SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

July 18, 2009

RFK, Jr – Deadly Immunity

First its my turn to discharge a little energy:

Everyone understands that the reason one gets vaccinations is to prevent a possible future illness.  Unless we have escaped from a padded room – there is no reason other than that.  This premise however, is not disconnected from the main thrust of the following article penned by one of our finest people,  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  This comes from Salon.com and at the site, is accompanied by several other of his related articles, which I would recommend you   check out.  This is not about a small oversight or the FDA not  knowing what they are doing.  On the contrary, most of us do get it that this has been going on for decades in full awareness and by design to protect their own interests (Corporate) of greed and ascendancy of their power, which then grants them the control of people.

Folks, If we want that control back, it is going to take a major outcry and organized push of our own.  Between the Codex, the World Health Organization and our on-going loss of freedoms to exercise our basic medical choices, I feel we already live in the asylum and I’ll be damned if I can figure out how we let this get so far with millions still in denial.  Our government would NEVER allow that to happen.  Right!  There has been no-one minding the store for a long time now.  It is time to wake up and REALLY smell the coffee.    They have been poisoning our babies and toddlers for a long time.  This must stop.   Autism and other immune disorders are a recent vintage within the last 50 to 70 years and growing worse.  We need to have understanding,  facts (not hype),  common purpose and an intelligent action.  Read on

dividers41Salon.com

Deadly immunity

July 18, 2009

When a study revealed that mercury in childhood vaccines may have caused autism in thousands of kids, the government rushed to conceal the data — and to prevent parents from suing drug companies for their role in the epidemic.

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Jun 16, 2005 | In June 2000, a group of top government scientists and health officials gathered for a meeting at the isolated Simpsonwood conference center in Norcross, Ga. Convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the meeting was held at this Methodist retreat center, nestled in wooded farmland next to the Chattahoochee River, to ensure complete secrecy. The agency had issued no public announcement of the session — only private invitations to 52 attendees. There were high-level officials from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, the top vaccine specialist from the World Health Organization in Geneva, and representatives of every major vaccine manufacturer, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth and Aventis Pasteur. All of the scientific data under discussion, CDC officials repeatedly reminded the participants, was strictly “embargoed.” There would be no making photocopies of documents, no taking papers with them when they left.

The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children. According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency’s massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines — thimerosal — appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children. “I was actually stunned by what I saw,” Verstraeten told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism. Since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants — in one case, within hours of birth — the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold, from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.

Even for scientists and doctors accustomed to confronting issues of life and death, the findings were frightening. “You can play with this all you want,” Dr. Bill Weil, a consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the group. The results “are statistically significant.” Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado whose grandson had been born early on the morning of the meeting’s first day, was even more alarmed. “My gut feeling?” he said. “Forgive this personal comment — I do not want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on.”

But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry’s bottom line.

“We are in a bad position from the standpoint of defending any lawsuits,” said Dr. Robert Brent, a pediatrician at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware. “This will be a resource to our very busy plaintiff attorneys in this country.” Dr. Bob Chen, head of vaccine safety for the CDC, expressed relief that “given the sensitivity of the information, we have been able to keep it out of the hands of, let’s say, less responsible hands.” Dr. John Clements, vaccines advisor at the World Health Organization, declared that “perhaps this study should not have been done at all.” He added that “the research results have to be handled,” warning that the study “will be taken by others and will be used in other ways beyond the control of this group.”

In fact, the government has proved to be far more adept at handling the damage than at protecting children’s health. The CDC paid the Institute of Medicine to conduct a new study to whitewash the risks of thimerosal, ordering researchers to “rule out” the chemical’s link to autism. It withheld Verstraeten’s findings, even though they had been slated for immediate publication, and told other scientists that his original data had been “lost” and could not be replicated. And to thwart the Freedom of Information Act, it handed its giant database of vaccine records over to a private company, declaring it off-limits to researchers. By the time Verstraeten finally published his study in 2003, he had gone to work for GlaxoSmithKline and reworked his data to bury the link between thimerosal and autism.

Vaccine manufacturers had already begun to phase thimerosal out of injections given to American infants — but they continued to sell off their mercury-based supplies of vaccines until last year. The CDC and FDA gave them a hand, buying up the tainted vaccines for export to developing countries and allowing drug companies to continue using the preservative in some American vaccines — including several pediatric flu shots as well as tetanus boosters routinely given to 11-year-olds.

The drug companies are also getting help from powerful lawmakers in Washington. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has received $873,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, has been working to immunize vaccine makers from liability in 4,200 lawsuits that have been filed by the parents of injured children. On five separate occasions, Frist has tried to seal all of the government’s vaccine-related documents — including the Simpsonwood transcripts — and shield Eli Lilly, the developer of thimerosal, from subpoenas. In 2002, the day after Frist quietly slipped a rider known as the “Eli Lilly Protection Act” into a homeland security bill, the company contributed $10,000 to his campaign and bought 5,000 copies of his book on bioterrorism. Congress repealed the measure in 2003 — but earlier this year, Frist slipped another provision into an anti-terrorism bill that would deny compensation to children suffering from vaccine-related brain disorders. “The lawsuits are of such magnitude that they could put vaccine producers out of business and limit our capacity to deal with a biological attack by terrorists,” says Dean Rosen, health policy advisor to Frist.

Even many conservatives are shocked by the government’s effort to cover up the dangers of thimerosal. Rep. Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, oversaw a three-year investigation of thimerosal after his grandson was diagnosed with autism. “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is directly related to the autism epidemic,” his House Government Reform Committee concluded in its final report. “This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding a lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal, a known neurotoxin.” The FDA and other public-health agencies failed to act, the committee added, out of “institutional malfeasance for self protection” and “misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

April 13, 2009

Ohio in Monsanto’s pocket?

Ohio, for shame!  I’m out here dancing as fast as I can to alert my fellow Americans about the importance of healthy, pure food,  less contaminants, pesticides, clear choice in what we  put in our bodies,  CLEAR LABELLING.  Where is your conscience and concern for the “people” over the bottom line of corporations – – most especially Monsanto?  This is very disheartening.  Governor Strickland, have you no control over any of this?  Throw out the head of the Ohio Dept of Agriculture.   Aaaargh. . . .   and double aaargh!

Consumers Won’t Know Milk Content


On March 30, a federal court upheld a rule by the Ohio Department of Agriculture that prohibits a dairy from informing the public that it chooses not to use synthetic hormones to increase milk production. Monsanto Corp., manufacturer of the hormones, persuaded the department to issue an emergency ruling to that effect.
If a dairy chooses not to expose its customers to synthetic bovine growth hormone, or rBST, it cannot inform the public. Use of the synthetic hormone almost always involves large amounts of nontherapeutic antibiotics. The Agriculture Department and Monsanto don’t want consumers to know that.
By the way, rBST is banned in Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia and most First World nations. Currently, about five states are fighting for its use, with Ohio leading the fight.
There is a glut of milk in Ohio and the entire U.S. In many areas, the dairies are auctioning off 25 percent or more of their herd to cut costs because there is no market for their milk. This is motivated by greed, with Monsanto leading the charge.
If you are concerned about synthetic chemicals in your milk or about MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant staph infection, or you think it is reasonable to know what companies are putting in your milk, meat, eggs and grain, talk to your grocer and your legislator. Buy milk that has the U.S. Department of Agriculture “organic” label.
It’s up to you.
GARY FELIKS
London

March 24, 2009

HFCS and Insulin Resistance

Dr Mercola is relentless on this subject, but then, so am I.  The sooner we get the word out, the sooner I
might lower the alarm.  Read on.

.

Why High-Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Insulin Resistance

high fructose corn syrup, corn, corn syrup, fructose, diabetes, heart disease, HFCS, insulin, leptin, insulin resistanceA new study in mice sheds light on at least part of the reason for the insulin resistance that can come from diets high in high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener found in most sodas and many other processed foods.

Fructose is much more readily metabolized to fat in the liver than glucose, and in the process can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. NAFLD in turn leads to hepatic insulin resistance and type II diabetes.

