Thursday, May 5, 2011

Herbal Remedies Banned in EU, Herbal Medicines Licensed, Some Banned

Well, you may already have heard the unfortunate news about changes concerning the the use of Traditional Medicinals as referenced in the two articles which follow.
In the early '90's I wrote a poem about the CODEX meetings in Europe with some folks from the US who were and had been working for decades to create seed and plant laws around the thriving herbal health business and global food business.

I think it unfortunate that Monsanto has been able to continue to spread Genetically modified organisms through our food system and are allowed the continued associated degradation to the soil from toxic chemical compounds and use of all substances that have only a job of killing.

In the 1980's I read a report stating that of all the food varieties cataloged by the USDA at the turn of the century, at the time of that writing, less than 3% remained, and of that seed stock left, more than 85% were in tomato seed.

These numbers still shock me when as I think of the thousands of generations and lives that were responsible for providing us with so much that we could ever take it for granted and let the safe food and herbal medicinals fall away from us by the seemingly intentional destruction and undermining of essential sustainable resources.

The Government allowed access to some unlicensed manufactured herbal
medicines via a statutory register

Patients have lost access to hundreds of herbal medicines today, after European regulations came into force.

Sales of all herbal remedies, except for a small number of popular products for 'mild' illness such as echinacea for colds and St John's Wort for depression have been banned.

For the first time traditional products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner.

Both herbal remedy practitioners and manufacturers fear they could be forced out of business as a result.

Some of the most commonly used products were saved after the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley approved a plan for the Health Professions Council to establish a register of practitioners supplying unlicensed herbal medicines.

However, many remedies were lost as it was only open to those who could afford the licensing process which costs between £80,000 to £120,000.

At least 50 herbs, including horny goat weed (so-called natural Viagra), hawthorn berry, used for angina pain, and wild yam will no longer be stocked in health food shops, says the British Herbal Medicine Association.

The 2004 EU directive demands that a traditional herbal medicinal product must be shown to have been in use for 30 years in the EU – or at 15 years in the EU and 15 years elsewhere – for it to be licensed.

The UK drug safety watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency, has issued more than a dozen alerts in the past two years, including a warning last month over a contaminated weight loss pill called Herbal Flos Lonicerae (Herbal Xenicol) due to concerns over possible side-effects.

Mr Lansley, in a written statement, said the Government wanted to ensure continuing access to unlicensed herbal medicines via a statutory register for practitioners ‘to meet individual patient needs’.

Acupuncture falls outside the EU directive and so remains unaffected.

Prince Charles, a long-standing supporter of complementary therapies, has voiced his support for formal regulation of herbal practitioners.

Up til now the industry has been covered by the 1968 Medicines Act. This was drawn up when only a small number of herbal remedies were available.

But recent studies show that at least six million Britons have used a herbal medicine in the past two years.

Professor George Lewith, professor of health research at Southampton University, said: ‘Evidence for the efficacy of herbal medicines is growing; they may offer cheap, safe and effective approaches for many common complaints.’


~Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Herbal remedies banned as new EU rules take

Manufacturers and herbal practitioners say strict guidelines aimed at improving safety could force them out of business

Robin McKie
The Observer, Sunday 1 May 2011

New EU rules came into force at the weekend banning hundreds of herbal remedies. The laws are aimed at protecting consumers from potentially damaging "traditional" medicines.

Under the directive, herbal medicines will now have to be registered. Products must meet safety, quality and manufacturing standards, and come with information outlining possible side-effects.

Herbal practitioners and manufacturers say they fear the new rules could force them out of business.

Research conducted for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in 2009 showed that 26% of adults in the UK had taken a herbal medicine in the last two years, mostly bought over the counter in health food shops and pharmacies. Commonly used ingredients already registered include echinacea, which is used against colds, St John's wort, used for depression and anxiety, and valerian, which is claimed to ease insomnia.

The agency said it hoped to promote a more cautious approach to the use of herbal medicines after a study found that 58% of respondents believed these products were safe because they are "natural". In fact, herbal remedies can have harmful side-effects. St John's Wort can stop the contraceptive pill working, while ginkgo and ginseng are known to interfere with the blood-thinning drug warfarin. And in February the MHRA issued a warning about the herbal weight loss product Herbal Flos Lonicerae (Herbal Xenicol) Natural Weight Loss Formula, after tests showed it contained more than twice the prescribed dose of a banned substance.

To date, the industry has been covered by the 1968 Medicines Act, drawn up when only a handful of herbal remedies were available and the number of herbal practitioners was very small.

