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Showing posts from October, 2015

WHO And Meat Causing Cancer? Reaction In Japan!

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Japanese media reacted on the huge news, from the Lancet study, showing that processed meat can cause cancer. Yomiuri Shinbun, that faithful defender of industry and the silliest ideas from these islands, together with huge ads for "health drinks" and all kinds of un-scientific fads, really, have you seen how page after page are half ads, half "articles" supporting the ads... It had this about the story, but only on its Internet page, not in its printed pages:

Yomiuri Shinbun: 加工肉に「発がん性認定」…WHO外部組織

("Processed meat can cause cancer ... according to WHO advisory body)

So anyway, all media sources here did cover the WHO story.

TBS said, 加工肉に「発がん性あり」、過剰摂取に注意呼びかけ 

("Over-consumption of processed meat can lead to cancer)

while Sankei News noted that ソーセージやベーコンは大腸ガンになるリスク WHO調査結果発表

("Sausage and bacon are risk factor for large bowel cancer, according to the WHO study").

The Mainichi also carried the story:  国際がん研究機関:「ベーコンなど加工肉に発がん性」

("Internationa…

Earth II (1971)

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Interesting - if you like a proper Science Fiction yarn, set in space, and don't care so much for the next Star Wars movie. Here is a pretty realistic take at the challenges and conflicts on an imagined International Space Station, before that came to be. The issue is how to defend it, or try to make it stay in peace. Good quality acting, and the kid that gets his toy gun taken away is adorable. From back when the "Red" Chinese were the enemy...



Terrific music by Lalo Schifrin.

TPP Is Not Going To protect Our Environment

Not a big surprise, but if you follow the news, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is about to change the way business is made. And that takes some legal writ, as most countries are part of other obligations, such as the United Nations. Japan certainly is. But TPP does not care about such deals and treaties. The only ones they could agree on seems to be the Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), which generally requires countries to ban trade in specific endangered species.

It also seems TPP may suggest that the Environment Chapter will include obligations similar to those contained in the Montreal Protocol on protection of the ozone layer, and the Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) -- without specifically subjecting these MEAs to the TPP dispute settlement mechanism.

As I noted back in January, 2014, when Wikileaks first exposed the TPP Environmental Chapter:

...there are a lot of other international treaties tha…

Mystery Event - What is the GEA International Conference 2015?

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NHK, also recently known as the "Abe Channel" said today that the Prime Minister "was speaking at a conference of an international environmental NGO in Tokyo on Thursday."

NHK World: Abe: Japan will do its best for climate agreement

But NHK World would not tell us what NGO that was, so I did a search.

Neither google nor yahoo had any hints about a major NGO conference on October 15, 2015, so I went to the home page of the PM, and on its Japanese website (not very international) there was a note about today's event, GEA国際会議2015 (J).

So I searched for that.

And found nothing, neither in Japanese nor in English, nothing about today's "international" event.

Turns out, the "international environmental NGO" is an affiliate of the Japanese government, here: Global Environmental Action (E). Among its "Membership Companies" you get Mitsui and Mitsubishi. "Supporting Members" are Tokyo Gas and TEPCO.

Here is the link to the 20…

Flight Nurse (1953)

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I thought this was a terrific film, and as the Korean War is mostly known as the "unknown" or "forgotten" war we could all learn a thing or two from this motion picture, made back when the wounds were still healing. It is the story of a flight nurse, based on a true lady of the sky, Lillian Kinkella Keil, who died at the age of 88 in 2005.

My youngest aunt was a nurse in the Swedish Air Force, so I hope she gets to watch this. Sweden, as a "neutral" power tried to help the cease fire between the north and the south. The film has some baggage, but give it at try, it will help you understand the reality that later made M*A*S*H possible in the 1970s. So, let's not start another war, shall we...?


TPP and GMOs? So Far, We Have Very Little To Go On.

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Germany, France, Japan, and a lot more countries, have totally rejected genetically modified organisms (GMOs) while the US, Canada, Brazil, and a few others can't get enough of it. Even Australia grows the GM canola, and sells it to Japan as food oil. It is not properly labelled here, so Ajinomoto and Nisshin and others can sell it as "Salad Oil". Avoid food oils.

So how would the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement influence this state of affairs? Stay tuned, I don't really know. The TPP text is still kept secret. Japan has mandatory labelling laws that help consumers who want to know how their tofu or soy sauce was made. Even potato chips usually carry the label, "Not made from GMO potatoes" so stay tuned, we have very little to go on so far.


Update 1: This was just in the US radical magazine Mother Jones - I like this magazine a lot and especially this writer, Tom Philpott:

...Karen Hansen-Kuhn, director of international strategies for the Institute for A…

TPP Deal Announced Tonight

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Historic - and I didn't think it would happen. I was at the Brunei ministerial meeting in August, 2013 and it seemed impossible. That was negotiation round number 19.

How would these 12 completely different countries ever be able to agree on anything? This last ministerial in Atlanta was to be a 2 day event, then that got extended to 5 days of hard negotiations. I wonder why NHK* is not saying a word about the demands - and promises - to protect Japan's agriculture, or the concerns about rising costs of medicines. Stay tuned.

And there was not a single ministerial round of negotiations here in Japan. That's quite a scandal considering Japan's role in the world economy. Also, it has made it more difficult to get people interested in the many related issues, not just for farmers but for everyone.

Update: Now even the announced press conference which was supposed to be held at 22:00 PM Japanese time is delayed... => https://ustr.gov/TPP/Atlanta-Livestream

Update 2: Ther…

TPP - New York Times Gets It Wrong, Again

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As I'm up late on Saturday night, Sunday morning, waiting for possibly any development from the Atlanta round of negotiations, I access the New York Times.
They have no particular update at this late hour. These talks were supposed to be the last effort by Wednesday. But I'm more disturbed by the sponsor, Syngenta, that appears all over the NYT website. Tonight, it was not what I expected. The Swiss corporation is known for its abuses all over the world. So, now, the NYT is supported by that GMO and pesticide and neonic producing company to provide us with news about the enormous trade deal here in the Pacific?

As I have previously noted here on this humble blog, why do we want a trade pact that allows for more sales of large cars, more milk and more meat, at the same times making it more difficult for countries to regulate medicines?

Isn't this a contradiction in terms? 

Shoko Uhida at PARC has the latest updates in Japanese, with more over at @emi_mumemo
NYT: Fueling Hope