Researchers showed that mice fed a high-fructose diet could be protected from insulin resistance if a gene known as transcriptional coactivator PPARg coactivator-1b (PGC-1b) was “knocked down” in the animals’ liver and fat tissue. PGC-1b controls the activity of several other genes, including one responsible for building fat in the liver. This suggests an important role for PGC-1b in the pathogenesis of fructose-induced insulin resistance.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola''s Comments Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

According to the latest statistics, new cases of diabetes have increased by 90 percent in the last 10 years, and diabetes or pre-diabetes now strikes one in four Americans. Those are absolutely astounding statistics to say the least.

There’s no doubt in my mind that one of the primary fuels for this epidemic is the excess consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Several studies over the past few years have also come to this conclusion, including this latest study in Cell Metabolism, in which the researchers note:

Insulin resistance is a common feature of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Both have reached epidemic proportions worldwide with the global adoption of the westernized diet along with increased consumption of fructose, stemming from the wide and increasing use of high-fructose corn syrup sweeteners.

It is well established that fructose is more lipogenic than glucose, and high-fructose diets have been linked to hypertriglyceridemia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and insulin resistance.

Unfortunately, this study does nothing to further the return to a more sane approach to health, but will likely just create even more problems as they propose their findings could lead to yet another drug treatment to hamper the harmful effects of HFCS consumption.

Absolutely in line with the drug model, and one has to seriously wonder if they weren’t behind this study.

The answer is clearly not to create more drugs to combat the problem of diabetes, but rather to educate the public about healthier eating habits – which includes AVOIDING high fructose corn syrup as much as possible.

Scientists have clearly linked the rising HFCS consumption to the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome in the U.S., and medical researchers have pinpointed various health dangers associated with the consumption of HFCS compared to regular sugar.

Despite all the evidence, the industry persists in claiming these findings are untrue, arguing that HFCS is the same as sugar. Their campaign also relies on nutritional research, but it should be noted that the funding for many of the major studies in question came from companies with a financial stake in the outcome.

Reminds me quite a bit of the tobacco lobby’s consistent denial that smoking causes lung cancer until they had no choice but to admit it.

How Much High Fructose Corn Syrup is in Your Diet?

The obesity and diabetes epidemics are no surprise when you consider the fact that the number one source of calories in America is high fructose corn syrup in soda.

There are about 40 grams of HFCS per can – more than the American Medical Association’s recommended daily maximum for ALL caloric sweeteners. And that’s without adding in all the corn syrup now found in every type of processed, pre-packaged food you can think of.

In fact, the use of high fructose corn syrup in the U.S. diet increased a staggering 10,673 percent between 1970 and 2005, according to the latest USDA Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption report. That too is no major surprise considering that processed foods account for more than 90 percent of the money Americans spend on their meals.

All in all, according to the USDA’s report, about one-quarter of the calories consumed by the average American is in the form of added sugars – the majority of which comes from high fructose corn syrup.

Folks, this is an absolute prescription for disaster. Is it any wonder that we are suffering epidemics of chronic diseases that are contributing to the economic collapse, as they require expensive drug and surgical solutions that only treat the symptoms, but do nothing to address the cause of the disease?

Why High Fructose Corn Syrup IS Worse For You than Sugar

If you need to lose weight, or if you want to avoid diabetes and heart disease, fructose is one type of sugar you’ll want to avoid, particularly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

Part of what makes HFCS such a dangerous sweetener is that it is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar.

According to Dr. Elizabeth Parks, associate professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center and lead author of a study on fructose, published in the Journal of Nutrition just last year:

“Our study shows for the first time the surprising speed with which humans make body fat from fructose. Once you start the process of fat synthesis from fructose, it’s hard to slow it down. The bottom line of this study is that fructose very quickly gets made into fat in your body.”

This occurs because most fats are formed in your liver, and when sugar enters your liver, it decides whether to store it, burn it or turn it into fat. Fructose, however, bypasses this process and simply turns into fat.

Additionally, there’s hard empirical evidence showing that refined man-made fructose like HFCS metabolizes to triglycerides and adipose tissue, not blood glucose. And one of the most thorough scientific analyses published to date on this topic found that fructose consumption leads to decreased signaling to your central nervous system from the hormones leptin and insulin.

Because insulin and leptin act as key signals in regulating how much food you eat, as well as your body weight, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased food intake and weight gain.

Decreased insulin and leptin signaling is also a main cause of diabetes and a host of other obesity-related conditions.

How HFCS Contributes to Diabetes

In addition to everything already mentioned — including these latest findings that HFCS consumption can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, followed by hepatic insulin resistance and then type 2 diabetes — research reported at the 2007 national meeting of the American Chemical Society, found evidence that soft drinks sweetened with HFCS may contribute to the development of diabetes because it contains high levels of reactive compounds that trigger cell and tissue damage that cause diabetes.

Chemical tests among 11 different carbonated soft drinks containing HFCS were found to have ‘astonishingly high’ levels of reactive carbonyls. Reactive carbonyls are undesirable and highly-reactive compounds associated with “unbound” fructose and glucose molecules, and are believed to cause tissue damage.

By contrast, reactive carbonyls are not present in table sugar because its fructose and glucose components are “bound” and chemically stable.

Reactive carbonyls are elevated in the blood of individuals with diabetes and are linked to the health complications of diabetes. It is estimated that a single can of soda contains about five times the concentration of reactive carbonyls than the concentration found in the blood of an adult person with diabetes.

How HFCS Contributes to Heart Disease

HFCS is also known to significantly raise your triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol). Triglycerides, the chemical form of fat found in foods and in your body, are not something you want in excess amounts.

Intense research over the past 40 years has confirmed that elevated blood levels of triglycerides, known as hypertriglyceridemia, puts you at an increased risk of heart disease.

Additional Health Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, fructose also does not contain any enzymes, vitamins or minerals so it takes these micronutrients from your body while it assimilates itself for use.

Unbound fructose, found in large quantities in HFCS, can interfere with your heart’s use of minerals such as magnesium, copper and chromium.

Please note that this does not mean you should avoid whole fruit, however, as it contains natural fructose together with the enzymes, vitamins and minerals needed for your body to assimilate the fructose. Eating small amounts of whole fruit also does not provide a tremendous amount of fructose, and is not likely to be a problem for most people unless diabetes or obesity is an issue.

And lastly, adding insult to injury, HFCS is almost always made from genetically modified corn, which is fraught with its own well documented side effects and health concerns.

GMO corn will radically increase your risk of developing corn allergies. The problem with corn allergies are that once you have a corn allergy from GMO corn you will have an allergy to even healthy organic corn products.

How You Can Drastically Improve Your Overall Health

If you want to drastically improve your health, the answer is quite simple. To lose weight and reduce your risk of developing metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease, STOP drinking soda and processed fruit juices. Switch to pure water as your beverage of choice and you will be well on your way to better health.

To preserve your health you also need to focus your diet on whole foods based on your personal biochemistry, and, if you do purchase packaged foods, become an avid label reader and avoid foods that contain corn syrup as a main ingredient.



March 14, 2009

Vaccine Injustice

(From Dr. Mercola)

Vaccine Makers Profit from

Government-Granted Immunity

Sources:

vaccine, vaccinationIn a building kitty-corner from the White House across Pennsylvania Avenue is a special “vaccines court” which hears cases brought by parents who claim their children have been harmed by routine vaccinations.

The court buffers makers of childhood-disease vaccines from much of the litigation risk that other drugmakers must face. It is an important reason why the vaccine business has been transformed from a low-profit venture in the 1970’s to one of the pharmaceutical industry’s most attractive product lines today.

The court operates because of a legal shield known as the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which was put into place in 1986 to encourage the development of vaccines. A spate of lawsuits against vaccine makers in the 1970’s and 1980’s had caused dozens of companies to get out of the business. Now, vaccines are big business. They will generate $21.5 billion in annual sales for their makers by 2012.

