isn’t something most of us enjoy doing. And now the evidence is clear that the world’s aquatic animals don’t enjoy it either. It turns out that clothes made from synthetic fibers shed tiny plastic microfibers in every wash. This fibrous debris goes from your washing machine, through the municipal sewage system and ends up in all sorts of waterways—marine, coastal and freshwater—where the tiny fibers are ingested by fish, crabs and other aquatic wildlife. In turn, many of these animals end up in our food supply—and on our dinner plates. It seems we are slowly, and literally, eating the...

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Healthy eating can include ‘a lot’ of (good) fat, analysis of 56 diet studies concludes...

Jul 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] To Your Health By Ariana Eunjung Cha  WASHINGTON POST (iStock) Hanna Bloomfield’s bosses at the Department of Veterans Affairs had been reading a lot about the plant-based Mediterranean diet. Some highly publicized recent studies had shown that eating lots of fresh vegetables and olive oil along with maybe a splash of red wine could have tremendous health benefits, and they wondered whether it was something the VA, as an organization, should consider recommending to its more than 9 million patients. They tasked Bloomfield with figuring out whether this health effect was real — or simply hype. Bloomfield, associate chief of staff for research for the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and a professor at the University of Minnesota, pulled 56 previously conducted studies on the subject and re-analyzed all the data. Her work...

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How an Indigenous Community Is Boosting Crop Productivity While Conserving the Rainforest (Video)...

Jul 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment “We are reforesting and restoring the land so that our grandchildren and our children have a future.” By Laura Jamison / Rainforest Alliance   VIA ALTERNET naranjilla fruit Photo Credit: Rainforest Alliance In the Napo province of Ecuador, the Kichwa people have been cultivating naranjilla—a citrus fruit that looks like a tomato but tastes like a blend of lime and rhubarb—and selling it informally in markets across the country for many years. In fact, naranjilla production has been the primary cash crop for indigenous Kichwa communities in the Hatun Sumaco parish. Unfortunately, naranjilla has also been the primary driver of deforestation in the area—and thus directly contributing to climate change. Without direct access to markets, the Kichwa had traditionally sold their harvests to middlemen, who promoted dangerous quantities of highly toxic, red-listed pesticides...

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THIS GRASSROOTS PROJECT IS OUT TO CUT FOOD WASTE AND FEED THE HUNGRY...

Jul 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food for Thought is redistributing leftover restaurant meals in Pakistan to people in need. (Photo: Courtesy Aatir Sohail) Jul 4, 2016 Jillian Frankel, TakePart Daily   It’s a scenario that takes place in restaurants throughout the world: Diners are served enormous portions but leave part of their meals uneaten while hungry people rummage through Dumpsters out back, scrounging for scraps of trashed food. Solving this problem of food waste and hunger in Pakistan is the goal of Food for Thought, a new project in Karachi that gets leftovers to people in need. Founded in February by Zara Nadeem and Zehra Hasan, 24-year-old friends who were fed up with seeing leftovers being tossed, the effort allows people to donate uneaten portions to those who don’t have enough to eat. Advertisemen “For a poverty-stricken nation...

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THE ‘STRUGGLE’ IS NOT REAL: FROM TINY HOUSES TO MY OWN LUNCH, POVERTY CHIC COMMODIFIES WORKING CLASS LIFE...

Jul 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The linguistic fetishization of hardship is one more way we appropriate from — and erase — people like my family Brook Bolen (Credit: SAYAN MOONGKLANG via Shutterstock/Salon) ADVERTISEMENT I was returning to my desk with my freshly heated lunch when a coworker passed me. “What is that?” she asked, motioning at my food. “Cornbread, pinto beans, collard greens, canned tomatoes, and chow chow,” I replied excitedly. “That looks like a struggle meal,” she said, crinkling her nose in what appeared to be judgment, disgust, or both. “‘Struggle meal?’” I asked, unfamiliar with the phrase. “Yeah,” she said. “A struggle meal is what you eat when it’s the last day before you get paid and that’s all you can scrape together. You can’t afford to go get Chipotle,” she giggled. “Or if you do,”...

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COURT RULES ORGANIC FARMERS CAN SUE CONVENTIONAL GMO FARMERS WHOSE PESTICIDES ‘TRESPASS’ AND CONTAMINATE THEIR FIELDS...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Court rules organic farmers can sue conventional, GMO farmers whose pesticides ‘trespass’ and contaminate their fields Purveyors of conventional and genetically-modified (GM) crops — and the pesticides and herbicides that accompany them — are finally getting a taste of their own legal medicine. Minnesota’s Star Tribune has reported that the Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled that a large organic farm surrounded by chemical-laden conventional farms can seek damages for lost crops, as well as lost profits, caused by the illegal trespassing of pesticides and herbicides on its property. Oluf and Debra Johnson’s 1,500-acre organic farm in Stearns County, Minn., has repeatedly been contaminated by nearby conventional and GMO farms since the couple started it in the 1990s. A local pesticide cooperative known as Paynesville Farmers Union (PFU), which is near the farm, has been...

