Tag Archive: BPA


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Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market

November 21, 2015  

By Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman

 

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Scientists are trained to express themselves rationally. They avoid personal attacks when they disagree. But some scientific arguments become so polarized that tempers fray. There may even be shouting.

Such is the current state of affairs between two camps of scientists: health effects researchers and regulatory toxicologists. Both groups study the effects of chemical exposures in humans. Both groups have publicly used terms like “irrelevant,” “arbitrary,” “unfounded” and “contrary to all accumulated physiological understanding” to describe the other’s work. Privately, the language becomes even harsher, with phrases such as “a pseudoscience,” “a religion” and “rigged.”

The rift centers around the best way to measure the health effects of chemical exposures. The regulatory toxicologists typically rely on computer simulations called “physiologically based pharmacokinetic” (PBPK) modeling. The health effects researchers—endocrinologists, developmental biologists and epidemiologists, among others—draw their conclusions from direct observations of how chemicals actually affect living things.

The debate may sound arcane, but the outcome could directly affect your health. It will shape how government agencies regulate chemicals for decades to come: how toxic waste sites are cleaned up, how pesticides are regulated, how workers are protected from toxic exposure and what chemicals are permitted in household items. Those decisions will profoundly affect public health: the rates at which we suffer cancer, diabetes, obesity, infertility, and neurological problems like attention disorders and lowered IQ.

The link from certain chemicals to these health effects is real. In a paper published earlier this year, a group of leading endocrinologists concluded with 99 percent certainty that environmental exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals causes health problems. They estimate that this costs the European Union healthcare system about $175 billion a year.

Closer to home, Americans are routinely sickened by toxic chemicals whose health effects have been long known. To cite one infamous example, people exposed to the known carcinogen formaldehyde in FEMA trailers after Hurricane Katrina suffered headaches, nosebleeds and difficulty breathing. Dozens of cancer cases were later reported. Then there are workplace exposures, which federal government estimates link to as many as 20,000 cancer deaths a year and hundreds of thousands of illnesses.

“We are drowning our world in untested and unsafe chemicals, and the price we are paying in terms of our reproductive health is of serious concern,” wrote the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics in a statement released on October 1.

Yet chemical regulation in the United States has proceeded at a glacial pace. And corporate profit is at the heart of the story.

That the chemical industry exerts political influence is well documented. What our investigation reveals is that, 30 years ago, corporate interests began to control not just the political process but the science itself. Industry not only funds research to cast doubt on known environmental health hazards; it has also shaped an entire field of science—regulatory toxicology—to downplay the risk of toxic chemicals.

Our investigation traces this web of influence to a group of scientists working for the Department of Defense (DOD) in the 1970s and 1980s—the pioneers of PBPK modeling. It quickly became clear that this type of modeling could be manipulated to minimize the appearance of chemical risk. PBPK methodology has subsequently been advanced by at least two generations of researchers—including many from the original DOD group—who move between industry, government agencies and industry-backed research groups, often with little or no transparency.

The result is that chemicals known to be harmful to human health remain largely unregulated in the United States—often with deadly results. For chemicals whose hazards are just now being recognized, such as the common plastics ingredient bisphenol A (BPA) and other , this lack of regulation is likely to continue unless the federal chemical review process becomes more transparent and relies less heavily on PBPK modeling.

Here we lay out the players, the dueling paradigms and the high-stakes health consequences of getting it wrong.

The dawn of PBPK simulation

The 1970s and 1980s saw a blizzard of environmental regulation. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Toxic Substances Control Act, along with the laws that established Superfund and Community Right-to-Know Programs, for the first time required companies— and military bases—using and producing chemicals to account for their environmental and health impacts. This meant greater demand for chemical risk assessments as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to establish safety standards for workplace exposures and environmental cleanups.

In the 1980s, the now-defunct Toxic Hazards Research Unit at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was investigating the toxicity and health effects of chemicals used by the military. Of particular concern to the DOD were the many compounds used by the military to build, service and maintain aircraft, vehicles and other machinery: fuels and fuel additives, solvents, coatings and adhesives. The military is responsible for about 900 of the approximately 1,300 currently listed Superfund sites, many of which have been contaminated by these chemicals for decades.

In the mid-1980s, scientists at the Wright-Patterson Toxic Hazards Research Unit began using PBPK simulations to track how chemicals move through the body. Known as in silico (in computers) models, these are an alternative to testing chemicals in vivo (in live animals) or in vitro (in a test tube). They allow scientists to estimate what concentrations of a chemical (or its breakdown products) end up in a particular organ or type of tissue, and how long they take to exit the body. The information can then be correlated with experimental data to set exposure limits—or not.

PBPK simulations made testing faster and cheaper, something attractive to both industry and regulators. But the PBPK model has drawbacks. “It tells you nothing about effects,” says Linda Birnbaum, director of both the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and National Toxicology Program (NTP). Observational studies and laboratory experiments, on the other hand, are designed to discover how a chemical affects biological processes.

Even regulatory toxicologists who support PBPK acknowledge its limitations: “[PBPK models] are always going to be limited by the quality of the data that go into them,” says toxicologist James Lamb, who worked for the NTP and EPA in the 1980s and is now principal scientist at the consulting firm Exponent.

The late health effects researcher Louis Guillette, a professor at the Medical University of South Carolina famous for studies on DDT’s hormonedisrupting effects in Florida alligators, put it more bluntly: “PBPK? My immediate response: Junk in, junk out. The take-home is that most of the models [are] only as good as your understanding of the complexity of the system.”

Many biologists say PBPK-based risk assessments begin with assumptions that are too narrow, and thus often fail to fully capture how a chemical exposure can affect health. For example, a series of PBPK studies and reviews by toxicologist Justin Teeguarden of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., and his colleagues suggested that BPA breaks down into less harmful compounds and exits the body so rapidly that it is essentially harmless. Their research began with certain assumptions: that BPA only mimics estrogen weakly, that it affects only the body’s estrogen system, and that 90 percent of BPA exposure is through digestion of food and beverages. However, health effects research has shown that BPA mimics estrogen closely, can affect the body’s androgen and thyroid hormone systems, and can enter the body via pathways like the skin and the tissues of the mouth. When PBPK models fail to include this evidence, they tend to underestimate risk.

Because of its reliance on whatever data are included, PBPK modeling can be deliberately manipulated to produce desired outcomes. Or, as University of Notre Dame biologist Kristin Shrader-Frechette, who specializes in human health risk assessment, says: “Models can offer a means of avoiding the conclusions derived from actual experiments.” In other words, PBPK models can be customized to provide results that work to industry’s advantage.

That’s not to say PBPK itself is to blame. “Let’s not throw the baby out completely with the bathwater,” says New York University associate professor of environmental medicine and health policy Leo Trasande. “However, when you have biology telling you there are basic flaws in the model, that’s a compelling reason that it’s time for a paradigm shift.”

A handy tool for industry

That PBPK studies could be used to make chemicals appear safer was as clear in the 1980s as it is now. In a 1988 paper touting the new technique, Wright-Patterson scientists explained how their modeling had prompted the EPA to stop its regulation process for a chemical of great concern to the military: methylene chloride.

Methylene chloride is widely used as a solvent and as an ingredient in making plastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other industrial products. By the 1990s, the U.S. military would be the country’s second greatest user. Methylene chloride was—and remains—regulated under the Clean Air Act as a hazardous air pollutant because of its carcinogenic and neurotoxic effects.

Between 1985 and 1986, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimated that about 1 million workers a year were exposed to methylene chloride, and the EPA classified the compound as a “probable human carcinogen.” A number of unions, including United Auto Workers and United Steelworkers, also petitioned OSHA to limit on-the-job exposure to methylene chloride.

In 1986, OSHA began the process of setting occupational exposure limits. Stakeholders were invited to submit public comments.

Among the materials submitted was a PBPK study by Melvin Andersen, Harvey Clewell—both then working at Wright-Patterson—and several other scientists, including two employed by methylene chloride product manufacturer Dow Chemical. Published in 1987, this study concluded, “Conventional risk analyses greatly overestimate the risk in humans exposed to low concentrations [of methylene chloride].”

Later that year, the EPA revised its previous health assessment of methylene chloride, citing the Wright-Patterson study to conclude that the chemical was nine times less risky than previously estimated. The EPA “has halted its rulemaking on methylene chloride [based on our studies],” wrote Wright-Patterson scientists in 1988.

OSHA, too, considered the Wright-Patterson study in its methylene chloride assessment—and its rulemaking dragged on another 10 years before the agency finally limited exposure to the chemical.

The usefulness of PBPK modeling to industry did not escape the Wright-Patterson researchers. “The potential impact,” wrote Andersen, Clewell and their colleagues in 1988, “is far reaching and not limited to methylene chloride.” Using PBPK models to set exposure limits could help avoid setting “excessively conservative”—i.e., protective— limits that could lead to “unnecessary expensive controls” and place “constraints on important industrial processes.” In other words, PBPK models could be used to set less-stringent environmental and health standards, and save industry money.

