Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Aspartame in Milk Without a Label? Big Dairy Petitions FDA For Approval

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Two powerful dairy organizations, The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added to milk and other dairy products without a label.The FDA currently allows the dairy industry to use “nutritive sweeteners” including sugar and high fructose corn syrup in many of their products. Nutritive sweeteners are defined as sweeteners with calories.This petition officially seeks to amend the standard of identification for milk, cream, and 17 other dairy products like yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and others to provide for the use of any “safe and suitable sweetener” on the market.

They claim that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners would promote healthy eating and is good for school children.

According to the FDA notice issued this week:

IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products. They state that lower-calorie flavored milk would particularly benefit school children who, according to IDFA and NMPF, are more inclined to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school.
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World’s richest men aid GMO-promoting ‘Green Revolution’ center

gates
Associated Press/Eduardo Verdugo – From left, Chair of the International Center for Improvement of Corn and Wheat (CIMMYT) Sara Boettiger, Mexico state Gov. Eruviel Avila, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Mexican Secretary of Agriculture Enrique Martinez, Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim and CIMMYT Director General Thomas Lumpkin cut the ribbon at inauguration of the new research center for the CIMMYT in Texcoco, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Gates and Slim teamed up to to fund new seed breeding research which the CIMMYT says aims to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems to ensure global food security and reduce poverty. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

By MARK STEVENSON

Associated Press | Feb 13

TEXCOCO, Mexico (AP) — The research center largely responsible for launching the “green revolution” of the 1960s that dramatically raised crop yields is getting support from the world’s richest men to develop genetically-modified seeds to help farmers in the developing world grow more grain in the face of a changing climatic conditions and increased demand.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim donated a total of $25 million to build a new cluster of biotechnology labs at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico.

The facilities include hothouses “with high-efficiency air particle filters and a water treatment plant to prevent pollen and genetically modified material from escaping to the outdoors,” according to a statement by the billionaires’ foundations.

Both of the philanthropists were on hand for Wednesday’s inauguration of the new labs at the research center, known as CIMMYT, located just east of Mexico City.

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Bill Gates added $7billion to his wealth in 2012 alone (and that’s AFTER he gave away $28million)

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The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four-Fifths of All Antibiotics

It was yet another coming of age moment for GM crops, because the nonprofit CIMMYT has become known over the last 50 years for providing low-cost, improved seeds through hybridization efforts, using its vast stockpiles of native corn and wheat genes from across the world to cross-breed the best attributes, like drought-resistance.

But increasingly, genetic splicing is joining the older technique of cross-pollination as “one of the tools in the toolbox,” said CIMMYT Director Thomas Lumpkin.

While Lumpkin claimed that even hybridization represents a sort of genetic modification by selective planting and breeding, he noted that CIMMYT hasn’t shipped any true GM seeds yet, and acknowledged that some countries might have concerns.

“We want to facilitate the movement of those (genetic) traits to the countries of the developing world that request them, that want them,” Lumpkin said. “Nothing is being pushed, nothing is being forced, and CIMMYT will not profit.”

Gates noted there are “legitimate issues, but solvable issues” around wider GM crop use, and that solutions could include distributing GM crops that are patented but require no royalty payments.

That alone would be a big change in the spread of GM crops, which up to now have been largely controlled by a few big biotechnology and agricultural companies that charge steep rates for GM seed and sue any farmer who uses, even accidentally, their patented GM traits, like pest resistance.

CIMMYT, with its ties to farm agencies throughout the world, could be a conduit to deliver GM benefits to the developing world, which has largely been locked out of them.

GM traits could be developed by the center and donated, or they could be bought cheaply. That’s where Gates and his foundation could come in. With his help CIMMYT, which is known for charging farmers as little as possible, could pick up some of the older traits for low prices.

“Some of these traits are getting near the end of their patent life or are available from multiple entities, so that there’s even some competition there,” Gates noted.

Lumpkin said farmers may be scared by the legal risks of GM crops, noting “you can have a law suit of a million dollars” for unauthorized use of patented crops.

“So CIMMYT is primarily focusing on getting tried and true GMO traits that are widely used around the world and bring them to the poor farmers of the developing world, so that the women of the developing world don’t have to spend the entire cropping system pulling weeds in the field … when there is such a simple modification used by all of the farmers in the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, South Africa.”

