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World Water Day 2015

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March 22  |  climate change, News, Newsletters, Opinion, Research, safe drinking water, water conservation, water preservation, water stewardship  |   Webmaster

World Water Day 2015

World Water Day logo

This year’s theme is Water and Sustainable Development

Visit http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday/ for more details.

What does WATER mean to you?  Search #wateris and #WorldWaterDay

 

We spill it, drink it, bathe in it, cook with it, flush it, run it down the drain and the gutter, drench the lawn and wash the car with it.

While we waste perfectly good water and don’t give a second thought, the following statistics should be a sober wake-up call to all of us to be more respectful and conserving of this valuable resource.  Water is truly the lifeblood of our precious earth.

  • An astounding 1,400 children die every day from diseases linked to unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation.
  • Roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production.
  • There are 658 million people living without access to water in Africa.
  • By 2035, the global energy demand is projected to grow by more than one-third.
  • Diarrhea caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation and hand hygiene kills an estimated 842,000 people every year globally, which is 2,300 people per day.
  • 750 million people lack access to clean water, which is over double the population of the United States.
  • 82% of those who lack access to improved water live in rural areas.

The water crisis is the number one global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation) and the eighth global risk based on likelihood (likelihood of occurring within ten years), according to the World Economic Forum.

The UN says the planet is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless the world dramatically improves the management of this precious resource.

This is the conclusion reached in the 2015 United Nations World Water Development Report, “Water for a Sustainable World” launched in New Delhi ahead of World Water Day on 22 March.

The theme of 2015 it’s about how water links to all areas we need to consider to create the future we want.

water in hands

Join the 2015 campaign to raise awareness of water and sanitation. You can also contribute on social media though the hashtags #WaterIs and #WorldWaterDay.

World Water Day is marked on 22 March every year. It’s a day to celebrate water. It’s a day to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues. It’s a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future.

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March as the first World Water Day. 22 years later, World Water Day is celebrated around the world every year, shining the spotlight on a different issue.

We invite you to do your own research and see how you can make a difference.  Following is a link to  a short video by the UN to get you started …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Zwd4B_Zqw

 

 

 

 

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Water – “Nature’s Medicine”

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November 3  |  climate change, crops, Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Opinion, safe drinking water, water conservation, water preservation, water stewardship  |   Webmaster

Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other lifeforms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients.

80% of all illness in the developing world comes from waterborne diseases.

So, the most valuable medicine we could provide is a simple, clean glass of water.

Our SolarBag can help. It offers households anywhere in the world, the world’s best detoxification and disinfection solution for pennies a day.

 Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world, but approximately one billion people still lack access to safe water and over 2.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.[1]

Imprtance of Water

There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and GDP per capita.[2] However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability.[3] A report, issued in November 2009, suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%.[4] Approximately 70% of the fresh water used by humans goes to agriculture.[5]

References:
  1. “MDG Report 2008”. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  2. “Public Services”, Gapminder video
  3. Kulshreshtha, S.N (1998). “A Global Outlook for Water Resources to the Year 2025”. Water Resources Management 12 (3): 167–184. doi:10.1023/A:1007957229865.
  4. “Charting Our Water Future: Economic frameworks to inform decision-making” (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  5. Baroni, L.; Cenci, L.; Tettamanti, M.; Berati, M. (2007). “Evaluating the environmental impact of various dietary patterns combined with different food production systems”. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61 (2): 279–286. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602522. PMID 17035955.

 

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Global Warming

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September 29  |  climate change, Editorial, global warming, Latest News, Opinion, Research  |   Webmaster

The Global Warming debated has heated up again, following the recent release of a report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

On one side, the climate change deniers emphasize the fact that global warming has remained relatively stable for the past 17 years. They maintain that this supports the “Hockey Stick” conclusion that global warming has actually leveled off and therefore not expected to increase in the foreseeable future.

On the other side, the IPCC continues to insist that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and continues despite regional differences, over a time line of 1400 years. Furthermore, it maintains that we will see far more dangerous and potentially irreversible impacts in the decades ahead, if we do not choose to reduce global carbon emissions. There has never been a greater urgency to act than there is now.

