Archive for December, 2013

Claiming Rights to Health in the Holiday Season

December 18, 2013

While people the world over are distracted by many observances of the holiday season, filled with hope and cheer for the coming year, yet another rug is being pulled out from us as world negotiators work to put the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in place. The TPP has all the earmarks of the final lynchpin in George Orwell’s 1984.

 For a sneak peek at the TPP potential to undermine community and national rights, look at what Eli Lilly’s NAFTA backed suit against Canada is all about. Eli Lilly is looking to grab $500 million in compensation after the company lost its Canadian patents on 2 drugs. The patents expired in 2011. Eli Lilly is challenging Canada’s patent laws because they differ from EU or US norms.

 Basically, the TTP would simply ensure that corporations aimed at attacking everything from affordable medications, water, food, energy, and environmental protections to Internet freedoms, will continue to bleed the whole world.

 It would be interesting to know how many of our legislators are invested in Big Pharma, which is sure to continue to thrive even with Obamacare. Canada has a single payer system, which Canadians are generally happy with, despite reports of people having to wait for needed care. It would also be interesting to note just who is promulgating those reports since it doesn’t seem to be the Canadians.

 Canadians put their funding into providing basic health care for all of their citizens. Even with Obamacare, Americans will still be challenged if they lose their job or fall through the cracks for Medicaid. This week, Veteran’s benefits are slated to be cut for those under 62 years of age. At the same time, the US came up with $80 million to give to Vietnam for Military Aid. What about our commitment to veterans for care they have earned?

 With the backing of the TPP, corporations, now considered to have “individual rights”, will have a field day challenging any country’s laws that get in their way. We experienced that power when Monsanto and BigAg literally prevented US food labeling because with GMO on the label, people would be less apt to buy the product. Why should BigAg have that right? We struggle with drug abuse problems stemming from continual brainwashing by drug companies that get people started as children and continue to seduce teens and adults, while at the same time suppressing research debunking their claims. Why should BigPharma have that right?

 If we as humans simply want to be happy, we can’t really be happy unless others are also happy. What rights need to be in place for that to happen?

There is No Food Shortage!

December 17, 2013

The YouTube film, Genetic Roulette, about GMO Food Labeling, covered all the bases with research we’ll never hear about on television. Television is subsidized by GMO chemical companies like Monsanto and has silencers on any negative research reporting the health, seed, or soil problems generated by GMO food production.

Despite Monsanto’s claims to feed the world, researchers the world over report that there is NO Food Shortage. The world still produces enough food for everyone. The problem is that everyone can’t afford to buy the food. Here are some of the reasons why GMO adds to the food distribution problem.

1. GMO crops don’t stand the test of time. After 4-5 years, GMO seed becomes less resistant to attack, unlike seeds that have been naturally developed for centuries to acclimatize to their specific environment.

2. Roundup depletes the soil of beneficial as well as harmful organisms, leaving a dismal farming future of failed crops.

3. Several studies demonstrate that when livestock are given the choice of GMO or Non-GMO food, they choose the Non-GMO and won’t touch GMO products. The irony is that we humans have a less discriminating sense than livestock, especially when produce is all sugared up.

Most alarming is the long string of health problems aggravated by GMO food consumption: allergies, autism, cancers, skin problems, behavioral problems, gastro-intestinal problems and on and on. We have been consuming GMO food from our supermarkets for about 40 years. Small wonder that GMO foods are most prevalent in the US where we lead the world in sickness and health care costs. Our chemical companies have brought devastating consequences as well to countries on whom they have forced their seed and chemicals.

It is probably no accident that we started needing vitamin pills in the 1940s. Only ten years earlier, Congress was arguing over allowing chemical amendments to be added to our soil. The chemical companies won and have enjoyed producing a continual expansion of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and pills ever since. That combination is a surefire money maker for corporations.

The Indian Ayurvedic system considers the digestive tract the seat of all illness. Hippocrates advised us to “Let food be your medicine.” Time to shake ourselves out of this groggy sleep state and take the necessary steps to label GMO food right out of existence along with the health problems it has spawned. How? If the label doesn’t say Non-GMO or Organic, don’t buy it. Food companies want our business.

Milk companies got the message. When people discovered that growth hormones given to stimulate increased milk production in cows also stimulates the development of huge breasts in young men and women as well, many stopped buying milk products unless they were marked ‘hormone free’. Breast reduction surgery continues to be sought actively. The GMO version of natural bovine growth hormone (BGH), developed by Monsanto,  is called recombinant Bovine Somatotrophin. The next time you buy, milk, ice cream or other milk products, be sure the container says ‘no rbST’, ‘no rBST’, or ‘no BGH’. Several milk companies label their products today.

Now for the rest of the food industry…. It’s up to each of us to call the game.

Health: For seven generations

December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela, universally proclaimed as one of the great souls of all ages, leaves me in sheer awe of the magnitude of his contribution and pledge when he became president of South Africa that, “never, never, never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience oppression of one by another.

This season, we prepare for the coming light. Whatever our spiritual orientation, as December blows in, we light more candles and put up extra lights to weather the darkest month of the year. Choral concerts generate a sense of wonder about this season of light and joy of renewal in a fresh new year in the hope that oppression will cease and all beings may be happy.

 However, historically, small numbers of people have managed to oppress large numbers of people and if we want to change that equation, we would do well to look at what keeps us happy and well. Is happiness having more? Or is happiness assuring everyone’s right to have enough? Can we be happy when we know other neighbors are stressed with not enough of anything? We hear the comparative figures daily in the news.

 Will the decisions we make today benefit seven generations into the future? This question is said to have originated with the Iroquois Nation as they cautioned their people to “listen for the welfare of the whole people of the future nation.” The Mohawk Nation added, “We do not inherit the land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”Of note, today’s happiest countries all demonstrate the same attitude of generosity for all of their citizens.

 We cannot blissfully sing about peace on earth without taking responsibility for our part in bringing peace about and caring for all of our citizens. Two books that call us to action are The Lonely Soldier: The private war of women serving in Iraq, by Helen Benedict, and They Were Soldiers: How the wounded return from America’s wars, by Ann Jones.

The majority of our people in Congress have never been to war, and have obviously not developed a distaste for war. Continuing Health Care for veterans, which ethically, should be activated at the time of discharge, currently is contingent on a veteran’s ability to document that the problem originated during their tour of duty. Meantime, 20 veterans commit suicide each day while they wait.

How might congress respond to a landslide of letters registering our yearning that never, never, never again shall it be that this beautiful land will experience oppression of one by another. How might we activate an attitude of generosity for all citizens?

 Contact information can be found at http://Senate.gov, and http://House.gov.