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RACE IS ON TO FEED A WARMING WORLD...

Jun 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford / Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Millions throughout Africa depend on maize, but new crop varieties can barely keep pace with the warming climate. (Kate Holt / AusAID via Wikimedia Commons) This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—It can take up to 30 years to improve a crop variety, test it and persuade farmers to adopt it. That means the speed of climate change in Africa could make a new variety of maize useless even before the first harvest, according to new research. But two separate studies that address the challenge of food security in a rapidly warming world suggest that the answers may lie not just in future weather but in today’s soils. One says that better soil data can be used to predict...

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Lawsuit Reveals Extent of DuPont’s Decades-Long Cover Up Behind Cancer-Causing Teflon Chemical...

Jun 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Chemical giant DuPont is in court defending their decision to poison entire communities by releasing a toxic chemical known as C8 into the Ohio River. By Farron Cousins / DeSmogBlog  VIA ALTERNET DECEMBER 2013 – BERLIN: the logo of the brand “Du Pont”. Photo Credit: 360b/Shutterstock Corporate heavyweight DuPont is back in court right now, defending their decision to poison entire communities along the Ohio River by releasing a toxic chemical known as C8 into the river. C8 is a chemical that is used in the manufacturing of the company’s blockbuster product Teflon. The case alleges that DuPont officials were intimately aware of the dangerous side effects of C8 exposure but still decided to allow exposure among workers and by releasing the chemical into the environment. Once the chemicals were dumped into the Ohio River,...

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Why Conserving Crops’ Wild Cousins May Be Critical for Human Survival...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food As global food requirements grow with a skyrocketing human population, genes from wild relatives of common crops could play a big role. By Kristen Satre Meyer / Ensia  VIA ALTERNET Portrait of a young woman at work in greenhouse,in uniform and clipboard in her hand . Greenhouse produce. Food production. Tomato growing in greenhouse. Photo Credit: Vlad Teodor/Shutterstock Wild cousins aren’t always appreciated at family gatherings. But when it comes to crops, the opposite is often true: Plant breeding has historically relied on genes from plants growing in the wild as a source of diversity that can be introduced into crop plants to produce new crop varieties that are more resilient, nutritious and productive than those currently cultivated. As human populations increase and shift away from traditional diets, demand for food is...

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DUMPSTER DIVING...

Jun 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Food How to seriously cut down on your monthly food bill. By Assya Barrette / Greenhighfive   VIA ALTERNET   Photo Credit: Wikipedia I first came into contact with dumpster diving when I volunteered with the organizationFood not Bombs (FNB),Toronto Chapter. Their objective is to recover food that would otherwise have been thrown away, and cook up delicious vegan meals for whomever wants some. Although a lot of the food they get is donated from bakeries and shops (who’d otherwise dump the food), they do dumpster diving to fill in the gaps. Recently, one of the members of the group held a dumpster diving tutorial in downtown Toronto. After I attended the tutorial, I went solo in my town, with huge success. This, coupled with the times I had gone with FNB in...

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4 Things You Can Do to Help Out Threatened Honey Bees...

Jun 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Protecting pollinator health is an issue of global importance, but individuals can make a difference. By Danielle Nierenberg, Lani Furbank / Food Tank   VIA ALTERNET bee on flower Photo Credit: DoeLay/Flickr CC According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 80 percent of all flowering plant species reproduce with the help of pollinator animals like bees, butterflies, birds, and more. This accounts for at least one third of the world’s food crops, including tomatoes, pepper, strawberries, coffee, apples, carrots, almonds, cocoa, and thousands of others. Without pollinators, most plants could not produce fruits and seeds, and agricultural biodiversity would suffer–according to FAO, bees, bats, birds, and other pollinators, increase global food production by 87 percent. Unfortunately, the world is seeing a decline in pollinator populations. From land-use change and pesticide use...

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A NEW KIND OF URBAN FARM IN DETROIT...

Jun 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT   Jared Green Penrose market garden / Jared Green In the Penrose neighborhood of Detroit, two landscape architects, partners in business and life, are testing out a new model: the market garden. While Detroit has acres of non-profit-run farms growing fresh fruit and vegetables that are then donated to communities, Ken Weikal, ASLA, and Beth Hagenbuch, ASLA, who run GrowTown, want to show the residents of this poor community in Detroit and elsewhere that anyone can apply an intensive, efficient farming method to one-third of an acre, grow high-value produce in all four seasons, and make $50,000 – $70,000 a year. But their market farm model is really just one component of a more ambitious plan they are leading in the community, with support from the Kresge Foundation, non-profits, affordable housing developers...

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THIS IS WHY THE WORLD CAN’T STOP WASTING SO MUCH FOOD...