Which side is right? Well, maybe they both are, in their own way. As with most heated / controversial topics, everyone has their own strong opinion and many will strive mightily to affirm their agenda. As their almost religious fervor develops, there will undoubtedly be misdirection, cherry-picking, half-truths, outright falsehoods, and even personal verbal attacks. At the heart of this controversy is the credibility of the IPCC position and agenda, as well as their format for accepted, qualified peer reviews.

Nevertheless, no one can dispute the facts that polar ice caps are melting and that the world’s oceans are getting warmer, thus setting up even more change for climate patterns around the world.

We urge you all to do your own independent research and make your own informed conclusions. We have listed some recent links below, to get you started.

http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/press_information.shtml#.Ukh8F3_NmNg

www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5-SPM_Approved27Sep2013.pdf

http://scienceblogs.com/significantfigures/index.php/2013/09/27/what-does-the-2013-ipcc-summary-say-about-water/

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/28/ipcc-climate-change-deniers

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/09/27/un-climate-change-report-dismisses-slowdown-in-global-warming/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2420783/computers-got-effects-greenhouse-gases-wrong.html

http://www.colby.edu/sts/controversy/pages/ipcc_controversy.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-27/global-warming-s-slower-pace-hardens-views-on-need-to-act.html

 

 

 

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TAPPED – The Truth about the Bottled Water Industry

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August 19  |  Case Studies, Editorial, Latest News, Nutrition, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Tapped – The Truth about the Bottled Water Industry

 

Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce?

I am sure that you have heard or read about the ills of the bottled water industry. From the BPA in the bottles to the mass amounts of plastic waste covering our earth and entering our water ways.

It is time we get all the facts and you will be amazed at how deep this problem really is.

“Tapped” is a Documentary film about the Bottled Water Industry.

In the film “Tapped” you will be educated on bottle water and all of it’s faults. It examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.

“Tapped” is an amazing documentary that presents an overwhelming amount of evidence which will change the way anyone thinks about bottled and municipal water.

tapped

 

From the producers of Who Killed the Electric Car? and I.O.U.S.A., Tapped takes a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of the bottled water industry — an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water.

From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. A powerful portrait of the lives affected by the bottled water industry, this revelatory film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public’s right to water.

“Tapped” immediately breaks down the false notions surrounding the so called “benefits” of bottled water. It points out that 40% of bottled water is merely filtered municipal water – looking at you, Dasani and Aquafina. They also point out numerous times that it’s no safer than municipal water because the bottled water industry is largely unregulated whereas municipalities are held to strict testing under the EPA. But that’s just the tip of the bottled water-berg. Nearly the first half of the film documents the plight of a Maine town in which Nestle has moved in and taken over use of the city’s groundwater. This water source is governed differently than ponds, springs, rivers, etc. Essentially, whoever has the abilities to pump the most water, gets the most water. Nestle accesses the water for free, then bottles it and sells it for a profit. This leaves townsfolk unhappy as their own municipal water supply dwindles and must be transferred to another water well, resulting in service interruption which doesn’t seem to affect Nestle’s operation in the slightest. Water companies operate like this all over the country – moving into rural areas to perform “water mining,” wherein they extract water that is free and then sell it for billions of dollars.

I am from Maine and know this to be true. Nestle purchased Poland Spring Water. Poland Spring water was once actually drawn from a spring in Poland Maine, not any more. Many rural towns in Maine are being affected by the “water mining” referred to in the film.

If you have not seen “Tapped” it is time that you do.

Watch “Tapped” now!

http://vimeo.com/user7206487/tappedthemovie

 If this does not make you re-think your use of bottled water, nothing will!

Remember, before bottled water we found ways to get our thirst quenched. Watch an old Western movie or war movie and see your hero’s get a refreshing drink of water from a Canteen.

If your tap water gives you concerns, get yourself some type of water filtration system. Then find a re-useable water container that works best for you.

Just say “NO” to bottled water.

Hydrate responsibly!

GGATVnewlogo2Until next time…

follow me @thegogreenguy  @and be sure to like our facebook page

 

references for this post:

http://cinekatz.com/tapped-healthy-beverage-or-environmental-scourge/

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/tapped/

http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/tap.html

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Safe Drinking Water Foundation Pledge

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April 20  |  Editorial, Latest News, Press Release, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

SIGN THE PLEDGE!

