Giving Disorganized Boys the Tools for Success

By ALAN FINDER
LOS ALTOS, Calif. — “Can we take a look at your backpack?”
Ana Homayoun repeats that question countless times a day. No, she does not screen airline passengers or work security at a basketball arena.
Ms. Homayoun is a tutor. She helps teenagers with subjects like math and science, but she particularly specializes in teaching boys how to become more organized.
One afternoon in her cozy office suite in this affluent suburb south of San Francisco, she asked John Ferrari, 14, to go through a two-inch stack of papers he pulled from his backpack. He sorted through the papers, placing them in separate piles — writing, spelling, vocabulary, tests — to bring order to his loose-leaf binder.
“Oh, here’s my class schedule, what a relief,” said John, an eighth grader.
A moment later, he stumbled across something even more valuable. “I have to turn this in tomorrow,” John said. “It’s the name I want on my diploma.”
With girls outperforming boys these days in high school and college, educators have been sparring over whether there is a crisis in the education of boys. Some suggest the need for more single-sex schools, more male role models or new teaching techniques. Others are experimenting with physical changes in classrooms that encourage boys to move around, rather than trying to anchor them to their seats.
But as they debate, high-priced tutors and college counselors have jumped into the fray by charging as much as $100 an hour and up to bring boys to heel.
The tutors say their main focus is organizational skills because boys seem generally to have more difficulty getting organized and multitasking than girls do.
And so private counselors in places as diverse as Chicago, New York City, Sarasota, Fla., and Bennington, Vt., who guide juniors and seniors in applying to college, have devised elaborate systems — from color-coded, four-month calendars that mark dozens of deadlines to file boxes that students must take to each session.
Donna Goldberg began working with students in Manhattan on how to get organized 17 years ago. Her inspiration was her own son, then in seventh grade. Mrs. Goldberg was astonished to learn that he had not been turning in any homework.
“He opened his backpack, which was really a black hole, and he said, ‘Here it is,’ ” she said. He had not understood that in seventh grade he was responsible for handing in his homework, instead of waiting to be asked.
Some educators think the tutors are on the right track, whether or not there is science to back them up. “The guys just don’t seem to develop the skills that involve organization as early,” said Judith Kleinfeld, a psychology professor at the University of Alaska and founder of the Boys Project, a coalition of researchers, educators and parents to address boys’ problems.
Mrs. Goldberg, Ms. Homayoun and other private tutors say boys must learn not only how to organize, but also how to manage their time and even how to study.
Robert Gittings, a sixth grader, has been coming weekly to work with Ms. Homayoun since September. He, too, is asked to empty his backpack, and on one visit, cheerfully removed a vast collection of textbooks, binders, workbooks, paperback books and hardcover library books.
Most of the binders were orderly and reasonably neat. But there was a stack of papers from science, nearly an inch thick, that needed to be sorted.
“Do you have homework for tonight?” Ms. Homayoun asked.
He replied, “We have a work sheet.” But it was not in the homework section of the science binder or in his daily planner.
Then Robert remembered where he put it. From a side pocket of his backpack, he pulled a sheet of paper that has been folded into a tiny rectangle.
Ms. Homayoun laughed and said gently, “Maybe we should put that in the homework section?”
Ms. Homayoun opened her business, Green Ivy Educational Consulting, not long after graduating from Duke University in 2001. She created her organizational system — basically an elaboration of the ways she studied in high school — after she began tutoring six years ago.
“I would ask, What’s the class that troubles you the most?” she said. “I would ask to see the binder, and it would always be the messiest.”
She requires her clients to have a three-ring, loose-leaf binder for each academic subject, to divide each binder into five sections — notes, homework, handouts, tests and quizzes, and blank paper — and to use a hole puncher relentlessly, so that every sheet of school-related paper is put into its proper home.
Students must maintain a daily planner; they are required to number the order in which they want to do each day’s homework and draw a box next to each assignment, so it can be checked off when completed.
Homework must be done in a two-hour block in a quiet room, with absolutely no distractions: no instant messaging, no Internet, no music, no cellphone, no television.
While some girls need help getting organized, at least three-quarters of her students are boys, Ms. Homayoun said. Girls usually adopt her methods more quickly.
“Girls pick up on this much faster,” said Ms. Homayoun, 28, who has a relaxed but firm manner and a gift for diplomacy with teenagers and their parents. “Boys, you still have to be on them for a while. They’re not going to pick up on it immediately. You have to roll with it.”
Two seniors arrived for weekly appointments, expecting to complete their college applications and file them online. But the tutor discovered that one boy left out sections of basic personal information on his application, while the other missed a requirement for three short essays by the University of Virginia. Each was disappointed that there was more work to do.
“Sorry,” she consoled one. “It’s like thinking you’ve finished a marathon and finding out you have three miles left.”
With guidance and constant follow-up, boys can make significant progress, Ms. Homayoun said. Ernie McMillan, 17, a high school senior who has been working with her since the summer before his junior year, is one example. He created orderly binders, kept on top of his daily planner, took notes while reading and even agreed to eliminate distractions during homework.
In the spring of his sophomore year, Mr. McMillan had a 2.8 grade-point average, a B-minus. After working with Ms. Homayoun, he raised his average to 3.1 in the first semester of his junior year. Last spring, he brought it up to 3.5, a B-plus.
“I was really happy about that,” he said. “I always thought I could do it, and I didn’t understand why I couldn’t. I just needed that backing, that structure. I was turning in my assignments on time. I was working ahead on my classes. I was organized in a way I never had been before.”
Mr. McMillan stopped for a moment, before adding, “She totally reworked my backpack, too.”
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New material can soak up pollutants, study shows

Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:53 PM ET
By Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A new porous material can soak up heavy metals from liquids like a sponge, U.S. researchers said on Thursday, offering a host of potential uses including removing pollutants such as mercury or lead from water.
The material is an aerogel, a type of rigid foam made from a gel in which most of the liquid has been replaced by gas.
“What we’ve made is a new kind of aerogel that is made of the same stuff that semiconductors are made of,” said Mercouri Kanatzidis, a researcher with Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.
Classical aerogels — which are made of silica or carbon — have been around for many decades. “They are white and colorless and don’t absorb any light,” Kanatzidis said in a telephone interview.
Kanatzidis has made aerogels from chalcogenides, which are used in semiconductors.
“These new aerogels absorb light and they can be changed in composition from one kind to another,” said Kanatzidis, whose work appears in the journal Science.
He and colleagues placed this new gel in a solution containing smaller metal ions and larger, highly toxic metal ions such as mercury.
The aerogel removed almost all of the mercury from the solution and also a number of organic compounds.
“It is very much like a sponge, only the walls of this sponge have a surface that presents sulfur atoms to the solution,” he said.
“Mercury likes to bind with sulfur,” he said.
The solution used in the experiment contained platinum, which is far too expensive for widespread environmental use.
“We need to replace the platinum with cheaper elements,” he said.
But Kanatzidis said he believed it was possible and his lab had already had some success with this.

