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Monthly Archives: May 2012
By Dr. Mercola
Here are some questions posed by Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.
- Why do we eat more than we are supposed to?
- Why are we eating more?
- What happened to make us eat more?
For 50,000 years or more, humans relied on a remarkable, naturally-occurring hormone called leptin to regulate what we ate, and it told our brains when we’d had enough. But somehow in recent years that regulator has become confused, and suddenly it seems like people just don’t know how to stop eating.
So why are we eating more? The answer lies in understanding the biochemistry of the brain, where the signals that tell your body you’re full are no longer working.
What Happens When Your Brain Can’t Hear Leptin’s Signals …
Leptin is a hormone produced by fat tissue, which relays important messages such as whether you should:
- Be hungry, eat and make more fat
- Reproduce and make babies
- “Hunker down” and work overtime to maintain and repair yourself
Although most think of their brain as being “top of the food chain” in terms of making decisions to keep your body functioning, your brain actually depends on your fat to “speak” to it and tell it how much energy your body has available, and then what to do with it.
Growing evidence shows that leptin may influence areas of your brain that control the intensity of your desire to eat. It has also been found that leptin not only changes brain chemistry, but can also “rewire” the very important areas of your brain that control hunger and metabolism. The way your body stores fat is a carefully regulated process that is controlled, primarily, by leptin. If you gain excess weight, the additional fat produces extra leptin that should alert your brain that your body should stop creating and storing more fat and start burning the accumulated excess.
To do this, signals are sent to your brain to stop being hungry and to stop eating. It is very important that your brain is able to accurately “hear” the messages leptin sends it, as otherwise your brain thinks you’re depleted and will continue to feel hungry, even starving. If your brain does not respond appropriately to leptin, you will likely continue to eat and store more fat.
So why then, if your body has an innate system, honed by eons of trial and error to regulate your fat stores to perfection, is the United States and many other countries facing an obesity epidemic of unprecedented scale?
Because many people have become “leptin resistant.”
Leptin resistance occurs when your body is unable to properly hear leptin’s signals. How does this happen? By overexposure to high levels of the hormone, caused by eating too much sugar.
You may be familiar with this process occurring with the hormone insulin. High blood sugar levels cause repeated surges in insulin and this causes your cells to become “insulin-resistant,” which leads to the production of even higher levels of insulin, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes. It is much the same as being in a room with a strong odor for a period of time. Eventually, you stop being able to smell it, because the signal no longer gets through.
The same process also occurs with leptin. It has been shown that as sugar gets metabolized and stored as triglycerides in fat cells, the fat cells release surges of leptin and those surges result in leptin-resistance, just as it results in insulin-resistance. When you become leptin-resistant, your body can no longer hear the messages telling it to stop eating and burn fat — so it remains hungry and stores more fat.
This will not only contribute to weight gain, but also increase your risk of many chronic illnesses, as leptin plays a significant, if not primary, role in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, and perhaps the rate of aging itself.
Too Much Sugar Overstimulates Your Brain’s Pleasure Center, Leading to Addiction
When you eat sugar it triggers the production of your brain’s natural opioids — a key initiator of the addiction process. Your brain essentially becomes addicted to stimulating the release of its own opioids. The intensity of this effect is experienced on the same level as morphine or heroin.
Researchers have speculated that the sweet receptors (two protein receptors located on your tongue), which evolved in ancestral times when the diet was very low in sugar, have not adapted to the seemingly unlimited access to a cheap and omnipresent sugar supply in the modern diet. Therefore, the abnormally high stimulation of these receptors by our sugar-rich diets generates excessive reward signals in your brain, which have the potential to override normal self-control mechanisms, create tolerance and withdrawal symptoms, thus leading to addiction.
According to Dr. Lustig, it is virtually impossible to exert enough cognitive willpower to overcome this 24/7 biochemical drive! He states in The Atlantic:i
“The brain’s pleasure center, called the nucleus accumbens, is essential for our survival as a species… Turn off pleasure, and you turn off the will to live… But long-term stimulation of the pleasure center drives the process of addiction… When you consume any substance of abuse, including sugar, the nucleus accumbens receives a dopamine signal, from which you experience pleasure. And so you consume more. The problem is that with prolonged exposure, the signal attenuates, gets weaker. So you have to consume more to get the same effect — tolerance.
And if you pull back on the substance, you go into withdrawal. Tolerance and withdrawal constitute addiction. And make no mistake, sugar is addictive.”
Tolerance and withdrawal are the hallmarks of addiction – they occur with alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, morphine, cannabis and every drug of abuse … and also with sugar. Like many types of addictions, sugar addiction can in fact be deadly. Evidence is mounting that sugar is a primary contributing factor in obesity and diabetes, but other chronic and lethal diseases.
There’s really no doubt anymore that sugar is indeed toxic to your body, and it’s only a matter of time before it will be commonly accepted as a causative factor in most cancer, in the same way that now we accept without question that smoking and alcohol abuse are direct causes of lung cancer and cirrhosis of the liver, respectively.
The Average American Consumes 12 Teaspoons of Sugar a Day
… This amounts to about two TONS of sugar during a lifetime. While it may offer a fleeting feeling of pleasure when it passes through your lips, the more you eat the more you’ll crave – and ultimately the more you’ll need to eat to get those same pleasurable feelings. This sugar addiction can actually re-wire your brain, not to mention make you very sick …
Of all the molecules capable of inflicting damage in your body, sugar molecules are probably the most damaging.
Fructose, in particular, is an extremely potent pro-inflammatory agent that creates harmful advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and speeds up the aging process. It also promotes the kind of dangerous growth of fat cells around your vital organs (visceral fat) that are the hallmark of diabetes and heart disease. As mentioned, sugar/fructose also increases your insulin and leptin levels and decrease the receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones, and these hormonal abnormalities are a major factor in premature aging and age-related chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease.
Keep in mind that while it’s perfectly normal for your blood sugar levels to rise slightly after every meal,
However, it is not natural or healthy when your blood sugar levels become excessively elevated and stay that way — which is exactly what will happen if you’re eating like the typical American, who consumes on average a staggering 2.5 pounds of sugar a week! And when you add in other low-quality carbohydrate-rich foods such as white bread, sugar, pasta, pastries, cookies, and candy, which also break down to sugar (starch is broken down into glucose) in your body and often contain added sugar as well, it’s not so difficult to see why so many Americans are in such poor health.
Can You Stop Eating So Much Sugar?
While Dr. Lustig believes the biochemical drive to consume sugar and overeat is virtually unstoppable, limiting or eliminating your sugar intake is the most effective way to break free from this disease-causing cycle. If you still want to use a sweetener occasionally, the sweet herb stevia makes a good, non-addictive sugar substitute. (It is important to avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than sugar.)
If you currently eat sugar, there’s a good chance you’re struggling with sugar addiction.
So I highly recommend trying an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many “soda addicts” kick their sweet habit, and it should work for any type of sweet craving you may have. Remember that in order to minimize your sugar intake, you need to avoid most processed foods, as most contain added sugar. Even savory foods like salad dressing, soup, and bread often contain sugar. For optimal health, eat natural whole foods primarily, and limit your fructose consumption to below 25 grams per day, including that from fresh fruit.
