SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

September 30, 2011

Cantaloupe scare not over

Covered Internet  – CDC, but am No Smarter

Didn’t want to just bring you something extra to worry about,  wanted to be able to tell you that there are things you can do in the event that you have had cantaloupe  lately.  I love cantaloupe and am a regular user  – its fresh, clean and satisfying to me.   Short of checking every grocery store receipt for the past month, there is no way of putting my mind to rest on this.  Like it or not, I’m a so-called “elder” and should be “on guard”   Somehow, just knowing that OHIO has not reported any incidence doesn’t really encourage my sense of safety.  The Oregon company stated that their stuff is sold and re-sold to the point that they don’t really know where it winds up.

A really bad outbreak happened in Canada in 2008.  Much testing, panic, illness and deaths.   Accusations flew over political stuff;   whether or not to turn the government responsibility over to private industry to monitor the safety of the way food is checked from growth to delivery.    Felt sorry for the Maple Leaf Co  in Toronto who seemed to be doing everything right and it wound up costing them more than ten times what it should have. ($20 M)  It turns out that what ever contamination happened, occurred in the crating and boxing of product

These problems, whatever they are and who or what is wrong – MUST stay in the hands of government.  Can’t you just imagine how quickly the world will go to hell when ‘private (unregulated) people’  are doing the so-called testing?  It’s bad enough now! (because industry still manages to control right through the government regulations, making it come out to suit their corporate needs).   When there are large populations, ‘Rules’  are necessary in an effort to try to make stuff come out fairly and equitably.

I simply haven’t found what I wanted – – some homeopathic (natural), organic step to take to offset or protect self from letting the Listeria bacteria continue to ‘germinate and percolate’ for the month or so they say happens.  I know that people  (like me) who enjoy fermented veggies – (don’t want to bore you  with my predilections again), will have far healthier guts than most other people.  Why is that important?   Well,  that is the place where your immune system starts and conducts it’s business 24/7. So if one is constipated – got problems with lousy diets – not enough fiber;  fart a lot and always gassy –  may be eating Okay, but body not handling well – maybe its the combinations – it ain’t workin’.  May need a dietary overhaul, probiotics. . . everybody is different.

So far, all I have found is charcoal (probably tablets) because they will absorb the toxins and eliminate them.  But I am forgetting something.   Something  I already know and have temporarily forgotten.  I promise, I’ll keep working on this and get back to you – – kinda like I had to do with the bladder leakage thing.  Don’t always get what I want when I want it but hey, that’s just life sometimes.  I’ll be back

Meanwhile, here is the very good article to which you may want to give some attention.     Jan


Listeria victims likely to increase

By Mary Clare Jalonick ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials said yesterday that more illnesses and possibly more deaths might be linked to an outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe in coming weeks.

So far, the outbreak has caused at least 72 illnessesincluding up to 16 deathsin 18 states, making it the deadliest food outbreak in the United States in more than a decade.

The heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said

  • consumers who have cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms in Colorado should throw them out.
  • Neither the government nor Jensen Farms has supplied a list of retailers who might have sold the fruit.

Jensen Farms of Holly, Colo., says it shipped cantaloupes to 25 states.   But the FDA has said it might be more; illnesses have been discovered in several states that were not on the shipping list. A spokeswoman for Jensen Farms said the company’s product often is sold and resold, so they do not always know where it ends up.

The recalled cantaloupes might be labeled “Colorado Grown,” Distributed by Frontera Produce,” “Jensen-  ” or “Sweet Rocky Fords.” Not all of the recalled cantaloupes are labeled with a sticker, the FDA said.   

The company said it shipped more than 300,000 cases of cantaloupes that contained five to 15 melons, meaning the recall involved 1.5 million to 4.5 million pieces of fruit.    The FDA said none of the cantaloupes had been exported, reversing an earlier statement that some of the tainted melons had been shipped abroad.

Frieden and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said that illnesses are expected for weeks to come because the incubation period for listeria can be a month or even longer. That means that someone who ate contaminated cantaloupe last week may not get sick until next month.

Jensen Farms last shipped cantaloupes on Sept. 10. The shelf life is about two weeks.    The CDC has said that 13 deaths have been linked to the tainted fruit. State and local officials say they are investigating three additional deaths that might be connected.    The CDC reported four deaths in New Mexico, two deaths each in Colorado and Texas, and one death each in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Maryland.    The CDC said illnesses and deaths have occurred in 18 states; none was in Ohio.

JRA cured w/McDougall diet

Star MacDougaller  September 2011

18 Year-old Cures Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
with McDougall Diet

– Juliea Baker

 Discuss this Star with others

My name is Juliea Baker and it’s a miracle that today I am a healthy 18-year-old college student. When I was 15 years old, totally out of the blue, I awoke one day with severe jaw pain. The pain hurt so bad I could barely chew any type of food for days. My mom took me to the doctor and they could not find any reason for the pain. The doctor prescribed ibuprofen and suggested that I see a dentist that perhaps it was TMJ or something to that effect.

Shortly thereafter the pain disappeared. Over the next few months I began having soreness in one shoulder then the other shoulder. At first we thought I was sleeping wrong or carrying too many books in my backpack. Once again the pain disappeared. When the pain came back in my knees my mom knew something was wrong and took me back to my pediatrician. This time they ran blood work and found that my Rheumatoid Factor (RF) was elevated to 19 mm/hour, 2 points higher than normal, indicating I had generalized inflammation in my body. They were not alarmed, as there could be many reasons why it was slightly elevated. My doctor referred me to a rheumatologist at a famous hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area.

