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AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)EcoNews reaches thousands of people each month, including every MLA in BC and every CRD municipal politician. It’s 95% funded by donations from readers like you. If you value the information it provides, will you support it with a donation?

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Contact Econews

Guy Dauncey, Editor
395 Conway Road, Victoria, BC
CANADA V9E 2B9
Tel (250) 881-1304
www.earthfuture.com

Executive director of The Solutions Project

 
Econews

Newsletter No. 158 - Serving the Vision of a Sustainable Vancouver Island - April 2006

Now available as PDF's! Front (PDF125kb) - Middle (PDF225kb) - Green Diary (PDF78kb)


ORGANIC FOOD AND CANCER

There’s a big surprise brewing. When it breaks, I suspect it will cause controversy and excitement all over the world. It is still not proven, and has not been clinically trialed, but it’s enough for me to say “Listen up!”

All cancer cells appear to contain a certain enzyme called CYP 1B1 which, when triggered, attacks the cancer. Until it is triggered, the enzyme sits there doing nothing. In almost all cancer patients, it appears to be inactive, as if waiting for a trigger that never arrives.

So what triggers it?

The story goes back to a young boy called Gerry Potter, growing up in England, whose favorite aunt died in great pain from a combination of cancer and chemotherapy when he was 4 years old. Gerry made a vow, then and there, to find a cure for cancer that would not be so toxic.

Fast forward many years. Gerry has done his studies, and is head of the School of Pharmacy at De Montford University in Leicester, England. With Professor Danny Burke at Aberdeen University School of Medicine, they are working on the development of anti-cancer drugs.

They develop a drug that triggers the enzyme, and it is remarkably effective. They patent it, and it is picked up by a drug company, where it is undergoing a 16 year period of clinical trials.

If the trigger exists, however, Gerry thought, it must have evolved in nature. There were no drugs around when the miracle that is our bodies evolved.

So his team starts searching in nature, and found what they were looking for: a natural phytoestrogen called resveratrols that exists in grapes and red wine, that triggers the enzyme to work.

They then looked further afield, and found 50 similar compounds in ripe fruits and vegetables around the world, which they named salvestrols.

But here’s where it gets interesting. When a fruit or vegetable is getting ripe, it is prone to attack by fungus. Over millions of years, plants have evolved a way to fight off the fungus by generating the salvestrols. When we and other creatures eat the plants, we eat the salvestrols, which then get to work on any fungus-like diseases in our own bodies, including cancer cells.

Currents

Red currants

When a farmer or gardener comes along with a can of chemical fungicide, however, the plants are never exposed to fungus. They shrug their shoulders and say “Why bother?” When we eat them, therefore, they do not contain the crucial salvestrols. The enzymes in any incipient cancer cells sit there idly, and the cells continue to grow without interruption.

In the 20th century, meanwhile, we have pickled our bodies with industrial chemicals and radiation. The average new-born baby has 200 industrial chemicals in its umbilical cord the day it is born. Many of the chemicals are known carcinogens, and yet they are allowed into the global environment without proper control or oversight.

Meanwhile, we stop growing food organically, and modern farmers start spraying their crops and fields with fungicides, with no awareness of what the impacts might be. So much of our modern genius masks a deep, deep ignorance of nature’s ways.

The causes of cancer are many and complicated. It is not just a matter of blaming our lifestyle or diet, except for smoking. There are many doctors, scientists, and cancer specialists who are looking at the role of toxic chemicals in the air, water, industry, and household products.

Here in Canada, a new non-profit society is being launched at the end of April called Prevent Cancer Now. We are holding fund-raising runs and walks in Windsor, London, Ottawa, and here in Victoria at the end of May to pay for our staff. If you’d like to help in any way, please see inside.

But back to the salvestrols. Gerry Potter’s team found that salvestrols are only found in ripe, organic fruits, herbs and vegetables: primarily green vegetables, red fruits, and herbs such as basil and parsley. That means locally grown organic, not shipped in from California. High levels are also found in traditional medicinal plants around the world.

As Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine, and medicine your food.”