Vaccinated Children Two and a Half Times More Likely to Have Neurological Disorders Like ADHD and Autism, New Survey in California and Oregon Finds

Earth Times
Wednesday June 27, 2007
As the first trial in Vaccine Court explores the relationship between vaccines and autism, a new survey released today indicates a strong correlation between rates of neurological disorders, such as ADHD and autism, and childhood vaccinations.
The survey, commissioned by Generation Rescue, compared vaccinated and unvaccinated children in nine counties in Oregon and California. Among more than 9,000 boys age 4-17, the survey found vaccinated boys were two and a half times (155%) more likely to have neurological disorders compared to their unvaccinated peers. Vaccinated boys were 224% more likely to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and 61% more likely to have autism.
For older vaccinated boys in the 11-17 age bracket, the results were even more pronounced. Vaccinated boys were 158% more likely to have a neurological disorder, 317% more likely to have ADHD, and 112% more likely to have autism. Complete survey results are available at http://www.generationrescue.org/.
Generation Rescue commissioned the phone survey. Data was gathered by SurveyUSA, a national market research firm, which surveyed parents by phone on more than 17,000 children, ages 4-17, in five counties in California (San Diego, Sonoma, Orange, Sacramento, and Marin) and four counties in Oregon (Multnomah, Marion, Jackson, and Lane).
The survey asked parents whether their child had been vaccinated, and whether that child had one or more of the following diagnoses: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder — Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), or Autism. The phone survey was chosen to mirror the methodology the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses to establish national prevalence for neurological disorders in their national phone survey.
Timed to the release of the survey results, Generation Rescue also ran full-page advertisements in Washington’s Roll Call, The Oregonian, and The Orange County Register today. The ad compares the 36 pediatric vaccines the CDC recommends today to the 10 recommended in 1983, and asks, “Are We Over- Vaccinating Our Kids?”
“No one has ever compared prevalence rates of these neurological disorders between vaccinated and unvaccinated children,” said J.B. Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, whose son was diagnosed with autism. “The phone survey isn’t perfect, but these numbers point to the need for a comprehensive national study to gather this critical information.”
In Washington, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has been advocating for such a survey. Co-sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), the “Comprehensive Comparative Study of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Population Act of 2006,” or H.R. 2832, was introduced on June 22, and would require the National Institutes of Health to complete this research.
“Generation Rescue’s study is impressive and forcefully raises some serious questions about the relationship between vaccines and autism. What is ultimately needed to resolve this issue one way or the other is a comprehensive national study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “The parents behind Generation Rescue only want information. These parents deserve more than road blocks, they deserve answers. We can and should move forward in search of those answers. That’s why I have introduced a common sense bill that would require the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a comprehensive, comparative study on the possible link between autism and thimerosal.”
From 1983 to 2007, autism rates have climbed from 1 in 10,000 children to 1 in 150 children, a growth rate of 6,000% (boys are significantly more affected by neurological disorders, accounting for approximately 80% of all cases). ADHD currently affects 1 in 13 children. In the same period, the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule more than tripled. The simmering debate over the cause of childhood neurological disorders shows no sign of cooling, but no study had ever been done to look at unvaccinated children.
Lisa Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, adds, “Everyone working with autism wants to identify the cause so we can focus on treatment and prevention. A national study like HR 5940 could help end this debate and focus all of our resources on helping our kids. Its time has come, and we hope Congress will choose to put our children first.”

World’s tigers on “catastrophic” path to extinction

Fri Jun 8, 2007 2:01PM EDT
By Nita Bhalla
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The world’s wild tigers are on a “catastrophic” path to extinction as numbers continue to decline because of increased poaching, habitat destruction and poor conservation efforts by governments, a new report has said.
In less than a century, Asia’s largest predator has been relegated to isolated populations residing in only 7 percent of the areas they once occupied, according to a research paper published in the June edition of BioScience journal.
The report, titled “The Fate of Wild Tigers”, said the loss of their habitat and the persistent killing of the wild cats had left areas such as the Caspian region and the Indonesian islands of Bali and Java devoid of tigers.
Countries such as India — a stronghold of the tigers — were inadequately implementing conservation policies and mismanaging funds set aside for the survival of the big cats, it added.
“While the tiger as a wild species will most likely not go extinct within the next half-century, its current trajectory is catastrophic,” said the report, authored by 16 wildlife experts.
“If this trend continues, the current range will shrink even further, and wild populations will disappear from many more places, or dwindle to the point of ecological extinction.”
Despite widespread trade bans, poaching remains a serious problem where products made from tigers, such as skins and bones used in traditional Chinese medicines, are coveted by consumers in China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and the United States.
But while laws exist to protect tigers from poachers, lack of resources for enforcement and a dearth of anti-poaching information networks have hampered efforts.
Plans by China to lift its 1993 ban on the domestic trade of tiger parts is sure to re-ignite interest among more than a billion consumers in emerging economies and this could be the greatest threat to the animals, said the paper.
“Ultimately, China, the state that has the fewest tigers, may pose the greatest threat to the tiger’s ultimate survival in the wild.”
Many of the tiger habitats are also too small, isolated or degraded to hold populations of the predator over the long-term, with increasing human encroachment and development of forests.
For example, in Sumatra, vast oil palm and acacia plantations are replacing some of the richest lowland rainforests on earth.
The report, whose lead author is WWF-International’s Chief Scientist Eric Dinerstein, said it was important to link the small, isolated tiger areas by protected corridors, to allow for more space, movement and breeding of the animals.
The authors said Asian nations, led either by ASEAN or SAARC, a grouping of South Asian nations, should also hold a “tiger summit” aimed at securing a global pledge to protect the wild heritage of Asia.

