Entries Filed in 'Healthy Lifestyles'
Spring in Augusta at Maine's Capitol. photo by Ramona du Houx
“Maine has a rich history of leading the nation on important civil rights protections, but breastfeeding worker have fallen through the cracks,” said Rep. Anne Graham. “Only with complete employment discrimination protections will working mothers achieve full equality in the workplace.”
Graham’s bill that would protect the rights of nursing mothers in the workplace had strong support at its public hearing before the Judiciary Committee.
“Breastfeeding in the best method for feeding virtually all newborns. Breastmilk fulfills an infant’s total nutrient requirements and provides antibodies that protect infants from disease,” Kneka Smith and Erin O’Connor-Jones of the March of Dimes Maine chapter, said in their testimony before the committee.
Graham said that state law provide rest breaks for working mothers to express milk, but that the protections for women who face discrimination for breastfeeding or pumping milk are inadequate. Maine’s law requires employers to grant nursing workers unpaid break time and a clean location, other than a bathroom, to express milk in private.
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A Consumer Reports Investigation: Talking Turkey released April 30,2013 revealed an alarming percentage of fecal bacteria in ground turkey products.
“In our first-ever lab analysis of ground turkey bought at retail stores nationwide, more than half of the packages of raw ground meat and patties tested positive for fecal bacteria. Some samples harbored other germs, including salmonella and staphylococcus aureus, two of the leading causes of foodborne illness in the U.S. Overall, 90 percent of the samples had one or more of the five bacteria for which we tested,” states the report.
In the report most of the 257 turkey samples that were tested proved positive for harmful strains of bacteria, which has alarmed many consumer groups. The industrial agriculture practice of frequently feeding animals antibiotics can make germs more resistant to them.
Farms that support a smaller number of animals in less stressful environments lead to healthier animals. Maine is one state that has grown small family farms and is leading the nation with the most organic producers per capita.
Fruits, vegetables and perennial herbs would be incorporated into the landscape of Capitol Park under a measure that won initial approval in the House on Wednesday. The legislation sponsored by Rep. Craig Hickman, had overwhelming support in the House with the vote of 107 to 33. Hickman owns a farm as well as a Bread & Breakfast and grows most of the food he serves.
“I want people, especially children, to see local agriculture when they visit the State House,” said Hickman. “I want them to see how beautiful food-producing plants can be.”
The bill would arrange for and oversee the development and maintenance of edible landscaping in a portion of Capitol Park. Hickman said the landscaping would require little or no additional work and that edible landscaping would be added as money is available. Both public and private funds may be used to cover the cost.
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Over a hundred people protested in favor of a bill before the legislature demanding labels on ford that has been grown by seeds that have been genetically changed.
On April 24th U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Peter DeFazio introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, legislation that would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clearly label genetically engineered foods know as genetically modified organisms, (GMOs), so that consumers can make informed choices about what they buy.
Maine’s Congressman Chellie Pingree is a co-sponsor of the bill.
“GMO labeling is an issue I’ve cared deeply about for a long time and is one of the things I hear most often about from constituents,” said Pingree. “I think people have a right to know exactly what they’re feeding themselves and their families. The choice of whether to eat GMO food is best left to the consumer–but there’s no choice to make if we don’t provide them the information.”
According to recent surveys, more than 90 percent of Americans support the labeling of genetically engineered foods. And many consumers were surprised to learn that GEO foods are not already labeled.
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The Maine House on Thursday gave initial approval to a bill to restore cuts to the Drugs for the Elderly (DEL) program and the Medicare Savings Plan. The LePage administration and Republican lawmakers cut funding and eligibility for the program last year.
The measure, LD 629, passed in a largely party-line vote of 93 to 55.
“Maine seniors and people with disabilities should not have to choose between paying for life-saving medicine and putting food on the table or gas in the tank,” said Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick. “Seniors and people with disabilities are our most vulnerable. They are our truly needy. They should be our priority.”
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A bill that would require the disclosure of genetically engineered food and seed stock in Maine gained support during hearings in Augusta, yesterday.
“People have the right to know what they are buying,” said Rep. Brian Jones, a co-sponsor of the measure with Rep. Craig Hickman. “Properly labeling these foods is a way to protect consumers and allow them to make more informed decisions.”
LD 718, An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers’ Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food and Seed Stock would require genetically engineered foods to be labeled as such and would impose sanctions for improper labeling. The disclosure provisions would be administered by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
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Today, Democrats on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee announced a coordinated legislative effort to help the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) in its efforts to address the growing backlog of claims. The 10 bills, which are outlined here, seek to help VA accomplish its goal to eliminate the backlog by 2015.
“We need to address the unacceptably large backlog of claims in order to get veterans the benefits they’ve earned faster. The VA has set an aggressive goal of ending the backlog by 2015, and our efforts are focused on helping them accomplish it,” said Rep. Mike Michaud (ME-02), the top Democrat on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “These bills represent a coordinated effort to put forth a pragmatic, solutions-oriented approach. A number of these initiatives already enjoy strong bipartisan support and are backed by veteran advocates. As we maintain our oversight of VA’s efforts, we look forward to continuing to work with our Republican colleagues to address the backlog and advance forward looking solutions.”
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A new statewide poll released today shows that Maine voters overwhelming support accepting federal dollars to expand access to health care for nearly 69,500 Mainers who are currently uninsured.
“Accepting federal funds will create jobs, boost Maine’s economy and provide care to thousands of hardworking Maine people,” said Garrett Martin, executive director of Maine Center for Economic Policy.
The poll, which was conducted March 31-April 3, shows that 68.1 percent of respondents support the expansion, including 58.1 percent who definitely support and 10 percent who somewhat support. Only 18.4 percent said they definitely oppose the expansion.
“Expanding access to affordable health care to thousands of people in our communities makes sense for Maine,” said Sara Gagné-Holmes, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners. “Accepting federal funds will enable thousands of Maine people to be healthier and more secure knowing that they have access to care when they need it. It is an opportunity Maine cannot afford to pass up.”
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The City of Portland has been selected to join the first group of municipalities to participate in an innovative new sustainability effort based in Oregon. The Urban Sustainability Accelerator (USA,) at Portland State University in Oregon is a new program created to help small- to mid-sized urban areas implement sustainability projects.
“Portland [Maine] has already achieved very successful downtown revitalization. We were flattered that our older sister wanted us to help with the special challenge of integrating historic preservation with redevelopment that makes use of green infrastructure and improved transportation choices,” said Robert Liberty, USA’s Director.
The city’s Department of Planning & Urban Development asked the USA program to assist with planning and implementation for redevelopment of the historic India Street neighborhood, which adjoins Portland’s thriving downtown. The department is interested in integrating new urban redevelopment with historic preservation, managing storm water through green infrastructure, maintaining and increasing transportation choice, and addressing the challenge of sea level rise.
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by FinerMinds Team
15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy
Here is a list of 15 things, which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and you’ll feel much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go and allowing ourselves to be stress-free and happy, we cling on to them.
Well, not anymore. Starting today, we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go!
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