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Health & Environment

Rotten Eggs

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Please ask your senators to make recalling unsafe food mandatory.

Andre Delattre, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG)

Wright County Egg, which distributes nationwide under 16 brand names, has sold the American public 380 million eggs with a high risk of salmonella contamination. [1]

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But, because food recalls are entirely voluntary, people have been getting sick from these eggs since May. This recall is in response to an FDA investigation, but the FDA can't actually order Wright County to recall the eggs, regardless of the threat to public health. [2]

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Let's change that now. The Senate has a bill in front of it that would give the FDA the power it needs to protect consumers.

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Please ask your senators to make recalling unsafe food mandatory.

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Let's turn this crisis into an opportunity and push our senators to pass the FDA Food Safety Modernization Bill. This bill will increase inspections and testing of the foods -- like eggs -- that are the most susceptible to bacterial contamination, and it will give the FDA the authority to order mandatory recalls when unsafe food threatens public health.

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Please ask your senators to prevent dangerous food from ending up on the breakfast table.

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Notes:

[1] Egg Producer Expands Recall After Links to Salmonella, New York Times, Aug. 19, 2010.
[2] If you have purchased eggs covered by the recall, you are asked to return them to the store. For more information, click here.

Healing of Memories Workshop October 25-27

Please pass along to vets, service members, family members, and those who care for them that you know.

Sheila Laughton, Loyola Spirituality Center

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

The Healing of Memories Working Group of the Warrior to Citizen Campaign at the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College is trying to get the word out about an opportunity to attend a local Healing of Memories workshop. This will be an “open” workshop-- we expect veterans, service members, family members, and those who care for them.  Clergy and spiritual directors are also invited because of their unique pastoral care ministry.  Pain is universal and we all have memories we need to heal.

Attached is registration information for the October Healing of Memories Workshop with Fr. Michael Lapsley.  Attachments include a  one-page flyer suitable for posting and a brochure with insert to register or donate towards scholarships for vets or service members.

For further information, to register, and/or to make a donation for scholarships, please call Sheila Laughton at 651-641-0008 ext 13 with any questions.

Please share the workshop information with anyone you think might benefit from this experience.  We are limited to 20 in this workshop but hope to create an "interested" list for future workshops with local facilitators.

New study: 85% of Big Pharma's new drugs are "lemons" and pose health risks to users

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According to Donald Light, Ph.D., a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey who authored the study, the pharmaceutical industry is a "market for lemons" and Big Pharma spends a fortune to sell those lemons to the public.
This Is Your Country on Drugs

Sherry Baker, Natural News

For years, natural health proponents have been sounding the alarm about the dangers of new drugs being pushed on consumers. But is that a one-sided, inaccurate view? Not at all. In fact, new research now shows the problems with Big Pharma's hugely hyped medications are far worse than most people have even dreamed. Independent reviewers found that about 85 percent of new drugs offer few if any new benefits -- but they carry the risk of causing serious harm to users.

According to Donald Light, Ph.D., a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey who authored the study, the pharmaceutical industry is a "market for lemons" and Big Pharma spends a fortune to sell those lemons to the public.

More...

Related:

This Is Your Country on Drugs, George Kenney, In These Times
Melody Petersen talks about how we’re hooked on Big Pharma. She has been writing about the pharmaceutical industry for more than 10 years, including as a staff reporter for the New York Times. Her recent book, Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines and Hooked the Nation on Prescription Drugs (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), should be required reading for anyone who’s serious about healthcare reform.

With many still in dark, groups shed light on new health care law.

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  • With many still in dark, groups shed light on health care law
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  • Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick
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Richard Wolf, USA Today

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listens to aide Ellen Qualls during a May briefing to explain the law's benefits. Alex Wong, Getty Images

True or false: The new health care law will cut Medicare benefits for seniors. It will slash Medicare payments to doctors. It will ration health care.

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In three polls conducted last month, large percentages of Americans answered "true" to each statement. All three are false.

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Six weeks before the nation's health care delivery system begins a huge transformation, confusion reigns. For example: The debunked idea raised by opponents during congressional debate that "death panels" could make end-of-life decisions is seen as real by nearly half of those surveyed.

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More...

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Related:

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Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick, Chris Hedges, TruthDig

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  • The new health care legislation not only mocks the lofty promises made by President Barack Obama, exposing most as lies, but sadly reconfirms that our nation is hostage to unchecked corporate greed and abuse.
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  • The dizzying array of technical loopholes in the bill—written in by armies of insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists—means that these companies, which profit off human sickness, suffering and death, can continue their grim game of trading away human life for money.
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Uncovering the Lies That Are Sinking the Oil

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  • Toxic Dispersants Found on Recently Opened Mississippi Shrimping and Oyster Grounds
    BP and Administration: Lies, Deceit, and Coverup in the Gulf
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Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld, t r u t h o u t

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James "Catfish" Miller, Mississippi commercial fisherman-turned-whistleblower. (Photo: Erika Blumenfeld © 2010)

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The rampant use of toxic dispersants, out-of-state private contractors being brought in to spray them and US Coast Guard complicity are common stories now in the four states most affected by BP's Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

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Commercial and charter fishermen, residents and members of BP's Vessels Of Opportunity (VOO) program in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have spoken with Truthout about their witnessing all of these incidents.

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On Monday, August 9, the Director of the State of Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR), Bill Walker, despite ongoing reports of tar balls, oil and dispersants being found in Mississippi waters, declared, "there should be no new threats" and issued an order for all local coast governments to halt ongoing oil disaster work being funded by BP money that was granted to the state.

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More...

