Friday, March 27, 2015

The indigenous land rights ruling

The indigenous land rights ruling that could transform Canada - Idle No More:

The unrest is palpable. In First Nations across Canada, word is
spreading of a historic court ruling recognizing Indigenous land rights.
And the murmurs are turning to action: an eviction notice issued to a railway company in British Columbia; a park occupied in Vancouver; lawsuits launched against the Enbridge tar sands pipeline; a government deal reconsidered by Ontario Algonquins; and sovereignty declared by the Atikamekw in Quebec.

First Nations have been emboldened by this summer’s Supreme Court of
Canada William decision, which recognized the aboriginal title of the
Tsilhqot’in nation to 1,750 sq km of their land in central British
Columbia – not outright ownership, but the right to use and manage the
land and to reap its economic benefits.

Friday, March 20, 2015

It’s time for real toxics reform!

It’s time for real toxics reform!

It’s time for real toxics reform!

Our nation’s toxic chemicals policy has been broken for 39 years. Now, there are two competing bills in the Senate to update it: one that protects you (introduced by Sens. Boxer and Markey), and one that protects the chemical industry (introduced by Sens. Udall and Vitter).
We need to make sure that real chemical reform is passed. It’s time to call on President Obama and the Senate to oppose the bill written by the chemical industry.
Use the form below to send your messages to President Obama and the Senate today!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Zero Waste World | Ensia

Zero Waste World | Ensia

Welcome to the emerging world of the circular economy. Faced with rising prices for energy and raw materials, along with pressures from environmentalists and regulators who have passed “extended producer responsibility laws” in Europe and some U.S. states, forward-thinking companies are finding ways to take back, reuse, refurbish or recycle all kinds of things that would otherwise be thrown away. In contrast to the traditional “take-make-dispose” linear economy, which depletes resources, a circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. Inspired by nature, a circular economy aspires not merely to limit waste but to eliminate the very idea of waste: Everything, at the end of its life, should be made into something else, just as in the natural world, one species’ waste is another’s food.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

6 Common Food Additives

6 Common Food Additives Used in the U.S. That Are Banned in Other Countries » EcoWatch

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the use of food additives like preservatives, colors, sweeteners, fat replacers, emulsifiers
and other ingredients added to food to maintain or improve safety,
freshness, nutritional value, taste, texture and appearance. Food
additives can be direct (those added for a specific purpose) or indirect
(those added in trace amounts due to packaging, storage or handling)
and are determined safe for market use only after stringent FDA review.

Many food additives approved for use in the United States are banned in other countries: Photo credit: Shutterstock
Many food additives approved for use in the U.S. are banned in other countries. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Due to the FDA’s regulation of food additives, most people assume
that if food is on grocery store shelves, it must be 100 percent safe
for human consumption. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. As the
FDA states: “Because of inherent limitations of science, FDA can never
be absolutely certain of the absence of any risk from the use
of any substance.” In fact, several food additives approved for use in
the U.S. by the FDA are banned in other parts of the world.

So if you think everything in your pantry is safe to eat, think
again. Here are 6 common food additives found in the U.S. that are
banned in other countries.

Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

  • Use: whitening or bleaching agent for cereal flour and as a dough conditioner in baking; also used to make rubber products like yoga mats and shoe soles
  • Concerns: During baking ADA breaks down to form new
    chemicals, one of which, semicarbizide (SEM), is known to increase the
    incidence of tumors in lab rats.
  • Banned: European Union
Bromated flour

  • Use: improves gluten content in baked goods to strengthen dough and promote rising
  • Concerns: Studies dating back to 1982 have found that potassium bromate used in bromated flour causes cancer in lab rats and is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”
  • Banned: European Union, Canada, Brazil, Peru, China
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO)

  • Use: added to citrus drinks like Mountain Dew to keep flavor evenly distributed; also used as a flame retardant
  • Concerns: nervous system depressant, endocrine disruptor, causes reproductive and behavioral problems
  • Banned: Europe and Japan

  • Use: fat-free fat replacer in foods like potato chips
  • Concerns: gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea; interferes with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Banned: U.K. and Canada

Recombinant Bovine growth hormone (rBGH)

  • Use: artificial growth hormone given to cows to increase milk production
  • Concerns: increased risk of breast and prostate cancer
  • Banned: European Union, Canada, Japan, Australia