June 2009


This is something you need to know. I realize that they say it’s not dangerous, that the levels in each vitamin is small, but lead builds up in your system over time. Your body does not dispose of it and it ends up in your brain and other muscle tissues. We freak out when it’s in paint or children’s toys, but can you imagine you and your kids taking it in small doses every single day.. and thinking your doing your body right at the same time? This is the ultimate betrayal.

I’m a little behind the eight ball on this one, it seems they made this discovery about a year ago and somehow I missed it. But in survey data released by the FDA in August 2008, of the 324 multivitamin-mineral products available over the internet tested, only FOUR vitamins failed to show the presence of lead. All others contained trace amounts which, as I already said, the FDA does not consider dangerous. I must repeat, however, that lead is a heavy metal that builds up in our systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges parents to prevent lead exposure to children by identifying, controlling and removing hazards safely.

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Everyday choices are the foundation of our energy usage and financial expenses. You already know that if you make wise choices in the grocery or department store you can save money and get what you want. The same is true of energy choices. You don’t have to go without air in the heat of the day or stop using your dryer. Although cutting back when it’s least painful is not a bad idea. If you are motivated to get this done, then I have some suggestions.

The government website, Energy Awareness, offers a number of materials and resources. When you go there, ask for the CD Rom “Power Kit of Energy Awareness Resources,” which is instructional and helpful in the real world. They also offer a book, “Go Green”, which gives some great ideas for saving energy.

In a nutshell, here’s what they suggest (with a few of my own thrown in):
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According to reports I have read, the USDA is seeking approval for a massive experiment, which involves genetically engineered trees. This experiment, to be conducted by the company ArborGen will conduct 29 field trials of Eucaplytus trees which will be genetically engineered to be “cold tolerant”. Why we need Eucalyptus trees on this scale and in the areas where it is cold is a mystery to me. However, this project is close to being greenlighted. Not only will it cost a bundle but I am unsure of it’s safety. They will literally be using nature like a laboratory, testing more than a half million trees, or “frankentrees”.

Scientists across the U.S. are voicing concerns over this proposal including:
-The USDA has failed to create an Environmental Impact Statement to assess potential negative issues related to the proposed field trials.
-The spread of the these plants into the wild through seeds and plant matter is highly likely, making them an invasive threat. The impact of their invasive growth on native ecosystems are unknown.. Eucalyptus trees are not native to the US.
.-One of the experimental GE tree varieties is already known to be a host for cryptococcus gatti , a fatal fungal pathogen whose spores cause meningitis in people and animals.

The USDA is currently taking public comments on whether or not the company ArborGen should be allowed to conduct 29 field trials of genetically engineered “cold tolerant” eucalyptus trees in the U.S. Comments are being accepted by the USDA until July 6, 2009. Go HERE to register your comments. Or go directly here to sign a petition to stop this trial from being considered.

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I admit that I had not thought about this matter in a while and wasn’t planning to discuss it here on the seed. But when it came to my attention lately I recalled the problems we have had here in Florida with the sea turtles on the beach. It was a horrible thing that happened when people were leaving their lights on along the beach during the turtle hatches. The poor baby turtles were running backwards, up onto the sea oats, towards city lights instead of the light of the moon on the water, and getting lost in the sand rather than running towards the ocean. Since that time, years ago, it has been a common practice here to leave lights out along the beach during the hatches. I am not sure if it is a law, however I do know that everybody just does it.

Lately came this study from a group of ecologists, biologists and biophysicists that has since been published in the journal, “Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment”. In this study they came to the conclusion that manmade light sources alter the natural light cycle and can cause animals that rely on light cues to make dangerous mistakes when moving through their environment. Although I don’t think they really needed this study, seeing that we had come to this conclusion years back on the beaches as I just noted, but I am glad I saw it because it brought it back to my attention.

Also currently discovered is that, in addition to direct light sources, this same problem occurs with polarized light. In fact, polarized light can trigger animal behaviors that lead to injury and often death. What is commonly called “light pollution” is artificial light from whatever source that occurs at unnatural times or places. This can attract or repel animals, resulting in animals migrating in the wrong direction, choosing poorly placed nests, choosing the wrong mates, increasing predatory activity out of fear or disorientation. Also possible are collisions with structures as a result of light blindness and stopping the search for food in the belief that morning has come when it hasn’t. All of this confusion is deleterious to animal security and safety, making them vulnerable in places and under conditions where they normally would be safe.

