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Finland Leads the World

FINLAND HAS A LOT TO OFFER TO THE WORLD. Finland’s command at education is legend but their leadership doesn’t stop there. The Nordic country of 5.5 million people leads in Happiness, Prosperity, Literacy, Least Corrupt, Most Green and Most Socially Progressive (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/finland-is-still-the-worl_b…).
Nine years ago when we needed to buy a potato harvester we looked to Finland and imported North America’s first “Juko SuperMidi Potato Harvester.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BsddOzRMyc) The design and workmanship of our Juko is phenomenal. It’s quality is what one would expect from a country that does so many things right. But education is critical and it’s where Finland really shines. Jim

“But the point is that, for five months, my wife, my son and I experienced a stunningly stress-free, and stunningly good, school system. Finland has a history of producing the highest global test scores in the Western world, as well as a trophy case full of other recent No. 1 global rankings, including most literate nation.

“In Finland, children don’t receive formal academic training until the age of seven. Until then, many are in day care and learn through play, songs, games and conversation. Most children walk or bike to school, even the youngest. School hours are short and homework is generally light.

“Unlike in the United States, where many schools are slashing recess, schoolchildren in Finland have a mandatory 15-minute outdoor free-play break every hour of every day. Fresh air, nature and regular physical activity breaks are considered engines of learning. According to one Finnish maxim, ‘There is no bad weather. Only inadequate clothing’…

“…In Finland teachers are the most trusted and admired professionals next to doctors, in part because they are required to have a master’s degree in education with specialisation in research and classroom practice.”

http://www.smh.com.au/national/this-is-why-finland-has-the-best-schools-20160324-gnqv9l.html

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MONSANTO’S WORLD BEGINNING TO UNRAVEL OVER FATALLY FLAWED “ROUNDUP” HERBICIDE AND TSUNAMI OF LAWSUITS.

Roundup may just become Monsanto’s Waterloo. For perspective, remember testing has revealed main Roundup ingredient Glyphosate is being found – universally – in human bodies – including those of urban residents. Roundup is a ticking time bomb for malevolent Monsanto. Jim

“Until recently, the fight over Roundup has mostly focused on its active ingredient, glyphosate. But mounting evidence, including one study published in February, shows it’s not only glyphosate that’s dangerous, but also chemicals listed as ‘inert ingredients’ in some formulations of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers. Though they have been in herbicides — and our environment — for decades, these chemicals have evaded scientific scrutiny and regulation in large part because the companies that make and use them have concealed their identity as trade secrets…

“…In March 2015, using research on both glyphosate alone and the complete formulations of Roundup and other herbicides, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. The IARC report noted an association between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and glyphosate, significant evidence that the chemical caused cancer in lab animals, and strong evidence that it damaged human DNA.”

https://theintercept.com/2016/05/17/new-evidence-about-the-dangers-of-monsantos-roundup/

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Cornucopia Report on Toothpaste

This valuable new Report is accompanied by yet another of Cornucopia Institute’s iconic “Scorecards” which clearly differentiates the good Products worth considering (“5 Toothbrush Rating”) from those to AVOID (including some well known brands which may surprise you).
You will learn the best toothpastes are 1) Organic, 2) Free of Toxins, and 3) Free of Carcinogens. The Feds are failing MISERABLY at regulating dental products. Use the Scorecard – and read the report – SO YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR FAMILY. Jim

http://www.cornucopia.org/2016/08/report-finds-toxinscarcinogens-in-popular-brands-of-toothpaste/

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Monumental Monsanto Resistence in Argentina

Relentless local citizen opposition has sent powerful multinational pesticide and Biotech seed bully Monsanto packing in Argentina. The action throws a significant monkey wrench into Monsanto’s dark designs for Latin America. Jim

“Since August 1st, the news is spreading that Monsanto had to abandon the construction of one of the biggest factories in the world for producing transgenic seed that was to be installed in Córdoba, Argentina, in the municipality of Malvinas Argentinas. From there they had planned to distribute seeds to Latin America and beyond. This is an occurrence of enormous importance, that the company has not wanted to admit publicly, because the reason for their exit is the persistent popular resistance from neighbourhoods, youths and mothers, who have blocked the factory since 2013…

“The struggle against Monsanto in this locality began immediately after the official announcement of the factory in 2012. The blockade, with a campsite that was maintained for nearly three years through the cold, heat, wind and rain, was installed at the end of the festival ‘Spring without Monsanto’ in September of 2013. Local residents from the region, youths and mothers from Ituzaingó — a neighbourhood of Córdoba affected by agri-toxins from the planting of GMOs, where many have lost children and other family members due to cancer — have been at the heart of the resistance that grew to national and international levels, supported as well by medical doctors and critical scientists. They have suffered attacks and constant threats. The route has not been exempt from conflicts and internal divisions, as so often happens in struggles, but the efforts are bearing fruits.”

