Investigators working for California's Democratic attorney general, Kamala Harris, raided the home of anti-abortion activist David Daleiden this week—seizing undercover videos that Daleiden and his organization, the Center for Medical Progress, had used to target Planned Parenthood. Daleiden published the videos last August, [revealed footage showing] officials at the women's health organization arranging to illegally sell [infant body parts] for profit. The videos sparked a Republican-led fight to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, but several state investigations have so far found no evidence the organization broke any laws. Daleiden was indicted by a Houston grand jury earlier this year in connection with fake driver's licenses he used to gain access to Planned Parenthood facilities. Daleiden said he followed the law in making the videos, and called the raid an "attack on citizen journalism." (Contributor: THE WEEK )
This is a classic “David vs. Goliath” battle, with the rich and powerful Planned Parenthood (PP) as Goliath and the smaller and (seemingly) weaker David Daleiden as David. However, the last chapter has not yet been written, and we all know how that fight ended. Intercede for Mr. Daleiden and keep the metaphor in mind as you pray. PP is a powerful force, but the contest is not over.
“Then David said to [Goliath], ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’” (1 Sam. 17:45)
NEW RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BILL
Mississippi became the latest front in the nationwide battle over gay rights this week, after Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed far reaching legislation that allows businesses and government employees to refuse services to LGBT people on the basis of religious objections. Under the legislation—which aims to protect the "moral convictions" of people who believe marriage is between a man and a woman and that a person's gender is "determined by anatomy and genetics" at birth—businesses and faith-based groups will be able to deny housing, jobs, and adoption services to gay people and to block transgender people from accessing bathrooms that match their gender identity. Government employees may also deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Gov. Bryant said the law "merely reinforces" the First Amendment tight of religious freedom and "does not limit any constitutionally protected rights" held under federal law. (Contributor: THE WEEK )
What could be more logical than the view that males should use Men’s Rooms and females, Ladies’ Rooms? A person “believing” he is a bird will not escape injury if he jumps off the roof of a tall building hoping to fly. The press calls the Mississippi decision a “battle over gay rights” rather than “states’ rights.” Give thanks for the MS decision, and pray for a return to national sanity.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20)
PORNOGRAPHY: A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
Last month, the Republican-led Utah House of Representatives became the first legislative body in the United States to pass a resolution declaring pornography “a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.” The liberal backlash criticized the measure as an antiquated bit of conservative moralizing, with the Daily Beast calling it “hypocritical” and “short-sighted.” “The science just isn’t there,” wrote Rewire, an online journal dedicated to dispelling “falsehoods and misinformation.”
The thing is, no matter what you think of pornography (whether it’s harmful or harmless fantasy), the science is there. After 40 years of peer-reviewed research, scholars can say with confidence that porn is an industrial product that shapes how we think about gender, sexuality, relationships, intimacy, sexual violence and gender equality — for the worse. By taking a health-focused view of porn and recognizing its radiating impact not only on consumers but also on society at large, Utah’s resolution simply reflects the latest research.
The statistics on today’s porn use are staggering. A Huffington Post headline announced in 2013 that “Porn Sites Get More Visitors Each Month Than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter Combined,” and one of the largest free porn sites in the world, YouPorn, streamed six times the bandwidth of Hulu in 2013. Pornhub, another major free porn site, boasted that in 2015 it received 21.2 billion visits and “streamed 75GB of data a second, which translates to enough porn to fill the storage in around 175 million 16GB iPhones.”
Extensive scientific research reveals that exposure to and consumption of porn threaten the social, emotional and physical health of individuals, families and communities, and highlights the degree to which porn is a public health crisis rather than a private matter. But just as the tobacco industry argued for decades that there was no proof of a connection between smoking and lung cancer, so, too, has the porn industry, with the help of a well-oiled public relations machine, denied the existence of empirical research on the impact of its products.
Using a wide range of methodologies, researchers from a number of disciplines have shown that viewing pornography is associated with damaging outcomes. In a study of U.S. college men, researchers found that 83 percent reported seeing mainstream pornography, and that those who did were more likely to say they would commit rape or sexual assault (if they knew they wouldn’t be caught) than men who hadn’t seen porn in the past 12 months. The same study found that porn consumers were less likely to intervene if they observed a sexual assault taking place. In a study of young teens throughout the southeastern United States, 66 percent of boys reported porn consumption in the past year; this early porn exposure was correlated with perpetration of sexual harassment two years later. A recent meta-analysis of 22 studies between 1978 and 2014 from seven different countries concluded that pornography consumption is associated with an increased likelihood of committing acts of verbal or physical sexual aggression, regardless of age. A 2010 meta-analysis of several studies found “an overall significant positive association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women.”
