10 Lies and Misconceptions Spread By Mainstream Nutrition

Waking Times
Dr. Mercola

There’s no shortage of health myths out there, but I believe the truth is slowly but surely starting to seep out there and get a larger audience. For example, two recent articles actually hit the nail right on the head in terms of good nutrition advice.

Shape Magazine features a slide show on “9 ingredients nutritionists won’t touch,”1 and authoritynutrition.com listed “11 of the biggest lies of mainstream nutrition.”

These health topics are all essential to get “right” if you want to protect your health, and the health of your loved ones, which is why I was delighted to see both of these sources disseminating spot-on advice. I highly recommend reading through both of them.

Here, I will review my own top 10 lies and misconceptions of mainstream nutrition—some of which are included in the two featured sources, plus a few additional ones I believe are important.

Lie # 1: ‘Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease’

As recently as 2002, the “expert” Food & Nutrition Board issued the following misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:

“Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet.”

Similarly, the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine recommends adults to get 45–65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. This is an inverse ideal fat to carb ratio that is virtually guaranteed to lead you astray, and result in a heightened risk of chronic disease.

Most people benefit from 50-70 percent healthful fats in their diet for optimal health, whereas you need very few, if any, carbohydrates to maintain good health… Although that may seem like a lot, fat is much denser and consumes a much smaller portion of your meal plate.

This dangerous recommendation, which arose from an unproven hypothesisfrom the mid-1950s, has been harming your health and that of your loved ones for about 40 years now.

The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, without which your body cannot function optimally. They also act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.

In fact, saturated is the preferred fuel for your heart! For more information about saturated fats and the essential role they play in maintaining your health, please read my previous article The Truth About Saturated Fat.

Lie # 2: ‘Eating Fat Makes You Gain Weight’

The low-fat myth may have done more harm to the health of millions than any other dietary recommendation as the resulting low-fat craze led to increased consumption of trans-fats, which we now know increases your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease—the very health problems wrongfully attributed to saturated fats…

To end the confusion, it’s very important to realize that eating fat will not make you fat!

The primary cause of excess weight and all the chronic diseases associated with it, is actually the consumption of too much sugar — especially fructose, but also all sorts of grains, which rapidly convert to sugar in your body. If only the low-fat craze had been a low-sugar craze… then we wouldn’t have nearly as much chronic disease as we have today. For an explanation of why and how a low-fat diet can create the very health problems it’s claimed to prevent, please see this previous article.

Lie # 3: ‘Artificial Sweeteners are Safe Sugar-Replacements for Diabetics, and Help Promote Weight Loss’

Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight and/or because they’re diabetic and need to avoid sugar. The amazing irony is that nearly all the studies that have carefully analyzed their effectiveness show that those who use artificial sweeteners actually gain more weight than those who consume caloric sweeteners. Studies have also revealed that artificial sweeteners can be worse than sugar for diabetics.

In 2005, data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study showed that drinking dietsoft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain, far more so than regular soda.3 On average, each diet soft drink the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming overweight by 65 percent within the next seven to eight years, and made them 41 percent more likely to become obese. There are several potential causes for this, including:

Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content.
Artificial sweeteners appear to simply perpetuate a craving for sweets, and overall sugar consumption is therefore not reduced—leading to further problems controlling your weight.

Artificial sweeteners may disrupt your body’s natural ability to “count calories,” as evidenced in studies such as this 2004 study at Purdue University,5 which found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-caloric sweetened liquids.

There is also a large number of health dangers associated with artificial sweeteners and aspartame in particular. I’ve compiled an ever-growing list of studies pertaining to health problems associated with aspartame, which you can find here. If you’re still on the fence, I highly recommend reviewing these studies for yourself so that you can make an educated decision. For more information on aspartame, the worst artificial sweetener, please see my aspartame video.

Lie # 4: ‘Your Body Cannot Tell the Difference Between Sugar and Fructose’

Of the many health-harming ingredients listed in the featured article by Shape Magazine—all of which you’re bound to get in excess if you consume processed foods—fructose is perhaps the greatest threat to your health. Mounting evidence testifies to the fact that excess fructose, primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is a primary factor causing not just obesity, but also chronic and lethal disease. In fact, I am convinced that fructose is one of the leading causes of a great deal of needless suffering from poor health and premature death.

Many conventional health “experts,” contend that sugar and fructose in moderation is perfectly okay and part of a normal “healthy” diet, and the corn industry vehemently denies any evidence showing that fructose is metabolically more harmful than regular sugar (sucrose). This widespread denial and sweeping the evidence under the carpet poses a massive threat to your health, unless you do your own research.

As a standard recommendation, I advise keeping your total fructose consumption below 25 grams per day. For most people it would also be wise to limit your fructose from fruit to 15 grams or less. Unfortunately, while this is theoretically possible, precious few people are actually doing that.

