Senate Defeats the Latest Industry Effort to Block GMO Food Labeling

Good news in the ongoing fight for consumers’ right to know! By a slim 1-vote margin, the bill was stopped in its tracks. Thanks to the efforts of numerous consumer, health and anti-GMO groups, their communities and their state representatives.

The Center for Food Safety reports:

Defeat of the “DARK Act” is Major Victory for America’s Right to Know

Today the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act failed to garner enough votes for cloture by a vote of 49-48, effectively defeating the bill.  The bill introduced by Senator Roberts (R-KS) faced bi-partisan rejection.  The bill would have preempted the genetically engineered food labeling laws in Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and Alaska.  In its place it would have put a voluntary labeling scheme that relies primarily on QR codes, websites and call in numbers to inform consumers about the presence of GMOs.

“The defeat of the DARK Act is a major victory for the food movement and America’s right to know,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety. “It also is an important victory for Democracy over the attempt of corporate interests to keep Americans in the Dark about the foods they buy and feed their families.” Kimbrell concluded.  Continue reading

Could 30% of the Water on Earth Predate the Solar System?!

A September 2014 study concludes that much of the water on Earth predates the solar system itself. Say what? Here’s the L.A. Times’ Science section article with more:

Some of the water molecules in your drinking glass were created more than 4.5 billion years ago, according to new research. That makes them older than the Earth, older than the solar system — even older than the sun itself.

In a study published Thursday in Science, researchers say the distinct chemical signature of the water on Earth and throughout the solar system could occur only if some of that water formed before the swirling disk of dust and gas gave birth to the planets, moons, comets and asteroids.

This primordial water makes up 30% to 50% of the water on Earth, the researchers estimate.

“It’s pretty amazing that a significant fraction of water on Earth predates the sun and the solar system,” said study leader Ilse Cleeves, an astronomer at the University of Michigan.

 

Shoppers’ Guide to Avoiding GMO Foods

With Vermont’s recent court victory to require manufacturers selling food in the state to adhere to GMO-labeling guidelines set forth, it’s time for other states to demand the same transparency on their own grocery store shelves and restaurants.

The Center for Food Safety updated its Food Shoppers’ Guide to Avoiding GE Food a little over a year ago, and they provide some good resources to get you started should you wish to have the option to either avoid, or have labeled, GMO foods. Public opinion polls hold that a large majority of Americans want their food suppliers to clearly label whether or not their products have GMO ingredients.

From the Center for Food Safety website:

“We’ve seen that our government, under pressure from the biotechnology industry, has not required the labeling of GE foods. And the biotech industry does not voluntarily identify them, fearing, probably correctly, that the majority of Americans would avoid GE foods if given a choice. As a result, the U.S. public has been deprived of its right to choose
whether to buy and consume these engineered foods. However, this is not the case with most of our major trading partners around the globe who have instituted mandatory labeling of all GE foods and ingredients.

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Quirky Cuisine: Three Strange Meals

 

beggal in a basket

Beggal in a nest. I first tried this by cutting out the center of both the top and bottom halves of a begal, but found it easier to leave the bottom one intact for better stacking the second time I tried it. Sesame, onion or everything bagel, one free-range large brown egg, 1-2 slices of cheddar or swiss cheese, butter for cooking.

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Our Imperiled and Dwindling Food Variety

A shocking stat: 93 percent of the seed varieties available in US seed houses in 1903 had gone extinct before 1990.

Now keep in mind that 1994 and 1995 were the first years that outdoor growing of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) began, which started to result in crop contamination and further pressure on our international seed stocks.

This National Geographic infographic spells out some of the specifics (but only through 1983), which means that the graph below shows a picture of an already dwindling food variety a full ten years before the introduction of GMO-contamination to our crops:

1903-1983 study by Rural Advancement Foundation International results.

1903-1983 study by Rural Advancement Foundation International results.

Needless to say, the situation has become more dire in the 2000’s. Continue reading

WordPress DC is Back in the Loop, WC Philly Draws Near

WordPress DC Reconvenes, WordCamp Philly Schedule Posted

As PHP might say,
“if (have_WordPress_DC_meetup( ‘place’ )) :
while (have_WordPress_DC_meetup( ‘place’ )) :
the_WordPress_DC_meetup();
endwhile;
else echo “climb the walls for 8 months and feel less connected”;
endif;”.

Woot! WordPress DC finally got together again after finding a new spot to meet at. It was our first gathering since August(!) which I think set a record for the group, which has been active for at least four years. It was also our first get-together since co-organizer Aaron Jorbin moved to the Big Apple to take on a new job there. Several folks pitched in to fill the breach, including the always helpful and encouraging Tracy ‘taupecat‘ Rotton who stepped up to become one of our co-organizers, and we landed a room for the evening which could hold 80 of us (versus our old stomping grounds which could fit 100+).

Andrew Nacin, the lead developer from several of the last few WordPress releases, took us through all the major developments and features from WordPress v3.6-3.9 since we last met, and then we got to briefly catch up with each other before the room had to close. It was great to see everyone again and our June meetup is already on the books and has a waiting list. Andy also covered the present and future for WordPress, going through what he referred to as three of the pillars of what’s to come: API, Infrastructure and Education and Mentoring.

You can catch the full presentation HERE, archived on UStream.
    
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