Industrial farming a war on our planet: Dr Vandana Shiva

vandana shivaWith the World Health Organisation and members of the scientific community telling us Genetically Modified plants are safe what is there to worry about? Metabolic diseases and cancers, industrial pollution, the creating of high risk mono-cultures and control of seeds are just a few issues raised by those who say there’s plenty to concern us about the practice of injecting plants with pesticides and making them more dependent on chemical intervention than ever. Environmentalist Dr Vandana Shiva says the impact of industrial farming is so bad, it’s a war on our planet.

Dr Shiva is the founder of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun, India and the founder of Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources – especially native seed – and to promote organic farming and fair trade.

A short version of this interview first appeared on The Wire 

Greens secure dental funding – but can we afford it?

Image courtesy: The Australian Greens

The Greens deal with the government to support means testing of the private health insurance rebate in return for funding from dental care is already under scrutiny. Individuals earning more than $83,000 and families earning more than $166,000 will start losing some of their thirty percent rebate, with the cut off point of $129,000 for individuals and $258,000 for families. The changes mean nearly two and a half billion extra dollars in the government’s coffers, of which $165 million goes to dental care.

But opposition leader Tony Abbott has said he will scrap the deal if he is elected, and the Nationals Warren Truss last night extolled the virtues of the rebate, saying it takes the pressure off public hospitals. Greens Senator Richard Di Natale is one of the architects of the deal – he says there’s no evidence for Mr Truss’s claims.

[audio https://czengerer.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/wwdenticare-deal.mp3]

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This story first appeared on The Wire on 15/02/2012

A call for more research into childhood cancer

Image Courtesy: Care-Aware

Between 700 – 800 children are diagnosed with cancer in Australia each year – it’s the highest rate in the OECD. But we still don’t know why. We do that more adults than children get cancer, but children are much more likely to die from it.

On Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, the Kids Cancer Project is asking for more funding to help find some answers

[audio https://czengerer.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/wwchildhood-cancer-day.mp3]

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This story first appeared on The Wire on 15/02/2012