From now, manufacturers will have to prove their products have been made to strict standards and contain a consistent and clearly marked dose. Remedies already on sale will be allowed to stay on the shelves until their expiry date. The agency said there had been 211 applications for approval of herbal remedies so far, with 105 granted and the rest still under consideration. Approved remedies will come with a logo marked THR.

Gaurdian -

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Swap Meet! Bloomington, Indiana - Earth Day

'Spring Swap Meet!

PLEASE SPREAD FAR AND WIDE!' on Transition Bloomington, IN!

Please spread this far and wide. Bring your stuff 5-7 pm April 22, and then come back in the morning to get other stuff . . . there's so much stuff in this world, recycle! and connect!

Spring Swap Meet! PLEASE SPREAD FAR AND WIDE! Time: April 23, 2011 from 8am to 12pm
Location: Atrium at Showers, in conjunction with the Farmer's Market
Organized By: Ann Renee Kreilkamp and Rhonda Baird

Event Description:
April 11, 2011
Contact: Ann Kreilkamp


Find a new way to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” items at the first Community Exchange Spring Swap to be held April 23 at the Showers Building between 9 am and 12 noon. Community members are invited to finish up their spring cleaning by donating good, serviceable and “desirable” items at the Showers Building on Friday night between 5 and 7 pm. Donators will be given a special pass to get into shopping an hour early.

“This is a really fun way to promote re-use of good items others no longer need, to build community, and to educate people about different ways to live an abundant life,” said Rhonda Baird, one of the project members.

Besides the give and take of the swap, visitors will have an opportunity to learn about time banks and sign up for the Bloomington Community Exchange (a local exchange and trading system that lets people offer goods and services to their community without using paper currency).

The swap organizers will not be able to accept intimate apparel, chemicals, paint, or old electronics such as televisions or monitors.

For more information, contact Ann Kreilkamp, or 812.334.1987

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Testing Cleaning Products

Some of you have known for years, others are just now becoming aware of the increasing numbers of allergies to environmental chemicals, artificial fragrances, artificial colorant, genetically modified foods, etc. The on-line Merriam-webster defines artificial as humanly contrived, often after a natural model. The key seems to be artificial, though sometimes the boundaries are blurred. As I have gotten older, I find that I need to be more diligent as to what chemicals I allow myself to be exposed to. In observing our young and when I consider the epidemic rise in allergies in respiratory diseases across the board, I ponder the question of, "When will we as consumers say enough to all of the fake stuff polluting our lives?".

Someone asked Earth Talk® From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine about the chemicals in household cleaners. Following is their response.

Credit: Digital Vision, courtesy Thinkstock

The government only requires companies to list "chemicals of known concern" on their labels. And the operative word is "known," because the government has no idea whether most of the chemicals used in everyday cleaning products are safe because it doesn't test them, and it doesn't require manufacturers to test them either.

Dear EarthTalk: Why don't cleaning products have to list their ingredients, and are these products tested for what they might do to your health? -- Patricia Greenville, Bethel, CT

Since cleaning products aren't food, beverages or drugs meant to be ingested, they aren't regulated, per se, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, makers are required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to list ingredients that are active disinfectants or potentially harmful. Otherwise, they usually keep their other ingredients secret, presumably so competitors can't copy their formulas.

But consumer advocate Sloan Barnett, author of Green Goes with Everything, doesn't give manufacturers the benefit of that doubt. "Call me suspicious, but I honestly don't think it's because the recipe is top secret," she says. "If it was, there wouldn't be so many competing products with identical ingredients." Barnett thinks manufacturers don't want to scare off consumers by disclosing how many potentially harmful chemicals are flying under the EPA's radar in their products.

"The government only requires companies to list 'chemicals of known concern' on their labels. The key word here is 'known'," she says. "The fact is that the government has no idea whether most of the chemicals used in everyday cleaning products are safe because it doesn't test them, and it doesn't require manufacturers to test them either."

She adds that the EPA, under the terms of 1976's Toxic Substances Control Act, "can't require chemical companies to prove the safety of their products unless the agency itself can show that the product poses a health risk-which the EPA does not have the resources to do since, according to one estimate, it receives some two thousand new applications for approval every year." She cites a recent study by the non-profit Environmental Working Group, which found that the EPA approved most applications within three weeks even though more than half provided no information on toxicity whatsoever.

Regardless, consumers should be familiar with what warning labels are on cleaning products. "All household cleaners that contain known hazardous chemicals must carry a warning label that spells out potential risks, along with precautionary steps and first-aid instructions," reports Consumer Reports' Greener Choices website.

