An Open Letter to the Organic Community from Ronnie Cummins
After 45 years of hard work and grassroots struggle, the organic community has built up a $30 billion organic food and farming industry and community. But 10% annual growth isn’t enough to avert the public health, environmental and climate crisis ahead – a crisis caused in large part by industrial agriculture. The first step toward an Organic Alternative is to pass truth-in-labeling laws. It’s time to support the Nov. 6th California Ballot Initiative (Proposition 37) to require labels on genetically engineered foods and to ban the routine industry practice of marketing GMO-tainted foods as “natural” or “all natural.” The outcome of this ballot initiative will determine whether GMO foods are labeled – not only in California, but across the entire United States and Canada as well.
Today I’m asking the organic community – in California and nationwide – to approach the managers of the retail stores, CSAs, restaurants, or farmers markets where you regularly buy your organic food and ask them to endorse Prop 37, educate their consumers and financially support Prop 37. We have thousands of volunteers, but we need more. Please be a part of this historic initiative!
Reprinted to support the organic way and the dedicated work of Ron Cummings Organic Consumers.org
From the Rep. Slaughter Antibiotics in Food Survey
The information supplied by the food industry, Rep. Slaughter, the only microbiologist serving in Congress, is urging consumers and the Congress to act now.
Editor’s comment: Beware of companies using antibiotics routinely in stock feed for “growth” of the stock when shopping. Congress must strengthen US laws in order to fight the excessive use of antibiotics in our meats and poultry production. Excessive antibiotics can make humans more prone to the growing threat of superbugs by decreasing our immune systems and intestinal flora.
Excerpts courtesy of foodsafetynews
Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGATA)
et al.vs.Monsanto — representing some 300,000 organic farmers
against biotech giant Monsanto can proceed to trial.
Will you help set farming on a safer healthier soil?
Watch the video produced by Food Democracy Now, and find out
how you can get involved locally, to help America’s Farmers
grow their crops in peace, without being sued for “infringing
on Monsanto’s patented seed”, of which trace amounts were
detected under inspection, and which pollinated naturally.
Please watch this video and share.
Image courtesy of progressivetimes
By Dr. Mercola October 15 2011
Two widely cited, published cancer research studies contain fabricated data, will be retracted
The Mayo Clinic concluded that data about harnessing the immune system to fight cancer had been fabricated, resulting in the retraction of 17 papers in nine research journals
Cancer research in the United States needs to be scrutinized, as much is money-driven and based on developing new drugs
In a scandal that has reverberated around the world of cancer research, the Office of Research Integrity at the U.S. Department of Health found that a Boston University cancer scientist fabricated his findings. His work was published in two journals in 2009, and he’s been ordered to retract them. But important studies by other scientists like those at the Mayo Clinic, who based their work on his findings, could now make 10 years of their studies worthless, according to commentary in Gaia Health.
It seems fairly evident that the cancer industrial complex is a highly lucrative, well-oiled system that tends to support funding for expensive drug treatments that don’t address the cause of the problem, and have yet to make a significant dent in the decrease of the overall cancer rate in the US despite investing hundreds of billions of dollars. Much of the support comes from flawed and biased “research” studies that support the use of expensive drugs as detailed in the featured articles.
Researchers, too, are well aware of the notoriety and money to be found in cancer research … particularly what may be deemed successful cancer research (which unfortunately is often measured by the discovery of new drug treatments). But, as with many areas of medical research, it’s important to read between the lines of “scientifically proven” studies, even those that are well accepted.
Often what you’ll find is the research gives the perception of science when really it is a heavily manipulated process designed to control and deceive. Case in point, here again we have an example of widely accepted, published research that turned out to be fabricated.
10 Years of Cancer Research Down the Drain
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) at the U.S. Department of Health reported in August 2011 that final action has been taken against Sheng Wang, PhD, of Boston University School of Medicine, Cancer Research Center. ORI states:
“The Respondent engaged in research misconduct by fabricating data that were included in two (2) published papers.”
