Dissenting Lawmakers Punished as Corporate Takeover of United States Advances

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By Dr. Mercola

Despite strong opposition, on June 24 the US Senate passed the Fast Track bill1,2 (known as Trade Promotion Authority or TPA) that gives the President carte blanche to negotiate and finalize free trade deals in complete secrecy, which brings us one step closer to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The TPP, which appears to be nothing short of a corporate takeover of global powers, has the legal ability to thwart all future attempts at protecting the public from genetically engineered (GE) foods, and for this (and many other reasons) mustbe stopped.

As explained by Ben Beachy and Ben Lilliston in recent interviews, the TPP, which involves the United States and 11 other countries around the Pacific Rim, is a vast expansion of terms already found in the notoriously unpopular North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

If ratified, the TPP will have tremendous ramifications for our health, economy, and environmental protections—not to mention the loss of individual, state, and national rights, as it sets up binding rules that supersede US law.

As noted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation3 (the primary concern of which is the TPP’s impact on digital regulations), we have but one narrow window of opportunity left.

The Fast Track legislation does force the White House to release the final trade agreement text 60 days before Congress votes on it, giving us a two-month long window to dissect it and convince our lawmakers not to ratify it.

In the meantime, we need to continue hammering our representatives, driving home the message that we will not accept a yes vote on TPP. Nor will we accept a yes vote on the Pompeo bill, which would also eliminate state rights to label and regulate GMOs.

Stop fast Track Bill

Call Your Congressman

  1. Find your congressman by clicking this link
  2. Write down what you will say. You can use facts in this article and otherarticles discussing the free trade deal, but tell them to oppose the TPP when it comes up for vote
  3. Rehearse what you will say
  4. Remember to be respectful

So please, contact your member of Congress and tell them to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While Fast Track passed, we may still prevent the TPP from becoming reality if we can convince Congress to vote against the ratification of it.

The time to apply pressure is right NOW. In addition to the source above, you can also find contact information for your state’s Congressman and additional information on the TPP via StopFastTrack.com, and ExposetheTPP.org.

Dissenting Lawmakers Punished

While it’s quite clear that contentious legislation slides through easier when enough palms have been greased, it’s rare to hear lawmakers speak out about it, and rarer still to hear them talk about retaliation when they refuse to go along with lobbying efforts.

Rep. Mark Meadows was stripped of his position as House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee chairman after voting against the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill—one of two bills that originally had to pass in order to advance Trade Promotion Authority.

Days later, Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) reinstated him, saying:4

“A number of people have asked me to reconsider that decision. Having spoken with Mark Meadows several times during the past week, I think we both better understand each other.

It is in the best interest of the committee to move forward together. Therefore, I have asked Mark to continue in his role as sub-committee chairman.”

According to the Washington Examiner:5

“The reversal is a victory for the dozens of conservative lawmakers who regularly buck the GOP leadership on key legislation because they believe it violates promises they made to constituents.It also comes on the same day that House GOP freshmen decided not to remove Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., as their class president after he voted against advancing the trade bill.

Many conservatives, including Meadows and Buck, belong to the newly formed House Freedom Caucus, which met this week to discuss ways they can defend themselves against retaliation by the GOP leadership. GOP leadership turned to punitive measures after the majority of the Republican conference complained to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, that the rebel group was never punished for continually defying the leadership on key votes.”

In addition to Meadows, three other Republicans were removed from the Republican whip team for voting against Fast Track. None of them have been reinstated.

Corporate Takeover of United States Threatens on Two Fronts

It’s quite clear that thwarting all efforts to label and/or restrict GE foods is now among the prime objectives on both the national and global level. Not only will the TPP dampen such efforts, the Pompeo “DARK” Act (HR 1599, “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”6,7,8) specifically preempts states’ rights to create their own GMO food labeling laws.

It should come as no surprise that the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) has played an integral role in the creation of this draconian bill, seeing how far it has gone already to keep you in the dark about the contents of your food.

Not only was it caught in an illegal money-laundering scheme during the Washington State GMO labeling campaign in 2013, designed to hide the identities of the donors to their anti-labeling campaign, it also (unsuccessfully) sued Vermont for passing a GMO labeling bill. The GMA is nothing if not a workhorse for Monsanto.

The latest expanded version of the Pompeo bill also preempts any and all state and local regulation of GE crops, and further weakens federal oversight.9 So, not only would it nullify existing regulation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), it also prohibits future laws from even being considered.

What does all of this tell you? If GMOs were as safe as proponents claim, why would the industry go to such lengths, at such great expense, to deny consumers the right to know they’re eating them, and to strangle regulatory oversight?

Moreover, rather than simply labeling foods containing GMOs, Pompeo’s bill would require the creation of a USDA non-GMO certification program similar to its National Organic Program—essentially shifting all of the costs over to those who want to declare that their foods are not GMO.

But why should foodmakers using historically “normal” and genetically unadulterated ingredients be the one shouldering the cost of certification and labeling instead of labeling GMOs? This entire system is backasswards. If GMOs were labeled, as they rightfully should be, there would be no need for GMO-free labeling, which is really just a workaround to give consumers what they want—the right to make an informed purchasing decision.

GMO Safety Based on Flawed Arguments

The arguments for GMO safety are inherently flawed. The primary ingredients derived from GE crops for human consumption is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—the number one source of calories for Americans—sugar from GE sugar beets, and highly processed industrial vegetable oils from soy and cottonseed. All of these ingredients have been clearly demonstrated by science to be primary causes of disease in the US, producing obesity, heart disease, cancer, and chronic poor health.

So even if these crops weren’t genetically modified, they would be a health disaster, but adding resistance to a toxic poison like glyphosate turns these foods into a health time-bomb. Researchers have convincingly shown that these crops  absorb more glyphosate than treated non-GE crops.10

Glyphosate was recently classified as a Class 2A “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s (WHOs) research arm on cancer, and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) admits foods are not tested for glyphosate residues due to the high expense of doing so.11 So, GE corn, soy, cottonseed, and sugar beets are known to contain higher levels of a probable carcinogen, which the government does not test for—that in and of itself is cause for labeling GMOs. Yet no one has addressed these basic and indisputable points on safety during any of the Pompeo bill hearings. The fact that so many lawmakers are willing to sacrifice public health for Monsanto’s financial gain is astounding.

Monsanto Invests in More Toxic Chemicals

Monsanto began as a war chemical company, and it shows no signs of changing its ways. Not only is it trying to buy Syngenta, the world’s largest pesticide producer, it also plans to invest at least $1 billion in a dicamba pesticide production facility.12 Dicamba-13 and 2,4-D-resistant GE crops are in the pipeline since glyphosate resistance has spread among weeds, and yet again Monsanto proves it is in the business of selling toxins, not food.

Monsanto’s new Roundup Ready Xtend cotton and soybeans are engineered to be resistant to a combination of glyphosate and dicamba, while Dow AgroSciences’ new breed of Enlist Duo corn and soybeans are resistant to a combination of glyphosate and  2,4-D.

Remember, glyphosate has now been classified a probable human carcinogen. Recent research also shows that Monsanto’s Roundup formulation promotes antibiotic resistance by priming pathogens to more readily become resistant to antibiotics. The World Health Organization’s cancer research agency also recently placed 2,4-D on its list of Class 2B “possible” carcinogens. As reported by Greenwire.14

“According to a press release from the International Agency on the Research of Cancer, there is ‘strong evidence’ that 2,4-D induces oxidative stress, a mechanism that can cause damage to human cells, and moderate evidence that 2,4-D suppresses the immune system, based on animal studies.”

Basically, the vast majority of the corn and soy found in American processed foods is grown with carcinogens, and the chemical technology industry now running the food industry is hell-bent on not disclosing these toxic facts—and our politicians are letting them get away with it. Adding insult to injury, Monsanto is now performing linguistic gymnastics in an effort to hide the exact nature of these toxins by referring to them as “seed and crop protectants” instead of herbicides and pesticides.15

The chemical technology industry as a whole is also trying to rename and rebrand itself to disguise its true nature. On June 17, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) renamed itself the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.16 Basically, they want to remove the idea of “industry” from the industry, as this word has acquired increasingly negative connotations associated with world domination and lack of concern for anyone but share holders.

Protect Your Right to Know

In a short but excellent and to the point op-ed published by The Hill,17 Mark Mellman sums up the current situation by saying:

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is moving a bill dubbed the Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, which would make it illegal for states to require labels indicating whether foods contain genetically modified organisms, quashing states’ rights.

It also makes a mockery of another right: Do you believe you have the right to decide for yourself whether to eat GMO foods?…[D]enying consumers the right to know what’s in their food makes it effectively impossible for consumers to exercise their right to decide.p

Members jumping on Pompeo’s bandwagon are not only flouting common sense, they are defying public opinion.Eighty-eight percent of voters favor ‘requiring labels for foods that have been genetically modified or contain genetically modified ingredients,’ with more than 70 percent saying they are strongly in favor.

Just 6 percent of the electorate oppose requiring labels… In standing against GMO labeling, Pompeo and the other members supporting his bill are standing with less than 6 percent of the electorate…

So what’s Pompeo’s purpose?…[H]e says he worries that labeling will increase food prices. Really? Printing the words ‘Contains GMOs’ will raise the price of food? Companies regularly change their labels and don’t hike their prices. Does the cost of a box of Wheaties go up every time a new champion is pictured on the front of the box? The federal government is already requiring changes to be implemented soon in nutrition labels. Piggyback GMO labeling on that and the incremental cost is literally zero.”

Take Immediate Action: Tell Your Congressman to Vote NO on Pompeo’s Bill, HR1599

More than 60 other nations, including Russia and China, already require GE foods to be labeled, and nearly 90 percent of Americans want GMO labeling. Pompeo’s bill simply MUST be stopped, but to do so we need everyone to put pressure on your federal representatives. Demand they vote NO on the Pompeo bill. We need to do everything we possibly can to prevent it from passing, so please, take action now! Tell your representative to support consumer and state rights by rejecting Rep. Pompeo’s bill, H.R. 1599.

What Are GMOs?

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I’ve stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back. That’s why I push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically “lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Recently, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) has reintroduced a bill (HR 1599) that would preempt states’ rights to enact GMO labeling laws. This bill would create a federal government program to oversee guidelines for voluntary labeling of products that do not contain GMOs. It would specifically prohibit Congress or individual states from requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients. It would also allow food manufacturers to use the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs. TAKE ACTION NOW! Your local representatives need to hear from you! Please contact them today by CLICKING HERE.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Non-GMO Food Resources by Country

Together, Let’s Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

 

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Will New 2015 Dietary Guidelines Reverse Four Decades of Foolish Fat Phobia?

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By Dr. Mercola

Every five years, the US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) convene a 15-member panel to update the nation’s dietary guidelines.

The panel’s mission is to identify foods and beverages that help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent disease. In addition to guiding the public at large, the guidelines significantly influence nutrition policies such as school lunch programs and feeding programs for the elderly.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) scientific report is an integral part of this process, as it serves as the foundation for the development of the dietary guidelines.

The DGAC submitted its 2015 Scientific Report1,2,3,4 to the HHS and USDA in February 2015, which, to many people’s surprise, included the elimination of warnings about dietary cholesterol.

Another remarkable turnaround is the Advisory Committee’s revised stance on fats. As noted in a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)paper,5 the latest advisory report reverses nearly four decades of nutrition policy.

“[The new DGAC report] concluded, ‘Reducing total fat (replacing total fat with overall carbohydrates) does not lower CVD [cardiovascular disease] risk…

Dietary advice should put the emphasis on optimizing types of dietary fat and not reducing total fat.’

Limiting total fat was also not recommended for obesity prevention; instead, the focus was placed on healthful food-based diet patterns that include more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, legumes, and dairy products and include less meats, sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, and refined grains…

In finalizing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, the US Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services should follow the evidence-based, scientifically sound DGAC report and remove the existing limit on total fat consumption.”

Research has consistently demonstrated that low-fat diets do not prevent heart disease. On the contrary, the low-fat craze has undoubtedly done more harm than good, as your body needs healthy fat for optimal function.

Unfortunately, the DGAC doesn’t go so far as to set the record straight with regards to saturated fats, as it makes no firm distinction between healthy saturated fats and decidedly unhealthy trans fats.

Still, if the DGAC’s conclusions on total dietary fat consumption make it into the HHS and USDA’s final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which will be published later this year, it will certainly be a step in the right direction.

Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Ditches Cholesterol and Total Fat Limits

Healthy fat and cholesterol have, for decades, been wrongfully blamed for causing heart disease, and it’s like a breath of fresh air to finally see the advisory committee is taking note of the accumulated science.

With regards to cholesterol, the panel concluded it “is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption,” noting the absence of a link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease.

Until now, the American dietary guidelines have recommended limiting dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams (mg) per day, which amounts to about two eggs. As noted by Steven Nissen, chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic:

“Many of us for a long time have believed the dietary guidelines were pointing in the wrong direction. It is long overdue.”

Similarly, the report recognizes that reducing total fat intake has no bearing on heart disease risk either. Nor does it reduce your risk of obesity. Instead, mounting research shows that sugar and refined grains are in fact the primary culprits.

Saturated fats are actually important for optimal health, and those with insulin/leptin resistance may need upwards of 50-80 percent of their daily calories from healthy fat—far more than the upper limit suggested by current federal guidelines.

As noted by Forbes Magazine:6

“[T]he recommendation to have no more than 35 percent of your calories coming from fats is over. ‘Placing limits on total fat intake has no basis in science and leads to all sorts of wrong industry and consumer decisions,’ said Dariush Mozaffarian, one of the authors of the new [JAMA] paper.7

“Modern evidence clearly shows that eating more foods rich in healthful fats like nuts, vegetable oils, and fish have protective effects, particularly for cardiovascular disease.

Other fat-rich foods, like whole milk and cheese, appear pretty neutral; while many low-fat foods, like low-fat deli meats, fat-free salad dressing, and baked potato chips, are no better and often even worse than full-fat alternatives. It’s the food that matters, not its fat content.”

A High-Quality Fat Diet May Be Key to Weight Management

The idea that a low-fat diet would help you lose weight has been proven wrong. Low-fat recommendations are likely to do more harm than good across the board, but may be particularly counterproductive if you’re trying to lose weight.

Contrary to “conventional wisdom,” mounting evidence clearly shows a high-fat, low-carb diet can be exceptionally effective for weight loss—provided you’re eating the right kinds of fats. Sources of healthy fats include:

Olives and olive oil(for cold dishes) Coconuts andcoconut oil (for all types of cooking and baking) Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
Raw nuts, such as macadamias and pecans Organic pastured egg yolks Avocados
Grass-fed meats Palm oil Unheated organic nut oils

While trans fats found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils do promote heart disease, saturated fats are not only essential for proper cellular and hormonal function, they also provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet.

