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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Animals give GM the thumbs down

Animals give GM the thumbs down
The UK Government decision to grant Aventis’s application to grow GM maize commercially in the UK was not based on the studies reported, but on two different animal-feeding trials both funded and submitted by Aventis.
The first trial fed Chardon LL maize grain to 280 young broiler chickens over 42 days, supposedly to compare the nutrient quality of GM and natural maize samples. All the chickens were allowed to eat at will. The official report claimed that no differences were found in body weight, feed intake or mortality, as compared to similar chickens fed on natural maize. Closer examination of the data gives cause for concern:
  • During days 0-18, the GM maize grain-fed chickens consumed nine grams more than the natural maize-fed group, but during days 18-32 their consumption fell to seven grams less. During days 32-42 their consumption fell even further, to 63 grams less than that of the natural maize-fed group
  • Whereas the final average body weights and total feed intakes of the GM- and natural maize-fed chickens were not very different, there was a much wider range in individual weights and intakes amongst the GM-fed birds, suggesting that at least some of them were not thriving on the GM maize
  • Death rates during the trial in the two groups were reported to be “similar”. In fact, the average death rate in the GM-fed chickens (7.14%) was double that in the natural maize-fed chickens (3.57%)
The validity of this study was dismissed by animal nutrition expert Dr Bob Orskov [1] on the grounds that feeding maize grain to chickens could never tell you anything about feeding whole maize plants as forage to cattle.
The second study fed diets with various mixes of protein to groups of male and female rats. The total amount of protein in each diet was the same:
Diet 1. A mix comprising 10% GM oilseed rape protein (PAT), 90% natural soya protein (SOY)
Diet 2. 100% PAT
Diet 3. 100% SOY
Diet 4. The standard diet for laboratory rats
The primary purpose of the study was to test for toxicity. The data suggests that at least some of the rats may not have been thriving on a diet including PAT:
  • Whereas the male rats eating low amounts of PAT (diets 1,3 and 4) maintained similar weights, the average weight of the male rats on diet 2 fell from being the highest to the lowest of all the male groups
  • The average weights of the female rats fed either low or high amounts of PAT (diets 1 and 2), heaviest at the outset, fell below those of the females not eating PAT (diets 3 and 4)
  • Both male and female rats consuming high amounts of PAT (diet 2) achieved lower weight gains per day, averaged over the 14 days, than those of their counterparts eating diets containing low or no PAT (diets 3 and 4)
The validity of this study was also dismissed, this time by independent toxicologist Dr Vyvyan Howard, [2] on two grounds:
  • “By feeding purified PAT protein, rather than the whole maize plant (as it would be fed to cattle), this experiment is specifically designed to not detect any unpredicted effects
  • “I do not consider that this study using rats can be used as a basis for making judgements about the safety of Chardon LL maize with respect to cattle”
Existing scientific and anecdotal evidence indicates that farm animals prefer organically-produced to conventionally-produced feed. Now there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that both domestic and wild animals will avoid GM feed, given the choice and, if forced to eat GM feed, do not thrive.
Ed.- (i) However bizarre, the fact that AgrEvo (later renamed Aventis and since renamed Bayer Crop Science) used chickens and maize grain, then rats and protein derived from GM oilseed rape, to prove the safety of whole GM maize plants for cattle no longer comes as any surprise. Nor does the UK Government’s readiness to accept such obviously fake science. The battle over GM is not, after all, about science or “feeding the world’s poor”, as biotech companies and their supporters pretend, but profit. What is surprising is that the UK Government still imagines that the public will accept their reassurances that GM is safe
(ii) The second study was just 14 days long, so there was no attempt to identify long-term effects.
(iii) Eva Novotny’s report for the Institute of Science in Society also mentioned:
(a) cattle’s refusal to eat GM Sheridan forage maize when they strayed into a GM crop trial field in Somerset in November 2000. [3] Sheridan contains the same genetic construct (conferring herbicide tolerance) as Chardon LL, the variety approved by the UK Government, and
(b) the article When the Corn Hits the Fan by American journalist Steven Sprinkel (19.9.99). It reported pigs which wouldn’t eat their ration when GM crops were included, cattle which went off their food or lost weight when switched to GM silage, cattle which broke through an old fence and ate all the normal corn but wouldn’t touch GM Round-up Ready corn, and deer and racoons which decimated organic crops but avoided GM crops nearby.
[1] Dr Bob Orskov, Honorary Professor in Animal Nutrition at Aberdeen University and Director of the International Feed Resource Unit (18.10.2000)
[ 2] Dr Vyvyan Howard, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Foetal and Infant Toxicopathology Group at the University of Liverpool, and Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (18.10.2000)
[ 3] reported by the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food 10.11.00
(10716) Eva Novotny. Institute of Science in Society

Sunday, August 29, 2010

FDA Looking into Triclosan?

