Archive for August 2009
California and Texas – America’s main food growing states – have experienced severe, ongoing drought. California is suffering through a 4th straight year of horrendous water shortages, which has impacted every single crop it produces. See California’s Vital Role in Food Production for an eye-opener of what this states brings to your table.
Parts of Texas are experiencing the worst drought ever and fears are surfacing that it may be here to stay. Extreme drought is impacting everything that Texas produces. Marketing economist Dr. Mark Welch expects drought to cut Texas’ corn crops by 45%, sorghum by 69%, and wheat 62%. Cotton fields are so dry they’re being abandoned. These aren’t the only foods in trouble. Vegetables, horticulture plants, peaches and their world famous pecans have also taken severe hits. April freezes wiped out some Texas grapes leaving wineries in tough shape.
The live attenuated swine flu vaccine intended for millions of children has dangerous side effects and is genetically unstable, risking generation of new pandemic strains should mass vaccinations go ahead.
Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
The swine flu vaccines being prepared for release to combat the current pandemic will be fast tracked without the usual clinical trials to ensure their safety. Five different companies were contracted to produce vaccines worldwide – Baxter International, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis. Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca – using a range of technologies from traditional chicken egg production to cell culture  ( Fast-tracked Swine Flu Vaccine under Fire , SiS 43).
Most of the vaccines will not contain live virus and will be delivered by injection. However AstraZeneca will produce a genetically engineered live attenuated vaccine through its global biologics unit, MedImmune, using cell culture or eggs . The MedImmune vaccine will be used primarily for children, to be delivered as a nasal spray. The nasal spray vaccine against pandemic H1N1 influenza has been fast tracked for global distribution .
The live-attenuated vaccine appears more effective than the inactivated virus vaccine, but it resulted in significantly higher rates of severe adverse events. Furthermore, there is evidence that the live vaccine is highly genetically unstable in warm body cells and that has not been thoroughly evaluated in the children vaccinated .