The high-fat, low-carb combination is therefore ideal because when you cut down on carbs, you generally need to replace that lost energy by increasing your fat consumption. By boosting total fat and reducing non-vegetable carbs, you effectively “reset” your body to burn fat instead of sugar.

Not only can this promote highly efficient weight loss, you don’t have to feel like you’re starving to do it. Fat (which burns slower than sugar) is far more satiating, effectively cutting hunger pangs. This was recently demonstrated in an Australian study8,9 published in Obesity Reviews. The researchers found that people who were on ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb) diets experienced a gradual reduction in overall appetite, despite the overall cut in calories.

According to the authors:

“Although these absolute changes in appetite were small, they occurred within the context of energy restriction, which is known to increase appetite in obese people. Thus, the clinical benefit of a ketogenic diet is in preventing an increase in appetite, despite weight loss, although individuals may indeed feel slightly less hungry (or more full or satisfied).

Ketosis appears to provide a plausible explanation for this suppression of appetite. Future studies should investigate the minimum level of ketosis required to achieve appetite suppression during ketogenic weight loss diets, as this could enable inclusion of a greater variety of healthy carbohydrate-containing foods into the diet.”

Research into the health benefits of ketogenic diets has also revealed a number of other beneficial effects besides weight loss. Diabetes, epilepsy, and even cancer may benefit from a high-fat, low-carb diet. Drs. Thomas Seyfried and Dominic D’Agostino have both investigated the effects of ketogenic diets on cancer, coming to the conclusion that it effectively “starves” cancer cells, as cancer needs glucose to thrive.

The Importance of Omega-3 Fat

Another healthy fat that most people get too little of is the omega-3 fat docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Approximately 60 percent of your brain is composed of fats—25 percent of which is DHA. Omega-3 fats such as DHA are considered essential because your body cannot produce them, so you must get them from your daily diet. Aside from benefiting your brain, they’re also a potent anti-inflammatory.

Recent research10,11 shows omega-3 supplementation can help reduce inflammation in people with chronic kidney disease, but chronic inflammation is a hallmark of most chronic disease, including but not limited to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and cancer. So omega-3 is important for general, overall health, and can be beneficial no matter what chronic health condition you’re afflicted with.

Swedish researchers recently found that seniors who eat plenty of fish and vegetables live longer than those who do not. As reported by Reuters:12 “Among more than four thousand 60-year-old men and women, those with the highest blood levels of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), which come from fish and plants, were significantly less likely to die from heart disease or any cause over about 15 years than those with the lowest levels.”

Generous amounts of PUFAs are found in fatty fish such as salmon and herring. They’re also found in avocados, olives, and raw nuts. Unfortunately, the vast majority of fish is too contaminated to eat on a frequent basis. Most major waterways in the world are contaminated with mercury, heavy metals, and chemicals like dioxins, PCBs, and other agricultural chemicals, which is why, as a general rule, I no longer recommend getting your total omega-3 requirements from fish.

Instead, I recommend taking an animal-based omega-3 fat such as krill oil on a regular basis, while simultaneously limiting damaged omega-6 fats found in vegetable oils and processed foods. These two strategies will help normalize your omega-3 to omega-6 ratios, which is an important consideration for optimal health.

If You Want to Eat Fish, Choose Wisely

That said, I do make one exception when it comes to eating fish.

The nutritional benefits of wild-caught Alaskan salmon or sockeye salmon, I believe, still outweigh the risk of potential contamination. The risk of sockeye accumulating high amounts of mercury and other toxins is reduced because of its short life cycle, which is only about three years. Bioaccumulation of toxins is also reduced by the fact that it doesn’t feed on other, already contaminated, fish.

Moreover, neither Alaskan salmon nor sockeye salmon are allowed to be farmed, which is another safety factor. For a less expensive alternative to salmon fillets, look for canned salmon labeled “Alaskan salmon.” If you want to be on the safe side, you may also consider taking some chlorella tablets along with your meal. Chlorella is a potent mercury binder and if taken with the fish will help bind the mercury before you are able to absorb it, so it can be safely excreted in your stool.

Besides wild-caught salmon, smaller fish with short lifecycles also tend to be better alternatives in terms of fat content, so that’s another alternative if you want to eat fish. A general guideline is that the closer to the bottom of the food chain the fish is, the less contamination it will accumulate. Good choices include sardines, anchovies, and herring.

Cheese Is a Health Food

Cheese has long been demonized courtesy of its saturated fat content, but as the saturated fat myth has come under increasing scrutiny, this food may soon experience a revival as well. Many recent studies into the health effects of cheese have come to exonerating conclusions. Joanna Maricato, an analyst at New Nutrition Business, recently told FoodNavigator-USA:13

“Nutritional science, like all sciences, is constantly evolving. In the past, studies focused on analyzing individual nutrients and their effects on the body. Now, there is a growing tendency to look at foods and food groups as a whole, without pre-judgments based on their content of an individual content of an individual nutrient. As a consequence, amazing results are appearing from studies on dairy and particularly cheese, proving that the combination of nutrients in cheese has many promising health benefits that were never considered in the past.”

Indeed, cheese—especially when made from the milk of grass-pastured animals—is an excellent source of several important nutrients, including:

  • High-quality protein and amino acids
  • High-quality saturated fats and omega-3 fats
  • Vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamins A, D, B2 (riboflavin), and B12
  • Vitamin K2 (highest amounts can be found in Gouda, Brie, Edam. Other cheeses with lesser but significant levels of K2: Cheddar, Colby, hard goat cheese, Swiss, and Gruyere)
  • CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a powerful cancer-fighter and metabolism booster

Even if you’re lactose intolerant, there are many cheeses you will likely tolerate as most of the lactose is removed during the cheese making process. There is a major difference between natural cheese and processed “cheese foods,” however. Natural cheese is a simple fermented dairy product made with just a few basic ingredients — milk, starter culture, salt and an enzyme called rennet. Salt is a crucial ingredient for flavor, ripening, and preservation.

You can tell a natural cheese by its label, which will state the name of the cheese variety, such as “cheddar cheese,” “blue cheese,” or “brie.” Real cheese also requires refrigeration. Processed cheese or “cheese food” is a different story. These products are typically pasteurized and otherwise adulterated with a variety of additives that detract from their nutritional value.

The tipoff on the label is the word “pasteurized.” A lengthier list of ingredients is another way to distinguish processed cheese from the real thing. Velveeta is one example, with additives like sodium phosphate, sodium citronate, and various coloring agents. A final clue is that most don’t require refrigeration. So, be it Velveeta, Cheese Whiz, squeeze cheese, spray cheese, or some other imposter — these are NOT real cheeses and have no redeeming value.

Raw Cheese from Pasture-Raised Animals Is Best

Ideally, the cheese you consume should be made from the milk of grass-fed animals raised on pasture, rather than grain-fed or soy-fed animals confined to feedlot stalls. The biologically appropriate diet for cows is grass, but 90 percent of standard grocery store cheeses are made from the milk of cows raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Not only does raw cheese have a richer flavor than cheese made from pasteurized milk, as heat destroys enzymes and good bacteria that add flavor to the cheese, grass-fed dairy products are also nutritionally superior:

  • Cheese made from the milk of grass-fed cows has the ideal omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio of 2:1. By contrast, the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of grain-fed milk is heavily weighted on the side of omega-6 fats (25:1), which are already excessive in the standard American diet. Grass-fed dairy combats inflammation in your body, whereas grain-fed dairy contributes to it.
  • Grass-fed cheese contains about five times the CLA of grain-fed cheese.
  • Because raw cheese is not pasteurized, natural enzymes in the milk are preserved, increasing its nutritional punch.
  • Grass-fed cheese is considerably higher in calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, D, and E.
  • Organic grass-fed cheese is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.

Take-Home Message: You Need Unprocessed Saturated Fat—It’s Good for You

Focusing your diet on raw whole, ideally organic, foods rather than processed fare is perhaps one of the easiest ways to sidestep dietary pitfalls like excess sugar/fructose, harmful trans fats, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other harmful additives, while getting plenty of healthy nutrients. The rest is just a matter of tweaking the ratios of fat, carbs, and protein to suit your individual situation. One key though is to trade refined sugar and processed fructose for healthy fat, as this will help optimize your insulin and leptin levels.

Healthy fat is particularly important for optimal brain function and memory. This is true throughout life, but especially during childhood. So, if processed food still make up the bulk of your meals, you’d be wise to reconsider your eating habits. Not only are processed foods the primary culprit in obesity and related diseases, including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, processed foods can also affect the IQ of young children. One British study14 revealed that kids who ate a predominantly processed food diet at age three had lower IQ scores at age 8.5.

For each measured increase in processed foods, participants had a 1.67-point decrease in IQ. Another study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics15,16,17 also warns that frequent fast food consumption may stunt your child’s academic performance. For more detailed dietary guidance, please see my optimal nutrition plan. It’s a step-by-step guide to feeding your family right, and I encourage you to read through it. I’ve also created my own “food pyramid,” based on nutritional science, which you can print out and share.

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Researcher Reveals Monsanto Has Known Since 1981 That Glyphosate Promotes Cancer

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By Dr. Mercola

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup, is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world.

An estimated one billion pounds a year is sprayed on our food crops,1,2resulting in the average American eating several hundred pounds of glyphosate-contaminated food every year.

How might that affect your health? Dr. Anthony Samsel is an expert in this area, and in this interview, he reveals a number of glyphosate’s adverse effects.

Armed with this understanding, you’ll likely be far more motivated to eliminate this pernicious toxin from your diet—and to take action to get it out of our food supply so that everyone can be protected.

Dr. Samsel is a research scientist who is passionate about farming, gardening, and agriculture, making him particularly suitable for investigating glyphosate.

“I was with the ‘think tank,’ Arthur D. Little (ADL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts for many years working as a research scientist on many types of projects, from product development to environmental sciences to later switching to health sciences,” he says.

He’s also done contract work for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and as a hazardous materials expert, he’s worked for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the United States Navy (USN), and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

For example, Dr. Samsel was one of the authors of the Chemical Hazard Response Information System (CHRIS) manual for the US Coast Guard.  He is also a valuable contributor to our article comments section (Vital Votes).

Besides his career in science, he also owned and operated several farms in New England, and it was this first-hand experience that led him to begin investigating the effects of glyphosate in the first place.

“I started using glyphosate myself commercially around the farm and my properties back in the late ’70s or early ’80s, when it first came on the market,” he says.

“I believed the hype like all the other farmers and people around the world do, that glyphosate is as safe as salt and that it broke down into harmless chemicals that did no harm. I believed all that stuff until I started studying the chemical.

Being a research scientist, a chemist, I knew what to look for. Having worked in public health, I was familiar with how chemicals had effects on the human body and on animals. So I started approaching it from that aspect.

As far as my own health, it started to suffer. That’s what put me on the road to take a look at this chemical because I was using it.”

Human Urine Turning into Herbicide…

One interesting experience that got him thinking was when he tried to deter deer from eating his crops. He’d run out of coyote urine, which is an effective deterrent, so he used his own urine.

Curiously, he noticed the weeds where he’d sprayed his urine were dying, despite the fact he’d not sprayed any Roundup there. He then realized his own urine was acting like an herbicide!

“I did some controlled experiments in the greenhouse with some plants and the same thing happened. Those plants died. Then, I started looking at my diet,” he says.

“The only organic food I was eating was out of my own garden and the stuff that I would can and preserve. But for everything else, I’d go to the supermarket and I ate boxed food and what-not. I started to put two and two together; that maybe this was the reason why I wasn’t feeling good.

Then I started looking into glyphosate because I was using it. That was my primary chemical exposure other than my food.

Then I realized they were using [glyphosate] on genetically engineered crops, and I started looking at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to see what food would have glyphosate or glufosinate in them.

[Glufosinate] is similar to glyphosate and used in genetically engineered crops. It’s not as widely used as glyphosate, but that’s still a problem to public health. All herbicides are ‘a’ problem to public health. There should be no herbicides in our food supply. None.”

90 Percent of Soybeans Found to Contain Glyphosate Residues

Unfortunately, testing for glyphosate and glufosinate is expensive and is the excuse the USDA uses for not  testing for it, and no contamination data was available for Dr. Samsel to review.

Eventually, he convinced the USDA to release the results of a series of tests in 2011. In all, they tested 400 samples of soybeans, and they found more than 90 percent of the soybeans had glyphosate residues in them.

However, when the agency sent him a pre-publication copy of the report, he noticed they were only reporting on 300 out of the 400 samples.

“I started looking at the data. I noticed that the amount of aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), which is the metabolite of glyphosate, was greater than that of the glyphosate itself.

If you analyze the glyphosate, you’re going to get glyphosate if the residue is in the crop, but you’re also going to get the metabolite AMPA. But looking at the numbers, they just didn’t make sense. I believed they’ve cherry-picked the data so that the data didn’t exceed the EPA residue limits,” he says.

Unfortunately, when he tried to get an explanation for the discrepancy in the data, his USDA contact was no longer working there, and he hasn’t been able to find him since.

Advocacy Group Now Offers Testing for Glyphosate in US

While the USDA does not test food for glyphosate residues, this may soon change. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced US regulators may start testing for glyphosate residues in the near future3,4,5due to rising consumer concerns about the health impact of this chemical.

Meanwhile, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has joined forces with the Feed the World Project, launching the world’s first glyphosate testing for the general public.6,7,8,9 As reported by the OCA:

“The project, with specific focus on women and children in the US, is offering the first-ever validated public LC/MS/MS glyphosate testing for urine, water and soon breast milk… The testing OCA, Feed the World and many other organizations will begin offering [on April 22] will allow everyone who wants to know whether or not, and to what extent, they personally have been exposed to glyphosate.

We expect that once the public learns how widespread the exposure has been—in the context of the recent report from the World Health Organization that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen—public pressure will eventually force governments worldwide to finally ban Roundup.”

The Importance of Bacteria for Optimal Health

Dr. Samsel understood that his gut problems were related to bacteria and that just as healthy soil needs beneficial microbes, so does your gut. This was something instilled in him by his grandfather, who taught him that healthy bacteria in the soil help grow healthy crops. Not surprisingly, when he cleaned up his diet, his gut dysbiosis cleared up, as did a number of neurological problems he’d started experiencing.

At that point, he began delving deeper into the science of the human microbiome. Many are unaware of the fact that glyphosate is patented as an antibiotic. It’s designed to kill bacteria, which is one of the primary ways it harms both soils and human health. Recent research has even concluded that Roundup (and other pesticides) promotes antibiotic resistance. Dr. Samsel was actually the person who dug up the patents showing glyphosate is a biocide and an antibiotic.

