Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Agent Orange Corn, Thank you

Tell the USDA Not to Approve New 2,4-D-Resistant GMO Crops

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture is ready to approve a new corn variety that is genetically modified by Dow Chemical to be resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D. This dangerous chemical was a major component of the herbicidal warfare program in Vietnam under the now infamous name of Agent Orange.

Learn more and take action here.

Your Food is at Stake - Sue Monsanto

Farmers need our support in their lawsuit against Monsanto.

Background Information
In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets! Their insecticide poison producing crops and Round Up Ready crops are everywhere.

Monsanto has tons of money but they sue farmers in poor countries who make little money. In many cases farmers are forced to stop growing certain organic and conventional crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. Due to these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy. If you are a farmer and your crops are pollinated by Monsanto's GM pollen from their crops, your crops are now fare game for Monsanto to sue you. It does not matter that their pollen contaminated your crops. The way they see it is that you have their GM crop now and since they own the patent they will sue you for stealing their genetic property. What a racket. Since Monsanto's past lawyer-lobbyist, Michael Taylor is our current food Czar and many of Monsanto's past employees work at the FDA and USDA, they make the rules in their favor. Even congress and the courts often rule in their favor. Their aim to control worldwide food production is coming true for them unless we act now!!!

“America’s farmers deserve to be protected under the law from the unwanted genetic contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s flawed genetically engineered seed technology,” said David Murphy, founder and Executive Director of Food Democracy Now!, an Iowa-based national advocacy organization of more than 300,000 members. “These farmers have no desire to use Monsanto’s GMO seeds, yet they are forced into the untenable position of losing their right to farm in the manner in which they choose, face legal intimidation and the loss of economic livelihood, all because America’s legal system has failed to adequately protect them from the real threat of genetic trespass that is inherent as a result of Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds and the natural biological functions of cross pollination from wind, insects or animals.”

GMO farmers are becoming Monsanto's serfs and organic and conventional farmers fear they too will become gobbled up by Monsanto if they do not act quickly. They could easily have Monsanto's pollen from GM crops trespass onto their land at any time by a passing bee or other pollinator that flits from one field to the next. They know once their crop is contaminated they will be in possession of a crop that is technically owned by Monsanto. It is not fair and it is an insidious evil progression that will effect all of us since we all eat! Organic Farmers have united and sued Monsanto. We must support them. The organic farmers filed a law suit as OSGATA (Orgnaic Seed Growers and Trade Association) et AL v. Monsanto

The Lawsuit
The original complaint in OSGATA (Orgnaic Seed Growers and Trade Association) et al v. Monsanto was filed on March 29, 2011. In July, Monsanto filed a motion to dismiss.  Plaintiff lawyers at PUBPAT then filed a rebuttal brief on August 11, 2011. Judge Buchwald called for oral argument on the motion to dismiss, which was held in Manhattan on January 31, 2012.  The judge’s dismissal ruling was issued February 24th and plaintiffs were given thirty days in which to file their Notice of Appeal.

March 28, 2012 – Today, in Federal District Court in Manhattan, family farmers filed their Notice of Appeal to Judge Naomi Buchwald’s February 24th ruling dismissing Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear the farmers’ appeal, seeking to reinstate the case, which has received worldwide attention. The farmers are determined to move forward with their lawsuit challenging Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed technologies in order to continue their pursuit of Declaratory Judgment Act court protection from Monsanto’s claims of patent infringement should their crops become contaminated by Monsanto’s seed.

The farmers need our support if we want the right to make sure that the food we put into our bodies is safe and nutritious. We need to demand that our government and courts speak for all of us and protect our farm lands.  I will put a list of the farmers involved in the lawsuite at the end of this blog. If they are in your area, please purchase food from them and consider donating money to them. You can also donate money to OSGATA here for the lawsuit. Your donation to them will support the following:
  • Coordinating the PUBPAT lawsuit against Monsanto’s GMO patents as well as providing information to the public.
  • Defending a farmer’s right to save and trade seed
  • Encouraging the viability of regional organic seed companies
  • Promoting the right to farm, protected from GMO contamination
  • Ensuring the right to true choice in the marketplace for farmers and consumers
  • Establishing protocols for maintaining organic seed integrity and testing seed quality.
  • Protecting farmer developed varieties
  • Developing  and supporting  organic seed standards
  • Encouraging National Organic Program progress toward 100% organic seed
You can get more details on the lawsuit or make a donation to their cause here. You can also sign up for facebook notices on this page to keep up with the lawsuit.

