Member since: Wed Feb 10, 2010, 12:12 PM
Number of posts: 2,670
Number of posts: 2,670
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Apparently, there is more to this issue than meets the eye of typical consumers - it's not over yet.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Jan 25, 2014, 12:25 PM (1 replies)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 2014
Chemical Company Sues California Over Flame Retardants
Oakland, Calif. – The chemical company Chemtura sued the state of California yesterday seeking to block new fire safety regulations that would permit furniture production without toxic flame retardants.
The new rules, which Gov. Jerry Brown put into force last November would allow furniture manufacturers to meet California’s fire safety standards without using fire retardants chemicals, including those manufactured by Chemtura.
"This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to protect the company's profits under the guise of concern for public safety," said Renee Sharp, EWG's director of research. "If successful, this lawsuit would undermine one of the most important environmental and public health victories of 2013 – Gov. Brown’s move to revamp the state's outdated and problematic fire safety standards. Previous fire safety rules did not effectively protect us from fire dangers, but they did contaminate our bodies and those of our children with chemicals linked to cancer and other serious dangers to health.”
The new regulations are expected to have a significant impact nationwide for Chemtura’ future profits because California, with 10 percent of the U.S. population, has so much purchasing power that most furniture makers fabricate their products to comply with the state’s flammability standards.
In 2012, as he began to overhaul the state’s fire safety law, Brown cited a groundbreaking 2008 EWG study that found that concentrations of fire retardants in children’s blood three times higher than in their mothers’ blood. The reason: children typically play on the floor and come into contact with fire retardant chemicals shed by treated foam furniture.
EWG has been investigating the toxicity of fire retardants in furniture since 2003. That year, EWG tests found one class of toxic fire retardants called PBDEs in the breast milk of 20 American mothers at an average concentration 75 times higher than in European mothers. This dramatic difference was attributed to California’s inflexible fire safety rules. The state legislature subsequently banned PBDEs, and several other states enacted their own restrictions. Eventually PBDEs were phased out across the U.S., but use of other fire retardants continued unabated.
Recently, tests by scientists and consumer advocates found that California’s fire safety rules had triggered widespread use of chemical fire retardants in couches, car seats, changing table pads and other baby products across the country. Chlorinated tris has replaced PBDEs in many cases, even though California regulators have formally labeled this chemical as a carcinogen. Firemaster 550, another replacement for PBDEs, is suspected of disrupting the hormone system.
The new California regulations will allow manufacturers to use safer technologies such as fire-resistant fabrics in place of chemically treated foam. Baby products will no longer be required to contain fire retardants, since they are deemed unlikely to cause a serious house fire.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Jan 24, 2014, 01:21 PM (1 replies)
AUTISM FACT: In the US "67 children will be diagnosed today, that's nearly 1 child every 20 minutes"
Watch this film, STANDARD DISCLAIMERS APPLY.
Oscars Voter's Guide: 151 Long-Listed Docs by Subject Matter
10:40 AM PST 11/22/2013 by Scott Feinberg
The United States of Autism
August 8, 2013
Journey Across a Wide Spectrum
By DAVID DeWITT
The spectrum of autism is wide, as the low-budget documentary “The United States of Autism” shows. Its host, Richard Everts (also the director and the father of an autistic son), introduces 20 families dealing with the disorder, visited during 40 days of road travel across the country. He meets the highly verbal, troubled only in social situations. He meets the nonverbal, whose physical struggles exhaust financial and emotional resources. He meets parents displaying pain or pride, or both, about their children.
The networks of such families, which rely heavily on one another for advice and comfort, should search out this modest film. But all should be prepared to forgive the fakey vibe of an HGTV fix-up show, with the happy-faced Mr. Everts being greeted with cheery bonhomie at stop after stop — so many that the movie is concerned with breadth, not depth. And Mr. Everts gives precious time to an anxious personal reconciliation with his estranged father, which is underexplored or overexplored and, at any rate, doesn’t fit.