UPDATE: 8/29/10  Triclosan and antibacterial warnings -
Updates at Natural Healing through Natural Health -

New article here from Jill Richardson, compiling much of what we have been teaching about the risk of triclosan since the late 80s.

from Natural Health News...
Apr 09, 2010
In a claim filed Tuesday, the National Resources Defense Council says the FDA didn't regulate the levels of triclosan and triclocarban in the soap, two toxic chemicals that can cause problems with reproductive organs, sperm quality and ...
Apr 16, 2005
The main reason for my advice has been that these chemicals, such as triclosan, disturb the balance of naturally occurring staph bacteria on the skin's surface (epidermis). Now here is more convincing evidence. ...
Nov 01, 2009
If the product contains Triclosan, also be cautious: Researchers who added triclosan to water and exposed it to ultra-violet light found that a significant portion of the triclosan was converted to dioxin. Triclosan reacts with chlorine ...
May 26, 2008
But I did already know that certain hand purifying gels contained, among other undesirables, the hormone disrupting antibacterial/antifungal agent triclosan, which can form dioxins when it comes into contact with water and has some
Dec 26, 2009
These contain Triclosan and will kill off naturally occurring bacteria on your skin that serves to protect you from infection. Many non-effective anti-biotics are on the market today and some of these have very serious side effects.

UPDATE: 8/21/10 - Two Dangerous Ingredients in Everyday Products That Are Threatening Our Health
Triclosan and triclocarban are widely used in antibacterial soaps, body washes, deodorants, lip glosses, dog shampoos, shave gels and even toothpastes. Read more...
UPDATE: 7/30/10 -

Health Group Sues FDA Over 'Dangerous' Antibacterial Soap

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is being sued by a nonprofit environmental group for what the members claim is dangerous “antimicrobial” soap, Reuters reports.
In a claim filed Tuesday, the National Resources Defense Council says the FDA didn’t regulate the levels of triclosan and triclocarban in the soap, two toxic chemicals that can cause problems with reproductive organs, sperm quality and the production of thyroid and sex hormones.
Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, is named as a defendant in the suit, but no specific manufacturers or retailers were mentioned, according to Reuters.
The nonprofit claims it first approached the FDA about regulating this soap and other personal care products for over-the-counter use more than 30 years ago, but no action has been taken.
According to the lawsuit, the FDA proposed a ban from interstate trading of both chemicals in 1978 but nothing changed until 1994 when some ingredients were reclassified, Reuters reports.
The FDA said in April that the ingredient triclosan has not been shown to be harmful
to humans and that further study is needed.
The plaintiffs are requesting the FDA be given a deadline to complete its study on the conditions for using these products.
posted April 2010: It never ceases to amaze me just how slow out US government agencies are slow to act to protect the citizenry. And they won't comment until sometime in 2011. Maybe an addendum to the health bill should require that the FDA clean up its political quagmires.

I've been warning about triclosan for at least 15 years, based on the science and at least the MSDS data.

What is so bad about triclosan is that is destroys what is referred to as the protective "acid mantle" of the skin, and creates a breeding ground for infection because it destroys the healthy bacteria on your skin:the healthy bacteria that is there to protect you from infection.

This is one time it pays to read labels and another to look to the use of natural castile soaps without fragrance and using truly health promoting skin lubrication like you can get from my colleague at Kettle Care.

FDA Warns of Risk in Antibacterial Additive
By Cole Petrochko, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: April 08, 2010

WASHINGTON -- The FDA has notified consumers that the antibacterial agent triclosan's safety data is being reviewed due to concerns raised in lab tests on animals.
Research from the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development found triclosan had thyroid and estrogen effects in animals.
The agent is a common ingredient in antibacterial soaps and washes, toothpastes, and cosmetics, all of which are regulated by the FDA.
The ingredient's profile was raised in January when Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, wrote the FDA to ask about a review of triclosan's use in consumer products.
Additional investigation was deemed necessary after animal studies showed potential negative effects of the ingredient, the FDA said in a prepared statement. Though studies are ongoing, the FDA does not currently have enough evidence to suggest a change to any consumer products with triclosan.
The FDA noted that although triclosan provided a clear benefit in some consumer products, the extra health benefit it offered in others was not as apparent.
The agency advised consumers that the ingredient poses no apparent danger to humans, but that soaps and body washes with triclosan may not provide additional health benefits over soaps without the additive; consumers concerned about its potential health hazards should switch to regular soaps without triclosan.
The FDA announced it will work with other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, to study the effects of triclosan on humans, animals, and the environment.
The agency said it planned to publish its findings in spring 2011.
Chloroform Danger With Antimicrobial Soap, a 2005 post from Natural Health News

Nov 01, 2009
If the product contains Triclosan, also be cautious: Researchers who added triclosan to water and exposed it to ultra-violet light found that a significant portion of the triclosan was converted to dioxin. Triclosan reacts with chlorine ...
May 26, 2008
But I did already know that certain hand purifying gels contained, among other undesirables, the hormone disrupting antibacterial/antifungal agent triclosan, which can form dioxins when it comes into contact with water and has some ...
Dec 26, 2009
These contain Triclosan and will kill off naturally occurring bacteria on your skin that serves to protect you from infection. Many non-effective anti-biotics are on the market today and some of these have very serious side effects. ...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

