Category Archives: Green Agenda

GMO cows pushed as Frankensolution to milk allergies

naturalnews.com | Feb 23, 2013

LON_FrankenCow(NaturalNews) Milk from dairy cows contains the protein s-lactoglobulin (BLG) which is not present in human milk. As it is a major milk allergen, an attempt at decreasing BLG by genetically modifying cows has gained much attention recently. According to researchers in a recent study, “analysis of hormonally induced milk from [these calves] demonstrated absence of BLG and a concurrent increase of all casein milk proteins.” It is believed that if bred in sufficient numbers, this type of genetically modified cow could one day provide milk for allergic infants and adults.

When will the madness stop?

In what seems like an attempt to distract us from the true dangers of milk, popular media and scientific sources like the one above are focusing our attention on the rare condition of milk allergies in an attempt to justify genetically modifying cows. Yet, only four percent of people are allergic to cow’s milk and doctors claim that most babies eventually outgrow this allergy. It remains clear; however, that the complications of milk consumption continue well into adulthood. It is reported that nearly 50 percent of the world’s population is lactose intolerant after childhood and that symptoms include bloating, pain or cramps, gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. If someone feels ill after consuming a dairy product once, they probably do not have lactose intolerance. However, if symptoms persist after continued dairy consumption, then the likelihood toward lactose intolerance is much higher. Humans do not have the enzymes to properly digest milk proteins like BLG and casein, it is no wonder why most people suffer after drinking milk.

In addition to these deleterious effects of drinking cow’s milk, it is important to note that all of American milk is genetically contaminated by bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to increase production unless it is clearly labelled “NO rBGH.” Monsanto Co., the manufacturer of rBGH, has influenced U.S. product safety laws permitting the sale of unlabeled rBGH milk. rBGH increases the rates of 16 different harmful medical conditions in cows, and there is substantial scientific evidence that it may increase antibiotic resistance and cancer rates in humans. The product is already prohibited in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and in the 27 countries of the European Union and the Codex Alimentarius, the U.N.’s main food safety body, concluded there was no consensus that it’s safe for human health.

Whether considering GMOs or undigestible proteins, the risks associated with drinking processed cow’s milk far outweigh any benefits that may be gained from consuming it. Years and billions of dollars have been spent to indoctrinate our nation into thinking that “milk does a body good” and that our main source of calcium should come from it. Yet, it is commonly recognized that the best sources of calcium are green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, okra, and collards. Culinarily speaking, cow’s milk can easily be substituted with coconut or almond milk; both of which provide a creamy texture and are usually quite tasty depending on the brand.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.cnn.com
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/42/16811
http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/general/milk.htm
http://www.organicvalley.coop
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com

About the author:
Eric is a peer-reviewed, published researcher. His work on heart disease and autism has been accepted internationally at various scientific conferences through organizations like the American Public Health Association and Australian-based Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. Visit his blog. Track his work on facebook. Read Eric’s other naturalnews.com articles.

World’s richest men aid GMO-promoting ‘Green Revolution’ center

gates
Associated Press/Eduardo Verdugo – From left, Chair of the International Center for Improvement of Corn and Wheat (CIMMYT) Sara Boettiger, Mexico state Gov. Eruviel Avila, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Mexican Secretary of Agriculture Enrique Martinez, Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim and CIMMYT Director General Thomas Lumpkin cut the ribbon at inauguration of the new research center for the CIMMYT in Texcoco, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Gates and Slim teamed up to to fund new seed breeding research which the CIMMYT says aims to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems to ensure global food security and reduce poverty. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

By MARK STEVENSON

Associated Press | Feb 13

TEXCOCO, Mexico (AP) — The research center largely responsible for launching the “green revolution” of the 1960s that dramatically raised crop yields is getting support from the world’s richest men to develop genetically-modified seeds to help farmers in the developing world grow more grain in the face of a changing climatic conditions and increased demand.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim donated a total of $25 million to build a new cluster of biotechnology labs at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico.

The facilities include hothouses “with high-efficiency air particle filters and a water treatment plant to prevent pollen and genetically modified material from escaping to the outdoors,” according to a statement by the billionaires’ foundations.

