Saturday, January 18, 2014

Washington State Bill Proposes Criminalizing Help to NSA, Turning Off Resources to Yakima Facility

The state level campaign to turn off power and electricity to the NSA got a big boost Wednesday.

In a bipartisan effort, Washington became first state with a physical NSA location to consider the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, designed to make life extremely difficult for the massive spy agency.

Rep. David Taylor (R-Moxee) and Rep Rep. Luis Moscoso (D- Mountlake Terrace) introduced HB2272 late Tuesday night. Based on model language drafted by the OffNow coalition, it would make it the policy of Washington “to refuse material support, participation, or assistance to any federal agency which claims the power, or with any federal law, rule, regulation, or order which purports to authorize, the collection of electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant.”

Practically speaking, the bill prohibits state and local agencies from providing any material support to the NSA within their jurisdiction. This includes barring government-owned utilities from providing water and electricity. It makes information gathered without a warrant by the NSA and shared with law enforcement inadmissible in state court.

 It blocks public universities from serving as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds. And it disincentivizes corporations attempting to fill needs not met in the absence of state cooperation.

Lawmakers in Oklahoma, California and Indiana have already introduced similar legislation, and a senator in Arizona has committed to running it there, but Washington counts as the first state with an actual NSA facility within its borders to consider the Fourth Amendment Protection Act. The NSA operates a listening center on the Army’s Yakima Training Center (YTC). The NSA facility is in Taylor’s district, and he said he cannot sit idly by while a secretive facility in his own backyard violate the rights of people everywhere.

“We’re running the bill to provide protection against the ever increasing surveillance into the daily lives of our citizens,” he said. “Our Founding Fathers established a series of checks and balances in the Constitution. Given the federal government’s utter failure to address the people’s concerns, it’s up to the states to stand for our citizens’ constitutional rights.”

According to documents made public by the US Military, as of 2008, a company called PacifiCorp serves as the primary supplier of electric power, and Cascade Natural Gas Corporation supplies natural gas to YTC. The Kittitas Public Utility District, a function of the state of Washington, provides electric power for the MPRC and the Doris site, but no documentation has yet proven that it also provides electricity used directly by the NSA facility on site.

 And while YTC does provide a bulk of its own water, documents also show that some of it gets there by first passing through upstream dams owned and operated by the State.

The Army report states, “YTC lies within three WAUs whose boundaries coincide with WRIAs, as defined by the State of Washington natural resource agencies.”

WAU’s are Washington State Water Administration Units. WRIAs are Washington State Water Resource Inventory Areas

A Washington company also has a strong link to the NSA. Cray Inc. builds supercomputers for the agency.

If the bill passes, it would set in motion actions to stop any state support of the Yakima center as long as it remains in the state, and could make Cray ineligible for any contracts with the state or its political subdivisions.

Three public universities in Washington join 166 schools nationwide partnering with the NSA. Taylor’s bill would address these schools’ status as NSA “Centers of Academic Excellence,” and would bar any new partnerships with other state colleges or universities.

Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey says the bills prohibition against using unconstitutionally gathered data in state court would probably have the most immediate impact. In fact, lawmakers in Kansas and Missouri will consider bills simply addressing this kind of data sharing.

“We know the NSA shares data with state and local law enforcement. We know from a Reuters report that most of this shared data has absolutely nothing to do with national security issues. This bill would make that information inadmissible in state court,” he said. “This data sharing shoves a dagger into the heart of the Fourth Amendment. This bill would stop that from happening. This is a no-brainer. Every state should do it.”

Maharrey said he expects at least three more states to introduce the act within the next few weeks.

“This idea is catching fire,” he said. “And why wouldn’t it? We have an out of control agency spying on virtually everybody in the world. We have a president and a Congress that appears poised to maybe put a band aid on it. Americans are realizing if we are going to slow down the NSA, we are going to have to take a different approach. This is it.”


In Washington State: Take action to support HB2272 HERE.

Other states: Contact your state legislators today – urge them to introduce similar legislation.  Model bills and contact info HERE.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Shame On Portland Oregon And Treatment of Animals

Friday January 17, 2014
Multnomah County has so far made no public announcement about Mozart’s availability to rescue or if he will be permitted to go to the rescue that has requested him.  A citizen reports that when she contacted MCAS after being forwarded to the agency by the county commission that Mozart remained at MCAS because apparently the owner had not so far picked him up. 
That statement is categorically false. MCAS refused to release Mozart to Mr. Herbold who owned Mozart for 6 years.  On Monday, January 06, Attorney Robert Babcock filed a lawsuit charging MCAS and Director Michael Oswald with the tort of conversion: unlawfully holding the property of another. To date the county records pertaining to this case that were requested by Robert Babcock have not been provided.
There is a report that a staff meeting was held at MCAS on Monday, January 13 to decide Mozart’s fate. The shelter manager then left on vacation and will be gone until January 21.
I believe that the data being considered in the decision are
·         The animal care technician’s notes of Mozart in the shelter (MCAS has no behaviorist; the term used by the agency technician and MCAS is self ascribed; the individual who conducts and conducted this temperament test has a certificate for private dog training). The technician recommended euthanasia.
·         A review of the animal care technician’s notes and her own summaries by a behavior veterinarian who conducted no independent first hand interviews and never saw the dog.
·         The bite: The bite was reported to result in stitches to the hand. The individual went to work: the reason offered for the lack of pictures. There is apparently no photograph of the bite on file. When picture(s) were requested through public records MCAS reported they had none.
His status remains uncertain and all negotiations have been behind closed doors. We will start a petition if silence, lack of communication and uncertainty continue.