 

Thank you to everyone (over 550 people!) who has signed the pledge to state that they agree that high quality water should be available to all Canadians. Please visit www.safewater.org and sign the pledge (it takes less than one minute).

With 1,109 Boil Water Advisories and 47 Do Not Drink Orders in Canada at this time it is important for everyone’s voice to be heard concerning this important issue.

This is your last chance to sign your name on the pledge as it will only be on the Safe Drinking Water Foundation website until Monday, April 22nd (Earth Day)!

Please visit our website for more information about SDWF and Earth Day …

www.puroxi.com

 

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Let’s acknowledge Farmers

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July 23  |  Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Livestock, Newsletters, Opinion  |   Webmaster

Take a Moment to Appreciate Farmers and Ranchers:

We all take the supply and safety of our food for granted, without really thinking of how it got to our grocers.

Please take a moment to view these videos to gain a true appreciation for all those dedicated, hard-working folks who take their responsibilities seriously to keep us fed, well-nourished, and healthy.

YouTube

http://youtu.be/121obbAdQtM      

http://youtu.be/Kg_T3cZm5Ms    

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=uqYTMjintSA     

http://youtu.be/R4rzCJehqn4

 

And here are some interviews and insights from local ranchers and farmers:

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/07/16/what-every-farmer-wants-to-hear-go-usa/?hpt=ea_r2

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/07/03/no-bull-start-a-conversation-with-a-farmer/

 

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Social Media Responsibility

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April 23  |  Editorial  |   Webmaster

The vast knowledge available on the internet, combined with  the ability to interact instantaneously with social media is an incredible, powerful technology.  But as with any advancement in science and technology, this comes with certain risks and responsibilities; it is definitely, the proverbial double-edged sword.  Nowadays, anyone with access to a computer can broadcast their opinions or agenda and find like-minded individuals to champion their cause or to jump on the bandwagon.  Unfortunately, since this is an open access technology, there is no way to validate or verify much of the information or misinformation posted, especially on personal blog sites.

Following is a well-balanced article, which sums up the pros and cons, of the technology that we all take for granted today.

Social media make rumor mill faster, not smarter

And it makes a difference in politics as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube open the door to disinformation.

By RICK MONTGOMERY  The Kansas City Star

Admit it. Sometimes you’re part of the social-media problem, spreading news and views you find online without knowing if the information is good.

Rumors and misinformation, granted, are ancient parts of discourse. But this is an election year, and social media platforms have turned the rumor mill into a supercharged rumor turbine, something that can be electronically manipulated and monitored. And that changes the political game.

Researchers will be closely watching how it plays out, especially through Twitter.

That’s because they can. The open platform is enabling scientists to build computer models that help them see how misinformation travels.

“What makes social media different is that we have much easier ways of tracking how rumors spread,” said Jonah Berger at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, who studies “social epidemics.”

What worries many experts — even some ardent defenders of free speech — is that bad information that moves fast enough and far enough, through the power of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, has the potential of warping the democratic process.

A well-crafted lie that goes viral the week before an election could affect outcomes.

That’s the dark side of social media — “there’s more libel, more defamation, more urban myths and harmful information getting out,” said David L. Hudson Jr., of the First Amendment Center, a think tank that advocates the tenets of our first freedoms. “I don’t like to sound like a censor, I’m for free speech. But I am concerned about this open spreading of rumors … and the rushing to judgment.

“We’re approaching a sobering realization that this new, revolutionary media does come with some dangers.”

Political campaigns this year will pour record sums — perhaps 10 percent of their resources — into establishing a presence in social media, which strategists view as both an opportunity and a potential curse. Some experts envision races hinging on the campaign errors, misstatements and smear tactics that rivals engineer to go viral.

When Twitter or YouTube push the propaganda, “it all becomes public … which I think is a good thing,” said Jeff Roe of the political consulting group Axiom Strategies, headquartered in Kansas City.

Using social media is free, making it a no-brainer communication tool — not only for groups that seek to propagate their version of a story, but to the tens of millions of Americans on the receiving end. But Roe doesn’t see it as a great bargain:

“Statements made in error that go viral can be very expensive to a campaign” when it needs to fight back.