Both of the philanthropists were on hand for Wednesday’s inauguration of the new labs at the research center, known as CIMMYT, located just east of Mexico City.

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It was yet another coming of age moment for GM crops, because the nonprofit CIMMYT has become known over the last 50 years for providing low-cost, improved seeds through hybridization efforts, using its vast stockpiles of native corn and wheat genes from across the world to cross-breed the best attributes, like drought-resistance.

But increasingly, genetic splicing is joining the older technique of cross-pollination as “one of the tools in the toolbox,” said CIMMYT Director Thomas Lumpkin.

While Lumpkin claimed that even hybridization represents a sort of genetic modification by selective planting and breeding, he noted that CIMMYT hasn’t shipped any true GM seeds yet, and acknowledged that some countries might have concerns.

“We want to facilitate the movement of those (genetic) traits to the countries of the developing world that request them, that want them,” Lumpkin said. “Nothing is being pushed, nothing is being forced, and CIMMYT will not profit.”

Gates noted there are “legitimate issues, but solvable issues” around wider GM crop use, and that solutions could include distributing GM crops that are patented but require no royalty payments.

That alone would be a big change in the spread of GM crops, which up to now have been largely controlled by a few big biotechnology and agricultural companies that charge steep rates for GM seed and sue any farmer who uses, even accidentally, their patented GM traits, like pest resistance.

CIMMYT, with its ties to farm agencies throughout the world, could be a conduit to deliver GM benefits to the developing world, which has largely been locked out of them.

GM traits could be developed by the center and donated, or they could be bought cheaply. That’s where Gates and his foundation could come in. With his help CIMMYT, which is known for charging farmers as little as possible, could pick up some of the older traits for low prices.

“Some of these traits are getting near the end of their patent life or are available from multiple entities, so that there’s even some competition there,” Gates noted.

Lumpkin said farmers may be scared by the legal risks of GM crops, noting “you can have a law suit of a million dollars” for unauthorized use of patented crops.

“So CIMMYT is primarily focusing on getting tried and true GMO traits that are widely used around the world and bring them to the poor farmers of the developing world, so that the women of the developing world don’t have to spend the entire cropping system pulling weeds in the field … when there is such a simple modification used by all of the farmers in the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, South Africa.”

“Why can’t these poor farmers have these same traits that have been used for 15 years in the developed world?” he asked.

Still national sensitivities in Mexico, where the CIMMYT was founded in 1963, are still strong. Mexico is the birthplace of corn, and concern that GM crops might displace or contaminate genetically-valuable native strains have so far held up large-scale planting of GM corn in Mexico, even as the country has been forced to import about half of its basic grain consumption.

“Under the guise of philanthropy, what they are doing is promoting the use of transgenetic crops, with rhetoric about ending hunger in the world,” said Aleira Lara, of Greenpeace Mexico. “Those things are myths.”

“These (GM) seeds are not any kind of magic wand for increasing production, and they bring new problems to the countryside,” like developing resistance among pests and weeds, Lara said.

Lumpkin noted that CIMMYT is already doing some GM corn research in Africa, but not in Mexico.

“We are doing some research here with wheat, which is not such a sensitive issue in Mexico,” he said.

Lumpkin warned that the world could face a recurrence of the kind of crisis that CIMMYT was able to stave off 50 years ago, this time brought about by new plant diseases, climate change, water shortages and increasing consumption of grain-intensive foods, like meat.

“On one hand, there is rapidly increasing demand … on the other hand, conditions for producing this food are deteriorating rapidly,” he said.

Without new research avenues, he warned, “we have all of the ingredients for a new global food crisis.”

 

EU carbon price crashes to record low

Heavy industry pollution : Aerial view of the Tata steelworks at Scunthorpe
Tata steelworks at Scunthorpe. The ETS aims to reduce emissions from Europe’s entire energy and industrial sectors. Photograph: A.P.S./Alamy

Price of a permit to emit a tonne of carbon fell to €2.81 after an EU vote against a proposal to support the struggling market

guardian.co.uk | Jan 24, 2013

by Damian Carrington

The European Union‘s flagship climate policy, its emissions trading scheme (ETS), saw the price of carbon crash to a record low on Thursday after a vote in Brussels against a proposal to support the struggling market.