AG Money: Gates and Monsanto

Gates Foundation underwrites vaccine insanity and now GMO Food, Weed overgrowth -
Well, well, well. It's about time. Kind of like when Fox News gave $1 million in campaign contributions to Republicans. It wasn't exactly a secret before, but now it's official. The Gates Foundation just bought a whopping 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock.Now, there's nothing wrong with buying stock. My parents hold lots of BP stock, and they are hardly guilty of dumping the 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf. But this is one more step in a long line of actions by the Gates Foundation in which it is advocating policies and agricultural technologies that will directly benefit and profit Monsanto while screwing over the most vulnerable people on earth: hungry subsistence farmers in developing countries.
I wrote a piece recently about what happens when American industrial agriculture collides with poor, uneducated subsistence farmers in the developing world and it ain't pretty. In fact, it's tragic. It's criminal. For a corporation to prey upon such a vulnerable population for its own gain, when the result is the starvation, continued impoverishment, or loss of land and lifestyle of the poor.
Perhaps Gates thinks he is doing something good for the world with his advocacy of biotechnology and industrial agriculture. No doubt all of the executives from Monsanto and other biotech and chemical companies tell him that every day. He should instead listen to the 400 scientists who spent 3 years performing the most comprehensive study of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology in the history of the world, the IAASTD report. The report recommends agroecology - what many in the U.S. would refer to as "organics" (even though the term is more nuanced than that).

Both will profit at expense of small-scale African farmers
Seattle, WA - Farmers and civil society organizations around the world are outraged by the recent discovery of further connections between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and agribusiness titan Monsanto. Last week, a financial website published the Gates Foundation's investment portfolio, including 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock with an estimated worth of $23.1 million purchased in the second quarter of 2010 (see the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission). This marks a substantial increase from its previous holdings, valued at just over $360,000 (see the Foundation's 2008 990 Form).
"The Foundation's direct investment in Monsanto is problematic on two primary levels," said Dr. Phil Bereano, University of Washington Professor Emeritus and recognized expert on genetic engineering. "First, Monsanto has a history of blatant disregard for the interests and well-being of small farmers around the world, as well as an appalling environmental track record. The strong connections to Monsanto cast serious doubt on the Foundation's heavy funding of agricultural development in Africa and purported goal of alleviating poverty and hunger among small-scale farmers. Second, this investment represents an enormous conflict of interests."
Monsanto has already negatively impacted agriculture in African countries. For example, in South Africa in 2009, Monsanto's genetically modified maize failed to produce kernels and hundreds of farmers were devastated. According to Mariam Mayet, environmental attorney and director of theAfrica Centre for Biosafety in Johannesburg, some farmers suffered up to an 80% crop failure. While Monsanto compensated the large-scale farmers to whom it directly sold the faulty product, it gave nothing to the small-scale farmers to whom it had handed out free sachets of seeds. "When the economic power of Gates is coupled with the irresponsibility of Monsanto, the outlook for African smallholders is not very promising," said Mayet. Monsanto's aggressive patenting practices have also monopolized control over seed in ways that deny farmers control over their own harvest, going so far as to sue-and bankrupt-farmers for "patent infringement."
News of the Foundation's recent Monsanto investment has confirmed the misgivings of many farmers and sustainable agriculture advocates in Africa, among them the Kenya Biodiversity Coalition, who commented, "We have long suspected that the founders of AGRA-the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-had a long and more intimate affair with Monsanto." Indeed, according to Travis English, researcher with AGRA Watch, "The Foundation's ownership of Monsanto stock is emblematic of a deeper, more long-standing involvement with the corporation, particularly in Africa." In 2008, AGRA Watch, a project of the Seattle-based organization Community Alliance for Global Justice, uncovered many linkages between the Foundation's grantees and Monsanto. For example, some grantees (in particular about 70% of grantees in Kenya) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)-considered by the Foundation to be its "African face"-work directly with Monsanto on agricultural development projects. Other prominent links include high-level Foundation staff members who were once senior officials for Monsanto, such as Rob Horsch, formerly Monsanto Vice President of International Development Partnerships and current Senior Program Officer of the Gates Agricultural Development Program.
Transnational corporations like Monsanto have been key collaborators with the Foundation and AGRA's grantees in promoting the spread of industrial agriculture on the continent. This model of production relies on expensive inputs such as chemical fertilizers, genetically modified seeds, and herbicides. Though this package represents enticing market development opportunities for the private sector, many civil society organizations contend it will lead to further displacement of farmers from the land, an actual increase in hunger, and migration to already swollen cities unable to provide employment opportunities. In the words of a representative from the Kenya Biodiversity Coalition, "AGRA is poison for our farming systems and livelihoods. Under the philanthropic banner of greening agriculture, AGRA will eventually eat away what little is left of sustainable small-scale farming in Africa."
A 2008 report initiated by the World Bank and the UN, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), promotes alternative solutions to the problems of hunger and poverty that emphasize their social and economic roots. The IAASTD concluded that small-scale agroecological farming is more suitable for the third world than the industrial agricultural model favored by Gates and Monsanto. In a summary of the key findings of IAASTD, the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) emphasizes the report's warning that "continued reliance on simplistic technological fixes-including transgenic crops-will not reduce persistent hunger and poverty and could exacerbate environmental problems and worsen social inequity." Furthermore, PANNA explains, "The Assessment's 21 key findings suggest that small-scale agroecological farming may offer one of the best means to feed the hungry while protecting the planet."
The Gates Foundation has been challenged in the past for its questionable investments; in 2007, the L.A. Times exposed the Foundation for investing in its own grantees and for its "holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices." The Times chastised the Foundation for what it called "blind-eye investing," with at least 41% of its assets invested in "companies that countered the foundation's charitable goals or socially-concerned philosophy."
Although the Foundation announced it would reassess its practices, it decided to retain them. As reported by the L.A. Times, chief executive of the Foundation Patty Stonesifer defended their investments, stating, "It would be naï think that changing the foundation's investment policy could stop the human suffering blamed on the practices of companies in which it invests billions of dollars." This decision is in direct contradiction to the Foundation's official "Investment Philosophy", which, according to its website, "defined areas in which the endowment will not invest, such as companies whose profit model is centrally tied to corporate activity that [Bill and Melinda] find egregious. This is why the endowment does not invest in tobacco stocks."
More recently, the Foundation has come under fire in its own hometown. This week, 250 Seattle residents sent postcards expressing their concern that the Foundation's approach to agricultural development, rather than reducing hunger as pledged, would instead "increase farmer debt, enrich agribusiness corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta, degrade the environment, and dispossess small farmers." In addition to demanding that the Foundation instead fund "socially and ecologically appropriate practices determined locally by African farmers and scientists" and support African food sovereignty, they urged the Foundation to cut all ties to Monsanto and the biotechnology industry.
AGRA Watch, a program of Seattle-based Community Alliance for Global Justice, supports African initiatives and programs that foster farmers' self-determination and food sovereignty. AGRA Watch also supports public engagement in fighting genetic engineering and exploitative agricultural policies, and demands transparency and accountability on the part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and AGRA.