So far, they’ve been proven right. The work done at Wright-Patterson set the stage for the next 30-plus years. Results obtained using PBPK modeling—especially in industry-funded research, often conducted by former Wright-Patterson scientists—have downplayed the risk and delayed the regulation of numerous widely used and commercially lucrative chemicals. These include formaldehyde, styrene, tricholorethylene, BPA and the pesticide chlorpyrifos. For many such chemicals, PBPK studies contradict what actual biological experiments conclude. Regulators often defer to the PBPK studies anyway.

A web of influence

At the time that PBPK modelling was being developed, the chemical industry was struggling with its public image. The Bhopal, India, disaster—the methyl isocyanate release that killed and injured thousands—happened in 1984. The following year, a toxic gas release at a West Virginia Union Carbide plant sent about 135 people to hospitals.

In response to these incidents, new federal regulations required companies to account for the storage, use and release of hazardous chemicals. The minutes from a May 1988 Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) meeting show industry was feeling the pressure. Noting the federal scrutiny and the growing testing requirements, the CMA recommended that industry help “develop exposure data” and “explore innovative ways to limit required testing to that which is needed.”

Industry had already begun to do this by founding a number of research institutes such as the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (CIIT), a nonprofit toxicology research institute (renamed the Hamner Institutes in an act of linguistic detoxification in 2007). This period also saw the rise of for-profit consulting firms like Environ (1982), Gradient (1985), ChemRisk (1985) and K.S. Crump and Company (1986), with which industry would collaborate advantageously in the following decades.

“Our goal was to do the science that would help the EPA and other regulatory bodies make the policies,” explained William Greenlee, Hamner president and CEO, in an interview for a business website. Indeed, over the past 30 years, Hamner and these consultancies have produced hundreds of PBPK studies, often with the support of chemical companies or trade groups. Overwhelmingly, these studies downplay or cast doubt on chemicals’ health effects—and delay regulation.

“I have seen how scientists from the Hamner Institutes can present information in a way that carefully shapes or controls a narrative,” says Laura Vandenberg, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She explains that Hamner scientists often use narrow time windows or present data in a limited context, rejecting information that does not conform to their models. “These are the kinds of tactics used to manufacture doubt,” she says.

A close look at the authors of studies produced by these industry-linked research groups reveals a web of influence traceable to Wright-Patterson (see chart on following page). At least 10 researchers employed at or contracted by Wright-Patterson in the 1980s went on to careers in toxicology at CIIT/Hamner, for-profit consulting firms or the EPA. About half have held senior positions at Hamner, including the co-authors of many of the early Wright-Patterson PBPK studies: Melvin Anderson, now a chief scientific officer at Hamner, and Harvey Clewell, now a senior investigator at Hamner and principal scientist at the consulting firm ENVIRON. “I’m probably given credit as the person who brought PBPK into toxicology and risk assessment,” Andersen told In These Times.

A revolving door between these industry-affiliated groups and federal regulators was also set in motion. More than a dozen researchers have moved from the EPA to these for-profit consultancies; a similar number have gone in the other direction, ending up at the EPA or other federal agencies.

Further blurring the public-private line, CIIT/Hamner has received millions of dollars in both industry and taxpayer money. The group stated on its website in 2007 that $18 million of its $21.5 million annual operating budget came from the “chemical and pharmaceutical industry.” Information about its corporate funders is no longer detailed there, but Hamner has previously listed as clients and supporters the American Chemistry Council (formerly the CMA, and one of the most powerful lobbyists against chemical regulation), American Petroleum Institute, BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow, ExxonMobil, Chevron and the Formaldehyde Council. At the same time, over the past 30 years, CIIT/Hamner has received nearly $160 million in grants and contracts from the EPA, DOD and Department of Health and Human Services. In sum, since the 1980s, these federal agencies have awarded hundreds of millions of dollars to industry-affiliated research institutes like Hamner.

But the federal reliance on industry-linked researchers extends further. Since 2000, the EPA has signed a number of cooperative research agreements with the ACC and CIIT/ Hamner. All involve chemical toxicity research that includes PBPK modeling. And in 2014, Hamner outlined additional research it will be conducting for the EPA’s next generation of chemical testing—the ToxCast and Tox21 programs. Over the past five years, Hamner has received funding for this same research from the ACC and Dow.

Meanwhile, the EPA regularly contracts with for-profit consultancies to perform risk assessments, assemble peer review panels and select the scientific literature used in chemical evaluations. This gives these private organizations considerable sway in the decision-making process, often with little transparency about ties to chemical manufacturers. The upshot: Experts selected to oversee chemical regulation often overrepresent the industry perspective.

These cozy relationships have not gone unnoticed; the EPA has been called to task by both its own Office of Inspector General and by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. “These arrangements have raised concerns that ACC or its members could potentially influence, or appear to influence, the scientific results that may be used to make future regulatory decisions,” wrote the GAO in a 2005 report.

Asked for comment by In These Times, the EPA said these arrangements do not present conflicts of interest.

Decades of deadly delay

PBPK studies have stalled the regulation of numerous chemicals. In each case, narrowly focused models developed by industry-supported research concluded that risks were lower than previously estimated or were not of concern at likely exposure levels.

Take, for example, methylene chloride, the subject of the 1987 paper Wright-Patterson scientists bragged had halted the EPA’s regulatory process. Despite the chemical being identified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the U.N. International Agency for Research on Cancer, a “reasonably anticipated” human carcinogen by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, and an “occupational carcinogen” by OSHA, the EPA has yet to limit its use. EPA researchers noted this year that the 1987 PBPK model by the Wright-Patterson scientists remains the basis for the agency’s risk assessment.

Today, methylene chloride remains in use—to produce electronics, pesticides, plastics and synthetic fabrics, and in paint and varnish strippers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, OSHA and NIOSH have issued health warnings, and the FDA bars methylene chloride from cosmetics— but no U.S. agency has totally banned the chemical. The EPA estimates that some 230,000 workers are exposed directly each year. According to OSHA, between 2000 and 2012, at least 14 people died in the United States of asphyxiation or heart failure after using methylene chloride-containing products to refinish bathtubs. The Center for Public Integrity reports that methylene chloride exposure prompted more than 2,700 calls to U.S. poison control centers between 2008 and 2013.

Another telling example of industry-funded PBPK studies’ influence is formaldehyde. This chemical remains largely unrestricted in the United States, despite being a well-recognized respiratory and neurological toxicant linked to nasal cancer and leukemia, as well as to allergic reactions and skin irritation. The EPA’s toxicological review of formaldehyde, begun in 1990, remains incomplete, in no small part because of delays prompted by the introduction of studies—including PBPK models conducted by CIIT/Hamner—questioning its link to leukemia.

If that link is considered weak or uncertain, that means formaldehyde—or the companies that employ the sickened workers—won’t be held responsible for the disease. The chemical industry is well aware that “more people have leukemia … than have nasal tumors,” says recently retired NIEHS toxicologist James Huff.

Some of this CIIT/Hamner research was conducted between 2000 and 2005 with funding from an $18,750,000 EPA grant. In 2010, Hamner received $5 million from Dow, a formaldehydeproduct manufacturer, for toxicity testing, including PBPK modeling. The ACC, which opposes formaldehyde restriction, also supported this research.

Consequently, apart from a few state regulations and a pending EPA proposal to limit formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products like plywood, companies can still use the chemical—as in the FEMA trailers.

Cosmetics and personal-care products can also be sources of formaldehyde exposure. This made headlines in 2011 after hair salon workers using a smoothing product called Brazilian Blowout reported nausea, sore throats, rashes, chronic sinus infections, asthma-like symptoms, bloody noses, dizziness and other neurological effects. “You can’t see it … but you feel it in your eyes and it gives you a high,” salon owner and hair stylist Cortney Tanner tells In These Times. “They don’t teach this stuff in beauty school,” she says, and no one warns stylists about these products or even suggests using a ventilator.

OSHA has issued a hazard alert for these products and the FDA has issued multiple warnings, most recently in September, but regulations prevent federal agencies from pulling the products from store shelves. So, for formaldehyde, as in the case of the paint strippers containing methylene chloride, exposures continue.

BPA rings alarm bells

The chemical currently at the center of the most heated debates about consumer exposure is BPA. The building block of polycarbonate plastics, BPA is used in countless products, including the resins that line food cans and coat the thermal receipt paper at cash registers and ATMs. While scientific evidence of adverse health effects from environmentally typical levels of BPA mounts, and many manufacturers and retailers have responded to public concern by changing their products, federal regulatory authorities still resist restricting the chemical’s use.

