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Boreal Forest Conflicts Far From Over

Mainstream enviros, timber industry shut First Nations out of "historic" deal

by Dawn Paley Original Peoples, →Canadian Foreign Policy, →Environment

Green Logs? Remix of an image by René Ehrhardt CC2.0
Green Logs? Remix of an image by René Ehrhardt CC2.0

Also posted by dawn:

Timber companies and environmental organizations came together Tuesday to announce the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, which they say could protect a swath of boreal forest twice the size of Germany, and maintain forestry jobs across the country.

"This is an agreement between the two principle combatants over logging," said Steve Kallick, director of the Boreal Conservation campaign of the Pew Environment Group.

But Indigenous peoples have been left out of the agreement, and grassroots environmentalists are concerned that the proposal represents a move towards more corporate control over forests in Canada.

"Name a forest struggle in Canada that hasn't been spearheaded by First Nations from the beginning," said Clayton Thomas-Muller, who is the tar sands campaigner with the Indigenous Environmental Network.

"A lot of First Nations groups, in Haida Gwaii, in the Boreal forest, and places like Grassy Narrows, Barrier Lake and Temagami, I think they would have a much different analysis and memory then Mr. Kallick."

The three-year agreement is the largest of its kind anywhere on the planet, according to a representative from Greenpeace. Twenty one forestry companies have signed on, as have nine environmental organzations.

But for some, like Thomas-Muller, today's announcement is reminiscent of a another deal, signed in British Columbia in 2006.

"I think we have to remember the previous version of this deal, which was the Great Bear Rainforest, and we have to remember how that deal in the end was signed: it was signed not with all the First Nations partners, it was signed behind closed doors, by Tzeporah Berman and company," he said. "And many First Nations felt extremely burned by that."

"It's a massive tomb, uh, tome that we've put together," misspoke Richard Brooks from Greenpeace at the press conference on Tuesday morning. Only a twelve page abridged version of the agreement has been made public. The full agreement was leaked to the Vancouver Media Co-op on May 19. According to Brooks, it will now be presented to various levels of government.

"It will really change the nature of environmental work and the debates around the environment," said  Kallick. But whether those changes are for better or for worse is still up for debate.

"The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement is essentially another huge jump away from democracy, towards corporate control of the lands of Canada, as well as the corporatization of what is left of a once defiant environmental movement," said Macdonald Stainsby, co-ordinator of OilSandsTruth.org.

Although the big environmental groups will drop their "do not buy" and divestment campaigns around Canadian timber, Thomas-Muller thinks the conflicts will continue.

"I hardly think that this in any way represents an end to the conflict between the true proponants of the war over the boreal forest, which of course are corporations and First Nations," he said. "What this means is that First Nations no longer have the support of these mainstream environmental groups that have fallen into the strategy of conquer and divide deployed by industry."

For their part, smaller environmental groups are worried the deal will distract from the ongoing devastation of Canada's forests, and could contribute to more false solutions for climate change.

“Ontario has no legal limit on the size of clearcuts which are permitted to flatten an area equivalent to 1,400 football fields each day in our province,” said Amber Ellis, Earthroots Executive Director, in a press release.

"Unless we are to believe that the CBI, David Suzuki Foundation, CPAWS and ForestEthics all under cut their own campaigns, this is only a part and parcel to set up a carbon market, and allow forest offsets to go alongside carbon offsets and further entrench false solutions to the climate crisis," said Stainsby.

"We plan to turn this into a competitive advantage," said Avram Lazer, the CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada. "We think this sets the pattern that everyone should follow."

Greenpeace spearheaded the deal, which was "in some ways" sponsored by the Pew and Ivey Foundations, according to Lazer.

The Pew foundation has already come under close scrutiny by activists because of their ties to large oil companies. The Ivey Foundation has been a prime backer of controversial BC environmentalist Tzeporah Berman's organization Power Up.

For his part, Kallick would like to see other industries at the table on the agreement. "They're not within the four corners of this agreement, but we would love to have similar talks with the oil and gas industry and also with the mining industry as well," he said.

UPDATE 1: The agreement was leaked to the VMC on May 19th.

With files from Dru Oja Jay.

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Comments

Excellent

Proof of why we need the Vancouver Media Co-op. I have been scouring the internet for a commentary on this deal that was not just a re-written Greenpeace/Forest Industry press release. This is the critical perspective that needs to be heard loud and far and wide.

conflict far from over.

There is a day of reckoning not to far off in the future. First Nations would like to continue to support both the enviromentalist and the timber companies employees. When we are continually excluded from negotiations you force our hand more and more. Without our gift of our land and our waters Canadians would be nothing more than immigrants seeking refuge from themselves. We can and will take back our birth right. Many of us have nothing left to lose. A scorched earth is better for our mother then turning her forest to money through greed to line the pockets of trough feeders

fed up

I am totally fed up with big enviromental groups. Who are they to sign agreements? Lovely.  They are no different than big business.

Half-truths - operating from lack of information

I think everyone should read the documents on the agreement website. www.canadianborealforestagreement.com

The agreement does not include in any way offsets. Clayton Thomas-Mueller has clearly not read any of these materials.

The agreement is also between who ENGOs were fighting with - the logging companies. Not First Nations and Metis. The agreement makes no permanent decisions over land. Its a truce (lets stop fighting) and what looks to be a process for moving forward.

I think everyone on this board needs to stop with the conspiracy theories. This agreement also does not cover Temagami, Grassy Narrows, Barriere Lake because these areas are not in the tenures of the logging companies that signed this agreement. You can't just lump all aboriginal conflict issues into this.

It seems pretty clear to me in the press clips that I have seen, in the radio shows that I have heard that their is full recognition that the signatories to this intend to work with governments to make this deal translate into fair and equitable solutions on the ground. They have said that governments means 1) aboriginal governments and 2) provincial governments.

Perhaps the reporter who wrote this story should actually talk to someone who was part of the agreement. That's actually called good journalism... or you can just keep talking from a place of ignorance. 

Um, yes

I interviewed someone from Pew Enviro group as well as accessing the press conference and a separate interview with the Greenpeace rep.

But I took a separate step of talking to folks who feel betrayed or disappointed with this deal. Something other journalists have not done. I would say that they are the ones who are not doing their job properly.

conspiracy theory?

Is this part of a conpiracy theory too?

http://www.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/3464

 

 

here is some reactions from First Nations groups

Although the agreement does not include anything directly about offsets.... my questions to Robert Johnson and this coalition is will the forestry companies receive by retiring there logging rights on the 29 million hectors any form of carbon credits?

 

In the agreement itself it states:

 

In support of this goal, FPAC, FPAC Members, and ENGO’s will:

d) Promote the use of forest protection and management as ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change using an active adaptive management approach 


If the federal or provincial governments proceed to include forest management and protection in carbon offset programs, jointly develop recommendations and promote the adoption of progressive policy frameworks that include:

i) Criteria to determine eligible projects;

ii) Environmental safeguards to ensure that forest carbon projects do not harm ecosystems and biodiversity; and

iii) Rigorous approaches to carbon accounting rules (e.g., baselines, additionality, permanence, and leakage)

 

This agreement leaves the window open for forest-offsets in Canada and of course there is the issue of Boreal Conservation Easements or bio-logical offsets.... who is to say that these easement will not only be in non oil or mineral producing areas, while allowing for things like the tar sands to expand...and if the agreement will not work without the approval of First Nations Governments then why not involve them from the beginning? Bio-offsets in the eyes of many could just end up being a land trade that benefits the mining and energy sector (tar sands) and of course Forestry Sector.

 

In respect and peace,

 

Clayton Thomas-Muller-IEN

 

From NAN in Ontario:

 

http://www.nan.on.ca/article/nan-says-new-national-boreal-forest-agreeme...

 

“Nobody has the right to develop an agreement that affects any of NAN’s lands and resources without consultation, accommodation and consent from us,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy. “This Agreement was made without our knowledge and treats NAN as a stakeholder – not a government.”

 

From Grand Council of Cree:

 

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/cnw/article.jsp?content=20100520...

 

Bill Namagoose, Executive Director for the Grand Council, concluded:

 

"On paper, Abitibi-Bowater through this new agreement, and Domtar through its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, appear as good corporate citizens and yet their actions in the forest tell a different story."

 

Try posting some of those who support the CBFA

 Try not to be biased. There are a number of labour and First Nations groups that have come out vocally in support of the CBFA. It is interesting that fairness, justice and equality on this list means trashing organizations before talking to them, publishing documents as being secret when they are not, and publishing one side statements while ignoring those made by other legitimate organizations.

For one here is the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador who welcomed the agreement:

 

 

AFNQL welcomes the agreement to protect the Boreal forest and reaffirm the rights of First Nations on the territory

WENDAKE, QC, May 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL) appreciates the initiative concerning an agreement for the conservation of the boreal forest announced yesterday between forestry companies and environmental groups. "The intentions are good but must obviously be backed up by a genuine and tangible willingness to involve the First Nations that have rights over these lands" declared the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard.

The parties agreed on a moratorium on the exploitation of 29 million hectares of boreal forest spanning six provinces, including Quebec. The aim is to, among others things; ensure the preservation and restoration of threatened species such as the woodland caribou - a species very important to the First Nations and a symbol of biodiversity in the boreal forest.

The AFNQL appreciates that the agreement recognizes that the Aboriginal people have ancestral rights, treaty rights and a title protected by the Constitution, as well as legitimate interests and aspirations. The agreement is "intended to be without prejudice to, and in accordance with, those rights and title. The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), FPAC members, and ENGOS (environmental non-governmental organizations) believe both successful forest conservation and business competitiveness require effective involvement of Aboriginal peoples and their governments. The signatories are committed to such involvement taking place in a manner that is respectful of and engages these Aboriginal rights, title, interests, and aspirations."

"It is rare that forestry companies publicly recognize the First Nations' rights to our ancestral territories and agree to comply. We hope that this commitment will be respected and that this will be reflected in their daily actions on the territory," emphasized Chief Ghislain Picard who reminds that First Nations are as governments who will continue to defend their interests and their rights over their land, despite this agreement. "Our often justified concerns, towards the forest industry and some environmental groups will not fade away because of this agreement".

 

About the AFNQL:

 

The AFNQL is a regional organization that brings together the 43 Chiefs of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. For more information, visit: www.apnql-afnql.com.

