The United Nations has warned that more than five million Zimbabweans could be threatened by hunger next year due to a steady drop in food production coupled with the world’s highest rate of inflation.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Program said in a joint report that an estimated two million people in Zimbabwe will not have enough to eat in the summer months.
That figure is projected to rise to 3.8 million people after September and to about 5.1 million between January and March 2009, as the impact of President Robert Mugabe’s seizure of land from commercial farmers continues to take its toll. The population is just over 12 million people.
The southern African nation is predicted to produce 575,000 tons of its main seasonal crop of maize, a drop of 28 per cent compared with last year, which was already some 44 per cent below 2006 government figures. Other crops are expected to be similarly dented.
“Poverty has increased for the tenth year in a row and there is an annual inflation estimated at 355,000 percent,” said Kisan Gunjal, an FAO food emergency officer who worked on the report. “That is different than any other period in the history of Zimbabwe.”
(NaturalNews) Earth’s topsoil is vanishing at such a rapid rate that scientists worry about the future of human food production.
“Globally, it’s clear we are eroding soils at a rate much faster than they can form,” said John Reganold, a soils scientist from Washington State University. “It’s hard to get people to pay much attention to this because, frankly, most of us take soil for granted.”
The Earth is covered with an average of only three feet of topsoil, the layer of dirt that provides the nutrients for most of the planet’s land vegetation, and is critical for producing food from agriculture. Healthy topsoil is a home to billions of beneficial microorganisms per handful, in addition to nutrients, fungi and worms that are critical to healthy plant life. But it forms very slowly, at a rate of only an inch or two per several hundred years. And around the world, topsoil is vanishing much faster than it forms.
“The estimate is that we are now losing about 1 percent of our topsoil every year to erosion, most of this caused by agriculture,” said David Montgomery, a geologist at the University of Washington and the author of the book “Dirt.”
The National Academy of Sciences estimates that U.S. cropland is eroding at 10 times the rate that it forms, and the United Nations has warned that soil degradation is a global crisis.
(NaturalNews) The FDA has, for decades, ridiculously insisted that mercury fillings pose no health threat whatsoever to children. While dismissing hundreds of studies showing a clear link between mercury amalgam fillings (“silver fillings”) and disastrous neurological effects in the human body, the FDA denied the truth about mercury and effectively protected the mercury filling racket that has brought so much harm to so many people. For over a hundred years, a cabal of “mercury mongers” made up of the American Dental Association, mercury filling manufacturers and indignant dentists have reaped windfall profits by implanting toxic fillings into the mouths of children, all while insisting that mercury — one of the most toxic heavy metals known to modern science — posed no health threat whatsoever.
Today, that reign of toxicity is about to end. Thanks to the tireless, multi-year efforts of people like Charles Brown, National Counsel for Consumers for Dental Choice (www.ToxicTeeth.org), the FDA has now been forced to acknowledge a fact so fundamental that, by any measure of honest science, it should have adopted the position decades ago. What position is that? Simply that mercury is toxic to humans.
Why the FDA has to be sued to do its job of protecting consumers
The FDA’s stonewalling on this issue has been nothing less than a circus of politically-motivated denials, much like the Big Tobacco executives swearing under oath that “Nicotine is not addictive.” In similar style, the FDA insisted for decades that “Mercury is not toxic.” Both statements, as any sane person can readily conclude, are the outbursts of lunatics. Sadly, those lunatics somehow remain in charge of our nation’s food, drugs and cosmetics (and dental care), meaning that any real progress to protect the People must come from outside the FDA.
And that’s exactly what just happened. Consumers for Dental Choice teamed up with Moms Against Mercury (www.MomsAgainstMercury.org) to sue the FDA and its commissioner whose name sounds like an evil-minded villian right out of a Marvel comic book: Von Eschenbach. The lawsuit, entitled, Moms Against Mercury et al. v. Von Eschenbach, Commissioner, et al was concluded earlier this week with a reluctant agreement by the FDA to both change its website on the issue of mercury and to reclassify mercury within one year, following a period of public comment (which the agency will no doubt try to drag out as long as possible in order to avoid actually sticking to the terms of the lawsuit agreement).
Remarkably, the FDA’s website no longer claims mercury is harmless. The language has now been changed in dramatic fashion, reading: “Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetus.”
There’s still a lot of fudging there. Note the careful use of the word “may,” which means the FDA still isn’t sure whether mercury is neurotoxic, but it might be. This is the FDA’s way of continuing to stonewall this issue, even as it lost its lawsuit. For any FDA officials who don’t yet think mercury is toxic to the human nervous system, I invite them to chug a few milliliters of the substance themselves and find out what the effects might be. It certainly couldn’t make them any more mad than they are already!
Why the FDA is as mad as a hatter
Speaking of people going mad with mercury, that’s the history of the term “as mad as a hatter.” As explained by Wikipedia:
There is scientific evidence behind the meaning of insanity. Mercury was used in the process of curing felt used in some hats. It was impossible for hatters to avoid inhaling the mercury fumes given off during the hat making process. Hatters and other men in working mills died early due to the residual mercury caused neurological damage, as well as confused speech and distorted vision. As the mercury poisoning progressed to dangerously high levels, sufferers could also experience psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_hatter… to read more.