The technologies of new media turn everyone who uses them into news sources, blasting out information, with attached links, in one click.

“There’s a certain ego that goes with being the first to hear something and share it, whether it’s true or not,” said Eric Melin of Spiral16, an Overland Park consulting firm using 3-D imagery to chart the circuitous paths of attack tweets, damaging rumors and viral tales that spring from social media.

It may be a truth, a half-truth or the early stage of a hoax — the finger found in Wendy’s chili went viral in Facebook’s early days before police exposed it as a scam.

This urge, this snap reflex to share a rumor in an instant, has a name: FOMO — fear of missing out, or being the last in your network to know.

Berger of the Wharton School has found that news on the Internet is most apt to go viral when it touches extreme emotions — like laughter or anger. Both are kryptonite to businesses and organizations, including political campaigns, that are trying to project honest, everyday values.

In politics, “grass roots” is everything. But social media platforms have given rise to a new strategy to watch out for: the “Astroturf campaign.”

It’s designed to look like the online conversations of regular people when it’s really spawned by insiders shooting automated messages they hope will catch fire.

Among those watching for this will be Indiana University computer scientist Filippo Menczer, whose research team first tracked Astroturf campaigns in the 2010 elections.

“Everyone’s doing it — fake tweets and fake accounts” in an effort to attract real-life Twitter followers into the discussion, he said.

And the wide-open nature of social media makes manipulation all the more tempting. Interactive service providers such as YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are effectively immune from lawsuits, thanks to a 1996 federal law.

“This is the wild west,” Menczer said, “where there’s no control whatsoever of social-media content.”

Friend to friend

It’s hard to knock what social media have achieved so far.

They’ve been credited with empowering the previously powerless, liberating peoples from oppressive regimes, exposing bad behavior among public officials.

(Some of that behavior was related to social media, such as the sharing of sexually explicit photos that drove U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, out of office.)

The instantaneous, friend-to-friend-to-friend magic of the platforms, however, also fueled swine-flu scares in 2009, when Kansas City-area schools had to respond to false rumors of outbreaks.

Even if the technology allows information — and misinformation — to spread in a flash, it allows countless users to fact-check and verify just as quickly, said Kevin Bankston of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit that promotes free, unfettered expression on the Web.

“It’s always been that a lie will make itself halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on,” Bankston said. “Today, the social media turbocharges that process…

“Still, this access we all have to knowledge and instantaneous sources of information is a good thing for humanity.”

The old-fashioned forms of media put out bad information, too. It was The New York Times, after all, that erroneously declared U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords dead from a shooting in Arizona — an embarrassment the newspaper attributed to a reporter bypassing editorial checkpoints to rush copy to the Web.

But only the Wild West of social media could deliver the following fake report on the @foxnewspolitics Twitter page.

@BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed.

A hacker had infiltrated the Fox News account, which had 36,000 followers, and began posting several reports of Obama having been assassinated in Iowa.

The fraudulent posts first appeared in the hours after midnight last Independence Day, and though FoxNews.com quickly spotted the hoax, the news network had to wait hours for Twitter to respond to Fox’s request to reclaim the account.

Delays at Twitter kept the bogus news displayed past dawn.

Earlier this month, the FBI and New York Police Department opened an investigation into a potential terror threat after several digitally enhanced images of the New York skyline appeared on an Islamic terrorist group’s online forum. The graphic carried a caption, “Al Qaeda coming soon again in New York.”

Terrorist organizations commonly weave empty threats into social media. The “coming soon” graphic is likely another one, said Steve Stalinsky of the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors the Web activity of terrorist groups. But could a flurry of idle threats lead to a “cry wolf” complacency that puts America at greater risk of a real attack?

“The Taliban has several Twitter accounts and they’re very social-media savvy,” Stalinsky said. “YouTube is totally infested with Jihadi propaganda … Why is this allowed to happen?”

Most social-media platforms will flag or remove hate speech and deceptive spam when such material is brought to the service provider’s attention. Twitter early his year announced it will restrict offensive content “in countries that have different ideas about the contours of economic freedom.”

The company cited the examples of France and Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.

Gone viral

Recent cases of social-media causes gone viral underscore the benefits of the public platforms as well as the drawbacks.

