31 December 2011

FBI: Are You a 'Food Terrorist'?

The ultimate control of the expression of human creative potential is in the regulation of the diet. To improve human potential you must improve the quality of the food. Lower the food quality and you lower possible human creativity. Now the FBI wants to know if you are interested in food and if you are you may be classified as a food terrorist and subject to prosecution.

Open Up and Say “Ahh”

By  | December 23rd, 2011 | 5 Comments 
A recent Freedom of Information Act request has revealed that the FBI wants what it calls “food activists” prosecuted as terrorists, perhaps because nothing could more terrifying than exposing where our so-called food comes from and how it is manufactured.
Most Americans don’t really care where their food comes from or how it is made. All that matters is that it’s cheap and tastes good. Unfortunately for the food industry, not everyone is that stupid anymore. There is a growing desire to eat food that is healthy and produced in a cruel-free, sustainable way, stemming in part from the efforts of the food activists who have revealed the brutal, unnatural way our food is manufactured.
Joe Heller / Green Bay Press-Gazette (click to view more cartoons by Heller)
Thus, the FBI wants them classified as terrorists.
In the the brave new world of 21st century America, terrorism has evolved to mean anything that threatens the status quo or challenges the standings or profits of the corporate entities that have reduced our government agencies to the status of a pawns.
Think about it for a second: if you take a picture of a chicken suffering in tiny, filthy cage, the FBI wants you considered a terrorist, especially if your picture causes ‘economic loss’. Nothing terrifies a corporation more than economic loss. Why, people may see that photo, have a crisis of conscience, and spend their dollars elsewhere, thereby reducing the power of animal-torturing corporations. Such a thing should only happen in a free market, not in America.
The Freedom of Information request comes just as the Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a lawsuit challenging the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). The AETA is a law designed to to suppress activism and speech regarding the industries which brutalize animals with horrific conditions and/or pump them full of chemicals and drugs. Activists who expose such things very likely would cause economic loss due to the fact that many people would not eat what they eat if they actually knew what they were eating. Therefore, it is vitally important that they never find out.
Similar repressive laws are being introduced throughout the emerging fascist state that is America in the 21st century. In Florida for example, an ‘Ag Gag’ law has been introduced that would define taking pictures of the way corporations manufacture food as ‘terrorism’. Nothing says “We have something to hide” like saying “You are a terrorist if you take pictures of it.”
Anyway, Merry Christmas and have another slice of corporate ham.
Michael Kindt is writer living in South Dakota whose work has appeared in College Times, Midwest Lit Review and in the poetry anthology “It’s Dark & Scary In Here.” He’s the author of “Early Onset of Night, Volume One” and blogs at Early-Onset-of-Night.tumblr.com. Twitter: @MichaelKindt

30 December 2011

Should the Government Control Food?

Do you and I have an individual right to eat the food we want to eat? Maybe not, or at least not any more in certain countries where the governent seems to think it knows best. You may be surprised at how far this trend has gone...