“Some of the pathogens, like Salmonella and Pseudomonas, are resistant to glyphosate. When we ingest residues of glyphosate, glyphosate in the acidic environment dissociates. The acid glyphosate then is able to do a number on the bacteria, the same as it does in plants. It kills plants and bacteria in our plants.

Our gut has a beautiful ‘lawn’ of upwards of a thousand various species. Each species of bacteria has a specific function. We might liken the bacteria of our microbiome to mining and manufacturing companies. You might visualize the bacteria with mining helmets and pick axes. They mine the minerals in your biology that your body needs as co-factors for various biochemical processes. Your bacteria also manufacture vitamins and other biomolecules that are essential.

Even some of your fatty acids, which serve as signaling molecules, are manufactured by your bacteria. Our bacteria manufacture most of our B vitamins – B6, B9, and B12, which is cobalamin – essential to our neurology. Bacteria also manufacture vitamin K and some of your vitamin C. We have a symbiotic relationship with these bacteria. We help them and they help us. They take the food and they don’t just break it down and obliterate it to unrecognizable things. They dismantle the food, and they utilize everything that’s in the food.”

Bacteria Also Produce Essential Amino Acids and More

Bacteria are also responsible for producing essential amino acids such as tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine. So in addition to chelating out various vitamins and other important elements, glyphosate also disrupts bacteria manufacturing aromatic amino acids. It also disrupts methionine, a sulfur amino acid crucial for detoxification, and glutamate. All of this can have a profound influence on your biology. For example, as Dr. Samsel explains:

“Glyphosate disrupts the aromatic amino acid tryptophan, and tryptophan is necessary for the production of serotonin. Of course, from serotonin, we make melatonin and from melatonin, we make melanin. There are several biomolecules that are very important to your health and biology. Serotonin regulates and controls blood sugar. It also regulates IGF-1, which is insulin-like growth factor. IGF-1 is necessary for neurogenesis, for your ability to produce new neurons throughout life, and also for regulation of your physiology. Serotonin also activates the enzyme endothelial-derived nitric oxide synthases (eNOS), which is responsible for insulin secretion.”

Serotonin also catalyzes nitric oxide (NO) production in the vasculature providing airway tone and smooth muscle relaxation, and 90 percent of your serotonin—which is known as a neurotransmitter—is actually produced in your gut by certain bacteria,not in your brain.

Today, millions of prescriptions are being written for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are designed to increase serotonin in your brain. Yet 90 percent of it is manufactured in our gut! Dr. Samsel gave another excellent interview with Zen Honeycutt10 in 2013, in which he describes the impact glyphosate has on your gut bacteria, so for more information, please listen to the following helpful interview as well.

Monsanto Has Known for Nearly 35 Years That GMOs Promote Cancer

Dr. Samsel eventually asked the EPA for Monsanto’s trade secret documentation, as most of the approval process for glyphosate was based on studies Monsanto had done by outside contractors. That process began in the late 1970s and concluded around 1983 with the registration of the chemical. Since then, it’s gone through a couple of re-reviews. But Dr. Samsel wanted access to those documents to investigate what the EPA and Monsanto really knew about glyphosate from the very beginning.

“I asked EPA, as a research scientist, to be able to access those documents in my research. I was denied by the Environmental Protection Agency, initially,” he says. “It finally took Senator Shaheen’s office, here in New Hampshire, to move the EPA… They sent [the documents] to me on a disc. I had to sign for them. I was also told that I could not share them with foreign nationals under a penalty of law…

However, I’ve been going through 12 to 14 of these documents in the file. They represent thousands and thousands of pages of data on studies that were done on laboratory animals. What amazed me was that Monsanto knew in 1981 that glyphosate caused adenomas and carcinomas in the rats that they’ve studied The highest incidence of tumorigenic growth occurred in the pituitary glandthe second highest levels were in the breasts of the female rats, in the mammary glands… Thirdly, the next highest tumorigenic growth was found in the testicles of male rats..”

In essence, Monsanto’s research of glyphosate showed similar findings as Dr. Gilles-Éric Séralini, whose damning lifetime GMO feeding study11 was wrongfully retracted12,13,14,15largely due to Monsanto’s influence. (Séralini’s paper was later re-published with open access in the Springer Group journal Environmental Sciences Europe.16)

Monsanto’s own research also supports the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determination that glyphosate is a Class 2 A “probable human carcinogen.”17,18,19 –a determination Monsanto is now trying to get retracted. What’s more, the research shows that lower doses of glyphosate tend to have a greater effect than higher doses, and the doses at which damage was found to occur are comparable to the glyphosate levels found in wheat, sugar, corn and soy in the American diet.

Monsanto Never Published These Negative Findings

So how did Monsanto and Biodynamics—the company doing the research—hide these inconvenient facts? According to Dr. Samsel, they cancelled out the controls and the damning findings by using historical control data from unrelated studies. It’s also worth noting that these negative findings were never published in the peer-reviewed literature or submitted to the EPA or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cancer was clearly shown in their 26-month long feeding study, but the only studies Monsanto has published are studies done in less than three months, which hides the consequences of eating glyphosate and genetically engineered foods over the course of a lifetime.

“I’m looking at a Biodynamics report here as Project number 77-2062, ‘A Lifetime Feeding Study of Glyphosate in Rats,’ and every page of this document says, ‘Contains trade secret or otherwise confidential information of Monsanto Company.’ I have a letter here from Monsanto’s health and safety officer. He was the head guy at Monsanto at the time, back in 1981. In his letter, he asked the US EPA to seal the documents and to treat them as trade secret. I personally feel that this is a violation of the public review process…

Now that I’ve looked at Monsanto’s trade secret documents that the public doesn’t have access to, I’m in the process of writing the Environmental Protection Agency and I’m asking them to release those. They have no right to withhold that information from the public. Because what I’ve seen in those documents, it clearly shows that Monsanto knew in 1981 that glyphosate caused tumorigenic growth and carcinomas in multiple organs and tissues… At the rate we’re going, we’re going to kill billions of people,” Dr. Samsel says.

Removing Glyphosate Is Imperative to Protect Human Health and Future Generations

According to Dr. Samsel, we’re seeing the effects of glyphosate in human disease statistics now. His work with Dr. Stephanie Seneff and Dr. Nancy Swanson show that chronic disease rates are at an all-time high, including the specific tumors found in Monsanto’s 26-month feeding study, as well as the Séralini study and others—specifically pituitary, kidney, breast, testicular, thyroid tumors, and thymic hyperplasia.

“There was some work that was recently done where they looked at the CT scans of patients who had thyroid disease and also found that they had thymic hyperplasia. Well, guess what? In the rat study, they found high incidence of thymic hyperplasia as well as thyroid adenomas and carcinomas,” Dr. Samsel says. “If we don’t take this chemical out of the food supply, everybody will be affected. Everybody that is eating the Western diet. Everybody.

Now, for some diseases, the incidence rate among rats were slightly less than 50 percent—some were as high as 80 percent of the treated group. Obviously, we’re not seeing 80 percent of people in Western populations coming down with tumors. But we might eventually… Rats have an average lifespan of two to two and a half years, whereas the human lifespan is around 80. We’ve only been eating GMOs for about 15 years, but already disease statistics are clearly rising, and rising dramatically. Dr. Samsel believes there’s no doubt genetically engineered (GE) foods will shorten the human lifespan.

“In the 20th month, the rats had an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. But when we got to around 24 months, more than 50 percent of the rats had died. When we got to month 26, I think they only had 30 percent left.”

While correlation is not causation, were we to extrapolate, it would suggest that unless we stop eating glyphosate and genetically engineered foods, the vast majority of us will contract a life-threatening disease in our late senior years, and few will die from plain old age. Other non-life threatening diseases are also cropping up at a furious rate—neurological disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and a wide variety of behavioral problems.

When I began practicing medicine in the early ’80s, the autism rate was one in 10,000. Now it’s as low as one in 30, according to some estimates. According to Drs. Samsel and Seneff’s estimations, in the next decade, half of all people born will have some form of autism! “That’s correct, if we continue on the same trajectory, it will be one in two, which is frightening,” Dr. Samsel says.

Studies May Be Using Contaminated Controls…

On a side note, it’s important to realize that when studies are done, they do not test the control diet for the presence of glyphosate, which may dramatically skew results and effectively hide harmful effects. According to Dr. Samsel:

“They are continuing to do that. As I look deeper into the studies, they didn’t analyze the water. They did not analyze the feed for other contaminants. I contacted Purina and asked them for a comment about their animal chows and their laboratory feed. They do analyze for some of the basic pesticides and fungicides, like malathion, some of the other organophosphates, and some of the fungicides.

But they don’t analyze for glyphosate in those feeds. Going back to when they did these studies back in 1978 and 1980, they didn’t analyze the feed, but the most popular pesticides used at the time in growing corn and soy for those animal feeds, were the organophosphates. Some of the organophosphates were carbaryl and lannate.

What’s interesting is that I also turfed up many synergy patents. I’ve read all of Monsanto’s patents, plus patents from other companies that have also done work with glyphosate. Glyphosate is a synergist with other antibiotics, with fungicides, and with most of the chemicals that I’ve seen it used in combination.

I even wrote about it being synergistic with imidacloprid, the systemic pesticide that’s been implicated in harming the bees. The effects they saw in the Biodynamics studies in the controls, they were feeding contaminated feed to these animals…which are known to induce some of the tumorigenic growths. But the fact that the glyphosate-dosed animals had higher incidences…shows that there was a synergy with whatever was in that feed.”

Clearly, this is something the EPA and FDA must address. When laboratory tests with animals are done, they really need to look at the residue levels of glyphosate and other chemicals in the animal chow because it’s skewing all the laboratory results, and making the risks appear non-existent.

The Problem with Genetically Engineered Plants

According to Dr. Samsel, glyphosate is only one-half of a two-part problem. The other half is the genetically engineered plants. For the past two years, he’s been conducting field experiments and laboratory analysis of 33 varieties of genetically engineered corn. This year, he’s branching into soy. Not only are there Roundup-resistant GE crops, there are also Bt crops, which produce their own internal pesticide called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). But there are also glyphosate and glufosinate toxins involved, because in many GM crops, the genes are stacked.

“I’m looking at the untreated [genetically engineered corn], and then I’m spraying it with the herbicide [glyphosate]. I’m analyzing the fatty acids and the mineral content. I’m also looking at the isomers of the vitamins. What I’m finding is that there’s a difference between those treated with the herbicide and those that are not treated. The herbicide influences the mineral content of even the genetically engineered resistant varieties, making them particularly more deficient in manganese, cobalt, and copper, but particularly manganese. I’m also finding that the fatty acids are being skewed slightly but also the vitamins, particularly the isomers of vitamin E, tocopherol.”

He’s found that GE varieties of soy, canola, and corn oil contain mostly gamma-tocopherol opposed to alpha-tocopherol (types of vitamin E). Alpha-tocopherol is really beneficial to our biology whereas gamma-tocopherol induces inflammation, particularly in your lungs. Hence Dr. Samsel believes these GE oils may influence rates of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). On the whole, it seems clear that hundreds of millions of people could improve their health simply by avoiding glyphosate and genetically engineered foods.

The Good News: You Can Get Glyphosate Out of Your System Fairly Quickly

One important question many are likely to have is, once you decide to avoid glyphosate-contaminated foods, how do you detoxify? Here, there’s good news because glyphosate is fairly quickly eliminated via urine and feces—provided you’re not continuously putting more in. And if you need any more reasons to stop eating glyphosate contaminated food, consider this: one secret study Dr. Samsel reviewed found that glyphosate quickly went into the bone marrow, which is where the formation of blood cells takes place. The glyphosate remained stable in the bone marrow for at least 10 hours.

The white blood cells produced during that time go to the thymus and tonsils, where they mature. So glyphosate really works on the molecular level, affecting not only your bacteria, but also your blood cells. Importantly, glyphosate also both up and down regulates genes. For example, in E.coli bacteria, glyphosate up and down regulates about 1,040 genes, many of which are involved with cytochrome P450 enzymes, as well as glutathione S transferase, which is another first line of defense your cells employ to detoxify.

How to Reduce Your Family’s Exposure to Pesticides

Your toxic load is closely linked to your diet, as so many of the chemicals you’re exposed to on a daily basis are contaminants in foods and/or its packaging. Non-organic processed foods will expose you to the greatest amounts of chemicals and potential toxins, including pesticides and genetically engineered organisms (GMOs), but virtually all non-GMO whole foods will tend to be contaminated with pesticides to some degree as well. To reduce your family’s exposure to glyphosate and other toxic chemicals, please consider the following advice:

  1. Buy organic fruits and vegetables. Non-organic fruits and vegetables most likely to be grown using pesticides includeapples, peaches, celery, and potatoes. For a full list of the most and least contaminated produce, please see the Environmental Working Group’s shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.20
  2. Add fermented foods to your diet. The lactic acid bacteria formed during the fermentation of kimchi may help your body break down pesticides, so including fermented foods can be a wise strategy to help your body’s natural detoxification processes. Also make sure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet, as it too plays an important role in detoxification.
  3. Choose seafood wisely. Opt for low-mercury fish varieties, such as wild caught Alaskan salmon, anchovies, and sardines, and avoid farm-raised fish, which are often heavily contaminated with PCBs and mercury. To optimize youromega-3, you may also consider taking a krill oil supplement.
  4. Filter your tap water.Municipal water supplies can be contaminated with any number of potential toxins, so filtering your water is always a wise idea. Be particularly mindful of avoiding fluoridated water when preparing infant formula.
  5. Replace your non-stick pots and pans with ceramic or glass cookware.
  6. Avoid plastic food containers, bottles, and mugs.Instead, opt for glass, ceramic, or stainless steel varieties.
  7. Avoid using dangerous chemicals on your lawn. If you have a lawn care service, make sure they’re not using organophosphate pesticides.
  8. Check your school’s/employer’s pest control policy. If they have not already done so, encourage your school district/employer to move to Integrated Pest Management, which uses less toxic alternatives.
  9. Switch to organic personal care products,and avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, or other synthetic fragrances. Any product containing “fragrance” will typically contain high levels of endocrine-disrupting phthalates.

What Are GMOs?

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I’ve stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back. That’s why I push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically “lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Recently, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) has reintroduced a bill (HR 1599) that would preempt states’ rights to enact GMO labeling laws. This bill would create a federal government program to oversee guidelines for voluntary labeling of products that do not contain GMOs. It would specifically prohibit Congress or individual states from requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients. It would also allow food manufacturers to use the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs. TAKE ACTION NOW! Your local representatives need to hear from you! Please contact them today by CLICKING HERE.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Non-GMO Food Resources by Country

Together, Let’s Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

 

 

 

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Film Covers the Many Dangers of the Cheap Meat Industry

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By Dr. Mercola

For several decades, Americans have enjoyed paying low prices for meat at the grocery store. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the hidden costs of “cheap meat”—and when you add them up, they are substantial.