Cutting out a few desserts will not make a big difference if you’re still eating a “standard American diet”—in fact, I’ve previously written about how various foods and beverages contain far more sugar than a glazed doughnut. Because of the prevalence of HFCS in foods and beverages, the average person now consumes 1/3 of a pound of sugar EVERY DAY, which is five ounces or 150 grams, half of which is fructose.

That’s 300 percent more than the amount that will trigger biochemical havoc.

Remember that is the AVERAGE; many actually consume more than twice that amount. For more details about the health dangers of fructose and my recommendations, please see my recent article Confirmed—Fructose Can Increase Your Hunger and Lead to Overeating.

Lie # 5: ‘Soy is a Health Food’

The meteoric rise of soy as a “health food” is a perfect example of how a brilliant marketing strategy can fool millions. But make no mistake about it, unfermented soy products are NOT healthful additions to your diet, and can be equally troublesome for men and women of all ages. If you find this recommendation startling then I would encourage you to review some of the many articles listed on my Soy Index Page.

Contrary to popular belief, thousands of studies have actually linked unfermented soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.

Not only that, but more than 90 percent of American soy crops are genetically modified, which carries its own set of health risks.6 I am not opposed to all soy, however. Organic and, most importantly, properly fermented soy does have great health benefits. Examples of such healthful fermented soy products include tempeh, miso and natto. Here is a small sampling of the detrimental health effects linked to unfermented soy consumption:

Breast cancer
Brain damage
Infant abnormalities
Thyroid disorders
Kidney stones
Immune system impairment
Severe, potentially fatal food allergies
Impaired fertility
Danger during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Lie # 6: ‘Eggs are a Source of Unhealthy Cholesterol’

Eggs are probably one of the most demonized foods in the United States, mainly because of the misguided idea implied by the lipid hypothesis that eating egg yolk increases the cholesterol levels in your body. You can forget about such concerns, because contrary to popular belief, eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat and they do not have a detrimental impact on cholesterol levels. Numerous nutritional studies have dispelled the myth that you should avoid eating eggs, so this recommendation is really hanging on by a very bare thread…

One such study, conducted by the Yale Prevention Research Center and published in 2010, showed that egg consumption did not have a negative effect on endothelial function – a measure of cardiac risk – and did not cause a spike on cholesterol levels. The participants of the Yale study ate two eggs per day for a period of six weeks. There are many benefits associated with eggs, including:

One egg contains 6 grams of high quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids

Eggs are good for your eyes because they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants found in your lens and retina. These two compounds help protect your eyes from damage caused by free radicals and avoid eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts

Eggs are a good source of choline (one egg contains about 300 micrograms), a member of the vitamin B family essential for the normal function of human cells and helps regulate the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Choline is especially beneficial for pregnant mothers as it is influences normal brain development of the unborn child

Eggs are one of the few foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D (24.5 grams)

Eggs may help promote healthy hair and nails due to their high sulphur content Eggs also contain biotin, calcium, copper, folate, iodine, iron, manganese, magnesium, niacin, potassium, selenium, sodium, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin E and zinc

Choose free-range organic eggs, and avoid “omega-3 eggs” as this is not the proper way to optimize your omega-3 levels. To produce these omega-3 eggs, the hens are usually fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Omega-3 eggs are more perishable than non-omega-3 eggs.

Lie # 7: ‘Whole Grains are Good for Everyone’

The use of whole-grains is an easy subject to get confused on especially for those who have a passion for nutrition, as for the longest time we were told the fiber in whole grains is highly beneficial. Unfortunately ALL grains, including whole-grain and organic varieties, can elevate your insulin levels, which can increase your risk of disease. They also contain gluten, which many are sensitive to, if not outright allergic. It has been my experience that more than 85 percent of Americans have trouble controlling their insulin levels — especially those who have the following conditions:

Overweight
Diabetes
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Protein metabolic types

In addition, sub-clinical gluten intolerance is far more common than you might think, which can also wreak havoc with your health. As a general rule, I strongly recommend eliminating or at least restricting grains as well as sugars/fructose from your diet, especially if you have any of the above conditions that are related to insulin resistance. The higher your insulin levels and the more prominent your signs of insulin overload are, the more ambitious your grain elimination needs to be.

If you are one of the fortunate ones without insulin resistance and of normal body weight, then grains are fine, especially whole grains—as long as you don’t have any issues with gluten and select organic and unrefined forms. It is wise to continue to monitor your grain consumption and your health as life is dynamic and constantly changing. What might be fine when you are 25 or 30 could become a major problem at 40 when your growth hormone and level of exercise is different.