“Why can’t these poor farmers have these same traits that have been used for 15 years in the developed world?” he asked.

Still national sensitivities in Mexico, where the CIMMYT was founded in 1963, are still strong. Mexico is the birthplace of corn, and concern that GM crops might displace or contaminate genetically-valuable native strains have so far held up large-scale planting of GM corn in Mexico, even as the country has been forced to import about half of its basic grain consumption.

“Under the guise of philanthropy, what they are doing is promoting the use of transgenetic crops, with rhetoric about ending hunger in the world,” said Aleira Lara, of Greenpeace Mexico. “Those things are myths.”

“These (GM) seeds are not any kind of magic wand for increasing production, and they bring new problems to the countryside,” like developing resistance among pests and weeds, Lara said.

Lumpkin noted that CIMMYT is already doing some GM corn research in Africa, but not in Mexico.

“We are doing some research here with wheat, which is not such a sensitive issue in Mexico,” he said.

Lumpkin warned that the world could face a recurrence of the kind of crisis that CIMMYT was able to stave off 50 years ago, this time brought about by new plant diseases, climate change, water shortages and increasing consumption of grain-intensive foods, like meat.

“On one hand, there is rapidly increasing demand … on the other hand, conditions for producing this food are deteriorating rapidly,” he said.

Without new research avenues, he warned, “we have all of the ingredients for a new global food crisis.”

 

Hardy Siberian children boost their immunity with buckets of cold water in MINUS 25C weather

kindergarten freeze
Despite the freezing temperatures in the city of Barnaul, a group of kindergarten children pour freezing water on themselves as part of their daily exercises

thesun.co.uk | Dec 26, 2012

IT’S minus 25C in Siberia, but it hasn’t stopped these kids enjoying the great outdoors.

Despite the freezing temperatures in the city of Barnaul, a group of kindergarten children pour freezing water on themselves as part of their daily exercises.

The children, with some as young as two, march into the freezing air and douse themselves with water from plastic pails.

The invigorating exercise is meant to do them good.

The kindergarten director Olesya Osintseva has 18 years experience working with children and believes the brutal regime keeps them healthy.

She encourages them to dress in swimming costumes, rub themselves in snow and frolic in the bitter cold.

And far from seeing it as a punishment, many of the children think it is great fun.

Olesya told The Siberian Times: “Some 18 years ago we gathered together teachers and doctors to speak about our children’s health.

“They were catching influenzas, and there were moments when half of the children attending the kindergarten were unwell.

“It was obvious that something needed to be done to make them grow stronger and be more resilient against viruses.

“This is how we came to the idea of boosting their immunity up by doing this exercise with buckets of chilly water outside in the cold.

“What six months of these water exercises showed was an immediately stronger resistance to illnesses. Our kids were now able to go to the kindergarten and even if someone had infection, they were no longer catching it.”

The children are not forced to join in with the soaking and parents can opt their children out.

Kids who do take part are out in the cold for around 90 seconds when they are encouraged to douse themselves in water and play in the snow.

According to the nursery, which is known as Rodnichok — or Water Spring, doctors confirm the children who do the exercises are more likely to make it through the flu season without illness.

Toxic mercury ban treaty exempts vaccines for children

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In this April 22, 2012, file photo, Holly Ann Haley, 4, gets vaccinations at the doctor’s office in Berlin, Vt., although the state continues to be embroiled in a debate about continuing to allowing parents to have their children skip the immunizations required for most to attend school. (Associated Press)

The treaty says that certain mercury-added products, such as batteries, lamps, switches, skin-lightening cosmetics, pesticides and thermometers, may not be manufactured, imported or exported no later than 2020.

Mercury-added dental amalgams are also to be phased out.

Treaty on mercury would not affect vaccines with thimerosal

Washington Times | Jan 19, 2013

By Cheryl Wetzstein

A global treaty to reduce toxic mercury in the environment has been completed and will be presented to countries for their agreement to control and reduce ways in which mercury is used, released or emitted.

Negotiations on the Minamata Convention on Mercury, named for the Japanese city that suffered severe mercury poisoning in the 1950s, finished in Switzerland on Saturday.

