Showing posts from October 13, 2016

Liberals under fire for delay on asbestos ban

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[When Stephen Harper did the same thing he was a monster - what's up, Canada? *RON*]

Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail, 11 October 2016
A year after the Liberals were elected with a promise to ban the use of asbestos in Canada, no such move has been made – inaction that is dismaying to health experts, labour groups and families affected by asbestos-related diseases.

“Our position, and the evidence, is as clear as it can be: that asbestos is a carcinogen that is a major cause of cancer, including lung cancers, that kill many Canadians,” said Gabriel Miller, director of public issues at the Canadian Cancer Society.

A ban “should be an as-soon-as-possible priority for the federal government,” he said.

Globe investigation – No safe use: The Canadian asbestos epidemic that Ottawa is ignoring

Is a "cocktail" of "safe" pesticides killing off bee colonies?

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["We found that the number of different compounds was highly predictive of colony death, which suggests that the addition of more compounds somehow overwhelms the bees’ ability to detoxify themselves." *RON*]
By Brian Mastroianni, CBS News, 10 October 2016
The past decade has been a rough one for honey bees in the United States. Bee colonies have been dying off in high numbers, with suspicion falling on agricultural pesticides like herbicides and fungicides, as main factors behind the declines. Now, a new study out of the University of Maryland is the first to look at how a “cocktail” of all of various pesticides could be impacting bee colonies over time. Past research has only examined these pesticides individually.

The study appeared online recently in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, and it reveals some unexpected findings.

Big Pharma’s Manufactured Epidemic: The Misdiagnosis of ADHD

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[Now, going from BigAg to BigPharma... *RON*]

By Gareth Cook and Alan Schwartz, Scientific American 11 October 2016

According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 5 percent of American children suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), yet the diagnosis is given to some 15 percent of American children, many of whom are placed on powerful drugs with lifelong consequences. This is the central fact of the journalist Alan Schwarz’s new book, ADHD Nation. Explaining this fact—how it is that perhaps two thirds of the children diagnosed with ADHD do not actually suffer from the disorder—is the book’s central mystery. The result is a damning indictment of the pharmaceutical industry, and an alarming portrait of what is being done to children in the name of mental health.

He spoke with Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook.

What prompted you to write this book?
In 2011, having spent four years exposing the dangers of concussions in the …

Why Did the Obamas Fail to Take On Corporate Agriculture?

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[An excellent counterpoint to today's posting on the Monsanto-Bayer merger. "Whenever the Obamas seriously poked at Big Food, they were quickly outlobbied and outgunned; the food movement still barely exists as a political force." *RON*]

By Michael Pollan, New York Times, 5 October 2016

Eight years ago this month, I published in these pages an open letter to the next president titled, “Farmer in Chief.” “It may surprise you to learn,” it began, “that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food.” Several of the big topics that Barack Obama and John McCain were campaigning on — including health care costs, climate change, energy independence and security threats at home and abroad — could not be successfully addressed without also addressing a broken food system.

Vancouver Mansion's List Price Went Up $28.5 Million In 2 Years

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[Sold for 300% more in 2  years... *RON*]
Huffington Post, 12 October 2016

You just can't make this stuff up.

Vancouver's biggest estate property has been listed for $38 million — just two years after selling for $9.5 million.

That's an increase of about 300 per cent.

The property, called The Gables, features a Tudor-style, 21-room mansion on more than four acres. It has a massive infinity pool, golf course, and a lake.

The 10,000 sq.-ft. house also has a wine cellar and outdoor fire pit, according to the sales listing. It was built in 1929, but has seen extensive renovations over the past two years.

But are the upgrades worth a $28.5-million jump in value?

Monsanto-Bayer: The Year of Merging Dangerously

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["...eventually, the Monsanto brand name will be erased as a way to reposition the consolidated firm. Why do you think Blackwater changed its name to XE, and then Academi?" *RON*]
By Maryam Henein, Truthout, 13 October 2016
The Big Ag tech giants Monsanto -- maker of Agent Orange, genetically modified seeds and weed-whacking chemicals -- and Bayer -- famed for manufacturing poison gas for Nazi concentration camp use, heroin, baby aspirin and systemic pesticides -- are merging. Food security advocates, consumers and non-zombies worldwide are deeply concerned.

CNN Money declared the Monsanto-Bayer merger "the year's biggest takeover." Symbolically, it's the merger of the century. At $66 billion, it's also the biggest cash transaction on record.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders describes the mega-deal as "a threat to all Americans."

"These mergers boost the profits of huge corporations and leave Americans pay…