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2/8/21 and 2/11/21

Current Events Stream

2021-02-04 ECP Baby Food Staff Report.pdf (  ((this is the report, originally from a Nov 6, 2019 report fo the metals in the food)

95% of tested baby foods in the US contain toxic metals, report says – CNN  (2019 document stating the same thing)

  • Foods with the highest risk for neurotoxic harm were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices, the analysis found.
  • Tests of 168 baby foods from major manufacturers in the US found 95% contained lead, 73% contained arsenic, 75% contained cadmium and 32% contained mercury. One fourth of the foods contained all four heavy metals.
  • The tests were commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which calls itself an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors trying to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals during the first months of life.   Stated each meal or snack adds up to further damage.
  • Regarding rice cereals, “These popular baby foods are not only high in inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form of arsenic, but also are nearly always contaminated with all four toxic metals,” the report said.
  • Aresenic is a natural element found everywhere, but the inorganic forms are the most toxic.  The inorganic has nothing to do with the farming.   But rice is grown in water, it absorbs more of the inorganic arsenic.  Brown and wild rice hold the highest concentration due to the milling process.  Organic foods use brown rice syrup as a sweetener, impacting those foods.
  • Arsenic, Organic Foods, and Brown Rice Syrup | Environmental Health Perspectives | Vol. 120, No. 5 (  – document from 2012 EPA discussing the syrup and the “organic” baby food.
    • Why is this still not regulated properly if the EPA knew of this even in 2012?  FDA states they are investigating, but as of yet there are no results.
  • Suggestions for parents:  avoid rice cereals and snacks.  Use oatmeal or multigrain instead., and avoid rice puffs as snacks,
    • Avoid teething biscuits/rice rusks and give a frozen banana or chilled cucumber as an option.
    • Water over fruit juices, and use a variety of fruits that may include sweet potatoes and carrots (which also carry higher levels, so be sure to not limit to those or use as the base)
    • Foods such as avocado, pureed veggies, peanut butter oatmeal, and salmon are best first choice options.  Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, author of “What to Feed Your Baby” says it not only develops a pallet of healthier foods, decreases food allergies, but also gives the baby all of the important nutrients.
    • If you do choose to cook rice for your toddler, Healthy Babies recommends cooking rice in extra water and pouring it off before eating. That will cut arsenic levels by 60%, they say, based on FDA studies.
    • “For the lowest levels, buy basmati rice grown in California, India, and Pakistan. White rice has less arsenic than brown rice,” the report said.

  • Gerber; Beech-Nut Nutrition Company; Nurture, Inc., which sells Happy Baby products; and Hain Celestial Group, Inc., which sells Earth’s Best Organic baby food

Microsoft PowerPoint – Children and other heavy metals.ppt (

(this PP has more info for you regarding the WHO and “acceptable levels” and the dangerous chemicals

New government report finds “toxic heavy metals” like arsenic and mercury in popular baby foods – CBS News 

(this one has a pretty good story about a family with a baby they sought organic for)

  • Yet a new congressional subcommittee investigation found major concerns over the presence of metals in baby food. The report says “baby foods are tainted with dangerous levels” of “toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.”
  • Researchers say that developing brains of babies and young children are “uniquely vulnerable” to toxic chemicals, which can cause “permanent brain injury.” Troubling risks include lowering IQ, problems in school and even criminal behavior later in life

Gerber, Beech-Nut, HappyBABY and Earth’s Best Organic baby foods test high for arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, new report shows – The Washington Post

  • Campbell Soup, which sells Plum Organics baby foods, Walmart (its private brand is Parent’s Choice) and Sprout Foods declined to cooperate in the study, according to members of the subcommittee.

COVID-19 News: (updated information)

Largest COVID-19 contact tracing study to date finds children key to spread, evidence of superspreaders 

UCSF study identifies job with highest risk of dying from COVID

Sea Prison’: COVID-19 Has Left Hundreds Of Thousands Of Seafarers Stranded

Why a particular coronavirus mutation has scientists’ attention

A Rocky Road On The Way To Herd Immunity For COVID-19

Biden administration deploys more than 1,000 active-duty troops to aid vaccination efforts (dean)

Other major political happenings:

Democracy for all Amendment:

 Public Citizen Supports Bipartisan Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Microsoft Word – 116th Congress – Democracy for All Amendment – Background (

Microsoft Word – 116 Democracy for All Summary and FAQ (   (faq by section of the Democracy for All amendment)

Democracy For All Amendment Activist Toolkit – People For the American Way (

Educators around world seek to take axe to exam-based learning

  • Exam based learning only shows memorization for testing purposes.  It does not show application for understanding.
  • The goals here are to prove the student can apply the learning in real life and can critically think and discuss what they are learning
  • Math and sciences are important for education, but without application or critical thinking it is just learning without benefit.
  • UK uses GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and A level testing, which would be similar to AP (advanced placement class testing in the US) which aid in getting into universities.
  • IB is another schooling program option in more than 100 countries that focuses on critical thinking and challenging assumptions, independent thinking about govt and national systems, and discovering local and global concepts.
  • Project based learning is better than exam based learning.  Projects prove understanding and real life applicability,  
  • Finding a new model is necessary, especially after seeing the effects of exam based learning through covid. 

