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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Air Pollutants - Diabetes and the Environment

Air Pollutants - Diabetes and the Environment Apparently, living in an industrialized area increases the risk of diabetes. Air pollution causes diabetes or enhances the chances of contracting the disease.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Obama Administration Challenges China at WTO over Unfair Practices in the Auto and Auto Parts Industries

In Indiana, the auto-parts industry directly employs 52,600.  And the auto industry – after taking into account the impact from associated industries like steel, aluminum, plastics, and electronics and the impact on communities around the state – supports over 510,000 total jobs or 13.9 percent of the state’s total employment.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
_____________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2012

On Monday, the Obama Administration is launching an enforcement action against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for illegally subsidizing exports in their autos and auto-parts sectors, a practice that is putting U.S. auto parts manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage and that is encouraging the outsourcing of auto-parts production to China. 

·         The auto manufacturing industry directly employs over 770,000 people in the United States, with roughly 475,000 of these jobs in auto parts manufacturing:  And these numbers do not include all of the jobs supported in associated industries such as steel, aluminum, plastics, and electronics.  According to the Center for Automotive Research, the auto sector in total supports 8 million American jobs.

o   In Indiana, the auto-parts industry directly employs 52,600.  And the auto industry – after taking into account the impact from associated industries like steel, aluminum, plastics, and electronics and the impact on communities around the state – supports over 510,000 total jobs or 13.9 percent of the state’s total employment.

·         This case highlights the impact that the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC) The President announced the creation of  the ITEC in this year’s State of the Union address and it is already having an impact in the Administration’s ability to challenge unfair trade practices around the world.

·         The Administration is also on Monday taking the next formal step in a WTO case launched in July against China’s unfair imposition of duties on more than $3 billion in exports of U.S.-made automobiles:  The Chinese duties cover more than 80 percent U.S. auto exports to China and disproportionately fall on General Motors and Chrysler products because of the actions that President Obama took to support the U.S. auto industry during the financial crisis.

·         The key principle at stake is that China must play by the rules of the global trading system:  When it does not, the Obama Administration will take action to ensure that American businesses and workers are competing on a level playing field.

·         Today’s action builds on the Obama Administration’s record of strong trade enforcement to date:  We have more than doubled the rate of trade cases against China compared to the prior Administration and took the first-ever safeguard action against a surge of Chinese tire imports.


Background on Monday’s WTO Enforcement Action against
China’s “Export Bases” Program

The United States will announce on Monday that it has initiated a WTO enforcement action against China for providing impermissible export subsidies to auto and auto-parts manufacturers located in at least twelve designated “export bases.”

·         China is violating WTO prohibitions on export-contingent subsidies:  By providing a range of subsidies to auto and auto-parts producers directly linked to the firms’ exports, China is not only violating WTO prohibitions on export-contingent subsidies, but also its own agreement to eliminate export subsidies when it joined the WTO in 2001. 

·         All told, China’s illegal subsidies to auto and auto-parts exporters amounted to at least $1 billion between 2009 and 2011:  These subsides and may benefit up to 60 percent of Chinese auto-parts exports.  

·         China’s export subsidy program is hurting the U.S. auto-parts industry and, specifically, U.S. auto workers by:

o   Contributing to the outsourcing of auto auto-parts production to China – not for sale into the Chinese market, but rather for export into the United States and third markets. 

o   Putting U.S. auto-parts manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage precisely because we are playing by global trade rules.

·         Monday’s case highlights the impact that the ITEC, the Administration’s new trade enforcement unit, is already having in our ability to challenge unfair trade practices around the world:  The ITEC, which the President announced in this year’s State of the Union address, is bringing to bear greater resources and enhanced cross-government coordination to investigate and challenge practices that tilt the playing field against U.S. businesses and workers.

The production of original equipment and aftermarket parts for passenger vehicles has been a central element of U.S. manufacturing for over a century.  The auto parts sector has provided well-paying and secure employment that has helped support middle-class families and communities across our country.

·         The auto manufacturing industry directly employs over 770,000 people in the United States, with roughly 475,000 of these jobs in auto parts manufacturing:  And these numbers do not include all of the jobs supported in associated industries such as steel, aluminum, plastics, and electronics.  According to the Center for Automotive Research, the auto sector in total supports 8 million American jobs.

·         In Indiana, the auto-parts industry directly employs 52,600:  And the auto industry – after taking into account the impact from associated industries like steel, aluminum, plastics, and electronics and the impact on communities around the state –  supports over 510,000 total jobs or 13.9 percent of the state’s total employment.

·         However, government statistics show that the U.S. auto-parts sector has suffered a sharp drop in jobs since 2000:  Domestic employment in this sector fell by roughly half from 2001 to 2010. 

·         That trend has coincided with a nearly seven-fold increase in imports of auto parts from China: This has resulted in a five-fold increase in China’s share of U.S. auto-parts imports from two percent of all U.S. imports to over ten percent.

Monday’s action aims to compel China to unwind its prohibited export subsidy program and to help level the international playing field for U.S. businesses and workers in the auto and auto parts industries.


Background on Next Step on WTO Enforcement Action
Against China’s Unfair Duties on U.S. Auto Exports

The United States will also announce on Monday that it is taking the next step in a WTO enforcement action launched in July over China’s unfair imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on approximately $3.3 billion in U.S. automobile exports to China.

·         Specifically, the Administration is now positioned to formally request that the WTO form a dispute settlement panel to consider our case:  Sixty days have now elapsed since we initiated consultations with the Chinese on this issue in early July. 

·         China unfairly imposed antidumping and countervailing duties on approximately $3.3 billion in U.S. automobile exports to China:

o   In December 2011, China imposed anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) on the roughly 92,000 large-engine automobiles and SUVs, worth approximately $3.3 billion, exported each year from the United States.

o   The Chinese AD duties range from 2.0 percent to 8.9 percent, and the CVDs range from 6.2 percent to 12.9 percent.

·         The Chinese duties impact more than 80 percent of our total 2011 auto exports to China: Higher duties affect imports of cars produced by GM and Chrysler expressly because of the support they received from the U.S. government during the financial crisis. 


Background on President Obama’s Trade Enforcement Record

Since day one of his Administration, the President has fought to ensure that American businesses and workers are competing on a level playing field with their international competitors – and he has taken action to stop unfair trade practices abroad, including in China.

·         We have doubled rate of (WTO) trade cases against China compared to the prior administration:

o   For example, last March the Administration launched a rare earths WTO case against China:  Rare earths elements are key inputs in advanced manufacturing products like wind turbines and lithium ion batteries.  Right now China restricts their export, which keeps prices down for their manufacturers and increases prices for ours.  That's not fair, and that's why we've taken action.

·         In September 2009, President Obama ordered first-ever safeguard action applied to a surge of tire imports from China: U.S. tire production has increased more than 10 percent since that time, adding over 1,000 workers in the process.

·         We have now stood up a new trade enforcement unit, which the President announced in this year’s State of the Union address:  This new unit helped to drive Monday’s enforcement action and is substantially enhancing our ability to investigate and challenge unfair trade practices around the world.

###
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Centers for Disease Control: Half of American Adults have Periodontal Disease — linked to diabetes, heart disease

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show high prevalence of periodontal disease in the U.S. population. -Go get your teeth and gums checked!

CHICAGO, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- One out of every two American adults aged 30 and over has periodontal disease, according to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 A study titled "Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010," estimates that 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent. This study is published in the Journal of Dental Research, the official publication of the International and American Associations for Dental Research.

"This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease in the U.S. adult population we have ever had," said Pamela McClain, DDS, President of the American Academy of Periodontology and a practicing periodontist in Aurora, Colorado. "For the first time, we now have a precise measure of the prevalence of periodontal disease, and can better understand the true severity and extent of periodontal disease in our country. The AAP values its collaboration with CDC to better understand the burden of periodontal disease in Americans."

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The AAP has worked closely with CDC since 2003 on periodontal disease surveillance.


The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) supports the American Heart Association’s (AHA) scientific statement “Periodontal Disease and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease: Does the Evidence Support an Independent Association?” recently published in Circulation. The statement concludes that observational studies to date support an association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, independent of shared risk factors.

The AHA’s statement confirms the conclusions of the statements published by the AAP and the American Journal of Cardiology in 2009 and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2008. While current research does not yet provide evidence of a causal relationship between the two diseases, scientists have identified biologic factors, such as chronic inflammation, that independently link periodontal disease to the development or progression of cardiovascular disease in some patients.

However, the lack of causal evidence should not diminish concern about the impact of periodontal status on cardiovascular health. According to Pamela McClain, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology and a practicing periodontist in Aurora, Colorado. 

"Periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are both complex, multi-factorial diseases that develop over time. It may be overly simplistic to expect a direct causal link. The relationship between the diseases is more likely to be mediated by numerous other factors, mechanisms, and circumstances that we have yet to uncover. However, as the AHA statement points out, the association is real and independent of shared risk factors. Patients and healthcare providers should not ignore the increased risk of heart disease associated with gum disease just because we do not have all the answers yet."

 "To really know if you have periodontal disease, a dental professional must examine each tooth above and below the gum line. A visual examination alone, even by the most qualified dentist, is not enough. These findings suggest that many more people have periodontal disease than previously thought, so it is more important than ever to receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation from your dental professional, every year," Dr. McClain said. Research has shown, and experts agree, that there is an association between periodontal diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.

 Complicating the issue is the fact that most people do not have access to affordable dental care as most adult dental benefits are connected to higher-level jobs. In other words, many people do not have dental benefits nor the money to regularly see a dentist. Researchers also found a link between injectable contraceptive use and periodontal disease.

 The study found that women who are currently taking depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA also known as "the shot") injectable contraceptive, or have taken DMPA in the past, are more likely to have indicators of poor periodontal health, including gingivitis and periodontitis, than women who have never taken the injectable contraceptive. DMPA is a long-lasting progestin-only injectable contraceptive administered intermuscularly every three months.

  Treatment

Most periodontists would agree that after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require any further active treatment, including surgical therapy.

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 If you've ever heard of the phrase champagne taste on a beer budget, you've found me. I make soap from scratch because regular soap does not agree with my skin, I recreate restaurant meals at home, create appliances I cannot install or afford (yet,) and in general, I figure out a way from no way. I pray a lot too. Join me on my journey. It will be fun. 
Everything you see me do is for entertainment purposes only. All of my experiments are for my purposes only. It's fun to watch.

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