A couple of other tricks to try to kick your sugar cravings:
- Exercise: Anyone who exercises intensely on a regular basis will know that significant amounts of cardiovascular exercise is one of the best “cures” for food cravings. It always amazes me how my appetite, especially for sweets, dramatically decreases after a good workout. I believe the mechanism is related to the dramatic reduction in insulin levels that occurs after exercise.
- Organic, black coffee: Coffee is a potent opioid receptor antagonist, and contains compounds such as cafestrol — found plentifully in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee — which can bind to your opioid receptors, occupy them and essentially block your addiction to other opioid-releasing foods.ii,iii This may profoundly reduce the addictive power of other substances, such as sugar.
- i The Atlantic February 21, 2012
- ii Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2012 Feb 14.
- iii Nature. 1983 Jan 20;301(5897):246-8.
ion to overeat.
By Dr. Mercola
Twenty years ago today, former Monsanto lawyer and present FDA deputy commissioner Michael Taylor declared genetically engineered foods “substantially equivalent” and declared they would not need to be labeled for consumers.
Today is also the last day of the Money Bomb Against Monsanto Campaign, which launched on May 1. Earlier this month, volunteers and staff from the California Right to Know Campaign submitted nearly 1 million signed petitions from registered voters across the state of California to county officials, to place Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the Ballot for November 6.
This Act will require food manufacturers to identify genetically engineered ingredients on the labels of foods sold in California.
When California voters pass this ballot initiative, the Label Genetically Engineered Food Act will also not allow the common practice of mislabeling genetically engineered foods as “natural” or “all natural.” But the biotech industry is not about to let this pass without a fight.
Industry Propaganda Aimed at Confusing and Misleading Consumers
The Council for Biotechnology and the Grocery Manufacturers Association have filed as formal opposition to this initiative. Not surprisingly, Monsanto is a member of both groups.
Big Biotech and major processed food manufacturers are pooling tens of millions of dollars together to spread their propaganda in an effort to defeat the California Ballot Initiative. In a recent Organic Consumers Association article, Alexis Baden-Mayer, Esq., Political Director of the Organic Consumers Fund writesi:
“Kathy Fairbanks, spokeswoman with the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition, says requiring labels on genetically engineered food would increase food prices.
What she doesn’t say is that she’s being paid by the trade association that represents both the biotech behemoths like Monsanto that engineer the GMO crops and the food industry giants like PepsiCo that use ingredients made from these crops in their products. PepsiCo., Kraft, Kellogg’s and other top food processors market so-called “natural” protects at a premium that rivals what consumers pay for non-GMO and organic foods – even though these so-called “natural” foods contain unlabeled GMOs. The money these companies swindle from us as they trick us into paying top-dollar for GMO foods disguised as “natural” dwarfs the miniscule 0.01% of food costs attributable to GMO labels…
Maryann Marino, Southern California regional director of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse says GMO labels will make family farmers and small businesses vulnerable to lawsuits.
Her organization is a state chapter of the American Tort Reform Association (funded by Monsanto) which thinks it’s okay for Monsanto to sue farmers in 143 different patent infringement lawsuits when their crops are unintentionally contaminated with Monsanto’s GMOs, but it isn’t okay for farmers to get together and bring one lawsuit against Monsanto to stop the harassment. Think they really care about family farmers or small businesses? Their only interests are protecting Monsanto’s market share and helping companies sneak Monsanto’s ingredients into their products without letting consumers know.”
Why Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods Will Not Significantly Raise Prices
Baden-Mayer also explains why you shouldn’t fall for such fear-mongering, as these scenarios have little if any bearing in factual truth. She writes:
“A 2002 Oregon State University study reviewed the true costs of actual laws requiring labels on genetically engineered food in other countries. According to the study, a law in the UK, like the one proposed for CA, increased food spending by only 0.01%. The most any GMO labeling proposal was projected to cost was 1.8%. (This was from a Canadian study where, the authors note, the costs of segregating crops, changing processing procedures and changing the label were exaggerated and came only from expectations expressed by industry spokespersons.)
The 0.01% to 1.8% increase in the cost of labeling GMO foods must be put in perspective by looking at what companies already spend and consumers currently pay to avoid genetically engineered ingredients. A 2005 University of Delaware study showed that consumers would pay 20-30% more for non-GMO or organicii.
The so-called “natural” food industry has taken full advantage of consumer interest in avoiding GMOs and consumer ignorance in where those GMOs may be lurking. A review by the Cornucopia Institute of “natural,” non-GMO and organic cereals showed that so-called “natural” cereals that contained unlabeled GMOs were sometimes more expensive than real non-GMO and organic cerealsiii.
Once GMOs are labeled, consumers will easily be able to substitute products that contain non-GMO cane sugar for products made with GMO sugar beet sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and change from vegetable oils made from GMO canola to non-GMO sunflower or olive oil. They’ll be able to eat more non-GMO wheat and rice and less GMO corn and soy. They can choose non-GMO fruits and vegetables and avoid the few that are GMO. Eating non-GMO won’t involve paying a premium, just making a choice between the foods that are genetically engineered and the ones that aren’t. Foods that are GMO won’t be able to be falsely labeled as “natural.”
Why GE Labeling Will Not Open Up Farmers and Small Businesses to Lawsuits
The claim that farmers and grocers may become more vulnerable to lawsuits as a result of the Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act is also false and nothing but a scare tactic.
First of all, farmers and grocery stores are not responsible for listing ingredients on food labels. The only way a grocer could get into trouble would be if they knowingly mislabel their own store-brand product. They cannot be held liable if a food processor or food packer fails to comply with the labeling law.
The language in the Act is also very clear—it only requires labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. Each new genetically engineered crop must be deregulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes them easy to track. Once deregulated, farmers clearly know whether their crop is genetically engineered or not since they are required to purchase expensive patented seeds that are clearly branded and marketed as genetically engineered by the seed companies. So when they sell their crops to a food manufacturer, there’s no question whether they’re dealing with a GE ingredient or not.
Furthermore, under the proposed law, foods containing genetically engineered ingredients cannot be labeled as “natural.” Food packers and processors are given 18 months to comply with the new labeling requirements—which is the typical timeframe within which labels are routinely updated anyway—so complying with the new regulations should not be a major problem. Baden-Mayer also points out that:
“Food packers and processors may decide to seek non-GMO sources to avoid the law’s labeling requirements, and that may increase markets for farmers who grow non-GMO crops, but that is a different issue than simply complying with a new labeling requirement.” And, “If PepsiCo continues to sell unlabeled genetically engineered food in CA once this law is passed, we’ll definitely sue them (we’d rather see them comply), but this law creates no incentive to go after small businesses.”
The Future of Your Food is at Stake
Although The Future of Food is five years old, this excellent film is more relevant now than ever. If you haven’t watched it, please set aside some time to see it. It’s required viewing for anyone who wants to understand what they’re putting into their belly. If it’s been awhile since you saw it, you may want to refresh your memory.
“This is a Flash based video and may not be viewable on mobile devices.”
The Time for Action is NOW!
We need to send the biotech and food industry a clear message: We have the right to know what they put into our food!