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Related:

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BP's Insidious Coverup and Propaganda Campaign: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Dahr Jamail, Global Research

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  • The lives of Gulf coast fishermen and residents are being destroyed. Scientists, environmentalists, and toxicologists are describing the Gulf of Mexico as a growing dead zone, a kill zone, and an energy sacrifice zone. As you read this, oil is everywhere around southeastern Louisiana, and continually washing ashore in Alabama and Mississippi.
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  • BP's Rosy Predictions Are B.S. -- Scientists Say Gulf Spill Will Have Catastrophic Impact for Generations
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  • BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence
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  • BP and Administration: Lies, Deceit, and Coverup in the Gulf
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Summary: Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster: Week of August 15

4 New Items including:

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  • Oil in the Courts
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  • BP's Insidious Coverup and Propaganda Campaign: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

Steve Greenberg

A chronology of the ongoing administration-wide response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill, The White House
The most comprehensive, detailed information is available at this Website, especially in the Daily Updates

Oil in the Courts, Michael B. Keegan, People For the American Way

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  • No matter how much BP spends on clean up efforts, ultimately the accountability of BP and the other companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico disaster -- Transocean and Halliburton -- will be determined in the courts.
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  • A New Debate on the Court and the Constitution
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  • The Corporate Courts: Fifth Circuit Judges Are Marinating in Oil
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BP's Insidious Coverup and Propaganda Campaign: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Dahr Jamail, Global Research

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    \r\n
  • The lives of Gulf coast fishermen and residents are being destroyed. Scientists, environmentalists, and toxicologists are describing the Gulf of Mexico as a growing dead zone, a kill zone, and an energy sacrifice zone. As you read this, oil is everywhere around southeastern Louisiana, and continually washing ashore in Alabama and Mississippi.
  • \r\n

  • BP's Rosy Predictions Are B.S. -- Scientists Say Gulf Spill Will Have Catastrophic Impact for Generations
  • \r\n

  • BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence
  • \r\n

  • BP and Administration: Lies, Deceit, and Coverup in the Gulf
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BP's Rosy Predictions Are B.S. -- Scientists Say Gulf Spill Will Have Catastrophic Impact for Generations, Dahr Jamail, Inter Press Service
Contrary to recent media reports of a quick recovery in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists and biologists are terrified about impacts that will likely span "several decades".

BP's Rosy Predictions Are B.S. -- Scientists Say Gulf Spill Will Have Catastrophic Impact for Generations

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Contrary to recent media reports of a quick recovery in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists and biologists are terrified about impacts that will likely span "several decades".

Dahr Jamail, Inter Press Service

An American flag lays in a slick of oil that washed ashore from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on July 4, in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The US government issued Monday a new moratorium on deepwater drilling until November 30 to ensure oil companies implement safety measures following the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images/File - Joe Raedle

Contrary to recent media reports of a quick recovery in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists and biologists are "deeply concerned" about impacts that will likely span "several decades".

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"My prediction is that we will be dealing with the impacts of this spill for several decades to come and it will outlive me," Dr. Ed Cake, a biological oceanographer, as well as a marine and oyster biologist, told IPS, "I won't be here to see the recovery."

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Cake's grim assessment stems partially from a comparison he made to the Exxon Valdez oil disaster and the second largest oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (BP's being the largest), that of the Ixtoc-1 blowout well in the Bay of Campeche in 1979.

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More...

Summary: Health Care Reform: Week of August 8

7 New Items including:

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  • Robust Public Option Health Care Bill with 121 Co-Sponsors Introduced in Congress
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  • New Republican Genius Plan: Defund Suddenly Popular Health Care Bill!
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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RJ Matson

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Robust Public Option Health Care Bill with 121 Co-Sponsors Introduced in Congress, Sahil Kapur, Raw Story

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  • Bill offers consumers a choice between pricey private health plans and a "robust" public plan in the health insurance exchanges set up by the law.
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  • Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick
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Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick, Chris Hedges, TruthDig

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  • The new health care legislation not only mocks the lofty promises made by President Barack Obama, exposing most as lies, but sadly reconfirms that our nation is hostage to unchecked corporate greed and abuse.
  • \r\n

  • The dizzying array of technical loopholes in the bill—written in by armies of insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists—means that these companies, which profit off human sickness, suffering and death, can continue their grim game of trading away human life for money.
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Abortion foes win a round in health overhaul, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, in Google

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  • "We didn't expect that women would be treated differently here with regard to the high-risk insurance pool," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-choice America. "This is inexplicable and wrongheaded to us, and it puts women's lives in jeopardy."
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  • Health care reform must not be used as an excuse for right wing extremists to roll back abortion rights
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  • Abortion War Heats Up In The States
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New Republican Genius Plan: Defund Suddenly Popular Health Care Bill! Wonkette

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  • The Republican leadership is practically cackling with glee at the prospect of reducing the health care law to “swiss cheese” by not paying for stuff.
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  • Starve the Beast
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Health Centers Save Billions, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Senator Bernie Sanders provision in the new national health care law will double the number of centers providing affordable primary care, dental care, mental-health counseling and low-cost prescription drugs.

Even in Waning Days, Pawlenty Pushes Away Federal Life Raft, Senta Knuth, Minnesota 2020
By not opting into early Medicaid expansion, Minnesota would face increased uncompensated care costs — which totaled $268 million in 2008 — as the number of uninsured in Minnesota and health care costs continue to rise. Recently, the Minnesota Department of Health ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­estimated that by 2014, Minnesota will spend 52% more on health care in 2014 than in 2008. As this spending skyrockets, so will the hidden tax on the insured.

Is Health Care Reform Constitutional? Sallie Sanford, Jurist
Although challenges to the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are valuable for inspiring dialogue within and outside the legal community, they are unlikely to succeed in the face of decades of Supreme Court case law.

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