http://www.alainet.org/en/articulo/179456

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Wendell Berry on Boomers & Stickers

This Wendell Berry lecture from a few year’s ago, “It All Turns on Affection,” is monumental and well-worth reading. Jim

“The economic hardship of my family and of many others, a century ago, was caused by a monopoly, the American Tobacco Company, which had eliminated all competitors and thus was able to reduce as it pleased the prices it paid to farmers. The American Tobacco Company was the work of James B. Duke of Durham, North Carolina, and New York City, who, disregarding any other consideration, followed a capitalist logic to absolute control of his industry and, incidentally, of the economic fate of thousands of families such as my own.

“My effort to make sense of this memory and its encompassing history has depended on a pair of terms used by my teacher, Wallace Stegner. He thought rightly that we Americans, by inclination at least, have been divided into two kinds: ‘boomers’ and ‘stickers.’ Boomers, he said, are ‘those who pillage and run,’ who want ‘to make a killing and end up on Easy Street,’ whereas stickers are ‘those who settle, and love the life they have made and the place they have made it in.’ ‘Boomer’ names a kind of person and a kind of ambition that is the major theme, so far, of the history of the European races in our country. ‘Sticker’ names a kind of person and also a desire that is, so far, a minor theme of that history, but a theme persistent enough to remain significant and to offer, still, a significant hope.

“The boomer is motivated by greed, the desire for money, property, and therefore power. James B. Duke was a boomer, if we can extend the definition to include pillage in absentia. He went, or sent, wherever the getting was good, and he got as much as he could take…

“And so it has seemed to me less a choice than a necessity to oppose the boomer enterprise with its false standards and its incomplete accounting, and to espouse the cause of stable, restorative, locally adapted economies of mostly family-sized farms, ranches, shops, and trades. Naïve as it may sound now, within the context of our present faith in science, finance, and technology—the faith equally of ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals’—this cause nevertheless has an authentic source in the sticker’s hope to abide in and to live from some chosen and cherished small place—which, of course, is the agrarian vision that Thomas Jefferson spoke for, a sometimes honored human theme, minor and even fugitive, but continuous from ancient times until now. Allegiance to it, however, is not a conclusion but the beginning of thought.”

http://resilience.webvanta.com/stories/2012-04-25/wendell-e-berry-lecture-it-all-turns-affection

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Systematic Misrepresentation of GE Food Safety.

In this MUST READ article, “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth (http://www.chelseagreen.com/altered-genes-twisted-truth) author Steve Druker carefully reveals that vouching for the scientifically-unsupportable “safety” of genetically engineered food has come from respected public institutions which should – and in fact do – know better. The methodical misrepresentation of GE food “safety” has foisted untrustworthy legions of UNTESTED GE FOOD onto grocery stores shelves across America. Jim

“Nevertheless, the FDA claimed that its scientists had determined that all safety questions had been resolved – and that the tomato had been demonstrated to be just as safe as other tomatoes. And because the FDA kept a lid on its scientists’ memos, no one outside the agency was aware of the fraud. The memos only came to light four years later (in 1998) when my organization, the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, led a lawsuit that compelled the FDA to hand over more than 44,000 pages of its internal files. However, because the mainstream media has failed to adequately report what those documents reveal, most people are still unaware of the FDA’s misbehavior…

“The pervasiveness of the concerns is attested by an FDA official who studied the expert input and declared: ‘The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different, and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks.’ [ix] In light of the unique risks, those experts called for GE foods to undergo careful testing capable of detecting unexpected side effects…

“If the FDA had told the truth and disclosed the extensive concerns of its own experts, the subsequent history of the GE venture would have surely been very different – and might well have been quite short…

“So if the world’s oldest and most respected scientific institution cannot argue for the safety of GE foods without systematically distorting the facts, it indicates that such distortion is essential to the argument. Moreover, when the multitude of distortions and deceptions that have been issued on behalf of these products over the last thirty-five years are compiled and irrefutably documented (as in my book), the conclusion that the GE food venture could not have survived without them becomes virtually inescapable.”

https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/how-the-ge-food-venture-has-been-chronically-dependent-on-deception/

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THE CHANGED FACE OF AMERICAN AGRICULTURE LEAVES LITTLE ROOM FOR ICONIC FAMILY FARMERS AS RURAL ECONOMIC INEQUITY GROWS.

Concentration and ratcheted-up control is rapidly occurring in all sectors of the economy. That reality most certainly includes agriculture.
Many of us are aware of the corporate takeover of seed, farm inputs and farm credit. However, what our media has failed to do is expose the rapid disappearance of moderate family-scale farm operations.
While organic farming has remained the last refuge for the American family farmer, organic farmers are paddling upstream against strong rip currents created by the very big players.
This concise article highlights the dilemma facing everyone who eats food. Jim

“‘Farms that once generated wealth for entire communities are now creating a new class of superfarms, which are concentrating wealth and income at the top,’ creating a new class divide in rural areas, Patrick Jonsson reports for the Christian Science Monitor.

“‘What most people think of as family farms don’t exist in large numbers anymore, but what exists are large family businesses … in the $3 to $5 million range’ of annual revenue, David Peters, a rural sociologist at Iowa State University, told Jonsson…..

“‘Those who have traditionally performed jobs on the farm are left out of any sort of share in the wealth that’s being produced,'”

http://irjci.blogspot.com/2016/07/as-farms-keep-getting-bigger-and-more.html

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BATTLING BIOTECH PROPAGANDA: WHO IS REALLY TO BLAME FOR THE FAILURE OF GMO GOLDEN RICE?

Excellent article dismantles Biotech’s blame game for the dismal failure of its flawed much-heralded ‘humanitarian’ GMO Golden Rice.
GMO Golden Rice has been the beneficiary of staggering funding – and accompanying BOGUS self-serving self-congratulatory propaganda – going back TWENTY YEARS.
The article reveals the fact that opponents are NOT to blame for the collapse of GMO Golden Rice. Instead, the reason for failure – plus the rope in the form of phenomenal over-hype and over-promising – lies squarely at the feet of Biotech. Jim

“No functioning vitamin A rice has been produced in over 20 years of research. This is despite full support at every level: financial, institutional, political, and corporate. By ‘functioning’, we mean farmer’s rice varieties that reliably and stably express sufficient amounts of beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A, the precursor of Vitamin A) over many generations of seed saving. These seeds must continuously express beta-carotene at a level that has been documented to be efficiently convertible to Vitamin A in mammals and, most importantly, can (statistically) significantly relieve the symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency in hungry people. None of this is scientifically trivial but that’s what has been promised.

“The first golden rice, GR1, was unsuccessful and is long gone. Golden rice 2 (GR2) is a patented pro-vitamin A GM rice developed from scratch by the multinational biotech firm Syngenta and still in the field trial stage at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) at least one decade after it’s creation…

“A quick evidence check is sufficient to reveal the simple reason why golden rice is not in farmer’s fields: it is still not ready because it is not performing agronomically. Furthermore, it is far from being medically documented to relieve symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency. Neither Greenpeace nor the destruction of a test plot in the Philippines by local activists can be held responsible for this lack of scientific achievement.”

Millions Spent, No One Served: Who Is to Blame for the Failure of GMO Golden Rice?

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WAS POLITICS THE REASON EPA BLEW OFF CONCERNS OVER FRACKING?

Well, this much we know for sure: the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) minimalization of concerns over fracking had NO scientific basis.
Is EPA just another federal agency which has been captured by corporate interests? Sadly, this scenario appears to be a likely explanation of why such an agency – established decades ago to protect the public interest – would depart from science and instead side with positions friendly to industry

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board (SAB) today finalized its review of the EPA’s June 2015 draft study of fracking’s impacts to drinking water resources. For over a year, a panel of 30 scientists, engineers and industry consultants have reviewed the details of the 1,000-page draft report. The panel has taken particular issue with a finding that seemingly came out of left field: the agency’s statement that fracking has not led to ‘widespread systemic impacts’ in the U.S…

“‘By choosing politics over science, the EPA failed the public with its misleading and controversial line, dismissing fracking’s impacts on drinking water and sacrificing public health and welfare along the way,’ Hugh MacMillan, senior researcher at Food & Water Watch, said.

“‘We are calling on the EPA to act quickly on the recommendations from the EPA SAB and be clear about fracking’s impacts on drinking water resources. The EPA must prioritize the health and safety of the American people over the political interests of the oil and gas industry and its financiers, who have committed hundreds of billions to drilling and fracking in the coming decades. For climate reasons alone, that’s a vision for the future that we can ill-afford.'”

http://www.ecowatch.com/epa-science-advisory-board-fracking-study-water-contamination-1968795058.html