Marjorie Taylor Greene committeless:

The House voted to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from her two committee seats for embracing baseless conspiracy theories and supporting violent rhetoric against Democrats (dean)

International happenings:

Greece: students and workers defy the state and march against New Democracy

Russia: Protests erupt over Navalny prison sentencing | DW | 02.02.2021

South Korea Leads World in Innovation as U.S. Exits Top Ten 

 Women’s Rights/Rape Culture 

Wes Borland: Allegations Against Marilyn Manson Are F–king True

Evan Rachel Wood Shares Additional Details Relating to Marilyn Manson Abuse Allegations (

Marilyn Manson’s ex-wife supports Evan Rachel Wood, others – Los Angeles Times ( (this article has info on other victims, the welfare check, other statements from exes, and the 2009 spin magazine interview where he admits to blaming Evan Rachel Wood for his self harming and that his song “I want to kill you like they do in the movies” was about his fantasies of killing her.)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she’s a survivor of sexual assault while describing trauma of Capitol insurrection

AOC accused of lying about her location during Capitol riot; facts don’t support that –

Tucker Carlson accuses AOC of narcissism for Capitol riot ‘lies’ | Daily Mail Online

  • The fact that AOC stating her fears at the capitol along with her own history of sexual abuse, and having the conservatives attack her calling her “Alexandria Ocasio-Smollet” and a narcissist is the cause of rape culture and the “me too movement”
  • Women, especially in power, have issues talking about what has happened to them.  It is tough enough that it was an experience, so for a public attack based on feelings and fears in later situations is insane.
  • Maybe do a poll on what people think about AOC?  (you can do like survey monkey)

Worker’s Rights/Worker ownership/Power of a Strike:

Medics in Myanmar on strike against military amid COVID-19 crisis

Orange County students plan to strike in support of teachers

(Michigan is having similar problems with teachers and COVID… However, teachers are barred by law from striking)

India cuts internet around New Delhi as protesting farmers clash with police

US is worst among developed nations for worker benefits

Haiti Begins General Strike

Fords promotes nearly 400 UAW members in 5 states, with more to come

Climate Change/Action: 

Sea level rise could be worse than feared, warn researchers

Court convicts French state for failure to address climate crisis

COVID-19 Lockdowns Caused Cleaner Air – And Warmed the Planet 

Scientists solve a major climate mystery, confirming Earth is hotter than it’s been in at least 120 centuries

New documentary recounts bizarre climate changes seen by Inuit elders

Black History:

New Documents Suggest J. Edgar Hoover Was Involved in Fred Hampton’s Murder

Meet the man who created Black History Month

 Mutual aid/sustainability:

Guide to Urban Homesteading | MOTHER EARTH NEWS 

Decentralized Microgridding Can Provide 90% of a Neighborhood’s Energy Needs, Study Finds 

Nita’s Love Train: The Mutual Aid Pop-Up Chicago Needs

How to create a mutual aid network

Kenyan recycles plastic waste into bricks stronger than concrete

Combating Fascism:

‘This is literally an industry’: drone images give rare look at for-profit Ice detention centers

Justice Department Unveils Further Charges in Capitol Riot

Prosecutors don’t know Kyle Rittenhouse’s whereabouts, seek arrest warrant

Apaches’ fight over Arizona copper mine goes before US court

Impeachment/Removal of Trump:

Pentagon chief purges defense boards; Trump loyalists out

Capitol Hill Aides Beg Senate to Convict Trump: ‘Our Workplace Was Attacked by a Violent Mob’

Pentagon, stumped by extremism in ranks, orders stand-down in next 60 days

Censorship/Big Tech:

Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon CEO NBC News

New Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Loves Fossil Fuels and Facial Recognition

Wealth inequality:

New Charges Over Flint’s Water Crisis Offer Only a Trickle of Justice

Phoenix City Council approves more beds but no new homeless shelter 

 JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon is paid $31.5m after decrying income inequality

How $98 trillion of household wealth in America is distributed: “It’s very depressing”

Cities Should Push For Zero-Fare Transit

Public transit is an issue of racial and socioeconomic equity. When people have to pay for it, it’s harder for low-income people to get to jobs, healthcare, healthy food, and schools. Kansas City is becoming the first major U.S. city to provide fare-free transit. Members of Congress hope to pass the Freedom to Move Act to provide funding to help other cities do the same.

Another 779,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

Hypocritical Politicians:

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a bar complaint against Sidney Powell, asking that she be stripped of her law license

Rand Paul calls trans schoolgirls “hulking six-foot-four guys” in bizarre Senate committee rant


LGBTQ seniors share their stories in ‘Not Another Second’

Black trans teen found dead in parking garage could add to a record year of anti-trans violence

Half of US states get failing grade on LGBTQ protections, advocacy group says

Medical school suspends study that would have tortured transgender people for science

Left Unity:


Michigan residents over 25 without degrees can now apply for tuition-free community college, skills training

Scientists Discover an Immense, Unknown Hydrocarbon Cycle Hiding in The Oceans

Airstream’s Latest Travel Trailer is Aimed at Nomadic Remote Workers

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