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Food Transparency
July 2014

Vermont Demands GMO Labeling

woman-shoppingVermont Senator David Zuckerman and Representative Carolyn Partridge spearheaded efforts for the state to pass the nation’s first unrestricted mandatory labeling bill for genetically modified organisms (GMO). The state legislature’s collective efforts, lasting more than a decade, led to an unprecedented, game-changing new law signed by Governor Peter Shumlin on April 23. Anticipating the current lawsuit by Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Vermont has set aside $10 million for legal fees. The Organic Manufacturers Association is working to expand funding behind Vermont’s defense because the outcome could affect all 50 states.

Unless legally overturned, starting July 1, 2016, products sold in Vermont that contain more than 0.9 percent GMO content contamination will require a statement on the label indicating that genetic engineering was used. Products that contain GMOs and are labeled cannot also label their products as “natural”. The bill, however, does not apply to labels for milk, eggs and meat from animals fed GMOs.


Donate to Vermont’s defense fund at Tinyurl.com/SupportGMOLabeling.

 
Yummy Berries Cut Heart Attack Risk by a Third
June 2014

Eat Up for Cardiovascular Protection

berriesEating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries a week may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack, according to research from the University of East Anglia, in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health. The berries contain high levels of powerful flavonoids called anthocyanins, which may help dilate arteries, counter buildup of plaque and provide other cardiovascular benefits.

Published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the study involved 93,600 women ages 25 to 42 that completed questionnaires about their diet every four years for over 16 years. Those that ate the most berries had a 32 percent reduction in heart attack risk compared with those that ate them once a month or less, even if they ate a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables.

“This is the first study to look at the impact of diet in younger and middle-aged women,” remarks the study’s lead author, Aedín Cassidy, Ph.D., head of the university’s nutrition department. “Even at an early age, eating more of these fruits may reduce risk of a heart attack later in life.”

 
Honeybee Hit
June 2014

Scientists Nab Fungicide as Bee Killer

bee-on-flowerColony collapse disorder, the mysterious mass die-off of honeybees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the U.S., has been well documented, with toxic insecticides identified as the primary culprits. Now, scientists at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have expanded the identification of components of the toxic brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen and decimating the bee colonies that collect it to feed their hives.

A study of eight agricultural chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by parasites found that bees that ate pollen contaminated with fungicides were three times as likely to be infected. Widely used fungicides had previously been accepted as harmless for bees because they are designed to kill fungus, not insects.

Dennis vanEngelsdorp, the study’s lead author, states, “There’s growing evidence that fungicides may be affecting the bees on their own, highlighting a need to reassess how we label these agricultural chemicals.” Labels on pesticides warn farmers not to spray when pollinating bees are in the vicinity, but such precautions have not applied to fungicides.


Source: qz.com

 
Healthy Homemade Infant Food Reduces Kids’ Allergies
May 2014

Start Children on a Diet Rich in Fruits and Veggies Early On

baby-eating-foodA study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reports that infants that were fed more homemade foods comprising a higher percentage of fruits and vegetables were less likely to develop food allergies. In assessing youngsters of the same age, researchers from the University of Southampton Medical College, in the UK, followed 41 children that had developed food allergies by the age of 2, alongside 82 non-allergic infants. After tracking the toddlers’ diets with food diaries and conducting allergy testing, the researchers found that infants fed more of the healthier homemade diet had a significantly lower incidence of food allergies as toddlers.

 
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