 

For further information: Éric Cardinal, Communications Consultant, (514) 258-2315 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (514) 258-2315      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (cell), eric@cardinalcommunication.com 

Two largest forestry labour unions support CBFA

 Anyone on this board want to trash labour unions as being sell outs too?

------

 

 

Union welcomes pact between forest industry and environmental groups

OTTAWA, May 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's major forest sector union has welcomed the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement between forest companies and Environmental NGOs.

"This agreement is a light of hope for a battered industry," said Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union President Dave Coles, "It is time now to make environmental leadership a value-added advantage for Canadian forest products."

Coles said the union does not expect that the deferral of 29 million hectares of boreal forests as a result of the agreement will affect jobs immediately, but positive market impacts from the agreement could help struggling Canadian forest companies in global markets.

Coles called on provincial governments to support the agreement with funding for the planning and scientific work that will be required to implement the agreement, and for federal funding for value-added investments to maximize jobs from sustainable harvesting.

"We are rebuilding this industry from the ground up and companies, workers and environmentalists are making difficult compromises. The missing players are the governments who are stewards of this resource and the federal government which has the ability to make value added and environmental transformations possible for the Canadian forest industry.

"We need to hear positive announcements from governments immediately to build on this achievement."

 

-30-

For further information: Dave Coles, CEP President at (613) 299-562
8

 

 

 

 

Conservation de la forêt boréale - La CSN salue l'entente intervenue entre l'industrie forestière et les groupes environnementaux

MONTRÉAL, le 18 mai /CNW Telbec/ - La Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) salue l'entente historique annoncée aujourd'hui par les groupes environnementaux et l'industrie forestière sur la conservation de la forêt boréale et les aires protégées.

"Le Québec ne peut que tirer de grands bénéfices de ce consensus qui démontre que l'environnement et l'emploi peuvent, et doivent, aller de pair, a déclaré la présidente de la CSN, Claudette Carbonneau. Depuis longtemps, nous prônons de nouvelles façons de faire pour assurer la pérennité de la forêt dans une perspective de consolidation des emplois de ce secteur. Cette entente va dans cette voie."

En octobre 2007, de concert avec la Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses du papier et de la forêt (FTPF-CSN), la CSN avait convié ses membres dans le secteur forestier à faire le point sur la forêt boréale après que Greenpeace eut annoncé un important boycott sur la scène internationale. Des représentants de Greenpeace, de Nature Québec, du Conseil de l'industrie forestière, du ministère des Ressources naturelles ainsi que des universitaires avaient participé à ce forum, une première, à Alma.

"Ce qui s'était aussi voulu un exercice de réconciliation entre tous les intervenants, qu'ils proviennent des groupes environnementaux ou de l'industrie, avait démontré que le développement durable se nourrit autant de la préservation de l'environnement que du social", a poursuivi Claudette Carbonneau.

La CSN se dit pleinement disposée à collaborer au processus en cours si les signataires de l'accord jugeaient utile de faire appel à elle.

Renseignements: Louis-Serge Houle, CSN-Information, (514) 792-0795; Source: Confédération des syndicats nationaux

 
 
 

 

Ok Robert so AFN

Ok Robert so AFN Quebec/Labrador a PTO representing 43 First Nations speaks for all First Nations across the Boreal in your eyes? Thats the problem with so many who accept pan aboriginal idea's and obviosly has no analysis on soverighty or each individual first nation or our the legislative duty to consult each of our nations....gimme a break.

C

reality check

A few organizations coming out in support of this agreement doesn't change the fact that it still blatantly undermines indigenous rights in Canada.

It also violates Section 35 of the Constitution Act, which states that the Crown has a legal obligation to consult with Indigenuos Peoples about any action or decision that may adversely affect them or their treaty rights.

And, to be clear,  this includes any activities by industry, whether or not the government is directly involved in those actvities.

Second, I applaud the Media Coop and particularly Dawn for her so-called "biased" reporting.

Mainstream media routinely ignores or marginalizes Indigenous Peoples' concerns as well as their rights in favour of towing the (government-sponsored) "company line".  In fact, half the time I can't even tell the difference between their reporting and what I see coming out of Burma and Bangladesh! The spin is always the same.

At least here, Indigneous Peoples' concerns take some precedence.

 

thanks

Thanks Ahni, much respect :)

A Big Concern Re: The New Boreal Forest Agreement

 
A Big Concern Re: The New
Boreal Forest Agreement
by John H.W. Hummel
Dear Friends:  After examining a leaked copy, found here: http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/sites/mediacoop.ca/files2/mc/Final.pdf of  the new Boreal Forest Agreement between Forestry Companies and several large  environmental groups, I am much troubled by section 12 on  pages 38  and 39 of this document.
 
In my opinion, this particular section is an ingenious  bit of divide and conquer on the part of the Forest Companies.

Here's  why:
 

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1) If you look at the attached Map of this  agreement, you will see that large chunks of the Boreal Forest are designated  under the agreement as "Commercial Forestry Zone". As the forestry companies who  are party to the agreement will not be logging in areas designated as "Area of  Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement', where is clear-cut logging likely to  intensify during the three years of the agreement? Obviously in the area  designated as "Commercial Forestry Zone"! Please Note: Grassy Narrows' entire  traditional territory is now designated under this agreement as 'Commercial  Forestry Zone'.
 
2) Many First Nations and their allies in the  smaller environmental groups will certainly  try and protect sections of these "Commercial Forestry Zones" For example Grassy  Narrows First Nation. How can they do that? Boycotts of the products of the  Forest Companies who are destroying their lands, direct actions, media campaigns  etc. In short, everything this agreement was
designed to  prevent.
 
3) Greenpeace, Forest Ethics and other ENGO's are  party to this agreement. It is likely that other ENGO's, some First Nations and  some Aboriginal organizations will sign onto this agreement. The signatories to  this agreement are actively trying to recruit other groups to sign on and be  bound by this agreement.
 
4) All of the groups who have and are likely to  sign on to this agreement, are associated with other ENGO's and First Nations  "through membership or otherwise". For example, a few  weeks ago Greenpeace was supporting Grassy Narrows at protests at Queen's Park  over Mercury Poisoning, Forest Ethics (as far as I know) supported Grassy  Narrows in their logging blockades.
 
5)  My read of  pages 38 and 39 (section 12) is that it sets up an intelligence service for the  Forest Industry where signatory members must immediately inform on other "third  parties" to the Forest Industry if those "third parties" are planning any sort  of actions against, for example, Weyerhaeuser. Not only that, but the ENGO  signatories to the agreement are also required to work with the Forest Companies  to neutralize the statements or planned actions of those "third  parties".
 
I say that this is an ingenious bit of divide and  conquer because, it obliges the signatories to inform on anyone they are  associated with (who does not go along with this deal) to the Forest  Companies. This creates mistrust that weakens the larger environmental  movement, weakens the Indigenous rights movement and weakens existing or  emerging alliances between Indigenous
People and ENGO's.
 
The only way to avoid all this division is to  remember that only a few individuals in the ENGO's  who signed this  agreement have actually read the entire agreement. The leadership of these  groups only released an 8 page abridged version of the agreement to the  public and the attached leaked 39 pages of the agreement does not include any of  the Schedules or maps that are also part of the agreement.
 
One big question is: When the agreement runs out in  three years, where will the companies log then?
 
Anyway, what do you make of this new agreement?  hope you let me know.
 
For Land and Life,
John H.W. Hummel
Nelson, B.C.
 
P.S. Here is a recent press release I found on the Internet which which points out other potential difficulties regarding this new deal: http://forests.org/blog/2010/05/release-greenpeace-partners-wi.asp

You should actually read the agreement

-

It recognizes aboriginal governments as governments equal if not greater in stature than provincial governments. Has the forest industry ever EVER done that before?

It also reads:

RIGHTS, TITLE, INTERESTS AND ASPIRATIONS OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLE AND THEIR GOVERNMENTS
8. FPAC, FPAC Members, and ENGOS recognize that aboriginal peoples have constitutionally protected aboriginal and treaty rights and title as well as legitimate interests and aspirations. The agreement is intended to be without prejudice to, and in accordance with, those rights and title. FPAC, FPAC Members, and ENGOS believe both successful forest conservation and business competitiveness require effective involvement of aboriginal peoples and their governments and both are committed to such involvement taking place in a manner that is respectful of and engages these aboriginal rights, title, interests and aspirations.

SHOW me where a forestry company has ever admitted and agreed to this before? This is precedent setting for industry and you should be acclaim it and showing it to the tar sands industry, to the mining industry to the hydro industry rather than just trashing people who are actually trying to make a difference. So things aren't perfect - at least they are a step forward, a big step. What can other campaigns offer than is such a step forward? nothing.

READ again: The agreement is a truce between the group that enviros were fighting with. It DOES NOT determine what will happen with traditional First Nations territory. it just says "we will not waste our limited energy and resources on fighting with a bunch of companies just for the sake of fighting. We will instead redirect that energy to finding solutions WITH others. Those others include First Nations."

Its unbelievable how reactionary people are on this board. Maybe if you were more succesful in your campaigns, you would be less reactionary to progress.

 

 

 

 

right

good one, man. so who do you work for?

 

first time for everything

"It recognizes aboriginal governments as governments equal if not greater in stature than provincial governments. Has the forest industry ever EVER done that before?"

 I believe your probably right, Robert, industry has NEVER done that before.  I believe that the federal and provincial governments have never done that before either.  ENGO's?

 

Reactionary:

adj. Characterized by reaction, especially opposition to progress or liberalism; extremely conservative.

Radical

adj. Arising from or going to a root or source; basic

 

Robert Johnson...

Hey, this wouldn't happen to be the same Robert Johnson who works for the paper and forestry products industry and who helped laud the Kimberley Clark "deal" that Greenpeace previously struck, would it? Because I'm all for unbiased thought!

 

Current Pollution Releases from the signatories of the 'Canadian

Forest Industry Signatories to the new 'Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement':
 
Abitibi Bowater, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, AV Group, Canfor, Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company, Cascades Inc., Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd., F.F. Soucy, Inc., Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, Kruger Inc., LP Canada, Mercer International, Mill & Timber Products Ltd, NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd, Papier Masson Ltée, SFK Pulp, Tembec Inc., Tolko Industries, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd, Weyerhauser Compnay Limited−all represented by the Forest Products Association of Canada.
 