The Appellants in the suit represented by PUBPAT are: Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association; Organic Crop Improvement Association International, Inc. (OCIA); Food Democracy Now!; The Cornucopia Institute; Demeter Association, Inc.; Navdanya International; Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc.; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont; Rural Vermont; Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association; Southeast Iowa Organic Association; Mendocino Organic Network (California); Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Canadian Organic Growers; Family Farmer Seed Cooperative; Sustainable Living Systems (Montana); Global Organic Alliance; Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund; Weston A. Price Foundation; Center for Food Safety; Beyond Pesticides; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island; Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut; Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York; Western Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (Wisconsin); Midwest Organic Dairy Producers Alliance; Florida Organic Growers; Peace River Organic Producers Association (Alberta and British Columbia); FEDCO Seeds, Inc. (Maine); Adaptive Seeds, LLC (Oregon); Sow True Seed (North Carolina); Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Virginia); Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds (Saskatchewan); Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., LLC (Missouri); Comstock, Ferre & Co. LLC (Connecticut); Seedkeepers, LLC (California); Siskiyou Seeds (Oregon); Countryside Organics (Virginia); Cuatro Puertas (New Mexico); Seed We Need (Montana), Wild Garden Seed (Oregon); Alba Ranch (Kansas); Wild Plum Farm (Montana); Gratitude Gardens (Washington); Richard Everett Farm, LLC (Nebraska); Philadelphia Community Farm, Inc. (Wisconsin); Genesis Farm (New Jersey); Chispas Farms, LLC (New Mexico); Midheaven Farms (Minnesota); Koskan Farms (South Dakota); California Cloverleaf Farms; North Outback Farm (North Dakota); Taylor Farms, Inc. (Utah); Ron Gargasz Organic Farms (Pennsylvania); Abundant Acres (Missouri); T & D Willey Farms (California); Quinella Ranch (Saskatchewan); Nature’s Way Farm, Ltd. (Alberta); Levke and Peter Eggers Farm (Alberta); Frey Vineyards, Ltd. (California); Bryce Stephens (Kansas); Chuck Noble (South Dakota); LaRhea Pepper (Texas); Paul Romero (New Mexico); Donald Wright Patterson, Jr. (Virginia); Common Good Farm; LLC (Nebraska); American Buffalo Company (Nebraska; Full Moon Farm, Inc. (Vermont); Radiance Dairy (Iowa); Brian L. Wickert (Wisconsin); Bruce Drinkman (Wisconsin); and Murray Bast (Ontario). 

Some websites for GMO information
This site is a register of GMO environmental contamination around the world http://www.gmcontaminationregister.org/


Where you can find out what products are guaranteed non-GMO http://www.nongmoproject.org


For excellent general information on GMO's go to http://www.responsibletechnology.org/ as well as

http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/Home/index.cfm


To follow the court case against Monsanto http://www.osgata.org/http://www.osgata.org/


To stay up on GMO's and General Food issues: http://www.organicconsumers.org/ 


If you live in Oregon go to http://www.gmofreeoregon.org/
 

Free Medical Care in Springfield Oregon on April 28,29, 2012

The allvolunteer Cascade Medical Team will offer free healthcare.

Lane County, OR – After eleven years of operating primary care clinics for the Mayan
people of the Guatemalan highlands, the all‐volunteer Cascade Medical Team
(CMT) has focused their attention and their experience on providing a similar
medical mission in Lane County. On April 28th & 29th, six doctors from the CMT and the community will provide free medical services to people without insurance or access to affordable health care. Individuals and families are welcome.
WHAT: Cascade Medical Team’s Free Clinic will offer basic health care services in Springfield.  Dental care will be available on Saturday April 28th only.
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, April 28th & 29th, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on the 28th and 8:00 am to noon on the 29th.
WHERE:  McKenzie Medical Building, 960 N. 16th St in Springfield, OR.  One block East of McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center.
WHO: Individuals and families without access to affordable health care. There is no proof of residency or other documentation required for health services.
WHY: Over 60,000 Lane County residents are uninsured and not eligible for the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare. Lane County has some of the largest populations of people without access to affordable health care in the state.  United Way of Lane County and Volunteers in Medicine report that the
number of people seeking free or reduced health care has increased significantly in the past two years.
Because of a lack of access to primary health care, many people wait until they are in a health crisis before seeking treatment in hospital emergency departments, which is often very costly.

