Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday blues

Methane danger.

It seems that the entire west coast of the US is on fire.

And if you aren't on fire, you're melting from the heat.

Market crash tied to China?  Paul Krugman: ..."what we’re seeing is what happens when too much money is chasing too few investment opportunities".

Bed bugs.

Or you could just have police crash through your door at 5 in the morning, not let you cover your naked body, and tell you to shut up.... before they realize they have the wrong apartment.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

From tests to fires and all things in between

John Oliver takes on standardized testing.

A renowned antiquities scholar, Khaled al-Asaad, has been beheaded because he wouldn't tell ISIS where antique artifacts were hidden.  We own this brave man much for saving human history from these ugly vandals.

People killed by US police this year alone.

Buy ugly vegetables and save the world.

The plunder of black life.

Pharmaceuticals in the environment:
All indications are that we're just at the beginning when it comes to understanding the presence and importance of pharmaceuticals in the environment, let alone what to do about them. Even as scientists investigate what's actually out there, pharmaceutical companies work to make drugs and drug production more environmentally benign, wastewater treatment professionals develop better ways to remove pharmaceuticals, and environmental and public health advocates work on campaigns to change practices, studies finding pharmaceuticals in the environment keep coming. 
In fact, Kolpin says, hundreds are published each year. And although the amounts of pharmaceuticals being measured are exceptionally small, he says this information is important because it provides a base line for future comparison. 
"What we think today is safe, we may find 10 years from now there is some effect, that we didn't realize at the time was important," he says. "We're not trying to say the sky is falling. We're trying to put out the science saying there are some things that are of concern."

How much climate change will cost us.

World’s Second Largest Source of Electricity Is Now Renewables

Dog that helps sniff out foul brood disease in bee colonies.

California is on fire.  So is Alaska...

Do NOT let the Republicans whitewash the Bush presidency.

The eight years we had to live through while Georgie was at the helm should never be forgotten.  And the Republicans are trying to do just that.  Talking Points Memo's Aurin Squire:


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

George Washington would not be pleased if he were here today....

Trouble in the American Psychological Association, where an independent review reported they were 'complicit in brutal military and CIA interrogation.'

A beautiful letter to Amy Schumer about the shooting at the Trainwreck movie.  Because apparently we just love our guns more than our children.

And some of those gun-lovers really really want a war with somebody.  Anybody.

9/11 NSA coverup?

You must eat MORE sugar!


What Windows 10 will do whether you are aware of it or not.

Monday, August 03, 2015

China? Nope, hasn't learned anything. Still putting crap in the food.

The latest in a LONNNGGG line of production horrors in China:

China launches inquiry over claims brewers added Viagra to alcohol  (My bold)

Chinese police are investigating allegations that two distillers added Viagra to their liquor in the country’s latest food-safety scare.

The Liuzhou Food and Drug Administration said that it found the Guikun Alcohol Plant and the Deshun Alcohol Plant, both located in the southwest of China, were putting Sildenafil, more commonly known as Viagra, into three of their baijiu products. Baijiu, also known as “rice wine”, is a strong distilled spirit.

China’s food traceability systems and regulation were classified as “poor” in a 2014 report from the Institute of Food Technologists, with the lowest score of around 20 countries in the survey. Barcode tracking systems for produce, common in the United States and Europe, are largely absent in the country and food safety control systems from farm to factory are weak.

Adding the above to the long list I've been keeping on the products that come out of China.

PetSmart joins Petco in halting sales of Chinese dog and cat treats  

Pet owners have complained for years that treats imported from China, in particular chicken jerky, have caused illnesses that officials have been unable to pinpoint. Nonetheless, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued periodic warnings since 2007.

“We’ve been following the FDA warnings and related customer concerns closely, and we’ve been actively reducing our China-made assortment and expanding our American-made offerings for several years now,” said Jim Myers, Petco's chief executive.

“As a leader in the industry and the trusted partner for our pet parents, we’re eager to make this transition and to expand our assortment of safe and healthy treats," Myers said. "Very simply, we feel this decision is in the best interest of the pets we all love and, ultimately, for our business.”

Petco, based in San Diego, said it expects all China-made treats will be removed from its more than 1,300 stores nationwide by year's end.

PetSmart Inc. soon followed, saying it would also end sales of China-made pet treats.
I have posted my list of Chinese products that have been badly made, toxic, mislabeled.  I have used only those articles from substantiated news outlets.  I do not go searching for them, but this is the list I have collected over just a few years of watching.

Daily Kos (via Steve Bates):

Recently, Diane Rehm had a show about prescription drugs sold in the U.S. that are manufactured outside of the U.S. Unknown to me (and probably many others) many of the prescription drugs that we take were actually manufactured outside of the United States. According to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the FDA: Eighty percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in drugs taken here are actually manufactured in other countries and about 40 percent of the finished drugs are coming from other countries.
Really?  China?  This China?

China, selling fox meat as donkey meat to its clients.  Not that I'll ever eat donkey meat.  That's not the point.  It's that, again, China is caught selling something inedible/ poisonous/ toxic/ contaminated/ mislabeled to customers.  Don't they have an 'FDA' branch of the government that enforces quality controls?  If they don't, why would anyone trust China to sell anything reliable, safe, or uncontaminated?

Here is the list culled from the many posts on my blog on China's ongoing problems in food and industrial safety.

Gutter oil made in China... from dead animals and garbage.  Are we sure we want them to process our chickens?

