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HuckleB

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 31,662

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Monsanto finally makes it into Zika virus conspiracy theory

http://thespudd.com/monsanto-finally-makes-it-into-zika-virus-conspiracy-theory/

"ST. LOUIS, MO – Executives at the dungeon lair headquarters of Monsanto are breathing a sigh of relief today as they finally were implicated in a conspiracy theory involving the Zika Virus in Brazil.

The latest conspiracy revolves around a larvacide called Pyriproxyfen, which is actually manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese company.

However, at some point the chemical may have been either worked on or owned by Monsanto or something, something Monsanto is evil.

“We watched for a few weeks as GMO mosquitoes, vaccines, Bill Gates and even lizard people were getting all the conspiracy coverage,” said Diablo Lucifer, Monsanto CEO. “Now it’s finally our turn. This couldn’t come at a better time for us either, since people seem to be getting less and less crazy about GMOs and not mentioning us as much on social media.”

..."


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The Spudd does it again!

(And, yes, Natural News, the Organic Consumers Assinine-ation, and other conspiracy folks are actually promoting this "connection" to a "Monsanto product" made by a Japanese company, that interestingly doesn't appear to be causing any problems in the rest of the world where it has been used. Hmm.)

Study: Many U.S. Teachers Appear To Be Confused About Climate, Repeat Unsupported Claims

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6274/664.full

"Although more than 95% of active climate scientists attribute recent global warming to human causes (1, 2) and most of the general public accepts that climate change is occurring, only about half of U.S. adults believe that human activity is the predominant cause (3), which is the lowest among 20 nations polled in 2014 (4). We examine how this societal debate affects science classrooms and find that, whereas most U.S. science teachers include climate science in their courses, their insufficient grasp of the science may hinder effective teaching. Mirroring some actors in the societal debate over climate change, many teachers repeat scientifically unsupported claims in class. Greater attention to teachers' knowledge, but also values, is critical.

Prior surveys suggest that many teachers devote class time to climate change. Although these surveys are suggestive, their use of nonprobability sampling undermines the validity of their results. None quantified the amount of class time or the specific topics covered in class. We undertook the first nationally representative survey of science teachers focused on climate change. Working from a commercial database of 3.9 million teachers, we drew a stratified probability sample of 5000 names and implemented a multiple-contact paper and Web survey protocol during academic year 2014–15. We collected data from 1500 public middle- and high-school science teachers from all 50 U.S. states, representative of the population of science teachers in terms of school size, student socioeconomic status, and community economic and political characteristics. See supplemental materials (SM) for details.

...

POLITICS AND IDENTITY THREAT. Content knowledge is not the only area in need of attention. Rejection of sound scientific conclusions is often rooted in value commitments rather than ignorance (16), and science teachers are not immune from this tendency. A question measuring political ideology was a more powerful predictor of teachers' classroom approach than any measure of education or content knowledge, with those leaning toward “It's not the government's business to protect people from themselves” most willing to teach “both sides” (table S8).

Our data suggest that, especially for political or cultural conservatives, simply offering teachers more traditional science education may not lead to better classroom practice. Education efforts will need to draw on science communication research and acknowledge resistance to accepting the science and addressing its root causes (17, 18). College and university instructors will need help reaching teachers and teachers-in-training who bring diverse political and value commitments to the classroom—particularly in avoiding “boomerang effects,” in which attempts to promote a particular view can instead harden opposition. This may entail acknowledging and addressing conflicts that teachers (and their students) may feel between their values and the science. Such instruction will promote understanding of the science as well as the pedagogy that future teachers will need to promote climate science literacy."


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Very frustrating.

Hospital mortality drops with lower patient-to-nurse ratio

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2016/02/10/Hospital-mortality-drops-with-lower-patient-to-nurse-ratio/6281455110040/

"Hospitals with more registered nurses and doctors per bed can reduce patient death by as much as 20 percent, researchers in England found in a study of clinics there.

Having more nurses and doctors overall is not enough, as researchers at the University of Southampton found having more unregistered nurses increased the death rate at hospitals.

The researchers focused on cost-cutting measures -- either reducing overall staff, or hiring unregistered healthcare support workers to reduce workload -- as at fault for some part of current mortality rates.

"When determining the safety of nurse staffing on hospital wards, the level of registered nurse staffing is crucial -- hospitals with higher levels of healthcare support workers have higher mortality rates," said Jane Ball, a research fellow at the Karolinska Institutet, in a press release. "Patients should not be asked to pay the price of receiving care from a less skilled and less educated member of staff, just to make up for the failure of the system to ensure enough registered nurses. Staffing decisions need to be made on the basis of patient safety, not on the basis of finance. Current policies geared towards substituting workers for registered nurses should be reviewed."

..."



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Yup.

It's Simple: The Purpose of “Academic Freedom” Laws is to Promote Creationism

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/the-purpose-of-academic-freedom-laws-is-to-promote-creationism/

"Ever since the theory of evolution won over the scientific community and became the established consensus scientific opinion, creationists have fought a cultural and legal war against it. They failed to win the scientific war, and they continue to do so.