The two‐day CMT Free Clinic will provide full service primary care with six volunteer providers, including specialists in the areas of family practice, internal medicine, and gynecology. In addition to short‐term medical support and intervention, individuals who need immediate follow up treatment will be provided with referrals into the current Lane County low‐cost health care system through the medical partners of United Way of Lane County’s 100% Access Coalition.
Medications will be available to suitably treat common conditions
however there will be no controlled substances or
narcotics on hand.

Members of CMT have gathered a host of community partners in order to
make two days of free medical care possible. They are:
• United Way of Lane                                •Volunteers in Medicine
County
• Eugene Downtown Rotary                       •Eugene Water & Electric Board
•PeaceHealth Medical Group                      •Lane County Medical Society
• PeaceHealth Oregon Region                    •PacificSource Health Plans
• PeaceHealth Laboratories                        •McKenzie‐Willamette Medical Center
• Oregon Medical Group

If you would like to volunteer for this event……..

Medical volunteers contact Dr. Richard Barnhart

Nursing volunteers contact Margie Groshong
General volunteers contact the United Way website:
United Way of Lane County
3171 Gateway Loop
Springfield, OR 97477
541.741.6000
www.unitedwaylane.org

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monsanto Genetically Engineering Bees

After being blamed by massive amounts of bee keepers for the Honey Bee collapse, Monsanto purchased the largest bee research firm called Beeologics back in September of 2011. 

Their website says:
"Beeologics LLC is an international firm dedicated to restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination. While its primary goal is to control the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) infection crises, Beeologics' mission is to become the guardian of bee health worldwide. Through continuous research, scientific innovation, and a focus on applicable solutions, Beeologics is developing a line of RNAi-based products to specifically address the long-term well being of the bees. "

In case you don't know RNAi-based products are a mechanism meant to block gene expression. RNAi-based products are genetically engineered products that Monsanto is now planning to use on the honey bees! The same bees who's health, (many beekeepers believe) has already been compromised by Monsanto's genetically engineered plants that produce pesticides. Their answer to this problem should be to stop making GM food, but instead it is to make more genetically engineered products that they will unleash on our planet without research to show any of them are safe.


RNAi (ribonucleic acid interference) is a process within living cells that moderates the activity of genes. It has been known by other names, including co-suppression, post transcriptional gene silencing and quelling. They all described the RNAi phenomenon. RNAs (ribonucleic acid) are the direct products of genes, and these small RNAs can bind to other specific messanger RNA (mRNA) molecules and either increase or decrease their activity, for example by preventing an mRNA from producing a protein. RNA interference has an important role in defending cells against parasitic genes - viruses and transposons,  but also in directing development as well as gene expression in general.

Monsanto In Route to Control Seeds & Pollination
Monsanto is already on its way to owning most of the seeds on the planet. They are replacing the natural spirit made food with Monsanto made frankenfood. They now also want to own the means of pollinating the food. Their frankenfoods that produce pesticides are believed by beekeepers to be killing the honey bees. Monsanto's solution to the colony collapse disorder is to replace God's honeybees with Monsanto's genetically modified bees that are resistant to all the pesticide producing food they make. 

Just as their GM seed has trespassed onto organic/conventional farmers fields by pollinators bringing pollen from one field to another, these frankenbees will also get out into the world and end up contaminating the native bees. When this happens Monsanto will probably sue any bee keeper who has bees that show similar genetics to their patented bees. Beekeepers could be forced to buy Monsanto bees when all bees are contaminated and changed into frankenbees.


Then there is you and I. Are we destined to be frankenpeople? Are we already contaminated? I eat only organic food in hope to not be contaminated by their products. We all need to do this to stop them. Do not buy anything but organic food or at least buy local from farmers you know who do no not sell genetically modified food. Do not buy non-organic corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets - this means sugar as they are almost all GMO. Read labels. It is my opinion that the problems with human fertility, increased gastrointestinal problems and many other human diseases that have increased in the recent past may be linked to genetically engineered food. The research with animals certainly supports it. If nothing else, don't you wonder why so many more people have food allergies nowadays?

We must talk to our representatives and tell them we want labeling of GM food immediately if not outright banning of it until it has more research. So far the research is frightening. Since it is so hard to work on a federal level, get your state or even your local county to ban the growing of GM food in the county. If Monsanto claims they will sue your state or county for banning them (as they have been doing), tell your officials you will stand behind them. Don't let your officials be bullied by Monsanto.