So first, eat fresh organic food. Our bodies evolved on an all-organic diet, and that is what they need. Second, tell anyone who has cancer about this. Gerry Potter and his team have developed a salvestrols food supplement, not as a for-profit enterprise, but simply to make it available for those who need it. It is undergoing 5-year clinical trials in London, Dublin, and Malaysia, but the doctor-observed anecdotal results look very positive for about 50% of the people who take the supplement. Not all: just 50%, so don’t assume it’s a magic bullet.

And third, speak up for more fresh, locally grown organic food!

See www.salvestrols.ca, and www.salvestrolscience.com.

Guy Dauncey


ECONEWS

AG00119_.gif (2913 bytes)A monthly newsletter, funded by your donations, that dreams of a world blessed by the harmony of nature, the pleasures of community, & the joys of personal fulfillment, protected and guided by active citizenship.

Donations can be sent to EcoNews, 395 Conway Rd, Victoria, BC, V9E 2B9. For a receipt send stamped addressed envelope.

Donations can also be sent by PayPal, please send to GuyDauncey@EarthFuture.com, be sure to 'earmark' it to EcoNews.

The Money

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Apr

Copies printed

2000

2000

2000

Sent by email

2300

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2300

Print, postage

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$850

Editorial

$350

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Donations

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You?

Advertising

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Balance

$1782 $1154

A big thankyou to Cecilie Davidson, Joanne Gisele Kinnon, Norah Forrest, C. Davies, Bruce Cooper, Dave Secco, Olive Boorman, Bill Moffatt, Katie Bloomfield, Monica Oldham, Tonia Stonehouse, Denise Lagasse, Morganne Keplar, Loraine Bryan, Mel McDonald, & Melva Armstrong.


THE ECO-CORNER
$5/line (non-profits, low-income free)
1" box $40, $2" box $70. Insert $180

* VEGAN HOUSE! Seeking responsible, progressive, positive, eco-friendly veggie for 5bdrm house in Oak Bay, Apr 15 or May 1st! veganhouse [-at-] gmail.com 598-0194

* Charming guest room, $25/night. Cook St Village, ocean. 250-361-3102

* Small house on rural acreage, well and septic. Garden space, landscaped yard. Semi-furnished, sunroom, skylights, 4-burner gas stove. Private, quiet, no kids, no pets. $750. 652-2613

* Organic Athletes Wanted! If you're an athlete, and interested in being on a team that promotes earth-friendly values, see www.OrganicAthlete.org - In Victoria, contact Dave via http://cycling.thenoisies.com

* EcoNews volunteer running away from home needs to sell as much stuff as she can to fund her adventure. Go to www.usedvictoria.com and put SZM in the search box to see her ads.

* Courtenay Cohousing Call 250-339-5993 www.creeksidecommons.ca

* Taxes done by financial professional, phone Roxanne Brydges, CFP, at 704-2778, self-employed people welcome.

* Skipping Stone Beach B&B, Saltspring. Opening special: $100/nite in April. Retreat to a beautiful new suite on the ocean. Nora Layard, 537-2158 nlayard@saltspring.com

* For Sale: 1990 Mazda MPV van. $3995. 204,000 km. Runs well. Sun roof, trailer hitch. Carolyn, 881-1555.

* Agricultural/Permaculture Design Skillbuilder and Natural Building Skillbuilder residential learning community programs have some spaces remaining.  See www.ourecovillage.org

* Cancer Prevention. Will you join me in Victoria’s 1st Run, Walk and Roll for Cancer Prevention, on May 28th at Elk Lake, to raise funds for Prevent Cancer Now, Canada’s new non-profit society? Guy, 881-1304

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Elite Earth-Friendly Dry Cleaners
Victoria’s only solvent free dry cleaner
1019 Cook St. 381-2221 Mon-Fri 8-6 Sat 10-4
www.greendrycleaner.com

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ENERGY ART in ONTARIO

"ART" refers to Advanced Renewable Tariffs, a new policy for sustainable energy which will send a zip of creativity through the veins of anyone who wants to use solar or wind energy. ART has been stunningly successful in Europe.

Under ART, anyone who wants to produce solar, wind, micro-hydro, or other green energy has guaranteed access to the grid. They receive a fixed contract for their power, at a rate set to stimulate investment. In Germany, the policy has led to the development of 110,000 solar PV systems, 2,000 biomass plants, 6,000 small hydro plants, 16,500 wind turbines, and 135,000 jobs.