Last month, the hottest video in the history of YouTube turned out to be artful spin, the story of an east African conflict almost two decades older than YouTube itself.

The “Kony 2012” mini-documentary nonetheless seemed fresh, credible and urgent to Twitter and Facebook users, who shot out links to the half-hour video, from friend to friend, until it drew more than 25 million views.

The clip elicited public horror and a supportive U.S. Senate resolution for the “invisible children” of Uganda, youngsters abducted and enslaved as soldiers by rebel leader Joseph Kony.

Foreign-policy experts eventually pointed out that Kony hadn’t been stirring much trouble and hadn’t even been seen in Uganda for several years. Donating money to help the country capture him, as the viral video implored, might not be such a wise thing, traditional news sources reported.

An online petition campaign launched by a Texas mother set off alarms over a ground-beef additive dubbed “pink slime.” The cheap, finely textured filler has been served up on school lunch trays, diner counters and kitchen tables for decades, and it’s treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria.

The federal government and some food-safety groups say pink slime is safe. But the public outcry was virulent enough to shut down some meat factories and drive grocers to clear their shelves of ammonia-treated beef.

Many school districts, bowing to online petitions, pledged from here on to serve only the more expensive, slime-less beef.

As with “Kony 2012,” the pink slime controversy raised awareness and triggered citizen action in ways once unimaginable. But food without the additive will require more cattle, and industry groups say the public will pay more to stock school cafeterias.

David B. Schmidt, president of the International Food Information Council, issued an online statement:

“Something is seriously out of kilter in our communications environment when safe food products and proven technologies can be torpedoed by sensationalist, misleading, yet entertaining social media campaigns. We should all take several steps back and remember the critical thinking skills we were taught in school.”  (We totally agree!  -ed.)

Defenders of unregulated social media, and there are plenty, counter: We were also taught democracy in schools. If not for throngs of Facebook friends and everyday tweeters, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Maine Democrat, may never have introduced a labeling bill to at least let consumers know when they’re buying pink slime.

Choice.org — the petition site that gave rise to the pink-slime crusade (and also sharpened national attention on the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin) — removes discriminatory causes and postings that call for violence. Website spokeswoman Megan Lubin said those cases were rare: “Most everyone is responsible when using” the open platform.

“It was the first time in history that more than 1 million comments were generated on a food petition at the FDA,” said Sue McGovern, spokeswoman for the Just Label It Campaign. “The exact number was 1,149,967 … It’s those mammoth, historical numbers that Washington, D.C., is taking a look at” in the viral age.

Tracking tweets

Some contend the best way to thwart the dangers of social media is to fight fire with fire — better technology.

The U.S. government is pushing to detect online persuasion campaigns and to develop “counter-messaging” software against “adversaries (who) may exploit social media and related technologies for disinformation,” according to a Pentagon statement to The Wall Street Journal.

“It’s an arms race,” said disinformation sleuth Menczer of Indiana’s Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, recipient of a $2 million Defense Department grant. “We may develop better detection tools only to see political and commercial interests invest in beating these tools.”

The center he directs has a website, Truthy.indiana.edu, that monitors the Twittersphere to detect how political groups take advantage of it.

The Truthy project spotted suspicious patterns in the 2010 elections. Several Twitter accounts created simultaneously — along with Web links launched the same day — gave the illusion of real people having conversations. In fact, they were dummy accounts automatically tweeting and re-tweeting each other.

Followers of those accounts would get the sham tweets and be directed to Web sites resembling news organizations, Menczer said. Some of the reports would accuse a campaign’s opponent of backing legislation such as health reform and cap-and-trade proposals for personal gain.

Once the strategy goes viral and a topic, or “meme,” is followed — with Menczer’s computers tracing common hash tags, URLs and repeated phrases — digital images of the activity do resemble a biological virus.

But tracking this tangle of tweets, links and retweets back to the original source can be difficult, giving political campaigns deniability if confronted about the schemes.

In the 2008 Massachusetts race for U.S. Senate, Wellesley College scientists P. Takis Metaxas and Eni Mustafaraj detected a pattern of “Twitter-bombs” against Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate.

During the week leading up to the vote, the researchers noted a spike in Web searches that directed users to a disproportionate flurry of tweets smearing Coakley. The social-media traffic built enough for Google to tag the race a “trending topic,” and Republican Scott Brown scored a surprise victory.