Some manufacturers are beginning to be more transparent about their ingredients. The Clorox Company, for example, one of the largest manufacturers of cleaning products, now publishes full lists of the ingredients for all of its brands on its corporate responsibility website, Many praise Clorox for doing so; others argue that, whether or not ingredients are disclosed, the company-like many others-is still in the business of making products that pose health and environmental hazards.

Generally speaking, if you're looking for safer alternatives, browse the cleaning products sections of natural foods markets such as Whole Foods, which are populated with lesser-known but more green-friendly brands. For do-it-yourselfers, the Greener Choices website also lists recipes for eco- and health-friendly homemade household cleaners using ingredients like baking soda, borax, lemon juice and vinegar.

CONTACTS: Greener Choices,; Clorox,
EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine ( Send questions to: Subscribe: Free Trial Issue:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The 2011 Trashion Refashion Show - Bloomington, Indiana

Take a look at last years slide presentation of the show and you will see what's in store for this year.

The 2011 Trashion Refashion Show - A Benefit for the Center for Sustainable Living
is just a few days away on March 26, 2011 from 7-10pm at the Bloomington Convention Center (Indiana). The event promises "An explosion of creative fashion made from recycled materials

* Two runway shows
* Live music
* Silent auction
* Cash bar
* Community art project

Visit their website to watch a slide show of the 2010 Trashion Refashion Show

For more information contact:

Join our Facebook Group, Bloomington Trashion

Be a part of the show by sponsoring this exciting event.

Learn more about the Center for Sustainable Living

Tickets will be available from this site and at Bloomingfoods stores in March, 2011- $15-advance, $20 at the door, $10-under 18


Ten Strikes Against Nuclear Power

Here at Green America, we’re working hard to heal the climate by transitioning our electricity mix away from its heavy emphasis on coal-fired power. But all of that work will be wasted if we transition from coal into an equally dangerous source – nuclear power, which is why we've put together this list of reasons why nuclear power is not a climate solution.

Solar power, wind power, geothermal power, hybrid and electric cars, and aggressive energy efficiency are climate solutions that are safer, cheaper, faster, more secure, and less wasteful than nuclear power. Our country needs a massive influx of investment in these solutions if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

Thankfully, no new nuclear plants have been built in the US for over 30 years. That means that a whole new generation of concerned citizens grew up without knowing the facts about nuclear power – or remembering the terrible disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. So it is time to remind everyone that nuclear is not the answer. Please help us get the word out.

Currently we draw electric power from about 400 nuclear plants worldwide. Nuclear proponents say we would have to scale up to around 17,000 nuclear plants to offset enough fossil fuels to begin making a dent in climate change. This isn’t possible – neither are 2,500 or 3,000 more nuclear plants that many people frightened about climate change suggest. Here’s why:

1. Nuclear waste -- The waste from nuclear power plants will be toxic for humans for more than 100,000 years. It’s untenable now to secure and store all of the waste from the plants that exist. To scale up to 2,500 or 3,000, let alone 17,000 plants is unthinkable.

Nuclear proponents hope that the next generation of nuclear plants will generate much less waste, but this technology is not yet fully developed or proven. Even if new technology eventually can successful reduce the waste involved, the waste that remains will still be toxic for 100,000 years. There will be less per plant, perhaps, but likely more overall, should nuclear power scale up to 2,500, 3,000 or 17,000 plants. No community should have to accept nuclear waste site, or even accept the risks of nuclear waste being transported through on route to its final destination. The waste problem alone should take nuclear power off the table.
The proposed solution a national nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain is overbudget and won’t provide a safe solution either. The people of Nevada don’t want that nuclear waste facility there. Also, we would need to transfer the waste to this facility from plants around the country and drive it there – which puts communities across the country at risk.

2. Nuclear proliferation – In discussing the nuclear proliferation issue, Al Gore said, “During my 8 years in the White House, every nuclear weapons proliferation issue we dealt with was connected to a nuclear reactor program.” Iran and North Korea are reminding us of this every day. We can’t develop a domestic nuclear energy program without confronting proliferation in other countries.
Here too, nuclear power proponents hope that the reduction of nuclear waste will reduce the risk of proliferation from any given plant, but again, the technology is not there yet. If we want to be serious about stopping proliferation in the rest of the world, we need to get serious here at home, and not push the next generation of nuclear proliferation forward as an answer to climate change. There is simply no way to guarantee that nuclear materials will not fall into the wrong hands

3. National Security – Nuclear reactors represent a clear national security risk, and an attractive target for terrorists. In researching the security around nuclear power plants, Robert Kennedy, Jr. found that there are at least eight relatively easy ways to cause a major meltdown at a nuclear power plant.
What’s more, Kennedy has sailed boats right into the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on the Hudson River outside of New York City not just once but twice, to point out the lack of security around nuclear plants. The unfortunate fact is that our nuclear power plants remain unsecured, without adequate evacuation plans in the case of an emergency. Remember the government response to Hurricane Katrina, and cross that with a Chernobyl-style disaster to begin to imagine what a terrorist attack at a nuclear power plant might be like.

