DARK Act Defeated Senate Vote Reflects Citizen Demands
The Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK Act, was defeated in the U.S. Senate in March, representing a major victory for consumers. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) spearheaded the large-scale citizen opposition to a bill that would have outlawed all state-level labeling laws of genetically modified (GMO) food ingredients nationwide; it was intended to keep consumers in the dark about the genetically engineered content of their food. Scott Faber, EWG senior vice president for government affairs, says, “Consumers have made their voices heard to their elected representatives in the Senate and they said clearly, ‘We want the right to know more about our food.’ We remain hopeful that congressional leaders can craft a national mandatory compromise that works for consumers and the food industry.” Organic Consumers Association reports that an alternative to the DARK act is being proposed that still could preempt state GMO labeling laws. So they recommend that consumers stay vigilant to ensure the DARK act remains defeated. The development is evidence that the EWG Just Label It campaign is on the right track, and the group plans to support the recently introduced Biotechnology Food Labeling Uniformity Act targeting a national mandatory standard for GMO labeling. Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, explains, “This bill finds a way to set a national standard and avoid a patchwork of state labeling laws, while still giving consumers the information they want and deserve about what’s in their food.” Sources: Natural News, Environmental Working Group, Organic Consumers Association
The ‘Dirty Dozen’ of Cancer-Causing Chemicals
cientists at the Environmental Working Group published a list of the 12 chemicals that have been most prevalently linked to cancer in numerous research studies. The list encompasses bisphenol A, atrazine, organophosphate pesticides, dibutyl phthalate, lead, mercury, per- or polyfluorochemicals (PFC), phthalates, diethlyhexyl phthalate, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, triclosan and nonylphenol. The scientists suggest that consumers can reduce their exposure to each of these chemicals by avoiding plastics marked with “PC” (polycarbonates) or the recycling number 7 mark, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics in food packaging, PFC-treated wrappers on food and other products, lead paints, mercury-laden seafoods, phthalates-containing fragrances and plastics, foam products made before 2005, foreign antibacterial soaps, and detergents and paints with nonylphenol. Other proactive measures include drinking only filtered water when in agricultural areas and purchasing organic foods. The researchers contend, “Given that we live in a sea of chemicals, it makes sense to begin reducing exposures to ones we know are bad actors.”
Tai Chi Eases Effects of Chronic Disease
review of research from the University of British Columbia tested the effects of tai chi exercise upon people with four chronic diseases: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, osteoarthritis and cancer. Dr. Yi-Wen Chen and his team analyzed 33 studies of more than 1,500 people that participated in tai chi. The research also tested the effects of the practice on general health, including walking speed, muscle strength, speed in standing up from a sitting position, quality of life, symptoms of depression and knee strength. The heart disease patients among the subjects showed a reduction in depression symptoms, and all shared a reduction of muscle stiffness and pain, increased speeds in both walking and standing from a sitting position and improved well-being. “Given the fact that many middle-aged and older persons have more than one chronic condition, it’s important to examine the benefits of treatment/exercise interventions across several co-existing conditions,” says Chen.
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