Can we win? Yes, I believe we can! But we need to get the word out, which requires a strong campaign to educate the citizens of California to vote for the initiative on November 6. If you missed my recent panel interview with Ronnie Cummins with the Organic Consumers Association, Pamm Larry, founder of LabelGMOs.org and Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now, in which we discuss the California Right to Know Campaign, please take a moment to listen to it now.
According to Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association, we stand a good chance of winning in California because:
- This time, we have far more scientific information and greater public awareness on our side. GE contamination is now a mainstream media issue. Monsanto has become the most hated corporation in the world.
- This time, we have overwhelming public support. Polls show that more than 8 out of 10 voters in California want mandatory GE labeling.
- This time, we have built the strongest coalition of concerned food consumers in history, for the exclusive purpose of passing this law.
So today, I ask you to invest in this Initiative. Invest in your future. And invest as generously as you can. If you’ve already sent in your donation, thank you! If not, please contribute to this historic and critical campaign today. And then please forward this email to your friends. Share it on Facebook and Twitter. Print it out, hand it to all your friends. Every action counts! As stated by Ronnie Cummins with the Organic Consumers Association:
“Monsanto is one of the most powerful, arrogant and destructive companies in the world. For decades, they have controlled the world’s food supply by buying off politicians and regulatory agencies, intimidating small farmers, manipulating the outcome of scientific studies, lying to consumers – and threatening to sue states like Vermont if they dare to pass a GMO labeling law.
… Despite Monsanto’s claims to the contrary, scientists are clear: genetically engineered food has been linked to a wide range of health hazards, including kidney and liver damage, infertility, auto-immune disorders, allergies and autism, accelerated aging, and birth defects… We have the right to know if the food we buy has been genetically engineered…. It’s time to take back our food. Our farms. Our power. It’s time to show Monsanto what ordinary people like us can do when we come together.”
Hundreds of thousands of people making small donations can help the coalition behind this initiative run a dynamic, effective campaign to bring down Monsanto and the rest of the Biotech Bullies
Now it’s time to organize, educate, and promote this cause. We won’t need to spend the tens of millions that the biotech bullies are using to fight this initiative – but we will need several million to combat their propoganda adequately.
So please, join us, and make a donation right now! You can donate online, by phone, or by dropping a check in the mail.
- i Organic Consumers Association May 5, 2012
- ii Department of Food and Resource Economics University of Delaware, Experimental Investigation of Willingness to Pay for Non-GM and Organic Food Products, Katie Gifford, John C. Bernard, Ulrich C. Toensmeyer, Richard Bacon, Department of Food and Resource Economics University of Delaware
- iii Cornucopia Institute, Cereal Crimes 2011 Report
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By Dr. Mercola
Your diet certainly has an impact on your appearance; your weight, complexion, muscle mass, nail strength, hair luster, and even your susceptibility to wrinkles and other signs of premature aging are all influenced by the foods you eat.
So your food choices can certainly lead to a sexier you.
But now researchers have revealed that beneficial bacteria known as probiotics may impart even more sexiness to those who consume them — eating probiotic-rich yogurt, in fact, gave mice far more than shiny fur … it gave them “swagger.”
Can Eating Probiotics Give You “Swagger”?
Writing in the journal Scientific American, researchers noted that mice fed probiotic-rich yogurt had a certain “swagger,” which was caused by the males projecting their testes outward. This was done, the article notes, because the testicles of the yogurt-consuming mice were 5 percent heavier than those of mice fed typical diets, and 15 percent heavier than those of mice fed a junk-food diet.i
This wasn’t only an aesthetic effect, as the yogurt-eating males also inseminated their partners faster and had more offspring. The female yogurt-eating mice also experienced a benefit; they gave birth to larger litters and were more likely to raise their pups successfully. The probiotic-rich diet also impacted the mice fur, leaving it shinier and silkier, with 10 times the active follicle density compared to the other mice. The researchers noted:
” … the probiotic microbes in the yogurt help to make the animals leaner and healthier, which indirectly improves sexual machismo.”
Harvard researchers are currently investigating the impact of yogurt consumption on semen quality in men, and so far say their results are consistent with those of the mice.
Your Gut Bacteria Impact Your Weight, Too
There’s obviously much more to being sexy than the number on the scale, but weight loss is often one of the first steps that comes to mind when most people think about being “sexier.”
Restoring your gut flora should be an important consideration if you’re struggling to lose weight, as the make-up of gut bacteria tends to differ in lean versus obese people. This is one of the most compelling areas of probiotic research to date, and you can read about a handful of such studies here.
For instance, obese individuals may have about 20 percent more of a family of bacteria known as Firmicutes, and almost 90 percent less of a bacteria called Bacteroidetes than lean people. Firmicutes help your body to extract calories from complex sugars and deposit those calories in fat.
When these microbes were transplanted into normal-weight mice, those mice started to accumulate twice as much fat.ii So this is one explanation for how the microflora in your gut may play a key role in weight management.
Yet another study showed that obese people were able to reduce their abdominal fat by nearly 5 percent, and their subcutaneous fat by over 3 percent, just by drinking a probiotic-rich fermented milk beverage for 12 weeks.iii Given that the control group experienced no significant fat reductions at all during the study period, this is one more gold star for probiotics.
Why It’s Imperative for Women of Reproductive Age to Consume Probiotics
You may find motivation to nourish your gut flora with a probiotic-rich diet because it may help you lose weight and make you appear sexier … but also important is the impact it can have on your future children.
Many women of reproductive age are deficient in beneficial bacteria—a deficiency that transfers to their babies and may set the stage for any number of problems! To get a solid understanding of just HOW important this is, I highly recommend reviewing the information shared by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride in the interview below.
She presents a fascinating and elegant description of the foundational conditions that contribute to such disorders as ADHD, learning disabilities and autism, along with a pragmatic approach to help circumvent and stem the autism epidemic—and it all begins with the mother’s gut flora.
Dr. Campbell explains:
“The baby acquires its gut flora at the time of birth, when the baby goes through the birth canal of the mother. So whatever lives in mom’s birth canal, in mom’s vagina, becomes the baby’s gut flora. So what lives in mom’s vagina? It’s a very richly populated area of a woman’s body. The vaginal flora comes from the bowel. So if the mother has abnormal gut flora, she will have abnormal flora in her birth canal.”
Establishment of normal gut flora in the first 20 days or so of life plays a crucial role in appropriate maturation of your baby’s immune system. Hence, babies who develop abnormal gut flora are left with compromised immune systems. And that’s where vaccines have the potential to wreak havoc. Vaccinations were originally developed for children with perfectly healthy immune systems, but according to Dr. Campbell-McBride, children with unbalanced gut flora are not fit to be vaccinated according to the standard vaccination protocol.
Is Yogurt a Good Source of Probiotics?
When most people think of increasing probiotics in their diet, they automatically think of yogurt, and specifically the heavily advertised brands that have recently come on the market with claims of bettering your digestive health. However, most commercial yogurts are not worse than worthless as they’re pasteurized, they will be associated with all of the problems of pasteurized milk products and they typically contain added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring, or artificial sweeteners, all of which will only worsen your health.
