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globalbriefs


Whale Wars Military Exercises Threaten Sea Life


During the next five years, the U.S. Navy’s war games, using live muni- tions in our coastal waters, will poten- tially kill 186 whales and dolphins off the East Coast and 155 more off Hawaii and Southern California, according to computer models. Rear Admiral Kevin Slates rationalizes the casualties by stating, “Without this realistic testing and training, our sailors can’t develop


or maintain the critical skills they need or ensure the new technologies can be operated effectively.”


On the upside, marine scientists are currently using mobile devices to reduce the number of whales struck and killed off California’s coast by large commercial ships. An app called Whale Spotter employs crowd-sourcing to gather data, allow- ing sailors, fishermen and marine scientists that spot whales to plot their locations on an interactive map. Such a network can track marine mammals in real time as they migrate. These maps are useful to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Coast Guard officials responsible for recommending changes in vessel routes.


Source: Tinyurl.com/NavyWhaleWars


Life Threat Evidence Mounts of GMO Dangers


The nonprofit Non-GMO Project, committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO (genetically modified organism) products and educating consumers on such verified choices, is focusing on Bt corn and Bt soy, which make up 90 percent of America’s total crop. Its scientists explain, “These crops have genes from a bacteria called bacillus thuringiensis spliced into their natural genetic code. This causes the plant to produce Bt-toxin—a pesticide that bursts the stomach of insects that eat it, killing them.”


Monsanto and Syngenta, which manufacture genetically engineered seeds, claim that genetically modified (GE, GM or GMO) crops are safe for humans because the Bt-toxin is completely destroyed in the human digestive system and doesn’t have any impact on animals and humans.


But Norwegian scientists’ decade-long study of rats, mice, pigs and salmon raised on GE feed published in 2012 found that due to alterations in their digestive tracts, the animals ate more, got fatter and were less able to digest proteins; they also suffered from diminished immune systems.


There is also mounting evidence that the spread of such crops is responsible for the dramatic decline of the monarch butterfly, the near annihilation of bats and the spread of honeybee colony collapse syndrome.


To get involved, visit NonGMOProject.com.


ecotip


Dinner Engagement Deep Conversation Accompanies Good Food


The pursuit of combining good food and conversation is taking on new, more fulfilling formats. Instead of idle chit-chat or gossip over high-calorie feasts, many people are showing an appetite to fill their lives with more meaningful discussions while dining on healthy meals. The international Green Drinks phenomenon was among the first to successfully mix eco-conscious conversation with healthy beverages; now, thought-provoking initiatives are mixing regular banter with bites in ways that are both lively and nurturing. Those seeking the exotic may in-


dulge in The Philosopher’s Table: How to Start Your Philosophy Dinner Club— Monthly Conversation, Music and Recipes, by Marietta McCarty, follow- ing guidelines to immerse guests in the tastes and cultures of 12 different cities and countries. Suggested themes in- clude saluting the present-day benefits of the work of women’s rights pioneer Jane Addams while sipping multi-bean soup (Chicago) or consuming uplifting perspectives of ancient philosopher Lao Tzu over shrimp dumplings with dipping sauce (China).


Recommended discussion top-


ics at ConversationCafe.org include self-identity and self-reflection, cur- rent events and appreciating the arts. A search function for finding a lo- cal chapter complements advice on launching a new one. RawFoodNetwork.com provides links to groups nationwide that forge connections with fellow enthusiasts, share dishes and network. It also pro- vides information, recipes and other helpful resources. Touring experts in the preparation and benefits of raw food and vegan, plant-based diets show up everywhere from natural food restaurants and retailers to health expos and foodie Meetup events. Speakers include Brian Clement, Brenda Cobb, Paul Nison, Jenna Norwood, Karen Ranzi and David Wolfe.


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