The manner in which most commercial livestock is raised is wasteful of precious resources and destructive to the environment, in some ways irreparably. In addition to the broader ecosystem, people and wildlife have been paying dearly with their health.

The documentary “Meat of the Matter” traces the trail of destruction left by the commercial meat industry.

On the brighter side, a new breed of ranchers is leading the meat revolution by returning to traditional styles of animal husbandry, farming in a manner that actually supports and restores the earth as opposed to recklessly using it up.

The US Meat Racket

Most meat in the US (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, etc.) is raised in confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. It’s a corporate-controlled system characterized by large-scale, centralized, low profit-margin production, processing and distribution systems.

Food production has been built around efficiency—producing more for less. Worldwide, tens of billions of animals are crammed into feedlots, where they’re tortured by unhealthy, unsanitary, and cruel conditions.

This is the “cheapest” way to raise meat, for the largest profits. Making matters worse, the government subsidizes these operations, shrewdly fleecing American taxpayers in order to keep the meat monopoly going.

Smaller American ranchers wishing to offer traditionally raised grass-fed meats, who care about quality and environmental impact, face higher operational costs and must charge a premium for their product.

Most of the grass-fed beef sold in the US—as much as 85 percent—is actually imported from Australia and New Zealand because those countries still have plentiful grasslands, as well as a climate that permits year-round grazing. As a result, Australian ranchers can sell their meat for less than American ranchers.1

Are You Eating Too Much Meat, or the Wrong Kind?

Most Americans consume three to five times more protein than they need (along with excess sugar and starchy carbohydrates and insufficient healthy fats). Excess protein can lead to elevated blood sugar, weight gain, kidney stress, leaching of bone minerals, and increased cancer risk.

Ideal protein intake for most is approximately one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which is typically 40 to 70 grams per day. Protein quality is as important as quantity. The best approach is to consume a wide variety of high–quality, grass-fed animal- and plant-based organic whole foods, such as the following.

Red meat, pork, poultry, and seafood average 6-9 grams of protein per ounce.An ideal amount for most people would be a 3-ounce serving of meat or seafood (not 9- or 12-ounce steaks!), which will provide about 18-27 grams of protein Eggs contain about 6-8 grams of protein per egg. So an omelet made from two eggs would give you about 12-16 grams of proteinIf you add cheese, you need to calculate that protein in as well (check the label of your cheese)
Seeds and nuts contain on average 4-8 grams of protein per quarter cup Cooked beans average about 7-8 grams per half cup
Cooked grains average 5-7 grams per cup Most vegetables contain about 1-2 grams of protein per ounce

In addition to eating too much meat, the majority of the excess is of poor quality, originating from CAFOs where the animals are fed an unnatural diet of glyphosate-contaminated genetically engineered grains, instead of fresh grass.

Feeding animals a species appropriate diet profoundly improves the nutritional quality of their meat, which has been established by science. It also virtually eliminates toxins such as glyphosate and other pesticides, which is the other side of the healthy-diet equation.

In 2009, a joint research project between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Clemson University determined the numerous ways grass-fed beef beats grain-fed beef for your health. In a side-by-side comparison, they determined that grass-fed beef was superior in the following ways:2

Higher in total omega-3s Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs. 4.84) Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
Higher in CLA (cis-9 trans-11), a potential cancer fighter Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be transformed into CLA) Higher in beta-carotene

Improper Slaughtering Hurts More Than Just the Animals

Slaughtering should not to be taken lightly, for multiple reasons, not the least of which is animal welfare. Besides treating animals humanely, you may not realize that how an animal is slaughtered affects food safety and the quality of the meat itself.

Improper slaughtering adversely affects meat quality due to physiological changes that occur when an animal becomes stressed. According to slaughtering guidelines posted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations:3

“The energy required for muscle activity in the live animal is obtained from sugars (glycogen) in the muscle. In the healthy and well-rested animal, the glycogen content of the muscle is high. After the animal has been slaughtered, the glycogen in the muscle is converted into lactic acid, and the muscle and carcass becomes firm (rigor mortis).

This lactic acid is necessary to produce meat, which is tasteful and tender, of good keeping quality and good color. If the animal is stressed before and during slaughter, the glycogen is used up, and the lactic acid level that develops in the meat after slaughter is reduced. This will have serious adverse effects on meat quality.”

Improperly handled animals become stressed, particularly while being prepared for slaughter. The meat of stressed animals has even been shown to spoil faster.4 Animals are also far stressed living in CAFOs than on open pasture, and these stressed, injured and frequently diseased animals produce lower quality meat.

Meat that’s bruised from injuries received during handling, penning, transport and slaughter must be thrown away, which is a major source of waste. According to the legendary Temple Grandin, there are five basic causes of animal welfare problems in slaughter plants:5

  • Stressful equipment and methods
  • Distractions that impede animal movement
  • Lack of employee training
  • Poor equipment maintenance
  • Poor condition of the animals arriving at the plant

Your Burger May Come with a Side of Antibiotics

It’s virtually impossible to mass-produce clean, safe, optimally nutritious foods at rock bottom prices. To prevent the inevitable spread of disease from stress, overcrowding and an unnatural diet, feedlot animals are routinely fed antibiotics and other growth-promoting drugs and hormones. Today, more than 80 percent of total antibiotic use in the US is for livestock.

Nearly 25 million pounds of antibiotics are administered to American livestock each year. Careless antibiotic overuse by the commercial meat industry poses a direct threat to your health in the form of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. When you eat food that contains antibiotics, you not only get the drug but also antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Twenty-two percent of antibiotic-resistant illness in humans is linked to food. Consuming foods containing antibiotic drugs also causes alterations in your gut flora (dysbiosis), which can cause problems with both your mental and physical health.

Foodborne illnesses are a growing concern—we hear about them regularly on the news—but they might be even more serious than previously thought. Mounting research shows that Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s disease may be linked to a type of Mad Cow disease that results from the consumption of contaminated meats. When shopping, keep the following labels in mind to help you find truly high-quality meat that’s free of antibiotics and other drugs:6

100% USDA Organic label offers excellent assurance that antibiotics have not been used at any stage of production.
“No antibiotics administered” and similar labels also offer high assurance that antibiotics have not been used, especially if accompanied by a “USDA process Verified” shield.
“Grass-fed” label coupled with USDA Organic label means no antibiotics have been used, but if the “grass-fed” label appears alone, antibiotics may have been given.
“American Grass-fed” and “Food Alliance Grass-fed” labels indicate that in addition to having been raised on grass, the animal in question received no antibiotics.
The following three labels: “Antibiotic-free,” “No antibiotic residues,” and “No antibiotic growth promotants,” have not been approved by the USDA and may be misleading if not outright fraudulent.
“Natural” or “All-Natural” is completely meaningless and has no bearing on whether or not the animal was raised according to organic principles. “Natural” meat and poultry products can by law receive antibiotics, hormones, and genetically engineered grains, and can be raised in CAFOs.

BREAKING NEWS: Worst Avian Flu in History Slams Larger Farms but Leaves Backyard Gardens Unscathed

 

Humans aren’t the only ones being sickened by the commercial meat industry—the US is currently being hit by the largestavian flu outbreak in history.7 Bird flu has wiped out 40 percent of the egg-laying flock in Iowa, the number-one egg-producing state in the US, doubling nationwide egg prices. Almost 45 million chickens and turkeys have been killed in an effort to contain the disease, mostly in Iowa and Minnesota, according to the US Department of Agriculture.8 Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska9 have declared states of emergency.

Large-scale egg and turkey farms have been slammed, but backyard gardens have remained unscathed.10 Experts haven’t determined exactly how the avian flu is spreading, but the CAFO model virtually guarantees drug resistance and out-of-control spread of disease, for both animals and humans.

The Outrageous Environmental Costs of the Meat Industry

Industrial agriculture is one of the most unsustainable practices of modern civilization. The “bigger is better” food system has reached a point where its real costs are becoming apparent, including massive pollution and loss of life—all manner of plant and animal life. Like water running down an open drain, the earth’s natural resources are disappearing quickly. Some, such as soil, can be restored over time IF proper steps are taken, but others are lost forever. We’ve already seen more than 93 percent of our fruit and vegetable seed varieties disappear over the last century. Another 60,000 to 100,000 plant species are in danger of extinction.

Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate as a result of neonicotinoid pesticides. Monarch butterflies are disappearing even faster, likely due to the pervasive use of glyphosate on GMO crops along its flight path across the US. The North American Monarch population has plummeted by 91 percent over the past two decades. It’s likely that our modern food system can be blamed for a significant portion of these losses. One Green Planet has an excellent article11 summarizing five basic ways industrialized farming is destroying the environment:

  1. Air pollution: Industrialized agriculture is responsible for more than 37 percent of methane emissions, 90 percent of CO2, and copious hydrogen sulfide ammonia. Methane has a global warming potential 20 times higher than carbon dioxide.
  2. Water pollution: Industrialized agriculture uses up to 70 percent of the world’s fresh water supply. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 75 percent of all water-quality problems in America’s rivers and streams is from chemical-laden agricultural run-off that leads to toxic algal blooms, fish kills, and “dead zones.”
  3. Deforestation: In the US alone, more than 260 million acres of native forests have been cleared to make room for crop fields, most of which are used exclusively to grow livestock feed (corn and soy). Deforestation is responsible for 2.4 billions tons of CO2 release annually.
  4. Soils: Nature abhors monoculture, as monoculture leads to soil depletion, erosion, depletion of the water table, loss of soil nutrients, and the application of massive quantities of synthetic agricultural chemicals.
  5. Carbon emissions: CAFOs use about 5.5 gallons of fossil fuels per acre (presumably per year, as article did not specify), between transportation, application of chemicals, and the incredible amount of energy it takes to run these massive productions. The average farm in the US spans 418 acres, meaning it will guzzle about 2,300 gallons of fossil fuels. By adopting a circular economy (reusing and recycling), carbon emissions could be cut by nearly 70 percent by 2030.

Are Greener Pastures Ahead?

Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel! Some farming and ranching pioneers are returning to the old ways, raising a wide variety of plants and animals in a way that copies a natural community. This new breed of farmer believes that sustainability and concern for future generations is as important as turning a profit. Animals live out natural lifecycles where they’re happy and healthy and allowed to express instinctive behaviors. As sustainable agricultural champion Joel Salatin is fond of saying, pigs are allowed to express their “pig-ness”!

The key is to build healthy soil and healthy pastures—which of course grow healthy grass. As was said in the film, “There is more life below ground than above ground, and that’s a hard concept for people to get.” Animals roaming and grazing on pasture are strong, disease-free and unstressed, which produces the highest quality meat.

The entire food chain is connected—soils, plants, animals, humans, insects, fungi, and the rest—so supporting the bottom of the food chain ultimately supports your health. No-till agriculture is one of the best approaches to land regeneration, as 70 percent of the soil microbes responsible for plant health and communication are fungi (mycorrhizae), which tilling disrupts. Organic, biodynamic farms tend to be much smaller and cleaner, since the animals are not crammed together.

As a result, the animals are far less likely to harbor dangerous pathogens that contaminate the meat. When it comes time for slaughter, this is done in the field with minimal stress to the animal. As shown in the film, the animal is killed swiftly with a gunshot it never sees coming. Farming like this benefits the earth, the animals, the birds and the bees—and all of us.

Finding High-Quality Meats

Grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, and organic pastured eggs and dairy are becoming easier to find. Larger grocery chains are jumping on the “organic band wagon,” but purchasing from your local organic farmers and ranchers is preferred. Here are a few tips for finding sources near you:

  • Grass-finished beef: Many grocery chains are now responding to customer demand by providing at least a small assortment of grass-finished meats. Please be aware of the difference between grass fed and grass finished. Most all cattle are fed grass as calves, they key is what they eat the months before slaughter. If your local grocer still doesn’t carry them, ask the purchasing manager to consider adding a few. Some stores, like Publix, will even stock specialty items requested by a single customer.

The least expensive way to obtain authentic grass-fed beef is to find a local rancher you can trust, and buy it directly from the farm. If you can’t find a local source, organic grass-fed beef and other related products can be purchased online.

  • Raw organic, pastured dairy products: Getting your raw milk from a local organic farm or co-op is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting high-quality milk. You can locate a raw milk source near you at the Campaign for Real Milk Website. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.
  • Organic, free-range eggs: To locate a free-range pasture farm, try asking your local nutrition store, or check out the following web listings:
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Researchers Work on Getting Intermittent Fasting FDA Approved as Adjunct Cancer Treatment to Improve Long-Term Survival Rates

Source

By Dr. Mercola

Research1 published in the journal Cell Metabolism concluded that time-restricted eating not only prevented but also reversed obesity and related metabolic dysfunction.

Indeed, intermittent fasting is one of the most effective interventions I’ve found to reverse insulin resistance, shed excess weight, and improve body composition.2 Two core mechanisms responsible for these benefits are:

  1. Improved insulin and leptin sensitivity
  2. Triggering your body to more effectively burn fat for fuel

Intermittent fasting also has other health benefits that can be valuable for just about anyone—including increased longevity and neuroprotective benefits—but if you’re not insulin resistant, it’s not as crucial.

If you’re among the minority of Americans who do not struggle with insulin resistance, then my general recommendation is to simply avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime. That automatically allows you to “fast” for at least 11 hours or longer depending on if and when you eat breakfast.

Efforts to Develop Intermittent Fasting as an FDA-Approved Cancer Treatment Underway

Interestingly, one research group is reportedly working on getting intermittent fasting approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an adjunct therapy for cancer patients.

Earlier research has demonstrated that calorie restriction helps extend the lifespan of animals by improving insulin sensitivity and inhibiting the mTOR pathway. Fasting has also been shown to “starve” cancer cells while simultaneously protecting cells from chemotherapy toxicity.

Intermittent fasting—which is easier to comply with—has been found to have very similar effects, and researchers are now looking at using intermittent fasting to augment cancer treatments and improve long-term survival rates.3

One recent study,4 published in the journal Cell Metabolism, found that bimonthly cycles of four-day long low-calorie intake produced multi-system regeneration in mice.

Visceral belly fat was reduced, and the risk for cancer and inflammatory diseases declined. Meanwhile, immune and brain function improved, and lifespan was increased. In the mouse brain, neurons were regenerated, improving learning and memory.