Critics of the program say a recent vaccine court ruling that routine childhood immunizations aren’t linked to autism underscored the limited recourse families have in claiming injury from vaccines. Many plaintiffs’ lawyers would prefer to take their lawsuits directly to civil court.

*                    *                   *                    *

Dr. Mercola''s Comments Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
Prior to October 1, 1988, if you or your child were injured by a vaccine you were allowed to file a lawsuit against a vaccine manufacturer to receive compensation for harm arising from the vaccine. Since that legislation passed anyone who is now injured  and wishes to receive compensation is required to apply through The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), the so-called “vaccine court,” prior to pursuing a lawsuit.

This program has boosted vaccine sales growth immensely — by 2015 it’s estimated that vaccinations will morph into a $21.5-billion industry — largely because they have ZERO liability for the products they produce.

If a child becomes seriously injured or even dies after receiving a vaccine, the vaccine makers are completely shielded — and IF they are ever awarded compensation through NVICP, it is the taxpayers who pay, not the vaccine makers.

Who is the Vaccine Court Really Looking Out For?

NVICP was “established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines.”

But when you read between the lines, you discover what this really means is that a program has been put into place to protect vaccine manufacturers (i.e. “ensure an adequate supply of vaccines”) and NOT to look out for those injured by vaccines.

According to Barbara Loe Fisher, one of the top vaccine experts in the world, who along with other vaccine-choice advocates is calling on Congress to revamp, and possibly even repeal, this fatally flawed program:

“During its two-decade history, two out of three individuals applying for federal vaccine injury compensation have been turned away empty-handed even though to date $1.8 billion has been awarded to more than 2,200 plaintiffs out of some 12,000 who have applied.”

Meanwhile, close to 5,000 vaccine-injury claims are sitting in limbo because they involve children who suffered brain and immune system dysfunction after vaccination and have been diagnosed with regressive autism.

Well, this is not a “compensable event” according to NVICP, so the children may be out of luck … despite the fact that a study by Harvard professor Michael Ganz found the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism is more than $3 million.

And there are other problems as well.

Safety Provisions are Not Being Enforced

The Act signed into law in 1986, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, contains strong safety provisions, including:

• First-time mandates for doctors to record and report serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths after vaccination
• Mandates that doctors give parents written benefit and risk information before a child is vaccinated

Yet few of the safety provisions are being enforced. As Fisher said:

“There has been a betrayal of the promise that was made to parents about how the compensation program would be implemented.”

Case in point, claims heard by NVICP are supposed to be handled “quickly, easily and with certainty and generosity,” according to a House report accompanying the 1986 legislation, but many claims have taken years — more than 10 years — to be settled. Fisher continues:

“Obtaining compensation has become a highly adversarial, time-consuming, traumatic and expensive process for families of vaccine-injured children, and far too many vaccine victims have been denied compensation.
Meanwhile, vaccine makers and doctors have enjoyed liability protection and dozens of doses of nine new vaccines have been added to the childhood vaccine schedule.”

If a family is finally able to receive compensation through the program, what can they expect? According to the program’s guidelines:

• The system will offer to pay up to $250,000 for a vaccine-associated death.

• The system will offer to pay for all past and future unreimbursed medical expenses, custodial and nursing home care; up to $250,000 pain and suffering; and loss of earned income.

This is clearly inadequate compensation and clearly far too late.

Further, the system is funded by a surcharge on each dose of vaccine sold. The doctors pay the tax initially when they purchase the vaccines, but this is passed right down to the parents of the child. So not only are the vaccine manufacturers shielded from potential lawsuits, they are not even responsible for paying one cent of the claims filed against them — the consumers of their products are

Even the lawyers who fight against the families who have filed claims with the system are full-time government attorneys, employed solely for the purpose of battling to defend the vaccine manufacturers. The vaccine makers don’t even have to pay their own legal defense fees!

Such a sweet deal. Try to find any other business that is insulated from the perverted U.S. legal system and you will likely come up with a blank.

Do You Want to Help Support Vaccine Safety Reform?

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), which was co-founded by Barbara Loe Fisher, is the American vaccine safety watchdog. They are currently being flooded with vaccine reaction reports and parents reporting that their vaccine exemptions are being pulled or becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.

I highly recommend you consider supporting the NVIC in their efforts to raise awareness about these vital issues and implement vaccine safety reform.

As I’ve stated before, I’m not anti-vaccine, but rather pro-vaccine safety and choice.

I question vaccines’ compulsory nature along with the very limited recourse parents have if their child is injured. You may also not be aware that if your child is vaccinated according to the CDC’s recommended schedule, by the time your child starts kindergarten he or she will have received 48 doses of 14 vaccines. Of these, 36 doses will be given during the first 18 months of life.

Well, public health officials have NEVER proven that it is indeed safe to inject this number and volume of vaccines into infants. And I believe parents have the right to know such information before making a decision on whether or not to vaccinate.

Related Links:

A Vaccine Form You Can Give to Your Pediatrician

March 10, 2009

The Corn Shame

Conservative George Will does not waste time getting to a point or prettying things up and I was frankly surprised to find him in discussion on this important subject.  (One I have covered and will no doubt, continue to do).  George’s fine intellect and analysis is most generally seen on the Sunday morning political  talk shows.  So it is with pleasure I welcome him to our little corner of the world where we try to help ourselves with ever-increasing awareness of the things which affect our lives so deeply by contributing to our health or states of disease.

Corn-based food system is making U.S. unhealthy

George F. Will writes for the Washington Post Writers Group.

photo

 


Tom Vilsack, Iowa’s former governor, calls his “the most important department in government,” noting that the Agriculture Department serves education through school-nutrition programs and serves diplomacy by trying
to wean Afghanistan from a poppy-based (meaning heroin-based) economy. But Vilsack’s department matters most because of the health costs of the American diet. If Michael Pollan is right, the problem is rooted in politics and, in a sense, Iowa.
Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, says that after World War II the government had a huge surplus of ammonium nitrate, an ingredient of explosives — and fertilizer. Furthermore, pesticides could be made from ingredients of poison gases. Since 1945, the food supply has increased faster than America’s population — faster even than Americans can increase their feasting.


Agricultural commodity prices generally fall. But when a rare surge in food prices gave the Nixon administration a political scare, government policy, expressed in commodity subsidies, has been, Pollan writes, to sell “large quantities of calories as cheaply as possible,” especially calories coming from corn.


“All flesh is grass” says Scripture. Much of the too-ample flesh of Americans (three of five are overweight; one in five is obese) comes from corn, which is a grass. A quarter of the 45,000 items in the average supermarket contain processed corn. Fossil fuels are involved in the planting, fertilizing, harvesting, transporting and processing of the corn. America’s food industry uses about as much petroleum as America’s automobiles do.


During World War II, when meat, dairy products and sugar were scarce, heart disease plummeted. It rebounded when rationing ended. “When you adjust for age,” Pollan writes, “rates of chronic diseases like cancer and Type 2 diabetes are considerably higher today than they were in 1900.” Type 2 diabetes — a strange epidemic: one without a virus, bacteria or other microbe — was called adult-onset diabetes until children began getting it. Now it is a $100 billion-a-year consequence of, among other things, obesity related to a corn-based diet, which is partly because steaks and chops have pushed plants off the plate.


Four of the top 10 causes of American deaths — coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer — have, Pollan says, “well-established links” to diet, particularly through “the superabundance of cheap calories of sugar and fat.” What he calls America’s “national eating disorder” is not just the fact that Americans reportedly eat one in five meals in cars (gasoline stations make more from food and cigarettes than from gasoline) and that one in three children eats fast food every day. He also means the industrialization of agriculture, wherein we developed a food chain that derives too much of its calories — energy — not from the sun through photosynthesis but from fossil fuels.


In 1900, Vilsack says, Iowa’s population was larger than California’s and Florida’s combined. But it is the only state whose population did not double in the 20th century. Yet Iowa’s fewer farmers, planting (as government has exhorted) “fence-row to fence-row” and deploying an arsenal of chemical fertilizers, can tickle five tons of corn from an acre.


