News You Can Use: June 2014

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Time for another installment of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In case you missed it, here’s the important stuff. See extended links at

The Good
GMO Labeling: On May 8, Vermont governor Pete Shumlin signed into law the bill that requires GMO labeling on food. As he put it, “Today, we are the first state in America that says simply, ‘Vermonters have spoken loud and clear. We want to know what’s in our food.’” This puts Vermont in step with most countries around the world. Other states will likely follow. Two counties in Oregon voted to ban GMO crops entirely. Mendocino county in California already has done that. GMOs are a failed experiment that endanger human life and the planet so will probably fall by the wayside before a complete legal ban is necessitated. Like Agent Orange, DDT, trans fat margarines, asbestos insulation and pay toilets, GMOs will join the museum of worst ideas in history.

Ethanol Useless: The headline from Forbes Magazine says it all: “It’s Final — Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use” Ethanol is a scam to bilk taxpayers (you and me) out of our hard-earned money to subsidize Big Ag with pork-belly mandates and an inferior product, all the while wearing the sheep’s clothing of “green.” The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that ethanol and biofuels harm the planet and do zero to improve the environment. They are worse than fossil fuels in that regard. And here’s one you didn’t see coming. A University of Nebraska-Lincoln researcher found that corn ethanol and other biofuels reduce soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, publishing the study in the journal Nature Climate Change. We’re starting an online fundraiser for the guy since we wonder how long he’ll be employed at NU after that. These are not the first studies exposing the failed idea of ethanol. People have been making these claims for decades.

Pot of Gold: Legal marijuana sales in Colorado soar. Crime plummets and tax revenue skyrockets. As the first state to actively engage in the recreational retailing of the noble weed, Colorado refuted all naysayers when the first numbers rolled in. How do you like an additional $25 mil added to state coffers from taxes and fees? Plus, violent crime is down, unless you consider the sale of junk food munchies like Doritos and Twinkies a crime. Governor Hickenlooper’s office projects a total windfall of $134 million in the first year alone. By comparison, state revenue from alcohol was only $40 million last year. Puff it.

The Bad
Roundup kills weeds — and you. Glyphosate, AKA “Roundup,” the most commonly sold weed killer in the world, is made by the same folks who made Agent Orange and is a derivative of same. They say it’s safe. It isn’t. Now it’s been found in mothers’ breast milk (as well as nearly everywhere else you can look.) So? Well, the stuff has been definitively linked to a host of deadly ailments including cancer. Yet we blithely spray it on our sidewalks, gardens, lawns and food. Are we idiots or merely suicidal? This stuff flies off the shelf at hardware stores. You can smell it on the breeze as you stroll the neighborhood or even drive by a freshly sprayed lawn. On May 27, a group of mothers, scientists and environmentalists met with the EPA asking for a total recall on the poison.

The Ugly  
Gates Opens Polio Gates Being rich doesn’t mean you’re smart. It doesn’t mean you’re a wise policy maker. There’s a billionaire asshole around every corner. (Hello, Donald.) You can be rich and misguided (or stupid) all at once. The Gates Foundation spreads GMOs around the world and owns stock in massive GMO provider, Monsanto. The Foundation is on a mission to vaccinate every kid on the planet with polio vaccine yet owns tons of stock in Big Pharma. The worst part is that the Center for Disease Control admits polio vaccine causes polio (admittedly not all the time). Rather than eradicating polio, an epidemic is sweeping the very countries that Gates’ Foundation is vaccinating. Stop it, Bill. Buy an NBA team. Play ping pong. We could debate the efficacy of the polio vaccine and whether it stemmed the mid-twentieth century epidemic or not until the cows come home. I personally don’t believe vaccines definitively cause autism. But I also turn the CDC’s own metrics on them and when they point out that the vaccine causes polio and it’s spreading in the very countries where the push is on, it’s time to step back and consider the potential unintended consequences.

Heart Association Junk Food Like many other medical associations, the AHA endorses products they assess as “heart healthy.” And they make millions doing it. To get the little “Heart Check” logo on your food will cost thousands of dollars up front then an annual fee. Cardiologist Barbara Roberts calls them out for endorsing junk like “Chocolate Moose Attack,” which has more sugar than Pepsi.

Be well.

posted at 05:23 pm
on Tuesday, June 03rd, 2014


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