Oct 10, 2014

Benishek Says His Medical Background Qualifies Him To Deny Climate Change, AMA Disagrees

Tell Benishek to keep up to date on the medical literature!

GOP Congressman [Dan Benishek] Says His Medical Background Qualifies Him To Deny Climate Change
Shadee Ashtari shadee.ashtari@huffingtonpost.com
Posted: 10/09/2014 3:36 pm EDT Updated: 10/09/2014 3:59 pm EDT
Dan Benishek

While more and more Republican candidates evade the questions about climate change by claiming they’re “not a scientist,” Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.) says his medical background qualifies him to reject the overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that emissions from human activity are causing the planet to heat up.

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Health is inextricably linked to climate change
Climate Change Challenges and Opportunities for Global Health
American Medical Association Special Communication | September  22, 2014 
Jonathan A. Patz, MD, MPH; Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPH; Tracey Holloway, PhD; Daniel J. Vimont, PhD; Andrew Haines, MBBS, MD
JAMA. Published online September 22, 2014.

Health is inextricably linked to climate change. It is important for clinicians to understand this relationship in order to discuss associated health risks with their patients and to inform public policy.

Sep 10, 2014

Save Michigan Wolves From Being Hunted

posted  by 

Fans of “Teen Wolf” have many opportunities to help real wolves, including the wolves in Michigan, who came back from near extinction and are now about to be hunted.
“The simple fact of the matter is, we’re having a wolf hunt because people want to hunt wolves,” said Marvin Roberson, a staff forest ecologist with the Michigan Sierra Club. “There’s no scientific reason to hunt wolves. They’re an endangered species success story. They’ve come back from zero in Michigan over the past 25 years to 650 or so.”
Marvin said wolves haven’t killed any people in Michigan, and in fact more Michiganders have been injured by hamsters than wolves. It was made-up stories against wolves that got all this going in the first place.
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Meat Matters Webinars: Meat, Livestock & Human Health

Register for all four. Attend the ones you can.

With the global meat-eating explosion, meat production can’t be far behind. The U.S. currently produces more than 9 food billion animals — and their manure — for meat each year. Federal officials are thinking about where meat fits into revamped dietary advice for Americans. Nutrition aside, McDonald’s and Wal-Mart are asking where meat production and consumption fit into the notion of sustainability; there are huge amounts of manure, water, antibiotics, hormones and energy involved. In short, meat matters. How much meat to eat, and what kind? It affects your health, the public’s health and to the environment we all share.
1) September 15, 2014 12pm ET/9am PT   Meat Racket 
In his new book, Meat Racket, investigative reporter Christopher Leonard adds to the public spotlight on why meat (and who produces it) matters. Dr. Michael Greger, physician-host of Nutrition Facts, and staff scientist at the Humane Society of the United States, explores why a meat industry that treats food animals well could also better serve public health. Moderating is Bob Martin,  director of the Food System Policy Program at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and former director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production.

2) October 23, 2014, 1 pm ET/10am PT.  Food Day Special:  The 21st Century Jungle. The U.S. produces over 9 billion food animals annually, but meat factories, slaughterhouses and packing plants remain invisible to most. (In several states, it’s illegal to document and show what's happening inside.) Conditions within these facilities are critical to public health, food safety, and of course the health of workers. Updating the lessons Upton Sinclair’s classic, The Jungle, is Ted Genoways’ new book, The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food. Join the conversation with Ted Genoways and Joann Lo, Executive Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, moderated by Keeve Nachman, PhD, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future's Food Production and Public Health Program.

3) December 4, 2014, 1pm ET/10am PT   What Meat to Eat
What we eat has rippling effects beyond our own health. For the first time, experts advising the USDA on the newest (2015) version of its Dietary Guidelines for Americans, are considering the sustainability of the American diet. That’s also on the agenda for Menus of Change, a joint effort of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America.  Author, physician and nutrition expert, Walter Willett, MD, MPH, presents. Roni Neff, PhDDirector of the Food System Sustainability Program at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, and editor of Introduction to the U.S. Food System, discusses sustainability and the Dietary Guidelines.  Hugh Joseph, PhD of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University will moderate. 

4) January 2015.  Cultivating Health. 
Our gut bacteria shape our health. Dr. Martin Blaser, past president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), explains the connection highlighted in his recent book  Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling Our Modern PlaguesDr. Lance Price, public health professor at George Washington University, explores the contribution of industrial meat production, including its reliance on antibiotics. IDSA cosponsors. 

REGISTER TODAYContact David@HealthyFoodAction.org for more information or sponsorship opportunities.

Sep 2, 2014

Van Buren landfill seeks tenfold increase in radiation allowances

12:29 PM, September 2, 2014 

A hazardous waste landfill near Belleville [see map below] that has gained the attention of Michigan lawmakers for accepting low-activity radioactive oil and gas fracking waste from other states is seeking approval for a tenfold increase in allowable radiation levels in the materials it receives.

