FDA

  1. Study finds glyphosate levels in people up 1,200 percent

    Dear Reader,

    Do you have cancer-causing weed killer glyphosate, a.k.a. Roundup, inside of your body? How about your kids and grandkids?

    According to some new research, that's not just a possibility... but a probability.

    Some stunning findings have just been released showing that we're all being turned into walking test tubes in Monsanto's long-running experiment with this chemical.

    And doing whatever it takes to reduce exposure has now become more urgent than ever before.

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    The time is now
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    Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have been studying human exposure to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) for over two decades. And their most recent findings are unbelievably frightening.

    After analyzing urine samples from volunteers in southern California for the past 23 years, they've now found that the number of people who have the chemical in their body has increased 500 percent, and the amounts of glyphosate they harbor have gone up by a whopping 1,200 percent!

    Yet back in the early 1990s, when they started this testing, almost none of the participants had detectible levels.

    Now, if you ask the FDA, CDC, or some other so-called health agency what that means, you'll probably hear the old "don't worry, be happy" refrain they've all been handing out for years.

    And if you ask the folks at Monsanto, they'll tell you that there's nothing unusual about those numbers. In fact, they're "consistent with prior reports," and in no way "raise health concerns."

    Well, OK, if they say so!

    In all seriousness, the harsh reality of this situation is that, while we really don't know exactly what this is doing to us (and even scarier, what it could be doing to our kids), what we've heard so far isn't very reassuring.

    For example:

    • In a study out of the UK, rats who were fed low levels of glyphosate were at significantly higher risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, which can destroy your liver before you know what's happening. And the levels of the chemical detected in people just so happen to be "100-fold greater" than in those rats.
    • Several years ago, glyphosate was found to interfere with bacteria in the GI tract, which can cause essential amino acids to be depleted.
    • It's also been linked to kidney and liver damage, as well as being a likely contributor to a whole host of diseases such as IBS, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's.
    • And last, but certainly not least, two years ago, the World Health Organization said that glyphosate can "probably" cause cancer in people -- that's right, not rats or mice but human beings.

    But instead of our regulators pulling in the reins, glyphosate use is now totally out of control.

    And it's not just used on Frankencrops anymore, but loads of other foods as well. As we told you, Monsanto has been encouraging farmers to apply it as a drying agent on everything from lentils to peas to oats -- even oats that end up in baby food!

    While those California researchers are planning to conduct studies looking at liver disease, including NAFLD in people, I don't think we have the luxury of waiting for those results.

    That's why the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family is take these three steps to reduce your glyphosate exposure right now:

    #1: Don't be tricked by TV ads into using Roundup or any other weed killer anywhere in the vicinity of your home.

    #2: Give the boot to any products containing the big four Frankencrops -- corn, soy, canola, and sugar that comes from sugar beets -- unless they're organic or certified as GMO-free.

    #3: Whenever possible, avoid using nonorganic lentils, peas, dry beans, flax, barley, potatoes, and oats, as these may be subject to post-harvest glyphosate applications.

    Getting the glyphosate beast back into its cage, unfortunately, is next to impossible at this point. But thanks to these findings, at least we know what we need to do to keep it from attacking us.

    To Taking Action Now,

    Melissa Young

  2. Watch out for vitamin D carpetbaggers

    Well, what do ya know? Vitamin D has finally hit the big time.

    In fact, sometime in the near future, you might be able to say taking it prevents cancer. And you won't go to prison for it. And you won't have to pay a whopping fine... even you're a merchant selling a product that contains vitamin D!

    As you remember...

    A few weeks back, I told you that the FDA only allows drug makers to talk about diseases. And there are very few exceptions in the vitamin world. Selenium is one of them. Merchants can make "qualified claims" about selenium and cancer prevention. And now, vitamin D seems on the brink of achieving the same superstar status!

    Late last month, the Alliance for Natural Health-USA announced plans to petition the FDA on behalf of vitamin D. They are submitting a "qualified health claim" to the FDA about cancer prevention with vitamin D based on literally 6,000 published studies.

    If the FDA approves it, you may see something like this on your milk jug: Contains vitamin D, proven to help in the prevention of breast cancer. Of course, the jug will probably be pink.

    (Sigh.)

    So, yes, I'm certainly wary of the vitamin D carpetbaggers jumping on the bandwagon to boost sales. But I guess I'll live with it. Better to let vitamin D out of the closet than keep its potential under wraps.

  3. Will FDA admit link between food coloring and hyperactivity in kids?

    A few weeks ago, a friend emailed me a link about the FDA‘s decision to take a closer look at the possible link between artificial food coloring and hyperactivity in children. "Wow!" she wrote, "Do you believe it? The FDA‘s finally taking a stand!" My friend has four kids, so I can understand why she was interested. But, ever the cynic, I wrote back, "Yes, but it‘s just a ruse. They‘ll review the data and then say ‘we‘ve looked at it and determined there‘s no problem.‘ So go ahead, eat all the Froot Loops and Jello Jigglers you want!" Sure enough...I was right. The FDA panel decided that food coloring does not cause hyperactivity in most children. (There is plenty of scientific research that proves otherwise. To see the research for yourself, go www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/petition-food-dyes.pdf.) The panel did concede, however, that artificial food coloring might affect children who already suffer from hyperactivity. They called for more research into the matter, but stopped well short of banning artificial coloring. In addition, the panel voted 8 to 6 against adding warning labels to food products that carry eight types of food dye. (Actually, that‘s a much tighter margin that I would have ever predicted!) Apparently, it‘s too much of a hassle to add warnings to food packages. According to Tim Jones, Tennessee‘s deputy state epidemiologist and a member of the FDA panel, "If we put a label that long on every chemical and ingredient that hasn‘t been adequately studied, you wouldn‘t see the package anymore. It‘s a question of relative concern and severity, and that‘s a hard one." Okaaay...so, do I have Jones‘s argument right? We can‘t add warnings about these chemicals -- even though we believe some kids can‘t tolerate them -- because it would cover too much of the food package? Really, Tim, did you ever think about cutting out the mysterious chemicals? You wouldn‘t have such a packaging dilemma on your hands. But I have bigger concerns with the FDA‘s ruling and it doesn‘t have anything to do with warnings on wrappers...