The Toxic Danger of Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets

By B. Williams
Many people will remember a famous TV ad where a woman races to her washing machine, fabric softener in hand, only to arrive just as the wash ends. This woman who “forgot to ad the fabric softener” was actually doing herself and her family a favor.
Although they may make your clothes feel soft and smell fresh, fabric softener and dryer sheets are some of the most toxic products around. And chances are that the staggering 99.8 percent of Americans who use common commercial detergents, fabric softeners, bleaches, and stain removers would think twice if they knew they contained chemicals that could cause cancer and brain damage.
Laundry
Here is a list of just some of the chemicals found in fabric softeners and dryer sheets:
* Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
* Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
* Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
* Limonene: Known carcinogen
* A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
* Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list
* Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
* Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
* Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
* Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled
So how could products with pretty names like Soft Ocean Mist, Summer Orchard and April Fresh be so dangerous?
The chemicals in fabric softeners are pungent and strong smelling — so strong that they require the use of these heavy fragrances (think 50 times as much fragrance) just to cover up the smells. Furthermore, synthetic fabrics, which are the reason fabric softeners were created in the first place, do not smell good either when heated in a dryer or heated by our bodies … hence the need for even more hefty fragrances.
In other words, remove all the added fragrance that endears people to fabric softeners and — like the cliché wolf in sheep’s clothing — the real smells of the chemical-laced fabric softener and the synthetic fabrics they were designed around may prompt people to shoot their laundry machines and be done with it.
Are “Soft” Clothes Worth It?
Fabric softeners are made to stay in your clothing for long periods of time. As such, chemicals are slowly released either into the air for you to inhale or onto your skin for you to absorb. Dryer sheets are particularly noxious because they are heated in the dryer and the chemicals are released through dryer vents and out into the environment. Health effects from being exposed to the chemicals in fabric softeners include:
* Central nervous system disorders
* Headaches
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Dizziness
* Blood pressure reduction
* Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract
* Pancreatic cancer
Baby Fabric
Soften Your Clothes Safely With These Tips
Even if you don’t feel the effects of these chemicals today, they can affect you gradually over time, and children, whose systems are still developing, are particularly at risk. There’s really no reason to expose yourself to these risky chemicals when natural alternatives exist. Not only are they safer for you, your family and the environment, but they’re much more economical too:
* Add a quarter cup of baking soda to wash cycle to soften fabric
* Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to rinse to soften fabric and eliminate cling
* Check out your local health food store for a natural fabric softener that uses a natural base like soy instead of chemicals
It’s likely that fabric softeners and dryer sheets aren’t the only toxic products in your home. Many household products that consumers regard as safe are also full of toxic chemicals. Our past articles on Environmental Medicine will make you more aware of the pervasiveness of harmful chemicals that can be eliminated from your home.
Click here for Non Toxic Get Clean Products by Shaklee as seen on Oprah!