Corn, which covers 125,000 square miles of America — about the size of New Mexico — fattens 100 million beef cattle, and at least that many bipeds. Much of the river of cheap corn becomes an ocean of high-fructose corn syrup, which by 1984 was sweetening Coke and Pepsi. Disposing of the corn also requires passing it through animals’ stomachs. Corn, together with pharmaceuticals and other chemicals — a Pollan axiom: “You are what what you eat eats, too” — has made it profitable to fatten cattle on feedlots rather than grass, cutting by up to 75 percent the time from birth to slaughter. Eating corn nourished by petroleum-based fertilizers, a beef cow consumes almost a barrel of oil in its lifetime.


Vilsack’s department is entwined with the food industry that produces a food supply unhealthily simplified by the dominance of a few staples such as corn. This diet, Pollan says, has made many Americans both overfed and undernourished.
Hippocrates enjoined doctors, “Do no harm.” He also said something germane to a nation that is harming itself with its knives and forks: “Let food be thy medicine.” That should be carved in stone over the entrance to Vilsack’s very important department.

March 8, 2009

Monsanto’s “Seed Threat”

New from Dr. Mercola. . . .

Monsanto’s Many Attempts to Destroy All Seeds but Their Own

seeds, seedlingSome say that if farmers don’t want problems from Monsanto, they simply shouldn’t buy Monsanto’s GMO seeds. But it isn’t quite that simple. Monsanto contaminates the fields, trespasses onto the land taking samples, and then sues, saying they own the crop.

Meanwhile, Monsanto is taking many other steps to keep farmers and everyone else from having any access at all to buying, collecting, and saving of normal seeds:

1.  They’ve bought up the seed companies across the Midwest.

2.  They’ve written Monsanto seed laws and gotten legislators to put them through, that make cleaning, collecting and storing of seeds so onerous in terms of fees and paperwork that having normal seed becomes almost impossible.

3.  Monsanto is pushing laws that ensure farmers and citizens can’t block the planting of GMO crops even if they can contaminate other crops.

4.  There are Monsanto regulations buried in the FDA rules that make a farmer’s seed cleaning equipment illegal because it’s now considered a “source of seed contamination.”

Monsanto has sued more than 1,500 farmers whose fields had simply been contaminated by GM crops.

Sources:

Dr. Mercola''s Comments Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
There is a reason why I believe Monsanto to be one of the most evil companies on the planet, and this is in large part due to its activities relating to controlling food production through controlling the seeds to produce it.

For nearly all of its history the United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant patents on seeds, viewing them as life-forms with too many variables to be patented. But in 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for seed patents in a five-to-four decision, laying the groundwork for a handful of corporations to begin taking control of the world’s food supply.

Since the 1980s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds and has won at least 674 biotechnology patents, more than any other company.

This is not surprising, considering they invest over $2 million a day on research and development!

But Monsanto is not only patenting their own GMO seeds. They have also succeeded in slapping patents on a huge number of crop seeds, patenting life forms for the first time — again without a vote of the people or Congress. By doing this, Monsanto becomes sole owner of the very seeds necessary to support the world’s food supply … an incredibly powerful position that no for-profit company should ever hold.

How do they defend this blatant attempt to control the food supply? They write on MonsantoToday.com:

“Patent protection allows companies to see a return on their investment which enables further investment in R-and-D and product development. This profit-investment cycle drives product innovation that is responsive to farmer needs.”

Farmers’ needs?

Farmers who buy Monsanto’s GM seeds are required to sign an agreement promising not to save the seeds or sell them to other farmers. The result? Farmers must buy new seeds every year, and they must buy them from Monsanto.

Meanwhile, these same farmers who Monsanto is claiming to help are being aggressively targeted and pursued for outrageous patent infringements on these same seeds.

The “Seed Police”

Monsanto employs an arsenal of private investigators and agents who secretly videotape farmers, snatch crop samples from their land and even fly helicopters overhead to spy — all to catch farmers saving or sharing seeds.

As of 2005 Monsanto had 75 employees and a $10-million budget solely to investigate and prosecute farmers for patent infringement.

And until recently, Monsanto has even been known to sue farmers for GM crops growing on their land that got there via cross-contamination. In other words, a neighboring farm’s GM seeds blew over onto their land, and Monsanto slaps them with a lawsuit.

I realize this seems incredible, but it is true.

Have You Heard of Terminator Seeds?

Creating and promoting GM crops is, in my opinion, a major threat to public health. Patenting those same seeds takes it to an even higher level of evil. But there is another reason why I don’t believe for one second that Monsanto has the virtuous intentions they claim: terminator seeds.

Monsanto is considering using what’s known as terminator technology on a wide-scale basis. These are seeds that have been genetically modified to “self-destruct.” In other words, the seeds (and the forthcoming crops) are sterile, which means farmers must buy them again each year.

This solves their problem of needing “seed police,” but they are obviously looking the other way when it comes to the implications that terminator seeds could have on the world’s food supply: the traits from genetically engineered crops can get passed on to other crops, and often do.

Once the terminator seeds are released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops, making most or all of the seeds in the region sterile.

Not only would this mean that every farm in the world could come to rely on Monsanto for their seed supply, but if the GM traits spread it could destroy agriculture as we now know it.

How Can You Get Through to Monsanto?

First, I urge you to get informed on the issue by watching The Future of Food. This in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind genetically modified foods is one of the best documentaries I have ever viewed. It will help you understand the very real threat that ALL future generations face as a result of genetic engineering.

Next, hit Monsanto where it counts … their bottom line. By boycotting all GM foods and instead supporting organic (and local) farmers who do not use Monsanto’s GM seeds, you are using your wallet to make your opinions known.

This means abstaining from virtually all processed food products (most are loaded with GM ingredients) and sticking to fresh, locally grown, organic foodstuffs instead.

The True Food Shopping Guide is a great tool for helping you determine which brands and products contain GMO ingredients. It lists 20 different food categories that include everything from baby food to chocolate.

I’ve also compiled an excellent list of resources where you can still find pure, GM-free foods, and I encourage you to refer to it often and also share it with your friends and family.

Related Links:

March 5, 2009

Vaccine Studies/Pharma bias

. . . . .  .new from Dr. Mercola:


Vaccine Studies: Under the Influence of Pharma

vaccine, NVIC, medical journals, science, studiesBy Barbara Loe Fisher

If you take more than a casual look at the way the mass vaccination system in the U.S. works, you see that pharmaceutical companies marketing vaccines have a lot of clout.

It was the pharmaceutical industry that told Congress in 1982 that they were going to leave the nation without vaccines if they didn’t get liability protection but have opposed making it less difficult for vaccine victims to obtain federal compensation in the U.S. Court of Claims under a 1986 law that gave them liability protection.

It is Pharma lobbyists, who bully the FDA into fast tracking vaccines like Gardasil and who sit at the CDC’s policymaking tables urging that new vaccines be recommended for use by all children so they can persuade state legislators to mandate vaccines like influenza vaccine.

How Big Pharma Influences Medical Journals

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal reveals the clout that Big Pharma has in the world of medicine journal publishing, specifically the publishing of scientific articles about vaccines. In a Cochrane Collaboration review and analysis of published influenza vaccine studies found that influenza vaccine studies sponsored by industry are treated more favorably by medical journals even when the studies are of poor quality.

This analysis confirms that drug companies marketing vaccines have a major influence on what gets published and is said about vaccines in medical journals. It is no wonder that there are almost no studies published in the medical literature that call into question vaccine safety.

The preferential treatment of Pharma-funded studies also explains why the risks of an inappropriately fast-tracked vaccine like Gardasil are underplayed in the medical literature and why a physician like Andrew Wakefield, M.D. who dared to publish a study in 1998 in a medical journal (The Lancet) calling for more scientific investigation into the possible link between MMR vaccine and regressive autism, has been mercilessly persecuted for more than a decade, by both Pharma-funded special interest groups, as well as public health officials maintaining close relationships with vaccine manufacturers.

