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McDonald's and PepsiCo to help write UK health policy

© Murdo Macleod
McDonald's and other food companies will help write policy on obesity and diet-related diseases.

Exclusive: Department of Health putting fast food companies at heart of policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease

The Department of Health is putting the fast food companies McDonald's and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg's, Unilever, Mars and Diageo at the heart of writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease, the Guardian has learned.

In an overhaul of public health, said by campaign groups to be the equivalent of handing smoking policy over to the tobacco industry, health secretary Andrew Lansley has set up five "responsibility deal" networks with business, co-chaired by ministers, to come up with policies. Some of these are expected to be used in the public health white paper due in the next month.


The Story of Electronics

Why "designed for the dump" is toxic for the people and the planet.

The Story of Electronics employs the Story of Stuff style to explore the high-tech revolution's collateral damage - 25 million tons of e-waste and counting, poisoned workers and a public left holding the bill.


MicroChipping the Population? Big Pharma to Begin Microchipping Drugs

Chipped drugs
© NaturalNews
The age of pharmaceutical microchipping is now upon us. Novartis AG, one of the largest drug companies in the world, has announced a plan to begin embedding microchips in medications to create "smart pill" technology.

The microchip technology is being licensed from Proteus Biomedical of Redwood City, California. Once activated by stomach acid, the embedded microchip begins sensing its environment and broadcasting data to a receiver worn by the patient. This receiver is also a transmitter that can send the data over the internet to a doctor.

The idea behind all this is to create "smart pills" that can sense what's happening in the body and deliver that information to the patient's doctor. Novartis plans to start microchipping its organ transplant anti-rejection drugs and then potentially expand microchipping to other pharmaceuticals in its product lineup. This same technology could soon end up in pills made by other drug companies, too.

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U.S. Study: Ban Toxic Toys & Other Kids' Products

© Kevin Wolf/Associated Press
According to a new U.S. study, 17 million toys have been recalled in the U.S over high lead levels since 2007.
Toxic toys and other children's products containing harmful ingredients require an extensive overhaul of the legislation that governs them, says a new U.S. scientific paper.

Calling the epidemic of recalls of these products a "crisis," U.S. researchers at the University of Massachusetts, and Monica Becker and Associates Sustainability Consultants say the current response by government, advocacy and industry groups has been inadequate in restricting the entry of toxic toys into the market.

"Much of the response to the toxic toys crisis has been reactive and piecemeal," write the authors. "Taken as a whole, these responses have not been sufficient to ensure that toys and children's products are safe."


Study Shows Fast Food Companies Aggressively Market to Kids, Minorities

© rodale.com
In what is the most comprehensive analysis of fast food nutrition and marketing to date, the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity released a study Monday indicting fast food restaurants for aggressive marketing campaigns targeted to youth and other vulnerable groups, and a lack of readily available healthy options on their menus.

In a telephone briefing on Monday, the authors of the study discussed why their research is so important. They cited statistics compiled over the past year, which show that one-third of U.S. children and teens eat fast food every day, accounting for 16 to 17 percent of their daily caloric intake. "Eating at fast food restaurants is ingrained in our culture. That's why the nutritional quality of these meals is so important," Marlene Schwartz, co-author of the study said on Monday. Jennifer Harris, lead author of the study added that they uncovered how the barrage of fast food advertising has made kids think that this kind of food is "normal and expected." Harris said:
"Kids think that they should be able to eat McDonald's all the time and this has a direct effect on obesity."


Defending psychopaths? Amazon.com pulls one pedophilia book -- but not all

© Scott Eells/Bloomberg News
After 3,000 comments, customer outrage and threats of boycotts, Amazon.com removed The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure from its Kindle eBook listings Thursday.

But the decision, which came after Amazon defended selling the book Wednesday, affected just the one book. At least one other publication offering guidance on pedophilia, Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers, remains for sale on Amazon.

The controversy has raised questions about Amazon's book vetting process and about whether companies such as Amazon -- which traditionally have been thought of simply as tech companies -- should exclude the sale of such books.