BPA does not produce immediate, acute effects, like those experienced by salon workers exposed to formaldehyde or machinists working with methylene chloride. But in laboratory tests on animals, BPA is a known endocrine disruptor. Structurally similar to natural hormones, endocrine disruptors can interfere with normal cellular processes and trigger abnormal biochemical responses. These can prompt numerous health problems, including cancer, infertility, and metabolic and neurological disorders. BPA has also been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

To promote the idea that BPA is safe, the chemical industry routinely lobbies policymakers and “educates” consumers. What has not been widely discussed, however, is how industry has backed PBPK studies that marginalized research showing risks from environmentally typical levels of BPA. Many of these doubt-inducing studies have been conducted by researchers whose careers can be linked to the PBPK work done at Wright-Patterson. In published critiques, health effects researchers—among them Gail Prins and Wade Welshons—have detailed the many ways in which these PBPK models fail to accurately reflect BPA exposure.

PBPK and endocrine disruption

Over the past several decades, our evolving understanding of our bodies’ responses to chemicals has challenged previous toxicological assumptions— including those that are fed into PBPK models. This is particularly true of endocrine disruptors.

Cause-and-effect relationships between endocrine disruptors and health problems can be hard to pinpoint. We now know that early—even prenatal— exposure to endocrine disruptors can set the stage for adult disease. In addition, a pregnant woman’s exposures may affect not only her children but also her grandchildren. These transgenerational effects have been documented in animal experiments. The classic human evidence came from victims of DES, a drug prescribed in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s to prevent miscarriages. Daughters of women who took the endocrine disruptor developed reproductive cancers, and preliminary research suggests their daughters may be at greater risk for cancer and other reproductive problems.

“The transgenerational work raises an incredible specter,” says Andrea Gore, who holds the Vacek Chair in Pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin and edits the influential journal Endocrinology. “It’s not just what you’re exposed to now, it’s what your ancestors were exposed to.”

Complicating PBPK modeling further, hormone-mimicking chemicals, just like hormones, can have biological effects at concentrations as low as parts per trillion. In addition, environmental exposures most often occur as mixtures, rather than in isolation. And each individual may respond differently.

“PBPK doesn’t come close” to capturing the reality of endocrine disruption, the late developmental biologist Louis Guillette told In These Times, in part because modelers are “still asking questions about one chemical exposure with one route of exposure.” Even for health effects researchers, understanding of mixtures’ effects is in its infancy.

The debate over how endocrine disruption can be represented in PBPK models has intensified the unease between regulatory toxicologists and health effects researchers. That tension is particularly well-illustrated by a recent series of events that also reveal how some journal editors privilege the industry’s point of view.

A life-and-death debate

In February 2012 the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) published a report intended to inform regulation worldwide. The authors were an international group of health effects researchers with long experience studying endocrine disruption.

“There is an increasing burden of disease across the globe in which [endocrine disruptors] are likely playing an important role, and future generations may also be affected,” said the report. These diseases, it continued, are being seen in humans and wildlife, and include male and female reproductive disorders, changes in the numbers of male and female babies born, thyroid and adrenal gland disorders, hormone-related cancers and neurodevelopmental diseases.

The backlash from toxicologists was immediate. Over the next few months—as the EU prepared to begin its regulatory decision-making on endocrine disruptors—the editors of 14 toxicology journals each published an identical commentary harshly criticizing the WHO/UNEP conclusions.

The commentary included a letter from more than 70 toxicologists urging the EU not to adopt the endocrine disruption framework. The letter said that the WHO/UNEP report could not be allowed to inform policy because its science is “contrary to all accumulated physiological understanding.”

This commentary was followed by further attacks. One critique, published in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology, was funded and vetted by the ACC.

These commentaries infuriated health effects researchers. Twenty endocrine journal editors, 28 associate editors and 56 other scientists—including several WHO/UNEP report authors—signed a statement in Endocrinology, saying in part:

The dismissive approach to endocrine disruption science put forth … is unfounded, as it is [not] based on the fundamental principles of how the endocrine system works and how chemicals can interfere with its normal function.

Endocrinology editor Andrea Gore tells In These Times that she and other health effects researchers don’t think the scientifically demonstrated dangers of endocrine disruptors are subject to debate. “There are fundamental differences between regulatory toxicologists and what I refer to as ‘people who understand the endocrine science.’ ”

The outcome of this debate and the structure of future regulatory toxicity testing in the United States and Europe is not yet clear. The EPA appears to be attempting to incorporate endocrine disruption into PBPK models, but many scientists are skeptical the process will produce reliable results, given the models’ limitations and the complexity of endocrine effects.

From science to activism

Although couched in complex language, these arguments are not academic, but have profound implications for public health. Disorders and diseases, increasingly linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors— including metabolic, reproductive, developmental and neurological problems—are widespread and increasing. About 20 percent of U.S. adults show at least three of the five indicators of metabolic syndrome: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Neurological problems, including behavioral and learning disabilities in children as well as Parkinson’s disease, are increasing rapidly. Fertility rates in both men and women are declining. Globally, the average sperm count has dropped 50 percent in the last 50 years.

Scientists typically shy away from activism, but many now believe it’s what’s needed to punch through the machinations and inertia regarding chemical regulation. Shanna Swan, Mount Sinai professor of preventive medicine, obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive medicine, notes that some of the biggest reductions in chemical exposures have happened in response to consumer pressure on both industry and policymakers. Or, as the University of California’s Bruce Blumberg says, “I think we need to take the fight to the people.”

The Endocrine Society stressed the urgency of addressing these public health impacts in a statement released September 28. Not surprisingly, industry disagreed, calling this science “unsupported” and “still-unproven.”

Meanwhile, PBPK studies continue to succeed in sowing doubt about adverse health effects of endocrine disorders. Their extremely narrow focus leads to narrow conclusions that often result in calls for more research before regulation. In regulatory decisions, “the assumption is that if we don’t know something, it won’t hurt us,” says University of Massachusetts, Amherst professor of biology R. Thomas Zoeller. In other words, the burden of proof remains on health effects researchers to prove harm, not on industry to prove safety—and proving harm is difficult, especially when other scientists are seeding doubt.

But the clock is ticking. As Washington State University geneticist Pat Hunt told In These Times, “If we wait [to make regulatory decisions] for ‘proof’ in the form of compelling human data, it may be too late for us as a species.”

This investigation was supported by the Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting and published originally in In These Times.

 

Natural Society

Elizabeth Renter

by
March 31st, 2014
Updated 03/31/2014 at 5:52 am

goji berries bpa 263x164 Goji Berries Could Mend BPA Damage in Male Reproductive Organs

 

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a known endocrine disruptor whose damaging effects aren’t entirely known and understood. What we do know, however, is that it mimics estrogen in the body and can cause serious damage to male reproductive organs even before a boy is born.

In a 2013 study published in the journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers indicated a small fruit could hold some protective benefits for men exposed to BPA.

Numerous studies have linked BPA to male reproductive problems. One study in 2005 found that males exposed to BPA in the womb, even at rates lower than the range for pregnant women, suffered malformations in their reproductive organs and developmental problems in the prostate.

Another study found the same low level exposure to BPA in rats actually increased the risk of pre-cancerous lesions of the prostate and hormonal carcinogenesis in adulthood. In other words, those exposed to BPA were more likely to develop cancerous changes of the prostate.

The unassuming goji berry showed promising results in protecting and potentially reversing this BPA damage.

 

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A New Study Shows Real Costs of Toxins

 

  • February 15, 2014

 

 

A New Study Shows Real Costs of Toxins

In environmental health circles, 2014 is being heralded as the year America’s 40-year-old chemical regulations will at long last be reformed. One typical complaint heard in the struggle to pass the Chemical Safety Improvement Act is that new regulations will cost companies too much money and the country too many lost jobs. This familiar tune ignores the other side of the economic coin. As in: What are the costs of doing nothing?

 

According to new study on BPA exposures in the U.S., they’re quite high. The study, authored by Healthy Child Healthy World board member Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and health policy at the New York University School of Medicine, finds that the social costs of BPA-related obesity and heart disease were nearly $3 billion in 2008. It contends that removing the chemical from the linings of food and beverage cans would yield $1.74 billion in annual economic benefits. The study’s calculations were conservative and didn’t account for the many other health issues to which BPA is suspected of contributing, like cancer, reproductive damage, and behavioral disorders, which means these figures could be many billions of dollars higher in reality.

 

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March 7, 2013

Sayer Ji, Green Med Info
Waking Times

As we reported on back in June of last year, in an exposé titled, Consumer Alert: BPA-Free Goods Still Contain Toxin Bisphenol, the petrochemical bisphenol A (BPA), a ubiquitous ingredient in thousands of consumer products and which has been linked to a wide range of serious adverse health effects,[i]  has been removed by many ostensibly scrupulous manufacturers in favor of another equally toxic analog in the same chemical class, known as bisphenol S (BPS).  This has enabled manufacturers of products as varied as thermal printer receipts to sippy cups to advertise their products as “BPA-free,” while still exposing consumers to potentially harmful, and less regulated chemicals.

