Plains Justice – CAFOs and Threats to Human Health

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Today, Plains Justice, an environmental law center working on behalf of the public, released “Public Health and Livestock Confinements: Identifying Threats to Human Health.” Donna Wong-Gibbons, Ph.D., author of the report, calls it “a science-based review of some of the available research and literature on livestock confinements, specifically on the possible public health risks associated with those.”

Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) spoke with Wong-Gibbons by phone today.

BPGL: What can readers expect to find in the Plains Justice report?

WONG-GIBBONS: The report focuses partially on Iowa, although similar problems exist in other states where there are livestock confinements. It’s designed to be a plain-language document, so that the public, regulators, and legislators can all read it. It’s intended to help educate people about some of the potential public health problems with CAFOs.

Yet, it’s also designed to help educate people about some of the ways that those problems can be addressed. It’s important, when you’re talking about public health, to identify the problem, then to also look at solutions. So that’s what the report is trying to do….

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Indie Film “A River of Waste” Issues Urgent Call to “Vote with Our Ballots as Well as Our Forks”

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“Only after the last tree is cut down, the last of the water poisoned, the last animal destroyed… Only then will you realize you cannot eat money.” — Cree Indian Prophecy

So begins the documentary film A River of Waste, setting the stage for a discussion of how agriculture in the U.S. — and indeed, much of the world — has left behind the family farm and turned into profits-at-any-cost Big Ag. And there are costs — costs to the animals kept in filth and confinement; costs to the environment in air, soil, and water pollution; and costs to the health and well-being of people.

This excellent indie film presents a story that has been carefully researched and seamlessly assembled to show consumers just how dangerous CAFOs are. But it doesn’t stop there; it presents solutions in the form of regulations and practices that are common in the European Union…

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Shining a Light on Seasonal Affective Disorder

September 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Drugs, FDA, Front Page, Health

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With fall approaching the Midwest like a freight train, our days are getting shorter, and our nights longer. It will soon be the Northern Hemisphere’s turn to watch green turn to brown and, in some places, to white, as snow covers the barren ground.

The weaker sunlight and cooler temperatures, the graying of the days, and the prospect of snow don’t bother me, but they do bother my wife. Transplanted to Iowa years ago from a sunnier state, she begins dreading winter with the first cool breeze of September. She doesn’t like this change of seasons, but she copes with it. (“Just barely,” she chimes in from the other side of the room.)

Yet, for some people, the lack of sunlight and cooler temperatures are more than just a mild annoyance; they cause a deep depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)…

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Indie Film Describes “Certain Adverse Events” from Antibiotic Use

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“If you were to look at how prescription drugs are developed and marketed, you might never take a prescription drug again.” So begins the film Certain Adverse Events. Reading the statement on the screen, I felt the first twinge of alarm that I was about to learn more than I might really want to know. And that’s just what happened. The film showed how vulnerable we health consumers are when we take a prescription medicine. We can’t know what the side effects will be — because even the FDA and the drug companies often don’t know. A scary thought, indeed…

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