I plan on doing a full-blown report on this later this year with Cornucopia that will go into far more specific details. That said, yogurt made from organic raw milk is an outstanding source of probiotics, as are other naturally fermented foods, such as:
- Lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner)
- Fermented milk, such as kefir (a quart of unpasteurized kefir has far more active bacteria than you can possibly purchase in any probiotics supplement, and it’s simple to make at home)
- Various pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots
- Natto (fermented soy)
Eating fermented foods like these regularly will help to “reseed” your body’s beneficial bacteria, which is under constant assault from antibiotics, chlorinated water, antibacterial soap, the metabolic byproducts of stress, and poor diet, especially sugar consumption. Eating sugar actually nourishes the bad or pathogenic bacteria yeast and fungi in your gut. So tending to the bacteria in your gut is an ongoing process, much like tending to a flower garden.
If you do not consume traditionally fermented foods on a regular basis, a high-quality probiotic supplement is one of the few I do recommend – but one of the major results of eating a healthy diet like the one described in my nutrition plan is that you stimulate your beneficial gut bacteria to flourish naturally, and they secondarily perform the real “magic” of restoring your health and also, perhaps, your “sexiness.”
- i Scientific American (May 2012), 306, 26
- ii Nature 444, 1027-1031 (21 December 2006)
- iii Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;64(6):636-43. Epub 2010 Mar 10.
By Dr. Mercola
In 1776, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, foretold a grim scenario that has now taken shape right before our eyes. He said:
“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to doctors and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic.”
Now, in 2012, we are very much facing this reality, as we live in an era where our medical freedom is increasingly under attack, and “healing” has been replaced with “treating” disease, most often with toxic chemicals and surgery. This drug-driven medical paradigm not only depends on the sacrifice and, some might say, torture, of animals in medical research, but also in many ways uses humans as sacrificial lambs.
Modern Medical Care is a Leading Cause of Death
There were nearly 4.6 million drug-related visits to emergency roomsi in the United States in 2009, with more than half due to adverse reactions to prescription medications – most of which were being taken exactly as prescribedii. The fact of the matter is, as echoed by a study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)iii, it is a mistake to assume there’s no risk in prescribed medicines! As Sayer Ji writes on GreenMedInfo.comiv:
“The “medicines” themselves are often devoid of intrinsic value, being nothing more than rebranded and re-purposed chemicals, intended (though all too often failing) to be administered in sub-lethal concentrations. Indeed, many of these chemicals are too toxic to be legally released into the environment, and should never be administered intentionally to a human who is already sick. You need look no farther than a typical drug package insert to find proof that the side effects of most drugs far outnumber their purported beneficial effects.
These chemicals, in fact, are so highly leveraged against their true value (or lack thereof), that they can sell for as much as 500,000% percent from cost! Only medical/pharmaceutical and financial institutions (e.g. Federal Reserve) are legally empowered to generate the illusion that they are creating something of value out of nothing of value, on this scale.”
Medical care is actually one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., with medical errors, adverse drug reactions, and hospital-acquired infectionsv killing an unacceptable number of Americans each and every day! Drug-related ER visits jumped by more than half between 2004 and 2008vi, stirring health officials to look for ways to stop what has become a near-epidemic that often ends in deathvii.
And when you consider that 2.7 million of those visitsviii involved prescriptions for largely preventable health issues, you can’t help but wonder why we have strayed so far from true health care in lieu of health treatments.
You may be tempted to point your finger at your physician. After all, he or she is on the “front lines” doing most of the prescribing and advising. But whether or not doctors succeed in upholding the Hippocratic Oath — the promise to Do No Harm — is not always entirely in their own hands.
The conventional medical system is simply not designed to give them that freedom. It’s VITAL that you understand that regardless of their personal opinions, many times they’re simply not allowed to offer you any other alternatives than what the “standard protocol” demands. As written on GreenMedInfo.comix:
“Within our present dominant medical system, healing has not simply been forgotten but intentionally exorcized as it represents the antithesis of perpetual profitability which requires the incurability of the human body. Were the truth be told, and the body’s self-regenerative capabilities acknowledged, the entire superstructure of drug-based medicine and hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue it generates annually, would crumble overnight.”
Are You Intentionally Being Misled about Your Body’s Innate Healing Abilities?
This issue runs much deeper than your physician’s office. The entire medical system as it currently stands has been quite carefully orchestrated to make you believe that drugs, vaccinations, screening tests, and surgery are what is required to be well, while an assault has been launched against natural strategies and supplements that have proven vital to well-being for centuries.
For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a full-fledged war against the sale of raw milk, a substance that provides many natural beneficial and healing properties, even though between 1999 and 2010 there was an average of only 42 cases of illness per year attributed to raw milk, and that includes both “confirmed” and “presumed” cases. Meanwhile, they have allowed livestock producers to continue to add low doses of antibiotics to animal feed for growth promotion, even though this practice is undeniably linked to the spread of deadly antibiotic-resistant disease!
They have also issued new Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredients that threatens to remove some of your most commonly used supplements from the market, all while approving drugs, prescribed by doctors every day, that kill over 125,000 Americans a year.
They are but one government agency that is so thoroughly enmeshed in the drug-medical paradigm that they are utterly unable to protect you. The American Medical Association (AMA) has maintained a decades-long battle against “alternative” healing traditions, dating back to the 1920s and arguably even earlier. The courts eventually ruled in favor of the chiropractors in 1987, finding the AMA guilty of a conspiracy to take down the chiropractic profession, but their battle has continued on anyway.
According to Naturopathy Digest, the AMA and other medical groups justify their opposition to natural medicine, a primary principle of which is supporting your body’s own innate healing potential, on the basis of three areas of concernx:
- Quality of patient care
- Patient safety
- Quality of education of medical practitioners
As the article so eloquently points out, none of these arguments hold up, and most are based on medical and pharmaceutical industry propaganda. If they were TRULY concerned about patient care and safety, they would not be targeting natural medicine, which has an incredibly low incidence of adverse consequences and proven successes, but instead going after their own allopathic medical practices that are leaving a trail of death and destruction.
Other medical associations whose claims that they exist for the betterment of public health are entirely questionable include the following:
- American Dental Association (ADA): Continues to support the use of mercury fillings and demonizes biological dentists who oppose the use of mercury in dentistry; continues to support fluoridation, in spite of the evidence it does more harm than good.
- American Cancer Society (ACS): This charity has close ties to the mammography industry, the cancer drug industry, and the pesticide industry; has rampant conflicts of interest; consistently promotes drugs and screening procedures while ignoring environmental causes of cancer.
- National Cancer Institute (NCI): Has spent billions of taxpayer dollars promoting treatments while ignoring strategies for preventing cancer; abundant ties to the cancer drug industry (for more information, read Samuel Epstein’s new book, National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest)xi
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Claiming to be protecting your children, the AAP is largely funded by vaccine manufacturers but refuses to disclose just how much money it gets from them; partners with Congress to protect pediatricians and drug companies from liability for vaccine injuries, while preventing you from getting truthful vaccine information.
However, even the government is not at the top of the totem pole when it comes to this attack on your ability to access natural therapies and obtain optimal health. GreenMedInfo.com continuesxii:
“Although the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) behave as if they are at the top of this pyramid of power relations, they serve far lower on the hierarchy. While the government of the United States and American corporate lobbying groups may appear to be behind the FDA’s shameless pandering to the interests of the drug companies, transnational corporations and organizations — and a hand full of elite governing them — are in fact pulling the strings.”