Tainted Chinese imports common

WP: What few contaminated products FDA discovers are often shipped again
By Rick Weiss
The Washington Post
Updated: 11:34 p.m. ET May 19, 2007
Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical.
Frozen catfish laden with banned antibiotics.
Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria.
Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.
These were among the 107 food imports from China that the Food and Drug Administration detained at U.S. ports just last month, agency documents reveal, along with more than 1,000 shipments of tainted Chinese dietary supplements, toxic Chinese cosmetics and counterfeit Chinese medicines.
For years, U.S. inspection records show, China has flooded the United States with foods unfit for human consumption. And for years, FDA inspectors have simply returned to Chinese importers the small portion of those products they caught — many of which turned up at U.S. borders again, making a second or third attempt at entry.
Now the confluence of two events — the highly publicized contamination of U.S. chicken, pork and fish with tainted Chinese pet food ingredients and this week’s resumption of high-level economic and trade talks with China — has activists and members of Congress demanding that the United States tell China it is fed up.
Integral part of food chain
Dead pets and melamine-tainted food notwithstanding, change will prove difficult, policy experts say, in large part because U.S. companies have become so dependent on the Chinese economy that tighter rules on imports stand to harm the U.S. economy, too.
“So many U.S. companies are directly or indirectly involved in China now, the commercial interest of the United States these days has become to allow imports to come in as quickly and smoothly as possible,” said Robert B. Cassidy, a former assistant U.S. trade representative for China and now director of international trade and services for Kelley Drye Collier Shannon, a Washington law firm.
As a result, the United States finds itself “kowtowing to China,” Cassidy said, even as that country keeps sending American consumers adulterated and mislabeled foods.
It’s not just about cheap imports, added Carol Tucker Foreman, a former assistant secretary of agriculture now at the Consumer Federation of America.
“Our farmers and food processors have drooled for years to be able to sell their food to that massive market,” Foreman said. “The Chinese counterfeit. They have a serious piracy problem. But we put up with it because we want to sell to them.”
Risks of unregulated trade being re-evaluated
U.S. agricultural exports to China have grown to more than $5 billion a year– a fraction of last year’s $232 billion U.S. trade deficit with China but a number that has enormous growth potential, given the Chinese economy’s 10 percent growth rate and its billion-plus consumers.
Trading with the largely unregulated Chinese marketplace has its risks, of course, as evidenced by the many lawsuits that U.S. pet food companies now face from angry consumers who say their pets were poisoned by tainted Chinese ingredients. Until recently, however, many companies and even the federal government reckoned that, on average, those risks were worth taking. And for some products they have had little choice, as China has driven competitors out of business with its rock-bottom prices.
But after the pet food scandal, some are recalculating.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had an incident from a Chinese supplier,” said Pat Verduin, a senior vice president at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a trade group in Washington. “Food safety is integral to brands and to companies. This is not an issue the industry is taking lightly.”
New focus on the problem
China’s less-than-stellar behavior as a food exporter is revealed in stomach-turning detail in FDA “refusal reports” filed by U.S. inspectors: Juices and fruits rejected as “filthy.” Prunes tinted with chemical dyes not approved for human consumption. Frozen breaded shrimp preserved with nitrofuran, an antibacterial that can cause cancer. Swordfish rejected as “poisonous.”
In the first four months of 2007, FDA inspectors — who are able to check out less than 1 percent of regulated imports — refused 298 food shipments from China. By contrast, 56 shipments from Canada were rejected, even though Canada exports about $10 billion in FDA-regulated food and agricultural products to the United States — compared to about $2 billion from China.
Although China is subject to more inspections because of its poor record, those figures mean that the rejection rate for foods imported from China, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, is more than 25 times that for Canada.
Miao Changxia, of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said China “attaches great importance” to the pet food debacle. “Investigations were immediately carried out . . . and a host of emergency measures have been taken to ensure the hygiene and safety of exported plant-origin protein products,” she said in an e-mail.
Meat pours into U.S. despite rules
But deception by Chinese exporters is not limited to plant products, and some of their most egregiously unfit exports are smuggled into the United States.
Under Agriculture Department rules, countries cannot export meat and poultry products to the United States unless the USDA certifies that the slaughterhouses and processing plants have food-safety systems equivalent to those here. Much to its frustration, China is not certified to sell any meat to the United States because it has not met that requirement.
But that has not stopped Chinese meat exporters. In the past year, USDA teams have seized hundreds of thousands of pounds of prohibited poultry products from China and other Asian countries, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced in March. Some were shipped in crates labeled “dried lily flower,” “prune slices” and “vegetables,” according to news reports. It is unclear how much of the illegal meat slipped in undetected.
Despite those violations, the Chinese government is on track to get permission to legally export its chickens to the United States — a prospect that has raised concern not only because of fears of bacteria such as salmonella but also because Chinese chickens, if not properly processed, could be a source of avian flu, which public-health authorities fear may be poised to trigger a human pandemic.
Last year, under high-level pressure from China, the USDA passed a rule allowing China to export to the United States chickens that were grown and slaughtered in North America and then processed in China — a rule that quickly passed through multiple levels of review and was approved the day before Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Washington last April.
Chinese birds flying to market?
Now the rule that China really wants, allowing it to export its own birds to the United States, is in the works, said Richard Raymond, USDA’s undersecretary for food safety. Reports in China have repeatedly hinted that only if China gets its way on chicken exports to the United States will Beijing lift its four-year-old ban on importing U.S. beef. Raymond denies any link.
“It’s not being facilitated or accelerated through the system at all,” Raymond said of the chicken rule, adding that permission for China to sell poultry to the United States is moving ahead because recent USDA audits found China’s poultry slaughterhouses to be equivalent to those here.
Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food and Water Watch, a Washington advocacy group, said that finding — which is not subject to outside review — is unbelievable, given repeated findings of unsanitary conditions at China’s chicken slaughterhouses. Corbo said he has seen some of those audits. “Everyone who has seen them was grossed out,” he said.
An official response
The Cabinet-level “strategic economic dialogue” with China, which began in September and is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, was described early on as a chance for the United States and China to break a longstanding stalemate on trade issues. When it comes to the safety of imported foods, though, they may highlight the limited leverage that the United States currently has.
It is not just that food from China is cheap, said William Hubbard, a former associate director of the FDA. For a growing number of important food products, China has become virtually the only source in the world.
China now controls 80 percent of the world’s production of ascorbic acid, for example, a valuable preservative that is ubiquitous in processed and other foods. Only one producer still makes it in the United States, Hubbard said.
“That’s true of a lot of ingredients,” he said, including the wheat gluten that was initially thought to be the cause of the pet deaths. Virtually none of it is made any longer in the United States, because the Chinese sell it for less than it would cost U.S. manufacturers to make it.
So pervasive is the U.S. hunger for cheap imports, experts said, that the executive branch itself has repeatedly rebuffed proposals by agency scientists to impose even modest new safety rules for foreign foods.
“Sometimes guidances can get through, but not regulations,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group. Guidances, which the FDA defines as “current thinking on a particular subject,” are not binding.
Tough talk, but actions questioned
Under the Bush administration in particular, DeWaal said, if a proposed regulation does get past agency or department heads, it hits the wall at the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Andrea Wuebker, an OMB spokeswoman, said that the office reviewed 600 proposed rules last year and that it is up to agencies to finalize rules after they are reviewed. She did not tally how many reviews sent agencies’ rule-writers back to the drawing board. She noted that some food safety rules have been finalized, including some related to mad cow disease and bioterrorism. Critics point out that the bioterrorism-related regulations were required by an act of Congress.
John C. Bailar III, a University of Chicago professor emeritus who chaired a 2003 National Academies committee that recommended major changes in the U.S. food safety system — which have gone largely unheeded — said he has become increasingly concerned that corporations and the federal government seem willing to put the interests of business “above the public welfare.”
“This nation has — and has had for decades — a pressing need for a wholly dedicated food safety agency, one that is independent and not concerned with other matters . . . to bring together and extend the bits of food safety activities now scattered over more than a dozen agencies,” he said in an e-mail.
Legislation to create such an agency was recently introduced, though many suspect that is too big a challenge politically.
But in the aftermath of the recent food scandals, a growing number of companies and trade groups, including Grocery Manufacturers of America, are speaking in favor of at least a little more protection, starting with a doubling of the FDA’s food safety budget.
China is talking tough, too. “Violations of the rules on the use and addition of chemicals or other banned substances will be dealt with severely,” said Miao, of the Chinese Embassy.
It is a threat some doubt will be enforced with great vigor, but nonetheless it reveals that China recognizes that the latest scandal has shortened Americans’ fuses.
© 2007 The Washington Post Company
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Studies line up on Parkinson’s – pesticides link

