ENEWSPF News http://www.enewspf.com/ Sat, 01 Nov 2014 05:10:49 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev (info@mypapit.net) Ebola: UN Envoy Says Response Must be Sustained ‘Until Every Last Case is Contained and Treated’ http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56506-ebola-un-envoy-says-response-must-be-sustained-until-every-last-case-is-contained-and-treated.html
Cuban health care workers receive training at a WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Unit training Centre in Liberia. Photo: WHO

GENEVA--(ENEWSPF)--31 October 2014 – The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Ebola, David Nabarro, appealed today for the global response to the deadly virus to be sustained “until every last case is contained and treated,” as the United Nations health agency recommended more protective measures for health workers battling the disease on the frontlines of the outbreak.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) announced it is updating its guidelines of the so-called personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers to ensure protection of the mouth, nose and eyes from contaminated droplets and fluids.

WHO also said that given that hands are known to transmit pathogens to other parts of the body, as well as to other individuals, hand hygiene and gloves are essential, both to protect the health worker and to prevent transmission to others, and recommended health workers wear double gloves.

Face cover, protective foot wear, gowns or coveralls, and head cover were also considered essential to prevent transmission to healthcare workers, it said.

“These guidelines hold an important role in clarifying effective personal protective equipment options that protect the safety of healthcare workers and patients from Ebola virus disease transmission,” says Edward Kelley, WHO Director for Service Delivery and Safety.

At UN Headquarters in New York, Dr. Nabarro gave an update on the wider UN response to the Ebola outbreak, and while noting that there were signs of the strategy working in certain areas, he cautioned against drawing conclusions on the numbers, echoing what WHO concluded earlier this week when it had reported a decline in burials and sickbed occupancy rates, as well as a plateau in lab-reported new cases in Liberia.

Dr. Nabarro said: “Even if we get a reduction in the rate of increase, it does not mean the outbreak is under control…It just means we are on the right path.”

“We need to sustain the effort until every last case is contained and treated,” he said, and press on with the response strategy of community engagement, treatment and contact tracing – “all of which has be to practiced everywhere to prevent an outbreak.”

According to the latest WHO statistics on the Ebola outbreak issued today, 13,567 cases and 4,951 deaths have been reported in the six affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States, along with two previously affected countries, Nigeria and Senegal. The cases reported are fewer than those last reported due mainly to suspected cases in Guinea being discarded, WHO said.

Dr. Nabarro also raised concerns about recent travel restrictions put in place for those returning from Ebola-affected countries.

“Returning health workers are exceptional people giving for humanity,” he said, appealing to authorities “to think hard” before putting restrictions on them.

The Special Envoy said the Ebola Response Plan of $988 million had received $540 million, or about 50 percent of the total required.

WHO also announced today a new Ebola treatment unit opened on the outskirts of the Liberian capital, Monrovia. This new unit adds another 200 beds to the almost 500 currently available for Ebola patients in the city, which remains the epicentre of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nabarro said the UN Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund has now successfully received approximately $116 million in commitments and pledges. These funds will be used for the most critical, unfunded priorities of the response.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme reported that since the start of its operations in April, it had provided food assistance to 1.1 million people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and had delivered more than 15,400 metric tons of food.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), addressing the issues of Ebola preparedness in Cote d’Ivoire and Mali, stressed that prevention was fundamental for the fight against Ebola. UNICEF said it was supporting the media campaign with the view of mobilizing local communities, with the focus being on the west of the country.

A UN Development Programme (UNDP) socio-economic impact study on Guinea has shown that economic growth in the country slowed from 4.5 percent to 2.4 percent. The study also notes a deterioration of poor households' food and nutritional security, postponement of the beginning of the school year and lower attendance rates in health facilities.

Back from West Africa, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, noting she was at low risk for contracting the virus because she did not enter an Ebola treatment centre, and she was screened at the airport on arrival into the United States and will monitor her temperature twice a day for 21 days.

Source: un.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:14:47 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56506-ebola-un-envoy-says-response-must-be-sustained-until-every-last-case-is-contained-and-treated.html
Maine Judge Issues Order Regarding Ebola Quarantine http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56500-maine-judge-issues-order-regarding-ebola-quarantine.html Healthcare worker required to comply with certain restrictions

AUGUSTA –(ENEWSPF)—October 31, 2014. Governor Paul R. LePage released the following statement with regard to an Order Pending Hearing issued today by the Aroostook County District Court located in Fort Kent, Maine:

“My duty to protect the health of the individual, as well as the health and safety of 1.3 million Mainers, is my highest priority. Despite our best effort to work collaboratively with this individual. she has refused to cooperate with us,” said Governor LePage.

“As Governor, I have done everything I can to protect the health and safety of Mainers. The judge has eased restrictions with this ruling and I believe it is unfortunate. However, the State will abide by law,” said Governor LePage.

Related Material:

Order Pending Hearing: http://courts.maine.gov/news_reference/high_profile/hickox/order_pending_hearing.pdf

Source: http://www.maine.gov

Related Article:

Court Rejects State of Maine’s Attempt to Restrict Nurse Kaci Hickox’s Liberty

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:48:04 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56500-maine-judge-issues-order-regarding-ebola-quarantine.html
State-Level Attacks on Reproductive Rights Upping Ante at Voting Booth http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56497-state-level-attacks-on-reproductive-rights-upping-ante-at-voting-booth.html

Drastic anti-choice measures up for vote in Colorado, Tennessee, and North Dakota, and some have a decent shot at passing

Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)--October 31, 2014.
(Photo courtesy of Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights)
"It's a tremendous loss of resources to our community to have to again defeat something that has been defeated twice before," said Corrine Rivera-Fowler of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights. (Photo courtesy of Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights)

Despite strong support in the U.S. for abortion rights, lawmakers over the past three years have dramatically cut access to reproductive health care, state by state. This Tuesday, ballot measures in Colorado, North Dakota, and Tennessee escalate this state-level chipping-away strategy by proposing "personhood" provisions and constitutional amendments that, if passed, would open the door to even more extreme abortion bans and health cuts for millions of people.

Some of these initiatives have a shot at passing.

Voters in North Dakota and Colorado face proposed constitutional amendments that would grant full "personhood" rights to a zygote at the moment of fertilization. Not only would this eliminate abortion rights in the state—including in cases of rape, incest, and health risks—but it would also ban certain forms of widely-used birth control and fertility treatments. The vaguely worded amendments, reproductive health advocates say, could result in far-reaching health care consequences, including limitations to pregnancy care and even investigations of miscarriages.

National anti-choice organizations, including Personhood USA, are pressing for the measures in both states, where they are up against diverse coalitions of community organizations, health care workers and advocates, and civil rights and faith leaders.

