Docs interagate kids to spy on parents?

NaturalNews.com

Originally published March 3 2008

Doctors Interrogate Children as Informants on Parents’ Behavior

by David Gutierrez

(NaturalNews) Encouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pediatricians across the United States have begun questioning children about their parents’ habits, in some cases even filing police reports based on this information, according to an opinion article published in the Boston Herald.

Article author Michael Graham recounts that his own children were asked by their doctor whether their parents used drugs and alcohol, owned guns, or were abusive. The doctor did not seek parental permission before asking the questions, nor did he inform them that they were being asked; Graham and his wife found out only after their children came home from the visits.

“The doctor wanted to know how much you and mom drink, and if I think it’s too much,” Graham reports his daughter saying. “She asked if you two did drugs, or if there are drugs in the house. The doctor wanted to know how we get along. And if, well, Daddy, if you made me feel uncomfortable.”

Graham also reports the case of an Uxbridge, Massachusetts man who had his legal gun ownership reported to the police by his daughter’s doctor. The doctor filed a police report after asking the 5-year-old girl if her father owned a gun, then following up with questions to her and her mother about the type and number of the weapons.

Graham blames the trend on guidelines issued by the AAP, which classifies parents as “persons of interest” and encourages doctors to ask children questions in order to uncover inappropriate or illegal behavior.

“The paranoia over parents is so strong that the AAP encourages doctors to ignore ‘legal barriers and deference to parental involvement’ and shake the children down for all the inside information they can get,” Graham writes.

According to Graham, anti-gun advocacy by pediatricians is widespread enough that “some states are considering legislation to stop it.”

“What this interrogation of children demonstrates,” added consumer health advocate Mike Adams, “is just how deeply the medical establishment now believes it has total authority over the lives of patients. This kind of behavior is arrogant, outrageous and should be outlawed,” Adams said.

 HERE’S AN EASY SOLUTION:  GO WITH YOUR YOUNGER CHILD FOR ALL VISITS INSIDE THE ROOM. Also, inform your doctor, in writing, that these kinds of questions are not to be asked of your child, as you consider it an invasion of YOUR PRIVACY and theirs. Verbalize this to the doc in front of the teen, or child, and explain yourself openly. Personally, I find this OUTRAGEOUS !!!  I don’t drink or do drugs, and I don’t own a gun. If docs see bruises on a kid, or the child appears to be calling out for help, that’s different. But fishing is NOT acceptable.


All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. NaturalNews.com is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit www.NaturalNews.com/terms.shtml

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Beef is getting to dangerous to eat.

I am physically ill over the way farm animals, raised for food, are treated. I am damn sick of it ! If you spent even 10 minutes in a slaughterhouse, you would never eat another hamburger. Chickens are treated no better. And we allow it, ignore it, and eat it. We are insane.  

  

February 05, 2008

Humane Society Undercover

For the last few days, I’ve written about the riveting and revolting images from an HSUS investigation of a southern California slaughter plant. Millions of Americans have subsequently tuned in to newscasts that showed workers at the facility abuse and torment cows too sick or injured to walk, attempting to force these downed animals onto their feet and into the food supply, principally to feed children through the National School Lunch Program. The exposé has triggered a federal investigation into the operations of Hallmark Meat Packing, caused the USDA to suspend its contract with the company that delivers meat from the plant (the second-largest supplier to the school lunch program), and prompted school districts throughout the United States to stop serving beef from the plant, with some of the districts halting the serving of any beef for the time being. It has also exposed basic flaws in the USDA policy dealing with downer cows, and prompted calls for reform.

Downed cows at Hallmark Meat Packing in California
© The HSUS
The footage from California is the latest from HSUS investigators.

It’s the latest example of the remarkable work done by the investigations department at The HSUS. The brave folks who work in the department go deep undercover and toil away to document animal abuse, often for weeks or months at a time, and their diligent and dangerous work sheds a spotlight on cruelty that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Among their many accomplishments in recent months, our investigators, often working with our campaigns staff, have:

  • Exposed a high-end pet store in Los Angeles, Pets of Bel Air, and its purchasing of dogs for resale from Midwest puppy mills, even though this pet store to the stars told consumers it absolutely did not sell dogs from mills.
  • Conducted an investigation in Virginia—not thought to be a major puppy-producing state—that revealed that there are approximately 1,000 breeders in the state selling dogs commercially, many of them puppy mills. Our work resulted in the rescue of nearly 1,000 dogs from a single puppy mill and the filing of animal cruelty and neglect charges against the mill owner, and prompted the introduction of legislation in the state to address the problem.
  • Carried out an investigation into dog auctions, where puppy mills sell dogs for breeding to other mills. The investigation tracked auctions in multiple states and focused attention on the major victims of puppy mills—the breeding females who languish in cages and are bred nearly every heat cycle to turn out cash crops of puppies.
  • Documented that department stores and designers—from Burlington Coat Factory to Neiman Marcus to Macy’s—were selling coats trimmed with fur, including raccoon dog and domesticated dog, and labeling it as faux or as some other species. The investigation attracted national and international headlines, caused several companies to go fur free, prompted the introduction of state and federal bills to address the problems, and informed millions of Americans that even a small amount of fur trim on a coat results in the gruesome killing of animals, including dogs, in China. Today’s Washington Post has a story about our effort in Maryland to crack down on the deceptive marketing of fur trim.
  • Traveled to the Philippines and documented the collection and killing of dogs for human consumption. The activities were illegal and violated a national law against dog consumption. This investigation resulted in the rescue of dogs destined for the stew pot, and prompted a law enforcement crackdown on these illegal operators.
  • Visited horse slaughterhouses in Mexico to document crude and abusive slaughter practices, including the stabbing of horses in the spine with a short knife as the principal means of slaughter. We conducted the investigation to show American lawmakers and other citizens why it is so important to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which would bar the export of live horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.