A 2012 study of college-aged women with male partners who used porn concluded that the young women suffered diminished self-esteem, relationship quality and sexual satisfaction correlated with their partners’ porn use. Meanwhile, a2004 study found that exposure to filmed sexual content profoundly hastens adolescents’ initiation of sexual behavior: “The size of the adjusted intercourse effect was such that youths in the 90th percentile of TV sex viewing had a predicted probability of intercourse initiation [in the subsequent year] that was approximately double that of youths in the 10th percentile,” the study’s authors wrote. All of these studies were published in peer-reviewed journals.
Because so much porn is free and unfiltered on most digital devices, the average age of first viewing porn is estimated by some researchers to be 11. In the absence of a comprehensive sex-education curriculum in many schools, pornography has become de facto sex education for youth. And what are these children looking at? If you have in your mind’s eye a Playboy centerfold with a naked woman smiling in a cornfield, then think again. While “classy” lad mags like Playboy are dispensing with the soft-core nudes of yesteryear, free and widely available pornography is often violent, degrading and extreme.
In a content analysis of best-selling and most-rented porn films, researchers found that 88 percent of analyzed scenes contained physical aggression: generally spanking, gagging, choking or slapping. Verbal aggression occurred in 49 percent of the scenes, most often in the form of calling a woman “b----” and “sl--.” Men perpetrated 70 percent of the aggressive acts, while women were the targets 94 percent of the time. It is difficult to account for all of the “gonzo” and amateur porn available online, but there is reason to believe that the rented and purchased porn in the analysis largely reflects the content of free porn sites. As researcher Shira Tarrant points out, “The tube sites are aggregators of a bunch of different links and clips, and they are very often pirated or stolen.” So porn that was produced for sale is proffered for free.
The performers who make up the porn industry are also at risk, in ways that affect them as well as members of the broader public. Aside from frequent claims of sexual violence and harassment, film sets are often flush with sexually transmitted infections. In a 2012 study that examined 168 sex industry performers (67 percent were female and 33 percent were male), 28 percent were suffering from one of 96 infections. Even more troubling, according to the authors, was that the porn industry’s protocols significantly underdiagnosed infections: 95 percent of mouth and throat infections, and 91 percent of rectal infections, were asymptomatic, which, the authors argue, made them more likely to be passed on to partners both in and out of the sex industry. Since members of the industry have protested proposed safety measures requiring the use of condoms and other prophylactics, legislating to protect these performers has proven challenging.
Beyond the porn industry, legislators have begun to respond to yet another genre of pornography quickly proliferating on the Web: “revenge porn,” whose perpetrators post and disseminate sexually explicit photos of their victims (often their former girlfriends) online without their consent. Unsurprisingly, revenge porn has been linked to several suicides and has been used to blackmail and sexually exploit minors.
As the evidence piles up, a coalition of academics, health professionals, educators, feminist activists and caregivers has decided that they can no longer allow the porn industry to hijack the physical and emotional well-being of our culture. This means understanding that porn is everyone’s problem. Culture Reframed, an organization I founded and currently chair, is pioneering a strategy to address porn as the public health crisis of the digital age. We are developing educational programs for parents, youth and a range of professionals that aim to help shift the culture from one that normalizes a pornographic, oppression-based sexuality to one that values and promotes a sexuality rooted in healthy intimacy, mutual care and respect.