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According to a study done last year in 48 U.S. cities, researchers discovered that death rates tended to be higher on days when the ozone pollution in the area was higher. In this study they researched over 2.7 million deaths across the country in every area. As with all health risks, the elderly were more vulnerable. Although this might seem to reduce the value of the research in that elderly people are more likely to die at any given time no matter what, it must be considered that in this case elderly women were more at risk than men. Overall, in all other causes of death the risk is greater for men. The study also revealed an interesting twist that says a lot for the validity of the study. It showed that blacks were more vulnerable than other racial groups, with elderly black women the most vulnerable.

Just on the face of it, this study seems to warn that black women should not be living in polluted cities. And most especially elderly black women. As in other studies of health risks, people with health conditions were affected more than the healthy among us. In this study it showed that people with atrial fibrillation, which is a disturbance of heart rhythm, seemed to be dieing on days with poor air quality. This would not be an assumption. In fact, it’s an anomaly.

This study was conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health. It is a credible published study that can be found online.

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From The Ocean Project:

The world’s oceans cover more than 70% of our planet’s surface and the rich web of life they support is the result of hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Nomadic peoples were collecting shellfish and harvesting fish long before the dawn of settled agriculture. Great human civilizations, from the Egyptians to the Polynesians relied on the sea for commerce and transport, and now, at the end of the Twentieth Century, our fate is as tied to the oceans as ever. We still rely on fish for a significant portion of our daily protein needs, and more than $500 billion of the world’s economy is tied to ocean-based industries such as coastal tourism and shipping. Perhaps most important, this vast mass of water acts to help regulate the global climate and to ensure that a constant flow of vital nutrients is cycled throughout the biosphere.

But all is not well in the sea. Increased pressures from overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution and the introduction of invasive alien species have combined in recent decades to threaten the diversity of life in estuaries, coastal waters and oceans. Now a new threat, global warming, is making itself felt, and its impacts could be devastating for life in the sea.

There can be no doubt that our world is getting warmer. 1998 was the hottest year since accurate records began in the 1840s, and ten of the hottest years have occurred during the last 15 years. By examining growth rings from trees and ice cores drilled in Antarctica, scientists have determined that the past decade was the warmest in more than four centuries, and that the current rate of warming is probably unprecedented in at least 10,000 years. In 1992, the more than 2500 scientists comprising the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the warming is caused at least in part by emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel use. As the world warms, the outlook for marine wildlife looks bleak unless we can turn down the heat by reducing concentrations of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere.

The startling changes already beginning to affect marine life may turn out to be merely the tip of iceberg. Global warming is predicted to worsen rapidly, with average annual temperatures expected to increase by about 3 degrees C by the middle of the next century. Changes of this speed and magnitude could set off a chain reaction in marine ecosystems with truly appalling consequences for life in the sea and for human communities that depend on it. However, if we act now to reduce carbon pollution from the dirtiest power stations and from vehicle exhausts, we stand a good chance of slowing the warming and helping to save a healthy ocean for future generations.

To read more about this serious issue, go to: The Facts .

To sign a petition for the U.N. to designate this day, June 8, as World Oceans Day worldwide go HERE .


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I am sure you have been hearing a lot about water conservation. Nearly every state in the union has been talking about conserving water and for various reasons, the foremost of which is the drought conditions in many places. Here in Florida our fire danger alert system is always on red. There just isn’t enough water on the ground to reduce the risk of fire and the water table is always too low. We are currently on restricted sprinkling schedules with some of us watering on even days and others on odd. This is all because there just isn’t enough potable water to go around.

California is another state suffering severe drought conditions with continuous wildfires and mudslides. I realize these are both coastal states, right on the waterfront, and it’s hard to imagine these areas as being dry. But, believe me, they are. Toss in the midwest and southern states, where desert conditions continue year after year and you get the picture. California is in a fight with it’s border neighbors over access to water sources that they share and here in Florida we have been fighting with Georgia over access to the Suwannee River and its water supply for several years now.

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