This website is undergoing a long-overdue make-over which includes adding much more content – past and present – and an easier way of navigating through what’s here.
There are already hundreds of articles on the site – with more to come – covering a broad spectrum of environmental, sustainability and health topics and an enhanced search function should make it easier to find everything. I hope you like it!
Thanks to Nigel Hayler at nPress Media for his continued patience, creativity and support.
Please bear with me while I continue to populate the site and check through all the links!
It’s been fun to watch the media scramble to catch-up with the facts, as highlighted in a recent laboratory study linking house dust with weight gain.
What the scientists writing in the journal Environmental Science & Technology said was that a) house dust isn’t just ‘dirt’ – it is full of all the toxins that slough off into our environment from the products we use, including phthalates, pesticides and flame retardants; and b) because these are endocrine-disrupting chemicals very small amounts can cause biological havoc in this case causing immature fat cells to mature and begin accumulating triglycerides.
In some instances the toxins in the dust samples caused the fat cells to divide creating a larger pool of hungry fat cells. For children whose are exposed to proportionately more toxins per kilo of bodyweight – and who are much more sensitive to the effects of toxic substances – this could trigger a lifelong tendency to overweight. You can read the news story here.
Its important to recognise that this is not new information. Rather it is information that conventional science – which created these very profitable chemicals – likes to ignore.
For those who are interested I wrote about this problem years ago in two of my books:
It looks at the links between industrial farming and the destruction of iconic wildlife like the Sumatran elephant, the North American bison and the Brazilian jaguar. It can be hard for anyone to get their head around just how far reaching the consequences of our current approach to food production is and the effect on wildlife is largely hidden behind many more obvious harms such as to farm animals, soil and farmland biodiversity. Well done to Philip (Compassion in World Farming’s CEO) for exposing it.
I’ve worked with Philp before on the Nocton Dairy campaign. This time I’ve been lucky enough to work as a producer on the video trailers for the book, via Ecostorm, the investigative agency with which I founded the Ecologist Film Unit.
The trailer for the Dead Zone is below. Other films are on a special playlist on my YouTube channel.
Great to see this lovely volume finally in the shops
Neal’s Yard Remedies Essential Oils is a great reference work but also so much more than that. It contains detailed information on oils and ingredients, tips on making your own superb blends and pampering recipes and ways to use aromatherapy to support health and healing. I was fortunate to work with collegues Susan Curtis and Fran Johnson again on this book (we previously worked together on the Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Book – see below).
It may have looked like things were quite over the last few months but they have been anything but! My group Beyond GM was chosen to organise the GMO and Future of Farming tents for the Global Village of Activists that accompanied Neil Young on his 2016 European tour. It was a tremendous opportunity to do some grassroots campaigning and to strengthen our networks throughout Europe. The Villages on UK home territory were particulalry gratifying and allowed us to meet so many people who really ‘get it’ and who want a sustainable food system that guarantees us health and security far into the future.
After two months of frantic prep, 2 months of touring, 15 countries, 25 villages, thousands of people engaged, several films produced and lots of social media I can finally unpack! Thanks to all our partner NGOs who joined us in each country to help make a difference. Let’s keep standing up for a sustainable food system in Europe.
This I’m currently involved as producer on a unique video project for my group Beyond GM.
Our Food Our Future aims to give children a chance to speak up about GMOs and educate other kids in the world about their experiences.
It is calling on kids of all ages in the Americas to start an international conversation by sending in a short video of themselves talking about the food issues that affect them and their families, with a specific focus on GMOs, pesticides, labelling, health, environment, activism and the future.
The project is a next phase of the successful Letter from America project which launched in 2014 to international acclaim and with widespread support by US NGOs and high profile individuals.
Our Food Our Future aims to get kids in the Americas telling their stories to kids in the UK and the rest of Europe, where many governments, including the British government, are planning to plant GMO crops and, with the implementation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), import more GMOs foods and animal feed.
We’ve been very luck to have Beyond GM’s teen ‘ambassador’ Mya-Rose Craig (aka Birdgirl) assists us with our video appeal.
If you have kids – or grandkids – or are a kid living in the Americas please support the project by uploading your video here.
It’s always a pleasure to produce these beautiful books with Neal’s Yard Remedies.
This Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Book can help you change your beauty regime by giving an in depth look at natural ingredients, recipes for homemade treats and make-up looks that enhance your natural beauty.