At the time of my first appointment with my rheumatologist I was having pain more frequently in my hands and my feet. The doctor ordered x-rays of my complete body and a full panel of blood work. Now almost a year into my disease, my RF was elevated even higher but it still was not clear what was wrong with me, and the pain was still traveling to different joints and sometimes disappearing altogether. The doctor put me on Naprosyn (naproxen) and scheduled me for monthly visits consisting of blood work and x-rays.

Finally at Christmastime when I was 16 1/2 we realized something was very wrong: my knuckles were very swollen and I couldn’t make a fist without intense pain; even shaking hands was painful. My right foot was so swollen I couldn’t wear a shoe comfortably, and I walked with a limp. I actually told my mom that I thought my foot was broken because it hurt so badly whenever I walked. During my next doctor’s appointment I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). My RF was now at 39.7 mm/hour, and my antibody markers were elevated, also confirming the diagnosis and indicating that my body was attacking itself (an autoimmune disease).

Every morning when I awoke I could barely get out of bed, I felt like I was living in a 60-year-old’s body. I became even more depressed when at my next doctor’s appointment they told me they were going to put me on methotrexate (a drug given to cancer patients) in a low dose to suppress my immune system in order to keep the arthritis from permanently damaging my joints.

My mom and I were stunned with this news. I went home and began to research methotrexate. The side effects of this drug were so frightening that I begged my mom not to put me on it. Eventually, I told my mom I refused to take it. My mom began to research the drug and agreed that the side effects sounded too dangerous. My mom called my doctor and asked if we could try something less severe, and she was told that there wasn’t anything less dangerous. In addition, I was told that if I went on the drug, I would have to stay on it for a minimum of two years, and the longer I was on the drug the more toxic it was to my liver. My mom agreed with me that we should look into alternate, more holistic ways to treat my illness.

Just by chance, during this time my mom and I were reading a book my friend gave to me about veganism, The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. In the book there was a reference about several doctors who believed arthritis could be cured through diet. Dr. John McDougall was one of the doctors mentioned. My mom emailed Dr. McDougall with the story of my illness. We were so honored and excited when Dr. McDougall emailed my mom back personally. Although we were unable to have me participate in Dr. McDougall’s program, he said he would be happy to help me by recommending articles and books to read, and he gave us a diet for me to follow.

Dr. McDougall assured us that my disease was completely treatable through diet. He recommended that I begin by eliminating all meat, eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, and corn from my diet as well as my medication, ibuprofen, and that I should use aspirin for pain instead. He told us that it would take about four months for us to see the full benefit of eating a starch-based, animal-product-free and oil-free diet.

At first the strict elimination diet tasted awful to me and was very hard to follow. But through emails to Dr. McDougall, and with his guidance and encouragement, we were able to find a diet I could easily follow. Within a month or two I felt 90 percent better, with my only remaining symptom being the slight swelling of my knuckles.

Then, much to our dismay, soreness in my hands and feet would occasionally return. Once again, Dr. McDougall encouraged us to be patient and to follow the diet carefully so we could determine if I was curable through diet. My mom started looking at everything I was eating and we found out that one of the products that we thought was vegan, was really vegetarian, and had egg whites in it—I was eating egg protein for breakfast every morning without even knowing it. Once I eliminated that one product from my diet I began to get totally well. Through my experiences I found that eggs and dairy are my triggers. I can eat soy, wheat, and corn with no problems. But if I accidentally eat anything with eggs or dairy in it, the very next day my hands are stiff and sore.

I am a testament that serious illness can be cured through this diet. Dr. McDougall has saved my life, literally! I cannot imagine where I would be now had I not picked up that book by Ms. Silverstone with the small story about Dr. McDougall and his belief in curing illness through diet. If my mom had not contacted Dr. McDougall and he had not responded, I would be suffering terrible pain, have disfigured joints, and be taking a horribly toxic drug. Instead, my life is filled with joy and I am a healthy happy 18-year-old with a bright future before me!

Warmest regards!!

Dr. McDougall’s Comments:

Our children are sick. Juliea is an excellent example of the suffering that is caused by current dietary recommenda-tions, which serve to keep the profits of the meat, dairy, and processed foods industries stable and rising. Industry’s powerful influences on what is “good nutrition” extends to dietitians, doctors, scientists, and politicians.

The foods children are encouraged to eat are making them fat, greasy skinned with acne, and constipated. Not just a few children, but most of them. In some cases, like with Juliea, milk-induced autoimmune diseases damage their kidneys and joints. They can become crippled, hospitalized, and sometimes they die because experts teach us that cow’s milk and other animal foods are good for us. The excuse often given by general doctors, pediatricians, dietitians, and other experts for not standing up to protect the children is ignorance. Many are simply afraid to step out of line and risk criticism from colleagues, and even more fearsome is the possibility of legal action from offended businesses.

I have personally cared for three children with JRA and all have done extremely well on the McDougall Diet. There are also three reports of JRA cured by stopping cow’s milk in the published scientific literature. One report was of a 14-year-old girl who had been so sick with JRA that she was hospitalized nine timesover the previous six years. Her diet had been primarily based on dairy products because she had an aversion to meat. Three days after starting a dairy-free diet her persistent fever disappeared, and after one week her joint swelling subsided. She gradually stopped all medications and her problems of fever, joint pains, and anemia all resolved. Eighteen months later an experimental challenge with dairy foods was done and within ten days she was sick again. The child refused to eat any more dairy foods. In another study, nine patients suffered with inflammatory arthritis thought to be due to food allergies, including dairy and eggs. Two of the patients were young enough to be classified as having JRA. Elimination of dairy products cured at least one of them. Children as young as two years old have been described with JRA due to cow’s milk. You can find many examples of people who have cured themselves of crippling inflammatory arthritis by changing their diet, under my Star McDougallers.