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:18 AM ET
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Evidence that pesticides can cause Parkinson’s disease is stronger than it has ever been after a meeting of experts who have put together links in animals and people, scientists say.
One study shows that farm workers who used the common weedkiller paraquat had two to three times the normal risk of Parkinson’s, a degenerative brain disease that eventually paralyzes patients.
A second study shows that animals exposed to paraquat have a build-up of a protein called alpha-synuclein in their brains. This protein has been linked to Parkinson’s in the past.
A third piece of the puzzle shows that this buildup of protein kills the same brain cells affected in Parkinson’s.
“All of these pieces really look like they are coming together now,” Dr. William Langston, founder of the non-profit Parkinson’s Institute, told Reuters.
Langston and colleagues said they were energized by research presented at the Parkinson’s Disease Environmental Research meeting in Monterey, California, earlier this month.
Parkinson’s disease, which affects more than 1 million patients in the United States, is marked by the death of brain cells that produce dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or message-carrying chemical, associated with movement. Drugs can delay symptoms for a while but there is no good treatment and no cure.
Farm workers are at especially high risk but links to pesticides have been difficult to document because years usually pass between a person’s exposure to pesticides and the development of the disease.
Dr. Beate Ritz of the University of California at Los Angeles and Dr. Caroline Tanner of the Parkinson’s Institute looked at 80,000 people in Iowa and North Carolina and found farm workers exposed to paraquat had twice the expected risk of Parkinson’s over their lifetimes.
Exposure to another pesticide called dieldrin also raised the risk, the study, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, found.
A second study found similar effects in farm workers in central California.
BETTER DOCUMENTATION
What made the studies especially important was that pesticide exposure could be carefully documented through records of pesticide purchase, Langston said. Details will be published in a scientific journal later.
Dr. Donato Di Monte of the Parkinson’s Institute gave paraquat to laboratory animals and found it caused a buildup of alpha-synuclein in the brain that killed the same neurons affected by people with Parkinson’s disease.
“This increase in alpha-synuclein in the brain could be the missing link between the exposure to this agent and how this agent causes the disease,” Di Monte said in a telephone interview.
“Maybe being exposed to paraquat may not be enough to cause the disease but increases the probability the disease may develop,” Di Monte said.
Langston and Di Monte said inflammation also could be a factor.
“Give an animal a compound that creates a marked inflammation response in the body … and months later the animal loses cells in same area of the brain that is associated with Parkinson’s,” Langston said.
“This suggests that systemic inflammation may somehow sensitize the brain.”
Multiple concussions, which can cause inflammation in the brain, raise the risk of Parkinson’s, Langston said.
Two other groups of people that have a higher-than-average risk of Parkinson’s are health workers and teachers.
“At first glance that doesn’t make sense,” Langston said.
But both do have something in common — frequent exposure to viruses.
It could be, Langston and Di Monte said, that if a person is exposed to a pesticide while his or her brain has inflammation, this greatly raises the risk of Parkinson’s many years later.
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Animals are not ours for Entertainment

Behind the scenes, elephant trainer Tim Frisco instructs would-be trainers how to dominate elephants and make them perform circus tricks. “Sink that hook into ’em. When you hear that screaming, then you know you got their attention.” An elephant trumpets in agony as Frisco’s bullhook, with its sharp metal hook and spiked end, tears through her sensitive skin. Frisco, a Carson & Barnes elephant trainer, learned the trade from his father, a former trainer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The fact is, animals do not naturally ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. To force them to perform these confusing and physically uncomfortable tricks, trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other painful tools of the trade.
We applaud trapeze artists, jugglers, clowns, tightrope walkers, and acrobats, but let’s leave animals in peace. Sweden, Austria, Costa Rica, India, Finland, and Singapore have all banned or restricted the use of animals in entertainment—it’s time for the U.S. to do the same.
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Millions of Bees Die – Are Electromagnetic Signals To Blame?