Parents and educators at every level need to know that if porn is not discussed in a research-based, age-appropriate sexual health curriculum, its effects will surely show up as sexual harassment, dating violence and inadvertent “child pornography” on students’ phones. Pornography can cause lifelong problems if young people are not taught to distinguish between exploitative porn sex and healthy, safe sex. As the research shows, porn is not merely a moral nuisance and subject for culture-war debates. It’s a threat to our public health. (Contributor: By Gail Dines for The Washington Post)
This report, sad as it is, has two cutting edges. The research is no doubt accurate: the pornography industry wrecks lives, victimizes participants, and distorts the sacredness of sex in marriage. But the second edge will allow unregenerate hearts to blame their “addiction” for sinful acts with partners. Pray for Christians who are trapped to seek freedom through the power of Jesus Christ.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1)
PAYPAL STANCE: DO BUSINESS IN COUNTRIES HOSTILE TO GAYS
PayPal drew a line in the sand when North Carolina enacted a law prohibiting people from using the restrooms of the opposite sex, but critics say that line got washed away on the shores of Malaysia, a nation that consistently ranks among the least LGBT-friendly in the world.
The company canceled its plan to build a global operations center in Charlotte after the passage of HB2, which CEO Daniel Schulman called discrimination against the transgendered. He noted that the move would cost North Carolina 400 well-paying jobs.
But Malaysia’s Penal Code 187 — which punishes homosexual conduct with whippings and up to 20 years in prison — did not stop PayPal from opening in 2011 a global operations center there that it estimated would employ 500 workers by 2013.
“We chose Malaysia because of its highly skilled, globally competitive and multilingual workforce, in addition to a world-class business environment and technology infrastructure,” John McCabe, senior vice president for global operations, said at the time.
But PayPal is not an isolated corporation, nor is Malaysia an isolated country.
Whether it’s Apple opening stores in Saudi Arabia or American Airlines looking to dominate the Cuban travel market, many of the companies that have threatened to cut business ties to North Carolina over its bathroom bill are eager to do business in countries with regimes far more repressive of gays (and everyone else).
PayPal’s international headquarters are located in Singapore, where sexual contact between males is punishable by up to two years in prison, and even littering can be punished by flogging. The company has a software development center in Chennai, India, where same-sex marriage is prohibited.
Matt Sharp, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said PayPal’s actions internationally speak louder than its words at home.
“They’ve got a political agenda that they’re trying to push in the U.S. But it definitely does not line up with what their actions are saying around the world in places like Malaysia and others,” Mr. Sharp said.
Apple is among the other major corporations that have taken to the pulpit to lecture North Carolina for its sins despite doing business with anti-gay foreign regimes. CEO Tim Cook was one of several high-profile tech CEOs who signed a letter to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory calling on him to repeal the legislation.
“We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation into law,” the letter reads. “The business community, by and large, has constantly communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business.”
But, as Mr. Sharp points out, that has not stopped Apple from opening stores in Saudi Arabia, where gay people are regularly executed in public and cross-dressing is also a criminal offense. Pro-gay and trans advocacy are illegal, as is every religion except Islam.
“We’ve seen the same thing with Apple and some of these other companies that are fine doing business in Saudi Arabia and other countries that are extremely oppressive of the LGBT community,” Mr. Sharp said.
North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger noted that PayPal also provides its payment services in countries where restrooms are the least of the transgender community’s worries.
“PayPal does business in 25 countries where homosexual behavior is illegal, including 5 countries where the penalty is death, yet they object to the North Carolina Legislature overturning a misguided ordinance about letting men in to the women’s bathroom?” said Mr. Pittenger, a Republican, in a statement. “Perhaps PayPal would like to try and clarify this seemingly very hypocritical position.” (Contributor: By Bradford Richardson for The Washington Times)
These discriminatory decisions by PayPal, Apple, etc., are clear examples of hypocrisy. They seek to “punish” North Carolina for banning mixed-gender bathroom use, yet they thrive in countries with far more restrictive laws against homosexual behavior, including execution. Pray for spiritual awakening all across America. Intercede for God’s mercy and for truth to prevail.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. A fool’s wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame.” (Prov. 12:15-16)
TENNESSEE BILL WOULD ALLOW COUNSELORS TO DENY SERVICES
A bill that would allow mental health counselors to turn patients away based on the counselors’ religious beliefs and personal principles has passed in the House in Tennessee, the latest state to introduce measures that opponents say legalize discrimination against gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
The Senate, which already passed the measure, still would have to approve an amendment adopted by the House.
The bill passed 68-22 Wednesday following a rancorous debate on the House floor. If it is signed into law, Tennessee would be the only state to allow counselors to refuse to treat patients based on the counselors’ own belief systems, said Art Terrazas, Director of Government Affairs for the American Counseling Association. The organization has called the bill an “unprecedented attack” on the counseling profession and government overreach.