"Agent Orange" Crops Would Trigger Massive Increase in Use of Toxic Pesticide 2,4-D

Center for Food Safety Vows to Lead Food Movement in Opposition

Center for Food Safety (CFS) today declared strong opposition to the next generation of genetically engineered (GE) corn and soybeans designed by Dow Chemical to withstand application of the toxic pesticide 2,4-D.

The declaration comes as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued an “Environmental Impact Statement” which recommended approving the GE products for commercial use.  Center for Food Safety launched a petition [link] to allow consumers to voice their opposition to the crops developed under the brand name “Enlist”.

“We expected better from the Obama Administration,” said Center for Food Safety executive director Andrew Kimbrell. “This is among the worst applications of biotechnology. ‘Agent Orange crops’ are designed to survive a chemical assault with 2,4-D. They will increase the use of toxic pesticides in industrial agriculture while providing absolutely no benefit to consumers.”

2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), produced by Dow Chemical, was a component of “Agent Orange,” the toxic defoliant used on Vietnam. 2,4-D and other herbicides of its class have been independently associated with deadly immune system cancers, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems.

USDA’s review of 2,4-D corn and soybeans comes despite intense opposition from over 365,000 individuals, 48 medical and health professionals, and 144 farm, fishery, public health, consumer and environmental groups and private businesses who registered objections with USDA.

“We are extremely disappointed with USDA’s review of 2,4-D corn and soy,” said Kimbrell.  “If finalized, this decision would launch American agriculture into a new era of vastly increased dependence on more toxic pesticides. The Obama Administration must overturn this dangerous and misguided proposal.”

Penn State scientists have projected that widespread cultivation of 2,4 D resistant soybeans would trigger a substantial increase in the use of 2,4-D.  “Enlist” crops would increase agricultural use of 2,4-D to over 100 million lbs. per year, four times current levels.

“Any increase in the use of 2,4-D with Enlist corn and soybeans will hit rural communities especially hard, as numerous medical studies have linked 2,4-D and related herbicides to increased rates of cancer and Parkinson’s disease as well as low sperm counts in farmers, and to birth anomalies in their children,” said Kimbrell.

“American farmers and our families are at risk,” said CFS board member and Iowa corn and soybean farmer George Naylor.  “When Dow Chemical and Monsanto first brought out GE crops, they assured us their new, expensive seeds would clean up our environment and reduce pesticide use.  That didn’t happen.

Today weeds are resistant to Roundup and many farmers are using older, more deadly pesticides to kill them.  2,4-D corn and soybeans just keep us on the same old pesticide treadmill; it’s a terrible idea.”

American farmers are also concerned that cultivation of Enlist corn and soybeans will threaten their crops.  2,4-D drift is already responsible for more episodes of crop injury than any other herbicide, and its vastly increased use promises still more damage to crops like soybeans, cotton, vegetables and fruit.

Dow is marketing “Enlist” corn and soybeans as a response to a problem created by first-generation GE herbicide-resistant crops—specifically Monsanto’s “Roundup-Ready” varieties.  Over the past decade, Roundup-Ready crops have triggered massive use of the herbicide glyphosate and an ever-expanding epidemic of glyphosate-resistant “superweeds.”

While Dow claims that 2,4-D crops will alleviate the “superweed” problem, a recent peer-reviewed study concludes that the opposite is true.  The report found that Enlist crops will trigger an outbreak of still more intractable weeds resistant to both glyphosate and 2,4-D.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

FOOD Documentary A Revealing Look at the Sourcing of Our Modern Food Supply

By Dr Mercola

"Food" is a 30-minute documentary that investigates how demand for more and cheaper food has dramatically altered the entire food chain. Today, food production revolves around efficiency—the ability to produce more for less. The ramifications of this mindset are wide-ranging and far-reaching...

As KPBS’ Joanne Faryon reports, “the food chain no longer looks like it used to.” Fish no longer eat other fish, and cattle eat very little grass, which is their natural food source. Instead, cattle eat corn, chickens eat corn and fish, and fish eat cows and poultry... Similarly, fresh produce like fruits and vegetables are primarily sold to foreign markets.

California oranges, for example, are exported to far flung places like Japan, while Americans eat oranges from Australia—presumably because Americans prefer the deeper orange color of Australian oranges, and the fact that they’re easier to peel. As a result, the carbon footprint of most foods sold in your local grocery store is massive, having made its way thousands of miles from where it was grown.

The Beef About American Cattle Farming

While food prices appear to be on the rise, we actually spend less on our food today than we did a generation ago, thanks to modern food production practices. The ultimate price, however, may be greater than anyone ever expected.

For starters, modern agricultural practices are taking a heavy toll on soil and environmental health, and the way we raise animal foods, especially in the US, results in animal products that are far inferior compared to their ancestral past.

