Weird Science 07-30-10
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Editor, The Konformist
Senate Bill S510 Makes it Illegal to Grow, Share, Trade or Sell Homegrown Food
By Steve Green
S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US.
It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.
"If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public's right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one's choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God." It is similar to what India faced with imposition of the salt tax during British rule, only S 510 extends control over all food in the US, violating the fundamental human right to food." ~ Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower.
Monsanto says it has no interest in the bill and would not benefit from it, but Monsanto's Michael Taylor who gave us rBGH and unregulated genetically modified (GM) organisms, appears to have designed it and is waiting as an appointed Food Czar to the FDA (a position unapproved by Congress) to administer the agency it would create without judicial review if it passes.
S 510 would give Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food AND FARMING.
In the 1990s, Bill Clinton introduced HACCP (Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Points) purportedly to deal with contamination in the meat industry. Clinton's HACCP delighted the offending corporate (World Trade Organization "WTO") meat packers since it allowed them to inspect themselves, eliminated thousands of local food processors (with no history of contamination), and centralized meat into their control. Monsanto promoted HACCP.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton, urged a powerful centralized food safety agency as part of her campaign for president. Her advisor was Mark Penn, CEO of Burson Marsteller*, a giant PR firm representing Monsanto. Clinton lost, but Clinton friends such as Rosa DeLauro, whose husband's firm lists Monsanto as a progressive client and globalization as an area of expertise, introduced early versions of S 510.
S 510 fails on moral, social, economic, political, constitutional, and human survival grounds.
1. It puts all US food and all US farms under Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of contamination or an ill-defined emergency. It resembles the Kissinger Plan.
2. It would end US sovereignty over its own food supply by insisting on compliance with the WTO, thus threatening national security. It would end the Uruguay Round Agreement Act of 1994, which put US sovereignty and US law under perfect protection. Instead, S 510 says:
COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.
Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.
3. It would allow the government, under Maritime Law, to define the introduction of any food into commerce (even direct sales between individuals) as smuggling into "the United States." Since under that law, the US is a corporate entity and not a location, "entry of food into the US" covers food produced anywhere within the land mass of this country and "entering into" it by virtue of being produced.
4. It imposes Codex Alimentarius on the US, a global system of control over food. It allows the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WTO to take control of every food on earth and remove access to natural food supplements. Its bizarre history and its expected impact in limiting access to adequate nutrition (while mandating GM food, GM animals, pesticides, hormones, irradiation of food, etc.) threatens all safe and organic food and health itself, since the world knows now it needs vitamins to survive, not just to treat illnesses.
5. It would remove the right to clean, store and thus own seed in the US, putting control of seeds in the hands of Monsanto and other multinationals, threatening US security. See Seeds How to criminalize them, for more details.
6. It includes NAIS, an animal traceability program that threatens all small farmers and ranchers raising animals. The UN is participating through the WHO, FAO, WTO, and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in allowing mass slaughter of even heritage breeds of animals and without proof of disease. Biodiversity in farm animals is being wiped out to substitute genetically engineered animals on which corporations hold patents. Animal diseases can be falsely declared. S 510 includes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite its corrupt involvement in the H1N1 scandal, which is now said to have been concocted by the corporations.
7. It extends a failed and destructive HACCP to all food, thus threatening to do to all local food production and farming what HACCP did to meat production put it in corporate hands and worsen food safety.
8. It deconstructs what is left of the American economy. It takes agriculture and food, which are the cornerstone of all economies, out of the hands of the citizenry, and puts them under the total control of multinational corporations influencing the UN, WHO, FAO and WTO, with HHS, and CDC, acting as agents, with Homeland Security as the enforcer. The chance to rebuild the economy based on farming, ranching, gardens, food production, natural health, and all the jobs, tools and connected occupations would be eliminated.
9. It would allow the government to mandate antibiotics, hormones, slaughterhouse waste, pesticides and GMOs. This would industrialize every farm in the US, eliminate local organic farming, greatly increase global warming from increased use of oil-based products and long-distance delivery of foods, and make food even more unsafe. The five items listed the Five Pillars of Food Safety are precisely the items in the food supply which are the primary source of its danger.
10. It uses food crimes as the entry into police state power and control. The bill postpones defining all the regulations to be imposed; postpones defining crimes to be punished, postpones defining penalties to be applied. It removes fundamental constitutional protections from all citizens in the country, making them subject to a corporate tribunal with unlimited power and penalties, and without judicial review.
It is (similar to C-6 in Canada) the end of Rule of Law in the US.
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is the sponsor of this bill.
The bill's co-sponsors are:
Lamar Alexander [R-TN]
Jeff Bingaman [D-NM]
Richard Burr [R-NC]
Roland Burris [D-IL]
Saxby Chambliss [R-GA]
Christopher Dodd [D-CT]
Michael Enzi [R-WY]
Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]
Judd Gregg [R-NH]
Thomas Harkin [D-IA]
Orrin Hatch [R-UT]
John Isakson [R-GA]
Edward Kennedy [D-MA]
Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]
Ben Nelson [D-NE]
Tom Udall [D-NM]
David Vitter [R-LA]
Write these senators today and tell them to revoke their support of Senate Bill 510!