Ontario has just adopted the policy (calling it a Standard Offer Contract) for systems under 10 MW, which will encourage ordinary people to pool their resources to invest in sustainable energy. For every kilowatt/hour of wind, biomass or small hydro that they send to the grid, they will receive 11 cents; for every kilowatt/hour of solar PV, they will get 42 cents. 10 MW is about enough power to serve 10,000 homes. The cost is covered by the utility ratepayer. This is the single most important policy change that has ever happened in the Canada’s energy history. The BC Sustainable Energy System is pushing for the same system over here. (See Action of the Month).

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SOLAR OFFSETS

Hal Hinkle is an American financier and musician who worked at Goldman Sachs for 22 years, and then branched out on his own, learnt about global climate change, and became very concerned. He founded the Hinkle Charitable Foundation, and is putting his efforts behind a campaign to educate people by six well-researched emails.

"Of all the issues I have ever focused on, I have never become as concerned or as passionate about any as I am now about global warming. If you want to get motivated yourself, read my emails: I suspect you'll be stunned."

For each person who reads his emails, he is donating $100 US to one of three organizations which provide carbon offsets to reduce global emissions. This includes the Solar Electric Light Fund (www.self.org), which I support, as I love their work of putting solar energy into developing world villages; I use SELF to make my whole life carbon neutral.

Will you do the planet a favour? Go to www.thehcf.org, read Hal’s emails, and click on "Take Advantage of My Challenge". I’d love it if you ask Hal to send his $100 to SELF, but that’s your call. Please tell your friends about this

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Looking for a community that cherishes the earth,
challenges the mind, nurtures the spirit?  You'll be welcome here
www.victoriaunitarian.ca/eco.php

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AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

Was the 2004 US election rigged? It is a very sensitive question, when you consider that the US is using its troops,to spread democracy around the world. In Ohio, where Bush won by just 118,599 votes, there were many documented anomalies.

But unlike random anomalies, which ought to favour both sides equally, the Ohio anomalies almost overwhelmingly favoured Bush, according to Professor Bob Fitrakis of Columbus State Community College. Of the 5.6 million votes cast in Ohio, 4% (some 224,000 ballots) were not counted for various reasons. Two-thirds came from urban, heavily Democratic districts. In some heavily Republican counties, John Kerry received fewer votes than obscure fellow-Democrats who were running in simultaneous state elections. At a New Life Church polling site in the predominantly Republican Gahanna county, a machine recorded 4,258 votes for Bush, when only 638 people cast votes.

Bush needed Ohio’s seats in the Electoral College to win the Presidency. The CEO of the Diebold Corporation, which operates many of the electronic voting machines, is the strongly Republican Wally O’Dell, who wrote to Ohio Republican donors in 2003 saying that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President next year."

In California, which has always voted Democratic, partisan Republican supervisors recently re-certified the Diebold voting machines, when it was clear that the machines were vulnerable to hacking, sending an ominous sign that the democracy-hacking forces are intent on repeating their tricks in the mid-term elections and the 2008 Presidential election.

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The Garden Path Nursery
Certified Organic Vegetables, Fruits, Seeds, Ornamentals, and Workshops

Open April 1st to July 3rd Daily 10am to 5:30pm
395 Conway Rd, Victoria 250-881-1555
www.earthfuture.com/gardenpath

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GREEN BUILDING DIRECTORY

Do you run a business that supplies services or materials for green, buildings? The BC Sustainable Energy Association is creating a Green Building Directory for Vancouver Island, in partnership with Dockside Green. Contact Guy Dauncey, 250-881-1304 guydauncey@earthfuture.com

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TERMINATOR SEEDS

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the world’s main legal forum for agreeing on issues related to global biological diversity. In March, the 188 nations which have ratified the Convention met in Curitiba, Brazil (one of the world’s greenest cities), in one of those huge UN conferences where delegates scurry around and try to reach agreement by talking late into the night.

One of the hot topics was the proposal by Australia, New Zealand and Canada, guided by the US and companies like Monsanto and Syngenta, to lift the moratorium on Terminator Seeds (also known as "suicide seeds") from plants which have been genetically engineered so that their seeds do not germinate, except when triggered by an agent controlled by the biotech companies. This technology, if allowed, would threaten the ancient tradition whereby farmers collect and protect their own seeds.

