By Anthony Gucciardi
Scientists have found that the ubiquitous presence of chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) could soon lead to half of all newborn babies being born with at least one birth defect. POPs include different pesticides, industrial chemicals, and compounds released from burning fossil fuels. A new study links these chemicals to neural tube defects, the first of its kind to examine the effects of such environmental factors on fetal development.
By Hilary Wainwright
Red Pepper Blog
The Catalans have a phrase: ’em planto’. It has a double meaning: ‘I plant’, or ‘I’ve had enough’. At end of the huge 15 October demonstration of Indignados (‘outraged’) in Barcelona – the papers put it at around 250,000 – we were we greeted with an impromptu garden under the Arc de Triomf, the end point of the march. Campaigners for food sovereignty had planted vegetables in well-spaced rows, ready for long term cultivation.
The point was partly an ecological one. But the surrounding placards indicated that the gardeners also intended it to make a symbolic point about the broader significance of the march. ‘Plantemos’ declared a large cardboard placard, meaning: ‘we plant ourselves’ – ‘we stand firm’.