Green Earth


EPA Tightens Pollution Standards…But Agency Ignored Advisers’ Guidance!!!

ph2008031200027.jpg Smog covers Midtown Manhattan last year. About 85 U.S. counties do not meet government clean air standards. Photo by Adam Rountree, Associated Press.


The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday limited the allowable amount of pollution-forming ozone in the air to 75 parts per billion, a level significantly higher than what the agency’s scientific advisers had urged for this key component of unhealthy air pollution.

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Administrator Stephen L. Johnson also said he would push Congress to rewrite the nearly 37 year old Clean Air Act to allow regulators to take into consideration the cost and feasibility of controlling pollution when making decisions about air quality, something that is currently prohibited by the law. In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that the government needed to base the ozone standard strictly on protecting public health, with no regard to cost.

The new pollution rules, one of the most important environmental decisions facing the Bush administration in the president’s final year in office, will be a major factor in determining the quality of the air Americans will breathe for at least a decade. The standards, which are aimed at protecting both public health and welfare, are designed to limit the amount of nitrogen oxides and other chemical compounds released into the air by vehicles, manufacturing facilities and power plants. In sunlight, the pollutants form ozone.

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Johnson said he did “what was required by the law and the recent scientific evidence,” but his decision to set a lower but still less restrictive limit than what the EPA’s advisory committees had recommended sparked a backlash from Democratic lawmakers, public health advocates and his own independent advisers.

With Democrats in control of Congress, the proposal to rewrite the Clean Air Act appears to face long odds. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called the move “outrageous,” adding in a statement, “The Bush Administration would have us replace clean air standards driven by science with standards based on the interests of polluters.”

Johnson said the law “is not a relic to be displayed in the Smithsonian, but a living document that must be modernized to continue realizing results,” adding that some administration officials urged him to take into consideration the “costs, net benefits and implementation challenges” of adopting stricter ozone limits.

Nearly a year ago, EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee reiterated in writing that its members were “unanimous in recommending” that the agency set the standard no higher than 70 parts per billion (ppb) and to consider a limit as low as 60 ppb. EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee and public health advocates lobbied for the 60 ppb limit because children are more vulnerable to air pollution.

EPA and other scientists have shown that ozone has a direct impact on rates of heart and respiratory disease and resulting premature deaths. The agency calculates that the new standard of 75 ppb would prevent 1,300 to 3,500 premature deaths a year, whereas 65 ppb would avoid 3,000 to 9,200 deaths annually.

Documents obtained by The Washington Post indicate that White House officials chafed at the idea that they could not factor costs into the ozone rule, which requires setting one standard for protecting health and a separate one for protecting public welfare, and that the president himself intervened in the process Monday. In a March 6 memo to the EPA, Susan E. Dudley of the Office of Management and Budget questioned the need for two different ozone limits, noting that the Clean Air Act’s definition of public welfare includes “effects on environmental values.” The EPA’s Marcus C. Peacock replied the next day that it is important to keep in mind that “EPA cannot consider costs in setting a secondary standard.”

The rule’s preamble indicates Bush settled the dispute March 11, saying the president concluded the secondary standard should be set “to be identical to the new primary standard, the approach adopted when ozone standards were last promulgated.”

Rogene Henderson, who chairs the agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, said in an interview that she disagrees with Johnson’s decision even as she welcomed a tighter standard.

“We can’t kid ourselves that this is as health protective as we would like, but this is a step in the right direction,” Henderson said. “I understand that with our dependence on fossil fuels, it’s difficult to reduce ground level ozone. But the fact that it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.”

A slew of industries had recently urged White House officials to keep the current limit, effectively 84 ppb, to minimize the cost of installing pollution controls. The EPA estimated that it will cost polluting industries $7.6 billion to $8.8 billion a year to meet the 75 ppb standard, but that rule will yield $2 billion to $19 billion in health benefits.

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John Kinsman, senior director for the environment at the Edison Electric Institute, said in a statement that EPA had made “the wrong call” by lowering the ozone limit.