Present Pollution Releases from the above mentioned companies:
 
Link:
 
 
Now you know what toxins these companies release and how much. Here' s how to find out what they can do to people's health:
 
Link:
 
1)Go to the link above
 
2) Go to ' Browse by Toxicant
 
3) Scroll Down and click on a particular toxin being released by the companies
 
4) Click ' Browse'  and up comes what diseases that  specific toxin is linked to and the strength of that link based on the latest scientific studies
 
Another thing you can do is ' Browse by Disease'  for diseases which may be common in the vicinity of some of these facilities . Do the same steps as above for a disease and up comes the list of toxins linked to that disease.
 

 

Response from Canadian Boreal Initiative Re: My Concerns about t

Dear Larry,
 
Thanks for writing back regarding some of my concerns regarding this agreement. I will share your response with others who have similar concerns. I did include a link to the leaked version of the agreement in my email to everyone so they would have an opportunity to see everything in context and make their own judgment. As you may be aware, there is now a longer version of the agreement now on the internet at: http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/sites/mediacoop.ca/files2/mc/Final.pdf 
 
Since this agreement has implications for all Canadians and Indigenous Nations, I was surprised that none of the signatories to this agreement posted the entire agreement (including all associated schedules and maps) on their websites. It is sad that it was only made public through a leak to the Vancouver Media co-op after they were refused a copy of it by signatories to the agreement.
 
It is too bad that Indigenous Nations were not significantly consulted on this agreement before it was signed. Please see the 'United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People' Articles 32 and 37 in particular: http://issuu.com/karinzylsaw/docs/un_declaration_rights_indigenous_peoples?mode=embed&layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Fdark%2Flayout.xml&showFlipBtn=true 
 
This lack of involvement, consultation and respect when the agreement was initially being discussed has upset many Indigenous People. What Indigenous community would sign onto a 'done deal' they had no significant part in right from the start. For that matter, what ENGO would sign onto a deal like that other than the ones who signed it.
 
The fact that the details of the agreement were not seen by most people until it was leaked and already a fait acompli has upset many people as well.
 
One big question I have is about Domtar who did not sign onto your agreement, Domtar has a pulp mill at Dryden Ontario which continues to poison Grassy Narrows First Nation. Here's what they are presently releasing into the air, land and also the waters of the Wabigoon River: http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/websol/querysite/facility_history_e.cfm?opt_npri_id=0000000928&opt_report_year=2008  Obviously not the best ecological practices on the part of Domtar!
 
Who supplies the chips to Domtar's Dryden pulp mill so they can continue poisoning Grassy Narrows? Could it be Weyerhaeuser or another of the signatories to the Boreal Forestry Agreement? If so, perhaps you can persuade the forest industry signatories to your agreement to stop supplying woodchips to that mill if they are indeed doing so? Also, how about the other signatories to your agreement? Here's what Howe Sound Pulp and Paper dumps on a regular basis: http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/websol/querysite/facility_history_e.cfm?opt_npri_id=0000001419&opt_report_year=2008  Where do you think the Boreal forests are going? Partly into Pulp and Paper Mills which spew this stuff all over the environment. This couldn't be good for the caribou or anything else that lives. Especially the people who eat those caribou. Does your agreement even consider the pollution your partners produce?
 
Anyway, I've mainly worked on pollution/health issues over all these years. I hope you will consider what I have said as I will consider what you have said here more carefully.
 
One thing you are probably not aware of is that Suncor Energy Inc., who is a member of the council of your group 'Canadian Boreal Initiative' is presently releasing 51.136 kilograms of mercury from its smokestack at Fort McMurray. That's huge! They have no plans to even reduce that amount, in fact, they plan to increase it to 65 kilograms of mercury releases into the foreseeable future! : http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/websol/querysite/substance_details_e.cfm?opt_npri_id=0000002230&opt_cas_number=NA%20-%2010&opt_report_year=2008 
This certainly won't be good for communities like Fort Chipewyan who have found mercury in their fish now. Learn from the experience of Grassy Narrows: http://freegrassy.org/wp-content/uploads/Harada_report_2004_FINAL.pdf
 
 
If people are a bit reluctant to make peace treaties with these multinationals, perhaps it is because of their continued poisoning of the earth and of all of us. Anyway, all the best to you.
 
For Land and Life,
John H.W. Hummel  
 
P.S.
 
If the ENGO's in your new coalition endorse and promote forest products from the boreal forest being sold (by your new forest industry partners) without considering all the pollution your new friends are causing by producing those products, and the ill health this pollution is doing to land and life then, your agreement can rightly be called 'Green-Wash'. It is wonderful that your forest industry associates will try and improve their clear-cutting practices to try and let some of the Caribou live but, what will they do to curtail all their pollution??! Does this new Boreal Forest Agreement do anything about that? Does it even figure into all this 'Eco-Friendly Branding' you and your ENGO partners have committed to participate in with FPAC (Forest Products Association of Canada)? I am also very concerned about the herbicides and pesticides these forestry companies are spraying on the forests in large quantities.
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 8:45 AM
Subject: Re: "Details Devil" Forest Agreement
 

Dear John:

Several people that we both know and respect have forwarded your "Details Devils Greenpeace Forest Deal" note on the recent Boreal forest agreement, seeking my views. I thought that it would be best to share them directly with you, in the expectation that we'd be able to narrow the range of issues on which we may disagree.

As one of the folks involved in hammering out the understanding with the FPAC companies which led to the agreement, I'm well aware of the gamble that the organizations that have chosen to participate in this truce are making. But I want to underscore at the outset that this is a truce--not a surrender.

Entering into this agreement wasn't a decision that anyone made lightly, or without regard to the potential risks involved in abandoning old but reliable approaches. However, we believe there has never been a better time than now to try to take another path towards achieving goals that we have long shared, including demonstrably improved ecosystem-based forest practices, habitat protection for critical species, recognition of the role that Boreal forests play in climate regulation, real prosperity for forest dependent communities, and respect for Aboriginal peoples as decision-makers over their lands and resources. We are committed to trying to advance respectful dialogue on these issues together with industry as an advocate--instead than as an opponent--of positive change, in the belief that governments--especially Aboriginal governments--will be willing to listen and to act on our best advice.

You've expressed particular concerns about the potential for divide-and-conquer strategies to play out in this new approach, and I admit that I share your concerns, but on different grounds. Every progressive movement lives in a tension between the perfect and the good, and I know that we've both seen situations where this tension could not be resolved, and where bitter disputes over the right path forward have divided communities and support movements in irreconcilable ways. I'm all for discussion on the relative merits of different approaches, but I think that it is fair to examine each carefully, and in light of what each side intends. To that end, I'd like to offer the following comments on your commentary:

First, it is important to put the CBFA in proper context. It is an aspirational agreement, based on voluntary commitments between participants and a number of goals which will require a great deal of goodwill and hard work to achieve. It is not legally binding on anyone, even those participating in the agreement. It doesn't compel anyone to do anything against their own interests, and it will either succeed or fail based on the degree to which the trust and commitment that has been developed thus far between participants carries forward over the next few years. Most significantly, success under the agreement ultimately requires actions by others, most notably provincial and Aboriginal governments, who we hope will come to share the goals identified in the agreement and will see value in working with us to help achieve them.

Now on your specific points:

1) The map you've circulated isn't part of the agreement, and was only prepared as background information. Much of the CBFA is concerned with actions on existing FPAC member tenures. The 'commercial forestry zone' was presented as context for situating those FPAC member tenures within the much larger area of land which has already been tenured or otherwise allocated by provincial governments for commercial forestry. The CBFA does not (and could not) designate a 'commercial forestry zone', but all the participants are very mindful of the fact that there is commercial forestry being undertaken on lands and by parties who are not part of the agreement, and are committed to  raising the bar for forest practices across the entire boreal.

2) On quashing boycotts and other actions taken by groups outside of the CBFA, I do not share your view that this agreement will prevent such actions from occurring or undermine them in any significant way. There is a clear understanding on the part of the FPAC members that companies outside of this process are subject to continued pressure from the participating market campaign groups, and that everyone is subject to actions taken by those outside of it. If anything, this will assist groups to more effectively contrast bad practices by non-participating companies against the new commitments being made by the FPAC members under this agreement. Where such actions target FPAC members, the CBFA will create new leverage, as FPAC companies can now be held to higher standards on long-contentious issues, ranging from environmental performance to respect for Aboriginal and treaty rights. The agreement provides new mechanisms where participating ENGOs working inside the process may in fact be helpful to groups outside of the process, which may lend strength to our collective efforts.

3) On recruiting others to become "bound" by the agreement: the CBFA is a voluntary agreement between stakeholders (forest companies and ENGOs), not a land use policy or framework endorsed by governments. While we hope that others will join, and have made provisions for other ENGOs and forest companies to 'sign on' to the CBFA in support of the specific goals and a program of work that it sets out, we did not envision that governments (including Aboriginal governments) would do so. We understand that our role is to offer policy advice and to demonstrate to governments that practical, broadly supported outcomes are possible through voluntary and collaborative measures, in the hope that governments will respond by adopting them. Whether they do so or not is ultimately a decision that they must make, whether individually within their jurisdictions or through own government-to-government processes.

4) On associates and allies being bound by this agreement by virtue of "membership or otherwise": Obviously, third parties cannot be bound, particularly by a non-binding, voluntary agreement. However, everyone who is party to this agreement is involved in networks of relationships with members, shareholders, associates and allies that are not party to the agreement, but who may significantly influence either outcomes or perceptions. In order to build and maintain trust, we have agreed to work together and within our networks to try to build support for the goals and objectives of the CBFA, and to collaboratively address issues where they may arise. This is generally consistent with the idea of a truce, where there will be ongoing efforts to try to build a lasting peace through dialogue, but it is in no way a guarantee that others will not continue or renew hostilities.

5) The specific intent of the specific provision you've highlighted (Schedule A, Goal 6, s. 12, p. 38) is not to, as you suggest, enlist ENGOs as some kind of informant network for forest companies (which was frankly never suggested by FPAC and could not possibly have been agreed to by ENGOs) but instead to anticipate the possibility that an individual or organization closely associated with a participating ENGO or company would make a statement or take a position contrary to the goals and objectives of the CBFA on the market recognition of FPAC member products. This provision commits participants to engaging in dialogue on that issue in order to try to achieve a positive outcome in line with our overall objectives, even if that means admitting that we are wrong on a particular point.

