Saturday, April 28, 2007

In The News Last Week

If you haven't heard about it yet, there is a problem with bee populations in certain areas of the world, including the USA. This story in The New York Times wrestles with the subject:

"Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons" - BELTSVILLE, Md., April 23
More than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost — tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives.

In other news, the Washington Post has a story out that has commenters posting furiously -- if one were to test the temperatures of the voting public using this public forum, one could only conclude that there is an extremely angry voting population eager for November 2008 to get here. The article is titled:

"FDA Was Aware of Dangers To Food" - By Elizabeth Williamson, Monday, April 23, 2007

Buried in the 12 pages of comments posted to the above article, one post drew my attention even closer:
"When pet food with Melamine is tested it shows a higher protein percentage and that is put on the label to boost sales. However, there is no more protein in the food. Melamine fools the test. I believe a criminal probe is about to be launched in the pet food case. In short, it is a man-made form of plastic whose toxic effects on pets and animals humans eat is not well studied."

It got me to thinking if, when ingested by pigs, does it raise the protein content in pork? Probably not... but I thought it might explain another little mystery that has popped up in South Carolina. Check out this headline through Associated Press in the news last week:

"Tainted Hogs Enter Human Food Supply" - By ANDREW BRIDGES, AP 2007-04-27

It was the above article which led me on a quick search where I discovered this article:

"Melamine in urine of S.C. hogs" - South Carolina "The State" Thu, Apr. 26, 2007

The reason I bring this article up is because, according to the article...
"Traces of melamine were found in hog urine at the farm, but the feed has tested negative for contamination."

So how did the melamine get into the hogs' urine? Apparently, that's still under investigation.

What are State officials doing about it? Let's roll over to CLEMSONews, since "Livestock and Poultry Health is a unit of Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture" and see what they have to say on the issue:
State officials are waiting for guidance from the FDA, FSIS and EPA as to the significance of these tests and other pending tests.

Not very comforting for people already upset with the FDA and FSIS ...and, sadly, even the EPA is a questionable source for protecting us, since the Federal Government seems to have gutted them, too.

For one example, after a decade of study and public review of scientific evidence, the EPA proposed a stricter standard, reducing the safe limit for arsenic in our drinking water from 50 ppb down to 10 ppb while Bill Clinton was president. Mr. Bush reversed EPA's decision shortly after taking office. The Administration tossed out these recommendations, with no solid science to back up their actions. You can read about the whole sordid mess over here.

I'm hoping not all is lost... in fact, I'm hoping this Administration, and future governing powers, will stop playing chess with important agencies that were originally meant to protect us -- and stop using us as pawns in their game with Big Ag lobby groups.

The Farm Bill is up for renewal this year. Let's all watch closely to see who is really looking out for who.

Oh, and before I forget, one more article that slipped under the radar of mainstream media:

"Dairy linked to Parkinson's disease, study" - By Chris Mercer 4/24/2007

Hey -- don't shoot the messenger. It's just one more study (among many) that have been completed in recent years saying dairy is doing some pretty bad things to us... do a quick search on google and see for yourself.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this quote by Albert Einstein:
"If the bee disappears off the surface of the globe, then man would have four years left to live," said Albert Einstein. "No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

Have a super week ahead!

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