The price of a permit to emit a tonne of carbon dioxide fell 40% at one point to €2.81 today, far below its record high of €32, before recovering to more than €4 later in the day.

The ETS, aimed at reducing emissions from Europe‘s entire energy and industrial sectors, has been plagued by an oversupply of permits due in part to over-generous initial allocations following lobbying by industry.

“This should be the final wake-up call both to governments and to the European parliament,” said Connie Hedegaard, EU climate commissioner. “To those in industry who both say that they want a strong EU ETS while they at the same time lobby against the policies that can secure exactly that I say: it is time to think twice.”

David Hone, climate change adviser for oil company Shell, said policy makers needed to focus on delivering a clear carbon price, rather than setting targets for renewable energy. “Many in the business community have been clear on this issue for over a decade – it’s all about putting a price on carbon.”

“The dinosaurs of European industry are holding progress back at the expense of all those businesses that would benefit,” said Lady Worthington, Labour peer and founder of carbon-trading thinktank Sandbag. “The wrong people – those who have not invested in energy efficiency and emissions reductions – get rewarded if the carbon price is low.” Sandbag calculates that there will be an excess of 2.2bn permits by 2020.

Thursday’s freefall in the ETS was prompted by the energy and industry committee of the European parliament opposing a proposal to delay the release of 900m future permits, so-called “backloading”. This would limit supply in the capped market and therefore support the carbon price. Analysts believe such a move could raise carbon prices to €15, but say prices above €20 are needed to give utilities the incentive to make serious switches to lower carbon energy generation.

“Until there is a clear will to give legislative support to this market we cannot expect participants to keep believing in it,” said one emissions trader.

The European commission warned this week that without action the carbon price could drop dramatically, leaving the ETS irrelevant and EU energy and environment policy unravelling. Coal-intensive Poland is opposed to reform, while the UK wants a more ambitious plan, with 1.2bn permits delayed. Germany, the EU’s most influential member on industrial policy, is undecided.

The ETS was launched in 2005 and prices crashed during the first trading period to near zero in 2007, because of the over-allocation of permits. But traders today dismiss that collapse, blaming it on early errors in the experimental phase of the market. The carbon price hit a peak of €32 in April 2006 and traded above €30 in 2008. Thursday’s price is the lowest since the second trading period began.

Thursday’s vote is non-binding and more decisive votes will take place in the environment committee in February and a European parliament plenary session in March. “There are good signs they will vote the right way,” said Lady Worthington, who supports the postponement of permits but argues that many must be permanently removed. “I think there is a reasonably good chance of getting the backloading measure passed by March.”

Hedegaard said: “Few would disagree that the ETS – a market-based cap and trade system – is the most cost-efficient tool in EU climate politics. If in doubt look at all the big economies now following the EU example by establishing similar ETS systems: Australia, Korea, California and China.”

Whatever the outcome in Brussels, analysts say the ETS will limp along, even if the carbon price is so low as to provide no incentive at all for emissions reductions, because dismantling the scheme would be as complicated as reforming it.

Hefty fines for blaming price hikes on carbon taxes

Don’t serve carbon “lies”, ACCC warns

Daily Telegraph | May 25, 2012

By Phil Hudson

SHOPS and restaurants could face fines up to $1.1 million if waiters or sales staff wrongly blame the carbon tax for price rises or exaggerate the impact.

And households are being warned to watch out for telephone scammers offering to deposit carbon tax compensation into their bank accounts.

The prices watchdog, the ACCC, will today launch its countdown to the July 1 carbon tax with a special focus on helping small businesses understand their obligations and consumers to be vigilant for false claims.

It is releasing internet videos to help business, a 16-page guide and has set up a dedicated website www.accc.gov.au/carbon.

ACCC deputy chairman Dr Michael Schaper told the Herald Sun companies were entitled to increase their prices and did not have to justify or explain why.