There is another provision (s. 23, p. 12) entitled 'No Surprises' in which the CBFA parties agree to provide reasonable advance notice of activities (ie new advocacy campaigns) which may be sensitive in the context of the agreement, but only where possible and always with a view to resolving problems before they arise. The provision is also clear that information received in confidence (ie, from community or grassroots allies) is protected and will not be shared.

6) Implicit in your critique is the belief that ENGOs will now act against their own interests in order to secure this new relationship with the forest industry. I can guarantee that this is not the case. Remember, this is a truce, not a surrender. The agreement itself (CBFA s. 12, p. 9) is explicit in stating that "FPAC, FPAC Members, and ENGOs acknowledge that in seeking to identify outcomes that will engender broad based support, FPAC, FPAC Members, and ENGOs will each vigorously assert their interests and may not always be able to agree on outcomes that can be jointly supported - where this is the case they will pursue a positive and constructive approach to resolving disputes." From experience, I can say that this is a reflection of what has occurred over the past two years of discussion, and is a good indicator of what we can expect going forward.

In closing, I very much appreciate the validity of your fundamental concern--that this agreement could undermine grassroots struggle. If I believed that was the case, I would not have taken this path, as I recognize that grassroots struggle as a critical driver for change. What I hope this will achieve instead is a new bar by which forest practices and company commitments can be measured and held to account by local communities and others concerned about the fate of the forest. If some companies prove to be intractable, even as the rest of the industry moves ahead of them, I believe this agreement will help in holding them to account.

I'd be pleased to discuss this with you in greater detail, and look forward to your response.

me Larry Innes
Executive Director
Canadian Boreal Initiative
402-30 Metcalfe St., Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5L4
linnes@borealcanada.ca

 

More on Pollution and 'Boreal Forest Agreement' Signatories

Dear Friends,

Thought you might be interested in the latest scientific research the health efects of of some of these chemicals which the forest industry has released and in some cases, is still releasing. These companies also use pesticides and herbicides on a grand scale

From: "John" <jhwhummel@shaw.ca>
To: "Larry Innes" <linnes@borealcanada.ca>
Subject: P.S. You may Find this of interest: Pollution, Diabetes and Indigenous People - Please Share Very Widely!
Date: May-26-10 1:11 PM

Diabetes may be linked to pollutants
Published: Jan. 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM - UPI

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- There is growing evidence diabetes -- especially among indigenous people -- may be linked to environmental pollutants, U.S. and Canadian researchers say.

One-out-of-four indigenous adults living on reserves in Canada have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Dominion reports.

More than a dozen published studies show a diabetes link to persistent organic pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls, carcinogenic hydrocarbons, or dioxins and synthetic pesticides such as DDT.

Environment Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory says there are 212 indigenous communities in Canada living near or downstream from pulp mills and other facilities that produce dioxins and furans.

In 2006, Dr. Duk-Hee Lee and colleagues found people with the highest rate of exposure to persistent organic pollutants were roughly 38 times more likely to have diabetes than those with the lowest rate of exposure.

However, people who were obese but did not have high levels of persistent organic pollutants were not at increased risk of developing diabetes.

A 1994 draft report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has never been formally released to the public, says 93 percent of exposure to dioxin comes from the consumption of beef, dairy, milk, chicken, pork, fish and eggs, The Dominion says.

Bitter Sweet or Toxic? Indigenous people, diabetes and the burden of pollution
There may be more to diabetes than our diet, or whether or not we get enough exercise. According to several new studies, it may be the result of our exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Note: this is a revised version of my article, "Bitter Sweet or Toxic?" featured in this month's issue of the Dominion, February 2010.

Bitter Sweet or Toxic?
Indigenous people, diabetes and the burden of pollution

WINNIPEG-Diabetes is now widely regarded as the 21st century epidemic. With some 284 million people currently diagnosed with the disease, it's certainly no exaggeration-least of all for Indigenous people.

According to the State of the World's Indigenous Peoples Report by the United Nations, more than 50 per cent of Indigenous adults over the age of 35 have Type 2 Diabetes, "and these numbers are predicted to rise."

Diabetes is referred to as a "lifestyle disease," its rampant spread believed to be caused by obesity due to our increased reliance on the western diet (also known as the "meat-sweet" diet) and our avoidance of regular exercise.

While these may certainly be contributing factors, there is growing evidence that diabetes is closely linked with our environment. More than a dozen studies have been published that show a connection between Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); carcinogenic hydrocarbons known as Dioxins; and the "violently deadly" synthetic pesticide, DDT and higher rates of the disease.

"If it is the POPs, not the obesity that causes diabetes, this is really striking if true," says Dr. David O. Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany.

One out of four Indigenous adults living on reserves in Canada have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. The prevalence of the disease appears to be so great that the number of new cases being diagnosed in Canada may exceed the growth of the Indigenous population. It's no longer uncommon to find children as young as three with the disease. According to government statistics, 27 per cent of all Indigenous people in Canada will have Type 2 Diabetes in the next ten years.

Sandy Lake First Nation, in the Sioux Lookout Zone of northern Ontario, has all but met the mark. A March 2009 study co-authored by Dr. Stewart Harris found that 26 per cent of the community has the disease, the highest recorded rate of diabetes in Canada. With a population of 2,500, the northern Cree community was recently described as an "epicentre" of the epidemic.

There has been little research on the levels of persistent organic pollutants in Sandy Lake; however, according to the First Nations Environmental Health Innovation Network, several neighboring communities who also have high rates of diabetes, like Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, are known to have elevated levels of PCBs in their blood.

The Mohawk community of Akwesasne has its own conflict with diabetes and exposure to POPs. Located across the New York-Ontario-Quebec borders along the St. Lawrence River, three aluminum foundries upriver from the reserve dumped PCBs into the river for decades, contaminating the water, soil, and vegetation.

For many years, Dr. Carpenter has been involved in the study of Adult Mohawks at Akwesasne. Most recently, in 2007, he took part in a study to examine the diabetes/pollution link in the community. "Our study of adult Mohawks showed a striking elevation in rates of diabetes in relation to blood levels of three persistent organic pollutants, DDE, the metabolite of DDT, hexachlorobenzene and PCBs," Dr. Carpenter explains. "Our results are quite compatible with those of Lee et al."

In 2006, Dr. Duk-Hee Lee and her colleagues showed that people with the highest rate of exposure to POPs were roughly 38 times more likely to have diabetes than those with the lowest rate of exposure. Further, "they showed that people who were obese but did not have high levels of POPs were not at increased risk of developing diabetes," continues Dr. Carpenter. "Probably the reason most people get obese is that they eat too many animal fats, and this is where the POPs are."

The dietary source of POPs was confirmed by the US Environmental Protection Agency in their Draft 1994 Dioxin Reassessment, which has never been formally released to the public. According to the Draft Reassessment, 93 per cent of our exposure to Dioxin comes from the consumption of beef, dairy, milk, chicken, pork, fish, and eggs; in other words, the western diet.

A May 2001 study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health drew similar conclusions to the EPA Reassessment. In addition, the study found that "nursing infants have a far higher intake of dioxins relative to body weight than do all older age groups," and that human breast milk was twice as toxic as dairy milk. It also found that vegans had the overall lowest rate of POPs in their bodies.

According to an October 2009 paper by the Research Centre for Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology at Masaryk University, another major source of POPs, specifically DDT, is the world's oceans. The paper also found that despite restrictions placed on the use of DDT more than 30 years ago, concentrations of the toxin are on the rise.

Indigenous people carry an unequally high proportion of this global toxic burden. For instance, according to Environment Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) there are 212 Indigenous communities in Canada living near or downstream from pulp mills and other facilities that produce dioxins and furans. One striking example is the old Dryden pulp mill near Grassy Narrows which, according to the Grassy Narrows and Islington Bands Mercury Disability Board, dumped tonnes of dioxin-laced mercury wastewater into the English-Wabigoon River system from 1962-70.

Forty years later, the poisonous waste continues to pose a "serious health threat" to Grassy Narrows and the Wabaseemoong First Nations, says the Disability Board. No formal steps have been taken toward remediation by federal or provincial governments.

The Tohono O'odham Nation's experience bears a close resemblance to Grassy Narrows: the world's highest rate of diabetes can be found in the southwest Arizona nation. According to Tribal health officials, nearly 70 per cent of the population of 28,000 has been diagnosed with the illness. The O'odham People make up the second largest Indigenous Nation in the United States.

Lori Riddle is a member of Aquimel O'odham Community and founder of the Gila River Alliance for a Clean Environment (GRACE).

GRACE was instrumental in the 10 year struggle against a hazardous waste recycling plant that operated without full permits on O'odham land for decades. Owned by Romic Environmental Technologies Corporation, the plant continuously spewed effluents into the air until it was finally shut down in 2007.

The Romic plant was not the first contributor to the O'odham's toxic burden, explained Riddle. Looking back to her childhood, she recalled: "For nearly a year, [when] a plane would go over our heads, you could see the mist. We never thought to cover our water. The chemicals just took over and they became a part of us."

From the early 1950s until the late 60s, cotton farmers in the Gila River watershed routinely sprayed DDT onto their crops to protect them from bollworms. According to the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), each and every year, the farmers used roughly Twenty-three pounds of DDT per acre.

In 1969, the State of Arizona banned the use of DDT; by this time the river was gravely contaminated. According to the ATSDR, farmers then switched to Toxaphene, a substitute for DDT-until it was banned by the US government in 1990.

Because of these chemicals, Riddle explains, the O'odham were forced to abandon their traditional foods and adopt a western diet. Farms also went into a recession, forcing many families to leave their communities. Companies, such as Romic, began moving on to their territory, exasperating the situation. "It's taken a toll on our quality of life," she says. "I've cried myself to sleep."

The O'odham are dealing with what Riddle terms "cluster symptoms" including miscarriages, arthritis in the spine, breathing problems, unexplainable skin rashes, and problems regenerating blood cells. This in addition to diabetes, which frequently leads to renal failure, blindness, heart disease, and amputations.