The Measure 1 "personhood" proposal in North Dakota, where sweeping abortion restrictions were instated last year, could pass. A recent poll conducted by the University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration found that 49.9 percent of voters are in favor, 33 percent are opposed, and 17.1 percent are undecided. Opponents say the measure is worded to confuse voters, because it doesn't specifically mention abortion or reproductive rights. For this reason, analysts warn, it is slipping by largely unnoticed, despite its potentially severe repercussions.

In Colorado, voters have rejected two previous attempts to pass similar personhood provisions. But this time, proponents of Amendment 67 have sought to frame the proposal as a "protection" for pregnant woman, because it would allow for fetal homicide charges. The No on 67 coalition charges that the "misleading language of this far-reaching measure would actually harm pregnant women, and impede them from being able to seek medical treatment. It would also criminalize doctors and other medical professionals who treat pregnant women." The latest poll, conducted by Suffolk University Political Research Center, finds that the measure is likely to fail, with 55.4 percent of Colorado voters opposing, 30.8 percent in favor, and 13.4 percent undecided.

"For the Latina community, we have already unequal access to health care. More barriers create more imbalance and inequality for Latinos and African Americans in Colorado," Corrine Rivera-Fowler of the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) told Common Dreams. COLOR members, along with the No on 67 coalition, are canvassing, phone-banking, and conducting media interviews to mobilize against the proposed measure. "It's a tremendous loss of resources to our community to have to again defeat something that has been defeated twice before," said Rivera-Fowler.

Pro-choice campaigners in Tennessee also face a fight to defend abortion rights.

The state's proposed Constitutional Amendment 1, if passed, would amend the state's constitution to say, "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion." For more than ten years, Tennessee Republicans have sought to enact the measure, following the Tennessee Supreme Court's ruling in the year 2000 to strike down a state anti-abortion measure. "If Amendment 1 passes, anti-abortion politicians are poised to pass the same draconian laws and regulations that have forced facilities providing abortion to close in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia," warns Planned Parenthood.

The latest poll from Middle Tennessee State University finds that the outcome is "too close to call," with 39 percent of voters in favor of the measure, 32 percent opposed, and a whopping 29 percent undecided. "We stand today because pending legislation has the potential to send women back to the back alleys where we died from unsafe and unsanitary abortions," Cherisse Scott, founder and CEO of SisterReach, declared at a Thursday press conference in Memphis. "We assemble today to impress upon Black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote."

Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues associate for the Guttmacher Institute, told Common Dreams that, while this is not the first time similar ballot initiatives have been introduced at the state level, it is unusual to see three measures in one election. "Over the past three years, what we have seen is incredibly voluminous," said Nash. "There were about  230 abortion restrictions enacted between 2012 and 2014. These three initiatives are continuing this trend. If there was some success, if one of these measures was approved, it could spark additional interest in other states."

For special coverage on the Battle for Reproductive Rights in the 2014 election, click this image.For special coverage on the Battle for Reproductive Rights in the 2014 election, click this image.

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

Source: http://www.commondreams.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:26:41 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56497-state-level-attacks-on-reproductive-rights-upping-ante-at-voting-booth.html
Colorado Congressman Jared Polis Urges Oregon to Legalize Marijuana on Election Day http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56491-colorado-congressman-jared-polis-urges-oregon-to-legalize-marijuana-on-election-day.html Regulating marijuana for adult use is sound policy

COLORADO—(ENEWSPF)—October 31, 2014.

By Colorado Congressman Jared Polis

Colorado is approaching the first anniversary of legally regulated recreational marijuana for adults. The implementation of our new laws has gone smoothly overall, providing an excellent example for other states to follow. Our success has made it clear that when marijuana is regulated like alcohol, it can decrease crime, help fund schools and drug education programs, and keep money out of the hands of criminals and cartels. Voters in Oregon should look to our experience and success as they make their decision on Measure 91 on their ballot November 4th.

Since Coloradans overwhelmingly approved our marijuana legalization law in 2012, initial indicators have been very encouraging. Millions of dollars are no longer being spent to criminalize thousands of citizens. Instead, the state is adding millions of dollars to its coffers, primarily to fund public school construction and drug prevention programs for young people.

Violent crime is down in Denver. Fatal car crashes are in decline statewide. Marijuana arrests that mostly hindered low-income people and young men of color are no longer creating obstacles for employment, housing and education. In fact, the state legislature is considering reforms that would apply retroactively to people currently incarcerated for activity that’s now legal.

What’s more, early results show promising trends among young people in Colorado. Licensed marijuana dispensaries have been effective at preventing underage purchases. Marijuana use by 8th, 10th and 12th graders has dropped compared to the last three years and is lower than the national average. New data also show that Colorado teens, while less likely to fear marijuana, are more likely to understand the risks to them from heavy use. It’s reasonable to believe the high level of dialogue and scrutiny about our new approach has begun sending the proper message that marijuana is regulated for adults only.

Further, the legal marijuana market now provides substantial revenue to help prevent use by young people in my state. More than half of the new tax revenue generated so far – $20 million – is designated for drug prevention and education. And like Oregon under Measure 91, Colorado maintains stiff penalties for providing marijuana to anyone under the age of 21.

The first year of controlled marijuana sales to adults also taught us some lessons that were immediately addressed by Colorado regulators and applied in the implementation of Washington’s new regulatory system. Most prominently, we must address edible products with caution and that labeling of these infused products requires detail, care and clarity to avoid accidents.

By now, I am far from alone in believing that regulating marijuana like alcohol is sound, sustainable policy. A recent report from the Brookings Institute says that Colorado “has largely succeeded” and that implementation of the new approach is “impressive.” This state is already demonstrating that regulating marijuana for adult use is fiscally wise and can actually benefit public safety and health.

I’m excited Oregon will soon decide whether to join Colorado and Washington in regulating marijuana like alcohol. More than ever, I believe it’s time to change course on decades of failed marijuana prohibition and demonstrate viable, effective alternatives to address the realities of marijuana today.

Jared Polis is a Congressman for Colorado’s second district.

This commentary originally appeared in the Bend Bulletin at: http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/2542911-151/regulating-marijuana-for-adult-use-is-sound-policy#

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:05:47 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56491-colorado-congressman-jared-polis-urges-oregon-to-legalize-marijuana-on-election-day.html
Court Rejects State of Maine’s Attempt to Restrict Nurse Kaci Hickox’s Liberty http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56490-court-rejects-state-of-maine-s-attempt-to-restrict-nurse-kaci-hickox-s-liberty.html ACLU Response to Second Court Order in Hickox Case

MAINE—(ENEWSPF)--October 31, 2014.

The following can be attributed to Alison Beyea, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maine:

“We are glad the court rejected the state’s attempts to force Kaci Hickox into custody. Today’s ruling is a great reminder that such extreme restrictions were never justified by this situation, just as the ACLU and medical experts have been saying all along.”

