Study: Seafood Lovers Consume Tens of Thousands of Plastic Particles Annually

According to a University of Ghent study, seafood lovers are consuming thousands of pieces of plastic each year.

Scientist found that, on average, a portion of mussels contains about 90 plastic particles – meaning two portions of mussels eaten weekly translates to roughly 11,000 plastic fibers annually.

University of Exeter's Adam Porter, said: “We piled up the thousands of plastics a regular seafood eater would consume in a year and the results were really quite shocking. People do not want to eat any plastic, let alone this amount.”

Plastic was found in almost every one of hundreds of mussels examined.

It remains unknown whether plastic passes from the stomach to body tissues.

Last week, the Marine Conservation Society said Britain is “choking in plastic.” The observation said there is a 27% increase in plastic and polystyrene items since 2008 across the UK coastline.

Plastic pollution is overwhelming Britain, making up close to 90% of litter on beaches. Plastic bottles accounted for 10% of litter found in the Thames.

“Plastic waste is out of control in London. It litters our parks, pollutes the Thames, harms marine life, and adds waste to London’s landfill sites, which may be full by 2025,” said environment committee chairman Leonie Cooper.

About 220,000 pieces of plastic were found along one 37-mile stretch of UK coastline. Among them were 2,509 cotton bud sticks, 13,115 drinks caps and lids, 3,109 drinks bottles and 81,000 additional unidentifiable plastic fragments.

The United Nations is taking major steps to reduce plastic pollution of the world’s oceans. Delegates preparing for the UN environment ministers’ meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, next week will explore options for global action to tackle plastic waste. The agency has committed to a substantial reduction of plastic waste by 2025.

Eirik Lindebjerg from the World Wide Fund for Nature said the meeting could prove a turning point in the crisis.

Scientist Adam Porter, said: “Many people blame beach users for not putting their litter in the bin, they blame fishermen for dumping waste, but our study shows the majority of waste is made up of fragmented plastics which have been in the sea for a long time and broken down – and these come from all of us.

“We need to use plastics responsibly, and they need to be recycled to protect the hundreds of animal groups known to be swallowing this waste.”

Exeter University study collected data from council workers who cleared beaches in North Cornwall between January 2005 and December 2011.

Racism and Extremism: Trump Tweets Draw Massive Condemnation

U.S. President Donald Trump has stirred up a tidal wave of condemnation after tweeting anti-Muslim videos from an extreme right-wing British party leader. The move drew adoration from anti-immigrant and racist figures, but strong condemnations from U.S. Muslim groups, British allies, Congress and a range of figures across U.S. society.

As has been the norm in recent weeks, White House spokesman Sarah Sanders doggedly defended Trump's social media shares on the grounds that he was highlighting ongoing security issues. As president, Trump has issued executive orders banning entry to citizens of Muslim-majority countries whose governments aren't aligned with Washington. In response, U.S. courts have partially blocked the measures from taking effect, citing an apparent anti-Muslim bias in the former reality star's past tweets.

"Look, I'm not talking about the nature of the video," Sanders told reporters. "The threat is real and that's what the president is talking about, is the need for national security, the need for military spending, and those are very real things. There's nothing fake about that."

Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of anti-immigration Britain First, posted the videos which she said showed a group of Muslims beating a teenage boy to death, and battering a boy on crutches before destroying a Christian statue. Fransen was convicted earlier this month of abusing a Muslim woman and was ordered to pay a fine and legal costs.

Fransen greeted the retweets with glee, celebrating the shares in block capitals littered with exclamation points: "DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!"

Fransen then shared a range of articles describing the posts as Islamophobic and "hate message(s)," expressing her delight that Trump shared her aim of raising awareness of "issues such as Islam."

Britain First is a far-right political party which seeks to terminate all immigration and comprehensive ban adherents of the Muslim faith from practicing Islam in the U.K., espousing the view that anyone found to be promoting the religion should be deported or imprisoned.

Last week, Fransen was charged by the police in Northern Ireland with using threatening, abusive or insulting words in a speech at a rally in Belfast in August.

Along with the group's leader, she was also charged in September with causing religiously aggravated harassment over the distribution of leaflets and online videos during a trial involving a number of Muslim men later convicted of rape.

Lawmakers from across Britain's political spectrum slammed the U.S. commander-in-chief for sharing the videos with his nearly 44 million Twitter followers.

"It is wrong for the president to have done this," a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said. "Britain First seeks to divide communities through their use of hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law-abiding people."

Labour MP David Lammy expressed his disgust, tweeting: "Trump sharing Britain First. Let that sink in. The President of the United States is promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate-group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted. He is no ally or friend of ours. @realDonaldTrump you are not welcome in my country and my city."

The White House repeatedly refused to be drawn into the content of the videos or whether Trump was aware of the source of the tweets.

In reference to a video entitled "Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!," the Netherlands embassy in the United States tweeted back to Trump: "@realDonaldTrump Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law."

Trump's promotion of the videos contrasts with how he has criticized mainstream U.S. media, lambasting some outlets for "fake news" when they air segments he regards as being against him.

"What we saw today is one of many videos that is circulating on anti-Muslim hate websites," said Ilhan Cagri, of the U.S.-based Muslim Public Affairs Council.

"It is years old and simply aims to breed fear for Muslims and Islam and breed violence. It has nothing to do with the practice of Islam itself."

Democratic U.S. Senator Jack Reed said in a statement: "The violence depicted in these videos is horrific, but it is abhorrent that President Trump would choose to deliberately fan the flames of hatred and religious bigotry."

Politicians in Britain also condemned Trump: Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, described his tweets as "abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society."

U.S. civil rights and Islamic organizations said the posts amounted to an incitement to violence against U.S. Muslims.

In contrast, David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who has run for political office in Louisiana, praised Trump. "He's condemned for showing us what the fake news media won't," Duke wrote on Twitter. "Thank God for Trump! That's why we love him!"

  • Published in World

Catalan President Denounces Spain Actions against Referendum

The president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, today described as brutal and unjustified the police action promoted by the Spanish government against the secessionist referendum that region celebrates this Sunday, despite his suspension by justice.

Speaking to reporters, Puigdemont denounced the irrational and irresponsible use of security forces by the executive of Mariano Rajoy to prevent the unilateral consultation, paralyzed by the Constitutional Court of Spain.

'The exterior image of the Spanish state has continued to worsen and today has reached a level of shame that will accompany it forever,' warned the governor in reference to the police charges carried out by the national armed forces.

Riot troops stormed a school in the city of Girona, where the conservative nationalist leader planned to vote in the self-determination referendum, but several skirmishes erupted the outside the facility between police and citizens.

Scenes of police confrontations against unarmed people were repeated in other parts of the Catalan geography, leaving a balance of 38 injured, according to the Health Council of this autonomous community in the northeast of the country of 7.5 million.

Puigdemont called on the Catalans to respond with new ranks to the facilities set up as centers of suffrage, in response to what he considered the maddened repression of a cowardly Spanish state.

  • Published in World
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