Lead, crime and gardening

A long 2-page MUST READ article if you garden in an urban area or you have kids:
America's Real Criminal Element: Lead
While the article revolves around the astounding relationship between the rise and drop of crime corresponding to the use of leaded gasoline and paint, this is important to gardeners and people with young kids because the lead does NOT go away.
I have not heard anything at all about lead abatement programs and that's shocking considering these numbers:

… Mielke has studied this in New Orleans, and it turns out that the numbers go up very fast even at low levels. Children who live in neighborhoods with a soil level of 100 ppm have average blood lead concentrations of 3.8 ?g/dL—a level that's only barely tolerable. At 500 ppm, blood levels go up to 5.9 ?g/dL, and at 1,000 ppm they go up to 7.5 ?g/dL. These levels are high enough to do serious damage.

“I know people who have moved into gentrified neighborhoods and immediately renovate everything. They create huge hazards for their kids.”

Mielke's partner, Sammy Zahran, walked me through a lengthy—and hair-raising—presentation about the effect that all that old gasoline lead continues to have in New Orleans. The very first slide describes the basic problem: Lead in soil doesn't stay in the soil. Every summer, like clockwork, as the weather dries up, all that lead gets kicked back into the atmosphere in a process called resuspension. The zombie lead is back to haunt us.
Mark Laidlaw, a doctoral student who has worked with Mielke, explains how this works: People and pets track lead dust from soil into houses, where it's ingested by small children via hand-to-mouth contact. Ditto for lead dust generated by old paint inside houses. This dust cocktail is where most lead exposure today comes from. …

Fortunately we garden on virgin land way out in the desert and we don't have to worry about lead.  However, I've been looking for an inexpensive way to test plants for metals and toxins just to be on the safe side and I'd really like to test some of the supermarket and farmers market food.
Please let me know of a lab doing affordable plant / veggie testing!

An update on popular seed houses and Monsanto

Here is an excellent article on Territorial, FedCo and Johnny’s and to summarize, they are NOT Monsanto owned and Territorial no longer buys ANY seeds from Seminis, the nation’s largest seed supplier that got purchased by Monsanto in 2005:

A Brief History of Monsanto and Seed Houses Who Got Screwed

It’s always nice to see someone do some serious research BEFORE they post and spread rumors.

A letter from Jeffrey Smith

Jeffrey Smith from the Institute for Responsible Technology sent out this email today:

Dear Christine,
Perspectives on Prop 37 (Plus a New GMO-Free Zone in US)
First of all, let’s celebrate with San Juan County, Washington, for passing its GMO-Free County initiative. Growing GMOs in the San Juan Islands will shortly be illegal. Thanks to all the great volunteers (and the 60% of the voters) who made that possible. I had the great pleasure of doing a speaking tour on three of the islands in September; their campaign was truly an inspiration. Well done San Juan County!
Prop 37
California’s Prop 37 campaign was the latest (and greatest) expression of the rising anti-GMO tide in the US that has swelled over the last 2-3 years. Other expressions have included the popularity of the Non-GMO label in grocery stores, the huge number of activists working on GMO issues, the unprecedented GMO coverage in the media, and the 19 state legislatures that considered GMO labeling bills. These are all early signs of a coming tipping point of consumer rejection. What sets Prop 37 apart, however, was how profoundly it has accelerated anti-GMO sentiment in both quantity and quality.
Huge numbers of people became aware for the first time that they were eating GMOs—we have changed the whole conversation. And numerous actors, chefs, musicians, artists, filmmakers, politicians, comedians, and others chimed in support of our side for the very first time. Being against GMOs or pro-labeling has clearly become cool.
From the quality perspective, I was blown away by the enthusiasm, competence, and utter devotion of the California volunteers. What I witnessed in the more than 50 events I attended throughout the state over the last 90 days was totally unique in my experience. The depth and solidarity of commitment to this issue is profoundly established.
Although we narrowly lost on the vote, the campaign has propelled our movement forward onto a whole new platform. I am more confident and optimistic than ever that we will soon achieve the tipping point that we all desire.
Please forward this email to other Prop 37 supporters. Please subscribe to our newsletter, Spilling the Beans, as we can’t wait to share some of the plans that are taking shape.
Congratulations to all those involved. And remember, this was part of a rising tide that is still rising!
Safe Eating,

Jeffrey M. Smith

It's nice to see San Juan County, Washington, prohibit growing GMOs.  I didn't know that a county could do that.  But it sure is depressing that Monsanto et al prevailed in California because they have more money.  I read earlier today that there is a lawsuit and maybe even criminal charges against the NO on 37 people for false advertisements.
Obama lied about GMO labeling in 2008 and I expect NOTHING from him, although he's probably less likely to veto GMO labeling legislation than Romney.
We've been giving away copies of Genetic Roulette and hopefully we'll create some awareness locally.

Video: Obama's LIES, promised to label GMOs in food in 2007

This priceless video shows how corrupt our politicians are:

I received this video from Food Democracy with a petition to label GMO foods:

Today, America remains divided along increasingly partisan lines. If there’s one thing that’s been shown to unite Republicans and Democrats, it’s labeling of genetically engineered foods! That’s right, a recent poll found that 89% of Republicans and 93% of Democrats believed in labeling of foods that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Continue reading “Video: Obama's LIES, promised to label GMOs in food in 2007”

William Engdahl: Bayer AG's neonicotinoids responsible for death of bee colonies and birds and impact on human brain development

Another great Engdahl article at GlobalResearch.ca:  Death of the Birds and the Bees Across America
A few excerpts:

Some five to six years back, reports began to circulate from around the world, especially out of the United States, and then increasingly from around the EU, especially in the UK, that entire bee colonies were disappearing. Since 2004 over a million beehives have died across the United States and beekeepers in 25 states report what is called Colony Collapse Disorder. In winter of 2009 an estimated one fifth of bee hives in the UK were lost, double the natural rate.3 Government authorities claimed it was a mystery.

And in the USA a fact sheet from the Environmenrtal Protection Agency (EPA) on Bayer AG’s Clothianidin, a widely used neonicotinoid, warned: Continue reading “William Engdahl: Bayer AG's neonicotinoids responsible for death of bee colonies and birds and impact on human brain development”

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From April 28-May 6 you’ll have free access to 21 inspiring, practical, and life-changing interviews. You will be able to participate live via conference call or the computer.

Jeffrey Smith and other experts will offer answers to these questions:
  • Is there a link between the spread of GMOs and the recent dramatic increase in food allergies?
  • Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions in people; to sickness, sterility and fatalities in livestock; and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. Should you be alarmed?
  • More than 70% of the foods you eat in restaurants and buy at supermarkets contain genetically

can you protect yourself and your family?

  • Why is Monsanto spending millions trying to stop GMOs from being labelled, even though 90% of the American public supports labeling? Why is the California ballot initiative one of the most important fronts in the GMO struggle? And how can you get involved?
  • From April 28-May 6, there will be three interviews broadcast daily. You’ll get cutting edge disease-beating, health-activating, age-reversing information. These tools can help you and your family to thrive and to make a difference in the world.
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