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Showing posts from 2016

Conventional food may not be good for your health

If we had philosophers like Plato and Aristotle alive, they would be besides themselves. They would see things in America's countryside one of us, blinded of the reality next door, would consider as science fiction.

Imagine this reality -- evident in California's Central Valley, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, New York and the rest of "rural" America -- immense farms growing one crop, helicopters spraying this territory, and almost all farm animals concentrated in cement enclosures fed corn and soybeans coming out of the farms.

Then extend your vision to see how the government approves terribly toxic poisons to kill every animal potentially threatening corn and soybeans, including honeybees, Monarch butterflies and myriad other invertebrates, birds, and other creatures.

If you are honest about preserving your health, you will want to go below the surface of supermarkets and TV advertisements. You will want to investigate the history of agencies like the US Department of Agric…

Food Sleuth Radio host, Melinda Hemmelgarn, interviews E. G. Vallianatos, June 11, 2015

If you think the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s first priority is protecting public and environmental health, get ready for a few surprises. Join Food Sleuth Radio host and Registered Dietitian, Melinda Hemmelgarn, for her interview with E. G. Vallianatos, Ph.D., author of “Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA." Vallianatos takes us behind the scenes of his 25 year career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs. He describes what happens when well-meaning scientists try to do their job, and how economic interests have handcuffed government oversight. Vallianatos presented at the 33rd National Pesticides Forum, April 17, 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdFSLzdNQy4&list=PLHS5IfcgFy5fXbW_qamBrsDSqthCn7L35&index=18(View Full Description) Added to PRX:
5 days ago Produced:
Jun 11, 2015 Related Site:
bloomsbury.com/us/poison-spring-9781608199143

Elections 2016: Why so indifferent to the natural world?

I have been writing about the importance of the natural world for nearly as long as I remember. To me its obvious we cannot ignore the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat or the breeze bathing us each time we bike or walk or stay motionless under a tree. Then there are those gorgeous landscapes I embrace in my walks up Johnston's pasture, a mountain at the northern borders of Claremont. But even in my backyard where I do my writing I occasionally see the Monarch butterfly landing on the green leaves and red flowers of the milkweeds. This insect alone makes my day. Its large diaphanous colorful wings open and close like a dream.



But, of course, the natural world includes animals, plants, rivers, mountains, oceans, most of the Earth is natural world. So why our politicians fail to get it? You cannot be healthy if the natural world is unhealthy. That's simple. Or is it not?

I heard practically nothing about the natural world in these past "debates" betw…

Seeds of Life

Seeds are life. I knew that from childhood. I observed my father at harvest saving wheat, barley and lentils for sowing later in the year. Saving seeds is still alive but it is under stress. Agricultural industrialization includes the industrialization of seeds. Now, in the US, we have this unbelievable reality where pesticide companies are becoming seed companies!

This mechanization of almost everything is causing chaos in rural America and seed protection. Experts say crop genetic diversity is in hard times, which puts agriculture also in hard times.

I reviewed two books on seeds:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/evaggelos-vallianatos/seeds-and-the-future-of-l_b_12219394.html



Both books, one by the Japanese civil-society organization, Shumei International, and the Indian Navdanya, and the other written by an American agronomist, Cary Fowler, warn we better mend our ways or we are for a likely massive hunger, perhaps unimaginable catastrophes.

The Japanese-Indian book urges all of us to…

The failures of the US EPA are American failures

It's disheartening to be bombarded by election political talk that abstains from raising issues of life and death affecting America and the world.

In this "Truthout" article of 29 September 2016, I focus on the failures of the US Environmental Protection Agency that mirror broader political and social forces at work.

http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/37811-things-fall-apart-an-insider-s-account-of-the-epa

Interview with the Center for Environmental Health, Oakland, CA

This interview gave me a chance to range widely, from writing my first book, "Fear in the Countryside" (1976) to explaining my dramatic experience at the US Environmental Protection Agency from 1979 to 2004. The story is complicated, exceedingly personal, and public:

http://www.ceh.org/news-events/podcasts/content/from-silent-spring-to-poison-spring/


My hope is that all thinking Americans, and especially those considering themselves as environmentalists, would read "Poison Spring" and then ACT to bring to an end the misuse of science and the corruption of public institutions like the EPA. But, above all, Americans must rethink all that goes under business as usual. We need to rebuild this country to reflect our knowledge of the natural world and public health.