In 2000, the UN adopted a moratorium on the development of Terminator seeds, but the biotech companies continued on regardless, with Canada taking a lead role in trying to overturn the moratorium. The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa seems to have been taken over by the biotech industry, which ought to be exposed as a piece of major political corruption.

At the time of writing, the working group at the conference had rejected the call for the moratorium to be lifted, after strenuous efforts by the African group of nations, Norway, Pakistan, Kenya, India, Brazil, and the whole European Union, and it is hoped that this will remain the position at the conference wrap-up. The Terminator seed companies and their political supporters will doubtless try again at the next UN meeting in 2008.

Pat Mooney, of the Ban Terminator Campaign, says the real solution is a permanent ban on the technology once, and that all national governments should introduce national bans, as Brazil and India have done. www.banterminator.org

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TRE ARROW

Tre Arrow is an American citizen from Portland who has been imprisoned in Canada since March 2004. He is currently being held in Victoria’s Wilkinson Jail, while awaiting a decision on April 4th from Vic Toews, Canada’s Justice Minister, about his requested extradition back to the States.

Back in Oregon, Tre was a very prominent activist who worked tirelessly and courageously with others to save what little is left of the US northwest’s ancient forests. In particular, he campaigned to save a chunk of forest known as God’s Valley from being logged by the quaintly named Christian Futures, an Oregon forestry corporation.

In 2001, two logging trucks were destroyed by fire, and the person arrested, facing an 80-year jail sentence, did a plea bargain with the FBI to be out of jail in 3.5 years, and named Tre Arrow as the organizer. Fearing a set-up by the FBI, Tre fled to Canada, where he was arrested in 2004.

Tre follows a raw-food vegan diet, but the Canadian prison service refused to let him eat what he needed. Only after a 44 day fast, when his weight fell to 81 pounds, and only after the prison doctors insisted that he be allowed to have raw food, did he return to eating.

Starting on March 13th, Tre is now on a 24 day hunger strike to protest the US government, the FBI, and the Canadian government for denying him bail for two years except with a surety of $300,000, despite his emphatic declaration of innocence.

Tre says: "I am an innocent man being targeted, framed and persecuted not because I am guilty of arson, but because I am an activist."

To contact Tre’s Defense Committee, email tre@riseup.net . To send a message to Tre call Dani Rubin 250-818-6305. See www3.telus.net/public/trearrow .

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LANGFORD’S ECO-BURBS

Langford is about to announce a major new initiative to develop a large-scale green, sustainable neighbourhood of up to 5,000 homes, following new LEED guidelines. LEED stands for "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design", and is applied on a voluntary basis to commercial buildings. As such, it has been enormously successful, and is causing a small revolution in the building industry.

The Canada Green Building Council has been working on a "LEED for Neighbourhoods", and Langford has been chosen to pioneer the new approach on land on either side of the railway line between Humpback and Jacklin Roads, allowing for a railway connection to downtown Victoria. The full details are to be unveiled on April 19th, just in time for Earth Week. Congratulations, Langford!

Wearing a far, far less green hat, Langford is encouraging every landowner with land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) to join a shared effort to ask for it to be removed from the ALR. In 2003, Langford had 170 hectares in the ALR, which was created to protect the province’s best farmland so that we can use it to grow food.

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WEB

Some sites that have passed my way:

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APRIL IS EARTH MONTH

Treat yourself to one of the many nature trips to see the incredible displays of wildflower. Come and join the big the Earth Walk on April 22nd. Join the "Garbage to Gold" field trip on Tue 4th, or the Easter Monday Pilgrimage on the 17th. There’s lots happening: join in!

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ACTION OF THE MONTH: ENERGY POLICY IN BC
See "Energy Art in Ontario" story

Action: Please write to the Premier, and ask that a policy similar to Ontario’s Standard Offer Contract for alternative, sustainable energy be introduced in BC.

Rt Hon Gordon Campbell, Legislative Assembly, Victoria V8V 1X4.

Fax: 250-387-0087 premier@gov.bc.ca

To send a copy to every BC MLA, see: www.legis.gov.bc.ca/mla/3-1-7.htm


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EcoNews, Guy Dauncey
395 Conway Road, Victoria
V9E 2B9
Tel/Fax (250) 881-1304

Author of "Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change"
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