Jun 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Energy and Environment By Chelsea Harvey THE WASHINGTON POST (iStock) The more scientists investigate the amount of perfectly good food humans waste, the clearer it becomes that this is a huge global problem, both for the planet’s food security and for the environment. Researchers have proposed all kinds of ways to help address the issue, from improving methods for harvesting and processing crops to changing the expiration dates on packaged food. And now, experts have come up with another way to help governments and businesses all over the world keep track of the amount of food they’re losing and find better ways to cut down on the waste. A team of international experts, including representatives from the World Resources Institute (WRI), the United Nations and other organizations focused on sustainable development and the...

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DOCTOR SELLS HIS PRACTICE, OPENS UP “FARMACY” USING FOOD AS MEDICINE INSTEAD...

Jun 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Home Big Pharma Advertisements The brilliant Dr. Robert Weiss did something completely unheard of in the medical community.  He sold his medical practice and decided to teach the importance of diet and nutrition in health by opening a “Farmacy”. Dr. Weiss believes that we all need to change our focus for medicine and health and reconnect with the basic knowledge that has been shunned and suppressed by big pharma. Dr. Weiss Opens the first ‘Farmacy’ After selling his New York medical practice, Dr. Robert Weiss built the very first farm-based medical practice on his 348-acre farm.  Located in Long Valley, New Jersey the ‘farmacy’ is focused on treating patients with plant foods as the medicine. “Plant-based whole foods are the most powerful disease-modifying tools available to practitioners — more powerful than any drugs or surgeries,”...

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12 Fruits That Are a Cinch to Grow in Your Own Garden (Infographic)...

Jun 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] An apple pie made with apples you grow yourself tastes a lot better than a store-bought pie. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet   Smiling autumn woman picking and giving apples from tree Photo Credit: Maridav/Shutterstock Wouldn’t that bowl of cereal in the morning taste a lot better with fresh strawberries that you grew yourself? How about an apple pie made from apples picked right in your own backyard? The fact is, you don’t need to have an orchard to enjoy a steady supply of fruit all year round. Growing fruits in your backyard or even indoors isn’t that hard at all. There’s little doubt that eating fruits is good for your health. Part of any well-balanced diet, fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and other compounds that help support...

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FEDS FINALLY ADDRESS THE RISKS OF WIDELY USED AG CHEMICAL – ATRAZINE...

Jun 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   A new government report on the weed killer atrazine highlights risks to wildlife that researchers have been pointing to for years. (Photo: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters) Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.   A 500-some-page draft assessment on an agricultural chemical from a federal agency is generally not the stuff of intrigue and redemption. But just such a document could upend the American corn industry, generate strict new regulations for a chemical company in the midst of being acquired by a Chinese firm for $43 billion, and clear the name of a researcher who nearly had his reputation destroyed. The document published Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency reads, “This risk assessment concludes that aquatic plant communities are impacted in many areas where atrazine use is heaviest, and there is potential chronic risk to...

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Honey Bees Are in Decline, but There’s Another, Unsung Bee Who Could Save the Planet’s Food Supply...

Jun 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Food Gentle, good-natured and hardworking, mason bees are more efficient pollinators than honey bees—and can help orchard growers and everyday gardeners get more from their plants. By Dave Hunter, Jill Lightner / Mountaineer Books  VIA ALTERNET Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis) Photo Credit: Jaco Visser/Shutterstock The following is an excerpt from the new book Mason Bee Revolutionby Dave Hunter & Jill Lightner (Mountaineers Books, 2016): Why Keep Gentle Bees? When people hear “beekeeping,” the image they picture is almost always of honey bee keepers in white, helmeted spacesuits fretting over their hives for hours at a time and purchasing fairly heavy-duty equipment just to get started. But the options for home beekeeping are far more interesting than that image evokes, and many are much, much simpler. Social vs. Solitary There are thousands of species...

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TOO SMALL TO FAIL

Jun 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Nicholas Kristof JUNE 2, 2016 Photo Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times First, a quiz: What’s the most common “vegetable” eaten by American toddlers? Answer: The French fry. The same study that unearthed that nutritional tragedy also found that on any given day, almost half of American toddlers drink soda or similar drinks, possibly putting the children on a trajectory toward obesity or diabetes. But for many kids, the problems start even earlier. In West Virginia, one study found, almost one-fifth of children are born with alcohol or drugs in their system. Many thus face an uphill struggle from the day they are born. Bear all this in mind as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump battle over taxes, minimum wages and whether to make tuition free at public universities....

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DOES THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REPORT ON GMOS SETTLE THE DEBATE?...

Jun 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Brought to you by FlexPVC®  TRUTH IN MEDIA The National Academy of Sciences has released a new report declaring genetically engineered food safe for humans and the environment, but is there more to the story? The debate over genetically engineered or modified foods will likely continue despite a damning new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine which concluded that genetically engineered (GE) foods do not pose a health or environmental risk. Critics of the report point to conflicts of interests between researchers with the National Academy of Sciences and biotechnology companies involved in the creation of GE crops. The report,Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, also acknowledged that the GE crops are also not producing increasing yields of crops, as has been promoted by supporters of GE technology. The Associated...

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