More and more studies are being published that show the link between diabetes and persistent organic pollutants like DDT-stemming from the landmark "Ranch Hand" study. In 1998, the study found a 166 per cent increase in diabetes (requiring insulin control) in US Air Force personnel who were sprayed with the herbicide and defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The study also found that as dioxin levels increased so did the presence and severity of Type 2 diabetes, the time to onset declined following a similar trend.

However, Dr. Carpenter notes that because of the widely-endorsed belief that diabetes is a life-style disease related to diet and exercise, the link is gaining little attention by governments, news agencies, or by any of the hundreds of non-profit diabetes foundations around the world. "[It] hasn't even made it into the medical community at this point," Dr. Carpenter adds. "It takes a long time to change both medical and public opinion."

"Clearly one thing everyone can do is to eat less animal fats," suggests Dr. Carpenter. Several Indigenous communities in northern Manitoba and British Columbia have begun to do this, planting their own gardens and building greenhouses; returning, in a traditional sense, to some of the foods that sustained them for millennia. Others are turning to exercise, which plays a vital role not just in the prevention of diabetes, but in their overall health.

"Also, we must find ways of getting the POPs out of the animals that we eat. That is not going to be easy, given how contaminated we have made the world," adds Dr. Carpenter. For this, Lori Riddle, who is herself a diabetic, points to the Tribal Council and the Federal Government.

John Schertow is an Indigenous rights advocate and author of the blog, Intercontinental Cry.

Pollution and Diabetes
Submitted by John Hummel on Sun, 2010-01-31 17:08.
Source: Emerging Health Threats Forum

About the Emerging Health Threats Forum: http://www.eht-forum.org/common/aboutus.html

Friday 29 January 2010
Beyond diet in diabetes
Pollutants interact with obesity to raise diabetes risk

Exposure to dioxins is linked to insulin resistance, which causes diabetes, according to research published this month in Epidemiology.1 Experts say that there is now strong evidence for a link between diabetes and exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including dioxins, but that this is still being largely overlooked by the medical community.

"There's just been a flood of evidence linking POPs to diabetics in the last five years," says David Carpenter, Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, New York, USA. "When you put this study in the context of what's being done in other groups, it gives a very convincing story."

The researchers, led by Jung-Wei Chang of the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, measured the levels of serum dioxins, fasting glucose, and insulin in 1234 people living near an abandoned pentachlorophenol manufacturing plant. They used a homeostasis model, which uses fasting glucose and insulin levels to estimate insulin resistance. After controlling for risk factors such as age, obesity, and family history of diabetes, they found a positive association, with a linear dose-response, between serum dioxins and the prevalence of insulin resistance.

Earlier studies have linked a variety of POPs, including dioxins, polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides such as DDT, to an increased risk of type II diabetes. Since obesity is linked with greater levels of POPs in the body, scientists speculate that the link between obesity and the development of diabetes might be mediated through these toxins.

"People get obese because they eat too much animal fat, and that's where the contaminants are," Carpenter points out. This effect may explain why indigenous populations in Canada are at higher risk of diabetes, Carpenter explains, as they are often exposed to greater levels of POPs than the general population.

One study in particular,2 led by Duk-Hee Lee of the Kyungpook National University in Daegu, Korea, looked at 2016 participants to the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which took blood samples from a cross section of the general US population, and found no association between obesity and diabetes among people with no detectable levels of POPs in their blood. This implies that the risk of diabetes from obesity could be largely due to POPs, which accumulate in adipose tissue, rather than physiological changes that come with obesity, Carpenter says.

"I am somewhat sceptical of that finding," says David Jacobs, Professor of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and one of Lee's co-authors. The association between exposure to POPs and diabetes is stronger in obese people, he points out. But it's clear that POPs and obesity interact to raise the risk of diabetes, he says.

This would suggest that losing weight may only partially reduce the risk for diabetes. POPs accumulate in adipose tissue - which means that weight loss releases the toxins back into the blood. "That stuff has got to go somewhere," Jacobs says. "It's clear that POPs [released from fat deposits] distribute into blood and other tissues."

Worryingly, some data show a stronger association with diabetes at low concentrations of POPs, Jacobs says. "We have seen that kind of pattern, but it's very difficult to interpret," says Jacobs. Because of the difficulty of measuring low-level exposure to these pollutants, a lot more research is needed to confirm whether they have this effect, he argues.

Despite the body of evidence linking POPs and diabetes, the link is still not widely acknowledged in the medical community. "Physicians are totally oblivious to this being a risk factor," Carpenter says. "The nutrition community have oversold the benefits of fish and underplayed the dangers of contaminants."

Although production of many of the toxins studied has been banned worldwide, they persist in the environment, are distributed globally, and continue to bioaccumulate in the food chain. Pesticides like DDT, which are still used in malarial regions, can turn up in the food supply all over the world. And others are still on the increase. "[POP] exposure is to some degree going down, except in the case of flame retardants where exposure is increasing exponentially," Carpenter says. Flame retardants are structurally very similar to PCBs, he points out, and so these too should be investigated for the potential to cause diabetes - especially as children are among the most highly exposed population groups.

Reference and links

1. Chang JW, Chen HS, Su HJ, Liao PC, Guo HR,and Lee CC. Dioxin Exposure and Insulin Resistance in Taiwanese Living Near a Highly Contaminated Area. Epidemiology 2010;21:56-61. doi:10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181c2fc6e
2. Lee DH, Lee IK, Song K, Steffes M, Toscano W, Baker BA and Jacobs JR. A Strong Dose-Response Relation Between Serum Concentrations of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2006;29:1638-1644. doi:10.2337/dc06-0543

Epidemiology:
January 2010 - Volume 21 - Issue 1 - pp 56-61
doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181c2fc6e
Endocrine: Original Article
Dioxin Exposure and Insulin Resistance in Taiwanese Living Near a Highly Contaminated Area
Chang, Jung-Wei; Chen, Hsiu-Ling; Su, Huey-Jen; Liao, Po-Chi; Guo, How-Ran; Lee, Ching-Chang

Abstract
Background: Several epidemiologic studies suggest a slightly increased risk of type 2 diabetes in relation to background levels of dioxins. Little is known about how serum dioxins might affect insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. We examined the association between exposure to dioxins and insulin resistance.

Methods: We investigated 1234 nondiabetic persons living near a deserted pentachlorophenol factory. Using high-resolution gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry and blood biochemistry tests, we measured serum dioxins, fasting glucose, and insulin. Finally, we examined associations between serum dioxin levels and the homoeostasis model assessments of insulin resistance and pancreatic ?-cell function.

Results: Participants with insulin resistance (index at or above the 75th percentile) had higher dioxin levels (24.3 vs. 19.8 pg WHO98-TEQDF/g lipid) than those without insulin resistance. In both the crude and adjusted models, insulin resistance increased with serum polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) levels. We found a slight monotonic increase in insulin resistance across the serum PCDD/F categories (P for the trend <0.001). Groups with serum dioxin levels higher than 20.5 pg WHO98-TEQDF/g lipid had higher insulin resistance (adjusted odds ratios of 2.7, 3.5, and 5.0 for 50th to <75th, 75th to <90th, and ?90th percentile, respectively) compared with the reference group (<9.6 pg WHO98-TEQDF/g lipid [< 10th percentile]).

Conclusions: After adjusting for confounding factors, we found a positive association between serum dioxins and the prevalence of insulin resistance.

News Release Re: Pollution and Diabetes
Submitted by John Hummel on Sun, 2010-01-31 17:11.
Dear Friends,

The pollution/diabetes connection has received no major news coverage anywhere in the world. I hope you will share the media release below with all your media contacts. Also, please share this information with all your scientific, environmental and Tribal colleagues who are studying diabetes. Much is at stake for the health of people all over the world. All the very best to you.

For Land and Life,
John H.W. Hummel,
Volunteer Pollution/Health Researcher,
611 Eighth Street, Nelson B.C.
Canada
(250)505-2165
Email: jhwhummel@shaw.ca

Story Idea: The Link between Pollution and Diabetes

Health Canada Predicts that within 10 years, 27% of all First Nations people in Canada will have Type II Diabetes. Many First Nations People have been exposed to toxins such as DDT, Dioxin, Arsenic, Cadmium Hexachlorobenzene and PCB's for many decades.

For a Summary of the latest Scientific research on this topic, please go to:

http://www.ajmed.fr/documents/pdf/perturbateurs_diabete.pdf

For some of the very latest studies on pollution/diabetes links please go to:

http://groups.google.ca/group/friends-of-agg/browse_thread/thread/6cb350...

(and click on 'show quoted text')

The Pesticide DDT, Persistant Pollutants and Diabetes:

http://groups.google.com/group/friends-of-agg/browse_thread/thread/13b91...

Key Scientific Contacts Re: Diabetes and Pollution
(Please Note, above are links to many of these scientists most recently published and peer reviewed studies on the pollution/diabetes connections):

1) Dr. David Carpenter carpent@uamail.albany.edu United States

2) Dr. Duk-Hee Lee lee_dh@knu.ac.kr Korea

3) Dr. Joel Michalek michalekj@uthscsa.edu United States

4) Dr. Mary Turyk mturyk1@uic.edu United States

5) Dr. Miquel Porta mporta@imim.es Spain

6) Dr. Lars Rylander lars.rylander@med.lu.se Sweden

7) Dr. Anna Rignell-Hydbom anna.rignell-hydbom@med.lu.se Sweden

8) Dr. Laurie Chan lchan@unbc.ca Canada

9) Dr. Harold Schwartz harold_schwartz@hc-sc.gc.ca Canada

10) Dr. Allen E. Silverstone silversa@upstate.edu United States

11) Dr. Donna Mergler mergler.donna@uqam.ca Canada
First Nations Pollution/Health Contacts:

Research Tools and Contacts for the Communities Re: Pollution and Health

Dear Friends,

Many communities are experiencing health problems related to exposure to industrial pollutants. Many people want to investigate the pollution/health links in their community but have little funding and aren't sure where to begin. To assist people in their pollution/health research, here are a few inexpensive community action tools to get started and some key contacts to compare notes with and get advice from. Hope this information is helpful to protect the health and well being of your community. Also, here are the tools to start a broad based coalition to eliminate pollution and protect the health of the people and the earth. All the best to you all.

For Land and life,
Your Friend,
John H.W. Hummel
Nelson, B.C.