The race in Massachusetts “was the first election in which social media absolutely changed the conversation,” said Mustafaraj, who noted the anti-Coakley tweets carried morsels of truth.

“In order for these things to spread, it can’t be a complete falsehood,” Mustafaraj said. “You hope that other media will pick up on the story.”

In time, other research shows, a social-media falsehood finds ways to die. Tracking the tweets from the zone of an earthquake that devastated Chile in 2010, computer analyst Barbara Poblete discovered that accurate reports from victims traveled faster and farther than did the false rumors.

Melin, of Overland Park’s Spiral16, notices the same: Bad information has ways of correcting itself, a phenomenon that social media defenders attribute to the collective wisdom of crowds.

“It does seem to actually work in the end,” he said. “Believe it or not.”

To reach Rick Montgomery, call 816-234-4410 or send email to rmontgomery@kcstar.com.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/04/21/3569194/social-media-make-rumor-mill-faster.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

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Veterinary Group Reaffirms Support for Antibiotics Use

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April 23  |  antibiotics, Beef, Dairy, Editorial, Farm, food safety, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, Nutrition, Pork, Poultry, Research  |   Webmaster

While there are many sides and opinions to this ongoing debate, we are in full agreement with the following article. As stated in the AVMA statement, it  supports the prudent use of antibiotics: “The judicious use of antimicrobials plays a key role in preserving the health of our nation’s food animals and the safety of our nation’s food supply. Many agree that there is a need for greater veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals, and the AVMA is currently working with the FDA to develop practical means to increase this veterinary oversight.” 

In other words, prudent use of antibiotics and other microbial products, should be made only when necessary, and not indiscriminately in feeds or in any other attempt to prevent illness and disease.  As medically and scientifically proven, the over-exposure to antibiotics eventually increases our resistance to them, thus diminishing their effectiveness and leaving us even more susceptible to infection and disease.  The key here is the definition of “productive uses” and the need for more direct involvement of the AVMA in advising and regulating the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials.

As mentioned in previous posts, any wide-encompassing and long-term policies should be “based on solid science and risk-based assessment, and not on anecdotal reports and speculation.” (sic)  (as evidenced by the recent uproar of LFTB).

Following is the full text of the statement by the American Veterinary Medical Association …

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reaffirmed its support of the responsible use of antibiotics in food animals after a federal court ruling demanded that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) start proceedings to withdraw approval of certain uses of antibiotics used in food production.

United States Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz ruled March 22 that the FDA must start proceedings to withdraw approval of what the FDA currently refers to as “production uses” of penicillins and tetracyclines in food-producing animals. As part of the withdrawal process, manufacturers of the products can request hearings to allow them to provide scientific evidence that the production use of antimicrobial products does not pose a threat to public health.

“The AVMA acknowledges the growing concern regarding antimicrobial use and resistance in animals and people, and supports the judicious use of antimicrobials to maximize public and animal health benefits while minimizing risks,” says AVMA Chief Executive Officer Ron DeHaven. “The judicious use of antimicrobials plays a key role in preserving the health of our nation’s food animals and the safety of our nation’s food supply. Many agree that there is a need for greater veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals, and the AVMA is currently working with the FDA to develop practical means to increase this veterinary oversight.”

DeHaven cautions, however, that any decision to withdraw approval or ban any antimicrobial uses should be based on solid science and risk-based assessment, and not on anecdotal reports and speculation.

“It is crucial that safe and effective antimicrobials remain available for use in veterinary medicine to ensure the health and welfare of animals and, consequently, the health of humans,” DeHaven says. “The AVMA will continue to work closely with the FDA to formulate a sound, science-based strategy to deal with this complex issue.”

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 82,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. For more information about the AVMA, visit www.avma.org.


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LFTB

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April 21  |  Beef, Editorial, food safety, Latest News, Nutrition, Opinion, Research  |   Webmaster

Lean Finely Textured Beef vs. Pink Slime

 

So, what’s all the fuss about “Pink Slime”?  Lean Finely Textured Beef has been used as an additive to ground beef for years, without so much as a whimper or whisper from the politicians, watchdogs, or general public.   Unfortunately, an opinionated poorly-researched blog went viral and the media got hold of it, combined with even more misinformation, escalated this non-story into a major headline that lasted for days.  In the old days, exaggerated, persistent gossip and innuendo (“nudge, nudge, wink, wink”) could eventually lead a person or company to ruin and disrepute.  Nowadays, we have the power of the internet and social media to spread gossip and opinionated misinformation as if they were on super steroids. 