Natural Therapies are Increasingly Under Attack, or Intentionally Suppressed
Did you know a cream containing eggplant extract, known as BEC and BEC5, appears to eliminate most non-melanoma skin cancers in several weeks time? Or that studies conducted so far show significant potential for the use of cannabis in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of health conditions, including cancer?
Have you heard about Dr. Nick Gonzalez, who has had remarkable success treating patients with some of the most lethal forms of cancer that conventional medicine cannot effectively address using a three-pronged nutritional approach?
There’s a good chance you answered “no” to these questions, and that’s not a coincidence. Information like this is not easy to come by in the mainstream press or from most conventional health care authorities, which is one of the primary reasons why I started this site. Alternatives to drugs and surgery are out there, but unless there is a profit to be had, you aren’t likely to hear about them. In fact, the system is set up to make sure that you don’t.
One of the prime examples of this is vitamin D.
Over 800 studies already show that vitamin D could have cancer-prevention and/or treatment possibilities. But the problem is that it’s a natural substance that can’t be patented as a simple supplement, meaning there’s no real revenue in it, compared to a prescription brand drug. That’s why many drug studies involving vitamins of any kind hinge on how the FDA defines drugs and supplements.
A drug is defined as a product meant for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of a diseasexiii. A supplement is defined as a product that is meant to simply “supplement” or “enhance” a normal diet within the daily allowances recommended by the FDAxiv. Retailers who sell supplements are not allowed to tell you that vitamin D can possibly “prevent, mitigate or cure” cancer without having the FDA accuse them of selling a drug that hasn’t been approved through the proper FDA process.
That process of getting a drug to market costs an average $359 millionxv and takes nearly 10 years – with a good portion of the money going directly to the FDA through user feesxvi. Over the years these fees have become a major funding source for the FDA. What drug companies get in return is faster FDA reviews and drug approvals.
As a result, a kind of you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours scenario has ensued, with drug companies maintaining major leverage over the FDA when it comes to protecting their revenue sources, including making sure the $60 billion-a-year supplement business doesn’t get in the way of drug salesxvii. The history of FDA laws and regulations on file at Harvard Law School, explains how years ago an FDA task force long ago established this policy…
“… to ensure that the presence of dietary supplements on the market does not act as a disincentive to drug development.”
What Can You do to Support Real Health and Healing?
For starters, recognize that health does not come from a pill … and no disease is caused by a “drug or vaccine deficiency.” As written on GreenMedInfo.comxviii:
” … is there any greater absurdity than a medical model that treats the symptoms of disease with sub-lethal dosages of toxic chemicals and in which there is no attempt to uncover, understand or remove the causes of those imbalances?
After all, what disease has ever been found to be caused by a lack of a drug?
Is acid reflux caused by a lack of proton-pump inhibitors?
Is heart disease caused by a lack of statin drugs?
Is osteoporosis caused by a lack of Fosamax?
Is cancer caused by a lack of chemotherapy?
Is depression caused by a lack of Paxil?
Absolutely not! Then why would anyone consider it sound practice to use potentially toxic chemicals as a first-line treatment for conditions that are not caused by a lack of a chemical? To the contrary many diseases are caused exactly by culminative exposures to chemicals that not unlike drugs are biologically alien to the body, i.e we are treating poisoning with poisons! Can we dignify this approach by calling it medicine? Or, is it more accurately described as a form of sorcery?”
Until real systemic change takes place, your best health strategy is quite simply to employ and maintain a naturally healthy lifestyle that will optimize your body’s innate healing abilities and minimize your need for the drug companies’ latest concoctions. We are, however, working hard to change the system and help protect your health freedoms from corrupt influences like the drug industry; you can learn more about our newest initiative toward this end, Health Liberty, now.
It is, of course, of paramount importance to take control of your health so you can stay well naturally, without the use of drugs or even frequent conventional medical care. If you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will not need medications in the first place. This encompasses several principles, including:
- Proper Food Choices
For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, unprocessed foods (vegetables, meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth) that come from healthy, sustainable, local sources, such as a small organic farm not far from your home.
For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to have raw food as a good portion of your diet. Personally, I aim to eat about 80-85 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs and humanely raised organic animal products that have not been raised on a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation).
Nearly as important as knowing which foods to eat more of is knowing which foods to avoid, and topping the list is fructose. Sugar, and fructose in particular, contributes to multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of accelerated aging.
- Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise like Peak Fitness
Even if you’re eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including not only core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching but also high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity, interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I’ve discussed the importance of Peak Fitness for your health on numerous occasions, so for more information please review this previous article.
- Stress Reduction and Positive Thinking
You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Effective coping mechanisms are a major longevity-promoting factor in part because stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.
- Proper Sun Exposure to Optimize Vitamin D
We have long known that it is best to get your vitamin D from sun exposure, and if at all possible, I strongly urge you to make sure you’re getting out in the sun on a daily basis or if this is not an option use a safe tanning bed.
Just keep in mind that it’s really best to get ALL your vitamin D from the sun. It appears that vitamin D plays a crucial role in sulfur metabolismxix and when you swallow it orally it may not have the same benefit as getting it from the sun.
- Take High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats
Animal-based omega-3 fat is a strong factor in helping people live longer, and many experts believe that it is likely the predominant reason why the Japanese are the longest lived people on the planet.
- Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible
This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
- i InfoFacts: Drug-Related Hospital Emergency Room Visits, National Institute on Drug Abuse, May 2011.
- ii Highlights of the 2009 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Findings on Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits, The DAWN Report, December 28, 2010.
- iii Emergency Department Visits Involving Adverse Reactions to Medications among Older Adults, The Dawn Report, February 24, 2011. (PDF)
- iv Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?, GreenMedInfo.com, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
- v New Study Shows Sepsis and Pneumonia Caused by Hospital-acquired Infections Kill 48,000 Patients, EurekAlert, February 22, 2010. (Press release)
- vi Rx Side Effects Causing More Hospitalizations, American Medical News, May 2, 2011: Kevin B. O’Reilly.
- vii Prescription Drugs More Overdoses in U.S. Than Heroin and Cocaine, Bloomberg, July 8, 2011: Oliver Renick.
- viii Rx Side Effects Causing More Hospitalizations, American Medical News, May 2, 2011: Kevin B. O’Reilly.
- ix Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?, GreenMedInfo.com, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
- x AMA Declares War on Naturopathic Medicine, Patient Safety and Freedom of Choice in Health Care, Naturopathy Digest, 2006: Alex Vasquez.
- xi National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest, Amazon.com, May 17, 2011: Samuel S. Epstein, MD.
- xii Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?, GreenMedInfo.com, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
- xiii Cosmetics, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, July 8, 2002.
- xiv Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- xv What Does It Cost to Bring a New Drug to Market?, Answers Encyclopedia.
- xvi How Long Does Drug Development Take?, PharmTech.com, January 15, 2009.
- xvii Dietary Supplement Industry Contributes Billion to National Economy, Natural Products Foundation, April 5, 2010.