Opponents of the measure say it would allow therapists to discriminate against gays and other people who are at their most vulnerable and need therapy. Proponents say it takes into account the rights of everyone, including the therapists.
“We are standing up for everyone’s right when we vote for this bill,” Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, told members before the vote.
Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, tried unsuccessfully to attach several amendments to the bill, including one that would force therapists to treat children who are victims of bullying. He said that Tennessee would be an outlier if it passes the legislation.
“It’s intriguing to me that this body is wanting to stand in the way of people seeking help in the state of Tennessee,” Clemmons said during the debate.
The bill would not allow counselors to turn away people who are in imminent danger of harming themselves or others.
The measure is part of a wave of bills across the country proposed by Conservative Christian lawmakers who are upset about the Supreme Court decision last year that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
The Tennessee bill is both narrower and broader in scope than those recently presented in Georgia and Mississippi, which would allow religious clergy and many types of service providers the right to deny service to customers based on the providers’ religious beliefs. Georgia’s governor said last week that he would veto the measure; Mississippi’s governor signed it on Tuesday.
Tennessee’s bill limits itself to counselors, but allows them to deny services for reasons that go beyond religion.
The original version of the bill, first passed by the Senate, based any denial of services on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” The House amended that language to allow any counselor in private practice to refuse to treat a client and provide services relating to “goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with the sincerely held principles of the counselors or therapist.” The counselor would have to refer the patient to someone else.
Those in the counseling community say the law as it is written now is so broad that it would allow counselors to turn away patients for virtually any reason. As an example, Terrazas said, a therapist opposed to war or U.S. military policy could refuse to treat a veteran with post-traumatic stress syndrome under the bill.
The Tennessee Equality Project, which supports gay rights, condemned the House passage of the bill and called on the governor to veto the legislation. (Contributor: By Sheila Burke for The Washington Times and The Associated Press)
First, the bill has not yet been signed into law. Please pray for truth and justice to win. Second, the true purpose here is to protect therapists and counselors from financial destruction if or when they withhold services for reasons of conscience. When conscience can be stifled, bought or bullied, religious freedom is destroyed. Please pray as you are led, based on the truth of God’s Word.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Prov. 9:10)
U.S. MILITARY CHRISTENS SELF-DRIVING 'SEA HUNTER' WARSHIP
The U.S. military on Thursday christened an experimental self-driving warship designed to hunt for enemy submarines, a major advance in robotic warfare at the core of America's strategy to counter Chinese and Russian naval investments.
The 132-foot-long (40-metre-long) unarmed prototype, dubbed Sea Hunter, is the naval equivalent of Google's self-driving car, designed to cruise on the ocean’s surface for two or three months at a time - without a crew or anyone controlling it remotely.
That kind of endurance and autonomy could make it a highly efficient submarine stalker at a fraction of the cost of the Navy's manned vessels.
"This is an inflection point," Deputy U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Work said in an interview, adding he hoped such ships might find a place in the western Pacific in as few as five years. "This is the first time we've ever had a totally robotic, trans-oceanic-capable ship."
For Pentagon planners such as Work, the Sea Hunter fits into a strategy to incorporate unmanned drones - with increasing autonomy - into the conventional military in the air, on land and at sea.
It also comes as China's naval investments, including in its expanding submarine fleet, stoke concern in Washington about the vulnerability of the aircraft carrier battle groups and submarines that remain critical to America's military superiority in the western Pacific.
"We're not working on anti-submarine (technology) just because we think it's cool. We're working on it because we're deeply concerned about the advancements that China and Russia are making in this space," said author Peter Singer, an expert on robotic warfare at the New America Foundation think tank.
Work said he hoped the ship, once it is proven safe, could head to the U.S. Navy's Japan-based 7th Fleet to continue testing.
His goal is to have ships like the Sea Hunter operating on a range of missions, possibly even including counter-mine warfare operations, all with limited human supervision.
"I would like to see unmanned flotillas operating in the western Pacific and the Persian Gulf within five years," he said, comparing the protype ship to early drone aircraft.
The ship's projected $20 million price tag and its $15,000 to $20,000 daily operating cost make it relatively inexpensive for the U.S. military.