These are just a handful of our recent investigations, yet each has hit these industries like a ton of bricks and stirred the conscience of the American public. We are in the forefront of the fight for animals, and you can be assured that we will continue to sniff out animal abuse wherever it occurs and expose it to the harsh glare of public opinion and demand policy reforms that will stem abuse.

URGENT VACCINATION INFO (time is running out)

The numbers I do show me that vaccinations have been used for FAR MORE than just to immunize people. Most people won’t believe that- but that is costing you and me our liberty.

If you have yet to phone your state reps on this issue of MANDATORY VACCNINATIONS then you are part of the problem, and we need SOLUTIONS. Your voice is needed TODAY.

There may be more going on here than you know. What are they putting our bodies? Do you trust what they tell you? I don’t. I have very strong PHILOSOPHICAL OBJECTIONS to vaccination. As do more and more people.  God gave us everything we need in nature to protect and heal us.

And nature isn’t expensive. Nature loves you and is honest with you.

We, as a collective nation are being challenged today in the state of Maryland ! There are parents facing Jail TODAY because they feel as I do.

Please, this is so serious. If these parents in Maryland don’t have some support from other parents around the country, we are sunk.

Call you state rep today and DEMAND these parents be allowed to take the expemptions they are legally entitled to.

Lastly, you better find out where your presidential candidate stands on VACCINATIONS befor you vote for them. This is a MUCH BIGGER issue than most people are willing to concede.

If you are forced to take a vaccination for your child, then here is my humble advice. Before you take that child to the doctor, for days and days, fill them with as much water as they can possibly drink. Before they drink it, pray over it wit your hands. In the name of Jesus. Ask that the water act as a nuetrilizer of the vaccine, so that all effects are voided and negated. If you are a Reiki Master, then please consider delivering a full Reiki treatment to your child before hand. And AFTER the shots. Continue to give water and more water for at least one full month.

But, hopefully, it won’t come to that.

Get informed.

http://www.909shot.com/state-site/legal-exemptions.htm#phi

Schwarzenegger allows toxic aerial biochemical spraying

NewsTarget.com printable article

Originally published October 25 2007

Governor Schwarzenegger Backs Aerial Biochemical Spraying That Harms Children

by Rami Nagel

(NewsTarget) On September 9th, 2007 several planes hired by the State of California Food and Agricultural Department (CDFA) flying at an altitude of approximately 500ft sprayed the untested biochemical, CheckMate®OLR-F, on over 30,000 citizens in Monterey and other surrounding cities in California. This occurred without the permission of the citizens. The spraying continued for three nights from approximately 8pm to 5am. About 1,500 pounds of biochemical were dumped on the cities. Many citizens did not even know what was happening when the planes were buzzing overhead.

An 11 month old child nearly died from breathing difficulties. A six year old child developed asthma as a result of the aerial spraying. Over one hundred people signed affidavits stating that they got sick from the spraying. Hundreds of people had symptoms like; shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, burning lungs, nausea, and muscle aches.

The excuse for aerial spraying is not a deadly disease carrying mosquito, but a moth whose larva may eat some leaves of some plants; called the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). The CDFA considers the moth an invasive species since it is from Australia. Yet, evidence suggests that the moth has been in California for many years, living peacefully. In response to the moth, the CDFA set up relatively harmless sticky traps, which have captured nearly every Light Brown Apple Moth in the Northern California region.

Governor Schwarzenegger is a strong supporter of the declared emergency; the need to spray untested biochemicals on humans to stop the LBAM from destroying crops.

This aerial spraying violates several state, federal and international laws. It violates the right to personal safety given by the California State Constitution, the very document that creates the California government. It violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects people with chemical sensitivities and other disabilities from discrimination. It violates the Federal constitutional right to personal liberty. It violates the EPA’s laws against spraying pesticides on people. It violates human rights laws that say that human experimentation without consent is unethical and immoral. It violates criminal laws that claim it is a crime to poison children, or anyone else. It violates pollution laws to spray a toxic substance over plants, animals, and waterways. It violates laws against organized crime and it violates the very tenants of our democracy; a system of government designed to represent the people, not to poison the people to represent private agri-business interests.

Recently, in a series of rapid fire events, the CDFA declared a state of emergency relating to the LBAM claiming that the moths are about to destroy a huge portion of the state’s agricultural crops. The claim is that the LBAM will cause hundreds of millions of dollars of crop damage. Due to this supposed “emergency,” the CDFA claims it must immediately spray an untested biochemical to eliminate this threat as soon as possible despite the reported harms. Mind you, these moth’s only travel within a 20-30 yard diameter of their birth place during their entire life.

The state of emergency is a false declaration because the CDFA cannot produce any meaningful evidence that the LBAM can or would destroy crops and the sticky traps are effective at containing the moths. In Hawaii, the LBAM has been a help to the ecosystem by destroying invasive species and there’s no evidence of crop harm for the last 100 years.

The only emergency seems to be that the State of California, under Governor Schwarzenegger’s helm, has an urgent need to spray as many humans; men, women, children, pregnant women, people with allergies, the elderly, and the sick, with chemicals. There is no sensible explanation as to why they want to do this, nor is there any explanation as to why they think that spraying pesticides on people is a good thing to do.