    FDA ignores powerful data

    I‘m not sure which studies the FDA reviewed, but I have a feeling they did not consider this major study... A few years back, the British researchers found that common food dyes and the preservative sodium benzoate could cause healthy children to show signs of hyperactivity. For this study, British researchers recruited 300 children between the ages three and nine. They divided the children into three groups. One group received a fruit drink that contained artificial coloring and sodium benzoate. The second group received the same drink, just with lower levels of the additives. The third group received a pure fruit drink with no additives. Teachers then assessed the children throughout the week using standardized behavior tests. They found that children given the drinks with artificial colors showed "increased hyperactivity." In fact, these children scored poorer in areas of restlessness, concentration, fidgeting, and interrupting. Plus, the younger child was, the greater the problem. Because of this study and a few others, the European Parliament now requires that food manufacturers print those pesky warning labels to foods that contain certain types of food coloring and preservatives. (See Tim, it‘s really not that big of a deal.) Unfortunately, food dyes are only a fraction of the problem. There‘s also the problem of artificial preservatives, such as sodium benzoate...

    Beware of more hidden dangers

    Most foods that contain food coloring also contain preservatives. Food manufacturers use these to extend a product‘s "shelf life." That‘s why white bread stays "fresh" in your bread box much longer than natural whole grain bread. It‘s loaded with preservatives. Just pick up a product along the inside aisle of your local grocery store. Unless, you‘re standing in the health nut aisle, I bet the product contains a preservative. Here is a list of commonly-used preservatives:
    • Nitrates
    • Nitrites
    • Sulfites
    • Bisulfate
    • Sulfur dioxide
    • Propyll Gallate
    • BPA and BHT
    • Sodium benzoate
    • Potassium bromate (banned everywhere in the world but the U.S. and Japan)
    No matter your age, you‘ll want to avoid products containing these chemicals. Nitrites and nitrates are especially dangerous. Used to cure meat and prevent the growth of bacteria, these chemicals go hand-in-hand with processed meats such as hot dogs, lunch meat, and bacon. Recently, Harvard researchers reviewed 20 different studies using processed meat. They found that just one serving of it per day increased heart disease risk by 42 percent. It raised diabetes risk by 19 percent. Plus, nitrates are known carcinogens... In once recent study, Swedish researchers reviewed the eating habits of 4,700 people. They found that eating just one ounce of processed meat a day increased stomach cancer risk by up to 38 percent. That‘s incredible! If people knew that eating just one slice of ham per day could increase their stomach cancer risk by that much, the lines at the deli counter would probably disappear!

    How to choose safer options

    Hormel makes a line of additive-free lunch meat. You‘ll also find additive-free meat at organic grocery stores like Trader Joe‘s. Overall, try to keep natural foods the mainstay of your diet. Also, stay out of the center aisles at the grocery store. Stick to the perimeter and you‘re in much better shape. Here you will find 100 percent whole grains (bread, brown rice, pasta) foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables (organic, of course). Also, strive to eat fresh, wild fish several times a week. Some red meat is okay. Just make sure it‘s organic and hormone-free. For snacks, avoid the processed stuff. Instead, go for fresh nuts and seeds. Also, go ahead and try out that one "healthy aisle" in your grocery store. Believe it or not, you can find tasty additive-free snacks here. You just have to look a little harder...and be a little adventurous! NorthStar makes it easy to plump up the nutrition in almost any food with our "amazing superfood" BenVia Gold! In a gram-to-gram analysis, it packs awesome amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, plus 5 times more calcium than whole milk, 13 times more magnesium than broccoli, 3 times more antioxidant power than fresh blueberries, more fiber than flaxseed, and more protein than soy. You can blend it into your breakfast shake, sprinkle it on our yogurt, add it to your salad make mouthwatering dinners with it, bake cookies with it, or use it as thickener for sauces; it just makes everything more satisfying! We call it a "nutritional goldmine!" Get all the details here.
  4. The melamine scandal continues

    In November’s Guide to Good Health, we talked about the dangers of melamine in infant formula. I just wanted to update you on that story. The whole mess started in China, where thousands of babies got sick because they drank formula tainted with melamine (a type of plastic used to make countertops). Apparently, it was purposefully added in China to artificially boost protein content in infant formula. Since this whole story broke, the FDA has found trace amounts of melamine in several brands of U.S.-manufactured infant formula. Companies here have been scrambling to ease the minds of parents and get rid of the melamine (even though the FDA says trace amounts are safe). But the fallout in China has been tremendous. There’s nothing like a major worldwide PR scandal to make the Communist Party really angry. Government officials have been stripped of their power, production plants have closed, and thousands have lost their jobs. In December, 17 of the men charged with producing, selling, buying and adding melamine to the infant formula were put on trial. Last week two of these men were sentenced to death. During the sentencing, one of the men knelt on the courtroom floor and pleaded for forgiveness from the victim’s families. The only bright spot in this whole tragedy is that maybe the U.S. will actually start taking a closer look at products imported from China. Well, we can always dream, can’t we? In the meantime, folks, buy organic. Buy local. And breastfeed your babies whenever possible!  

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