Category Archives: Profiteering

Taylor Farms, Big Food Supplier, Grapples With Frequent Recalls – NYTimes.com

Making your prepared food less safe

 

Bill Marler, a lawyer who specializes in food safety litigation, also said that even for a company of its size, the rate of recalls by Taylor seemed a bit high. “That’s quite a number of recalls over that time period,” Mr. Marler said.

But several of those recalls could have been prompted by random inspections by state health agencies under a federal program that is now defunct, he said.

Taylor and other large produce companies had successfully lobbied to get rid of it, arguing that by the time the program identified a pathogen, the tainted product had already long since been consumed, making it hard to recall.

via Taylor Farms, Big Food Supplier, Grapples With Frequent Recalls – NYTimes.com.

Poverty saps mental capacity to deal with complex tasks, say scientists | Science | The Guardian

(Some very rich people do the same things – does that mean they have less capacity too, or that you need not be smart to be rich? Research seems to have found out what it wanted to find…)

 

People who are poor expend so much mental energy on the immediate problems of paying bills or cutting costs that they are left with less capacity to deal with other complex but important tasks, including education, training or managing their time, suggests research published on Thursday.

The cognitive deficit of being preoccupied with money problems was equivalent to a loss of 13 IQ points, losing an entire night’s sleep or being a chronic alcoholic, according to the study. The authors say this could explain why poorer people are more likely to make mistakes or bad decisions that exacerbate their financial difficulties.

Anandi Mani, a research fellow at the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy at the University of Warwick, who led the study, said the findings also suggest how small interventions or “nudges” at appropriate moments to help poor people access services and resources could help them break out of the poverty trap.

via Poverty saps mental capacity to deal with complex tasks, say scientists | Science | The Guardian.

UK’s Syria stance sounds echoes of Iraq invasion | Europe | DW.DE | 28.08.2013

“I suspect [Cameron] has the same muscular internationalist reactions as Blair did,” Paul Schulte at the Centre for Defense Studies at King’s College in London told DW.

Schulte previously worked as a UN disarmament commissioner in Iraq.

“It’s about saying that world order can be molded, decisive countries can make a difference and Britain should be one of those countries and should join in that effort to affect the evolution of international norms – at least stop them falling back,” he continued.

“You might think that’s arrogant, but it’s quite a widespread attitude in the British political class.”

via UK’s Syria stance sounds echoes of Iraq invasion | Europe | DW.DE | 28.08.2013.

Five Things About The Syrian Conflict That You Should Know | Egyptian Streets شوارع مصر

Eventually, many members of Syria’s military defected and joined the rebels. These were soon joined by “jihadists” from abroad, many who had their own Islamist agendas. According to the co-founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres, 60 percent of those he had treated during his time in the north of Syria had been rebels and at least half of them had been non-Syrian.

“It’s really something strange to see. They are directly saying that they aren’t interested in Bashar al-Assad’s fall, but are thinking about how to take power afterwards and set up an Islamic state with sharia law to become part of the world Emirate.” – Jacques Beres, co-founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres

via Five Things About The Syrian Conflict That You Should Know | Egyptian Streets شوارع مصر.

BBC News – Ducks were bird flu ‘melting pot’

(BBC passing on load of you know what from Chinese who want to blame wild birds and not gazillions of caged birds that provide the most perfect breeding ground for new viruses that get passed on to wild birds afterwards. It is not accident that the problem is bigger since the poultry market went global about 20 years ago and you have billions more birds being raised and sold in live markets than ever before and chicks and eggs being shipped all over the globe 24/7.)

 

Ducks were the melting pot of viruses that led to the new bird flu emerging in China early this year, according to Chinese scientists tracking the evolution of the virus.

Ducks picked up viruses from migrating birds and passed them onto chickens.

The study, published in the journal Nature, showed humans were probably then infected with H7N9 due to contact with chickens at live poultry markets.