Source: www.aclumaine.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:00:28 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56490-court-rejects-state-of-maine-s-attempt-to-restrict-nurse-kaci-hickox-s-liberty.html
Center for Food Safety: GE Salmon Anti-Labeling Ad Rebuttal Statement http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56488-center-for-food-safety-ge-salmon-anti-labeling-ad-rebuttal-statement.html

OREGON--(ENEWSPF)--October 31, 2014.  Statement of George Kimbrell, Senior Attorney, Center for Food Safety, and the lead author of Measure 92:

The claim in the recent No on Measure 92 tv ad that the U.S. Federal Government will require the labeling of Aquabounty’s proposed genetically engineered (GE) salmon is false. 

In August 2010 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first proposed commercial approval of this salmon, which has a gene from an eel-like fish inserted into its DNA to make it grow faster. FDA made it clear from the outset that in making its decision it will apply the same labeling standards to the GE salmon that it applies to all other current GE foods. 

Under those established standards, FDA does not consider the production fact of genetic engineering to be “material,” for purposes of requiring labeling; that is precisely why current genetically engineered foods are not labeled.  As FDA has explained: ‘FDA does not consider the fact that a food was made using genetic engineering, in and of itself, to be a material difference.’ 

As for the law cited in the ad, it is of course true that all fish are labeled for other reasons, such as farmed or wild, and country of origin.  But these requirements have nothing to do, nor do they cover, labeling because a fish is genetically engineered.  That is why FDA had to explain its labeling standards on the topic when it proposed the GE fish approval four years ago

Even Aquabounty, the company developing the GE salmon, agrees that its fish will not have to be labeled as genetically engineered: “Current law and policy would not require additional labeling based upon method of production. The product should be labeled ‘Atlantic salmon.’”

It is very disappointing that opponents of Measure 92 would seek to mislead Oregon voters in this way. If Oregonians want genetically engineered salmon to be labeled as such – and they do – then they should ignore the false claims in these ads and support Measure 92.

Source: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org

Related Article:

Anti-Labeling Campaign Tries to Buy Oregon Election with Record Setting $19 Million in Misleading Advertising

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:29:23 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56488-center-for-food-safety-ge-salmon-anti-labeling-ad-rebuttal-statement.html
Energy Department Announces New Investments in Advanced Nuclear Power Reactors http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56481-energy-department-announces-new-investments-in-advanced-nuclear-power-reactors.html WASHINGTON –(ENEWSPF)—October 31, 2014. Today, as part of the President’s all-of-the-above energy approach and Climate Action Plan, the Energy Department announced awards for five companies to lead key nuclear energy research and development projects supporting advanced reactor technologies. These projects will receive $13 million in cost-share agreements to help address significant technical challenges to the design, construction and operation of next generation nuclear reactors, based off needs identified by industry designers and technical experts.

“This type of public-private research in advanced nuclear reactors will help accelerate American leadership in the next generation of nuclear energy technologies, and move the United States closer to a low carbon future,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “These types of investments are crucial to the continuing role of nuclear power as a significant contributor to the U.S. energy economy.”

The Department began this program in 2013 to partner with industry in developing next generation reactors that have the potential to achieve significant advances in safety, efficiency and economics. The companies receiving federal investments are:

AREVA Federal Services partnering with TerraPower Company, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and Texas A&M University - Modeling and simulation for longer life cores: Thermal Hydraulic simulations and experimental investigation for liquid metal cooled fast reactor fuel assemblies

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy partnering with ANL – Development and modernization of next-generation probabilistic risk assessment methodologies

General Atomics partnering with the University of California at San Diego and the University of South Carolina - Fabrication and testing complex Silicon Carbide structures pertinent to advanced reactor concepts

NGNP Industry Alliance partnering with AREVA, UltraSafe Nuclear Company, Westinghouse, and Texas A&M University - High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR) Post-accident Heat Removal and Testing

Westinghouse Electric Company partnering with ANL and the University of Pittsburg-- Development of thermo-acoustic sensors for Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFR)

Find more information at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy Website: http://energy.gov/ne/office-nuclear-energy

Source: energy.gov

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:57:37 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56481-energy-department-announces-new-investments-in-advanced-nuclear-power-reactors.html
Sierra Club: Faked Water Samples in West Virginia Expose Need for Wider, Immediate Investigations http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56480-sierra-club-faked-water-samples-in-west-virginia-expose-need-for-wider-immediate-investigations.html Corruption at Appalachian Laboratories Raises Fundamental Questions About Water Safety Throughout Region

WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(ENEWSPF)--October 31, 2014.  Today, the Sierra Club called on state and federal regulators to conduct immediate, wide ranging investigations into the safety of water throughout Appalachia. The call was prompted by the recent guilty plea of Appalachian Laboratories field supervisor John W. Shelton, who admitted this month to conspiracy to violate the federal Clean Water Act by diluting, distilling and outright substituting water samples. Shelton told a U.S. judge that he and others at Appalachian Laboratories Inc. faked the samples so “that we could maintain the business with the coal companies that we were working for.”

"This malfeasance highlights the need for state and federal regulators to conduct a full investigation of both Appalachian Labs and other laboratories that conduct water sampling for coal mines in West Virginia and beyond” said Bill Price, a national organizer for the Sierra Club and West Virginian. “This isn't the first time that water quality samples have been manipulated or faked because of coal company pressure, but it is certainly one of the most egregious. Mounting evidence makes clear that companies can't be relied on to police themselves, and state regulators are not doing enough to identify fraud. The need for swift additional action by investigators, including the FBI, DOI’s Office of Surface Mining, and West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection is clear."

In 2010, citizen groups uncovered dozens of fraudulent discharge monitoring reports submitted under the Clean Water Act by three coal companies in eastern Kentucky representing thousands of violations. The fraudulent reporting ranged from obvious duplication of data between multiple reports to contradictory data for the same locations.

“Up till now, the states have failed to systematically prevent and investigate these violations. Until they do, we can’t be confident in the safety of our water.” said Price.

In 2009 and 2010 respectively, coalitions of citizen groups including Appalachian Voices, Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Sierra Club, joined by local state-specific groups, petitioned the EPA to revoke the authority of West Virginia and Kentucky to regulate the Clean Water Act. Those petitions documented gross violations of policies intended to protect water impacted by surface mining operations. This September, coalitions filed additional petitions in those states, and worked with local groups in Virginia to file a petition against that state’s Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) for systematically failing to comply with the requirements of the Act since 2011.

“EPA has not yet responded to our petitions” said Price. “We are hopeful that they will do so quickly, so that these failures by the states to hold violators responsible will be addressed without delay. These latest revelations about water monitoring programs confirm our worst suspicions about state oversight and the threats to our water.”

Source: www.sierraclub.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:54:13 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56480-sierra-club-faked-water-samples-in-west-virginia-expose-need-for-wider-immediate-investigations.html
Sierra Club Statement on Revelations About Smear Campaigns Targeting Environmentalists http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56479-sierra-club-statement-on-revelations-about-smear-campaigns-targeting-environmentalists.html WASHINGTON, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)—October 31, 2014. Last night, The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek reported on a leaked recording of a Washington-based corporate PR executive that reveals the polluter-backed agenda to attack environmental and climate action organizations like the Sierra Club. In the recording, Rick Berman -- who previously served as a top adviser to the tobacco industry -- declares that oil and gas companies should use smear campaigns to “win ugly” by attacking the personal lives of activists and brags about “how he could take checks from oil & gas industry execs & then hide their role in funding his campaigns.”