Dr. Ratner reported on children and adults with milk-caused inflammatory arthritis 26 years ago and recommended in his 1985 article on JRA, “In view of the excellent medical results in this case, we suggest other cases of JRA…be given a 3-week trial of diet completely free of cow’s milk protein.” Why not? What are the risks and costs? None. What’s the possible benefit? A cure. In fact this is a likely benefit with results beginning within 4 to 7 days after initiation of a healthy diet.

2011 John McDougall
All Rights Reserved
McDougall Health and Medical Ctr
P.O. Box 14039,
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

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September 29, 2011

Honing balance lessens Falls

Take a stand against falls

For the elderly, a fall can result in hospitalization, a long-term decline in health or death. But there are measures that can cut the risk of falling.

CHRIS RUSSELL DISPATCH PHOTOS    Junie Harrison, 59, of the East Side, works with occupational therapist Stefanie Garcia at Summit’s Trace, a nursing home and rehabilitation center. Harrison fell and injured an ankle in December. Complications led to a serious illness, keeping her in treatment.


When she sits on the couch, which isn’t all that often, 73-year-old Sherrill Finkes might be tracing the alphabet with her toes.    She always keeps one hand free when she climbs stairs.    And if the wind is stiff, Finkes leans into it.    “Helps with your balance,” she said.

The Mount Sterling resident has learned a lot of little things she can do to reduce her risk of falling, an increasingly common occurrence that comes with devastating — and lethal — consequences for growing numbers of Americans 65 or older.   

No other cause of injury triggers more emergency-room visits, hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly.    Falls carry a steep price tag, too.   State officials, who deemed today Falls Prevention Awareness Day, say the medical costs alone for nonfatal falls resulting in the hospitalization of elderly Ohioans mount up to more than $327 million each year.   Add fatal falls, lost wages and quality-of-life changes, and the toll pushes past $4 billion.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, director of the Ohio Department of Health.   Falls are not a normal part of the aging process, and thinking that they are is a myth that must be dispelled, he said.

Bernard Hatten, 90, agrees.    “I think I’m a shining example,” he said, laughing and quickly noting that he doesn’t mean to tempt fate.    Like Finkes, Hatten stays active and has participated in a falls-prevention and balance workshop sponsored by the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging and other local senior programs.    “I really enjoy the confidence it has given me,” he said before the start of a class yesterday at the Upper Arlington Senior Center. “It makes such a difference.”

Experts note five important ways that seniors can lessen their risk of falls:

  • Increase physical activity and exercise.
  • See an eye doctor once a year.
  • Review medications and find out whether they cause drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Address home hazards such as loose rugs, slippery floors and poor lighting.
  • Plan ahead and don’t hurry through tasks.

“A lot of it is common sense,” said Finkes, who took a spill in her basement several years ago.    Mindful of the coming winter, she and some friends are mulling the purchase of crampons so that their shoes bite into the ice and snow.

“And we’ve added a few yoga stretches to our routine,” Finkes said.    Dr. Donald Mack, a clinical professor at Ohio State University’s Department of Family Medicine, said falls needn’t be fatal to effectively end a lifestyle.    The injury and lingering complications send millions of older Americans on a journey from which they never return.

“For a lot of people, the fall is sort of their ticket — and also their chain — to a long-term-care facility,” he said. “They become a patient.”    That loss of mobility can lead to other life-threatening conditions, including pneumonia, infections and bedsores.    “Depression in long-term care is high,” Mack said.

East Side resident Junie Harrison fell while carrying takeout food from a restaurant in December and is still in treatment.    The ankle injury wasn’t too bad, but she later developed a staph infection in her knee that required surgery and then weeks of inpatient therapy at Summit’s Trace, an East Side nursing home and rehabilitation center.    “I was rushing to get home, and I paid a price,” said Harrison, 59, who became seriously ill. “I tripped on a rug in December, and the next thing I knew, it was January.”

Jane Acri, a program manager at the agency on aging, said medical professionals and family members should make sure that at-risk seniors get balance testing and therapy as needed.    Doctors never should chalk a fall up to old age and tell a patient to forget about it, she said.    The experience often takes a psychological toll, too, robbing seniors of the confidence to walk, exercise and stay active.    “Fear of falling can make people become sedentary, and then their muscles aren’t being used,” Acri said, which increases the danger.    Finkes said it’s not that difficult to stay realistic and optimistic.    “I recognize my weaknesses,” she said. “There’s a lot I can’t do. But there’s a lot I can. So I’m going to keep moving.”

Eleanor Rauch, 84, and Bernard Hatten, 90, follow their instructor’s lead in a balance class at the Upper Arlington Senior Center. Hatten says he enjoys the confidence such activity has given him.

Watch your step

On Falls Prevention Awareness Day in Ohio, advocates for the elderly are speaking out on the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly

  •  Tumbles shouldn’t be seen as a normal part of the aging process, experts say. Yet falls — many of them avoidable — take a growing toll on seniors’ quality of life and make health-care costs soar:
  •   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 percent of adults 65 or older fall each year. Emergency-room visits and inpatient-hospitalization rates from falls are higher than from all other injuries combined.
  • From 2000 to 2009, fatal falls among Ohioans 65 or older increased 125 percent. Fall-related hospitalizations jumped 61 percent from 2002 to 2009.
  •   Direct-treatment charges for fall-related hospitalizations in Ohio total $298.5 million a year. The total annual cost for fatal falls is estimated at $646 million.
  •   Risks can be reduced with increased physical activity, regular eye exams, a review of medications and removal of in-home hazards such as loose rugs and poor lighting. Experts also remind older adults to think, plan and slow down. Many falls are caused by hurrying.