This is not an uncommon tactic – if you lose in the arena of science, evidence, or facts, then fight in the arena of public opinion or regulation. Pseudoscientists are unfortunately savvy to this tactic.

In the case of evolution, creationists tried banning it’s teaching outright, which was eventually struck down as unconstitutional. So they demanded equal time, which was eventually struck down as unconstitutional (teaching religion as science in public schools). So they tried to disguise creationism as intelligent design, which didn’t fool anyone.

Now, in an attempt to further secularise their position in order to get around the first Amendment, they argue that schools should “teach the controversy” and that teachers should have the “academic freedom” to introduces the “strengths and weaknesses” of a scientific theory.

..."


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The Rich (Hospital Managers) Get Richer - Carolinas Healthcare Raises Executive Compensation Once Ag

http://hcrenewal.blogspot.ca/2016/02/the-rich-hospital-managers-get-richer.html

"It's that time of year again. Carolinas Healthcare has made public its executive compensation, and once again, its CEO got a big raise, and many other executives made more than a million dollars. And once again, the CEO's raise exceeds the rate of inflation, and seems totally unrelated to how well the health system fulfilled its mission.

...

That is a 26% increase in one year, and an almost 100% increase since 2009, increases far greater than inflation. The 2015 compensation broke down as follows:

...

Whether the top managers of Carolinas Healthcare are government bureaucrats or non-profit executives, they seem to manage to pay themselves more each year, regardless of what other employees are paid, regardless of inflation, and regardless of how well the organization is upholding its health care mission. This is another example of ho hospital managers have become "value extractors." The opportunity to extract value has become a major driver of managerial decision making. And this decision making is probably the major reason our health care system is so expensive and inaccessible, and why it provides such mediocre care for so much money.

So to repeat, true health care reform would put in place leadership that understands the health care context, upholds health care professionals' values, and puts patients' and the public's health ahead of extraneous, particularly short-term financial concerns. We need health care governance that holds health care leaders accountable, and ensures their transparency, integrity and honesty."


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The “pH Miracle Diet” naturopath is guilty, but California still has a problem

http://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/the-ph-miracle-diet-naturopath-is-guilty-but-california-still-has-a-problem/

"Robert O. Young, a naturopath in California who ran a luxury medical clinic, was found guilty of two counts of practicing medicine without a license. While this news marks an end to the saga of Young’s spree of quackery and precarious trial, during which the jury was nearly hung and ordered by the judge to return to deliberations, it is important to note that Young was not found guilty on charges of grand theft. Young faces jail time but will not be held accountable for the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, that he took from patients as they believed the outrageous lies about his “pH Miracle Diet.”

Young was arrested in January 2014 after an undercover investigator with the California Medical Board revealed that he and other practitioners at his resort-like clinic were diagnosing diseases and providing dubious treatments to patients who were terminally ill with cancer or suffering from other serious conditions. Young does not have any medical training. He graduated from a now defunct diploma mill in Alabama named Clayton College of Natural Health, where he received “doctorate” degrees in naturopathy and biology. Based on this training, Young constructed an elaborate belief system around the notion that acidity in our blood is related to poor nutrition, which in turn causes cancer and health problems. By his logic, if acidic foods in the diet are replaced with alkaline foods, disease can be stopped in its tracks. If diet alone could not “alkalize” the blood, then it seems to have been necessary to give patients intravenous injections of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) allegedly to neutralize the body’s offending acids. Patients are reported to have spent over $2,000 per day to stay at his Rancho del Sol facility in Valley Center, California, and some paid out between $50,000 to $120,000. (He also operates a retreat in Como, Italy and “pH Miracle” cruises in the Caribbean.)

...

California has a unique law that gives unlicensed practitioners of alternative medicine free rein to do as they please. SB577 passed in 2002 and was championed by the California Health Freedom Coalition which argued that Californians deserve the right to make informed choices about their health care options. That sounds reasonable, but really, the law is designed to allow woo-woo practitioners such as homeopaths, reiki masters, crystal healers, and Robert O. Young wanna-bes to advertise and provide their health “services” without fear of being prosecuted by the medical board for practicing without a license.

...

Thus, if Robert O. Young had earned an ND degree from National University of Health Sciences or Bastyr University, he would be legally allowed to give intravenous injections of baking soda, a common mineral. He could advertise all sorts of nonsense about it too and remain within the confines of the California Naturopathic Doctors Act. Indeed, here is an example of one California naturopathic clinic advertising intravenous baking soda, plus a slew of other dubious treatments, such as high-dose vitamin C, homeopathy, and chelation therapy. In Arizona, it is even more hairy. Colleen Huber, a prominent naturopathic “oncologist” in Phoenix, is a big proponent of using intravenous baking soda to treat cancer. Her practice site and the site for the IRB she runs are good reads if you want to learn about a serious wrangler in the Wild West of Naturopathic Medicine. I cannot comprehend how she claims a 90% success rate in treating cancer.

..."



