You may have heard that, for some reason, food companies really don’t like the idea of having to let customers know if they use genetically modified organisms in their products. It’s not like they’ve been talking to the public: a whopping 93% of us say food containing GMOs should be labeled as such. Yet Prop 37, which would have required GMO labeling on products sold in California, failed at the ballot box by a slim 2.8% margin. Why? Lobbying and spin. Now the companies with the biggest horse in the race want to prevent a similar law from passing in Washington State. No on 522, a campaign “bankrolled by out-of-state biochemical corporations and food industry heavyweights”, just set a Washington State fundraising record, and a list of the companies involved reads like a who’s who of faceless corporate “bad guys”: Monsanto, DuPont, Dow and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a political action committee sponsored by Coca-Cola, Pepsi, General Mills, Nestle, etc. The story earned a full write-up on PR Watch, which is worth mentioning for some key points: GMO products have not been independently tested because the companies that create them won’t allow it Opposition ads make unsubstantiated claims about price inflation, assuming that all supermarkets will go strictly organic if regulations pass Lists of No on 522 “grassroots” supporters like farmers and doctors are misleading; only five “real world” individuals have contributed to the campaign so far Washington State sued the GMA for refusing to reveal its backers, and the attorney general called it “the largest amount of money ever concealed in an election“ In short, the major food brands desperately want to defeat this law—they just don’t want anyone to know that they’ve spent millions to do so. The only real arguments we’ve see against 522 from industry reps are that no one has proven that GMOs are bad and that the law would apply to supermarkets but not restaurants, which is totally unfair. We don’t even know how we feel about GMOs, but that’s some super weak spin. Let’s hear from Dr. Bronner, the trained Harvard scientist/brilliant nutjob behind our favorite brand of soap. He donated $1.7M to the opposing “Yes on 522″ campaign, and he says: “We are in America. We have a right to know what we want to know about our food.”
In order to counteract the much bandied statement that "radio is dying," John Anderson of DIYMedia.net took the time to analyze 21 years worth of FCC data in order to provide a portrait of the current state of licensed radio broadcasting in the United States.
Taking his lead from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, analyst Andaan Ahmad at German investment bank Berenberg has written an open letter to Apple chief executive Tim Cook and chairman Arthur Levinson. Ahmad calls on Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) to buy electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA).
The London-based Ahmad -- who says he's covered the tech industry for nearly 20 years -- argued in Friday's letter that Apple's shift into the auto sector could give the company the kind of revenue growth that won't be sustainable from just smartphones and other mobile devices over the longer-term.
The move could reignite the U.S. auto industry and would be a catalyst to accelerate the current transition to hybrid and electric vehicles.
Ahmad said the strength of the Apple brand and its history of "disrupting" industries are reasons why his bold plan could make sense.
US authorities have reported their largest-ever Bitcoin bust amounting to $28 million of the digital currency. It was seized from the owner of the controversial Silk Road website, which was shut down three weeks ago.
Food was cathartic for Max Sala, something that held his life together and at the same time tore it apart.
As a child he ate for comfort, arriving for his freshman year of high school, as he put it, “significantly overweight.”
Then Sala, now 19 and a student at the University of California at Davis, started losing weight and couldn’t stop. Sometimes he would go days without eating. Other days he would ravage his family kitchen in the middle of the night, gorging himself, and then purge. Purging, he said, was “like a breath of fresh air.”
To this day, Sala still struggles with an eating disorder, a subtype of anorexia that includes binging and purging.
Men like Sala account for a far larger portion of eating disorders than clinicians realized even a decade ago. One recent Canadian study suggested as many as one in three cases of anorexia are male, while past estimates have hovered around one in nine. A 2007 Harvard study found nearly a quarter of study participants with anorexia and bulimia were male, around double traditional estimates. In that study, 40 percent of those with binge eating disorder were male.
In the 17th century, one of the first medical descriptions of anorexia included case studies of both a man and a woman, but recent history has largely cast eating disorders as a female affliction.
“If we continue to act as though eating disorders do not occur in men, we are missing a vast population of need,” said Athena Robinson, a Stanford psychologist who studies eating disorders in both sexes
It hasn’t gotten quite as much attention as last November’s labeling vote in California, but the Washington (state) campaign to label genetically modified foods is becoming every bit as interesting and important in light of recent developments.
The upcoming vote on Proposition I-522, a GMO labeling initiative, has become closer in recent weeks since Big Food companies like Pepsi, Coca Cola and others began pouring money into the “No” campaign to counteract grassroots activists in favor of labeling.
