Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Task Force Rally

Saturday (Oct. 21st) the South Fulton / Fayette Community Task Force held a Rally in Tyrone to continue to highlight problems with the Philips Services plant on the border of Fayette County.

There were a LOT of elected officials (and candidates) at the rally. Some spoke, most spoke. Some, like Commissioner Bill Edwards, Fulton County, came with cameras and video crews. Most came alone or with their spouse. All seemed to know the issue and all were definitely behind closing the plant. No waffling.

The turn out was decent. Many came for a short period, signed the petition, talked and left. Most of the elected officials and candidates were there for the duration.

One thing that continues to bother me is that the problem is continuing to be referred to as the "onion odor" problem. Yes, there is an odor, but it's not just a smell. It's chemicals. It's toxic waste. Instead of "onion," if someone had labeled it a "toxic" smell or a "chemical" smell then maybe more folks in the area would be concerned.

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of concern. But in many people's minds "onion" is not bad. It just smells and maybe makes your eyes water. Unfortunately, this is more than a smell, it's more than bad onions.

We have absolutely no real true idea of what we've been breathing for over 15 years. We have no idea what has been dumped in our water supply. We have no idea what has leached into our ground waters. The Philip Services plant did not turn in ANY of the required required reports to the agency that was tasked with regulating their actions. The EPD not once (based on what I've read) asked for the reports.

The haphazard records that ARE available are worthless if you're trying to find out what Philip (and the prior owner of the plant) were destroying. Toxins from across the country were shipped past other waste treatment plants to Fairburn. Why? We don't know why and may never know why, but it raises questions. Was it because no one was watching the plant? They had no oversight so it was chosen to get rid of the questionable toxins that other states wouldn't allow?

Who knows.

I hope the Community Task Force and our elected officials will continue to yell and will do everything in their power to close this plant. I'll hate it for the people who work at the plant - they'll probably lose their long-term jobs or have to move. But I think this is a case where the greater good should prevail. Besides, maybe those workers will opt to get a job in a healthier environment and live long, healthy lives.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Citizen's Rally, Oct. 21st

The South Fulton and Fayette Community Task Force will hold a Citizens Rally Oct. 21 at Shamrock Park in Tyrone to address issues and questions surrounding the activities of the Philip Services plant in Fairburn and the symptoms and illnesses experienced by residents of both counties.

The rally will run from 1-5 PM and will feature elected officials and their opponents to speak on our behalf. City and town councils, county commissions and community associations will be there to present official resolutions calling for the plant’s closure. Live music will be provided by the 70’s band Terra Free and barbecue and hot dogs will be served. Everyone is invited to come and show support and make their voice heard.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Spinach, Lettace... what next?

I love spinach. I can't stand turnip greens and collards. Unless I want to flirt with a painful death or illness, I can't eat my spinach for a while, if ever. As a substitute I've been trying to eat more lettace. Well, guess what? Now it looks like we're not going to be eating lettace either.

Turns out that contaminated irrigation water gets sprinkled on other foods, too, if I'm reading the latest FDA recall correctly (posted below).

What is going on with our food these days? I'm an avid reader but not only can I not keep up with all the info and problems associated with our food sources, I can't figure out what is correct, wrong or blown out of proportion.

I keep threatening (myself) that I'm going to put a garden in the backyard (to feed the deer). It's a bit too late this year to start one (whew!) but if I still feel the same way and the problems continue, I'm gonna do it.

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FDA Statement on Nunes Lettuce Recall On October 8, 2006, the Food and Drug

Administration (FDA) became aware that The Nunes Company, Inc., of Salinas, California initiated a voluntary recall of green leaf lettuce distributed under the Foxy brand. The company reported to FDA that it initiated the recall because of E.coli contamination of water used to irrigate the lettuce plants in the field during growing. At this time, there has been no determination of whether the E. coli found is O157:H7-the highly infectious type that can cause life-threatening foodborne illness in humans-or the more common, generally harmless strains of E. coli that usually do not cause disease. Further, there has been no known human illness linked to this recall.

Based on current information about the scope of this E. coli contamination, FDA views the firm's prompt action as commendable, because it is better to be cautious than to potentially put consumers at risk of contracting a serious foodborne illness. As FDA becomes aware of additional information about the contamination of the water supply that triggered the current voluntary recall, including the results of additional ongoing tests, the agency will make this information available to the public immediately.

Fresh leafy greens grown and consumed in the United States are safe. Every year there are many thousands of pounds of fresh leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach grown in the United States and consumed by the public with no consequent illness. However, outbreaks do occur, such as the recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to raw spinach, and there is a need to do everything possible to minimize the likelihood of further outbreaks and prevent serious illness. For this reason, FDA has taken a number of actions in recent years, in partnership with its sister agencies, to improve the safety of fresh leafy greens and is working on additional steps. From farm to table, everyone has a responsibility to ensure food safety, including growers, processors, distributors, retailers and consumers, and government.

FDA believes there is a need to examine and improve certain agricultural practices to minimize the risk of E. coli O157:H7 contamination of leafy greens. FDA and the State of California launched the Lettuce Safety Initiative in August 2006 to minimize such risk and to create greater awareness by industry of FDA's commitment to food safety and concern about the safety of lettuce. This Initiative has since been broadened to include spinach and other leafy greens. The Initiative has a number of key objectives, including assessing current industry approaches and stimulating new efforts to improve lettuce safety; identifying industry practices that potentially lead to product contamination and developing policy or guidance and identifying research to minimize future outbreaks; taking targeted regulatory action using a risk-based approach toward areas most likely to be the source of contamination; and alerting consumers early and responding rapidly in the event of an outbreak.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Added another blog & update on Philip Services

I didn't want to clutter this blog with stuff about detox drops, zeolites and similar so I started a new blog titled Zeolites & Health. After reading so much about toxins over the past few months detoxing my body in any way I reasonably can has become a bit more important.

I signed up as a distributor for the Waiora Natural Cellular Defense after hearing so many good things from my friends & actually seeing results. You can read the Zeolites & Health blog for more on that if you're interested.

I'm taking the detox drops, the antioxidant capsule and at times drinking the detox tea. I'm a huge tea drinker anyway, so substituting a detox tea at times is no big deal for me!

The situation at the plant in Fairburn is pretty much stagnant on the state level it seems. A LOT of things have been happening with the Community Task Force (link on the side to their web site). More politicians are signing on saying the plant needs to be shut down. The problem with that is Philip Services can ignore them and they know it. The plant is legal and until the EPD and the state and county regulatory agencies refuse to renew their permits, they can do whatever they want.

The citizens around the plant are still smelling the onion odor in the evenings.

The plant has NOT submitted the required forms and reports for SIXTEEN years! The EPD porocess is hopeless if they aren't even aware that companies aren't submitting reports for that length of time!!!

I hope you'll read my new blog, Zeolites and Health. This blog focuses on toxins in the environment. The Zeolite and Health blog will focus on the personal health aspects.