"You now have an asset at a fraction of the cost of a manned platform," said Rear Admiral Robert Girrier, the Navy's director of unmanned warfare systems.
Rules Of The Road
Developed by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the ship is about to undergo two years of testing, including to verify that it can safely follow international norms for operating at sea.
First and foremost is ensuring that it can use radar and cameras to avoid other vessels. Powered by two diesel engines, the ship can reach speeds of 27 knots.
The advent of increasingly autonomous ships and aircraft is stoking concern among some experts and activists about armed robotic systems that could identify people as threats and kill them.
During the christening ceremony in Portland, Work raised the possibility of someday positioning weapons on the Sea Hunter.
But he stressed that even if the United States ever decides to arm robotic naval systems such as Sea Hunter, any decision to use offensive lethal force would be made by humans.
"There’s no reason to be afraid of a ship like this," Work told reporters at the ceremony. (Contributor: By Phil Stewart for Reuter News Service - editing by John Walcott and Alan Crosby)
The prayer focus here is broader than a robotic drone-type ship. Intercessors are reminded of the very real threat of future open warfare as China and Russia, especially, continue to build their own, respective, naval strength. Pray for U.S. military leaders, including President Obama as Commander-in-Chief, for wisdom and appropriate steps to maintain national defense. Pray for God’s mercy.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Ps. 127:1)
DIABETES CASES HAVE QUADRUPLED IN JUST OVER 3 DECADES
It's a potentially fatal disease whose risks can in many cases be prevented through lifestyle measures. So why has diabetes seen a massive increase in sufferers?
The number of people living with the potentially fatal disease has quadrupled since 1980, to more than 400 million, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Worldwide, diabetes killed 1.5 million in 2012 alone, with high blood-glucose causing another 2.2 million deaths, the organization says.
In its first Global Diabetes Report, the WHO says a "whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach" is required to tackle the disease, which costs an estimated $827 billion annually in patient care and medicine.
Findings of the WHO report were published in the medical journal Lancet, and highlight inequalities between countries, as diagnoses and medicine are more accessible in high-income nations.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by the body's failure to produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose -- or blood sugar.
Raised blood glucose can eventually damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Abnormally low blood glucose can cause seizures and loss of consciousness.
Type 1 diabetes is not currently preventable and sufferers require daily administration of insulin to survive.
Type 2 diabetes -- which results from the body's ineffective use of insulin -- is far more common and can be influenced by lifestyle as well as genetic and metabolic factors.
Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glycemia (IFG) are elevated glucose levels not yet at the level of diabetes but which nonetheless increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Additionally, pregnant woman can develop gestational diabetes, increasing the risk of complications and the long-term risk of type 2 diabetes.
Why is diabetes on the rise?
The WHO says that between 1980 and 2014, the percentage of adults with diabetes increased from 4.7% of the global population to 8.5% (from 108 million to 422 million).The rise, it says, mirrors "the global increase in the number of people who are overweight or obese."
Among the WHO's key findings about exercise and :
- In 2010 nearly a quarter of adults (18 and older) were classified as "insufficiently physically active."
- Even more alarming were the figures on inactivity among adolescents, with 84% of female adolescents and 78% of males falling short.
- In 2014, almost one in four adults aged over 18 years was overweight and more than one in 10 were obese.
Which countries are most affected?
"Prevalence is growing most rapidly in low- and middle-income countries," the report says.
The biggest estimated percentage rises were in the Western Pacific, African, Southeast Asia and Eastern Mediterranean regions -- with the last having an increase from 5.9% to 13.7% of the population.
Adult mortality rates from high blood-glucose increased globally over the same period, with the African, Eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia regions worst affected.
What can be done?
"Some risk factors for type 2 diabetes -- such as genetics, ethnicity and age -- are not modifiable," the WHO says, but others, such as weight, diet, exercise and smoking, are.
"At the individual level, intensive interventions to improve diet and physical activity can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people at high risk."
It says all government sectors must "systematically consider the health impact of policies in trade, agriculture, finance, transport, education and urban planning -- recognizing that health is enhanced or obstructed as a result of policies in these and other areas."
The WHO suggests, for example, that urban planning could encourage physical activity by ensuring nonmotorized transport is accessible and safe, while taxation -- as in the case of Mexico -- could be enacted to try to reduce demand for sugary beverages.