Sources: Ohio Department of Aging, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Older Adult Falls Prevention Coalition

(It may seem too simplistic to believe, but yoga instruction and/or a good class on Tai Chi can be most rewarding, adding not only a large measure of safety to one’s life, but also much well-deserved “fun”.   It can put us all back in charge of our bodies again and feeling somewhat ‘powerful’.  .  .  and that’s not bad!             So, have a grateful heart and be happy.    Do what you love.          Jan)

Aftermath of Gardasil vaccine mandate

  Gardasil Mandate for Texas students

Thousands of well-documented cases have been posted to VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, but nothing is being done because VAERS only investigates cases that the manufacturer Merck suggests as, “complaints that require further research,” which, so far is none.

“In our analysis of VAERS data, we look for patterns of adverse events that may be plausibly linked to a vaccine. Such patterns of adverse events may require further study.”

There are absolutely no checks and balances in place for properly verifying the flood of incoming damage reports. Nurses in Virginia filter and medically encode the public complaints on VAERS, and then they repost them, often make coding errors.

Plus, the site is regulated by the FDA who approved the horror in the first place. How can the public rely on the so called “transparency” of the site when reports are botched and full of misleading medical codes? As far as the public knows, the last coma report could now be listed as “broccoli allergen 3.2.”

Learn more:

Health Freedom Alliance

3 Girls Dead, Others Hospitalized After Gardasil HPV Vaccine

Submitted by Lois Rain on September 19, 2011

Important update: There are actually 103 reports of death following an HPV vaccination. And 3 of them are boys! The total number of VAERS reports on HPV is 23,388. Special thanks to Steven R. who manages data from for providing the info.

By Contributing writer, Anthony Gucciardi

Following controversy over U.S. state legislatures requiring young girls to take Gardasil, Merck’s vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), a number of severe side effects have been observed along with the recent deaths of 3 young girls. Gardasil is now marketed towards men and women up to age 26 as a “preventative” tool against anal cancer. As of January 2010, Gardasil has been linked to49 deaths and countless side-effects, while cancer associated with HPV is only responsible for 1% of all cancer deaths. Why then, is it being recommended to millions worldwide?

As of June 2009, 15 million girls have been injected with the Gardasil vaccine. Out of 15 million people, 49 deaths may not seem like a lot. Unfortunately, however, there are many more cases of extreme side effects from the vaccination. In fact, the amount of adverse reactions was so high that Judicial Watch, a group that claims to expose government corruption, was forced to step in. Between May 2009 and September 2010 alone, Gardasil was linked to 3,589 harmful reactions and 16 deaths. Of the 3,589 adverse reactions, many were debilitating. Permanent disability was the result of 213 cases; 25 resulted in the diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome; and there were 789 other “serious” reports according to FDA documents.

In August 2008, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) required all female immigrants between the ages of 11 and 26 to receive at least one dose of the Gardasil vaccination if they planned on entering the United States. The enforcement was due to a law created in 1996 that required immigrants to receive any vaccination that was recommended by the United States government. The difference between the citizens of the U.S. and the immigrants seeking refuge within the country, is that the citizens can refuse any vaccination they do not wish to receive. While the requirement was lifted on December 14, 2009, countless immigrants were affected. This held especially true for the female immigrants who intended to have children. According to reports, 28 women experienced miscarriages within 30 days of receiving the Gardasil injection. In response, the FDA said it is not worth investigating. Going against the FDA claims that Gardasil was completely safe, some government officials expressed concern over the fact that Gardasil was ever recommended for U.S. citizens.

“If we had known about it, we would have said it’s not a good idea,” said Jon Abramson, the former chairman of the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices.

Dr. Diane Harper was the lead researcher during the creation of both Gardasil and a similar vaccine, Cervarix. Leading the research team gave Dr. Harper an inside look at the effects of Gardasil, which she has been exposing for over a year. Dr. Harper said that Gardasil would do very little to fight cervical cancer, and at the very least it should not be recommended to children younger than 15.

Unfortunately, the CDC did not agree, boasting about the anti-cancer effects of Gardasil and even going as far as to recommend it to girls as young as 9. Dr. Harper says that 70% of all HPV infections resolve themselves within a year, and within 2 years the percentage climbs to 90%. During an address at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination, Dr. Harper explained the risks associated with Gardasil. Instead of promoting the vaccine, which was expected of her, she told the truth. The audience was dazzled.

“I came away from the talk with the perception that the risk of adverse side effects is so much greater than the risk of cervical cancer, I couldn’t help but question why we need the vaccine at all,” said Joan Robinson, Assistant Editor at the Population Research Institute.

Experts have spoken out, and the documents have been released. Gardasil is a deadly injection that claims to treat an infection that has a 90% chance to resolve itself within two years. With Rick Perry’s failed attempt to force Gardasil on Texan schoolgirls, it is easy to see that the world has awoken to the truth regarding Gardasil. The research is clear: stay away from this poison serum.

September 28, 2011

Seen this Scam?


Latest Web fraud offers hundreds, not millions


She had forgotten about the job offer by the time the letter and check for $1,995 arrived in the mail.

The offer had come to her by email weeks earlier, promising the chance to earn cash as a secret shopper who would assess local stores and money-transfer services.    She responded with her address but no other personal information. She figured she’d never hear back.

The check and letter that came this month looked legitimate, right down to the emblazoned logos of various discount retailers and popular electronics stores.   It said she could make $250, not millions like some of those over-the-top email scams do.

“That’s so blatant it’s pathetic,” she said. “But these people are really slick.”    The woman is 46. She lives on the North Side. She spoke about being scammed only on the condition of anonymity. She receives Supplemental Security Income and said she could have used the extra money.   She’s embarrassed she became ensnared by one of the myriad tentacles of Internet fraud.