Interestingly, the symptoms of mercury toxicity quite accurately describe the mental state of the top decision makers at both the FDA and the American Dental Association, both of which have hallucinated for decades that mercury was safe for children to swallow! These people also exhibit symptoms of serious neurological damage such as malfunctioning frontal lobes — the part of the brain responsible for reasoning. They also seem to lack proper functioning in the part of brain responsible for empathy and compassion towards fellow human beings.
Perhaps top FDA and ADA officials have been chemically lobotomized in some way, and there’s no question that the leaders in conventional dentistry suffer from advanced stages of psychosis, too. This could very well be due to the fact that their ongoing use of mercury fillings has exposed them to decades of mercury vapors and airborne particles which have entered their nervous systems and damaged their brains, making them appear quite mad.
Thus, the modern version of “mad as a hatter” might be, “mad as a dentist.”
Not all dentists are mad, mind you, but the ones that still work with mercury no doubt suffer very real neurological damage as a result.
What’s next for the FDA
More than 1 million people still don’t have adequate food, water or shelter a month after a devastating cyclone swept through Myanmar, and the military junta’s policies are hindering relief efforts and driving up the cost of aid operations, the United Nations said Tuesday.
Humanitarian groups say they continue to face hurdles from Myanmar’s military government in sending disaster experts and vital equipment into the country. As a result, only a trickle of aid is reaching the storm’s estimated 2.4 million survivors, leaving many without even basic relief.
Compounding these problems, the junta’s refusal to allow the use of military helicopters from neighboring countries is driving up relief costs, an official from the World Food Program said.
Aid groups are unable to provide 1.1 million survivors with sufficient food and clean water, while trying to prevent a second wave of deaths from malnutrition and disease, the U.N. said in its latest assessment report.
Getting ordinary plastic bags to rot away like banana peels would be an environmental dream come true.
After all, we produce 500 billion a year worldwide and they take up to 1,000 years to decompose. They take up space in landfills, litter our streets and parks, pollute the oceans and kill the animals that eat them.
Now a Waterloo teenager has found a way to make plastic bags degrade faster — in three months, he figures.
Daniel Burd’s project won the top prize at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa. He came back with a long list of awards, including a $10,000 prize, a $20,000 scholarship, and recognition that he has found a practical way to help the environment.
Daniel, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, got the idea for his project from everyday life.
“Almost every week I have to do chores and when I open the closet door, I have this avalanche of plastic bags falling on top of me,” he said. “One day, I got tired of it and I wanted to know what other people are doing with these plastic bags.”
The answer: not much. So he decided to do something himself.
He knew plastic does eventually degrade, and figured microorganisms must be behind it. His goal was to isolate the microorganisms that can break down plastic — not an easy task because they don’t exist in high numbers in nature.
First, he ground plastic bags into a powder. Next, he used ordinary household chemicals, yeast and tap water to create a solution that would encourage microbe growth. To that, he added the plastic powder and dirt. Then the solution sat in a shaker at 30 degrees.
The nation’s biggest polluter isn’t a corporation. It’s the Pentagon. Every year the Department of Defense churns out more than 750,000 tons of hazardous waste — more than the top three chemical companies combined.
Yet the military remains largely exempt from compliance with most federal and state environmental laws, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Pentagon’s partner in crime, is working hard to keep it that way.
For the past five decades the federal government, defense contractors and the chemical industry have joined forces to block public health protections against perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel that has been shown to effect children’s growth and mental progress by disrupting the function of the thyroid gland which regulates brain development.
Perchlorate has been leaking from literally hundreds of defense plants and military installations across the country. The EPA has reported that perchlorate is present in drinking and groundwater supplies in 35 states. Center for Disease Control and independent studies have also overwhelmingly shown that perchlorate is existent in our food supplies, cow’s milk, and human breast milk. As a result virtually every American has some level of perchlorate in their body.
Currently only two states, California and Massachusetts, have set a maximum allowable contaminant level for perchlorate in drinking water. But the EPA won’t follow these states’ lead. In the Colorado River, which provides water for over 20 million people, perchlorate levels are high. The chemical is most prevalent in the Southwest and California as a result of the large number of military operations and defense contractors in the region.
Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM)
Who: Dr. Arthur Robinson of the OISM
What: release of names in OISM “Petition Project”
When: 10 AM, Monday May 19
Where: Holeman Lounge at the National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, Washington, DC
Why: The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) will announce that more than 31,000 scientists have signed a petition rejecting claims of human-caused global warming. The purpose of OISM’s Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of “settled science” and an overwhelming “consensus” in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climate damage is wrong. No such consensus or settled science exists. As indicated by the petition text and signatory list, a very large number of American scientists reject this hypothesis.
It is evident that 31,072 Americans with university degrees in science – including 9,021 PhDs, are not “a few.” Moreover, from the clear and strong petition statement that they have signed, it is evident that these 31,072 American scientists are not “skeptics.”
CONTACT: Audrey Mullen, +1-703-548-1160, for the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine
/PRNewswire-USNewswire — May 15/
SOURCE Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine
Source: Street Insider
“Reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease and where water is in irregular or short supply.”
James Leape, Director general, WWF UK
Between a quarter and a third of the world’s wildlife has been lost since 1970, according to data compiled by the Zoological Society of London.
Over-fishing and demand for their fins as a delicacy have hit shark numbers
Populations of land-based species fell by 25%, marine by 28% and freshwater by 29%, it says.
Humans are wiping out about 1% of all other species every year, and one of the “great extinction episodes” in the Earth’s history is under way, it says.