Lie # 8: ‘Milk Does Your Body Good’

Unfortunately, the myth that conventional pasteurized milk has health benefits is a persistent one, even though it’s far from true. Conventional health agencies also refuse to address the real dangers of the growth hormones and antibiotics found in conventional milk. I do not recommend drinking pasteurized milk of any kind, including organic, because once milk has been pasteurized its physical structure is changed in a way that can actually cause allergies and immune problems.

Important enzymes like lactase are destroyed during the pasteurization process, which causes many people to not be able to digest milk. Additionally, vitamins (such as A, C, B6 and B12) are diminished and fragile milk proteins are radically transformed from health nurturing to unnatural amino acid configurations that can actually worsen your health. The eradication of beneficial bacteria through the pasteurization process also ends up promoting pathogens rather than protecting you from them.

The healthy alternative to pasteurized milk is raw milk, which is an outstanding source of nutrients including beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamins and enzymes, and it is, in my estimation, one of the finest sources of calcium available. For more details please watch the interview I did with Mark McAfee, who is the owner of Organic Pastures, the largest organic dairy in the US.

However, again, if you have insulin issues and are struggling with weight issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or high cholesterol it would be best to restrict your dairy to organic butter as the carbohydrate content, lactose, could be contribute to insulin and leptin resistance. Fermented organic raw dairy would eliminate the lactose issue and would be better tolerated. But if you are sensitive to dairy it might be best to avoid these too.

Lie # 9: ‘Genetically Engineered Foods are Safe and Comparable to Conventional Foods’

Make no mistake about it; genetically engineered (GE) foods may be one of the absolute most dangerous aspects of our food supply today. I strongly recommend avoiding ALL GE foods. Since over 90 percent of all corn grown in the US is GE corn, and over 95 percent all soy is GE soy, this means that virtually every processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the “USDA Organic” label likely contains one or more GE components. To avoid GE foods, first memorize the following list of well-known and oft-used GE crops:

Corn, Canola, Alfalfa (New GM crop as of 2011), Soy, Cottonseed, Sugar derived from sugar beets

Fresh zucchini, crookneck squash and Hawaiian papaya are also commonly GE. It’s important to realize that unless you’re buying all organic food, or grow your own veggies and raise your own livestock, or at the very least buy all whole foods (even if conventionally grown) and cook everything from scratch, chances are you’re consuming GE foods every single day… What ultimate impact these foods will have on your health is still unknown, but increased disease, infertility and birth defects appear to be on the top of the list of most likely side effects. The first-ever lifetime feeding study also showed a dramatic increase in organ damage, cancer, and reduced lifespan.

Lie # 10: ‘Lunch Meats Make for a Healthy Nutritious Meal’

Lastly, processed meats, which includes everything from hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, and pepperoni are rarely thought of as strict no-no’s, but they really should be, if you’re concerned about your health. Virtually all processed meat products contain dangerous compounds that put them squarely on the list of foods to avoid or eliminate entirely. These compounds include:

Heterocyclic amines (HCAs): a potent carcinogen, which is created when meat or fish is cooked at high temperatures.

Sodium nitrite: a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds color and flavor to processed and cured meats.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): Many processed meats are smoked as part of the curing process, which causes PAHs to form.

Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures—including when it is pasteurized or sterilized—it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

This recommendation is backed up by a report commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). The review, which evaluated the findings of more than 7,000 clinical studies, was funded by money raised from the general public, so the findings were not influenced by vested interests. It’s also the biggest review of the evidence ever undertaken, and it confirms previous findings: Processed meats increase your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer, and NO amount of processed meat is “safe.” A previous analysis by the WCRF found that eating just one sausage a day raises your risk of developing bowel cancer by 20 percent, and other studies have found that processed meats increase your risk of:

Colon cancer by 50 percent
Bladder cancer by 59 percent
Stomach cancer by 38 percent
Pancreatic cancer by 67 percent

Processed meats may also increase your risk of diabetes by 50 percent, and lower your lung function and increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If you absolutely want or need a hot dog or other processed meats once in awhile, you can reduce your risk by:

Looking for “uncured” varieties that contain NO nitrates


Choosing varieties that say 100% beef, 100% chicken, etc. This is the only way to know that the meat is from a single species and does not include byproducts (like chicken skin or chicken fat or other parts)

Avoiding any meat that contains MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavor or artificial color

Ideally, purchase sausages and other processed meats from a small, local farmer who can tell you exactly what’s in their products. These are just some of the health myths and misconceptions out there. There are certainly many more. The ones listed above are some of the most important ones, in my view, simply because they’re so widely misunderstood. They’re also critical to get “right” if you want to protect your health, and the health of your loved ones.

Why Do Supporters of Genetically Engineered Foods Insist on Organics for Their Own Families?

Mercola
by Dr. Mercola

Over the past few years, an interesting pattern has emerged, where political supporters of genetically engineered (GE) foods are feasting on organics, while promoting unlabeled GE foods for everyone else.