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

"You know climate deniers and big polluters are desperate when they turn to the tired old tactics of the tobacco industry to try and save themselves. Whether it's cigarettes or dirty fuels, toxic products are on their way out, and their proponents are left scraping the bottom of the barrel. It's not going to work -- dirty tricks won’t save dirty fuels.

The Sierra Club’s 2.4 million members and supporters across the country aren’t going to let our nation’s movement toward a clean energy economy be derailed by distractions or smears. We won’t be intimidated -- big polluters can lose ugly or lose pretty, but the bottom line is they are going to lose.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.

Source: www.sierraclub.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:52:08 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56479-sierra-club-statement-on-revelations-about-smear-campaigns-targeting-environmentalists.html
On Sandy Anniversary, Center for American Progress Report Calls for Investment in Better Wastewater Infrastructure http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/analysis/56478-on-sandy-anniversary-center-for-american-progress-report-calls-for-investment-in-better-wastewater-infrastructure.html Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)--October 31, 2014.  The second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, which took the lives of 117 people and caused billions of dollars in property damage and lost economic output, has renewed the focus on the nation’s aging infrastructure and the effects that more and more powerful storms caused by climate change will have on already weakened roads, bridges, and buildings. However, one prominent cost of the storm—the failure of aging wastewater infrastructure in New York and New Jersey—has received significantly less attention. This vital infrastructure, whose many systems are already old and overtaxed, is at a significant risk from the growing effects of climate change. Already, neglected wastewater systems spill an estimated 900 billion gallons of untreated sewage and wastewater into U.S. waterways each year, and rising sea levels and more frequent and powerful storms are likely to exacerbate this, resulting in system failures that pose major risks to public health and economic vitality.

In a new report, the Center for American Progress takes a look at the danger climate change poses to wastewater systems from stronger storms, higher seas, and heavier downpours and offers realistic and cost-effective recommendations to shore up this aging infrastructure before the next massive storm. Chief among those recommendations are that all new investments in wastewater infrastructure take into account the projected impacts of climate change and that affordable, green infrastructure solutions be considered.

“America’s wastewater infrastructure and its impact on cleaning up our waterways was one of our nation’s biggest environmental and public health accomplishments of the 20th century,” said Shiva Polefka, CAP Policy Analyst and co-author of the report. “Unfortunately, policymakers are failing to make the investments that are badly needed not only to maintain this aging system, but also to prepare it for the impacts of climate change such as stronger storms and rising seas that are already affecting Americans’ daily lives. This neglect is putting public health, the environment, and our way of life at risk. By stepping up to make the investments we need for reliable, climate-change-ready wastewater infrastructure, policymakers can put Americans to work, protect our waterways, and avert significantly greater long-term costs.”

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • Integrate climate risk into all new wastewater infrastructure
  • Finance resilience improvements through state infrastructure banks
  • Prioritize resilience in state revolving-fund investments, accounting for regional differences in climate change vulnerability
  • Invest in green infrastructure and the protection and restoration of wetlands and coastal ecosystems to protect and supplement wastewater treatment systems

Click here to read the report.

Source: http://www.americanprogress.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:48:17 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/analysis/56478-on-sandy-anniversary-center-for-american-progress-report-calls-for-investment-in-better-wastewater-infrastructure.html
USDA To Provide Additional $4 million for Honey Bee Habitat, No Mention of Pesticides http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56476-usda-to-provide-additional-4-million-for-honey-bee-habitat-no-mention-of-pesticides.html Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)--October 31, 2014.  Without any mention of the role of pesticides in bee decline, or emphasis on organic practices to help pollinators, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that more than $4 million in technical and financial assistance will be provided to help farmers and ranchers in the Midwest improve the health of honey bees. The announcement renews and expands on a $3 million pilot investment last spring to create pollinator-friendly habitat in five Midwestern states.

Susan Jergans Elkhorn WI These were taken from our garden3The effort responds to the Presidential Memorandum, which directs USDA to expand the acreage and forage value in its conservation programs. The Memorandum, issued at the close of National Pollinator Week 2014, directed federal agencies to establish a Pollinator Health Task Force, and tasked agency leads at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a pollinator health strategy within 180 days that supports and fosters pollinator habitat.

“The future of America’s food supply depends on honey bees, and this effort is one way USDA is helping improve the health of honey bee populations,” Vilsack said. “Significant progress has been made in understanding the factors that are associated with Colony Collapse Disorder and the overall health of honey bees, and this funding will allow us to work with farmers and ranchers to apply that knowledge over a broader area.”

An estimated $15 billion worth of crops is pollinated by honey bees, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is focusing the effort on five Midwestern states: Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. According to USDA, the Midwest is home to more than 65 percent of the commercially managed honey bees in the country from June to September. Thus, it is a critical time when bees require abundant and diverse forage across broad landscapes to build up hive strength for the winter.

While the creation of pollinator-friendly habitat is important for bee populations, the expansion of this project does not challenge the use of systemic pesticides that are linked to pollinator decline, or the widespread adoption of genetically engineered crops with elevated use of herbicides that kill habitat.

Bees and beekeepers are in dire need of protection from the effects of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Currently, neonicotinoid insecticides are the most widely used class of insecticides in the world and comprise about 25% of the global agrichemical market.

Neonicotinoids are systemic, meaning that as the plant grows the pesticide becomes incorporated into the plant. When honey bees and other pollinators forage and collect pollen or nectar, or drink from what are termed “guttation” (water) droplets emitted from neonicotinoid-incorporated crops, they are exposed to sublethal doses of the chemical. At this level, the pesticides don’t kill bees outright. Instead, they impair bees’ ability to learn, to find their way back to the hive, to collect food, to produce new queens, and to mount an effective immune response. Indeed, studies have found that “near infinitesimal” exposures to neonicotinoids causes a reduction in the amount of pollen that bumblebees are able to collect for their colony.

Conservation practices that USDA will provide help implementing include planting cover crops or rangeland and pasture management to reduce erosion, increasing soil health, inhibiting invasive species, and providing quality forage and habitat for honey bees and other pollinators. While many of these practices and benefits can be found in organic practices, it is not explicitly mentioned. Beyond Pesticides supports organic agriculture as effecting good land stewardship and a reduction in hazardous chemical exposures for workers on the farm. The pesticide reform movement, citing pesticide problems associated with chemical agriculture, from groundwater contamination and runoff to drift, views organic as the solution to a serious public health and environmental threat. To attract beneficial insects like monarchs and protect their habitats in your own backyard, there are several steps you can take. Like any other living organisms, pollinators need food, water, and shelter in order to thrive. For more information, see Managing Landscapes with Pollinators in Mind.

