Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

30 April 2012

Industrial Methods of Raising Animals for Meat in the United States



The following article which originally appeared on this blog on 8 June 2011, is  being re-published to demonstrate the aberrations regarding industrial methods of raising animals for meat in the United States:  Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and breeding of cloned and genetically modified animals.


Animals give us unconditional love.  They are also very healing.  They keep us company when we are alone;  they console us when we are down and sick.  There is however a huge DISCONNECT between the way we treat our pets and animals of company, and the way we raise them for food in concentrated animal feeding operations.


Cloned calves
A troubling aspect of modern food production is concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).  Michael Pollan has written an excellent essay, “Power Steer” about his experience purchasing a six-month-old calf which was sent from a ranch in South Dakota where it grazed beside its mother on prairie grass, to a feedlot in Kansas containing 37,000 cows.  There the calf was fattened up for the slaughterhouse and at 14 months, was rendered into those tender, marbled rib-eye steaks one finds in supermarkets and restaurants. 


Mad Cow Disease Appears in California Dairy Cow



Docile, eating what they are fed, trusting the rancher all the way to the slaughterhouse.   Is that just the cows, or is it us?"

America's Mad Cow Crisis
by John Stauber for BuzzFlash at Truthout


26 April 2012

26th Commemoration of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

Welsh sheep still being scanned by Geiger counters.

Today is the 26th commemoration of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  Our thoughts are with the people in the region who still suffer from the devastating health and environmental impact of radioactive contamination from the catastrophe.  Places much farther away are experiencing the effects of this contamination.  Sheep on some 330 farms in Wales are still being scanned by Geiger counters for radiation levels.  One farmer commented that he did not understand why a new reactor was being planned in the country when it already had a wealth of natural resources such as wind, tidal and hydro. 


24 April 2012

Life Will Be Difficult for Cell Phone Fanatics in Udine, Italy

The mayor of the capital of Friouli launches an operation to encourage its inhabitants to disconnect. 


Cell phones “harm health and ruin social relations.”    The mayor of Udine, in north-east Italy, has gone to war. His target:  the frenzied use of mobile phones by its 100,000 citizens.  Friday, he launched a campaign which invites tradespeople to ban use of “telefonini” in their establishment.  Sixteen bars, restaurants and hotels have already subscribed to “Cell phone-free, talking-free”, noted the “Corriere della Sera”.  The initiative comes from the elected official, Mario Canciani.  For this physician, as long as the harmlessness of waves to the brain has not been proven, it is necessary to protect citizens, especially children.
If the authorities do not intend to do so for now, imposing the switching off of cell phones in streets and parks will serve as an example.  The mayor, Furio Honsell, obliges his Municipal Council to disconnect.  Debates disturbed by ringing and beeps are over.  “I had to use my bell more often because of cell phones during discussions.  They were all fiddling on Facebook and Twitter, or sending SMS’s,” he sighs.

The anti-cell phone frenzy is spreading in Italy.  The rail company Trenitalia has just created “relax” cars where silence is the norm, an arrangement which the Swiss Railway (CFF) has renounced for second class.

(Translation from French of article in 20 Minutes Online, 23 April 2012.  Original text in French:  http://www.20min.ch/ro/news/monde/story/Les-fanatiques-du-portable-auront-la-vie-dure-21970507)

23 April 2012

U.S. Health Care: A Profit-Driven, Uncaring System

Fool’s Gold: US Healthcare System Cheats Patients
by Donna Smith (16 April 2012) 
"Simply fixing the payment mechanism will not be
 enough to fix the broken human interactions."
In case any one of us needs reminding, the profit-driven healthcare system in America is broken. Driven by its primary motivation to make money, there is little that compels those currently in control to care about patients like you and me. We are most assuredly a necessary component of the healthcare market – they cannot make any money without us – but we are treated like children to be seen and not heard.
The vast majority of us cannot access or pay for the care we need without health insurance coverage through either a private, for-profit health insurance company or through a government program for which we qualify. A small minority of people can afford to pay for care outright with cash or credit.