“The agency’s rationale for tightening the standard significantly skews the scientific record on ozone’s health effects. Ultimately, EPA is promising health benefits that people may never receive, even though they’ll end up paying for them at the pump and through higher energy bills,” added Kinsman, who conferred with White House officials on the rule. The institute represents 70 percent of the U.S. electric power sector.

But S. William Becker, who as executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies represents officials from 48 state and 165 local governments, said his members had been willing to “bear the burden” of complying with stricter regulations.

“It is disheartening that once again EPA has missed a critical opportunity to protect public health and welfare by ignoring the unanimous recommendations of its independent science advisers,” Becker said.

Under the Clean Air Act, the federal government is obligated to reexamine the science underpinning its smog standards every five years. The agency last revised the standards in 1997, and 85 counties have yet to meet those rules.

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Thank you
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OK, Baby Boomers…let it be known that I am a tree hugger, a peacenik and a 60’s hippy cool chick…I have not forgotten what I was so against in the 60’s and 70’s when we were younger and hopeful. AND don’t you either…we are the major population now! Stand up and be heard…raise your fists to the bureaucracy and tell them we will not stand for it that now!

We have even more concerns now, as we have children and grandchildren that we want to protect…that we want them to breath cleaner air…get off your large couches and love seats and protest… Write letters, send emails and bring it up at the water coolers at work…wave those fists in the air!

Speak up or forever hold your breath! Speak oot against the horrible crap of factories, power plants and a whole lot of other killing chemicals and toxins.

MOST of our parents did squat! Do not be the same way!

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

920797720_668abdc997.jpg Carbon pollution affects the pH balance of the oceans. The effects are devastating. Visit oceana.org to show your support

THIS IS A LONG POST…BUT I HIGHLY SUGGEST THAT YOU READ IT ~THE BABY BOOMER QUEEN~

A vast array of pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, anti~convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones, have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

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To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

But the presence of so many prescription drugs and over the counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long term consequences to human health.

In the course of a five month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Ky.

Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. For example, the head of a group representing major California suppliers said the public “doesn’t know how to interpret the information” and might be unduly alarmed.

How do the drugs get into the water?

People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.

And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies, which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public, have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.

“We recognize it is a growing concern and we’re taking it very seriously,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Members of the AP National Investigative Team reviewed hundreds of scientific reports, analyzed federal drinking water databases, visited environmental study sites and treatment plants and interviewed more than 230 officials, academics and scientists. They also surveyed the nation’s 50 largest cities and a dozen other major water providers, as well as smaller community water providers in all 50 states.

Here are some of the key test results obtained by the AP:

Officials in Philadelphia said testing there discovered 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. Sixty three pharmaceuticals or byproducts were found in the city’s watersheds.

Anti~epileptic and anti~anxiety medications were detected in a portion of the treated drinking water for 18.5 million people in Southern California.

Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed a Passaic Valley Water Commission drinking water treatment plant, which serves 850,000 people in Northern New Jersey, and found a metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine in drinking water.

A sex hormone was detected in San Francisco’s drinking water.

The drinking water for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas tested positive for six pharmaceuticals.

Three medications, including an antibiotic, were found in drinking water supplied to Tucson, Ariz.

The situation is undoubtedly worse than suggested by the positive test results in the major population centers documented by the AP.

The federal government doesn’t require any testing and hasn’t set safety limits for drugs in water. Of the 62 major water providers contacted, the drinking water for only 28 was tested. Among the 34 that haven’t: Houston, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Phoenix, Boston and New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, which delivers water to 9 million people.

Some providers screen only for one or two pharmaceuticals, leaving open the possibility that others are present.

The AP’s investigation also indicates that watersheds, the natural sources of most of the nation’s water supply, also are contaminated. Tests were conducted in the watersheds of 35 of the 62 major providers surveyed by the AP, and pharmaceuticals were detected in 28.

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Yet officials in six of those 28 metropolitan areas said they did not go on to test their drinking water, Fairfax, Va.; Montgomery County in Maryland; Omaha, Neb.; Oklahoma City; Santa Clara, Calif., and New York City.