Oncogene February 2009, which found that HIC1, a protein thought to suppress tumor growth, is a “central molecule in a novel mechanism controlling cell growth and that the disruption of this HIC1-mediated pathway may lead to abnormal cell proliferation and, ultimately, cancer.”
Molecular Endocrinology December 2009, which found “reintroducing HIC1 into resistant breast cancer cells restored their sensitivity to the estrogen antagonists, indicating the existence of a novel regulatory mechanism for growth control of breast cancer cells.”
Specifically, six of the eight figures in the Oncogene paper and six of the seven figures in the Molecular Endocrinology study were said to contain data from fabricated experiments. Though Wang is now required to retract the papers, and he reportedly stopped working for Boston University in July, he will only be ineligible for federal funding for 2 years.
Further, the fabricated research may continue to live on, as it has been cited by other studies and once a finding is accepted in the medical community, it’s very hard to make it go away. Unfortunately, scientific retractions are actually becoming increasingly common.
As the Wall Street Journal reported:
“Just 22 retraction notices appeared in 2001, but 139 in 2006 and 339 last year. Through seven months of this year, there have been 210, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science, an index of 11,600 peer-reviewed journals world-wide …
At the Mayo Clinic, a decade of cancer research, partly taxpayer-funded, went down the drain when the prestigious Minnesota institution concluded that intriguing data about harnessing the immune system to fight cancer had been fabricated. Seventeen scholarly papers published in nine research journals had to be retracted. A researcher, who protests his innocence, was fired. In another major flameout, 18 research journals have said they are planning to retract a total of 89 published studies by a German anesthesiologist …”
Fabricated Research is More Common Than You Might Think
Peer-reviewed research published in medical journals gets the golden star of approval in the media, yet many, if not most, of the findings are incredibly misleading. One of the best exposé’s into this muddled system came from none other than Dr. Marcia Angell, who was the former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
In her book The Truth about Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, she exposed many examples of why medical studies often cannot be trusted, and said flat out:
“Trials can be rigged in a dozen ways, and it happens all the time.”
For instance, in 2009 Dr. Scott Reuben, who was a well-respected, prominent anesthesiologist, former chief of acute pain of the Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass. and a former professor at Tufts University’s medical school, allegedly fabricated the data for 21 studies!
Dr. Reuben succeeded in getting numerous studies published, and those studies were accepted as fact and swayed the prescribing habits of doctors. It was only due to a routine audit raising a few red flags that a larger investigation was later launched.
So how did those false studies, or any studies for that matter, become worthy of being published? Part of the problem may be the peer-review process itself, as this puts researchers in charge of policing other researchers’ results, and most do not want to insult a fellow researcher’s work with negative comments.
As written in Gaia Health:
“It’s all about money. Get published in a major medical journal and your future is made. Most peer reviewers are doing their own studies. That’s what makes them peers. They want to be able to publish. Therefore, they are not particularly inclined to make more than perfunctory negative comments. Obviously, they don’t want to alienate the authors of papers, since they either are or hope to become published themselves.
Peer review is a farce. The only kind of review that makes real sense is professional independent reviewers. Yet, for decades we’ve had peer review trotted out as the be-all and end-all in determining the legitimacy of papers. It’s been unquestioned, while a little examination of the concept demonstrates that it’s nearly certain to result in fraudulent work being passed as good science.”
It’s almost impossible to find out what happens in the vetting process, as peer reviewers are unpaid, anonymous and unaccountable. And although the system is based on the best of intentions, it lacks consistent standards and the expertise of the reviewers can vary widely from journal to journal.
Given that cancer research is such a lucrative business right now — the National Cancer Institute, which gave the grant money to support Dr. Sheng Wang’s fabricated research, had a $5.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2010 — the stakes are exceptionally high. So it stands to reason that it may be subject to even more fraud and manipulation than less lucrative research prospects.
