eric

Cows and Farts

We all know the impact that cows, in high numbers, have on our environment.  Well scientists have invented a pill to reduce the amount of methane they produce.  I personally think it would be better if we focused on food that produced little methane (and other negative environmental stuff) in the first place.

March 22- Cut down on flying, sell the car and recycle your bottles. But if you really want to tackle global warming, you should stop your cow from burping.

According to scientific estimates, the methane gas produced by cows is responsible for 4% of greenhouse gas emissions. And now, German scientists have invented a pill to cut bovine burping.

The fist-sized plant-based pill, known as a bolus, combined with a special diet and strict feeding times, is meant to reduce the methane produced by cows.

continue reading at the Guardian

eric

California bans hormones in milk

Since California is the largest dairy state in the country, this is a big step in having all hormones removed across the US.  I think this measure demonstrates that people are starting to become more aware about the food they eat.  We are voting with our dollars and organics are taking a significant foot-hold.  Conventional growers are having to take steps to ensure they stay in business.  This is good news for California but better news for us consumers.

FRESNO-Consumer groups are applauding a major dairy cooperative’s decision to dissuade its farmers from using a synthetic hormone to coax more milk from cows, a move some insiders say could have a ripple effect across the dairy industry.

Members of California Dairies Inc., which ships over 14 billion pounds of milk annually, must stop injecting their herds with the genetically engineered hormone rBST by Aug. 1 or face having to pay a premium for the co-op to truck their milk to alternative markets.

RBST, or recombinant bovine somatotropin, is banned in Canada and Europe, mostly over concerns that it makes cows more prone to illness.

continue at organicconsumers.org

eric

avoid the clone

It really looks like it’s going to happen.  Beginning soon we may start to see meat and milk from cloned animals at our dinner table.  One of the issues that remains is whether or not the USDA will require special labels to be put on products containing cloned animal products.  The likely answer is "No," there will not be a requirement to label these products. 

There are several questions that I have concerning this whole business of cloning.  The first one that really stands out is, why do we need to do it?  The countries and companies that have this level of advanced technology are also the countries and companies that have the most meat production and consumption.  It’s not like these countries/companies are cloning animals to send food to poor countries.  Don’t we already have enough meat and dairy products? 

You may say "Oh well, I will just buy organic milk and meat."  Good point, as we saw in the article ‘what does "USDA Organic" mean,’ this is a way to avoid eating food from cloned animals.  But…wait just a minute, although the USDA mandates that bio-engineered foods can not be labeled organic, it makes no reference to the offspring of cloned animals (progeny).  Even if we rely on the "organic" label to "protect" us from eating meat from cloned animals, there is no way to keep up with the bloodlines of animals.  Animal factories have thousands of animals on their "farms" and there simply isn’t a way to track them all.  Some recent studies have shown that progeny from cloned animals may already be in our food system.

The facts show that cloned animals have a significantly shorter lifespan than their un-engineered counterparts.  You may say "Who cares, food animals only have to live long enough to reach slaughter weight."  This again is a good point.  Even though cloned animals may have a shorter lifespan, they do in-fact live long enough to reach slaughter weight.  But, postmortem autopsies are showing that these animals are dying early from pneumonia, liver disease, cancer and a lower level of antibody production. 1  Needless to say, I certainly don’t want to put products from these animals into my body…do you?

You may say "All hope is lost, there’s nothing I can do."  -Yes you can, the FDA is taking public comments until April 2007.  The most important thing that you can do is make yourself heard where it can make a difference…

Send letters and emails to your State Congress and Senate Representatives.  Tell them that this process in unacceptable to you. 

Use this link to send your comments directly to the FDA.  Remind them that they have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of our food chain. 
FDA Comments  OR… Use this link to fill out a "pre-written" letter and submit it directly to them. Democracy in Action

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