The New York state health department and the USGS tested the source of the city’s water, upstate. They found trace concentrations of heart medicine, infection fighters, estrogen, anti~convulsants, a mood stabilizer and a tranquilizer.

City water officials declined repeated requests for an interview. In a statement, they insisted that “New York City’s drinking water continues to meet all federal and state regulations regarding drinking water quality in the watershed and the distribution system” regulations that do not address trace pharmaceuticals.

In several cases, officials at municipal or regional water providers told the AP that pharmaceuticals had not been detected, but the AP obtained the results of tests conducted by independent researchers that showed otherwise. For example, water department officials in New Orleans said their water had not been tested for pharmaceuticals, but a Tulane University researcher and his students have published a study that found the pain reliever naproxen, the sex hormone estrone and the anti-cholesterol drug byproduct clofibric acid in treated drinking water.

Of the 28 major metropolitan areas where tests were performed on drinking water supplies, only Albuquerque; Austin, Texas; and Virginia Beach, Va.; said tests were negative. The drinking water in Dallas has been tested, but officials are awaiting results. Arlington, Texas, acknowledged that traces of a pharmaceutical were detected in its drinking water but cited post 9/11 security concerns in refusing to identify the drug.

The AP also contacted 52 small water providers, one in each state, and two each in Missouri and Texas, that serve communities with populations around 25,000. All but one said their drinking water had not been screened for pharmaceuticals; officials in Emporia, Kan., refused to answer AP’s questions, also citing post 9/11 issues.

Rural consumers who draw water from their own wells aren’t in the clear either, experts say.

The Stroud Water Research Center, in Avondale, Pa., has measured water samples from New York City’s upstate watershed for caffeine, a common contaminant that scientists often look for as a possible signal for the presence of other pharmaceuticals. Though more caffeine was detected at suburban sites, researcher Anthony Aufdenkampe was struck by the relatively high levels even in less populated areas.

He suspects it escapes from failed septic tanks, maybe with other drugs. “Septic systems are essentially small treatment plants that are essentially unmanaged and therefore tend to fail,” Aufdenkampe said.

Even users of bottled water and home filtration systems don’t necessarily avoid exposure. Bottlers, some of which simply repackage tap water, do not typically treat or test for pharmaceuticals, according to the industry’s main trade group. The same goes for the makers of home filtration systems.

Contamination is not confined to the United States. More than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world. Studies have detected pharmaceuticals in waters throughout Asia, Australia, Canada and Europe, even in Swiss lakes and the North Sea.

For example, in Canada, a study of 20 Ontario drinking water treatment plants by a national research institute found nine different drugs in water samples. Japanese health officials in December called for human health impact studies after detecting prescription drugs in drinking water at seven different sites.

In the United States, the problem isn’t confined to surface waters. Pharmaceuticals also permeate aquifers deep underground, source of 40 percent of the nation’s water supply. Federal scientists who drew water in 24 states from aquifers near contaminant sources such as landfills and animal feed lots found minuscule levels of hormones, antibiotics and other drugs.

Perhaps it’s because Americans have been taking drugs and flushing them unmetabolized or unused in growing amounts. Over the past five years, the number of U.S. prescriptions rose 12 percent to a record 3.7 billion, while nonprescription drug purchases held steady around 3.3 billion, according to IMS Health and The Nielsen Co.

“People think that if they take a medication, their body absorbs it and it disappears, but of course that’s not the case,” said EPA scientist Christian Daughton, one of the first to draw attention to the issue of pharmaceuticals in water in the United States.

Some drugs, including widely used cholesterol fighters, tranquilizers and anti~epileptic medications, resist modern drinking water and wastewater treatment processes. Plus, the EPA says there are no sewage treatment systems specifically engineered to remove pharmaceuticals.

One technology, reverse osmosis, removes virtually all pharmaceutical contaminants but is very expensive for large scale use and leaves several gallons of polluted water for every one that is made drinkable.

Another issue: There’s evidence that adding chlorine, a common process in conventional drinking water treatment plants, makes some pharmaceuticals more toxic.