Why do 40 other countries ban GM food outright or have laws regulating GM food when the United States won't even label it? It is up to us as citizens to get this changed.



Without the labeling, the only way for you to be safe is to eat organic food you grow or you get from reputable farmers/groceries. Additionally, this way you make sure you are not funding the further expansion of Monsanto, Bayer or Syngeta.(All part of the GM food chain.)


For more information on the research go to Jeffrey Smith's site here.



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Greens

Dandelion has yummy greens with a bitter bite.
It is time for Spring Greens!  This is a very wet spring here in the Willamette Valley.  The nights were cold a long time. The ground has been water logged,  and the plants are hesitant but still appearing. All the spring greens are becoming available for eating and my mouth starts watering in anticipation of tasty herbal feasts awaiting my palate. You too can enjoy the bounty of spring. This is the time to collect nettles, chickweed, dandelion, wood sorrel and other yummy morsels. Make sure you identify them correctly before harvesting.

Nettles
Nettles from above
Collect in the spring as a food or up until flowering to use the leaves for medicine. Wear gloves when harvesting and processing nettles. I have more than once, been on a hike and been surprised by a patch of nettles. In my overwhelming glee at finding the first spring nettles I have temporarily lost my mind and decided to collect them without gloves. Each time I have nursed my wounds, questioning such a crazy decision. No matter how carefully I harvest, this tasty plant reminds me that she is protecting herself and she is to be respected. Luckily once the plant is cooked the sting disappears and you can savor this delicacy without concern. Stinging nettle is beneficial as a spring tonic and rejuvenator. As a medicine it tends to be very stimulating and drying. It has a supportive effect on our immune system, spleen, circulatory system, urinary tract, nervous system, respiratory tract, digestive system and the endocrine system; including the adrenals, thyroid, and the pancreas. It nourishes our entire body as well as nourishing us spiritually by increasing receptivity to the natural energetic flow of our spirit. Nettle is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and silicic acid. The high mineral content may be the reason for nettle tea’s ability to reduce the severity and occurrence of leg cramps as well as menstrual cramps and its ability to support strong bones.

Nettle is also beneficial in excessive menstrual bleeding. It is used for chronic respiratory, digestive and urinary tract illnesses that involve excessive mucus. Nettle favors elimination of uric acid and is therefore useful in gouty arthritis. It is used in hay fever, asthma, and edema. Nettle is best used long term when treating chronic illnesses. I use nettles for my own health as well as patients. It is one of my favorite herbs. I can personally attest to its efficacy in most of the areas mentioned. Due to its pleasant taste, I usually give it to patients in the form of a tea.

To make Nettle Tea: Tea - 1-2 heaping tablespoons per cup of water as an overnight infusion or if in a hurry simmered for 30 minutes (won't taste as good).

My current herb class recently made a nice nettle pesto with fresh nettles, organic walnuts, organic extra virgin olive oil, and organic goat parmesan cheese. We enjoyed it on quinoa.  Quite yummy.  Remember the stinging nettles do sting, wear gloves to collect and process them. If you also want to make a pesto, I suggest putting them through both your food processor and a hand mortar and pestle to assure you destroy their stinging ability before eating them as a pesto. If you don’t want to go to all this work, then you can steam them before making them into a pesto as the heat will also destroy their stinging ability.

Here are additional photos of spring plants to help you in identifying them. The chickweed aerial parts are added to salads as are the leaves of wood sorrel. Wood sorrel has a very pleasant sour taste.
Chickweed.
Closer look at chickweed flower.
Wood sorrel.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Statins For Everyone?

There is a new idea amongst physicians that everyone who has elevated cholesterol should be on statins for prevention of heart attacks. This is even if they do not have high blood pressure or have a personal history/family history of cardiovascular disease. I wonder who's brain-child this was? Hmmm, could it have anything to do with the huge amount of money statins pull in for the pharmaceutical companies that sell them? How delightful for them to be able to sell them to every adult in the United States if they could.  Pfizer’s statin drug Lipitor (Atorvastatin calcium) was listed as the number one highest grossing drug in America in 2010. It grossed 7.2 billion  in  in 2010. Statins are big money for pharmaceutical companies.

I would never take a statin personally and in my opinion healthy people should not take statins. I am not a supporter of statins in any shape or form.  There are other effective means to reduce cardiovascular risk, including dietary changes, weight loss, and increased exercise. Nutriceuticals, and herbs would be my choice, not statins. Not only will these activities reduce cardiovascular risk, they will also improve many other aspects of a persons life such as increased longevity, sexual function, and improved mood. 

