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Protect the Black Bear!

Florida is getting ready to lift a 20-year ban on bear hunting, but even Florida Fish and Willdlife Commission admits that lifting the ban would not reduce the bear incidents in the suburbs! Tell Governor Scott to save the bears! Sign and share the following petition:

http://bit.ly/FLBearsWontBackDown

 

Proposed Plan for the Escambia Wood Treating Company Superfund Site in Pensacola

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) held a public meeting on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 to discuss and provide an update on the Escambia Treating Company Superfund Site – The Proposed Plan for the Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) 10 area at the Escambia Treating Company (ETC) Superfund Site, which presents the EPA’s recommended approach for the SMWU 10 cleanup is available at the link below (proposed plan).

The SMWU 10 area is the former location of a wastewater pond and landfill that contains severe contamination and is acting as the “source area” of the groundwater plume leaving the former ETC Facility. The proposed remedy is Steam-Enhanced Extraction of creosote contamination in the SMWU 10 area, followed by additional technologies using surfactants, solvents and oxidants as needed. The Proposed Plan contains a more detailed discussion of the remedy selection process and is presented to the community for public comment and input.

Public comments will be taken until at least September 15, 2014. After the public comment period, the EPA will prepare an Amendment to the existing groundwater Record of Decision (ROD) signed in 2008. Together, the 2008 ROD and the 2014 Amended ROD (AROD) will select the cleanup approach for the groundwater contamination from ETC.  The timeframe for starting the cleanup will depend on the availability of funding, but the best case scenario is to start the cleanup in 2016.  This Proposed Plan and an Administrative Record will be available in the information repository for the Site located at the Geneology Branch  Library, 5740 N. Ninth Ave., Pensacola, FL 32504.

A copy of the proposed plan for the Escambia Wood Treating Company Superfund Site in Pensacola –

Escambia Treating Company Proposed Plan for SWMU 10 Area Operable Unit 2 August 13, 2014

A summary of information on the ETC site is available at www.epa.gov/region4/superfund/sites/npl/florida/escwprefl.html

News Stories

EPA: Pensacola landfill mess continues – Rob Johnson – PNJ – August 19, 2014

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/2014/08/19/epa-pensacola-landfill-mess-continues/14300435/

 

 

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The Case for GE Labeling

The first GE crops became commercially available in the United States in 1996, and now GE varieties constitute the vast majority of corn, cotton and soybean crops grown in the country. At this point, most GE food crops are genetically engineered to produce a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that repels insects, or to allow the crop to withstand treatment with an herbicide, like glyphosate (often sold as Roundup). More recently, biotechnology firms have developed genetically engineered animals, including food animals such as hogs and salmon.

Proponents of the technology contend that these alterations are improvements because they add desirable traits. Yet companies submit their own safety-testing data, and independent research on GE foods is limited because biotechnology companies prohibit cultivation for research purposes in the restrictive licensing agreements that control the use of these patented seeds.

Some of the independent, peer-reviewed research that has been done on biotech crops has revealed troubling health implications including deterioration of liver and kidney function and impaired embryonic development.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no way to track adverse health effects in people consuming GE foods, and because there is no requirement that foods containing GE ingredients be labeled, consumers do not know when they are eating them.

The FDA does not require the labeling of GE food products as such because the agency views GE foods as no different from conventional foods. The FDA does permit voluntary GE labeling as long as the information is not false or misleading.9 Food manufacturers are allowed to affirmatively label GE food or indicate that the food item does not contain GE ingredients (known as “absence labeling”). But virtually no companies disclose that they are using GE ingredients under this voluntary scheme.

This means that consumers in the United States regularly consume foods that contain GE ingredients without knowing it.

For consumers to have the opportunity to make informed choices about their food, all GE foods should be labeled. A 2008 CBS/New York Times poll found that more than half of American consumers would choose not to buy GE foods, and 87 percent wanted all GE ingredients to be labeled. A 2010 Consumers Union poll found that 95 percent of U.S. consumers favor mandatory labeling of meat and milk from GE animals.

Labeling GE foods is not a novel idea. The European Union specifically addresses the new properties and risks of biotech crops and evaluates the safety of every GE crop. Additionally, the EU requires all foods, animal feeds and processed products with biotech content to bear GE labels. Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea all require labels on GE foods, although their labeling thresholds vary from zero tolerance to 5 percent GE content.

Without an affirmative label on foods containing GE ingredients, the only way for consumers to avoid GE foods is to buy organic. The USDA National Organic Program prohibits the use of GE material in any product that carries the “certified organic” label.

It took government regulation to make food processors put ingredient lists and nutrition facts on food packaging — labels that consumers are now accustomed to seeing and are using to make food choices. But the government has failed to require that consumers get to know other basic information about our food, like that it is genetically engineered.

Tell your state and federal lawmakers you want mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

For more information: www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/genetically-engineered-foods/

Let Me Decide Petition Sheet