Infographic: Are the Ancient Practices of Yoga and Meditation a Cure-All


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Environmentalist Group To Hand Out “Endangered Species Condoms”

Jurriaan Maessen |

Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity to hand out so-called “endangered species condoms” to college health centers, nightclub owners, environmental activists across the US, depicting, among other things, polar bears to highlight “the connection between unsustainable human population growth and the ongoing extinction crisis for plants and animals around the world.”

Read More: Environmentalist Group To Hand Out “Endangered Species Condoms”

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One in 38 kids in South Korea may have autism: study

Source: Reuters

One out of every 38 children in South Korea may have autism, a surprisingly high number based on a new research approach that suggests autism is a global problem that is significantly underdiagnosed, researchers said on Monday.

The estimate, which translates into 2.64 percent of children, is far higher than the estimated 1 percent rate seen in studies in the United States and Europe.

The study is the first to estimate autism in South Korea, and while the study needs to be confirmed, it suggests autism may be more common than previously thought.

“Are we surprised? Yes,” said Dr. Young-Shin Kim of Yale University, whose study was funded by the advocacy group Autism Speaks and published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Kim’s team used a painstaking research method that involved screening 55,000 children aged 7 to 12 in the South Korean city of Goyang. The team surveyed parents about their children’s behavior, then followed up with evaluations of at risk children to confirm their diagnosis.

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Reuters Breakingviews: Bank bonus bonanza

Source: Reuters

Breakingviews columnists discuss how Lazard’s approach to compensation could be a model for Wall Street and how Goldman’s stock awards for Lloyd Blankfein stack up.

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Towards a Healthy World – Organic Farming

There has been much talk in recent years about the global environment and what issues have developed since the bulk of farming is conventional farming instead of the more traditional organic farming.

Image: dan /

Conventional farming practices monoculture which reduces ecosystem diversity, increases soil and pest problems, so that farmers need to use more synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. These practices ultimately harm the environment, pollute the land, the water, and the food they are producing, even when used correctly.

Countries throughout the world are exploring organic farming techniques as environmentally-friendly ways to grow produce for the world’s population while keeping the environment as healthy as possible.  Organic farming, as we know it today, began in Central Europe and in India.  Today, there are many countries dedicated to growing produce using organic techniques without reducing the world’s food supply.

In various countries, organic food can be formally certified “organic” by passing strict guidelines assuring the food is truly organic. Some certifying programs are known as the “National Organic Program” in the US, “A National Organic Mark” in Australia, and “OneCert” in the European Union, among others.

There are other organic food movements around the world, however, that are trying to bypass the formality of certification by proposing other, less expensive standards, like the “Authentic Food Standard”. This standard allows for the passage of various criteria, including that all foods be sold by the organic producer, that fresh produce, milk, eggs and meat be sold within 50 miles of their production and that cheese, wine, bread and other fermented products be produced using traditional methods.

Image: Carlos Porto /

Another organic food approach is based on producing and selling organic food products locally. Consumers partner with local farmers and pre-purchase a certain percentage of the year’s harvest.  Supporters believe that locally-produced and sold organic foods taste better than those foods transported over long distances in refrigerated trucks.

Throughout the world, food that is grown using strictly organic techniques accounts for approximately 1-2 percent of gross food sales.  Organic food sales, however, are growing dramatically worldwide.  In fact, the world organic food market has been growing consistently since 1990 at a rate of 20 percent per year.

In the European Union, the EU-Eco-regulation organization regulates all of the organic food in Europe.  In Austria, organic farmers have been given incentives and experts expect that up to 10% of all foods grown locally.  In Germany, almost all baby food is completely organic and, in some places, up to a third of all bread is baked using organic ingredients.
Italy has gone even further to assure that its children eat organic food.  Its government has legislated that, as of 2005, all food prepared in school lunch programs must be organic food.

In the UK, it was reported that more than 600,000 hectares of land was allotted and managed under organic care standards and sales of organic foods increased from approximately 100 million pounds to over 1.2 billion pounds in only ten years.

Perhaps the biggest change has happened in Cuba, where, in 1990, the government banned many chemicals used in conventional farming and converted the land in the entire country to organic farm land.  This means that it would be rare to even find a piece of conventionally grown produce within the country.

Clearly some parts of the world is going organic and several countries are light years ahead in promoting organic eating and providing incentives to organic farmers.  However, the trend needs to be in this direction with various companies also strongly promoting genetically modified food which has been shown to produce many health related issues.

