August 22, 2013
GMO LABELING EVENT SET FOR FRIDAY
Williston resident Esther Palmer is set to host a “Room at the Table Café” event at her home to raise awareness and funds for GMO labeling on food. Two state representatives who sponsored a bill to label genetically engineered foods, Jim McCullough of Williston and Kate Webb of Shelburne, are set to attend, as well as representatives from VPIRG.
The bill, H.112, passed in the Vermont House in May. The Senate is expected to take up the bill when it reconvenes in January. McCullough and Webb will discuss the legislature’s next steps.
Palmer said she expects between 40 and 50 people to attend.
“Genetically modified foods are raising concerns in animal testing related to rising levels of food allergies, cellular damage, tumors, sterility, liver problems and high levels of infant mortality rates in rats,” Palmer wrote in an email to the Observer. “Currently there is no labeling for GMO food in our food system. Legislation would label what is in the food as GMO produced. The public has a right to clearly know what they are eating and that is has been altered from its original form produced by nature.”
The “pay as you can” event, located at 1547 East Hill Road, will feature local whole food with options for vegetarians and dairy- and wheat-free diets. It is family-friendly and open to the public. RSVP for planning purposes. For more information, contact Palmer at 878-1588 or 238-5719.
FREE PLAYGROUPS TO BEGIN
Williston Building Bright Futures’ free playgroups are set to begin for the season in September. The organization hosts three playgroups.
Baby time playgroup for infants to 2-year-olds and their caregivers are set for Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. The group features age-appropriate toys, stories and activities. The morning group does not meet the first Wednesday of the month. An evening playgroup for the same age range meets the first Wednesday of the month at the library from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Contact Danielle Brown at 876-7555 for more information.
A playgroup for infants to 5-year-olds is scheduled for Fridays from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Allen Brook School’s EEE classroom. The group features age-appropriate toys, arts and crafts and circle time with songs and stories. The group does not meet every Friday, contact Brown for schedule details.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT STRESSES VACCINES
With students ready to head back to college, the Vermont Department of Health is reminding young adults that vaccines are not just for children. The department is celebrating National Immunization Awareness Month throughout August.
“Getting vaccinated is an important action to take to protect against serious, sometimes life-threatening diseases,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen in a recent press release. “And college prep means making sure you’re up to date with your vaccines. Even healthy young adults need vaccines. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines you need.”
According to the Vermont Department of Health, every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once, to protect against pertussis (whooping cough) and a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster every 10 years.
The vaccine that protects against human papilloma virus—the cause of cervical cancer, other cancers and genital warts—is recommended for young women and men who have not already been vaccinated. Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for students who will be living in dorms and are at slightly increased risk for meningococcal disease compared with others of the same age. Everyone 6 months and older should have a flu shot every year.
The need for other vaccines depends on factors such as childhood vaccination history, travel plans, personal health and risks.
To learn more about vaccines, visit healthvermont.gov/hc/imm/public.aspx.