Bees in the US are dying of some unknown cause – millions of them are leaving their hives and do not come back. What is happening? The problem has got a name – colony collapse disorder – but no apparent cause
Some years back, France and other European countries had a similar, if less severe die-off of honey bees. At the time Gaucho, a poisonous seed treatment chemical produced by Bayer, was blamed, but the situation seems to have stabilized since then.
The situation in the US seems even more severe than what happened in Europe, and certainly the onset is more sudden. According to The Independent, millions of honey bees are abandoning their hives and flying off to die, leaving beekeepers facing ruin and US agriculture under threat.
“Across the country, from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, honey bee colonies have started to die off, abruptly and decisively. Millions of bees are abandoning their hives and flying off to die (they cannot survive as a colony without the queen, who is always left behind).
Some beekeepers, especially those with big portable apiaries, or bee farms, which are used for large-scale pollination of fruit and vegetable crops, are facing commercial ruin – and there is a growing threat that America’s agriculture may be struck a mortal blow by the loss of the pollinators. Yet scientists investigating the problem have no idea what is causing it.”
On my weekly news grabs, I linked some articles on the mysterious die-off of honey bees, and a reader commented, suggesting that emissions of GWEN, the Ground Wave Emergency Network, might be to blame. Here is what he had to say:
After reading several articles on the disappearance of the honeybee, the thought occurred that this appears to be happening only in the US. A Google search turned up nothing on this phenomenon in any other country, including Canada and Mexico.
Why only the US? Also, why are nonsensical excuses being offered up by the pseudo-scientific community for the demise of the bee?
Researchers have dubbed the syndrome the “colony collapse disorder.” They say the bees presumably are dying in the fields, perhaps becoming exhausted or disoriented and eventually dying from exposure to the cold. Or, it could just be that the bees are stressed out. Give me a break!
Tired bees? Dying from weather exposure? Stressed out bees? Disoriented?
Just imagine a tired bee for a moment. When’s the last time you saw a tired bee?
Dying from weather exposure? Weather cold enough to kill bees in their hives would also decimate other insect populations. No report on that, huh?
Stressed out bees? What, all of a sudden bees get stressed out? What about bees in other countries? They don’t seem to be having a problem at all.
Disoriented bees? Ah, well this is a possibility. But what would make them disoriented? Perhaps it is the 250 HZ signals being pumped out of GWEN stations all over America. This signal makes people angry, so that they support the administrations idea of going after Iran and violence in general. It works great for mass manipulation of opinion. Unfortunately, the same signal will induce a misdirection of up to 10 degrees in the navigation ability of the honeybee. They go away from the hive and never come back because they can no longer find it. That’s why it’s only happening in the US.
Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of this is that US media has never ventured to question why it is only happening here. Somebody must have told them to clam up on this issue or the current crop of US reporters got their degrees in journalism out of a Cracker Jack box.
Now what the hell are GWEN stations, you might want to ask, and what could they have to do with the catastrophic die-off of honey bees…
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GWEN, Microwave Arrays and Mobile Phone Radiation
GWEN, the Ground Wave Emergency Network, is a military communications network, consisting of some 300 transmitters dotting the whole of the continental United States. Each tower is 300-500 feet high. The stations are from 200 to 250 miles apart, so that a signal can go from coast to coast from one station to another. The official purpose is “to ensure adequate communication between command authorities and land-based strategic nuclear forces in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States mainland.” But there are others who say, a different, hidden use of the system may be “electromagnetic mind-altering technology” using ELF or Extremely Low Frequency waves.
According to a 1982 Air Force review of biotechnology, ELF has a number of potential military uses, including “dealing with terrorist groups, crowd control, controlling breaches of security at military installations, and antipersonnel techniques in tactical warfare.” The same report states:
“Electromagnetic systems would be used to produce mild to severe physiological disruption or perceptual distortion or disorientation. They are silent, and counter-measures to them may be difficult to develop.”
Robert O. Becker, M.D., in his book “Crosscurrents: The Perils of Electropollution” said:
“GWEN is a superb system, in combination with cyclotron resonance, for producing behavioral alterations in the civilian population. The average strength of the steady geomagnetic field varies from place to place across the United States. Therefore, if one wished to resonate a specific ion in living things in a specific locality, one would require a specific frequency for that location. The spacing of GWEN transmitters 200 miles apart across the United States would allow such specific frequencies to be ‘tailored’ to the geomagnetic-field strength in each GWEN area.”
Another candidate for a source of disturbing radiation is the Microwave Vertical Array, a large number of microwave towers erected throughout the US, which may have uses other than simple communication.
The bees seem to be playing the role that canary birds had in the mines, warning us of impending desaster. Are these insects, by their unprecedented behavior of flying off without returning to their hives, showing that something insidious is going on? Whether this is a signal of covert mind control or simply radiation from mobile phone applications, for sure we should be paying attention.
According to a message from Paul Doyon, electromagnetic waves may well have the capacity of disorienting not only bees but a number of flying creatures. Here is a specific instance involving bees he quotes:
At Cornell Univ. honeybees in a hive relocated into a new building became disoriented. After extensive research ruled out other causes, someone noticed the hive was next to the building’s electric transformer. The bees were confused by 60 hz magnetism strong enough to interfere with homing and communication to gather nectar and pollen. (http://www.ratical.org/ratville/RofD4.html)
In Germany, a study of honeybees irradiated with DECT mobile phone base station radiation found that only few of the irradiated bees returned to the hive, and that they required more time to return than the non irradiated bees. Also, the weight of the honeycombs of the irradiated bees was found to be smaller than those in the hives of non irradiated bees. (Stever H, Kuhn J, Otten C, Wunder B, Harst W. Verhaltensaenderung unter elektromagnetischer Exposition. Pilotstudie. Institut fuer Mathematik. Arbeitsgruppe Bildungsinformatik. Universitaet Koblenz-Landau; 2005. http://agbi.uni-landau.de/materialien.htm)
See also
www.mikrowellensmog.info/bienen.html Bees die from microwave irradiation – German site of Dr. Ferdinand Ruzicka, University professor.
and
http://canterbury.cyberplace.org.nz/ouruhia/ Ouruhia Web, a New Zealand electromagnetic waves website.
and
Firstenberg, A. 1997: Microwaving Our Planet: The Environmental Impact of the Wireless Revolution. Cellular Phone Taskforce. Brooklyn, NY 11210.
See also Alfonso Balmori on EMFacts.
Other indications put together by Doyon about the effects suffered not only by bees but also birds and farm animals from the effects of cell phone radiation:
The effects of EMR are being felt by wildlife and the environment as a whole, Birds, bees, worms, trees are all being affected. We need to fight for not only the future of mankind but for the future of the whole environment.
Vienna physicians are displaying information posters in doctor’s surgeries. They state radiation from mobile phones is far from being harmless as they have been told by the cell phone companies. They have therefore, in order to act responsibly, the Chamber of Doctors in Vienna, Austria, has decided to inform people about potential medical risks.
http://www.mast-victims.org/
His findings, and subsequent related work by Dr Cyril Smith (Smith and Baker, 1982), seem relevant also to the earlier and more generally accepted studies on bees and homing pigeons, both of which are known to have receptors which are able to sense the Earth’s magnetic field and its variations, which they use to help direct their survival behavior. My own extraordinary first experience of complete disorientation below the lines may also be relevant; I had never experienced this before, though I have done so since, most notably after I had held up a fluorescent tube for over an hour, to be photographed under the lines; the next day, after a distressingly sleepless night, I found what looked like a burn on that shoulder.
Our cheap transistor radios can pick up and separate out hundreds of radio signals at levels of a few hundreds of microvolts/metre. More sophisticated communications receivers can work down to levels of about 10 microvolts/metre. Radio-astronomers work on informational signals from stars at less than 1 microvolt/metre – this is a power level of about 0.000 000 000 001 microwatt/cm2 (1 attowatt/cm2 !!). We can now detect and create pictures from signals from spacecraft at our outer planets using transmit powers similar to those use by mobile phones of a few watts!
Honeybees have been shown to be sensitive to magnetic flux differences of 1 nanotesla (10 microGauss) [4][Theoretically humans could also be sensitive down to less than this level (pineal thermal noise c. 0.24 nanotesla – Smith, 1985). Various sea creatures can detect voltage gradients of a few 10’s of microvolts/metre.
Biological stochastic resonance from regular pulsing EMFs can effectively amplify coherent signals (like power EMFs) by vast amounts.
What arrogant nonsense to suggest that living systems need to be “cooked” before they realize they are being bombarded by signals and that microwaves of 100 volts/metre are harmless to us.
Honey bees navigate by observing changes as small as 0.6% in the Earth’s magnetic field (2.5 mG out of 400 mG). Other studies have shown that other animals, such as sea turtles and homing pigeons, can navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field as a guide. In order to navigate to precision, it is necessary to have many magnetosomes with a permanent dipole moment which are able to maintain their direction in the Earth’s magnetic field while being buffeted by Brownian thermal fluctuations.
V.3. Animals: Honey bees follow B fields (Walker/Bitterman, J. Comp. Physiol. 157, 67-73, 1995, and Science 265, 95, 1994) down to a few mG DC accuracy and sea turtles turn when B varies at earth’s locations (Science 264, 661 (1994).
42. “Honeybees Can Be Trained to Respond to Very Small Changes in Geomagnetic Field Intensity,” M.M. Walker and M.E. Bitterman, J. Exp. Biology 145, 489-494 (1989). (A)
See also:
EMF frequencies or microwave frequencies are overriding normal control mechanisms in the body and shutting off energy production
As in radio and other transmitters, crystals act to convert certain discrete frequencies into electrical signals. Before we had all of the electro-pollution, animals could simply orient themselves to the earths electromagnetic signature. Additionally animals could store into memory at a subconscious level the discrete signatures of subtle variations in electromagnetic signalling from various regions. This would explain the highly specific nature of migratory behaviour seen in certain animals. What has not been appreciated is the ability which has probably evolved over time to see, complex patterns that are generated from the earth’s electromagnetic signature.
EMF frequencies or microwave frequencies are overriding normal control mechanisms in the body and shutting off energy production
http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/issues/emr.php?id=bees
Catastrophic Bee Population Decline May Be Related to Bt-Spliced GMO Crops
“Nobody knows why the bees are dying. There is evidence though that GE crops contribute to this, in particular insect resistant crops producing the Bt-toxin. Though healthy bees do not seem to be affected by Bt pollen, a scientist called Hans-Hinrich Kaatz in Germany has found that bees infested with parasites and fed with Bt pollen were affected and died at a high rate.