21 April 2012

India: New Radiation Emission Rules for Mobile Phones and Towers to Take Effect on 1 September 2012

100 million mobile phone users in rural India
India's new radiation emission rules for mobile phones and towers will take effect on 1 September 2012. These rules state that cell phones can be imported and sold in India only if the SAR level is below 1.6 watts per kg (W/kg).  India has followed European norms which state that the maximum SAR level must not exceed 2 W/kg.  The nearly 650 models of Chinese cell phones that don’t comply with these new standards will have to be redesigned.  

The SAR value, or radiation emitted by the handset, must be specified on the device, its manual, the box and the websites of both the company and the telecom department.  The radiation figure of each handset must be displayed prominently at all retail outlets that sell mobile phones.  For consumers, the cost of a cell phone will rise by a minimum of Rs 400.  The new rules make it mandatory for all handsets to be sold with a hands-free device, as the government believes this will help reduce significantly the exposure to radiation.
Radiation limits for towers have been tightened to a tenth of the existing exposure level.  The telecom department has decided that tower certifications from April 2012 onwards will be covered by the new norms.
India thus recognizes the risks of exposure to radiation emitted by mobile phones and towers.  When will countries such as the United States and Switzerland follow suit and take action to protect the health of their citizens?
(This information came from WEEP News, 20 April 2012. See Press Release from the Government of India dated 4 May 2012.)

20 April 2012

Genetically Modified Food and Agriculture

The recent proposal for a GMO labeling bill in California has gathered 850,000 signatures.  In May 2012, it will be voted on by citizens in that state and will probably pass.  Companies may well have to remove GMOs from their foods.  It is a crime that GM foods have been allowed throughout the food chain in the United States.  We are all guinea pigs in a worldwide experiment that may cost us dearly in terms of our health and the environment.  It is estimated that 75 per cent of all processed foods in the United States contain a genetically modified ingredient.  GM ingredients are now appearing in processed food and animal feed in Europe.  (The following article was written in May 2011 for this site.)


I invite everyone to read Jeffrey Smith’s "Seeds of Deception" and “Genetic Roulette – the documented health risks of genetically engineered foods”. Evidence of health risks has been concealed to preserve corporate profit. Industry would like to maintain absence of labels since this would make it difficult for experts to monitor the health impact on persons eating GM food. Were GM foods labeled, most consumers would not purchase them, nor foods containing GM ingredients. Jeffrey Smith presents documented evidence of reactions to GM food in animals and humans and adverse effects on the environment:

19 April 2012

News from Geneva: Lecture on "The Marketing of Madness": Psychiatric Medications Dominate Mental Health


On 18 April 2012, the Citizens’ Commission for Human Rights (CCHR) organized a lecture in Geneva, Switzerland, on the marketing of psychiatric diagnoses and medications and their adverse effects on health.  Dr. Nicolas Franceschetti, President of CCHR, Geneva, introduced the evening by referring to recent developments such as the British Medical Journal article published on 27 February 2012 warning about the deadly adverse effects of regular ingestion of hypnotics (sleeping pills) which include shortening of lifespan and cancer.

A nurse who works at a “home” for aged persons (EMS) in Switzerland gave testimony of the over-prescription of medications to the elderly in these establishments.

Extracts of the documentary, “The Marketing of Madness” were shown. (YouTube access to the 177-minute film is available at the end of the article).  The film discusses “how psychiatric medications with deadly side effects and no known rate of cure came to dominate the field of mental health”, for example through the drawing up of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).  This manual creates “disease out of everyday suffering and as a result, pads the bottom lines” of pharmaceutical companies (ref: “Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness”, by Gary Greenberg, 27 December 2010, Wired Magazine).  Another example is the prescription of atypical antipsychotics to some 2.5 million children in the United States.  This new type of psychiatric medication, which includes Risperdal and Zyprexa, can cause weight gain, cardio-vascular dysfunction and Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms.  These drugs sometimes require the prescription of other psychotropic medications to lessen side-effects, a practice called “poly-pharmacy”.