Friday, August 27, 2010

CDC Fudges FLU Data

Hoping that more people now see the misreported death rates are a scare tactic.  And interestingly, the CDC has so far lumped ALL respiratory illnesses in a single category so FLU data is not specifically reported based ONLY on FLU deaths.
Figures on flu deaths are misleading, usually too high, CDC says 
In a typical season, about 36,000 deaths are reported, but that number is too high and grossly misleading, analysts say. Depending on the influenza strain, actual rates vary widely from year to year.
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
August 27, 2010
Most reports about seasonal influenza cite an average of about 36,000 deaths in a typical season, but that number is too high and grossly misleading, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
The actual average is a little more than 23,000, the agency reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. But even that figure is misleading, the report added, because the numbers have ranged from as low as 3,300 deaths to nearly 50,000 over the last 30 years. The period in the analysis covers up to 2007 and does not include last year's H1N1 influenza pandemic.
"There is no average flu season," lead author Dr. David Shay of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said in a news conference. The number of deaths "can vary dramatically" from year to year, he said.
The number of deaths in a given year depends on a variety of factors, including how long the flu season lasts, how many people get sick and who gets sick. But by far, the most important factor is the strain of flu that predominates in a given season.
When an H3N2 strain predominates, the number of deaths typically is about 2.7 times higher than in years when an H1N1 strain predominates. Researchers are not sure why that is, but it occurs at least in part because the H3N2 virus mutates more rapidly.
"Even if you have been sick with it in the past, you are more likely to get a subsequent infection," Shay said. It also tends to make more older people ill.
Shay noted that the 36,000 figure that is frequently quoted was an average for the decade of the 1990s, when H3N2 predominated in most years.
During the 30 years covered by the study, nearly 90% of flu-related deaths occurred in people over the age of 65, about 10% in those ages 19 to 64 and about 1% in those younger than 19. One thing that was dismaying about the recent swine flu outbreak: The majority of deaths linked to it occurred in the two younger age groups.
Shay noted that there is no way to tell before a flu season begins — or even a few weeks into the start of the season — which strain will predominate. "Flu really is unpredictable," he said. The best way to protect yourself, he added, is to follow the CDC's recommendation and get vaccinated every year.                                          ,0,7767551.story

Removing Your Right of Access to Health Care of Choice

herbalYODA Says! - It is important to note that there are thousands of scientific articles rgarding the safe and effective use of herbs.  And not to forget that the National Formualry was built on the original herbal medicines and homeopathic remedies taught for years in medical schools, until the advent of Big PhRMA. 

