ENEWSPF News http://www.enewspf.com/ Tue, 23 Sep 2014 02:10:55 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev (info@mypapit.net) Senator Durbin Announces More Than $2.7 Million in DOJ Funding To Support Illinois Drug-Free Communities http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55632-senator-durbin-announces-more-than-2-7-million-in-doj-funding-to-support-illinois-drug-free-communities.html WASHINGTON, D.C.--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently awarded $2,749,659 in grants to Illinois communities across the state to help reduce youth substance abuse and promote drug-free communities. Today’s funding was made available through DOJ’s FY14 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Program.

“Today’s funding is an investment in the safety and well-being of the youth in Illinois communities. It is critical to support the work of the various organizations and coalitions across the state that aim to reduce substance abuse among our youth so they can lead successful, healthy lives.”

Under this announcement, the following entities will receive funding:


The DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team (DuPage, IL): The DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team was awarded $124,659 in funding and will use it to enhance knowledge of youth alcohol, marijuana and heroin use risk.

The Unity West Drug Free Coalition (Chicago, IL): The Unity West Drug Free Coalition was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to help expand membership in the coalition, improve leadership skills, and decrease access and availability of alcohol and marijuana to youth.

The Brighton Park Drug-Free Community Coalition (Chicago, IL): The Brighton Park Drug-Free Community Coalition was awarded $125,000 to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Wilmington Coalition for a Healthy Community Coalition (Wilmington, IL): The Wilmington Coalition for a Healthy Community Coalitionwas awarded $125,000 to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Evanston Substance Abuse Prevention Council (ESAPC) (Evanston, IL): The Evanston Substance Abuse Prevention Council was awarded $125,000 to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The SPEAK UP! Prevention Coalition (Lake Forest, IL): The SPEAK UP! Prevention Coalition was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Mundelin STAND-UP Taskforce (Round Lake, IL): The Mundelin STAND-UP Taskforce was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Asian Health Coalition of Illinois (Chicago, IL): The Asian Health Coalition of Illinois was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth-Greater Chicago (Cicero, IL): The Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth-Greater Chicago was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force (Waukegan, IL): The Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The West Garfield Park Community Stakeholders (Cook County, IL): The West Garfield Park Community Stakeholders was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

 The Grand Boulevard Prevention Initiative Coalition (Chicago, IL): The Grand Boulevard Prevention Initiative Coalition was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition (Woodstock, IL): The McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Chicago Heights South Suburban Family Wellness Alliance (Chicago Heights, IL): The Chicago Heights South Suburban Family Wellness Alliance was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Link Together Coalition (Buffalo Grove, IL): The Link Together Coalition was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

Central Illinois

The Community Partners Against Substance Abuse (Princeton, IL): The Community Partners Against Substance Abuse was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Knox County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (Galesburg, IL): The Knox County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Kewanee Community Drug and Alcohol Task Force (Kewanee, IL): The Kewanee Community Drug and Alcohol Task Force was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

The Tazewell Teen Initiative (Tremont, IL): The Tazewell Teen Initiative was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to educate parents, kids and the entire community about the dangers of substance abuse.

Northern Illinois 

The Carroll County Substance Education Coalition (Mt. Carroll, IL): The Carroll County Substance Education Coalitionwas awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to limit the county’s youth’s access to alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and prescription and over the counter drugs.

Southern Illinois 

The Wabash County Project Success (Mt. Carmel, IL): The Wabash County Project Success was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to help expand membership in the coalition, improve leadership skills, and decrease access and availability of alcohol and marijuana to youth.

Metro East 

The Alton Youth Development Strategy Partnership (AYDSP) (Alton, Illinois): The Alton Youth Development Strategy Partnership (AYDSP) was awarded $125,000 in funding and will use it to help expand membership in the coalition, improve leadership skills, and decrease access and availability of alcohol and marijuana to youth.

Source: durbin.senate.gov

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 23:01:13 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55632-senator-durbin-announces-more-than-2-7-million-in-doj-funding-to-support-illinois-drug-free-communities.html
UN General Assembly Underlines 'Strong Commitement' to Bolster Response to Ebola Outbreak http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55631-un-general-assembly-underlines-strong-commitement-to-bolster-response-to-ebola-outbreak.html
Passengers about to depart from Lagos airport, Nigeria, are being checked for their body temperature to make sure they don't have fever, one symptom of Ebola. Photo: WHO/S. Bolton

NEW YORK--(ENEWSPF)--19 September 2014 – As an Ebola outbreak of “unprecedented nature and scope” continues its spread through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the United Nations General Assembly today underlined it strong commitment to responding to the emergency in a timely, effective and coordinated manner and to support the affected countries in tackling the virus.

“The time to act in a swift, coordinated and powerful manner is now,” General Assembly President Sam Kutesa told the 193-Member body ahead of a vote on a resolution.

“Without quick and decisive action, the trail of devastation this outbreak leaves behind will reach far beyond the portions of West Africa most affected up to now,” he added, stressing the Ebola is not a sub-regional or even regional calamity, but an international crisis.

The virus killed at least 2,500 people in West Africa and nearly twice that number have been infected, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO). The number of cases is doubling every three weeks.

Women are particularly at risk given their roles as primary caregivers and community leaders. In Liberia, an estimated 75 per cent of fatalities are women, while in Sierra Leone, that number is around 59 per cent.

“Women are much more likely to be front-line health workers,” Mr. Kutesa said, underscoring the heightened risk that they face.

The Assembly unanimously agreed through its resolution to harness capabilities and competencies across the UN system in a single, unified structure to ensure a rapid, effective, efficient and coherent response to the crisis.

The body’s decision comes a day after the Security Council passed its resolution which declared the Ebola virus outbreak a threat to peace and security.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the establishment of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) to stop the outbreak, treat the infected, ensure essential services, preserve stability and prevent further outbreaks.

Mr. Ban spoke today with Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, who expressed support for UN efforts to headquarter UNMEER in Accra, with offices in the three most affected countries.

The country’s international airport will be used as a “vital air bridge,” Mr. Ban confirmed.

Briefing the General Assembly, he noted that the Ebola crisis, which started as a public health emergency, has taken on a wider scope with significant economic, social, humanitarian, political and security dimensions.

“None of us is insulated from the threat of Ebola,” he said, “all of us must be part of the response.”

Among recent international announcements of solidarity, the United States has said it would deploy 3,000 troops to provide expertise in logistics, training and engineering.

The Government of Cuba plans to send a 165-member team of doctors and nurses to the region, while a 59-member Chinese laboratory team left for Sierra Leone earlier this week.

“I hope other Member States, along with the private sector and civil society, will do far more,” Mr. Ban said, adding that he looks forward to “strong and rapid support” for UNMEER, and the countries and people in need of critical aid.

Earlier this week, the UN outlined a set of critical needs totaling almost $1 billion over the next six months.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr. Kutesa said the General Assembly had added “a powerful voice” to the Security Council in adopting the resolution. “Inaction is not an option,” he reiterated.

Source: un.org

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 22:53:19 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55631-un-general-assembly-underlines-strong-commitement-to-bolster-response-to-ebola-outbreak.html
Keystone XL: The Last Six Years, By The Numbers http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/analysis/55627-keystone-xl-the-last-six-years-by-the-numbers.html

NEBRASKA--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  As supporters of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline mark the six-year anniversary of the pipeline proposal by touring the proposed pipeline route and whining about the fact that their dangerous, polluting project has not been approved, now is as good a time as any to take a look at some of the numbers associated with the last six years the project has been on the table:

2 billion: Number of metric tons of carbon pollution that will be left underground from the cancellation of two major tar sands mines in 2014 alone. Both mines were shelved in part because of delays in pipelines like Keystone XL.

The Keystone pipeline would create an estimated 1.2 billion additional metric tons of carbon pollution over its 50-year timeline, compared to traditional crude. That’s equivalent to the annual carbon emissions produced by 315 coal fired power plants, or the annual emissions of 253 million passenger vehicles. It’s also enough to effectively cancel out emissions reductions from some of the Obama Administration’s most ambitious emissions initiatives.

500: Number of people evacuated from their homes just this week, after the latest in a series of leaks and spills from TransCanada’s existing projects, in spite of their claims that they take pipeline safety seriously.

This is not the first safety issue TransCanada has had along its pipelines; regulators have also raised serious concerns about TransCanada, finding them to be guilty of multiple instances of regulatory non-compliance, including substandard welding and inspection practices.

TransCanada also has a history of having little regard for safety during the construction of their pipeline. Families living with TransCanada pipelines on their property are often left to deal with poor construction on their own, in some cases being forced to sue TransCanada in order to fix their destroyed homes and property.

2.5 million: Number of anti-Keystone public comments submitted in response to the State Department’s oil-soaked analysis of the pipeline.

2,000+: Number of people who have been arrested in protest of Keystone XL and other tar sands projects in the United States.

Meanwhile, over 100,000 people are expected to march in New York City this weekend in what is expected to be the largest demonstration for climate action in history. Many of the marchers will be coming from across the United States and Canada to march in protest of Keystone XL and other tar sands expansion projects.

Opposition to Keystone XL and tar sands has not decreased over the last six years, it has increased exponentially, becoming a national movement that unites environmentalists, indigenous groups, farmers, ranchers, and landowners.

115: Number of landowners in America’s heartland who have been bullied by TransCanada but refuse to give up their land and risk their water. These brave landowners would have been joined by hundreds more but TransCanada used eminent domain on many in South Dakota, Texas, and other states, pressuring family farmers and ranchers to sign away their land before they knew all the facts.

0: Number of legal routes for the pipeline through the state of Nebraska, where the Supreme Court is currently deliberating over an unconstitutional law pushed through by Governor Heineman and TransCanada, in an attempt to skirt the legal approval process which has only served to further delay the process.

6: Number of tribes in South Dakota who will file to be interveners as TransCanada tries to get their permit recertified in the state. Currently, as in Nebraska, TransCanada cannot build in South Dakota because they have no legal permit. The tribes plan to show evidence that the pipeline route crosses the Ogallala Aquifer, the Sandhills, and other cultural resources, without the proper consultation required by law.

Over the last six years, the evidence has only grown stronger that the Keystone XL pipeline is a bad deal for the American people, putting us at risk of catastrophic leaks and spills and threatening the climate, while offering no meaningful benefits. Six years is long enough; the time to reject Keystone XL is now.


350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

Source: http://www.commondreams.org

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 22:36:32 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/analysis/55627-keystone-xl-the-last-six-years-by-the-numbers.html
Leading Environmental Groups Announce Fossil Fuel Free Retirement Plan Options http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55626-leading-environmental-groups-announce-fossil-fuel-free-retirement-plan-options.html

BOSTON--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  Today, the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and other environmental groups announced that they are adding fossil fuel free mutual funds to their retirement plans.  The move reflects the reach of the fossil fuel divestment movement and comes on the eve of the People’s Climate March and the U.N. Climate Change Summit next week. The groups are adding funds from Green Century Capital Management, an investment advisory firm with nearly a decade of fossil fuel free investing experience.

“Individuals can tap the power of their wallets to promote a fossil fuel-free economy and we wanted to make it easier for our staff to be part of this growing movement," said Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director. “Companies that depend on fossil fuels for future earnings are simply a bad investment,” said Brune.

In less than two years, the fossil fuel divestment movement has spread to hundreds of institutions—and already 29 cities, 13 colleges, 27 foundations, and dozens of faith groups have committed to moving their investments out of coal, oil and gas.  A recent report by the University of Oxford concluded this movement could make a significant impact on the fossil fuel industry.

Jay Carmona, 350.org’s Community Divestment Campaign Manager stated, "Divesting your retirement savings is a smart way to help ensure that there's actually a planet left to retire on. It's important that environmental groups, and all our institutions, put their money where their mouths are. She added, “Time and again, fossil fuel divestment is proving the wise financial, ethical, and political strategy for confronting the fossil fuel industry and supporting the solutions we need to address the climate crisis."

“Every day, Environment America staff are working hard for clean air, clean water, and to protect open spaces on behalf of our members.  All too often the fossil fuel industry is on the other side—creating the smog that hurts kids with asthma, contaminating our waterways with spills, drilling our precious places, and creating the pollution that fuels global warming,” stated Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America. “With fossil fuel free options in our 401(k), we don’t have to work to stop the fossil fuel industry by day at the office and then support them at night with our investments.” 

Environment America has provided staff a fossil fuel free option in its retirement plan for the last eight years.

“Every week, we hear from people who want to invest in companies building a more sustainable economy,” stated Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century, which seeks to invest in companies that work in the energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture and water conservation sectors.  “Why invest in polluting companies that don’t match your values and carry potential financial risk?” added Samuelrich.

These organizations join 350.org, As You Sow, Environment America, Green America, Green Corps, The National Environment and Law Center, Pesticide Watch, Toxic Action Center, and U.S.PIRG, which already offer Green Century’s fossil fuel free Balanced Fund and fossil fuel free Equity Fund. Green Century Capital Management has nearly a decade of experience in fossil fuel free investing and is the only mutual fund company owned by a network of environmental non-profits, the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs).  It also leads a successful shareholder advocacy program, recently getting a number of companies to reduce carbon emissions through preventing deforestation in their supply chains.


Green Century is proud to be the first and only family of diversified, responsible fossil fuel free mutual funds.

Source: http://www.commondreams.org

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 22:32:31 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55626-leading-environmental-groups-announce-fossil-fuel-free-retirement-plan-options.html
KXL Fight Is Boots on the Ground vs. Big Oil Money: 'The Boots Are Winning' http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55625-kxl-fight-is-boots-on-the-ground-vs-big-oil-money-the-boots-are-winning.html

Activists mark six years of grassroots mobilizing against Keystone XL

Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.
noxl.jpg"For six years family farmers and ranchers have stood up to TransCanada, a foreign oil corporation, as they tried to bully and swindle us for our land." (Photo: tarsandsaction)

Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  Friday, September 19 marks six years that climate activists have blocked TransCanada's attempts to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Opposition to the pipeline has galvanized a national movement that unites environmentalists, indigenous groups, farmers, ranchers, and landowners; since 2008, more than 2,000 activists have gotten arrested in tar sands protests and over 50,000 have rallied against the proposal in Washington, D.C.

Close to two million metric tons of carbon pollution has been left underground as a result of the anti-pipeline mobilization, according to a release sent out by a coalition that includes 350.org, Bold Nebraska, the Center for Biological Diversity, Oil Change International, and the Energy Action Coalition.  

"For six years family farmers and ranchers have stood up to TransCanada, a foreign oil corporation, as they tried to bully and swindle us for our land," Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb told Common Dreams. "Every day the pipe is not in our water is a victory for our livelihoods."

As thousands gather in New York City for the People's Climate March, the timing couldn't be better, said Jamie Henn, 350.org co-founder and strategy and communications director.

"It's grassroots organizing that's stopped the Keystone XL pipeline for the last six years," he told Common Dreams. "We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the anniversary than by bringing over 100,000 people together in the streets of New York City this Sunday to call for climate action. The fossil fuel industry has all the money, but we've got the boots on the ground. And the boots are winning."

Friends of the Earth’s president Erich Pica said the Keystone fight has changed the landscape for climate organizing. "Before Keystone XL, a new fossil fuel infrastructure project was fait accompli," he said.

But things have changed, Pica declared:

Americans are fed up with dirty air and water as well as being second-class citizens to corporate profits. Across the United States, ordinary people are challenging pipelines, rail expansions, port expansions and liquefied natural gas facilities. Companies that wish to pollute our climate and threaten the health of millions of citizens in the pursuit of fossil fuels now have a fight on their hands, from teachers, native tribes and nations, farmers, nurses, scientists, students; activists all. President Obama, the will of the people is clear: It’s not enough to delay this pipeline—it’s time to deny it.

Of course, not everyone is happy for the six-year delay. On Monday, the U.S. Chamber's Energy Institute kicked off their Keystone XL "Lost Opportunities Tour," to highlight how the delay in pipeline approval has allegedly cost the U.S. jobs and profits. 

A State Department review made public earlier this year found that while completion of the project would create about 2,000 short-term construction jobs, actually running the pipeline would provide just 50 long-term positions. In addition, TransCanada's chief executive said Thursday that he expects the cost of the project to double by the time the U.S. government completes its review.

The State Department said in April it won't make a final decision on the pipeline until the resolution of a Nebraska state Supreme Court case, which questions a state law that approved the pipeline's route through that state. That may not happen until the end of this year or early 2015.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Source: http://www.commondreams.org



shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 22:29:41 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55625-kxl-fight-is-boots-on-the-ground-vs-big-oil-money-the-boots-are-winning.html
FDA Approves Trulicity to Treat Type 2 Diabetes http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55615-fda-approves-trulicity-to-treat-type-2-diabetes.html Silver Spring, Maryland--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved Trulicity (dulaglutide), a once-weekly subcutaneous injection to improve glycemic control (blood sugar levels), along with diet and exercise, in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes affects about 26 million people and accounts for more than 90 percent of diabetes cases diagnosed in the United States. Over time, high blood sugar levels can increase the risk for serious complications, including heart disease, blindness, and nerve and kidney damage.

"Type 2 diabetes is a serious chronic condition that causes blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal,” said Mary Parks, M.D., deputy director of the Office of Drug Evaluation II in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Trulicity is a new treatment option, which can be used alone or added to existing treatment regimens to control blood sugar levels in the overall management of type 2 diabetes.”

Trulicity is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, a hormone that helps normalize blood sugar levels. The drug’s safety and effectiveness were evaluated in six clinical trials in which 3,342 patients with type 2 diabetes received Trulicity. Patients receiving Trulicity had an improvement in their blood sugar control as observed with reductions in HbA1c level (hemoglobin A1c is a measure of blood sugar control). 

Trulicity has been studied as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with other type 2 diabetes therapies, including metformin, sulfonylurea, thiazolidinedione, and prandial insulin. Trulicity should not be used to treat people with type 1 diabetes; those who have increased ketones in their blood or urine (diabetic ketoacidosis); those with severe stomach or intestinal problems; or as first-line therapy for patients who cannot be managed with diet and exercise.

Trulicity has a boxed warning that tumors of the thyroid gland (thyroid C-cell tumors) have been observed in rodent studies with Trulicity but that it is unknown whether Trulicity causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans. Trulicity should not be used in patients with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (a disease in which patients have tumors in more than one gland in their body, which predisposes them to MTC). 

The FDA is requiring the following post-marketing studies for Trulicity:

a clinical trial to evaluate dosing, efficacy, and safety in pediatric patients; 

a study to assess potential effects on sexual maturation, reproduction, and CNS development and function in immature rats;

a medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) case registry of at least 15 years duration to identify any increase in MTC incidence related to Trulicity; 

a clinical trial comparing Trulicity with insulin glargine on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and moderate or severe renal impairment; and

a cardiovascular outcomes trial to evaluate the cardiovascular risk of Trulicity in patients with high baseline risk of cardiovascular disease.

The FDA approved Trulicity with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), which consists of a communication plan to inform health care professionals about the serious risks associated with Trulicity.

In clinical trials, the most common side effects observed in patients treated with Trulicity were nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite. 

Trulicity is manufactured by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Company.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Source: fda.gov

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:00:56 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55615-fda-approves-trulicity-to-treat-type-2-diabetes.html
FDA Releases Updated Proposals to Improve Food Safety and Help Prevent Foodborne Illness in Response to Public Comments http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55614-fda-releases-updated-proposals-to-improve-food-safety-and-help-prevent-foodborne-illness-in-response-to-public-comments.html Silver Spring, Maryland—(ENEWSPF)—September 19, 2014. Based on extensive outreach and public comment, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed revisions to four proposed rules designed to help prevent food-borne illness. When finalized, the proposed rules will implement portions of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which aims to strengthen food safety by shifting the focus to preventing food safety problems rather than responding to problems after the fact.

Since FSMA was signed into law in January 2011, the FDA has proposed seven rules to implement FSMA. The four updated proposed rules include: produce-safety; preventive controls for human food; preventive controls for animal food; and the foreign supplier verification program.

“Ensuring a safe and high-quality food supply is one of the FDA’s highest priorities, and we have worked very hard to gather and respond to comments from farmers and other stakeholders regarding the major proposed FSMA regulations,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA believes these updated proposed rules will lead to a modern, science-based food safety system that will better protect American consumers from potentially hazardous food. We look forward to public comment on these proposals.”

The FDA is making changes to key provisions of the four proposed rules based on feedback received from the public during meetings and thousands of comments submitted to the agency on the proposed rules.

“Based on valuable input from farmers, consumers, the food-industry and academic experts, the FDA is proposing to update these four proposed rules to ensure a more flexible and targeted means to ensure food safety,” said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.

In response to public comments, the FDA is proposing to revise the water quality testing provisions in the proposed produce safety rule to account for natural variations in water sources and to adjust its approach to manure and compost used in crop production pending further research on this issue.

The FDA also is proposing, based on feedback received to date, a new definition of which farms would be subject to the produce-safety rule. The proposed rule would not apply to farms with $25,000 or less in produce sales, rather than setting the threshold based on sales of all foods produced on the farm. The updated proposed rules also propose to simplify which entities are covered by the produce safety rule and which would be covered by the preventive controls rules.

The revisions also address the issue of the use of spent grains, which are by-products of alcoholic beverage brewing and distilling that are commonly used as animal food. Concerns were raised that the proposed rules would require brewers and distillers to comply with the full human food and animal food rules if they made their wet spent grains available for animal feed. The updated proposed rule would clarify that human food processors that create by-products used as animal food and are already complying with FDA human food safety requirements — such as producers of wet spent grains — would not need to comply with the full animal food rule if they are already complying with the human-food rule.

Revisions to the foreign-supplier verification proposed rule give importers more flexibility to determine appropriate supplier verification measures based on risk and previous experience with their suppliers.

The FDA will accept comments on the proposed revisions of the four proposed rules for 75 days while continuing to review comments already received on the sections of the proposed rules that are staying the same. The agency will consider both sets of comments before issuing final rules in 2015.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

How to comment

To comment on the proposed revisions of the four proposed rules,

Read the proposed revisions (see Proposed Revisions to FSMA Proposed Rules below).

Starting Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, go to Regulations.gov to submit comments.

Proposed Revisions to FSMA Proposed Rules

Produce Safety

Preventive Controls for Human Food

Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals

Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals

Related Information

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

FSMA Frequently Asked Questions

Source: fda.gov

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:56:30 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55614-fda-releases-updated-proposals-to-improve-food-safety-and-help-prevent-foodborne-illness-in-response-to-public-comments.html
Natural Born Killers: Chimpanzee Violence is an Evolutionary Strategy http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55612-natural-born-killers-chimpanzee-violence-is-an-evolutionary-strategy.html Ngogo males grooming. Image credit: John MitaniNgogo males grooming. Image credit: John Mitani

ANN ARBOR--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  Man's nearest relatives kill each other in order to eliminate rivals and gain better access to territory, mates, food or other resources—not because human activities have made them more aggressive.

That is the conclusion of an international analysis of lethal aggression among different groups of chimpanzees in Africa studied over five decades. The research appears in the current issue of Nature.

"Observations that chimpanzees kill members of their own species have influenced efforts to understand the evolution of human violence," said University of Michigan anthropologist John Mitani, who helped to initiate and conceive the ambitious study that was conducted with 30 colleagues from around the world.

The study provides compelling evidence to counter the contention that such killing is not a natural behavior but an incidental outcome of aggression worsened by human activities such as deforestation or the practice of feeding groups of chimps that are being studied.

The Ngogo males have just killed a male from a neighboring group. After the male is dead, one of the Ngogo males leaps on the body of the dead animal. Image credit: John MitaniThe Ngogo males have just killed a male from a neighboring group. After the male is dead, one of the Ngogo males leaps on the body of the dead animal. Image credit: John Mitani

Instead, the research provides strong support for the view that killing is an evolved tactic, according to Mitani, who has been studying the behavior of wild chimpanzees in Uganda's Kibale National Park for two decades.

In this view, killing is an adaptive strategy that provides important reproductive benefits in the evolutionary sense, increasing access to resources such as territory, food or mates and thus making it more likely that individuals will survive long enough to reproduce and pass on their genes to future generations.

Mitani and colleagues assessed which factors were correlated with observed or inferred killings in 18 chimpanzee communities over decades.

Attackers were invariably males acting in groups, and victims were mainly males and nursing infants of other communities, who were unlikely to be close kin. When infants were killed, attackers sometimes removed them from mothers under circumstances in which they appeared capable of killing the mother as well, but did not do so.

The researchers assessed human impact by whether the community had been fed, whether the protected area they inhabited was large or small, and whether the area had been disturbed or deforested.

Killings often take place during territorial boundary patrols, where males actively search for other chimps in neighboring territories. Here the Ngogo males listen for neighbors that they have heard in the distance. Image credit: John MitaniKillings often take place during territorial boundary patrols, where males actively search for other chimps in neighboring territories. Here the Ngogo males listen for neighbors that they have heard in the distance. Image credit: John Mitani

They found that the killings were most common in the east African communities of chimpanzees that were least affected by human interference of any kind. One community, which was part of Mitani's long-term research project, had a high population density and large numbers of males who banded together in coalitions to conduct raids on neighboring troops.

No killings occurred at the site most intensely modified by humans in Guinea.

"Patterns of lethal aggression in Pan show little correlation with human impacts," the authors write, "but are instead better explained by the adaptive hypothesis that killing is a means to eliminate rivals when the costs of killing are low."

According to Mitani, there is nothing in the findings that suggest that the human propensity to kill others is hard-wired and unavoidable.

"There is considerable variation in rates of killing by chimpanzees living in different populations, so even in chimpanzees killing is not inevitable," he said. "And, of course, we are humans and not chimpanzees. We have the ability to shape and alter our behavior in ways that they can't. We can alleviate considerable human suffering by harnessing that ability."

Source: umich.edu

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:38:01 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55612-natural-born-killers-chimpanzee-violence-is-an-evolutionary-strategy.html
Study Shows Inconsistent Dosages of Widely Used Eye Disease Drug http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55611-study-shows-inconsistent-dosages-of-widely-used-eye-disease-drug.html Findings Add to Public Health Debate About Pharmacy Compounding

NEW YORK--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014 — Custom-made versions of a widely prescribed, low-cost drug used to prevent a leading cause of blindness in the elderly vary widely in their dosages, Weill Cornell Medical College scientists found in analyses of the eye injections. Investigators saw no evidence of impurities or contamination but found that many of the samples, which were prepared by pharmacists through a process called compounding, contained less medication than doses of the drug obtained directly from the manufacturer. The research, published today in JAMA Ophthalmology, is likely to increase scrutiny of compounding pharmacies, which tailor-mix drugs for individual patients, and to question whether eye-care specialists should continue to prescribe the cancer drug Avastin for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

"Our evaluation showed significant differences in doses of compounded Avastin, as well as lower drug levels overall compared to Avastin that came from the manufacturer. This is troubling because the prescribed dosing regimen potentially won't produce the desired therapeutic response, or may put a patient's health at risk,” said lead author Dr. Szilárd Kiss, director of clinical research and an associate professor of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College. "Although there were no signs of contamination, these findings raise legitimate concerns about the quality practices of compounding pharmacies."

Pharmacy compounding is the practice of creating customized, prescription medications to meet individual patients' needs. At the request of a physician or other healthcare provider who is authorized to write prescriptions, a licensed pharmacist alters ingredients in drugs, such as removing allergy-causing dyes or preservatives or preparing an alternative dosage form to make it easier for patients to take their medications. An estimated 3,000 compounding pharmacies fill more than 30 million prescriptions a year in the United States.

Many eye doctors use Avastin, which is only approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancer, as an off-label treatment for AMD, retinal vein occlusion (RVO), diabetic macular edema (DME) and other, similar eye conditions. Compounding pharmacists divide the drug, which for cancer patients is typically injected into a vein, into multiple smaller doses that are then injected into the eye in a non-FDA approved, off-label fashion. Doctors and patients have no other way of obtaining Avastin for off-label use to treat these eye diseases other than through compounding pharmacies.

AMD affects about 3 million Americans, and more than 150,000 people — mostly age 65 or older — are diagnosed with the disease each year. AMD causes blood vessels to grow and spread in the back of the eye. Over time, the blood vessels may leak or bleed, causing blurred or distorted vision. Patients can lose some or all of their vision if the disease is left untreated.

When injected into the eye, Avastin, also known by its chemical name, bevacizumab, stops blood vessels from leaking and growing. Two similar medicines, Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Eylea (aflibercept), are FDA-approved for this serious, sight-threatening "wet" form of AMD but cost about 40 times more per dose than Avastin. Many doctors prescribe Avastin for AMD, RVO and DME because of the significant, potential cost savings to patients and insurers. But in recent years, several compounding pharmacies have sold tainted drugs, including Avastin, that have blinded and sickened hundreds of patients.

In the study, researchers obtained three Avastin samples prepared in syringes from 11 compounding pharmacies from around the United States. Two samples from each pharmacy were tested for protein concentration (to measure the average amount of drug in the syringe), while the remaining 11 samples were tested for contaminants. The researchers compared individual doses of compounded Avastin to samples obtained directly from the drug manufacturer, Genentech — formulations identical to those compounding pharmacies buy from the company to make eye injections. They found 17 samples with significantly less drug than the respective Genentech doses (and less than what was stated on the compounding pharmacy label), as well as one syringe that was completely empty, containing absolutely no medication at all.

The researchers also compared protein concentrations of the two samples from each pharmacy. They observed significantly different drug levels between the samples in three of 10 facilities. None of the samples tested positive for bacteria or other impurities.

"The study sharpens our understanding of the complexities of selecting the appropriate treatment for patients suffering from AMD or other diseases that affect blood vessels in the eye. It adds a new and critical element to the national debate regarding the efficacy, costs, and safety of off-label Avastin compared to similar, on-label medications — namely, a careful analysis of what is actually in the Avastin syringe obtained from a compounding pharmacy," said co-author Dr. Donald D'Amico, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and the John Milton McLean Professor of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell, and ophthalmologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

"Although, reassuringly, all of the syringes in our study were contaminant-free, the wide variations in the Avastin doses in the various samples suggest that, in clinical practice, some patients who are ‘non-responders' may simply have been under-dosed, and other patients may have received higher doses than recommended. Clearly, greater precision is needed to provide the best care for our patients," added Dr. D'Amico, who has served as a consultant for Genentech.

Dr. Kiss, who also consults for Genentech, the company that makes both Avastin and Lucentis, and for Regeneron, which makes Eylea, is encouraged that the federal government is actively addressing deficiencies in the pharmacy-compounding industry through tighter controls and regulations, such as new manufacturing rules, routine inspections of facilities, and self-reporting of adverse side effects. Compounders are licensed and regulated by their respective state boards of pharmacy, but a law passed in 2013 — the Drug Quality and Security Act — enforces new quality-control guidelines and increased federal supervision to guard against unsafe and sometimes illegal compounding practices. To help reduce treatment costs, scientists also have proposed further research exploring whether fewer injections of the more expensive AMD drugs work as well as Avastin.

"I'm hopeful the legislation will maintain patient access to needed compounded drugs while ensuring the predictability and reliability of these medications. This should raise the level of confidence among pharmacies, providers, and their patients," he said.

Working with Dr. Kiss and Dr. D'Amico on the study were Weill Cornell Medical College researchers Dr. Michael Klufas, Dr. Stephen Kaminsky, Dr. Ronald Crystal, Nicolas Yannuzzi, Lucy Quach, and Lauren Beatty. The study was funded in part by Research to Prevent Blindness.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.

Source: http://weill.cornell.edu

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:32:46 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55611-study-shows-inconsistent-dosages-of-widely-used-eye-disease-drug.html
In Era of Marijuana Legalization, Some States Still Enforcing 'Smoke a Joint, Lose Your Driver's License' Law http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/analysis/55609-in-era-of-marijuana-legalization-some-states-still-enforcing-smoke-a-joint-lose-your-driver-s-license-law.html In Era of Marijuana Legalization States Still Enforcing 'Smoke a Joint, Lose Your Driver's License' Law; Fewer States EnforcingGranville, OH--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  According to a new analysis by the Clemency Report, some states are still suspending the driver's licenses of convicted cannabis offenders unrelated to any actual driving offense (as part of a federal law called the 1992 Solomon-Lautenberg Act).

The report finds that a majority of states have abandoned enforcing this unfunded federal mandate, with thirty-four states having repealed or never having adopted the policy.

States that rigorously enforce 'smoke a joint, lose your license' laws are, in order of severity based on 2010 data analysis, Virginia (29,086), New York (28,689), Florida (24,430), Texas (23,821) and Pennsylvania (19,969).

Commenting on the report's findings, NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup says, "punishing cannabis offenders by suspending their driver's license for non-driving related offenses is illogical, a waste of taxpayer money and sets a bad legal precedent. The remaining fourteen states that enforce this antiquated federal law should immediately cease doing so in cases that do not involve impaired driving."

Read the entire report at http://clemencyreport.org/drivers-license-suspensions-drug-offenses-state-state-list/. View a map of enforcement of 'smoke a join, lose your license' laws at http://clemencyreport.org/states-suspend-drivers-license-drug-possession-list/.

Source: http://norml.org

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:23:49 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/analysis/55609-in-era-of-marijuana-legalization-some-states-still-enforcing-smoke-a-joint-lose-your-driver-s-license-law.html
Interior Secretary Jewell Announces Conservation Success Story in Recovery of Delmarva Fox Squirrel http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55604-interior-secretary-jewell-announces-conservation-success-story-in-recovery-of-delmarva-fox-squirrel.html Delmarva Fox Squirrel Now Proposed for Removal from Endangered Species List  Near Half Decade of Conservation Efforts by Landowners, Other Partners Key to Rebound
Delmarva Fox Squirrel. Photo credit, Guy WileyDelmarva Fox Squirrel. Photo credit: Guy Willey

CAMBRIDGE, Md.--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that due to concerted conservation efforts by landowners and other partners, the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel, one of the animals included on the first list of endangered species nearly a half century ago, has recovered across many parts of its historic range and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove it from the Endangered Species List.

“The Delmarva fox squirrel is a perfect example of how the Endangered Species Act works not only to pull plants and animals back from the brink of extinction but can also provide flexibility to states and private landowners to help with recovery efforts while at the same time supporting important economic activity,” Secretary Jewell said. “This success story is the result of a partnership with several state wildlife agencies, conservation groups, landowners and countless other stakeholders working hand in hand with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists to protect the Delmarva fox squirrel. This is a model for how the Act is designed to work.”

“Today’s announcement shows that through dedication, hard work and successful partnerships, together, we can accomplish great things,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “Not only did federal and state agencies join forces, the citizens of Maryland and Delaware were also paramount to the recovery of the Delmarva fox squirrel, providing habitat for the endangered species on their own private land.”

The ESA has been successful in conserving imperiled wildlife, preventing the extinction of more than 99 percent of the species listed as threatened or endangered since 1973. In addition, 29 species have been delisted due to recovery, including the bald eagle, American alligator and peregrine falcon. Others, such as the whooping crane and the California condor, have been pulled back from the edge of extinction. Under the ESA, a species is considered endangered when it is at risk of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. It is considered threatened when it is at risk of becoming endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

“This not-so-little squirrel is emblematic of the big things possible when we work together to realize our commitments to restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay's ecosystem for fish, wildlife, and people too,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee. “A combination of coordinated conservation efforts among our farmers, private foresters, public land managers and field biologists made this effort a success. When we replicate this process of partnership, and coordinate conservation action over and over again, our communities and ecosystems across the watershed will benefit tremendously.”

Larger than other squirrel species and generally not found in urban areas, the Delmarva fox squirrel ranged throughout the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) Peninsula before experiencing a sharp decline in the mid-20th century due to clearing of forest for agriculture and development, short-rotation timber harvest and over-hunting. With its range reduced more than 90 percent, the squirrel was one of 67 species listed under the Endangered Species Preservation Act in 1967, the predecessor law of the Endangered Species Act, which was enacted six years later. With more than 80 percent of this squirrel’s home on private land, Delmarva residents played a major role in the recovery of this species with many providing habitat for squirrels on private lands across the range. The squirrel has thrived on the rural, working landscapes of the peninsula where mature forests mix with agricultural fields.

“The Delmarva fox squirrel joins the bald eagle, the peregrine falcon and the American alligator as symbols of ESA recovery success,” added U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “The recovery of this ‘class of ‘67’ species marks a major milestone in decades of endangered species recovery efforts. We thank our conservation partners, particularly the private landowners and state wildlife agencies, whose continued commitment to the species will ensure it continues to thrive.”

Since listing, the squirrel’s range has increased from four to 10 counties, with a current population of up to 20,000 squirrels covering 28 percent of the Delmarva Peninsula. Efforts contributing to recovery include translocation of animals to establish new populations, closing of the targeted hunting season, growth and dispersal of the population, and protection of large forested areas for habitat. The Blackwater (Maryland), Chincoteague (Virginia) and Prime Hook (Delaware) national wildlife refuges provide unique opportunities to see this animal.

“Delaware biologists have worked hard to improve much-needed habitat that has helped the fox squirrel move from imminent risk of extinction to recovery,” said Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary David Small. “While the species is still rare in Delaware with only two known populations, DNREC's Division of Fish and Wildlife will continue to advance its management and conservation plan aimed at making the species common enough in Delaware to be removed from the state’s endangered species list as well.”

“In the past seven years, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has set the stage for expanding native Delmarva fox squirrel populations on Virginia’s Eastern Shore by identifying suitable translocation sites that meet the squirrel’s ecological needs,” said David Whitehurst, Director of the Virginia Bureau of Wildlife Resources. “The federal delisting of the species will ease the process of performing future translocations in the state and will help garner interest among private landowners with established habitat to have squirrels released on their lands. We commend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on its decision to delist the species and look forward to assisting with continued efforts to increase fox squirrel populations throughout the Delmarva Peninsula.”

The Service followed a rigorous and detailed process to assess Delmarva fox squirrel’s extinction risk in its 2012 five-year review, which recommended delisting the species because it is no longer in danger of extinction. The review focused on new information obtained since a 2007 five-year review, analyzed the status of the populations, habitat and threats, and considered the delisting criteria from the 1993 recovery plan PDF. The proposed rule further describes this analysis and will be available for public comment from Tuesday, September 23, 2014, to November 24, 2014 at www.regulations.gov, under docket no. FWS–R5–ES–2014–0021. The proposal will be available September 22 at www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection.

The species remains protected under the ESA until the Service reviews all public comments on its proposal and makes a final decision to remove the species from the List of Threatened and Endangered Wildlife. If the Delmarva fox squirrel is delisted, a post-delisting monitoring plan would ensure the squirrel remains secure from extinction.

More information on the Delmarva fox squirrel can be found through the following resources:

Recovery fact sheet

Delmarva fox squirrel website (includes links to proposal, post-delisting monitoring plan, status reviews, video, photos and other information)

Source: doi.gov

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:53:59 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55604-interior-secretary-jewell-announces-conservation-success-story-in-recovery-of-delmarva-fox-squirrel.html
Statement by Dian Palmer, RN on Affordable Care Act Enrollment Figures http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/55603-statement-by-dian-palmer-rn-on-affordable-care-act-enrollment-figures.html

7.3 Million Ways the Affordable Care Act is Working

Washington, DC --(ENEWSPF)--September 18, 2014.  SEIU Nurse Alliance Chair Dian Palmer, RN released this statement today in response to the figures shared by CMS's Marilyn Tavenner showing that 7.3 million Americans had purchased new healthcare plans through the insurance marketplace. The number represents a single sampling of enrollment data as of August 15, 2014:

"As nurses, we want to underscore what today's news means: 7.3 million Americans who without the healthcare law would have been faced with skyrocketing premiums or episodic emergency room care, now have a healthcare plan of their choice and access to the kind of basic, preventive health care that can save lives, reduce the likelihood of medical bankruptcy and put hardworking families on the path to greater health.

"Our goal as nurses is to ensure that everyone, no matter who they are or where they work, has access to secure, affordable healthcare. Today makes official what many SEIU nurses, doctors and our allies witnessed in leading outreach efforts within our communities -- the lower-cost healthcare options the law is delivering is a vital lifeline for millions of hardworking women and men and is providing coverage when they need it at a price they can afford.

"Above all, we want to let our patients and communities know that the law is working, in spite of the fact that extremist Republicans continue to vote to try repeal it and have yet to propose a plan to improve or strengthen our healthcare system. 7.3 million Americans can't be wrong."

Source: seiu.org

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:49:02 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/55603-statement-by-dian-palmer-rn-on-affordable-care-act-enrollment-figures.html
Interactive Map Charts Congressional District, State-Level Poverty Data http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/analysis/55599-interactive-map-charts-congressional-district-state-level-poverty-data.html

Washington, D.C.--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  Today, TalkPoverty.org—a project of the Center for American Progress’s Half in Ten Education Fund—released a new interactive resource mapping state- and congressional district-level poverty data, based on new data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Using seven key indicators—the total poverty rate; the women in poverty rate; the child poverty rate; and the poverty rate among African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos—the interactive offers an in-depth look at how poverty impacts various communities across the United States. The new feature also includes a ranking of states’ total poverty rates and child poverty rates.

“We haven’t made nearly enough progress to reduce poverty nationwide, and both low- and middle-income families are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession,” said Greg Kaufmann, editor of TalkPoverty.org and Senior Fellow with the Half in Ten Education Fund. “At the state and local levels, we see the disparate impact of poverty, particularly among women and communities of color. The latest round of Census data sheds light on the reality of poverty in our own backyards, and should be a wake-up call to policymakers that we can and must do more to drastically reduce poverty.”

Earlier this week, the Center for American Progress issued an analysis on the top 10 solutions policymakers can take to cut poverty, boost economic security, and expand the middle class. Among its recommendations, the analysis urges policymakers to raise the minimum wage; increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, for childless workers; support equal pay; provide paid leave and paid sick days; invest in affordable, high-quality child care and early education; and expand Medicaid.

Click here to view the interactive map.

Related resources:

The Top 3 Things You Need to Know About the 2013 Poverty and Income Data by Melissa Boteach and Shawn Fremstad

Top 10 Solutions to Cut Poverty and Grow the Middle Class by Melissa Boteach and Rebecca Vallas

New Poverty Numbers Remind Latinos: We Must Grow Our Power by Vanessa Cárdenas

STATEMENT: CAP’s Neera Tanden on Why New Census Poverty Report Is a ‘Clarion Call’ for Congress to Improve Economic Security of Struggling Families

TalkPoverty.org—a project of the Half in Ten Education Fund at the Center for American Progress—is an online hub dedicated to providing in-depth analysis and educational resources about poverty in America and what we can do at the local, state, and federal level to dramatically reduce it. Launched in May 2014, TalkPoverty.org is also home to a cutting-edge blog highlighting the vibrant voices of the anti-poverty community—people living in poverty and working to reduce poverty every day.

Source: http://www.americanprogress.org

Related Articles:

Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Provides New State and Local Income, Poverty, Health Insurance Statistics

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:28:11 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/analysis/55599-interactive-map-charts-congressional-district-state-level-poverty-data.html
Departments of the Navy, Energy and Agriculture Invest in Construction of Three Biorefineries to Produce Drop-In Biofuel for Military http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55598-departments-of-the-navy-energy-and-agriculture-invest-in-construction-of-three-biorefineries-to-produce-drop-in-biofuel-for-military.html Biorefineries in Nevada, Oregon and on the Gulf Coast will produce more than 100 million gallons of military-grade fuel annually

WASHINGTON, DC – As part of a 2011 Presidential directive, the Departments of Navy, Energy, and Agriculture announced today that three companies have been awarded contracts to construct and commission biorefineries capable of producing “drop-in” biofuels to meet the transportation needs of the military and private sector. Made through the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Defense Protection Act (DPA) of 1950, the awards support the Administration’s goals to boost and diversify the domestic fuel supply base, make American warfighters less beholden to volatile oil markets, and strengthen national security.   

“The contracts being announced today will help expand the operational capability of our Navy and Marine Corps around the world,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.  “In today’s complex fiscal environment, we are balancing our mission with our resources and we must be innovative and forward-thinking.  Programs like these help keep our operational capabilities on the cutting edge. This is how Sailors and Marines defend our great nation.”

“This is a tremendous announcement for America's national security and our economy," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. "Any time our military can use more American grown fuels instead of relying on foreign sources it makes our armed forces more energy secure. And the expansion of our advanced biofuel sector means the creation of good jobs across the country, especially in many of our rural communities." 

“Advanced biomass-based transportation fuels have the potential to provide a reliable and cost-effective alternative to traditional fuel sources,” said Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman. “By advancing technologies that reduce our carbon emissions, this multi-agency partnership is demonstrating that by protecting our energy and environmental security, we will enhance our national security as well.”

In total, these projects will produce more than 100 million gallons of military grade fuel beginning in 2016 and 2017 at a price competitive with their petroleum counterparts. 

The drop-in alternative fuels can be blended at a 50/50 ratio with traditional fossil fuels. This blend was successfully demonstrated during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) demonstration in 2012 for ships and planes, showing firsthand that this fuel can be utilized in Navy’s warfighting platforms with no degradation to performance or mission.  As these fuels become more available, the Department of the Navy will make advanced drop-in biofuel a regular part of its bulk fuel procurement, ushering in the “new normal” of Naval supremacy.

The companies receiving federal investments for the construction and commissioning of biorefineries are:

Emerald Biofuels: To build an 82 million gallon per year refinery on the Gulf Coast using waste fats to create military grade fuel. 

Fulcrum BioEnergy: To build a 10 million gallon per year refinery in McCarran, Nev. using municipal solid waste as its feedstock and the Fischer-Tropsch process to create fuel. On Sept. 4, USDA announced a $105 million Biorefinery Assistance Program loan guarantee to Fulcrum BioEnergy for the construction of this facility.

Red Rock Biofuels: To build a 12 million gallon per year refinery in Lakeview, Ore. using woody biomass, or the by-products of forest management, as its feedstock and the Fischer-Tropsch process to create a refined product. 

This effort brought by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Navy, along with partners in the private sector, will expand military fuel sources, improving the reliability of our overall fuel supply, adding resilience against supply disruptions, and giving the military more fuel options to maintain its readiness and defend the national security interests of the United States.    

Source: energy.gov

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:17:33 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/55598-departments-of-the-navy-energy-and-agriculture-invest-in-construction-of-three-biorefineries-to-produce-drop-in-biofuel-for-military.html
First West Nile Virus Related Deaths Reported in Illinois, Sept. 19, 2014 http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55597-first-west-nile-virus-related-deaths-reported-in-illinois-sept-19-2014.html Cooler temperatures do not mean we’re out of the woods yet

SPRINGFIELD--(ENEWSPF)--September 19, 2014.  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the first West Nile virus related deaths in Illinois for 2014. Two residents in northern Illinois who became ill with West Nile virus in late-August and early September have died.

“Although we’ve seen a cooler and wetter summer, which has resulted in less West Nile virus activity, these deaths show the virus is circulating and can cause death,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Even with the cooler temperatures we’re seeing now, until the first hard freeze, you still need to protect yourself against mosquito bites and possible West Nile virus infection.”

To date, West Nile virus positive birds, mosquitoes and/or human cases have been reported in 47 counties. The first human case this year was reported on August 8th in a Cook County man in his 30s. So far this year, 15 human cases have been reported.

For the 2013 season, 117 residents were diagnosed with West Nile virus and 11 people died. Last year the first death was reported September 13, 2013.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report.

REDUCE exposure - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.

Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.

REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

REPORT - In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report dead birds and areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm. Surveillance numbers are updated every Wednesday afternoon http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance14.htm.

Source: idph.state.il.us

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:15:27 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55597-first-west-nile-virus-related-deaths-reported-in-illinois-sept-19-2014.html
How Kofi Annan, Richard Branson and 7 Former Presidents Changed the Worldwide Debate on Drugs http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/55596-how-kofi-annan-richard-branson-and-7-former-presidents-changed-the-worldwide-debate-on-drugs.html NEW YORK—(ENEWSPF)—September 19, 2014. I have been blown away to see how a committed group of leaders can have a global impact when it comes to the world's longest war: the war on drugs.

Last week the Global Commission on Drug Policy made worldwide news at a press conference in New York when they called for not just ending the criminalization of people who use drugs, but also the responsible legal regulation of drugs. And they weren't just talking about marijuana -- they call for legal regulation of as many drugs as possible. The Commission is the most distinguished group of high-level leaders to ever call for such far-reaching changes.

To fully grasp the far-reaching impact of the Global Commission on the worldwide debate, we need to look at their 5-year history.

The Global Commission's forerunner was the Latin American Commission on Drug Policy, which was formed in 2009 by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo and former Colombian President César Gaviria. The group strategically called for "breaking the taboo" when it comes to the drug war and its alternatives. That these former presidents represented three of the countries that had been most devastated by drug war violence gave them substantial credibility, making headlines in Latin America and throughout the world.

In 2011 the group expanded its reach by bringing in several former European heads of state, former UN head Kofi Annan, business mogul Richard Branson, former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz, and former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Paul Volcker. The newly-christened Global Commission on Drug Policy launched a seminal report calling for marijuana legalization and drug decriminalization that led to thousands of articles from virtually every major media outlet in the world. They also made a passionate call for current heads of state to take the next step.

And that's exactly what happened. Presidents Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia, Otto Perez Molina in Guatemala, and José Mujica in Uruguay all started questioning the failed drug war and calling for alternatives.

At the Summit of the Americas in April 2012, drug policy reform was a major topic of debate for the first time in the Summit's history. In November 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first political jurisdictions in the world to legally regulate marijuana. In May 2013, the Organization of American States produced a report, commissioned by heads of state of the region, which included legalization as a likely policy alternative. Last December, Uruguay took the discussion another step further by becoming the first country in the world to approve the legal regulation of the production, distribution and sale of marijuana.

In turn, these developments instigated the process that resulted in the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs in 2016, which will present the opportunity to lay the foundation of a new drug control regime for the 21st century. Whereas the previous UNGASS meetings were dominated by rhetorical calls for a "drug-free world" and concluded with unrealistic goals, the upcoming UNGASS will undoubtedly be shaped by the recommendations of the Global Commission.

Last week, the Global Commission had their eye on 2016 when they released Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, at a press conference in New York City. The Commissioners emphasized -- with surprising courage, thoughtfulness and candor - that if we truly want to address the root causes of crime, corruption and violence, we need to talk about legally regulating drugs.

The genie is out of the bottle. Thanks to the Global Commission, the debate about how our society should deal with drugs will never be the same.

Tony Newman is the director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance (www.drugpolicy.org)

This piece first appeared on the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-newman/how-kofi-annan-richard-br_b_5849362.html?1411137305

Media Clips from Last Week:

Richard Branson on CNN: Why It’s Times For Drug Regulation

New York Times: Coalition Urges Nations to Decriminalize Drugs and Drug Use

Associated Press: Panel of Global Leaders Urges Drug Policy Overhaul

Wall Street Journal: Decriminalize, Regulate Heroin, Cocaine, Commission Says

Washington Post: Former world leaders call for nations to decriminalize drug use and experiment with legalization

New York Daily News: Leaders Meet to Propose Changes to Drug Policy

Huffington Post: World Leaders Call for Massive Shift in Global Drug Policy

U.S. News and World Report: Ex-Leaders of Eight Countries Say It’s Time to Try Drug Regulation

Al Jazeera: World figures call for decriminalization of all drug use

Daily Beast: World Leaders' Proposal for Winning the War on Drugs: Legalize It!

Source: www.drugpolicy.org

g@turningleft.net (Tony Newman) Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:08:14 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/55596-how-kofi-annan-richard-branson-and-7-former-presidents-changed-the-worldwide-debate-on-drugs.html
American Dental Association Statement on Polyethylene Microbeads in Toothpaste http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55580-american-dental-association-statement-on-polyethylene-microbeads-in-toothpaste.html CHICAGO--(ENEWSPF)--September 18, 2014.  The American Dental Association’s (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs, on an ongoing basis, monitors and evaluates the safety of all ADA Seal-Accepted products. If the council’s evaluation determines sufficient scientific evidence exists that an ADA Seal-Accepted product poses a health risk, the council has the authority to withdraw the Seal from that product. At this time, clinically relevant dental health studies do not indicate that the Seal should be removed from toothpastes that contain polyethylene microbeads.

Polyethylene microbeads are commonly used as scrub beads, such as in exfoliating products, but are also sometimes used in chewing gum and toothpaste, as part of the product design. Small quantities of the colored polyethylene specks are included in some of Crest’s toothpastes, including Crest Pro Health, which has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

The Council will continue to monitor and evaluate new scientific information on this issue as it becomes available.

Products with the ADA Seal have been independently evaluated for safety and effectiveness by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. The ADA “Guidelines for Participation in the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance Program” describe the general criteria for earning the ADA Seal.  In addition, many product categories have specific product guidelines that give the types of safety and effectiveness studies required.

Source: http://www.ada.org

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:51:11 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55580-american-dental-association-statement-on-polyethylene-microbeads-in-toothpaste.html
A Crucial Election Season for Legalizing Marijuana and Ending the Drug War http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/55573-a-crucial-election-season-for-legalizing-marijuana-and-ending-the-drug-war.html Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—September 18, 2014.

By: Stephen Gutwillig

It may be an off-year election, but it's a big one for drug policy reform. In seven weeks, voters across the country will have a chance to accelerate the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war. In fact, there are more drug policy reform questions on the ballot this November than ever in American history. Voter initiatives -- primarily reforming or repealing marijuana laws -- appear on the ballots in seven states, at least 17 municipalities and one U.S. territory. To help you keep score at home, here's an overview, starting with the highest-profile measures.

Oregon: Passage of Measure 91 will make the Beaver State the third to legalize marijuana for adults outright. Like the historic laws adopted in Colorado and neighboring Washington two short years ago, this initiative would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older and create a statewide system to regulate production and sales. And similar to Colorado's law, Measure 91 would allow adults to cultivate small amounts of marijuana under controlled circumstances. In this entirely vote-by-mail election, the initiative has already been endorsed by the Pacific Northwest's largest daily paper and would likely boost efforts across its southern border to end marijuana prohibition in California two years from now.

Alaska: The other statewide marijuana legalization initiative, Measure 2, is closely modeled on Colorado's Amendment 64 and tracks many of the elements in Oregon's prospective law. Alaska was something of a marijuana reform pioneer as possession and cultivation of small amounts for personal use in a private residence has been protected under the Alaska Constitution since the 1970s. Alongside Oregon in 1998, Alaska was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana. With a deep-rooted respect for personal freedom, Alaska would become the first red state to legalize marijuana for adult use, no doubt raising eyebrows across the political spectrum.

Florida: Amendment 2 is the only statewide medical marijuana initiative on the ballot this year, and it's one to watch. Victory would make Florida, with its huge population and bell weather status in American politics, the very first southern state to adopt a medical marijuana law. With 23 other medical marijuana states and super-majority support nationally, passage of Amendment 2 would effectively settle any lingering questions on public acceptance of marijuana as medicine. It's going to be a challenge, though, since Florida law requires 60% to pass a voter initiative. While polls indicate enormous support, casino mogul Sheldon Adelsoncontributed a few million dollars to stop it as Amendment 2 is associated with Charlie Crist's comeback gubernatorial campaign. Adelson's intervention has created the first well-funded opposition to a statewide marijuana reform campaign ever.

California: On the heels of reforming its harshest-in-the-nation Three Strikes law in 2012, Californians are now poised to refine six low-level, nonviolent offenses, including simple drug possession, from felonies to misdemeanors. Proposition 47 would then dedicate the savings -- likely more than $1 billion a year -- to schools, victim services, and mental health treatment. With retroactive sentencing and expungement provisions, the impact of Prop 47 in California on wasteful corrections spending and individual lives would be profound and surely resonate across the country.

District of Columbia: Earlier this year, the D.C. Council adopted the nation's most far-reaching marijuana decriminalization law. In November, voters in the nation's capital will decide whether to go even further. Initiative 71 makes it legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess and cultivate small amounts of marijuana. While District law prevents the ballot initiative from addressing the sale of marijuana, the D.C. Council is considering a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana within the District. D.C. has the highest per capita marijuana arrest rates in the U.S. with enormous racial disparities as police target African Americans for 91 percent of these arrests. Initiative 71 will be the first marijuana reform campaign fought primarily on the issue of the drug war's ongoing toxic impact on black communities.

Other races: Voters in municipal elections from the Northeast to Micronesia will weigh in November 4 on a range of marijuana focused issues.

· Guam: Voters could make this U.S. territory the first to adopt medical marijuana. Thebinding referendum would allow for dispensaries regulated by the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

· Maine: By a wide margin in 2013, Portlanders chose to eliminate criminal penalties for adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. In seven weeks, voters in York, South Portland, and Lewiston will tackle the same question.

· Michigan: In the last two years, residents of seven cities have voted to remove local penalties for adult possession of small amounts of marijuana in a private residence. As of now, a whopping 11 other cities (with apparently more to come) will have the chance to follow suit this year.

· New Mexico: Last month, the City of Santa Fe became the first in the state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. On the ballot in November, voters in Bernalillo (Albuquerque) and Santa Fe Counties will decide if their county should affirm decriminalization efforts.

Public opinion has shifted dramatically over the last decade in favor of reforming marijuana laws and dismantling the egregious excesses of the drug war. And elected officials have begun to take notice. The U.S. House has voted five times in recent months to let states set their own marijuana policies while Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker have introduced similar bi-partisan legislation in the U.S. Senate in addition to a cluster of other long-overdue criminal justice reforms. When the dust settles on November 5, the momentum for change in this country will only have accelerated.

Stephen Gutwillig is the Deputy Executive Director for Programs of the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation's leading organization working to promote alternatives to the failed war on drugs.

Follow Stephen Gutwillig on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SWGinLA

This article was first published in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-gutwillig/2014-marijuana-ballot-questions_b_5844152.html

Source: http://www.drugpolicy.org/

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:24:01 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/55573-a-crucial-election-season-for-legalizing-marijuana-and-ending-the-drug-war.html
Environmental Working Group Releases New Consumer Tool to Help People Make Smarter Seafood Choices http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55571-environmental-working-group-releases-new-consumer-tool-to-help-people-make-smarter-seafood-choices.html Washington, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)—September 18, 2014. The Environmental Working Group published a new shopping tool and seafood calculator today to help people buy seafood lower in mercury, higher in omega-3 fatty acids and sustainably produced.

EWG’s interactive tools offer people more detailed information than is available from the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, which last June urged pregnant and nursing women to increase their fish consumption to eight to 12 ounces of seafood per week and encouraged young children to eat fish twice a week.

“We can’t trust the government to keep our exposure to toxic mercury within safe limits,” said Sonya Lunder, EWG’s senior analyst. “The guidelines could lead some people to consume too much mercury, and others, too few omega-3s. Families should look to EWG’s new guide and calculator to learn how to get the most nutrition from seafood without risking their health.”

EWG’s new Seafood Calculator determines the amount of fish or shellfish that an individual can safely eat weekly based on pregnancy status and weight.  It offers personalized recommendations for more than 80 species.  EWG’s Good Seafood Guide gives general advice about which fish to eat, which fish to approach caution with and which to avoid.

The user-friendly format divides seafood into five categories:

EWG Best Bets – Wild salmon, Sardines, Mussels, Rainbow trout, Atlantic mackerel

One or two four-ounce servings a week of these fish have little mercury and optimum levels of omega-3 fatty acids for pregnant or nursing women and people with heart disease. Best Bets are also available from sustainable sources.

Good Choices – Oysters, Anchovies, Pollock, Herring

These species have favorable concentrations of omega-3 fats. One four-ounce serving provides at least 25 percent of the weekly recommended omega-3 consumption. A pregnant woman of average weight could eat three four-ounce servings per week without ingesting too much mercury. These species do not necessarily come from sustainable sources.

Low Mercury, But Low Omega-3s – Shrimp, Catfish, Tilapia, Clams, Scallops, Pangasius

These varieties can be healthy sources of protein and other nutrients, but an adult would have to eat five to 20 four-ounce portions to meet the omega-3 recommendation for pregnant women and people with heart disease. 

Mercury Risks Add Up – Canned light and albacore tuna, Halibut, Lobster, Mahi mahi, Sea bass

These fish contain too much mercury to be part of the regular diet of pregnant women and children.  How much people can safely eat depends on their age, weight and health status.

Avoid – Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish, King mackerel, Marlin, Bluefin and bigeye tuna, Orange roughy

High-mercury seafood should never be eaten by pregnant women and children, according to EWG's analysis and federal government warnings. Everyone else should eat these species infrequently or not at all.

As EWG warned earlier this year, the advisory proposed by the FDA and EPA is not adequate to assure that pregnant women and children avoid mercury contamination. Nor does it make clear that pregnant women and people with heart disease are unlikely to benefit from eating more seafood unless it is low in mercury and high in omega-3s. Eight of the 10 most commonly eaten seafood species are very low in omega-3s, underscoring the need for consumers to have information about high omega-3 species, EWG said.

“Studies document adverse health effects in children whose mothers were exposed to mercury at levels that were previously thought to be safe,” said Philippe Grandjean, a professor at Harvard School of Public Health and the University of South Denmark. Grandjean is not affiliated with the EWG report released today, but led a decades long study of mercury toxicity in the Faroe Islands that found lasting neurological damages in children who were exposed to mercury in-utero. 

“Mercury exposure should be minimized,” Grandjean added. “Fortunately, this does not prevent pregnant women from eating fish and shellfish, they just need to be directed to seafood that is both safe and nutritious.”

Omega-3s, such as docosahexaenoic, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, have been shown to reduce inflammation.  Some studies suggest that children born to mothers who ate seafood rich in omega-3s during pregnancy had better cognitive development than children born to mothers who did not eat much seafood or ate higher mercury species. Two weekly meals of high omega-3 fish and shellfish could reduce the risks of heart attack and stroke, according to federal nutrition guidelines.

EWG’s analysis of mercury and omega-3 content of seafood will be integrated into a new Food Database and mobile smartphone app due out later this fall. The user-friendly tool will house information on more 80,000 foods and 5,000 ingredients from more than 1,500 brands and aims too empower people to shop smarter and eat healthier. Each item in the database will be scored based on three factors: nutrition, ingredient concerns and degree of processing. Learn more: http://www.ewg.org/fooddatabase/

Source: www.ewg.org

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:52:27 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/55571-environmental-working-group-releases-new-consumer-tool-to-help-people-make-smarter-seafood-choices.html
Environmental Working Group Blasts Government Approval of 2,4-D-Tolerant Corn, Soybeans http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/55570-environmental-working-group-blasts-government-approval-of-2-4-d-tolerant-corn-soybeans.html Washington, D.C. --(ENEWSPF)--September 18, 2014.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to approve new varieties of genetically engineered corn and soybean seeds "brings us one step closer to widespread use of a new toxic weed killer that would threaten children’s health and the environment," EWG said in a statement.

“We are truly disappointed in the USDA for putting the interests of chemical companies before the health of our children and the environment,” said Mary Ellen Kustin, a senior policy analyst with EWG. “Instead of putting the brakes on the chemical treadmill, the government is on the fast track to approve more toxic weed killers.” 

The announcement, posted yesterday on the website of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said that the decision will “become effective upon publication in the Federal Register.”

USDA’s decision allows chemical manufacturer Dow AgroSciences to sell 2,4-D- and glyphosate-tolerant corn and soybean seeds in tandem with its new weed killer, known as Enlist Duo.

In a separate regulatory proceeding, Dow is awaiting approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to sell Enlist Duo, a toxic combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate.

The company wants to market its new product to farmers beset by hardy weeds that have evolved to tolerate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, Monsanto’s popular weed killer. In a press release issued earlier this year, Dow claimed that Enlist Duo would “control and help prevent further development of herbicide-resistant weeds.”

EWG opposes the approval of this product because human exposure to 2,4-D has been linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease and thyroid problems. EWG also contends that the new herbicide could spur the evolution of new “superweeds” resistant to both 2,4-D and glyphosate.

If EPA approves Enlist Duo, nationwide use of 2,4-D could more than triple by 2020, according to USDA’s estimates, exposing communities near sprayed crop fields to eight times more of the chemical than today.

Last month, EWG released an analysis showing that more than 480 elementary schools nationwide are within 200 feet of corn and soybean fields that could be blanketed by the new weed killer. 

“Tens of thousands of young children would be exposed to more intense concentrations of a toxic defoliant that is linked to cancer than is the case today,” added Kustin. “The EPA must go back and do a thorough assessment of the serious risks associated with 2,4-D. Once that’s done, it will be hard not to conclude that approving Enlist Duo is not be the right decision for our children and the environment.”

Source: http://www.ewg.org

shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:48:52 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/55570-environmental-working-group-blasts-government-approval-of-2-4-d-tolerant-corn-soybeans.html