For more information on how to improve pollinator health and habitat, see the BEE Protective webpage, where you can find the Pollinator Friendly Seed and Nursery Directory, which lists sources of seeds and plant starts that are safe for bees and not poisoned with neonicotinoids or other pesticides. And join in on National efforts to push the marketplace towards pollinator friendly practices by delivering a card to Lowe’s this Halloween, asking the retailer to stop selling poisoned plants and bee-killing pesticides.

For more on technical and financial assistance available through USDA’s conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted or a local USDA service center.

Sources: USDA Press Release, http://www.beyondpesticides.org

Photo Source: Susan Jergen , WI

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:40:43 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56476-usda-to-provide-additional-4-million-for-honey-bee-habitat-no-mention-of-pesticides.html
Bloated Oil Profits and Corporate Welfare: a Trick to Taxpayers, a Treat to Polluters http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56475-bloated-oil-profits-and-corporate-welfare-a-trick-to-taxpayers-a-treat-to-polluters.html WASHINGTON, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)—October 31, 2014. This morning, ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) reported its third quarter earnings for 2014 -- an eye-popping $8.07 billion. Yet, ExxonMobil paid an effective tax rate of only 10.2 percent on its U.S. income in 2013, and likely received a significant share of the $10.5  billion in federal tax breaks and other subsidies enjoyed by the oil and gas industries.

Friends of the Earth Climate and energy campaigner Lukas Ross issued the following statement in response:

Despite the recent drop in crude oil prices, ExxonMobil and other energy giants remain ridiculously profitable. Instead of throwing corporate welfare at polluters, it is time for Congress to take action and make the companies driving the climate crisis pay their fair share.

At a time when healthcare and renewable energy programs must struggle for funding, sending tax breaks to ultra-profitable companies like ExxonMobil is simply unconscionable.

Source: www.foe.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:38:12 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/56475-bloated-oil-profits-and-corporate-welfare-a-trick-to-taxpayers-a-treat-to-polluters.html
New Study: Deadly Skin-eating Fungus Threatens to Wipe Out Salamanders http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56474-new-study-deadly-skin-eating-fungus-threatens-to-wipe-out-salamanders.html International Trade Could Bring Highly Lethal Disease to United States

WASHINGTON—(ENEWSPF)--October 31, 2014.  The journal Science yesterday published a study documenting a new threat to the world’s salamanders from a deadly skin-eating fungus. A relative of the killer chytrid fungus that has devastated frog populations, the new disease called Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or Bs, is sweeping through salamander populations in Europe. While the disease has not yet reached the United States, scientists found that imports of infected individuals pose a risk of spreading the highly lethal disease to native salamanders in the United States.

“If this disease is allowed to spread here in the United States, our salamanders will die off in mass numbers,” said Collette Adkins Giese, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney and biologist who works to save endangered reptiles and amphibians. “Chytrid fungus, along with the white-nose syndrome that’s wiping out millions of our bats, has shown the devastating impacts of wildlife diseases. We need to do everything in our power to protect our nation’s amphibians and prevent the spread of this disease.”

The new fungus appears to specifically target salamanders and has practically wiped out fire salamanders in the Netherlands, reducing that population to only 4 percent of what it was just four years ago. It kills the amphibians by eating through their skin, exposing them to lethal bacterial infections. Luckily for other amphibians, the new fungus does not appear to kill frogs and toads.

Results from lab tests show that the disease is especially lethal to newts, which are a kind of salamander. Several species of newts are found in the United States, including the eastern newt, a common aquarium pet that is collected from the wild or purchased. The striped newt, found in Florida and Georgia, has been a candidate for Endangered Species Act protection since 2011.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must act fast to keep this disease from infecting wild salamanders in the United States,” said Peter Jenkins, president of the Center for Invasive Species Prevention. “With nearly 200 species, the United States is a global hotspot of salamander biodiversity. If we don’t act fast, we could lose these vital and popular animals from the wild.”

Infected individuals could reach the United States through the extensive commercial salamander trade. For example, more than 2.3 million individuals of Chinese fire-bellied newt were imported into the United States from 2001 to 2009. According to the study published today, the new fungus can effectively be transmitted across multiple salamander species through direct contact. The study warns that “the process of globalization with its associated human and animal traffic can rapidly erode ancient barriers to pathogen transmission” and these pathogens have “the potential to rapidly pose a threat of extinction.”

Scientists have developed a DNA-based test for detecting Bs, and infected animals held in captivity can be effectively treated with antifungal baths. But once the disease enters wild populations, it is nearly impossible to stop its spread to new populations. Environmental groups are calling for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to suspend all imports of salamanders into the United States unless they are certified to be free of the fungus.  

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 800,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Source: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org

 

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:35:04 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56474-new-study-deadly-skin-eating-fungus-threatens-to-wipe-out-salamanders.html
Gray Wolf Spotted in Grand Canyon National Park for First Time in Over 70 Years http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56473-gray-wolf-spotted-in-grand-canyon-national-park-for-first-time-in-over-70-years.html Wandering Wolf Would Lose Protections Under Federal Plan

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz.—(ENEWSPF)--October 30, 2014.  For the first time since the 1940s, a gray wolf is roaming the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The wolf, which is wearing an inactive radio collar, is likely a gray wolf that dispersed from the northern Rocky Mountains. The intrepid wolf is currently fully protected under the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits killing, wounding or harassing the animal and provides other protections. However, those protections could be stripped under the Obama administration’s proposed plan to remove wolves from the list of protected species.

“I'm absolutely thrilled that a wolf managed to travel so far to reclaim the Grand Canyon as a home for wolves,” said Michael Robinson, a wolf advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “This wolf's journey starkly highlights the fact that wolf recovery is still in its infancy and that these important and magnificent animals continue to need Endangered Species Act protections.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service repeatedly sought to remove endangered species protections for wolves. The latest proposal, which the agency scheduled to be finalized late this year, would eliminate protections for the Grand Canyon wolf and likely erase any chance it will be joined by a potential mate from the north.

“In the early 1900s over 30 wolves on the North Kaibab, including Grand Canyon National Park, were killed by government hunters,” said Kim Crumbo, conservation director for Grand Canyon Wildlands Council. “The possibility that a determined wolf could make it to the Canyon region is cause for celebration, and we must insist that every effort be taken to protect this brave wanderer.”

“Wolves like this one at the Grand Canyon and OR-7 demonstrate that, when protected, wolves will naturally recolonize their native habitats, restoring balance to wounded landscapes,” said Drew Kerr, carnivore advocate with WildEarth Guardians. “Without Endangered Species Act protections, however, wolves will likely be relegated to a few National Parks in a tiny portion of their historic range.”

