Shoplifting soars in Seattle grocery stores after ban on plastic bags as study finds spike in E. coli cases ‘linked to filthy reusable totes’

Daily Mail

Seattle’s ban on plastic bags may be good for the planet, but some local store owners say it has proven catastrophic for their bottom line.

Mike Duke, who runs the Lake City Grocery Outlet grocery store, said that since the City Council unanimously passed the ban last July, he has lost at least $5,000 in shoplifted produce and between $3,000-$4,000 in swiped frozen food.
‘We’ve never lost that much before,’ Duke told KBOI News.

Besides outlawing the use of plastic bags, businesses in Seattle are also required to charge a nickel for paper bags in order to encourage consumers to use the more environmentally friendly reusable bags.

But according to Duke, the ‘green’ canvas totes make it much harder for loss-prevention officers to detect what the customers have purchased and what they may have brought with them, which inevitably gives rise to shoplifting, reported.

According to data released in January by Seattle Public Utilities, more than 21 per cent of business owners surveyed said increased shoplifting because of the plastic bag ban has become a problem.

Eight per cent of the responders called shoplifting a ‘big’ problem, while about six per cent said it was a ‘medium’ or ‘small’ problem.

‘Across the United States we have seen these bag bans, and the shoplifting has always had a substantial leap,’ Jan Gee, president of the Washington Food Industry Association, said to KBOI, ‘and so it was not a surprise to us.’

However, results of another survey conducted by an environmental advocacy group that same month found the ban ‘popular and successful,’ and had no mention of a spike in shoplifting.

The Lake City grocery store operator said that another negative side effect of the plastic-bag ban is an increase in the number of hand baskets lifted from the supermarket to the tune of thousands of dollars.

Shoplifters would load up their baskets with groceries – both stolen and purchased – and walk out of the store, Duke said.

In a desperate bid to stop the rampant shoplifting, the owner attempted to get rid of the hand baskets, but his customers were not happy with the move.
But loss of revenue due to shoplifting is not the only problem that has been linked to the ban.

According to a study released last summer, the bag ban coincided with a jump in the number of E. coli cases and a spike in deaths caused by food-borne illnesses.
Another study published in 2011 found E. coli in eight per cent of all reusable bags from randomly selected individuals in California and Arizona stores.
Washing the bags eliminated nearly all of the harmful bacteria, but evidence presented in the paper suggested that not all consumers bother to do it.

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Release in the Millions with No Risk Assessment

Natural Society
by Mike Barrett

In case you didn’t know, genetically modified mosquitoes have been unleashed numerous times on planet Earth. Thus far, millions mosquitoes were released in various locations; Cayman Islands, Malaysia, and Brazil. Now, the GM mosquito creator Oxitec may release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the fields of crops, including olives, citrus fruits, cabbage, tomatoes, and cotton.

A UK-based company, Oxitec is the maker of all genetically modified insects. The company’s goal is to create a global market, where GM insects will be released around the world in order to take over natural insect populations. With the replacement of natural insects, the company hopes to wipe out disease carried by insects as well as those insects feeding on farmers’ crops. As scary as it might sound, thousands of insect species could be genetically altered in the near future.

Interestingly, Oxitec is supported by and very close with multinational pesticide and seed company, Syngenta. Syngenta, in addition to providing the world with destructive pesticides, has also been charged with covering up the deaths of many animals consuming the company’s GM corn. Being mainly interested in the market for GM agricultural pests, Syngenta as well as Oxitec are planning to commercialize GM insects around the world.

What’s especially scary about the release and future modification of thousands of species is that all of this will be done with little risk assessment. Not to mention not knowing of the vast number of negative outcomes that could occur from genetically modifying parts the biosphere.

Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK said “The public will be shocked to learn that GM insects can be released into the environment without any proper oversight. Conflicts-of-interest should be removed from all decision-making processes to ensure the public have a proper say about these plans.”

To help release the GM insects, Oxitec is influencing regulation around the world. One example of influence revolves around the European Food Safety Authority, established to help the risk assessment of GM insects. As reported by FarmWars, there seems to be numerous instances of conflict of interested, which includes experts with links to Oxitec. The connection of those in EFSA and Oxitec is very similar to that of the Monsanto-FDA connection, where several government officials have hard-links to biotech giant Monsanto.

The draft Guidance on risk assessment of GM insects shows some significant deficiencies: for example it does not consider the impacts of GM insects on the food chain. Oxitec’s GM insects are genetically engineered to die mostly at the larval stage so dead GM larvae will enter the food chain inside food crops such as olives, cabbages and tomatoes. Living GM insects could also be transported on crops to other farms or different countries. EFSA has excluded any consideration of these important issues from its draft guidance. Many other issues are not properly addressed.

A briefing shows how Oxitec is trying to influence regulatory processes for GM insects. Oxitec:

Doesn’t want to be liable for any complications.

Tries to avoid any regulation of GM agricultural pests on crops appearing in the food chain.

Excludes important issues from risk assessments, such as the impact on human immunity and disease, and the possible outcomes arising from surviving GM mosquitoes.

Releases large amount of GM mosquitoes prior to regulations.

Attempts to define ‘biological containment’ of the insects (which are programmed to die at the larval stage) as contained use, by-passing requirements for risk assessments and consultation on decisions to release GM insects into the environment.

Undermining the requirement to obtain informed consent for experiments involving insect species which transmit disease.

Ignores any labeling using products produced from GM insects and how insects can be contained where released.