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Stunning New Way to Flush Away Skin Cancer

Source: Mercola

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.

In fact, the incidence of skin cancer cases each year is higher than all other cancer combined, and has risen more than 300 percent since 1992.

There are now more than 3.5 million nonmelanoma skin cancer cases diagnosed every year in the United States, bringing numbers well into epidemic proportions.

Read More: Stunning New Way to Flush Away Skin Cancer

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Made to last … but not forever

Sydney Morning Herald

As manufacturing’s decline bites hard in Sydney’s west, old hands cherish the skills of a passing era. Stuart Washington reports.

It bears the fancy name ”industrial estate” but there’s nothing fancy about the light industry in Revesby.

There are big metal sheds with towering sliding doors, cyclone fences topped with barbed wire, patchy grass on nature strips, trucks jerking and braking their way in and out of driveways, and yards with shipping containers stacked three high.

In their sheer ordinariness, Revesby and surrounding industrial areas are an unlikely centre of a battle about the future of manufacturing and a battle about what kind of country Australia becomes.

Revesby and the nearby areas of Chipping Norton and Moorebank have suffered some of the heaviest casualties in the battle, exclusive statistics analysed by the Heraldshow.

Read More: Made to last … but not forever

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ACTA in UK: 10 years in jail for a download?


UK web surfers have caught a grim glimpse of the future with Internet users being threatened with 10 years in jail for “illegal downloading” after a prominent music file-sharing site was shut down shortly after Britain signed the notorious ACTA bill.
It is the first time such a move has been made against Internet users in the UK. The British government introduced regulations in 2009 enabling Internet providers to track users who downloaded illegal content from the web and disable their connection if warning letters had no effect. But signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has brought the conflict to a whole new level.

In Europe, people are taking to the streets in protest at the contradictory Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, with some countries refusing to sign it.
After hackers from the activist group Anonymous attacked practically all US government websites in retaliation, the authorities are now considering adopting their own home-grown anti-counterfeiting laws like PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) / SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).

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J&J Recalls HIV Drug After Finding Smelly Chemical

Peter Loftus
Wall Street Journal

Johnson & Johnson’s manufacturing-quality lapses continued, as the company said it would recall HIV/AIDS drug Prezista in several countries after discovering trace amounts of a chemical that emitted offensive odors.

J&J’s Janssen-Cilag International unit said it had received four consumer reports of musty or moldy odors, which affected products sold in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Canada. The company is working with regulatory authorities in those countries.

J&J said in a press release it would recall and replace any affected bottles of Prezista remaining in the marketplace, estimated to be fewer than 2,000 in countries where recalls have been initiated.

Read More: J&J Recalls HIV Drug After Finding Smelly Chemical

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Now EU Seeks to Ban the Family

The Daily Bell

“The Eurozone is crumbling, millions are out of work and a generation of young Europeans face a bleak future. Yet the EU is spending its time concentrating on how to socially engineer our children.”

Dominant Social Theme: People need to let other people alone, even if Leviathan itself must be employed to make it happen.

Free-Market Analysis: Whenever we look, we are assaulted by unbelievable legislative actions. This has got to be the most incredible idea yet: To legislate portrayals of the family out of existence.

What kinds of people come up with these ideas? What kind of people vote on them? This is not some outlier in North Korea, not some gambit in Mongolia. This initiative is being seriously proposed in the heart of the West, in the supposed cradle of civilization.

These people are not just announcing their intentions to attack the family unit, but to ban by force any mention of it. It’s a little bit like trying to legislate away gravity. Human biology trends towards families. Here’s more from the article:

The document, prepared by the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, also suggests EU-wide legislation is needed to tackle the way women are depicted in advertising during children’s television programmes.

Read More: Now EU Seeks to Ban the Family

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Cartoon: Censorship of truth by Alex Falco


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Childhood brain tumours and use of mobile phones: comparison of a case-control study with incidence data

Aydin et al.
Environmental Health

Abstract (provisional)

The first case-control study on mobile phone use and brain tumor risk among children and adolescents (CEFALO study) has recently been published. In a commentary published in Environmental Health, Soderqvist and colleagues argued that CEFALO suggests an increased brain tumor risk in relation to wireless phone use. In this article, we respond and show why consistency checks of case-control study results with observed time trends of incidence rates are essential, given the well described limitations of case-control studies and the steep increase of mobile phone use among children and adolescents during the last decade. There is no plausible explanation of how a notably increased risk from use of wireless phones would correspond to the relatively stable incidence time trends for brain tumours among children and adolescents observed in the Nordic countries. Nevertheless, an increased risk restricted to heavy mobile phone use, to very early life exposure, or to rare subtypes of brain tumors may be compatible with stable incidence trends at this time and thus further monitoring of childhood brain tumor incidence rate time trends is warranted.