I first made my name challenging the toxic ingredients that are put into most personal care products. We do a lot of ugly things in the name of beauty – but it doesn’t have to be that way.
I was very pleased to see the book, which I co-authored with colleagues Susan Curtis and Fran Johnson, featured in the Daily Telegraph and it has had a fantastic reception by others including the Beauty Bible, Good Housekeeping and lots of online sites.
There will be more books on the way. Next up the only guide you will ever need to essential oils…
The last year or so has seen the Beyond GM group grow and reach out to ever more people in the UK.
After 20 years of failure it’s hard to believe that corporate interests are still pushing the GMO agenda in what amounts to a large uncontrolled experiment in food and human health. But they are and if possible even harder – and with even more money in their pockets – than before. Beyond GM was founded late in 2014 by myself and others to ensure that when it comes to agricultural GM, we have an engaged and educated public that understands the problems – as well as the solutions – and will speak out for a better, fairer, safer food system than genetic modification could ever provide.
From the establishment of core campaign of Beyond GM we now have a thriving GM Free Me campaign, the phenomenally successful Letter form America – now translated into 8 languages, lively GMO OMG film nights, and a growing group of mothers Mums Say no to GMOs who are putting forward the consumer case. This year we have embarked on a major photographic campaign We Feed The World, to help highlight the importance of small and family farmers to the future of our food system. There will be more to come as the year unfolds.
Please support us and use our websites and social media as resources to help you keep in touch and to understand more about agricultural GMOs and their impact on food, environment and health.
Staying healthy in the winter is mostly a matter of common sense.
It’s great to be asked to write something positive about health for a change! This month I am the guest blogger on Neal’s Yard Remedies Year of Wellbeing site where I share a few simple tips for keeping the bugs at bay. I’ll also be answering questions on Neal’s Yard Remedies’ twitter page on February 10th so check in an join the discussion. For more in depth information on health and well being make sure to follow NYR Natural News, which I edit, and which is a wealth news updates, articles and reliable information on how to manage your health naturally.
It will be great to be back at the Oxford Real Farming Conference, January 6, 2016.
I’ll be speaking at the session, How can we win the war of words on GM?
From the programme:
Genetically modified food can be an explosive topic. Passion is a powerful force for change, but how can we ensure that, when we talk about GM, we generate more light than heat? Leading GM campaigners share their experience of presenting the case against GM and discuss the ways in which different language, tone and emphasis can help, or hinder, the campaign to keep GM out of our food and off our farms.
I am an award-winning campaigner, journalist and author. A former editor of the Ecologist magazine Pat has run campaigns for Paul McCartney’s Meat-Free Monday, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and Neal’s Yard Remedies. In 2011, my work leading the campaign, Cows Belong in Fields, won CIWF the Observer Ethical Award for Campaigner of the Year. In 2014 I co-founded the campaigning group, Beyond GM.
I am a qualified psychotherapist and the author more than 40 books for adults and children and I was inducted into Who’s Who in 2014. In addition to my work with Beyond GM, I work occasionally with the film production company Ecostorm. I also currently edit and oversee NYR Natural News – a campaigning natural health website, continue to write in a freelance capacity and make regular public speaking and media appearances.
I have been a trustee of both the Soil Association and the Organic Research Centre in the UK and am currently on the advisory board of GMO Free USA and am a trustee of the investigative media agency, Eyewitness.
To read more about me see here.
Projects, Consultancies and Public Speaking
I am interested in and available for short- and long-term projects/consultancies, and am particularly keen on those that focus on food, sustainability and culture change. I am also an experienced public speaker.
My unique professional experience means I bring a variety of skills to any work I do, including effective and persuasive communication and writing skills, an holistic perspective on sustainability and change, and both intuitive and analytical ability. I am well known in my field and comfortable working in most fora.
Recent projects/consultancies include work with: Stella McCartney ‘Care’ range, Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday, Friends of the Earth, Compassion in World Farming, Soil Association, Neal’s Yard Remedies.
Recent public speaking engagements: UK Aware, Oxford University PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) Society, Durham Union Society (Durham University), Bristol Festival of Nature, World Preservation Foundation, Women’s Institute.
I'm a highly experienced journalist and award winning campaigner specialising in environment and alternative health. I'm also the author of several books for adults and children and a qualified psychotherapist.