As The Economist reported, there were more new cancer drugs in development in 2010 than any other therapeutic area. Drug makers are well aware that a blockbuster cancer drug could easily earn them profits in the billions, even if the drug is only borderline effective. It is abundantly clear that profit is a primary motive of these companies so it should not be a surprise that they have moved in this direction, and this is where the abundance of research is focused as well.
Why You Might Want to Think Twice Before Donating to Anti-Cancer Charities
A lot of people put their faith in charity organizations like the American Cancer Society (ACS), dutifully donating money to help in the “war on cancer.” But in the report titled American Cancer Society—More Interested In Accumulating Wealth Than Saving Lives, Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, plainly lays to bare the many conflicts of interest that hamper the effectiveness of this organization.
For example, the ACS has close financial ties to both makers of mammography equipment and cancer drugs. But that’s just for starters. Other conflicts of interest include ties to, and financial support from, the pesticide-, petrochemical-, biotech-, cosmetics-, and junk food industries—the very industries whose products are the primary contributors to cancer!
The ACS, along with the National Cancer Institute, virtually exclusively focus on cancer research and the diagnosis and chemical treatment of cancer. Preventive strategies, such as avoiding chemical exposures, receive virtually no consideration at all.
“Giant corporations, which profited handsomely while they polluted air, water, the workplace, and food with a wide range of carcinogens, remain greatly comforted by the silence of the ACS. This silence reflected a complex of mindsets fixated on diagnosis, treatment, and basic genetic research, together with ignorance, indifference, and even hostility to prevention. Not surprisingly, the incidence of cancer over past decades has escalated, approximately parallel to its increased funding,” Dr. Epstein writes.
Many also do not realize that when you donate money to the American Cancer Society, the majority of it may never go further than the bank accounts of its numerous well-paid executives.
Meanwhile, global cancer rates have doubled in the last three decades, and their “war on cancer” strategy completely ignores, and oftentimes denies, the obvious links between cancer and toxic exposures through pesticide-laden foods, toxic personal care products, cancer-causing medical treatments and drugs, and industrial pollution. We CAN turn this trend around, but to do so the medical and research communities must stop focusing on drug treatments and overlooking the methods that can actually have a significant impact on preventing this disease.
My Top 12 Tips for Cancer Prevention
Rather than put your health in the hands of cancer researchers willing to do just about anything to discover the next cancer drug breakthrough, take control of your health by following the cancer-preventive lifestyle changes below.
Avoid Fructose and Sugar
It’s quite clear that if you want to avoid cancer, or are currently undergoing cancer treatment, you absolutely MUST avoid all forms of sugar — especially fructose — and this is largely due to its relation to insulin resistance. According to Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, as much as 80 percent of all cancers are “driven by either mutations or environmental factors that work to enhance or mimic the effect of insulin on the incipient tumor cells,” Gary Taubes reports.
Some cancer centers, such as the Cancer Centers of America, have fully embraced this knowledge and place their patients on strict low-sugar, low-grain diets. But conventional medicine in general has been woefully lax when it comes to highlighting the health dangers of this additive.
As a standard recommendation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day including fruits. But for most people it would also be wise to limit your fructose from fruit to 15 grams or less, as you’re virtually guaranteed to consume “hidden” sources of fructose if you drink beverages other than water and eat processed food.
Optimize Your Vitamin D Level
There’s overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that vitamin D deficiency plays a crucial role in cancer development. Researchers within this field have estimated that about 30 percent of cancer deaths — which amounts to 2 million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States — could be prevented each year simply by optimizing the vitamin D levels in the general population.
On a personal level, you can decrease your risk of cancer by MORE THAN HALF simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. And if you are being treated for cancer it is likely that higher blood levels—probably around 80-90 ng/ml—would be beneficial.
If the notion that sun exposure actually prevents cancer is still new to you, I highly recommend you watch my one-hour vitamin D lecture to clear up any confusion. It’s important to understand that the risk of skin cancer from the sun comes only from excessive exposure.