- xviii Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?, GreenMedInfo.com, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
- xix Critical Role of Vitamin D in Sulfate Homeostasis: Regulation of the Sodium-Sulfate Cotransporter by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, October 2004: 287(4); E744-E749, Merry J.G. Bolt, et al.
Italy quake kills 7; survivors huddle in tents, cars edition.cnn.com Another Way to Kill Small US Farmers: Seize Their Bank Accounts on Phony Charges articles.mercola.com Pets Can Have Fake Testicles and Facemasks Now www.naharnet.com Israel Marks 45 Yrs. since Seizure of E. Jerusalem www.naharnet.com Eclipse ‘Ring of Fire’ Wows Sky-Gazers www.naharnet.com Bee Gees Star Robin Gibb Dies Aged 62 www.naharnet.com Hawaii Attorney General To Arizona Secretary Of State: Prove That You Need Obama’s Birth Certificate www.businessinsider.com JIM CRAMER: I’m Predicting Bank Runs In Spain And Italy In The Next Few Weeks www.businessinsider.com This Terrifying Amendment Legalizes The Use Of Propaganda On The US Public www.businessinsider.com Netanyahu warns world powers not to let Iran ‘push them around’ www.haaretz.com Israel slams Western powers for ‘bowing down’ to Iran on nuclear program www.haaretz.com Netanyahu: Israel could be overrun by African infiltrators www.haaretz.com US warns NKorea: next nuke test will be punished www.emirates247.com Unsafe Immunization Practices: Creating a Silent Epidemic in Developing Countries? www.naturalnews.com Government tyranny: Illinois Department of Agriculture secretly destroys beekeeper’s bees and 15 years of research proving Monsanto’s Roundup kills bees www.naturalnews.com NATO March Turns Violent in Chicago online.wsj.com Indonesia’s Mount Sirung volcano erupts, sending hundreds fleeing and complaining of respiratory ailments <b>…</b>
By Dr. Mercola
In a dramatic move that shows that the U.S. FDA is softening its stand on bio-pharmed treatments, the agency has approved the country’s first genetically modified plant intended for the treatment of a human disease.
An Israeli firm grew human disease enzymes in carrot cells, and produced a treatment for Gaucher disease that they say shows improvement comparable to a treatment derived from hamster cells. The drug goes by the name Elelyso.
As reported by Popsci, the ability to manipulate the genes of plant cells isn’t new, but until now concerns about human biologics have kept them from gaining traction with the FDA. I don’t even want to think about the potential ramifications of this decision. Many may not know this, but Monsanto, well-known as the leader in biotechnology and genetically engineered foods, is also invested in the medical industry.
Will Biotech Drugs Become the Next Big Battle?
In 1995, The Upjohn Company—a pharmaceutical company founded in Michigan—merged with the Swedish pharmaceutical and biotech company Pharmacia AB, to form Pharmacia & Upjohn.
In 2000, Pharmacia & Upjohn merged with Monsanto Company, at which time the name was changed to Pharmacia. The drug divisions, including Monsanto’s old Searle drug division, were retained in Pharmacia, while the agricultural divisions became a wholly owned subsidiary of Pharmacia.
A short while later, Pharmacia spun off this agricultural/biotech subsidiary into a “new Monsanto” company, with the agreement that the “new” Monsanto would indemnify Pharmacia against certain liabilities that could be incurred from judgments against Solutia—yet another Monsanto-owned company that creates a variety of plastic materials, which was sued by Alabama residents over long-term PCB contamination.
Pfizer then bought Pharmacia 2002, and today also owns the remainder of Upjohn. Bayer has also acquired certain assets.
As you can see, the past and present connections between all of these mega-corporations are dizzying in their complexity.
Monsanto, as a whole, has such a long history of questionable behavior; I shudder to think what might occur once it gets into the game of genetically engineered drug-crops, which is now right around the corner. We already know that coexistence between conventional or organic and genetically engineered crops is impossible, due to the spread of pollen and seed.
And when it comes to the safety of these genetically engineered crops, Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications back in 1998 probably expressed it best when he told Michael Pollan that:
“Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is FDA’s job.i“
Monsanto Continues to Intimidate and Bully State Legislators
That safety isn’t very high on Monsanto’s corporate agenda has been clear from the start, and we’re now beginning to experience the ramifications of this attitude, in the form of degradation of the food supply, declining public health, and environmental destruction. Because while the FDA may in principle be charged with assuring safety, the way the approval process of drugs and genetically engineered food ingredients is set up, the system is basically designed to fail in this regard.
Furthermore, the fact that genetically engineered foods or drugs do not require labeling guarantees their expanded use and proliferation without anyone being the wiser. This is not the case in many other countries. In fact, dozens of countries around the world care enough about their citizens’ health to either require labeling of genetically engineered foods, or to outright ban them.
Unfortunately, in America, where the people’s voices should be heard above all others, all it takes to kill the right to know what you’re eating is for Monsanto to threaten a lawsuit…
Connecticut is now the second state in five weeks to drop a GMO labeling provision in proposed legislation after the biotech giant threatened to sue if lawmakers passed the bill.
Last month Vermont succumbed to the same strong-arm tactics. Apparently still stinging from a fight with Monsanto several years ago—when the state tried to stop dairy corporations from marketing milk from cows injected with Bovine Growth Hormone—Vermont legislators tabled voting on their “Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.” In Connecticut, the right-to-know bill’s sponsor admitted that the reason the labeling provision was dropped was because the governor feared a lawsuit.
In a recent article in the Digital Journal, Anne Sewell writesii:
“… Rep [Richard] Roy [CT] said, “I feel very strongly that someone or some state has to challenge the use of the Bill of Rights, designed to protect we individuals, from using it to thwart the sharing of information and the subjugation of a whole industry. Residents of more than 50 other countries get simple information saying that GMOs are present in a product. The freest society in the world cannot get that simple sentence.”
“… Analiese Paik of Fairfield Green Food Guide asked Rep. Roy why the labeling provision was removed from his bill, the Act Concerning Genetically Engineered Foods. Roy replied that “The labeling provision was eliminated from the bill due to fears that it opened the state up to a lawsuit. The attorneys for the leadership and Governor’s office felt that the Constitutional Rights of Monsanto gave them the power to successfully sue the state. Their main duty was to protect the welfare of the state.”
Paik’s partner in leader Right to Know CT, Tara Cook-Littman, stated, “The constitutional argument is absurd, and everyone knows it. As long as Connecticut law makers had a legitimate state interest that was reasonably related to the labeling of products produced from the process of genetic engineering, the GMO labeling bill would be considered constitutional by any court of law.” She added, “It appears that the biotech industry’s influence was in place all along, waiting for this tactic to be deployed at the last minute, with no time to argue before the vote.”
U.S. Foods Widely Banned from Other Countries
The presence of undisclosed genetically altered ingredients is not the only problem with the US food supply, although it may be one of the most serious. Americans have a long history of trusting government and health officials, and many are now awakening to the disturbing truth that their trust has been sorely misplaced.
If you’re wondering how safe your food really is in the U.S., and whether state and federal regulations truly protect you from consuming hazardous materials, you might want to take a look outside the U.S. to see what other countries think of our foodsiii. What you’ll find is that more and more U.S. foods are being outright banned from other countries. Most recently, Indonesia became the first country to ban imports of U.S. beef after discovering an American dairy cow infected with mad cow disease. According to Rusman Heriawan, Indonesia’s vice agriculture minister, the ban will remain in place until the case has been resolved.