Study Finds No Correlation Between Quality of Study and Publication

This recent review identified and assessed 274 published studies on influenza vaccines for their methodological quality and found no relationship between study quality, publication in prestige journals or their subsequent citation in other articles.

The researchers also found that most influenza vaccine studies are of poor quality but those with conclusions favorable to influenza vaccinations are of significantly lower methodological quality. The single most important factor determining where the studies were published or how much they were cited was sponsorship, with those partially or wholly funded by the pharmaceutical industry having higher visibility.

The authors commented:

“The study shows that one of the levers for accessing prestige journals is the financial size of your sponsor. Pharma sponsors order many reprints of studies supporting their products, often with in house translations into many languages. They also purchase advertising space in the journal. Many publishers openly advertise these services on their website. It is time journals made a full disclosure of their sources of funding”.

The HPV Vaccine — Just One Example of Inappropriate Influence Endangering Public Health

Last month the National Vaccine Information Center (www.NVIC.org) called on the Obama Administration and Congress to investigate Gardasil vaccine risks. NVIC has long questioned the inappropriate influence of vaccine manufacturers in federal vaccine licensing and policymaking and state vaccine mandates.

In 2006, Merck’s Gardasil vaccine was fast tracked by the FDA at Merck’s request and in 2007 Merck lobbyists mounted an aggressive lobbying campaign to get Gardasil mandated by state legislators for all sixth grade girls, which would have assured the big drug company a predictable market.

The Pharma lobbying effort in 2007 to get all states to mandate Gardasil failed but every other vaccine produced by drug companies and licensed by the FDA in the past quarter century has been mandated. Those new mandates were added to state vaccine laws by legislators and public health officials at the urging of vaccine manufacturer lobbyists and Pharma funded organizations touting vaccine studies published in the medical literature.

Massive Increase in Number of Vaccines Given

In the past three decades, the numbers of doses of government recommended vaccines for children and medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics has tripled to 69 doses of 16 vaccines, with 48 doses of 14 vaccines targeted to children under age six.

Pharma lobbyists have persuaded most states to pass laws requiring two to three dozen doses of most of the 16 government recommended vaccines. Last year New Jersey became the first state to mandate influenza vaccine for children attending daycare and school.

In the past few years, Dr. Jefferson has authored several independent reviews of influenza studies published in the medical literature for the Cochrane Collaboration, which have been published in the British Medical Journal, questioning the quality of published scientific evidence for influenza vaccine effectiveness and safety for the elderly as well as children.

Clearly, if the makers and marketers of vaccines can influence the quality and quantity of the scientific evidence published in the medical literature proving that vaccines are safe and effective — evidence that is used by states to mandate vaccines and by the U.S. Court of Claims to deny compensation to vaccine injured children — then Congress was wrong in 1986 to protect the makers and marketers of vaccines from liability for injuries and deaths caused by those vaccines.

Government Vaccine Recommendations Based on Tainted Evidence

The U.S. Court of Claims vaccine injury compensation awards, and state vaccine mandates are justified on the strength of scientific published in medical journals.

It is time for medical journals to disclose all financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. It is time for studies questioning the safety and effectiveness of vaccines to receive a fair hearing in scientific journals rather than editors confining themselves to primarily publishing studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry maintaining that every vaccine is totally safe, effective and necessary.

Kudos to the British Medical Journal for having the integrity to publish  Dr. Jefferson’s comprehensive analysis of pharmaceutical money influence on vaccine studies published in the medical literature. Hopefully, this will be a wake-up call for the scientific community, Congress and the public to put an end to the undue influence the pharmaceutical industry has on the science and policy of mass vaccination in the U.S.

Dr. Mercola''s Comments Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has hit it on the head with this article. There are many disturbing issues at work behind and beneath the vaccine research that actually ends up seeing the light of day.

For example, the peer review process, which is the basic method for checking medical research to see if it’s fit to publish, is not without serious flaws.

For one, it’s almost impossible to find out what happens in the vetting process as peer reviewers are unpaid, anonymous and unaccountable. And although the system is based on the best of intentions, it lacks consistent standards and the expertise of the reviewers can vary widely from journal to journal.

This leaves the field wide open to reviewers to base their decisions on their own prejudices. And more often than not, there is a distinct tendency to let flawed papers through if their conclusion is favorable for the vaccine.

As Dr. John Ioannidis (see below) has previously stated, there appears to be an underlying assumption that scientific information is a commodity, and hence, scientific journals are a medium for its dissemination and exchange.

When scientific journals function in this manner, it has major consequences for the entire field of science and medicine, and ultimately for you and your family’s health – especially in the case of vaccines, as many wind up being mandated for all children.

While idealists will likely not agree with this viewpoint, realists can acknowledge that journals generate revenue and build careers. Publication is also critical for both drug development and marketing, which are needed to attract venture capital.

So, sad to say, it is ever so clear that the current system is highly susceptible to manipulation of both pocketbooks and ego’s.

Scientific Claims — A 50/50 Chance of Being True

Back in 2005, Dr. John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Ioannina School of Medicine, Greece, showed that there is less than a 50 percent chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper will be true.

Dr. Ioannidis did it again just last year, showing that much of scientific research being published is highly questionable. According to that analysis, the studies most likely to be published are those that oversell dramatic or otherwise considered important results.

Results that oftentimes turn out to be false later on.

Prestigious journals boast that they are very selective, turning down the vast majority of papers that are submitted to them. The assumption is that they therefore publish only the best scientific work.

But Dr. Ioannidis study of 49 papers in leading journals, which had been cited by more than 1,000 other scientists — in other words, well-regarded research — showed that within only a few years, almost a third of the papers had been refuted by other studies.

Making matters worse, the “hotter” the field, the greater the competition, and the more likely that published research in top journals could be wrong.

Who’s Paying for the Science?

One of the simple ways to evaluate how likely any manipulation has occurred is to track down who financed the study. The reason you want to do this is likely very obvious as it’s well known that studies funded by industry or conducted by researchers with industry ties tend to favor corporate interests.

This makes perfect logical sense if you consider that no one in their right mind would pay for a study, and then make sure it gets disseminated it if it turned out the drug or vaccine in question was ineffective, or worse, downright dangerous.

However sometimes this will be difficult to do as the funding is cleverly disguised through benign or even philanthropic-sounding front names.

What Does This Mean to Your Health?

First of all, you need to realize that medical journals have enormous influence on which drugs doctors prescribe, the treatment hospitals provide, and the vaccines that your child will be exposed to.

As Fisher explains above, more and more vaccines are being mandated based on the studies presumably showing them to be “safe and effective.” This is a travesty, and an absolute disaster for our youth.

Here are some other ways this flawed system of publishing industry-tainted science can, and does, influence medicine and your health:

  • Drug prescription deaths accounted for 95 percent of all unintentional and undetermined poisoning deaths in 2004
  • “Preventive” drugs and vaccines for everything from cancer to dental caries are on the rise, which, of course, are prescribed to perfectly healthy people
  • Pharmaceutical companies are also pushing for more and more non-logical uses of their drugs, such as administering the HPV vaccine to young boys, even though they do not have the prerequisite anatomy to contract the disease
  • Death attributed to psychotherapeutic drugs (anti-depressants and sedatives) nearly doubled, from 671 to 1,300 deaths between 1999 and 2004
  • State mandated drugging of children as young as three years old with psychiatric drugs is now on a steady rise
  • In January 2006, the FDA put in place the preemption protection scheme that bans private lawsuits against drug companies and physicians in state courts, once a drug has achieved the FDA’s stamp of approval

What Can You Learn From This?

When evaluating health news, it is wise to be cautious even if it’s published in a scientific journal. You must come to the realization that YOU are responsible for your, and your family’s, health; not me, not your doctor, and certainly not drug companies that try to convince you that your child not only needs every single vaccine mandated — and that every single one is safe — in order to sell their wares.

Remember, medicine is a business. And so are the journals publishing the science used as the basis for medicine and as such they are highly susceptible to major conflicts of interests because of the very large sums of money involved here.