Here is a well-balanced article from a beef industry advocate.  We hope that you enjoy this and the additional links at the bottom of the page.  Your comments are always welcome and we encourage all of you to do your own research and investigation before jumping on the “Doomsday Bandwagon”.   – ed.

 

Make Room For A Bigger, Badder Foe

by Troy Marshall in My View From The Country

Apr. 20, 2012 9:25am

Anti-modern, anti-capitalist, anti-technology groups are quickly becoming the largest threat to animal production.

Boxed-beef prices rallied substantially early this week, bringing some stability back to the beef markets as the peak grilling season gets underway. Analysts say the rally was confirmation that the media-fueled frenzy over lean finely textured beef (LFTB) is waning.  

I haven’t seen any official estimates of what this PR disaster cost the industry, but we do know that hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars were sucked out of the system in the last few weeks. This wasn’t an accident, either; it was a well conceived and orchestrated campaign that utilized an unwitting media to whip the firestorm.   In fact, the campaign’s success probably greatly exceeded the wildest expectations of a faction that’s quickly becoming one of the most threatening alliances against agriculture. This faction encompasses a passel of anti-modern, anti-capitalist, anti-technology groups masterful at creating buzzwords and narratives that obscure their true agenda while rallying well-intentioned consumers and voters to their side.  

The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) used to be the master of this strategy; that is, attracting hundreds of millions of dollars from people who actually believe their contributions support animal shelters and help abused animals. Instead, they fund a war chest to battle livestock production.   The animal welfare movement also is masterful at using groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to paint an extreme view. That way, a more mainstream group like HSUS can appear more center-based when it pushes for radical policy.  

The anti-market, anti-modern folks do it a little differently, however. They believe in government control of the marketplace, and replacing the market and industry institutions they view as supportive of the industry. To do this, they understand they must affect policy, which entails shaping public opinion. They do this by using the media and populist rhetoric to create “moral” perceptions in order to shape policy that is continually evolving in their direction.   Stepping back, one has to admire their success. They’ve used words like “pink slime” and “factory farming” masterfully.  

• The fact is that most people aren’t opposed to a product like LFTB, which reduces costs to consumers, raises prices for producers, and improves the safety and healthfulness of beef; but everyone can hate the concept of “pink slime.”  

• In addition, nearly everyone can line up to oppose factory farming and multinational large-scale food production entities. Most of these same people, however, don’t understand that these groups define a “factory farm” as any entity large enough to be economically viable, or that uses modern technology to produce a higher-quality product more efficiently.  

These groups champion the little guy, and even get some producers to stand with them. They also castigate the government and government involvement on issues they believe will increase the competitiveness of the industry while, at the same time, pleading for government intervention, rather than letting the marketplace function.   It’s the same concept that the Occupy Wall Street movement employs, which is to create an enemy that is perceived to be a dramatic minority or that is part of the “establishment.”  

In fact, these anti-meat groups are successful enough that their message is almost becoming mainstream in the minds of consumers in regard to animal production. Packers are held up to be inherently evil; confined animal feeding units are immoral; and large-scale production is wrong, as is the implementation of modern technologies in food production.   These groups will ally themselves with any group that opposes animal production; yet, they’re not perceived as affiliated with those groups, which increases their credibility. They’ve even been successful in attracting to their cause some producers who don’t understand that they are working for their own demise.

It’s for these reasons that these anti-modern, anti-capitalist, anti-technology groups are quickly becoming the largest threat to animal production.

As a fulltime rancher, Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how various consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

Click here for the original article  http://beefmagazine.com/blog/make-room-bigger-badder-foe

Following are links from various sources covering differing viewpoints …

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/03/28/chris-selley-pink-slime-is-benign/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/pink-slime-outrage-goes-viral

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Pink+Slime+controversy

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/cattle-news/Science-must-guide-ag-policy

 

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