“We see so many different variations of scams,” said Harry Trombitas, special agent with the FBI’s Columbus field office.    So much, Trombitas said, that local agents don’t take individual complaints because it would overwhelm the office. They direct victims and the general public to check out and file complaints with the website of the Internet Crime Complaint Center,

The IC3, as it’s called, is a government clearinghouse for Internet scam information.   According to the center, 7,304 complaints of the 303,809 received in 2010 were from Ohio.    The reported loss throughout the state topped $10 million last year.  

The mystery/secret shopper scam is well-documented online, and the IC3 noted an increase in such schemes in its 2010 report.    That she has company is no comfort to the North Side victim. She said she followed the instructions and deposited the check in her own account.    She was directed not to tell the businesses or her bank about what she was up to. She found the bank request odd, so she talked with her bank representatives and waited a few days until they said the check had cleared.

Then she withdrew most of the money to wire to England by Western Union, purportedly because of complaints that money transfers weren’t arriving.    She also was to shop and rate her experiences at Walmart, and Sears or JCPenney.    If she did as expected, she was promised $400 for her next assignment. But before she made it to Sears or JCPenney, she discovered that her own account balance had taken the hit for the withdrawal. The check was counterfeit.   

Now, she’s out more than $2,000: the amount of the check plus bank fees for overdrawing her account. Despite initially telling her that the check had cleared, the bank now says that she is responsible for what she puts in her account.   

“I can’t believe I got caught up in this crap,” she said.    Law enforcement and consumer advocates said the Internet is riddled with local and global scams.    “We see it all,” said Joan Coughlin Konrad, vice president of marketing and public relations for the Central Ohio Better Business Bureau. “People need to protect themselves in every way possible.”    Mark Moretti, public information officer for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, said victims may file complaints, which are reviewed for possible prosecution, with the attorney general’s office or the   site.    “It’s a matter of evaluating it and seeing where to go from there,” he said.

The best advice officials can give is to avoid unsolicited email and attachments.    Don’t give out personal information and avoid any pitch that sends payment up front and then asks for a portion of it back.    The North Side woman is left with “my mom’s words ringing in my ears: If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

OH cuts safety-health

State halts algae testing, takes down warnings


Signs warning swimmers about toxic blue-green algae have been removed from beaches at four state parks, but that doesn’t mean the water is safe.

A policy that state officials adopted in June halts testing for algae toxins in lakes after Labor Day weekend, regardless of what might be in the water.    Officials also said signs posted at Grand Lake St. Marys, Buckeye Lake, Maumee Bay and Kelleys Island state parks no longer are needed because the state’s traditional swimming season is over.    “It is much cooler now. Most people don’t tend to be recreating in the water,” said Laura Jones, an Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman.

At this time last year, there were warnings at seven state parks. The last sign, at Wingfoot Lake State Park in Portage County, was taken down on Dec. 3.   That’s after two weeks of tests showed that concentrations of an algae-produced liver toxin in the water were well below a safety threshold set by the World Health Organization.   

Jack Shaner, a lobbyist with the Ohio Environmental Council, said the state should continue testing and keep warning signs up past Labor Day.    “The lifeguard may no longer be on duty, but that doesn’t mean the algae (are) asleep,” he said. “This is way too early.”   

Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are common in most Ohio lakes but grow thick in water polluted with phosphorus from manure, fertilizers and sewage that rains wash into streams.    Algae liver toxins grew so concentrated at Grand Lake St. Marys last year that the state warned people not to touch the water or take boats out on the lake. Among other things, the state’s new policy allows boating regardless of how much algae is in the water.

Chris Abbruzzese, an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokesman, said that anyone inclined to visit public beaches now should still be on the lookout for “any unusual water conditions,” including algae scum, and should avoid swallowing lake water.    “The same thing goes for people who have pets,” Abbruzzese said.    Milt Miller, co-founder of the Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Commission, said people are much less likely to be using the 13,000-acre lake’s public beaches now. However, Miller said the lake is still being used by boaters.

September 27, 2011

Dr Donohue on HFCS


Corn syrup OK in moderation


Q: I don’t remember you ever discussing high-fructose corn syrup. Almost every product includes it. Please let us know the dangers and why the government allows its use.

A: Fructose is the sugar found in fruits. Table sugar is sucrose, a combination of fructose and glucose.    Until the 1980s, sucrose was the universal sweetener.

In the 1980s, a process was discovered that turned cornstarch into corn syrup and then into fructose. Fructose was then combined with glucose to produce a sugar product with the terrible name of high-fructose corn syrup. It’s very similar to sucrose, or table sugar. High-fructose corn syrup consists of 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose. Table sugar is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose.

High-fructose corn syrup is as sweet as and cheaper than table sugar, the sugar that comes from sugar cane and sugar beets. Those are powerful motivations for manufacturers to use it in commercial products such as soft drinks, baked goods, energy bars and candy.

So why all the fuss?

People have increased their consumption of foods and drinks containing high-fructose corn syrup to such an extent that they have become a main source of their calorie intake. Some think it’s the reason that the obesity epidemic has struck North America.   Like other sugars, it has a high glycemic index, meaning that it produces high spikes in blood sugar, which might lead to problems such as diabetes. Excessive amounts cause fat to accumulate in the liver.    One 12-ounce can of most soft drinks has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar (150 calories).    The average American drinks 36 gallons of soft drinks in a year. It contributes to the girth expansion of Americans, but it’s not the only factor. Blaming high-fructose corn syrup for all the ills of people is too extreme. All the same, it does add to the obesity surge, and it does have all the negatives that ordinary table sugar has. The government allows it because, in moderation, it’s not a danger to health.

