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Desk Dump

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Author: the Inkslinger

Continuing the round-up of round-ups here. Clearing the table for the holidays, so to speak. Here’s what spilled onto my virtual desk when I upended my digital box of electronic news and related clippings.

I Am An Activist has a nice slide show from the October 23rd tribute to Anita Roddick. Not quite sure where this site is from or what it’s all about, but it’s got some worthwhile features in addition to the photos. It’s a nice tribute to Anita and, more importantly, it keeps her flame burning by helping us all continue her work on those causes she believed in so strongly.

Another interesting site recently stumbled upon is Playgreen, which purports to be a green wiki. The wiki thing can be a bit dangerous depending on how responsible it’s users choose (or not) to be, but in general I would have to say it’s a great idea that’s proving it’s worth. This wiki seeks to create the “biggest book on green living.” Opening that process to a nation of both formal and informal green experts could yield a powerful tool. Stay tuned…

Via GreenBiz comes word of an interesting new survey of eco-claims from TerraChoice conducted on consumer products found in big box stores. Researchers analyzed 1,753 claims on 1,018 items and found a grand total of one (yes, one) product that didn’t make false or potentially misleading claims. (Was it one of ours???) That seems like an awful lot of greenwashing to me, and it suggests that the study’s author’s are prehaps being a bit too strict in their definitions. Nevertheless, greenwashing is certainly a problem, and the report has a lot of great information for consumers and marketers alike. This is a scam that needs to be exposed so eco-labeling can grow into something we can trust.

Discover magazine has a positive review of Devra Davis’ new book, The Secret History Of the War On Cancer. This is an hugely important work that says a lot that very much needs to be said and, more to the point, heard. We featured it a few weeks back on the home page, and it deserves to be read. A good addition to any seasonal wish list.

Finally, and perhaps appropriately, some food news from the the state of Pennsylvania, which has quite disappointingly caved to the Dark Lord of Special Interests we call “Darth Monsanto” and banned labels on milk and other dairy products declaring them to be “rBGH-Free.” Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone is the genetically modfied drug Monsanto sells to farmers to give to their cows to produce more milk. Regulators are siding with Monsanto, which says that there’s no difference between milk produced by treated and untreated cows. I would respectfully disagree. So would many others. And even if there wasn’t a difference, why deny consumers truthful label information? Maybe people don’t want to support genetic engineering or they just want a natural food product or they would like to practice a little precaution. What is it about all that doesn’t Monsanto get? Answer: Nothing. They know damn well we, the people, will usually choose wisely when given good information and the option. The good news is that this is just about the only rBGH victory Monsanto has had in recent memory. The tide is quite overwhelming against this unfortunate and unnecessary product. Here’s hoping the consumers of PA realize the state has sold them down the river and put this ridiculous ban out to pasture.