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4 Ways Farmers Were Negatively Affected by Viptera® Corn


Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera® and Duracade™ corn have significantly hurt American farmers. The corn has the genetically modified trait MIR 162, which was never approved by China. Syngenta continued to sell Viptera® and Duracade™, despite China never approving of the genetically modified corn. Accordingly, China’s rejection of Agrisure Viptera® and Duracade™ corn has led to a damaged corn market in the United States.

The 4 main negative effects of the Viptera®-China issue include:

  1. Lowered prices of corn
  2. Lowered exports of corn and DDGS to China
  3. Cross pollination among U.S. corn
  4. Significant losses for farmers due to decreased price of U.S. corn

The Viptera® and Duracade™ story started in 2009. Syngenta released Viptera® onto the U.S. market during the years of 2009-2010. The genetic trait MIR 162, found in the corn, is at the heart of the issue. It was never approved for import by China and still does not have the country’s approval. But, Syngenta released statements assuring China’s approval was imminent.

Syngenta’s CEO Michael Mack stated that there was “no issue whatsoever” with China and that they expected “to have [approval] quite frankly within a matter of days” in their First Quarter 2012 Earning Conference Call Transcript.

On top of this, Syngenta is also being accused of not properly instructing farmers to prevent cross pollution.… Read the rest

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Famous Mesothelioma Deaths: Paul Gleason


Paul Gleason’s iconic lines “Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns” solidified him as the cantankerous antagonist in The Breakfast Club. While his role as the principal guarding rebellious 80s teens is his most famous, his death from pleural mesothelioma is less well known. Aside from being a casualty of asbestos exposure, Gleason was an actor with a full career on top of his dedicated family life and enthusiasm for sports.

Acting was not always his dream, though. Raised in New Jersey, the free-spirited Gleason ran away at the age of 16 and hitchhiked across the east coast playing baseball as he traveled. He settled down in Florida and attended Florida State University as a college football player.

After his time as a football player, Gleason joined the minor leagues in baseball and played two seasons professionally with the Cleveland Indians. Though he did not stay in professional sports, Gleason often participated in celebrity golf outings where he was known to meet with fans, conversing and signing autographs.

Gleason’s Acting Career and Mesothelioma Battle

Despite his reputation of friendliness to fans, many of his roles were that of the hard headed antagonist. He appeared in over 60 films.… Read the rest

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Thirty Percent of All Mesothelioma Cases are Veterans


When mesothelioma patients turn to Simmons Hanly Conroy for the justice they deserve, many of them are U.S. veterans. In fact, more than 30 percent of Americans who are afflicted with mesothelioma were first exposed to asbestos during their time in the military. Veterans from all military branches – Navy and Army to the Air Force and Marines – often came into contact with asbestos-containing materials.

flagUp until the mid-1970s, nearly every ship and shipyard built by the United States Navy was constructed with asbestos materials. It was primarily used in engine rooms, boiler rooms and other below-deck areas of seagoing vessels and submarines. The asbestos was most dangerous when it was disturbed and made airborne, at which time it could be inhaled. This put Navy members at great risk due to the poor ventilation in below-deck areas. Because of the latency period of mesothelioma of in excess of 20 years, many of today’s Navy and Marine Corps veterans are still being diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Other military service members also came into contact with asbestos. Many of them handled, worked with or disturbed asbestos-containing materials and, as a result, were exposed to asbestos. Those affected include military construction personnel, boiler tenders, and demolition specialists who served prior to the mid-1990s.… Read the rest

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Renovating Your Home? Keep These Asbestos Tips in Mind


Thanks to its low cost and fire resistant capabilities, asbestos was often used in house construction. Homes built anywhere from the early 1900s until as late as the 1980s likely had some asbestos materials in them. The United States began implementing bans on the substance in the 1970s, and it is luckily no longer used in home construction. But, asbestos could still be lingering in older homes.

asbestos tipsAsbestos is most dangerous when disturbed. Although the thought of asbestos lying dormant in your home might be unsettling, if it is untouched it’s likely not a concern.

When asbestos fibers are disturbed, though, they release harmful dust into the air, increasing the risk for inhalation. Both prolonged exposure and inhalation of asbestos dust can lead to mesothelioma later in life.

If you live in an older home and are planning to renovate, you risk releasing asbestos fibers. Additionally, if your home is damaged and the building materials are exposed, you may face the same risk.

It is not safe to remove asbestos without a trained professional. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests to contact an accredited asbestos professional if you suspect a risk of asbestos exposure in your home.

Many older building materials contain asbestos.… Read the rest

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Black Carbon Found in Pollution Tied to Obesity Hormone


New findings show that traffic pollution, a common culprit in health issues, is now linked to obesity. Black carbon, an air particle found in traffic-related air pollution, may have ties to unhealthy levels of leptin. Leptin is a hormone that affects body weight and can be a contributing factor to obesity. A recent study found results showing that older adults who have long-term exposure to high levels of black carbon fiber also had higher levels of leptin.

11_28 - City Traffic - FBConducted at Brown University by Gregory Wellenius, the environmental study found a 27 percent increase in leptin levels for older adults with the highest exposure to black carbon. Approximately 765 Boston residents were studied for black carbon exposure as well as levels of leptin and obesity to come to this conclusion.

The study suggested a demographic link, as well. Out of the 765 Bostonians studied, ethnic minorities and those with lower incomes showed the greatest exposure to black carbon. Additionally, the participants with higher exposure to black carbon had higher levels of other health issues, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This suggests that living near a high number of roads can result in unhealthy levels of black carbon exposure.

Although more research is needed to establish a definite link, this study sheds more light on the established connection between risk of heart disease and traffic-related air pollution.… Read the rest

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