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Archive for June 12th, 2007

BAD BEEF RECALL EXPANDED

Posted in Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Food on June 12th, 2007

BAD POLICY LEADS TO SICKNESS

fast_food_nation.jpg In this website’s admittedly short lifetime, more than a proportionate amount of time and resources have been devoted to bringing to our readers attention the threat posed by the Bush administration’s defunding of virtually all food inspection and enforcement activity.

The posting that follows, the second in as many days, is just the latest in a seeming endless mountain of examples of the potential cost to society of this shortsighted, criminal policy decision.

Once a staple of the meatpacking industry, the one-time omnipresent food inspector is, for the most part, no more. The few hardy souls that have managed to survive the budgetary Armageddon are so overloaded with work that it is questionable if they are at all effective.

While this might be good news for party loyalists in the meat industry who have long complained about the inspectors interference with their maximizing their return on investment, (bullshit speak for selling us meat made from sick or ‘downer’ animals), it is bad news for us as consumers as the food inspector was our last line of defense against products unfit for human consumption.

We have all heard horror stories of this sort of behavior, and if you happen to be among the few that haven’t feel free to consult two of the best works on the topic, Eric Schlosser’s, Fast Food Nation and Diet For A New America, John Robbins landmark work that is widely credited with inspiring several generations of vegetarians.

-LIB

Southern California meatpacker United Food Group LLC expanded a recall to include 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen beef that may be contaminated with the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Saturday.

Fourteen people in six Western states have fallen ill after eating the beef but all have recovered, the department said.

The beef was butchered and shipped in April, and is no longer on store shelves.

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STUDY: ANGER FUELS BETTER DECISIONS

Posted in Health Watch, Miscellaneous on June 12th, 2007

ANGER CAN TRANSFORM NOT VERY ANALYTICAL PEOPLE INTO MORE CAREFUL THINKERS

7fff5fa7743e0a7a7aa994f9da5bd9f3.jpg The next time you are plagued with indecision and need a clear way out, it might help to get angry, according to a surprising new study.

Despite its reputation as an impetus to rash behavior, anger actually seems to help people make better choices—even aiding those who are usually very poor at thinking rationally. This could be because angry people base their decisions on the cues that “really matter” rather than things that can be called irrelevant or a distraction.

Previous research has shown that anger biases people’s thinking—turning them into bigger risk-takers and making them less trusting and more prejudiced, for instance.

But little has been done to study how, exactly, anger affects a person’s thinking.

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ONE HUNDRED YEAR DUST BOWL PREDICTED FOR UNITED STATES

Posted in Global Warming, News Brief on June 12th, 2007

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE SUGGESTS A MOVEMENT TOWARDS PERPETUAL DROUGHT FOR THE WESTERN STATES BY THE MIDDLE OF THIS CENTURY

DROUGHT.jpg America is facing its worst summer drought since the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. Or perhaps worse still.

From the mountains and desert of the West, now into an eighth consecutive dry year, to the wheat farms of Alabama, where crops are failing because of rainfall levels 12 inches lower than usual, to the vast soupy expanse of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida, which has become so dry it actually caught fire a couple of weeks ago, a continent is crying out for water.

In the south-east, usually a lush, humid region, it is the driest few months since records began in 1895. California and Nevada, where burgeoning population centres co-exist with an often harsh, barren landscape, have seen less rain over the past year than at any time since 1924. The Sierra Nevada range, which straddles the two states, received only 27 per cent of its usual snowfall in winter, with immediate knock-on effects on water supplies for the populations of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The human impact, for the moment, has been limited, certainly nothing compared to the great westward migration of Okies in the 1930 – the desperate march described by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath.

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