A harmful chemical that is found in fire retardant and is banned in Japan and Europe, is found in ten percent of sodas and sports drinks in North America. Soda companies defend the use of this chemical, citing safe limits set by the FDA in 1977. It is time for the FDA to reexamine its rules and ask soda and soft drink companies to switch to natural alternatives.
Despite the vulnerable status of the polar bear, commercial and sport hunting of these animals continues in Canada. Polar bear numbers have already been declining due to the effects of pollution and climate change, yet the Canadian government continues to issue hunting permits for polar bears. Canada must end this total disregard for the future of this majestic species and protect its remaining polar bears from destruction.
In the United Kingdom, Congolese refugees are being denied asylum and sent back to their war-torn home country. Upon returning, they are seen as traitors and imprisoned or killed. Tell Prime Minister David Cameron to respect the rights of refugees and stop denying asylum to Congolese refugees.
Long-time US defense contractor General Dynamics uses tax revenue handed over by the Department of Defense to run propaganda websites in central Asia. The ‘influence websites,’ which purport to give an objective account of terrorism and security matters in the nations surrounding Afghanistan, are run by a $23 billion defense contractor and give no mention whatsoever of the consistently terrifying human rights abuses committed by dictators such as Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan. Ask the Secretaries of Defense and State to put an immediate end to these abuses.
MS-13, a transnational gang with roots in Los Angeles, has long been known as one of the most dangerous gangs in the U.S. It is notorious for its culture of senseless violence, toward gang members and civilians alike. Petition Congress to bring an end to the violence by federally mandating heavier penalties against gang members.
In Saudi Arabia a woman in her sixties was beheaded after being convicted of practicing ‘witchcraft and sorcery.’ Her death is the 73rd execution in Saudi Arabia this year, many of which were done by beheading, stoning and firing squad. It is crucial for Saudi Arabia to adapt to the times and abandon inhumane methods of execution.
Last year the Department of Health and Human Services promised to require health insurance providers to cover contraceptives with no co-pays or deductibles. But now the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is lobbying to expand a religious exemption so that millions of women would not have access to this coverage. Tell President Obama to take a stand for reproductive rights.
San Francisco is a major international hub for sex trafficking. Women are lured into the U.S. with promises of high-paying jobs and then sold into slavery for labor and sex. Call upon Mayor Ed Lee to combat sex trafficking by changing and then enforcing local laws against sex trafficking and prostitution.
Genetically modified foods have been proven to cause many hazardous health conditions, and yet consumers are unaware when they buy genetically modified products due to the lack of a food label requirements. Tell the US Food and Drug Administration to require all biotech companies to disclose every toxin and ingredient added to their artificial foods and protect our right to choose what types of food we eat.
US District Court Judge Hernandez has fined a blogger $2.5 million in a defamation case, claiming that she is not entitled to protection under Oregon’s media shield laws. While a host of other traditional media categories describing the work of journalists are afforded protection under the law, Crystal Cox of Montana paid a heavy price for publishing alleged illegal activities in a bankruptcy case. Petition the judge to get the law changed and to address similar cases in the future on the merit of their content and not their method of communication.
A bill that is being called the ‘most traitorous act ever witnessed in the Senate’ was recently passed in the Senate by a 93-7 vote. The proposed law would completely deny Americans our constitutional rights and would, in effect, nullify the 4th through 7th Constitutional Amendments. Ask President Obama to veto this un-American bill and ensure our country remains an actual democracy.
The underground world of animal fighting in the United States is brutal and hard to eradicate. However, a new bill in Congress would take a giant step towards eradicating animal fighting once and for all. The proposed law would hold spectators at animal fights criminally liable, thereby eliminating the very reason these fights take place.
It took eight years for Congress to finally consider placing the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard on the endangered species list but only a few baseless claims made by the oil industry has delayed their protection. Tell Congress to stop ignoring this issue before it is too late to save this rare and dwindling species.
America’s new AIDS-prevention strategy is lacking support from Christian groups. Religious America has the power to reduce stigma against AIDS by supporting those infected, regardless of their race or sexuality. If we insist that groups like The Heritage Foundation include AIDS prevention in its agenda, the fight against AIDS will finally stretch across the country.
An alarming number of American adolescents are overweight, and the dismal quality of school lunches continues to fuel our national decline into poor health. Our students deserve better than frozen pizza and powdered potato mix. Call on Congress to ban the presence of processed foods in school lunches.
Liu Xiaobo, Chinese political activist, was arrested in 2008 and sentenced to 11 years in prison on subversion charges. However, Liu was guilty only of free speech and peaceful assembly, human rights entitled to us all. Ask China to release this Nobel Prize winner and political prisoner to move towards a Chinese future endowed with a higher respect for the rights of its people.
Just this month Tennessee firefighters had to stand and watch as a woman’s home burned down, because of a law that states they can only protect the homes of people who have paid an annual fire fee. Incredibly, this is the second time a home has burned down even though help was standing by. The policy is costing people their homes, their belongings, and even the lives of their pets.
The Japanese government has taken $2.9 million from its disaster relief fund to use for whaling. This decision placed whaling interests over Japanese citizens, who are struggling to rebuild their lives after the earthquake and tsunami. The Japanese government must reconsider its decision to slaughter whales instead of supporting its citizens.
Imagine picking up your cell phone at the office, during dinner or in the middle of the night and hearing a prerecorded sales pitch on the other end. If corporate congressional lobbyists have their way, this could become a daily occurrence. Tell Congress not to let big business interests undo decades of consumer phone protection.
With President Obama’s political support, Health and Human Services recently vetoed the FDA’s decision to make contraceptive Plan B an over-the-counter drug. This is harmful to womens’ health everywhere, since it makes Plan B unavailable to teenagers who want to responsibly prevent unplanned pregnancy. Demand that the veto be overturned.
Some of the top-selling apple juices contain levels of arsenic and lead above legal standards for safe drinking water. Tell the FDA to create guidelines for appropriate and safe levels of arsenic and lead and take a stand for children’s health.
Earlier this year, four government Chinese Communist Party officials gang raped a 12-year-old school girl. Rather than being charged with child rape, they were charged with a crime of a much lesser punishment, “prostituting an underage girl.” China must amend its laws to be inclusive, in order to prevent government officials from using the minor differentiations as a loophole for sexual abuse.
H&M’s advertising has gone to another level. Unsatisfied with mere airbrushing and digitally altering the waistlines of already slender models, they’re now using an incredibly life-like but completely computer generated body to stand in for actual people. This is a major step backward in responsible advertising targeted to girls and young women and H&M must be called out on it.
With the rising price of heroin in Russia, the flesh decaying street drug Krokodil has become the cheap and readily available alternative for poorer drug users. Krokodil, a deadly combination of codeine, red phosphorous and iodine, is only too easy to mix together at home, and has led to the gruesome deaths of many Russian citizens. Demand that President Dmitry Medvedev put a stop to this practice by either banning or making codeine (the key ingredient) a prescription drug.
A proposed pipeline in New Jersey would destroy precious ecosystems and put New Jersey residents at risk all for the sake of providing natural gas for New Yorkers. Stand with Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy and ask New Jersey to reconsider this unsustainable pipeline.