“It is business as usual,” Dr Schaper said.

But if they blamed the carbon tax they must be able to prove it and not use it as a cover for other price increases related to wages, rent or stock.

“If a business claims that a price is linked to the carbon price, that claim must be truthful and have a reasonable basis,” he said.

Dr Schaper said the warning applied to comments made by staff over the phone, on the shop floor or in meetings.
It also covers advertising, product labels, websites, invoices, contracts and contract negotiations.

The ACCC has the power to force a business to substantiate that a price rise has been caused by the carbon tax.

The guide explains what businesses can and cannot do, and provides a checklist to follow.

Dr Schaper said businesses must be sure price rises were “based on your own costs”.

A gushing Redford goes gaga over Prince Charles’ Green Agenda


Britain’s Prince Charles Prince of Wales, right, and Robert Redford at the first Sundance London film and music festival in London, Saturday April 28, 2012. Prince Charles will also be joined by British and American film-makers and environmentalists at a reception for the premiere of Harmony: A New Way Of Looking At Our World. The Prince will introduce the film, made by Stuart Sender and Julie Bergman Sender. It tells the story of how, for more than three decades, Prince Charles has worked with environmental activists, government and business leaders, artists, architects and visionaries to address the global environmental and economic crisis and seek a more sustainable, spiritual and harmonious relationship with the planet.  AP Photo

Robert Redford Hails Prince Charles As Incredible

looktothestars.org | May 1, 2012

Robert Redford hailed The Prince of Wales as “incredible” as the pair appeared together at the inaugural Sundance London film and music festival recently.

The veteran actor, president and founder of the Sundance Institute, paid tribute to The Prince at the premiere of Harmony: A New Way Of Looking At Our World at the O2 Arena. The film, narrated by and starring The Prince, tells the story of how His Royal Highness has worked with environmental activists, government and business leaders, artists, architects and visionaries to address the global environmental and economic crisis and seek a more sustainable, spiritual and harmonious relationship with the planet.

Redford, who has met The Prince on several previous occasions, said they had a “common, shared feeling about the importance of our environment and sustainability that has been going back years and years”.

He told the audience of cinema-goers and invited guests: “That concern has been manifested by action. What Prince Charles has done to commit to that ideal is just incredible. I think he has been ahead of the curve – he has been way ahead. And I know what that feeling is, to be ahead of the curve and castigated for it. It is our collective responsibility to do whatever we can to maintain sustainability.”

He said the 90-minute film “speaks so much to the man behind it”, and added: “I can’t begin to tell you what this man, this human being, has done to talk about how important human beings are.”

Redford gaga over greenie Charles

Redford gushes over Prince Charles’ green agenda

The Prince introduced the film, made by Stuart Sender and Julie Bergman Sender and based on the book of the same name that he co-wrote with Tony Juniper and Ian Skelly. The Prince said he was “enormously touched and honoured” both by Redford’s comments and the fact he had asked to show Harmony at the festival.

Remarking how it was the first time Sundance had been held outside of the US, The Prince was greeted by applause when he said to the audience: “I think we owe him a huge debt of gratitude for that.”

His Royal Highness jokingly added that he hoped those watching the film, the second The Prince has made on the environment following The Earth In Balance in 1990, “would stay awake for most of it”.

The Prince said: “Twenty years later, the dangers, the challenges, are even more intense and the urgency is even greater to try to do something about this – if nothing else, for the sake of our children and grandchildren and all who come after us.”

The Prince said resources were running out at a rapid rate, but he stressed that changes can still be made.

His Royal Highness added: “Somehow, over the last 250 years or so, we have decided we can operate actually outside of the bounds that nature sets, without having to pay a penalty for that. All we wanted to do with this film is to show people that there is, perhaps, another way of looking at things now. We have carried on in a 19th-Century approach to the way we operate for too long. We are now discovering that there are some limitations and we need to look again.”

The Prince and Redford had met most recently in March last year when the actor joined The Prince for tea at Clarence House.