You may use the following letter in your correspondence:
I am writing to express my deep concern over your sponsorship of Senate Bill 510. This bill represents yet another attempt to place more power into the hands of a centralized government, while taking power away from states and individual citizens. The danger of this bill is that it does so in the domain of our food. It sets in place a number of preconditions for manipulation of America's food supply and threatens to strip us of our freedoms to grow, sell, and buy food. We the people have elected you to office to serve us, not to disempower us and make us subject to bureaucratic regulations lacking our best interests. Please remove your sponsorship from Bill S510.
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Oakland pot-growing plan worries small bud tenders
Jul 18, 2010
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - After weathering the fear of federal prosecution and competition from drug cartels, California's medical marijuana growers see a new threat to their tenuous existence: the "Wal-Marting" of weed.
The Oakland City Council on Tuesday will look at licensing four production plants where pot would be grown, packaged and processed into items ranging from baked goods to body oil. Winning applicants would have to pay $211,000 in annual permit fees, carry $2 million worth of liability insurance and be prepared to devote up to 8 percent of gross sales to taxes.
The move, and fledgling efforts in other California cities to sanction cannabis cultivation for the first time, has some marijuana advocates worried that regulations intended to bring order to the outlaw industry and new revenues to cash-strapped local governments could drive small "mom and pop" growers out of business. They complain that industrial-scale gardens would harm the environment, reduce quality and leave consumers with fewer strains from which to choose.
"Nobody wants to see the McDonald's-ization of cannabis," Dan Scully, one of the 400 "patient-growers" who supply Oakland's largest retail medical marijuana dispensary, Harborside Health Center, grumbled after a City Council committee gave the blueprint preliminary approval last week. "I would compare it to how a small business feels about shutting down its business and going to work at Wal-Mart. Who would be attracted to that?"
The proposal's supporters, including entrepreneurs more disposed to neckties than tie-dye, counter that unregulated growers working in covert warehouses or houses are tax scofflaws more likely to wreak environmental havoc, be motivated purely by profit and produce inferior products.
"The large-scale grow facilities that are being proposed with this ordinance will create hundreds of jobs for the city," said Ryan Indigo Warman, who teaches pot-growing techniques at iGrow, a hydroponics store whose owners plan to apply for one of the four permits. "The ordinance is good for Oakland, and anyone who says otherwise is only protecting their own interests."
Council members Rebecca Kaplan and Larry Reid, who introduced the plan, have pitched it largely as a public safety measure.
The Oakland fire department blames a dramatic rise in the number of electrical fires between 2006 and 2009 in part to marijuana being grown indoors with improperly wired fans and lights. The police department says eight robberies, seven burglaries and two murders have been linked to marijuana grows in the last two years.
Reid and Kaplan also are open about their desire to have the city, which last week laid off 80 police officers to save money, cash in on the medical marijuana industry it has allowed to thrive.
Oakland's four retail marijuana stores did $28 million in business last year, and if sales remain constant, the city would get $1.5 million this year from a dispensary business tax that voters adopted last summer. A similar tax on wholesale pot sales from the permitted grow sites to the dispensaries would bring in more than twice that amount, the city administrator's office has estimated.
"Allowing medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to be produced in a responsible, aboveboard and legitimate way will be a benefit to the patients, to the workers and to the people of Oakland," Kaplan said.
Adding to the anxiety of growers - and the impetus Oakland officials have to get the grow tax in place - is a November state ballot measure to legalize marijuana possession for adult recreational use and authorize local governments to license and tax non-medical pot sales.
If it passes, Proposition 19 is expected to feed the state's hearty appetite for marijuana. Backers of creating the four big indoor gardens say the plan is not dependent on legalization, but would benefit from it.
"The reality is, this is an issue that is going to grow. I would like it to grow here. I would like it to be Oakland business and not the tobacco industry," Councilwoman Jean Quan said.
Regulating the supply side of the business would represent another turning point in California's complicated, 14-year-old relationship with medical marijuana. Although Maine, New Mexico and Rhode Island license nonprofit groups to produce and distribute cannabis, California's law is silent on cultivation other than for individual use.
Even as hundreds of storefront pot dispensaries, marijuana delivery services and THC-laced food products have flourished, the question of where they get their stashes remains murky: Inquiring is considered as impolite as asking someone's income or age.
Industry insiders usually say they rely on a variety of sources, including farmers who grow outdoors in the far northern end of the state, contractors who run sophisticated indoor operations, and customers who grow their own and sell the surplus.
Officials in Berkeley and Long Beach also are moving take the mystery out of medical marijuana production.
The Berkeley City Council last week approved a measure for the November ballot that would authorize the city to license and tax six pot cultivation sites. Companies running the facilities must agree to give away some pot to low-income users, employ organic gardening methods to the extent possible and offset in some way the large amount of electricity needed to grow weed.