If you are like most people, when you think of reducing your risk of cancer, exercise doesn’t immediately come to mind. However, there is some fairly compelling evidence that exercise can slash your risk of cancer. One of the primary ways exercise lowers your risk for cancer is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells.
For example, physically active adults experience about half the incidence of colon cancer as their sedentary counterparts, and women who exercise regularly may reduce their breast cancer risk by 20 to 30 percent compared to those who are inactive.It’s important to include a large variety of techniques in your exercise routine, such as strength training, aerobics, core-building activities, and stretching. Most important of all, however, is to make sure you include high-intensity, burst-type exercise, such as those described in my Peak Fitness program.
These exercises activate your super-fast twitch muscle fibers, which can increase your body’s natural production of human growth hormone. For detailed instructions, please see this previous article.
Get appropriate amounts of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats.
Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much under appreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.
Engage in activities that help you reduce your stress levels, such as exercise, meditation, journalling, music, gardening, etc. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed.
Only 25 percent of people eat enough vegetables, so by all means eat as many vegetables as you are comfortable with. Ideally, they should be fresh and organic. Cruciferous vegetables in particular have been identified as having potent anti-cancer properties. Remember that carb nutritional types may need up to 300 percent more vegetables than protein nutritional types.
Maintain an ideal body weight.
Get appropriate amounts of high-quality sleep.
Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution.
Reduce your use of cell phones and other wireless technologies, and implement as many safety strategies as possible if/when you cannot avoid their use.
Boil, poach or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling them. Better yet eat as many of your foods raw as you can.
Reprinted with permission Mercola.com
I am going to watch those bar codes a LOT more now… I am busy reading the ingredients.. Boy.. shopping is a full time job!!!
ALWAYS READ THE LABELS ON THE FOODS YOU BUY–NO MATTER WHAT THE FRONT OF THE BOX OR PACKAGE TURN IT OVER AND READ THE BACK—CAREFULLY!
With all the food and pet products now coming from China , it is best to make sure you read labels at the grocery store and especially Wal-Mart when buying food products. Many products no longer show where they were made, only give where the distributor is located. It is important to read the bar code to track its origin.
How to read Bar Codes … interesting!
This may be useful to know when grocery shopping, if it’s a concern to you.
GREAT WAY TO “BUY USA & CANADA ” AND NOT FROM CHINA!!
The whole world is afraid of China-made “black hearted goods”.
Can you differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China ?
If the first 3 digits of the barcode are 690, 691 or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA.
471 is Made in Taiwan .
This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the
public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves.
Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products “MADE IN
CHINA”, so they don’t show from which country it is made.
However, you may now refer to the barcode – remember if the first 3 digits are:
690-692 … then it is MADE IN CHINA
00 – 09 … USA & CANADA
30 – 37 … FRANCE
40 – 44 … GERMANY
471 … Taiwan
49 … JAPAN
50 … UK
BUY USA & CANADIAN MADE by watching for “0” at the beginning of the number.
Support the USA.
Health Tip of the day submitted by JS
Image courtesy of http://goo.gl/sLbZF
The Stir launched How to Cook a Wiener & Eat It blind taste test of 10 ketchup brands to determine which ones had superior tomato flavor and consistency, and which ones were disappointingly watery and bland.
For the ketchup taste test each person was blindfolded then sampled the following 10 brands (using McDonald’s French Fries for dipping) and chose the two best and two worst based on flavor and consistency:
- Whole Foods 365 Organic Tomato Ketchup
- Whole Foods 365 Ketchup
- Generic Tomato Ketchup (Best Yet)
- Heinz Tomato Ketchup
- Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup
- No Salt Added Heinz
- Reduced Sugar Heinz
- Sir Kensington Gourmet Scooping Ketchup
- Hunt’s Tomato Ketchup
- Hunt’s Tomato Ketchup (no salt)
Ketchup is one of the easiest of all naturally fermented foods to make and keep in your own kitchen. I made my first batch ever a few weeks ago, and it truly takes common ketchup as previously known to a whole new level.