Q: Will you explain ganglion cysts? Why do they occur? Where do they go when they disappear? I was about to have surgery on mine, and it disappeared.

A: A ganglion is a soft lump filled with semisolid protein material. It’s attached to the lining of a joint or the covering of a tendon. Most ganglions appear on the back of the wrist. Many produce no symptoms. Some are painful or interfere with motion.    No one knows what causes them. Equally mysterious is why some disappear. The body absorbs the gelatinous material.

Dr. Donohue answers letters only in his North America Syndicate column but provides an order form of available health newsletters. Write him at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

My comments:

The querant in number One  above  is asking a direct question from a respected medical advisor who,  it is hoped, will provide some insightful reason for this diabolic situation.   It seems evident from the framing of the question that this particular reality seems wrong and answers are sought.    None are given.  Sadly, Dr Donohue has flubbed his dub.
One can’t disagree too much with the good doctor’s recounting of the history of HFCS other than to state that this was developed in the early 1970’s after which the use of table sugar began to fall due to the human enjoyment of and preference to “sweet” stuff.   In 1880’s  obesity was never a problem (reflected in 1.5% of average 60 year old men), but then doubling by 1900 and continued to escalate to 14.5% by 1976.  As of now, our populations have doubled again – we are at 30% now.    Two-thirds of our people are either overweight or obese in our present day. This is NOT a good thing.
Sugar while not toxic – is a poison to all of us.  Why you ask?
(My response here will of course, come through the grist-mill of my own brain, but backed up by the magic of such fine reference material  of three excellent books (all friends occupying top-shelf status in my home).  Dr Cordain’s Paleo Diet (of course) – major impact,   The “Glucose Revolution” – helpful,   and most of all (in this case) “THE SUGAR FIX”   by Dr Richard Johnson (2008 release).    Paleo has a lock on “Star Status” at smokinchoices.  Have previously spoken of Dr Johnson’s book and message after I saw him interviewed by Dr Mercola in the last year or so.  This is impressive stuff!)
We have ALL been struggling with this  deeply since 2004 when medical journals started advising that HFCS was at least partly to blame for the obesity-epidemic in our land – – and that primarily from the soft-drink industry which is so very popular with unquenchable-thirst people.  It had been noted that HFCS had increased 1,000-fold in the U.S. between 1970 and a990.
The Sugar Fix is not just 390 pages of sugar talk, but more importantly building understandable paths for us to traverse in this confusing arena that we all wish we were more knowledgeable about.  We are allowed to see how these things happen, how action and choices lead us to our next plateau.  Knowledge is power.  Power to be, to change and to do.  .  .  .  e.g.  the ingesting of HFCS not only in our soda pops, but in everything (almost) that one can buy – just be sure to read those labels,  . . .just like the querant on this question said.  Now we can try to limit our indulgence in sodas, but that won’t solve the problem.  (You can check out Soda Pop – all it’s gifts 2-10-09)
From the government on down, we have been led to believe that certain foods are good for us – healthy.  Look at the Pyramid thing.   But great masses of us have learned the hard way that the pyramid won’t work for us.  Dairy is out,  grains are not only not healthy – they are actually anti-nutrient.   It is far healthier to just drink good, clean water and not juices or sodas and/or so-called health drinks  sold in stores  and most decidedly, not beer.  (check out my own post “Got Gout?” from 1-28-09.   Our own clans dating back from the 19th century could eat those grains and bread far easier than we can because it was more crudely prepared and the entire nutritive part was still “in there”.  But today’s refining of the plants bounty has been crushed and rolled out and vitamins have to be added back in.
Our earlier ancestors – the ones in caves,  liked the sweet tastes also.  But they had no chance to overdo it.  For them to come upon honey was a rare blessing and they relished it.  They loved their fruits, but of course, they were seasonal,  ergo not available on demand as life treats us today.
Some of those connections and correlations made in the Sugar Fix have to do with the increase of uric acid upon the ingestion of HFCS and how this all ties in to increase of hypertension (high blood pressure) and then how this stimulates and leads to “inflammation” in the arterial system, and how this leads to coronary downfall.    Not a happy story to plumb,  but so rewarding to finally learn – because then, we ARE in a position to do something about it!    Dr Johnson has worked with so many  super-smart experts in “their” own fields,  to further explain the involvement with the “insulin response”  and the development of “diabetes.”
Back at the farm,  I don’t think the government would get involved with this, tho, in my opinion – it should!   My opinions on how and why and when the government should do “anything” will have to wait until election day 2012. Perhaps then, citizens can have a voice on how things work .  We’ll have a lot to take care of then.  We have to re-do many things; including throwing out stuff that is outmoded, not needed and doesn’t work.   Get rid of subsidies, get around to establishing  the reach to improve the status of “SCIENCE”  and “EDUCATION ” and give some real teeth to consumer protection. . . .and build a monument to Elizabeth Warren.
I have nothing to say about “ganglion cysts” – – never even heard of them!
Hey, stay well and happy everyone. . . . .    .     .     .  I wish you   joy.         Jan

Hospitals on radiation risk-caution

Hospitals analyzing the radiation risk


Dr. Paul Gabriel saw a young man in the Grant Medical Center emergency department last week who had kidney pain and blood in his urine.    The default step for the ER director would be to order a CT scan. But the patient had undergone six scans — including one the month before — that all confirmed kidney stones.    To send him for another was probably  (?) a waste of time and resources, but more important, it was going to increase the man’s lifetime exposure to radiation.    So they agreed to skip the test.    “He was extremely appreciative,” Gabriel said. “He said, ‘I don’t want to have cancer in 20 years,’ and I said, ‘I don’t want you to.’”