The practice of raising animals in confined feeding operations (CAFOs) is also having a major detrimental impact on our environment and is a primary source of environmental pollution and rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Last year, 63 million tons of beef was produced worldwide.1 As stated in the film, while making up only five percent of the world’s population, Americans consume nearly 20 percent of all the beef produced globally.

But just how is all this beef produced? The film summarizes how the typical cow makes its way from birth to slaughter in the US. A generation or so ago, cattle would be mostly pasture-raised and sold for slaughter around the age of two or three. The meat would then be taken to the local market.

Today, California cows start out being raised on pasture for about six months before being sold, typically changing hands twice, before ending up in a CAFO feedlot. Feedlots, which were introduced after World War II, are large pens that house tens of thousands of cattle—some can hold herds up to 100,000 animals.

Here, they’re fattened up on a corn-based diet before being slaughtered about four or five months later. All in all, today’s beef is grown in about half the time compared to a generation ago.

Besides corn, virtually all beef sold in American grocery stores comes from cattle injected with hormones. Corn fattens the cattle, but consumers don’t like all that gristly fat, so hormones are used to make the animal produce more lean muscle tissue. This improves profits, as it increases the animals’ growth by about 10 percent.

Ironically, as Faryon points out, it’s the corn that makes the cattle fat, so if we didn’t feed them corn, we wouldn’t have to give them hormones to minimize fat production. Another question well worth pondering is this: with all this hormone-laced beef, along with the American corn-based processed food diet (think high fructose corn syrup), is it any surprise Americans are growing fatter, faster, as well?

Farmed Fish—Feedlots of the Sea...

Industrial fish farming, or aquaculture, is the fastest growing form of food production in the world.2 About half of the world’s seafood now comes from fish farms, including in the US, and this is expected to increase. At first glance, farmed fish may seem like a good idea to help protect wild seafood populations from overfishing while meeting the nutritional needs of an ever-expanding global population.

In reality, however, the industry is plagued with many of the same problems surrounding land-based CAFOs, including pollution, disease and inferior nutritional quality. It’s getting so bad that fish farms can easily be described as “CAFOs of the sea.” Here we see an even greater distortion of the food chain. Wild fish eat other fish, but farmed fish can be fed a concoction of ingredients they’d NEVER encounter otherwise, such as soy protein and beef or chicken byproducts, including cattle blood, bone, and chicken feathers.

The reason for this is because, as explained by Jeffrey Graham in the film, it takes about five pounds of fish to produce one pound of growth in salmon. This clearly negates the original rationale for fish farming, which is to prevent the depletion of natural fish stocks. The solution is to replace the fish meal in the diet with soy protein and other protein products...The question is, is this really a healthy solution?

Europe has banned processing byproducts from cattle due to the potential risk of spreading mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE), a neurodegenerative disease that can affect humans eating contaminated beef. While there have been no reports of humans contracting mad cow from eating farmed fish, the theoretical possibility is there. Besides that, it seems clear that a fish that eats meat byproducts opposed to its natural diet of other fish is not going to have the same nutritional makeup as wild fish.

Then there’s the increased risk of fish diseases spreading to wild fish. The close quarters where farmed fish are raised (combined with their unnatural diets) means disease can spread quickly, and because farmed fish are often raised in pens in the ocean, pathogens can spread like wildfire and contaminate any wild fish swimming past. I wrote about this last summer in the article “Salmon Confidential.”

The Unsavory Truth About Factory Farmed Chicken

Large commercial chicken facilities typically house tens of thousands of hens and can even go up to hundreds of thousands of hens who, yet again, are fed a diet consisting primarily of corn. Processing byproducts such as chicken feathers can also be added to the feed. Antibiotics are routinely used in most facilities, but hormones are not permitted in American-raised chickens. When it comes to labels such as “free-range” and “natural,” it’s buyer beware...

The definitions of "free-range" are such that the commercial egg industry can run industrial farm egg laying facilities and still call them "free-range" eggs, despite the fact that the birds' foraging conditions are far from what you'd call natural. True free-range eggs are from hens that roam freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms.

When you’re housing tens of thousands of chickens, you clearly cannot allow them all to freely roam and scavenge for food outdoors. At best, CAFO hens may be let out into a barren outdoor lot for mere minutes a day. Your best source for pastured chicken (and fresh eggs) is a local farmer that allows his hens to forage freely outdoors. If you live in an urban area, visiting a local farmer’s market is typically the quickest route to finding high-quality chicken and eggs.

Can We Grow a Fair and Sustainable Food System?

Many believe the answer to world hunger is further expansion of large-scale agriculture; others place their bets on genetically engineered (GE) crops. But are factory farms and large-scale GE farming really going to solve the problem? Evidence suggests the answer is a resounding NO. In fact, our modern agricultural system is the very heart of the problem...

Modern monoculture has severely depleted soils of essential nutrients and microorganisms, and poor soil quality is a core problem facing farmers across the globe. Monoculture (or monocropping) is defined as the high-yield agricultural practice of growing a single crop year after year on the same land, in the absence of rotation through other crops. (Corn, soybeans, wheat, and to some degree rice, are the most common crops grown with monocropping techniques. As discussed above, corn and soy are two of the primary ingredients in feed given to livestock, be they chickens, cattle or fish.)