There was a recent meta-analysis in healthy but high-risk men and women showing no reduction in mortality with statin therapy, as well as a recent Cochrane review showing similar results. The Cochrane review also observed that all but one of the clinical trials providing evidence on this issue were sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. It is well established that industry-sponsored trials are more likely than non–industry-sponsored trials to report favorable results for drug treatment because of biased reporting, biased interpretation, or both of trial results. The Cochrane review of statin studies included the following in their conclusion “there was evidence of selective reporting of outcomes, failure to report adverse events and inclusion of people with cardiovascular disease. Only limited evidence showed that primary prevention with statins may be cost effective and improve patient quality of life. Caution should be taken in prescribing statins for primary prevention among people at low cardiovascular risk.”

Plus, there is the adverse effects associated with statins, including cognitive defects and diabetes. 

A recent article in the respected medical journal Jama, "Healthy Men Should Not Take Statins" included the following information. " Data from a meta-analysis of 11 trials including 65, 229 persons with 244, 000 person-years of follow-up in healthy but high-risk men and women showed no reduction in mortality associated with treatment with statins. A 2011 Cochrane review of treatment with statins among persons without documented coronary disease came to similar conclusions."

"For every 100 patients with elevated cholesterol levels who take statins for 5 years, a myocardial infarction will be prevented in 1 or 2 patients. Preventing a heart attack is a meaningful outcome. However, by taking statins, 1 or more patients will develop diabetes and 20% or more will experience disabling symptoms, including muscle weakness, fatigue, and memory loss."

 
Holistic practitioners have been telling people for years they can support normal cardiovascular health through healthy life choices such as dietary choices, exercise, weight loss, nutrition and herbs. These are still the healthiest methods to support your cardiovascular system.

If you take statins

If You Take Statins,  Take CoQ10. Statins deplete your body of CoQ10.

CoQ10 is a co-enzyme that is essential for the creation of ATP molecules, which you need for cellular energy production. Organs such as your heart have higher energy requirements, and therefore require more CoQ10 to function properly. 

 As your body gets more and more depleted of CoQ10, you may suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness, and eventually it can lead to heart failure.

 Coenzyme Q10 is important in the process of neutralizing free radicals. So when your CoQ10 is depleted, you enter a vicious cycle of increased free radicals, loss of cellular energy, and damaged mitochondrial DNA.

If you decide to take a CoQ10 supplement and are over the age of 40,  the reduced version, called ubiquinol is suggested. 

General Suggestions to Support the Cardiovascular System
Exercise daily. Get sun and fresh, clean air and water and plenty of sleep.
Eat only fresh, organic foods.
Do not eat processed foods.
Reduce all forms of sugar and decrease grains in your diet.
Eat a lot of cold water fish such as salmon and sardines or supplement with omega 3 fatty acids.        
Eat raw, organic dairy and organic pastured eggs.
Use heart-healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil.
Eat raw nuts and seeds, and organic grass-fed meats (make sure they are not grain fed at the end).
Add more garlic and onions to your diet.
Identify and eliminate food sensitivities.
Encourage daily exercise/movement.
Remember relaxation. 
Do not smoke and be moderate with alcohol.



 


 


 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Honeybee Webinar From Purdue University

There is a FANTASTIC new honeybee webinar put out by Purdue University examining issues the honeybees have to deal with. They focus on neonicotinoid treated seeds and their toxicity to bees.

Most of the annual crop acreage planted in North America this year will be planted with neonicotinoid treated seed. Neonicotinoids are extremely toxic to honey bees and recent research suggests that honey bees foraging near these types of plantings may be at risk. The risk is greatest during the period while crops are being planted.

In addition to providing an overview of the research, this webinar offers suggestions for both field crop growers and beekeepers that can minimize the chances of honey bee exposure to these chemicals in the field. 

You can see it here. Please also pass this on to anyone who gardens or farms. Especially get gardeners who use neonicotinoid sprays and farmers who use neonicotinoid  treated seed or sprays to watch it.

This past post has a list of neonicotinoid sprays and information on them. The list is useful to give to gardeners and farmers to make sure they do not use them or if they insist on using them to be sure to read the label and be very careful with it.

This past post has research on honey bee deaths due to neonicotinoids.

You can search this blog for more posts on honeybees if you wish to read more.