BPS is actually not only within the same range of toxicity of BPA, but is slower to degrade, and therefore will be more likely to remain a persistent toxin and environmental pollutant.[ii] It has already been found to be present in the urine of 81% of those tested from the United States and seven Asian countries.[iii]

Now, new concern is being raised by a study published this month in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showing that BPS has estrogenic activity comparable to estradiol, the most potent and therefore concerning human estrogen, and is even capable of enhancing estradiol-mediated cell signaling activity. These actions indicate it has great potential to disrupt normal endocrine processes.  The study also found that BPS is capable of inducing cell death (apoptosis), as well as interfere with cellular prolactin (PRL) secretion. This latter effect has a broad range of indications, as the prolactin hormone regulates hundreds of biological functions, including metabolism, reproduction and lactation.[iv]

Taken together, the study authors concluded:

BPS, once considered a safe substitute for BPA, disrupts membrane-initiated E2-induced cell signaling, leading to altered cell proliferation, cell death, and PRL release.

Global Chemical Sleight-of-Hand: BPS Replaces BPA

In many ways, the sleight-of-hand substitution of Bisphenol S for Bisphenol A, is just business as normal. Pharmaceutical companies, for instance, will often begin to phase out a drug when after years of causing side effects and even deaths it begins to lose its viability as a profit center because of accumulating lawsuits and adverse post-marketing surveillance research, as well as the impending expiration of its patent exclusivity. So, they simply alter the synthetic drug an atom or two, and reapply for a “new and improved” drug approval – even when, essentially, less is known about its toxicity; until, that is, the end users (a living guinea pig) experience convincing bodily evidence that it does more harm than good.

Sadly, chemicals like bisphenols receive far less regulatory oversight than pharmaceuticals, despite the fact that exposure to pharmacologically active chemicals in everyday consumer products can be much more widespread.

The extent to which manufacturers have replaced BPA with BPS is unknown, but a 2012 study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology titled “Bisphenol S, a New Bisphenol Analogue, in Paper Products and Currency Bills and Its Association with Bisphenol A Residues,” indicates the shift is global, and therefore likely internally coordinated by the chemical industry:

 

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Human and Synthetic Hormones Now Contaminate Fresh Produce

Hormones and/or hormone-mimicking chemicals are omnipresent environmental contaminants. Already found in places as varied as our teeth (dental sealant) to our paper products (receipts, money), our meat to our canned foods, new research now indicates that even fresh, whole vegetables and fruits are no longer immune to this growing biological and chemical threat.

A newly released study has found that a variety of substances with hormone-disrupting properties now widely contaminate commercially available fresh vegetables and fruits, in some cases at concentrations exceeding the recommended acceptable daily intake (ADI) for children as recommended by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).

Published this month in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers at the Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, found the synthetic endocrine-disrupting chemicals bisphenol A (BPA), nonylphenol (NP), and the natural steroidal estrogen 17-β-estradiol, in vegetables and fruits randomly sampled from local markets, using gas chromotagraphy with tandem mass spectrometry.[i]

According to the researchers, the “BPA was detected in all vegetable and fruit samples, ranging from 0.2±0.1 to 9.0±4.9 µg kg-1, indicating significant exposure potential for humans.”  Nonylphenol (NP), a chemical in the alkylphenol class mainly used to manufacturer detergents, was detected in pumpkin, sweet potato, citrus, and apple samples. Concentrations of 17-β-estradiol in vegetables and fruits ranged from 1.3±0.4 to 2.2±1.0 µg kg-1 except those in tomato and strawberry.

Notably, the highest concentrations of BPA were found in potatoes, lettuce contained the highest concentration of natural estrogens, and pumpkin the highest concentration of alkylphenols (APs).

How Did These Chemicals End Up In Our Food?

 

Read Full Article Here

Health

Detroit American Indian Community Celebrates Grand Re-Opening of Health Clinic

DETROIT – American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan is celebrating its Grand Opening of its renovated medical and behavioral health clinic tomorrow, May9th, which is also National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern MichiganAmerican Indian community elders, the architect and the staff
worked to incorporate American Indian culture and teachings into the design.

The event will begin at 4:30 pm and last until 7:30 pm. American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan is located at 4880 Lawndale Street in Detroit.

George Martin, a well known and respected Ojibwe elder, will conduct a ceremonial blessing as part of the opening celebration. The celebration will also include an art display and performances, traditional Native games and songs and food. Educational material on children’s mental health will be distributed.

“Events that draw us together in celebration, especially celebration of children and their voices, add to feelings of worth, love and support for a child. Those are tools they have to build great character and rebound from traumas,”

stated Ashley Tuomi, executive director of American Indian Health and Family Services.

“We express our emotions in many ways. Our job as Behavioral Healthcare Providers is to help children and their families learn to communicate their emotions in healthy, balanced ways. This event highlights how emotional expression can be fun as well as meaningful,”

commented Tina Louise, director of Healthcare and Recovery for the agency.

Read Full Article Here

FDA denies a petition that sought to ban BPA from food packaging

The Food and Drug Administration said that after performing extensive research on the chemical Bisphenol A, the agency is denying a 2008 petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban BPA from food packaging.

BPA, which has generated controversy about its impact on health, is used in the production of plastics and resins and is found in some water bottles and food cans. Research has shown that small amounts can migrate into food and beverages. Some animal studies have raised concerns that BPA exposure may cause multiple health problems, including reproductive disorders, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The FDA said in its March 30 consumer update report that “scientific evidence at this time does not suggest that the very low levels of human exposure to BPA through the diet are unsafe.” And, the “FDA is continuing its research and monitoring of studies to address uncertainties raised about BPA.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council released a response from Sarah Janssen, a public health scientist, which said the FDA made the wrong call.

Read Full Article Here

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Holistic Health

Use these 5 powerful herbs to boost your immune system

By PF Louis, 
(NaturalNews) It’s good to know more about simple herbs to protect us against infections as well as cure us from infections and disease. Some herbs can be consumed directly; some need to be made into teas or tinctures, while others are offered as essential oils or in capsules as supplements. Here are five choices linked to articles explaining in greater detail. GarlicThis one is easy to use with food on a daily basis. The technical botanical term for garlic is Allium sativa. It has been used throughout…

Zeolites: the natural detoxifyer

By Dr. David Jockers,
(NaturalNews) Zeolite is a naturally forming microporous, aluminosilicate mineral combination that is found in rock deposits around the world. Zeolite comes from the Greek word for ‘boiling stones’ as they emit steam when heated. Zeolites have a very strong affinity for pulling out toxic debris from water, clothing, and within the body. Zeolites are considered one of nature’s finest detoxifying elements. Zeolites naturally form when fresh groundwater or sea water reacts with volcanic ash and takes…

Chinese herbs prevent hair loss & stimulate natural hair restoration without the need for baldness drugs

By JB Bardot, 
(NaturalNews) Chinese herbs have been used for centuries on their own and in conjunction with other alternative therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure and Ayurveda to prevent hair loss, re-grow hair and restore natural pigment to gray hair. Hair loss has many causes, such as the genetic male pattern baldness and diseases affecting glands and hormones. Lack of circulation to the scalp and vitamin deficiencies play a major role in hair health. Chemotherapy is the primary cause of hair loss in…

Use selenium to protect against cancer

By PF Louis, 
(NaturalNews) In a recent radio interview, Doctor Peter Glidden, N.D. (naturopathic doctor) disclosed that a daily intake of 200 mcg of selenium produces an effective protection against cancer. He wondered aloud why this information is not part of public knowledge in the “War against Cancer.” He pointed out that several standard randomized double-blind placebo trials over several years have shown that breast cancer risk is reduced by 82% with a daily intake of just 200 mcg of selenium. The same…

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Pet Health

Fixing Submissive/Excitement Urination in Dogs

While dog might be man’s best friend, that puddle on the floor sure isn’t. If your new housebroken puppy or rescued dog occasionally pees on the floor for no fathomable reason, then you might have a dog with submissive/excitement urination issues.

So what should you do if you think you have a dog with an excitement or submissive peeing problem? First off, take your dog to the vet to rule out other reasons for the inappropriate peeing. If you receive the all clear from your vet, how do you know which problem your dog has?

If your pooch doesn’t pee when you’re in a dominant position (i.e., looking your dog directly in the eye, bending from the waist, greeting your dog face on), then chances are your dog is suffering from an excitement issue. If the dog does pee when you arrive home, when you’re in a dominant position, or when it is in trouble, then it’s probably a submissive issue. Either way, the situation can be remedied.