4. Accidents – Forget terrorism for a moment, and remember that mere accidents – human error or natural disasters – can wreak just as much havoc at a nuclear power plant site. The Chernobyl disaster forced the evacuation and resettlement of nearly 400,000 people, with thousands poisoned by radiation.
Here in the US, the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979 triggered a clean-up effort that ultimately lasted for nearly 15 years, and topped more than one billion dollars in cost. The cost of cleaning up after one of these disasters is simply too great, in both dollars and human cost – and if we were to scale up to 17,000 plants, is it reasonable to imagine that not one of them would ever have a single meltdown? Many nuclear plants are located close to major population centers. For example, there’s a plant just up the Hudson from New York City. If there was an accident, evacuation would be impossible.

5. Cancer -- There are growing concerns that living near nuclear plants increases the risk for childhood leukemia and other forms of cancer – even when a plant has an accident-free track record. One Texas study found increased cancer rates in north central Texas since the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant was established in 1990, and a recent German study found childhood leukemia clusters near several nuclear power sites in Europe.

According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, a nuclear energy expert, nuclear power plants produce numerous dangerous, carcinogenic elements. Among them are: iodine 131, which bio-concentrates in leafy vegetables and milk and can induce thyroid cancer; strontium 90, which bio-concentrates in milk and bone, and can induce breast cancer, bone cancer, and leukemia; cesium 137, which bio-concentrates in meat, and can induce a malignant muscle cancer called a sarcoma; and plutonium 239. Plutonium 239 is so dangerous that one-millionth of a gram is carcinogenic, and can cause liver cancer, bone cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer, and birth defects. Because safe and healthy power sources like solar and wind exist now, we don’t have to rely on risky nuclear power.

6. Not enough sites – Scaling up to 17,000 – or 2,500 or 3,000 -- nuclear plants isn’t possible simply due to the limitation of feasible sites. Nuclear plants need to be located near a source of water for cooling, and there aren’t enough locations in the world that are safe from droughts, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, or other potential disasters that could trigger a nuclear accident. Over 24 nuclear plants are at risk of needing to be shut down this year because of the drought in the Southeast. No water, no nuclear power.
There are many communities around the country that simply won’t allow a new nuclear plant to be built – further limiting potential sites. And there are whole areas of the world that are unsafe because of political instability and the high risk of proliferation. In short, geography, local politics, political instability and climate change itself, there are not enough sites for a scaled up nuclear power strategy.

Remember that climate change is causing stronger storms and coastal flooding, which in turn reduces the number of feasible sites for nuclear power plants. Furthermore, due to all of the other strikes against nuclear power, many communities will actively fight against nuclear plants coming into their town. How could we get enough communities on board to accept the grave risks of nuclear power, if we need to build 17, let alone, 17,000 new plants?

7. Not enough uranium – Even if we could find enough feasible sites for a new generation of nuclear plants, we’re running out of the uranium necessary to power them. Scientists in both the US and UK have shown that if the current level of nuclear power were expanded to provide all the world's electricity, our uranium would be depleted in less than ten years.

As uranium supplies dwindle, nuclear plants will actually begin to use up more energy to mine and mill the uranium than can be recovered through the nuclear reactor process. What’s more, dwindling supplies will trigger the use of ever lower grades of uranium, which produce ever more climate-change-producing emissions – resulting in a climate-change catch 22.

8. Costs – Some types of energy production, such as solar power, experience decreasing costs to scale. Like computers and cell phones, when you make more solar panels, costs come down. Nuclear power, however, will experience increasing costs to scale. Due to dwindling sites and uranium resources, each successive new nuclear power plant will only see its costs rise, with taxpayers and consumers ultimately paying the price.

What’s worse, nuclear power is centralized power. A nuclear power plant brings few jobs to its local economy. In contrast, accelerating solar and energy efficiency solutions creates jobs good-paying, green collar, jobs in every community.
Around the world, nuclear plants are seeing major cost overruns. For example, a new generation nuclear plant in Finland is already experiencing numerous problems and cost overruns of 25 percent of its $4 billion budget. The US government’s current energy policy providing more than $11 billion in subsidies to the nuclear energy could be much better spent providing safe and clean energy that would give a boost to local communities, like solar and wind power do. Subsidizing costly nuclear power plants directs that money to large, centralized facilities, built by a few large companies that will take the profits out of the communities they build in.

