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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 29,291

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The Dose Makes The Poison.


"Paracelsus was a 16th century Swiss German physician, alchemist, astrologer who found the discipline of toxicology. He came up with this basic principle of toxicology: The dose makes the poison.

“All things are poisons, for there is nothing without poisonous qualities. It is only the dose which makes a thing poison.”

So many of us misunderstand basic chemistry and what ‘toxic’ really means. I can relate. Chemistry was my WORST subject in high school. Most of what I have learned (and since become interested in) has been cultivated through my PhD studies and in projects since then.

Toxicity is an indicator of how poisonous a substance is to a biological entity. Any chemical can be toxic if absorbed or consumed in large enough amounts. Chemistry is all around us and we are all comprised of chemicals (matter). Some chemicals are man made others occur naturally: in our bodies, manufactured in plants, in our food and in the air we breathe. In fact, there are more naturally occurring chemicals than man-made ones. Chemical reactions and interactions in our bodies occur all the time.



Somehow this gets lost, along with many other non-hyperbolic matters, far too often at DU. I hope, for the sake of us all, that that starts to change.

Some context to the matter.


Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and cancer: A review

Expert reaction to carcinogenicity classification of five pesticides by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

The dose makes the poison.

The League of Nerds Podcast: Are Scientists Shills?


In case anyone is interested...

I gave my child autism, by Juniper Russo.


"It wasn’t because of vaccines. It wasn’t because of tuna. It wasn’t because of formula. It wasn’t because of Tylenol, ultrasounds, antidepressants, Pitocin, tobacco, television, or pesticides.

How do I know? Because she wasn’t exposed to any of these things when she was first diagnosed with developmental delays.


“Maybe,” she said, pursing her lips carefully and jotting something down in her notebook, “You might want to consider getting yourself an evaluation. Most autistic people of your generation weren’t diagnosed, especially if they were verbal.”


But it wasn’t because of something I did wrong. It wasn’t because of her shots, or her environment, or my parenting. It was because of the little chains of carbon inside all of our bloodstreams, the chromosomes my kids inherited from me and only me. It was because we have a very special family, and it’s full of brain problems and love.



A beautifully written, and very powerful piece.

Environmental Defense Fund: Let’s focus on a farm’s performance, not its size



It’s a myth that large farms can’t be sustainable, just as it’s a myth that all family farms are small and better for the environment.

Take Christine Hamilton, for example, whose family farm produces corn, soybeans, winter wheat and cattle across 14,000 acres in South Dakota. For years she’s been participating in USDA conservation programs, using no-till practices, planting trees to limit erosion, and utilizing variable rate technologies to improve the environment and her yields.

There are also places like Fair Oaks Farms, which milks over 500 cows … an hour. To make their large operation more sustainable, Fair Oaks pumps methane from its livestock to an on-site natural gas station that compresses it into fuel for the farm’s fleet of 40 milk trucks.


It’s time we shift the public debate and get everyone on board the sustainability train. Arguing about a farm’s size won’t deliver environmental benefits. In the end, it’s all about performance."


A good piece that works to get to the heart of what matters, instead of the marketing hyperbole that pushes fear aimed at increasing profits for one sector over another.

R-word | Spread the Word to End the Word

This is a great advocacy page on the matter!

Meanwhile, GMO products are increasing output.

Thus, that article ignores the reality that organic cannot catch up.


And then there's the reality of organic pesticides:

Al Gore: ‘Denial Industry’ Should be Penalized


"Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has recommended that the deniers of climate change must be penalized during his talk at the main convention in Texas. The ecological advocate, moreover, suggests that officials who neglect climate change science must be penalized too.

Gore addresses at Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest (SXSW) group of conventions and event, figuring out that shareholders are now straightening money to another power companies, as against to those that entrust in the still-leading but increasingly traditional fossil fuel / carbon producing business. Such market development, Gore said, need to be stepping up by a value to what isn’t preferred.

The “denial industry” persists to disregard the truth, says Gore. Particularly, in addition to “99 percent of the scientists”, he also said that Mother Nature is now reflecting.

Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit established in 2006 that centered on climate change education. His proposition focused on the previous weather activities that may have been set off by human reasons or carelessness.




Making One’s Own Reality – Food Babe Edition ... by Steven Novella, MD


The default mode of human activity is to construct our own internal model of reality based upon our desires, biases, flawed perceptions, memories, and reasoning, and received narratives from the culture in which we live. That model of reality is then reinforced by confirmation bias and jealously defended.

But we also have the capacity to transcend this pathway of least resistance. Philosophy is the discipline of thinking carefully and systematically about ideas to see if they at least are internally consistent. Science is the discipline of systematically and carefully comparing our internal models of reality against objective reality, and then changing those models to suit the evidence.


The culture war continues. The Food Babe and others are attempting to distort the process of science in order to promote their alternative world view. Part of the strategy is to dismiss and discredit scientists who know enough to level devastating criticism at their particular brand of nonsense.


However, we need to engage all the more because of popular nonsense like that peddled by self-proclaimed but entirely incompetent “experts.”


A very good read on a topic of increasing importance. It's worth digging in to the whole thing, and it's not that long.

If I Were a Food Activist By Nurse Loves Farmer



If I were a food activist, I could share statistics and studies without providing accurate sources (or any at all!).

If I were a food activist, I could demand honesty and transparency and not give the same in return.

If I were a food activist, I could not care about a farmer’s right to choose how they farm and petition to take away their choices.

If I were a food activist, I could act like an expert but have no actual experience or knowledge in agriculture, nutrition or biotechnology.


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