EFSA set to mass reject 100s of herbal health claims
By Shane Starling, 27-Aug-2010

Hundreds of proposed botanical-health relationships ranging from antioxidant activity to skin health to immunity to gut health will almost certainly be rejected if the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) holds to its current methodologies, according to an EU herbal group.

Patrick Coppens, the secretary general of the European Botanical Forum, said it was unlikely any herbs in line for assessment in the third batch of article 13.1 claims, would win positive opinions.
“If EFSA continues to ignore the existing consensus on the traditional effects of these botanicals, we expect not a single one of these plants to survive the claims process,” Coppens said.
A sneak preview obtained by NutraIngredients of 100s of herbs that have been processed by EFSA’s health claims panel but not yet published, indicates an exhaustive list has been assessed including cranberry, lutein/zeaxanthin, green and black tea, Echinacea, sea buckthorn, rosehip, ginkgo, rosehip, hibiscus, arnica and eucalyptus.
The prebiotic industry will also be holding its breath as chicory, oligosaccharides, isomalto-oligosaccharides and polysaccharides have all had their dossiers assessed by EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA).
“The approach EFSA has adopted is not appropriate for botanicals,” Coppens added.
“The kind of studies requested are not even available for traditional medicinal products. We trust the Commission and the Member States acknowledge this and continue to seek solutions for this valuable category of health products.”
An EFSA spokesperson said the third batch of opinions would be published at the end of September or beginning of September.
Other herbal health claims the NDA has dealt with include green coffee, guarana, blueberry extracts, mangosteen, schisandra, marjolaine feuille, grape seed extracts and broccoli extracts. Typically, the claims are antioxidant related.
Copyright - Unless otherwise stated all contents of this web site are © 2000/2010 - Decision News Media SAS - 
Arnica photo: Verissima 

Big Food, Big AG, Fake Food Pyramids and Your Health

Marion Nestle - We need new food policy

FOOD, Inc. see it here
Insight into were our food comes from and how it is produced ....and the big companies that control everything.

Food is Medicine, GM Food is Poison
Among all developed countries, Americans are the fattest people in the world. The World Health Organization found over 60% of the American population is obese or overweight. Even more disturbing, the U.S. is the only country in the developed world to label obesity a national security health risk. Top Pentagon officials have warned Americans are becoming so fat, most of those volunteering for the Army are disqualified because of their size. Child obesity is also on the rise in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control estimates 1 in every 3 American kids are either obese or overweight. Jeffrey Smith, the author of Seeds of Deception, points to the mass production and consumption of genetically modified foods in the U.S. as a possible source of the problem.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Problems with New Sweetener

UPDATE: August 2010
Here's a toxic sweetener you most likely had never heard of, but I would caution you to make sure you do not ingest it:
HealthEdge's NaturallySweet 
This is manufactured by these folks.

Truvia, Purevia, Zevia, Zerose, Zsweet are marketing names for this artificially blended  erythritol and rebiana mix.  Rebiana is a chemically modified form of  stevia, it is NOT pure stevia.

UPDATE 4, Consumer complaints regarding Truvia

UPDATE 3, 23 December 08: A reader comments on Erythritol as not causing her any problems as noted in our researcher's report. Just like all substances, the ingestion of a substance needs to be in the right form, the right amount, et al, and the effect and outcomes are individual. Please realize that our researcher is a former FDA investigator who has an indepth background in the sciences necessary to make such statements. Please note that the artificial sweeteners referred to, Truvia (Cargill) and PureVia(Whole Earth Sweeteners) are manufactured by these agribusness corporations with an extract of stevia (rebiana)and erythritol and are NOT whole leaf stevia or pure(whole leaf)stevia extract.

UPDATE 2, 22 December 08: Please note that contrary to other reports you may be reading, the FDA DID NOT APPROVE STEVIA. The FDA, in cahoots with Cargill and Coke, approved a synthesized product - as reported originally in this article - manufactured with rebiana (an extract from Stevia) and erythritol (a sugar alcohol).

As Dr. Evangelista states (quoted below): "DO NOT CONFUSE REBIANA (TRUVIA) WITH STEVIA"

UPDATE 1, 20 December 08: Zerose is the Cargill synthesized artificial sweetener made from stevia and erythritol. Zsweet is a similar product in UK and EU. There are numerous scientific studies presenting that this, and related products such as Truvia, may lead to calcium, potassium and phosphate loss with calcification (and lesions) in the kidneys (just like Splenda) and bowel alterations. Please read more.

As to Zevia soda, it seems to me to be quite irresponsible on the part of the company CEO (an attorney)to make the following quote, "Why not supplement a steady breast milk diet with some refreshing ZEVIA?" This quote is associated with a photo of an infant being fed soda by the mother on the company blog. I would suggest the mother is irresponsible as well. While the company web site does not state that Zerose is the sweetener used in their products it does mention that eryrithritol is an ingredient.

I am sure this fellow was not in my 'Social Responsibility of Business' class in grad school.

We suggest Just Like Sugar, unaltered Stevia (order the extract via the Starwest link on this page) and Agave.