As reported in the featured article:5,6

“The mouse tests were part of a three-tiered study on periodic fasting’s effects – testing yeast, mice and humans. Mice, which have relatively short life spans, provided details about fasting’s lifelong effects.

Yeast, which are simpler organisms, allowed researchers to uncover the biological mechanisms that fasting triggers at a cellular level. And a pilot study in humans found evidence that the mouse and yeast studies were, indeed, applicable to humans…

In a pilot human trial, three cycles of a similar diet given to 19 subjects once a month for five days decreased risk factors and biomarkers for aging, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer with no major adverse side effects.”

Intermittent Fasting Reprograms Your Body to Age Slower and Rejuvenate Faster

In the human pilot study, the participants’ calorie intake was reduced to 34-54 percent of their normal for a period of five days once a month. The meals had a nutrient composition of:

  • 9-10 percent proteins
  • 34–47 percent carbohydrates
  • 44–56 percent fat

One of the ways intermittent calorie restriction appears to reduce cancer risk is by decreasing IGF-1—a hormone linked to aging and cancer susceptibility. According to co-author Valter Longo:7

“Strict fasting is hard for people to stick to, and it can also be dangerous, so we developed a complex diet that triggers the same effects in the body. I’ve personally tried both, and the fasting mimicking diet (FMD) is a lot easier and also a lot safer.

It’s about reprogramming the body so it enters a slower aging mode, but also rejuvenating it through stem cell-based regeneration. It’s not a typical diet because it isn’t something you need to stay on.”

As reported by the University of Southern California:8

“Longo believes that for most normal people, the FMD can be done every three to six months, depending on the abdominal circumference and health status.

For obese subjects or those with elevated disease risk factors, the FMD could be recommended by the physician as often as once every two weeks. His group is testing its effect in a randomized clinical trial, which will be completed soon, with more than 70 subjects.

‘If the results remain as positive as the current ones, I believe this FMD will represent the first safe and effective intervention to promote positive changes associated with longevity and health span, which can be recommended by a physician,’ Longo said.

‘We will soon meet with FDA officers to pursue several FDA claims for disease prevention and treatment.’”

How Fasting Affects Your Body

Researchers have repeatedly and consistently concluded that fasting—which includes not only eating less food overall, but also eating less frequently—can have a beneficial effect on a wide array of biological functions and systems.

One 2013 review9 found a broad range of therapeutic potential of intermittent fasting, even when total calorie intake per day did not change, or was only slightly reduced. Research included in that review, and other published studies, indicate that intermittent fasting can help:

Limit inflammation; reduce oxidative stress and cellular damage Improve circulating glucose Reduce blood pressure
Improve metabolic efficiency and body composition, including significant reductions in body weight in obese individuals Reduce LDL and total cholesterol levels Prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes, as well as slow its progression
Improve immune function,10 and shift stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal Improve pancreatic function Improve insulin and leptin levels and insulin/leptin sensitivity
Reproduce some of the cardiovascular benefits associated with physical exercise Protect against cardiovascular disease Modulate levels of dangerous visceral fat
Boost mitochondrial energy efficiency Normalize ghrelin levels, known as “the hunger hormone.” Help eliminate sugar cravings as your body adapts to burning fat instead of sugar
Promote human growth hormone production (HGH). Fasting can raise HGH by as much as 1,300 percent in women and 2,000 percent in men.11 HGH plays an important part in health, fitness, and slowing the aging process. It’s also a fat-burning hormone Lower triglyceride levels and improve other biomarkers of disease Boost production of  brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), stimulating the release of new brain cells and triggering brain chemicals that protect against changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. (Alternate-day fasting—restricting your meals on fasting days to about 600 calories—can boost BDNF by 50 to 400 percent, depending on the region of the brain.12

Choosing an Intermittent Fasting Plan

There are a variety of intermittent fasting schedules, and the ideal one is the one you will actually follow. As a general rule, it involves cutting calories in whole or in part, either a couple of days per week, every other day, or even daily. The one I recommend and have personally used involves restricting your daily eating to an eating window of 6-8 hours. Compliance is a critical factor in any of these approaches and it seems this is one of the easiest intermittent fasting schedules to implement and maintain—especially once your body has shifted over to burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel.

Fat, being a slow-burning fuel, allows you to keep going without suffering from the dramatic energy crashes associated with sugar. And, if you’re not hungry, then not eating for several hours is no big deal. If you’re insulin/leptin resistant, I recommend doing this every day until your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol ratios and/or diabetes normalizes. At that point, simply do it as often as you need to maintain your healthy state.

The 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Plan

Download Interview Transcript

Another popular intermittent fasting schedule is the 5:2 plan, promoted by Dr. Michael Mosley in his book, The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting.13 It involves eating normally for five days per week, and fasting for two days. On fasting days, he recommends cutting your food down to one-fourth of your normal daily caloric intake, or about 600 calories for men and about 500 for women, along with plenty of water and tea.

Calorie Intake

It doesn’t matter which days you choose as your fasting days. Monday can be a good place to start if you’re fired up at the beginning of a new week or if you’ve “feasted” over the weekend. On a fasting day, you can spread your 500/600 calories throughout the day, or you might choose to enjoy them all at an evening meal. Just find the routine that works best for you.  Dr. Mosley offers three “golden rules” for success:14

  • Be sensible on non-fasting days. Eat normally, enjoy treats in moderation, but avoid bingeing.
  • Watch what you drink. Juices, lattes, alcohol, fizzy drinks, and smoothies typically contain a glut of calories and sugar but won’t satisfy your appetite, so avoid them all.
  • Try adding another fasting day. Go for a 4:3 pattern (four days of normal eating, three days of reduced calories).

Alternate-Day Fasting

Download Interview Transcript

A third variation that is quite common is the alternate day fast. This fasting protocol is exactly as it sounds: one day off, one day on. The drawback is that it requires you to go to bed with an empty stomach every other day, which can be tough for most people—at least initially. This plan, and the science behind it, is detailed in Dr. Krista Varady’s book The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off.

Dr. Varady’s research shows that alternate-day fasting, where you consume about 500 calories on fasting days and can eat whatever you want on non-fasting days, works equally well for weight loss as complete fasting, and it’s a lot easier to maintain this type of modified fasting regimen.

As an assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois, Dr. Varady has conducted many studies on intermittent fasting. In one of her studies, they found that splitting the 500 calorie meal up into multiple smaller meals throughout the day was not as successful as eating just one meal, once a day. So ideally, eat your low-calorie fasting day meal either for lunch or dinner. The main problem relates to compliance. If you’re truly eating just 500 calories in a day, you will lose weight. But when eating tiny amounts of food multiple times a day, you’re far more inclined to want more, so the cheat rate dramatically increases.

Her research also refutes concerns that intermittent fasting may result in loss of lean body mass.15 I have not found this to be true, and according to Dr. Varady’s  research, 90 percent of the weight people lose is body fat, with only 10 percent being lean body mass.16 Moving throughout the day and consuming an appropriate amount of high quality protein will also help minimize loss of muscle mass.

Intermittent Fasting versus Eating Six Small Meals a Day

Traditionally, three square meals a day has been considered key for weight management, but while this may help stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels for some people, it’s important to realize that, historically, humans simply did not have access to food 24/7. The most obvious risk with spreading out your meals to morning, noon, and evening is overeating. Spreading it out over six meals a day magnifies that risk even more—unless you’re truly mindful of eating very, very small snacks or meals.

Avoiding high-sugar foods is also key for both general health and weight loss, no matter how many meals a day you eat. And, one of the near-automatic side effects of eating a diet higher in healthy fat and low in sugars is decreased hunger and cravings. So if you’re getting enough healthy fat in your diet, you may not be hungry enough to actually eat six times a day! The issue of which is better—intermittent fasting or eating six small meals a day—was recently addressed in a US News article,17 which states:

“Even if you consume the same amount of calories you would otherwise, eating six times a day may help you maintain more metabolism-revving muscle mass than you would if you ate less often, according to a 2015 study published in Nutrition Research. Yet, while eating six meals a day might sound like a weight-loss dream, it’s actually a lot of work – and may not be right for everyone, [Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University] says.

People who are great with routines respond well to the six-a-day meal plan, for example, but it can be impractical for those who aren’t up for prepping and packing meals to eat throughout the day, at least a few of them at the office. After all, if the goal is weight loss, the meals shouldn’t be drive-thru or candy bars. They need to be home-cooked and balanced, she says. And each meal needs to be small; otherwise, you could end up overeating and packing on the pounds.”

How to Radically Increase Your Intermittent Fasting Success

 

If the very thought of fasting makes you shudder with anxiety, then you’re in luck! EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)practitioner Julie Schiffman has a great video for reducing your anxiety about fasting. EFT is a powerful energy psychology tool that has helped hundreds of thousands overcome emotional challenges. It uses acupuncture meridians to help neutralize electrical brain disturbances that emotional wounding can cause. I strongly recommend tapping along with her if you have any hesitation at all about fasting. Being in the right mindset is 90 percent of the challenge, and EFT is a highly effective tool toward that end.

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Consumer Protection Group Applauds FDA Ban on Trans Fats, but Undermines GMO Labeling Movement…

Source

By Dr. Mercola

For the past six decades, saturated fat and cholesterol have been wrongfully vilified as the culprits of heart disease. Research shows it’s actually refined carbs, sugar, and trans fats found in processed foods that are the real enemy.

The first scientist to publish evidence linking trans fats to heart disease while exonerating saturated fats was Dr. Fred Kummerow,1 author of Cholesterol Is Not the Culprit. That first article was published in 1957.

Now 100 years old, Dr. Kummerow has spent eight decades immersed in the science of lipids, cholesterol, and heart disease, and his lifetime’s work reveals that trans fat and oxidized cholesterol promote heart disease—not saturated fat, which actually has a beneficial health impact.

FDA Finally Takes Affirmative Action Against Trans Fat

Trans fat, found in margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils became widely popularized as a “healthier alternative” to saturated animal fats like butter and lard around the mid-1950s.

Its beginnings go back 100 years though, to Procter & Gamble’s creation ofCrisco in 1911.

In 1961, the American Heart Association (AHA) began encouraging Americans to limit dietary fat, particularly animal fats, in order to reduce their risk of heart disease. In the decades since, despite low-fat diets becoming increasingly part of the norm, heart disease rates soared.

In 2013, Dr. Kummerow sued the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for failing to take action on trans fats in face of the overwhelming scientific evidence against it.

More than a decade earlier, in 2002, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) had even noted that there was “no safe level of trans fatty acids and people should eat as little of them as possible.” Yet the FDA did nothing.

Three months after Dr. Kummerow filed his lawsuit however, the agency announced it was considering eliminating trans fat from the list of “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) list of food ingredients.

Then, on June 16, 2015, the FDA announced partially hydrogenated oils (a primary source of trans fat) will no longer be allowed in food unless authorized by the agency2,3,4,5 due to its health risks.

According to the FDA, this change may help prevent around 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 heart disease deaths each year.

The new regulation will take effect in 2018. In the interim, food companies have to either reformulate their products to remove partially hydrogenated oils, or file a limited use petition with the FDA to continue using them.

In order to gain approval, the company would have to provide evidence showing the trans fat is safe to consume—which could be difficult, considering the IOM’s declaration that there’s NO safe limit for these oils. But, as noted by CBS:6

“[F]ood companies are hoping for some exceptions. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the main trade group for the food industry, is working with companies on a petition that would formally ask the FDA if it can say there is a “reasonable certainty of no harm” from some specific uses of the fats. It provided no specifics…

For now, the agency is recommending that consumers take a look at ingredient lists on packaged foods to make sure they don’t contain partially hydrogenated oils. Once the three-year compliance period is up, none of those ingredients would be allowed unless FDA specifically approves them.”

CSPI –The Consumer Group You Need to Stop Listening To

In response to the FDA’s announcement, Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) told the New York Times:7

“This is the final nail in the coffin of trans fats. In terms of lives saved, I think eliminating trans fats is the single most important change to our food supply.”

Their recent statement in support of the ban on trans fats is in stark contrast to their previous position on trans fats. As a consumer watchdog group focused on nutrition and food safety, many have and continue to look to CSPI for guidance, but history shows CSPI is seriously misguided when determining what’s in the public’s best interest.

In the 1980s, CSPI actually spearheaded a highly successful campaign againstthe use of healthy saturated fats, touting trans fats as a healthier alternative. It was largely the result of CSPI’s campaign that fast-food restaurants replaced the use of beef tallow, palm oil, and coconut oil with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are high in synthetic trans fats linked to heart disease and other chronic diseases.

In 1988, CSPI even released an article8 praising trans fats, saying “there is little good evidence that trans fats cause any more harm than other fats” and “much of the anxiety over trans fats stems from their reputation as ‘unnatural.'”

CSPI Accepts No Blame for Its Wildly Successful Promotion of Trans Fat

It wasn’t until the 1990s that CSPI reversed their position on synthetic trans fats, but the damage had already been done.

Even to this day, many still mistakenly believe that margarine is a healthier choice than butter, and the CSPI’s campaign to replace saturated animal and tropical oils with trans fats played an integral role in cementing this erroneous view in the public consciousness.

The group’s successful influence on the food industry is discussed in David Schleifer’s article, “The Perfect Solution: How Trans Fats Became the Healthy Replacement for Saturated Fats,9 in which he notes that:

“Scholars routinely argue that corporations control US food production, with negative consequences for health…However, the transition from saturated to trans fats shows how activists can be part of spurring corporations to change.”

CSPI rarely admits its errors however. In fact, rather than openly admitting it was flat out wrong about trans fats and had misled the public on this issue, CSPI simply deleted sections of its previous support of it from the web. This lack of forthrightness was also noted by Mary Enig in a 2003 article,10 in which she writes:

“On October 20, 1993, CSPI had the chutzpah to call a press conference in Washington, DC and lambast the major fast-food chains for doing what CSPI coerced them into doing, namely, using partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in their deep fat-fryers.

On that date, CSPI, an eager proponent of partially hydrogenated oils for many years, even when their adverse health effects were apparent, reversed its position after an onslaught of adverse medical reports linking trans fatty acids in these processed oils to coronary heart disease and cancer. Instead of accepting the blame, CSPI pleaded ‘not guilty,’ claiming that the fault lay with the major fast-food chains–including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken, because they ‘falsely claim to use ‘100% vegetable oil’ when they actually use hydrogenated shortening’…

Thanks to CSPI, healthy traditional fats have almost completely disappeared from the food supply, replaced by manufactured trans fats known to cause many diseases. By 1990, most fast food chains had switched to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil…

Who benefits? Soy, or course. Eighty percent of all partially hydrogenated oil used in processed foods in the US comes from soy, as does 70 percent of all liquid oil. CSPI claims that its support comes from subscribers to its Nutrition Action newsletter… but CSPI is extremely secretive about the value of its assets, salaries paid and use of its revenues. If CSPI has large donors, they’re not telling who they are, but in fact, in CSPI’s January, 1991 newsletter, Jacobson notes that ‘our effort was ultimately joined… by the American Soybean Association.'”