The Bees Die…The Planet Dies

By Michel Dogna
France’s Health Freedom Journalist
The bees die… and the planet too!
The planet is the common good of humanity. Taking care of it gives life a meaning.
It is necessary to make the farmers understand what their responsibility is, but they seldom have Internet. The bees are the second factor of life on our planet. There is nothing left but our awareness which can act on the totalitarian power of money. It is necessary to react, to transmit this important message to all and to find solutions because it is as serious as the war of Iraq. This poisining is a planetary genocide.
The scandals that are appearing everywhere are nothing compared to the untold catastrophes which are being prepared because of the criminal unawareness of some world lobbies specialized in the massive poisoning of nature. The extermination of the bees by products officially declared as being non toxic is another example of this lack of responsibility.
I am speaking about the extermination of the bees – on which depends 80 % of the pollination of cultivated plants – by Imidaclopride which Bayer sells under the name of Gaucho to the farmers to coat seeds and to protect them from certain diseases…
This product paralyses insects such as bees which cannot return to the hive and they therefore die. When they do succeed, the honey which results from it is toxic (because it’s poisoned). In less than three years, 450 000 hives were thus lost and production of honey fell from 45 000 tons to 25 000 tons in France. In Alsace, bee-keepers are regarded as disaster victims because of the Bayer products. In addition, it should be known that in Europe, approximately 4 000 vegetable species have their life assured thanks to pollination by bees.
Meanwhile, Bayer remains indifferent to complaints, and does not hesitate, in it’s arrogance, to deny the facts and to claim biodeterioration (biodegradability) of its product within one year, but this one contaminates several successive harvests.
Recently, the Aventis group decided to take a share of the devil’s profits with Bayer putting on the market a similar product, Fipronil sold under the trade name Regent. Obviously, in spite of the imminent ecological catastrophe which these products are undoubtedly producing, no government refused to give them the necessary legal authorizations.
Is there a responsible organization somewhere able to demand, in the name of reason and for our children and of the planet, an injunction for the immediate prohibition of the use of these poisons?
Warning: Gaucho and Regent are also sold in the supermarket for gardens. Look at the composition of the products and do not contribute to this catastrophy.
Let us remember the words of Albert Einstein: “No bees, no food for mankind. The bee is the basis of life on this earth “.
The farmers must become aware that with Gaucho, they cut off the branch on which they are sitting. Other solutions exist. In the meantime, the thousands of decimated hives do not give their owners a right to receive any compensation. Due to this, only in the Low-Rhine area, more than 100 new bee-keepers cease their activity each year.
What next? Synthetic honey and GMO bees?
Michel Dogna
Article on bees and pesticide sprays
and more recent (Feb. 2004):
France bans use of six Fipronil insecticides PARIS, Feb 23 (Reuters) – France said on Monday it would ban the use of six insecticides containing Fipronil, an active ingredient notably used in the Regent TS insecticide produced by BASF Agro , because it is suspected of killing bees. Fipronil was marketed under the trade name Regent for use against major pests on a wide range of field and horticultural crops but it is also marketed under other names for insecticides against fleas, ticks or mites (Reuters AlertNet, UK).
Bayer shares fall on insecticide, Roche bid worries
Pesticide accused of killing 90bn bees
February 2007: Mystery killer silencing honeybees
Something is killing the nation’s honeybees. Dave Hackenberg of central Pennsylvania had 3,000 hives and figures he has lost all but about 800 of them. In labs at Pennsylvania State University, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and elsewhere in the nation, researchers have been stunned by the number of calls about the mysterious losses.
Mystery ailment strikes honeybees
A mysterious illness is killing tens of thousands of honeybee colonies across the country, threatening honey production, the livelihood of beekeepers and possibly crops that need bees for pollination. Researchers are scrambling to find the cause of the ailment, called Colony Collapse Disorder. Reports of unusual colony deaths have come from at least 22 states.
Update May 2004:
26 May 2004 – France suspends use of Gaucho insecticide for corn
French Agriculture Minister Herve Gaymard on Tuesday announced it planned to stop use of the Gaucho pesticide to treat corn seeds until it is reviewed by the European Commission in 2006.
In January last year, Gaymard had already extended for three years suspension of the use of Gaucho, a chemical produced by the German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer, for treatment of sunflower seeds.
Gaucho, like another pesticide Regent TS produced by German chemicals giant BASF, has been accused by French bee-keepers of causing a high mortality rate among bees. Sales of Regent TS was suspended in France last February.
An agriculture ministry report deemed that the government’s decision to give farmers till June to use up their remaining stocks of pesticide was much less costly that destroying the crop seeds already sprayed. But the national association of bee-keepers says massive damage is being done to bee populations, which are crucial to plant pollination.
Subisidiaries of Bayer and BASF, which sold Regent TS, are under criminal investigation in France for selling an agricultural product that is toxic to humans or animals. (sourche: AFP)
French beekeepers say about 90 billion of their insects have been killed over the last 10 years by a pesticide.
The chemical, used on crops including maize and sunflowers, damages the bees’ sense of direction so they become lost. It is used in the UK on several crops, though not in exactly the way it is used in France, and British beekeepers have been urged to be on their guard. UK apiarists say the value of bees to the agricultural economy is immense, and they fear bees are becoming rarer.
The chemical implicated in the loss of French bees is imidacloprid, marketed under a variety of names including Gaucho. It is slowly released in the plants, protecting them against insect attack by destroying their ability to find their way.
A London newspaper, the Observer, reported: “Almost immediately after the chemicals were introduced 10 years ago, beekeepers reported that their bees were becoming disoriented and dying.
Used in UK
“Within a few years honey production in south-west France fell by 60%. According to the chairman of the national beekeepers’ association, Jean-Marie Sirvins, a third of the country’s 1.5 million registered hives disappeared. “As a result, France has had to import up to 24,000 tons of honey annually.” The pesticide companies say their products are not responsible for killing the bees.
There are no reports of any ill effects from applications of imidacloprid in the UK, where it is licensed for use on beet. There are restrictions on its use when the plants are in flower, or for spraying the foliage. But Richard Jones, the director of the International Bee Research Association, told BBC News Online: “Beekeepers here have to be on the alert.
More needed
“The verroa mite, which feeds on the bees’ blood, arrived from mainland Europe, and we know that bees’ nests can travel a long way on container ships.
“People hear about bees and think only about honey, but it’s the other side of the problem that’s worrying. “They add billions of pounds to the value of the agricultural economy every year because of their work in pollinating crops like apples.
“We don’t have enough bees in the UK, and we have very few feral bees. Every time a hedgerow is destroyed, that means the loss of nesting places for bumblebees.”
By Alex Kirby, 1 March 2004
BBC News Online environment correspondent
From: Coalition against BAYER-dangers
CBGnetwork@aol.com
Fax: (+49) 211-333 940 Tel: (+49) 211-333 911
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Where Have all the Honey Bees Gone?
by Robert Cohen
(The amazing story of dairy industry culpability)
“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years left to live.” – Albert Einstein
This from the Penn State Agriculture Magazine, Spring 1998:
“In the spring of 1993, entomologist Maryann Frazier encountered a mystery. ‘Beekeepers began calling to report that they had no bees in their colonies,’ she recalls…They had seen bees making flights in February, but by April, there were no bees. What happened to them?’
Frazier’s investigation into the reasons the bees disappeared continues today. If she and her colleagues can’t unravel the mystery of why bee colonies are dying, beekeepers, fruit and vegetable growers, and consumers all are likely to feel the consequences.”
I live in New Jersey, America’s Garden State. Believe it or not, we have a state insect, the honey bee. Honey bees pollinate crops. It’s actually a big business. Pollinators travel America, leasing their bees to crop growers. Beekeepers keep the honey. During World War II, there were over 6 million commercial beehives in America. By the mid-1980s, that number had dropped to 4 million. Today, there are 2.5 million remaining. America’s honey bees are disappearing, and those who best know bees have a number of theories, but no one conclusive reason. The one universally accepted fact is that bees are in trouble.
Could an aspirin manufacturer be the cause of the bee’s demise? The Bayer Aspirin Company may be giving our environment an incurable migraine headache.
My first hint came from an ad in the April 10, 2006 issue of Hoard’s Dairyman. There, on page 270, a full color advertisement proclaims:
“Bayer supplies the technology to fix the milking machine on the right.”
On the right side of the ad is an enlarged photo of a most grotesque fly with large red eyes and appendages containing end-to-end cactus-like spurs.
In smaller text, Bayer informs prospective customers:
“Bayer understands how much profit flies suck out of your entire operation. That’s why we developed QuickBayt Pour-On insecticide…put the high-tech tools from Bayer to work.” (Bayer was part of the IG Farben Conglomerate, and no, I will not be getting into that controversy here…)
I began to search the Internet for the secret ingredients to Bayer’s miracle fly solution. Gobs and gobs of this high-tech gunk are slathered onto dairy cow’s bodies. What’s in QuickBayt that makes life so very dangerous for the honey bee?
Imidacloprid.
Imidacloprid is a widely used insecticide that has environmentalists extremely concerned. Apparently, scientists have known for many years the impact that imidacloprid has on wildlife. Here are some of the recognized hazards of using imidacloprid:
Imidacloprid has raised concerns because of its possible impact on bee populations…it is also acutely toxic to earthworms…
Imidacloprid has raised concerns because it causes eggshell thinning in endangered bird species…it is highly toxic to sparrows, quails, canaries, and pigeons…
Imidacloprid can be toxic to humans, causing epileptic seizures, diarrhea, and lack of coordination…
Imidacloprid is extremely toxic at low concentrations to some species of aquatic fish and crustaceans…
Can food be contaminated with imidacloprid? You tell me whether this is comedy or tragedy at work. Neither the United States Department of Agriculture nor the Food and Drug Administration includes imidacloprid in their food monitoring programs.
Two European studies have shown that vegetables tested with imidacloprid were contaminated, one week after exposure.
It seems clear that imidacloprid use on dairy farms should be closely monitored by regulatory agencies. The Bayer Company is making lots of money on this drug, but the true cost might become America’s newest headache. My advice to FDA and USDA regulators who refuse to regulate: Take two imidacloprids and call me in the morning.
“Even bees, the little almsmen of spring bowers, know there is richest juice in poison-flowers.” – John Keats
Robert Cohen
http://www.notmilk.com