Taiwan had already begun refusing various U.S. meat products, including pork and beef, because they contain a growth-promoting drug, ractopamine, which is banned in 160 countries. The drug comes with the warning “not for use in humans,” and it’s handled like hazardous waste, yet it’s permitted for use in food in America. Other countries all over the world, from the European Union to Saudi Arabia to South America, have also banned foods or food ingredients that typically are allowed in the U.S., such as genetically engineered seeds and plants.
The Lies You’ve Been Told…
Exposure to genetically modified foods and companion pesticides has been linked to a number of health risks including infertility, neurological disorders, birth defects and cancer. Yet despite all the evidence, the collusion between industry and our political leadership and various regulatory agencies has created a system in which industry interests win at every turn. Until or unless enough Americans recognize this, and not only demand change, but also actually change their own habits, the system will continue unabated.
The first challenge is to realize that you’ve been lied to. The entire model of genetically engineered crops as a not only viable but preferable food source is based on a series of lies and misconceptions that have enriched a select few at the expense of everyone else. These myths include:
- Genetically engineered foods are equivalent to conventional foods.
This is simply not true, as no conventional food in the history of mankind has ever been able to splice bacteria, viruses or genetic material from unrelated species into itself. For thousands of years, farmers have selected and saved the best seeds, which has led to improved varieties. But never have they been able to cross a plant with an animal, for example. Nature does not allow this sort of trans-genetic transfer.
Gene splicing is an imprecise and unpredictable science, and the potential hazards are enormous. The primary motive behind genetically engineered crops is the ability to patent it and claim ownership of it in perpetuity. And the concept of patenting crops and other foods tells you the truth about whether or not they’re really equivalent to conventional foods—you cannot get a patent on something that is too similar to something already in existence.
- Genetically engineered crops were created for an altruistic purpose; to save a starving world from hunger by increasing yield.
Even the statistics from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) demonstrate that this is a promise that cannot be fulfilled. Genetically engineered crops do not produce higher yields. In fact, numerous studies have shown that their yield is lower than that of conventional or organic yields. There are literally hundreds of studies in the developing world demonstrating that organic farming, specifically, outproduces chemical farming and genetically engineered crops by a factor of anywhere between 10-100 to 1.
Genetically engineering food crops is but a tactic to starve the world into submission. And, it guarantees outrageous profits for perpetuity as farmers world-wide must depend on giant transnational corporations in order to eat, and there’s nothing altruistic about that.
- Genetically engineered foods are more nutritious.
No patented GE crop has ever made the commercial claim to be more nutritious, so this idea was popularized without any factual support whatsoever. Agricultural scientist are, however, warning that genetically engineered crops are nutritionally inferior to both organics and conventionally-grown crops.
An Urgent Call to Action
California is now the new battleground, where extensive polling shows that 90 percent of California voters favor labeling of genetically engineered foods, and where labeling advocates recently delivered one million signatures to place Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the Ballot for November 6.
Environmental groups across the country are helping to make this happen, and have launched a “Drop the Money Bomb on Monsanto” campaign to fund the fight against the biotech industry, should they threaten another lawsuit, and to counteract the propaganda put out by Monsanto to dissuade voters from voting it into law. They have deep pockets, and will do everything they can to defeat our attempt to get genetically engineered foods labeled, so I urge you to make a donation to the Money Bomb Against Monsanto campaign, no matter what state you live in, because if California passes this law, its impact will reverberate across the entire nation.
Donations can be made online, via regular snail mail, and over the phone.
If Politicians Won’t Do it, Will YOU Stand Up to Protect Your Child’s Future?
People are finally waking up to the reality that the big corporations that control everything are NOT invincible. When consumers get together, organize, and use the tools of democracy that are still available to us, we can force the will of the people on the politicians. According to Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association:
“It’s not going to be easy. We can’t afford to lose this strategic battle; we’ve got to win. We’ve got to raise millions of dollars. Even more importantly in California, we have to convince six or seven million Californians to go to the voting booth on November 06 and vote “Yes” for labeling of genetically engineered foods.”
I hope you’ll join us in this campaign, either by volunteering your time in California, or by making a financial contribution. Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now, was instrumental in getting Barrack Obama to make his promise to label genetically engineered foods while he was still a Senator and a hopeful Presidential candidate. He made this now-famous pledge at the Iowa Farmers Union Presidential Summit in 2007.
“We recognized it was a unique moment, and a unique opportunity to have… a Senator of his caliber… on video saying that they would label genetically engineered foods,” Dave says. “He didn’t say it in Berkeley. He didn’t say it in Brooklyn. He came to Iowa, the heartland of genetically engineered food production, and made it in front of farmers. He got applause. … We’re certainly looking forward to the day that he does label genetically engineered foods.”
“The most important change in American history has always come from the grassroots,” he says. “It’s always risen from the bottom up. It happens faster and it lasts longer when it happens that way. I think today, Americans are really awakening to the fact of how harmful the industrial food supply is to their health, to their environment, in all aspects in life, but even more important their democracy. If we don’t stand up now, we’ll lose it permanently.”
The initiative also needs more volunteers. Pamm Larry, the California grandmother who started this initiative, is correct when she says we need to reach every single California community—large and small. So I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can. Be assured that what happens in California will affect the remainder of the U.S. states, so please support this important state initiative, even if you do not live there!
- If you live in California and want to get involved, please visit the California Right To Know website at carighttoknow.org and sign up for emails, received Facebook and Twitter news items. One of the most important things you can do is spread the word, and the easiest way of doing this is by sharing these messages.
- If you’d like to help volunteer for grass roots events, please join and read more at Pamm Larry’s LabelGMOs.org’s “Spread the Word!” page.
- Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort through the Organic Consumers Fund.
- Talk to organic producers, retailers, and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to label genetically engineered foods. Businesses may contact campaign manager Gary Ruskin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
There’s great hope. We know that the vast majority of people want labeling, and supporting the California ballot initiative will allow for the democratic process to occur to give all Americans a choice. The consequences of each individual person’s actions are profound! So, please, share this message with others. Put it on your Facebook page. Put it on your blog. Give it to your friends or relatives. Then encourage them to likewise participate and volunteer. Because collectively, as a group, we can have a profound impact not only on our own lives, but on the lives of our children and future descendants.
- i Michael Pollan (25 October 1998). “Playing God in the Garden”. The New York Times Magazine. p. Section 6; Page 44.
- ii Digital Journal May 5, 2012
- iii Alliance for Natural Health May 8, 2012
Me doing peak 8 exercise using my mountain bike on a training stand. My bike is a 21 speed Specialized mountain bike with high pressure Michelin road tires. The training stand is set to the highest resistance. I first learned about the peak 8 concept from Dr Mercola. fitness.mercola.com I’m also in the middle of a 24 hour fast as I’m exercising. I’m following Eat Stop Eat, an intermittent fasting plan designed by Brad Pilon. www.eatstopeat.com I know my head is cut off during much of the video. I thought about not uploading it because of that and the fact that I think I look fat in this video. Hey, I am fat, no denial here : ) I lost 50 lbs last year from June to December following a low carb(ish) diet. I went from 260 lbs to 210 lbs. Then I started fluctuating between 210 and 220 lbs. I thought I needed something to restart the weight lost in my body again. Now I’m fluctuate between 200 and 210 lbs. Eat Stop Eat and Peak 8 are bringing me to the next level. This is my first 20 min. upload, so if you can get through the whole thing I’ll be happy to see any and all comments you have.