Long Beach officials want to reduce the amount of medical marijuana being sold in the city that isn't grown there.
The city is in the process of trying to whittle its more than 90 dispensaries down to no more than 35 marijuana collectives through a lottery. License winners will be required to grow either at their retail sites or elsewhere in Long Beach and to open their books to prove they aren't growing more than enough to supply their members, said Lori Ann Farrell, Long Beach's director of financial management.
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Resveratrol revs up metabolism, promotes weight loss in first ever primate study
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
S. L. Baker, features writer
(NaturalNews) Resveratrol is a type of phytonutrient known as a polyphenol. Found in the skin of grapes, wine, grape juice, peanuts, and berries, it has often been hailed as a life-extending natural compound. After all, research in mice and lab rats has indicated it can protect those animals from obesity and diabetes and has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and blood-sugar-lowering effects, too. However, rats and mice are rodents -- and their physiology is in many ways different from the primate family that includes apes, monkeys and, most importantly, human beings.
But now for the first time a study has shown resveratrol has the ability to rev up metabolism and spark weight loss in primates -- and that means the polyphenol might have weight loss and even anti-aging and life-extending benefits in people, too.
Fabienne Aujard, from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, France, worked with a team of scientists to document how a diet supplemented with resveratrol impacted the weight, metabolism and energy intake of six mouse lemurs. (Despite their names, mouse lemurs have nothing to do with rodents. Found only on the African island nation of Madagascar, they are mouse-sized primates -- the group that includes apes and humans.)
The study, which was just published in the BMC Physiology journal, showed that after four weeks of resveratrol supplementation there was a significant decrease in the animals' food intake along with a reduction in the body-mass gain lemurs normally experience in winter. The response to the resveratrol supplementation also involved significant changes in the animals' body temperatures. The researchers noted that resveratrol appears to reduce weight by increasing satiety (the feeling of being full) and also by increasing the resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy expended while at rest) -- so the animals burned up more calories even when not exercising.
"We've found that lemurs eating a diet supplemented with the compound (resveratrol) decreased their energy intake by 13 percent and increased their resting metabolic rate by 29 percent," Dr. Aujard said in a statement to the press. "These results provide novel information on the potential effects of resveratrol on energy metabolism and control of body mass in a primate. The physiological benefits of resveratrol are currently under intensive investigation, with recent work suggesting that it could be a good candidate for the development of obesity therapies."
7 Drugs That You Can Legally Grow Right In Your Home
DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating, advising, endorsing, recommending, celebrating, or glamorizing drug use. That's the job of the music industry.
I am merely providing interesting and educational information on several plants that, while perfectly legal to grow, provide some added "recreational" effects when used for purposes other than decorating your home. (And if you want to read about three bonus plants, head over to our friends at GrowingPlantsIndoors.com, the green thumbs that provided this info.) I'm starting to rethink my No Living Houseplants rule.
Saliva is unique because it isn't habit forming, is hallucinogenic... and is legal to grow. The plant is usually dried and smoked (similar to marijuana), and when taken makes the user momentarily lose touch with reality. In the states, growing the plant (which is legal) is different than using the plant as a drug (which is illegal). As of this writing Florida, Illinois, Delaware, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Virginia, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Ohio, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi and North Dakota have laws against its usage.
2. Calea zacatechichi- Dream Herb
The dream herb gets its name from of the incredibly vivid dreams that users experience. The Chontal Indians of Mexico are known to smoke the plant's leaves just before bedtime as a way of becoming conscious of dreaming while still in the dream. In typical US fashion, the plant is legal to grow AND to sell... but illegal to use.
3. Hawaiian Baby Woodrose
Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, also known as Elephant Creeper, is a vine that produces hallucinogenic seeds. With preparation , the active ingredient (LSA) can be extracted and has the same effect as LSD when consumed. However, consumption is illegal in the US, while growing the vine itself is not.
Kratom is addictive, yet it remains legal to grow and to use. In appearance it resembles a small tree, usually growing up to 15 feet tall. The leaves contain the active ingredient and, unlike many other hallucinagenics, the leaves are constantly replaced on the same tree.
Wormwood emits a poison and can kill if too much is consumed. It's also the primary herb used in absinthe. The leaves can also be smoked, usually in conjunction with marijuana. And, to this date, wormwood is legal to grow virtually anywhere in the world.
6. Betel Nut
As a whole, Betel Nut is relatively "soft." It induces a mild feeling of well being, reduces one's appetite and isn't physically addictive. The plant is legal to grow and to use, but it only grows in tropical or subtropical ecosystems. A variety of indoor growing systems can be used to succesfully grow this plant in your home.
Ayahuasca, or "vine of the dead," grows freely in the South American Amazon and is used by Shamans in healing/cleansing rituals. The vine, which contains DMT as an active ingredient, is brewed with a secondary plant which contains MAOI and is drank for effect. Growing the vine is legal in the US, but extracting the DMT (active ingredient) is against the law.
For three more drugs that are legal to grow in your home, go to GrowingPlantsIndoors.com.