Many scenes, though, are moving: A nonverbal teenager withholding eye contact slowly, gently touches his guest in trust and affection. Mr. Everts meets Puerto Ricans and Korean-Americans, Christians and Muslims, those with low incomes and high. All the while, passionate disputes about causes, treatment and possible recovery are noted but not refereed.
That pluralism is the point. Yes, the animated opening sequence has a professional polish that the rest of the film lacks, but the documentary’s chosen angle is meaningful: The world of autism is as diverse as the nation.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Jan 17, 2014, 02:22 PM (0 replies)
HuckleB: Michael Pollan as GMO ‘denialist’ dupes credulous New York Times
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Jan 15, 2014, 11:36 PM (1 replies)
Chorus of Condemnation on Seralini Retraction Worldwide
Institute of Science in Society, January 15, 2013
Read what some of those who signed on are saying; add your name and forward widely to get the retraction reversed, and to show your support for science and scientists working for the public good.
Lee Artz (signed scientist) Outstanding Scholar Award, Prof at Purdue University Calumet Social Science, USA: "John Dewey once said that our quality of life depends on "improving the methods of debate and discussion." Arguing, contesting, refuting the study's findings are in order. Censorship burns humanity, trashes truth, and postpones knowledge."
Link from: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29070.cfm
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Jan 15, 2014, 02:57 PM (0 replies)
BASED ON CHILDREN WHO WERE 7-9 YEARS OLD AND LIVING IN MINNEAPOLIS IN 2010
Overall: 1 in 48
Somali: 1 in 32
White: 1 in 36
Black (excl Somali): 1 in 62
Hispanic: 1 in 80
3 year study
12,000 children studied
Somali rate similar to rates in NJ and Utah.
Technical report to be presented in peer-reviewed literature in next several months.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Jan 14, 2014, 04:32 PM (10 replies)
Stop Making the Conversation Controversial
We need autism to be a part of the collective conscience. We need people dialoging all the time about autism. Those of us directly involved do that anyway. We need the others; the elusive and rare untouched among us to start talking. And you know what? When we fight within the community and get hung up on the semantics of it all; we scare them away.
I don't wish to diminish a person's right to be called 'autistic' or a 'person with autism' or a "free lovin' hippie" for that matter. You can choose your moniker in my view and you can relax when someone else chooses theirs. People can be afraid to talk about autism because they are afraid to offend someone. For the sake of the conversation could you allow these differences to live together for now? The divide within the community works against us. This isn't news, right?
I understand the power of language. I understand that words and phrases change meaning. I also understand that when you make the conversation controversial people will decide to stay out of it. They don't feel prepared to talk about it. They've heard or seen someone crucified for forgetting to use person-first language or they're timid to enter the conversation.
Now, I am the first one to call out someone for saying something rude or insensitive (on this blog anyway, because I am too chicken to do that in person) but I feel that we are placing this topic so far out of of reach of the average person when we assign strict and ridged rules to the discussion.
If someone is being kind when they approach the topic then they are doing it right in my book.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Jan 14, 2014, 01:56 PM (0 replies)
Why Neurodiversity is a Dirty Word to This Autism Mom
I know that my feelings about Kate's autism will NEVER be as important as Kate's feelings about herself, but for now, while Kate cannot communicate how she feels, I am trying to tell her story as authentically as I can. I fully understand that my perspective comes with all sorts of prior knowledge, experience and expectation that skews the reality of what Kate is going through, but for now, it is what we have. It is our experience to tell and I take issue with those who would determine that I should NOT tell Kate's story because I don't truly understand her condition and that only an adult with autism is capable of understanding her autism and her potential. Attitudes like this are what give the neurodiversity crowd a bad name.
I DO believe that we MUST listen to adults on the spectrum in order to truly understand all the facets of autism. HOWEVER, a parent, whether they are on the spectrum or not, has an unrivalled connection with their child. They have EVERY RIGHT to discuss their child's autism at length. They have EVERY RIGHT to discuss their feelings regrading their child's autism at length. They have EVERY RIGHT to scream and cry. They have EVERY RIGHT to cheer and celebrate.