Submissive Peeing

Submissive dogs pee when they are greeted, when someone approaches, when they are punished, and when there is a history of rough treatment or punishment after peeing; this is common in rescued dogs. This is also a common reaction with shy, anxious, and timid dogs. To fix this problem, avoid scolding or yelling at your dog after it has peed. Instead, try building its confidence by teaching it simple commands (sit, stay, come), and reward your dog after each success. The same applies with teaching simple tricks (roll over, fetch); go with the reward and praise route.

You will also want to approach your dog in non-dominant postures. Avoid direct eye contact, approach from the side, and crouch down to your dog’s level. When patting your pooch, go for under the chin rather than the top of the head. Keep all greetings low key, and when the dog does pee, simply clean it up without fuss and go away. Do not forget to reward and praise your pup when it pees in the appropriate place.

Read Full Article Here

Fleas on Dogs and What You Can Do About Them

dog fleas, itching, scratching

When pet owners are asked what they dread most about the summer months, the topic that invariably comes up most is fleas!

Fleas on dogs and cats! These small dark brown insects prefer temperatures of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85 percent — so for some areas of the country they are more than just a “summer” problem.

Dogs and cats often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. The strong back legs of this insect enable it to jump from host to host or from the environment onto the host. (Fleas do not have wings, so they cannot fly!) The flea’s bite can cause itching for the host but for a sensitive or flea-allergic animal, this itching can be quite severe and leads to hair-loss, inflammation and secondary skin infections. Some pets, hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva, will itch all over from the bite of even a single flea!

The flea information presented here will focus on treatment for and prevention of fleas, which, let’s face it, is just as important to the pet as it is to the pet’s caretakers!

How do you know if fleas are causing all that itching – formally known as pruritus? Generally, unlike the burrowing, microscopic Demodex or Scabies Mites, fleas can be seen scurrying along the surface of the skin. Dark copper colored and about the size of the head of a pin, fleas dislike light so looking for them within furry areas and on the pet’s belly and inner thighs will provide your best chances of spotting them.

Look for “flea dirt”, too. “Flea dirt” looks like dark specks of pepper scattered on the skin surface. If you see flea dirt, which is actually flea feces and is composed of digested blood, pick some off the pet and place on a wet paper towel. If after a few minutes the tiny specks spread out like a small blood stain, it’s definitely flea dirt and your pet has fleas!

Read Full Article Here

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Positivity Mind and Body

The Awakening (Full Movie)

Uploaded by on Aug 1, 2011

Max Igan presents – The Awakening

Infinite Love, Infinite consciousness is the only truth, everything is the illusion.
http://thecrowhouse.com/home.html

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Articles of Interest

DIY Pet Bed by Whitney, ThreadBanger How-to

Published on May 11, 2012 by

Use Whitney’s tutorial to create a cute and comfy dog bed for your furry friend!

Subscribe to Whitney Sews for more tutorials- http://www.youtube.com/aglanceatmyworld

Advanced genetic screening method may speed vaccine development

by Richard Harth
Tempe AZ (SPX) May 11, 2012


File image.

Infectious diseases-both old and new-continue to exact a devastating toll, causing some 13 million fatalities per year around the world.

Vaccines remain the best line of defense against deadly pathogens and now Kathryn Sykes and Stephen Johnston, researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, along with co-author Michael McGuire from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are using clever functional screening methods to attempt to speed new vaccines into production that are both safer and more potent.

In a recent study appearing in the journal Proteome Science, the group used high-throughput methods to identify a modulator of immune activity that exists naturally in an unusual pathogen belonging to the Poxviridae family of viruses.

Parapoxvirus infection causes immune cell accumulation at the site of infection; direct screening in the host for this biological activity enabled the isolation of an immunomodulator-labeled B2. Indeed, B2 by itself causes immune cell accumulation at the site of skin injection. When added to a traditional influenza vaccine, B2 improves the vaccine’s protective capacity. Furthermore, the immunomodulator also demonstrated the ability to shrink the size of cancerous tumors, even in the absence of any accompanying specific antigen.

In the past, the process of vaccine discovery involved the random selection of naturally attenuated strains of viruses and bacteria, which were found to provide protection in humans. Examples of this approach include the use of vaccinia to protect against smallpox and attenuated mycobacterium bovis (BCG) to protect against tuberculosis.

In recent years, many vaccines have been developed using only selected portions of a given pathogen to confer immunity. These so-called subunit vaccines have several advantages over whole pathogen vaccines. Genetic components that allow a given pathogen to elude immune detection for example may be screened out, as well as any factors causing unwanted vaccine side effects.

Through careful screening, just those elements responsible for eliciting protective immune responses in the host can be extracted from the pathogen and reassembled into an effective, safer subunit vaccine.

In practice, the process of narrowing the field of promising subunit candidates from the whole genome of a pathogen has often been time consuming, laborious and perplexing. In the current study, their earlier-developed strategy, known as expression library immunization, is extended to develop a scheme to find the protein-encoding segments-known as open reading frames (ORFs)-from a pathogenic genome that have any biological function of interest.

This simple, yet powerful technique uses the host’s immune system itself to rapidly reduce any pathogenic genome (viral, fungal, bacterial or parasitic) to a handful of antigens capable of conferring protection in the host.

The advantage of this in vivo technique is that it offers a means of rapidly screening entire genomes, with the results of the search displaying desired immunogenic traits. The mode of entry of vaccines designed in this way closely resembles the natural infection process of host cells-an improvement over live attenuated vaccines.

This promising approach has been used effectively to engineer a vaccine against hepatitis and may provide a new avenue for the development of protective agents against pathogens that have thus far eluded traditional vaccine efforts, including HIV and ebola.

“We had developed a method for screening for protective subunits against a specific disease,” Sykes says. “However this type of safer vaccine design is notoriously less potent than the whole pathogen designs. What we needed was a method to find generally useful vaccine components that would serve to enhance and control immunity.”

The group chose the pathogen parapoxvirus ovis (known as the Orf virus) for the current set of experiments, in which expression library immunization techniques were used to screen for an immunogenic factor buried in the pathogen’s genome.

Parapoxvirus ovis causes a highly infectious disease known as Orf, which is prevalent in sheep and goats and may be transmitted cutaneously to humans handling these animals, causing pustular lesions and scabs.

Once the group had sequenced the full genome of parapoxvirus, PCR was used to amplify all the viral open reading frames, which code for all of the viruse’s proteins. Each ORF, comprising a library of genomic components, was compiled into a unique high throughput expression construct, and these were randomly distributed into sub-library pools. These pools were directly delivered into sets of mice for in vivo expression. Functional testing for the activity desired identified B2 as the immune cell accumulator.

In further experiments, the team co-delivered B2L as an additive or adjuvant for an influenza gene vaccine, to see if it could improve survival rates in mice challenged with the influenza virus. The co-immunized mice indeed displayed full protection against influenza compared with 50 percent protection of the control group, immunized with influenza vaccine alone.

In addition to infectious agents like Orf, non-infectious diseases including cancer may be amenable to vaccine defense. Thus far however, the discovery of tumor-specific antigens has been frustrating. One approach may lie in using non-specific immunogenic factors like B2.

In the current study, two forms of cancer were investigated in a mouse model, following the administering of B2 alone, in the absence of a disease antigen. The experiments evaluated B2’s ability to enhance survival and shrink tumor size. In the case of an aggressive melanoma, tumor size was significantly reduced and survival rate improved. Administration of B2 to an infection induced by a breast cancer cell line also showed a modest but measureable reduction in tumor size.

With the growing popularity of sub-unit vaccines, the need arises for more effective adjuvants, which may be used to compensate for the reduced immunogenicity of such vaccines compared with their whole-pathogen counterparts. Techniques similar to those applied here to isolate and evaluate B2 could potentially permit the screening of virtually any genome for any gene-encoded activity testable in an organism.

Related Links
Biodesign Institute at ASU
Epidemics on Earth – Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola

US experts urge approval of first AIDS prevention pill

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 10, 2012

US health advisers on Thursday urged regulators to approve Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, as the first preventive pill against HIV/AIDS instead of just a treatment for infected people.

The favorable vote came after clinical trials showed Truvada could lower the risk of HIV in gay men by 44 to 73 percent, and was hailed by some AIDS advocates as a potent new tool against human immunodeficiency virus.

However, many concerns were raised during a marathon 11-hour panel meeting in which about three dozen health care providers warned that the pill could boost risky behaviors and possibly lead to a drug-resistant strain of HIV.

The Food and Drug Administration is not bound by the recommendations of its expert panel, but usually follows the advice. A final decision by the FDA is expected by June 15.

Mitchell Warren, executive director of HIV prevention group AVAC, said after the vote that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), or the method of taking a drug ahead of potential exposure to HIV, “while not a panacea, will be an essential additional part to the world’s success in ending AIDS.”

