Thursday, September 25, 2014

GMO's (Part 2--health and safety)

The main argument against GMO's (genetically modified organisms) is that they haven't been proven safe. Those who sell them argue that they haven't been proven unsafe either. Which is true, in a sense. All of the studies done (as far as I know) have been done by the companies selling GMO products, with the express intent of proving that they're safe.

Just as the tobacco companies did a few generations ago. It's perfectly safe, look at all the data we have showing that it doesn't affect anyone's health...then a few generations down the road, here we are. Same with nuclear testing.

The arguments for or against safety and health effects must be addressed from a different perspective at this point, because GMO's haven't been around long enough to study any possible long term problems.

So let's take a common sense approach.

One of the main crops that has been heavily engineered is corn. It has been engineered to have a high concentration of a particular protein, one which is toxic to various insects. Thus, the insects leave it alone or die.

If it can kill an insect, doesn't logic say it is also dangerous to humans, or any other large animal? While the amounts required for immediate toxicity may be extremely high, the continued ingestion of such substances poses a significant risk.

Other plants have been genetically engineered with various other toxins. Theoretically they grow faster, are more resistant to blights and fungi of various kinds, which means more profit for the growers. In reality that may not be entirely true.

The FDA has stated that there is no significant health difference between GMO and non-GMO corn, or wheat, or sugar beets. And yet, the insects die...

The animals that eat the corn also have high concentrations of these toxins in their eggs, meat or milk. And yet, the FDA says there is no significant health difference between animals raised on GMO feed and non-GMO feed.

Most people don't care--as evidenced by the empty grocery store shelves and full cash registers, most people will continue to buy what they want to buy regardless of possible health risks. So why bother? Why do these companies pour millions of dollars into public information campaigns and squashing those who disagree?

And the answer is, as always, money. Money and control.

Part 3

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Hum

All over the world at the end of day...

Maybe we should write a book called "People Hear a Hum" as a companion book to "Horton Hears a Who" by Dr. Seuss.

In various areas of the world, a very small percentage of people hear a humming noise. It's not tintinitis, hearing is not affected, and although some instances have been linked to noise pollution most remain without an explanation. Some have connected it to HAARP
(High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) or other experimental technologies. The connection to the aurora though...The sunspot activity has been exceptionally high this week, and the aurora borealis was visible in the northern US.

Something to think about, anyway.

Some have said they hear it mostly when meditating, or when extremely relaxed.

It's referred to, collectively, as "The Hum." Sounds like a horror movie. The Hum has been known and studied since the 1950's. People experience a continuous low drone, similar to a big truck idling nearby or a sub-woofer. The majority of people seem to hear it only in the right ear, and mainly at night. It is more likely to be found in rural or suburban areas, perhaps because big cities create enough noise to cover it. Based on the reports I found it's seldom heard in the tropics or sub-tropics, but only closer to the poles.

I haven't heard the hum (there are way too many "h's" in this post) until the last week. It's actually quite interesting. It's only in my right ear. I hear it more toward the east end of the house, but the difference is negligible. I hear it day or night, but it's not loud enough to be irritating. Turning off various appliances makes no difference. Plugging or covering my ear makes no difference, so obviously it's not a "sound" as such.

It seems to have a frequency of about 5 to 10 beats per second, fast enough that if I don't pay attention it's just a drone. Based on the way it behaves I'm guessing that it's direct stimulation of the auditory nerves, perhaps from the intense solar storms this week.

I've always been able to hear things I shouldn't, such as televisions or computers going on, radios in neighbors houses, and hints of phone conversations. It's nice (in a weird way) to know that there's an explanation for some of this.

The Hum

"The "hearing" of electromagnetic waves is an established fact. It appears that this takes place by direct stimulation of the nervous system, perhaps in the brain, thus bypassing the ear and much of the associated hearing system. It is a possible, perhaps the most probable, explanation of the reports of hearing meteors and auroras."

Monday, September 1, 2014

GMO (Part 1)

GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are a trigger topic for many people. Some feel strongly that GMO foods are the wave of the future. Others feel they're a health hazard. The companies that make them and own the gene complexes are naturally supporting their product with studies and legislation. The other side supports their own opinions with studies. Not legislation so much there because they don't have the money the corporations have.

It's a David and Goliath battle. The corporations say it hasn't been proven a hazard therefore they can do what they like. The other side says it hasn't been proven safe so take it off the market.

The corporations insist the government doesn't force them to label anything, so they don't have to. The other side says they have the right to know what's in their food.

Throughout most of the world, GMO's have been banned. That doesn't stop them from growing GMO crops for importation into the US. The argument is that the GMO foods are easier to grow, more disease and insect resistant, use less water and less fertilizer. These things haven't been satisfactorily proven (in fact, GMO crops seem to use more insecticide and more fertilizer) but the corporations responsible continue to make the claims in big loud voices that try to overwhelm any kind of dissent.

Or lawsuits if the voices don't work.

Currently there is a lawsuit against the state of Vermont. Vermont passed a law requiring labeling of GMO foods--those who would be required to comply are fighting back, declaring the law "unconstitutional." They're calling it restraint of trade.

There are hundreds of aspects to this problem, but it primarily comes down to rights--whose rights take precedence, the citizens, or the corporations?

Yes, technically the corporations have the "right" to do whatever they want within the framework built by government (which is another topic, but I'll leave it alone right now). But the rights of the people MUST take precedence. It is the people who the government is sworn to protect. NOT the businesses. And while business is necessary to the economy and the safety and health of the people, they do not have the right to over-ride the desires of the people for their profit.

If the people want GMO labeling, no business should be able to countermand that.

Part 2