Early diagnosis in primary health care settings is also key to avoiding poor health outcomes, the WHO says and must be easily accessible.
What about medicine to treat diabetes?
Just as basic technologies for diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes in low-income and lower middle-income countries are less accessible, so too is insulin, the WHO says.
Limited competition between a small number of multinational manufacturers can increase prices, with low-income countries generally paying the most for the treatment, it says.
"Governments' decisions about insulin purchasing-- tendering practices, choice of supplier, choice of products and delivery devices -- can have a huge impact on budgets and on costs to end users.
"Governments may recoup high costs by charging mark-ups to patients. In Mozambique, for example, insulin purchased from local wholesalers was 25% to 125% more expensive than that purchased through international tenders," the WHO says.
It says while insulin is reported as available in 72% of countries it varied widely by region and country.
"Only 23% of low-income countries (six countries) report that insulin is generally available, in contrast to 96% of high-income countries (54 countries).
"Further, the reported general availability of insulin in the WHO Region of the Americas and the European Region is more than double that of the WHO African Region and South-East Asia Region," the report says.
Any silver lining?
The WHO says the results of its 2015 Noncommunicable Disease Country Capacity Survey give an "encouraging global impression" that countries are addressing diabetes.
"Nearly three-quarters (72%) of countries have a national diabetes policy that is implemented with dedicated funding, and countries are also taking action at the policy level to address unhealthy diets and physical inactivity," it says.
But the WHO warns that policy needs to be translated into action, with less than half of countries with national guidelines or standards on diabetes actually implementing them.
A co-ordinated approach is needed.
New York banning smokeless tobacco at ballparks, other venues
"Everyone has a role to play -- governments, health-care providers, people with diabetes and those who care for them, civil society, food producers, and manufacturers and suppliers of medicines and technology are all stakeholders," the WHO says.
"Collectively, they can all make a significant contribution to halt the rise in diabetes and improve the lives of those living with the disease." (Contributor: By Susannah Cullinane for CNN News)
Based on the statistics, it is a safe guess that readers are more familiar with Type 2 diabetes than Type 1, which requires daily insulin for survival. Type 2 is often controlled through dietary disciplines and increased exercise (when possible). Concerned believers can add “works” to their prayers by 1) honest introspection, and 2) prayerful encouragement to friends and loved ones. Pray accordingly.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)
A NEW MAN-MADE SHRIMP - SIMULACRUM
Americans really like seafood — we consume about 4 billion pounds a year, and there is no way that various fisheries can compete with the demands of our gullets, as well as those of pescatarians worldwide.
While there have been various advances in raising seafood, including the United States' largest inland shrimp farm (which is located in Indiana and produces a quarter of a million shrimp a month), a start-up in San Francisco called New Wave Foods has another approach to seafood.
The biotech company was founded a year ago by Dominique Barnes, who studied marine conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Michelle Wolf, a materials scientist, and it plans to release a "popcorn shrimp" product that is entirely man-made within the next eight months, according to a report in The Atlantic.
Barnes told the Atlantic that the process of making the faux crustacean, out of red algae and protein powder, is like "baking a loaf of bread." New Wave won't be the first faux shrimp on the market, but because they are made of the same algae that shrimp regularly eat, these shrimp knock-offs claim to have a much closer nutritional profile that any previously produced.
Given the amount of shrimp, salmon, tuna, and other seafood that we consume per year, coupled with the rampant abuses endured by modern-day slave laborers to supply companies such as Whole Foods and Wal-Mart with shrimp , disrupting the industry with a simple substitute seems to be the most logical way to fix the problem. The company's first product will be breaded, but the creators' next project is to create a naked shrimp that can be used in lieu of shrimp cocktails, and then branch out to other seafood. (Contributor: By Matt Giles for Popular Science)
Editorial Note: While food items such as these may not necessarily be dangerous for human consumption, it is very important for intercessors to be aware of the trend of companies combining the words, “biotech” - “entirely man-made” with the word “food.”
We may expect an avalanche of such reports, so they do not shock us. We already have soy “meat” products, foods artificially flavored and dyed, plus cloning purporting to present “natural” products that are mass produced. “Watch and pray” already means “read the labels carefully and choose grocery items prayerfully.” Pray diligently, while being wise and cautious.
“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21)