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How to make your voice heard

USEcology is asking the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to allow it a tenfold increase in the level of radiation in waste it stores at its Wayne Disposal landfill in Van Buren Township.
To voice an opinion on the request:
Contact the Snyder administration:
Gov. Rick Snyder: 517-373-3400 or P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, MI 48909
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality: 800-662-9278
Contact your state representative or senator:
Visit www.legislature.mi.gov and click “contact your representative” or “contact your senator” to find the lawmakers who represent you and how to contact them.

Aug 4, 2014

Schuette Sues to Block Great Lakes Clean-Up As Thousands Denied Clean Drinking Water

Vote for Mark Totten for Attorney General

Mark Totten for Michigan Attorney General
August 4, 2014
Contact: info@marktotten.com / (269) 203-3520
Schuette Sues to Block Great Lakes Clean-Up 
As Thousands Denied Clean Drinking Water
Sides with major campaign contributors in lawsuit
that harms Michigan families, Great Lakes 
KALAMAZOO — As state and national attention focuses on how Great Lakes pollution is denying nearly a half-million people clean drinking water in Michigan and Ohio, Attorney General Bill Schuette is in court fighting efforts to clean up Lake Erie and prevent the very contamination now at issue. Schuette has received tens of thousands of a dollars in campaign contributions from the industrial polluters he is championing in his law suit.

Mark Totten, a Democratic candidate for Michigan Attorney General, stated: "Industry doesn’t need another lawyer; Michigan children who can’t drink the water out of their own faucets do," said Mark Totten, Democratic candidate for Attorney General. “Yet again, Schuette has put his donors and political career ahead of keeping our families and children safe, and families throughout southeast Michigan are paying the price.”

The case at issue was brought by industrial groups challenging a plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay that would prevent the algae blooms currently grabbing headlines in Lake Erie. Schuette said he joined the Chesapeake case to ensure similar clean-ups were not contemplated for the Great Lakes. The primary plaintiff in the case is the American Farm Bureau Federation, which has donated thousands of dollars to Schuette’s Attorney General campaign. For example, on September 27, 2010, the Farm Bureau wrote Schuette a check for $20,000.

The states surrounding the Bay and the federal government have all backed the plan, known as the “Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint.” For years, pollution has severely degraded the waters of the Chesapeake, causing not only environmental harm but damaging local economies. After years of regulating point sources (i.e., drain pipes), the state and federal partners decided serious measures to curb non-point sources was necessary to restore the waters. The primary source of non-point pollution is agricultural run-off that elevates levels of phosphorus in the Bay – the very pollutant that led to the toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie this past week.
In Sept. 2013 the industry challengers lost their case. They appealed and Schuette, along with other state attorneys general, filed a brief supporting the industrial groups. Except for Michigan, which does not lie within the watershed, all of the state AGs who joined the brief are located within the Mississippi basin and are worried about limits being placed on pollutants entering the river.

In explaining his reason for joining a case half-way across the nation that concerns a body of water nowhere near Michigan, Bill Schuette explained: “If this [plan] is left to stand, other watersheds . . . could be next.” Of course, for Michigan “other watersheds” means the Great Lakes.

As the President’s “Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan” recently concluded, “[n]onpoint sources are now the primary contributors of many pollutants to the lakes and their tributaries.” Just three months ago, the President of the Alliance for the Great Lakes published an article in the Detroit Free Press chiding Bill Schuette for meddling in the Chesapeake clean-up plan and warning that Schuette’s efforts could threaten clean drinking water from Lake Erie – a prophecy now come true.

In addition to receiving the criticism of several environmental groups, Schuette’s counterparts in other states have also criticized him. Virginia Attorney General, Mark Herring, filed a brief in the same case opposing Schuette. In a statement accompanying his brief, Herring said: “Each Bay state, including Virginia, voluntarily entered into the current Bay restoration plan because of the economic, recreational, environmental, and intrinsic value of a healthy Chesapeake Bay. I hope the courts and my colleagues, none of whom serve a state which touches the Bay, recognize that fact and allow Virginian and its partners to continue their work.”
This release is available online here.
Mark Totten is a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at Michigan State University College of Law. He holds a law degree and a PhD in ethics from Yale University. Totten previously served as an attorney in the United States Department of Justice and as a clerk on a federal court of appeals. A media kit including a biography and media photos is available here.
Visit online at: http://www.marktotten.com/ or on Twitter at: @MarkTottenForAG
Contact: info@marktotten.com / (269) 203-3520.

Paid for by Mark Totten for Attorney General · PO Box 19463, Kalamazoo, MI 49019, United States
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