We do not endorse the use aspartame or sucralose or any forms of these chemicals, first developed as inseticides, or any products containing them, as they are known toxins to human health, nor do we endorse the use of acesulfame K.
The news this morning on NPR seems to be focused on helping you be in the spin on 'rebiana'(Truvia) and how it is "just stevia".

Coke (using Truvia) and Pepsi (using PureVia) are marketing this new artificial sweetener in their beverages but apparently aren't open to presenting both sides of the story.

Even the one TV ad I saw recently for "Truvia" would lead you to believe that this is a safe and natural additive.

Zevia(a soda), because it contains erythritol, may also have similar problems.

The problem is that is may come from natural sources but it is an extracted and modified chemical when it comes out the other end.

Do not confuse this with pure stevia, it is a combination of chemicals with a dab of the stevia plant. Stevia itself is a sweetener and yet they are using Erythritol which is a sugar alcohol known to cause such things as bloating, diarrhea and cramps. That tells you they are not using much stevia. Nor are they removing the poisonous aspartame from Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. They are simply trying to satisfy a part of the population that knows how deadly aspartame is and wants to use something else.

Notice this sentence: "Stevia was not approved as a food additive by U.S. regulators, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued letters to the companies on Wednesday saying it had no objections to their sweeteners, which are derived from the plant." The FDA has made themselves clear. Industry can do anything they please but they have no intention of approving something safe for the general public. They don't want to displease the aspartame industry who is powerful and takes care of those who defend their poison. Make sure you understand this is a combination of sweeteners and chemicals and not real stevia. The pop companies feel "a dab will do you, so just buy our product regardless of how its made". The public again will be the guinea pigs and lab rats. Also, see the admission that Pepsi's Purevia is being developed with Merisant, an aspartame manufacturer. Nobody should use these products until they are analyzed. Industry is constantly adding small amounts of aspartame because its addictive. If they do this to these products aspartame victims will react because aspartame is so poisonous it causes chemical hypersensitization.
Lab Tests Point to Problems with New Sweetener
Consumer group says product can increase cancer risk
September 2, 2008

A consumer group says a new commercial sweetner, said to be 200 times sweeter than sugar, may cause health problems and needs more study. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are planning to introduce new drinks made with the sweetner, rebiana, an extract of stevia leaves.

In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says the agency should require additional tests, including a key animal study, before accepting rebiana as Generally Regarded as Safe, or GRAS.

The letter cites a new 26-page report by toxicologists at the University of California, Los Angeles, several, though not all, laboratory tests show that the sweetener causes mutations and DNA damage, which raises the prospect that it causes cancer.

"A safe, natural, high-potency sweetener would be a welcome addition to the food supply," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "But the FDA needs to be as sure as possible that rebiana is safe before allowing it into foods that would be consumed by tens of millions of people. It would be tragic if the sweetener turned out to cause cancer or other problems."

One key animal study has not been conducted, according to the UCLA experts and CSPI. The FDA's guidelines advise testing prospective major new food additives on two rodent species, usually rats and mice. The new sweetener has only been tested on rats, but not mice.

The toxicologists' report said that because several studies found mutations and DNA damage, a lifetime mouse study designed to evaluate the risk of carcinogenicity and other health problems was particularly important.

The UCLA toxicologists emphasized the need for more genotoxicity tests, because of the evidence that derivatives of stevia that are closely related to rebiana damage DNA and chromosomes.

Their report noted that much of the recent research on rebiana was sponsored by Cargill and urged the FDA to obtain independently conducted tests to ensure that corporate biases don't influence the design, conduct, or results of the tests.

Rebiana is shorthand for rebaudioside A, a component of stevia. It is obtained from the leaves of a shrub native to Brazil and Paraguay. Coke, Pepsi, and other companies are excited about rebiana, because it supposedly tastes better than crude stevia, which is sold as a dietary supplement in health-food stores.

After all the controversies pertaining to saccharin, aspartame, and other artificial sweeteners, the food industry expects many calorie-conscious consumers to eagerly opt for this natural sweetener.

Two companies -- Cargill and Merisant -- have told the FDA that rebiana should be considered GRAS, a category given less scrutiny by the FDA than ordinary food additives. A third company, Wisdom Natural Brands, has declared that its stevia-based sweetener is GRAS and will market it without giving evidence to, or even notifying, the FDA. That company gave CSPI only a heavily redacted report prepared by scientists it hired to declare its stevia derivative, which is of unknown purity, is safe.

Stevia is legal in foods in Japan and several other countries, but the United States, Canada, and the European Union bar stevia in foods because of older tests that suggested it might interfere with reproduction. New tests sponsored by Cargill did not find such problems.

"I am not saying that rebiana is harmful, but it should not be marketed until new studies establish that it is safe," Jacobson said.

Cargill's version of rebiana is called Truvia and would be used by Coca-Cola. Pepsi's version is called PureVia and is produced by Merisant's Whole Earth Sweetener division. Merisant is best known for marketing the Equal brand of aspartame.