Beware: 100% Vegetable Oil May Be Just as Hazardous as Partially Hydrogenated Oil

Today, many restaurants have reverted to using 100% vegetable oils (such as peanut, corn, and soy oil) for frying. But research shows these oils have the worrisome problem of degrading into even more toxic oxidation products when heated, so they’re probably no better than partially hydrogenated oils. Some of these oxidation products include cyclic aldehydes, which are even more harmful than trans fats. So the issue of WHAT the industry replaces trans fats with is of major importance. As noted by Nina Teicholz, one of the first investigative journalists to report on the dangers of trans fats 10 years ago:

“A group doing research on animals have found that at fairly low levels of exposure, these aldehydes caused tremendous inflammation, which is related to heart disease. They oxidized LDL cholesterol, which is thought to be the LDL cholesterol that becomes dangerous. There’s a link to heart disease. There’s also some evidence that links these aldehydes in particular to Alzheimer’s. They seem to have a very severe effect on the body.”

BEWARE: CSPI Just Sold You Out to GMO Industry

This tendency to fall in line with industry science and propaganda and then quietly reversing position when that position becomes more or less impossible to maintain seems to be a trend within the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). For example, it was only in 2013 that CSPI finally downgraded the artificial sweetener Splenda from its former “safe” category to one of “caution.” I remember pleading with Michael Jacobson, their director, many years ago to reevaluate his position, but at the time he was convinced of Splenda’s safety. The scientific evidence strongly suggests artificial sweeteners are just as bad, and in some ways more harmful, than sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Worse than that though is its stand on genetically engineered organisms (GMOs) in food. Greg Jaffe, director of CSPI’s Biotechnology Project, completely undermined the GMO labeling movement in his testimony at a recent hearing11 on thePompeo bill H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, colloquially known as the Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, as it strips states’ of their right to implement food labeling laws and regulations that restricts or bans the growing of GMO crops.

According to polls, over 90 percent of Americans now want GMO labeling. Yet, astonishingly, Jaffe says he’s not sure consumers really want to know whether foods contain GMOs, despite what the polls say! This is an inexcusable position for a consumer protection group, as far as I’m concerned. You can listen to his statements in the following video below, where you will hear he has the audacity to claim there are no studies indicating any harm from GMOs. This is the type of ignorant position they held on trans fats and artificial sweeteners. At least you can say one thing about CSPI, they are consistently reprehensible ignorant on important health issue and need to be ignored.

Nobody Expects a Transgenic Organism on Their Plate

It really should be crystal clear that consumers should have a right to know about GMOs in their food. Researchers have demonstrated there are compositional differences between GE crops and conventional crops,12 with glyphosate-tolerant GE soybeans containing high residues of glyphosate (a Class 2A probable human carcinogen13) and AMPA. The primary trait of GMO crops is glyphosate resistance, they can withstand multiple applications of glyphosate and can therefore absorb more of it.

Another point that justifies labeling of GMOs is the fact that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) admits they do not test for glyphosate residues because it’s too expensive to do so.14 Without such testing, GMO labeling is even more important, as it’s quite clear that glyphosate-tolerant GE crops are significantly contaminated with this toxic chemical that cannot be washed off, as it permeates every single cell of the treated plant, from root to tip. The anti-labeling proponents cannot logically argue any of these points; they’re indisputable, and GMO labeling is massively supported because consumers dodemand the right to know.

CSPI and our federal government remain blind to these facts, but regardless, these transgenic organisms arenot a consumer expectation, and should therefore be labeled. Consider the new GE salmon spliced with eel genes… Salmon is labeled wild caught or farmed, but will not be labeled if genetically spliced with eel, which makes it a different version of the species altogether. Does that really make sense? What consumer reasonably expects a salmon to be spliced with eel?

Who Knew? CSPI Is Actually PRO-GMO!

Any so-called consumer protection group refusing to acknowledge these facts is simply not a real consumer watchdog. And CSPI’s Greg Jaffe definitely appears to be pro-GMO, having discussed the merits of GE foods in a June 2014 Food Product and Design interview,15 in which he states that: “While there will continue to be demand for non-GMO ingredients, I do think it will continue to be a small specialty market.” When asked about consumer misconceptions surrounding GMOs, Jaffe claims consumers don’t realize the technology simply involves “adding one or two genes in a very precise way to a crop that already has thousands of genes,” falsely insinuating that doing so leads to completely predictable results.

In fact, he states that “some consumers incorrectly believe that foods made from the current GE crops are not safe to eat,” and then goes on to use the oft-repeated but false industry claim that “there is a strong international consensus from both scientific regulatory bodies… as well as scientific societies… that the foods made from the current GE crops are safe to eat.”

CSPI’s executive director, Michael Jacobson is quoted16 as making a similar statement in July 2014, when he spoke at an American Soybean Association (ASA) forum saying: Many people have been made to fear genetically engineered ingredients, and it’s totally irrational.” That too raises questions about just how close the relationship is between the CSPI and the ASA—a group coincidentally based in St. Louis, where Monsanto also has its headquarters. Monsanto is also listed as one of ASA’s biotech working group partners.17

Meanwhile, on January 24, 2015, a statement signed by 300 scientists, researchers, physicians, and scholars was published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe,18 asserting that there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs. Moreover, the paper, aptly titled “No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety”, states that the claim of scientific consensus on GMO safety is in actuality “an artificial construct that has been falsely perpetuated.” The paper also notes that such a claim “is misleading and misrepresents or outright ignores the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of scientific opinions among scientists on this issue.”

If the CSPI’s mission is to “represent citizen’s interests” and “ensure advances in science are used for the public’s good,” as stated in its mission statement,19 how does it justify its anti-consumer position on labeling GMOs? It seems fairly irreconcilable. On the other hand, the CSPI contradicts itself yet again when talking about the dangers of corn and soy monocultures, the chemical dependence of these crops, and how it stresses the environment.20 It seems they simply cannot connect the dots when it comes to GMO’s…

Why It Took So Long to Learn the Truth About Trans Fats

Getting back to trans fats, CSPI is not solely to blame for the industry-wide replacement of healthy saturated fats with artery-clogging trans fats. The American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) were also avid promoters of this switch, as discussed in Judy Shaw’s book, Trans Fats.21

Well-respected medical journals such as the JAMA published ads promoting Wesson corn oil for lowering cholesterol, and Antonio Gotto Jr, then president of the AHA sent his personal endorsement of Puritan corn oil to doctors. Dr. William Castelli, who led the Framingham Heart Study, also gave Puritan his personal endorsement. As Shaw notes in her book:

“The influence of these physicians was profound. Their promotional advocacy and the endorsements by science and government prompted other doctors to encourage their patients to drastically modify their eating habits. Margarine was the new prescription. There seemed to be no dissenting voice, and the America public had no reason to be skeptical.”

Trans Fats May Worsen Your Memory

Meanwhile, research such as that by Dr. Kummerow—which clearly showed trans fats were worse than saturated fat ever could be—was quietly ignored. Heart disease isn’t the only health problem associated with trans fats. Research has implicated trans fats in other diseases as well. Most recently, it’s been found to interfere with memory.22 As reported by Reuters:23

“It’s not clear if… trans fats might interfere with memory by directly affecting the nervous system, or by contributing to overall cardiovascular disease, which harms the brain as well, researchers say… [Trans fats] had already been linked to poorer lipid profiles, including higher ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, worse metabolic function, insulin resistance, inflammation and poorer cardiac and general health before the new study investigated potential memory issues…

Among men under age 45, increasing dietary trans fatty acid consumption was associated with decreasing word recall, with each additional gram of trans fat per day matched to 0.76 fewer words identified correctly. At the time of the study, participants’ trans fat consumption ranged up to 28 grams a day, the researchers write. That would translate to 21 fewer correct word-recall responses out of an average normal score of 86.

‘A lot of us are involved in jobs where words are important,’ [lead author] Golomb told Reuters Health. A decrease of only a few words on this recall test can make a difference, she said, and it’s reasonable to think that other areas of memory might also be associated with trans fats.”

Healthy Eating Guidelines for the 21st Century

So, what’s the general 21st century revised rule for healthy living and eating? One of the most important points is that you do not need to avoid saturated fats. Saturated fats were unfairly condemned in the 1950s based on very primitive evidence that has since been re-analyzed. The evidence now clearly shows that saturated fats do not cause heart disease. Moreover, your body needs healthy unheated raw saturated fats for proper function of your:

Cell membranes Heart Bones (to assimilate calcium)
Liver Lungs Hormones
Immune system Satiety (reducing hunger) Genetic regulation

When it comes to cooking fats, few compare to tallow and lard in terms of health benefits and safety. These are the cooking fats that were originally used, and they’re excellent frying fats. Coconut oil is also very stable at higher temperatures, and is another excellent choice for cooking and baking.

What Are GMOs?

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I’ve stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back. That’s why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically “lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Recently, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) has reintroduced a bill (HR 1599) that would preempt states’ rights to enact GMO labeling laws. This bill would create a federal government program to oversee guidelines for voluntary labeling of products that do not contain GMOs. It would specifically prohibit Congress or individual states from requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients. It would also allow food manufacturers to use the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs. TAKE ACTION NOW! Your local representatives need to hear from you! Please contact them today by CLICKING HERE.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Non-GMO Food Resources by Country

Together, Let’s Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

 

Sources and References
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Pope Francis, Neil Young, and 100,000 Beekeepers Take a Stand Against Toxic Agriculture

Source

By Dr. Mercola

What do Pope Francis, Neil Young, and German beekeepers have in common? They’re all speaking out against genetically engineered crops and the excessive use of toxic pesticides.

Meanwhile, the chemical technology industry is feverishly trying to revamp its image by renaming itself and putting out new spins on words to disguise what they’re really all about.

The sad fact is, the chemical industry has to a large degree taken over the food industry, not to mention hijacked the federal regulatory process. In essence, most of the population is being fed by poison experts.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which has been instrumental in keeping Americans in the dark about what’s in our food, also admits it has played an integral role in shaping the draconian “DARK Act,” which delivers Monsanto everything they’ve ever wanted on a silver platter while obliterating the democratic process.

Pope Francis Calls for Radical Transformations to Confront Environmental Degradation

On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis’ 184-page long Encyclical letter1,2 was published, in which he calls for the transformation of lifestyles, politics, agriculture, economics, and business in general to tackle environmental degradation.

“The violence present in our hearts is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life,”he says.

And, while praising scientific advancements, he criticizes the use of novel technologies without adequate forethought, noting that: “our immense technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibility, values and conscience.”

To many people’s surprise, Pope Francis appears to have a fairly comprehensive grasp of the subject of genetically engineered food and its many inherent hazards, both to the environment and human health.

Far from coming from a strictly religious perspective, he comprehensively addresses the issue from the point of ecological and economical balance, noting:3

“The expan­sion of these [genetically engineered] crops has the effect of destroying the complex network of ecosystems, diminishing the diversity of production and affecting region­al economies, now and in the future.

In various countries, we see an expansion of oligopolies for the production of cereals and other products needed for their cultivation. This dependency would be aggravated were the production of in­fertile seeds to be considered; the effect would be to force farmers to purchase them from larger producers.

Certainly, these issues require constant at­tention and a concern for their ethical implica­tions. A broad, responsible scientific and social debate needs to take place, one capable of con­sidering all the available information and of call­ing things by their name.

Discussions are needed in which all those directly or indirectly affected (farmers, consumers, civil authorities, scientists, seed producers, people living near fumigated fields, and others) can make known their problems and concerns, and have access to adequate and reliable infor­mation in order to make decisions for the com­mon good, present and future.

This is a complex environmental issue; it calls for a comprehensive approach which would require, at the very least, greater efforts to finance various lines of inde­pendent, interdisciplinary research capable of shedding new light on the problem.”

German Beekeepers Call for Nationwide Ban of GE Crops

The issue of GE crops goes hand-in-hand with the issue of rising pesticide use, and the effects these chemicals are having on soils, pollinating insects, and human health.

Bees can be viewed as “canaries in the coal mine,” and over the last decade beekeepers have grappled with bee colony collapse disorder (CCD). Bees are priceless as they pollinate one-third of the food we eat. Just about every fruit and vegetable you can imagine is dependent on the pollinating services of bees.

But bee die-offs have in recent years been so severe that many farmers were barely able to get enough bees to get the job done, and beekeepers are asked to deliver their bees over far greater distances than ever before due to bee shortages.

Toxic pesticides have long been suspected of being responsible for CCD, and GE crops are particularly contaminated. To protect these crucial pollinators, the German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which represents nearly 100,000 beekeepers, has called for a nationwide ban on genetically engineered (GE) crops.

GE crops are approved on the European Union (EU) level, but recently adopted legislation4 allows member states to opt-out of the cultivation of GE crops if it so chooses. According to a report by GM Watch:5

“Under the law, a member state can ban a GMO in part or all of its territory. But the law has come under heavy criticism for failing to provide a solid basis for such bans.

The beekeepers are urging Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) to implement a Germany-wide ban on cultivation. The Minister pleads, however, for letting each state decide individually.

The beekeepers counter that a piecemeal approach will not work. Bees fly up to eight kilometers in search of food, the DIB said, so a juxtaposition of GM crop cultivation zones and GMO-free zones within Germany would be ‘environmentally and agriculturally unacceptable.. ‘Bees know no borders,’ the DIB added.”

Neil Young Sings About ‘The Monsanto Years’

Neil Young’s latest album, The Monsanto Years, is all about Monsanto and “exposing the myth of progress,” to quote one of his musicians. Young has also made public statements decrying the hijacking of democracy by corporate interests, warning:6“These Corporations were originally created to serve us but if we don’t appropriately prioritize they will destroy us.”

“I choose to speak Truth to this Economic Power,” he writes. “I support those bringing these issues to light and those who fight for their rights like Freedom of Choice. But Freedom of Choice is meaningless without knowledge. That’s why it’s crucial we all get engaged and get informed.

That’s why GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market. When the people have voted for labeling, as they have in Vermont, they need our support when they are fighting these corporate interests trying to reverse the laws they have voted for and passed in the democratic process.”