'Bucket Brigade' :An Inexpensive Way to Find Out What Pollution is in Your Communities Air: http://www.bucketbrigade.net/article.php?list=type&type=9

Body Mapping for Pollution Related Health Problems: http://www.ohcow.on.ca/clinics/sarnia/docs/IJOEH_Holmes.pdf

More on Body Mapping: http://newsreel.org/transcripts/beloved.htm

Bucket Brigade Contacts: Denny Larson, Global Community Monitor: denny@gcmonitor.org

Ruth Breech, Global Community Monitor: ruth@gcmonitor.org

Body Mapping Contacts: Ada Lockridge, Aamjiwnaang First Nation: ada_lockridge@hotmail.com

James Brophy, Scientist and expert in Worker Health and safety: jimbrophy@sympatico.ca

Dear Friends,

Here are a few key contacts for you if you wish to investigate the health impacts of industrial pollution on First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in North America in 2009.

1) Dr. David Carpenter,Toxicologist, University of Albany, NY: carpent@uamail.albany.edu
- David has been doing toxics research with the Mohawks of Akwesasne for many years and recently published scientific papers showing a dramatic increase in Diabetes and Heart Disease in
Akwesasne Mohawks with PCB's and Pesticides in their blood

2) Henry Lickers, Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, Cornwall, Ontario: hlickers@akwesasne.ca
- Henry has worked at the Akwesasne Environment department for decades and can describe the impacts of PCB's, mercury, pesticides, fluoride etc on his people

3) Ken Jock, Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, Cornwall, Ontario : ken_jock@srmtenv.org
- Ken works on environmental issues at Akwesasne and can describe the health impacts pollution has had on his people

4) Joyce King, Haudenosaune Environmental Task Force: joyceking@westelcom.com
- Joyce can describe pollution/health impacts on the Six Nations people as a whole

5) Eva Johnson, Environmental Department, Kahnawake Mohawk Nation: (450) 635-3035 or (450) 635-0600
-Eva can describe how toxic dumpsites, Lead pollution and solvent pollution from Industry has harmed the health of Kahnawake people e.g. the Scleroderma, heart disease, diabetes and cancer epidemics

6) Lynn Jacobs, Environmental Department, Kahnawake Mohawk Nation: lynn.jacobs@mck.ca
- Lynn and Eva are a team and she can well describe pollution/health impacts in her community

7) Sue Chiblow, Chiefs of Ontario, Environmental Department: sue@coo.org
- Sue Can describe pollution/health impacts on aboriginal communities all over Ontario

8) Dr. Michael Gilbertson, Research Scientist: michael.gilbertson@rogers.com
- Michael discovered possible mercury poisoning (Minamata Disease) outbreaks at specific pollution Hotspots around the Great Lakes and is presently assisting Aamjiwnaang First Nation expose pollution/health problems in their area e.g. skewed birth ratios likely attributable to pollution exposure

9) James Brophy, Research Scientist: jimbrophy@sympatico.ca
- James Co-Authored Pollution/Health papers with Michael Gilbertson and is presently helping Aamjiwnaang First Nation expose pollution related health problems in their community

10) Ron Plain, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Sarnia, Ontario: rplain@environmentaldefence.ca
- Ron is a Pollution/Health Activist at Aamjiwnaang and works at Environmental Defence Canada to expose pollution/health issues in Aboriginal Communities

11) Ada Lockridge, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Sarnia, Ontario: ada_lockridge@hotmail.com
- Heads up the Aamjiwnaang Environment Committee exposing Benzene, Mercury etc. impacts on the health of her people

12) Wilson Plain, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Sarnia, Ontario: wilsonplain2@hotmail.com
-Wilson is part of the Aamjiwnaang Environment Committee and was recently found to have PCB's and all kinds of other industrial toxins in his body

13) Judy DaSilva, Grassy Narrows First Nation, Ontario: jsilva@northone.ca
-Judy is a Clan Mother, Healer, environmental activist and spokesperson at Grassy Narrows and can tell you about the mercury poisoning in her community, the dioxins and furans found in Grassy's wild meat and the herbicide spraying of Grassy's traditional territory

14) Steve Fobister Sr., Grassy Narrows First Nation, Ontario: gsfobister@hotmail.com
- Steve is a Councillor at Grassy Narrows First Nation and has been a leader of his people for decades.
Steve can tell you about what has happened at Grassy from all the pulp-mill pollution and herbicide spraying.
My pal Steve, his daughter and his little Granddaughter and many of his other family members all have Mercury Poisoning from that Pulp Mill at Dryden

15) Joe B. Fobister, Grassy Narrows First Nation, Ontario: jbfobister@yahoo.ca
- Joe is a spokesperson for the Grassy Blockaders and a leader of his community. He can tell you all about what the pollution has done to the health of his people

16) Sherry Fobister, Grassy Narrows First Nation, Ontario: namesfobister@hotmail.com
-Sherry is another dear friend. She is a great spokesperson and can tell you firsthand about the difficulties she has faced as a single Mum dealing with her own mercury related health problems as well as that of her little daughter Catherine

17) Emily Fobister, Grassy Narrows First Nation,Ontario: mommie52006@hotmail.com
- Emily did a Sacred walk to help her people heal from all the industrial sicknesses harming her family and people. She inspired many youth and helped many people.

18) Dr. Masazumi Harada, Mercury Expert in Japan: mharada@kumagaku.ac.jp
- Dr. Harada discovered mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows and Whitedog in the 1970's and found new cases amongst Grassy children when he returned and tested people in 2003.

19) Dr. Leanne Simpson, Expert on First Nations Pollution/Health Issues: leannesimpson@sympatico.ca
- Leanne worked on the Grassy Narrows/Wabauskang wild meat testing study and is presently investigating all the deaths and sickness among Wabauskang people from when they lived at Quibel, Ontario immediately downstream from the Dryden Pulp Mill

20) Betty Riffel, Wabauskang First Nation, Ontario: bet093@hotmail.com
- Betty is working with Leanne Simpson to investigate the deaths of all those infants when her people lived at Quibel. She also worked on the Grassy Narrows/Wabauskang wild meat study where they recently found mercury, furans etc. in the fish and wildmeat eaten by the people

21) Damien Lee, Fort William First Nation, Ontario: connectwithdamien@gmail.com
-Damien heads up the Anishinabek of the Gitchi Gami (AGG) environmental group at Fort William First Nation and is knowledgable about the hundreds of random dumpsites at his community, the pollution from local industry surrounding his community and much more!

22) Wendy Solomon, Fort William First Nation, Ontario: ladysigni_sha@msn.com
- Wendy is the outreach coordinator for AGG and another dedicated environmental/health advocate at Fort William First Nation who knows alot about pollution/health issues

33) Betsy Mandamin, Grand Council Treaty 3, Kenora, Ontario: health@treaty3.ca
- Betsy works at Treaty 3 Health department and has much knowledge of Mercury pollution and environmental/health issues in the whole Treaty 3 Area

34) Dorothy Friday, Grand Council Treaty 3, Kenora, Ontario: health@treaty3.ca
- Dorothy also works at Treaty 3 Health Department and knows alot about pollution/health issues in the Treaty 3 Area

35) Steve and Susanne Lawson, First Nations Environment Network (FNEN), Tofino, B.C.: councilfire@hotmail.com
- Steve and Susanne co-ordinate FNEN, are lifelong environmental activists and can put you in touch with dozens of Aboriginal communities impacted by pollution

36) Tom Goldtooth, Director, Indigenous Environment Network (IEN): ien@igc.org
- Tom Coordinates the IEN south of the border, a big focus of IEN has been pollution/health issues and he can put you in touch with Aboriginal communities who have health problems due to pollution all over North America and beyond!

38) Allister Marshall, FNEN - East Coast: amarshall@potlotek.ca
-Allister is very knowledgable about pollution/health issues impacting First Nations on the East Coast of Canada

39) Ishbel Munro, FNEN - East Coast: coastalnet@ns.sympatico.ca
-Ishbel has been an advocate for environmental/Aboriginal issues for decades and can put you in touch with pollution impacted First Nations all over (especially in Nova Scotia)

40) Willi Nolan, Elder/Environmental Activist, East Coast: willi@web.ca
- Willi is a respected Anishinawbe Elder who is very knowledgable about pollution/health impacts on First Nations communities. Willi's main focus is to share traditional knowledge of the environment and Mother Earth with the youth. Willi has done truly remarkable things! Someone should write a book about her.

41) Al Hunter, FNEN - Ontario: tbird2@netscape.net
- Al Hunter is a former Chief of his people, a respected Elder (even though he is young) and knows lots about pollution in the Manitou Rapids, Rainy River area of Ontario. He has many contacts knowledgable about pollution/health impacts on Aboriginal communities.

42) Fred Greene, Grand Council Treaty 3, Kenora, Ontario: fred.greene@treaty3.ca
- Fred is a political advisor to the Ogichida of Grand Council Treaty 3 and is very knowledgable about pollution impacts on the Treaty 3 First Nations

43) Alan Penn, Expert on Mercury Poisoning of James Bay Cree: apenn@gc.ca
- Alan is an expert on the Mercury pollution of the James Bay Cree communities

44) Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence Canada (EDC): jfoulds@environmentaldefence.ca
- Jennifer works with Ron Plain at EDC. EDC is presently engaged in uniting First Nations, Environmental NGO's and Scientists to battle pollution impacting the health of us all.

45) David McLaren, Saugeen First Nation, Ontario: d.mclaren@the-matrix.ca
- David is a pollution/health/environment expert from Saugeen First Nation

46) Dean Jacobs, Walpole Island First Nation, Ontario: dean.jacobs@wifn.org
- Dean is a pollution/health/environment expert at Walpole Island First Nation

47) Dr. John O'Connor, Former Dr. for Fort Chipewyan People: gramocroi@shaw.ca
- Dr. O'Connor discovered rare cancers in the people of Fort Chipewyan First Nation in Alberta likely due to pollution from Tar sands development. The Government has been hounding him and trying to take away his Physicians lisence ever since he went public with his concerns for Fort Chipewyan people.

48) George Poitras, Health Official, Fort Chipewyan Area: george.poitras@shawbiz.ca
- George is one of the spokespeople for First Nations in Alberta concerned about pollution/health problems associated with Tar sands Development in northern Alberta.

49) Kevin Timoney, Researcher: ktimoney@compusmart.ab.ca
- Kevin did a huge report on pollution from the Tar Sands development which could be harmful to First Nations in the area.