Related: Genetically-Modified Insects: Under Whose Control?

Junk Science Inadvertently Proves That Agribusiness Is Killing Us

Gaia Health

Junk science keeps producing studies purporting to show that certain kinds of foods are bad for us. Within the last couple of days, two reports have come out claiming that red meat reduces lifespan and that saturated fats are causing significantly reduced sperm counts in men. But what they really demonstrate is something entirely different.

These studies prove only that Agribusiness is doing immense harm to our health. They’re pseudo science because they don’t consider the distinctions between real food and Agribusiness distortion of food, turning the primary sources of nutrition for most people into nothing more than junk food.

The Studies:

Saturated Fats

A study published in the journal Human Reproduction examined the eating habits of men in a fertility clinic. 71% of the men were categorized as overweight or obese, which is a good indication that their diets consist largely of fast foods and prepared foods. Both of these are loaded with trans fats. Thus, the bulk of saturated fat eaten by these men is not naturally saturated, like butter, but is artificially produced.

Gaia Health has explained the difference between these two types of saturated fat in Why Hydrogenated Fat Is So Bad. Naturally saturated fats are quite healthy. In fact, they are a major part of body functions. If a study makes no distinction between naturally saturated fats and trans fats, also known as hydrogenated fats, then any claims of harm from saturated fats cannot be taken seriously.

This particular study, Dietary fat and semen quality among men attending a fertility clinic, claims that men in the top third of saturated fat intake had sperm counts that were 43% lower than men in the lowest third.

Nearly three-fourths (71%) of the men were overweight or obese. These men most likely obtain a significant portion of their diets from prepared foods supplied by Agribusiness. The study made no distinction between naturally saturated fats and trans fats. In light of these three points, the only rational conclusion is that the study has demonstrated that artificially saturated trans fats result in lowered sperm counts.

Now, let’s just use a bit of logic. Today, lowered sperm counts are becoming a serious issue. A hundred years ago, there was little concern about it. Families tended to be quite large. The ability to produce children wasn’t at issue. Back then, the diets of reasonably healthy people consisted of loads of naturally saturated fats, especially butter, meat, and eggs. Just look at the diet of the Amish people today, and you’ll see that’s true.

Not distinguishing between types of saturated fat is a fatal flaw. In the face of such an error, it makes no sense to suggest that the problem is saturated fat. The evidence from this study has shown that artificially saturated fats—trans fats—result in lowered sperm counts, not that saturated fats are harmful.

Red Meat

A study published in JAMA’s Archives of Internal Medicine claims to show that eating red meat is associated with an increase in mortality from heart disease, cancer, and all causes.

The study is, overall, rather well done. There is, however, one major—and fatal—flaw, effectively the same one that exists in the saturated fats study. No distinction was made between factory farmed meats and naturally grown ones.

Factory farmed, concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs) raise sick and miserable animals. They’re forced to eat unnatural diets, which produce constant gut misery. Most never see the sky and exist in extremely crowded circumstances. These animals are severely weakened, so they must receive massive doses of antibiotics to prevent diseases. They’re given other drugs designed to force rapid growth and weight gain. And all of that ends up in the meat. This is the kind of meat that most fast foods joints, most restaurants, and most supermarkets serve up.

Sick, miserable, and toxic animals produce sick and toxic meat. That’s what most people in the industrialized world now eat. It bears little resemblance to naturally raised meat.

If a study makes no distinguish between CAFO-raised meat and free range organically-produced meat, it cannot possibly be considered meaningful.

The study, Red Meat Consumption and Mortality, claims that “greater consumption of unprocessed and processed red meats is associated with higher mortality risk”. However, it has not shown that. It has, instead, demonstrated that the meat produced by Agribusiness is killing us.

Junk Science and Junk Food

Agribusiness produces junk food. Junk science ignores that fact when it doesn’t distinguish between such pseudo food and natural chemical-free, antibiotic-free, and GMO-free foods.

The only legitimate conclusion that can be drawn from these two studies is that Agribusiness is killing us with its junk foods.

Photographer: X-ray-like image shows how radioactivity has spread throughout bodies of Fukushima wildlife


 This image was published on the photo blog of Takashi Morizumi. It appears Dr. Satoshi Mori was responsible for the x-ray-like view showing black dots spread throughout the body of a small bird from Iitate Village. The dots are said to be radioactive particles of Cs-137 internalized by eating contaminated insects.

“Takashi Morizumi is a photojournalist who covers topics in Japan and overseas such as the effects of US military bases and environmental problems. In particular, since the later half of the 90s, he has covered the damages caused by nuclear mining, testing, power plants, and the use of depleteted uranium and other nuclear weapons.” -Source

h/t Fukushima Diary


Vintage Bottle of Ant Poison Labels Fluoride As Deadly Poison

Intel Hub, Jan. 13, 2012
Fluoride soft kill continues amid overwhelming evidence of dangers

What I purchased is a vintage bottle of ant poison which surprisingly had never been opened.

I would not want to consume the contents inside this vintage bottle of insecticide, nor would I ever want to use this product, but in reality we have all consumed the contents in this insecticide because the active ingredient is composed of 95% Sodium Fluoride.

It can be difficult to find such direct information regarding sodium fluoride as a poison, but it is a true fact.

Sodium Fluoride is both a contact and a stomach poison; for this reason, most exterminators know the substance to work tremendously better on grown insects rather than larvae because adults have self cleaning habits which larvae do not.

Needless to say, sodium fluoride does not sound safe for human consumption.

Full story