Most recently, Mother Jones discussed how Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney – whose ties to Monsanto go back to the late 1970’s when GE crops were still in the R&D phase – reportedly makes sure his own meals are nothing but organic…

According to Peter Alexander of MSN Today:

“On Romney Air, or Hair Force One – as Reuters’ Steve Holland like to call it – Mitt Romney has his own galley in ‘forward cabin.’ And, while I’ve never been invited up front, sources close to the campaign tell me the shelves are stocked with a wide variety of healthy fare. Kashi cereals, hummus, pita, as well as organic applesauce.


Everything’s organic, I’m told, including the ingredients to Romney’s favorite, peanut butter and honey sandwiches.”

Even more interesting, in a 2002 article about Romney’s wife, Ann, she credits a combination of organic foods and holistic medicine for turning her health around after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998. The profile reads in part:

“…She was 49 at the time, and the disease was progressing rapidly, she says, prompting the doctors to put her on steroids, which made her so sick she could barely get out of bed. ‘They were killing me,’ she says of the treatment. ‘You have bone loss; they are so bad for you.’

Mrs. Romney was introduced to several practitioners of holistic medicine, who persuaded her to adopt alternative therapies. She now eats organic foods and very little meat. She practices reflexology and undergoes acupuncture treatments. She credits the lifestyle with turning her health around…

‘Everyone has to find their own way,’ she says. ‘Three years ago I was really, really sick and not able to function at all. A lot of the symptoms are [now] gone…'”

Mrs. Romney isn’t the only success story in which food played a center role in beating multiple sclerosis (MS). Last year I posted an article about Dr. Terry Wahls, who reversed MS after seven years of deterioration on the best conventional treatments available, simply by changing her diet.

Wouldn’t it be a nice change of pace if our agricultural authorities, not to mention our President, could reach into their hearts and find the humanity to fight for everyone’s right to eat wholesome food that doesn’t contain foreign DNA, built-in pesticides, and an inordinate amount of synthetic chemicals so that diseases such as MS and cancer could be curtailed before they even get a foothold?

If GE Foods are So Great, Why Won’t the Elite Eat Them?

While Obama has been a huge supporter of Big Biotech during his term, Romney is just as “tight” with Monsanto, having actually successfully guided the company out of lawsuits with Congress in the shameful aftermath of Agent Orange (a Monsanto creation, which was supposed to be harmless to everything except vegetation), and heinous chemical dumping incidents in Missouri and Alabama.

He’s also in favor putting the “Monsanto rider” provision in the 2012 Farm Bill – a rider that would prevent a federal court from putting in place court-ordered restrictions on a GE crop, even if the approval were fraudulent or involved bribery, among other things.

Unfortunately, Mitt Romney is just one in a line of politicians who support and promote GE foods as being just as safe and “natural” as conventional foods while privately serving up nothing but organic for their own families. President Obama, as his predecessors George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, have all reportedly insisted on an organic diet.

Mother Jones writes:

“What’s my evidence that the Clintons and Bushes ate organic? Get this, from someone who knows – Walter Scheib, who served as White House executive chef during the Clinton and Bush years:

‘From 1994 to 2005 I was the executive chef at the White House. This offered me not only the personal honor of serving two unique and interesting first families, but the professional challenge of fulfilling Hillary Clinton’s mandate of bringing contemporary American cuisine and nutritionally responsible food to the White House.’


This meant that nearly all the product used was obtained from local growers and suppliers. There was a small garden on the roof of the White House where produce was grown. The ethic of the purchasing and the cooking at the White House under my direction and under the continuing direction of [current Obama White House executive chef] Cris Comerford is one of respect for the pedigree of the product and manner it is grown, gathered, raised or caught.


The Clinton and Bush families dined regularly on organic foods. Both wagyu and grass-fed beef were frequently used.”

Scheib was again quoted in a 2009 article by Think Progress, stating that Laura Bush was “adamant that in ALL CASES if an organic product was available it was to be used in place of a non-organic product.” Meanwhile, the article lists a number of atrocious food policies instituted by her husband. Who knows, perhaps she was so adamant about organics because she knew the quality and safety of conventional food was rapidly going down the toilet?

Guess Who Said: “Everything That’s in a Bottle or Package is Like Poison in a Way That Most People Don’t Even Know”

The Obama White House may be even more progressive about healthful dining than previous Presidents. In a 2008 article about First Lady Michelle Obama, published in The New Yorker:

“…One morning, during a roundtable at Ma Fischer’s, a diner in Milwaukee, Elizabeth Crawford, a recently divorced caterer with two children, brought up the subject of the eating habits of American families. ‘I really, really hope that Barack will jump on that,’ she said.


Then, having given thoughtful but boilerplate responses most of the morning, [Michelle] Obama suddenly departed from her script. It was the most animated I saw her on the campaign trail. ‘You know,’ she said, ‘in my household, over the last year we have just shifted to organic for this very reason. I mean, I saw just a moment in my nine-year-old’s life – we have a good pediatrician, who is very focused on childhood obesity, and there was a period where he was, like, ‘Mmm, she’s tipping the scale.’


So we started looking through our cabinets… You know, you’ve got fast food on Saturday, a couple days a week you don’t get home. The leftovers, good, not the third day! …So that whole notion of cooking on Sunday is out. … And the notion of trying to think about a lunch every day! …So you grab the Lunchables, right? And the fruit-juice-box thing, and we think – we think – that’s juice.


And you start reading the labels and you realize there’s high-fructose corn syrup in everything we’re eating. Every jelly, every juice. Everything that’s in a bottle or a package is like poison in a way that most people don’t even know…”

Yes, high-fructose corn syrup is one of the most atrocious ingredients in the American food supply today in terms of what it does to your health. Not only is fructose a major contributor to metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity, the vast majority of it is also derived from genetically engineered corn, which has its own increasingly well-documented ill health effects. Most recently, the world’s first lifetime feeding study using Monsanto GE corn found it caused massive breast tumors, kidney and liver damage, and other serious health problems.

Michelle Obama is certainly not the only one who has referred to high-fructose corn syrup as a poison. According to Dr. Robert Lustig, excess fructose does act like a toxin in your body, and Dr. Don Huber has spoken out about the two-fold toxic effects of GE crops: 1) due to the genetic alteration of the plant itself, and 2) the glyphosate sprayed on GE Roundup Ready crops.

President Obama Aware of Issue But Doing Nothing About it

Sadly, while the Obama’s are undoubtedly well aware of the health dangers of processed foods in general and genetically engineered foods specifically, their personal belief system has not filtered into the food policies that affect the rest of the population.

On the contrary, the President has spent the last four years appointing one Monsanto shill after another into key federal positions that wield near-absolute power over agricultural issues. Mrs. Obama’s efforts to promote organic foods, which included a much publicized White House organic garden, were also quickly tempered and toned down by a personal visit from The Mid America CropLife Association, an agribusiness media group, who “urged the first lady to give conventional agriculture equal time,” according to a 2009 Politico article.

Topping it all off, the President has also completely ignored his pre-election promise to IMMEDIATELY label GE foods, should he win, “because Americans should know what they’re buying.”

Well, it’s become abundantly clear that Big Biotech and their political lackeys will not even allow us to make an informed decision on this issue by reading our own food labels. And you’d have to be supremely naïve to not question the absurd dichotomy between public policies on GE and organic foods, and the private decisions made by those in charge and “in the know.”

Monsanto Runs and Regulates US Agriculture

In the first three years of the Obama Administration, 10 different genetically engineered crops, and even a genetically modified animal, have been approved by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to Food & Water Watch. All without a single shred of proof that these foods are actually safe for long-term consumption (or in the case of today’s children – lifetime consumption). Could this have anything to do with the fact that highly influential people within the USDA were previous employees of, or have other personal ties to, Monsanto?

The Secretary of Agriculture is Tom Vilsack, a strong Monsanto supporter selected by President-elect Obama in 2008. As governor of Iowa, Vilsack frequently traveled in Monsanto’s private jets, and was named Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
The director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture is Roger Beachy, a former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center.

The General Counsel for the USDA is Ramona Romero, who came straight from DuPont, another major biotech company with GE crop patents, where she held a number of key positions, including Corporate Counsel for complex commercial and antitrust litigation, and Corporate Counsel and Manager of Operations and Partnering.

Even the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has old ties to Monsanto via the Rose Law firm.
Getting the picture? The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal agencies are similarly stacked with former Monsanto employees. Likewise, when it comes to selecting which Presidential candidate might be better for organic foods and our agriculture system, both Romney and Obama’s actions speak louder than words. They do one thing privately, and “sell” another agenda to the public. Neither of them is a champion for Real Food in the US, and both of them cater and yield to the wills of multinational food and biotech companies.

Monsanto VP Now US Food Safety Czar – What’s Wrong With This Picture?

In 2009, President Obama appointed former Monsanto VP for Public Policy, Michael Taylor, as a senior adviser for the FDA, turning a deaf ear to the loud protests from consumer groups. Taylor is currently serving as the deputy commissioner for foods at the FDA – a position that includes ensuring food labels contain clear and accurate information. He also oversees strategy for food safety, and planning new food safety legislation.

To say he’s a fox guarding a hen house would be an understatement. This sentiment is shared by most people who are even remotely aware of food safety issues. At the time of Taylor’s appointment, GE expert Jeffrey Smith commented:

“The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history has just been made the US food safety czar. This is no joke.”

Now, the opposition is gaining steam yet again with an online petition13 calling for Taylor’s removal.