Meg McLain Singled out by the TSA, Cuffed to a Chair, Her Ticket Ripped up

The TSA chose Meg McLain for special screening. They wanted her to go through the new porno-scanners. When she opted out, TSA agents raised an enormous ruckus. When she asked some question about what they planned to do to her, they flipped out. TSA agents yelled at her, handcuffed her to a chair, ripped up her ticket, called in 12 local Miami cops and finally escorted her out of the airport. Listen to her story as she told it on radio show Free Talk Live last night. Things are getting out of control in the USA


Alarm Clock

The GMO Elephant in the Room - From the Trenches of America's Hidden Food War

© Salem-News.org
Sen. Ron Wyden & Sen. Jeff Merkley
A large grass-roots movement is diligently advocating for your right to pure non-genetically modified food and honest labeling. In most states, you won't see their name on any ballot, nor will you see them on TV amidst economic crisis and Middle East talks.

In a rare, but impervious display of integrity, several state senators have urged the Food and Drug Administration to stop the approval process for genetically modified salmon, including Oregon's very own Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

Many of our pure food advocates feel dismayed, because their always preaching to the choir from the trenches of the infinite battle. They commonly take every opportunity to educate the public and everyone they know about the dangers of the GMO industrial food chain. This faction of society is working to educate the public, as quickly as possible, while holding off the big dogs in court by the skin of their teeth.


Sanity strikes! U-turn on Smoking Ban as Holland Allows Lighting Up in 2000 Bars and Pubs

© Reuters
Light up: The Netherlands is the first country to partially overturn its smoking ban. Smokers in small bars and pubs will now be able to light up without fear of a fine
Smokers in the Netherlands will now be able to light-up again in over 2000 of the country's small owner-operated bars or pubs.

The partial over-turning of the blanket ban, which was introduced in 2008, is a huge victory for for smokers' rights campaigners who had argued that the blanket ban was driving small bar owners out of business.

An incoming coalition government in the country has allowed the partial lifting of the ban for pubs which are less than 743.5 sq ft in size and which are staffed solely by the owner.

It is a major victory for anti-ban campaigners and the first relaxing of the controversial ban anywhere in Europe.


Give Us This Day Our 'Daily Show'

© Mr Fish
"The Anarchist"
In 1936, the Nazis organized a massive get-together in Nuremberg for malleable nincompoops and called the gathering Reichsparteitag der Ehre, or "Rally of Honor." Watching clips from Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor Rally" held in Washington, D.C., in August, I was reminded of how, while growing up and flipping through channels, I would occasionally come across grainy footage of Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg and see the enthusiastic crowds applauding him and waving little flags, and I'd ponder what made these people so gullible to the nationalistic lunacy and bug-eyed, fascistic tribalism they were being inundated with. Is it really possible, I wondered, to imbibe fear and hatred with so much charisma that the end result of heeding its precepts will appear gleeful and positive and finally gratifying? How, I asked myself, could such a whopping organizational feat as a Nuremberg rally even come off, with the weeks of preparation and all those opportunities for second-guessing by so many people? How, with all those workers setting up chairs and hanging banners and angling lights and arranging flowers and loading film cameras and proofreading speeches, did nobody suddenly stop doing what he or she was doing and say, "Hey, wait a minute - this is absolutely bat-shit crazy!?"

Of course, as a political cartoonist, such grand gestures of vaulting ignorance, particularly when marked by all the mindless rage and gaudy, ostentatious celebration of a sporting event, can often make my job way too easy to be at all effective. When Glenn Beck, the headliner at the most recent, though by no means the last, honor rally (the same Glenn Beck who regularly warns his radio and television audiences of the lethal concoction that is Islamic God and Islamic country) stands up in front of the Lincoln Memorial and says that the United States has been wandering around in the dark for too long and that it is time - a civic duty, in fact! - for every American to return to a position of complete subservience to a famously intolerant Christian god who has a long history of murdering and torturing his critics both in and after life, the joke has already been made. The cartoon has already been drawn. In other words, when somebody takes a crap on the floor it doesn't matter how good your thesaurus is, the actual stench of the shit will always trump any artistic description of it.