“For the millions of men and women who remain at risk for HIV worldwide, each new HIV prevention option offers additional hope,” he added.

The drug, made by the California-based Gilead Sciences, is currently available as a treatment for people with HIV in combination with other anti-retroviral drugs, and received FDA approval in 2004.

The panel’s nod came in response to the pharmaceutical company’s request for a supplemental new drug application to market it for prevention purposes.

The Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee voted for the drug as a preventive measure for three groups: 19-3 in favor for men who have sex with men, 19-2 with one abstention for couples in which a partner is HIV positive and 12-8 with two abstentions for other at-risk groups.

Gay men account for more than half of the 56,000 new HIV cases in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But critics noted that the pill is costly — up to $14,000 per year — and could offer a false sense of protection, leading to a spike in unsafe sex and a new surge in AIDS cases.

“We need to slow down. I care too much about my community not to speak my concerns,” said Joey Terrill, advocacy manager at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which campaigned against the drug’s approval for PrEP.

There also remains some controversy about who would benefit from the treatment, as trials in women have shown feeble results, possibly due to poor adherence to the regimen.

“I am concerned about the potential for development of resistance,” said Roxanne Cox-Iyamu, a doctor who spoke at the panel’s meeting.

“I am concerned as a black woman that we don’t have enough data that this actually works in women.”

Nurse Karen Haughey said Truvada will not work because “it is not in our nature to always do as human beings what we are told 100 percent of the time.”

She also said Truvada’s main side effects — diarrhea and risk of kidney failure — were a major deterrent.

The main set of data considered came from the iPrEx HIV Prevention Study, carried out from July 2007 to December 2009 in six countries — Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.

The study was conducted among 2,499 men who were sexually active with other men but were not infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

Participants were selected at random to take a daily dose of Truvada — a combination of 200 milligrams of emtricitabine and 300 milligrams of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate — or a placebo.

Those in the study who took the drug regularly had almost 73 percent fewer infections. Across the entire study, including those who had not been as diligent in taking Truvada, there were 44 percent fewer infections than in those who took a placebo.

After publication in 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine, some experts hailed the results as game-changing and the first demonstration that an already-approved oral drug could decrease the likelihood of HIV infections.

Joseph McGowan, medical director of the Center for AIDS Research and Treatment at North Shore University Hospital in New York, said the CDC was expected to soon issue guidance for health professionals who may prescribe the drug.

“I don’t see it as something that would be useful to the general public but to certain people who are particularly high risk, there may be some benefit,” he said.

Related Links
Epidemics on Earth – Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola

Pfizer and Merck under investigation for colluding with Obama Administration on health care overhaul

By Ethan A. Huff, 
(NaturalNews) Most Americans have no idea what truly went on behind closed doors during the crafting and illegitimate passing of Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But a congressional investigation currently underway is seeking to unearth the dirty details, including how drug giants like Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. greased the financial wheels to make sure their pharmaceuticals received preferential treatment as part of the health care overhaul. As reported…

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Health

 

Age 10 the ‘New Norm’ for Puberty in Girls Thanks to Chemicals Like BPA

 

There is an ongoing and unusual trend that is steadily becoming more recognized by the public. Why are girls going into puberty at such young ages? Furthermore, what are the causes and implications of this strange new trend?

Girls as young as 7 are now beginning to undergo body changes that their mothers hadn’t experienced until years later. At this rate, by the time that they’ll be taught about puberty in the school curriculum, they will have already finished it. This trend is so puzzling, and yet slowly is becoming considered an inevitable “new norm” rather than being highlighted as an aggravated health condition.

Toxic BPA is featured in the vast majority of plastics used commercially today. This chemical has the property of mimicking estrogen when leeched into the body. The delicate hormonal balance in the developing human body is being offset by the introduction of BPA and other chemicals into an average child’s life. Nearly out of the womb, children who are given plastic toys, pacifiers or bottles all come under the influence of this hormone disruption incredibly early.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Vaccine failure admitted: Whooping cough outbreaks higher among children already vaccinated

 

By Mike Adams,

 

(NaturalNews) For several years, NaturalNews has maintained that many vaccines actually cause the very infectious diseases they claim to prevent. Measles vaccines, for example, actually cause measles. And flu shot vaccines actually increase susceptibility to the flu. (See sources below.) Now we have an open admission of precisely this point. New research reported by Reuters reveals that whooping cough outbreaks are HIGHER among vaccinated children compared with unvaccinated children. This is…

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Heart defibrillators not as safe as your doctor says they are: Study shows multiple deaths caused by faulty wires

 

By Jonathan Benson,

 

(NaturalNews) Many doctors hail them as miracle devices that can prevent heart patients from dying of cardiac arrest. But heart defibrillators may not be as safe and effective as the medical industry claims they are, as a new study published in the journal Heart Rhythm has found that defects inherent in many of the devices can actually kill patients. A recent New York Times (NYT) piece explains that at least 22 people have died from heart defibrillators that short circuited, an electrical malfunction…

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Holistic Health

 

The immune boosting power of garlic

 

By Dr. David Jockers,

 

(NaturalNews) Garlic is a pungent herb and one of nature’s best anti-biotics. Due to the powerful sulfur containing nutrients and immune stimulators within garlic, it is classified as a superfood herb. Consumption of garlic daily may be one of the best defense’s against infection and inflammatory based disease. Garlic has been used by many cultures throughout the history of mankind as a medicinal tool. The Sumerians and other groups around the Mediterranean region had a great reverence for its…

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Five great herbs for fighting depression naturally

 

By Jonathan Benson,

 

(NaturalNews) Depression is a ubiquitous condition that afflicts millions of Americans, many of whom have been convinced by the psychiatric industry that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and various other antidepressant drugs are their only options for treatment and healing. Truth be told, there are a number of herbal alternatives to these dangerous pharmaceuticals that have been scientifically proven to help remediate depression naturally, and without causing negative side effects…

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Pet Health

 

Allergic Shock in Dogs

Anaphylaxis in Dogs

 

Anaphylaxis is an emergency condition that occurs when an animal reacts adversely to a particular allergen. In extreme situations, this reaction can be fatal. The condition is fairly unpredictable, as almost any substance can potentially cause a reaction. The expected outcome is often good if the reaction is caught early and treatment administered.

The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptoms and Types

Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include shock, trouble breathing, vomiting, urination, and trouble controlling their bowels. The onset can be quick, often within minutes of exposure to the allergen.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Hormone Responsive Dermatosis and Alopecia in Dogs

 

Alopecia and dermatosis are skin and hair disorders related to an imbalance of reproductive hormones. More specifically, alopecia is characterized by a loss of hair leading to baldness, and dermatosis is characterized by a diseased condition of the skin. There are a lot of reasons for why a dog would have these types of reactions, but if all indications point to an imbalance in hormones related to reproductive functioning, your veterinarian will try supplemental therapy to either lower or raise hormone levels to a normal amount. Identification of hormone related alopecia and/or dermatosis is assured when the conditions spontaneously resolve after the use of reproductive hormone therapy.

Symptoms and Types

Symptoms:

Soft, or dry brittle fur
Secondary dandruff
Itching
Darkening of the skin
Blackheads on the skin
Abnormal skin or shape of nipples, mammary glands, vulva, prepuce (foreskin of the penis or clitoris), testicles, ovaries and prostate gland
Secondary bacterial infection
Inflammation of the outer ear with wax build-up
Wetting the floor

Types:

Alopecia (Early stage hair loss)
Perineum (area between the vulva/scrotum and the anus)
Stomach
Thighs
Back of the neck

Alopecia (Later stage hair loss)
Rump
Flank

Dogs with testicular tumors will have
Enlargement of the tail gland
Enlargement of the perianal glands (around the anus)

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Wildlife

 

Catastrophy for Dolphins in Peru

Over 600 Dead Dolphins Found in Peru Coasts –

 

Uploaded by BlueVoiceOrg on Apr 3, 2012

 

After receiving reports of a massive die-off of dolphins along Peru’s north coast, BlueVoice Executive director Hardy Jones traveled to the scene. Working with Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos, Hardy covered 135 kilometers of beach and found 615 dead dolphins. At the moment he cause is unknown. Research into the die-off will continue.

 

 

 

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Positivity Mind and Body

 

Using Positivity to Bounce Back from Inevitable Setbacks

 

Uploaded by bu on Apr 13, 2010

Barbara Fredrickson, Boston University’s 2009-2010 Templeton Fellow, is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Author of the book Positivity, she delivers a lecture titled Using Positivity to Bounce Back from Inevitable Setbacks, one of the final three lectures in the public component of the Danielsen Institute’s Religious and Psychological Well-being Project. Her lecture focuses on positive emotions as the fundamental ingredient in allowing people to be resilient and bounce back from adversity.