17 April 2012

Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier to Deliver Presentation on New Treatment and Prevention Approaches at Autism One Generation Rescue Conference


Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier will address the Autism One Generation Rescue Conference on Friday, 25 May 2012, at 11.30 am.  The conference will take place 23-27 May 2012 at The Westin Yorktown, Lombard, Illinois (outside Chicago).  It will present new approaches to the treatment and prevention of the autism-related syndrome, which according to recent statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now affects an estimated 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls).  “We must consider environmental factors as they have changed considerably our biosphere:  infant nutrition, air pollution and pesticides, increased exposure to electromagnetic radiation of all frequencies associated with the globalization of human communication, and changes in our microbial flora,” states the article on the presentation.  See also this short video clip about treating autism from 20 February 2012.
Go to Autism One Generation Rescue Conference to register ($25 processing fee, conference is free.)

Regarding electromagnetic fields as a risk factor for autism, read this, from an article by Dr. Mercola published 17 April 2012:

Work by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt suggests there are distinct correlations between a woman's exposure to electromagnetic fields during pregnancy and her child's neurological functioning… If you sleep in strong electromagnetic fields during pregnancy, your child will likely begin to exhibit neurological abnormalities within the first two years of life, such as neurological dysfunction, hyperactivity, and learning disorders.
In 2007, this theory received additional support from a study published in the Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine. It presented the theory that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi devices and other similar wireless technologies may work in conjunction with genetic and environmental factors, becoming an accelerating factor in autism. After more than five years of research on children with autism they found that EMR negatively affects cell membranes, allowing heavy metal toxins, which are associated with autism, to build up.

Following is a summary of the presentation to be delivered:

AUTISM: The Microbial Track     
Presented by Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier, M.D., and the group CHRONIMED

Unreasonable Criticism of Gro Harlem Brundtland Regarding Her Electro-Hypersensitivity

Recently, I posted an article about the electro-hypersensitivity of former Norwegian Prime Minister and Director-General of the World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland.  Just a few days ago, three articles in the Norwegian media were published criticizing her for having creating fear of electromagnetic radiation in the population.  One of the loudest critics is Michael Repacholi, who for years led research on mobile phone radiation and health at WHO, and who had ties to the wireless industry.  Here is one of the three articles, from the Stavanger Aftenblad, 13 April 2012.

Bent Hoie (H) and Laila Dåvøy (KrF), Norwegian Parliament, believe Gro Harlem Brundtland and others who claim to be sick of mobile radiation.  “Whether mobile phone radiation is harmful, I have no idea. But people have health problems from the radiation, there is no doubt,” says Bent Hoie, led by Parliament's Health and Human Services Committee.

“I believe people who say they are allergic to mobile phone radiation,” said committee member Laila Dåvøy to the Stavanger Aftenblad.

13 April 2012

The Tobacco Fields of Argentina: Poisoned Workers and Children's Birth Defects from Pesticides

The following opinion, written by Daniel Daester and published in Le Matin Dimanche on 25 March 2012, concerns Monsanto which receives tax exemptions from the Government of the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Since 2004, Monsanto has had an office for some 80 employees in Morges, a town of nearly 15,000 inhabitants on Lake Geneva. When offices were set up, the company specifically asked the economic promotion service of the canton not to announce this event and does not communicate with journalists probably due to the fact that Switzerland is not favorable to genetically modified organisms. (Reference: “Monsanto développe ses activités à Morges, en catimini” by Jean-Claude Péclet, Le Temps, 27 January 2009.)

« The Gift to Monsanto » by Daniel Daester

“Morges shelters Monsanto, an American multinational engaged in destructive health and environmental actions which affect a large part of the planet. 50% of scorched land in Argentina. Credits accorded to Indian farmers who must purchase its products, but who are unable to reimburse their cost due to poor harvests. These people will increase the ranks of the population of shanty towns. In Mexico, children’s feet are burned after crossing fields which have been treated with Monsanto products …

11 April 2012

The Cherry Tree



The flowering cherry tree, « Sakura », welcomes spring.  The cherry blossom is an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life.  It reminds us that we must protect this very fragile existence which is granted to us.  May the flowering of these trees bring healing this year to the nation’s people and land, and a nuclear-free Japan.