Government to government plan to seize control of all foods

Marti Oakley  © 2011 All Rights Reserved
Shortly after “Dirty Harry” Reid passed the fake food safety bill in here in the US, with his one unanimous vote, C-36 passed two weeks later in Canada.  Both bills were an outright attack on individual rights and property rights as both governments claim they now have the authority to unilaterally decide who can grow, process and sell foods and under what conditions.  And, just as here in the US, those lawmakers responsible for this attack on liberty claimed they did so because that was what the public demanded and was begging for.  
Actually, in both countries just the opposite was true; the public was demanding that these bills not be passed. Dirty Harry claimed that more than 10,000 people had begged him to pass the bill while never mentioning that more than a million had objected. But in neither case was food safety and security the real intent of the legislation.  Both the US and Canada were handing agricultural production in all its forms, over to international organizations and multi-national corporations.
A sample of the unconstitutional restrictions included in bill C-36 include:
- abolishing protection from trespass, a court-ordered warrant, and the need for court-supervised search and seizure;
- on ONLY suspicion, health inspectors with the aid of police can invade any location in the country, seize and confiscate goods deemed unsafe (i.e. health supplements) and violate all constitutional rights of all parties involved
- it bypasses existing laws on privacy and confidentiality and explicitly exempts the Minister of  Health and government inspectors from any kind of third-party oversight and accountability;
**Note: In the US the Secretary of Health & Human Services and any of her delegates were given the same immunity, and US citizens were denied their right to access the courts for redress.
- the need to publish regulations governing the activities of the inspectors is abolished, too;
- accused individuals have their access to the courts seriously limited, even the assumption of innocence is gone as violators are considered guilty until proven innocent with no recourse to any court of law.
- astronomical fines are to be handed out for crimes committed on the Minister’s assumption of guilt which requires no supporting evidence for independent examination;
- even the corporate shield would disappear, because corporate directors would be legally liable for the actions of their employees -; which actions would be deemed criminal solely on the opinion of the Minister, not by the courts; 
Note: The US fake food safety bill differs in that it intentionally relieves corporations and most especially their employees and officers of any liability, allowing them to hide behind the corporate entity.
-this bill allows foreign governments and institutions, like CODEX and the World Trade Organization, to have the same powers over Canadians in all these matters outlined above, as if they were part of our own government.
Here in the US, with our government officials openly advocating and soliciting for multi-national corporate takeover of food production and supply and with opposition to this takeover marginalized and ignored, we have little chance of effectively thwarting the assault on agricultural production that is looming in the future. Canada appears to be following suit and is subjecting its citizens to World Trade Organization rules and regulations and openly advocating the takeover of food production in all its forms by industrialized operations which are more than willing to keep HSD and its corrupt partnering agencies awash in contracted funding. 
Money talks and in our government agencies and offices it is virtually the only voice that is listened to.
Homeland Security, that bastion of domestic spies, paranoid fanatics and otherwise unemployable misfits has now come out with what it terms “natural security”.  Under this umbrella of a newly created faux security system, food is now determined to be “at risk” and must be protected by arbitrary rules, regulations and oppressive enforcement because otherwise agricultural terrorists from parts unknown, neither identified nor identifiable,  might somehow contaminate our food.  Never mind that our food is constantly contaminated by bio-piracy outfits in their efforts to seize and control through highly suspect patented ownership of virtually anything and everything we might wish to eat. 
Natural Security is a fictionally created model meant to do nothing other than to make HSD interference and meddling in food production seem to be somehow plausible.
The US fake food safety bill also added in its last pages the admonishment that nothing in the bill would interfere with World Trade Organization demands or agreements nor could it interfere with any free trade agreements present or future and also makes clear that WTO demands would supersede our laws and sovereignty. 
With Canada now in line with US  laws facilitating the takeover and control of food supply and production, it comes as no surprise that New Zealand, a highly productive agricultural economy, is next in line. 

26 December 2011

Big Corn and Big Sugar- Gog and Magog!

Big Corn and Big Sugar in a bitter fight over who's sweeter. Like Gog and Magog, cast them both down...