The other option is to make your own like the one from Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions recipe on page 104:
Lynn’s Organic Ketchup Recipe
|3 cups||canned, organic tomato paste|
|¼ cup||whey (liquid from plain yogurt)|
|1 Tbls||sea salt|
|½ cup||maple syrup|
|¼ tsp||cayenne pepper|
|3 cloves||peeled & mashed garlic|
|½ cup fish sauce||fish sauce (find in most any market)|
|Just mix together in a wide-mouth glass jar, leave at least an inch below the top and leave it at room temperature for 2-3 days before putting into the refrigerator.
Recipe makes a whole quart.
Excerpts courtesy of http://yhoo.it/jpVA8i
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/lc2YRf
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/jgTGFy
The old question What’s on your plate has taken on new meaning today with the unveiling of the new Food Plate image that will replace the food pyramid. Government (USDA) hopes that Americans who found following the dietary guidelines of the food pyramid challenging will step up to the plate and eat healthier now.
It’s an icon that works, says WebMD nutrition director Kathleen Zelman, RD.
“We now have an easy-to-understand layout of what constitutes a healthy meal,” Zelman says. “Whether you are grocery shopping, packing lunches, or assembling a meal on a plate, the new food plate icon will serve as a constant reminder of the essential ingredients for a nutritious meal — five easy pieces.”
The icon makes it clear that fruits and veggies should make up half of your meal, while protein is the smallest part of the plate. The grain portion is a bit larger and still offers the advice to “make half your grains whole,” which some nutritionists say leaves too much room for less healthy refined grains such as white rice and white bread.
Other top-line advice accompanying the icon is less controversial:
Balance calories by enjoying food but eating less, and by avoiding oversize portions.
Eat more good stuff: Make half the plate fruit and vegetables, switch to nonfat or low-fat milk.
Eat less bad stuff: Look for lower-sodium soups, breads, and frozen meals; drink water instead of sugary drinks.
In the fall, the USDA will launch a suite of interactive web-based tools including:
Daily, personalized food plans.
Daily food plans for kids and preschoolers.
Daily food plans for new mothers and pregnant women.
MyFoodapedia: information on food groups, calories, and food comparisons.
Food Tracker: feedback on your food intake and physical activity
Food Planner: a tool to plan meals that will help you reach personal goals.
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/k7Ghwrsrc=nldne
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/j1GZkj
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/l8sLlX
Marine scientists say they are concerned about radiation spewing from the crippled Japanese nuclear plant.
“Radiation from Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is accumulating in marine life off Japan’s coast above legal limits for food contamination, Greenpeace said Thursday.
The environmental group said its findings run counter to Japanese government reports and the WoodsHole report that radiation from the Fukushima plant, damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, is being diluted as time passes.
What is being released from the Fukushima reactors and how dangerous is it?
The Fukushima reactors have been primarily composed of two radioactive substances: iodine-131 and cesium-137. In large doses, both of these isotopes or radionuclides can cause long-term health problems.
Are there different types of radiation?
In general, there are two types of radiation, ionizing and non-ionizing. Non-ionizing radiation includes visible light and radio waves — things that, as the name implies, do not have the ability to form charged ions in other materials. Ionizing radiation, however, can and as a result presents a serious health threat because it can alter the atomic structure of living tissue. Ionizing radiation also comes in several different types, including alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, all with different degrees of concern and health impacts.
How long is the radiation from these substances a risk to humans and the environment?
Radioactive materials are, by their very nature, unstable and decline in strength over time -a long time. This change is measured in half-lives — the length of time it takes for the radiation to decrease by one-half. Every radioactive substance has a different half-life, ranging from fractions of a second to billions of years. Those with longer half-lives are potentially more difficult to deal with because they remain radioactive for longer periods of time. Cesium-137, for example, has a half-life of 30 years and so is a potentially serious health threat for decades or centuries. Iodine-131, on the other hand, has a half-life of just 8 days and so loses much of its potency after just days and effectively disappears after one to two months.