Human waste isn’t the only source of contamination. Cattle, for example, are given ear implants that provide a slow release of trenbolone, an anabolic steroid used by some bodybuilders, which causes cattle to bulk up. But not all the trenbolone circulating in a steer is metabolized. A German study showed 10 percent of the steroid passed right through the animals.

Water sampled downstream of a Nebraska feedlot had steroid levels four times as high as the water taken upstream. Male fathead minnows living in that downstream area had low testosterone levels and small heads.

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Other veterinary drugs also play a role. Pets are now treated for arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, dementia, and even obesity, sometimes with the same drugs as humans. The inflation-adjusted value of veterinary drugs rose by 8 percent, to $5.2 billion, over the past five years, according to an analysis of data from the Animal Health Institute.

Ask the pharmaceutical industry whether the contamination of water supplies is a problem, and officials will tell you no. “Based on what we now know, I would say we find there’s little or no risk from pharmaceuticals in the environment to human health,” said microbiologist Thomas White, a consultant for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

But at a conference last summer, Mary Buzby, director of environmental technology for drug maker Merck & Co. Inc. said: “There’s no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they’re at, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms.”

Recent laboratory research has found that small amounts of medication have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human breast cancer cells. The cancer cells proliferated too quickly; the kidney cells grew too slowly; and the blood cells showed biological activity associated with inflammation.

Also, pharmaceuticals in waterways are damaging wildlife across the nation and around the globe, research shows. Notably, male fish are being feminized, creating egg yolk proteins, a process usually restricted to females. Pharmaceuticals also are affecting sentinel species at the foundation of the pyramid of life, such as earth worms in the wild and zooplankton in the laboratory, studies show.

Some scientists stress that the research is extremely limited, and there are too many unknowns. They say, though, that the documented health problems in wildlife are disconcerting.

“It brings a question to people’s minds that if the fish were affected … might there be a potential problem for humans?” EPA research biologist Vickie Wilson told the AP. “It could be that the fish are just exquisitely sensitive because of their physiology or something. We haven’t gotten far enough along.”

With limited research funds, said Shane Snyder, research and development project manager at the Southern Nevada Water Authority, a greater emphasis should be put on studying the effects of drugs in water.

“I think it’s a shame that so much money is going into monitoring to figure out if these things are out there, and so little is being spent on human health,” said Snyder. “They need to just accept that these things are everywhere, every chemical and pharmaceutical could be there. It’s time for the EPA to step up to the plate and make a statement about the need to study effects, both human and environmental.”

To the degree that the EPA is focused on the issue, it appears to be looking at detection. Grumbles acknowledged that just late last year the agency developed three new methods to “detect and quantify pharmaceuticals” in wastewater. “We realize that we have a limited amount of data on the concentrations,” he said. “We’re going to be able to learn a lot more.”

While Grumbles said the EPA had analyzed 287 pharmaceuticals for possible inclusion on a draft list of candidates for regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, he said only one, nitroglycerin, was on the list. Nitroglycerin can be used as a drug for heart problems, but the key reason it’s being considered is its widespread use in making explosives.

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So much is unknown. Many independent scientists are skeptical that trace concentrations will ultimately prove to be harmful to humans. Confidence about human safety is based largely on studies that poison lab animals with much higher amounts.

There’s growing concern in the scientific community, meanwhile, that certain drugs or combinations of drugs may harm humans over decades because water, unlike most specific foods, is consumed in sizable amounts every day.

Our bodies may shrug off a relatively big one time dose, yet suffer from a smaller amount delivered continuously over a half century, perhaps subtly stirring allergies or nerve damage. Pregnant women, the elderly and the very ill might be more sensitive.

Many concerns about chronic low level exposure focus on certain drug classes: chemotherapy that can act as a powerful poison; hormones that can hamper reproduction or development; medicines for depression and epilepsy that can damage the brain or change behavior; antibiotics that can allow human germs to mutate into more dangerous forms; pain relievers and blood pressure diuretics.

For several decades, federal environmental officials and nonprofit watchdog environmental groups have focused on regulated contaminants, pesticides, lead, PCBs which are present in higher concentrations and clearly pose a health risk.

However, some experts say medications may pose a unique danger because, unlike most pollutants, they were crafted to act on the human body.

“These are chemicals that are designed to have very specific effects at very low concentrations. That’s what pharmaceuticals do. So when they get out to the environment, it should not be a shock to people that they have effects,” says zoologist John Sumpter at Brunel University in London, who has studied trace hormones, heart medicine and other drugs.

And while drugs are tested to be safe for humans, the timeframe is usually over a matter of months, not a lifetime. Pharmaceuticals also can produce side effects and interact with other drugs at normal medical doses. That’s why, aside from therapeutic doses of fluoride injected into potable water supplies pharmaceuticals are prescribed to people who need them, not delivered to everyone in their drinking water.

“We know we are being exposed to other people’s drugs through our drinking water, and that can’t be good,” says Dr. David Carpenter, who directs the Institute for Health and the Environment of the State University of New York at Albany.

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Good investigation AP NEWS and JEFF DONN, MARTHA MENDOZA and JUSTIN PRITCHARD, AP writers.

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There you go Baby Boomers…you can’t fool Mother Nature. Pharmaceuticals KILL, and do alternate with your body and your mind! That is what they are designed to do. Legal drugs kill more people than illegal drugs, each and every year! What is wrong with this picture?

Here is proof that they are effecting not only the enviroment and those of us who do not fall under the thumb of the large blood sucking, flesh eating pharmaceutical companies…

I could go on and on…but I am sure that those of you who read my posts know how I feel about this serious human and animal endangerment.

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Here is a link to an interesting interview on “The Hour” with George Stroumboulopoulos with David Suzuki [one of my personal heroes]:

http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/video.php?id=1141

Enjoy…
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food…Report Finds No Evidence of Risks
FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food…Report Finds No Evidence of Risks
FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food…Report Finds No Evidence of Risks
FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food…Report Finds No Evidence of Risks

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A long awaited final report from the Food and Drug Administration concludes that foods from healthy cloned animals and their offspring are as safe as those from ordinary animals, effectively removing the last U.S. regulatory barrier to the marketing of meat and milk from cloned cattle, pigs and goats.

The 968-page “final risk assessment,” not yet released but obtained by The Washington Post, finds no evidence to support opponents’ concerns that food from clones may harbor hidden risks.

But, recognizing that a majority of consumers are wary of food from clones and that cloning could undermine the wholesome image of American milk and meat, the agency report includes hundreds of pages of raw data so that others can see how it came to its conclusions.

The report also acknowledges that human health concerns are not the only issues raised by the emergence of cloned farm animals.

“Moral, religious and ethical concerns . . . have been raised,” the agency notes in a document accompanying the report. But the risk assessment is “strictly a science-based evaluation,” it reports, because the agency is not authorized by law to consider those issues.

In practice, it will be years before foods from clones make their way to store shelves in appreciable quantities, in part because the clones themselves are too valuable to slaughter or milk. Instead, the pricey animals, replicas of some of the finest farm animals ever born, will be used primarily as breeding stock to create what proponents say will be a new generation of superior farm animals.

When food from those animals hits the market, the public may yet have its say. FDA officials have said they do not expect to require food from clones to be labeled as such, but they may allow foods from ordinary animals to be labeled as not from clones.

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Opponents of the approval, including some concerned about the welfare of the clones themselves, expressed dismay upon learning about the FDA’s intentions.

Joseph Mendelson, legal director of the Center for Food Safety, a Washington advocacy group that petitioned FDA to restrict the sale of food from clones, said his group is considering legal action.

“One of the amazing things about this,” Mendelson said, “is that at a time when we have a readily acknowledged crisis in our food safety system, the FDA is spending its resources and energy and political capital on releasing a safety assessment for something that no one but a handful of companies wants.”

Others countered that public opinion and politics should play no bigger role in the decision on clones than it should in the approval of a drug or a contraceptive.

“In fact, cloned animals have been studied much more than naturally produced animals,” said Cindy Tian, who has analyzed milk and meat from clones at the University of Connecticut. “We have more data on them than for any other animal that we eat.”

FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food

The Food and Drug Administration has concluded that milk and meat from cloned animals, such as these cows, should be allowed on the market. That stance has raised a debate over whether food from clones that are raised organically could still carry the organic label.

Release of the analysis was slowed for years by several forces, including the dairy industry, concerned about the potential impact on exports of U.S. whey solids, foreign sales of which are growing for use as a protein supplement.

In the past month, as an announcement neared, members of Congress, led by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski D~Md., sought to delay approval through legislation.

Trade related agencies including the Foreign Agricultural Service and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which for years have struggled to get countries to accept U.S. gene-altered crops, also raised red flags.

A final blitz of meetings with FDA officials last week brought grudging acquiescence, insiders said. And it is possible, sources said, that even after the risk analysis is released, there will be calls for farmers to voluntarily refrain from selling products from clones until the trade issues can be resolved.

To create its final risk assessment, the FDA gathered data on nearly all of the more than 600 U.S. farm animal clones produced and hundreds of their offspring, as well as many from overseas. But it faced challenges in the process.

Those animals were made by scientists scattered among various universities and companies using different methods that in many cases were difficult to compare.

Moreover, many of those animals were not just clones but also had genes added to them for projects unrelated to food production.

In those cases, it was difficult for FDA reviewers to decide whether any problems were caused by those animals being clones or by their particular genetic alterations. The FDA has said it will not approve gene-altered animals as food without additional tests for safety.

Finally, there was the overarching problem of deciding which measures would best predict whether the food was safe. Most puzzling was whether to take into account the subtle alterations in gene activity, called epigenetic changes, that are common in clones as a result of having just one parent.

In the end, facing the reality that epigenetics have never been a factor in assessing the wholesomeness of food, agency scientists decided to use the same simple but effective standard used by farmers since the dawn of agriculture: If a farm animal appears in all respects to be healthy, then presume that food from that animal is safe to eat.

Scientists inside and outside the agency studied thousands of pages of veterinary reports describing weight, size, organ function, blood characteristics and other measures of clones and offspring. For cattle, the animals for which the most data exist, full health assessments were conducted for each of five different stages of the animals’ life: fetal, newborn, juvenile, sexually mature, and old.

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They concluded that newborn cattle are often unhealthy, probably because of epigenetic changes. They are usually extremely overweight and have respiratory, gastrointestinal and immune system problems. Cloned pigs and goats are mostly healthy from the start.

FDA Says Clones Are Safe For Food

The Food and Drug Administration has concluded that milk and meat from cloned animals, such as these cows, should be allowed on the market. That stance has raised a debate over whether food from clones that are raised organically could still carry the organic label.

Studies of cloned farm animal behavior, including mating behavior, also showed them to be the same as ordinary animals. One exception: On one farm, clones showed a peculiar preference not for the surrogate mother that gave birth to them but to the animal from which they were cloned.

Scientists also looked at nutrient levels in meat and milk from a few dozen cattle and pig clones and hundreds of their progeny, and compared them with values from conventional animals. They measured vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6 and B12 as well as niacin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, 12 kinds of fatty acids, cholesterol, fat, protein, amino acids and carbohydrates including lactose.

For almost every measure, the values were virtually the same. The few that differed were still within the range considered normal.

Separately, the agency looked at studies in which milk and meat from clones were fed to animals for up to 3 1/2 months. There was no evidence of health effects, allergic reactions or behavioral changes.

In the end, the agency concluded that it did not have enough information to rule on the safety of food from cloned sheep. It also decided that edible products from newborn cattle clones, which often are metabolically unstable, “may pose some very limited human food consumption risk.”

But it found no safety hazards for meat from healthy cattle clones more than a few weeks old, milk from cloned cows, or meat from cloned pigs or goats of any age.

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“Food from cattle, swine, and goat clones is as safe to eat as that from their more conventionally bred counterparts,” the FDA risk assessment concludes.

Looking ahead, the report says FDA is collaborating with veterinary and scientific organizations, notably the International Embryo Transfer Society, to create a database on the health of new clones, which will help the agency track the field as the industry grows.

Working with the FDA, the International Embryo Transfer Society is also creating the first manual of animal care standards for clones, to be made available to farmers and the public later this year.
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Thank you Washington Post News
and Rick Weiss Washington Post Staff Writer
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What do you think Baby Boomers…are you going to eat it…will we even know…what will the reprocussions be as far as Mother Nature is concerned?

Remember and look what hormones has done to our bodies and minds…and they thought that safe as well. Yet since the 50’s we have eaten them in our meats.

Vegans…you are safe as far as this one goes! Lucky you!

You are what you eat!

REMEMBER…”it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”

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~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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In from RIO VISTA, California, two whales that lost their way more than a week ago spent a second day circling near a Sacramento River bridge Tuesday, about 70 miles from the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.

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Both whales are wounded, apparently from a run-in with a boat’s propeller.

“The wounds appear to have worsened over time and their skin has changed from smooth and shiny to irregular and pitted,” said Frances Guiland of the Marine Mammal Center.

Fresh water from the Sacramento River could hamper the whales’ recovery, biologists said. Skin samples taken from the mother whale on Monday were sent to out-of-state labs to assess her general health and help identify her population stock.

Crews in the more than two dozen boats blocking the humpbacks’ path up the river tried herding the mother and her calf downstream by banging metal pipes beneath the water.

The challenge, officials said, was encouraging the pair to return to salt water quickly but without resorting to tactics that could upset the whales.

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“Stressing even a healthy whale is not good. Stressing an injured whale is worse,” said Brian Gorman, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The humpbacks, nicknamed Delta and Dawn, had traveled 90 miles inland more than a week ago before turning around at the Port of Sacramento on Sunday. They were making progress Monday until they reached the Rio Vista Bridge and began swimming in circles. (Watch crowd cheer on the whales )

Scientists theorized the whales began circling because vibrations from traffic upset them. The pair could not be coaxed forward even when the drawbridge was raised to halt the flow of vehicles.

Scientists have been watching the two closely because their route includes sloughs leading to muddy deltas where the whales could become lost and trapped.

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The pair also face a couple more highway bridges between Rio Vista and San Francisco Bay, including the Golden Gate.

Federal officials have authorized researchers to fire darts carrying a satellite tracking device beneath the mother’s fin to monitor her location, but two days of gusty winds and choppy waters have delayed the tagging.
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Thank you Associated Press…
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Our rivers and tributaties are polluted…this is proof…these poor whales are getting worse because they are swiming in it. Their wounds getting worse.

Big business is distroying our plant. For centuries they have polluted our eco system. Now even the fish and mammels are suffering…glacers are melting at increadable rates…China will soon be driving cars at an alarming rate…the global pollution will increase…I see no end to this cycle.

Many years ago there was a tire invented that would never have to be replaced…but the tire company(s) bought them out and so we have to continue to buy tires…which when burned make horrible pollution.

Drug companies only make medicines that endure diseases instead of cure diseases. Can you imagine what amount of money is made from the common cold, alone???? It is a million dollar business alone…look at the shelves in drug stores. Look at the pain releiver shelves… It breaks my heart to know that there are drugs out there that can harm and kill you and yet the American comsumer rushes to buy them…

Well, Baby Boomers, as usual…I am off on one of my rants again…but if I have reached just ONE of you…it was worth it!!!

Smiles and world peace but REMEBER…BUY NO GAS ON MONDAYS,
~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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Just in from SYDNEY, Australian scientists are trying to give kangaroo~style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, researchers say.

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Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroo flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas.

While the usual image of greenhouse gas pollution is a billowing smokestack pushing out carbon dioxide, livestock passing wind contribute a surprisingly high percentage of total emissions in some countries.

“Fourteen percent of emissions from all sources in Australia is from enteric methane from cattle and sheep,” said Athol Klieve, a senior research scientist with the Queensland state government.

“And if you look at another country such as New Zealand, which has got a much higher agricultural base, they’re actually up around 50 percent,” he told AFP.

Researchers say the bacteria also makes the digestive process much more efficient and could potentially save millions of dollars in feed costs for farmers.

“Not only would they not produce the methane, they would actually get something like 10 to 15 percent more energy out of the feed they are eating,” said Klieve.

Even farmers who laugh at the idea of environmentally friendly kangaroo farts say that’s nothing to joke about, particularly given the devastating drought Australia is suffering.

“In a tight year like a drought situation, 15 percent would be a considerable sum,” said farmer Michael Mitton.

But it will take researchers at least three years to isolate the bacteria, before they can even start to develop a way of transferring it to cattle and sheep.

Another group of scientists, meanwhile, has suggested Australians should farm fewer cattle and sheep and just eat more kangaroos.

The idea is controversial, but about 20 percent of health conscious Australians are believed to eat the national symbol already.

“It’s low in fat, it’s got high protein levels it’s very clean in the sense that basically it’s the ultimate free range animal,” said Peter Ampt of the University of New South Wales’s institute of environmental studies.

“It doesn’t get drenched, it doesn’t get vaccinated, it utilizes food right across the landscape, it moves around to where the food is good, so yes, it’s a good food.”

It might take a while for kangaroos to become popular barbecue fare, but with concern over global warming growing in the world’s driest inhabited continent, Australians could soon be ready to try almost anything to cut emissions.

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Thank you AFP News
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Let me see…the Austailan drought is caused by bovine farts???

LOL

And eating cute kangaroos would solve some of that problem???

This is really word science!

Sorry Mates…no KANGAROO meat for this Baby Boomer!

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Scientists urge $2-3 billion study of ocean health

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In from OSLO, Marine scientists called on Sunday for a $2 to 3 billion study of threats such as overfishing and climate change to the oceans, saying they were as little understood as the Moon.

A better network of satellites, tsunami monitors, drifting robotic probes or electronic tags on fish within a decade could also help lessen the impact of natural disasters, pollution or damaging algal blooms, they said.

“This is not pie in the sky … it can be done,” said Tony Haymet, director of the U.S. Scripps Institution of Oceanography and chairman of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans {POGO}.

He told Reuters that a further $2 to 3 billion would roughly match amounts already invested in ocean research, excluding more costly satellites. New technologies were cheaper and meant worldwide monitoring could now be possible.

“Silicon Valley has come to the oceans,” said Jesse Ausubel, a director of the Census of Marine Life that is trying to describe life in the seas.

“Lots of cheap disposable devices can now be distributed throughout the oceans, in some cases on animals, in some cases on the sea floor, others drifting about,” he told Reuters.

POGO wants the 72~nation Group on Earth Observations {GEO}, meeting in Cape Town from November 28-30, to consider its appeal for a $2 to 3 billion study of the oceans as part of a wider effort to improve understanding of the planet by 2015.

GEO is seeking to link up scientific observations of the planet to find benefits for society in areas including energy, climate, agriculture, biodiversity, water supplies and weather.

MOON

The ocean “has been relatively ignored” compared to land or the atmosphere, said Howard Roe, a director emeritus of the British National Oceanography Centre and former chairman of POGO.

“It’s a hoary phrase that we know more about the surface of the moon than the deep ocean. It’s true. The oceans are virtually unexplored,” he told Reuters.

Among ocean projects, POGO wants to raise the number of drifting robotic probes, know as “Argos” and which measure conditions driving climate change, to 30,000 from 3,000 now.

And the scientists said they wanted to expand a network of electronic tagging of fish to understand migrations and give clues to over-fishing.

“By my estimates for $50 to 60 million a year the world could have a global system, an ocean tracking network that could follow sharks from Cape Town to Perth or follow tuna from Miami to Southampton, Ausubel said.

And better monitoring of the oceans could give more advance warnings of storms, such as a November 15 cyclone that struck Bangladesh and killed 3,500 people. It could also send tsunami alerts, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed up to 230,000 people.

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“2012 will be the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic. I think Captain Smith would be disappointed by the continuing hesitation to firm up our ocean observing system,” Ausubel said.
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Thank you Reuters, Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent and editor Charles Dick
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WOW, do you think there really is GLOBIAL WARMING…DAH!
We all knew this in the 60’s, didn’t we Baby Boomers…almost 50 years ago…we could have made such a difference. Big commerce won out though!

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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