Spraying chemicals, safe or not safe, on humans against their will is illegal. It is a crime! The Nuremberg Code, established after the horrors of World War II, prohibits human experimentation without the consent of the person who is being experimented upon.

The state does not care about the over 200 health complaints, nor the laws they are violating, but rather cares about the commercial agricultural business. Trade partners with the US may not accept shipments of plants or produce that may have the LBAM. The CDFA has given various figures of the estimated crop damage that the LBAM will cause. Their estimates range from 100 million to 2.7 billion dollars. Now, these estimates are not based on any scientific survey but rather on their opinion and fears.

Even if the harmless moth could cause such damage, it is a dangerous precedent to place the health and safety of United States citizens, especially infants and children, secondary to money. So the CDFA and Governor Schwarzenegger has determined that 100 million dollars of possible damage gives them justification to poison children with chemicals. In this case, economic factors have been given priority over liberty and human value.

And the question I have been asking myself is – who is going to protect the children who will be sprayed?

So what chemicals make up Checkmate OLR-F and LBAM-F Products?

This has been the technical question many people have been asking. The specific details of the chemicals seem to be of less importance than the simple fact that these are chemicals. Synthetic chemicals do not have a place on our bodies without our permission. And they do not have a place in our children’s bodies who have a much lower tolerance to environmental toxins!

My understanding is that approximately 15-20% of the main biochemical is made up of a synthetically derived moth pheromone. This pheromone supposedly confuses the moths and disrupts their mating cycles. I am unaware of any scientific evidence to prove that the pheromone is effective at controlling the LBAM population. I supposed the CDFA’s plan is to see how it works after a year or more of spraying. This is essentially biochemical testing. And the problem is that they are doing it on the public on a large scale, against the people’s will. Due to the declaration of an emergency, the CDFA allow themselves to bypass the normal environmental review process meant to examine such questions.

The concern with the Checkmate chemicals is not so much about the pheromone, but rather the pheromone distribution system. The pheromone is encapsulated in a micro-capsule (like a miniature pill) which the CDFA brags is biodegradable. What they do not tell you is that the capsule needs to dry out to biodegrade. In water environments (like your body), the pheromone stays encapsulated. The micro-capsule takes approximately 30 days to degrade. The full degradation occurring within 30 days is unlikely because Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties experience frequent rain and dampness from the Pacific Ocean. Thus, the people in the areas that are sprayed will be inhaling and touching miniature pills. Once in their bodies, the capsule will likely slowly degrade causing moth pheromone to be released directly into people’s bloodstream.

The micro-capsule is made out of what are falsely called “inert” ingredients. Again, the EPA brags that these “inert” ingredients are mostly ionized water. However, they forget to tell you that there are also two known dangerous toxic substances in the inerts – tricaprylyl methyl ammonium chloride (TMAC) and polymethylene polyphenyl isocyanate (PPI).

The breathing problems and asthma-like conditions are known side effects of PPI. So how is the state legally able to spray it on people?

The way they illegally avoid the law and lie to people, so that people will be lulled into a stupor, is by saying that PPI, along with other ingredients, are actually not in the pesticide. Well, this is about 5% true and 95% a lie. Say you are baking a cake; you use flour, sugar, some eggs and other ingredients, and you bake it. One could argue that, in the final cake product, there is no flour but rather a new chemical compound called cake. In the same way, when PPI and other ingredients are processed, they meld and bind together and change their chemical form. They no longer resemble exactly their original substances, just like cake does not look much like the flour it was made of. When you examine the final biochemical, you will see no PPI but rather some new toxic substance.

Since there is no independently verifiable evidence that these new chemical compounds are toxic or not, other than 117 signed affidavits of people who got sick, and since there is a so-called “emergency”, no thorough testing needs to be done. It is a devious way to avoid the law. The end result is that we must “trust” the EPA to say the chemicals are safe. It’s hard to trust the EPA because, for example, with water fluoridation the entire employee’s union at the EPA came out to say that water fluoridation is dangerous and harmful while the official position of the EPA is that water fluoridation is a good thing. It also becomes more difficult to win a court case against the aerial spraying when you cannot get any evidence that the chemicals are dangerous because you are not allowed to independently verify anything that the EPA alleges.

Strangely, the CDFA came out with precautions for this “non-toxic” chemical. Recommendations such as; to close all your windows during the spray, to stay inside, to hose everything off in the morning before you touch it, and to not touch anything that is covered with the chemical residue (anything outside) were encouraged. These warnings are good ideas since the micro-capsule can easily be inhaled, stays stuck on things, or remains in the air. I recently checked the CDFA website looking to quote this document and they had removed all warnings about the chemical, claiming now that it is totally safe. Perhaps this was spurred by the CDFA Secretary of Agriculture A.G. Kawamura’s concern that citizens would waste too much water following the CDFA’s instructions to wash the chemical off of things before touching them. It is eerie how A.G. Kawamura is concerned about saving water and our environment, but is totally oblivious to the fact that hundreds of people have been poisoned due to his aerial spraying efforts.

Another concern is the Checkmate OLR-F and LBAM-F warning label from the manufacturer:

“Keep Out of Reach of Children”

“Caution: Harmful if absorbed through the skin. Causes moderate eye irritation. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, or clothing. Harmful if inhaled. Avoid breathing vapor or spray mist.” The criminals at the CDFA claim we should not worry about this warning label. According to the CDFA’s toxicity theory, since the biochemical is going to be inhaled and touched in smaller doses, this warning is no longer necessary as it refers only to those who handle the chemicals.”