“Everyone in the world stands to benefit from the decisions take this week in Geneva — in particular, the workers and families of small-scale gold miners, the peoples of the Arctic, and this generation of mothers and babies and the generations to come,” said Achim Steiner, United Nations undersecretary-general and executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, which facilitated the meeting of delegates from 140 member states.

The treaty says that certain mercury-added products, such as batteries, lamps, switches, skin-lightening cosmetics, pesticides and thermometers, may not be manufactured, imported or exported no later than 2020.

Mercury-added dental amalgams are also to be phased out.

However, certain mercury-added products are to be exempted from the ban, including those used for military and civil protection, products with no mercury-free alternative, products used in religious or traditional practices and vaccines containing thimerosal, an ethylmercury preservative.

The omission of thimerosal-containing vaccines from the ban disappointed advocates who believe the preservative plays a role in sickening some children.

“Children’s health took a backseat to special interests. The only major purposeful exposure to mercury that didn’t get addressed was thimerosal,” said Eric Uram, executive director at SafeMinds, which seeks to eradicate autism and other health disorders caused by mercury and man-made toxicants.

However, use of thimerosal vaccines was supported by specialists who advise the World Health Organization, and groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Fifteen years of research “has failed to yield any evidence of significant harm” — including disorders such as autism — from using thimerosal in vaccines, Dr. Walter Orenstein, associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center at Emory University in Georgia, wrote in AAP’s Dec. 17, 2012, Pediatrics journal.

Millions of children in the developing world depend on multidose vaccines that can be stored without refrigeration; thimerosal prevents bacteria or pathogens from growing in these vaccines, added researchers Katherine King and colleagues in Pediatrics. “Banning thimerosal would amount to banning such multidose vaccines” that currently protect children from tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and hepatitis B, they wrote.

The United States uses thimerosal-free vaccines, except in some flu shots, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mercury is highly toxic to humans and animals when inhaled or ingested, and is particularly harmful to developing brains and nervous systems in children and fetuses.

Global mercury pollution, which will be curtailed under the new treaty, occurs through emissions from mining, power plants, smelters and cement production. Mercury has entered the global food chain, especially via fish and shellfish; shark, swordfish, tilefish and King Mackerel should not be eaten because of their high mercury concentrations, the Food and Drug Administration advises.

The signing of the global mercury ban will occur in October in Minamata, where thousands of Japanese citizens suffered death and injury from eating methylmercury-contaminated seafood from their local waters. It was later discovered that a local chemical factory had released its industrial wastewater into the surrounding waterways.

Warning: Most Flu Shots Contain Mercury

flu shot contains mercury

ecochildsplay.com | Jan 14, 2013

by Jennifer Lance

The flu has been getting a lot of media attention lately, as emergency rooms are filled with sick patients and pharmacies are running out of the flu vaccine.

There are two reasons NOT to get the flu vaccine:

1. Each year the flu vaccine is actually developed based on what researchers think will be prevalent.
WebMD explains:

Each year, the flu vaccine contains several different kinds of the virus. The strains chosen are the ones that researchers say are most likely to show up that year.

The mainstream media has featured many ill individuals who did receive the flu vaccination but are still very sick. Apparently, they were not protected from the strain that is prevalent currently.

2. Most flu shots contain mercury.
Mercury in the form of thimerosal is used as a preservative in most flu shots. This is the same thimerosal that was removed from childhood vaccines in the United States that has caused autism like symptoms in primates, even though the medical community does not support is correlation. Regardless scientific proof of autism and other potential negative side effects, mercury was removed from childhood vaccines in 2001. The CDC explains:

2001
Except for influenza (flu), thimerosal is removed from or reduced in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and under manufactured for the U.S. market.

October 1. IOM’s Immunization Safety Review Committee issues a report concluding there is not enough evidence to disprove claims that thimerosal in childhood vaccines causes autism, attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder, or speech or language delay.

May 5. A risk assessment of thimerosal use in childhood vaccines finds no evidence of harm from the use of thimerosal as a preservative, other than redness and swelling at the injection site…

2004
May 28. ACIP recommends that children between the ages of 6 and 23 months routinely receive an inactivated influenza (flu) vaccine. ACIP does not recommend using the thimerosal-free flu vaccine over the thimerosal-containing flu vaccine, and states that the benefits of flu vaccination outweigh any risk from thimerosal exposure.

 

There are four types of flu vaccine, and most of them contain thimerosal.  Again, we refer to the CDC:

Do the 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccines contain thimerosal?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several formulations of the seasonal flu vaccine, including multi-dose vials and single-dose units. (See Table of Approved Influenza Vaccines for the U.S. 2012–2013 Season.) Since seasonal influenza vaccine is produced in large quantities for annual immunization campaigns, some of the vaccine is produced in multi-dose vials, and contains thimerosal to safeguard against possible contamination of the vial once it is opened.

The single-dose units are made without thimerosal as a preservative because they are intended to be opened and used only once. Additionally, the live-attenuated version of the vaccine (the nasal spray vaccine), is produced in single-dose units and does not contain thimerosal.

It is possible to receive the flu vaccine without mercury, and it is always good advice to speak with your doctor, rather than rely on a blog such as this, for medical advice.  Personally, I would rather take my chances with the flu than be exposed to chemicals, such as mercury, as well as gamble on the effectiveness of the vaccine. That being said, people do die from the flu.  Typically, they are very young or very old or have a compromised immune system from another illness.  A healthy person will suffer from the flu, but they will survive.

Furthermore, many people experience flu like symptoms after receiving the flu vaccine.

I am on the tail end of the flu.  It has lasted for two weeks!  I don’t think it is the same strain featured on the news, as my fever has not been super high, but I have been suffering.

I have never had a flu shot.  Of my friends and family that do get vaccinated, they still get sick just as much as my family.

If you want to protect your family from the flu, the best natural methods are:

  1. Get plenty of rest
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Eat whole foods (7-10 servings organic fruit and vegetables)
  4. Plenty of Vitamin D!
  5. Wash your hands!

Toxic Corexit Producer Nalco Dismissed From Lawsuits Over 2010 BP Spill

corexit

Nalco said the claims for exposure-related injuries were preempted by federal law

bloomberg.com | Nov 28, 2012

By Margaret Cronin Fisk

Ecolab Inc. (ECL)’s Nalco Holding Co. unit, which provided a chemical dispersant used to deal with the 2010 BP Plc (BP/) Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has been dismissed from lawsuits over the incident.

BP used the Nalco dispersant to break up oil and reduce the harm to the Gulf Coast following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in April 2010. Plaintiffs sued Nalco, claiming the dispersant, called Corexit, was defective and more toxic than the oil itself.

Nalco said the claims for exposure-related injuries were preempted by federal law giving the government authority to direct all actions to remove a substantial spill. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans agreed, finding today that the claims were preempted by the U.S. Clean Water Act and the National Contingency Plan, which put the government in charge of the response.

“Nalco did not decide whether, when, where, how or in what quantities Corexit was applied in response to the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo Well oil spill,” Barbier said in a 36-page opinion today.

Barbier also said allowing such claims might harm an all- out response to future spills.

“If the court were to permit” the claims against Corexit, even if the product was found to be defective or dangerous, “then during the next substantial spill or ‘spill of national significance,’ the threat of liability might cause the manufacturer of dispersant X to refuse to provide its product,” Barbier said.
‘We’re Ecstatic’

Barbier said he wasn’t considering whether Corexit was toxic or defective, just that the claims against Nalco had to be dismissed as a matter of law.

“We’re ecstatic,” Michael J. Monahan, spokesman for St. Paul, Minnesota-based Ecolab, said today. “Its a vindication of the position we’ve had all along,” he said in a phone interview.

Steve Herman, an attorney for the plaintiffs, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail for comment on the dismissal.

The lawsuit is part of In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, MDL-2179, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

Agenda 21 – GMO Poison Documentary: Deteriorating health of Americans linked to Genetically Modified foods

When the US government ignored repeated warnings by its own scientists and allowed untested genetically modified (GM) crops into our environment and food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health of all living things and all future generations were put at risk by an infant technology.

After two decades, physicians and scientists have uncovered a grave trend. The same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock, and pets that have been fed GM foods are now on the rise in the US population. And when people and animals stop eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their health improves.

This seminal documentary provides compelling evidence to help explain the deteriorating health of Americans, especially among children, and offers a recipe for protecting ourselves and our future.

Youtube | Nov 9, 2012  by DocumentaryFeast

Agenda 21 – GMO Poison (Full Documentary) (1/2)

Agenda 21 – GMO Poison (Documentary) (2/2)