But the “No” crowd, specifically the Washington-D.C. based Grocery Manufacturers’ Association, was recently caught red-handed and forced to disclose its concealed sources of funding after a lawsuit by State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
“This is the largest amount of money ever concealed in an election,” Ferguson said according to an Oct. 22 article by the Center for Food Safety.
You can see the amount of money that was concealed in support of the “No” crowd in this PDF document from the website Eat Drink Politics by clicking here. The list reads like a Who’s Who of processed GMO-laden food-like product producers, from Pepsi to Land O’Lakes to Kellogg’s and even the makers of Spam, Hormel Foods.
The GMA reluctantly decided to release the names after being faced with the lawsuit.
The suit by the attorney general is a pretty big deal according to the Center for Food Safety, as they usually have to be quite judicious with the cases they do go after due to their relatively limited resources. The AG suit came on the heals of a class action suit that was not allowed to proceed due to a technicality.
China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest oil importer and goods trading nation. Over the next five years, it will surpass the rest of the world combined in its consumption of base metals.
Given the scale of the country’s consumption of fossil fuels and raw materials, it is only a matter of time before the renminbi replaces the dollar as the primary currency for trading commodities and resources such as crude oil and iron ore.
The debt ceiling farce in Washington and China’s growing reluctance to continue underwriting the US economy by buying up its bonds and adding to America’s near $17 trillion (£10.5 trillion) debt mountain suggests that this tectonic shift in the global trade system could be just around the corner.
Chinese state media are already calling for a “de-Americanised world”. Some experts say that China is plotting to usurp the greenback’s place in global commodities trade. Beijing’s strategy hinges on quietly encouraging traders to bypass New York through the creation of a network of interlinked commodity markets based in the global financial hubs of Hong Kong and London.
“There can be little doubt from these actions that China is preparing herself for the demise of the dollar, at least as the world’s reserve currency,” writes Alastair Macleod, head of research at GoldMoney. A further signal that policymakers are beginning to warm to the renminbi playing a greater role in the global economy came last week when Chancellor George Osborne unveiled a historic deal to allow British investors direct access to China’s markets and allow Chinese banks to expand operations in the UK.
The queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey, reportedly declined a White House invitation last summer for a meeting aimed at helping President Barack Obama sell his signature health care law to the American public.
Food stamps are the most inefficient, vastly expanding social welfare program in the country, according to a new study. Forty-seven million people participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, and costs have increased over 358 percent since 2000. The increase in recent years cannot be attributed to the economic recession, according to Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, but lax eligibility requirements and an aggressive campaign by governments to boost their rolls. “This program has expanded rapidly over the last decade in a way that is not justified by the recession that we went through,” Tanner said. “There’s very little bang for all this increased buck.” Tanner’s report, “SNAP Failure: The Food Stamp Program Needs Reform,” finds that in 2000 the cost of the food stamp program was just $17 billion. It has risen in cost to $78 billion today. Spending on advertising and outreach for food stamps by federal and state governments has also increased, now amounting to $41.3 million a year. States like Florida have hired “food stamp recruiters,” who have a quota of signing up 150 new recipients each month. Rhode Island hosts “SNAP-themed bingo games,” and the USDA tells its field offices to throw parties to get more people on their rolls. Despite the additional spending, the USDA claims 18 million Americans are still “food insecure.” Tanner notes the program is more successful in breeding dependence on government, which was apparent last weekend when the EBT system shutdown in several states, resulting in chaos. “The left is correct when they talk about how small food stamp benefits are, about an average of $4.50 a day,” Tanner said. “And yet we’re told that people can’t survive without them.” “There’s something wrong in our society when people can’t survive without getting five bucks from the government,” he said. Food stamps have become the second most costly means-tested program behind Medicaid, and its expansion is credited to both Republicans and Democrats. Tanner traces the modern food stamp program back to President Lyndon B. Johnson, who signed the Food Stamp Act of 1964. Not until the presidency of George W. Bush, however, did the program increase dramatically, and the pace has only accelerated under President Barack Obama.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Women in Communications S. FL Fall Membership Drive 10/15 at Caffeine Spaces.Association for Women in Communications S. Florida Chapter hosts 1st Fall Membership Drive Meet and Greet at Caffeine Spaces, Boca Raton. Oct. 14, 2013 - BOCA RATON, Fla. -- WHO: Association for Women in Communications South Florida Chapter (AWCSF)
WHAT: AWCSF First Fall membership drive meet and greet.
WHY: The Fall membership drive of the national Association for Women in Communications (AWC) iSeptember 15 -November 15. $50 application fee waived for all new members who join on or before Nov. 15. Association for Women in Communications South Florida Chapter (AWCSF) will host a meet and greet fall membership drive at Caffeine Space, an accelerated network of coworking spaces that you can rent a desk by the day, week, or month. Refreshments will be served.