Due to this premise, the CDFA insists that the 117 documented complaints of illnesses are psychosomatic and are not caused by the Checkmate. They continue to spray without thoroughly investigating these health claims. Infants cannot get psychosomatic illnesses because they are too young to make things up like that. The CDFA are hypocrites because when a doctor reports that someone is sick to the CDFA, and if that person had recently ingested certified raw milk, they automatically shut down the milk business even without evidence that the milk caused the illness. (The milk, in this case, is never the source of illness because the cows are healthy.) On one hand, they overly penalize raw milk producers for things that might cause illness and on the other hand they ignore cases which definitely cause illness by their own hands.

Spraying chemicals on people is a crime, safe or not.

This is an outrage and this is sickening.

It used to be easy to turn a blind eye to government corruption because we could avoid it. You can avoid vaccinations by claiming an exemption. You can avoid polluted soaps and shampoos by buying natural ones, and you can avoid pesticide ridden foods by choosing organic. (In case you are wondering, strawberries and other produce sprayed with Checkmate will still be certified organic by the State, so you won’t know you are eating pesticide ridden produce.) But the citizens of Monterey, Santa Cruz, Seaside, Los Lomas and other communities consisting of over 100,000 people who are scheduled to be spray bombed, some beginning today for up to six nights in a row, do not have the choice. Their personal boundaries have been violently violated by the CDFA.

Now, you cannot turn a blind eye anymore to what the government does. We need to acknowledge that these things are wrong, whether we can avoid them or not. When we do not stand up against evil, we affirm it. When we say what is happening is smart, we affirm that the evil doer is good because we do nothing to stop them.

I encourage you, in every way possible, to not sit back here. When you see someone doing wrong, whether it is a relative, a neighbor, or the local government, speak up. We need to stop this juggernaut. It is truly a terrifying experience because I have a pregnant partner and a young child and I have to move away from here to avoid being sprayed, to avoid being force vaccinated with synthetic moth hormone. The last bastion of hope is that the Santa Cruz City Council narrowly voted to sue the criminals doing this. It is unclear whether their lawsuit will be effective.

Checkmate.

The name for the biochemical Checkmate has two meanings. First, to check (stop) mating. Although there is no reliable evidence that it will check mating, for all we know, it could cause the moths to mutate and mate more. The second meaning of checkmate is a position in the game of Chess. This is a position when you have your opponent trapped no matter what move they do. They cannot win so they must resign and lose the game. Ironically, it is not the moths who are in the position of checkmate, but rather the citizens of Monterey, Marina, Pacific Grove, Sand City and Seaside (cities near Carmel and the famous Pebble Beach Golf course). These citizens must literally run, and escape, for the sake of their children from their own homes because a toxic cloud of government corruption is about to rain down upon them. It is these citizens who are in the position of checkmate. The difference here is that losing can mean a chronic disease, illness, and perhaps worse.

What you can do is call your state and federal representatives and encourage them to push through laws that prohibit aerial spraying. Encourage California State Senators and Federal Representatives to engage in a criminal investigation because poisoning people, children, and the elderly is a crime. Just because the people engaged in this work for the government, it doesn’t make them immune to our laws. Support 1hope.org, and the City of Santa Cruz, to fight back.

Tell everyone!

Spread this news. Let’s tell the whole world the truth about civil rights in the good ole’ US of A.

If enough people know, this cause will be greatly advanced. Also, process your feelings about this, the anger, the rage, the terror, and the hatred it brings up. Feel how you want to protect those in the aerial spray path, that inner voice speaking within you saying, “NO! this is wrong, it must stop”.

May the criminals face the real consequences of their crimes and be brought to justice. And may the people of Northern California be protected from untested synthetic chemicals forced upon them.

See below for more information, action items, and pesticide ingredients.

More information:

See 1hope.org, www.lbamspray.info, and www.stopthespray.org (You can sign the petition)

Also California State Senator Laird has written an excellent letter, opposing the spraying, citing dozens of unawsererd questions about the CDFA’s shameful behavior. This can help you understand the issue better. (democrats.assembly.ca.gov/MEMBERS/A27/moth.htm)

Published Pesticide Ingredients Scheduled For Human Experimentation beginning Wednesday 10/24/07 (There may be other unpublished ones)

polymethylene polyphenyl isocyanate (Pesticide manufacturer Suterra acknowledges this ingredient is used to make Checkmate, but EPA claims ingredient is not in final product)

(E)-11-Tetradecen-1-yl Acetate
(E,E) -9,11 Tetradecadien-1-yl Acetate
Crosslinked polyurea polymer
Butylated Hydroxytoluene
Polyvinyl Alcohol
Tricaprylyl Methyl Ammonium Chloride
Sodium Phosphate
Ammonium Phosphate
1,2-benzisothiozoli-3-one
2-hydroxy-4-n-octyloxybenzophenone

Action List:

The best thing you can do is contact Governor Schwarzenegger, even if you are not a California citizen. Governor Schwarzenegger has the power to stop this. Right now, he clearly supports the program claiming such aerial spraying is necessary. Tell him you are opposed to his need to spray toxic chemicals on children to stop a harmless moth.

GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
General information: (916) 445-2841 2841 (press #1, #5, #0)
Fax: (916) 445-4633
Email governor@govmail.ca.gov
Chief of Staff is Susan Kennedy

CA DEPARTMENT OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
Public Affairs Officer: (916) 654-0462 or
(800) 491-1899 (press #1, #6)
cdfapublicaffairs@cdfa.ca.gov
Secretary A.G. Kawamura (he makes the final decision on spraying):
akawamura@cdfa.ca.gov
John Connell, the state’s expert in insect eradication: jconnell@cdfa.ca.gov
Steve Lyle (public affairs) in charge of public communication: slyle@cdfa.ca.gov
Nancy Lungren (spokesperson for Kawamura): nlungren@cdfa.ca.gov

CA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
General Information: (916) 558-1784
Director, Mark B. Horton, MD, MSPH: (916) 558-1700, mark.horton@cdph.ca.gov
Kevin Reilly, Deputy Director: Kevin.Reilly@cdph.ca.gov
Online feedback/email:
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programservices/contact/Pages/default.aspx

ASSEMBLYMAN JOHN LAIRD (strongly opposes current spray plans)
(831) 649-2832 or (916) 319-2127
Assemblymember.Laird@assembly.ca.gov

SENATOR ABEL MALDONADO
(831) 657-6315 or (916) 651-4015 or go to his web page to send him an email

REPRESENTATIVE SAM FARR
c/o Alec.Arago@mail.house.gov

DIANE FEINSTEIN
c/o daniel_chen@feinstein.senate.gov

About the author

Rami Nagel is a father who cares about the way we affect each other, our children, and our planet through our lifestyle choices. His health background is in hands-on energy healing, Hatha & Bhakti yoga and the Pathwork.
Rami is author of several health resources, http://www.healingourchildren.net ,
http://www.preconceptionhealth.org ,
http://www.curetoothdecay.com , and
http://www.yourreturn.org


All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. Newstarget.com is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit http://www.NewsTarget.com/terms.shtml

BIOTECH FOR DUMMIES (while we were blogging)

Our Biotech Future

By Freeman Dyson

1.

It has become part of the accepted wisdom to say that the twentieth century was the century of physics and the twenty-first century will be the century of biology. Two facts about the coming century are agreed on by almost everyone. Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century. Biology is also more important than physics, as measured by its economic consequences, by its ethical implications, or by its effects on human welfare.

These facts raise an interesting question. Will the domestication of high technology, which we have seen marching from triumph to triumph with the advent of personal computers and GPS receivers and digital cameras, soon be extended from physical technology to biotechnology? I believe that the answer to this question is yes. Here I am bold enough to make a definite prediction. I predict that the domestication of biotechnology will dominate our lives during the next fifty years at least as much as the domestication of computers has dominated our lives during the previous fifty years.

I see a close analogy between John von Neumann’s blinkered vision of computers as large centralized facilities and the public perception of genetic engineering today as an activity of large pharmaceutical and agribusiness corporations such as Monsanto. The public distrusts Monsanto because Monsanto likes to put genes for poisonous pesticides into food crops, just as we distrusted von Neumann because he liked to use his computer for designing hydrogen bombs secretly at midnight. It is likely that genetic engineering will remain unpopular and controversial so long as it remains a centralized activity in the hands of large corporations.


I see a bright future for the biotechnology industry when it follows the path of the computer industry, the path that von Neumann failed to foresee, becoming small and domesticated rather than big and centralized.

The first step in this direction was already taken recently, when genetically modified tropical fish with new and brilliant colors appeared in pet stores.

For biotechnology to become domesticated, the next step is to become user-friendly. I recently spent a happy day at the Philadelphia Flower Show, the biggest indoor flower show in the world, where flower breeders from all over the world show off the results of their efforts. I have also visited the Reptile Show in San Diego, an equally impressive show displaying the work of another set of breeders. Philadelphia excels in orchids and roses, San Diego excels in lizards and snakes. The main problem for a grandparent visiting the reptile show with a grandchild is to get the grandchild out of the building without actually buying a snake.

Every orchid or rose or lizard or snake is the work of a dedicated and skilled breeder. There are thousands of people, amateurs and professionals, who devote their lives to this business.

Now imagine what will happen when the tools of genetic engineering become accessible to these people. There will be do-it-yourself kits for gardeners who will use genetic engineering to breed new varieties of roses and orchids. Also kits for lovers of pigeons and parrots and lizards and snakes to breed new varieties of pets. Breeders of dogs and cats will have their kits too.

Domesticated biotechnology, once it gets into the hands of housewives and children, will give us an explosion of diversity of new living creatures, rather than the monoculture crops that the big corporations prefer. New lineages will proliferate to replace those that monoculture farming and deforestation have destroyed. Designing genomes will be a personal thing, a new art form as creative as painting or sculpture.

Few of the new creations will be masterpieces, but a great many will bring joy to their creators and variety to our fauna and flora. The final step in the domestication of biotechnology will be biotech games, designed like computer games for children down to kindergarten age but played with real eggs and seeds rather than with images on a screen. Playing such games, kids will acquire an intimate feeling for the organisms that they are growing. The winner could be the kid whose seed grows the prickliest cactus, or the kid whose egg hatches the cutest dinosaur. These games will be messy and possibly dangerous. Rules and regulations will be needed to make sure that our kids do not endanger themselves and others. The dangers of biotechnology are real and serious.

If domestication of biotechnology is the wave of the future, five important questions need to be answered. First, can it be stopped? Second, ought it to be stopped? Third, if stopping it is either impossible or undesirable, what are the appropriate limits that our society must impose on it? Fourth, how should the limits be decided? Fifth, how should the limits be enforced, nationally and internationally? I do not attempt to answer these questions here. I leave it to our children and grandchildren to supply the answers.