I am getting increasingly frustrated with reading posts about how neurotpical parents have no real insight into autism. Our children are an extension of ourselves. We FEEL every second of struggle and pain that our children go through. We FEEL every triumph, too.
Isn't it enough that the insurance companies, 'medical professionals' and schools do not allow parents a voice in their child's treatment? Do you really want to silence us too? Neurodiversity is becoming an increasingly problematic philosophy to me and that is not the road I wished to travel when I began this journey.
Don't Read the Comments
If you read blogs, and clearly you do, or at least you read this one (thanks for that), you may scroll down beyond the post and read the comments left by other readers. My little blog is small and relatively unknown which means the comments are kind and sweet and mostly from my mom. When your blog grows, so then, do the number of comments. And then, for every ten lovely and uplifting comments, you receive one that can feel like something has clutched your insides and squeezed.
Sometimes these comments are left by 'internet trolls' whose purpose in life is to stir up controversy and sit back and watch the mayhem. These are pretty easy to spot and less hard on the head. Others are left by individuals who truly believe their hateful ideas. It's comments like this one directed at autism advocate "Tanner's Dad" that get you:
@TannersDad if your child is autistic, that's because of YOUR faulty DNA, dad. Look in the mirror if you need someone ELSE to blame. #Loser.
I recently witnessed this twitter attack against @TannersDad from someone whom I won't name because I get the distinct feeling he would enjoy more attention. The above comment is one of the many hurtful things hurled at this autism dad. I think the argument began over Tanner's Dad's beliefs about vaccines or something like that but I don't really care what sparked the attack. I care that this kind of attitude exists in a world where I am raising Kate. I know that this man was hiding behind the internet when he attacked this father. For some reason, these things stand out and cloud the many good comments we receive every day.
The thing that I remind myself when I read awful comments like this is that there are a vast number of you that would line up behind me and Tanner's Dad to put this man in his place. That seems to help.
Welcome Tim Welsh "Tanner's Dad" To Age of Autism
Managing Editor's Note: We are pleased to announce that Tim Welsh, whom you know as Tanner's Dad is now a contributing editor. Please follow him on Twitter @TannersDad.
By Tim Welsh
We are advocating during a time of great stress and strain on our families. Some advocates are stepping away to refuel, retool and reset their priorities. I have chosen to dig deeper, push harder and go back to my roots of blogging the issues that face families, fathers and folks who are dealing with individuals with the greatest deficits due to Autism. It is not an easy road but I believe Age of Autism is the vehicle that is blazing a trail that history will show is the right one to follow.
Writing an introduction to the community is difficult. I have been an advocate for the community for over a decade now. I know that I have been blessed to be surrounded by amazing teams and witnessed a few miracles. I hate to sound boastful at the rehashing of the accomplishments. Suffice it to say, if you want to revisit history Google: TannersDad Autism Tim Welsh. I have over 1000 bylines and more than 120,000 tweets to my credit. I believe in general twitter can be a waste of time but for our families it has produced many grants, a few vehicles, money, and a movie. Even a rock anthem "Vaccine Epidemic" thanks to The Refusers written about Tanner and I.
I approached Mark, Kim and Dan with a request to join the team. I have taken two years off from blogging. During the last two years I was active on twitter and helping promote and coordinate showings of the documentary "The United States of Autism". This film features many of the Age of Autism family. I believe our message and story will reach the masses in this travel log visiting many individuals with different points of view of Autism. Even though I requested that I join this spring they graciously welcomed me with open arms and asked me to join in a New Years announcement.
Tim Welsh, is one of the most active and influential Parent Advocates for Autism. Avid Speaker, blogger, and Tweeter (@TannersDad). Tim works to build unity within the Autism community, Gain Insurance coverage reform, End Restraint & Seclusion, Advocate for services, prevent wandering and much more. Tim & his wife Cheri have one son Tanner (16).
Posted by Age of Autism at January 06, 2014 at 5:46 AM
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Jan 14, 2014, 01:27 PM (0 replies)
Katie Wright on Autism Speaks' Science Department: A Year in Review
By Katie Wright
Almost a year ago Dr. Rob Ring became Autism Speaks new Chief Scientific Officer. I was told that this would be a new era at AS science. Dr. Ring would be introducing more innovative, original research, reducing the amount of learn the signs studies and prioritizing underserved, severely affected people, biomedical interventions and meaningful here and now treatment for all. Sounds good right?
Well first the good news. AS funded an excellent $120,000 study on wandering prevention and another really terrific study on vocational training for young ASD adults. Earlier this year, thanks the very dedicated work of an AS board member, AS also funded a highly innovative study on $100,000 study on PANDAS. .
I allowed the entire year of 2013 to pass without any public comment because I wanted to give Dr. Ring the opportunity to follow through with his proposed reforms. However, we are now eight months into Dr. Ring’s tenure, looking at the most recent slate of grants, the third grant cycle under Dr. Ring’s authority. These grants are largely disappointing and so painfully conservative in nature that I cannot remain silent. I have tried, very hard, behind the scenes, for years, to lobby for better research. No one at AS science is listening. Our ASD children and young adults deserve so much better.
In 2013 virtually ALL the Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowships were either genetic, early intervention or brain imaging in nature. It is my understanding that Weatherstone was intended to draw innovative young investigators into the field of autism, with special emphasis on the GAP areas in ASD research. AS has saturated the field early intervention and learn the signs research with money. There is absolutely no need to continue to subsidize growth in this area. To a large degree the same problem applies towards the fields of genetics and brain imaging.
Imagine if the NIH were to subsidize more research into the dangers of smoking cigarettes, which is what is happening here.
There are already 1,295 studies on autism and brain imaging/ fMRI and at least 1,000 more in the pipeline. Simons, Cold Springs Harbor and the NIH are MORE than happy to fund this area of research, AS needs to move on. Brain imaging is all about looking at brain inflammation, we need to know what environmental triggers are CAUSING this to happen. There are over 5,000 published studies on autism and genetics. Naturally some genetics research is indeed valuable but why are most AS grants still genetic in nature? Dr Ring knows this is NOT what AS families want. There are 11,000 published studies on the signs of autism. That is e-n-o-u-g-h; there are over 6,000 studies on early intervention. Additionally there are p-l-e-n-t-y of geneticists and brain imagers in the field or autism research. Weatherstone should be subsidizing predoctoral students in the biomedical and environmental sciences fields, neglected by AS and the NIH. Weatherstone could also be supporting researchers to study the biological functions of autism via GI, autoimmune and food allergies. How refreshing that would be!
Let’s take a look a the biggest Autism Speaks grants of 2013: MORE AT LINK.
Katie Wright is Contributing Editor to Age of Autism. (Her parents founded Autism Speaks)
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Jan 11, 2014, 10:25 PM (1 replies)
NYT's Amy Harmon slammed over pro-GMO article
on 10 January 2014.
Prof David Schubert points out that there is no scientific consensus that GMOs are safe and that many animal feeding studies show toxicity from GM crops
There's been plenty of kickback against the pro-GMO article in the New York Times by Amy Harmon, "A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops".
In her article, Harmon criticises the ban on growing new GMOs on Hawaii's Big Island. Harmon appears to have homed in on one Council member who didn't agree with the ban and used him as the authority to attack it.
Harmon's article contains a number of myths, including the claim that there is a "global scientific consensus" that GMOs are safe. It's hard to believe that Harmon wasn't aware of the public statement, "No scientific consensus on GMO safety" which has now been signed by nearly 300 well qualified scientists.
Published responses to Harmon's article in the NYT's letters page (below) include one from Prof David Schubert of the Salk Institute, who points to the lack of mandatory safety testing of GMOs in the US.
GMO foods and the trust issue
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Jan 11, 2014, 07:56 PM (0 replies)