Related Links:

February 25, 2009

Protecting our Health Freedoms

It is not always easy to stay informed, sometimes one just has to go with the gut as there seem to be so many “interests” out there – all angling to get our attention.  We don’t want to be “sold” something, what we want is to protect our freedoms and the right to choose that which so individually and personally affects us with special interest on “Choice,”  “Food,”  Vitamins and Minerals,  FDA,  Government regulations and laws.    I have been railing for years over the gradual creeping of the laws to limit our choices – all in the name of what is good for us.  I prefer to always make those decisions myself – not big brother or anybody else.   ANH, cited below is one such source you may want to look into as a source of current, important issues and info.  People like this are what keep the world turning on its axis.

* * * *

Alliance for Natural Health Call to ArmsThe Alliance for Natural Health has published two important articles that everyone should read and share. One is about the Codex threat, Codex being the commission on international food “standardization”, which could impose “upper safe limits” on vitamins and minerals, and restrict some substances altogether, similar to the European regulation that is already in place.

The second is about a recent misinformation campaign about nutrients that claims that vitamins and minerals are not helpful.

Find the details here: http://www.anhcampaign.org/node/2613.


dividers4

Mission Statement

The Alliance for Natural Health is working to help promote natural and sustainable healthcare through the use of ‘good science and good law’.


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.
—Margaret Mead (1901-1978), social anthropologist

Human health is suffering worldwide. The primary cause? Disconnection from nature and all things natural. The ANH is working to re-connect us. Play your part in the international campaign to regain and maintain our health naturally.

To download a one page briefing document about the Alliance for Natural Health (last updated June 2008), click here.

Home | Our Campaigns | Contact us | News | Events | Get Involved | Doc

I Worry about Sally Field

Sally Field is a special lady, wonderful actress and a favorite of mine and probably, many others as well.  No doubt, Big Pharma is counting on our affection for her; a family woman with the smiling face and a hit TV show (Brothers and Sisters).  So when she talks about wanting to protect her body by taking “Boniva” because her doctor told her it would  help to strengthen her bones even tho she has already experienced bone loss in spite of all the calcium she has been taking.  She is sincere in wanting to take care of her body, who wouldn’t?  But it literally breaks my heart – not only for her, but all those others who see this “ad” on TV and believe it.

The might and power of Big Pharma is beyond belief.  These companies come up with new products;  push their approval through the FDA with or without the proper testing, inconclusive  results – no problem, there are always doctors around who will gladly “endorse” and provide suitable necessary words to get the job done.  When it turns out that the new meds don’t really do much of a positive nature, cost a lot of money, have disturbing side effects and so on,  the meds are already “in” the system, espoused by your doctor and mine and everybody else’s.  It is sometimes years before we find out that the new med is in fact causing more damage to our bodies – sometimes irreversible,  than the good it was purported to promise in the first place.  This is a never-ending story.  We all read about such things, year in and year out. We shake our heads and wonder “Who the hell is supposed to be minding the store?”  Will things ever change in Washington? I can tell you – it NEVER WILL unless we as caring, informed citizenry make our voices heard – collectively.    We have a right to that.  We should not have to sue the government to get legitimate, fair and equitable protection in our rules and regulations.  Especially when it comes to our food and the medical establishments and Medicines.  We should not be having our choices in supplements and over-the-counter products slip thru the cracks beyond our ability to get what we need and are accustomed to buying freely and easily.    (psst, Jan – you’re on the soap box again!  Get back to the point you were trying to make.)   Damn!  . . okay.

I think I’ve got a few years on Sally Fields.  While I may not look as fine as she does, I bet my bones are in  better shape.  Do you know what I take for my bones?   Nothing special.  Not too much in the way of vitamins, just a multi with the basic stuff and trace minerals.  No calcium supplements.  No DAIRY.  Over  the years I have subscribed to a rather sophisticated and even ‘elite’ regimen of supplementation.  One CAN spend a fortune on such things.  Since getting involved with Dr. Mc Dougall and his vegetarian teachings (books, tapes, newsletters) I have followed his lead that supplementation is truly not necessary if one just gives the body what it needs to begin with  – – natural, whole foods.  So that is what I do.  A few years ago my doctor had me tested  to determine whether or not I’ve  experienced bone loss. Apparently I was fine and needed no calcium. Even so, he has recently suggested that I take Fosamax now as a precaution.  I don’t think so – thanks, but no thanks!  Regard the many large mammals, like cows, elephants, rhinos;   none of them require calcium supplementation.  Nature endowed them to develop and maintain those massive frames ingesting plant foods.  Nature did the same for us.  We thrive beautifully on a starch based diet.

For simplification, our food  falls  into 3 classifications: proteins,  fats and carbohydrates.  That’s it.  Our body can handle any or all of the above as it is adaptable and will make do with what we can provide.  Nice, huh?  There are so many other things which enter into what makes a human organism function optimally, but for my purpose, I want to address only these three classes of food, proteins, fats and carbs.

The carb field is wide and varied with spectacular assortment.  We primarily need some kind of complex carb (potatoes, rice, beans, legumes and grains (including corn), to satisfy hunger and stick to our ribs and give us energy.  Our life-style and energy needs dictate choices as well as our ethnic ambient and locational existence.   By and large, Asians prefer rices, Latin countries are heavily into grains and beans and many European nations have a penchant for potatoes of all kinds.  We seem to be most fond of potatoes and  grains here with a large hankering for noodles and pasta.  The great wars have given us proof that we can exist safely and well, exclusively on potatoes.  But in fact, we have a limitless array of vegetables and fruits to add variety and flavor accented with countless herbs and spices; it can get pretty exciting.  Kiwi, mango, pineapple, guava, melons and berries – all fit for the Gods.   The carb family is suitable to promote radiant health,  robust energy, a balanced and well-functioning organism free of diseases.  No cancer, diabetes,  cardio-vascular problems,  arthritis, foggy brain, MS,  obesity and so on.  Just great energy, flexibility and feeling good.

No, you say – we NEED protein!  Well, there is protein in every cell of every structure – it is the basic building block, and it is just the right kind and the right amount we need to function well.  Much of what we have been raised to believe is not factually correct.  There are no cases of anyone dying from a lack of protein.  On the other hand, because we have been sold this absurd distortion, Americans in particular are protein junkies – can’t get enough.   Our statistics on our levels of health reflecting the condition of our bodies is all we need to prove the point.  So many experts (one on every corner) are in unified agreement that we NEED protein – animal protein.  And yet, there is no agreement as to how much or why.  Many brilliant scientists tell us our ancestors were carnivores, while others advise that they were not – that grains have been found in the teeth of ancient human species to prove their point.  All very interesting; makes for good discussion – but is it important?  Can’t we just observe what seems to be working and accept that?  Can’t we forget about Big Pharma, big brother, Madison Avenue, the Dairy industry,  Agribusiness and the Livestock yards and Wall Street?  We have as much right to be healthy and to make the decisions we choose for ourselves per our priorities as anyone else who is after making a profit..

There is no question that we can ingest and handle animal protein and the associated fat as well.  We are adaptable as stated. Americans fall easily into over-proteinization due to our insatiable appetites.  We feast like royalty every day of the week in America.  This is to our detriment as it becomes an overload for our kidneys and liver whose job it is to filter out toxins and overloads and keep things running smoothly. Ingesting too much animal protein burdens these organs which in effort to filter and excrete excess material, requires extra calcium for the processing.  When the supply is not enough, calcium is taken from the bones. This process puts our organs into distress and shortens the life span of them.   What clues might we have that we are ingesting too much animal protein?   We get fat, loose energy,  our arteries become clogged – with that the cardio vascular system is impaired, oxygen is not carried to the cells as it should.   For a pretty good picture of all this, why not check out the post I did 7-01-08 of Dr Mc Dougall being interviewed by Tim Russert (posthumously). Protein, fats, diet and so on are all being discussed beautifully and poignantly.   Following all this, the body begins breaking down with all sorts of diseases.  Why?  As explained, this is a protein overload, more than our bodies can fully absorb and utilize.  It does the best it can for as long as it can before everything starts falling apart – the acid/alkaline balance goes out of control as it becomes too acid producing the condition which is known to be the perfect soil for germinating and allowing the fullness of all sorts of disease. Acid is the soil for a litany of diseases to thrive.   Quite a contrast to those dwelling on a starch-based diet,  right?  High protein equates to high fat for the diet for they seem inseparable. To this point, protein discussed that which is found in meat, fish or fowl.    How about  dairy?  The dairy dilemma is the big one (for me).