2.

A New Biology for a New Century

Carl Woese is the world’s greatest expert in the field of microbial taxonomy, the classification and understanding of microbes. He explored the ancestry of microbes by tracing the similarities and differences between their genomes. He discovered the large-scale structure of the tree of life, with all living creatures descended from three primordial branches. Before Woese, the tree of life had two main branches called prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the prokaryotes composed of cells without nuclei and the eukaryotes composed of cells with nuclei. All kinds of plants and animals, including humans, belonged to the eukaryote branch. The prokaryote branch contained only microbes. Woese discovered, by studying the anatomy of microbes in detail, that there are two fundamentally different kinds of prokaryotes, which he called bacteria and archea. So he constructed a new tree of life with three branches, bacteria, archea, and eukaryotes. Most of the well-known microbes are bacteria. The archea were at first supposed to be rare and confined to extreme environments such as hot springs, but they are now known to be abundant and widely distributed over the planet. Woese recently published two provocative and illuminating articles with the titles “A New Biology for a New Century” and (together with Nigel Goldenfeld) “Biology’s Next Revolution.”[*]

Woese’s main theme is the obsolescence of reductionist biology as it has been practiced for the last hundred years, with its assumption that biological processes can be understood by studying genes and molecules. What is needed instead is a new synthetic biology based on emergent patterns of organization. Aside from his main theme, he raises another important question. When did Darwinian evolution begin? By Darwinian evolution he means evolution as Darwin understood it, based on the competition for survival of noninterbreeding species. He presents evidence that Darwinian evolution does not go back to the beginning of life.

When we compare genomes of ancient lineages of living creatures, we find evidence of numerous transfers of genetic information from one lineage to another. In early times, horizontal gene transfer, the sharing of genes between unrelated species, was prevalent. It becomes more prevalent the further back you go in time.

Whatever Carl Woese writes, even in a speculative vein, needs to be taken seriously. In his “New Biology” article, he is postulating a golden age of pre-Darwinian life, when horizontal gene transfer was universal and separate species did not yet exist. Life was then a community of cells of various kinds, sharing their genetic information so that clever chemical tricks and catalytic processes invented by one creature could be inherited by all of them. Evolution was a communal affair, the whole community advancing in metabolic and reproductive efficiency as the genes of the most efficient cells were shared. Evolution could be rapid, as new chemical devices could be evolved simultaneously by cells of different kinds working in parallel and then reassembled in a single cell by horizontal gene transfer.

But then, one evil day, a cell resembling a primitive bacterium happened to find itself one jump ahead of its neighbors in efficiency. That cell, anticipating Bill Gates by three billion years, separated itself from the community and refused to share. Its offspring became the first species of bacteria—and the first species of any kind—reserving their intellectual property for their own private use. With their superior efficiency, the bacteria continued to prosper and to evolve separately, while the rest of the community continued its communal life. Some millions of years later, another cell separated itself from the community and became the ancestor of the archea. Some time after that, a third cell separated itself and became the ancestor of the eukaryotes. And so it went on, until nothing was left of the community and all life was divided into species. The Darwinian interlude had begun.


The Darwinian interlude has lasted for two or three billion years. It probably slowed down the pace of evolution considerably. The basic biochemical machinery of life had evolved rapidly during the few hundreds of millions of years of the pre-Darwinian era, and changed very little in the next two billion years of microbial evolution. Darwinian evolution is slow because individual species, once established, evolve very little. With rare exceptions, Darwinian evolution requires established species to become extinct so that new species can replace them.

Now, after three billion years, the Darwinian interlude is over. It was an interlude between two periods of horizontal gene transfer.

The epoch of Darwinian evolution based on competition between species ended about ten thousand years ago, when a single species, Homo sapiens, began to dominate and reorganize the biosphere.

Since that time, cultural evolution has replaced biological evolution as the main driving force of change. Cultural evolution is not Darwinian. Cultures spread by horizontal transfer of ideas more than by genetic inheritance. Cultural evolution is running a thousand times faster than Darwinian evolution, taking us into a new era of cultural interdependence which we call globalization. And now, as Homo sapiens domesticates the new biotechnology, we are reviving the ancient pre-Darwinian practice of horizontal gene transfer, moving genes easily from microbes to plants and animals, blurring the boundaries between species. We are moving rapidly into the post-Darwinian era, when species other than our own will no longer exist, and the rules of Open Source sharing will be extended from the exchange of software to the exchange of genes. Then the evolution of life will once again be communal, as it was in the good old days before separate species and intellectual property were invented.

I would like to borrow Carl Woese’s vision of the future of biology and extend it to the whole of science. Here is his metaphor for the future of science:

Imagine a child playing in a woodland stream, poking a stick into an eddy in the flowing current, thereby disrupting it. But the eddy quickly reforms. The child disperses it again. Again it reforms, and the fascinating game goes on. There you have it! Organisms are resilient patterns in a turbulent flow—patterns in an energy flow…. It is becoming increasingly clear that to understand living systems in any deep sense, we must come to see them not materialistically, as machines, but as stable, complex, dynamic organization.