The Earth's soil is now depleting at more than 13 percent the rate it can be replaced due to our chemical-based agriculture system. Massive monoculture has also led to the extinction of 75 percent of the world's crop varieties over the last century. Additionally, modern agriculture is extremely energy dependent. It is estimated that every consumer in the Western world eats the equivalent of 66 barrels of oil per year. That's how much oil is needed to produce the food on your plate.

Do You Really Want to Eat Factory Farmed Animals?

If you were to grow food for you own family, my guess is that you would do so with extreme care, using the best seeds, the healthiest animals, and the least amount of chemical additives. Yet, when most people buy their food, they have no idea where it actually comes from, and conversely the people who grow this food have no idea who ends up eating it. When people are able to grow food for the faceless masses, I think it somehow justifies these terrible practices that have become commonplace: pumping animals full of hormones and drugs, dousing vegetables with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and introducing genetically modified seeds into the environment.

If you had to see the animal you were about to eat before it makes its way to the supermarket or your dinner table, would you choose one that had lived out its days in a filthy, crowded cage? One that had been mutilated and tormented, then pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, while being fed pesticide-laden grains it was not designed to eat?

Or would you choose one that had lived a nurtured and well cared for life, free to roam on pasture, see the sunlight and breathe in fresh air? One that was fed its natural diet and nothing more? The choice is obvious, which is exactly why agri-business has done such a masterful job of concealing what really goes on from the vast majority of Americans. All you see is a cellophane-wrapped package, maybe a picture of a barn with happy cows and chickens standing near. In many cases, if you could really see how that animal was raised, you would likely shield your children’s eyes, then turn away in disgust.

Factory farms allow us to be removed from taking personal responsibility for raising our own food. There is no one to be held accountable for raising garbage food or treating animals inhumanely because the system has taken on a life of its own. By far, the vast majority of food at your local supermarket comes from these polluting, inhumane farm conglomerations. So if you want to stop supporting them, you first need to find a new place to shop.

Become Part of a Growing Movement

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to find a humane and reliable source for your food -- sources that are growing food with the health of the environment and the animals as the driving forces. At, for instance, you can enter your zip code and find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, all with the click of a button. For an excellent list of sustainable agricultural groups in your area, please also see Promoting Sustainable Agriculture -- this page is filled with resources for high-quality produce and meats in your area.

The more we all make it a point to only buy food from a source we know and trust, the faster factory farming will become a shameful practice of the past. Farmers and lovers of real food show us that change IS possible. But your involvement is required. Here are a few suggestions for how you can take affirmative action:

Buy local products whenever possible. Otherwise, buy organic and fair-trade products.

Shop at your local farmers market, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), or buy from local grocers and co-ops committed to selling local foods.

Support restaurants and food vendors that buy locally produced food.

Avoid genetically engineered (GMO) foods. Buying certified organic ensures your food is non-GM.

Cook, can, ferment, dry, and freeze. Return to the basics of cooking, and pass these skills on to your children.

Grow your own garden, or volunteer at a community garden. Teach your children how to garden and where their food comes from.

Volunteer and/or financially support an organization committed to promoting a sustainable food system.

Get involved in your community. Influence what your child eats by engaging the school board. Effect city policies by learning about zoning and attending city council meetings. Learn about the federal policies that affect your food choice, and let your congressperson know what you think.

Spread the word! Share this article with your friends, family, and everyone else you know.

Herb Profile: Spirulina

Herb Profile: Spirulina

I don’t like using the term superfood, though it could certainly be applied to Spirulina. Though not technically an herb (actually a cyanobacteria), it boasts its fair share of health promoting properties. It is rich in Chlorophyll, and like plants, gets its energy from the sun.

What is it?

Spirulina is a natural “algae” (cyanbacteria) powder that is incredible high in protein and nutrients. When harvested correctly from non-contaminated ponds and bodies of water, it is one of the most potent nutrient sources available. It is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids, and I typically recommend it to clients who decide to remain vegetarian for its high natural iron content. 
It is often touted for its high B-12 content, though there is a lot of debate about if this particular form is a complete and absorbable form of B-12 and I don’t recommend it completely in place of animal products.
The high concentration of protein and iron also makes it ideal during pregnancy, after surgery, or anytime the immune system needs a boost.

Health Properties:

Though it does taste like pond scum, Spirulina has some great health-boosting qualities:
  • Spirulina is 65% protein and amino acids including the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which has gotten a lot of attention for its anti-inflammatory properties, especially when taken with other quality Omega-3 supplements like Fermented Cod Liver Oil. (I suspect that the benefits of GLA in Spirulina are even more than what the studies have found since these studies often use vegetable oils for their GLA source, and the other inflammatory compounds in vegetable oils can interfere with the anti-inflammatory ability.) It contains all essential amino acids.
  • Spirulina contains Omega 3-,6 and 9s and is especially high in Omega-3s.
  • Spirulina is extremely high in Chlorophyll, which helps remove toxins from the blood and boost the immune system.
  • Spirulina has a very high concentration of bio-available iron and is excellent during pregnancy and for those with anemia and will not cause constipation.
  •  Spirulina is a great source of other nutrients including (according to Wikipedia): “Spirulina contains vitamins B-1(thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3(nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E. It is also a source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium,  manganese, phosphorus,  selenium, sodium and zinc. Spirulina contains many pigments which may be beneficial and bioavailable”.
  • This Spirulina (from Mountain Rose Herbs) was tested be an independent laboratory and found to have an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) of over 24,000 which is 4x the ORAC score of blueberries. The ORAC score is generally used to measure antioxidant ability and concentration in different foods.
  • Spirulina is also incredibly high in calcium with over 26 times the calcium in milk, making it excellent for children, the elderly and during pregnancy.
  • Some research has suggested that Spirulina may be helpful in allergies and allergic reactions.
  • Spirulina’s phosphorus content makes it helpful as part of a tooth remineralization regimen.
  • Emerging evidence suggests that it binds with radioactive isotopes and may be useful for radioactivity exposure or radiation therapy.
  • The protein in Spirulina is highly usable and has a net protein utilization rate of between 50-61%
  • Spirulina can bind with heavy metals in the body and help remove them.
  • Spirulina can increase fat burning during exercise.
  •  Buy Spirulina Here!

Drug With Adverse Effects Used In American Beef since 2007

January 15, 2014

While the beta-agonist drug Zilmax (Zilpaterol) has been used to promote muscle growth in American-grown cattle since 2007, news of the dramatic adverse effects of this drug didn't hit mainstream news—and hence public consciousness—until late last year.
In early August, 2013, Tyson Food Inc issued a statement saying it would no longer purchase Zilmax-fed cattle for slaughter due to animal welfare concerns. The company had noticed that many of the cows that had been fed the drug had trouble walking. The cattle also displayed other behavioral issues.
Since then, Cargill Inc. has also decided to reject Zilmax-fed cattle until it is confident that any animal welfare issues associated with the drug have been resolved.
Merck, the maker of the drug, initially said it would halt US and Canadian sales of Zilmax, pending company research and review. It wasn't long however before Merck announced it had no plans to discontinue the product,3 saying the company stands behind the safety of the drug.
At present, Merck does not need approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to return Zilmax to market, as the FDA has not taken any action against the drug.
Agricultural drug use has become a major health concern for animals and humans alike, and in my view, organic, grass-fed meat that is humanely raised and butchered is really the only type of meat worth eating, if you want to maintain good health. 

It is important to understand that grass-fed animals not only produce better eggs, milk & meat - but the return to native perennial grasses is key to future.  We destroyed most of the grasslands and replaced them with monocultures like corn and soy.  
 We then produce hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup for human consumption, and use much of the remainder for feed in concentrated animal feeding operations.

The grasslands act very much like forests, while deforestation is very well known the destruction of grasslands have similar effects.  Perennial grass farming produces more nutritious products, while work in a perfect cycle with nature.

Special Report Reveals Shocking Side Effects of Zilmax

Beta-agonist drugs such as Zilmax belong to a class of non-hormone drugs used as a growth promoter in livestock. As a class, beta-agonist drugs have been used in US cattle production since 2003.  
They're fed to cattle in the weeks prior to slaughter to increase weight by as much as 30 pounds of lean meat per cow. Due to the short window between administration of the drug and slaughter, as much as 20 percent of it may remain in the meat you buy. 
A recent special report by Reuters4 revealed some of the more horrific effects Zilmax has on cattle: 
"As cattle trailers that had traveled up to four hours in 95-degree heat began to unload, 15 heifers and steers hobbled down the ramps on August 5, barely able to walk. The reason: the animals had lost their hooves, according to US Department of Agriculture documents reviewed by Reuters... 
The next day... two more animals with missing hooves arrived by truck... The animals' feet were 'basically coming apart,' said Keith Belk, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University." 
Merck responded to Reuters with a statement saying that:
"Several third-party experts were brought in to evaluate the situation, review the data and identify potential causes for the hoof issue... The findings from the investigation showed that the hoof loss was not due to the fact these animals had received Zilmax."
It would not, however, disclose the identities of these third-party experts; nor would they release any more details on the investigation. According to Reuters, Tyson Foods had noticed "cattle mobility issues" prior to the August 5 and 6 events that spurred the company to refuse Zilmax-fed cattle, but none of them had been quite this severe.

Increased Use of Livestock Drugs Is Cause for Concern

Merck is required by federal law to report all deaths occurring in treated animals, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) records show at least 285 cattle have unexpectedly died or been euthanized after receiving Zilmax since the drug's introduction in 2007. 

At least 75 cows lost their hooves and were euthanized within the past two years. Other reported adverse effects in cattle following the administration of Zilmax include:
Stomach ulcers
Brain lesions
Lethargy and lameness
Bloody nose
Respiratory problems
Heart failure
Sudden death
According to the featured report, it still has not been determined whether Zilmax is responsible for causing all these side effects—some of them so severe that cattle have to be euthanized. Some of the statistics are telling, however. Within the first two years of Zilmax's introduction to market, the number of euthanized cattle skyrocketed; shooting up by 175 percent compared to the pre-Zilmax range. 
One working theory is that the drug might compound the adverse effects of ailments associated with confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), such as acidosis, which results when a cow eats too many grains or sugar. Excessive heat may be another compounding factor, as well as animal genetics.
"Regardless, the episode at the Tyson plant - which hasn't been publicly disclosed until now - is coming to light at a time of growing concern over risks to animal and human health posed by the increased use of pharmaceuticals in food production," Reuters5 says. 
"Livestock pharmaceuticals use is expanding as part of the push to produce more meat at lower cost... The cases of hoofless cattle also raise ethical questions about whether the drive by modern agriculture to produce greater volumes of food, as cheaply as possible, is coming at the cost of animal welfare."

Zilmax Banned for Use in Horses Due to Side Effects

Zilmax is already banned for use in horses due to severe side effects, including muscle tremors and rapid heart rates According to a 2008 veterinary case report involving three horses that were given Zilmax:
"Within 90 minutes the horses had muscular tremors which began in the skeletal muscles of the neck, shoulder, and foreleg and spread throughout the visible skeletal muscles. Intermittent visible muscular tremors continued for up to 1 week after the initial dose of zilpaterol. They also all had certain changes to their blood chemistry, such as elevated BUN, creatinine, and glucose and mild hyponatremia and hypochloremia... Liver and kidney changes were also noted."
Ractopamine, another beta-agonist, is yet another drug used in the US, even though it's been banned in 160 other countries due to its potential health hazards. The researchers also noted that Zilmax is about 125 times more potent than ractopamine, saying this may be why side effects were overlooked in connection with ractopamine studies. 
It's worth noting that, in human medicine, the same class of drugs (beta-agonists) can be found in certain asthma medications, such as Advair. One long-acting beta-agonist called salmeterol was linked to an epidemic of asthma deaths in the 1960s. Weight gain is also a common complaint among Advair users—so much so that the manufacturer has added weight gain to the post-marketing side effects. Other adverse reactions to beta-agonist drugs include increased heart rate, insomnia, headaches, and essential tremor—eerily similar to those experienced by horses. So why wouldn't the drug affect cows in a similar fashion?

Might Beta-Agonists in Meat Pose Human Health Hazards?

According to Randox Food Diagnostics,8 which has created tests for Zilmax residue in beef, use of beta-agonists prior to slaughter is of particular concern "as this poses a risk to the consumer and may result in consumer toxicity." Research findings to this effect include:
  • A 2003 study in Analytica Chimica Acta:9 residue behaviour of Zilmax in urine, plasma, muscle, liver, kidney, and retina of cattle and pig was assessed. Two heifers and 16 pigs were treated with Zilmax and slaughtered after withdrawal times varying from 1 to 10 days. The drug was detectable at each point of time examined in all matrices except plasma after a withdrawal period of 10 days. It's worth noting that in the US, the recommended market window is three to 10 days after discontinuing Zilmax10
  • A 2006 study11 on residues of Zilmax  in sheep found detectable levels in liver and muscle tissues up to nine days after discontinuation of the drug
Even before it was approved, scientists expressed concerns that beta-agonists might result in increased cardiovascular risk for consumers.12 According to an article published in the Journal of Animal Science in 1998:13
"The use of highly active beta-agonists as growth promoters is not appropriate because of the potential hazard for human and animal health, as was recently concluded at the scientific Conference on Growth Promotion in Meat Production (Nov. 1995, Brussels)."

Not All Meat Is Created Equal

I believe the movement toward ethical and sustainable meat eating is an important one, both in terms of animal welfare and human health. Agricultural drug use is indeed becoming a major health concern for animals and humans alike, courtesy of factory farming methods where efficiency and low cost is the primary objective. 
Besides beta-agonist drugs like Zilmax and Ractopamine (the latter of which, by the way, is banned in 160 countries), animals raised in American confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are also typically given a number of other drugs, including antibiotics and hormones. 
You are essentially getting a concoction of drugs in every piece of meat you eat. The routine use of antibiotics alone now poses a significant threat to human health, as it has spawned a dramatic rise in antibiotic-resistant disease. Instead of their natural diet, which is plain grass, CAFO cattle are also fed a wholly unnatural diet consisting of pesticide-laden and oftentimes genetically engineered (GE) grains—primarilyGE corn and soy.
Organic, grass-fed and finished meat that is humanely raised and butchered is really about the only type of meat that is healthy to eat. By purchasing your meat from smaller farms that raise their animals in a humane fashion, according to organic principles, you're promoting the proliferation of such farms, which in the end will benefit everyone, including all the animals.
I've also previously written about the atrocities that take place in some U.S. CAFOs, where filthy, crowded conditions are the norm, and I think most people would agree that such animal abuse is inexcusable, even if they're "only" being raised for food. It would be foolish to think that the end result—the meat from these animals—would have any major health benefits.
In fact, the differences between CAFO beef and organic grass-fed beef are so vast; you're really talking about two different animals, and two separate industries with entirely different farming practices and environmental impact. The latter also tends to favor far more humane butchering practices, which is also a very important part of "ethical meat."

Rethink Your Shopping Habits, to Protect Your Family's Health

Whether you do so for ethical, environmental, or health reasons — or all of the above -- the closer you can get to the "backyard barnyard," the better. Ideally, you'll want to get all your animal products, including meat, chicken and eggs, from smaller community farms with free-ranging animals that are organically fed and locally marketed. This is the way food has been raised and distributed for centuries... before it was corrupted by politics, corporate greed, and the blaring arrogance of the food industry.
You can do this not only by visiting the farm directly, if you have one nearby, but also by taking part in farmer's markets and community-supported agriculture programs. The following organizations can also help you locate farm-fresh foods in your local area, raised in a humane, sustainable manner:
  1. Local Harvest -- This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
  2. Farmers' Markets -- A national listing of farmers' markets.
  3. Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals -- The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
  4. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) -- CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
  5. FoodRoutes -- The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.
 NOTE:  It doesn't have to be like this, you can vote with every dollar that you spend, buy from a local rancher and ensure that his stock is grass fed, not grain fed, confirm no steroids, antibiotics, hormones.  Or purchase through online companies that specialize in all sorts of yummy Grassland Beef, also lots of other meats to choose from You'll be amazed at the taste and texture difference, plus you won't have an upset stomach or diarrhea from eating naturally raised meats.

Even meat from boutique butcher shops could be coming from the same CAFO, just packaged more interestingly.   

You'll be shocked to learn what domestic cattle eat, if you've ever heard of Distiller Grains, you may never have associated it with feed.

What Do Whiskey & Pasteurized Milk Have In Common?

Money.  Big money.

Isn't big business always about money and never about the consumers' health or what they want to buy?

American Whiskey distilleries started production in the US after whiskey imports stopped with the war of 1812.  Alcohol production resulted in large amounts of wasted grain.  Distillery waste disposal represented a major expense.  This distilleries waste by product was called swill or slop.

Now what to do with this chemically altered waste?  Why not feed it to the cows?  Get rid of the garbage by feeding it to the cows!

Cows are biologically equipped to graze on grass, they do not naturally eat corn or grains.  They had to be forced to eat this smelly slop.

Farmers would stop feeding all food and water and give the cows salt to make them thirsty.  Then they were given cold slop until they got used to it, it was that or starve.  Once the cows were used to it they would be fed the hot slop right from the stills.  Streamlined efficiency.

These confined animal feed lots were the precursors to our manure mounded, crowded, disease ridden filthy pens that we have today.   The slop made the cows sick.  The milk produced from sick cows who were fed this whiskey distillery slop was very poor quality.

Pathogenic bacteria increased resulting in unhealthy and contaminated milk.  There was no concern for the cow's health or the quality of the milk or the people who bought and drank the milk.  Not surprisingly there were deaths caused by the raw milk produced in those conditions.

Learn More Here


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

ZERO Sardines Along Pacific Coast

I don't eat sardines, however, sardines are the main food source for thousands of sea birds, mammals and fish who are starving without this vital food source.

This 11 Minute Video Shows Everything You Need To Know About Fukushima

Understand that there were 3 melt downs in March 2011.

When Reactor 2 melted down on March 29, 2011, the contents in the containment building released RADIATION 10 million times higher than during normal operations. March 11, 2011 radiation began to head west via the Jet Stream, wind and sea currents, with the first radiation from Japan hitting the west coast March 18, 2011.

By April 1 2011 the Fukushima radiation passed over all of North America leaving many areas with very low levels of radiation depending on jet stream distribution. As the jet stream continued around the world radioactive particles fell with rain, snow or as dust particles, before it continued it's deadly circle.

It's not just high levels of radition that cause damage, extreme low levels of radiation do too. These extreme low levels of biologically significant radiation hit North America Mid March 2011. Low levels of radiation were found in Washington and California milk by the end of March 2011, the cows ate the grass, you drank the milk.

Once you ingest or inhale even very low levels of radioactive particles the Petkau Effect immediately starts potentially lethal tissue ionization.

The phenomenon of the Petkau Effect basically means that you are ionizing or irradiating yourself continuously from the inside out. This insidious burning at your molecular level will impair your body long before there is a diagnosable disease.

Free radicals are generated during long term exposure to extremely low levels of radiation. which will exhaust our defenses unless our body has an abundant reserve of antioxidants.

Free radicals, or radicals, are atoms, molecules or ions with unpaired electrons. These highly reactive, molecules are unstable and contribute to the weakening of the body by destroying our cellular structure and making us more vulnerable to disease. When molecules in the body oxidize they become free radicals.

Without sufficient antioxidants to combat the extreme low levels of radiation you will suffer from gene mutation, birth defects, infertility and increased risk for immune related disease, muscle disorders and cancers.

The number of radioactive particles may diminish but the STRENGTH of each particle does not diminish. This RADIATION, with more added each day, continues it's lethal circle around the Northern Hemisphere.

Once radionuclides are released into the environment they circulate and are carried with the winds until they become part of the soil and food chain. They land in our drinking water, are on the pastures that our livestock graze on, are on our vegetables and in our fruit trees....yes, they don't respect organic pastures, or free range animals, or you or me, your children and pets.

This is particularly dangerous for humans because we are at the top of the food chain, where the higher concentrations of radionuclides are.

Is This A Risk For You?

Only one Chernobyl reactor blew, and the plant was only three months old with relatively little radiation. It burned out of control for only 10 days. Chernobyl has killed nearly one million people and counting, according to the New York Academy of Sciences. Many deaths will never be included in the official count, because their cancers won't be connected to Chernobyl. The long term impact of a compromised immune system and the subsequent health challenges will never be officially traced to Chernobyl.

Fukushima's reactors have been operating for 40 years, and would hold about 30 times more radiation than Chernobyl.

You do the math.