The Association for Women in Communications South Florida Chapter connects communicators in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties, facilitating its members’ integration into the business matrix of South Florida and promoting their personal and professional advancement. Helping to cultivate the complex relationships that bridge all communications disciplines, the AWC South Florida interfaces networking and professional development to equip its members to excel in their fields. For more information, visit http://awcsouthflorida.org; email email@example.com; Like us Facebook.com/AWCSF; Follow us Twitter.com/awcsf
Caffeine Spaces is developing a community driven office space to help like minded individuals that want to work in a group environment, achieve economies of scale without being a big company and enjoy being open and part of the community that value collaboration, openness, community, accessibility and sustainability. For more information visit http://caffeinespaces.com; email firstname.lastname@example.org; Like us Facebook.com/CafeineSpaces; Follow us Twitter.com/caffeinespaces
The Association for Women in Communications is a professional organization that champions the advancement of women across all communications disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership and positioning its members at the forefront of the evolving communications era. In 2009, The Association celebrated 100 years of accelerating women communicators’ careers, cementing its position as the oldest and most comprehensive professional association in the industry. For more info visit http://www.womcom.org Link Press http://www.prlog.org/12225505/1
“What’s cooler: music or computer programming?” I asked Will.i.am, one of the founding members of the iconic hip hop band Black Eyed Peas and the “director of creative innovation” at chip giant Intel.
“Coding,” he replied instantly. “By about 10 times. A trillion times. It’s the most creative space.”
Will.i.am has been fascinated by technology for years. He’s made a few strategic early investments, most notably in Twitter. But he does not intend to set up a venture firm, like fellow celeb Ashton Kutcher.
Will.i.am tells me he’s more of an operator than an investor. So he’s learning to code and is traveling the world encouraging kids to follow in his footsteps by learning technical skills. It may come as a surprise to fans that he’s a frequent fixture at MIT, where he checks out the latest wearable computing and robots at the Artificial Intelligence Lab.
His entourage just got a new addition: Lilly Kam, a MIT grad who’s the director of STEM [science, technology engineering and math] at the i.am.angel foundation.
Kam is helping Will.i.am learn to code and is developing programs to support science and math education in schools. The musician told me he also has a traveling tutor from Intel, who helps him build his own apps.
I interviewed the musician, philanthropist, producer, and programming student at the Intel Capital CEO Summit in San Diego. He had just delivered a keynote onstage, where he spoke to a packed crowd of executives about ways to get kids from the projects interested in technology.
As the US government claims to be worried about the use of chemical weapons all over the world, one question is still waiting for an answer in this country. Although the major issues causing tension between US and Vietnam governments have been resolved over the last few decades, there is still one unresolved issue: the legacy of Agent Orange. This chemical product is a mix of two herbicides that the US used to defoliate large swaths of jungle to more easily find their enemy. The use of the chemical also destroyed the subsistence agriculture of the Vietnamese. For nine years Agent Orange was spread across this land. And it is not just Vietnam that wants a solution to this issue. Many American war veterans have sued Monsanto and other companies involved in manufacturing the powerful herbicide as they suffer from serious illness after coming in contact with Agent Orange. And we now know that those health problems have been passed on to their descendants. In the US, organizations are asking citizens to contact their members of congress to pass the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act. One of these groups, the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign, co-coordinated by Merle Ratner, has focused on the food risks created by Agent Orange: “Regarding the food, there is a problem only in the ‘hot spots’ where Agent Orange (dioxin) remains in the soil and sediment in areas like sections of Danang, Bien Hoa, A Luoi, and some others.” However, the congenital disabilities will remain forever in those people born with them. Heather A. Bowser, from COVVHA, Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance, explains: “Children of American Vietnam veterans were born with birth defects and illnesses due to their parent’s exposure to Agent Orange. Also children of Australian VN vets and of course the children of VN. Currently the US government only covers one birth defect in children of male VN Vets, that is spina bifida. So far they have done very little to help the kids of US vets or anyone in VN.” Today several NGOs in Vietnam are working hard, trying to clean the Vietnamese countryside, as many Vietnamese are suffering from cancer or congenital disabilities, all related to the Agent Orange. The Red Cross visits these families and offers medical and psychological help to the victims. VAVA, Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange, is the organization in that represents, advocates for and serves the victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam. Even nowadays, fourth-generation Vietnamese are suffering from congenital disabilities, fifty years after the spread of the herbicide. Entire families with disabilities and without economic resources, living in the remote countryside, are still waiting for help–for any help–from those responsible for this tragedy. VAVA members are prepared to travel again to New York City to fight in court in order to get compensation for all those suffering. No one knows when the legacy of of Agent Orange will end. This new war, which is being fought both by Americans and Vietnamese, is still waiting for an end. Read More Here: http://saigoneer.com/society/society-categories/health/1026-the-toxic-legacy-of-agent-orange
Today, Interest.com released its annual look at whether average Americans can actually afford the American dream of home ownership. The answer? Not really.
