March 14th, 2011
By: Douglas MacIntyre
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched a new website, Saferproducts.gov, the first consumer product database of its kind. The agency says that “Through SaferProducts.gov, consumers, child service providers, health care professionals, government officials, and public safety entities will be able to submit reports of harm (Reports) involving consumer products. Manufacturers (including importers) and private labelers identified in Reports will receive a copy of the Report, and will have the opportunity to comment on them.”
It’s likely that a number of companies will be upset about the new site and its feature that allows consumers to submit forms about unsafe products. Of course, what is “unsafe” will be largely subjective, although the agency will apparently review some comments.
The entire site will not be live until sometime in April. Manufacturers will be allowed to file their own comments about complaints for up to 10 days before the complaints go “live.” This could be a nightmare for large consumer products companies, which may need to wade through scores of complaints. Businesses will have to register with the site to be able to post responses.
The Achilles Heel of the site may be that it is subject to random comments from consumers that are inaccurate or possibly part of campaigns against companies that are unrelated to product flaws.
The site is a good idea, theoretically, but like most every other “open” comment website, abuse by both consumers and companies will be hard to regulate.
December 8th, 2010
By: Steve Watson
TSA workers are complaining about the amounts of radiation they are being exposed to on a daily basis in the wake of the mass introduction of body scanners to airports around the country.
USA Today reports that TSA agents are unhappy with the fact that they are being kept in the dark by their employers, despite repeated requests for information.
“We don’t think the agency is sharing enough information,” said Milly Rodriguez, occupational health and safety specialist at the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents TSA workers.
“Radiation just invokes a lot of fear.” she added.
According to the USA Today report, several TSA employees have expressed their concerns to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
…a TSA employee at an unidentified airport asked CDC in June to examine concerns about radiation exposures from standing near the new full-body X-ray scanners for hours a day. The CDC said it didn’t have authority to do a hazard assessment unless three or more current employees at one location made a joint request, according to a September letter from the CDC to the unnamed worker. The CDC provided the letter to USA TODAY.
Despite claiming that the body scanners and baggage scanners emit safe doses of radiation and are routinely inspected, the TSA has refused to release its radiation inspection records.
Worse still, an independent study by the CDC carried out in 2004, found that some baggage scanners were in violation of federal radiation standards, and were emitting two or three times beyond the agreed safe limit.
A further 2008 CDC report noted that some x-ray machines were missing protective lead curtains or had had safety features disabled by TSA employees with duct tape, paper towels and other materials.
Now there are even more x-ray devices in use, TSA workers’ concerns, as well as recent public backlash, is beginning to force the issue.
This has prompted members of congress to get involved, with a group led by Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass, demanding that the TSA release the documents.
As the USA Today report explains, The TSA is responsible for inspecting the x-ray scanners itself, rather than the FDA, because they are not classed as medical devices.
Following the congressional attention, the TSA has said that it will attempt to release the radiation records to USA Today, but has not indicated when this will be, citing the need to review the records for security reasons.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, the top Republican on a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee over federal workforce issues, has vowed to press the TSA for the documentation.
“It should send some flashing red lights when they won’t allow the public to review that data,” said Chaffetz, who oversaw the passage in the House last year of an amendment to ban “strip-search” imaging at airports.
“You don’t have to look at my wife and 8-year-old daughter naked to secure an airplane,” Chaffetz said at the time.
“You can actually see the sweat on somebody’s back. You can tell the difference between a dime and a nickel. If they can do that, they can see things that quite frankly I don’t think they should be looking at in order to secure a plane,” Chaffetz told the House.
Frankly, more TSA workers should be concerned over the levels of radiation they are being exposed to and are being asked to expose the public to.
Dr Michael Love, who runs an X-ray lab at the department of biophysics and biophysical chemistry at the Johns Hopkins school of medicine recently told AFP that “statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays”.
“…we have a situation at the airports where people are so eager to fly that they will risk their lives in this manner,” he added.
John Sedat, a University of California at San Francisco professor of biochemistry and biophysics and member of the National Academy of Sciences tells CNet that the machines have “mutagenic effects” and will increase the risk of cancer. Sedat previously sent a letter to the White House science Czar John P. Holdren, identifying the specific risk the machines pose to children and the elderly.
The letter stated:
“it appears that real independent safety data do not exist… There has not been sufficient review of the intermediate and long-term effects of radiation exposure associated with airport scanners. There is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations.”