They never seem to learn:

 220,000 Pounds Of Poisoned Dead Fish Scooped Up In China In Reminder Of Pollution Plaguing Country
Authorities have scooped up around 100,000 kilograms (220,000 pounds) of dead fish they say were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant, environmental officials and state media said Wednesday, in a reminder of the pollution plaguing the country.

The Hubei province environmental protection department, notified of the piles of dead fish in central China's Fuhe River on Monday, pointed the finger at local company Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co. Officials said sampling of its drain outlet showed that ammonia density far exceeded the national standard. The company said it wasn't going to immediately comment.

Inadequate controls on industry and lax enforcement of existing standards have worsened China's pollution problem, stemming from three decades of breakneck economic growth. High-profile incidents this year involving dead animals in rivers – not only deaths attributed to pollution but also carcasses dumped by farmers after die-offs at farms – have added to public disgust and suspicions about the safety of drinking water.

The latest incident has affected the nearby fishing village of Huanghualao, where 1,600 residents make a living from fishing, said the village's Communist Party secretary, Wang Sanqing.

Adding yet one more thing that illustrates why we can't trust food products (or anything else) from China:

More than 900 people have been arrested in China for involvement in meat-related crimes, including producing fake beef and mutton from animals such as rats, minks and foxes, authorities reported.

A total of 382 cases of alleged crimes in food industry were uncovered in a three-month campaign launched by China’s Ministry of Public Security on January 25, the ministry reported.
In addition to producing falsely-labeled meat, the crimes included using banned chemicals in processing of products, selling meat infected with various diseases and injecting water into meat to pad up its weight, according to Xinhua news agency.

Security officials seized more than 20,000 tons of illegal meat products during the crackdown.
The ministry said it will now focus on dairy products, continuing a larger campaign to combat crime and violations in food industry.
Nice to see official attempts to crackdown on this unregulated industry.  But I bet I will be posting yet another article sometime soon about poisonous/ toxic/ polluted/ contaminated products made in China.  Because that's the way it is.

Update:  I do hope the Chinese scientists know what they are doing....
Scientists warn Chinese-made air-transmissible bybrid bird flu puts humanity at risk

From my many posts on this subject:

Fake Medicine from China Threatening Lives in Africa


Add it to the list:

BEIJING—The discovery of unusual levels of mercury in Chinese-produced infant formula reignited fears about the safety of the country's scandal-ridden dairy industry, and underlined the severe challenges the government faces in improving food safety.
Mercury in baby formula.

Pills for human consumption containing human remains.

China poisons more pets:

November 18, 2011 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an important bulletin warning consumers that chicken jerky products (also marketed as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with serious illness in dogs.
Over the past 12 months, the FDA has observed an increase in the number of complaints regarding canine illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China.
These complaints have been reported to the government by both dog owners and veterinarians.
And here is the ever-expanding list:

But according to FSN, the biggest reason to avoid ultra-filtered honey is that pollen is the only sure-fire way to trace the source of honey to a geographic location. As a result ultra-filtered honey is often used to mask the shady origins of certain kinds of honey -- especially Chinese honey, which is subject to heavy import tariffs on account of its frequent contamination by heavy metals and illegal antibiotics. Chinese honeymakers ultra-filter their honey, and then ship it through byzantine paths, to sneak their sham product onto American grocery shelves without being hit with a tariff.
Vinegar from China kills 11 people.

"From steroid-spiked pork to glow-in-the-dark meat to recycled cooking oil collected from sewers, a series of illnesses and scandals linked to tainted food has put officials on guard. But tougher measures have had little effect amid an official culture of secrecy."

Watermelons spiked with growth chemicals explode in the fields... so the farmers feed the forchlorfenuron saturated melons to fish and pigs.

Waste water forced into pigs going to market.

Fresh milk tainted with melamine and toxic substances extracted from leather scraps... killed 6 children in China and sickened 300,000.

Rice is contaminated with heavy metals like cadmium.

Fake rice made from plastic, potatoes and resin.

Pulverized lime added to bleaching agents widely used in flour production. Pulverized lime damages the lungs and the entire respiratory system.

Cadmium in children's toys and little girl jewelry. Lead in toys: Thomas the Tank Engine, baby bibs, cub scout badges, wooden blocks. Formaldehyde in candy, in baby clothing. Coma-inducing date rape drug in toys.

Asbestos in toys.

"The rampant use of chemical additives in animal feed can be traced to 1999. According to Gao Yinxiang, the research and development of high-protein feed additives was a hot field among scientists about 10 years ago due to shortage of animal fodder in the country at the time.

From that time, it's hard to define the exact role that scientists played in the evolution of the melamine scandal. Yet scientists certainly contributed to it by developing unsafe protein alternatives. Many Chinese are now calling on scientists to examine their conscience before making profits at the expense of public safety."

Melamine in pet food kills house pets in the US. Melamine is found in wheat, corn and rice gluten.

China says no to inspections and destroys evidence.

Rat poison in breakfast porridge.

Pesticide-laden pea pods, drug-laced catfish, filthy plums and crawfish contaminated with salmonella. Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical. Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria. Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

Toothpaste with diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in engine coolants.

Highly toxic puffer fish sold as monk fish.

Fake blood protein.

Wild mice used for meat.

Defective tires.

Use of illegal drift nets.

Fake kosher food.

Insecticide-tainted dumplings.

More than 40 percent of drinking water in rural China is unfit for drinking.

Poisoned chocolate.

Toxic drywall which caused houses to be uninhabitable.

Fake Cisco routers

Misuse and overuse of antibiotics. "Studies in China show a "frightening" increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus bacteria, also know as MRSA."

The list will inevitably be added to. When are we going to learn this is what happens to corporations when there is no regulation?