“President Obama, I oppose your appointment of Michael Taylor. Taylor is the same person who was Food Safety Czar at the FDA when genetically modified organisms were allowed into the U.S. food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks. This is a travesty,” the petition reads.

Passing Prop 37 is Key to Expanding Sustainable Agriculture in North America

Organic foods specifically prohibit genetically engineered ingredients along with synthetic agricultural chemicals, and eating organic is essentially the only way to ensure you’re not accidentally consuming GE foods, since the US still does not require such ingredients to be labeled.

So what’s with the double standard?

Is genetically engineered food the “cake” fit only for the paupers of the 21st century? Heck, even the staff cafeteria at Monsanto’s UK headquarters reportedly banned GE foods from the menu back in 1999.

So really, why are the elite making organic foods a priority for their own families? And why won’t they support labeling, so the rest of us can make an informed decision about the foods we eat? And why are they imposing regulations that limit the availability of organically- and/or locally-grown foods for so many communities?

It’s quite evident that we have no real champions for food safety and labeling of genetically engineered foods within the federal government. But right now we do have a great opportunity to change this situation by circumventing Monsanto’s posse entirely.

Twenty-four U.S. states have, as part of their state governance, something called the Initiative Process, where residents can bring to ballot any law they want enacted, as long as it has sufficient support. California has organized such a ballot initiative, known as Proposition 37, to get labeling for genetically engineered foods sold in their state.

Although many organic consumers and natural health activists already understand the importance of Proposition 37, it cannot be overemphasized that winning the battle over Prop 37 is perhaps the most important food fight Americans – not just Californians – have faced so far. But in order to win this fight for the right to know what’s in our food, we need your help, as the biotech industry will surely outspend us by 100 to 1, if not more, for their propaganda. Please remember, the failure or success of this ballot initiative is wholly dependent on your support and funding! There are no major industry pockets funding this endeavor. In order to have a chance against the deep pockets of Big Biotech and transnational food corporations, it needs donations from average citizens.

So please, if you have the ability, I strongly encourage you to make a donation to this cause. You can also contact EVERY person you know that lives in California and encourage them to view some of these videos and get educated on the issues so they can avoid succumbing to the propaganda, as Monsanto and company are paying tens of millions of dollars to deceive the voters in California. We need EVERY vote we can to win next month. The election is only FOUR weeks away.

It’s important to realize that getting this law passed in California would have the same overall effect as a national law, as large companies are not likely going to label their products as genetically engineered when sold in California (the 8th largest economy in the world), but not when sold in other states. Doing so would be a costly PR disaster. So please, I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can, regardless of what state you live in.

Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort, through the Organic Consumers Fund.

If you live in California and want to get involved, please contact CARightToKnow.org. They will go through all volunteer requests to put you into a position that is suitable for you, based on your stated interests and location.

No matter where you live, please help spread the word in your personal networks, on Facebook, and Twitter. For help with the messaging, please see CARightToKnow.org.
Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to label genetically engineered foods.

Related:   Strong economic incentive to cheat with processed foods

Study Reveals That 1 in 10 Teens Suffers from Liver Disease

GreenMedInfo
by Heidi Stevenson

A shocking report shows that one in ten American teens are now suffering from liver disease—a direct result of the distortion and pollution of our food system that allows fructose to be treated as if it’s perfectly safe.

In a shocking report that bodes ill for the future health of the generation now entering adulthood, ten percent of today’s teens in the United States suffers from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was examined by Marilyn Vos of Emery University. NHANES recorded data on 10,359 teenagers aged 12-18 from 1988-2008. Vos and co-researchers found that 9.9% have NAFLD.

Even more ominously, Vos stated that NAFLD “seems to be increasing faster than the prevalence of obesity.” Previously, the disease has been very closely associated with obesity. Now, though, it’s clear that there’s more than excess weight driving the increase in liver disease.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is known to be associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Now that we’re seeing this once-rare disorder affecting one in ten teenagers, one must wonder how health agencies like the FDA can continue to ignore the devastation resulting from out-of-control Agribusiness, which is clearly profiting from the devastation of the people’s health.

Instead, though, Dr. Vos is advocating the creation of community and school programs to promote healthy food, exercise, and weight loss. This is not addressing the root cause. It is, in fact, effectively blaming the victims for their poor health.

Difficulty Avoiding Fructose

The fact is that it’s becoming more and more difficult to obtain a healthy diet. Our society is now designed around the dictates of Agribusiness. Go into any supermarket and you will see aisle after aisle of prepared foods. If you read package ingredients, it’s horrifying to see that most of it contains massive amounts of sugar, fructose, and artificial sweeteners—not to mention all the other toxic ingredients.

Too many of today’s harassed and stressed parents often find it difficult, both in terms of finances and time, to provide decent diets for their children. Even those who manage to find the time and money to provide good food often don’t know what it is, since they’ve never seen it themselves and the agencies that should be providing information often produce lies. The FDA classifies fructose as GRAS—generally recognized as safe.

As a result, HFCS and other forms of fructose are found in nearly every type of product on supermarket shelves, including ones that aren’t supposed to be sweet. It’s replacing sugar in candies and soft drinks, so children in particular are at risk. Avoiding it means avoiding nearly all prepared foods, including ones intended to aid in home cooking, like bottled sauces.

Fructose Metablism

Fructose is not metabolized in the same way that glucose (regular sugar) is, so treating it as equivalent is absurd:

Fructose is metabolized completely by the liver, but only 20% of glucose metabolism is by the liver. This adds to the load that the liver must carry.

Fructose results in storing three times more fat than glucose, thus fueling the obesity epidemic.

Fructose is probably the culprit behind a serious increase in gout because its metabolism creates uric acid.
The truth is that fructose consumed outside of fruit, where it’s tightly bound and therefore released slowly during digestion, is creating havoc with people’s health. It’s obviously a major factor in the health destruction of at least one in ten teens. These young people face severely shortened lives with tragically limited options because of ill health.


Fructose Damage

NAFLD affects the liver’s ability to perform many critical functions, including regulation of blood glucose and cholesterol, fat burning, metabolism of hormones, vitamin A storage, and elimination of toxins, which is of course, becoming a more and more critical function in this increasingly polluted world.

Fatty liver disease leads to diabetes, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and cancer. It also means that overall health of the entire body is harmed, so that the victim’s enjoyment of life is proscribed.

Nonetheless, there is no attempt to address the cause, Agribusiness that’s run so rampant it can control nearly all aspects of our access to food. Instead, researchers who clearly document how rampant NAFLD is—to the point that one-tenth of teens are now sick with it—prefer to focus on the creation of ever-more government programs that will drain ever-more money from the populace and won’t do a bit of good.

Study Reveals That One in Ten Teens Suffers from Liver Disease

Gaia Health
by Heidi Stevenson

In a shocking report that bodes ill for the future health of the generation now entering adulthood, ten percent of today’s teens in the United States suffers from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was examined by Marilyn Vos of Emery University. NHANES recorded data on 10,359 teenagers aged 12-18 from 1988-2008. Vos and co-researchers found that 9.9% have NAFLD.

Even more ominously, Vos stated that NAFLD “seems to be increasing faster than the prevalence of obesity.” Previously, the disease has been very closely associated with obesity. Now, though, it’s clear that there’s more than excess weight driving the increase in liver disease.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is known to be associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Now that we’re seeing this once-rare disorder affecting one in ten teenagers, one must wonder how health agencies like the FDA can continue to ignore the devastation resulting from out-of-control Agribusiness, which is clearly profiting from the devastation of the people’s health.

Instead, though, Dr. Vos is advocating the creation of community and school programs to promote healthy food, exercise, and weight loss. This is not addressing the root cause. It is, in fact, effectively blaming the victims for their poor health.

Difficulty Avoiding Fructose

The fact is that it’s becoming more and more difficult to obtain a healthy diet. Our society is now designed around the dictates of Agribusiness. Go into any supermarket and you will see aisle after aisle of prepared foods. If you read package ingredients, it’s horrifying to see that most of it contains massive amounts of sugar, fructose, and artificial sweeteners—not to mention all the other toxic ingredients.

Too many of today’s harassed and stressed parents often find it difficult, both in terms of finances and time, to provide decent diets for their children. Even those who manage to find the time and money to provide good food often don’t know what it is, since they’ve never seen it themselves and the agencies that should be providing information often produce lies. The FDA classes fructose as GRAS—generally recognized as safe.

As a result, HFCS and other forms of fructose are found in nearly every type of product on supermarket shelves, including ones that aren’t supposed to be sweet. It’s replacing sugar in candies and soft drinks, so children in particular are at risk. Avoiding it means avoiding nearly all prepared foods, including ones intended to aid in home cooking, like bottled sauces sauces.

Fructose Metablism

Fructose is not metabolized in the same way that glucose (regular sugar) is, so treating it as equivalent is absurd:

Fructose is metabolized completely by the liver, but only 20% of glucose metabolism is by the liver. This adds to the load that the liver must carry.

Fructose results in storing three times more fat than glucose, thus fueling the obesity epidemic.

Fructose is probably the culprit behind a serious increase in gout because its metabolism creates uric acid.

The truth is that fructose consumed outside of fruit, where it’s tightly bound and therefore released slowly during digestion, is creating havoc with people’s health. It’s obviously a major factor in the health destruction of at least one in ten teens. These young people face severely shortened lives with tragically limited options because of ill health.