One hundred years ago, First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador to the United States, planted two Yoshino cherry trees in Wasington DC, part of a gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Japan to the United States.  Today, these two trees and thousands more grace the city’s spring.    Let this be a message to the United States that it too must consider abandoning nuclear energy and protect the beauty and fragility of life.


Cherry blossoms at Fukushima
by Meris Michaels

07 April 2012

Swiss Pro-Youth Association Offers Prepaid Mobile Phone Service for Children from Age 9


Photo in Le Matin
In January 2009, the French Government banned advertising of mobile phones to children under age 12.  The French Environment Minister said he would also take steps to ban the sale of mobile phones designed for children under 6.  One month before, Lyon, France’s second largest city, launched an advertising campaign to discourage the use of mobile phones by children.  Billboards carried the slogan, “Let’s keep (children) healthy, away from mobile phones!” 



Switzerland lags far behind countries like France in warning about the potential health risks to children using mobile phones.  In March 2012, those of us who are more aware of this issue were shocked to hear that Pro Juventute, a non-profit association which aids children, and the Swiss mobile operator, Sunrise, were jointly promoting the offer of a prepaid service for mobile phone use by children from age 9.  The offer costs 249 francs (about US$255) a year, including an SIM card with unlimited calls to four phone numbers, and access to a control platform, offering parents the possibility of blocking or limiting access to the Internet or services such as SMS.  The purpose is to protect children from pornography and cybermobbing.  The question was asked, “Isn’t nine years rather early for a child to have a mobile phone?”  The spokesperson for Sunrise replied that this limit corresponds to “general pedagogical recommendations made by experts”.

06 April 2012

Germany: Shielding Against Electrosmog is Tax Deductible

Here is a positive development concerning radiofrequency (RF) radiation from Germany. A court in Cologne decided that expenses for shielding of a condominium against RF radiation can be tax-deductible. (Thank you to Katharina Gustavs for this information – www.buildingbiology.ca
Shielding against Electrosmog Is Tax Deductible
Press release from 2 April 2012

Expenses for the shielding of a condominium against RF radiation can be deducted from the income tax as exceptional expenditures. The 10th Senate of the Finance Court Cologne issued this decision on 8 March 2012 (10 K 290/11).

In her income tax return, the plaintiff claimed expenses of 17,075 euros for the installation of RF radiation shielding to protect her condominium against broadcast, TV, and cell phone radiation. The revenue office declined the deduction of these expenses as exceptional expenditures because no certificate by a medical officer regarding the necessity of such shielding had been supplied and therefore could only be considered as a precautionary measure.

05 April 2012

Test-Tube Babies: Are Their Hearts More Fragile?

We should be very wary of manipulating life and the environment in ways that go against nature: geo-engineering, genetically modified organisms, conception by assisted reproductive technologies.

On 4 April 2012, Swiss television (Télévision Suisse Romande) aired a program on “36.9” on the research of Dr. Urs Scherrer, University Hospital, Lausanne (CHUV) and team on vascular dysfunction in children conceived by assisted reproductive technologies (ART). They found that healthy children conceived by ART display generalized vascular dysfunction which appears to be related to the ART procedure, not to parental factors. Publication of the research was refused several times, until it was accepted in the journal “Circulation” on 10 February 2012 and to be published on 17 April 2012. (Abstract available here.)

A group of children conceived by ART were taken to the Jungfraujoch (altitude 3,500 meters or 13,600 feet) where oxygen is rare. They were subjected to 3 days of cardio-vascular tests. A lack of oxygen stresses the body. Examinations revealed a 30% higher systolic pulmonary artery pressure at high altitude in ART children than in those conceived naturally. The ART children’s mothers were subjected to the same tests. Results were normal. The conclusion was that there was risk of premature circulatory system problems in these children.