Americans are increasingly asking whether medical professionals are doing all they can to limit patients’ exposure to CT scans and X-rays.    Doctors and hospital leaders say they’re investing time and money making sure that decisions are medically wise and err on the side of protecting patients.    “There’s everywhere in America a growing awareness,” said Dr. Richard White, chairman of radiology at the Ohio State University Medical Center. “The awareness is justified, but some of the fear isn’t.”

Patients with cancer, gastrointestinal disorders or repeated kidney stones, for example, have repeated scans and should be most concerned, White and others said.    And if the scans begin early in life, there’s more reason to be cautious, as radiation exposure over many years poses more risk.    Two years ago, news that Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles gave hundreds of patients about eight times the normal amount of radiation during diagnostic scans drew the attention of patients, doctors and regulators, and it has served as a catalyst for improvements nationwide.

Last month, the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals and often prompts quality-improvement efforts, sent a notice urging health-care providers to find new ways to avoid repeated doses of harmful radiation.    In the past 20 years, Americans’ radiation exposure has nearly doubled because of increased use of imaging.    “CT scanning has become the single-most-important source for radiation exposure in humans,” said Dr. Pablo Ros, chairman of radiology at University Hospitals in Cleveland.    “It’s very successful, very powerful and provides a lot of information, but particularly our nonradiology colleagues may not realize the significance of the radiation exposure,” he said.

At times, those tests aren’t necessary, or the patient might be better served by other diagnostic tools, such as ultrasound or MRI.    If a patient does need a CT scan, the dose can be limited.   Other times, no scan is really needed, but doctors feel obligated to order one to guard against legal problems.    “We order way too many CT scans. There’s tremendous pressure,” Gabriel said.    To reduce exposure, hospitals are buying better equipment and educating referring physicians about how best to determine whether CT scans or X-rays are really needed, White said.

At Ohio State and other centers, technicians have been trained to better tailor the scans to patients.    “A little tiny lady won’t get the same strength of the power of the beam as a larger person,” White said.    This practice “takes some more time and effort, but once it’s put into the daily grind, the techs respond well and the patients like it,” Ros said.    Michelle Hamilton, director of radiology at Mount Carmel West, said conversations with patients about the risks and benefits of scans are routine.

And the hospital continues to evaluate changes it can make to reduce exposures, including recently lessening the dosing for cardiac CT scans.    One important advance within the OhioHealth system has been a viewing program that allows radiologists to look at all the scans a patient has had within the system, said Dr. Harlan Meyer, radiology medical director at Grant.    They can see all exams since 2003, and if a patient has had 25 since then, it qualifies as a “radiation alert,” prompting more evaluation. In some cases, those patients go on to undergo a different diagnostic approach, such as MRI, Meyer said.

Arthur Ray Morton, a radiation-safety officer and senior medical physicist at Cincinnati’s University Hospital, said that several European countries routinely track individuals’ radiation exposure, similar to how we track vaccinations in the United States.    Eventually, that might happen as part of patients’ electronic medical records. But in the meantime, Morton recommends that patients track their own exposures and discuss the need for scans with their doctors.    Advice on this can be found at http://www.imagewise  A similar site,, focuses on children.    Morton said patients also should ask whether hospitals are accredited through the American College of Radiology or a similarly reputable organization. Those that have accreditation specific to the types of scans they perform are more likely to adhere to proper safety measures, he said.

BROOKE LAVALLEY DISPATCH    Patient Eduardo Rivera awaits a CT scan at Grant Medical Center, which is trying to reduce radiation exposure.
(The young man Dr Gabriel saw at the top of this article having so many scans and always for kidney stones can make someone like me want to weep.  Even he is worried about perhaps getting a cancer from all these scans.  One wonders what the doctors have been treating him with to SOLVE HIS PROBLEM!   All this expense and possible side effects should not be taken lightly.
Of course, we can’t have Dr Hulda Clark care for him and rid his problem in weeks – leaving him radiantly healthy as she is no longer among us, but there are thousands of doctors and healers of every ilk the world over who have either been trained in her methods or have adopted her techniques and are using them successfully.  They work, that’s why!  All kinds of alternative, holistic practitioners who understand that seeking the cause and fixing that is superior to manipulating symptoms with one pharmaceutical after another.  Allopathic medicine does not generally  do cleanses or even know about them unless by some fluke (pun intended),  eyes have been opened and they have taken extra time and effort to learn about such things.
We should be appreciative for the little things as they come along.  This at least is a step towards equilibrium – – the fact that an effort is being made to weigh legal issues along side cost issues and bottom lines as well as what the patient needs and might serve him/her best.    Jan)

September 26, 2011

Food Safety needs bigger stick

Food safety gets short end of stick


“In January, Mr. Obama signed a food-safety law that provides broad new authority to the Food and Drug Administration,” Robert Pear wrote in Friday’s New York Times, in an article about the congressional appropriations mess. But House Republicans, he added, had voted “to cut the agency’s budget.”   

Well, yes, in a nutshell, that is the sad story of the food-safety law — the first major change in how the government regulates food safety in more than 70 years. But the way the Republicans have dealt with its funding represents more than appropriations problems. It also represents the way they’ve allowed their unyielding anti-tax, anti-spend ideology to get in the way of common sense — and the common good.   

For years, the food industry and consumer groups have been aligned on the need to modernize the nation’s food-safety inspection system. Food-borne illnesses — an outbreak of salmonella or E. coli, for instance — are a problem not just for consumers but for industry, as well. Recalls are expensive. Sales shrink, even for companies not involved in the recall. Lawsuits ensue. Employees lose their jobs. It can take years to recover from a food scare.