This picture of living creatures, as patterns of organization rather than collections of molecules, applies not only to bees and bacteria, butterflies and rain forests, but also to sand dunes and snowflakes, thunderstorms and hurricanes. The nonliving universe is as diverse and as dynamic as the living universe, and is also dominated by patterns of organization that are not yet understood. The reductionist physics and the reductionist molecular biology of the twentieth century will continue to be important in the twenty-first century, but they will not be dominant. The big problems, the evolution of the universe as a whole, the origin of life, the nature of human consciousness, and the evolution of the earth’s climate, cannot be understood by reducing them to elementary particles and molecules. New ways of thinking and new ways of organizing large databases will be needed.

3.

Green Technology

The domestication of biotechnology in everyday life may also be helpful in solving practical economic and environmental problems. Once a new generation of children has grown up, as familiar with biotech games as our grandchildren are now with computer games, biotechnology will no longer seem weird and alien. In the era of Open Source biology,…

 the magic of genes will be available to anyone with the skill and imagination to use it.

The way will be open for biotechnology to move into the mainstream of economic development, to help us solve some of our urgent social problems and ameliorate the human condition all over the earth. Open Source biology could be a powerful tool, giving us access to cheap and abundant solar energy.

A plant is a creature that uses the energy of sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide and other simple chemicals into roots and leaves and flowers. To live, it needs to collect sunlight. But it uses sunlight with low efficiency. The most efficient crop plants, such as sugarcane or maize, convert about 1 percent of the sunlight that falls onto them into chemical energy. Artificial solar collectors made of silicon can do much better. Silicon solar cells can convert sunlight into electrical energy with 15 percent efficiency, and electrical energy can be converted into chemical energy without much loss. We can imagine that in the future, when we have mastered the art of genetically engineering plants, we may breed new crop plants that have leaves made of silicon, converting sunlight into chemical energy with ten times the efficiency of natural plants. These artificial crop plants would reduce the area of land needed for biomass production by a factor of ten. They would allow solar energy to be used on a massive scale without taking up too much land. They would look like natural plants except that their leaves would be black, the color of silicon, instead of green, the color of chlorophyll. The question I am asking is, how long will it take us to grow plants with silicon leaves?

If the natural evolution of plants had been driven by the need for high efficiency of utilization of sunlight, then the leaves of all plants would have been black. Black leaves would absorb sunlight more efficiently than leaves of any other color. Obviously plant evolution was driven by other needs, and in particular by the need for protection against overheating. For a plant growing in a hot climate, it is advantageous to reflect as much as possible of the sunlight that is not used for growth. There is plenty of sunlight, and it is not important to use it with maximum efficiency. The plants have evolved with chlorophyll in their leaves to absorb the useful red and blue components of sunlight and to reflect the green. That is why it is reasonable for plants in tropical climates to be green. But this logic does not explain why plants in cold climates where sunlight is scarce are also green. We could imagine that in a place like Iceland, overheating would not be a problem, and plants with black leaves using sunlight more efficiently would have an evolutionary advantage. For some reason which we do not understand, natural plants with black leaves never appeared. Why not? Perhaps we shall not understand why nature did not travel this route until we have traveled it ourselves.

After we have explored this route to the end, when we have created new forests of black-leaved plants that can use sunlight ten times more efficiently than natural plants, we shall be confronted by a new set of environmental problems. Who shall be allowed to grow the black-leaved plants? Will black-leaved plants remain an artificially maintained cultivar, or will they invade and permanently change the natural ecology? What shall we do with the silicon trash that these plants leave behind them? Shall we be able to design a whole ecology of silicon-eating microbes and fungi and earthworms to keep the black-leaved plants in balance with the rest of nature and to recycle their silicon?

The twenty-first century will bring us powerful new tools of genetic engineering with which to manipulate our farms and forests. With the new tools will come new questions and new responsibilities.

Rural poverty is one of the great evils of the modern world. The lack of jobs and economic opportunities in villages drives millions of people to migrate from villages into overcrowded cities. The continuing migration causes immense social and environmental problems in the major cities of poor countries. The effects of poverty are most visible in the cities, but the causes of poverty lie mostly in the villages. What the world needs is a technology that directly attacks the problem of rural poverty by creating wealth and jobs in the villages. A technology that creates industries and careers in villages would give the villagers a practical alternative to migration. It would give them a chance to survive and prosper without uprooting themselves.

The shifting balance of wealth and population between villages and cities is one of the main themes of human history over the last ten thousand years. The shift from villages to cities is strongly coupled with a shift from one kind of technology to another. I find it convenient to call the two kinds of technology green and gray. The adjective “green” has been appropriated and abused by various political movements, especially in Europe, so I need to explain clearly what I have in mind when I speak of green and gray. Green technology is based on biology, gray technology on physics and chemistry.

Roughly speaking, green technology is the technology that gave birth to village communities ten thousand years ago, starting from the domestication of plants and animals, the invention of agriculture, the breeding of goats and sheep and horses and cows and pigs, the manufacture of textiles and cheese and wine. Gray technology is the technology that gave birth to cities and empires five thousand years later, starting from the forging of bronze and iron, the invention of wheeled vehicles and paved roads, the building of ships and war chariots, the manufacture of swords and guns and bombs. Gray technology also produced the steel plows, tractors, reapers, and processing plants that made agriculture more productive and transferred much of the resulting wealth from village-based farmers to city-based corporations.

For the first five of the ten thousand years of human civilization, wealth and power belonged to villages with green technology, and for the second five thousand years wealth and power belonged to cities with gray technology. Beginning about five hundred years ago, gray technology became increasingly dominant, as we learned to build machines that used power from wind and water and steam and electricity. In the last hundred years, wealth and power were even more heavily concentrated in cities as gray technology raced ahead. As cities became richer, rural poverty deepened.

