Time for another compilation of the news.

The Good

No Keystone XL in our county — Holt County, the largest in Eastern Nebraska and threatened by the proposed Keystone XL sludgeline, said “No” on April 30. By unanimous vote, the county supervisors passed a resolution forbidding construction of these types of pipelines traversing their county’s borders, despite a potential $3 million tax windfall. Supervisors said, “It’s not about money. It’s about clean water,” and “If we’re talking money, most [residents] will write a check to cover the money if it means no pipeline.” (Norfolk Daily News, et al.)

Keystone Pipeline Delayed — On April 26, TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said at a conference call with analysts that the start of the controversial pipeline will definitely be delayed as much as a year. The longer it takes the longer Nebraska landowners can keep the Canadian company from seizing their land and the safer our water table will be. (MarketWatch.com)

Ethanol Fiasco on a slow fade — Ethanol refineries are failing. Producers were encouraged to build because the federal government had mandated that refiners use their product, and it established a tax credit of 45 cents per gallon of ethanol. The tax credit expired Dec. 31, 2011, but not before it had stimulated construction of ethanol plants. Without government subsidy, the house of cards is crashing. We must find better and more sustainable employment opportunities for those affected. (NYTimes et al.)

More young people turning to farming —Ag college enrollments are up, and the number of small farms with young owners and operators is growing. Emerging markets are drawing new food growers and consumers. Entrepreneurial food movements, farmers markets, direct-to-market production, organic farming, and local and regional foods systems are creating new opportunities, revitalizing rural communities.

Trader Joe’s dumped GMOs in 2001 — Way before it was trendy, the niche grocer got rid of genetically engineered ingredients. From their website, “Our approach to Genetically Modified Organisms is simple: we do not allow GMO ingredients in our private label products. Our efforts began in 2001, when we determined that, given a choice, our customers would prefer to eat foods and beverages made without the use of genetically engineered ingredients.” It’s news because now, 12 years later, Whole Foods is going to at least label GMOs — beginning in five years.

Grocers won’t sell Frankenfish — 2000 grocers nationwide have agreed to ban genetically engineered seafood like the new GMO salmon recently created. Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Whole Foods, March Supermarkets, PCC Natural Markets, and others won’t buy fish that has been genetically bred by man. (TIME magazine et al.)

Chocolate really does lower blood pressure — University of Adelaide published a research review finding that people who consumed more chocolate or cocoa really do have lower blood pressure. Beware sugar, though! (NaturalNews.com et al.)

Wal-Mart and Big Food Lobby for GMO Labeling Law? — Execs from some of the largest food corporations secretly met with the FDA in January to lobby for a mandatory federal GMO labeling law, according to sources. Food safety supporters remain somewhat skeptical but according to informed sources, representatives of Wal-Mart, General Mills, Pepsi-Frito Lay, Mars and Coca-Cola planned to meet with the FDA. If Wal-Mart (which currently sells sweet corn laced with Bt toxin) comes onboard the safe food ship, that’s really good news. (Organic Consumers Association, et al.)

Ninth Maine Town Votes for Food Freedom — Voters in Brooksville, Maine, made their town the ninth in the state to pass a local food sovereignty ordinance denying state and federal regulations for direct-to-consumer sales of prepared foods and farm products. That allows sales of raw milk, lard, raw cheeses directly from the farm to the buyer.

Maryland Medical Marijuana and Repeals Death Penalty — Two great items from the Maryland legislature. (Associated Press)

The Bad

Hypercleanliness May Be Making Us Sick — We’ve reported on this for years but new research keeps coming to light. Additional evidence suggests that all the antibacterial-wiping, germ-killing cleanliness of the developed world may actually be making us more prone to getting sick — and that a little more dirt might help us stay healthier in the long run. One researcher said, “It’s not that you should expose yourself to things that are going to kill you. We’re just talking about living in a more microbially rich environment. That means you don’t need to use antibacterial soaps or wipes, or clean everything with bleach, or even wash your clothes every day. Getting dirty isn’t so bad. Just use common sense.” (Washington Post et al.)

The Ugly

Obama Signs HR 933 “Monsanto Protection Act” — Imagine a mega-corporation being able to do dastardly deeds, poison people, make people sick and then a United States court being unable to censure or stop it. The “Monsanto Protection Act” effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future. Whuck? It’s true.

Visit HeartlandHealing.com/news for complete details on the above stories.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit HeartlandHealing.com for more information.

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