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26 Common Food Labels, Explained

Source: Cheap Healthy Good

These days, grocery shopping involves a lot of reading. Food is rarely content to just be, and instead, must include dozens of labels designating it as CAGE-FREE, HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS, or the dreaded ORGANIC. And even if you know your PASTURED from your HUMANELY-RAISED chickens, odds are you still need a PhD to decode most of the other language.

So, to make navigating your supermarket a tad easier, here are 26 food labels, defined and explained in terms understandable to humans. I have to be honest – 36 hours ago, I couldn’t tell the difference between LOW-FAT, LITE and REDUCED-FAT. Now, I can. And I have this guide to consult when I forget.

Readers, if I made a mistake (or several hundred) lemme know and I will correct it.

What it means:
In regards to beef and poultry, NATURAL means the meat appears relatively close to its natural state, and often won’t have additives or preservatives. (Note: there’s no USDA regulation for this, however.) In regards to other foods, NATURAL and ALL-NATURAL mean nothing. Absolutely nothing.
What it really means: With the exception of meat, slapping NATURAL on a label is a marketing ploy. Everything essentially derives from nature, so there’s a ton of fudging that can be done. Don’t trust it, and read the ingredient breakdown before you buy any product.

What it means:
I’m leaving this one up to Woman’s Day: “For a food to be labeled as containing antioxidants, the FDA requires that the nutrients have an established Recommended Daily Intakes (RDI) as well as scientifically recognized antioxidant activity.” What? I’m not sure. But it doesn’t matter, because …
What it really means: Actually, Woman’s Day has this one covered, too: “Most products already contain antioxidants and manufacturers are simply beginning to call it out due to current food and health trends.”

What it means:
Egg-laying hens don’t live in cages.
What it really means: Very little. The poultry can walk around, but they can also be fed, raised, and slaughtered like any other chicken. There’s no official regulation for this term, as far as I can tell.

What it means:
Congratulations! The USDA has acknowledged that your meat is actually meat.
What it really means: The USDA gave your meat a grade and a class, and certified that it hasn’t been replaced with Folger’s crystals.

ENRICHED / FORTIFIED (Added, Extra, Plus)
What it means: A nutrient (niacin, Vitamin C, etc.) has been added to your food. Now, compared to a standard, non-fortified food, it has at least 10% more of the Daily Value of that nutrient.
What it really means: It varies. A manufacturer can add a ton of Vitamin C to orange juice, and set you up for life. Or the same guy can slip a measly 10% thiamin into a piece of bread, and it barely makes a dent. Read the label to see you’re getting the amount you want.

FREE (Without, No, Zero, Skim)
What it means:
FREE has hard and fast definitions set forth by the FDA. They are:
Calorie free: Less than 5 calories per serving.
Cholesterol free: Less than 2 mg cholesterol and 2 g or less saturated fat per serving.
Fat free: Less than 0.5 g of fat per serving.
Sodium/salt free: Less than 5 mg per serving.
Sugar free: Less than 0.5 g of sugars per serving. (See SUGAR-FREE entry as well.)

What it really means: You can be pretty confident that FREE foods lack what they say they do. But be careful. Often, fat-free and calorie-free products are some of the most chemical-laden items in the supermarket (not to mention awful for most cooking purposes).

What it means:
A term usually applied to chickens, FREE-RANGE means birds have access to an outside area. That’s it.
What it really means: This is a huge part of Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Essentially, FREE-RANGE often means birds are raised on a massive factory farm, and given a tiny patch of lawn that they rarely, if ever, use. The FREE-RANGE label means virtually nothing, for eggs or roasters. Don’t buy it.

What it means:
Pretty much, FRESH food is raw food that’s never been frozen or warmed, and doesn’t have any preservatives.
What it really means: Hey! This is an actual thing! Who knew? A food labeled FRESH is regulated by the FDA, so you’re getting what you’re paying for. Nice.

Read More: 26 Common Food Labels, Explained

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EU Common Criminals

European Parliament, Strasbourg, 17 April 2013 | Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy’ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament – | Debate: Current situation in Cyprus Council and Commission statements

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Shamed hospital accused of leaving dying patients to starve

Source: Telegraph

Lawyers are planning a “class action” on behalf of 23 families who contacted them with “shocking” claims of indignities and the most basic failings in care.

