Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea, officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua. These societies and clans are explicitly acknowledged by the Papua New Guinea Constitution, which expresses the wish for “Traditional villages and communities to remain as viable units of Papua New Guinean society” and protects their continuing importance to local and national community life. Peter O’Neill emerged as Papua New Guinea’s prime minister after the July 2012 election, and formed a government with Leo Dion, the former Governor of East New Britain Province, as deputy prime minister. The Papua New Guinea Defence Force is the military organisation responsible for the defence of Papua New Guinea. A spine of mountains, the New Guinea Highlands, runs the length of the island of New Guinea, forming a populous highlands region mostly covered with tropical rainforest, and the long Papuan Peninsula, known as the ‘Bird’s Tail’. The mainland of the country is the eastern half of New Guinea island, where the largest towns are also located, including Port Moresby and Lae; other major islands within Papua New Guinea include New Ireland, New Britain, Manus and Bougainville. Papua New Guinea is part of the Australasia ecozone, which also includes Australia, New Zealand, eastern Indonesia, and several Pacific island groups, including the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Many of the other islands within PNG territory, including New Britain, New Ireland, Bougainville, the Admiralty Islands, the Trobriand Islands, and the Louisiade Archipelago, were never linked to New Guinea by land bridges. Three new species of mammals were discovered in the forests of Papua New Guinea by an Australian-led expedition. At current rates of deforestation, more than half of Papua New Guinea’s forests could be lost or seriously degraded by 2021, according to a new satellite study of the region. “In March 2006, the United Nations Development Programme Policy called for Papua New Guinea’s designation of developing country to be downgraded to least-developed country because of protracted economic and social stagnation. However, an evaluation by the International Monetary Fund in late 2008 found that”a combination of prudent fiscal and monetary policies, and high global prices for mineral commodity exports, have underpinned Papua New Guinea’s recent buoyant economic growth and macroeconomic stability. There are hundreds of ethnic groups indigenous to Papua New Guinea, the majority being from the group known as Papuans, whose ancestors arrived in the New Guinea region tens of thousands of years ago. Other major sports which have a part in the Papua New Guinea sporting landscape are association football, rugby union, basketball and, in eastern Papua, cricket. The two founding universities are the University of Papua New Guinea based in the National Capital District, and the Papua New Guinea University of Technology based outside of Lae, in Morobe Province.
Study: GMO Feed Harmful to Pigs
A groundbreaking new study shows that pigs were harmed by the consumption of feed containing genetically modified crops. The level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. “Second, we used pigs. Pigs with these health problems end up in our food supply. We eat them.” “Third, pigs have a similar digestive system to people, so we need to investigate if people are also getting digestive problems from eating GM crops.” The new study lends scientific credibility to anecdotal evidence from farmers and veterinarians, who have for some years reported reproductive and digestive problems in pigs fed on a diet containing GM soy and corn. “Iowa-based farmer and crop and livestock advisor Howard Vlieger, one of the coordinators of the study, said:”For as long as GM crops have been in the feed supply, we have seen increasing digestive and reproductive problems in animals. “In my experience, farmers have found increased production costs and escalating antibiotic use when feeding GM crops. In some operations, the livestock death loss is high, and there are unexplained problems including spontaneous abortions, deformities of new-born animals, and an overall listlessness and lack of contentment in the animals.” “In some cases, animals eating GM crops are very aggressive. This is not surprising, given the scale of stomach irritation and inflammation now documented. I have seen no financial benefit to farmers who feed GM crops to their animals.” Gill Rowlands, a farmer based in Pembrokeshire, Wales who is also a member of the campaign group GM-Free Cymru, said: “This is an animal welfare issue. Responsible farmers and consumers alike do not want animals to suffer. We call for the rapid phase-out of all GMOs from animal feed supplies.” Claire Robinson of the campaign group GMWatch said: “Several UK supermarkets recently abandoned their GM-free animal feed policies, citing lack of availability of non-GM feed. We call on the public to visit the new citizens’ action website gmoaction.org, where they can quickly and easily send an email to the supermarkets asking them to ensure their suppliers secure certified GM-free animal feed. This will mean placing advance orders for GM-free soy from countries like Brazil.” The feeding study lasted more than five months, the normal commercial lifespan for a pig, and was conducted in the US. The pigs were slaughtered at the usual slaughter age of over 5 months, after eating the diets for their entire commercial lifespan. 168 newly-weaned pigs in a commercial piggery were fed either a typical diet incorporating GM soy and corn, or else an equivalent non-GM diet. The pigs were reared under identical housing and feeding conditions. They were then autopsied by qualified veterinarians who worked “Blind” – they were not informed which pigs were fed on the GM diet and which were from the control group. A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified soy and GM maize diet.