CSPI has not questioned the safety of two artificial sweeteners, sucralose (Splenda) and neotame, but says that suggestive evidence indicates that saccharin, aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), and acesulfame-K pose small risks of cancer.

"The whole issue of what gets GRAS status needs to be reviewed by Congress," Jacobson said. "It's crazy that companies can just hire a few consultants to bless their new ingredients and rush them to market without any opportunity for the FDA and the public to review all the safety evidence."

Two of the most harmful ingredients in the food supply are considered GRAS: salt, which raises blood pressure and causes thousands of unnecessary heart attacks and strokes every year, and partially hydrogenated oil, which is the source of artery-clogging artificial trans fat. CSPI has long campaigned to get partially hydrogenated oil out of the food supply and to reduce salt to safe levels.
From Consumer Affairs

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Energy Healing Moves Mountains

UPDATE: 2010
"The greatest discovery that is going to be made is a way of healing two kinds of cancers. However, man must realize that they have to work on body, mind, spirit healing after the cure takes place; else the cancer will make a second call in the same body, for the cure must take place in the mental and spiritual bodies as well as the physical."
From April 2008 -
Over 5,000 years ago, the Yellow Emperor of China, in his Handbook of Internal Medicine, stated that all disease was the result of an imbalance of vital life energies.

Some 30 years ago I signed up for a class in New York, mainly geared to nurses, to learn something called Therapeutic Touch. Delores Kreiger, then at NYU's College of Nursing and Dora Kunz are the founders of the system.

Over the years I have studied and become certified in perhaps five other forms of energy healing. For the most part, I use Reiki (as a Master and teacher) and Kahuna because I enjoy the process and the results I see in people.

I believe in this work to such a degree that I offer Reiki Level One to people by donation rather than charging a high fee as I often see advertised on the web or in a close by city.

The thing is that it does work, and as this story says, you do not have to believe in it to get the benefits.
Healing touch – acupuncture without the needles
Updated: 4/5/2007
By: Ivanhoe Broadcast News

Healing touch therapy is a complementary energy-based approach to healing. The goal of healing touch is to restore balance to the human energy system through a heart-centered relationship with the use of contact and non-contact touch. It is believed this balance can help the body in its natural ability to heal.

While healing touch is an alternative treatment, it is becoming more and more accepted at mainstream hospitals. One hospital that provides healing touch therapy is St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Fla.

Kimberly Gray is the head of the Healing Touch Program there. She's a nurse who has used healing touch for three years with her patients. Her managers, doctors and other nurses started to notice what a difference healing touch had on the patients. So, in 2004, the hospital gave her a chance to do healing touch 100 percent of the time and to track the results of her work.

Gray conducted a study with 140 patients at the hospital. The patients rated their pain, anxiety and nausea before and after the treatment. The study found the average pain score on a scale of zero to 10 decreased from an average of seven before healing touch treatments to two after healing touch treatments.

The data also shows a decrease in anxiety, nausea, and in some cases, a decrease in hospital length of stay-days. The data also shows an increase in overall patient satisfaction. The results were so impressive, the hospital began a healing touch program and named Kimberly as the head of it.

Healing touch is a bio-field therapy. It is described as being similar to acupuncture without the needles. The healing touch practitioner facilitates the healing process by clearing and balancing the bio-electromagnetic field surrounding the human body. The belief is all healing is self-healing, and the balance of energy helps the body achieve the greatest level of ability to heal.

Patients describe the experience as relaxing and a sense of warmth around them. Many patients experience a profound sense of relaxation following a healing touch therapy session.

Kimberly said some of her greatest allies are those who were first skeptical of healing touch therapy. She said with healing touch therapy, the person does not have to believe in it, but they have to be open to the experience. She said that in healing touch, they do not push the energy; they allow energy to flow through them for the greatest benefit to the patient. In her years as a healing touch practitioner, she has seen amazing results from her work. In one case, she helped a young man come out of a coma.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Dying

Here's an update on this topic from a trusted source, and a health professional I have followed and respected for many years.

Original post-
Today I had the opportunity to comment on a medical website to which I subscribe. The M.D. in the video, an editor at large for the site,  was speaking to the issues of CAM (complementary, alternative medicine), and as usual attacking it as non sense.

I posted this retort -
There is an inherent conflict of interest here because allopathic medicine is and has been engaged, since the early 1970s in refuting what has been coined to be referred to as CAM or "alternative medicine". Going back to the Flexner Report of 1910 is also a guide to see the basis of discontent. As an advanced nurse practitioner since the 1970s I find it always amazing how gullible so called "educated" health care providers are in regard to the history of medicine, for starters. Beyond that concern of gullibility to believe such marketing hacks as defrocked MD heading up "Quackbusters", do you recall when medical schools taught herbal medicine and homeopathy? Do you recall that coffee enemas were used for years in allopathy yet now are considered 'quackery'. Have you even bothered to look into the plethora of scientific research, completed independently and not paid for by Big PhRMA? Having worked with drugs and natural medicine and nutrition in my work for decades I will take it over the 80% or mainstream medicine any day, because I see how it heals people. And if you are so inclined, I am happy to discuss it further off list. As space is limited I will close by saying, do your due diligence and stop promoting non-facts first.
Another site from the UK ran this story -  "HOW THE EU PLANS TO WRECK ALTERNATIVE HEALTH"
Within 2 years, alternative medicine will be a shadow of its current self. By then - thanks to 4 laws being ratified by the European Union right now - only low-dose vitamins will be available on the shelves, most Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs will have disappeared, and many herbal practitioners in the UK may well have gone out of business.