50) Winona LaDuke, Famous First Nations Environmental Activist: honorearth@earthlink.net
-Winona is a very famous Native American environmental activist who can tell you alot about pollutions health impacts on Aboriginal communities all over North America

51) Chief Thomas Alexis, Chief of Tl'azt'en First Nation, B.C.: thomas.alexis@tlazten.bc.ca
- Many of Chief Alexis's people are sick and dying of mercury poisoning from an old mercury mine in northern B.C. He has many stories to tell on that topic.

52) Brenda Duncan, Haisla First Nation, Kitimat, B.C.: executivedir@uniserve.com
- Brenda heads up the Nanakila Institute which protects the environment in Haisla Traditional Territory. She can tell you about the impacts of pollution from Alcan, Eurocan and Methanex on the health of her people

53) Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Famous Inuit Leader and Environmental Activist: iccan@baffin.ca
- Sheila is a very famous Inuit leader and environmental activist who can tell you all about what the mercury, dioxin and PCB's from Southern industry has done to the health of Aboriginal people of the Circumpolar Region

54) Ramsey Hart, Mining Watch Canada: ramsey@miningwatch.ca
- Ramsey heads up Mining Watch Canada which is a collaberation of environmental NGO's, First Nations organizations and labour groups. He can tell you lots about the impacts of mining and smelting impacts on the health and well being of aboriginal communities all over Canada.

55) Jamie Kneen, Mining Watch, Canada: jamie@miningwatch.ca
- Jamie is an aboriginal rights/environmental justice activist from way back! He is a treasure trove of knowledge and contacts on pollution impacts in Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal Women Suffer Surge in Diabetes
Submitted by John Hummel on Sun, 2010-01-31 21:40.
Link to full text of New Study: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/rapidpdf/cmaj.090846v1
Link to Article on Gestational Diabetes and Pesticide Exposure: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/newscience/2007/2007-0706saldanae...

Link to Full Text of Gestational Diabetes/Pesticide Exposure Study: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/3/529.full

Please Note: Pesticides have been found in the fish and wildmeat eaten by many First Nations communities all across Canada. That is in addition to the body burden of pesticides we all carry by simply eating a variety of store bought foods.
Aboriginal women suffer surge in diabetes
Native people, especially women, are developing the disease in their 40s - 30 years sooner than non-natives, study finds

André Picard Public Health Reporter

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail Published on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010 9:16AM EST Last updated on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010 9:45AM EST

The rate of diabetes among aboriginal women is four times that of women in the general Canadian population, a new study reveals.

Moreover, members of first nations are developing the debilitating illness by their 40s, while in the rest of society it tends to strike people in their 70s.

"Diabetes is a disease of young first-nations adults with a marked predilection for women," said lead author Roland Dyck of the department of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan.

"In contrast, diabetes is a disease of aging non-first-nations adults that is more common in men," he said.

Dr. Dyck said the big difference in the age of onset has serious implications; diabetes is one of the principal causes of blindness, amputations, kidney failure and heart disease.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, examined trends among patients diagnosed with diabetes in Saskatchewan from 1980 to 2005. The sample included 8,275 aboriginal people and 82,306 non-aboriginals.

The data paint a troubling picture of an unrelenting diabetes epidemic in native communities that "is likely to continue increasing in the foreseeable future," the paper notes.

Dr. Dyck and his team found that in 2005, 20 per cent of women and 16 per cent of men living in native communities had Type 2 diabetes. That was up sharply from 9.5 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively in 1980.

Rates of diabetes in the non-aboriginal population rose to 5.5 per cent from 2 per cent in women over the same period, and to 6.2 per cent from 2 per cent in men.

Over all, the incidence (the frequency of development of diabetes in a population over a given time period) and the prevalence (the number of people currently suffering from the disease) were both about four times higher among aboriginal women and 2.5 times higher among aboriginal men.

The epidemiological study was not designed to explain the underlying causes of this disparity, but Dr. Dyck put forth a couple of likely explanations.

First, it has been well documented that rates of overweight and obesity are significantly higher in native communities. (Excess weight, particularly in the abdominal area, is a key factor in Type 2 diabetes.) In aboriginal communities, women are more likely to be overweight or obese than men, and at a younger age.

Second, there are high rates of gestational diabetes in pregnant aboriginal women. Those who develop diabetes during pregnancy are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life, and so are their children.

"Gestational diabetes has been implicated in the intergenerational 'vicious cycle' by increasing diabetes among the offspring," Dr. Dyck said.

He added that the differences in the epidemiology of the disease in native and non-native people means prevention programs should be different as well.

In particular, programs for first nations should focus on women in their reproductive years and on preventing gestational diabetes, Dr. Dyck said.

There are three distinct forms of diabetes: Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy; Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in children, occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin; Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body does not effectively use the insulin it produces.

About 90 per cent of diabetics have Type 2 disease, which is usually a consequence of obesity, inactivity, poor diet and aging. Poverty is also strongly associated with diabetes, which could be another factor that helps explain high rates in native communities.

Dear Friends,

The discovery, in the new scientific study described below, is very significant regarding the relationship between exposure to persistent organic pollutants and the onset of insulin resistance related diseases like Type II Diabetes. You can view the full text of this important study at this Link:

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2009/0901321/0901321.pdf
All the best to you.

Environmental Health News - January 14, 2010

        
            POPs lead to insulin resistance in rats.
            Jan 14, 2010

                  Ruzzin J, R Petersen, E Meugnier, L Madsen, EJ Lock, H Lillefosse, T Ma, S Pesenti, SB Sonne, TT Marstrand, MK Malde, ZY Du, C Chavey, L Fajas, AK Lundebye, CL Brand, H Vidal, K Kristiansen and L Froyland. 2009. Persistent organic pollutant exposure leads to insulin resistance syndrome. Environmental Health Perspectives doi:10.1289/ehp.0901321.
                  
               

Synopsis by Negin P. Martin, Ph. D , Kathleen M. McCarty, Sc.D. and Wendy Hessler

                  Male rats fed fish oil from farmed salmon  developed insulin resistance, obesity and related health issues.
            A new study in rats shows that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) - at levels found in food - cause insulin resistance and associated obesity and liver disease in the animals. The study is the first to show this experimentally. Insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes, which is becoming a global epidemic. The association between high levels of POPs in people and increased chance of developing diabetes has been known since 2006. Until now, scientists could not positively conclude that POPs influenced the onset of diabetes.
             

            Context
            Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a diverse group of toxic chemicals that resist degradation and can remain in the environment for decades. The compounds are known to adversely affect health in people and wildlife.

            POPs include organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and furans. Many of the synthetic chemicals were created for use in agriculture and construction. Others were used in, or are byproducts of, industry. Some - such as dioxins - also occur naturally as a result of burning and combustion.

            The US and Europe banned the production and use of certain POPs more than 30 years ago. This ban was expanded globally during this century. Yet, due to their chemical nature, they can remain intact, persist in the environment and accumulate in wildlife and people. They build up in farmland soils and waterways, contaminating wildlife and making their way up the food chain. People are exposed through eating contaminated fish, poultry, meat and dairy products.

            The hormone insulin helps in the uptake and storage of the sugar glucose - a basic regulator of metabolism. Insulin resistence occurs when cells do not respond to the hormone. This allows glucose levels to build up in the blood and leads to more serious health problems. Additionally, insulin and the uptake of glucose regulate the formation of fat.

            In the U.S., one out of four adults have metabolic abnormalities that are associated with insulin resistance. Typical symptoms of insulin resistance are fatigue, obesity, accumulation of fat around the belly and difficulty regulating the blood levels of fat and sugar. Insulin resistance is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems and liver disease.

            These drastic increases in metabolic disorders cannot be totally explained by current known risk factors - high fat diets and lack of exercise. Based on animal and human research findings, some scientists suspect that POPs have the potential to contribute to the diabetes epidemic that threatens people around the globe. Human studies have found associations between an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes and higher levels of POPs in the body (Lee et al. 2006). Animal research has pointed in the same direction.
            What did they do?
            Adult male rats were fed for 28 days either crude or refined fish oil obtained from farmed Atlantic salmon carcasses.

            The crude fish oil contained the levels of POPs that people are typically exposed to after eating the fish. The refined fish oil contained no POPs and was fed to the control rats. The levels of fat in both diets were the same.

            After exposure, the researchers measured body weight, whole-body insulin sensitivity and levels of POPs in each group. They compared the levels of fat, triacylglycerol, diacylglycerol and cholesterol in the rat livers.

            They also determined how well rats could regulate sugars and fats and measured the expression of several key genes that are thought to be involved in the metabolic process.

            In a parallel study, fat cells were exposed to the types of POPs that were stored in the fish fat cells at similar levels found in the salmon oil. The effects on sugar uptake by the cells were measured.

            What did they find?
            Adult rats exposed to the crude fish oil - which contained the POPs mixture - put on belly fat and developed insulin resistance and liver disease. The rats could not regulate fat properly. They had higher levels of cholesterol and the fatty acids triacylglycerol and diacylglycerol in their livers.

            In contrast, none of these changes were seen in the rats that ate fish oil without the POPs.

            Although blood levels of insulin and sugar were similar among rats with either diet, the rats exposed to POPs had impaired insulin action. The POPs also altered the expression of number of genes involved in metabolism, which could explain the changes in fat and sugar regulation.

            Similar results on insulin and gene expression were seen in the cultured fat cells that were exposed to a POPs mixture similar to that found in the fish oil. The POPs - especially the organochlorine pesticides - drastically inhibited insulin's action and the cells' ability to take up glucose, a first step in insulin resistence.The cells expressed fewer of the genes that regulate fat and sugar levels.

            Further analysis showed the liver and fat tissue differed in the components they predominantly store. PCBs and organochlorine pesticides were measured in both liver and fat tissue while certain types of dioxins and furans were more abundant in the liver.

            What does it mean?
            Based on this study, daily exposure to POPs mixtures in food at levels found naturally in the environment leads to insulin resistance and an impaired ability to metabolize fat and sugar in adult male rats. The levels measured in the rats' fat tissues were relevant to humans, as they were similar to those previously reported for middle-aged Europeans.

            This rodent study is the first to find that POPs can cause abnormal insulin action and adds an important missing piece to the growing body of human research that has found associations between POPs levels and insulin resistance that could cause such serious health problems as type 2 diabetes, obesity and liver disease.