How far can radiation travel?
Ionizing radiation itself cannot travel very far through the air. Typically, dust and other particles, seawater and other liquids, or even gases become radioactive due to exposure to radionuclides and are then transported great distances. In the months and years after the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine scientists were able to track the spread of radioactive material in the atmosphere and the ocean around the globe. Within a week after the explosions at the Fukushima plant, there were reports of very small increases in the continental U.S.
How will the radioactive material released in Japan affect humans?
People who live near the plants were evacuated to a safe distance restrictions and other precautions recommended by the Japanese government and at-risk individuals needed to take suggested extra precautions such as taking potassium iodide to avoid thyroid problems.
Near the reactors, seafood and other products taken from the sea are not safe for human consumption. However, crops and other vegetation near the reactor site (including grass that cows eat to produce milk) that receive fallout from the atmosphere build up radioactivity can not be eaten even if washed. When these foods are consumed, a person receives much of this dose internally, often a more severe pathway to receive radiation than by external exposure.
Prevailing winds over from Japan blow east towards North America; ocean currents in the region also flow generally east into the North Pacific, though much slower than winds. Radiation from the plants have been found in milk in Phoenix, AZ USA and in the waters over the eastern coast of the US. The concept that this increasing radioactivity is not a point of cern is ridiculous. Drinking milk contaminated with more radiation then is already polluting are environment is not a problem makes no sense. It equates with someone saying well if you take a little more poison daily you won’t notice the difference in your health.
I am disappointed the Woods Hole has played down the dangers of this worldwide radiation increase.
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/jW7Jzx
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/loX0te
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/lkmWTY
If you’ve been wondering where Season 2 of the Food Revolution had gone on ABC do not fear the show is taking a short break following the recent positive events in the Food Revolution in L.A .
Looking forward to seeing the superintendent of the LAUSD offering to recommend to the board the removal of flavored milk from schools and agreeing to work with Jamie.
All new episodes beginning Friday, June 3rd at 9pm ET/8pm CT.
If you’ve missed either of the first two episodes, they will be airing back-to-back on Friday May 27th at 8:00 and 9:00 pm ET (7 and 8 CT) or you can watch them on www.abc.com !
You can get involved with the Food Revolution below.
• Sign Jamie’s petition! We want to reach 1 million. If you’ve already signed ask all of you friends and family to do so as well. Signing up to our newsletters is also a great way to stay informed on all things Food Revolution and receive a roundup of the latest news each week, just fill in the ‘Stay in the loop’ box on the website.
• Join the Food Revolution Community on Facebook for the latest news, actions, announcements and recipe of the week. We want you to download the recipe of the week, cook it and post a picture of your creation on the community wall. This week it’s the delicious Caesar on the Lighter Side, you have until the end of Tuesday each week to post your photo. We’ll be posting our team photo each Friday so check out the Community page for this. We’ll be picking the best ones and featuring them in our weekly newsletter and on the website.
• Check out our Activists map to find a local group in your area to connect with and join their Facebook page. If there isn’t one locally submit a request to create a group and become a local leader. All leaders receive a handy Welcome Toolkit to get them started and all groups receive messages from Jamie and the team, we want you to succeed in your local campaign and will be keeping track of the great work already going on.
• Join our weekly Competwitions and Twitter parties on Tuesdays and Wednesdays where the community gets together to talk recipes, school food, cooking, gardening and the Food Revolution campaign. Read some of the conversation from this week’s party and competwition – including this week’s winner!
The Food Revolution Team
Season 2 EP1&2 airing May 27 on ABC 8/7c then weekly on Fridays 9/8c from June 3.
Article courtesy of www.jamiesfoodrevolution.com
Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/lfKvZA