An MD colleague of mine said this (slightly edited by me) -

On August 17, 2010, at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Atlanta, Dr. Donald Light presented his research in a paper titled, Pharmaceuticals: A Two-Tier Market for Producing 'Lemons' and Serious Harm. Dr. Light is a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
It seems that this bombshell was not reported on mainstream media. Dr. Light's research validates what many of us already know. He found that 85% of new drugs being created are more harmful than beneficial. But will that information ever make it to CNN?
It's an unfortunate fact that a disproportionate amount of TV, radio, internet, and magazine advertising is controlled by drug companies. So, it's no surprise that there are no alternatives discussed on mainstream venues. Media doctors quickly learn they have to toe the line and promote the standard practice of medicine, which boils down to drugs and surgery.
My frustration at the Machiavellian turn that medicine had taken into the rabbit hole of drugs is why I wrote Death by Medicine in 2003. You can obtain that paper freely on the Internet.
As I said, I don't like to focus on the negative and this is the only one example that sheds light on the sickening turn of medicine to the dark side. If you or your friends think that drug companies are looking out for YOUR best interests and want to see you healthy and off drugs, think again.
There are effective alternatives to mainstream medicine, and we have been providing it since the 1960s. We help you become your best health advocate so you can deal with what you are up against in the health care maze.

" ...the only solution is if you become an advocate for your own health."

More on the dark side here

Less Calories, More Water

Drinking water with meals has always been a point of discussion in natural health care.  We have learned, and educate others about water and how important it is for health.  We also always have suggested to drink water before meals, not during meals, or an hour or so after meals.  This caveat is realted to protecting digestive enzymes you need to help digest your food.  We also encourage you to chew your food thoroughly, 20-50 times, to liquefy the food and put less stress on digestion.

This tip from 60 Second Science on Scientific American is good considering their focus on mainstream medical methods.
Water Before Meal Means Fewer Calories Consumed

Drinking 16 ounces of water before meals helped a group of dieters lose more weight than other dieters who didn't consume water first.

Americans, and American physicians, are concerned about ballooning waistlines and the accompanying health problems. Now, researchers have presented the first randomized trial of what they hail as a side-effect-free, prescription-free, and simply free appetite control agent. That is, of course, water. Brenda Davy, lead researcher from Virginia Tech, presented the findings at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Previous studies showed that middle-aged and older Americans who drank two cups of water before a meal ate about 75 to 90 fewer calories over the course of the meal. For this study, the scientists took 48 adults between 55 and 75. All ate a low-calorie diet for 12 weeks. Half of the group drank 16 ounces of water before meals. The other half didn’t.

After the 12 weeks were over, the water drinkers lost on average 15.5 pounds, while the ones who weren’t prescribed water lost about 11 pounds. Davy says that this phenomenon could occur because water is filling and has, of course, zero calories. It could also be displacing other sweeter drinks that the dieters might consume. It’s not a cure-all, but it’s certainly a cheap and simple addition to any weight-loss plan.

—Cynthia Graber

Monday, August 23, 2010

MRSA: Public Health Approach Often Lacking in Hospital

Creating Health Institute and Natural Health News as well as The Oake Centre for natural health education has been working on effective approached to MRSA since 1993.  We have some effective ways to address this because we think outside the box. Search for our many articles using the box in the right column.

Many hospitals don't screen for MRSA

CHICAGO, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Less than half of U.S. hospitals screen for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a strain of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, researchers say.
Yoojung Yang, a fellow at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says 43 percent of the 102 U.S. hospitals responding to a survey have a procedure in place to screen patients for MRSA.
Yang explains prevention is the best treatment for MRSA -- a staph infection in healthcare patients caused by a strain of bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
Yang and colleagues say their survey indicates nearly all of the responding hospitals have adopted hand-hygiene practices. Some have also adopted other preventive practices such as using gowns and gloves and isolating MRSA-positive patients.
Nearly 75 percent of the surveyed hospitals also fight MRSA by reviewing prescriptions orders. More than half place restrictions on the use of select anti-microbials -- especially newer drugs such linezolid, daptomycin and tigecycline -- to maintain optimal use and to reduce the risk of bacterial resistance.
"The results of our survey suggest that pharmacists play a key role in the treatment of MRSA infections, because they have the knowledge of how best anti-microbials can be used," Yang said in a statement.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacist.
© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
And on another agency front, FDA admits to not testing seafood for toxic heavy metals