The TSA has repeatedly stated that going through the machines is equal to the radiation encountered during just two minutes of a flight. However, this does not take into account that the scanning machines specifically target only the skin and the muscle tissue immediately beneath.
The scanners are similar to C-Scans and fire ionizing radiation at those inside which penetrates a few centimeters into the flesh and reflects off the skin to form a naked body image.
The firing of ionizing radiation at the body effectively “unzips” DNA, according to scientific research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The research shows that even very low doses of X-ray can delay or prevent cellular repair of damaged DNA, yet pregnant women and children will be subjected to the process as new guidelines including scanners are adopted.
The Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety concluded in their report on the matter that governments must justify the use of the scanners and that a more accurate assessment of the health risks is needed.
Pregnant women and children should not be subject to scanning, according to the report, adding that governments should consider “other techniques to achieve the same end without the use of ionizing radiation.”
“The Committee cited the IAEA’s 1996 Basic Safety Standards agreement, drafted over three decades, that protects people from radiation. Frequent exposure to low doses of radiation can lead to cancer and birth defects, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” reported Bloomberg.
Scientists at Columbia University also entered the debate recently, warning that the dose emitted by the naked x-ray devices could be up to 20 times higher than originally estimated, likely contributing to an increase in a common type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma which affects the head and neck.
“If all 800 million people who use airports every year were screened with X-rays then the very small individual risk multiplied by the large number of screened people might imply a potential public health or societal risk. The population risk has the potential to be significant,” said Dr David Brenner, head of Columbia University’s centre for radiological research.
Despite all these warnings, The Department of Homeland Security claims that the scanners are completely safe, pointing to “independent” verification from the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, both federal government bodies.
June 17, 2010
By E. Huff
(NaturalNews) Following its 2008 declaration that the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) is a safe additive in food and beverage plastics, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received criticism from consumer advocacy groups and others for neglecting scientific evidence that indicated the contrary. The agency reluctantly agreed to review its position and recently reversed its position, declaring that it now has concerns about the safety of BPA.
Several scientific studies have verified that BPA is a highly toxic endocrine disruptor that can impede proper reproductive function and lead to cardiovascular disease, liver problems, and diabetes. It is especially harmful during the early developmental stages because it hinders the proper development of organ tissues and glands and inhibits proper sexual maturity.
A 2009 Harvard University study found that people who drank from polycarbonate bottles containing BPA for just one week experienced a two-thirds increase of BPA in their urine. Published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the study verified that the BPA used in containers leaches very easily into food and beverages, especially when heated.
May 11, 2010
States and federal authorities are so desperate for cash they have begun to resort to television attack ads. Not the sort of attack ads politicians have tried to ban from campaigns either. This new form of attack ad is based upon raw intimidation of the public by so-called public servants.
I’ve been warning you for some time that cash-strapped state and federal bureaucrats are on the prowl for money. A creepy, skin-crawling new government attack ad directed at Pennsylvania taxpayers does exactly that. You have to see to believe it.
The tax-collection ad informs residents “We DO know who you are,” and it warns them to “find us before we find you.”
What’s telling about Pennsylvania’s taxpayer attack ad campaign is that it brags how you have no shield of privacy from government snoops. It is a classic example of a disturbing trend: A situation in which bureaucrats have forgotten their place as public servants and now openly regard taxpayers as subjects to be preyed upon — not a master to serve.
View the State of Pennsylvania’s TV ad here: And no, this is not a spoof!
You see, America’s dangerously overextended public-sector is quite literally papering over a solvency crisis of epic proportions. There are gigantic financial pressures on federal and state officials driving them to desperation.
Consider just this one slice of the government’s little-understood funding pickle:
On the state-level alone, Uncle Sam is looking at a multi-trillion-dollar bailout of public employee pensions. More specifically, federal bureaucrats know that a major bailout of total state-level pension obligations is coming. That’s because there are an astronomical $5.7 trillion in pension obligations against only $1.94 trillion in actual holdings.
Northwestern University economist Joshua Rauh recently calculated 50 states’ pension obligations by removing the rigged statistics governments use to make their pensions appear solvent. Rauh learned that in addition to horrific operating deficits, state government pension obligations are (on a national level) a whopping three times greater than their rapidly collapsing reserves.
Desperation moves by states foreshadow what is to come. Cash-strapped Colorado just tried, unsuccessfully, to grab $500 million from a newly-privatized pension fund. Connecticut has tried to issue creative new accounting rules to camouflage its insolvency. And the State Supreme Court of New Hampshire recently ordered state officials to return $110 million they “borrowed” from a medical malpractice insurance pool.