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Another piece on this story:

A quack goes to prison, but it’s not enough
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2016/02/09/a-quack-goes-to-prison-but-its-not-enough/

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This stuff has been allowed to turn into ever more ridiculous abuses. Regulation is needed, everywhere.

Scientists create synthetic biopathway to turn agriculture waste into 'green' products

http://phys.org/news/2016-02-scientists-synthetic-biopathway-agriculture-green.html

"Researchers at the University of Minnesota have engineered a new synthetic biopathway that can more efficiently and cost-effectively turn agricultural waste, like corn stover and orange peels, into a variety of useful products ranging from spandex to chicken feed.

The groundbreaking study was published today in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

For years, researchers have been looking for more sustainable sources for the raw materials used to make the products we use every day. Recently, biomass made from corn or sugarcane is used in manufacturing of a wide range of non-food products from plastics to fuel. However, use of food to make inedible products is controversial because it affects the food supply and can elevate food prices.

In this study, researchers looked at turning inedible biological byproducts, that scientists call lignocelluloslic biomass, to produce useful products to avoid the "food versus chemical" purposes. They specifically looked at the process to use lignocellulosic biomass to produce butanediol (BDO) that is used to produce more than 1 billion pounds of spandex each year used in clothing and home furnishings. In 2010, it was estimated that spandex was used in 80 percent of all clothing.

..."



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Scientists create synthetic biopathway to turn agriculture waste into 'green' products

http://phys.org/news/2016-02-scientists-synthetic-biopathway-agriculture-green.html

"Researchers at the University of Minnesota have engineered a new synthetic biopathway that can more efficiently and cost-effectively turn agricultural waste, like corn stover and orange peels, into a variety of useful products ranging from spandex to chicken feed.

The groundbreaking study was published today in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

For years, researchers have been looking for more sustainable sources for the raw materials used to make the products we use every day. Recently, biomass made from corn or sugarcane is used in manufacturing of a wide range of non-food products from plastics to fuel. However, use of food to make inedible products is controversial because it affects the food supply and can elevate food prices.

In this study, researchers looked at turning inedible biological byproducts, that scientists call lignocelluloslic biomass, to produce useful products to avoid the "food versus chemical" purposes. They specifically looked at the process to use lignocellulosic biomass to produce butanediol (BDO) that is used to produce more than 1 billion pounds of spandex each year used in clothing and home furnishings. In 2010, it was estimated that spandex was used in 80 percent of all clothing.

..."



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My food paranoia wake-up call: The EWG wants us to be afraid of the food we feed our kids — don't be

http://www.salon.com/2016/02/07/my_food_paranoia_wake_up_call_the_ewg_wants_us_to_be_afraid_of_the_food_we_feed_our_kids_heres_why_i_refuse/?utm_content=bufferd25cf&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

You're making claims promoted by corporate organic marketing, but not by science-based evidence.

All of the food we eat has been genetically manipulated by humans, including all organic produce, some of which is created using mutation breeding. If you don't know what mutation breeding is, then you should look it up. Also, organic is just a marketing term. Nothing more. It also uses herbicides and pesticides, including Bt, as noted in the article.

Further, while some GMO plants are created to allow them to be treated with less toxic herbicides than were used in the past, that does not mean that they are tolerating some massive amount of them, nor that farmers spend money using lots of herbicide. They wouldn't be able to make a living, if that were the case.

On Organic Pesticides:
https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html

Organic Pesticides: Not An Oxymoron
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2011/06/18/137249264/organic-pesticides-not-an-oxymoron

Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/httpblogsscientificamericancomscience-sushi20110718mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/

It's also interesting that you tried to use the superweeds argument, which was shown to be off base in the article I posted about Chipotle, in the OP. You can learn more about the topic in this piece:
http://weedcontrolfreaks.com/2013/05/superweed/

How Much Glyphosate is Sprayed on Our Crops?
http://www.nurselovesfarmer.com/2014/08/how-much-glyphosate-is-sprayed-on-our-crops/

More On The Reality That All Food Is Genetically Modified
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science/sorry-hipsters-organic-kale-genetically-modified-food-180952656/?no-ist

And a good bottom line article on the issue:
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/07/are_gmos_safe_yes_the_case_against_them_is_full_of_fraud_lies_and_errors.html

Regarding organic farming. Well, it's not necessarily good for the environment, just because its proponents claim it to be.

The Ecological Case Against Organic Farming
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/09/10/is-organic-food-worth-the-expense/the-ecological-case-against-organic-farming

Organic food: no better for you, or the planet
https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22240-organic-food-no-better-for-you-or-the-planet/

HERE’S WHY YOUR ORGANIC WINE IS ACTUALLY REALLY BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/heres-why-your-organic-wine-is-actually-really-bad-for-the-environment/

Organic farms’ need for more land is bad for Earth: study
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/organic-farms-need-for-more-land-is-bad-for-earth-study

Six Reasons Organic Is NOT The Most Environmentally Friendly Way To Farm
http://www.science20.com/agricultural_realism/six_reasons_organic_not_most_environmentally_friendly_way_farm-110209

Organic farming not always best for environment, says government adviser
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/07/organic-farming-environment-lord-krebs
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