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Animals & Health/ Corn & Fuel

Date: 08-09-12
Host: George Noory
Guests: Kathryn Bowers, Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, David Blume

In the first half, UCLA Medical Center cardiologist, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, and science journalist Kathryn Bowers talked about "zoobiquity," the term the two coined to refer to a new species-spanning approach to health. Natterson-Horowitz discovered that animals undergo many of the same health disorders, issues, and diseases that humans do, though they are sometimes called different names. Animals get breast cancer, brain tumors, and leukemia-- miniature ponies get diabetes, koalas in Australia have been suffering from the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia, Natterson-Horowitz cited. Animals also have mental illnesses, such as OCD-like disorders, and self-injuring similar to human "cutting," she continued.

Contrary to what might be expected, "we learned that wild animals, do in fact, get fat a lot, and for a lot of the same reasons humans do. When there's a lot of food and easy access to it, animals will overindulge, gorge on the food, and they will gain weight," Bowers revealed. When predators were reduced at Yellowstone, the elk increased in population and became somewhat overweight. But when wolves were reintroduced to the area, the elk slimmed down and became more watchful, Bowers detailed, adding that the relationship between fear (or stress) and feeding also has a big effect on humans. Some animals have been observed treating themselves with natural remedies, such as when birds rub their feathers with ants to purge parasites, Natterson-Horowitz reported.

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In the latter half, ecological biologist and advocate for alcohol-based fuel, David Blume, shared updates about the corn shortage, ethanol, and drought conditions. Even though drought has hurt this year's corn crops in the US, previous years have been bountiful and some 2+ billion bushels of corn are stored in silos, he said. Thus, the call to reduce the amount of corn to make ethanol, in order to use the corn to feed people, is unnecessary and being pushed by the "Big Ag/Oil" agenda, as well as people deluded by the media, he argued. "For years the oil companies have been saying 'it's food versus fuel; we're competing with starving African babies for the corn, and aren't you ethanol people unethical?'," but this is just spin by the American Petroleum Institute in order to keep people hooked on using gas, rather than alcohol fuels, he commented.

Most of the corn exported in the US actually goes to feed European cattle, and the idea that America feeds the world with our corn is a complete myth, Blume continued. He also talked about how people can make their own fuel from small stills that can not only run on crops, but waste food products. He pointed out that the wealthy have invested some $32 trillion in oil, coal, and uranium around the world, but we could replace the entire global oil and energy infrastructure with alcohol plants for just $500 billion.

News segment guests: Dr. Peter Breggin, Mitch Battros

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