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Described as the "Rachel Carson of Canada", Elizabeth May takes seat as the first Chair in Women's Health and the Environment at Dalhousie University.

A total of $1.6 million came from two anonymous donations for women's health research to the Maritime Centre of Excellence for Women's Health located at Dalhousie University.

"Through the vision of the anonymous donor, the university is honoured to have attracted Elizabeth May, whose diverse background and experience will help to shape the direction and activities of the Chair named in her honour," said University President Tom Traves.

The Chair's role will be to work closely with other faculties, and with community and government agencies. It will also allow the Maritime Centre to continue its active pursuits in women's health and the environment.

Young Female Violence

"Run for your lives! A gang of liberated young female criminals raised by mothers too busy with their jobs to monitor them and fathers too liberal to enforce any discipline are beating and plundering everything in their path, just like a group of boys!"

This is one of the myths the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary dispels in their report that looks at young women who use violence.

Media attention and public perception have distorted the truth, the society argues. These are some of the "Myths and Facts" the society turned up:

1. MYTH:

Violence committed by young women is skyrocketing
FACT: Female involvement in violent youth crime is at its lowest level in five years.

2. MYTH:

Violence by women is becoming more violent.
FACT: Serious violent offenses by young women have gone down in the past 30 years.

3. MYTH:
Women's liberation brought about an increase in female violence.
FACT: This belief is part of a backlash. Women's struggle for equality has not yet been realised and is certainly not reflected in the lifestyles or behaviour of women who use violence.

4. MYTH:

Poor parenting, meaning working mothers and lack of discipline, cause young women to use violence.
FACT: Working mothers do not cause young women to use violence. Histories of abuse, most often by men, do.

To order the report and the "Myths and Facts" sheet, contact:
The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary
650, 1010 1 Street SW
Calgary AB T2R 1K4 Canada
Tel: (403) 294-0737
Fax: (403) 262-0285

Herizons Subscribers Wanted

Herizons Magazine has sent out an urgent request for subscribers. The magazine, enjoyed by feminists for its challenging news, interviews, and enlightening articles, needs more subscribers "in order to build a strong and secure feminist future." The unabashedly feminist magazine covers important issues in the Canadian women's movement today.

To subscribe ($23.99/year), contact:
PO Box 128
Winnipeg MB R36 2G1 Canada
Ph: (204) 774-6225

Panos: AIDS Driven by Men

A recent Panos Institute report claims the global AIDS epidemic is driven by men.

"Men's behaviour is strongly influenced by perceptions of masculinity. Most cultures expect men to be sexually active, often with more than one partner," writes Martin Foreman, Director of the Panos AIDS program in London. "Attitudes towards risk-taking lead many men to reject condoms as unmasculine or consider sexually transmitted infections as no more than an inconvenience." Foreman argues that in order to contain the AIDS epidemic, men's sexual behaviour has to change. Based in the United Kingdom, the Panos Institute exists to stimulate debate on global environment and development issues.

To order a copy of the study, contact:
The Panos Institute
9 White Lion Street
London N1 9PD
United Kingdom
Tel: (+44) 171-278-1111
Fax: (+44) 171-278-0345

Not Potato?

From the makers of Agent Orange and DDT, comes a new potato. Not chemical, potato or is it?

US chemical giant, Monsanto, is marketing the New Leaf Superior potato in US supermarkets. The catch is the potato is registered as a chemical.

Every cell of the New Leaf Superior potato contains a gene snipped from bacteria called Bacillus Thuriengensis (Bt), which is deadly to Colorado potato beetles.

As far as humans are concerned, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials believe the New Leaf Superior potato is reasonably safe for humans because mice are not visibly harmed by eating pure Bt, and humans have eaten the unaltered potato for some time with no ill effect.

"Some geneticists believe this reasoning is flawed," the New York Times reported, because inserting foreign genes into plants may cause subtle changes that are difficult to recognize.

Adding further complication, neither the US EPA nor the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) have required the potato to be labelled as a genetically altered food.

The EPA says the FDA has responsibility for requiring the label because the potato is food. The FDA told the Times that it does not have the authority to regulate pesticides.

Source: Rachel's Environment and Health Weekly

The debate over genetically altered foods is already hot in Canada.
Join in by contacting:
Canadian Biotech Action Network

International Year of Older Persons, 1999

In recognition of the world's rapidly aging population, the United Nations has declared 1999 the International Year of Older Persons (IYOP). The purpose of the Year is to foster international awareness of the importance of seniors' role in society and the need for respect and support between generations.

Canada has one of the most rapidly aging societies in the world, its senior population making up 12% of the total population, which will grow to an estimated 23% by the year 2041.

"Our aging population is a major social issue, the magnitude of which we are only beginning to comprehend," said Flora MacDonald, Co-Chair of the Canada Coordinating Committee for the International Year of Older Persons.

"The Year also gives us a chance to dispel myths and stereotypes about aging by focussing on realistic portrayals of the aging process, the key elements of health aging, and the benefits of active lifestyles for Canadians as they enter their senior years," added MacDonald.

For information on how you can get involved in the IYOP, contact:
Canada Coordinating Committee IYOP
8th Floor, Jeanne Mance Building
Address locator 1908A1
Ottawa ON K1A 1B4
Tel: (613) 954-5815
Fax: (613) 957-1176