They believe the families who have contacted them so far about care at Alexandra Hospital, in Redditch, West Midlands, may represent “the tip of the iceberg”.

The number of potential claims make it the biggest group action of its type since hundreds died in appalling conditions at Stafford Hospital, leading to a public inquiry which is expected to criticise the wider failings of the NHS and of regulators’ failures to protect patients, when it reports next year.

The cases against Alexandra Hospital include:

* A 35-year-old father-of-four who his family say wasted away because staff did not know how to fit a feeding tube

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In the land of facades, mark the first signs of an Indian spring

Source: John Pilger

When the early morning fog rises and drifting skeins from wood fires carry the sweet smell of India, the joggers arrive in Lodi Gardens. Past the tomb of Mohammed Shah, the  15th century Munghal ruler, across a landscape manicured in the 1930s by Lady Willingdon, wife of the  governor-general, recently acquired trainers stride out from ample figures in smart saris and white cotton dhotis. In Delhi, the middle classes do as they do everywhere, though here there is no middle. By mid-morning, children descend like starlings. They wear pressed blazers, like those of an English prep school. There are games and art and botany classes. When shepherded out through Lady Willingdon’s elegant stone gateway, they pass a reed-thin boy, prostrate beside the traffic and his pile of peanuts, coins clenched in his hand.

When I was first sent to report India, I seldom raised my eyes to the gothic edifices and facades of the British Raj.  All life was at dust and  pavement level and, once the shock had eased, I learned to admire the sheer imagination and wit of people who survived the cities, let alone the countryside — the dabbawallahs (literally “person with a box”), cleaners, runners, street barbers, poets, assorted Fagans and children with their piles of peanuts.  In Calcutta, as it was still known during the 1971 war with Pakistan, civil defence units in soup-plate helmets and lungis toured the streets announcing an air-raid warning practice during which, they said, “everybody must stay indoors and remain in the face-down position until the siren has ceased to operate”. Waves of mocking laughter greeted them, together with the cry: “But we have no doors to stay inside!”

Read More: In the land of facades, mark the first signs of an Indian spring

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Leading World Bank Demographer: Vaccination Campaigns Part Of Population Reduction Policy

Jurriaan Maessen

On October 2nd a retired demographer at the World Bank admitted that vaccination campaigns are an integral part of the World Bank’s population policies. John F. May, the Bank’s leading demographer from 1992 to 2012, told the French web journal Sens Public (and in turn transcribed by the think-tank May works for) that vaccination campaigns, especially in so-called “high-fertility countries”, are means to achieve population reduction in those countries. May:

“The means used to implement population policies are “policy levers” or targeted actions such as vaccination campaigns or family planning to change certain key variables.”

Read More: Leading World Bank Demographer: Vaccination Campaigns Part Of Population Reduction Policy

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Money on the Mind

In a series of startling studies, psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley have found that “upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals.” Ongoing research is trying to find out what it is about wealth — or lack of it — that makes people behave they way they do. Paul Solman reports as part of his Making Sen$e series.

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Coles fined for ‘Helping Australia Grow’ with fruit from the US and France

Esther Han |

Coles misled its customers into thinking certain fruits and vegetables were produced on Australian farms, when they were in fact from overseas, the ACCC has found.

The supermarket chain has paid six fines to the tune of $61,000 after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigators found imported fruits, asparagus and almonds were displayed under price boards declaring ‘Helping Australia Grow’, which also included the triangular Australian Grown symbol, between March and May this year.

Read More: Coles fined for ‘Helping Australia Grow’ with fruit from the US and France

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12 Reasons To Avoid GMOs

Source: Huffington Post

I love talking to people about food. And these days at my restaurant, I inevitably end up talking about GMOs. Often, people ask me the reasons why I do not allow any GMO foods at GustOrganics. In fact, this happens so often that I started creating a list in my head of all the reasons I choose not to offer them to my customers. The list started to get so big that I decided to write it down and I thought I’d share it with you, dear readers.

First, a little background: GMO stands for genetically modified organisms; some people also refer to them as GE (genetically engineered). According to the FDA, GMO foods are made using recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) technology. The agency commonly refers to them as “bioengineered foods,” or foods that have undergone genetic modification, meaning they’ve been engineered and altered at the genetic level “using any technique, new or traditional.”

Read More: 12 Reasons To Avoid GMOs

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