Most of us would rather do anything rather than give up the “dairy;”  the milk, cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, ICE CREAM,  the butter, eggs, yogurt – – oh my God, there is nothing left to eat!

When one really looks at this industry and what we have actually received from it in it’s entirety (not just the taste-bud satisfaction), it becomes a story with a different message.  Africans and Asians know the message well as they have an innate resistance due to the inability to tolerate lactose. . . .consequently, they live and thrive without dairy in their lives.  The reality is however, humans in general do not do well  ingesting dairy – it was never meant to be.  But it came to be anyway, creative individuals that we are, we found ways to do it.  This is not to say that we did not pay a great price for this indiscretion.  There is hormonal interference for both sexes, but to be sure, the females of our species have paid more dearly.  Our children enter puberty earlier and earlier.  (all the internal and external markers)  Menses is more problematic with hormonal/emotional fluctuations radically ranging all over the place;  discomfort from dreaded monthly pain to radical  incapacitation and seclusion;  with irregularity in the monthly pattern being a further stressor and perhaps more importantly, dairy consumption causes the lining of the uterus to become thickened, which leads to heavier menstrual flow to the point of hemmorraging, increased pain and discomfort.  Infertility problems increase preventing or delaying conception.  In addition, milk consumption in children can lead to anemia.   A strong but strange footnote to this is that the strongest bones in the world have been found in Asian and African population – – those who cannot consume milk/dairy and are primarily consuming a plant-based diet.  Seventy year old people have bones as strong as twenty years olds.  In our country we consume  lots of calcium supplements,  joyfully indulge all dairy products and still its not enough, we are given prescription bisphosphonates and with it all, our bone problems seem to grow worse.   Houston, we have a problem.

I would ask seekers of fully-in-depth-information backed by references and facts to research in Dr. McDougall’s archives which are well documented, intelligently delineated and rewarding in the richness of detail and connections.   Here, in this post I have attempted  to touch on remembered truths and sometimes not connected too well.  I have endeavored to cover those areas which are most relevant to me.  Some of the facts as they became apparent were not acceptable and it is the way of “mind” to justify and to make any conclusions desired seem right.  So in fact it took me longer  to come around than most of Dr McDougall’s aspirants who once shown the path to wholeness and health were quicker to grasp, accept and act on what they found.  Like many others, my life-long use of and fondness of ‘dairy’ found endless ways to justify continued use.  Clues were everywhere but my family and physicians did not know.   I had childhood anemia;  adolescent acne (way into my 40’s);  infertility problems with no apparent cause discernable;  difficult menses with irregularity, pain and hemmorraging.  It was finally the search for answers about why humans must endure the pain, deformity and incapacitation of arthritis, ending up invalidized and either in massive pain or drugged out of our skulls.  This wasn’t right and seemed contrary to our overall design.  Since I would not accept the drugs, my search forced me to deal honestly with the truth when I found it.  Giving up animal protein stopped the pain ( literally overnight).  The dairy was the last to go.  (but still slips in once in a while).

dividers4

(I retrieved this from McDougall archives because it is relevant to what is discussed here.  Please have a look.)

April 2008

<<< Return to Newsletter Home Page Printer Friendly pdf

Vol. 7, No. 04

John McDougall, MD

Patients Commonly Receive Misinformation on Osteoporosis Treatments

The ‘By the Way Doctor’ column in the February 2008 Harvard Health Letter ran questions from readers regarding the safety of the osteoporosis bisphosphonate drugs, such as Fosamax, Actonel, and Boniva. Dr. Anthony Komaroff M.D., Editor in Chief, responded to patient concerns about long term use and the risk of the side-effect of bone necrosis or bone death – particularly in the jaw. One of the correspondents had been taking Fosamax for 11 years. Bisphosphonates are now the first choice for treating and preventing osteoporosis and are widely prescribed worldwide to women and men who have low bone density and fear fragility fracture later in life.

Concerned by inaccuracies in the column, Gillian Sanson, author of ‘The Myth of Osteoporosis’ wrote the following to Dr Komaroff:

Gillian Sanson is a woman’s health educator and researcher in Auckland, New Zealand. She is the author of Mid-Life Energy and Happiness (Penguin Books NZ 1999) The Osteoporosis ‘Epidemic’: Well Women and the Marketing of Fear (Penguin Books NZ 2001) and The Myth of Osteoporosis (MCD Century Publications, MI 2003.  Her web site is www.gilliansanson.com.

Gillian is currently making a documentary on bisphosphonate drugs that considers how they have seamlessly replaced HRT as the universal osteoporosis prevention strategy despite questionable effectiveness, lack of long term safety data and known serious risks and side-effects. The film includes interviews with osteoporosis authorities, representatives of the FDA, the NIH and the WHO, researchers, women’s health advocates, and consumers.

January 31, 2008

Dear Dr. Komaroff,

Although no doubt intended to be helpful, your advice in response to recent questions in the Harvard Health Letter regarding the use of bisphosphonates could be misleading for readers as it appears to overstate the benefits and underplay the risks.

Whether bisphosphonates make bones stronger, as you advise, is questionable. They do not re-build bone, and although remineralisation and bone density increase occurs, the evidence for anti-fracture benefit from the drugs is minimal. Fosamax for example, is claimed to reduce hip fractures by 50 percent in high risk women with low bone density and previous vertebral fracture, but the actual or absolute reduction is one percent. In real terms, 90 such women would need to be treated for three years to prevent one hip fracture in one of them.1 It is estimated that hundreds of women aged 50 years with low bone density alone would need to be treated for more than 3 years to prevent one hip fracture in one of them. 2

Studies have found vertebral fracture benefit with Fosmax, Actonel and Boniva in high risk individuals where bone density is very low and there has been a previous vertebral fracture. But even then the drug will not benefit the majority who take it. For example, some 22 older women in this category would need to take Fosamax for three years to prevent one vertebral fracture discernible by X-ray in one of them. 3

Although bisphosphonates may favorably influence bone density loss, there are concerns that because their mechanism of action suppresses the bone remodeling process, long term use may result in brittle bones that are prone to fracture. 4 Increased bone mineralization has been shown to increase micro-fracturing in animal studies. 5 Of note, a Connecticut woman has this week sued Merck & Co., claiming that Fosamax caused multiple stress fractures and suppressed bone regeneration in her legs. 6 She took the drug from 1996-2006.
Bisphosphonates have an indefinite half-life of at least 10 years duration so the effect of the drug continues for better or worse once stopped. The amount of drug within the bone will accumulate with use thus continuing its effect for better or worse. There is no known method of removing the medication from the bones. The reader who questioned you had already been taking the drug for eleven years. Surely it would be prudent for her to discontinue at this point?
You maintain that “many well designed studies involving thousands of women have found that – at least for 10 years- the effect of bisphosphonates like ibandronate is to strengthen bone and prevent fractures”. There has only been one trial of any bisphosphonate that has continued for more than 5 years – the Fracture Intervention Trial extension. 7 This extension to the original trial is considered by many to be of little clinical value as it was small and poorly designed – and particularly flawed as the ‘placebo’ group had previously taken Fosamax for three or more years. Although the study showed that bone mineral density continued to increase with up to 10 years of Fosamax use, it is not at all clear that this meant a reduction in fracture. The research that answers this question has yet to be done. The small numbers precluded any definitive evidence regarding long term safety.
The gastro-intestinal side-effects of bisphosphonates have been well documented, and you will be aware that the FDA has this month issued an alert about the previously lesser known side-effect afflicting many users of chronic, often severe, joint and bone pain, swelling of ankles and feet, muscles cramping and stiffness, and difficulty walking. There is also evidence from a paper in the
January 15, 2008 Journal of Rheumatology that oral bisphosphonate drugs nearly triple the risk of developing bone necrosis. 8 They have also been found to double the risk of atrial fibrilliation. 9 The Systematic Review: Comparative Effectiveness of Treatments to Prevent Fractures in Men and Women with Low Bone Density or Osteoporosis in the February 8 2008 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that “data are insufficient to determine the relative efficacy or safety” of all the studied drugs. 10
A BMJ article this month (Jan 2008) warns that a series of recent scientific publications have exaggerated the benefits and underplayed the harms of drugs to treat pre-osteoporosis or “osteopenia”, potentially encouraging treatment in millions of low risk women. 11
In the absence of clear evidence for long term safety, and for benefits that outweigh the risks, the current practice of widely prescribing potent bisphosphonates needs to be reviewed. I am greatly concerned that the rush to provide costly and risky medical solutions for low bone density in healthy postmenopausal women is drawing attention away from the very important issues of preventing falls in the elderly, diagnosing genuine sufferers, and encouraging regular exercise and appropriate diet to maintain bone health.

