CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Toxic flowers undermine 'love' industry

Flowers, the emblem of essence, are often smothered with toxic chemicals, according to a new report.

Like dietary supplements versus drugs, flowers bypass some of the strict regulatory guidelines applicable to other substances.

AP reports on industry practices contaminating flowers with noxious chemicals:

'It's probably the last thing most people think about when buying roses -- by the time the bright, velvety flowers reach your Valentine, they will have been sprayed, rinsed and dipped in a battery of potentially lethal chemicals.

'Most of the toxic assault takes place in the waterlogged savannah surrounding the capital of Colombia, the world's second-largest cut-flower producer after the Netherlands. It produces 62 percent of all flowers sold in the United States.

'With 110,000 employees -- many of them single mothers -- and annual exports of $1 billion, the industry provides an important alternative to growing coca, source crop of the Andean nation's better known illegal export: Cocaine. But these economic gains come at a cost to workers' health and Colombia's environment, according to consumer advocates.

'The U.S. requires imported flowers to be bug-free, but unlike edible fruits and vegetables they are not tested for chemical residues.'

The question remains whether manufacturers will engage in 'socially and environmentally responsible practices' or continue the present practice.

We may be moving toward an age where 'superintelligence' will become enabled through artificial intelligence, 'uploading brains' into machinery, and other means; the question is whether we will acquire super-emotional intelligence and spiritual saavy, and a return to the human heart in the process of upgrading our know-how and information storage capacity.

For a riff on this theme, check out "The Butlerian Jihad," co-authored by son of "Dune" author Frank Herbert. The robot Erasmus is constantly trying to undertand these other aspects of human personality, such as compassion, love, and caring, though he only succeeds in destruction, since his objective, analytical approach is one that entails taken things apart - literally.
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Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, following Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has also been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing), adding to Bar membership in four U.S. states.
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