As the old saying goes, the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’smoney. Now that horrific moment appears to have arrived. Governments at all levels are running out of cash.
Don’t be a victim. You can – in fact, must – lower your personal and financial profile. No tricks. No secret or illegal steps. Just simple, common-sense ways to discreetly lower your profile and make yourself less of a target to anyone who means you harm.
May 11, 2010
By Mary Clare Jalonick
WASHINGTON — A recall of romaine lettuce that has sickened students with E. coli poisoning is expanding as the government tries to find out where the contamination occurred.
The Food and Drug Administration said late Monday that a food distributor in Moore, Okla., is recalling romaine lettuce that came from the same farm in Yuma, Ariz., that grew lettuce that sickened students in Michigan, Ohio and New York. Ohio-based Freshway Foods announced a 23-state recall of romaine lettuce last week related to those outbreaks.
At least 19 people have been sickened in connection with the E. coli outbreaks, which come from a rare strain of the disease that is difficult to diagnose. Officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control say they are looking at an additional 10 probable cases of E. coli poisoning from tainted lettuce.
The FDA said it is investigating the Yuma farm where the romaine lettuce was harvested and is attempting to determine the point in the supply chain where the contamination occurred. The agency declined to identify the farm.
Many of those who became ill were college students in the three states. Middle and high school students in New York were also sickened, including a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause bleeding in the brain or kidneys. Local health authorities in Dutchess County, where the students fell ill, said they are all expected to make a full recovery.
Most of the lettuce recalled was sold to food service establishments. The recall does not affect bagged lettuce in the grocery store.
Today, Kevin explains how low Barack Obama will go just to get his healthcare bill passed and why people in higher power always end up losing their sense of morality.
Plus, get the headlines you aren’t hearing anywhere else:
Vitamin D Proven More Effective Than Vaccines at Preventing Flu
WHO Admits Cell Phones Cause Brain Tumors
Bananas May Prevent HIV Transmission
Former FDA Commissioner ‘Ordered’ Agency Not to Enforce DSHEA
IMF Proposed Plan to Raise Climate Change Funds
Gender-Bender Chemicals Are Turning Boys Into Girls
Dean Foods Pulls Bait-n-Switch!
3D TV May Be The Future Despite Fears of Causing Health Problems
Weed Killer Known to Chemically Castrate Frogs
E.Coli & Chicken Feces Allowed by USDA
Illinois Residents Scared by Local Cancer Study
Heart Treatments for Diabetes Causing Harm
Plavix Gets New FDA Warning
It’s ALWAYS About The Money
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January 19, 2010
By Paul Joseph Watson
The controversy surrounding White House information czar and Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein’s blueprint for the government to infiltrate political activist groups has deepened, with the revelation that in the same 2008 dossier he also called for the government to tax or even ban outright political opinions of which it disapproved.
Sunstein was appointed by President Obama to head up the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an agency within the Executive Office of the President.
On page 14 of Sunstein’s January 2008 white paper entitled “Conspiracy Theories,” the man who is now Obama’s head of information technology in the White House proposed that each of the following measures “will have a place under imaginable conditions” according to the strategy detailed in the essay.
1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing.
2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.
That’s right, Obama’s information czar wants to tax or ban outright, as in make illegal, political opinions that the government doesn’t approve of. To where would this be extended? A tax or a shut down order on newspapers that print stories critical of our illustrious leaders?
And what does Sunstein define as “conspiracy theories” that should potentially be taxed or outlawed by the government? Opinions held by the majority of Americans, no less.
The notion that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in killing JFK, a view shared by the vast majority of Americans in every major poll over the last ten years, is an example of a “conspiracy theory” that the federal government should consider censoring, according to Sunstein.
A 1998 CBS poll found that just 10 per cent of Americans believed that Oswald acted alone, so apparently the other 90 per cent of Americans could be committing some form of thought crime by thinking otherwise under Sunstein’s definition.
Sunstein also cites the belief that “global warming is a deliberate fraud” as another marginal conspiracy theory to be countered by government action. In reality, the majority of Americans now believe that the man-made explanation of global warming is not true, and that global warming is natural, according to the latest polls
But Sunstein saves his most ludicrous example until last. On page 5 he characterizes as “false and dangerous” the idea that exposure to sunlight is healthy, despite the fact that top medical experts agree prolonged exposure to sunlight reduces the risk of developing certain cancers.
To claim that encouraging people to get out in the sun is to peddle a dangerous conspiracy theory is like saying that promoting the breathing of fresh air is also a thought crime. One can only presume that Sunstein is deliberately framing the debate by going to such absurd extremes so as to make any belief whatsoever into a conspiracy theory unless it’s specifically approved by the kind of government thought police system he is pushing for.
Despite highlighting the fact that repressive societies go hand in hand with an increase in “conspiracy theories,” Sunstein’s ’solution’ to stamp out such thought crimes is to ban free speech, fulfilling the precise characteristic of the “repressive society” he warns against elsewhere in the paper.
“We could imagine circumstances in which a conspiracy theory became so pervasive, and so dangerous, that censorship would be thinkable,” he writes on page 20. Remember that Sunstein is not just talking about censoring Holocaust denial or anything that’s even debatable in the context of free speech, he’s talking about widely accepted beliefs shared by the majority of Americans but ones viewed as distasteful by the government, which would seek to either marginalize by means of taxation or outright censor such views.
No surprise therefore that Sunstein has called for re-writing the First Amendment as well as advocating Internet censorship and even proposing that Americans should celebrate tax day and be thankful that the state takes a huge chunk of their income.
The government has made it clear that growing suspicion towards authority is a direct threat to their political agenda and indeed Sunstein admits this on page 3 of his paper.
That is why they are now engaging in full on information warfare in an effort to undermine, disrupt and eventually outlaw organized peaceful resistance to their growing tyranny.
December 11, 2009
By Pamela Hess
Private security guards working for Blackwater USA participated in clandestine CIA raids against suspected insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Blackwater’s role points to a much deeper connection between the company and the spy agency than has been previously disclosed and raises concerns over the legalities of involving contractors in the most sensitive operations conducted by the U.S. government.
The “snatch and grab” raids took place regularly between 2004 and 2006, the Times reported, when the insurgency in Iraq was escalating and security throughout the country was deteriorating.
A U.S. official confirmed to The Associated Press that Blackwater provided security and moved around with CIA teams on missions in war zones, but he denied they performed CIA missions. CIA Director Leon Panetta ordered a review several months ago of the company’s contracts to be sure its guards only perform security-related work, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity becsause he was not authorized to comment publicly.
CIA spokesman George Little said, “This agency, like many others, uses contractors in roles that complement and enhance the skills of our own work force, just as American law permits.”
“Agency staff officers have the decision-making authority and bear responsibility for results,” Little said.
Blackwater, based in Moyock, N.C., changed its corporate name to Xe Services after a series of use-of-force controversies, including a September 2007 shooting in Baghdad by five company security guards that left 17 civilians dead.
The Times also reported that former Blackwater employees said they helped provide security on CIA flights that transported detainees.
Messages seeking comment left with Xe representatives were not immediately returned late Thursday.
The report comes as the House Intelligence Committee is investigating the agency’s hiring of Blackwater to be part of a program to kill or capture al-Qaida leaders. The death squad program had several lives over an eight-year period before it was canceled Panetta in June. The CIA has said the effort yielded no successes.
The CIA has been reducing its reliance on the use of contractors over the past few years.
The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks occurred after a contraction of the CIA in the post-Cold War period and which compelled the agency to hire contractors to rapidly fill its ranks for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
December 9, 2009
By S.L. Baker
In 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) handed down a dictate against products known as colloidal silver — tiny silver particles suspended in a liquid base. The FDA proclaimed colloidal silver was not recognized as safe and effective by that government agency. Then the FDA sent warning letters to people selling colloidal silver that demanded an end to any claims that the silver products diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. While colloidal silver products have remained on the market, controversy has continued with the mainstream medical establishment attacking any use of colloidal silver while many natural health experts continue to advocate that it has beneficial uses, especially for fighting infections.
In fact, silver has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries and, in modern times, several prescription drugs contain the precious metal. For example, silver nitrate is used to prevent the eye condition conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids) in newborn babies and it treats corns and warts, too. Another medication, silver sulfadiazine (sold as Silvadene) contains a micronized form of silver that is applied topically to the body to treat burns. And now researchers have found that when silver is used with copper, the combination may offer protection against the majority of serious hospital-acquired infections.
The germ-killing properties of copper, like those of silver, have been recognized for hundreds of years. Scientists have discovered that copper ions are deadly to bacteria because they penetrate the micro-organisms and disrupt molecular pathways that are important for their survival. In fact, in 2008 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially registered copper alloys and allowed them to be marketed with the label “kills 99.9% of bacteria within two hours”.