Fructose Damage

NAFLD affects the liver’s ability to perform many critical functions, including regulation of blood glucose and cholesterol, fat burning, metabolism of hormones, vitamin A storage, and elimination of toxins, which is of course, becoming a more and more critical function in this increasingly polluted world.

Fatty liver disease leads to diabetes, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and cancer. It also means that overall health of the entire body is harmed, so that the victim’s enjoyment of life is proscribed.

Nonetheless, there is no attempt to address the cause, Agribusiness that’s run so rampant it can control nearly all aspects of our access to food. Instead, researchers who clearly document how rampant NAFLD is—to the point that one-tenth of teens are now sick with it—prefer to focus on the creation of ever-more government programs that will drain ever-more money from the populace and won’t do a bit of good.

Study: Autism Linked to Industrial Food, Environment

Common Dreams

A new study by Clinical Epigenetics, a peer-reviewed journal that focuses largely on diseases, has found that the rise in autism in the United States could be linked to the industrial food system, specifically the prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the American diet. The study, published yesterday online, explores how mineral deficiencies could impact how the human body rids itself of common toxic chemicals like mercury and pesticides. The report comes just after a different report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, documented a startling rise in autism in the United States.

“To better address the explosion of autism, it’s critical we consider how unhealthy diets interfere with the body’s ability to eliminate toxic chemicals, and ultimately our risk for developing long-term health problems like autism.” said Dr. David Wallinga, a study co-author and physician at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

The report’s key findings:

Autism and related disorders affect brain development. The current study sought to determine how environmental and dietary factors, like HFCS consumption, might combine to contribute to the disorder.

Consumption of HFCS, for example, is linked to the dietary loss of zinc, which interferes with the elimination of heavy metals from the body. Many heavy metals like mercury, arsenic and cadmium are potent toxins with adverse effects on brain development in the young.
HFCS consumption can also impact levels of other beneficial minerals, including calcium. Loss of calcium further exacerbates the detrimental effects of exposure to lead on brain development in fetuses and children.
Inadequate levels of calcium in the body can also impair its ability to expel organophosphates, a class of pesticides long recognized by the EPA and independent scientists as especially toxic to the young developing brain.
* * *
Clinical Epigenetics: Abstract

The number of children ages 6 to 21 in the United States receiving special education services under the autism disability category increased 91 % between 2005 to 2010 while the number of children receiving special education services overall declined by 5 %. The demand for special education services continues to rise in disability categories associated with pervasive developmental disorders. Neurodevelopment can be adversely impacted when gene expression is altered by dietary transcription factors, such as zinc insufficiency or deficiency, or by exposure to toxic substances found in our environment, such as mercury or organophosphate pesticides. Gene expression patterns differ geographically between populations and within populations. Gene variants of paraoxonase-1 are associated with autism in North America, but not in Italy, indicating regional specificity in gene-environment interactions. In the current review, we utilize a novel macroepigenetic approach to compare variations in diet and toxic substance exposure between these two geographical populations to determine the likely factors responsible for the autism epidemic in the United States.
* * *
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy: Study Links Autism with Industrial Food, Environment

The epidemic of autism in children in the United States may be linked to the typical American diet according to a new study published online in Clinical Epigenetics by Renee Dufault, et. al. The study explores how mineral deficiencies—affected by dietary factors like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—could impact how the human body rids itself of common toxic chemicals like mercury and pesticides.

The release comes on the heels of a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimates the average rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among eight year olds is now 1 in 88, representing a 78 percent increase between 2002 and 2008. Among boys, the rate is nearly five times the prevalence found in girls.

“To better address the explosion of autism, it’s critical we consider how unhealthy diets interfere with the body’s ability to eliminate toxic chemicals, and ultimately our risk for developing long-term health problems like autism.” said Dr. David Wallinga, a study co-author and physician at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).
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37 Reasons to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods

TruthisTreason.net, Feb. 1, 2012

The adulteration and modification of some of the planet’s most widely used crops has changed our food landscape. Chemicals, preservatives, genetic modification and low-cost substitutions and fillers have wrecked meals that were once healthy for us. Stepping inside of a grocery store nowadays, we find ourselves in a dangerous and toxic new world. The introduction of genetically modified organisms into the food supply in the 1990′s, coupled with rampant use of carcinogens such as aspartame, and substitutions like high fructose corn syrup, set the perfect stage to form a deadly concoction known as processed food. Sadly, this is what encompasses the average American diet.

Genetically modified foods are now found in approximately 80% of all food in a typical grocery store.

In Germany and throughout the European Union, food products that contain GMOs must be properly labeled as such. As a result, there are few GM products on store shelves because, when made aware of their presence, consumers almost unanimously reject them. But what many people fail to realize, both in Europe and in the US, is that conventional livestock is often fed GM soy and corn, which ultimately ends up on store shelves in the form of conventional meat, milk, and eggs.

Full story