Stuart Sender said of the premiere: “It doesn’t really get any better than to have The Prince of Wales and Robert Redford here to introduce this film. We hope it does justice to The Prince’s vision of a different way of looking at the world. These are two men who are real groundbreakers and have been ahead of the curve on a lot of issues, about preserving the environment, being outspoken and making sure people who don’t have a voice get heard.”

The Senders hosted an extended question and answer session after the film, which was applauded by the audience as the credits rolled.

‘If you don’t believe in climate change you must be sick’: Oregon professor likens skepticism to racism

Daily Mail | Mar 31, 2012


Controversial: Kari Norgaard is a professor of sociology and environmental studies at Oregon University

An Oregon University professor has controversially compared skepticism of global warming to racism.

Sociology and environmental studies professor Kari Norgaard wrote a paper criticising non-believers, suggesting that doubters need to be have a ‘sickness’.

The professor, who holds a B.S. in biology and a master’s and PhD in sociology, argued that ‘cultural resistance’ to accepting humans as being responsible for climate change ‘must be recognised and treated’ as an aberrant sociological behaviour.

Resolving skepticism about climate change alarmists, she added, is a challenge equitable to overcoming ‘racism or slavery in the U.S. South’.

In the last 30 years, Norgaard said, climate change has been seen as either a hoax or fixable with minimal political or economic intervention.

‘This kind of cultural resistance to very significant social threat is something that we would expect in any society facing a massive threat’, she said.

Norgaard added that effective international action on climate change is being hampered by ‘weak’ responses to the crisis by both individuals and societies.

‘We must first be aware that this resistance is happening at all levels of our society.

‘If you have to push a heavy weight, it doesn’t mean it can’t be moved, but in order to push it you had better know that you have something heavy and figure out how to move it — where to put the lever to shift the weight.’

Norgaard last week attended the annual four-day ‘Planet Under Pressure’ international conference in London, where she presented her controversial paper to delegates on Wednesday.

The scientists behind the event recently put out a statement calling for humans to be packed into denser cities so that the rest of the planet can be surrendered to mother nature.

And fellow attendee Yale University professor Karen Seto told MSNBC: ‘We certainly don’t want them (humans) strolling about the entire countryside. We want them to save land for nature by living closely [together].’

Climate Fund Seeks UN-Style Diplomatic Immunity

Fox News | Mar 22, 2012

The Green Climate Fund, which is supposed to help mobilize as much as $100 billion a year to lower global greenhouse gases, is seeking a broad blanket of UN-style immunity that would shield its operations from any kind of legal process, including civil and criminal prosecution, in the countries where it operates.

There is just one problem: it is not part of the United Nations.

Whether the fund, which was formally created at a UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa last December, will get all the money it wants to spend is open to question in an era of economic slowdown and fiscal austerity.

Its spending goal comes atop some $30 billion in “fast start-up” money that has been pledged by UN member states to such climate change activities.

A 24-nation interim board of trustees for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is slated to hold its first meeting next month in Switzerland to organize the fund’s secretariat and to get it running by November, as well as find a permanent home for the GCF’s operations.

The board expects to spend about $6.7 million between now and June of next year.

But before it is fully operational, the GCF’s creators — 194 countries that belong to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — want it to be immune from legal challenges and lawsuits, not to mention outside inspections, much like the United Nations itself cannot be affected by decisions rendered by a sovereign nation’s government or judicial system.

Despite its name, the UNFCCC was informed in 2006 by the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs that it was not considered a UN “organ,” and therefore could not claim immunity for its subordinate bodies or personnel under the General Convention that has authorized UN immunity since the end of World War II.

A UNFCCC resolution granting similar immunities would need to be “accepted, approved or ratified” by each individual member of the Kyoto Protocol before it took effect, the UN legal office advised.

Even if UNFCCC members decided to ask the UN General Assembly to grant them similar immunity it would require each UN member state to make changes in domestic legislation, the opinion declared.

According to an official of the US Treasury, which strongly supports the existence of the GCF, the full extent of the immunities still remains to be worked out by the fund board, although the wording of various UNFCCC resolutions indicate that immunities like those held by the UN are clearly envisaged.