Don’t Be Confused by the Chemical Industry’s Word Games

Monsanto recently made a bid to take over Syngenta, the world’s largest pesticide producer. The $45.1 billion bid was rejected, but there’s still a chance for a merger, in which case Monsanto may assume the Syngenta name, or a new more “neutral” name—a move intended to dissociate Monsanto from its long list of atrocities and lies. The two companies are also floating ideas for relocating the merged chemical behemoth to a lower-tax region to avoid US taxes.7

Whatever happens, I sincerely doubt Monsanto will be able to escape its past as I am committed to relentlessly exposing their lies, frauds, and deceptions to the masses. We will make sure that its sordid history will quickly transfer over to whatever name it assumes next. Still, words and names can be powerful, and the chemical technology industry is busy renaming and rebranding itself and its toxic wares in an obvious effort to disguise their true nature.

Take the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), for example, which on June 17 renamed itself the BiotechnologyInnovation Organization.8 Basically, they want to remove the idea of “industry” from the industry. Monsanto also recently started using the word “seed protectants” for pesticides.9

Do these chemicals “protect seeds”? You could argue that they do, but their main function is to kill insects and other plants. Yet it’s much harder to associate a “seed protectant” with toxic pesticide exposure that can cause harm to human health, isn’t it? Do not let them get away with it by adopting this ridiculous new verbiage.

Why Are We Being Fed by a War Chemical Company?

Monsanto, a war chemical company that has been sued over toxic pollution multiple times, and been found guilty of lying and covering up evidence of their wrong-doing in virtually every case, is now looking to buy another giant chemical company, move their headquarters overseas to avoid US taxes, change their name, and rename their toxic bug and weed killers into nicer sounding things like “seed and crop protectants.”

At the end of the day, Monsanto is still just a chemical company that is now using many of the same war chemicals to grow our food. Why do we accept food from a poison expert? Toxins are rendered largely unnecessary using regenerative practices, which have also been shown to outperform chemical agriculture in terms of yield.

Monsanto’s president and chief operating officer Brett Bergemann recently stated that:10“We have the challenge of feeding 9.5 billion people by 2050. We need to meet that need in a sustainable way and we need to drive sustainable intensification of agriculture.” And yet everything Monsanto specializes in drives us in the polar opposite of regenerative agriculture. If you still believe Monsanto is concerned with feeding billions of people healthy nutritious food, then you simply have yet to objectively and carefully review their scandalous history.

They design and patent seeds that withstand the very herbicides they make and sell. They promised weeds would not develop resistance, but 10 million acres of superweeds stand witness to that lie. This has led to more Roundup being used to keep up with the weeds. Now crops resistant to even more toxic chemicals are being brought to market. Everything Monsanto has ever done has been centered around toxic chemicals, and now they’re trying to purchase the world’s largest pesticide producer.

Toxins and health do not go together, and anyone with impartial and rational motivations will quickly realize that Monsanto is not in the health-food business. They’re in the poison business, and with the bid to take over Syngenta, it should be crystal clear that Monsanto is not about to change their century-old track record anytime soon, no matter how many new words they invent to confuse you about the use of toxins on your food.

GMA Threatens to Take Away Vermont’s Twinkies

On April 27, 2015, a judge ruled against the food industry, spearheaded by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), upholding Vermont’s GMO labeling law. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2016. But the GMA isn’t done fighting against democracy and freedom and just about everything else the United States claims to stand for.

It recently sent a letter to Vermont, threatening to remove snack foods from the state lest Vermont drop its GMO labeling law. According to Politico:11 “The Grocery Manufacturers Association is warning Vermont officials that the cost to food companies to comply with the state’s GMO labeling law could exceed their sales revenue, forcing many of them to leave.” Should such a threat actually go through, it would surely be a magnificent experiment to see how residents’ health might improve compared to other states where snacks containing GMO corn syrup, sugar from GMO sugar beets, and vegetable oils from GMO soy and cottonseed are still sold.

GMA Admits Playing Integral Role in ‘Denying Americans the Right to Know’ (DARK) Act

The GMA has also been a driving force behind Pompeo “DARK” Act (HR 1599, “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”)—a law that would not only preempt states’ rights to create their own GMO food labeling laws, it also preempts any and all state and local regulation of GE crops, and weakens federal oversight.12 In short, it’s a Monsanto dream come true, and a corporate fascism nightmare for the rest of us.

Not only would it nullify existing GMO regulation, it also prohibits future laws from even being considered! The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) admits playing an integral role in the creation of this draconian anti-democratic, anti-consumer bill.
In a June 17, 2015 email to the GMA board of directors, Pamela Bailey writes, in part:

“GMA knows that your companies are facing difficult decisions and monumental challenges implementing the Vermont mandatory GMO labeling law. Many of you have reached out to me and other GMA staff with your concerns. Thefederal legislation introduced in the House by Representatives Pompeo and Butterfield continues to gain very significant traction. Indeed, tomorrow there will be a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and GMA has been integral to the process.

One of the witnesses is the Assistant Attorney General of Vermont, and he will be responding to several tough questions. One of our expert witnesses in the Vermont litigation, President and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, will testify on the impact the Vermont law will have on food supply chain. Next week the House Agricultural Committee is holding a hearing, and we expect the only witness at that hearing to be USDA.”[Emphasis mine]

Not surprisingly, Monsanto is also on the board for the Supply Chain Management…13

Take Immediate Action: Tell Your Congressman to Vote NO on Pompeo’s Bill, HR1599

As noted by the Center for Food Safety (CFS),14 the latest changes to Pompeo’s bill “create an anti-democracy, anti-consumer, anti-environment mega-bill” that simply MUST be stopped. We need everyone to put pressure on your federal representatives, and demand they vote NO on the Pompeo bill. We need to do everything we possibly can to prevent it from passing, so please, take action now! Tell your representative to support consumer and state rights, and reject Rep. Pompeo’s bill, H.R. 1599.

Do You Have a Victory Garden?

The idea of planting Victory Gardens goes back to World War I and II, and was advertised as a way for patriots to make a difference on the home front. Planting these gardens helped the citizens combat food shortages by supplying themselves and their neighbors with fresh produce.

Planting your own Victory Garden can go a long way toward healthier eating, and in the long run, it can provide incentive for industry-wide change, and a return to a diet of real food, for everyone, everywhere. A great way to get started on your own is by sprouting. They may be small, but sprouts are packed with nutrition and best of all, they’re easy and inexpensive to grow.

Share Pictures of Your Garden or Sprout Setup With Me!

Do you have pictures of your garden or sprout setup you’d like to share? I’d definitely love to see your pictures and hear your experience! Send in your pictures to gardening@mercola.com and I’ll publish my favorites.

Donate Today!

What Are GMOs?

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I’ve stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry’s contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We’re fighting back. That’s why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically “lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Recently, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) has reintroduced a bill (HR 1599) that would preempt states’ rights to enact GMO labeling laws. This bill would create a federal government program to oversee guidelines for voluntary labeling of products that do not contain GMOs. It would specifically prohibit Congress or individual states from requiring mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients. It would also allow food manufacturers to use the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs. TAKE ACTION NOW! Your local representatives need to hear from you! Please contact them today by CLICKING HERE.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Non-GMO Food Resources by Country

Together, Let’s Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

 

Sources and References

 

Posted in Health, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Health

Source

By Dr. Mercola

Most everyone, including many conventional physicians, have begun to appreciate the importance and value of vitamin D. Few, however, recognize the importance of vitamin K2, which is nearly as important as vitamin D.

Dr. Dennis Goodman,1 who was born in South Africa and trained at the University of Cape Town, has multiple board certifications in cardiology (and several subspecialties) and holistic integrative medicine.

After his internship at the Grootte Schuur Hospital—where Dr. Christian Barnard did the first heart transplant in 1967—he came to the US, where he did his cardiology fellowship at the at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where Dr. Michael DeBakey performed the first bypass surgery.

“I was really very lucky to be in a situation where I had these two cardiac giants as mentors and teachers,” he says.

Dr. Goodman is also the chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at the New York University (NYU), and has authored the book, Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Health. In it, he explains why vitamin K2 isevery bit as important as vitamin D.

“For 20 years I was putting stents in; running around day and night at the hospital. When I got called to the emergency room for someone having a heart attack, I was like a fireman putting out a fire in a house.

Sometimes, you were very lucky and could save the house from burning down, and sometimes not.

What I started to realize is that prevention is really the key for us to making the maximum impact. I’ve always been interested in the idea that everything we need to be healthy is provided by the Lord above –namely what’s out there for us to eat.

80 percent of these chronic diseases including atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes, diabetes, and obesity are preventable. So I got into the whole idea of learning integrative medicine,” he says.

He got his training in integrative medicine at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, and ended up being the chief of cardiology at the Scripps clinic for many years.

“Obviously, when you understand holistic medicine, you understand that so much of what we’re doing, unfortunately, in traditional medicine is procedures, testing, and prescribing drugs, because that’s what we’re taught—and making diagnoses instead of taking care of people who basically may not have a disease, but are not healthy and well.”

As a cardiologist, it’s quite appropriate to delve into vitamin K2, as it has two crucial functions: one is in cardiovascular health and the other is in bone restoration.

It performs many other functions as well, but by helping remove calcium from the lining of the blood vessels, vitamin K2 helps prevent occlusions from atherosclerosis.

Vitamin K Basics

Vitamins K1 and K2 are part of a family, but they are very different in their activity and function. Vitamin K1, found in green leafy vegetables, is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in the production of coagulation factors, which are critical for stopping bleeding.

This is why when someone’s on a blood thinner such as warfarin, they need to be careful not to take too much vitamin K1, as it will antagonize the effect of drug. Vitamin K2 is very different. There’s a complex biochemistry that occurs with K2 involving two enzymes:

  • Matrix Gla-protein (MGP)
  • Osteocalcin

“Gla” is short for glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is imported into the cells in the wall of your arteries, where it binds to calcium and removes it from the lining of your blood vessels.

Once removed from your blood vessel lining, vitamin K2 then facilitates the intergration of that calcium into your bone matrix by handing it over to osteocalcin,. The osteocalcin then helps cement the calcium in place.

Vitamin K2 activates these two proteins. Without it, this transfer process of calcium from your arteries to your bone cannot occur, which raises your risk of arterial calcification.

“Vitamin K2 is like a light switch—it switches on MGP and osteocalcin, which takes calcium out of the arterial wall and keeps it in the bone.

There’s so much information showing this relationship between osteoporosis (not having enough calcium in your bones) and having an increased incidence of heart disease. What’s actually happening, I think, a lot of patients are vitamin K2-deficient,” Dr. Goodman says.

“So now, I tell all patients – especially when they have risk factors for calcification – ‘You’ve got to get vitamin K2 when you take your vitamin D, and your calcium, and magnesium.’ Because we need to make sure that the calcium is going where it’s supposed to go.”

Statins May Increase Arterial Calcification by Depleting Vitamin K2

Besides a vitamin K2-poor diet, certain drugs may affect your vitamin K2 status. Dr. Goodman cites a recent article2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which suggests statin drugs may increase calcification in the arteries.

Interestingly enough, another recent study3 published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology shows that statins deplete vitamin K2.

“For me, that is so huge because if that’s true, everybody that is put on a statin, you want to make sure they’re also taking vitamin K2,” Dr. Goodman says.

This is an important observation, considering one in four adults in the US over the age of 40 is on a statin drug. Not only do all of these people need to take a ubiquinol or coenzyme Q10, which is also depleted by the drug, it’s quite likely they also need vitamin K2 to avoid cardiovascular harm.

Sources of Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is produced by certain bacteria, so the primary food source of vitamin K2 is fermented foods such as natto, a fermented soy product typically sold in Asian grocery stores. Fermented vegetables can be a great source of vitamin K if you ferment your own using a specially-designed starter culture. My Kinetic Culture is high in strains that make vitamin K2. If you would like to learn more about making your own fermented vegetables with a starter culture, you can watch the video and read more on this page.

Please note that not every strain of bacteria makes K2, so not all fermented foods will contain it. For example, most yogurts have almost no vitamin K2. Certain types of cheeses, such as Gouda, Brie, and Edam, are high in K2, while others are not. It really depends on the specific bacteria. Still, it’s quite difficult to get enough vitamin K2 from your diet—especially if you do not eat K2-rich fermented foods—so taking a supplement may be a wise move for most people.

How Can You Tell if You’re Deficient in Vitamin K2?

The major problem we face when it comes to optimizing vitamin K2 is that, unlike vitamin D, there’s no easy way to screen or test for vitamin K2 sufficiency. Vitamin K2 cannot at present be measured directly, so it’s measured through an indirect assessment of undercarboxylated osteocalcin. This test is still not commercially available, however. “That’s our problem. If that was available, we could start testing and showing people that their levels are low,” Dr. Goodman says.

Without testing, we’re left with looking at various lifestyle factors that predispose you to deficiency. As a general rule, if you have any of the following health conditions, you’re likely deficient in vitamin K2:

That said, it’s believed that the vast majority of people are in fact deficient these days and would benefit from more K2. One reason for this is very few (Americans in particular) eat enough vitamin K2-rich foods. So, if you do not have any of the health conditions listed, but do NOT regularly eat high amounts of the following foods, then your likelihood of being vitamin K2 deficient is still very high:

  • Certain fermented foods such as natto, or vegetables fermented using a starter culture of vitamin K2-producing bacteria
  • Certain cheeses such as Brie and Gouda (these two are particularly high in K2, containing about 75 mcg per ounce)
  • Grass-fed organic animal products (i.e. egg yolks, butter, dairy)

Different Kinds of Vitamin K2

The vitamin K puzzle is even more complex than differentiating between K1 and K2. There are also several different forms of vitamin K2. The two primary ones—and the only ones available in supplement form—are menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7). MK-4 has a very short biological half-life—about one hour—making it a poor candidate as a dietary supplement. MK-7 stays in your body longer; its half-life is three days, meaning you have a much better chance of building up a consistent blood level, compared to MK-4.

In supplement form, the MK-4 products are actually synthetic. They are not derived from natural food products containing MK-4. The MK-7– long-chain, natural bacterial-derived vitamin K2– on the other hand comes from a fermentation process, which offers a number of health advantages.

Research4 has shown MK-7 also helps prevent inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory markers produced by white blood cells called monocytes. MK-7 is extracted from the Japanese fermented soy product natto, and since it’s longer lasting, you only need to take it once a day. With an MK-4 supplement, you need to take it three times a day. The duration of action is also much longer with MK-7.

As for a clinically useful dosage, some studies have shown as little as 45 micrograms per day is sufficient. Dr. Goodman recommends taking 180 micrograms per day, making sure the K2 is in the form of MK-7. If you’re eating natto, all you need is about one teaspoon.