9. Private sector unwilling to finance – Due to all of the above, the private sector has largely chosen to take a pass on the financial risks of nuclear power, which is what led the industry to seek taxpayer loan guarantees from Congress in the first place

As the Nuclear Energy Institute recently reported in a brief to the US Department of Energy, “100 percent loan coverage [by taxpayers] is essential … because the capital markets are unwilling, now and for the foreseeable future, to provide the financing necessary” for new nuclear power plants. Wall Street refuses to invest in nuclear power because the plants are assumed to have a 50 percent default rate. The only way that Wall Street will put their money behind these plants is if American taxpayers underwrite the risks. If the private sector has deemed nuclear power too risky, it makes no sense to force taxpayers to bear the burden.
And finally, even if all of the above strikes against nuclear power didn’t exist, nuclear power still can’t be a climate solution because there is …

10. No time – Even if nuclear waste, proliferation, national security, accidents, cancer and other dangers of uranium mining and transport, lack of sites, increasing costs, and a private sector unwilling to insure and finance the projects weren’t enough to put an end to the debate of nuclear power as a solution for climate change, the final nail in nuclear’s coffin is time. We have the next ten years to mount a global effort against climate change. It simply isn’t possible to build 17,000 – or 2,500 or 17 for that matter – in ten years.

With so many strikes against nuclear power, it should be off the table as a climate solution, and we need to turn our energies toward the technologies and strategies that can truly make a difference: solar power, wind power, and energy conservation.
– from Green America -


The 2011 BE MORE AWARD CELEBRATION in Bloomington, Indiana takes place TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2011, 7-8:30PM in the BUSKIRK-CHUMLEY THEATER. This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Be More...Inspired to do works to benefit your community! This event highlights and celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of volunteers throughout our community.

Visit this link to Read more about all of the 86 nominees online at

Monday, March 14, 2011

Indiana Seeks to Amend Constitution to Ban Gay Marriage and Attack on Women's Reproductive Health

Dear Reader,

I am more interested in people loving people in healthy relationships whether they be men and women, man and man or woman and woman and putting our collective resources into practices and legislation that will support the health and well being of all of our citizens. The reality is that families come in a variety of forms and in the interest of healthy families which makes for healthy communities, all families need to b equally respected. If any marriage is threatened, then the couple within that marriage needs to look within their own marriage for the root of their problems,not outside at others relationships. PCC

Today "The Goshen News" - March 14, 2011

Critics of amendment banning gay marriage to rally

Anonymous Associated Press Mon Mar 14, 2011, 09:54 AM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS — Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and civil unions plan to rally at the Indiana Statehouse.

The "Equality for All Hoosiers" rally Monday comes two days before a Senate committee meeting that will take up the issue. The Republican-controlled House already has approved the proposal, and the Republican-led Senate also is expected to pass it.

Supporters of the amendment say it would provide an additional layer of protection for traditional marriage in case courts later overturn Indiana's current law banning same-sex marriage. Critics say the amendment is unnecessary and would write discrimination into Indiana's constitution.

If the General Assembly approves the proposal this year, it would have to pass again in 2013 or 2014 to be on the ballot in 2014.


Womens health is under attack in Indiana and House Bill 1210 is one example of legislation that I think undermines the health and well being of women. If this bill becomes law, it would actually require doctors to lie to pregnant women and tell them that getting an abortion increases their risk of breast cancer -- even though science says is doesn't »

This bill bans abortion after 20 weeks. It would force a woman to have an ultrasound unless she submits a written refusal. Plus, it defunds groups like Planned Parenthood a much needed community resource supporting women’s and girl’s health as the numbers of those slipping into poverty rise. Further language of this bill would scare some women into believing the lie that terminating a pregnancy means they could get breast cancer. The whole abortion/breast cancer theory is controversial and the studies that made the connection are widely considered flawed.
It is unfortunate that politicians are inserting their personal ideologies between the welfare of women and the truthful support of her health practitioner. In a time when we need all of our citizens to be healthy, I think it a grave error for Indiana or any lawmakers to mandate the spread of misinformation and fear tactics that would have the result of miss-educating and reducing the quality of health care to women.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope that you will take the time to read further and educate your self and tell your lawmakers to oppose House Bill 1210 and other attack on women's health »

In health and wellness,