Monday Morning Musing

Another Reason To Be A Localvore…

Did Your Shopping List Kill a Songbird? – New York Times

Migratory songbirds like bobolinks, barn swallows and Eastern kingbirds are suffering mysterious population declines, and pesticides may well be to blame. A single application of a highly toxic pesticide to a field can kill seven to 25 songbirds per acre. About half the birds that researchers capture after such spraying are found to suffer from severely depressed neurological function.


Migratory birds, modern-day canaries in the coal mine, reveal an environmental problem hidden to consumers. Testing by the United States Food and Drug Administration shows that fruits and vegetables imported from Latin America are three times as likely to violate Environmental Protection Agency standards for pesticide residues as the same foods grown in the United States. Some but not all pesticide residues can be removed by washing or peeling produce, but tests by the Centers for Disease Control show that most Americans carry traces of pesticides in their blood. American consumers can discourage this poisoning by avoiding foods that are bad for the environment, bad for farmers in Latin America and, in the worst cases, bad for their own families.

The more I think about the impacts of the globalization of the American food supply, it is the issue of food safety that brings it all into focus. As I begin to try to eat more and more vegetables with organics making up a larger proportion, I spend more time reading country of origin labels. As I keep in mind the trouble we have insuring the safety off the produce and meat raised in the US, I find myself questioning the ability of the developing nations of the world to insure that very same safety.

I am also finding myself questioning our own safety record in light of what I have been reading about European regulations. America has let too many chemicals and drugs into our food chain in order to let our Corporate “Citizens” profit…Most of which have never been tested in any long term manner to find out how they affect the health of America. Could it be we have allowed ourselves to be fed growth inducing chemicals and hormones until obesity has become our biggest health problem.

Since the 1980s, pesticide use has increased fivefold in Latin America as countries have expanded their production of nontraditional crops to fuel the demand for fresh produce during winter in North America and Europe. Rice farmers in the region use monocrotophos, methamidophos and carbofuran, all agricultural chemicals that are rated Class I toxins by the World Health Organization, are highly toxic to birds, and are either restricted or banned in the United States. In countries like Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador, researchers have found that farmers spray their crops heavily and repeatedly with a chemical cocktail of dangerous pesticides.


And the Texas delegate count goes on…

Obama gains more ground in Texas | – Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN — As the smoke cleared from this weekend’s regional Democratic conventions, Barack Obama emerged with a majority of the state’s at-large presidential nominating delegates and possibly a majority of all Texas delegates.

But Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supporters vowed Sunday to continue the fight for Texas delegates all the way to this summer’s state party convention, promising to cut his lead in delegates.

The actual number of delegates awarded to Obama and Clinton will not be official until the state party convention meets June 5-7 in Austin. The results of Saturday’s regional conventions were still being tallied Sunday, but Obama was winning about 58 percent of the delegates to the state convention.

So the consensus now is that Obama won Texas…

“We can confirm now that Barack Obama won Texas,” said Obama spokesman Josh Earnest.

Clinton state Chairman Garry Mauro conceded that Obama is likely to have a 37-30 advantage in the at-large delegates, which would give Obama a total lead of three pledged delegates over Clinton.

Mauro said Clinton may be able to take at least two national nominating convention delegates away from Obama at the state convention. She is working on convincing a majority of the 351 automatic state convention delegates to support her, Mauro said.

But, as usual, that doesn’t matter to Clinton. She plans on convincing us she will still win in the end…Isn’t that what electability is all about? Spinning a loss into a win, again and again…


It looks like the drug companies are the one we need to declare war on…

Panel: Cholesterol drugs Vytorin, Zetia might not work | – Houston Chronicle

CHICAGO — Two widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, Vytorin and Zetia, may not work and should be used only as a last resort, a panel of four cardiologists told an audience of more than 5,000 people at a major cardiology conference on Sunday.

Vytorin and Zetia are among the top-selling drugs in the world, with combined sales of $5 billion last year.

About 5 million people, including about 4 million Americans, take the medications, which have been heavily advertised to consumers in the United States.

It has been a real fight with my family doctor to keep from going on these drugs…I have yet to be convinced that the general consensus on cholesterol are anything more than wishful thinking on the part of drug companies…

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