That said, vitamin K2 is non-toxic, so you don’t need to worry about overdosing if you get more. Do keep in mind that vitamin K2 may not necessarily make you “feel better” per se. Its internal workings are such that you’re not likely to feel the difference physically. Compliance can therefore be a problem, as people are more likely to take something that has a noticeable effect. This may not happen with vitamin K2, but that certainly does not mean it’s not doing anything! Last but not least, remember to always take your vitamin K supplement with fat since it is fat-soluble and won’t be absorbed without it.

Magnesium Recommendations

Another important nutrient is magnesium, which Dr. Goodman addressed in an earlier book called Magnificent Magnesium: Your Essential Key to a Healthy Heart & More. There are at least 350 enzyme systems in your body that require magnesium for proper function. Perhaps even more importantly, the quartet of calcium, vitamin D, K2, and magnesium all work together synergistically. “They’re all in the symphony. You should take them all,” Dr. Goodman says. I couldn’t agree more, and have discussed this in previous articles.

If you can find a supplement that contains vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K2 in combination, that might be ideal, and then add calcium according to your individual needs. One way to get calcium from your diet that doesn’t cost you anything extra is to pulverize the eggshell from an organic, pastured egg. I use a coffee grinder to do this. I then add the powdered eggshell to my smoothie. Do be sure the eggs you use are organically raised on pasture though. You do not want to use eggs from chickens raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Getting back to magnesium, the only people who really need to be concerned about taking too much are those with renal failure. “If your creatinine’s high, or you got renal failure, you can get into trouble with magnesium,” he says. “But everybody else, the only thing that can happen is some loose stools.”

As for the type of magnesium, Dr. Goodman recommends taking magnesium that ends in “ate”: threonate, glycinate, citrate, and dimalate —the latter of which has a slow-release technology (JIGSAW). “I cannot tell you how many people have written to me, e-mailed me, and thanked me because of magnesium supplementation – no more headaches, they’re sleeping at night, no more leg cramps or palpitations. In some patients it actually helped them lose weight. It’s huge,” he says.

More Information

In closing, Dr. Goodman notes, “I really hope that people get the message that we both are trying to send: to be healthy, you’ve actually got to do something about it. You’ve got to get up, think about nutrition, and think about exercise, stress management, and sleep.” In fact, in addition to vitamin K2, we discuss a number of side issues essential to optimal health in this interview, so for additional pointers please listen to the full interview, linked below the condensed video above, or read through the transcript.

I also recommend picking up one or both of Dr. Goodman’s books: Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Health, and Magnificent Magnesium: Your Essential Key to a Healthy Heart & More to learn more about these two underappreciated nutrients. While going into complex topics, Dr. Goodman’s books are easy to read and understand for the layperson.

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Lack of Exercise Can Disrupt Your Body’s Circadian Rhythm and Much More

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By Dr. Mercola

It’s been well-established that sleep is crucial for maintaining your circadian rhythm and has a significant bearing on metabolic disorders,1,2 not to mention optimal health in general.

But as it turns out, exercise may be just as important to keep your internal clocks in sync. Just as there is a time for being awake and being asleep, there are also times for physical movement and stillness.

As noted in a recent New York Times article:3

“Exercise may affect how and when we move, even when we aren’t exercising, according to a fascinating new study in mice.

The findings suggest that, by influencing our built-in body clocks, exercise may help our bodies to recognize the optimal times we should be moving, and when we should be still.”

The Biological Imperative of Movement

Research looking for clues about people’s natural movement patterns reveals that there appears to be “biological imperatives to movement” built into our system. One such study,4 published in 2009, found that people tend to move in logical intervals.

After a period of inactivity, they would start moving; once they’ve moved about or exercised, they would become inactive for a period. The intervals of movement and inactivity were more consistent in younger people than older ones. As noted in the featured article:5

“In essence, the young people’s bodies seemed to be somehow remembering and responding to what that body had just been doing, whether sitting or moving, and then calculating a new, appropriate response — moving or sitting.

In doing so, the researchers felt, the body created a healthy, dynamic circadian pattern.”

A more recent study6 looked at the movement pattern of mice, ranging in age from six months to two years—equivalent to a young adult’s and aging seniors in human terms.

When running wheels were provided, the younger mice exercised a lot, developing marked peaks and valleys of activity. As in the human study, the older mice were less consistent in their activity patterns.

Once the running wheels were removed, the mice quickly fell into more random movement patterns, and the patterns of the younger mice became more like that of the older ones.

According to the researchers, this suggests that exercise has a far greater impact on your daily movement patterns than your age does. And, as noted in the featured article:

“Of course, exercise by definition influences how much activity someone completes during the day. But Dr. Scheer and his colleagues believe that something deeper and more interesting also occurs with exercise…

By prompting the release of a wide variety of biochemicals in the body and brain…exercise almost certainly affects the body’s internal clock mechanisms and therefore its circadian rhythms, especially those related to activity.

Exercise seems to make the body better able to judge when and how much more it should be moving and when it should be at rest.”

Exercise Reduces Mortality Risk

While that may seem like “no big deal,” exercise certainly has benefits that can make all the difference in the world—such as allowing you to live a longer. As Harvard Professor Dr. I-Min Lee told Reuters:7

“We have clear data showing that the more energy is expended, the greater the reduction in mortality rates.”

One recent example of such data is a Norwegian study8,9,10 showing that when it comes to reducing mortality, regular exercise is as important as quittingsmoking.

About 5,700 older men were followed for about 12 years in this study, and those who got 30 minutes of exercise—even if all they did was light walking—six days a week, reduced their risk of death by about 40 percent.

Compared to those who were inactive, those who engaged in moderate to vigorous exercise lived about five years longer, and physical activity was almost as predictive as smoking when it came to mortality risk.

According to the authors: “Increase in physical activity was as beneficial as smoking cessation in reducing mortality,” concluding that: “Public health strategies in elderly men should include efforts to increase physical activity in line with efforts to reduce smoking behavior.”

However, getting less than one hour of light activity per week had no effect on mortality in this study, again highlighting the importance of getting the “dosage” right if you want to live longer.

The Optimal Amount of Exercise for Longevity

Other recent research reveals that indeed there is a “Goldilocks zone” in which exercise creates the greatest benefit for health and longevity. In one study,11data was collected from health surveys involving 661,000 adults and 14 years’ worth of death records.

Exercise habits ranged from no exercise at all, to 10 times the recommended amount (25 hours per week and over). Not surprisingly, those who did not exercise had the highest risk of premature death.

Those who met current recommendations of 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise lowered their risk of death by 31 percent compared to those who did not exercise, but it was those who tripled the recommended amount of exercise that gained the greatest benefits.

Exercising at moderate intensity for 450 minutes per week (just over an hour a day), lowered their risk of premature death by 39 percent, compared to non-exercisers. Beyond that, the benefits actually began to evaporate, and those who exercised at 10 times above the recommended level had the same mortality risk reduction as those who met the guidelines of 150 minutes per week (31 percent).

A second study,12 which focused on intensity, found that those who spent 30 percent of their exercise time doing more strenuous activities gained an extra 13 percent reduction in early mortality, compared to those who exercised moderately all the time and never really picked up the pace.

Inactivity Promotes Brittle Bones

Another benefit of exercise that becomes increasingly important with age is its impact on your bones. Recent research13suggests that as mobility decreased over time, modern humans developed increasingly lighter, more brittle bones. As reported by Times of India:14

“The study of the bones of hundreds of humans who lived during the past 33,000 years in Europe sheds light on a monumental change that has left modern humans susceptible to osteoporosis, a condition marked by brittle and thinning bones.

At the root of the finding is the knowledge that putting bones under the ‘stress’ of walking, lifting and running leads them to pack on more calcium and grow stronger… ‘By analyzing many arm and leg bone samples from throughout that time span, we found that European humans’ bones grew weaker gradually as they developed and adopted agriculture and settled down to a more sedentary lifestyle,’ said Christopher Ruff from the Johns Hopkins University’s school of medicine.”

If you want strong, healthy bones, weight-bearing exercises like strength training should be a regular part of your fitness routine. Bone-building is a dynamic process, and you need to exert enough force on your bones to stimulate the osteoblasts to build new bone.

Further, bone is living tissue that requires regular physical activity in order to renew and rebuild itself, so exercise needs to be a lifelong commitment. As you build more muscle, and make the muscle that you already have stronger, you automatically put more constant pressure on your bones. A good weight-bearing exercise to incorporate into your routine (depending on your current level of fitness, of course) is a walking lunge, as it helps build bone density in your hips, even without any additional weights.

Sitting Is the New Smoking…

The health effects of living too sedentary a life go far beyond reductions in bone density, however. I, for one, am absolutely convinced that sitting is in and of itself a root problem of many of our chronic health problems, and mounting research supports this notion. According to Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, and author of the book Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, some 10,000 publications have shown that sitting is harmful to your health, irrespective of other lifestyle habits, including an excellent exercise program.

In fact, one recent systematic review15,16 of 47 studies on sedentary behavior discovered that the time a person spends sitting each day produces detrimental effects that outweigh the benefits reaped from exercise. Chronic sitting was found to increase your risk of death from virtually all health problems, from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease to cancer and all-cause mortality. For example, sitting for more than eight hours a day was associated with a 90 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Other research17 found that those who sit the most have a 50 percent greater risk of all-cause mortality—in fact, chronic sitting has a mortality rate similar to smoking,18 increasing your rate of lung cancer by more than 50 percent! Your risk for uterine and colon cancer also increases by 66 and 30 percent respectively. The reason for this increased cancer risk is thought to be linked to biochemical changes that occur when you sit, such as alterations in hormones, metabolic dysfunction, leptin dysfunction, and inflammation—all of which promote cancer. Your risk for anxiety and depression also rises right along with hours spent in your chair.

Part of the reason why all of this may seem so surprising is that we’ve become so accustomed to sitting in chairs that we’ve failed to realize that doing so might be seriously problematic. Even I am perplexed at how I missed such a profoundly important health principle for the first 60 years of my life, but now that I have a better understanding of the science behind it, the cause and effect are quite clear. And so is the remedy.

Exercise Boosts Youthfulness, Even with Advancing Age

In short, exercise is one of the “golden tickets” to preventing disease and slowing the aging process. Besides helping you regain your insulin and leptin sensitivity, which is the root of most chronic disease, if you make the wise decision to engage in some intense exercise19,20 a couple of times a week, you’ll also boost your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH)—a biochemical often referred to as “the fitness hormone” for its invigorating, age-defying effects. It not only promotes muscle growth and effectively burns excessive fat; it also plays an important part in promoting longevity.

Once you hit the age of 30, you enter what’s called “somatopause,” at which point your levels of HGH begin to drop off quite dramatically. This decline of HGH is part of what drives your aging process, so maintaining your HGH levels gets increasingly important with age.

Besides that, exercise also induces changes in mitochondrial enzyme content and activity, which increases cellular energy production and triggers mitochondrial biogenesis21,22 (the process by which new mitochondria are formed in your cells). This reverses significant age-associated declines in mitochondrial mass, and in effect, “stops aging in its tracks.” Men will also be pleased to know that high-intensity interval training (HIIT), specifically, also helps boost testosterone levels naturally. That’s unlike aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise, which has been shown to have virtually no effect on testosterone levels.

Exercise Is Great Preventive Medicine

No matter what your age, exercise can provide enormous benefits for your health, and if you’re over 40, it’s especially important to either start or step up your exercise program. This is the time of life when your physical strength, stamina, balance, and flexibility start to decline, and exercise can help to counteract most age-related decline. For tips on getting started, check out my fitness page, Mercola Peak Fitness, which is a treasure trove of fitness videos and articles related to exercise.

Ideally, establish a comprehensive exercise program that includes high-intensity exercises, strength training, core exercises, and stretching. I also urge you to consider walking more, in addition to your regular workout regimen. Ideally, aim for 7,000 to 10,000 steps per day. Also avoid sitting as much as possible—ideally limiting your sitting to three hours a day or less, asprolonged sitting is an independent risk factor for chronic disease and early death—even if you’re very fit and exercise regularly.

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ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL

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By Mike Adams, the HealthRanger

While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority.

(NaturalNews) While America was distracted by a contrived, pre-planned Confederate flag distraction, the U.S. Congress forfeited the entire economic future of the country by quietly passing so-called “fast-track authority” which will allow President Obama to approve the TPP “free trade” agreement.

The TPP, as you may have heard, outright surrenders U.S. sovereignty to multinational corporations, handing them total global monopolies over labor practices, immigration, Big Pharma drug pricing, GMO food labeling, criminalization of garden seeds and much more. In all, the TPP hands over control of 80% of the U.S. economy to global monopolists, and the TPP is set up to enable those corporations to engage in virtually unlimited toxic chemical pollution, medical monopolization, the gutting of labor safety laws and much more.

Plus, did I mention the TPP will displace millions of American works as corporations outsource jobs to foreign workers? While corporations rake in the profits from new global powers, everyday American workers will lose their livelihoods and their jobs (not to mention their pensions).

Political sleight of hand: It was SOOOO easy to distract the American people with a flag flap!

Essentially, America just got sold out by people like Marco Rubio. And it was incredibly easy to pull off, too. First, America was distracted by a contrived, pre-planned mass hysteria / outrage event now known as the Confederate flag flap. Hilariously, this literal false flag controversy doesn’t even involve the actual Confederate flag. It involves a battle flag that people mistakenly think is the Confederate flag. (But who needs historical accuracy when there’s hysteria to spread?)

While Amazon.com was frantically deleting Confederate flag products from its website and everybody was going bat-crap insane over the 1970’s comedy TV series Dukes of Hazzard and its use of the so-called Confederate flag on a hot rod car, Republicans and the President were busy committing outright treason at the highest levels: surrendering American sovereignty and economically enslaving all of America’s future children.

And that’s the tragic irony of all this: While the political left falsely believed it was denouncing slavery by pressuring every online retailer and government entity to ban the Confederate flag, the U.S. Congress was busy enacting a whole new level of total economic enslavement for everyone, regardless of their skin color.

While ignorant “activists” ran around in mass hysteria, thinking they were banishing a symbol of enslavement to the history books, they were actually providing the necessary public distraction for quiet passage of the TPP’s fast-track authority.

In other words, they played right into the hands of the real slave masters: the globalist, monopolist corporations and their fascist government puppets who betray the People at every opportunity.

Believe me: These corporations don’t care about the skin color of their slave workers. They gladly enslave everyone, including you and me, if we’re stupid enough to allow our own elected representatives to forfeit America’s future (which they just did).

Screw the Confederate flag issue, folks: All Americans are now the “property” of multinational monopolist corporations that have turned national governments against their own people. The Confederate flag flap was merely a useful distraction to trick the population using political sleight of hand to fool everyone about the real agenda being pursued in Washington.

America is now officially a nation of slave workers beholden to multinational corporate interests. How does your silly flag outrage feel now?

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