Home affordability is down in all 25 of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. “We define home affordability as the ability of a median income household in each city, to afford the median priced home in that city,” explains Interest.com Managing Editor Mike Sante.
Each city is given a grade on an A to F scale. The highest grade awarded this year was a B+ with 13 cities receiving a D+ or lower. While every city saw a modest increase in median income – roughly 2% on average – the gains were overwhelmed by soaring home prices and an average 7% increase in the interest rate on a new mortgage. In other words, home prices are up, but the average income covers a smaller mortgage than it did a year ago.
At the bottom of the affordability pack is San Francisco, where a median-income household falls 47.9% short of being able to afford the median priced home. Sante says the west coast tech haven is “almost in a league of it’s own” when it comes to average folks being priced out of the market At $74,922 the median household income in San Francisco is among the highest in the country, and is even up 4% from a year ago. But median home prices rose 27.8% to $706,300 making it impossible for a median income family to buy a median priced home in this city.
The most affordable big city is Atlanta, but even there the trend isn’t encouraging, with its rating slipping to a B+ from an A last year. The median household income is $54,628, up 2.8% from last year, while the median home price of $143,300 rose a stunning 38.9%. When you factor in mortgage rates, property taxes and insurance, a median-income family in Atlanta can afford 24.9% more than the median home price in that city. That’s a nice cushion, but one that could easily be erased by another year of rising mortgage rates and home prices.
Federal animal health officials announced Tuesday that Chinese jerky treats have caused a mysterious illness outbreak in more than 3,600 dogs (and ten cats) and the death of about 600 pets.
About 500 dogs and nine cats died from the Chinese treats as of January.
But in spite of running more than 1,000 tests and visiting multiple manufacturers, the FDA still isn’t sure what it is in the chicken, duck, and sweet potato jerky that is making the animals sick. “To date, testing for contaminants in jerky treats has not revealed a cause for the illnesses,” said deputy director for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Martine Hartogensis.
Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Milo’s Kitchen withdrew some of its popular dog treats in January after New York state agricultural official found potential antibiotics contamination. Maybe stick to making your own dog treats for now.
The modern workplace makes us all work longer, less focused hours, Jason Fried told Big Think back in 2010. That is because the workplace is optimized for interruptions which are the enemy of work, the enemy of creativity, "the enemy of everything."
Fried, along with 37Signals cofounder David Heinemeier Hansson, wrote a bestselling book about how to change all of this, with sensible prescriptions such as don't treat your employees like children and send them home at five. In the broadest sense, Rework was a declaration of war against the culture of work that produces workaholics and infuriatingly inefficient meetings.
Now, Fried and Hansson have come out with a new book, Remote: Office Not Required, a full-throated embrace of the practice of working remotely. Their timing could have been a little bit better, as they missed the publicity firestorm caused by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer's dismantling of her company's remote-work program.
Sunset laws state that a given agency will cease to exist after a fixed period of time unless the legislature reenacts its statutory charter. Sunset laws compel the Congress to reexamine its delegations of authority and to assess the utility of those delegations in the light of experience.” OBAMACARE should expire on December 31, 2019 unless it is re-authorized by the Congress elected in 2018. If OBAMACARE does not work, it will just disappear in 2019 without another vote. It will be a timely and well deserved death. If it does work, it can be re-authorized; after an election based on its merit (the 2018 Congressional election).The Sunset deadline will put real pressure on the Obama Administration to make it work, if it can. (This Blog believes any government program written by Nancy Pelosi is unworkable on its face). The Sunset Deadline will allow Republicans time to develop a viable alternative which will not only cover the uninsured but secure gains in cost control over healthcare (i.e. using the Japanese model and make all hospitals nonprofit entities). Placing OBAMACARE under the aegis of a sunset law will heal the nation, give urgency to its implementation and focus the minds of both supporters and opponents.
German 3D printing company Voxeljet is planning to sell 6.5 million shares at a price range of $13 to $15 a share this week in its IPO — where it will join a small-but-popular group of stocks that includes 3D Systems and Stratasys.