 

 

 

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Articles of Interest

 

Medical madness: Researchers develop genetically-engineered ‘pharm’ goats that produce vaccines in milk

 

By Jonathan Benson,

 

(NaturalNews) Just as predicted, the scientific community’s genetic engineering fetish is quickly degenerating into a no-holds-barred, genetic-tampering freak show of dastardly proportions. According to the Houston Chronicle, researchers at Texas A&M University (A&M) have unveiled a new line of genetically-modified (GM) goats that produce a malaria vaccine directly in their milk. Mark Westhusin, a professor at A&M’s Reproductive Sciences Laboratory, and his colleagues have decided to assume the…

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Bye bye Coumadin, so long Plavix – Say hello to five natural blood thinners that protect against strokes and blood clots

 

By JB Bardot,

 

(NaturalNews) The November 2011 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine reports that most emergency hospital visits for the elderly are caused by side effects and overdosing from taking blood thinners to prevent strokes and blood clots. Conventional doctors wait until you’re at risk of a stroke or have had your first stroke to prescribe blood thinners in hopes of preventing additional strokes. What they don’t warn you about are the serious possible side effects from these drugs including internal…

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Monsanto Threatens to Sue Vermont if Legislators Pass a Bill Requiring GMO Food to Be Labeled

What it really comes down to this: Elected officials are abandoning the public interest and public will in the face of corporate intimidation.

 

Despite overwhelming public support and support from a clear majority of Vermont’s Agriculture Committee, Vermont legislators are dragging their feet on a proposed GMO labeling bill. Why? Because Monsanto has threatened to sue the state if the bill passes.

The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is languishing in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year. Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote.

Instead, they’re calling for more public hearings on April 12, in the apparent hope that they can run out the clock until the legislative session ends in early May.

What happened to the formerly staunch legislative champions of Vermont’s “right to know” bill? They lost their nerve and abandoned their principles after Monsanto representative recently threatened a public official that the biotech giant would sue Vermont if they dared to pass the bill. Several legislators have rather unconvincingly argued that the Vermont public has a “low appetite” for any bills, even very popular bills like this one, that might end up in court. Others expressed concern about Vermont being the first state to pass a mandatory GMO labeling bill and then having to “go it alone” against Monsanto in court…..

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

 

CDC: No Source Confirmed in Outbreak That Has Sickened 93

Sushi or sashimi suspected

 

by Mary Rothschild

 

Ninety-three illnesses linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly have been reported from 19 states and the District of Columbia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday, but CDC officials said a specific food has not been identified as the source of the infections.
However, many of those infected recalled eating sushi, sashimi or a raw dish such as ceviche, in the days before they became ill, according to the public health agency.

In an investigation report released Wednesday afternoon, the CDC revealed the states reporting illnesses: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (4), District of Columbia (2), Georgia (4), Illinois (8), Louisiana (2), Maryland (8), Massachusetts (4), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (6), New York (23), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (4), South Carolina (3), Texas (3), Virginia (5) and Wisconsin (8).

The CDC’s message follows an internal U.S. Food and Drug Administration email on the outbreak investigation that was inadvertently circulated beyond the agency. That emailed summary did not list all the affected states.

And although the FDA email said investigators were looking at sushi as a possible source of the illnesses, and singled out spicy tuna roll sushi as “highly suspect,” the CDC said no food item has been conclusively identified.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Iowa Leaders Seek Congressional Hearing on Pink Slime Critics

 

by Helena Bottemiller

 

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad are pushing for a congressional probe into what many in the meat industry are calling a “smear campaign” against Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), a formerly obscure component commonly used in ground beef now known to the public as “pink slime.”

King has asked Frank Lucas (R-OK), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to host a hearing that would bring in witnesses to testify on the media firestorm and consumer backlash over the product, which has led to three plant suspensions and sidelined 650 workers in Texas, Kansas, and Iowa — including some 200 workers in King’s district.

“Witnesses would be under oath and they’re of course obligated by law to tell the truth, those who have been the ones who have perpetrated this smear campaign against one of the stellar companies in the country,” King recently told an Iowa radio station. “I think they’ll have an obligation then to explain themselves why they could not base their allegations on facts and what they’ve done to damage an industry.”

The congressman said he believes the campaign is also an “assault” on meat. “I’d like to look at that further,” he said. “Right now, I’m focused on helping BPI get their brand back and their market share back.”

 

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BPA is FDA’s Latest Gift to Food Industry

 

By Michele Simon

 

In a long-awaited decision, last week the Food and Drug Administration disappointed health advocates once again by allowing Bisphenol A or BPA, a known endocrine disruptor, to remain approved as a chemical additive in food containers such as plastic bottles and metal cans.While the agency says it’s still studying the matter, a number of groups say the science is clear enough. Indeed, in the four years since the filing of a legal petition asking for a ban (a court order was needed to force FDA to respond), evidence of potential harm from BPA exposure has only increased. Of particular concern are young children, as the chemical often lines infant formula containers and baby bottles. Ironically, some of the more alarming research is funded by the federal government. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is spending $30 million to study BPA, with much of it published already and more to come. Not surprisingly, the chemical industry claims the additive is perfectly safe.

But with the scientific studies piling up to show how BPA increases the risk of everything from cancer to heart disease to fertility problems, and more recently, even obesity, this latest industry-friendly move by FDA is especially troubling. Meanwhile, without a hint of irony, FDA also maintains several web pages with helpful information for parents and others wishing to avoid BPA, such as: “What You Can Do to Minimize Your Infant’s Exposure to BPA.”

So if FDA admits the chemical is scary enough to avoid and previous independent scientific advisory panels have derided the agency for ignoring the mounting evidence, why did the agency back down yet again?…..

 

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Recalls

 

Tomme d’Or Cheeses Recalled in British Columbia

 

By News Desk

 

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning the public not to eat Tomme d’Or cheese made by Moonstruck Organic Cheese on Saltspring Island because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.Currently there are no illnesses linked to…

 

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Articles of Interest

 

Lawsuit Claims Some Store ‘Honey’ Brands Are Deceptive

 

by Gretchen Goetz

 

A series of class action lawsuits has been filed in Florida against major food retailers who allegedly sell honey that may not be “honey” because it does not contain pollen.

Five Florida residents are bringing suits against four different grocery chains – Publix Super Markets, Inc., Target Corporation, Walgreen Co. and Aldi, Inc. – that all reportedly carry ultra-filtered honey under their own house brands.

Ultra-filtration is a special process by which honey is heated and then forced through tiny filters that don’t let pollen through. This process is different from traditional honey filtration, which uses bigger filters and is designed only to weed out visible contaminants such as bee parts, wax and debris.

In removing the pollen from honey, ultra-filtration essentially removes its footprint. The resulting product cannot be traced back to its source to determine whether it came from a legitimate supplier or one with a reputation for adulterated products.

When Food Safety News investigated ultra-filtration last year, it found that over 3/4 of honey sold in U.S. grocery stores lacks pollen.

Florida is one of a handful of states that has set a honey standard dictating what qualities a product needs in order to be called honey. Anything labeled as “honey” must contain pollen, says the standard. This rule gives legal clout to those who want to see pollen-free honey labeled as something other than honey.

The same clout does not exist at the federal level, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to issue a set of standards for honey, despite demands from both industry and Congress that it do so.

 

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FDA Warning Letters: Update

 

by News Desk

From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning letters posted since our March 27, 2012 update:

– Prospect Enterprises of Los Angeles, CA was warned that a January/February 2012 inspection of the company’s seafood processing facility, American Fish & Seafood Company in Sacramento, CA revealed violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation so that its chilled, histamine-forming fish such as tuna, chilled, vacuum packaged Hamachi and tuna, as well as refrigerated ready-to-eat products such as vacuum packaged smoked salmon and trout, and pasteurized canned crabmeat, would be considered adulterated.

The FDA said the inspection also revealed deviations from the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulation for foods, including inadequate monitoring of cooler storage to control pathogen growth and toxin formation including Clostridium botulinum toxin.

– Plenus Group of Lowell, MA was warned that a February/March 2012 inspection of the company’s seafood processing facility revealed violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation so that its refrigerated clam chowder in reduced oxygen packaged bags would be considered adulterated.

– Meherrin Agricultural & Chemical of Severn, NC was warned that a November/December 2011 inspection of the company’s Hampton Farms Industrial peanut butter processing plant revealed violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulation for foods, such as using a band saw to cut the bottoms off customer-returned 18 oz. plastic jars of peanut butter.