Background
Wolves have returned to less than 10 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states. Scientists identified the Grand Canyon ecosystem as one of three in the Southwest, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area where Mexican gray wolves now roam and the southern Rocky Mountains, capable of supporting a robust and ecologically viable wolf population. Such populations, linked to each other through wolves’ famous propensity to wander, would help avoid extinction and ensure the species’ recovery.

In other regions, including the Pacific Northwest, wolves that dispersed from their natal packs have successfully found new homes and established new populations. Wolves face intense hostility and persecution in many areas, which would likely increase without legal protections.

The biological phenomenon called a trophic cascade describes benefits that flow through an ecosystem because of an apex carnivore’s return. Wolves cause deer and elk herds to move more naturally, preventing overgrazing of streamside habitats. This permits the reestablishment of shade trees and bushes, like native aspen, cottonwood and willow, providing improved habitat for fish, beavers and songbirds. Even other large carnivores, like grizzly bears, benefit from the wolves’ return.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 800,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Grand Canyon Wildlands Council works to protect and restore wild nature in the Grand Canyon Ecoregion

WildEarth Guardians is a non-profit organization working to protect and restore the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers and health of the American West.

Source: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:32:41 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/science/science-a-environmental/56473-gray-wolf-spotted-in-grand-canyon-national-park-for-first-time-in-over-70-years.html
Lake County Medical Marijuana Patients Seek More Than $600,000 in Monetary Damages for Warrantless Raids http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56468-lake-county-medical-marijuana-patients-seek-more-than-600-000-in-monetary-damages-for-warrantless-raids.html Patients demand compensation for constitutional rights violations by local law enforcement

Lakeport, CA – (ENEWSPF)—October 30, 2014. Nine medical marijuana patients from Lake County filed tort claims today for a total of $621,000 in monetary damages in a widely-watched ongoing legal struggle between growers and county officials. Two weeks ago, on October 15th, U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson granted a preliminary injunction preventing Lake County authorities from continuing warrantless raids.

The claimants, who were all raided over the past several weeks, include 60-year-old patient Mona Allen who was growing six mature plants, 66-year-old patient Carl Ray Harris who was growing nine plants, and 70-year-old patient Nina Faye Sikes who, together with her elderly husband, were growing 14 immature plants. Lake County law enforcement broke through several gates, entered the property of qualified patients without consent, and seized their medical marijuana without a warrant, consent, or any advance notice.

The claimants are seeking monetary damages from Lake County ranging from $59,000-$125,000 to compensate them for property that was unlawfully destroyed. The claimants, who accuse the Lake County Sheriff’s Office of conducting paramilitary-style raids without warrants or proper abatement notices required by law, are also seeking punitive damages.

"This case has made clear that law enforcement, when given such unbridled discretion, will use it to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights," said Joe Elford, a San Francisco-based lawyer who filed the claims on behalf of the unlawfully raided county residents. "And, when they do so, people whose rights have been violated deserve to be made whole for having to endure that abuse of authority," continued Elford. “The county is not above the law, and it has an obligation to respect people’s constitutional rights when carrying out local policy or pay the consequences.”

The tort claims are connected to a lawsuit filed earlier this year in San Francisco federal court, challenging Lake County’s enforcement of Measure N, an ordinance that restricts medical marijuana cultivation in the county. Measure N was narrowly adopted in June with less than 52 percent of the vote, after the county’s aggressive enforcement practices were successfully challenged in August 2012. A preliminary injunction was also granted in that case, which was brought by medical marijuana patient Don Merrill and others who feared the violation of their constitutional due process rights in much the same way the current plaintiffs/claimants were.

More information:
Tort claims for nine raided medical marijuana patients: https://www.dropbox.com/s/g5dcxdy74e8al75/Lake_County_Tort_Claims.pdf

Federal court ruling on medical marijuana: https://www.dropbox.com/l/gn2wGtGh1suytmGEw6ZQxs

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:15:55 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56468-lake-county-medical-marijuana-patients-seek-more-than-600-000-in-monetary-damages-for-warrantless-raids.html
RN Ebola Strike, National Day of Action for Ebola Safety Standards Coast to Coast Nov. 12 http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56448-rn-ebola-strike-national-day-of-action-for-ebola-safety-standards-coast-to-coast-nov-12.html Action to Include Strike by 18,000 Kaiser California RNs

Silver Spring, Maryland--(ENEWSPF)--October 30, 2014.  Registered nurses from California to Maine will hold strikes, picketing, and other actions Wednesday, November 12 in 12 U.S. states and the District of Columbia – with possible support actions globally – as the largest U.S. organization of nurses steps up the demand for tougher Ebola safety precautions in the nation’s hospitals.

One centerpiece of the actions will be a two-day strike by 18,000 RNs and nurse practitioners at 66 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics who have been pressing the HMO giant for weeks to put in place proper safety protocols and training with optimal personal protective equipment. Kaiser has repeatedly dismissed the nurses’ concerns.

A strike will also occur at Providence Hospital in Washington D.C. affecting 400 RNs.

In addition, Ebola safety actions are tentatively set for Augusta, Ga., Bar Harbor, Me., Boston, Chicago, Durham, N.C., Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Lansing, Mi., Massilon, Oh., Miami, St. Louis, St. Paul, Mn., St. Petersburg, Fl., and Washington DC, as well as a number of other California locations. Additional details on exact sites of the actions will be announced soon.

NNU says it anticipates actions in many other states as well, as nurses are contacting NNU across the country and it is highly likely the national day of action will spread widely.

“With the refusal of hospitals across the country to take seriously the need to establish the highest safety precautions for when an Ebola patient walks in the door, and the failure of our elected leaders in Washington to compel them to do so, America’s nurses say they have to make their voices heard a little louder,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.

“If nurses are on the outside, it tells you there must be something wrong on the inside. What’s wrong on the inside is the cavalier attitude of most U.S. hospitals who would rather continue to put their nurses, other frontline healthcare workers, patients, and the public to the risk of exposure to Ebola than to take the steps necessary to ensure proper safety standards,” DeMoro said.

“The hospitals are willing to gamble with the lives and safety of RNs and other health workers. But we are not,” said DeMoro. “If registered nurses, the people who will be caring for Ebola patients and are at the most risk, are not protected from the Ebola virus, no one is protected. Stopping Ebola in our hospitals is the only way to stop Ebola in the U.S.”

“Kaiser has shown a complete disregard for the safety of nurses and patients in the face of a disease that the World Health Organization calls the ‘most severe acute health emergency in modern times’,” said Deborah Burger, RN, co-president of NNU and a Kaiser nurse. “We will not be silent while Kaiser puts all of us, our families, and our communities, at risk.”

“For far too long, Providence nurses have felt disrespected due to poor working conditions and unsafe staffing. Now, management is asking us to care for a possible Ebola patient without optimal protective equipment and training. We’re striking to protect ourselves and our patients,” said Providence RN Rose Farhoudi  

What NNU is demanding is that all U.S. hospitals follow the precautionary principle in safety measures for Ebola, which holds that absent scientific consensus that a particular risk is not harmful, especially one that can have catastrophic consequences, the highest level of safeguards must be adopted.

Specifically, that means for nurses and other caregivers who interact with Ebola patients are provided the optimal personal protective equipment including full-body hazmat suits that meet the American Society for Testing and Materials F1670 standard for blood penetration, F1671 standard for viral penetration, and that leave no skin exposed or unprotected, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-approved powered air purifying respirators with an assigned protection factor of at least 50.

Second, that all facilities provide continuous, rigorous interactive training for RNs and other health workers who might encounter an Ebola patient, that includes practice putting on and taking off the hazmat suits where some of the greatest risk of infection can occur.

 NNU has also repeatedly called on the White House and Congress to direct all hospitals to meet these standards. “We know from years of experience that these hospitals will meet the cheapest standards, not the most effective precautions. And now we are done talking and ready to act,” DeMoro said.

Source: http://www.nationalnursesunited.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:17:47 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56448-rn-ebola-strike-national-day-of-action-for-ebola-safety-standards-coast-to-coast-nov-12.html
FTC Charges Gerber with Falsely Advertising Its Good Start Gentle Formula Protects Infants from Developing Allergies http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56447-ftc-charges-gerber-with-falsely-advertising-its-good-start-gentle-formula-protects-infants-from-developing-allergies.html Agency Also Alleges Health Claims Were Not Approved by the FDA, as Advertised

Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)--October 30, 2014.  The Federal Trade Commission has charged Gerber Products Co., also doing business as Nestlé Nutrition, with deceptively advertising that feeding its Good Start Gentle formula to infants with a family history of allergies prevents or reduces the risk that they will develop allergies.

The agency also alleges that Gerber has falsely advertised Good Start Gentle’s health claims as FDA-approved. Through its federal court enforcement action, the Commission is seeking to prohibit Gerber from making the alleged false and unsubstantiated allergy-prevention claims.

“Parents trusted Gerber to tell the truth about the health benefits of its formula, and the company’s ads failed to live up to that trust,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Gerber didn’t have evidence to back up its claim that Good Start Gentle formula reduces the risk of babies developing their parents’ allergies.”

Baby saying ‘I love Mommy’s eyes, not her allergies.’Advertising claim that use of Good Start will prevent or reduce the risk of a child developing allergies.

In its complaint, the FTC alleges that since 2011, Gerber has advertised its Good Start Gentle formula through advertisements that ran on television, in magazines, at point-of-sale displays, online, and in other promotional material. Good Start Gentle sells for about $24 for a 23.2-ounce package of powdered formula.

Good Start Gentle is made with partially hydrolyzed whey proteins (PHWP). Gerber claims that feeding babies this formula, instead of formula made with intact cow’s milk proteins, will prevent or reduce the risk that they will develop allergies. In its ads, Gerber promotes Good Start Gentle by saying, for example:

  • “You want your baby to have your imagination…Your smile…Your eyes…Not your allergies.”

Also, a sticker on the package states that Good Start Gentle Formula is the:

  • “1st & ONLY Routine Formula TO REDUCE THE RISK OF DEVELOPING ALLERGIES.”

The agency’s complaint charges that Gerber lacked the scientific substantiation to make these general allergy-prevention claims, in violation of the FTC Act.

Gold badge stating ‘First and only. Meets FDA qualified health claim.’Gold badge featured in some Gerber ads stating that Good Start Gentle is the “1st and Only” formula that “Meets FDA Qualified Health Claim.”

In addition, according to the FTC, Gerber’s ads also misrepresent that Good Start Gentle has qualified or received approval for a Food and Drug Administration health claim. For example, some ads prominently featured a gold badge stating that Good Start Gentle is the “1st and Only” formula that “Meets FDA Qualified Health Claim.”

In 2009, Gerber petitioned the FDA for permission to make a claim connecting PWHP with the reduced risk of one type of allergy, atopic dermatitis, in infants. The FDA allowed Gerber to make the narrow claim but only if Gerber carefully qualified its statement to make it clear that there is “little scientific evidence” for the relationship.

The Commission vote authorizing staff to file the federal court complaint was 5-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on October 29, 2014.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The case will be decided by the court.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Source: ftc.gov

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:11:14 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56447-ftc-charges-gerber-with-falsely-advertising-its-good-start-gentle-formula-protects-infants-from-developing-allergies.html
UN Ebola Response in West Africa to be Bolstered by Increase in World Bank Funding http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56445-un-ebola-response-in-west-africa-to-be-bolstered-by-increase-in-world-bank-funding.html
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim (second left) touring the Kenyatta Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya and discussing preparations and readiness to deal with the Ebola outbreak. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez

KENYA--(ENEWSPF)--30 October 2014 – The World Bank has announced it is boosting its efforts in assisting health workers fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in the three most-affected countries in West Africa as part of the wider United Nations Ebola crisis response.

In a press release today, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim confirmed an additional $100 million in funding to be directed towards speeding up the deployment of foreign health workers to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – the three countries at the epicentre of the Ebola crisis. The new funding brings the Bank’s total pledges to $500 million.

According to current UN estimates, about 5,000 international medical, training and support personnel are needed in the three countries over the coming months, including 700 to 1,000 foreign health workers to treat patients in the Ebola treatment centres.

“The world’s response to the Ebola crisis has increased significantly in recent weeks, but we still have a huge gap in getting enough trained health workers to the areas with the highest infection rates,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.

“We must urgently find ways to break any barriers to the deployment of more health workers,” Mr. Kim continued. “It is our hope that this $100 million can help be a catalyst for a rapid surge of health workers to the communities in dire need.”

To this date, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global total of 13,703 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola in six affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the United States) and two previously affected countries (Nigeria and Senegal). There have been 4,922 deaths.

The new injection of World Bank funding will fuel the Ebola response’s sprint towards reaching the 70-70-60 target established by UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and WHO with the goal of isolating and treating 70 per cent of suspected Ebola cases in West Africa and safely burying 70 per cent of the dead within the next 60 days.

In addition, it will also help set up a coordination hub in close cooperation with the all stakeholders confronting the crisis – from the governments of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to the UN’s frontline Ebola responders such as the WHO and UNMEER.

“We need to find all ways possible to remove any obstacle that stops health workers from serving – whether it is pay for workers in developing countries, or the promise of evacuation services. Health workers are heroes, and we should treat them as such,” affirmed Mr. Kim.

The World Bank President added that amid the tragedy of the Ebola outbreak, there are also many lessons to be learned, noting that a key element in fighting the spread of disease such as Ebola is to ensure that countries build and maintain the appropriate systems for limiting contagion.

“Even as we focus intensely on the Ebola emergency response, we must also invest in public health infrastructure, institutions and systems to prepare for the next epidemic, which could spread much more quickly, kill even more people and potentially devastate the global economy.”

Source: un.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:59:57 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56445-un-ebola-response-in-west-africa-to-be-bolstered-by-increase-in-world-bank-funding.html
Outdated Policies, Critical Gaps Fueling Global Drug-Resistant TB Crisis http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56444-outdated-policies-critical-gaps-fueling-global-drug-resistant-tb-crisis.html
An MSF doctor shows a lung X-ray to a extensively drug-resistant TB patient in Kara Suu hospital, Kyrgyzstan. Vincent Tremeau

BARCELONA/NEW YORK—(ENEWSPF)--October 30, 2014.  Outdated policies and practices and critical gaps in care for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) are fueling a worldwide public health crisis, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in a new report, Out of Step, released today at the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health. Based on a survey of eight high TB-burden countries, MSF’s research reveals that efforts to control the epidemic are dangerously out of step with international recommendations and proven best practices, leaving drug resistant forms of TB to spread unabated. MSF warns that governments, donors, and industry must act now, using every means available, to step-up the response to the crisis, or face a further growth in resistance. 

“This is no time for complacency: in some former Soviet Union states, MSF diagnoses multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in more than one in three people who have never been treated for TB before, indicating its spread from person to person,” said Dr. Petros Isaakidis, medical epidemiologist/senior operational research fellow, MSF India. “In Mumbai, India, MSF sees that primary transmission of drug-resistant strains is likely driving the epidemic in hot spots like slums and within vulnerable groups such as people living with HIV. DR-TB is a manmade disaster, born out of years of neglect and driven by a slow and piecemeal response. Countries must increase their efforts to optimize DR-TB care in line with international guidelines and seize the opportunity that new tools offer to strengthen and accelerate the fight against TB.”

The latest damning data from the World Health Organization shows that less than a third of the estimated MDR-TB patients worldwide are diagnosed, and only one in five receive proper treatment. Gaps in care fuel the spread of DR-TB from person to person; in some countries, MDR-TB is diagnosed in up to 35 percent of new TB patients, a trend reflected in MSF clinics.

The Out of Step report reveals five deadly gaps in the TB response that are costing lives: poor access to drug resistance testing, a growing number of people diagnosed with DR-TB left untreated, continued use of outmoded and costly models of care, limited access to promising new and repurposed drugs, and dire funding shortfalls.

MSF’s research found that testing for drug resistance, crucial for preventing misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment, is grossly insufficient in most of the countries surveyed. In half of the countries, fewer than 75 percent of MDR-TB patients diagnosed are enrolled in treatment. Further, some form of routine hospitalization takes place in half of the countries, despite community-based care having proven more tolerable for patients and more cost effective while delivering similar medical outcomes. Five out of eight National TB Programs face critical funding gaps, with Kenya, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe having less than 50 percent of the required funding available.

New and promising DR-TB drugs remain out of reach of most patients more than a year after their introduction, with bedaquiline and delamanid unavailable for routine use in all countries surveyed. In four of the countries surveyed, the new drugs are available to a limited few via compassionate use or equivalent programs. None of the countries have all of the Group 5 repurposed medicines listed in their national guidelines—drugs that are critically important in salvage therapies.

“Patients are missing out on the potential of new and promising treatments because companies and countries are dragging their feet with registrations. Meanwhile, the lack of clinical trials incorporating new TB drugs into much-needed short, tolerable, and effective regimens highlights the failings in the way medical innovation is conducted and incentivized. It’s time for TB research and development efforts to be prioritized and funded in a way that ensures lifesaving diagnostics and treatments rapidly reach the people who so desperately need them,” said Grania Brigden, MSF Access Campaign TB advisor.

MSF and Tuberculosis

MSF has been involved in tuberculosis (TB) care for 30 years, often working alongside national health authorities to treat patients in a wide variety of settings, including chronic conflict zones, urban slums, prisons, refugee camps, and rural areas. MSF’s first programs to treat multidrug-resistant TB opened in 1999, and the organization is now one of the largest NGO treatment providers of drug-resistant TB. In 2013, MSF treated 29,900 TB patients worldwide, including 1,950 patients with drug-resistant TB.

Source: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:54:02 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56444-outdated-policies-critical-gaps-fueling-global-drug-resistant-tb-crisis.html
Doctors Without Borders Begins Malaria Program in Ebola-Ravaged Monrovia, Liberia http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56443-doctors-without-borders-begins-malaria-program-in-ebola-ravaged-monrovia-liberia.html
Women pick up antimalarials at an early-morning MSF distribution in Monrovia, Liberia.  Armelle Loiseau/MSF

PARIS/NEW YORK—(ENEWSPF)--October 30, 2014.  In order to address a deeply troubling but little-known consequence of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has begun distributing antimalarial medicines in Monrovia, Liberia, a crucial medical intervention in a city where the basic health care system has collapsed in recent months.

Malaria is endemic in Liberia but due to the incredible demand of the Ebola outbreak on the medical system, basic health care such as malaria treatment is now very difficult, if not impossible, to find in Monrovia. MSF’s program is designed to both prevent and treat new malaria cases, and to minimize the number of people with malaria at Ebola treatment centers.

“The first symptoms of malaria are the same as those of Ebola,” says Dr. Chibuzo Okonta, MSF’s deputy director of emergency programs. “They include fever, headache, and overwhelming fatigue. The antimalarial medicines treat and prevent the disease. The objective is also to eliminate the risk that patients with fever, suspected of having Ebola, will end up in Ebola treatment centers in contact with infected persons.”

MSF’s teams began distributing antimalarials in the western part of Liberia’s capital city on October 25, with the goal of reaching 300,000 people in all. This treatment—artesunate and amodiaquine—is intended for children over the age of six months and adults alike. The medicine is taken for several days for three months.

The distribution is taking place in the poorest neighborhoods, where population density is very high and where access to care, which was already very limited before the Ebola epidemic, barely exists any longer. It will be repeated the next two months at the same locations, with the same treatment and mosquito nets.

By October 29, 20,000 families—100,000 people—living in the New Kru neighborhood had already received one treatment.

Before the distribution, volunteers who live in the neighborhood and who are trained by MSF visit families to explain how the distribution works. They give each family a ticket indicating the number of people living in the same room, which will authorize them to obtain the drugs. A female family member comes to the distribution site to pick up a packet that contains the treatments.

Given the backdrop of Ebola, vigilance is essential. To protect both the population and health care workers against the risk of infection, the distribution takes place early in the morning, when the streets are still empty. Participants keep their distance from each other to avoid any physical contact. The operation is divided among 55 sites.

After each distribution, the MSF-trained volunteers ensure that the message has gotten through, going door-to-door to confirm that all family members have taken the drugs even if they are not ill, because the treatment both cures and prevents the illness.

October 30, 2014

Source: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org

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shirkop4@shireweb.biz (Press Release) Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:49:38 GMT http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/health-and-fitness/56443-doctors-without-borders-begins-malaria-program-in-ebola-ravaged-monrovia-liberia.html