This will be with the Northern Hemisphere for thousands of years to come.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wolf Rescue Letter To Portland Oregon

On Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 3:36 PM, Lake Tahoe Wolf Rescue, NV <> wrote:

Dear Marissa Madrigal, Liesel Wendt, Loretta Smith, Judy Shiprack, and Diane McKeel,


Many of us in Rescue do not understand why MCAS refuses to take responsibility for being humane caretakers of their dogs and are not responding to calls or emails from recognized Rescues and behaviorists.
 Responsible Rescues and Sanctuaries have offered to take Mozart but they are being stonewalled. Mozart is being kept locked up with no exercise nor enrichment of any kind. He has become ill due to the poor care and lack of exercise and will only continue to deteriorate further both emotionally and physically. He does not understand why he has been abandoned to this horrible treatment. 
This is cruel and inhumane and the deed does not warrant the punishment. I feel that MCAS needs to be scrutinized carefully by their superiors and those in power about their methods and protocols.
I was surprised to see that you are all women, and am hoping that from a woman's standpoint you will show compassion and strength and act on Mozart's behalf. As a Canine Behaviorist I have worked with many dogs that have bitten only to rehabilitate them and find them safe sanctuary.
This is not brain surgery!
This boy needs to be transported to a secure Rescue or Sanctuary where he can be trained and rehabilitated. It is the human that that doesn't understand how canines think or behave that often condemns these animals to a lifetime of sadness, pain and terror - and often death. Please don't allow MCAS to condemn Mozart this way and do the right thing. I'm sure you would not allow this treatment if it was your own dog or cat.
Thanks you for your consideration and action!
Pamela Jo - Executive Director
Lake Tahoe Wolf Rescue - NV
Until One Has Loved an Animal
A Part of One's Soul Remains Unawakened

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gruesome Proposal for Brainless Chickens

André Ford installation The Centre for Unconscious Farming, chicken in metal frame and connected to tubes
February 21, 2012

Cramped cages. Extreme temperatures. Filthy surroundings. No doubt about it: Our industrial food system treats animal welfare as an afterthought.

As a commentary on today's “modern” farming, a London architecture student has created a thought-provoking design for a chicken farm that strips the birds of their mobility—and their brains.

Royal College of Art student AndrĂ© Ford created the installation, dubbed The Centre for Unconscious Farming. It’s a pretty grim affair, made of a massive steel frame that would contain up to 1,000 birds. In it the chickens are completely immobilized—their feet are removed (to save space), and the birds receive food, water and oxygen through an intricate network of tubes.

 In order to eliminate the suffering that chickens would face under such conditions, Ford proposes that the birds’ cerebral cortex be removed, leaving the brain stem (and key homeostatic functions) intact. The chickens would continue to grow, but would basically spend their lives in a coma.

Ford asserts his concept isn’t just a bid for attention:

“In the past six years we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the demand for meat. Higher welfare systems are available, but this project looks at addressing the inherent problems with the dominant system that produces the majority of our meat—the system that will be increasingly relied upon… We do not, and cannot, provide adequate welfare for those agricultural products and therefore welfare should be removed entirely.”

Currently, about 95 percent of broiler chickens produced in the U.S.—about 8.44 billion birds annually—are raised in commercial farms, which frequently consist of dark sheds where thousands of animals are packed together ingesting ammonia fumes in extreme temperatures.

The animals are bred to grow quickly, which often leads to heart and lung troubles, as well as crippling leg deformities. Compassion in World Farming estimates that tens of millions of birds die before slaughter from heart failure, disease, or injury during transport.

Ford is not the first to propose extreme measures in light of our unrelenting demand. Agribusiness “philosopher” Paul Thompson has suggested breeding blind broilers, since studies show that they respond better to the stress of packed sheds.

“There are numerous differences between the current dominant production systems and the one I am proposing,” Ford told Wired UK,“but the fundamental difference is the removal of suffering. Whether what I am proposing is an appropriate means to achieve the removal of suffering is open to interpretation.”

Why Does Portland Oregon Allow Animal Control To Get Away With This?

This is the Facebook page from which this action alert is posted:
January 10, 2014
Mozart continued incarceration at the MCAS facility is causing him severe emotional and psychological l distress.  If continued, this stress will begin to destroy his physical health as well. Every day he remains in the MCAS facility, his chances of recovery become diminished because of agency imposed conditions. The words "cruel and unusual" come to mind when describing his current situation. 
Weeks have gone by. Multnomah County Animal Services serving Portland and Multnomah County Oregon continues to delay, responding with silence or with a request for one more free evaluation, not even acknowledging long standing offers of rescue for Mozart  that meet every mark and every condition. 
Day after day Mozart, once a family dog, remains in solitary confinement without exercise, social interaction, or freedom, and his every behavior scrutinized and documented for evidence of stress. Animal control imposed stress generates harm and inevitably will generate deterioration.  MCAS has a long history of rejecting humane options. Animals are held hostage to their arbitrary authority.
On Monday afternoon, January 06, 2014, James Herbold’s attorney, Robert Babcock, filed a lawsuit charging MCAS and animal control director Michael Oswald with unlawfully holding the property of another.
Please contact the Multnomah County Commissioners asking that Mozart be freed. His life depends upon it.
Thank you for acting on behalf of compassion and the humanity we share with all animals.
Gail O’Connell-Babcock