FDA inspections have always been geared toward domestic foodstuffs. But food is now a global industry. “Today,” said Scott Faber, a vice president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, “we combine ingredients from hundreds of thousands of suppliers in over 200 countries.” Government’s food inspection has not kept pace.    The result was a bill, the Food Safety Modernization Act, whose contours had the approval of both industry and groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It called for an overhaul of the inspection process and imposed tough new standards on food processors, food importers and foreign suppliers. The agency was required to do more foreign inspections and use approved foreign governments or third-party auditors for importers. It had other important provisions to help prevent outbreaks of food-borne illnesses — and to track them down more quickly when they did occur.

As for paying for this overhaul, the bill included an eminently sensible mechanism: a fee on the industry.  Originally set at $2,000 per food facility, it was whittled down to $500, which still would have raised an impressive $300 million. In 2009, when the bill came to a House vote, it passed with bipartisan support; even Michele Bachmann voted for it.

In the Senate, however, with its ever-present threat of Republican filibuster, the fee never had a chance.   Never mind that many of the biggest industry players supported the fee. Indeed, many in industry wanted the fee. To the Republicans, “fee” was code for “tax.”    When the Senate finally passed the bill in late 2010, the fee was gone.

There’s more. When President Barack Obama submitted his 2012 budget to Congress, he asked for $955 million for food safety, a $120 million increase. The increase was necessary, of course, because without the fee, the FDA was going to be hard-pressed as it began the expensive process of changing how it inspects food.

Needless to say, that increase never had a chance, either. With the House firmly in Republican hands, it slashed the agency’s food budget by $87 million, to $750 million. That was a staggering $200 million less than the White House had requested, an amount so low that it will make the FDA’s already-difficult task nearly impossible.    Then again, the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture, Jack Kingston of Georgia, doesn’t really seem to think food safety is worth worrying about;    he’s on record saying that the nation’s food supply is “99.99 percent safe.”   He told The Washington Post last year that the amount of money the agency wanted to fund the new law would be scaled back if it was “significant overreach.” Apparently he thought it was significant overreach .

A few weeks ago, the Senate voted to increase funding just $40 million, which still leaves the FDA short. With so much chaos surrounding the appropriations process, it is impossible to know how this will play out. To put it another way, as the FDA starts to carry out the new law and industry prepares for it, there is no certainty. This, of course, is exactly what Republicans complain about when they say the Obama administration is hurting job creation.    There is certainty about one thing, though. The next time there is an E. coli outbreak, we’ll know whom to blame.

Joe Nocera writes for The New York Times.

(This is impossible,  stunning and unbelievable.   With snot-nosed brats running all from the house and not an ounce of reason in the entire bunch, . . . .   .   .   .  it’s just a question of time as we watch our country unravel.  This is a nightmare.           Jan)

Twins from 2 separate Uteri

Woman delivers twins — one from each uterus


CLEARWATER, Fla. — Twins Nathan and Natalie Barbosa made the record books with their recent arrival at Morton Plant Hospital.    Their mother has an exceptionally rare medical condition called uterus didelphys. Instead of one typical uterus, she has two, which can lead to infertility.

Yet defying great odds, Andreea Barbosa conceived — at the same time — a boy and a girl in separate uteruses.    She and her husband conceived the twins without reproductive medicine or any extraordinary effort. Her doctor hadn’t thought it possible.    “It was definitely a shocker,” said the 24-year-old Clearwater mother, who learned about her unusual double pregnancy during an ultrasound at seven weeks. “I was frightened and scared, a little bit of everything in one.”

Make that two, and then some. Her obstetrician, Dr. Patricia St. John, placed the odds of such a pregnancy at 1 in 5 million, explaining that a woman would have to release two eggs at once and both would have to be fertilized and implanted successfully in separate uteruses. Then both had to develop into viable pregnancies.    The biology is routine:  Egg plus sperm equals baby.   Like other women who conceive nonidentical twins, Barbosa could have released multiple eggs from both of her ovaries, or from just one, her physician explained.

But in Barbosa’s case, the fallopian tubes connect to separate uteruses, each with its own cervix.    Only about 1 in 2,000 women worldwide have this rare condition, St. John said. Researchers don’t know the cause, but it develops before birth when two tubes that normally fuse to form the uterus develop into separate cavities.

The condition can be associated with kidney abnormalities. Barbosa has just one kidney, instead of two.    In some women, the condition causes infertility and miscarriage. Many experience painful and abnormal menstrual cycles. But Barbosa had no signs.    “From the outside, there was nothing wrong with me,” said Barbosa, diagnosed four years ago after a routine exam.    Believing she needed a cyst removed, her doctor sent her for a detailed scan. That’s when Barbosa learned about her unusual anatomy.    Later, Barbosa conceived easily in her right uterus. With St. John as her doctor, she gave birth by cesarean section to Izabella, now 2 years old.    At the time, St. John saw that Barbosa’s left uterus was much smaller than the right. She considered a double pregnancy such a remote possibility that she never even brought it up.

Two years later, Barbosa was carrying a baby in each uterus.    Already at high risk with twins, Barbosa experienced another pregnancy complication called placenta previa, which can lead to bleeding and prematurity.    She received ultrasound monitoring to make sure both babies were developing properly. The pregnancy progressed uneventfully. Barbosa continued working as a Walmart sales associate until the week before she delivered the twins by C-section at 36 weeks.    “She had a perfect pregnancy. She was so lucky,” said St. John, calling the experience once-in-a-lifetime.  

Last Thursday, Nathan Barbosa arrived at 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Two minutes later, he was joined by sister Natalie at 5 pounds, 10 ounces.    Both babies are now home in Clearwater with their mother and father, 23-yearold Miguel Barbosa, a supervisor at Best Buy.

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