By Dr. Mercola
One day soon you may be able to go to the mall and, instead of leaving with a new pair of shoes or a DVD, pick up a bottle of various prescription drugs, all without ever seeing a physician.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently held public hearings on this very topic, and is considering the introduction of “patient kiosks” where you could fill out online questionnaires and, based on your responses to a few questions, self-diagnose a condition and get medications that currently require a prescription.
This means drugs for conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma and migraines may soon be easily available over-the-counter or, more aptly, from veritable vending machines, ready to purchase like a bag of chips or a candy bar.
Prescription Drugs from Vending Machines?
The idea is that people would be able to access the drugs via patient kiosks in malls or drug stores without having to make a visit to their doctor’s offices. Thereby saving patients (and insurance companies) time and money by reducing overall health care costs. Proponents of the idea say it would be a good way to get patients that are not currently being treated for these conditions, treated.
Since 1976, 106 ingredients or medications have been switched from prescription to over-the-counter (OTC) status, and this is a trend many Americans appear to support. A survey sponsored by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) revealed that 80 percent of U.S. consumers had used an OTC medicine in the last year and 86 percent believe OTC drugs help them lower health care costs.
But opponents argue that consumers might have trouble understanding the medical information the kiosks would dispense along with the drugs. Not to mention, the majority of Americans are already taking too many drugs, and easier access makes it likely that people will take even more — even though many chronic conditions, like elevated cholesterol, are best treated without drugs, and
As Activist Post details:
” … the vending machine could massively increase pharmaceutical drug use, which kills more individuals per year than traffic fatalities. Pharmaceutical painkillers in specific are responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. Instead of distributing even more pharmaceuticals to consumers, perhaps the FDA should focus on solutions that do not require risky pharmaceuticals that on average contain 70 side effects.”
More Drugs Do Not Equal Better Health
On average, if you take one prescription drug you’ll be exposed to 70 potential side effects. Some of the more commonly prescribed drugs averaged around 100 side effects each — and some drugs even carry over 500! Despite this, many people and their physicians use drugs as the go-to treatment, even in cases where dietary changes, exercise and safer natural options like stress reduction and supplements exist.
There’s no doubt that the United States has been manipulated into becoming a “polypharmacy nation.” The word ‘polypharmacy’ simply means “many drugs,” but refers to instances where an individual is taking too many drugs – either because more drugs are prescribed than are clinically indicated, or when the sheer number of pills simply becomes a burden for the patient.
Many Americans are being impacted by polypharmacy, with unforeseen effects on their health – and this is now, before a new era may begin where drugs are available in vending machines.
According to statistics from the Kaiser Health Foundation, the average American adult, aged 19 to 64, takes more than 11 prescription drugs. So while polypharmacy used to be primarily a concern for seniors who, on average, fill more than 31 prescriptions per year, polypharmacy now applies to virtually everyone, including children and toddlers, whose drug use now averages out to four or more drugs per child.
Despite taking all of these drugs Americans are not walking around with stellar health, which is what makes the idea of introducing ways to make access to drugs even easier so frustrating and contrary to common sense.
Americans are the most medicated people in the world, yet chronic disease rates are rising and research published in Health Affairs revealed that the United States now ranks 49th for male and female life expectancy worldwide, a ranking that has fallen sharply from fifth place in 1950.
Drug Companies Would Love to Cut Out the Middle Man
One of the main challenges that drug companies face is that many of their products can only be purchased through a physician. Although they do spend billions every year marketing drugs directly to consumers, ultimately most of these drugs require a prescription. And this is why the pharmaceutical industry employs an army of drug reps who “educate” physicians about new drugs — a practice that includes visiting physicians personally, often with lavish gifts in hand, or offers of dinners and trips as persuasive perks.
In the U.S., drug companies spend about $16 billion every year to market their drugs to physicians, which works out to about $10,000 for every single dollar. A great investment on their part or they would never spend this type of money. They get many times their investment back from increased sales.
As you dig even deeper, the next marketing “layer” are the industry-paid physicians, researchers and other medical experts who provide consulting services including research and lectures about drugs. These lectures typically target the physicians they depend on to recommend, prescribe, and dispense their medications.
These “experts” are very much on the drug industry’s payroll but they masquerade as independent medical experts or even state officials during their “day jobs.” An ongoing investigation by ProPublica revealed 12 drug companies paid more than $761 million to physicians for consulting, speaking, research and other expenses in 2009, 2010 and, for some, the beginning of 2011. The $761 million represents only the disclosed payments. In all actuality, the figure is probably much higher.
Switching models would not change the drug companies’ approach at all though as they would merely shift their investment to direct-to-consumer advertising in which they currently spend $6 billion every year. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world where this is legal.
Drugs are Not Always the Answer
In fact, barring certain instances where drugs are necessary, such as for pain relief after trauma or surgery, there’s a good chance drugs are not the route to optimal health and healing as they are so widely regarded. The notion that “easier access to drugs” is the answer to the U.S. population’s largely failing health is, from my point of view, clearly misguided. There is a dangerous misconception in the United States, among both patients and physicians, that when you’re sick you need a drug to feel better. This is precisely why 81 percent of Americans reach for an OTC drug as a “first response” to minor ailments.
In reality, a study from the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine found absolutely no correlation between spending more on drugs and improved patient outcomes, which is really no surprise. So one of the most important questions to ask yourself and your health care practitioner before deciding to take any drug is:
Do I really need it?
Oftentimes you’ll find the answer is no. Drugs should be viewed as a last resort instead of a first choice, as oftentimes your body can heal itself if you give it the proper “tools.” Maintaining good health as you age, without the use of drugs, IS possible, and this is true even if you have certain “chronic diseases.” Examples of health problems that typically don’t require drug intervention include:
Diabetes Heart disease
High blood pressure
High cholesterol Insomnia Obesity
Virtually everyone with a disease listed above does not need a drug to treat their illness. These can be addressed by working with a knowledgeable health care clinician that can guide the process of weaning off the medications and shifting to natural therapies. It is important to avoid doing this yourself, as there are some very serious, event potentially fatal side effects from going off some medications improperly.
If you start with just the five steps listed below, you will be embarking on a journey to outstanding health and drug-free wellness. You may even be able to reverse some of your chronic conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure:
- Eliminate sugar, especially fructose, and most grains from your diet.
- Eat unprocessed, high-quality foods, organic if possible. If you haven’t reviewed my comprehensive free nutrition program, please do so when you have a moment.
- Get sufficient amounts of sun exposure on large areas of your skin to optimize your vitamin D levels.
- Consume enough high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil.
- Exercise regularly, including high-intensity burst exercises like Peak Fitness.
- i StrategyOne for CHPA, November 24, 2010
- ii Archives of Internal Medicine May 23, 2011; 171(10):944-6
- iii Kaiser State Health Facts