Yours sincerely,
Gillian Sanson

www.gilliansanson.com


1. Black DM. Randomised trial of effect of alendronate on risk of fracture in women with existing vertebral fractures. Fracture Intervention Trial Research Group. Lancet 1996;348(9041):1535-41.

2. Cummings SR. Effect of alendronate on risk of fracture in women with low bone density but without vertebral fractures: results from the Fracture Intervention Trial. JAMA1998;280(24):2077-82.

3. Black DM. ibid

4. Ott, S.M. Long-Term Safety of Bisphosphonates J Clin Endocrinol Metab.2005; 90: 1897-1899.

5. Mashiba T, et al. 2001 Effects of suppressed bone turnover by bisphosphonates on microdamage accumulation and biomechanical properties in clinically relevant skeletal sites in beagles. Bone 28:524–531

6. Won Tesoriero, Heather. Suit Alleges More Health Problems From Merck’s Fosamax Drug heather.tesoriero@wsj.com

7. Ensrud KE, et al 2004 Randomized trial of effect of alendronate continuation versus discontinuation in women with low BMD: results from the Fracture Intervention Trial long-term extension. J Bone Miner Res 19:1259–1269

8. Etiminan M, et al. Use of Oral Bisphosphonates and the Risk of Aseptic Osteonecrosis: A Nested Case-Control Study. 2008. January 15 on-line Journal of Rheumatology http://www.jrheum.com/abstracts/abstracts08/13/0120.html

9. Black DM et al. Cummings SR et al. N Engl J Med 2007; 356:1809-1822,1895-1896

10. Maclean, C et al. Systematic Review: Comparative Effectiveness of Treatments to Prevent Fractures in Men and Women with Low Bone Density or Osteoporosis Annals of Internal Medicine 2008;148

11. Alonso-Coello, P at al. Drugs for pre-osteoporosis: prevention or disease-mongering? BMJ 2008; 336: 126- 129

<<< Return to Newsletter Home Page

Email this page to a friend or coworker

You may subscribe to this free McDougall Newsletter at http://www.drmcdougall.com

February 17, 2009

HFCS, loaded with Mercury

Most Common Source of Calories in U.S. is

LOADED With Mercury!

high-fructose corn syrup, HFCS, sodaAlmost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, according to a new study. Mercury was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient.

HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods. A high consumer can take in about 20 teaspoons of HFCS per day. The chemical was found most commonly in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments.

The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common.


Dr. Mercola''s Comments Dr. Mercola’s Comments:


In case you weren’t aware, the number one source of calories in the United States is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The average American consumes about 12 teaspoons of it every day, though as the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) pointed out, teens and other “high consumers” may consume 80 percent more than that.

Now it turns out that this widespread sweetener is contaminated with the toxic heavy metal mercury!

The samples were found to contain levels of mercury ranging from below a detection limit of 0.005 to 0.570 micrograms mercury per gram of HFCS. And this was from samples of popular name-brand foods and beverages, including

some made by Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smucker’s.

How Does Mercury Get Into Corn Syrup?

Although the makers of HFCS like to claim that it’s natural, it’s actually a highly refined product that would never exist in nature. Its manufacture involves an extensive process, one step of which is to separate corn starch from the corn kernel.

Caustic soda is used, among other things, to do this, and for decades mercury-grade caustic soda produced in industrial chlorine (chlor-alkali) plants has been used for this purpose.

Because mercury cells are used to produce some caustic soda, the caustic soda may become contaminated, and ultimately transfer that mercury contamination to the HFCS in your soda, salad dressing, soup, cereal, and so on.

Said IATP’s David Wallinga, M.D., a co-author of both studies:

“Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the FDA to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply.”

Isn’t it ironic that the Corn Refiners Association just recently spent around $30 million on an ad campaign designed to rehabilitate HFCS’s reputation as an unhealthy sweetener?

It’s going to take a lot more than a few TV commercials to explain away this latest revelation.

Why Consuming Mercury is a Bad Idea

Mercury acts as a poison to your brain and nervous system. This is especially dangerous for pregnant women and small children, whose brains are still developing. If infants or fetuses are exposed to mercury, it can cause:

• Mental retardation
• Cerebral palsy
• Deafness
• Blindness

Even in low doses mercury can interfere with a child’s development, leading to shortened attention span and learning disabilities.

In adults, mercury poisoning can be a serious risk as well, and has been linked to fertility problems, memory and vision loss, and trouble with blood pressure regulation. It can also cause extreme fatigue and neuro-muscular dysfunction, as experienced recently by Chicago actor Jeremy Piven.

Further, studies show that mercury in your central nervous system (CNS) causes psychological, neurological, and immunological problems including:

• Arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies
• Tremors
• Insomnia
• Personality changes and irritability
• Headaches

• Weakness
• Blurred vision
• Slowed mental response
• Unsteady gait

To make matters worse, mercury bonds very firmly to structures in your CNS. Unless actively removed, it has an extremely long half-life of somewhere between 15 and 30 years in the CNS! What this means is that consuming mercury-contaminated HFCS is probably cumulative, with the damage adding up over time.

Mercury is Not the Only Reason to Avoid HFCS

The fact that HFCS-sweetened food and drinks may contain mercury is enough to make me avoid them like the plague. But then again, I avoided them entirely even BEFORE this news came out and I strongly encourage you to take a similar stance.

Part of what makes HFCS such an unhealthy product is that it is metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar, and, because most fructose is consumed in liquid form (soda), its negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified.

Among them are:

Diabetes
Obesity
Metabolic Syndrome
• An increase in triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
Liver disease

Fructose also contains no enzymes, vitamins or minerals, and it leeches micronutrients from your body. Unbound fructose, which is found in large quantities in HFCS, can interfere with your heart’s use of minerals such as magnesium, copper and chromium.

Last but not least, HFCS is almost always made from genetically modified corn, which is fraught with its own well documented side effects and health concerns, such as increasing your risk of developing a food allergy to corn.

Want to Ditch HFCS?

If you’re healthy, occasional use of small amounts of corn syrup isn’t going to cause any health catastrophes. However, most people are not eating corn syrup in moderation. In 2007, Americans consumed an average of 56 pounds of HFCS each!

A large part of this was undoubtedly from soda, which, again, is the number one source of calories in the United States. So if you’re looking to cut back on HFCS, right off the bat one of the best things to do is to limit or eliminate soda and sugary drinks from your diet, and my turbo tapping technique can help you to do that.

This dangerous sweetener is also in many processed foods and fruit juices, so to avoid it completely you need to focus your diet on whole foods. If you do purchase any processed foods, make sure you read the label … and put it back on the shelf if it lists high-fructose corn syrup as an ingredient — especially if it’s the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient.

Next Page »

%d bloggers like this: