Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kentucky Fried Prozac: Chickens Being Fed Antidepressants, Not Just Antibiotics

by Paul E McGinniss

Sad News.  That Chicken could have been fed a 
steady diet of Prozac.  Via

Rodale reported last week: "Prozac may have been part of your chicken's diet. Earlier in 2012, Johns Hopkins University studied the feathers of imported chickens to figure out what the birds ingested before slaughter. Researchers were surprised to find traces of antidepressants, painkillers, banned antibiotics and allergy medication. According to scientists, Prozac is sometimes used in imported chicken to quell anxiety because the birds are raised in tightly packed, factory-farm conditions. Stress causes the chickens to grow more slowly, hurting profits."

Talk about depressing.   The problem is that not all of us can afford to buy higher priced poultry which was not fed antibiotics and other medications like antidepressants.  Nor can many of us afford to buy pesticide free organic produce either, as these choices in general cost significantly more. 

So, what are we to do?  Help change the whole food system from the bottom up.  How?  By concerted political action. 

For instance - I try and sign at least one email petition a day to take a stand on something important.  Last week I signed the NRDC petition to ask Trader Joe's to take a stand and commit to selling only antibiotic-free meat.  

NRDC Activist Alert explained:  "If we're going to get the meat and poultry industries to stop endangering public health by misusing antibiotics on livestock, we need to show them it's unprofitable to keep doing it. Sure, consumers can help by buying antibiotic-free meat -- but livestock producers are sure to take note if a big, national supermarket chain stops stocking meat and poultry grown with antibiotics."

Copyright Paul E McGinniss 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

U.S. Congress Passes Landmark Renewable Energy Legislation

Well, not quite yet. But, it will happen if Stefanie Spear and EcoWatch have anything to say about it.

by Paul E McGinniss

One of my eco-idols, Stefanie Spear of the must read EcoWatch, has started a new petition to tell the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to expedite the necessary transition to a renewable energy future.

The petition is directed to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources and House Energy & Commerce Committee and can help serve as a basis for bipartisan legislation that members of Congress can introduce in their committees and ultimately bring to the House and Senate Floors.

Everyone needs to sign this petition and tell our elected officials that now is the time to develop an effective federal renewable energy policy.

To sign the petition, click here.

If your organization is interested in endorsing this petition, email Stefanie at

Copyright Paul E McGinniss 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tsunami of Greenwashing: Petrochemical Industry Backs American High-Performance Buildings Coalition

by Paul E McGinniss

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, fourteen billion pounds of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is produced each year in North America. But, because of the toxins involved in manufacturing, using and disposing of it, it is a health and environmental sustainability disaster. Pic by Danielle Bonardelle from via

Talk about hiding in plain sight. An alliance of petrochemical product front groups, including the Vinyl Siding Institute and related industry alliances such as The American Chemistry Council, have at long last decided to embrace green building! NOT.

Among the many "pro environmental" groups to join the coalition, one has a particularly impressive and illustrious history of supporting renewable energy and sustainable building: the trade group American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. (AFPM). NOT

AFPM describes itself as "a trade association representing high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels and home heating oil, as well as the petrochemicals used as building blocks for thousands of vital products in daily life."

Yes, we are reminded constantly that fossil fuels are vital right here, right now. But, do we have to rely on them forever?

As usual, the folks at BuildingGreen are on top of the story. In an article about the High- Performance Building Association called "The New Anti-LEED", Tristan Roberts, editor at large for BuildingGreen, reports: "The American Chemical Council (ACC) has opened a new front on its war with LEED and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) - one with similarities to greenwash tactics we have seen before."

Lloyd Alter of TreeHugger wrote: "What Are The Plastic People So Afraid Of That They Want To Kill LEED?"

I'm not necessarily the most enthusiastic USGBC flag waver as there are other exciting green building programs and groups like Passive House Institute to also pay attention to and learn from. There's also the excellent International Living Future Institute (which actually cooperates with USGBC and LEED.)

But, hey, thanks American High-Performance Building Coalition. Fillerup! Next time I want to get high on VOCs and clad my house in that super eco-friendly insulation, Vinyl Siding, I'll check out what you are up to!

Nothing like having a fox protecting the chickens in the henhouse.

Copyright Paul E. McGinniss 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Artists Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon Launch Artists Against Fracking

By Paul E McGinniss

The anti-fracking movement got a huge boost yesterday when Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon
launched the website Artists Against Fracking on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and performed their new environmental protest song—Don’t Frack My Mother.

After hearing about plans to drill near their home in New York, Ono and Lennon gained the support of actors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore, musicians such as Lady Gaga and other celebrities like spiritual guru Deepak Chopra and author Salman Rushdie.

Yoko Ono & Josh Fox in Reykjavik for the 2010 LennonOno Grant for Peace ceremony.

Yoko has been a huge advocate to stop fracking and in 2010 awarded New York filmmaker activist Josh Fox of "Gasland" fame The LennonOno Grant for Peace. The LennonOno Grant for Peace was created to honor Yoko Ono Lennon’s late husband, John, and his dedication to peace and commitment to the preservation of human rights.

I am happy to report that The Town Of Rochester in Ulster County, New York, where I live, has put a moratorium on fracking and is set to ban it permanently. Many other townships in Ulster County are making efforts to ban fracking as are many other local municipalities throughout New York State.

All this anti-fracking advocacy goes to show you that coordinated local, regional and national advocacy has a real impact on our collective future.

Check out the video below of Yoko & Sean Lennon on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon".

Double Click Above to Watch Full Screen

Copyright Paul E. McGinniss 2012

Via EcoWatch. Thanks Stefanie Spear and EcoWatch.