04 April 2012

"Laptop" Use of Laptop Computers May Generate Adverse Health Effects


This article on exposure to electromagnetic fields from “laptop” use of laptop computers was published in the Journal of Environmental & Occupational Health in February 2012 (not available for free on-line).  Scientists measured electromagnetic fields that laptop computers produce and estimated the induced currents in the body, to assess the safety of these computers.  According to the abstract, the power supply generates strong intracorporal electric current densities in the fetus and in the adult subject.  The authors recommend renaming laptop computers to induce safer use.  

Following is the abstract of the article.

Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields from "Laptop" Use of Laptop Computers

(C. V. Bellieni, MD; I. Pinto, MS; A. Bogi, PhD; N. Zoppetti, MS; D. Andreuccetti, MS; G. Buonocore, PhD. Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2012 Copyright C2012 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.)

Abstract

03 April 2012

Mobile Phone Jammers Risk Heavy Fines


This may be one of the few ways to silence those annoying mobile phone conversations in public transport, however, users and owners of mobile phone jammers in Switzerland risk fines of up to 100,000 Swiss francs (US$110,670).  Thank you to 20 Minutes for this article published on 22 March 2012 (translated from French).  

Mobile Phone Jammers More and More Disturbing

Small, discrete, perfectly illegal, the devices which are paralyzing the waves are sometimes used as a game.  Anger assured.

Certain people resort to this system in order to travel in peace in public transport.

There are those who turn on their mobile wave jammer, which has a range of from 10 to 30 meters (30 to 90 feet), just for the pleasure of making those next to them angry.

02 April 2012

Short-Term Treatment with Bisphenol-A Leads to Metabolic Abnormalities in Adult Male Mice


Since there are several posts on Bisphenol A (BPA), I am including the abstract of this scientific article published on 28 March 2012.  It concludes, “short-term treatment with low doses of BPA slows down whole body energy metabolism and disrupts insulin signaling in peripheral tissues. Thus, our findings support the notion that BPA can be considered a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes.”  Read the open-access, full-text article here: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0033814 .   Thank you to ISDE Italy (International Society of Doctors for the Environment) for forwarding this information.

Abstract:

"Bisphenol-A (BPA) is one of the most widespread endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) used as the base compound in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics. Although evidence points to consider exposure to BPA as a risk factor for insulin resistance, its actions on whole body metabolism and on insulin-sensitive tissues are still unclear. The aim of the present work was to study the effects of low doses of BPA in insulin-sensitive peripheral tissues and whole body metabolism in adult mice. 

Austrian Medical Association Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of EMF-Related Health Problems and Illnesses


The Austrian Medical Association has published Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses, which was adopted at the meeting of its environmental medicine officers on 3 March 2012 in Vienna.  The Association has moreover called for application of the precautionary principle in regard to smart meters.  Following are extracts from the Guidelines, which can be seen here in their entirety.

“There has been a sharp rise in unspecific, often stress-associated health problems that increasingly present physicians with the challenge of complex differential diagnosis.  A cause that has been accorded little attention so far is increasing electrosmog exposure at home, at work and during leisure activities, occurring in addition to chronic stress in personal and working life…

“The Austrian Medical Association has developed guidelines for differential diagnosis and potential treatment of unspecific stress-related health problems associated with electrosmog.  Its core element is a patient questionnaire consisting of a general assessment of stress symptoms and a specific assessment of electrosmog exposure…

“Physicians are often confronted with unspecific complaints without clearly identifiable causes.  It has been suspected that environmental conditions such as increasing exposure of the population to radio waves, emanating e.g. from cordless phones, mobile phone base stations, cell phones, GPRS, UMTS, data cards for laptop and notebook computers and wireless LAN (WLAN), but also exposure to electric and magnetic fields emanating from power lines, devices and equipment, may play a causal role…

“Austria is currently rolling out the fourth generation of mobile telephony (LTE), as well as smart metering (for electricity, gas and water consumption), resulting in additional EMF exposure of the population…