Big Corn, Big Sugar in bitter US row on sweetener

Big Corn and Big Sugar are locked in a legal and public relations fight in the US over a plan to change the name of a corn-based sweetener that has gotten a bad name.
The fight began last year when Corn Refiners Association, a trade association, proposed changing the name of high-fructose corn syrup to merely "corn sugar."
The group said the new name "more accurately describes this sweetener and helps clarify food products labeling for manufacturers and consumers alike."
But the sugar industry argued this change would be a bitter pill for US consumers and would only add to the confusion about a sweetener that has drawn criticism by some health advocates.
Sugar producers have filed suit alleging the corn industry has spent $50 million in "a mass media rebranding campaign that misleads the consuming public by asserting falsely that HFCS is natural and is indistinguishable from the sugar extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets."
The lawsuit, which seeks an end to the ads using the term "corn sugar," states that use of the corn syrup increased over 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990 and that this rise "bears a strong temporal relationship to the growth in American obesity."
Sugar makers say the corn industry is making a desperate effort to salvage the product which consumers are increasingly avoiding.
Sugar Association lawyer Adam Fox told AFP the group is seeking to stop the ads because "it is absolutely false for them to characterize this as a natural product."
In its response, the corn industry says the sugar industry is trying "to stifle free speech" and seeking to vilify its corn products.
"The sugar industry is wrongfully alleging that high fructose corn syrup (a sugar made from corn) causes health issues that do not arise from consuming cane and beet sugar," said Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association.
"We believe that the sugar industry's views are misleading American consumers. The CRA will continue its work to educate consumers about high fructose corn syrup and will vigorously oppose the sugar industry's attempt to stifle public discussion of this important health issue."
The corn industry last year petitioned the Food and Drug Administration for permission to use the term "corn sugar" instead of high fructose corn syrup. But in the meantime it has launched television and print ads hoping to gain public support.
The campaign cites experts saying there is no difference between various sugars in terms of metabolism, calories or other nutritional values.
"Whether it's corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can't tell the difference. Sugar is sugar," one ad says.
Among the studies cited is a 2008 report by the American Medical Association which concludes "it appears unlikely that HFCS contributes more to obesity or other conditions than sucrose."
But a 2011 study cited by the sugar industry from the journal Metabolism concludes the fructose corn syrup leads to "significantly different acute metabolic effects" than plain sugar.
Some have linked the obesity epidemic to consumption of processed foods and soft drinks which use corn syrup in place of costlier cane or beet sugar.
Alternative medicine guru and author Andrew Weill writes that the corn product "is a marker for low-quality food and has no place in a healthy diet."
"The most widely used kind of HFCS may have disruptive effects on metabolism, as the body doesn't utilize fructose well. In fact, regular consumption of HFCS may contribute to obesity."
The National Consumers League has sent a letter urging the FDA to reject the renaming petition and noted that the corn sweetener in question "has received much negative publicity over the last several years."
"Questions have been raised concerning potential links to obesity and a variety of obesity-related health conditions including diabetes and heart disease," the letter said.
"Some consumers are concerned about emerging science regarding nutrition and health effects of HFCS, while others simply want to avoid highly processed sweeteners in favor of more natural substances."
Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, said both sides are missing the point, which is that Americans consume too much sugar.
"Changing the name of HFCS to corn sugar is about marketing, not public health," she said.
"If the FDA decides to approve the change, it will not alter the fact that about 60 pounds each of HFCS and table sugar are available per capita per year, and that Americans would be a lot healthier consuming a lot less of either one."

21 December 2011

The Health Benefit of Bird Songs (video and article)

How did Bob Marley know what scientists are just now finding out? That bird song helps you to feel better! Wow! Was Bob Marley a  musical scientist? Evidently he was... Enjoy!

Scientists to study psychological benefits of birdsong

Three-year research project will explore the impact of birdsong on creativity and sense of wellbeing
A song thrush perched on a post; their song is one of the classic sounds of early spring.
A song thrush perched on a post; their song is one of the classic sounds of early spring. Photograph: Alamy
Remove birds from poetry, Aldous Huxley once said, and we would have to cast aside half of the English canon.
Now, the impact of birdsong on our creativity and on our sense of wellbeing is to be explored in a three-year research project at the University of Surrey, supported by the National Trust and Surrey Wildlife Trust.
The study will examine the psychological impact of being exposed to birdsong, including whether it helps us relax, can assist our ability to complete tasks and even think creatively.
Listen to the National Trust audio guide to Britain's bird species Link to this audio
Eleanor Ratcliffe, the researcher undertaking the study said while there was a growing body of environmental psychology looking at how the natural world affects people, there was still a lot to understand about the power of specific natural sounds.
Serious birdwatchers may have to sit out the early stages of the research as Ratcliffe will first interview a representative sample of the general public to understand how people perceive natural sounds and whether birdsong does, as bird lovers aver, have a restorative effect.
The raucous screech of a feral parakeet or the aggressive chitter of a magpie may not have quite the soothing effect as a melodious song thrush however, and Ratcliffe hopes to explore the effect of different songs and how individuals relate birdsong to their own memories and sense of place.
Ratcliffe will later recruit subjects through social media and examine the effect of birdsong on their brains and behaviour, as well as testing whether recorded birdsong – played on an iPod for example – could have the same impact as listening to birdsong in cities and in the countryside.

"A great deal of anecdotal evidence suggests that we respond positively to birdsong. However, currently there is a lack of scientific research on the psychological effects of listening to birds," said Ratcliffe. The research project is being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council with further assistance from the National Trust and SurreyWildlife Trust.
Peter Brash, National Trust ecologist, said: "As a lifelong birder I've always had birdsong as a natural soundtrack to my life and believe it's good for the mind and soul. Birdsong gets us closer to nature and links people to places and memories in a way that few other sounds can."
For Ratcliffe, the study will necessitate long hours listening to birdsong on nature reserves in the countryside. "Hopefully I'll be pretty restored by the end of the three years," she said.