There have been 133 human cases of the bird flu and 43 deaths.

The team, including researchers at the Shantou University Medical College, were trying to trace the root of the outbreak.

They took samples from 1,341 chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, partridges and quail as well as faecal and water samples from live poultry markets.

By comparing the similarities and differences between the genetic codes of influenza viruses in each of the animals, scientists can work out how the virus evolved and spread.

Their report said: “Domestic ducks seem to act as key intermediate hosts by acquiring and maintaining diverse influenza viruses from migratory birds.

via BBC News – Ducks were bird flu ‘melting pot’.

Study: MERS virus match seen in Saudi Arabian bat | News , Health | THE DAILY STAR

Since it was identified last September, the respiratory illness has sickened nearly 100 people, most of them in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. About half of them died.

No cases have been reported in the United States.

Bats have been a suspected carrier of the virus for some time because they are known to carry viruses similar to MERS. They also harbor other deadly viruses, including rabies and SARS.

Still, discovery of a genetic match doesn’t mean bats are the direct culprit.

“There is no evidence of direct exposure to bats in the majority of human cases of MERS,” Memish said in a statement.

via Study: MERS virus match seen in Saudi Arabian bat | News , Health | THE DAILY STAR.

 

This has been so obvious – the outbreak began in area that has thousands of acres devoted to growing some of the best dates in the world. and the bat love them as much as we do. Direct exposure is not necessary… these types of viruses are passed along by exposure of humans and other animals to the feces and urine of the bats on the ground, in the water, and on the fruit.

Energy Bars of the Sea | Earthjustice

Packed with solar energy they absorbed from eating plankton, the forage fish are delicious to just about everything bigger than themselves. As Earthjustice attorney Andrea Treece describes, they are “wheaties for whales and powerbars for pinnipeds (seals and sea lions).”

They are the ocean’s larder and, says Treece, “Salmon, tuna, swordfish, halibut and even humpback whales need a fully stocked pantry to survive.”

Problem is, these same forage fish are being overfished to feed land-based creatures, bringing Earthjustice into the fight to keep the ocean well-stocked. To understand the role forage fish play, a little ocean ecology is helpful.

via Energy Bars of the Sea | Earthjustice.

Illegal dog meat trade raises moral questions | Asia | DW.DE | 15.08.2013

At up to 60 US dollars per animal, dog meat is considered to be an aphrodisiac in Vietnam, where it remains a popular dish. But what the Hanoi middle-classes don’t know as they tuck into the delicacy is where the meat has come from.

Over the past few years, an illegal dog meat trade has flourished across Asia worth millions of dollars, which experts say is unnecessarily cruel and carries a rising risk to public health.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of pet dogs and strays are being rounded up by criminal syndicates in neighboring Thailand every year. With only a small domestic demand for dog meat, it’s much more profitable to send them abroad, say animal rights groups.

via Illegal dog meat trade raises moral questions | Asia | DW.DE | 15.08.2013.

IPS – Study Finds Many “Bee-Friendly” Plants Laced with Pesticide | Inter Press Service

Researchers with Friends of the Earth U.S. and the Pesticide Research Institute say that more than half of the nursery plants studied contained residues of “neonicotinoid” pesticides, a substance increasingly thought to be contributing to mass die-offs of global honey bee populations.

via IPS – Study Finds Many “Bee-Friendly” Plants Laced with Pesticide | Inter Press Service.

18-State Cyclospora Outbreak Spreads Parasite to 21 More Victims | Food Safety News

The nation’s Cyclospora outbreak peaked some time ago, but it keeps producing cases on its current plateau.  The latest count is up to at least 535 cases in 18 states, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. That is 21 more cases and an additional state since CDC’s report last week.

via 18-State Cyclospora Outbreak Spreads Parasite to 21 More Victims | Food Safety News.

Who needs inspection? We do! This could and does happen inside the country and among imports! Even local does not guarantee anything