            Generally, animal studies provide a way to ask and answer health-related questions that cannot be studied directly in people. Humans and rats share similar hormones that work in the same general way to guide metabolism and reproduction. Because of these similarities, rats and mice are used to assess both potential drug therapies and potential effects from environmental toxicants. Results from animal studies supply insights into what might be occurring with respect to health and disease in people.

            Animals and people accumulate these long-lived compounds from food and store them in fat. Most of us carry at least some types of the chemicals in our bodies. The authors say their results indicate that POPs - as with some other indicted environmental chemicals found in air pollution and plastics - "provide additional evidence that global environmental pollution contributes to the epidemic of insulin resistance-associated metabolic diseases."

            The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people will die from disease associated with insulin resistance and metabolic disorders by 2015. The current strategies for prevention include limiting dietary intake and increasing physical activity. This study suggests that considering the role of POPs may be warranted in prevention strategies.

            Current methods of risk assessment may also fall short in protecting health, since different types of POPs mixtures impaired insulin action differently. Some did, while others did not. The dioxin and dioxin-like PCB levels that changed insulin action did not fall within the standard measure of toxicity - called the total toxic equivalent (TEQ) concentration - that is currently used to regulate safe exposures to environmental chemicals. The findings "demonstrate that risk assessment based on TEQ assigned to dioxins and dioxins-like PCBs" does not include the risk of insulin resistance, according to the study's authors.

            POPs production and use are regulated worldwide. For example, in the U.S., regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency have significantly reduced the release of dioxins and furans. Globally, a number of international laws limit or ban their use.

            The chemicals classified as POPs do not degrade easily, so even limited production will still have an additive effect over the years. Because of this, POPs will continue to impact the environment - and possibly human health - into the future.

            ShareThis

                  Resources
                  Insulin resistence and pre-diabetes. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

                  Lee, DH, IK Lee, K Song, M Steffes, W Toscano, BA Baker and DR Jacobs. 2006. A strong dose response relation between serum concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and diabetes: Results from the National Health and Examination Survey 1999-2002. Diabetes Care 29(7):1638-1644.

                  Persistant organic pollutants. United Nations Environment Programme.

                  Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Stockholm Convention.
                  
                  Contaminants and diabetes

                  Search
                  13 October Dioxin tied to metabolic syndrome in Japan. A large new epidemiological study in Japan finds that even at background levels of exposure, people with higher levels of dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs are a significantly greater risk to metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. Environmental Health News.

                  18 August In human fat tissue, Bisphenol A inhibits release of a hormone that protects people from diabetes and heart attacks. In human fat tissues, bisphenol A suppresses levels of a key hormone, adiponectin, that protects people from heart attacks and Type II diabetes. Environmental Health News.

                  3 May Insulin dependant diabetes mellitus: implications for male reproductive function -- Agbaje et al., 10.1093/humrep/dem077 -- Human Reproduction Men with diabetes have increased levels of DNA damage in their sperm. Human Reproduction.

                  15 April Birth Weight and Subsequent Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis -- Harder et al. 165 (8): 849 -- American Journal of Epidemiology There is a non-monotonic relationship between birth weight and risk of Type II diabetes later in life. American Journal of Epidemiology.

                  6 January Increased rate of hospitalization for diabetes and residential proximity of hazardous waste sites. People living closer to hazardous waste sites containing persistent organic pollutants are more likely to be hospitalized for diabetes. Environmental Health Perspectives.

                  More news about
                  Contaminants and diabetes 

          

      Copyright © 2003 Environmental Health Sciences. All rights reserved.
    
 

An Idea Re: Polluters who are Signatories to the new 'Boreal For

Dear Friends,
 
Perhaps a campaign should be launched against Domtar to have its FSC certification removed for indirectly threatening the resources (ie. contaminating the fish and wildmeats) of Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong  people by continuing to dump pulp mill pollution into the Wabigoon River. Similar campaigns might be launched against the forest company signatories to the new 'Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement' that have pulp mills releasing toxic pollution up stream from or in the vacinity of Indigenous communities. Such activity is widespread and impacts hundreds of Indigenous communities in Canada, the United States and all over the world.
 
If the 'Forest Stewardship Council of Canada' does not revoke FSC certification for the offending companies then, they can rightly be accused of both Green-Washing the paper products of  of the offending companies and promoting the products of these companies as eco-friendly when in fact, they are not. Just an idea for you to consider. All the best to you.
 
For Land and Life,
John H.W. hummel
 
P.S. Here's what Weyerhaeuser is releasing North-America wide: http://www.weyerhaeuser.com/Sustainability/Footprint/Pollutants 
 
Please also see 'Indigenous Land: Canada's Toxic Storehouse: http://intercontinentalcry.org/indigenous-land-canadas-toxic-storehouse/ and
 
Forest Stewardship Council of Canada website: http://fsccanada.org/FSCPaper.htm and their recent press release Re: 'The Canadian Boreal Agreement' : http://fsccanada.org/docs/100518_newsrelease_fsc_cbfa.pdf  and
 
How Domtar is using its FSC certification to sell its paper products and encourage unnessecary waste of paper: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/put-it-on-paper-domtar-ads-urge/article1547297/
 
 
 
Principles & Criteria (From: 'Forest Stewardship Council of Canada' Website)

All FSC-certified forests worldwide are evaluated against FSC’s Principles and Criteria for responsible forest management. FSC’s Principles and Criteria form the guiding framework for developing regional forest stewardship standards appropriate to local social, ecological and economic conditions.

PRINCIPLE #3: ABORIGINAL PEOPLES’ RIGHTS top The legal and customary rights of Aboriginal peoples to own, use and manage their lands, territories, and resources shall be recognized and respected.

3.1  Indigenous peoples shall control forest management on their lands and territories unless they delegate control with free and informed consent to other agencies.

3.2 Forest management shall not threaten or diminish, either directly or indirectly, the resources or tenure rights of indigenous peoples.

3.3 Sites of special cultural, ecological, economic or religious significance to indigenous peoples shall be clearly identified in cooperation with such peoples, and recognized and protected by forest managers.

3.4 Indigenous peoples shall be compensated for the application of their traditional knowledge regarding the use of forest species or management systems in forest operations.  This compensation shall be formally agreed upon with their free and informed consent before forest operations commence.

 

 
Forest Industry Signatories to the new 'Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement':
 
Abitibi Bowater, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, AV Group, Canfor, Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company, Cascades Inc., Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd., F.F. Soucy, Inc., Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, Kruger Inc., LP Canada, Mercer International, Mill & Timber Products Ltd, NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd, Papier Masson Ltée, SFK Pulp, Tembec Inc., Tolko Industries, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd, Weyerhauser Compnay Limited−all represented by the Forest Products Association of Canada.
 
Present Pollution Releases from some of the above mentioned companies:
Link:
 
 
Now you know what toxins these companies release and how much. Here' s how to find out what they can do to people's health:
 
Link:
 
1)Go to the link above
 
2) Go to ' Browse by Toxicant
 
3) Scroll Down and click on a particular toxin being released by the companies
 
4) Click ' Browse'  and up comes what diseases that  specific toxin is linked to and the strength of that link based on the latest scientific studies
 
Another thing you can do is ' Browse by Disease'  for diseases which may be common in the vicinity of some of these facilities . Do the same steps as above for a disease and up comes the list of toxins linked to that disease.
 

 

Boreal Agreement and Formaldahyde

More Thoughts on Boreal Agreement

You might find this of interest.

Link:  http://www.salmonguy.org/

Some Further Analysis of 'Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement'

A few Ideas Re: FSC Certification of Polluters

Dear Friends,
 
One of the demands of Grassy Narrows First Nation at the recent protests in Toronto was: 4) "Stop the Mills from polluting the water and air"
Here are a few ideas of how to achieve that. All the best to you.
 
For Land and Life,
John H.W. Hummel
Nelson, B.C.
 

Domtar marks milestone with sale of millionth ton of FSC-certified paper: http://dcnonl.com/nw/14277/es

 
In light of the fact that Domtar's pulp mill at Dryden, Ontario is still polluting the Wabigoon River and contaminating the food and water of Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong people and in light of the fact that that mill is polluting the air breathed by the people of Dryden, Ontario: http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/websol/querysite/facility_substance_summary_e.cfm?opt_npri_id=0000000928&opt_report_year=2008
 
and in light of the fact they are spraying the herbicide Vantage in Treaty #3 Territory: http://www.fsccanada.org/docs/domtar%20dryden%20public%20fsc%20fm%20report.pdf (see page 4)
 
Here are a few things people might consider in order to get Domtar to stop polluting the water and air:
 
1) Encourage ethical investment funds to not endorse Domtar stock
 
2) Start a campaign to discourage consumers from buying any paper products 
     from Domtar
     Link: http://fsccanada.org/docs/condensed%20paper%20list.pdf
 
3) Start a campaign to have Domtar stripped of its FSC certification
 
4) Have Domtar's 'Eco-Friendly' paper products being advertised on the FSC 
    website removed from that website
 
5) Start a campaign to prevent eco-certification of pulp-mill products if 
     those pulp mills do not make serious and substantial efforts to reduce 
     their pollution and go to a 'closed loop system'
6) Start a campaign and major lobbying effort with all levels of 
    government to get some justice re: the serious health problems at Grassy 
     e.g. a care home at Grassy for those disabled by pollution, increased 
     financial assistance for pollution victims etc.
 
7) Unite with other Indigenous communities near Domtar's 14 Pulp and Paper mills and issue joint statements Nationally and Internationally regarding their poisoning of Land and Life
    (Note: four of their polluting mills are in Canada at Dryden, Ontario, Espanola, Ontario, Kamloops, B.C. and Windsor, Quebec) 
 
Domtars Pulp and Paper Mills in the United States are located at the following places:
 
Ashdown, Arkansas
Hawesville, Kentucky
Plymouth, North carolina
Baileyville, North Carolina
Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania
Kingsport, Tennessee
Bennettsville, South Carolina
Nekossa, Wisconsin
Port Huron, Michigan
Rothschild, Wisconsin 
 
Here is how the health of people at Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nation is: http://freegrassy.org/wp-content/uploads/Harada_report_2004_FINAL.pdf
 
How is the health of the people near these other Domtar pulp and paper mills?! Let's find out and unite with those people!
 

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