 

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

Follow the Money: BPA Makers to Gross $8 Billion Thanks to FDA Rejecting Ban

By Anthony Gucciardi

Producers of toxic BPA are now boasting $8 billion in sales for 2012 thanks to the FDA rejecting a potential ban on the cancer-linked chemical on March 30th. According to GlobalData, manufacturers will produce 4.7 million metric tons of BPA this year to be dispersed into the daily lives of millions worldwide. BPA now goes into everything: plastic bottles, canned foods, DVDs, plastic wrap, and much more. Despite being linked to about as many serious health conditionsas the amount of products it contaminates, the FDA has decided once again to side with mega corporations over protecting the health of the people.

Even Campbell’s Soup and the Heinz corporation are removing BPA from their products in an effort to reclaim consumers who are fully aware of the issues surrounding BPA. California is also banning the substance from baby bottles and sippy cups in attempts to protect newborn babies whose developing bodies are majorly affected by the estrogen-mimicking chemical. But the FDA?

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Slimegate: Should USDA Require Labeling for LFTB?

by Helena Bottemiller

Over the past several weeks, thousands of articles, blog posts, tweets and even Facebook statuses have weighed in on the debate over Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), now commonly known as “pink slime.” One place you won’t find any mention of the product, however, is on a ground beef label — or any meat label, for that matter.

That may be about to change.

As the nation’s largest manufacturer of LFTB, Beef Products Inc., reels from the consumer revolt against its product and state and local politicians work to help the company recover, the national discussion has turned to labeling.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it would approve requests from ground beef product makers who want to voluntarily label products containing LFTB.

Last Friday, U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and 10 co-sponsors introduced a bill that would require beef products that included LFTB to be labeled, and Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) urged USDA to update beef labels “to note whether or not the product contains processed meat filler, and, if so, which filler(s) are in the product.”

So, why isn’t “LFTB” or “ammoniated beef” or “centrifuge-separated ammonia-treated beef” already labeled when added to ground beef?

(Were it up to satirical news anchor Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, LFTB might be labeled “ammonia-soaked centrifuge separated byproduct paste.”)

In a USA Today Op-Ed, former USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service administrator Dr. H. Russel Cross declared that “There is no need for labeling LFTB — because nothing is being added that is not beef.”

Likewise, in a recent video to help combat “a frenzy of misinformation” about LFTB, American Meat Institute spokeswoman Janet Riley added a similar justification for not labeling LFTB: “Both citric acid and ammonium hydroxide are natural processing aids, not additives or ingredients because they don’t remain in the product.”

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CDC Offers Favorable Snapshot of Nation’s Nutrition Status

by Mary Rothschild

With its focus on disease outbreaks and other generally gloomy reports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rarely seems to dispatch good news.

So it was heartening to see Monday’s CDC press release announcing that the U.S. population, for the most part, is getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients – specifically vitamins A and D and folate — even though some groups need to address dietary deficiencies.

“Research shows that good nutrition can help lower people’s risk for many chronic diseases. For most nutrients, the low deficiency rates, less than 1 to 10 percent, are encouraging, but higher deficiency rates in certain age and race/ethnic groups are a concern and need additional attention,” said Christine Pfeiffer, Ph.D., lead researcher, in the Division of Laboratory Sciences in CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

Less than optimal vitamin and nutrient levels have been associated with myriad health risks, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, impaired cognitive function, cancer, eye diseases and weakened bones.

The CDC’s favorable, although limited, review is the most comprehensive biochemical assessment ever of the nation’s nutritional status, drawn from analysis by the Division of Laboratory Sciences of blood and urine samples collected during the 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The last such report was published in 2008. This Second Nutrition Report establishes blood and urine reference levels for 58 biochemical indicators; more than twice as many as before. And the new report includes first-time data for a new indicator of iron deficiency and for 24 healthy and unhealthy fatty acids.

Measurements of nutrient levels in blood and urine are critical, according to the CDC, because they show whether the total nutrients from foods and vitamin supplements are too low, too high or sufficient.

In very brief summary, the positive findings in the Second Nutrition Report include that:….

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Poultry Inspectors Protest Inspection Proposal at USDA

by Helena Bottemiller

Around 100 poultry inspectors gathered outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday, right under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s window, to protest a proposal to expand an inspection system that shifts federal inspectors away from inspecting for quality defects and allows slaughter lines to speed up.

chicken-protest-350.jpgThe USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is responsible for examining all poultry carcasses for blemishes or visible defects before they are further processed. Under the proposed rule, the agency would transfer much of this quality-assurance task over to the poultry plants so that it can devote more of its employees to evaluating the companies’ pathogen-prevention plans and bacteria-testing programs.

It basically moves the federal inspector further down the line, to right before the chiller, to make sure there’s no fecal material on the birds before they take the plunge into the cooling tank.

FSIS argues that the system, formally known as the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project, or HIMP, will improve food safety and save taxpayer dollars. The consumer group Food & Water Watch, and the inspectors at the rally, take issue with the entire proposal, arguing that it privatizes inspection and puts consumers at risk. A handful of plants have been a part of the HIMP pilot program for 12 years.

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Recalls

Quebec Sausage Recalled Due to Listeria Risk

by News Desk

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain La Vecchia Fattoria brand Cacciatore Dry Cured Sausages because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

There have been no reported illnesses.

The recalled La Vecchia Fattoria brand Cacciatore Dry Cured Sausages were sold in packages of 2 units each (approximately 300 g), with the UPC 8 81248 33336 1 and a best-before date of 12 23 JL.

The sausages were distributed in Quebec.

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Articles of Interest

Rocky Relief Pitcher Down With Food Poisoning, Club Says

by News Desk

Josh Outman, 28-year-old relief pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, is reported by the club to be suffering from food poisoning.

Rockies Manager Jim Tracy did not specify what type of food poisoning is involved, but said if the left-handed pitcher is still not well enough on opening day Friday in Houston, another relief pitcher will be called up.

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Sugar Is Not Poison, But We’re Getting Too Much of It

by Dan Flynn

Sugar is the toxin responsible for most of today’s health problems, a California endocrinologist who conducts research for the American Heart Association, told the television magazine program 60 Minutes Sunday.

poptart-boy-350.jpg
The University of California’s Dr. Robert Lustig said obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease can all be blamed on Americans consuming too much sugar.

The 60 Minutes segment, with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta playing the part of the on-air reporter, said new research is “starting to find that sugar, the way many people are eating it today, is toxic and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.”

An ongoing, five-year research project at the University of California – Davis, by nutritional biologist Kimber Stanhope, also got mention because it appears to be showing that high fructose corn syrup intake is linked to heart disease and stroke. Midway through, the research also suggests calories from added sugars differ from other calories.

Gupta said the belief that a calorie is a calorie is a “mantra” of nutritionists. He also said the scientists involved in the research are personally eliminating all added sugar from their diets. Added sugars are sweeteners added to processed and prepared foods and beverages.

Examples of added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose and dextrin…..

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Is sugar toxic?

Sugar and kids: The toxic truth

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer.

(CBS News) If you are what you eat, then what does it mean that the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar a year? Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. Some physicians go so far as to call sugar a toxin.

The following script is from “Sugar” which aired on April 1, 2012. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the correspondent. Denise Schrier Cetta and Sumi Aggarwal, producers.

The chances are good that sugar is a bigger part of your daily diet than you may realize which is why our story tonight is so important. New research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions is starting to find that sugar, the way many people are eating it today, is a toxin and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.

As a result of these findings, an anti-sugar campaign has sprung up, led by Dr. Robert Lustig, a California endocrinologist, who believes the consumption of added sugars has plunged America into a public health crisis.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Is sugar toxic?

Dr. Robert Lustig: I believe it is.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Do you ever worry that that’s– it just sounds a little bit over the top?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Sure. All the time. But it’s the truth.

Dr. Robert Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco and a pioneer in what is becoming a war against sugar.

Motivated by his own patients — too many sick and obese children – Dr. Lustig has concluded that sugar, more than any other substance, is to blame.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: What are all these various diseases that you say are linked to sugar?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease itself.

Lustig says the American lifestyle is killing us.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: And most of it you say is preventable?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Seventy-five percent of it is preventable.

While Dr. Lustig has published a dozen scientific articles on the evils of sugar, it was his lecture on YouTube, called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” that brought his message to the masses.

[YouTube Video: I’m standing here today to recruit you in the war against bad food.]

By “bad food” Dr. Lustig means the obvious things such as table sugar, honey, syrup, sugary drinks and desserts, but also just about every processed food you can imagine, where sugar is often hidden: yogurts and sauces, bread, and even peanut butter. And what about the man-made, often vilified sweetener, high fructose corn syrup?

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Is it worse than just table sugar?

Dr. Robert Lustig: No. ‘Cause it’s the exact same. They are basically equivalent. The problem is they’re both bad. They’re both equally toxic.

Since the 1970s, sugar consumption has gone down nearly 40 percent, but high fructose corn syrup has more than made up the difference. Dr. Lustig says they are both toxic because they both contain fructose — that’s what makes them sweet and irresistible.

Read Full Transcript Here

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf