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Response to mother earth (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 10:44 AM

2. Related info here.


A Ripple of Hope: When Courage and Conscience Collide

June 10, 2008
by Robyn O'Brien

I was raised on capitalism and the Wall Street Journal. As a child, my family celebrated the birth of Reaganomics the way one would have celebrated the birth of a child. There was prosperity to be had by all – if only we believed. My father, like so many of his era, fully supported deregulation and the notion of trickle down economics. If we loosen the regulatory purse strings that government tightly controls, we will all prosper. The system works.

In our house, the Reagans had an almost royal status – to watch them dance, with Nancy in her red dress, gave me the feeling, as a child, that I was watching some magnificent combination of Frank Sinatra and a foreign prince with his graceful companion on his arm.

I trusted my political values would serve me well – I was loyal, patriotic and supported the system.

And then one of my children got sick. With a blood condition that no one could pronounce and a pediatric mandate requiring immediate enrollment at a Children's Hospital. And I awoke.

Suddenly, everywhere I turned, there were sick children. Children with diabetes, children with cancer, children with obesity, children with asthma and children with allergies. What had happened?

As headlines in the paper warned me of environmental dangers, I began to pay attention. What was in the food? Wasn't organics a left-leaning thing? And what about the plastics and the baby bottles and the vaccines? Should I worry? Doesn't our system protect us from these dangers?

And without realizing it, an internal battle had silently begun.

I lay awake at night as I tried to reconcile the loyalty I had to my father with the loyalty I had to my children. Had a generation of grandfathers failed to recognize the health risks associated with capitalism's profits, unintentionally jeopardizing the well being of their grandchildren?

I had been raised to support the system, to believe in it, to never question it, and certainly to never speak out. Activism was something that "radicals" did, certainly not conservative soccer moms.

But I couldn't shake the internal dialogue. And armed with an MBA in finance and my four children, I began to investigate the expanding role that corporations had taken in the system in which I was raised to believe. And I was stunned.

There were insecticidal toxins engineered into crops to increase profitability for the world's largest agrichemical corporation – a company whose former employees included Donald Rumsfeld and Clarence Thomas. There were petroleum based chemicals in my children's toys and shampoos that were a product of an oil corporation that had recruited me in business school. How had this happened? Had we forsaken our physical health for financial wealth?

As I struggled with the responsibility that I felt for betraying my own children, I realized that it was now my responsibility to act. But the internal battle raged on – as the call from my conscience collided with the familiar comfort of conformity – and I was paralyzed.

But with sick children, paralysis was not an option.

I realized that I had to find the courage, on behalf of my children and others, to speak out against the very system in which I was raised.

And I reluctantly stepped forward.

With the words of another crusader in hand, I found my voice: "Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls." (Robert F. Kennedy).

It is with that hope, and holding the hands of my four children, that I took a stand.

Our world is changing. Our children's voices are not being heard; there is no "show of hands" to gauge their reactions to the impact that our environment is having on them.

It is our turn to engage, to help our fathers recreate the world that their grandchildren deserve. We must not be daunted by the enormity of the task at hand, nor fear political "activism". For the sake of our children, it is our political responsibility.

If you take just one step forward, it might send forth that tiny ripple of hope that will touch your daughter's life years later or your son's health in ways you might never foresee.

If we dare to dream that it is possible to affect this change for our children, we will be inspired by hope and find the courage and capacity to act. Together.


“Robyn’s analysis is a startling revelation of the corruption of our food supply and our failure to protect two of our country’s most valuable assets, our children and our environment. Her message of courage, tenacity and hope is a beacon of light in our toxic world."
—Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Robyn recently addressed a crowd of 600 at TEDx Austin and received a standing ovation for her presentation, "Patriotism on a Plate" as seen in the VIDEO:

More: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x1949482


Generation Rx: The Changing Landscape of Childhood

May 22, 2012 10:26 am Posted by Robyn O'Brien

Childhood appears to be under siege.

From the escalating rates of childhood cancers, to the increasing diagnoses for conditions like autism and allergies, the landscape of childhood has changed, earning our children the title “Generation Rx”.

And this is changing the face of American families and our economy. We already spend 17 cents of every dollar on health care, managing disease. The pharmaceutical companies can’t keep up with demand, and now there are shortages for drugs used to treat cancers and ADHD.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15. The journal Pediatrics has reported that 15% of American girls are expected to begin puberty by the age of 7 (with the number closer to 25% for African American girls) and a growing number of American children struggle with obesity. On top of that, the rate for having food allergies is 59% higher for obese children, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting a 265% increase in hospitalizations related to food allergic reactions. And while not all of those hospitalizations are for our children, what is becoming increasingly obvious is that the health of our children is under siege.

But more often than not, the solution is not found in the medicine cabinet, but in the kitchen.

And as scientific evidence continues to mount, courageously presented by doctors like Mark Hyman, MD, in his groundbreaking book, The Blood Sugar Solution, and pediatric specialists like Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Dr. Alan Greene, about the role that diet and nutrition plays in the health of our children, parents are beginning to take notice.

And as we introduce new foods that are nutrient-dense (meaning full of vitamins and minerals) and try to reduce our loved ones’ exposure to the foods that are nutrient-void (packing mostly artificial ingredients that have been synthetically engineered in laboratories), we are realizing that we have the power to affect remarkable change in the health of our children and families, so that together, we can stem this tide of children flowing into pediatric hospitals being built across the country.

Because while our children may only represent 30 percent of the population, they are 100 percent of our future. And if spending on health care and disease management is viewed as a leading economic indicator, we need to stem this tide before it becomes a tsunami, for the sake of our children, our families, our economy and our country.

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