This sketch of the last ten thousand years of human history puts the problem of rural poverty into a new perspective. If rural poverty is a consequence of the unbalanced growth of gray technology, it is possible that a shift in the balance back from gray to green might cause rural poverty to disappear. That is my dream.

During the last fifty years we have seen explosive progress in the scientific understanding of the basic processes of life, and in the last twenty years this new understanding has given rise to explosive growth of green technology. The new green technology allows us to breed new varieties of animals and plants as our ancestors did ten thousand years ago, but now a hundred times faster. It now takes us a decade instead of a millennium to create new crop plants, such as the herbicide-resistant varieties of maize and soybean that allow weeds to be controlled without plowing and greatly reduce the erosion of topsoil by wind and rain. Guided by a precise understanding of genes and genomes instead of by trial and error, we can within a few years modify plants so as to give them improved yield, improved nutritive value, and improved resistance to pests and diseases.

Within a few more decades, as the continued exploring of genomes gives us better knowledge of the architecture of living creatures, we shall be able to design new species of microbes and plants according to our needs. The way will then be open for green technology to do more cheaply and more cleanly many of the things that gray technology can do, and also to do many things that gray technology has failed to do. Green technology could replace most of our existing chemical industries and a large part of our mining and manufacturing industries. Genetically engineered earthworms could extract common metals such as aluminum and titanium from clay, and genetically engineered seaweed could extract magnesium or gold from seawater. Green technology could also achieve more extensive recycling of waste products and worn-out machines, with great benefit to the environment. An economic system based on green technology could come much closer to the goal of sustainability, using sunlight instead of fossil fuels as the primary source of energy. New species of termite could be engineered to chew up derelict automobiles instead of houses, and new species of tree could be engineered to convert carbon dioxide and sunlight into liquid fuels instead of cellulose.

Before genetically modified termites and trees can be allowed to help solve our economic and environmental problems, great arguments will rage over the possible damage they may do.

Many of the people who call themselves green are passionately opposed to green technology.

But in the end, if the technology is developed carefully and deployed with sensitivity to human feelings, it is likely to be accepted by most of the people who will be affected by it, just as the equally unnatural and unfamiliar green technologies of milking cows and plowing soils and fermenting grapes were accepted by our ancestors long ago. I am not saying that the political acceptance of green technology will be quick or easy. I say only that green technology has enormous promise for preserving the balance of nature on this planet as well as for relieving human misery. Future generations of people raised from childhood with biotech toys and games will probably accept it more easily than we do. Nobody can predict how long it may take to try out the new technology in a thousand different ways and measure its costs and benefits.


What has this dream of a resurgent green technology to do with the problem of rural poverty? In the past, green technology has always been rural, based in farms and villages rather than in cities. In the future it will pervade cities as well as countryside, factories as well as forests. It will not be entirely rural. But it will still have a large rural component. After all, the cloning of Dolly occurred in a rural animal-breeding station in Scotland, not in an urban laboratory in Silicon Valley. Green technology will use land and sunlight as its primary sources of raw materials and energy. Land and sunlight cannot be concentrated in cities but are spread more or less evenly over the planet. When industries and technologies are based on land and sunlight, they will bring employment and wealth to rural populations.

In a country like India with a large rural population, bringing wealth to the villages means bringing jobs other than farming. Most of the villagers must cease to be subsistance farmers and become shopkeepers or schoolteachers or bankers or engineers or poets. In the end the villages must become gentrified, as they are today in England, with the old farm workers’ cottages converted into garages, and the few remaining farmers converted into highly skilled professionals. It is fortunate that sunlight is most abundant in tropical countries, where a large fraction of the world’s people live and where rural poverty is most acute. Since sunlight is distributed more equitably than coal and oil, green technology can be a great equalizer, helping to narrow the gap between rich and poor countries.

My book The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet (1999) describes a vision of green technology enriching villages all over the world and halting the migration from villages to megacities. The three components of the vision are all essential: the sun to provide energy where it is needed, the genome to provide plants that can convert sunlight into chemical fuels cheaply and efficiently, the Internet to end the intellectual and economic isolation of rural populations. With all three components in place, every village in Africa could enjoy its fair share of the blessings of civilization. People who prefer to live in cities would still be free to move from villages to cities, but they would not be compelled to move by economic necessity.

Notes

[*] See Carl Woese, “A New Biology for a New Century,” in Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, June 2004 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MMBR.68.2.173-186.2004); and Nigel Goldenfeld and Carl Woese, “Biology’s Next Revolution,” Nature, January 25, 2007. A slightly expanded version of the Nature article is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/q-bio/0702015v1 .

FOUND AT :  http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20370

CHEMICALS AND BREAST CANCER: New Study

A groundbreaking research study coordinated by the non-profit Silent Spring Institute and recently published by the American Cancer Society found that synthetic chemicals have likely played a large role in the rising incidence of breast cancer throughout the world over the last half-century. The study identified 216 man-made chemicals-including those found in everyday products like pesticides, cosmetics, dyes, drugs and gasoline (and diesel exhaust)-that have been shown to cause breast cancer in animals. Researchers believe these substances, many of which “mimic” naturally occurring hormones once inside the body, are also to blame for the increasing prevalence of human breast cancer. Read the rest at:

http://www.alternet.org/environment/54492/

WWW.MEATRIX.COM

www.meatrix.com

 Based on THE MATRIX

 A great video series for kids to learn about how important it is to protect animals from farming abuses.